Posts Tagged ‘Growing your business’

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Whether you’re just starting out or thinking of ways to further your ability to succeed with your business, you will certainly benefit from getting into an informed position and learning as much as you can about boosting your business. It means that, with any luck, you can increase your sales and revenue. Boosting your business performance will take time, resources and effort but it’s well worth the investment. It is far easier than you might at first expect, all you need is the know-how to do so and the desire to achieve. If your business performance often slips and slides, then you need to be focused on trying to find a strategy that reliably works for you and keep your business consistently achieving and growing towards further expansion.

  1. Review Business Processes

Business processes are structured activities that help the everyday running of your business, and they’re hugely important. These can include maintaining customer relationships, weekly emails of company updates, checking stock reserves and using a warehouse inventory system to help you know exactly what stock you have and where they’re going. If your business includes a warehouse, then it needs to run like clockwork, and you cannot afford for mismanagement where product and delivery is concerned. Business processes are subject to aging, and it’s important to remember that they will not stay new forever. They need regular review to see if, and where, they could benefit from a change.

  1. Use Best Companies

In order to earn your place among the best, you must work and interact with the best. If you want to boost your business, then you need to make sure you’re working with other companies that are reliable and have a good reputation. You should be able to benefit each other mutually by doing business together, so wherever you can, try and purchase and connect with the local businesses. When it comes to deliveries, make sure that you do business with those that can promise a high standard and that your goods can be with you in time. Do some research and find out which companies have a great reputation for service and excellence. You cannot afford to waste your time on companies that cannot promise brilliance.

  1. Have a Great Work Environment

Your environment needs to be conducive to work for both yourself and your team. A happy and contented team is a productive team, so to boost your business, you’ll need to pay attention to the conditions of where your employees work and spend their time. You need to be providing a bright, clean and clear space where they can work calmly. Surfaces need to be clear from clutter, and efficient and timesaving technology should be installed. If your business processes cannot be carried out at speed, then you’re losing time and therefore money and resources. The office space is far more important than you might have realized, so pay attention to it. If you’re unsure about how to go about brightening up the work premises, conduct some further research or (better yet) interview your staff and ask for their opinions and suggestions.

  1. Maintain Customer Relationships

Booting your business involves increasing how many clients and customers you work with, that’s clear. However what is not so clear, is that you need to maintain the customer relationships you have already been able to form. Customers like to know they’re appreciated and valued, so don’t shirk on your responsibility of letting them know how important and fundamental their custom is to the success of your business. Consider getting customers on an emailing list and updating them of company news such as new and improved products, an increase in company revenue, and other anecdotal pieces of information that let your customers know you’re thinking of them. Strike up a meaningful relationship with customers and ask for their advice on matters too. Find out exactly what the customer wants and work out how you intend on bringing it to them.

  1. Utilize the Power of Social Media

Social media can be the difference between failure and success, so make sure you are harnessing the full force of its power to boost your business. Social media is used by millions of people worldwide, so it’s important that you’re active on it. If you’re going to ramp up your business and sales prospects, then you must rival the competition. Let’s face it, there’s going to be many other companies just like yours that sell similar products and services so you must make yours stand out from the crowd, and the internet is a great place to get started. Make sure your product stands out by using marketing skills such as SEO copywriting, using attractive graphics and video, and adding share buttons to allow your content to be more widely distributed.

  1. Boost Management Skills

As the manager, you’re largely responsible for how the company performs, so working on your ability to lead a team to success is going to boost business performance. Learning how to manage a team expertly comes with time and experience, however, if you don’t have this time to spare, then you should consider attending lessons, workshop, and programs to help you go from strength to strength. Managerial skills have a significant impact on how well a business runs, and you must be up to date with technological advancements and knowledge of how to improve staff morale for example, as well as how to deal with conflict, lateness and maintaining customer relationships. Always be interacting with impartial business professionals and ask for tips and tricks and pose questions.

