If you’ve just started running your own small business or you’ve been in one for some time, you probably constantly think about various ways to attract more customers. There are many marketing tricks you can use in order to do that. You just need to decide which would be most suitable for your type of business. In this article, we offer a list of ten most effective strategies for small businesses that will help you run your business smoothly.
# 1 Make Clear Plans
The first and most important step in any business is setting a clear goal and organizing your budget. Ask yourself what you truly want to achieve; what your ultimate goal is. Do you need to think about brand awareness or how to extend your reach? Whatever you decide, make sure you manage your budget carefully and constantly keep track of your money. Also, think about what your needs are at the moment and which objectives you can set aside for now. Prioritizing your goals is the key of success.
# 2 Use SEO Tactics
Search Engine Optimization is used by majority of marketers who want to reach a higher place on Google, Yahoo or other search engines. In this way, they are able to increase visits to their websites and attract more customers. Keyword research is one of the easiest ways you can use to increase traffic. Keyword tools that you can utilize include Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool, KWFinder and Google’s Keyword Planner. If you’ve just started working on your marketing strategy, best start with long-tail keywords, as they are more specific and much less competitive. Identify a list of keywords that you think will attract relevant visitors to your website and include them in body content, headings, title tags and image file names, so that search engines can recognize the relevance of your content.
# 3 Online Marketing Magic
If you want to boost your business online and get positive results, you’ll have to invest some money in display, search and social ads. Pay to play, as they say. In order to earn money, learn how to strategically spend some first. Hire a professional if necessary to help you with Facebook Ads or AdWords, as this sort of work can be quite tricky if you don’t have relevant experience.
# 4 Pick the Right Social Media
If you spend hours trying to keep your business present on all social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, perhaps it’s time you consider a different tactic. It might be more effective to stick to one channel your customers follow most regularly and invest more time and energy there. By analyzing your current social media presence you can find out where the highest customer engagement is. The best tip you’ll ever get proves to be true in this field, too – less is more.
# 5 Turn the Creative Energy into a Blog
Publishing a blog on a regular basis can be truly effective. It can help you promote your business by telling potential customers all about your expertize and providing them with useful guidance and tips. Apart from that, you can always use blog to announce projects you take part in and awards you’ve received. Blogging can be fun, but also time-consuming. Make sure you always stick to quality over quantity and that you’re being consistent – one blog per week sounds perfect!
# 6 Email Marketing
Email marketing has proved to be an incredibly effective way of promoting your small business and attract larger number of potential customers. The subscribers to your email list are people who intentionally want to hear from you on a regular basis, so you need to pay special attention to what, when and why you send. Include sending a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter with interesting, creative and relevant content. Personalize your emails by using customers’ first names and using friendly, yet professional tone. Writing a good subject line that will invoke recipient’s curiosity is of extreme importance. However, be careful not to use spam trigger words any spam filter of high quality would recognize. You want each of your messages to end up in the recipient’s inbox, not spam folder. Also, make sure your emails are mobile-friendly, as nowadays majority of people check their emails on their mobile devices.
# 7 Stand Out from the Crowd
Don’t hesitate to be original, creative and unique. Your audience will appreciate your effort to stand out and be different. If nothing else, this is what makes a marketing strategy great and successful – its uniqueness, freshness and originality. Write an attractive “About Us” page to state your mission and tell everybody why you’re best at what you do.
Next to all the strategies mentioned above, no matter how truly great they are, don’t forget that connecting with real people offline can also be extremely effective. Perhaps in the era of digital technology, we tend to forget that one and amazing “word of mouth” tactic. There’s still nothing more powerful than that.
Easy Hacks To Overcome Startup Lead Generation Pitfalls
Startup entrepreneurs encounter several common challenges during the early stages of business. From cash constraints to operational bottlenecks and recruitment issues, everything seems to go against them. But the sheer dream of launching a startup keeps them going. Lead generation is another concern you may face when new in the business landscape. After all, convincing buyers to choose you over established brands can take a lot of work. But it is one thing startups cannot survive and grow without. Fortunately, you can embrace an actionable plan to build a robust sales pipeline for your business. Let us share a few easy hacks to overcome startup lead generation pitfalls.
Gather audience data
Relying on guesswork is the worst way to generate leads for your startup because it may never pay. Moreover, not getting them in the initial stages can topple your growth plans and hit your motivation levels. Gathering audience data is the key to your customer’s heart as it enables you to target the right audience at the right time. Besides following the correct data, you must keep up with the timelines. Failing to reconnect with leads within a reasonable amount of time is a surefire way to drive them away for good.
