We want to expand on something we touched on in our last post about smaller businesses, SMEs and smaller digital marketing teams ‘doing it for themselves’.
According to a briefing paper outlining the UK’s official business statistics (that can be downloaded in PDF form from the House of Commons library) published at the end of December 2017, there were 5.7 million business registered in the UK.
More that 99% of those businesses are classed as small- or medium-sized businesses, while 96% (5.5 million) fall under the category of ‘micro-businesses’; those that employ between 0-9 people. That initially sounds like great news, bolstering the perception that the UK is a ‘nation of shopkeepers’ and that we, overall, have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Only, there’s another set of numbers in the report that show exactly how hard it can be for a business to gain momentum and take the step to the next level. In 2015 alone, there were 414,000 recorded business births set against 328,000 business deaths.
Considering that the mast majority of firms across the country are classed as small, medium or micro, it’s natural to assume that the majority of those that went out of business – more than 300,000 – were small teams and people with dreams of making it big.
With 2017’s numbers a rise of 4% (or 197,000 new private sector businesses), the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t look to be wavering by any means. But how do smaller businesses and enterprises decrease the risk of becoming another statistic? We believe, one of the best ways to do it, is to work with an experienced digital marketing agency as committed to your growth as you are.
The realities of running a small business
Anyway, enough of statistics! Those statistics, though important, simply can’t accurately convey the blood, sweat, tears and emotion that small business owners drill into their business on a daily basis.
Not just daily; there’s something else they pour in that they can’t claw back. It’s time, and most small business owners will know that, once you get started on a project and want to grow it, it can consume pretty much every waking moment of your life.
Understandably so; you’ve spent years working to gain knowledge of your industry, have studied the market and want to be your own boss. You can’t claw that time back, and every second is precious when you’re looking to put yourself in front of new customers, manage your finances, tend to stock, advertise yourself and more.
For ambitious entrepreneurs, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and when times are tough sometimes the fear of simply becoming another statistic drives them on. Again, we’re firm in the belief that bespoke digital marketing – especially with a creative inbound strategy in place.
Time management is critical to growth
We’ve come full circle now. A lot of people do indeed want to do marketing themselves, and as we highlighted in our last post, many feel that sites like Facebook and Twitter are their saviours. No-one knows the business and who it wants to target quite like the owner, after all, and the opportunity to reach out to hundreds of thousands of people with a simple social media post is the perfect way to do it.
Or so they think… Facebook is changing the way it presents content. The ways you approach Facebook now could mean that you’re simply wasting time and money using it as an outreach platform.
A simple change to one social channel or other platform could mean you lose time you simply can’t claw back in a marketing sense, stunting the growth potential of your business. At the same time, can you really afford to take your eyes off the business for long to learn about the nuances of digital marketing such as your social media presence, search engine visibility, email campaigns and more?
4 marketing challenges an agency will help you face in 2018
By working with a digital marketing specialist dedicated to working with small businesses (and to support their own marketing teams should they wish), business owners can build a strong, bespoke and creative digital marketing strategy that collects consumer data in transparent, ethical ways, targets the customers that matter to you most and works explicitly to help grow your business.
Not only will that investment buy you time to focus on your business. It will also gain you access to key knowledge and information on upcoming digital marketing trends, providing solutions to navigate any changes to the marketing landscape as quickly and effectively as possible.
And 2018’s set to throw up a lot of marketing challenges for small businesses, including:
- Social algorithm changes: We’ve mentioned them throughout the article and Facebook’s changes alone are set to hit businesses hard. Those that have paid money to Facebook over the months and years may have, ultimately, paid for very little benefit. A digital partner will help you find the channels where your target audience actually spends its time and look to approach them in the best ways possible.
- The introduction of GDPR: New GDPR regulations will come into effect in May this year, and will affect UK businesses despite Brexit. It affects the way small businesses collect and store customer data – essential for any brand’s long-term growth strategy. Missteps can cause enormous fines and penalties; inbound marketing is a great way to ethically collect data and use it responsibly for future growth.
- Keeping email subscribers interested: GDPR will also affect the way you reach out to people through email. Which is good; email marketing constantly needs to evolve to keep users interested in your brand and visiting your website. One of the best ways to do that is to create interesting content and keep your designs fresh; something you can’t really do if you’ve got more than one eye focused on running your business.
- Surprise search changes: Anyone who’s dabbled in SEO knows how potentially rewarding it can be. They’ll also have an idea of how the rules can change at a moment’s notice; companies like Google, Microsoft and other search providers are private companies after all, and change their algorithms on a regular basis to reflect people’s searching habits. An experienced digital agency will take that stress from your hands.
Want to find out more about how an inbound digital marketing agency can help you to take your business to the next level? Speak to a Webpresence representative today to find out more.
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo.