Attract Clients on LinkedIn! 12 Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes

Attract Clients on LinkedIn

A lot people I talk to think they need to be spending a ton of time to attract clients on LinkedIn.  But, in my experience when you know where to spend your time and what to focus on, you can accomplish a lot in little 15 minute spurts.

LinkedIn is a great resource for marketing your business to help you attract clients on LinkedIn with ease.  And it’s free. I used to spend $50,000/year in advertising. I love that all the marketing I do on LinkedIn is free!

Here are 12 tips to help you attract clients on LinkedIn in just 15 minutes a day.

1. Send 10 LinkedIn invites to continue to grow your network of your ideal clients and potential strategic referral partners. The more people you have in your network the easier it becomes to attract clients on LinkedIn. I noticed more prospects responded to my LinkedIn activity once I hit the 500 connection level.

2. Research 1 or 2 potential clients. This will help you target your services and they’ll be impressed by what you know about them.

3. Post 1 tip.  Choose 1 tip to share that solves a common struggle among your target market. Like bees to honey your tips shared consistently attracts clients and draws them to you while building your thought leadership.

4. Scan and search for relevant LinkedIn groups to join.  If you want to attract more clients on LinkedIn be found where your best prospects are. As of this writing (May 2018) I have found that the overall effectiveness of posting a new discussion inside LinkedIn groups have has shrunk quite a bit. Although there has been less engagement in LinkedIn groups, joining targeted groups is still a useful tactic to help you get connected with members inside the group who share targeted interest.

5.  Keep a friendly eye on your competition. Watch what your competitors are up to from their LinkedIn activities and what they post. This will give you a good idea about how you can differentiate yourself from them and add value in your own unique way. *You probably want to change your settings to anonymous prior to viewing their profiles.

6. Improve your profile. Your LinkedIn profile will either make a great impression or a terrible one. You don’t want people to be confused as to who you help, what you do and why you’re different than your competitors. Remember, a confused mind says ‘no’. Go through your profile and make sure everything is complete, up-to-date and you’re communicating the right messaging. Read it as if you were a potential client or partner and notice what they would see.

7. Recommend 1 person in your network. One great way to get recommendations is to give them. Be thoughtful about who you give them to though.  You should recommend those people who you have experienced their services.

8. Request 1 recommendation. Don’t just do great work for others. Ask them to recommend you as well. The best people to approach are those who already know, like and trust your work. There is a limit to how many people you can request recommendations from at one time. And you can’t ask someone more than once to recommend you if your request is pending. I know many of my own clients have told me what attracted them to me on LinkedIn was reading my client recommendations.

9. Leverage LinkedIn messaging. When you have a few minutes to kill, use  the LinkedIn app on your smartphone to send and respond to messages. LinkedIn Messaging allows you to communicate with other LinkedIn members that you’re connected to. On LinkedIn, you can only message your 1st-degree connections (and, within group pages, fellow group members) for free. If you aren‘t connected, you always have the option to send an InMail. Next to each person’s photo you’ll see a green dot that lets you know they are online and on LinkedIn, which means people tend to message you back right away.

10. Create a quick video. Yes, you can create a video in just 15 minutes if you get out of the perfection trap. Smartphones have great video cameras which already has easy options to upload straight to YouTube from your phone. Just talk for 1-2 minutes where you can share a couple of quick tips. Then you can upload your video right from your phone straight to your page on LinkedIn. What attracts clients on LinkedIn faster is giving them the ability to feel like they can “meet” you even when you’re not available in person.

11. Share your comment on 1 or 2 LinkedIn posts in your feed. Ideally, you should look for posts on topics in your area of expertise. This is a great way to network with people and add value to conversations.  Look for discussions that solve the problems of your ideal clients. When you add to the conversation, you’re showing the depth of your thought leadership on your topic and that not only attracts clients on LinkedIn the day you posted your comments, but even long after since your connections (and everyone else’s connections who commented) will have that post show up in all of their feeds as well.

