Are you exploring new ways to grow your business and strengthen your brand? If so, then you should think about the best ways to use the power of your clients and customers. These are a few of the possibilities that we strongly recommend you consider.
Use Their Opinions
First, you should think about whether you can use the opinions and thoughts of your customers. They might be able to explain to you the best ways to move forward with your business. Don’t forget, when you’re looking to improve your company it’s important to move in directions that your customers want to see. No one knows what directions these are more than your customers themselves. You might think that customers aren’t going, to be honest when you interact with them. While this might be the case, there are ways to skirt around this issue, such as by using Mystery Shopping experiences. Here customers get a product to review but don’t know what the brand is and deliver honest feedback.
Use Their Content
Next, you should think about whether you can use content from customers to your advantage. User-generated content can be helpful because it allows you to connect with that individual customer. It will also help you reach their followers. Don’t forget, that customers are far more likely to trust the word of other clients rather than your brand. User-generated content also makes your business seem more accessible and that’s always going to provide a tremendous benefit.
Use Their Reviews
Next, you should think about using reviews in your business. Do note that a mixture of positive and negative reviews is far better than zero reviews for your business online. That’s why you should make sure that you are encouraging customers to leave reviews. You should do this after the completion of a sale. Business owners often assume that it’s going to be difficult to get customers to leave reviews. However, this is not the case. The reality is that they will drop reviews if you ask the right way and provide some client aftercare instead of just abandoning them once a sale is complete.
Use Their Reach
Finally, you might also want to consider using their reach to gain more customers and clients for your business. One of the best ways to do this is through promotional merchandise. The right sponsored merch will be worn and used by your clients. This means that they can effortlessly spread the word about your business. You just need to spend a little time ensuring that the merch is attractive and stylish enough that clients want to use it. You might even want to consider using popular brand items to promote your company in this way such as Nike or Adidas sportswear.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can use your customers and clients to your advantage. By taking the right steps here, you’ll find that your customers can become your strongest asset and help you grow your business, even in a short period.
The COVID-19 pandemic posed a significant challenge for businesses and economies globally, prompting business closures and labor cuts in 2020. The pandemic wasn't all doom and gloom however, as some sectors and industry recorded significant growth in their operations. Statistics showed that the ecommerce industry is booming daily and expected to reach $6.54 trillion by 2022. However, the industry is continuously evolving and requires you to stay updated with the latest trends to gain more traction, drive traffic and convert into buying consumers. Take a look at the top five ecommerce trends you should expect in 2021.
1. Brands will partner with influencers
This has been a key trend in recent years as ecommerce platforms are falling on influencers to reach their vast followers. The influencer marketing industry is becoming a significant boom for ecommerce brands, and it's projected to hit $9.7 billion in 2020. Do you know why? Experts have indicated that brands have a content creation problem since they cannot create enough marketing content to match their marketing strategies. In 2021, they’ll be looking to partner with influencers to support their content creation process, likely in the form of a content agency. Additionally, we'll see ecommerce brands include paid media spending to enhance their audience reach.
2. Video ads on social media.
Last year, there was a significant increase in social media usage, and those numbers aren’t going to slow down in 2021. According to statistics, social media recorded more than 3.6 billion users in 2020, a figure expected to hit 4.41 billion by 2025. With the current trend, several brands have begun to utilize the story features on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat to promote their products and services. The next stage will be the advancement of social media trading. Last year, we witnessed Facebook launch Instagram shops while Shopify partnered with TikTok. This year, we'll see how brands can manage these changes. However, for a D2D brand, you can record videos of your highest performing items and post them on social media platforms where you can discover your most targeted audience.
3. New payment options
Many customers use the availability of payment options to choose between brands they deal with. Failure to offer a customer's preferred payment option means they'll have to look to another ecommerce store. Apart from the acceptance of smartcards by ecommerce shops as payment methods, there are several existing payment platforms like PayPal, Apple, or Samsung Pay, and Inoviopay. However, with the low exchange cost and inability to reverse transactions associated with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, many online shops will now be looking to accept it as payment options in 2021.
4. Voice commerce will grow
Individuals are progressively depending on voice assistance gadgets like the Amazon Echo with Alexa and Google Assistant to do just about everything, from serving as alarms and reminders to making purchases on the internet. A survey has proposed that an estimated 75% of U.S. families will own a smart speaker by 2025. Meanwhile, voice trade deals are projected to reach $40 billion by 2022. Another motivation behind the rising voice commerce trading is the accuracy and ease of innovation. Both Amazon and Google are pushing local languages in their virtual assistance programs to enhance shopping experiences.
