While many small businesses take great pride in being locally-oriented, others have much grander ambitions to establish a truly national presence – or at least to appeal as strongly to people in London as to residents of Longbridge.
But if the latter describes your own firm and your present circumstances don’t enable you to relocate your office to the capital or another big city befitting a national rather than merely local company, what can you do in the meantime?
Network heavily – online and offline
If you wish to give the impression that your firm operates on a truly national basis, why not recruit your clients or customers on a truly national basis?
Attendance at nationally important trade shows, conferences and other events in your sector could certainly help here. But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that budget and time factors limit your opportunities to do many such things. In that case, online networking is likely to become an even more essential element of your national growth strategy than it should be regardless.
After all, the Internet is one of the great ‘levellers’ when it comes to promoting a business to a national audience. So, be sure to optimise your business website with nationally relevant keywords, and orient the content on your firm’s blog to the needs of this broader range of target customers.
Present your business as if it has already relocated
Why waste any time yearning for a prestigious London phone number, when you can already have it even if you’re currently operating out of a shed in Middlesbrough, a warehouse in Salford or a call centre in Essex?
Yes, that’s right – you can simply purchase a virtual 020 number from a trusted specialist in this service such as Planet Numbers. Getting a 020 number for your business is a great investment if you wish to give the impression of being a UK-wide company, as this is the national dialling code for London.
When prospective customers call such a number, then, they will presume that they’re getting in touch with a London-based company. However, you can set it up so that the call is actually automatically and instantly redirected to one of your company’s existing landline or mobile numbers somewhere other than the capital.
Delegate responsibility to capable people
Are you still your business’s managing director, accountant, washer-upper, salesman and SEO copywriter, all at once? The fact of the matter is that if you wish to gain a national edge for your business, you need to start acting as if you are at the helm of a national business… and you can bet that it isn’t Tim Cook serving the sandwiches in the canteen at Apple.
So, you should never be afraid to delegate responsibilities to good people when the time is right. As Will King, the founder and CEO of King of Shaves, told the Start Up Donut website: “finding great people is the key to success. It frees you up to keep imagining where the business has to be in five years’ time. And, you can’t do that if you’re ‘head cook, bottle washer, front of house and security’.”
There you have it – just a few of the steps that you can take right now to make your local business look and act more like a national one – and achieve greater success on a national level as a result. If you have your own ideas as to what else could help to grow a small business quickly and sustainably, why not share them for the benefit of other readers in the comments section below?