Think beyond referrals
When you just land in the market, you tend to rely on referrals. It seems the most sensible thing as people hardly know your brand, and you have a minimal marketing budget. Undoubtedly, the word-of-mouth marketing tactic plays a significant role for startups, but it is not enough. You cannot rely on it to get authentic leads, and it may cost more than you imagine, as people expect incentives to spread the word. A small but strategic lead generation campaign puts your business in a better place. The best part is that you can scale it over time.
Since launching a campaign is essential, you can consider outsourcing expertise instead of hiring an in-house team for the job. The good thing is that you can find custom lead generation services at a fraction of the cost of recruiting and managing an in-house team. Since these are seasoned experts, they can get your pipeline flowing sooner than later. You are in a better place to give your business a great start with specialists handling your lead generation process from the outset.
Prioritize quality over quantity
Startups should focus on prospects that are more likely to convert instead of chasing a broader audience. Spreading your net too wide can deplete time and resources, so it is always better to take a targeted approach. Fortunately, lead generation experts can help you prioritize quality over quantity. Your sales team can take on from there and achieve more with less with a list of prospects with high conversion potential. At this stage, it is easy to personalize campaigns according to the pain points and expectations of the target audience.
Nurture new leads
Generating new leads for your startup is only half the work. You also have to nurture them to make the most of the list from your outsourcing partner. Everything boils down to engaging consistently with your customers. It convinces them that you have the best option to resolve their pain points, so they definitely reach out for solutions to their future concerns. Besides boosting sales, nurturing your customers also strengthens your startup brand enough to compete with the top players. Creating valuable and interactive content is the key to lead nurturing, so ensure having it ready.
Track ROI for your campaigns
Tracking the ROI of campaigns is crucial for all businesses, even more for startups running on tight budgets. You must absolutely do it to learn about the gaps in your campaign and ideate ways to correct them for a better conversion rate in the long run. You can measure the campaign ROI by defining key metrics and using tracking tools from the start. Analyzing these metrics enables you to find pitfalls along the conversion funnel and address them with relevant strategies. A little effort is often enough to fine-tune the campaign for better outcomes.
Startups often struggle to get new leads and convert them into customers because they fail to take a strategic approach from the outset. But it is easy to define a strategy and get the best results if you follow these simple steps. Most importantly, let experts do the heavy lifting so that your sales team can focus on driving real results by chasing only the deals that are most likely to close.
5 Modern Auto Shipping Hacks For The Budding Entrepreneur
As a business person, one of the choices you may need to make is picking a car shipping service. If you’re a rookie in the business, you may need some hacks to help you make the right choice. Running your company will always present you with decisions that you must make. Business people often need to make fast choices. But that law doesn’t always apply. When shipping your company vehicles, ensure you’ve picked the best service. Otherwise, you may end up regretting it once you’ve lost money. Here are tips to assist you when you need auto transport services.
Before committing to the first shipping service you hear about, it’s wise to do your research. Learning what your alternatives are, helps you filter the different options. You can only make the best decision when you have many service providers that you can hire. The best place to start your search would be on the Google search engine.
It’s easy to find what you are looking for when searching by including your location in the query. Using Google for Business will also aid in finding nearby services. Come up with a list of various auto services. That way, you can start filtering your options until you find the company that will serve you best. Being patient with the process will help you save time and money in the long run when picking a car shipping service you can count on.
Next, you need to work hard to ensure that you’ve done adequate homework on the company. You can’t make proper choices without a clear picture of their auto-shipping background. You can only make the best choice after you’ve looked at whether the provider is someone reliable. Indeed, business is always a risk. But it’s about calculated risks. And that means having adequate information before setting on anything. That way, you won’t be spending money based on guesswork.
To learn more about the service, start by looking at their website. Browse the site and learn as much as you can from the platform. Any serious shipping company will have a digital presence. Their website should tell you how long they’ve been in business. Such information is critical as it helps you know whether the company has past clients.
While going through their site, look for any accolades or signs of positive work they’ve done. The idea is to get a well-recognized shipping company for what they can do for you. If you want to be sure you’ll get quality service try finding out if they’re BBB accredited. That way, you can be at peace knowing the service will handle your cars with care.
Before booking any calls, you must also look for testimonials on their website. Doing this helps you know what you can expect from the service provider. A testimonial is an excellent way to learn how well a company handles its clients. Customers will always share the details of how happy they are. And this is the perfect place to know how the service may deal with your vehicles.
Reading online reviews is also an excellent way to gather details about the company. Unlike testimonials, reviews allow you to see the strength and shortcomings of the company. Such a perspective is critical because you only pick a service knowing what to expect. With reviews, you learn from other people’s previous experiences with the service. Having this information helps you avoid making your own mistakes. Also, an online review makes it easy to see how clients rate various shipping services. The higher the company rating, the more likely the quality of service they provide. If the company’s online reputation checks out, you should be in safe hands.