In conclusion, there’ll be several businesses hoping to rule the ecommerce market, which is why you should adopt these new trends as early as possible if you want your business company to thrive in 2021. Marketplaces, voice commerce, and artificial intelligence will be standard, while an increasing number of online businesses will begin accepting crypto payments to allure more clients to their brand.
Are you considering launching a business with high earning potential? If this is the case, then you should give thought to starting a tech business. Despite the hardship posed by covid-19 on personal finances, businesses, and the economy, the UK tech industry led pandemic recovery raising over $15 billion in investments.
Business experts have projected an exciting time for tech business as investors are shifting to investing in scaleups and start-ups; Google MD Ronan Harris indicated that the tech giants are looking to being part of the ecosystem in 2021. Are you wondering how you can join the trend? Check out these top tech business ideas you can start.
1. Web designing
Website designing is a tech business idea that will never become unpopular. Websites have become an essential business need to build a professional, trustworthy and strong brand image. According to statistics, approximately 84% of UK shared businesses had a website in 2018. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the country has recorded a boom in website demand as companies turn to e-commerce and digitalisation. Website design includes several services such as UX design, graphic design, and SEO, and will remain a lucrative business idea worth considering even post-pandemic.
2. IT support
Are you aware that several small businesses don’t have the funds to engage full-time, internal IT support staff? With many small business owners employing cost-saving measures like outsourcing, starting an IT support firm is a potentially high-earning venture worth starting. From providing cloud infrastructure systems to setting up and maintaining networks and implementing data backup and recovery, there are so many in-demand tech services you can offer businesses. Based on your customers’ demands, you may offer other services like security systems and mobile app development and management.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Consultancy
Google remains a fundamental piece of marketing strategies for several businesses. With the UK recording €222 billion in online sales in 2020 alone, companies will invest in digitalisation and SEO to show up as the top outcome in the right search for keywords identified with their business. This implies they will require SEO experts to help them achieve their objective. While some companies will recruit full-time staff to take up such specialised roles, others will engage an SEO agency to implement the required strategies to stay ahead of the competition. You can launch a business to offer such services to other firms.
4. Computer training services
Are you good with computers, software, and other tech gadgets? If that is the case, then it's a great fit to start a business to offer computer training to individuals and companies, as many people struggle when dealing with anything related to computers. There are a ton of alternatives for getting started with computer training services. You can either train people on how to use Windows, Macintosh, or both operating systems. More so, you can train individuals on the best way to utilise specialised applications. You may decide to offer training on individual bases, groups, or take to online lessons, which is more useful amid the pandemic.
The new year has officially begun which means it's time to think about your business year ahead. We have declared 2021 to be the year businesses make a comeback and and thrive, businesses all over the globe have struggled to keep going, if you are one of the lucky ones that have managed to stay open over the last year then well done, it's now time to start planning to grow and run your business successfully throughout the year ahead.
Make Or Revise Your Business Plan
Every business should have a business plan in place, if yours hasn't been updated or reviewed in a while then take the time to check in and see if you are still on plan. If you are a new business looking to start writing your plan then there are many templates online that you can use. When writing your plan have a time period in mind, whether it be a 1 year, 5 year or 10 year goal this will be helpful to keep you on track to achieving your aims and objectives. Keep reviewing your plan every 6 months to see if your values or end goal has altered.
Grow Your Online Presence
It is essential for any successful business to have an online presence in 2021, so if you don't already it's time to think about creating a website and / or social media pages for your business. If you already have a website then you might want to consider rebranding or upgrading. Ensure your website is optimised for all device types and is easy for customers to navigate. Once your website is up to scratch, it's time to set up your social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the leading social media platforms. Choose one or two main platforms to focus on, having too many accounts running at once can be overwhelming and hard to keep track of. When your social media accounts are up and running you can start using the advertising tools they offer. They allow you to target specific, ages, genders and areas, which will help guide the right customer to your site.
Think About Location
When running you business location is key, if you are a physical business then you might want to be positioned within a busy highstreet so you get organic walk in traffic. If you are located down a side street it might be hard for your customers to find you so ensure you are somewhere more prominent. If your business is online you might not think that location is important, however people have preconceived ideas about the status of a business based on their location. If you are looking to expand where you conduct business you should get a CBD virtual office to help you grow your business outside your usual area. By setting up a few virtual offices will help you gain customers from all over the world.
Now it's time for you to apply these tips to your business and make it a successful year. While you are here check out Three ways you can reduce your workload in your small business.
With that in mind, below is a guide to some of the key factors that you should know when it comes to going remote with your business. Read on for everything that you need to know.