12. Ask for an introduction. You can search LinkedIn for specific job titles as well as specific companies and geography and LinkedIn will show you a list of results and whether they are a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection. It will also tell you who you are connected to who is connected to the potential prospect you wish to be introduced to. So, who makes a great strategic referral partner for you? Who is the ideal client / decision maker? You can find them all on LinkedIn, find how you’re connected to them and just ask for an introduction. It’s really that simple and easy.

If you’re currently not getting a steady flow of new leads and new clients from LinkedIn you’re stepping over $30,000, $100,000, even $250,000+ in new business.  It makes sense then, to invest in getting expert help.

Since you’ve gotten this far in reading my blog post on how to attract new clients on LinkedIn I want to reward you with $300 OFF my LinkedIn Quick Start which includes a private Profile Makeover session with me PLUS access to LinkedIn quick start video training. This offer is normally $397, but here’s the link where you can grab it for only $97

Many clients have gladly paid me well over $10,000 to help them leverage LinkedIn and they’ve still reaped well over 10X the return on investment.

I only have limited spots in my calendar to work with people at this ridiculous low offer.  The link above will disappear when spots get filled up, so be sure to take action now and start to attract clients on LinkedIn while you can.

QUESTION: What do you think is stopping you from unleashing the power of LinkedIn marketing for your business?

PROSPECTING TOOL REVIEW: Boomerang — Never Forget to Follow Up with Prospects Again

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

When it comes to business development we know we should follow up with prospects multiple  times. But, 

have you ever been guilty of sending out emails to a bunch of potential prospects and then forget to follow up on them? Click To Tweet

Yup! I used to forget too.

Sure, I have CRM system and other tools that use automations, but there’s a lot of times when it is quicker to just to fire off a bunch of emails straight from your gmail account … but then .. life gets in the way of all our good intentions, right?

That’s why I decided to add Boomerang to my follow up toolbox.

What is Boomerang?

This is not the Boomerang App used on Instagram and Facebook that takes videos and makes it repeat itself from start to end in seconds. Yep, that app has the same name as this one but just to clarify. This isn’t that app we are going to talk about.

Boomerang for gmail and outlook is an app that allows you to write an email and automatically send it later on the perfect time you scheduled it. Plus, it has a feature that will also notify you if you don’t get a reply on the email you sent and/or if the person you sent it to did not even open the email.

Having Boomerang is like having your very own executive assistant who alerts you on who to follow up on your email prospecting efforts.

Some also use Boomerang to email themselves reminders for next day, or next week, etc. It allows you to organize your inbox to prevent email overload. It is a useful and a simple tool to use that can be installed on IOS and Android smartphones too.

Boomerang is a Google Chrome browser extension when you’re emailing from your laptop or desktop.

 

 

Why Should You Use it in Your Prospecting

This can easily help you in prospecting clients because it has the capability to track responses. Unopened, unreplied emails will then boomerang back to you based on the setting you had when you sent the email.

 

 

You have the ability to set the date when it will be boomerang back at you and to varied situations stated below:

  • If not opened
  • If not clicked
  • If no reply
  • Regardless

You can identify who to follow up in regards to your proposal let’s say.

 

 

How to Download and Use Boomerang for Business

Here is how to download and install it as a browser extension.

  1. Go to Boomeranggmail.com and click INSTALL

 

 

       2. A pop up will come up and click add extension. Let it run and that’s it.

 


If you learn better through video, here’s a good demo we found:

 

QUESTION: What’s a favorite productivity tool you use in your business development process?

5 Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up in Your Business

UPDATED!  … Ever Feel Like Giving Up in Your Business?

If you’ve been trying to grow your business alone, discouragement can easily knock you off your feet and make you question whether you should be giving up on your business — wondering whether achieving your dream is even possible.

If you’re feeling this fear in your business you are not alone. I have felt your pain and so have thousands of other now successful entrepreneurs.

