As a business owner you need to constantly be on the lookout for the next sales opportunity...
Whether that’s targeting foreign markets or networking groups full of potential new clients, or ensuring you have an online presence that helps you get a slice of the multi-billion pound e-commerce sector.
The following can help you create new sales opportunities, whether at home, abroad or online.
Reaching foreign markets
Department for International Trade
This is the government’s hub for all things exporting, with information on all the support on offer to firms looking to export, a list of events on the subject and advice on selling online in order to reach foreign markets.
Department for International Trade staff provide expert international trade advice and practical support to companies who want to grow their business overseas.
There is tailored support on offer whether you are a first-time exporter or SME or medium-sized business that has exported before. You can arrange a face-to-face meeting with a Department for International Trade international trade adviser, find useful events and webinars or secure financial support through UK Export Finance.
If you have a specific country targeted for your goods or services detailed information can be found on five here:
Export Funding – Global Growth Programme
This programme helps Mid Sized companies (£5m to £40m Turnover) to increase their Exports.
Up to £3,500 is available towards expenditure targetted at growing exports. This includes the folowing:
- Market research
- Sales prospecting
- Market entry strategy
- Due diligence
- Legal advice
- Intellectual property advice
- Translation services
- Product development and localisation
The number of grants available are limited.
Please contact Business Suppport on 01494 927 130 for more details and to apply.
Increasing your online sales
With online sales figures rocketing higher each year, any business not selling online is missing out in a big way. The government’s Do More Online service has some great advice on how to maximise online sales, including:
Building a website
Your website is a shop window that can get your business more attention than if you have a prime location in the centre of a major city. There’s a world of consumers out there and you need to give them a place to visit. So, build your website and they will come.
Setting up on social media
Whether it’s improving your customer service, delivering cheap marketing campaigns, increasing sales opportunities or showing the human side of your business, by embracing social media you can give your customers added value and reap the rewards.
Starting an online shop
If you want to sell your products or services online there are a few things you will need to decide upon, like payment and delivery options and what websites to sell on. You could sell exclusively on your own website, or on others such as Amazon, but either way, take advice on how to go about it.
Saving time with online finance
You may find that many financial aspects of your business are best taken care of online. Taking payments online and providing a safe and secure way of doing so for you and your customers will be one consideration.
Marketing your business online
As the internet starts to rule our business lives as well as our personal lives, learning how to effectively market your business online is essential.
Marketing Donut is an informative website with tips of everything from email marketing and mastering social media to search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising.
You can also find plenty of advice on promoting events and marketing to foreign markets online.
Staying safe online
Just like you lock your shop door when you leave, you must protect your online store as well. Whether it’s creating strong password, avoiding email scams, preventing identity theft or banking safely, ensuring your online business is safe will save you countless headaches and potentially a whole lot of money.
You know that there are hundreds, potentially thousands of companies that you could do business with, but wonder where to find them. They won’t come to you, so you need to get out and network.
Take a look at the list of networking groups out there, all of which could contain your next customer or a useful contact with advice that could have a positive effect on your business.