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Growing your SME: A how-to guide

28th January 2020 Print

According to research, 80% of 16-21-year-olds in the UK have expressed in interest in owning their own business. It has been predicted that 2018 is going to end on a high, making it another record year for  start-ups in the UK. So, what’s the best way to expand your SME so your company keeps producing a healthy profit? Here, we look at the best ways to improve and grow your business. 

Have a solid marketing plan

This also sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, maybe so, but many companies aren’t proactive and haven’t got a strong marketing plan in place. It’s as simple as setting realistic goals and making an in-depth to-do list where you can focus on your expansion schedules and make sure that you are spending your resources correctly and appropriately. 

Having a good marketing plan means that you have outlined all main points in your business, starting with understanding your target audience, right up to knowing where you stand in your sector and how you can progress. It should also look at the costs involved in moving forward and this would make sure you avoid throwing money away by blindly targeting wrong areas of the business. 

Develop an online presence

Similarly to advertising, a great way to push your name in front of your intended audience is by having an online presence. This means you must make sure that your company’s website is user friendly. It’s not enough to just have a site which is live – if your website isn’t pleasing on the eye, or information is difficult to find, then any potential customer is likely to be put off from using your services as it looks unprofessional.  

Be sure to claim your local listing on sites, including Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local. You’d be amazed at how many local businesses don’t sign up for these free services. By simply providing the search engines with your details, your business is getting free advertising and getting put in front of a huge audience who may well stumble across your brand when searching for a product you provide.

Social media is also an important tool to utilise. With customers always wanting to know how other people have fared, sites such as Facebook can be a great location for positive feedback. By interacting and engaging with your audience on a regular basis, your brand is likely to stay at the forefront of their attention and who knows when they might just need your services? After all, word of mouth is a huge tool and most conversation starters these days come from social media posts!


While it sounds obvious, a good advertising strategy really can be a huge asset to your business. Whether this is online or in person, your brand has to be in the public’s attention. Many people assume that advertising campaigns will be too costly for the size of their business, but this doesn’t have to be the case. 

Leaflet distribution is a relatively inexpensive way of advertising so you can gain local customers.  Surveys have found that 89% of people remember receiving door-drop mail, with almost half admitting that they keep the leaflets on a board or in the kitchen drawer. Of course, what your company is selling will alter your success rate, but getting your name in front of your audience is crucial and this is an effective method. 

Other methods you could think about could be to send press releases regarding your business to local or national newspapers, radio stations and magazines. Certain local papers have sections especially for small business news, so it could be a great way to get your name in front of potential customers in your area. Business cards also work in the same way, with many local shops having a pin board for small businesses to advertise their services for a small fee. 

Grow your fleet

There were 234,000 electricians in the UK in 2013. By 2017, this number had risen to 265,000. With apprenticeships in manual labour sought after for those who don’t want to attend university, there are many SME electrician companies to choose from. In this industry, and other manual labour roles, including plumbing, the role realistically requires access to a vehicle and if you plan to expand your company, then your fleet would have to grow too. 

Making sure each employee had access to transport, would mean they could always be on call, and could service a wider target audience. It also means they can carry all their tools and equipment with you at all times so there wouldn’t be the risk of them not having the tools needed for a specific job. This would mean there’s an opportunity to earn more money and satisfy your customers. 

In a recent survey, the VW Transporter was praised by electricians as being the ideal for their line of work. This was thanks to its reliability and economic fuel consumption. And don’t be scared off by the initial outlay. Many car companies offer a great leasing service that is affordable to you and won’t hinder your expansion plans.

Fleet cars aren’t just beneficial for the manual labour industry, either. Company cars with personal body wraps on can make sure your name is always reaching a new audience wherever your staff go.   

Of course, we all believe that our ideas are great. However, sometimes we have to take a step back and be a bit more savvy to ensure that our plans are successful. These simple steps above should help you grow your business in a smooth manner.