How Does a Business Bounce Back From Adversity?

If you’ve ever tried to run a business in the past, then you’ll know the struggle that’s involved with trying to keep yourself afloat. So many things can go wrong. For instance, you could discover that your business is failing because a new competitor has appeared that promises more than you can offer, or maybe you have a disgruntled employee toying with your business’s reputation in secret. Maybe there’s a storm brewing on social media that is dragging out your company for criticism, or maybe there’s a literal storm coming your way that could shut the power out of your office.

Whatever the situation may be, it’s important to learn how to bounce back from tough situations. To help you out, here are a couple of useful tips to follow.

 

Have a plan ready

 

When misfortune strikes, you want to be ready and waiting so that you can get your business up and running again as soon as possible. For instance, if your company makes regular use of its own transportation vehicles, it might be worth having a fuelbox on your premises to act as a fueling station for the vehicles. This is usually cheaper than filling up the tank at a commercial petrol station, and it’s far more efficient because your drivers won’t need to make a stop at another location in order to get fuel. If you want to take this a step further, then you can also apply it to other parts of your business. For example, if you have a lot of computer hardware in your business, then you might want to consider befriending a local computer repair store that is willing to visit your location to perform on-site diagnosis and repairs. Whatever it is, make sure you have a plan ready for these situations.

 

Have a way to stay in touch

If something horrible happens such as a fire tearing through your building or blackout that knocks out the power, make sure you have a way to continue working. Going mobile is one of the cleanest and efficient ways of continuing a business even if the power’s out. You’ll still have access to mobile internet, you can still browse the internet and speak with customers and clients, and your employees can continue working. This is also important for when your employees or other key members of your company can’t come into work, or if they’re away due to an accident. Make sure you stay in touch with your entire companY and ensure you never lose contact with your customers.

 

 

Accepting and learning from mistakes

People always make mistakes, but what we learn from those mistakes and how we deal with adversity is what defines our companies. There are businesses that have gone through hell and back, only to rise from the ashes and become a business worth talking about. Yet there are also some businesses that fall from grace and find it hard to ever recover their former fame. Whatever happens, make sure you learn from any mistakes you made and try not to throw the blame around on others like your employees or competitors. You are in control of your own fate as a business owner, so you need to learn how to bounce back from adversity.

4 Things That Your Business Website Needs To Succeed

If you have a new business, then marketing will need to be part of your business plan. You could have the best business plan in the world, but if no one knows about you or your product or where to find you, then it will slow the progress of your business quite a lot. Which is why a website for your business is really paramount. Gone are the days of simply just having a website, though. There are many different things that you can do to help give your business a boost, through the use of your website. So here are some things that your business website should be doing, as well as a few tips and tricks.

 

Slick Design

If your website is quite basic and outdated, then it will reflect on what your customers think about the business. The first impression for many people will be the website, so you want it to reflect your brand and give off a good first impression. You need to also think about how responsive your site is and make sure that it is mobile friendly. You also need to think about things like pop-ups or slow loading pages. It might be worth changing host if this is a problem, simply because it will put people off. We live in a fast-paced modern world, and no one has the patience to wait a while for a page to load.

 

A Blog

As well as your main front page of your website that will talk about your brand or product, and perhaps you have a shop or other pages on your site. But a blog needs to be one of those other pages. Having a blog is a great way to share relevant content and potentially attract new customers. Any SEO consulting services will tell you that you’re likely to rank higher on a search engine when you have more backlinks to your website too. So that can be linking to other pages on your blog, as well as previous blog articles you have written. It gives your business a different dimension and increases your visibility. So it is a win-win situation really.

 

Simple Web Address

Don’t over complicate things when it comes to your web address. You need to think about having your web address be the same as your brand or business name. If it is too far off, it will be harder to find. So keep things simple, and it will be easier for your customers to find you.

 

Social Media Details

While having your business contact details on the site is important (a phone number and address), these days you do really need to have details of all of your social media handles. Even better if you can just get an icon that will click through to the platform itself. Many of your customers will be on those platforms and would rather use those for customer service and keeping up to date with things. So they are pretty key these days.