The good news is you are taking a step in the right direction just by reading this blog and seeking answers.

Here are 5 tips that will help you get up when you feel like giving up. Implement these tips to help you get your “A-game” on.

1. Expect to struggle with challenges.

Challenges are a part of life … and it’s also a part of growing your business.

A wise person taught me a long time ago, “a person’s reaction is based on their expectation.”

Being exposed to so many “overnight” success stories on social media it is no wonder how any normal person might feel like a ‘failure’ if you are going through a rough time in your business.

Well, I rarely find those sound bytes on social media revealing the failures and hard times they had to overcome in order to get to the success they are today.

If you’ve been an email subscriber of mine, you probably already know about some of the high points in my background like, hitting my first Million Dollar milestone … doubling my business 11 times over my 26 year entrepreneur career … starting, turn-keying and selling 3 businesses, etc.

But, you may not know about some of the low points and struggles I went through along the way, when I was …

  • Disheartened at the realization I could have made more money flipping burgers than what I netted in Q1 my first year of business back in 1992 … (I felt so inadequate!) 😭
  • Rejected being turned down for my first round of funding for my 2nd business … (blow to my ego!) 😓
  • Struggling to make payroll some months … (sweating bullets!) 😨
  • Dumbfounded at the damage it cost me from not firing a key employee when I should have – to the tune of quarter of a million dollars (Ouch!) 😖
  • Overwhelmed having to find 20 new hires to replace 20 under performing sales people … (Ugh! Felt like I got the ‘Go back to Start’ card in Monopoly) 😞
  • Blindsided being sued for pregnancy discrimination by a new employee  😱 — (Wow! never imagined that could happen to me as a working mother of 3 children myself)
  • Ok, I could go on and on … but I hope you get the point …

The point is … life is not easy, right?

When you expect growing a business to be easy, then challenges will take you by surprise.  Don’t let obstacles knock the wind out of you and make you dwell on negative thinking.

As Vince Lombardi famously said, “it’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”

I’ve learned, though it’s so much faster and easier to get up from setbacks when you have other people to help you. That’s why it’s important to …

2. Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.

It’s pretty hard to encourage yourself when you’re in the midst of massive anxiety and frustration.

First, you’ve got to make a decision to get out of solitary confinement and not operate your business like an island.

Don’t try to climb out of your discouragement alone.

  • Find a mastermind group or an advisory group where you get together regularly with like minded entrepreneurs to work ON your business.
  • Join a local networking group where you can build relationships with other business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • Reach out to a colleague and ask them to be your accountability partner. (Just don’t choose someone who is in the same place of contemplating giving up in their business right now).

3. Reconnect to your “WHY”.

I find that people think most about quitting and giving up when their business is not making enough money (you need to attract more clients) or the business just isn’t fun anymore (you need to develop high performing people you like being around).

A business won’t survive long if you’re just in it for the money. Yes, it must make money in order to thrive as a business, but there has to be a much greater meaning that drives you in your business.

 

A greater purpose fuels passion that mere setbacks can not extinguish. Click To Tweet

 

The problem is pursuing money is not a meaningful purpose. We all need to make a living, but I believe God created each of us on purpose and for a greater purpose.

What was the difference you set out to make in people’s lives through your business?

It doesn’t matter how unglamorous you might think your profession is. Even a house painting business can make a powerful impact when it’s run as a purpose driven business.

When business is slow it’s easy to sink into self pity and start to question whether it’s time to throw in the towel. Instead, shift your focus off yourself and onto others.

Reconnect with your purpose and focus on the impact you want to make through your business.

“Our greatest fear in life should not be failure, but succeeding at things that don’t really matter in life.” ~ Francis Chan Click To Tweet


4. Find an experienced guide.

Discouragement can feel as insurmountable as climbing Mount Everest when you’re not supported by an experienced guide. Let me give you a visual:

 

don't give up

That’s me struggling to scale this rock. But, I would not have even gotten that far up if I didn’t have my brother belaying me from the ground.

