After five years' of deliberating whether to run my SME marketing and category business planning business, I decided last October to join the many and start out on my own. And what a whirlwind it has been. From the moment of deciding on the name for the business (So what consulting) and checking whether any other business was registered under that name, websites, Linkedin trawls etc, I was ready to get cracking. This was Tuesday October 10th 2017, by the end of the day, the website domain was secured and I was already working on the website. By that Friday, the business was registered with Companies house and one week later, the website was live.
It may seem like quite a fast turn around, but in reality, I already knew what I wanted to do, who I wanted to target and how I was going to go about it. I had a vision of the website, the type of branding and what the ultimate aim of the company was. We are looking to work with SMEs and start ups, who do not have the marketing experience in house but want good quality marketing, without the price tag. I had also been working on a freelance basis, for just over a year, supporting different companies in various projects, so in a way, I'd already been dipping my toe in the water.
A lot of my freelance work had centred on SMEs and in one project, I was identifying potential businesses for private equity purchase. As I trawled the plethora of websites across the UK, touting the wares of these entrepreneurs, I woke up to how desperately I wanted to operate in this space too. There are many successful SMEs out there, and when you start to look at the variety of these corporate entities, across the vast sectors; it is inspiring to see how many successful businesses have been set up in the UK that really are very good!
Within a short space of time, I secured business from two clients, covering their content creation strategies and a full SME Marketing Strategy for one. I had also quoted on a simple new website project, creation of email templates and headers for another and a social media campaign. The demand is certainly out there, it is just having the confidence to keep going and to believe in what you are doing. You know your business plan, you know what you want to achieve and you can do it.
The benefit that our clients saw of working with so what consulting is the real industry experience. We have worked at the coalface. We have carried out marketing to target the same audiences and grown business with the same customers. We have started from the basics:
We are amazed that in the large corporates we have worked in over time, how many fail to understand all three of these, especially the know your customer. This represents a real opportunity for startups and smaller businesses as we have seen in banking over the years, the challengers have been adept at designing some stunning websites and apps that have captivated the millennial audience, light years ahead of the traditional banking platforms.
We have represented our strategies at board level and had our marketing budgets and campaigns reviewed and acknowledged as well as the results of our category plans scrutinised, delivering outstanding results that we are proud of. We wanted to bring out skills and experience to the SME market but at affordable prices. We don’t charge retention fees and we can bill by the hour, so you can really see what you are getting for your money.
So here we are today. Three months in and already we are supporting SMEs to make a quantifiable difference, delivering in-bound marketing, increased customer lifetime values and category business plans. We like to work in partnership with our clients and help them get to where they want to be.