Sales and marketing

Marketing matters. Marketing drives sales for businesses of all sizes by ensuring that customers think of their brand when they want to buy.

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Sales and marketing - overview

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

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Create a brand - overview

A strong brand sets your business apart and helps you to attract and retain customers. Learn how to create a strong brand image for your business.

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Promote your business - overview

There are a multitude of ways to promote your business. This overview will help you identify the best methods of promotion for your business.

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Sales techniques - overview

Effective selling is about stressing the benefits of your product. Discover key sales techniques from market research to overcoming objections.

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Research your market - overview

Market research can provide you with insight into your market, competitors, products, and customers. This overview will help you research your market.

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Trading internationally - overview

Exporting your goods can open up exciting new markets and increase your turnover. But it is not without risks. Read our guide to international trade.

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Creating a website - overview

A company website can reach customers globally, 24-hours a day. Discover the benefits of a company website, ecommerce and how to create a website.

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Advertising

Advertising can be an effective way to reach large numbers of target customers. Our guide to evaluating your options and measuring results.

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Developing new products - checklist

Use this checklist to help to develop new products, from developing new ideas to setting budgets, deciding on product specification and prototyping.

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Direct mail and email marketing

Direct mail and email can be very cost-effective ways of marketing your business, allowing you to reach large numbers of customers. Our overview.

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Effective PR

PR helps you create good publicity, building your reputation with customers and others whose opinion matters to you. How to make the most of PR.

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Exhibiting - checklist

Exhibitions can be a great place to meet potential customers face to face. Here are the key steps to exhibition success.

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Market research

Market research helps you spot opportunities, reduce risks and make better decisions. How to find the information you need.

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Market your new business

Effective marketing starts with researching your market and competition - you can then plan who to sell to and how to reach them. Read our overview.

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Negotiating

Good negotiation depends on setting clear objectives, including knowing where you will and won't compromise. Our guide to getting the right deal.

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Negotiating a sale - checklist

From preparing yourself and clarifying your objectives to realising the importance of listening, learn how to improve your negotiating skills.

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Online selling tips (part one)

Chris Barling, CEO of ecommerce software supplier SellerDeck, shares his tips for online selling and says that normal business rules still apply.

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Planning to export - checklist

When planning for exporting, thoroughly research the market and potential problems and take advantage of the support and information available to you.

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Planning your PR - checklist

PR activities can help spread the word about your business for little money. This checklist explains how to promote your business through the press.

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Price your product or service

Your prices can have a dramatic effect on sales and profits - the right price is competitive while protecting your profit margins. Our overview.

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Sell your products or services

Good sales technique can help you find the right person to speak to, overcome objections and close the sale. Read our simple guide to selling.

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Writing a press release - checklist

Use this checklist to help you write an effective press release, including how to structure it, what you need to include and what format to use.

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Free publicity for your business

One area where it can be difficult to keep costs low is marketing. But there are effective ways to raise your profile that just need time and effort.

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How I met my start-up IT needs

David Hathiramani of London-based A Suit That Fits.com describes how he overcame the IT-related challenges facing his new business.

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How my business got its name

Jennie Avramovic of Bournemouth-based cake-making and decorating business Clevercow explains how she came up with a name for her business.

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How to boost online sales

Chris Barling, Chairman of ecommerce and EPOS software supplier SellerDeck, seeks insight from his customers about how to boost online sales.

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Online selling tips (part two)

In the second of a two-part series, Chris Barling, CEO of ecommerce software supplier SellerDeck, shares his top tips for successful online selling.

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Sell more to your website customers

Getting people to visit your website is only half the battle. Chris Barling provides tips on how to sell more to customers once they're on your site.

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Selling through multiple channels

The introduction of ecommerce has produced a diversification of behaviour and the widespread use of multiple channels in the buying process.

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14 ways to gain free publicity

Some ideas are so powerful they generate publicity year after year after year. These 14 tips might encourage journalists to cover your business.

