[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]How to expand your Paisley business
Starting or growing a business in the current economic climate is difficult; simply surviving is an achievement. Entrepreneurs based in areas of the UK such as Paisley, which has suffered from the decline of industries that previously formed a sound industrial base for generations – for example, weaving and in more recent times engineering – need to look for innovative solutions to the challenges confronting them.
Embracing online marketing
If you are not already using the internet to expand your customer base you are missing out on a major marketing opportunity. Even if you are a sole trader or employ only a small number of workers, having an online presence gives you access to a potentially global audience. Promoting your goods or services on the internet is effectively free and certainly significantly more cost-effective than other forms of advertising such as newspapers, radio or TV.
When establishing a new business, make building and publishing a website one of your first priorities. Though it might cost more than doing it yourself, hire a professional to do the work. In the long run this is the most economical solution as updates will be introduced in a timely manner and technical issues will be dealt with as they occur. Your website is your company’s shop window and prospective customers have to be attracted by what they see. They must also find it easy to navigate through the various pages or they will go elsewhere.
Spread the net wider
Though growth in the West may be slow, there are emerging markets in other parts of the world where it is in double digits. There are countries in Central America, Asia and Africa where the middle classes are becoming established and are desperate for goods and services that are not currently available to them. Prime examples include Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Liberia, Rwanda and Panama.
It is relatively easy to tap into these markets by having the content of your website translated into the relevant languages. Speak to your website developer and have them modify the design to incorporate multiple languages. Remember to check that the content does not cause offence and complies with any religious, cultural or political requirements in a particular country.
Finally, don’t forget to employ Twitter and Facebook to make contact with local business leaders; for example, you will find Anar Mammadov, an Azerbaijani entrepreneur, at AnarMammadov.net on Facebook.
Social media and engaging with customers
Up until quite recently, having a website was all you needed, but today you simply must have a presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Maintaining customer loyalty is essential if you are to grow your business, and to achieve this goal you have to engage with them. Write a blog letting customers know what’s happening in the company and telling them about new products or services. Offer special discounts, encourage feedback, carry out surveys, and hold fun competitions.
At various times since the industrial revolution Paisley has been forced to reinvent itself as once thriving industries have withered only to be replaced by vibrant new ones. Today, this process is entering a new phase and it is up to innovative entrepreneurs to grasp the opportunity to grow their businesses by looking to new and emerging markets around the world.