For many small business owners, marketing can seem like just another thing to do on top of the day job. But while the idea of marketing and getting acquainted with social media can fill many companies with dread, it is vitally important to ensuring future business. Here are our top 5 tips for getting to grips with the basics of marketing:

1. Know your market. There’s no point in producing great flyers or adverts and putting them in the wrong place. Work out where you customers are likely to be and target them with flyers through their letter boxes or in local magazine and shop windows.

2. Make your website your shop window. If you’ve not already got a website what are you waiting for? It’s estimated that 90% of the UK population use the internet and it is often their first port of call when looking for a local tradesperson. Your website doesn’t need to be huge; a few pages showing off some of your recent work and explaining what you do is better than having no online presence at all.

3. Don’t be invisible. When you’re on the job make the most of free advertising opportunities by putting a board up outside the house or a banner on any scaffolding. Your van is one of your biggest advertising assets so make sure you get it professionally Written with your company name and contact numbers plus your website (and don’t forget the FMB logo if you’re a member!)

4. Create relationships. Word of mouth is one of the greatest marketing tools in the construction industry. If you do a good job for one person the chances are they will recommend you to friends, neighbours and family who are looking to get work done. Ask happy customers for testimonials and included them on leaflets and websites to spread the message far and wide.

5. Make the most of freebies! Social media accounts have the potential to reach hundreds of customers and they’re totally free to set up. Investing a small amount of time in creating a Facebook page and uploading images regularly will pay dividends in the future.