Will You Be Remembered?

 

It’s important, perhaps even crucial that your business stands out and makes an impression on the market. You need customers to remember your company when they think about a second purchase. Or, that they recall the name of your business to search for it if they saw one of your advertisements. This is all about making your company as memorable as possible, ensuring that the name of your business rolls off the tongue of your customers. Or, that they think about certain brand qualities when they see the logo of your company.

 

So, the question is how do you make your business memorable. Well, there are quite a few approaches to this problem. For instance, you should think about certainly think about psychology. Certain things are more memorable to us than others, and we’re going to look into how to use these factors to your advantage. But before we get to that, let’s think about you. The person running your company that people see at the head of the business does matter. You need to make sure you are appealing as part of the brand.

Part Of The Work Force, Part Of The Brand

 

So, how do you make yourself as interesting as memorable as possible? Well, the first step is ensuring that customers know that you’re the person behind the company. The simplest way to do this is to add a profile to your business website and make sure that customers know you are the one behind the social media profiles. Note, this doesn’t mean that you have to update your social profiles yourself. You just need to make sure that each public sector of your company has the same feel and traits. This will make customers think of one person behind the entire company, you.

Now as far as making yourself interesting enough to be remembered, you need to show some skin. You need to let them know who you are and what you stand for. It’s like being a politician. They need to know what makes you different from the rest. And remember, everyone loves a good underdog, so it’s not a bad idea to share some personal info on why you started your company.

 

Of course, it’s not just about you. If an employee works for you, they are part of your brand. They need to be likable, charming and charismatic. That’s why you want to be very careful when hiring new employees, particularly if a large part of their job will be being part of the public face of your business.

It’s All In The Name

 

Think of the household names that you are familiar with. Disney, Sony, Microsoft, Daz, Amazon and the list goes on. What do they all have in common? We think you’ll agree that they are quite unique and as such rather difficult to forget. Now, you might think this is merely good fortune or sheer luck, and in some cases it is. For instance, Walt Disney just had a rather unique name that he used to his advantage. Would he have been quite as successful if his last name had been Jones? Probably not, or he might have chosen a different name for his company. As for Microsoft, that’s clearly a marketing decision. Micro, meaning simple and efficient as well as techy with soft added on to make customers feel as though the software isn’t too complex. This plays directly into the key idea of the Microsoft brand that the user interface is always easy. Of course, getting the right catchy, cool name isn’t always simple. Indeed, these days you may find that the best business names are off the market. You might have to buy or bargain for them if you have your mind set on a name that you know will be a winner for your company.

When you do pick your business name to make sure that you run it by marketing first. You can even use polls to find out which one is more attractive to the target audience.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

 

 

Here’s a fun psychological fact. We’re better at remembering pictures than we are names. So, you could argue that your business logo is actually one of the most important of your brand. As such, you do want to think about what it looks like and whether it is memorable. That’s why many businesses invest in the services of a professional designer, rather than just taking one out of a cookie cutter template design frame. If you can find a truly original logo design for your business, you will already have primed your company for success.

Take this advice, and you will be able to ensure that customers never forget your company.

 

 

Actionable Tips To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

Are you struggling to understand why you are failing to attract organic visitors to your site/ Are you languishing on page 9 or 10 on Google, and just can’t work out why? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to go through some easy, actionable things that you can do that can really make a difference. While we can’t promise you a top result on the first page of Google, taking the following actions will improve your rankings by a significant amount.

 

Get the absolute basics right

First of all, it’s important to get the essentials right. According to many experts, something like 70 percent of SEO is simple, yet so few businesses get the basics done and end up in a mess as a result. Your best friend here is Google’s Webmaster Tools. It will highlight all the little issues that are occurring on your site, and addressing these matters should give you a significant improvement. There are plenty of beginner’s guides online, too, so make sure you follow the critical advice on offer.

Get to know analytics

Google Analytics is an absolute must-have tool if you want to gain more knowledge about where you are going right – and wrong. It will show you where your high performing keywords are coming from, and which ones are gaining no traction at all. You can then use this vital information to establish what you are doing wrong. Why aren’t your keywords working, for example (more on which in a moment) and why aren’t people staying on your site and finding out more about your company?

