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How SMEs can manage marketing costs in straightened times

It’s vital that small businesses invest in marketing in straightened times. Indeed, this is when advertising can make the most difference. However, finding the capital to do so can be challenging. Alternative finance can help these firms manage the costs.

Today, a great deal of marketing takes place online, from Google Ads advertising and websites to blogging and social media activity. Notably, a new study from The Manifest, entitled How Small Business Can Manage Online Reviews to Strengthen Their Online Reputation, highlights some interesting disparities in small business online marketing activity.

According to the research, while more than 50% of small businesses respond publicly to negative online reviews, only 40% encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews. The findings suggest a lack of proactivity from small businesses in terms of online marketing, the root of which can likely be traced to limits on time and budget. Being reactive is more straightforward and less time consuming but investing in a broader, more detailed marketing plan will generate better results.

Of course, there is also offline marketing to consider, such as print materials, banners, trade shows and sponsorships, and the activity that spans both online and offline, such as brand name and logo creation and development, brochures and leaflets. This article provides an interesting insight into how much a small business should spend on branding.

Whether the focus is on online or offline, or across the board, a marketing plan can have a wide scope and costs can quickly mount up. So, how can under-pressure small businesses afford this essential advertising?

Alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, which has only been reinforced by Brexit-borne economic uncertainty, services such as invoice finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are providing small business owners with an alternative means of accessing capital to maintain cashflow and fund essential investment, such as in online and offline marketing.

This is how a small business based in Sussex used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the money to invest in new resources.

The political chaos surrounding Brexit and its impact on the market shouldn’t be an excuse to tear up marketing plans and wipe out budgets. Indeed, now a critical time for marketing. To make sure small businesses continue to stand out from the crowd, owners need to be aware of all the funding options available to them, including alternative finance.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Steve Bowles on 01903 602211 or steve.bowles@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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