A well-designed website is crucial
If you are going to successfully take your business remote, the most crucial thing that you need is a smart, well-designed, professional website. Think of your website like the hub of your business, without a carefully designed website, your business has nowhere to run from. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to source a website designer who is able to create you a smart, stylish, and well-designed site that offers everything that you need your site to offer. Not sure what your site should include? Consider checking out what your competitors’ websites offer.
IT support is a must
When you’re running a business virtually, your website and online presence is the hub of your business. This means that if your systems or site end up going down, you could be left with a business that is unable to run. As every business owner knows, downtime is never a good thing for a business, which is why it’s so vital that you have adequate IT support in place. You can find plenty of IT support for SMEs online, it’s just a case of finding the support that is the right fit for you, your business and your budget.
Hone your marketing strategy
To ensure that your remote business sees as much success as possible, it’s vital that you take steps to properly hone your marketing strategy. Even with the most amazing product or service in the world, if no one knows about it, you are going to struggle to see success. That’s where having a well-thought out marketing strategy comes into play. If you’re going to make a success of your business, you need to ensure that you’re properly marketing your services.
Going remote can be a fantastic way to reduce business costs and make running your business simpler and easier. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to running your business from home, but it doesn’t have to be too overwhelming, it’s just a case of thinking the process carefully through, that’s all.
The point of conversion is one that gets a lot of attention, and rightly so. It’s the moment where you have the best chance to turn a lead into a customer or client. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be rushing to that stage. If you spend a little more time preparing your lead before the pitch, then you can maximise your chances of succeeding with it. Here are a few ways to do that.
Learn about your customer
First of all, you should make sure that you know who you’re talking about. Make use of things like lead capture forms like Leadformly on your website that can hopefully help get you a little more detail on the people that will become your customers and clients. This way, you can adjust your pitch to better suit their own needs and circumstances. You don’t want to be talking to them as if they’re just a part of a target market, you want to be able to individualise your pitch to them as best as possible.
Have answers for the tough questions
Before you get in touch, make sure that you have considered the potentials problems and barriers between your customers/clients and your products/services. Unless you’ve done a world first and created the perfect product or service, these are going to exist. You can also look at barriers and problems with competitors. It’s likely that your leads are going to have tough questions about exactly these and going in without any research or answers prepared is not going to look good on your end.
Set the tone
A little showmanship can make all the difference. This is, in effect, what’s at the heart of branding. With the help of teams like the brand design agency - Naked Ideas, you can make sure that your website and any marketing materials you have can carry across the tone and the voice of the brand that you want. A strong brand identity can help potential customers and clients feel like they know what your business is about before you get in touch. It establishes a level of trust and credibility that makes it much easier to make your pitch without as much scepticism.
You can’t exactly bribe someone into becoming a client, no-one is going to be hoodwinked by a gift. However, free samples or souvenirs can help to establish a friendly and giving tone. If you show your potential clients that you’re willing to meet their needs in little ways, then they are more likely to believe that you’re willing to do it through your products and services, as well. Bringing a free gift can definitely improve your chances of winning new clients or, at the very least, keeping them around long enough for you to wow them with your pitch.
Don’t rush into a pitch until you’ve had the time to make sure your potential customer or client can warm up to it. Lay the groundwork for your future success.
It goes without saying that in order for a business to attract more customers, continue to grow, and make more profit, they obviously need to devise an effective marketing campaign. This is something which is even more important when one considers the state of the economy around the world at present. Businesses don’t have as much money to spend; therefore, it is crucial to get their advertising plan right the first time around. Moreover, people don’t have much money to spend and therefore marketing methods need to be even cleverer and well thought through.
Sadly, there is no magic formula and essentially whether a strategy will work or not all depends on the business in question. Every method in the book needs to be taken, adapted and edited in order to suit the company. The best idea is to go for something which seems to be successful across a lot of businesses and industries. There are not a lot of options which actually boast this desirable quality. Nevertheless, one that does is the utilisation of promotional products. This is basically where a company chooses to produce products with their name printed on, they then distribute these as gifts to potential consumers.
The key to the success of this strategy all lies within what product is chosen. There are lots of different items a business can choose from however one which seems to have a whole host of advantages to its name is the use of promotional bags. This blog post will reveal what the benefits linked to this product in particular are.
The first reason is that promotional bags are relatively cheap to produce and distribute, especially in relation to some of the other promotional products which a company can choose from. In fact, custom made bags are something which has decreased in price significantly as of late, especially when buying in bulk. It is important how crucial it is to highlight the fact that choosing a low-cost product is pivotal at present due to the recession and the need to have a strategy which is as low risk as it can possibly be.