Better keyword research

The keywords you use for your site are like signposts to Google – who will give their customers the best possible answers to their search queries. So, if the keywords you are trying to rank for aren’t backed up with content that is better and more relevant to your competitors, you will be pushed down the rankings. The good news is there are free keyword research tools available out there that you can use to find other alternatives, and give you some ideas on how to rank better than you do right now. And with a little content tweaking, rewriting, and focus, nothing is stopping you from achieving better results.

Blog for your customers, not Google

It’s easy to convince yourself to create blogs that give Google what they want. But don’t forget that Google doesn’t buy anything from you – your customers do. So, if you make Google happy but when your clients arrive, they won’t like what they read. Start writing for humans, not search engines, and you will find that you suffer lower bounce rates than you do right now, and people start to take an interest in your site.

Be more local

Finally, you don’t have to compete with the rest of the world when it comes to SEO – you are more likely to enjoy success if you focus on your local markets. Lots of people are looking for businesses, brands, and products, and as Google is paying more attention to supplying them with local results, it makes sense you do too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Cash Options For Strapped Freelancers

Every freelancer will tell you that the worst thing about being a contractor is not knowing where your next job or project will come from. What with all the uncertainty over future work, there is no wonder that freelancers simply say yes to every offer that comes this way. Because of this, all freelancers will have experienced extremely busy periods – you know, making hay while the sun shines. Unfortunately, every freelancer will have also been through very quiet periods with hardly any work. And that means there isn’t much money coming in!

As this imbalance in work and income is very common with freelancers, they all like to have some extra tricks up their sleeve that can help them make some extra cash during the hard times. If you are a strapped freelancer and need a little boost of income, here are some great ways to earn a little bit of extra cash.

 

Start Tutoring

These days, most freelancers have a college degree, especially if they are content writers or web developers. Did you know that if you have a degree, you can become a tutor? It’s true! Once you have a degree in a subject, you can tutor it at high-school level. You may need to brush up on what students need to know for their assignments and exams but, once you get clued up, you will be able to look for clients. The best places to advertise your skills include online sites like Craigslist and in local newspapers. If you have space to hold your lessons in your own home, you will have very minimal expenses as a part-time tutor.

 

Resell Web Hosting

 

There are now a few companies, including Wizz Hosting that can help individuals and businesses sell their web hosting onto others. This is a really easy way for freelancers to make some extra money as you don’t really have to lift a finger. Simply sign up to the company on the website and then choose the best plan for you. The only thing to remember is you should always resell your web hosting through a company that offers white label plans so that you know everything is above board and legal!

 

Offer Social Media Management

Many freelancers now use social media to market their own business and find new clients and projects. Think your social media skills have pretty good? Then you might want to offer your services to a local business. These days, it is absolutely imperative for all companies to have a presence on social media as many customers now find new companies via Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, looking after these accounts can take quite a bit of time. Many entrepreneurs outsource their social media management as they don’t have time to take care of it themselves. If you have the time to spare a couple of hours each day, it could be worth looking for work in social media. It only involves scheduling tweets and status updates for companies, and it is fairly well paid compared to other freelance work.

 

Take Advantage Of Festival Season

Don’t worry if you don’t have many projects through the summer months – it’s festival season, and there will be plenty of jobs you could do at festivals! One of the main benefits of dabbling in festival work is that you will be able to travel around the country to different festivals. Lots of people find work helping with festival organisation, such as crowd control and working on food stalls. The best way to find work at a festival is to contact the main organisers directly.

 

 

Use Your Car For Cash

Enjoy driving? If so, you might as well earn some money from it while your main freelancing work isn’t too lucrative. One of the easiest ways to earn money with your vehicle is by signing up as a driver for Uber. Once you are registered with the company, you can start giving lifts to customers, much like a taxi driver. One of the best things about driving for Uber is that all payments are done through the app, so there isn’t any worry about carrying high amounts of cash with you. You also won’t need to stress about having change all the time! Driving for Uber is a very flexible job, and you should be able to fit shifts around your main work.