Having him belay me protected me from getting hurt when I did fall. And, he knew how to belay me so I didn’t fall very far.

He also took me on walls he has scaled before. So, he could guide me on what steps I should take that was within my physical reach.  

He didn’t guide me in the same sequence he gave my son, who could take a different path getting to the top since he is 5 inches taller than me and has far greater upper body strength than I do.

If I were free climbing I would certainly give up after my first fall. But, I would never attempt to go free climbing by myself. I know my threshold for pain and at my age, I would not risk breaking any bones.

It’s the same in your business. You can’t afford making costly mistakes. Hiring an experienced guide is worth every penny!

 

5. Evaluate your equipment.

When rock climbing you have to have the proper equipment to have a successful climb. The wrong shoes will make every step hiking up the mountain slippery and dangerous. A clothing line rope does not qualify as proper equipment. You may be able to hang clothes with it, but you wouldn’t depend on a clothing line rope to hold you from falling off a cliff.

If business is slow, you want to evaluate what equipment are you using in your marketing toolbox.

Don’t overlook the importance of having the right marketing tools. You can watch your sales climb much faster if you use the right tool for the right job.

These are some of the critical tech tools every business should be equipped with.

  • effective lead generation magnet(s)
  • a lead capture landing page
  • a lead generation website
  • email marketing/autoresponder tool
  • traffic generation tools like social media

BONUS TIP #1. Shift your focus from seeing “problems” to seeing “opportunities”

If you keep focusing on your problem that your business is not making enough money right now, all you get is worry, anxiety and ulcers. The most effective way I know how to shift from focusing on the problem into seeing opportunities is by measuring your marketing metrics.

This is one of the most overlooked steps. But, measuring your marketing is like getting an instant X-ray of what is causing the problem.

Let me know if you want me to cover this topic in more detail in future blog posts, (just tell me in the comment box below)  but let’s take one specific marketing tactic like your website. The numbers will tell you what opportunities to focus on.

Example:

# of new visits to your site = 1,000
# of subscribers = 5
# bounce rate = 90%
# average time spent on site = 4 seconds
average # of pages spent on site = 7

Can you see what opportunities the business with this above example should focus on?

If this is an area you are screaming for more help interpreting in your business right now you can sign up for a complimentary marketing assessment here.


BONUS TIP #2. Don’t worry about the storm. Worry about having a good anchor.

Falling sales numbers might be the storm in your business. Having a good anchor will keep you from worrying about it. When I am rock climbing I don’t worry about falling because I know I am anchored to my belayer who also happens to be my older brother.

Not only is he my safety net; he’s also my guide coaching me through what my next steps should be. Because my nose is so close to the rock, it can be hard to see what step I should take next.

My belayer can see the bigger picture from where he is standing. Plus, he’s climbed the rock before, so he knows first hand the pitfalls and the easiest path to reach the top.

Who is belaying you in your business? Who is your safety net? Who is guiding your next steps when your nose is too close to see those opportunities?

Question: What do you do when you feel like giving up? Share your tips and questions below.

© Copyright 2018

MARKETING ADVICE FOR ADVISORS: 5 Tips for Building Your Expertise

A lot of advisors today are still relying solely on traditional methods of business development — like asking clients for referrals, cold emailing and networking.

The problem is not the method, but the call to action used with the method. Often times you’re asking your network and your clients to invite their friends to book a consultation with you. It’s no wonder why the sales cycle takes so long and yields a disappointingly low response rate.

Whether you’re an attorney, CPA, coach, consultant, financial advisor, attorney or fitness expert there is an overwhelming number of other advisors in your category competing for your prospect’s attention.

So, how does one stand out among so much competition?

The key is to focus on building your reputation as the clear go to expert in your field.

When you build your expertise:

  • Prospects are immediately pre sold on you before they even speak to you.
  • Prospects are calling you instead of you needing to go prospecting for clients.
  • You can also command higher fees when you get known as the high level expert.