  1. Be on Hand to Answer Queries

Make sure you’re not a distant manager who fails to interact with staff. Your team will look to you for guidance, advice, and inspiration so make sure you’re in the best position to inspire and impact the wisdom you have down to others. Think about holding an office hour once or twice to a week to discuss matters and points of interest with colleagues and your team. Always be seen to be helpful and to genuinely care about the welfare of both the company and also your workforce.

 


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5 Keys to Successful Email Marketing

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Email Do's and Don’t's Title Image

Successful email marketing is a critical, and often overlooked, element of digital marketing.

According to an article on Inc:

But after a couple decades of Nigerian prince schemes, Spanish lotto scams, and mountains of unsolicited spam (which is never a good marketing tactic), how do people feel about email now? Is it still a worthwhile tactic for small-business owners and marketers to pursue?

The simple answer is yes.

Take a look at the graphic below and you’ll see how important successful email marketing is to your bottom line–generating nearly 2X the ROI of the next more cost-effective tactic.

Email ROI Chart

Image courtesy of Data Mentors

Successful email marketing

Successful email marketing requires 2 tactics: 1) list building and 2) email campaigns.

So, you’ve really got your work cut out for you. Here are some tips to get you started:

List building

Before you can have a successful email marketing campaign, you need a good list. In the bad old days before CAN-SPAM, you could simply buy a list and spam a bunch of folks with your message. Some experts advised against such “cold messaging”, but it worked well if you were very selective in purchasing a list of likely buyers. List buying was an art in those days and I got paid a lot of money to guide businesses on which list purchases were likely to result in high returns. And, selling lists is what kept a lot of small, specialty magazines in business–they provided unique access to highly targeted subscribers.

Now, of course, you can’t buy lists, so you have to develop your own (and comply with CAN-SPAM regulations which you can find by following the link above). Since, the law makes your email client (for instance, Constant Contact, AWeber, or MailChimp) responsible for your violations, they can get hit with a big fine, so they’re invested in keeping you honest in this.

So how do you go about building a list?

  1. Include your sign-up form everywhere-on the home page and each page of your website, in your store (if you’re a brick and mortar), at events, on social platforms …
  2. Offer something (like an ebook, coupon, etc) in exchange for signing up for your email list
  3. Don’t ask for information you don’t need so it’s fast and easy for visitors to sign up. Maybe all you need is an email address and name. Don’t forget you can get additional information after they sign up.
  4. Make your sign-up form obvious without interfering with user experience (I hate those popups that block content until you either sign up or x out). I prefer a small band at the bottom of the screen that asks for an email address or something that pops up as the visitor starts to scroll away from your site. Remember, your website is critical for SEO and you don’t want to mess with anything that reduces visits, bounces, or time on site.
  5. When you send an email, include social sharing and the ability to subscribers to forward your email to a friend. These are great ways to build your list.

Email marketing campaigns

Your email client should make it easy to create attractive and professional email campaigns to subscribers. I use AWeber because of their flexibility and ease of creating campaigns (they recently added drag and drop capabilities).

Here are some things to keep in mind as you craft your campaigns:

  • Your goal. What do you hope to accomplish with the email.
  • Timing — how often, time of day, day of week, etc. Sure, email is available whenever a user wants to view it, but it’s more likely to get opened soon after it’s sent. The better your timing, the better your open rate.
  • Optimize open rates with a great pre-header, the description users see when they check their email. Check out the image below:

Email Do's and Don’t's List

  • Make your email easy to read and inviting on multiple screens (especially mobile) with great design.

Keys to successful email marketing campaigns

1. Strong content

Just like everything in marketing, the message is everything.

  • Make your content (both text and images) attractive and inviting, use lots of white space and a little humor doesn’t hurt. The more an email looks like a personal conversation with a friend, the better it will perform.
  • Personalization doesn’t end with including the person’s name. Make the email look like it was designed especially for each reader.
  • Don’t waste your readers’ time with nonsense: say what you need and provide links to more information.

2. Timing

You don’t want to overload your readers by sending too many emails, but you want to use your email marketing to build loyalty and engagement with your target audience. That’s a tight balancing act.

And, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A good gauge of the right frequency comes from analytics. If your open rates drop or you start getting complaints or a bunch of folks unsubscribe, you’re probably emailing too often. If you’re not getting folks unsubscribing or complaining, you could probably send more frequent emails.

The key is to send emails when you have something worth saying to your audience.

3. Use marketing automation

Marketing automation often receives a negative knee-jerk reaction because it sounds like you’re treating your subscribers as robots who all get treated the same. But, it’s actually the opposite. Whether you prefer Salesforce or Hubspot or some other marketing automation tool, successful email marketing requires you send the right content to the right people at the right time and that means using marketing automation.

No marketing automation platform works well unless you spend time keeping information up-to-date to ensure the content the subscriber receives is targeted to their product interests, stage in the customer journey, and other key elements, like gender.

4. Use analytics

The wonders of digital marketing provide a plethora of metrics which should guide every marketing decision you make. Here are some metrics you should watch:

  • Subscriber data such as new subscribers and unsubscribes
  • Performance of your email form–I do this by setting up goals in Google Analytics, but AWeber also shows me how many times my form was shown and how many subscribers were generated. I periodically do A/B testing to determine the optimal form, placement, etc.
  • Campaign performance–how many opens, how many clicks, and, if you’ve installed tracking codes, goal completions based on each campaign.

5. Mobile-friendly

Making your content mobile-friendly is a key to successful email marketing. According to Buffer, 47% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Here’s their advice for making your content easier for mobile users:

  • Convert your email to a one column template for an easy mobile fix.
  • Bump up the font size for improved readability on smart phones.
  • Follow the iOS guideline of buttons at least 44 pixels wide by 44 pixels tall.
  • Make the call-to-action obvious and easy to tap. Above the fold is preferable.
  • Consider ergonomics. Many users tap and scroll with their thumb, so keep important tappable elements in the middle of the screen.

The do’s and don’ts of successful email marketing

Here’s a nice infographic if you want more keys to successful email marketing:

Email Do's and Don’t's List

Infographic courtesy of: Campaign Monitor

This article originally appeared in Hausman Marketing Letter.

This article was written by Angela Hausman and PhD from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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This Harvard Business Review blog article offered pearls of wisdom from Goddard Systems’ CEO, Joe Schumacher, on why midsize companies should set priorities and avoid procrastination. Read the full article here.

 

A recent article from the International Franchise Association indicates that franchise growth has outperformed the overall economy for the past six years and will quickly increase in the next five. Click here for the full article.

 

IS FRANCHISING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

United® Hemispheres magazine recently featured Goddard Systems CEO Joe Schumacher in their article “Is Franchising Right for Your Business?” Schumacher and other franchise executives offer tips for small business owners who are thinking about taking steps toward franchising their company. Click here to read the full article.

The Goddard School Holds Ribbon Cutting on May 29 and Grand Opening Celebration on May 31

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School® preschool system, announced today the opening of its newest school in Parkland, Fla. Located at 7827 North University Drive in Parkland, the new school is owned by franchisee team Rima Naik, Pinkesh Desai, Shashin Desai and Mehul Desai. In honor of the school, the community is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 29 and a grand opening celebration on Saturday, May 31.

“We are thrilled to open our first Goddard School in Parkland and look forward to meeting new families at the grand opening celebration,” said Rima Naik, on-site owner of The Goddard School located in Parkland. “We are  committed to providing the highest quality preschool experience for the families in our community.”

The Parkland-area Goddard School will be celebrating with two different special events. On Thursday, May 29 at 5:30 p.m., the school will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony with local dignitaries including, Mayor Michael Udine, Vice Mayor Christine Hunschofsky, Commissioner David Rosenof, Commissioner Stacy Kagan and City Manager Caryn Gardner-Young. On Saturday, May 31 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. the grand opening will be filled with family-friendly activities such as face painting, balloon animals and even a fire truck for the children to explore.  Parents and children are encouraged to visit and discover the school’s unique F.L.EX.® (Fun Learning Experience) curriculum, meet with highly talented teachers and tour the school. Families who enroll at this event will receive 50% off the first month’s tuition.