 

Don’t worry if you have a month of not much work – as you can see there are some great options that can help you find extra cash!

Using Social Media Apps To Figure Out Who Your Customers Are

 

 

If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, you’ll know the power of social media to help promote a business. Businesses, no matter how small, are going from strength to strength promoting themselves using social media profiles as a means to target their demographics.

How?

By analyzing and identifying their metrics. It might sound difficult, but it’s really not. Users these will often happily hand over their information online in the development of these profiles. If you have the correct social media integration with your online tech solutions, you could be in for a world of positively useful demographic information.

But how can you best squeeze the most out of social media? By just hosting pages? That helps, but it isn’t the full solution. The following tips are:

Demographics

This has been listed above, but it’s really hard to understate how important this is for your business. If you know who you’re selling to, you can directly target them as objects of your selling. A concentrated attack is always better than a scattergun approach. That might sound like aggressive business terminology, and it is. That’s the point. A business billboard isn’t aggressive. It ‘coaxes’ it’s viewers into finding out more themselves. Targeted advertising through demographic information using social media not only identifies your future customer, but it allows you to approach them directly. Imagine a salesman only knocking on the doors of likely clients he’s going to be able to sell to. You’d think he was a genius. Social media allows you to do that.

Advertising ID’s

Akin to targeting demographics, advertising ID’s are collected and formed through a consumer’s travel of the internet. Every search they make, every location they go, mostly every item they buy is cataloged through Google and collated into the relevant information that allows you to understand the buying habits of the person you’re interested in.

This sounds creepy, and it probably is. But it’s useful. See what packages you can use to effectively implement targeted advertising, and like the salesman who knows exactly who to sell to, you’ll be making money in no time.

Own-App Integration

If you haven’t already, it’s incredibly wise to develop your own app for greater business/customer interaction. Here you can get the best mobile app development cost estimate. Once you’ve done this, be sure to integrate social media support, so your customers can create logins through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This will allow you to access their basic information and have even more reliable metrics for demographics and advertising ID’s at the same time. Having an app will also help you communicate more effectively with your customers by having security features that help you identify who you’re talking to, and also implementing ease-of-access for your support staff.

Social media is here, and it’s here to stay. It’s the digital ‘reputation’ of the modern world. People often half-live through their social media accounts, and so neglected this from a business perspective is similar to ignoring half of your demographics through willful ignorance. Don’t be that kind of business owner.

 

 

9 Easy Ways To Increase Your Conversion Rate

The main goal of businesses for having a blog or website is using it as a platform for reaching out to more people and converting them into clients. It’s not enough that you are getting many visitors on your website, but the big question at the end of the day is if you successfully turned them into customers. If your conversion rate is low even when your site traffic is high, look into this matter carefully as this is where the growth of your business depends on.

There are simple ways on how to increase your conversion rate, which will also make your sales go up. One of these is making the navigation of your site easier. If your site is difficult to load and disorganized, visitors may end up leaving as soon as they reach your homepage.

Most people are busy and they don’t want to spend much time looking for things they need on your site. Remove unnecessary images or texts and make it easier for the audience to see what you have to offer. Speaking of the audience, make sure that you are attracting the right market and that you serve what they are looking for.

To help you get better conversion rate on your site, we prepared an infographic that shows more ways on how this can be done. The steps are easy to follow.

Check them out on our fun and useful illustration below, and start getting more clients.

9 Easy Ways To Increase Your Conversion Rate (HowSBO)

Making Your Website Profitable Again

Perhaps you had a relatively popular website in the past, or maybe you’ve just lost some customers and, as a result, you’re not getting as much profit as you’d like from your business. Contrary to what many people have been preaching, a business website is not a sure way of improving your business’s exposure and driving sales. Sure, you might be able to provide some information and you might even have the patience to setup an eCommerce platform to allow customers to buy you products. However, that doesn’t mean your website is going to be popular the moment you publish it onto the internet.

 

 

Is your website draining money or making you money?