On top of this, you can also seek recommendations from others in your line of business. Recommendations are often the fastest way to learn which company you can pick. Anyone who enjoys quality service will have no problem sharing their experience. If you’re in a hurry, you can glean a lot about a service with only one trusted recommendation. After all, if someone is willing to vouch for a company, it means the company has a good service history. Once you know what option to pick, you don’t have to worry about doing more research.
A shipping company with a positive history should also give you their references. It helps to know which businesses they’ve served before. Find out whether they’ve got any previous customers you may know. Sometimes they’ll display it on their website. But other times, you may need to inquire about it during the interview process.
Don’t settle for any shipping service without getting all your questions answered. Shying away from asking tough questions will only cost you money. Besides, when you notice the company dodging your queries, it may be a sign that you can trust them.
Always ask about the drivers working with the company. It helps to know whether they have the skill and experience needed to handle the task. Also, glean whether the company does any background checks on its drivers. Knowing this gives you peace that your cars won’t end up missing. If the company lets you know they have a tracking system while shipping the cars, the better. With such a service, you’ll be able to track where your vehicles are at any moment.
Always look for a registered company with valid documents and licenses. Moreover, all shipping services must have insurance and bonds. Make sure you get to know what happens in case of an accident. You don’t want to be the one paying for any damages or losses. Also, do your best to learn about the prices by asking for quotations. That way, you can compare offers from different services and pick what suits your budget.
Finally, don’t make payments before reading the contract. A business will always try to protect itself first with such a document. Most business people lose money because they failed to go through the terms. If you don’t understand or like anything you see in the conditions, be sure to make it known.
Choosing the perfect auto-shipping service should be a walk in the park if you use these shipping hacks. The pros of using a quality shipping service include
- Peace of mind.
- Reliable service.
- Discounts from your service carrier.
- Adequate insurance policies ensure the safe transportation of your cargo.
If yours is a company that is transporting a lot of vehicles, teaming with a reputable company can be a key element to ensuring that your investors and other clients are kept happy. With a reliable shipping service, you’ll save money and time. Many shipping companies will help guide you through tricky situations such as transporting multiple vehicles out of the country. Whatever your car shipping needs, make sure you choose a quality solution that can benefit your company for years to come.
Best Survival Advice For Manufacturing Startup Owners
Running a Startup is a struggle for survival because it requires staying afloat amid tight budgets and competitive challenges. Some domains are inherently more daunting, and manufacturing is among them. It is a capital-and labor-intensive industry, which makes money the most critical concern. Moreover, industrial safety, quality standards, and efficiency expectations always keep you on your toes. As an entrepreneur, you may face more than you can handle. But it is possible to address the startup challenges and emerge as a winner, provided you take the right approach. Let us share some valuable survival advice for manufacturing startup owners.
Stick to your plan
Most startup owners dwindle after the initial enthusiasm only because they lose focus sooner than later. The worst part of losing focus is that you may try to move in too many directions at once instead of staying true to the basics. Commit to sticking to your original plan and mastering your product and process. You may find tempting alternatives along the way, but your only focus should be to develop your core business. Single-minded dedication to your goal can help you survive even in the most challenging phases.
Reinvent your products
Startup manufacturers who are quick to reinvent their products fare the best. Although you must stick to your plan, it is crucial to keep an eye on the market and the customer’s pulse. If your product does not seem to align, tweak it a bit to match the demand and expectations. A little creativity is often enough to transform a mediocre product into a winning one.
Maximize your productivity
Survival in the manufacturing domain as a beginner is mainly about achieving more with your limited resources. The best way to do it is by maximizing your productivity, even if it means spending more on qualified team members and upgrading your equipment. Although switching to modern equipment at the startup stage sounds like a drastic measure, it can give you a winning advantage. The good thing is that selling used machinery fast is easier than you imagine. You can offer it on an online marketplace to sell quickly and maximize productivity effortlessly.
Invest in lean manufacturing
Lean manufacturing is another wise decision to stay afloat amid startup struggles. It cuts production costs and timelines and ensures quality and efficiency. Going lean is about ensuring that your manufacturing and product design teams are on the same page from the outset. It enables you to cut through the early-stage challenges and ramp up production down the line without sending labor costs skyward.
Prioritize preventive maintenance
Manufacturing success is as much about high-performing machinery as productive employees and well-organized processes. But new manufacturers tend to cut corners in this context. Not investing in preventive maintenance is the worst mistake you can make. It can lead to unexpected breakdowns and downtime, expensive repairs, and safety risks. Conversely, staying ahead of it can lower production costs and downtime risks for your business.
Surviving the challenges of the manufacturing industry as a startup owner is easier than you imagine. Following these simple measures can help you stay afloat and make it to the next stage.
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