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If you operate an SME, it can be easy to look at the giant businesses and corporations around the world and consider them to be worlds away from what you do and where you could hope to be. While they may be different in stature, there are still plenty of tips that can be taken from their success and used to help your SME flourish in its marketplace. In this piece, we are going to discuss what SMEs can learn from the large companies of the world.

Create a business plan

Creating a business plan may seem like something of a no-brainer, but there are plenty of people who will have had a business plan in mind when they started their company, only to never look at it again once they get their business up and running. By drawing out a comprehensive plan that is at once realistic and ambitious, and sticking to this plan, you can help increase your chances of success. The most effective business plans have long-term goals laid out, but short term goals should identified in the same plan to help achieve these long-term aims.

Revisit the plan monthly, whether business is booming or times are tough, and it will help keep you on track for the weeks and months ahead.

Build a brand, not just a business

Creating an identity for your business can be crucial to its success. However, it’s important to note that branding isn’t just a fancy logo or a catchy slogan – your branding needs to be at the very heart of your business. Some tips for creating a brand for your business include:

What is the purpose of your business? – Consider what drives it, what your philosophy is and what you believe in. To have a brand that is fully connected to your business ethos and beliefs is to have an authentic, emotive and solid identity for your company.

Tone of voice – Keep it consistent! The way you speak to your customers is a huge part of how, why or even if they’ll identify with you. This consistency can go a long way to keeping customers coming back for more.

Don’t repeat yourself – As we’ve mentioned above, it’s important that you have a consistent tone and a strong ethos. You are likely to have a key message that you want to promote to your customers, but try and find ways to do so without constantly repeating yourself. Also, when looking for new ways to push your key messages, remember to stay on brand and not deviate from the identity of your business.

Get creative – Outdoor advertising, when done right, can have a fantastic impact on your business. By creating adverts that attract people’s attention and stick in people’s minds, you can capture their business swiftly.

Personal development plans

As well as developing your business, you should aim to develop yourself and your staff, too. These developments can help your company in the long term, so you should be encouraging staff to meet any personal targets they have, as well as pushing yourself to meet your own.

  • Encourage learning in your business – a culture of learning will make people more eager to develop themselves.
  • Training – If any training is required, identify what kind of training that is and who can benefit from such practices.
  • Decide whether employees need long term goals or short term targets – this can be decided on individual basis.
  • Encourage your staff to identify personal development targets, whether work related or not.

Ask for help if you need it

Many SMEs won’t have a board of directors or executives to discuss ideas with, and that can soon become overwhelming when big decisions need to be made. To this end, it is crucial that you ask for help if you need it, and not see needing help as a sign of weakness or failure. Things like one-to-one business coaching, or seminars or networking sessions can work wonders for yourself and your business, so make sure you consider them.

Clear Channel Direct are a leading provider of outdoor advertising for companies of all sizes around the UK. If you would like to know more about what we do, please feel free to get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.