Another reason for choosing promotional bags is that it will add to the credibility of the company. This is because more and more people are caring about the environment and wanting to look after their planet. If they see that a company is distributing reusable bags then the company will go up in their estimations and they will feel more inclined to use it.
Plus, reusable bags are great for exhibitions. If you’ve been looking at marquees for a promotional event or trade show, giving out a reusable branded bag can help people to keep all of their advertising gifts and brochures in one place while also advertising your business.
A final and highly important point to note is that this is an item which has massive scope for potential. At the end of the day, if an individual uses their bag to go shopping then there is no telling how many people they will pass and thus how many people will see the details of the company in question.
At the end of the day, it is really not hard to see why so many individuals are choosing to implement a strategy based around promotional bags.
As a business, 2021 will hopefully be making up for the fact that this year hasn’t been the best for anyone. For businesses, it’s something to be grateful for that that they’ve even survived what is possibly the worst year in the world’s economic history. Here are four ways to promote your business in 2021.
Focus On Social Media
Social media continues to thrive and be a great area to focus your marketing and advertising. It’s definitely become a lot more saturated over the past couple of years and therefore it’s a lot harder to make it successful than it used to be. Therefore, it’s a good idea to find your niche on these platforms and focus on any platforms in particular that you feel are going to be a good fit for your business. Think about what social media platforms you might be using now or if you’re not using any, what platform is best going to suit your business. Take a good look at your analytics and how they’re performing to see what you might need to change or do more of. There are so many people online nowadays that it would be the wrong move to not take advantage of what social media can offer you for the new year for your business.
Revisit Your Branding
Branding is an important part of your business because it can end up becoming widely recognized by your customers and those who aren’t yet your customers. Whether you look at who you’re using for digital printing services or what you outsource for your design work, think about revisiting your branding. You could consider changing it or tweaking it slightly so that it’s a more elevated and modern version of your current branding. There might be room in the branding to make it better than it already is or to perhaps make it more consistent across your platforms, whether that be your website or social media. Think about what it might be lacking and then consider what you could do to help improve it further.
Make Use Of Your Loyal Customers
Your customers are important and you want to continue ensuring they remain loyal to you as a business. Think about loyalty and how you can make sure your customers continue buying from you and not from your competition. Go beyond the call of duty where you can and always be active in providing the best products or services for your customers. Excellent customer service is going to get you further than just providing a bog-standard service they can get elsewhere.
Better Your SEO
And finally, when it comes to your SEO, try to better it where you can. There’s going to be a lot of benefit from improving your search engine optimization because the higher you rank on search engines, the more visible you’ll be to others online. This can be great for generating new leads and hopefully, more business.
Use these tips to make sure your new year is the best one yet for business.
Running a successful marketing campaign is defined by quite a few parameters. Length, breadth, growth, etc., which are all extremely variable. And in the modern day and age, it seems easier than ever to get a successful marketing campaign off the ground. After all, there’s a lot you can do with just an internet connection and a platform to make good use of!
So who knows when you’re going to hit success with your brand?! But even with your relative prowess in the digital world, is your marketing campaign running as smoothly as you want it to? And if it isn’t, even when you’ve tried to up the ante and your efforts, are you sure that your marketing campaign truly suits you? Let’s go through a few points below to double check.
It Depends on What You’re Aiming For
Of course, what you’re aiming for in your business is always going to be at the crux of how you run a marketing campaign. You need to know, ahead of time, what you want out of the period ahead, and what success is going to look like when it’s finished running.
Will it mean plenty of inbound visitors? Will it mean ranking at the top of a search engine? Will it mean running a lengthy content campaign, to really build up a log of articles to ensure that SEO strategy really goes off? Simply put, to ensure your marketing campaign suits you, decide what you want before you put anything in place.
It Depends on the Type of Business
The type of business you’re running should always dictate how you set up your advertising efforts. For example, let’s say you’ve just started up a law practice of your own. How are you going to attract people to your business? Running ads on Facebook pages alone won’t score success here, unlike in an ecommerce business, so you’re going to need specialised services in the form of something like Elite Lawyer Management.
Some business leaders just aren’t cut out for running communications as well, simply because they didn’t train this way, and that’s important to remember. At the same time, dipping in and out of various marketing efforts could be a waste of time and money, and in the early stages of establishing your business in the market, this could spell very bad news for you.
It Depends Who You’re Trying to Reach
Finally, you need to think about your audience as well. Who are you trying to reach? Where are they? What do they need from the market you’re within? All three of these questions need to determine how your marketing campaign is set up and run, to ensure it entirely suits you. When you can imagine your average customer, you’ll have something to design content around, and that’ll give you a real launch pad.
