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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Small firms are struggling despite support schemes

4 May 2021

More than a quarter of UK SMEs say they need additional support from the government to stay afloat.

Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance has polled more than 1,000 senior business decision-makers at UK SMEs across a range of sectors, asking how the support from the government during the pandemic has impacted their business.

A third say their business would not have survived without state support. Even so, over a quarter (27%) of SMEs said they require additional government support in order to stay in business.

Businesses in the East Midlands (39%), Wales (37%) and Scotland (33%) were most in need of additional support, while SMEs in the North East of England required the least. More than half of senior decision-makers in the hospitality sector said they needed more state help in order to survive. Nearly a third of manufacturing businesses (30%) and retailers (29%) said the same.

Those sectors most in need of additional government support are:

  • Hospitality and leisure (54%);
  • Manufacturing (30%);
  • Retail (29%);
  • Marketing (27%);
  • Construction (25%).

The findings also show that 23% of those polled have had to let employees go as a result of the pandemic. Nearly a third of businesses in London and the South East have had to make redundancies because of coronavirus, more than any other region in the UK. Firms in Yorkshire (13%) saw the fewest number of redundancies as a result of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC ) shows an increase in the percentage of firms expecting workforce growth.

The survey of over 5,900 UK businesses found that:

  • 27% of firms expect their workforce to grow in the next three months, up from 19% in Q4 2020;
  • The proportion of firms expecting a decrease in their workforce dropped from 14% to 9% between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021;
  • 40% of firms tried to recruit in Q1, down compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 average of 55%;
  • 63% of those who attempted to recruit reported difficulty finding staff.

However, the picture varies significantly by sector. Only 20% of hotels and catering firms tried to recruit in the first quarter of this year, while retail and wholesaling also lagged at 34%. On a more positive note, 50% of manufacturers and 54% of construction firms attempted to recruit in Q1.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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