There is always room for improvement, and what better time to take stock, analyze, and set in motion the changes necessary to facilitate improvement than at the beginning of a new year. Here are five surefire things you can do to launch your business to new heights.
- Afford Your Business a Website (With a Blog)
- Formulate a better relationship with your Customers or establish one
- Gain New Customers by Marketing to Your Target Prospects
- Know your business trend. Know your numbers.
- Delegate tasks you do not do well, or enjoy doing
1) Afford Your Business a Website (With a Blog)
Your business is doing extremely well and you do not have a website. Awesome! Kudos to you! But guess what, there is always room for improvement, and your business can still do better. A business without a website and a blog is like an unpublished book; you have it but no one knows about it.
Unless you are Walmart, Staples, Home Depot or any other well established brand, operating a business without a website and a blog is futile if generating leads and having conversions is your goal for your business. The Internet is the number one place people turn to for information whenever they need to, and if you are not there you will not be found in their search results – even though your product and/or services may well be what they are looking for. You are missing out on the competitive edge! Adding a blog to your website is the best way to increase traffic to your website so more people can know about you and your services. The more visitors you get, the more leads you can generate. And the more leads you generate, the more business you will close.
- Write quality content
Of course, you need to write content that people will actually be interested in and want to read! Your goal here is to get publicity and ultimately gain conversions, but in order to gain more high quality leads you will need to put some quality time and effort into your blog construction and presentation. Write articles relative to your business on a regular basis and publish them. They do not have to be long and winding; quality over quantity is king any day! Don’t just slop something up in two minutes and call it a post, if you do not have time to write a decent post, don’t post anything at all. A bad, sloppy post can actually do your business more harm than good. Your blog represents you and your brand, so put some thought into what you publish. As Melinda Emerson the Small Biz Lady warns, “There’s no separating you from your business, and you have to brand yourself accordingly.“
- Promote Your Blog Posts
Now what purpose would it serve if you put all that effort into writing content that you think will be just what your prospects want, if you do nothing after writing them and hitting the publish button. None whatsoever! You must promote your blog content to social media sites, which is the only way anyone will know they are available and be able to read them. Apps, such as HootSuite, is a useful tool that allows you to manage multiple social media network accounts in one easy to use interface. You can schedule updates ahead of time, and publish across platforms at once, which is very convenient as it gets the word out on many platforms with minimal time and effort. With only 24 hours in a day, it is critical to make every minute count.
2) Formulate a better relationship with your Customers or establish one
Yes, you may have employees who are designated to various positions having direct contact with your customers, but in taking your business to the next level, you must periodically reach out to your customers and make a direct connection. There is a difference when a customer hears from a business owner than an employee. Connecting directly shows that they are valued, which puts you at an advantage where you can also gain valuable insight that can help enhance your business’ bottom line. This may not be practical for large companies with a broader customer base; however, they can devise an effective customer support team that will provide their customers with the best customer service possible. Your customers will let you know how satisfied or dissatisfied they are, at which point you can get to the drawing board and aim to please the disgruntled. As humans, we are built to want better, and as such we are always looking for ways to improve. Your customers are no different! They want the best customer service as well as the best product and service for their dollar, and will not hesitate to look elsewhere.
3) Gain New Customers by Marketing to Your Target Prospects
It has been said time and time again, and cannot be reiterated enough, how important it is to: 1) have a niche market, 2) know your target audience, and 3) develop strategies geared towards them. Marketing is a must if any business is to succeed. If done right, it will yield favorable but if done wrong, you will waste valuable time yielding zero results. Have a niche market so you know whom you are targeting. For example, if you are marketing to college students, you will have an idea of what to include in your marketing material, where to market, and when to promote your goods or services. Stop wasting valuable time and resources marketing to everyone, and cater to your target audience.
4) Know your business trend. Know your numbers.
Many small businesses that have closed their doors could have been around today had they kept score of their business’ numbers on a regular basis. They consistently operated at a loss, with minimal to non-existent cash flow, and yet failed to keep score of their daily, weekly, or at the very least – their monthly numbers. You should be improving, not declining. Keeping score of your numbers will allow for early intervention where you can identify areas that you can make improvement on and areas you can eliminate. Know what is taking place in your business with your business finances. Pay attention to your financials! Even though you may designate certain financial aspects of your business to enable seamless operation especially when you are unavailable, you should find a way to know that what should be happening is actually happening, and nothing more or less. You must have a firm understanding of your cash position every day, which can be accomplished by carefully managing and monitoring your banking relationship, and your books. Also, does your business require more funding at certain times of the year than others? Do you usually have down-time at certain times during the year? What will you be doing during that time? And, how will you maintain your business paying those overhead costs? These are some of the questions you should be able to answer at any given time.
5) Delegate tasks you do not do well, or enjoy doing
Even as a small business owner, there will be areas of the business that must be taken care of that is either not in your scope of knowledge or a part you enjoy doing. The latter will drain you emotionally and physically, and may even put a damper in your passion for your business. We are living in an era of technological advancement with software and information everywhere, and as such, many business owners looking to save on cash, are attempting to do it all by themselves, even without the skill base necessary. But mistakes can be costly, and in many cases there is only a very slim margin for error. You know your organization best, as well as your capabilities. Don’t waste valuable time mulling over subordinate or mundane tasks that you could otherwise designate! Take stock and delegate the tasks that are weighing you and your business down, and prepare to soar.
Implement the above-mentioned five changes and and watch your business flourish in an upward chain of improvement.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to express in the comment section below.