I have yet to meet someone successful in business who says they handle every aspect of their company, probably because it’s impossible. When we hire people, we are outsourcing them on their expertise for the sake of the company. 

A social media executive, for example, isn’t paid simply to write posts online. They’re paid to promote their employer’s company and help it gain traction within the online space through the posts that they create – with the knowledge that they have to do so. 

As much as we’d like to, we can’t know everything – it’s up to us to realise where our time is best spent. For me, it’s when I’m speaking to customers; when I’m figuring out their needs, identifying their weaknesses as a company, forming strategies to help them. 

I’m also best at selling; allowing my customers to believe in what we do and showing them the best side of the company. It’s also in customer service; ensuring people are happy with what we are providing, giving advice and consultations, and just making sure they’re generally doing okay. 

My weakness? Accounts… 

…I couldn’t think of anything worse than tapping in numbers all day long. 

Don’t get me wrong, I know Design and Build UK’s bottom line, my business plan and objective but I don’t know if ‘Bill’ has settled his payment, how to file a VAT return, or how to claim R&D tax credits – so this is outsourced to the best possible company to fill that gap in knowledge. 

I’m also terrible at recruiting – I hate, hate, hate interviewing people. For some reason I just don’t deal well with people being nervous, it makes me overly chatty and then before I know it, I’m the one being interviewed. 

So why, when it comes to marketing, do people think they can do a social media post or send a quick email to their current customer base and they’re the guru of marketing? It simply isn’t enough, we understand the importance of sales and everyone is always trying to obtain more leads, what you need to understand is that sales and marketing are two peas in the same pod, they need to go hand in hand. 

You need a clear vision, a message to introduce to your prospective clients which the sales reps reinforce and close. When planning your marketing you need to think the process through, don’t do this blindly. A few quick tips to help you:

 1. A goal

What are you trying to achieve?
How will you measure this? Profit, turnover, leads, staff, brand awareness?
What do you want in 12 months that is different to now? Like all business plans, be realistic whilst somewhat optimistic.

2. SWOT Analysis – the back to basics assessment of what your strengths and weaknesses are, as well as your opportunities and threats. List them and build your marketing plan around them

3. Customer profile – figure out who your customer is – their area, company, industry, role, or problem and see if you hold the solution.

Now you’re ready to timeline. Plan your marketing strategy for 12 months, make provisions for the busy and quiet months of your industry, create an events calendar.

Once you have these things in place you have a brief of where to begin, you know where you want to be, who you are and who you are targeting, you have a timeline to stick to. Now look at the different services available to you and decide how to make this a reality.

When it comes to marketing, I like to think I know what I’m doing. I’ve been running Design and Build UK for over 10 years and have clients who came on board with me from day one. I gain new clients every week and manage campaigns in our industry with the attention and customer service that each company requires. 

If you have tried these tips and still feel like you would like to use an external company to help you put the whole thing together and give it life then please do get in touch with my team and me at Design and Build UK; We are more than happy to hear your concerns and give you advice on what we think your next steps are. FYI please make sure step 1 is having an online presence. 

Best of luck to you all. If you do try these tips and find them useful please do let me know, so I know when I sit up at night writing these blogs I’m not just shouting into an empty room – michaela@designandbuilduk.net

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