Also in the news...
What UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage.
Find out how to import firewood, such as logs and kindling, into England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain).
If youíre a business that currently buys goods from or sells goods to countries outside the UK, or are planning to trade with Europe from January 2021, HMRCís new tool can help you identify ways you might be able to make the customs process easier for cheaper for your business. This short video shows you how to use the tool.
If youíre a UK business thinking about moving goods into or out of the UK , this video is here to help you understand how customs intermediaries or agents can help you. For more information have a look at the guidance available on gov.uk.
If you're buying or selling goods abroad, you need to work out the amount of duty or VAT you owe. This short video tells you how to find out the Ďcommodity codeí classification for your goods, using our Trade Tariff tool. Find out more on GOV.UK
3 Ways to Speed Up Your UK-Based SMEs Growth in 2018
The Federation of Small Businesses indicates that, as of the last report in 2017, there were approximately 5.7 million private sector businesses within the UK. Furthermore, 99.9 percent of these are classified as small or medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs.
If you own one of these companies, you may be wondering what steps you can take to potentially speed up the growth of your UK-based SME in the year ahead. Here are three options to consider.
1. Increase Your Brand Recognition
When consumers see or hear your businessís name, do they immediately know who you are, what you do, and what you stand for? If not, you maybe growing at a slower rate solely because youíre a relative unknown.
One way to overcome this obstacle is to promote your brand so it becomes more widely recognized by the consumers most likely to interact with your company. If you donít already have one, create a logo that you place on all of your marketing materials. Also, look for more opportunities to share your businessís story to further get your name out there.
You can also get others to promote your brand for you by becoming involved in charities and sponsoring local events as theyíll often provide advertising in return. This gives you access to individuals who care about the same things you do while also increasing their awareness that your business exists. The Charity Commission for England and Wales has a list of the top charities if youíre not sure which ones to support.
2. Update Your Social Media Strategies
According to a 2017 Sprout Social Survey, consumers have very clear ideas of what they do and do not like to see in the feeds of the businesses they follow. For instance, 75 percent like a brand that showcases a good sense of humor, whereas almost the same amount (71 percent) donít like brands that use their social media pages to chime in on political matters.
This means learning what type of posts your target market likes and which ones may be a potential turn off. You can do this by regularly reviewing your social media strategies so youíre creating posts that are more inclined to create a positive response.
It also involves staying current on which strategies work best for the platforms youíre on, such as researching the best hacks for Instagram if youíre active on this site. If youíre on other platforms, look for tips and tricks for those sites to ensure that youíre maximizing their use.
3. Know Your Consumerís Buying Habits
Owning a successful business involves knowing your consumer inside and out. Part of this knowledge includes familiarizing yourself with their buying habits so you can present your products and services in a more appealing manner.
For instance, PWC Global found that, while purchases made with personal computers initially declined between 2013 and 2106, theyíve actually started to rise again. Buys made with tablets and other mobile devices have been steadily inclining over the past five years as well.
Thus, if your business is positioned to provide buying options via these types of mediums, you may be able to corner more of the sales. Test your siteís functionality on a variety of devices to ensure that it offers a pleasant shopping experience on the ones your consumer is likely to use most.
Growing a business takes some time, but there are many things you can do to help speed up the process. Increasing your brandís recognition, updating your social media strategies, and knowing your consumerís buying habits are three ways to potentially kick your growth into higher gear.