Good to see Martin Bamford's firm Informed Choice being featured here.
I've known Martin for quite a while now and his father Nick even longer. They are a small business but have a very clear sense of direction and a clear sense of the importance of local. But one of their key strengths is their ability to harness PR. In fact I don't think there is a financial advice firm in the whole of the UK that does PR as well as Informed Choice.
A BBC news reader told me many years ago that small businesses should adopt a mentality that is always looking for ways to build relationships with both the local and national press - not to mention your niche industry press. Martin has mastered this art, with barely a week going by without him showing up somewhere, and I'm certain this is a big contributor to their success.
Start with your proposition and go from there. Our growth really took off when we stepped back from the business, with the help of an external consultant, and mapped out exactly what it is we have to offer. Without a solid proposition, most of your marketing effort will be entirely wasted. I would also encourage others to invest in their brand. Doing things cheaply will attract cheap clients. Spending a bit more on the quality of your materials and image will pay huge dividends.