A marketing campaign needs to be entirely your own; make sure you know what you’re doing, who you’re reaching, and who you are.
Instagram - a platform which, at first, was used to show others a glimpse of our daily lives online via our photos, has now turned into a channel that engages a billion users. Since its explosion in popularity, many brands have turned to the platform to build their social presence and engage with their consumers in a bid to drive their outreach and profits. With 80 percent of users following at least one business on the channel, it is easy to see why so many companies are keen to grow their accounts. If you are a small business who wants to learn how to make an online community, expand your account, and grow your following, follow these three tips and build your presence up the right way.
Post consistently You may have heard this one a million times already, but there is a reason why this gold nugget of advice keeps popping up over and over again - it really works! The more often and regularly you post, the more likes, and consequently more followers you will get, and accounts that post at least seven times or more throughout an entire week gain followers and likes faster than those who don’t. Furthermore, having a regular and steady flow of content also works in your favour when it comes to Instagram’s famous algorithm, with consistency being a key element to getting your posts up to the top of the timeline due to more shares and engagement with your followers. Therefore for your brand to see the best results, plan your posts ahead of time, and already have content to last you at least a week. This way, you won’t be rushing to get a last-minute photo, and you won’t risk the chance of not having enough material to post, causing you to be irregular, which could have a big impact on your following and engagement.
Engage and converse
It’s no use creating beautiful visuals and captivating captions if you aren’t going to engage with your audience. The platform is a great way to make users aware of your business through conversation, especially as more and more people are using social media as a point of contact for many brands. Be open and communicative, and supportive and allow a discussion to get going, whether it’s about serious queries, customer care, random questions, or just to chat and to thank those who are praising your brand and products. Engaging with as many comments and questions as possible will make the difference when it comes to gaining more followers, converting your audience into customers, and improving your relationship with pre-existing customers. By engaging with them, your customers will see that you care about them and feel a more personal connection with you, creating more trust.
Know when to post
You can have the best post in the world, but if you share it when it’s the middle of the night for most of your audience or when most of them are at work, chances are they aren’t going to see it. Use the free analytics tool that can be found under the Followers section in business accounts to figure out the best times for you to post. By using a targeted approach, if you post at optimal times for your audience, you are likely to get more engagement. Look at what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past regarding how much engagement you got at various times to allow you to plan how you share your content more effectively. Alternatively, use a scheduling tool to automatically publish your content during the times when your followers are most engaged.
The subject of 'Free Followers' is one that comes up often, but spending your money on getting those 'fake followers' might well leave you both out of pocket as well as those followers, and this guide will tell you why.
Outsourcing crucial business processes is a popular business strategy that can improve business efficiency. It refers to the process of using third-party service providers to perform certain functions. In the past, outsourcing services were a reserve for large, multinational corporations. In the modern landscape, businesses of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of outsourcing.
In many cases, outsourcing is not only a business optimization strategy but a necessity. It’s often the only feasible way to scale a business, manage operations, or launch a product. When functions are outsourced to the right team, a company can enhance its efficiency and realize several compelling benefits.
Helps a Company Focus on Core Processes
The most significant reason why a business should outsource is to free up its time and resources for crucial processes. A business owner can spend time doing what they’re good at while everything else is taken care of by experts.
If a company is selling digital products, the focus should be on closing sales, not enhancing the site’s security features. The issues of site security can be outsourced to Managed IT Support providers.
One thing that slows business down is entrepreneurs thinking that they can do everything by themselves. Drop this mentality and see your business grow. If you’re not good at managing finances or performing human resource tasks, outsource them.
Gives a Business Access to a Larger Talent Pool
Hiring an employee for specific functions, like payments and finance, limits the talent a business can get. In most cases, this approach requires a company to compromise. With outsourcing, a company gets access to an unlimited pool of talent from all over the world. It, therefore, makes more sense to expand your search when looking for outsourcing services.
Outsourcers have access to a big pool of skills and tools that you may need now or later. They can quickly solve any arising problem for which you don’t have the right skill set. In-house employees don’t provide this kind of flexibility.
Reduced Overhead Expenses and Labour Costs
It's expensive to hire and train staff, especially where short projects are concerned. Temporary staff also rarely produce quality work as per the expectations of a company. Teaching processes and workflow to employees may sometimes entail investing in their education to enhance their business skills.
Outsourcing allows your business to convert fixed labor costs into variable costs. This means that the only expenses it incurs are for the consumed services. There's, therefore, more staffing flexibility that doesn't exist with in-house employees.
