Analysts predict that in 2011 25% of the small businesses will be profitable. Is your business one of them? Is it time to reevaluate your business to realign with your business goals to achieve pin pointed results? Everybody’s talking about how 2011 will be big for their business. It’s time you take control of the direction and approach to take advantage of the market’s comeback. We all waited too long to get back into the success path. Now, the time is here. Is your business ready? It’s never too late to make necessary changes to be ready and spread the word about your business. Here are few ways to make sure you are ready.
1. Content is King. With businesses gaining maximum online presence, finding information is critical. Information builds trust, response and growth. Content creates information resulting in Search Engine Optimization, means your potential customers can find you easily than your competition on Google. To achieve this your business needs the following:
- Website: Websites are no more just ‘online catalogues’ or static profiles of your business. They have grown to become powerful representation of your company, services and your customer promise. They are entry points to visitors. It takes 7 secs for a visitor to decide to stay on or leave the site. What does that mean? Means they are probably going to your competition. This is measured by the bounce rate in your web stats. To avoid this, build easy to navigate website, with rich content, and good interactive design. Build your website as your first marketing tool than just an online profile.
- Blog: A company blog is such an essential tool for businesses as they share information regularly about their company updates, services, news and their growth forecasts. Blog energizes business by building dynamic content enabling users to get connected with you and your company on a personal level. It’s like your high energy website letting your visitors interact, leave feedback, subscribe, and share information.
- Social Branding: You probably heard or somehow already using it. Social Media has made internet very interactive taking the web to the next version. Social media is emerging as a new branding, networking and marketing tool. It has now quickly become one of the major elements of the internet DNA. Facebook business pages, Twitter lists & status updates, YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile & connections etc. help grow organic optimization that leads to better Search Engine ranking and authority over your competition. You know the effect of ‘word-of-mouth’. Social media networking is an online simulation of the same. The information has ripple effect as the network shares it with their networks. Social media now dictates a portion of marketing budget for most of the successful companies.
2. Build Productivity and Reach ability: “Spend a dime today, to make a dollar tomorrow” A dollar saved is two dollars earned. Always look to improve efficiency and productivity to save time, and as time is money, save money. Try to take advantage of online tools that reduce time and increase effectiveness in finishing daily mundane tasks improving your overall deliver-ability. This reduces lot of duplication and frustration that releases time to focus more on growing business and gaining more customers.
- Customer Manager: CRM is a customer resource manager that helps sales by tracking customers, leads, and their interactions. It acts as an online repository to save and search for contacts’ information on demand. It helps integrate and share all sales efforts with your team. The information can be accessed anywhere and anytime.
- Online Campaigns: Campaigns energize your marketing strategy. Reaching customers repeatedly with information and updates creates loyal connection and understanding. Online campaigns tool creates simple steps to send email updates, follow ups to all or groups of your customers from CRM. It integrates Sales with Marketing.
3. Build better Customer Service: You know your business better than anyone. Customers come to us with a trust that the work can be done much efficiently and cost effectively.
- Listen first, help later: Understand your customer’s business problems and needs before suggesting them with a solution. Try to customize the services’ package that directly helps them solve their immediate needs.
- Offer extra: Always offer “extra” in the form of ideas, information, or strategy or even services. This gives clients much needed comfort that leads to a long term relationship.
- Be flexible: Customers are your biggest assets in business. Do anything to help them out, and keep the long term relationship. Remember the hard work you put together and the time spent to gain them in first place.
- Be accessible: Give them easy ways to get to you all the time. When they need you it’s very comforting to them to know you are accessible through multiple ways. Always publish your contact information and any help desk tools you use so they can find you easily.
- Provide referrals: Like the client trusts your services, understand and trust your clients’ services. Find opportunities to refer your customers to your network of connections. I guarantee, the favor will be returned.
Now, are you ready to make these necessary changes to take on 2011? Remember, this is YOUR year, and is BIG for your business. With Best Wishes! Please share the post with your friends.