Those are 3 great reasons to building your expertise isn’t it?

Yet, this marketing advice has been missed by so many advisors who end up spinning their wheels simply networking at coffees and lunches or buying more ad space. Instead of thinking about your marketing plan as “advertising” as an advisor you want to think about your overall marketing plan more like “educating.”

Keep in mind that the job of advertising is to to simply bring attention and awareness to who you are.  It’s pretty difficult to build your expertise inside an half page ad space, but you can do this easily with the unlimited free space you have at your disposal with a blog.

Educating your target market is not only free, but it also serves a key role to attracting more traffic to your website.

Educational marketing is about sharing your unique perspective on your subject. No scarcity mindset allowed here. Click To Tweet

Be generous in sharing your thought leadership, your insights, your pet peeves — your unique perspective.

Advisors who are stingy (or paranoid) about sharing your knowledge are the ones who end up being regarded as a commodity.

Here are 5 ways to implement this marketing advice, so you can leverage your advice to quickly attract new clients with ease.

1. Start blogging.

A blog is an article that is written in your voice as if you are having a personal conversation with your prospect one on one. You publish your blog on your main business website under it’s own tab labeled “blog”.

Blogging is an opportunity for you to leverage your time while reaching a much larger audience.  Here are four great reasons you should start blogging:

Blogging builds equity into your marketing assets — like owning a home versus paying rent each month.  When you publish your blog article, since it lives on the internet forever (unless you unpublish it) your message continues to reach new people month after month … year after year.

Blogging is also one of the easiest and fastest ways to get found on the internet by those very people who are looking for an expert like you (which is an SEO marketing advice tip!)

Blogging is also a great way to fuel your other business development tactics. If you’re using a free consultation or an “apply now” lead generation approach, you’ll see higher response rates if you first drive advertising, networking, social media updates to specific blog posts. This is an important bridge step that introduces a cold audience to you and warms them up. You’ll see a much higher response rate to your free consult or apply now invitation once you give them time to know-like-trust you through your valuable blog posts.

Blogging is an easy way to showcase your thought leadership and build your reputation as the go to expert in your field.  You can even republish your blog on your LinkedIn profile as long form articles where you’ll receive even greater visibility and reach than from just your website traffic alone.

So, now that you’ve decided you will commit to blogging, what should you blog about?

2. Brainstorm a blog editorial calendar.

It can be pretty daunting to stare at a blank paper and expect to whip out a great blog article every week. So, break up your blogging process in tiny bite size pieces. First, just brainstorm a list of ideas on topics and titles you could blog about.

  • What are the top 10 most frequently asked questions you hear from your prospects and clients?
  • What are the top 10 myths your target market believes about your topic that you can debunk?
  • What are 10 pieces of bad advice you see others giving in your industry?
  • What are 10 questions your prospects SHOULD be asking you?
  • What are 10 things prospects should be looking for when choosing the right (fill in the blank)?

See how quickly you can come up with your first 50 title ideas with just these thought joggers alone?

Here are 3 different examples:

If you are a CPA you could answer questions like:

  • What’s the latest tax advice for maximizing cash flow and profits for small business?
  • How to do a profit and loss statement for small business
  • What is a general ledger?
  • Pros and cons of sole proprietorship, LLC or sub S corporation

If you are a physical therapist you could answer questions like:

  • How long should you rest from a sprained ankle?
  • My son thinks he can tape his injured ankle and still play in the game. Is that a bad idea?
  • What are the best exercises to strengthen weak ankles?

This marketing advice is not just for advisors alone. It also works for all business owners. Let’s say you own a residential / commercial painting business you could answer questions like:

  • What’s the difference between latex paint and oil based paint?
  • What is the best type of paint to use for exterior house painting?
  • What should you do when you see bubbles on your exterior siding?

