|By PR Newswire||
|November 26, 2012 04:36 AM EST||
LIVERPOOL, England, November 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Biz-find.co.uk has become an online success story in just 18 months by helping UK business promote the company for free through social media and article marketing and a little help from the UK government.
Just as the government announced a fresh round of New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) funding in September 2011 for those who were unemployed for at least six months, an entrepreneur based in Wirral saw the opportunity to make something of it. Netmediauk Limited is now one of the leading online marketing training agencies, and biz-find.co.uk is becoming a household name as an online business directory and article marketing site.
"Receiving the NEA meant I could start business and pursue my first targets whilst still having a basic survival budget. I started the business from a small room in my Dad's flat and I amaze myself how much the business has grown."
Alan Johnston, Director of Netmediauk Limited, told us:
"I had a background in digital marketing, though not through the conventional route. I am self-taught, I was a soldier and a van driver previous to 2005, and then I discovered social media, and grew my online following extensively. I even painted a chap's house back then, in return for him to teach me web design. Then I decided that I had something, enough to create a value to other businesses, so Netmediauk Limited was born in September 2011.
"During my first year in business, I trained other business people how to set up a blog and how to write effectively, and how to market their articles to social media to find leads. This kept my business ticking over, and early in 2012 I set up nwtv.biz, an online TV show, where we have interviewed and filmed a dozen businesses and charities and got them online. I could not afford a studio and cameras, but I met a great videographer at imageplay.co.uk, who had all the equipment, through networking.
"Then in the spring of 2012 biz-find.co.uk the newest member of the Netmediauk family went live, and since then, nearly 500 companies have set up a free account and a page for their company within this unique UK-wide business directory. I give everyone a social media boost just for joining; you have to go the extra yard for yourself and your business to remain competitive, and to have a unique selling point.
"Sometimes I hear people scoffing at the New Enterprise Allowance, like it's nothing, but it means you can earn money from your business and your NEA is not affected, so it means you can keep receiving your Job Seekers' Allowance whilst you establish yourself. You can also get a business loan for £1,000 with low payment terms. It certainly helped me.
"The NEA meant I could go networking and meet other business people who bought directly from me, and they gave me referrals. Those meetings in turn led to me hearing about the 'Be the Boss' funding from the British legion and eventually I was awarded a full grant which I have used to market my Internet marketing services to the UK business arena. I was also awarded a fellowship from the Institute of Sales and marketing management.
"Blue Orchid in Liverpool were really helpful with helping me with business plans and they have used the government's 'Get Britain working' funding effectively to help us 'start up companies' with valuable free workshops and mentorship. I even became a mentor myself.
"My advice to anyone thinking of starting on their own:
"The government has plenty of funding still available, no, they are not throwing it away, the business plans I had to present were arduous at the best of times, but stay with it, ask for help when you need it, and you shall receive.
"Use online social media as much as you can but don't expect miracles, don't think people will like your company profiles immediately.
"Get out and network as much as you can, this is a very cost-effective way to brand yourself and meet people who can help and influence you.
"Ask yourself (and others) if you have a product or service people need and want, and do your research into your competitors.
"Ask for help all the time, established business will find it a compliment you have asked them.
"Last of all, in business we all have days when we are full of doubt, and we wonder if this will work or not, on these days don't sit at your desk stewing; either seek help or have a day off. I mean, who do you have to answer to?"
Netmediauk Limited owner of Biz-find.co.uk and Nwtv.biz