Outsourcers are also responsible for all licenses and accreditations their work requires. They stay up-to-date with industry changes and trends while constantly developing their skills to enable them to work smarter.
Employee turnover is risky and costly. When a staff member quits, all the money used in training and hiring goes with them. Turnover can disrupt operations and cause costly problems.
Outsourcing provides consistency and efficiency for your business. You don't have to worry about the interruption of operations or financial risks.
Outsourcing business functions is not always an easy task but is worth it in the long-run. It improves business efficiency by allowing you to focus on the most crucial aspects of business, like nurturing leads and closing deals.
Some outsourcing tasks may be occasional, but they provide a greater financial advantage than hiring temporary staff. If your business has been affected by high staff turnover, consider outsourcing some of the functions.
We’re all constantly being told that Business-2-Business (B2B) marketing is changing and that we need new marketing strategies to cope with this. We’re being told that the modern buyer doesn’t respond well to the B2B sales funnels of old and their buying habits are so mysterious you’re going to need a crystal ball or psychic octopus to continue to operate in the field. The good people over at American Image Displays have the only strategy you'll need.
The focus of doing business, regardless of the stature of your company is all about getting more. They say you need more clients, more money, and more everything! And this means that there comes a point where we just can feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of it all. When it comes to working smarter in the business world, we've got to find ways to get ourselves out there but when we are a small company or it's just us, we can struggle to keep every plate spinning. With this in mind, what are the best approaches to guarantee that your small business can reach these outer limits?
Outsourcing (It Isn’t As Expensive as You Think)
Whether it’s an SEO expert or someone to help you revise your website copy, outsourcing is something that every business, big or small, is taking advantage of. When you start to outsource, you can begin to see the wood for the trees. When we do too much, we can let certain components fall by the wayside. By outsourcing things that we find difficult, especially in the marketing world, it will force us to focus on things that we can do better. When it comes to search engine optimisation because it is such an evolving component of marketing, it can be a struggle to keep on top of the latest rules when it comes to Google's algorithm. But this is where having someone who dedicates their livelihood to this will make it far easier for you.
Work With Other Companies
Extending the olive branch is a fantastic way to go about doing business. When you start to work with other companies, by either having guest bloggers or even vendors, when you start to work with businesses in industries that complement yours but also share a target audience, you aren't treading on each other's toes. You can set up a referral program or offer package deals, and it's these things that don't just help you expand your reach but it makes you reputable by association.
When you start to work with other companies networking becomes a well-oiled machine as part of your business strategy. Every meeting is the potential to network, and when you start to reach out and let them know that your business is open and what you can do for them this can be as effective as a social media post. But when you are networking, it's important to remember that there is an etiquette to it. Don't be obnoxious. When you start to build a business, it's very easy to get blindsided by the money and you start to do everybody as potential profit. It's far better to be a business leader who is marketing to help others rather than yourself.
Simple, but incredibly effective. These three components can expand your business reach in insurmountable ways. Marketing can be perceived as a very selfish endeavour to promote their own efforts. But by reaching out to others and asking for help, you are naturally beginning to network in a very organic way. This means that you will have a good reputation. And as we all know, your reputation can precede you.
When people think of Artificial Intelligence (AI), they tend to think of movies where AI goes wrong and threatens the universe. Thankfully, the reality is far more boring.
AI is a range of systems that can perform tasks that generally rely on human intelligence to complete. This can include things like analysis and problem-solving.
Marketers are beginning to use AI for a range of marketing tasks. From automating PPC campaigns to curating content and running chatbots and online chatroom software to engage customers.
Amazon is one of the leaders in utilizing AI and use it for a number of things, including product recommendations.
Some companies are using AI to continuously analyse their IT network and identify traffic that deviates from normal activity. When abnormal or suspicious activity if identified, it can then work to protect the network.
Cybersecurity is a priority for organizations of all sizes and a successful attack can be devastating both in terms of reputation and financially.
HR and recruitment can be a very labour intensive process. With unemployment rising in the wake of COVID-19, there are hundreds, even thousands of applicants for every job.
AI automation can be used to find and analyse candidate applications.
Predicting changing market conditions is extremely difficult. The sheer amount of information that needs to be processed is impossible for a human to do. Instead, large investment firms and hedge funds use AI to analyze and predict the market.
Machine learning is being adopted in the healthcare sector. With it, doctors can detect if a patient with an existing condition is deteriorating and intervene before they need hospital care.
The pace of machine learning in healthcare is also leading to the earlier detection of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. The sooner a condition is diagnosed, the more successful the treatment methods can be. This saves lives and saves money.