Ok, so imagine your website being full of answers and advice you give on 20 of these types of questions. I’m sure you can see how that would quickly elevate your expertise in the minds of your prospects.

By simply educating the public (which is what you do anyway when you speak to potential clients one on one) you are marketing yourself while being seen as the go-to expert in your field.

Building your expertise does take work. It won’t happen is just 5 minutes a day. However, it also does not require 5 hours a day either. After all, most of your work-week should understandably be spent in serving your clients and scaling your business!


3. Re-Purpose your blog for 5X the ROI.

Here is a great way to re-purpose one activity into multiple tactics, so you can reach more prospects through multiple channels. The gem in this marketing advice is by re-purposing your written content you are scaling your reach into audiences that the written word alone would not reach. 

Speak your blogs on video. While some prospects are readers and will find your blogs while surfing the internet, other prospects are visual and will find your content while surfing YouTube. Videos are also even more effective at building relationships than the written word alone because you engage more of their senses.

Plus, your personality comes through even greater on video when you speak. Building videos does not have to be expensive. While it’s good to hire a professional videographer for some of your video marketing, you can also create lots of great video blogs right from your smartphone or webcam.

If you don’t like getting in front of a camera or you just don’t have time to shoot a video here is an example of how I converted a blog post into a video where I’m mostly sharing my slides. You can also see an example of what the audio version looks like too on this same page:

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/how-to-create-high-performing-teams/


Speak your blogs on audio. 
A third segment of your prospects are neither readers nor have the patience to sit in front of a computer to watch videos. For people who are on the go and like to multi task my marketing advice is to reach these folks through downloadable audio mp3’s where they can listen to your advice and get educated while they are driving, walking or doing other activities.

Republish your blogs on LinkedIn as long form articles. With this tip I mentioned earlier you want to be sure you publish it first as a blog on your website, then publish it again on LinkedIn. It’s a good idea to include a note at the end of the LinkedIn version that it was originally published on your specific blog URL.

Here is an example of one of my blogs we republished as a Linkedin long form article

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/strategic-planning-tip-staging-your-business-succeed-yoon-cannon/

 

Publish your blog as a SlideShare presentation. There is a 5th segment of your prospects who like getting a condensed version of your content in a Powerpoint slide deck format. You can hire inexpensive freelancers on sites like Fiverr to convert your blog into beautifully designed Powerpoint slides. Plus, since LinkedIn owns SlideShare it’s another great way to multiply your find-ability on LinkedIn.

Here is an example of what I shared on SlideShare that got 21,054 views so far!

https://www.slideshare.net/yooncannon/linked-in-tips-how-to-share-your-posts-to-multiple-linkedin-groups


4. Promote, Promote, Promote Your Blog!

Share your blogs, videos and audios on social media consistently throughout the year. Once you publish your blog people searching your topic will be able to find your article online (more so when you learn how to optimize your blogs for the right keywords), but you can drive 10X more traffic to your blog post when you promote and re-promote your content over and over throughout the year.

RELATED: How to Automate Your Blog Promotion
https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/reduce-social-media-overwhelm-with-coschedule/

Social media is a great channel to share the links of each blog, video and audio on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Once users see the value you bring, you can get them to follow you and also share your content with others.

Every time you share a blog post or other types of updates on your social media your post appears in your network’s feed which is like having your ad appear (for free!) in the daily newspaper that gets delivered to everyone’s front door. You are reaching targeted people in your network as direct mail post cards would.

Except, they’ll want to read your post because it’s not an advertisement in the style of a commercial. They read your posts because you shared valuable information that educated them.

5. Convert blog readers into email subscribers.

While a some of your blog readers may contact you right away, studies show that 67% of people researching the internet are not yet actively ready to buy. But if they are reading your blog at all you want to consider them as a “warm audience”.

A great way to turn your warm audience into warm leads is to offer something of value in exchange for their email address. That way, you have the benefit of communicating with them directly to their inbox, so when they are actively looking to buy you will be top of mind since they have already been receiving valuable emails from you on a regular basis.

