Manchester has become a hub for small businesses in recent years. Not only is it a major player in the UK’s thriving tech culture, but the University of Manchester plays host to an incubator for start-ups, and the relatively low cost of living compared to London makes it an attractive prospect for entrepreneurs.
However, with so many small businesses around, how do you get your start-up noticed? Here are a few low-cost tips for fledgling companies.
Get yourself on the right social media platforms
As a small business, you probably won’t have a dedicated social media manager, but you can do a lot on social media with limited resources and time. Identify your target customer,and think about what kind of social media will be most relevant to your product. Consider the pros and cons of each social media platform, including who uses is and the kind of posts you can make. For example, Facebook is often the best tool to reach the older generation, while Instagram is great for image-conscious brands in fashion and beauty.
Join some local groups
Manchester has lots of groups for entrepreneurs where you can meet and discuss growing your empires. The advantage of this kind of networking is that you’ll often find new clients or even new suppliers in the local area, so businesses help other businesses. Manchester City Council’s website has handy listings of local business events as well as other useful info.
Invest in a great website
Many small business owners make the mistake of going for the cheapest option for their website or even trying to build it themselves, but this often means the website isn’t fit for purpose. It’s important to find a great website developer and designer and to use quality hosting such as Onyx to ensure your site is speedy and always available.
Find local influencers and bloggers
If you’re trying to get the word out in the Manchester area, it’s worth getting your products in the hands of the right people or to offer them free services in exchange for mentions. Find blogs by people based in Manchester and those who are in your target demographic, and you could get mentions that reach thousands of potential customers.
Go to exhibitions
One advantage of living in a city like Manchester is that there are many big exhibitions in venues such as Manchester Central. From the National Wedding Show to Manchester Art Fair, there are plenty of places where you can find customers. Exhibitions can be expensive, but you can often cut costs by looking out for small business rates and organising your own displays so you aren’t paying a fortune to hire these things. If you have banners and promotional items made, you can reuse them again and again, so they’re a good investment.
With a supportive community and low start-up costs, Manchester can be a great place to start a business. Although it can take time to build your business, there are many tricks you can try that will build awareness and get customers both locally and around the world.