Software Vulnerability Testing
Software needs to be airtight when it comes to security. Any vulnerability can make it susceptible to attack. Companies are using AI models to detect vulnerabilities and predict attacks.
Using AI to identify negative behaviours is a controversial use of the technology, but nevertheless, some companies are finding it invaluable. It is used to identify bad behaviour within the workforce, it can even predict if someone is unhappy in their job and is thinking of leaving.
Today’s financial transactions take place online. The Fintech sector is incorporating AI into its products in order to automate things such as expense reporting, bookkeeping and data entry.
Businesses have barely scratched the surface when it comes to implementing AI. The sheer number of potential uses for it is difficult to imagine. As technology improves and the cost reduces, more and more industries are going to start using AI in many areas of their business.
As a business owner, it’s crucial to retain existing clients, but it’s also beneficial to look for ways to attract new customers. If you’re looking to secure new commercial contracts or reach out to new sectors, here are some effective strategies to try.
Conducting business with other companies is very different to offering products and services to consumers, and your marketing strategy should reflect this. Outline your key objectives and tailor your campaigns to reach the target market. Think about the kinds of clients you want to attract, the way you want to sell your brand and the types of products and services you’re offering. Conduct market research and utilise feedback. Up-sell your USP and highlight the value your business offers to others. Use examples and case studies to support claims about specific products and make your marketing more impactful. For ponds and water features, for example, don’t just speak about the benefits of butyl tape. Provide prospective clients with images of finished articles, testimonials from previous clients and facts and figures that back up quality, durability and performance-related claims. For technological gadgets, send out prototypes and share video clips of the invention in action.
Creating the right first impression
First impressions count in business, and it’s estimated that you have around 7 seconds to set the right tone. When meeting clients or discussing potential deals, partnerships or orders, use your own experiences to ensure you get off on the right foot. Be punctual and professional, make the most of the time you have to sell your brand without being overly aggressive or persistent and encourage follow-up conversations.
Build on reviews and feedback
Reviews can be extremely valuable for businesses looking to improve customer service, attract new clients and build an excellent reputation. Use reviews you receive from commercial clients to make improvements and don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops if you have got brilliant feedback, which could help to persuade other businesses to choose you. Take both negative and positive feedback on board, address any concerns promptly and use reviews as a means of promoting the products and services you offer and separating your business from rivals that may be on the shortlist of clients you’re hoping to work with in the future.
Most of us feel more confident when buying from a company that has been recommended by others. This applies to customers visiting shops or using a website to buy products, as well as B2B clients. Referrals can be incredibly influential. If you have happy clients, encourage them to share their experiences and recommend you to other businesses they may already work with or contacts that might be interested in the products or services you offer.
Competition for new clients is fierce. As a business owner looking to secure new deals and impress new clients, it’s crucial to implement targeted ways to market and promote your brand, to utilise reviews and feedback to encourage referrals and to ensure you create the right first impression.
The value of effective marketing has always played an integral role in modern business. However, the combo of social distancing limits and the fact that consumers have less money put you under even more pressure. Still, it is possible to keep achieving great things.
Understanding the challenges and building a strategy that keeps them in mind is vital. Here are five key steps to success.
1) Gain Online Visibility In An Offline World
Making people aware of your company is the first step to success. The trend towards researching companies with local online searches starting long before Covid-19. Nonetheless, the pandemic has seen even more people use the digital channels like Google maps. Therefore, it's vital that local SEO and your Google My Business resources are used. When your company ranks at the top of the local listings, consumers will assume that your business is trustworthy and capable.
2) Remember That Content Is King
Awareness is one thing, but engagement is another. If consumers are going to check out your business ahead of visiting the store or making an online purchase, you must set the right tone. Improving your digital content will strengthen the bond, boost your brand image, and edge clients towards a sale. The fact that this is more cost-effective than many other tactics is a bonus. You can leverage more success by using affiliate marketers and social influencers to reach new audiences.
3) Make Store Exteriors Stand Out
The days of people casually walking in and out 50 stores on the high street or shopping mall are gone. If you want to attract passing traffic, you'll need the shop front to do the hard work for you. Using 3d production services for window displays is a particularly wise move. When coupled with better shop signage, your store will stand out from the crowd. Quite frankly, getting people through the door is the toughest challenge of all right now. Make the entrance more appealing, and traffic will soar.
4) Know Your Audience
Some of your marketing endeavors will always fall on deaf ears. Sadly, if you persist with the current methods of appealing to the masses, big problems can follow. Identifying your niche can direct everything from target marketing PPCs to the choice of wording on ad materials. Essentially, you need to know that your brand will be shown to the right people, in the right places, and in the right way. When all of the boxes are ticked, the effectiveness will be far greater while it'll be easier to see what works.