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Benchmark your business

Benchmarking provides a means to compare your firm against other businesses, and identify areas where you can improve your performance.

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Business Events Finder

Use this tool to find details about business-related training, workshops, networking opportunities and seminars near you and further afield.

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Choosing a domain name

Building a website is an important way to promote your company and sell to a wider audience. Your domain name is how people locate your site.

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How can market research help me?

Market research can help you to identify your target consumer, find out what they think about your ideas and help you target the right market.

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How I attract and retain customers

Ross Campbell of the Exercise Club in Clifton, Bristol, explains how he improved his business to attract customers and keep them coming back for more.

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How I attract customers

Claudia Gillow, founder of Frome-based clothing retailer Deadly is the Female, explains how her business attracts punters.

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How I found my market niche

After being made redundant, Allie Astell decided starting a business was preferable to finding another position in an uncertain jobs market.

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How I produced my marketing plan

Jake Xu of creative design and brand communications agency Xcetra Media explains the benefits of planning your approach to marketing.

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How I publicise my business

Janie Thomson applied for a match-funding grant through her local council and this helped with initial marketing costs. Here are her publicity tips.

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How using Twitter helps my business

Sean Price formed his web design, hosting and e-consultancy, after careful preparation. From the outset, he used social media for marketing.

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FAQS

Market research FAQs

Use these handy FAQs to plan your market research, from research methods and costs to finding an agency who understands your needs.

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Preventing shopping cart abandonment

It's easy to get upset when people visit your website, place products in their shopping cart but don't complete checkout. Chris Barling explains.

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Q&A: Customer service

Derek Williams, Chief Executive of The WOW! Awards explains how investing in staff training on customer relationships can make a real difference.

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Q&A: Market research

In the rush to get your product to market, it's easy to get carried away, but you must carry out thorough market research to check there's a market.

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Q&A: Market research for start ups

Before you start a business, you must carry out market research on your prices – it can be the difference between success and failure.

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Q&A: Marketing plans

Writing a marketing plan may seem unnecessary for a start-up, but in fact it's a vital tool that can help you focus your marketing activities.

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Q&A: Media interviews

Paul Green was a journalist for 13 years before setting up his own PR agency. So what tips does he offer to small-business owners?

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Q&A: Networking

Elsa Caleb of ECJ Associates explains what networking is and provides her top tips on networking, with the benefits it will bring to your business.

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Q&A: Personal branding

How do you look, behave or project yourself in a professional capacity? Does your personal brand give the message you want to project to customers?

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Q&A: PR for start-ups

Jane Lee of IT PR specialist Dexterity explains how start-ups can harness the power of effective public relations for the good of your business.

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Q&A: Pre-launch marketing

It's vital to make the market aware of your business if you're to make sales from the off. Here is some practical advice on how to do it.

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Q&A: Promotional leaflets

While online advertising may be popualr and effective, traditional marketing methods can be just as successful for some businesses.

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Q&A: Sales forecasting

Sales forecasting is key to cash flow control, but it can be difficult for new businesses, because they don't have any past sales figures to go on.

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Q&A: Sales technique

It takes skill, but training, practice and experience can help anyone get better at selling. Andrew Milbourn, sales director of Kiss the Fish, explains.

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Q&A: Writing leaflet copy

It can be difficult to know how to write effective promotional copy for your business. Fiona Humberstone provides some tips for beginners.

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Spotting gaps in your market

Every business needs to stay fresh to be competitive. This may mean regularly refreshing your products or coming up with an entirely new offer.

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Ten ways to benchmark your business

Benchmarking provides a means to compare your firm against other businesses, and identify areas where you can improve your performance.

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What is qualitative research?

Qualitative research is about finding out not just what people think but why they think it, as well as their motivations and feelings.

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What is quantitative research?

Quantitative research is about asking people their opinions in a structured way so that you can produce facts and statistics to guide your marketing.

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Why business image matters

Branding and business image are key considerations for start-ups. Ces Loftus-Price of Creatively Minded Design provides her golden rules for branding.