We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.

For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

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

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

SMEs to focus on social media and SEO in 2019

15 October 2018

SMEs to focus on social media and SEO in 2019A new survey of small businesses has found that the majority plan to spend more on marketing next year than they have in 2018.

The study of 500 small business decision-makers, conducted by 1st Choice Marketing, has found that social media is set to be the most important marketing tool for small firms next year.

The survey shows that the top six marketing priorities for UK small businesses in 2019 are:

  • Social media (39%);
  • SEO (35%);
  • Paid search (27%);
  • Email marketing (25%);
  • Public relations (19%);
  • Influencer marketing (18%).

However, the findings also show that more than two-fifths of SMEs admit that they are not confident about their marketing strategy. Reflecting on their marketing activity in 2018, 43% said that they were struggling with it. When asked why, 31% put it down to not spending enough and 22% felt it was due to being unsure of what they were doing.

The majority of those polled (89%) said they plan to spend more next year on marketing activity; the average increase in marketing budget is set to be 52%, according to the findings. Only 3% said they do little or no marketing activity.

The survey has also found that 54% of businesses currently outsource some aspects of their marketing activity, either to agencies, consultants or freelancers, whilst 43% handle everything in-house. However, 77% said they plan to outsource the majority of their marketing activity in 2019.

Matt Bott, founder of 1st Choice Marketing, said: "To see that people intend to invest more heavily in marketing in 2019 and to discover that social media and SEO will be the top two priorities is really interesting; social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram provide such an opportunity for businesses to reach out to their target audience and, in this digital age, getting your SEO right makes you more visible and is key to increasing traffic to your website."

News type:

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry