Belfast Telegraph

Three key things that can help you succeed

Entrepreneur Philip Bain continues his series on business leadership with his focus this week on marketing and tackling the opposition

How do you do more with less? How can you take on your competitors' heavily resourced marketing campaign? How are you able to get your message out to the wider world with limited resources and funds?

These are the challenges many small and medium sized companies face when it comes to trying to explode your brand into the market and take on the competition.

When it comes to marketing, and resourcing a marketing campaign, there is a need for all SMEs to be able to do more with less, to do more marketing activity than their competitors but with less money and fewer resources. In a world of big competitors with big budgets, a small/medium business needs to be able to punch above its weight to beat the competition.

When we started we had a relatively small marketing budget. However, we had to take on very well established multi-national competitors and to do that we had to get our brand out there and make it the preferred choice for our market. In my experience, we essentially did three key things that worked well for us and I would suggest considering it for your business:

Dominate your niche

Do one thing and do it extremely well. There is a great appeal at times to diversify and have a range of businesses going on (and many do). However, I would suggest that in order to be really successful, you need to dominate your niche, focus on doing, and being known for, doing one thing really well.

Be an expert

Become the representative for your industry, the one who the media goes to in order to get information about your industry and where it is going. This is fundamentally about public relations. If you position yourself as the expert in your industry and are able to communicate to the wider world in an intelligent and informative way, then the media will want to talk to you. People will perceive you as the expert, the industry leader and, ultimately, the company of choice when it comes to doing business.

Be visible

Don't just be a little bit visible, be very visible. Have a visibility strategy. You need to be everywhere that your prospects and potential customers hang out. Make sure you shout loud about your business, what it offers and why people should buy from you. Be visible for free by going in for business awards, doing charitable activities, building up your social media presence or talking about matters in your industry. Be visible and make sure you are more visible than your competitors.

Philip Bain is the co-founder of ShredBank, chair of the Chartered Institute of Management in NI and the author of an entrepreneur's handbook, Start to Grow

Belfast Telegraph