 

Unless you have a well-trained financial advisor or you’ve had practice managing your books, you probably don’t have a clue if your website is actually making you money or not. Many online businesses actually gain most of their profit from sales, advertising revenue and even affiliate marketing. However, if you’re a local business with a physical location, then chances are you’re probably not relying much on the internet at all.

 

In times like this, you have to consider if your website is actually draining time and money, or if it’s actually a profitable addition to your business. The best way to do this is to use analytics. For instance, by tracking the number of users that visit your website and then monitoring if they actually buy something or if they go on to look at the physical location of your store. This is what’s called conversion rate. The idea is that you compare the number of unique visitors on your website to the number of people that actually bought something from your store.

 

With the help of a third party such as Lightbox CRO services, you could potentially drive your online sales with a mix of marketing, website optimisation and social media growth. It’s a complicated process which is why many companies offer a turnkey solution for your website troubles, and it’s always recommended to consult a third party before tackling the challenge on your own and potentially making it worse.

 

 

Rekindling interest in your website

 

One of the best ways to improve your website’s relevancy is to get involved with communities. For instance, if your website is based on a specific topic, such as a blog about cats or a website that reviews movies, then get involved with those related communities. For example, head over to a movie community and speak to people about the latest releases, subtly hint your blog and try to get recognised. If you’re working hard to expose your brand on social media, then you’ll have readers flocking to your website assuming you have a unique opinion about what you review.

 

If your website is a business one that sells specific products, then consider sending review products and samples to prominent bloggers, video content creators and even publications in order to get a review. The more you expose your business, the more profitable your website will become and the more likely you’ll get repeat customers.

Why the FUTURE OF NEW BUSINESS is SOCIAL SELLING

If you thought social media was just about being social, think again. Today it’s about “social selling.” Potential investors, employees, colleagues, clients and customers are literally at your fingertips. But it is up to you to build relationships and establish trust. And that is what social selling is all about.

Social selling is no longer optional for your business. It’s a powerful strategy that can help sell your ideas, establish credibility, secure funding, attract talent and win customers.

Social networking takes up nearly a quarter of all time spent online and reaches more than 75 percent of all Internet users. If you’re engaging with your target audience on any level via social media, whether for business development or promoting your brand, that is social selling.

As Dale Carnegie wrote in his timeless bestseller, How to Win Friends and Influence People, building relationships and changing people’s thinking are the linchpins of success. Today, social selling is the optimal tool for achieving both.

Here are three steps to help you leverage the power of social selling:

1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

The basis of every good relationship is understanding. Take time to understand your prospective customer, talent, investor, co-founder, business partner or client. Building a relationship with this person starts with knowing who they are.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social sites give us access to key information about each other. In an era when people are quick to open up online, you’re able to discern whom it makes sense to connect with and uncover valuable information about them, from their job to their alma mater to their reading habits.

As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people.” Because people are increasingly willing to share through social media, it is easier for you to identify and learn about your targeted customer or group.

2. BE AUTHENTIC.

Once you identify people you want to have in your network, begin to engage with them. Find common ground and use it as an entry point to initiate dialogue and establish a connection.

Making friends is easy when you’re authentic. Like walking into a dinner party where you know only the host, your inclination when striking up conversation with other guests is to find a common thread. Find it, and you’ve got an authentic conversation starter.

It’s no different on social media. Interact authentically by responding to someone’s blog that you truly liked or give a shout out to a recently promoted prospect. Ultimately, you’ll be in a better position to create a tailored and authentic “pitch” with relationships already in play.

3. NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS.

The next step is to deepen your relationships, the crux of selling anything — including your credibility. People want to invest in, work for and partner with professionals they know and trust. Forge relationships; don’t seek transactions. Social selling is about engaging with people in a disarming way. It’s about giving and receiving. Nurturing relationships takes time and calls for authenticity at all times.

This strategy generates 40 percent more qualified leads than cold calling and allows you to build genuine connections. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at 33 percent lower cost. Although these statistics might refer to a more traditional sales process, entrepreneurs would be remiss not to take notice.

