THIS WEEK The Westmorland Gazette is debuting a new column. Marketing Matters, written by Danielle Owen-Jones, director of Kirkby Lonsdale-based PR agency, Bloomin’ Creative will offer simple tips to sprinkle some marketing magic on your business.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. We’re all in the midst of that peculiar spell where we start thinking about making fresh starts and all those wonderful things we’re definitely not going to eat or drink next year.

So, what better time to launch a new monthly column designed to help you grow your business by clever use of marketing and PR?

We’re going to kick things off with five New Year resolutions every small business should make for 2018.

1. Be aware. Research your market thoroughly. It’s vital to know as much as possible about your customers, your potential clients and your competitors.

2. Be specific. What are the ultimate objectives of your marketing campaign? Perhaps you want to attract new customers, or maybe you’re introducing a new product. Be clear about what you want to achieve and by when.

3. Be realistic. You don’t necessarily need a massive budget to achieve results, but you do need to look at exactly how much time and money you can commit.

4. Be appropriate. There are different marketing approaches for different businesses. Be mindful of your industry and customer base.

5. Be reflective. There are three vital things to do before, during and after a campaign – evaluate, evaluate and evaluate. Otherwise, how will you learn what is working and what isn’t? Whatever your original objectives, it’s vital to measure outcomes.