Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the UK economy, representing 99.9% of all private sector business in the country and employing 60% of all those who work in the private sector. Life as an SME can be tough, though, especially as access to vital business funding can prove difficult through traditional routes like banks and building societies.
Tungsten Network offers a finance product for SMEs called Early Payment. This enables businesses to access funding secured against approved invoices, which otherwise they would have to wait months to get paid on, months during which they could be investing in and growing their business.
Tungsten wanted to raise awareness of Early Payment among the SME and wider business community, and to be seen as a true champion of SMEs, so called in Speed Communications.
Speed began by looking at some of the issues around invoicing and payments for SMEs, and discovered long payment terms were a frequent cause for distress, not to mention late payments.
The next step was to commission research into cashflow for SMEs, using external supplier Red Dot Research. The findings built a strong picture of the SME community’s thoughts and fears around payments, which Speed developed into a series of press releases, blogs and opinion articles to raise awareness around the issues raised and of Tungsten as a source of simple, alternative finance.
Tungsten’s SME payments campaign tapped into a topical trend that attracted national media attention and support from Small Business Minister Anna Soubry on social media. A series of exclusives were secured in the Mail on Sunday, Mail Online, the Telegraph and the Independent, as well as trade media including Construction News and SME-focused titles including smallbusiness.co.uk.
As Chaz Sarathchandra, Tungsten’s communications manager, said: “SMEs make up a huge proportion of our customer base so it’s vital that we show understanding of their challenges. The campaign got to the heart of issues facing the business community and really elevated our position as thought leaders in this space, marking a real shift in our communications strategy.”