GUEST BLOG: Massive Message founder Phill Hulme shares his company goals, challenges, fears and thrills for 2011

One of the first things we've had to come to terms with is that we will have to absorb the VAT rise, which will reduce our margins. We believe we have an extremely competitively priced product and as we're still a young and developing business, we believe it's important that we keep things that way.

The simple solution is to sell more products, but as any businessman will tell you this isn't always as easy as it sounds.

Unlike established multinationals we can't simply throw money at lavish advertising campaigns to raise awareness. Instead, we have to be shrewd in identifying ways in which we can effectively raise brand awareness without breaking the bank. Like these guys say, we will have to be Smarta.

We've managed to hone our Google advertising campaigns and have been able to generate a steady stream of sales which is great for any new business. However, we think it's time to go bigger, spreading our massive message to a massive market through the mass media.

One avenue we're currently exploring is using PR to boost awareness of the brand amongst a wide variety of consumer groups. The great thing about the product is that it has an extremely wide appeal which gives us real scope in terms of the different ways we can promote our massive message.

We receive lots of feedback from our customers and have heard some great stories which we think both the media and public will want to hear about, so fingers crossed. The fact that we have such a visual product also helps us stand out from the crowd and we're currently embarrassing journalists across the country by sending them massive messages out of the blue.

The aim has always been to make this business as big as possible, massive ideally, so we're already investigating moving into several foreign markets through franchising. In addition we're looking into international courier agreements which will allow us to reach lucrative markets such as the US, Australia, Germany Japan and Dubai. We figure as soon as one massive message lands in each of these countries the craze will spread like wildfire and we're hoping to integrate this option into the site within the next couple of months. Ultimately our aim is world domination.

We're also putting a real emphasis on growing through referrals. We have lots of regular customers and are trying to incentivise them to spread the word about Massive Message by offering referral discounts, which we believe to be extremely generous and will be successful in the long-run.

Our customers make the business what it is and as we have the flexibility to create new designs whenever we require, we always welcome feedback. We've been given some great design ideas and plan to make hundreds, if not thousands more templates this year.

There are plenty of landmark events in 2011, with the Royal Wedding in April being one of the most high profile and we're already looking at ways in which we can continue to make a massive impact throughout the year. Just imagine if Prince William was spotted holding up a giant "Will You Marry Me?" message to Kate.

As you can see it's going to be a huge year for the company and we have some really ambitious targets which we hope to achieve. We're a positive bunch at Massive Message and choose to ignore the doom-mongers who seem to love harping on about the recession.

We believe this year will turn out to be bigger and better than the last and we hope you enjoy following us along our journey.

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