Original Post


It starts with a Referral – Not a Salesperson

Harvard Business Review posted a recent article, with some interesting statistics. The headliner being :

84% of B2B Sales Start with a Referral — Not a Salesperson

Here is the article for you reading pleasure

 

Outbound B2B sales are becoming less and less effective. In fact, a recent survey found that connecting with a prospect now takes 18 or more phone calls, callback rates are below 1%, and only 24% of outbound sales emails are ever opened. Meanwhile, 84% of B2B buyers are now starting the purchasing process with a referral, and peer recommendations are influencing more than 90% of all B2B buying decisions.

Why are more and more buyers avoiding salespeople during the buying process? Sales reps, according to Forrester, tend to prioritize a sales agenda over solving a customer’s problem. If organizations don’t change their outdated thinking and create effective sales models for today’s digital era, Forrester warns that 1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service e-commerce by 2020.

The answer to the shift away from reliance on outbound sales could reside in social selling, the strategy of adding social media to the sales professional’s toolbox. With social selling, salespeople use social media platforms to research, prospect, and network by sharing educational content and answering questions. As a result, they’re able to build relationships until prospects are ready to buy.

This is different than social media marketing, where a brand engages many, aiming to increase overall brand awareness or promote a specific product or service by producing content that users will share with their network. Social selling concentrates on producing focused content and providing one-to-one communication between the salesperson and the buyer. Both strategies create valuable content from the consumer’s perspective and use similar social networks and social software tools. But with social selling, the goal is for the rep to form a relationship with each prospect, providing suggestions and answering questions rather than building an affinity for the organization’s brand.

Social selling makes sense for achieving quota and revenue objectives for multiple reasons. First, three out of four B2B buyers rely on social media to engage with peers about buying decisions. In a recent B2B buyers survey, 53% of the respondents reported that social media plays a role in assessing tools and technologies, and when making a final selection.

In addition, more than three-quarters (82%) of the B2B buyers said the winning vendor’s social content had a significant impact on their buying decision. A LinkedIn survey found that B2B buyers are five times more likely to engage with a sales rep who provides new insights about their business or industry. Another survey showed that 72% of the B2B salespeople who use social media report that they outperformed their sales peers, and more than half of them indicated they closed deals as a direct result of social media.

Social sales content also gets salespeople involved earlier in the sales cycle, which means they’re more likely to define the criteria for an ideal solution or the “buying vision,” and thus, more likely to win the sale.

It doesn’t take a significant amount of time to get started in social selling. B2B salespeople only need to invest 5% to 10% of their time to be successful with social. Salespeople should begin carving out a small percentage of their daily time for social media. Regular interaction with a prospect may not lead to a direct sale this week or quarter, but could result in a significant win within the year.

Salespeople should also collaborate with their social marketing counterparts to make the most of their social efforts. Marketing can train salespeople in social media systems, processes, and best practices. According to a survey, 75% of B2B salespeople indicated they were trained in the effective use of social media. This training can encompass everything from working in specific social media channels to using corporate social media software, understanding the business’s social media guidelines, and orienting social media content around customer interests and needs, rather than on brand features, benefits, and prices.

What’s more, sales and marketing can collaborate on information to ensure that their efforts are aligned and to identify common goals and metrics that both teams can support. Since sales pride themselves on their one-on-one relationships with customers, they can discuss with marketing customer successes and concerns, changing customer needs, customer questions, and industry updates.

Integrating systems and encouraging transparency will also go a long way. Salesforce, for example, emphasizes the importance of improved communication between sales and marketing citing an App Data Room and Marketo study that found sales and marketing alignment can improve sales efforts at closing deals by 67% and help marketing generate 209% more value from their efforts.

 

Social media is too important to be left to marketing. In fact, a recent study found skilled social media sales professionals are six times more likely to exceed quota over peers with basic or no social media skills. It is time to get started with social selling and meet your prospects where they’re spending their time. Your organization could be halfway there if marketing has already made the shift to integrating social media into their strategies. When marketing combines their long-game with sales short game in social selling, it can be a win-win for both teams — and for your overall business.



This article is was originally published Here