We’re very proud to see our long-standing client Harry Fairclough Construction listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2015 report, which identifies “the UK’s most exciting and dynamic small and medium-sized businesses.” The Warrington and Yorkshire-based construction firm appears alongside a stellar line up of companies who have been chosen from Britain’s more than four million SMEs as the “gazelles” that are the “driving force behind the UK economy”.

1000 companies to inspire Britain 2015

The list isn’t based on size, cost control, or number of jobs created, but on agility, innovation and quality (rather than quantity) of growth and job creation. The report goes to show that in 2015, small companies, even sole traders, can have a big brand presence if they think outside the box. So, what makes these businesses so successful and, more importantly, inspirational?

Local is the new global

Although digital and social media has opened up a global marketplace to SMEs, its real power is in the ability to feed the nation’s appetite for local products, services and suppliers. More than three quarters of the companies listed in the report are based outside of London, which goes to show that you don’t have to be in the capital to stay ahead of the curve.

SMEs tell the best stories

Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Chuka Umunna, says in his commentary for the report: “Each business featured here will have its own inspiring story to tell about how it began, what motivated its growth and how it overcame the challenges it faced along the way.” We always stress to clients that ‘facts tell, stories sell’ – and, when it comes to competing with bigger brands, SMEs often have the best stories to tell. The trouble they have is finding the time and skills to tell them in the right way, in the right place and at the right time on an ongoing basis.

Standing still isn’t an option

The businesses in the report are operating in an incredibly diverse range of sectors but they all have something in common – they are constantly evolving. Harry Fairclough Construction is a classic example. We’ve worked closely with them to ensure that, through their online presence and new business materials, they retain their 100 year heritage whilst demonstrating their ability to adapt to a constantly changing and highly competitive business environment.

In the digital age of content overload, being recognised as an inspiring business is no mean feat, but with a proper content strategy, small businesses can boost their profile without the big brand budget.