5) Focus On Upselling
Whatever you do in business right now, the chances are that your active customer base will fall. Therefore, it's essential that you maximize the potential earnings from each client. Investing in staff training modules that encourage sales teams to upsell bundles or extra products can work wonders. If trying to secure bigger transaction values, it may be worth adding the option of repayment plans. This does require credit checks, but the possibilities to grow your client base are incredible.
Attending exhibitions as a business can Help to keep your brand above water. Exhibitions help you to keep your brand in the market as well as remaining relevant and sharing it with the rest of the world. Exhibitions also help your brand to stay upbeat by showcasing your services and products, you can market your brand in a fun and fresh way, which allows you the perfect opportunity to network and speak to potential customers. It is vital to always increase brand recall value and credibility in the market to remain popular and relevant.
How Does It Help?
Exhibitions and conferences are perfect opportunities for meeting key people face to face, in your industry. This gives you the perfect chance to market your business in a professional yet personal capacity and gives you the chance to talk to as many people as possible. You want to also market your business but take the time to learn about theirs too. Switch business cards and keep in touch. The more contacts you build, the better, for future reference or if something comes up that you feel you can connect with them on. You’ll need it to follow up after the event on email, this really establishes a relationship.
Don’t forget that the event can also be used for carrying out market research too, just by asking others about your niche and what they may look for. Ask people what their needs are and look at the competition also. That is quite a vital element. You will certainly be surprised by how much you can learn - but in addition to this, you will be able to gain access to important information. If you want to market your business to other business professionals then it is good to have a clear message. Make sure you can clearly communicate, getting across all the information in around 30 seconds and being able to offer answers to questions they may have.
There are plenty of great exhibition stand companies that are there to help you get on your feet. Once your stand is in place, decorate it with your branding as well as maximising your presence at business events. Use direct mail, e-newsletters, social media and PR to raise your profile ahead of the event. Flyers and magazines if you have them are great for people to take away, as well as possibly looking at goody bags that are a nice treat. Add any press releases and information that could help you at the exhibition. You’ll also need to prepare a press pack which can be slotted into your goody bag. Most exhibitions have a press office for journalists attending as well as photographers, so wear your best outfit and smile and learn to impress. If you are struggling with a press pack, then just add a few pieces of select information, images, news, and contact details so that you can be easily reached.
It’s time to make your business stand out. There are many opportunities to get yourself to an exhibition, so start thinking of your next move!
Running a business is hard work. Many entrepreneurs or small business owners find themselves wearing many hats. They spend so much time working in their business they never get the opportunity to work on their business.
Using automation intelligently can not only improve your business processes, but it also frees people up to work on core business priorities. A study in the UK showed that business owners spend up to a third of their time on business admin.
Automation can be used in most areas of a business, but here are a few of the main ones that will make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.
HR & Payroll Systems
Even businesses with only a few employees have a number of legal and financial obligations to their employees. There are a number of great cloud hr systems coming onto the market which can run your day to day recruitment, HR and payroll services. These are cloud-based so won’t need to invest in any IT or data storage systems.
They’ll save you time, money and make sure that you stay legally compliant. Employees can update their personal details, access policies, request holiday or communicate feedback all directly through an online platform.
Running payroll through one of these systems can save your money on accountants and still let your remain compliant with the government tax systems and online banking facilities.
An efficient, well-organised team can do wonders. Rather than relying on emails and handwritten scribbles, why not run all of your tasks and projects through specialist software like Asana or Trello.
These programmes both have free versions that you can use to set up recurring tasks to keep your team and your business on track. The amount of time saved on unnecessary meetings or emails will transform your business.
A great deal of your marketing funnel can be automated through software such as Hubspot or Zoho. Once you’ve set up your campaign materials, you can rely on your software to push prospective clients through your marketing funnel without the need to manually trigger actions every step of the way.
Content, email and even social media content curation can all be automated in line with your campaign goals.
A well-designed chatbot on your website can drive enquiries through without you needing to speak to people.
The good news for small businesses is that you don’t need huge huge budgets to begin automating your business. Most of the larger software companies offer a freemium model, allowing you to access a range of features for free in the hopes that once you expand, you’ll move directly to the paid version.
Automating processes in our business can save you time, money and allow you to spend your precious time on actually running your business.
Increased productivity leads to better margins and an improved bottom line. Not adopting an agile approach to your business can lose you that competitive edge if your competitors do embrace automation.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.