In the context of a blog, this is often referred to as a content upgrade. Explaining what this is and how to do it is beyond the scope of this blog post. So, I put together a free 3-part video course where you can use this key strategy to generate a steady flow of hot leads for your business.

BONUS BENEFIT!  You don’t even need to have a blog yet to implement this strategy I share inside the video course. You can use this to start generating hot leads right away as well as using it is as a blog content upgrade. 

When you enter your name and email I’ll send you the video series straight to your inbox.

If you enjoyed the marketing advice in this post please do share with other advisors and experts you know. I’d also like to invite you to …


PLEASE COMMENT – what is the ONE biggest paradigm shift you have now about marketing your business from reading this blog? Share your comments and questions below.

Here’s to your success!

Yoon ~

© Copyright 2018

UK Small Business Grants to Help You Scale Up

Whether you need funding for a new office space in London or the money to launch a new marketing campaign, there are a number of resources such as UK small business grants that provide small businesses with the capital they need to succeed.

Here, The Brew rounds up some of the best grants and funding options that will help your small business to scale up.

UK Small Business Grants Initiative

While some companies can easily survive with minimal investment when starting out, others need to deal with immediate and necessary expenditures. That’s why The Brew have partnered with smallbusiness.co.uk to offer £5,000 every month to the brightest UK businesses in a free-to-enter competition.

If your business has a turnover between £50,000 and £500,000, then you’re eligible to enter – and the entering is simple and user-friendly, to avoid businesses having to jump through the usual multiple, complex application hoops.

Simply include as much information as possible about your successes so far and why you deserve to win, and your application will be considered by a panel of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders – including The Brew’s very own Andrew Clough.

Innovate UK Small Business Grants

Replacing the old Smart award programme which was scrapped by the government last year, Innovate UK now runs funding competitions offering grants to businesses working on innovative new technologies.

The programme has competitions open to businesses and organisations of all sizes and from all corners of the technology sector, but some are open exclusively to SMEs. Recipients of Innovate UK grants have seen higher employment and turnover and a better success rate than comparable businesses without the same funding.

The full list of open competitions can be found on the Innovate UK website.

Horizon 2020

Supporting research and innovation all over Europe, this massive EU fund has a dedicated SME Instrument through which small business can receive funding for innovative projects with high potential. Businesses involved in ground-breaking research or new technologies, or responding to challenges such as climate change and food security, can access the €3 million set aside for the SME Instrument over the period 2014-2020.

Applications by UK organisations will be made via a National Contact Point – usually a government agency or organisation. One of Horizon 2020’s aims is to foster links between EU nations, so some funding is conditional on forming partnerships with businesses overseas.

However, you may have a limited window in which to take full advantage of this particular fund – although projects will not be affected until the UK has officially left the EU, the policy after this point remains uncertain.

Innovation Vouchers

While money itself is no doubt important, the benefits of having the right knowledge and expertise to hand is an often overlooked part of scaling up a small business. With Innovation Vouchers, £5000 is awarded for an SME to specifically seek out the experts, advisors or consultants they need to take their innovative idea to the next level, build within their industry or protect their intellectual property rights.

Start-Up Loans

One of the common difficulties faced by even the most innovative and forward-thinking start-ups is that their small size and untested business credentials make it difficult to attract investment from high street banks. This government-backed initiative was set up to help get around this problem – if you’re a start-up or very small early stage business that is yet to launch or has been trading for less than 12 months then you could receive mentoring, business planning support and a loan with an average size of £6,000.

Although this funding option will affect your business at a very early stage, it could be what you need to get the right footing for scaling up further down the line.

No matter how dedicated, hard-working and imaginative, sometimes nothing will help your business break through to the next level like a bit of extra money – so it’s worth researching these funding options to see whether they could benefit your business.

 

Daniel Moore is an experienced content writer by profession and he mainly writes on different aspects of business from business start ups to expansion.