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The world of business has always been hugely competitive, but, in a world where the general public is constantly switched on and it becomes seemingly easier to launch a business, making sure you stand out is more important than ever.

This can sometimes be a struggle for small businesses, and, if you happen to have a product or service that’s doing relatively well, you’ll probably find yourself wondering, ‘what do I do next?’

Well, several things come next, but the most important thing is to decide what’s most important for you and your business. Below, we’ve gone over some of the most important next stages in the world of small business to help you decide.

A Website

If you’ve been selling a product via marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, or if you’ve been selling a service, primarily doing so through social channels, maybe it’s time to think about investing in your website.

While these channels are a great place to start, as your business grows, you’ll need somewhere customers can find you instantly; especially if they Google you. One of the key considerations when getting a website created, aside from making it look good, is to ensure it’s easy to navigate and has a good load speed.

And, with consumers spending an average of three hours and 15 minutes per day on their smartphones, adding up to 50 days throughout the year, ensuring your website is mobile responsive is key to your success.

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Marketing plan

Perhaps you’ve already made the transition from online marketplaces and invested in a website.

While your website works and looks good, getting customers other than those you’ve already acquired to come on board takes work. Therefore, a marketing plan should be on your list of next steps.

The backbone of any business, a good marketing plan can help your company fly. However, eight in ten start-ups think of marketing as sales or advertising, when in fact, this is only around 15% of it. The true purpose of marketing is to create value for your business.

When we talk about marketing your business, there’s a wealth of different components to think about, including;

  • Tone of voice – one of the core components of a marketing strategy, helping to determine the personality and visual identity of the brand.
  • Website marketing – as mentioned above, a website is key, and alongside load speed and easy navigation, Google algorithms favour webpages optimised for mobile.
  • SEO – helping to improve your search ranking on Google, key in the digital age, this will be one of the most important elements of your website.
  • Online advertising – from pay per click and re-targeting to using Google AdWords, this is an element of your marketing that’ll be hugely important when it comes to reaching audiences.
  • Offline advertising – while everything appears to be online these days, don’t underestimate the power of offline with print ads, billboards, leaflets and other non-digital marketing to reach your audience.
  • Email marketing – A key way of reaching people in your marketing strategy, make sure you take the time to think about your email marketing, as it’s estimated that 361.6 billion emails will be sent daily by 2024.

Of course, while some elements can be done relatively cheap, it’s important to remember that businesses who spend money on their marketing will reap the benefits in the long run. Studies have shown that successful companies spend between five and seven per cent of their turnover on marketing.

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Social media and content marketing

As part of your marketing, it’s important to talk about content marketing as a slightly separate entity.

Ensuring you’re on social media is vitally important, as is establishing a presence on the channels appropriate to your business. If you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn will be the channel for you, while those selling clothing and homeware will do well to build Instagram and Pinterest pages.

However, getting a social media plan right can take time, as it’s a virtual shop window, giving an insight into your business personality, helping you to reach the consumer.

Meanwhile, blogs are a great way to ensure you’re constantly creating content, establishing your brand voice and positioning you as an authority while helping your website with other marketing elements such as SEO.

Marketing agency

Of course, for many businesses, being able to do all of this with a small team can be difficult. Therefore, those looking at small business marketing advice could do well to turn to a marketing agency, where design, development, copywriting, online and offline marketing, and more sit under one roof.

Filled with years of experience, agencies are designed to help get the most out of your marketing while determining what it is you need to be doing to increase your business and sales growth.

At Relative Marketing, we provide a range of services designed to help you get your business to where you want it. Whether it’s online or print, we can help, get in touch today and find out how we can help you.

Lewis Shepherd profile picture

About the author

Made in Wales, Lewis worked for the only Pot Noodle factory in the world as a teenager! He then moved up north to study Journalism and media studies at University. Lewis has a self-confessed love of musical theatre and Madonna, which borders on the obsessive, and regularly spends all of his money on books, which he adds to his ever-growing pile at home. As a copywriter, his role at Relative requires him to write words in many forms for all our clients.

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