Owner of SME Needs Nigel Davey, talks about why he’s inspired to help businesses, what has been the best part and the one word that irritates him the most ‘anyone’!
1. When was SME Needs first established?
SME Needs was first set up in early 2011.
2. What inspired you to start the business?
Small business owners wear a lot of hats and so often need assistance with the jobs those hats demand. The long term aim for SME Needs is to help business owners take off multiple hats and be able to concentrate on doing the thing that they love doing – delivering a great service to their clients/customers.
3. What did you do before SME Needs?
I worked for a number of small businesses, generally marketing and selling to other small businesses. Much of this was in IT services, but I also worked in logistics and market research.
4. You have said your passion is helping small business owners take their marketing hats off – Why are you so passionate about this?
Small business owners are experts at doing what they set up the company to do. They want to spend as much time as they can ensuring they are doing just that. Marketing is just one of the jobs that takes them away from their passion and I want to help them get back to it. As a small business owner myself, we all know we have to work on the business as well as in it. As a Virtual Marketing Director, I’m helping small business owners to make the best use of their time working on the business and ensuring they are getting their key messages in front of their target audiences.
5. What do you think of Businesscomparison.com, and would you recommend a business comparison site to businesses that need clarity when making financial decisions?
I use comparison sites in my personal life in order to get the best deal, so it makes sense to use them in my business life too. I would definitely recommend they have a look.
6. What has been the best part (so far) of SME Needs?
Apart from the help I have been providing to my clients and seeing them grow over the last, nearly, five years, the best bit was expanding the business and taking on my first employee. I have an Apprentice who brings with him skills I didn’t have within the business and allows me to further help my clients
7. What is next for the business?
The next step is to move forward with my plan to provide a range of services to small business owners. So far it has just been strategic and operational marketing support but they need more than just that. I won’t be employing accountants and lawyers, but I will work closely with key providers who I know provide a great service and can help the businesses who get in touch.
8. We have read your article about the use of the word ‘anyone’ (‘the silliest word in marketing’), why does it infuriate you so much?
Trying to sell to anyone means you are spreading your resources too thinly. You won’t be getting the right messages in front of the people who are most likely to buy your product/services and if they don’t see them, they cannot buy from you. The biggest companies in the world don’t claim to be able to sell to anyone. They all have a specific audience for each product or service they provide, so why would a small business do something different.
My expertise is in helping small B2B businesses improve their marketing performance, so you don’t actively see me going after larger consumer-facing businesses. I’ve recently had such a business referred to me but I referred them to someone I know who is more suitable and that’s the way it should be. Concentrate on getting your message to the people most likely to buy and you will get more business.
9. Finally Nigel, what are your three main tips for SMEs?
No.1: measure your marketing. If you know what is delivering your leads and your sales, keep doing it and stop what isn’t delivering
No.2: Define your ideal client(s) and make your marketing sell to them and them alone.
No.3: Bring in support to help in the areas you aren’t the best at. Everyone needs support and an independent point of view.