In addition to this new school in Parkland, Fla., Shashin Desai and Mehul Desai also own several other schools in North Carolina. When it came time to open their first school in Florida, the Desai’s partnered with Pinkesh and Rima on the business venture. A husband and wife team, Pinkesh and Rima have two young children who will both attend The Goddard School located in Parkland.

The Goddard School preschool system operates on a dual-management system, distinctive in the early childhood education industry. Each location is managed on-site by the franchise owner, as well as an educational director responsible for working with teachers and implementing the curriculum. This separation and clear delineation of roles has resulted in The Goddard School preschool system’s success and high satisfaction ratings for more than 25 years.

The Parkland school opening is part of GSI’s expansion plan across the United States to open 30 new schools per year by 2019.

“As we continue to expand across the country, we are thrilled that the Parkland community recognizes the high-quality education we offer families in neighborhoods across the nation,” said Joseph Schumacher, chief executive officer, Goddard Systems, Inc. “The list of Parkland-area dignitaries attending the ribbon cutting is indicative of just how important high quality early childhood education is to this community. We are happy to now have a franchised school  in Parkland, Florida.”

Long recognized as the industry leader, The Goddard School preschool system has been consistently listed in Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500” ranking as the number one childcare franchise for 13 consecutive years (January 2014).

For additional information about The Goddard School located in Parkland, please call 954-345-5001 or email parklandfl@goddardschools.com. Franchising information is available on www.goddardschoolfranchise.com or call 800-272-4901 to speak with a franchise development executive.

Your ROI – Getting Out What You Put In

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Most people have heard the quote, “You get out of it what you put into it.” This saying can easily apply to many of life’s endeavors, especially business. Although it may sound cliché, it holds pretty true that you will only get out of your business or career what you put into it. Business is not easy, quite the opposite. It’s hard. If it were easy, everyone would own or run a business. Most successful business professionals struggle to balance it all, wearing many hats, working lots of hours and trying to keep up with the latest and greatest in business and industry. However, a common thread found among the successful is attention to detail. Even with trying to keep all the balls in the air, they understand how the details ultimately will reflect the quality of their work.

Making deposits of time, money and energy now will allow for greater withdrawals in the future. This holds true whether you are an employee seeking a promotion or salary increase, a manager angling for more respect and visibility or a business owner trying to maximize profitability and increase resale potential. Remember, if you want to be able to take out big withdrawals someday, you have to put a lot into your business deposits.

Demonstrating Value

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In general, consumers don’t want to be sold to. So although it can be tricky, it’s important to develop your skills at indirect or subtle selling techniques. Essentially this is figuring out ways to integrate your product or service into your conversation with customers without sounding like a pitch machine.

Asking open ended questions and listening to your customer will help you understand their needs so that you can offer solutions, provide education and share experiences with others you’ve helped with similar situations. It’s all about adding value and demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. In turn, you become the authority and “go to” resource for customers.

Since no one enjoys being directly sold to, subtle selling is the way to go. People want to know “what’s in it for me.” So you have to be able to show them the value in what you offer. Practice and finesse your technique by providing your customer with whatever education, engagement or entertainment they may need in order for you to more easily close the sale.

  • Building A Team: Don’t just hire an employee to fill a position. Employ a person to be part of a team to build your business.

  • Saying ‘Thank You’ – OFTEN: Let your employees, customers and vendors know how much you appreciate them. Tell them, jot a note or send an email.

  • Smiling: Customers are obviously interested in quality and price when making a purchase decision, but ultimately they are buying your optimistic attitude!

Press Releases: Follow Up!

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Distributing a press release is only half the effort — the other half is the follow up.

How do you follow up with media contacts?

Prepare for your phone call.

  • Read the press release
  • Understand the key message; what is important to the reader?
  • Formulate a five-second summary. Why should the media be interested?

Know your contact.

  • Review your media distribution list.
  • Know when and how the release was distributed.

Be sensitive to reporters’ schedules, especially when they are on a deadline.

  • Avoid calling the press after 2 p.m. Contact weekly publications on Thursdays or Fridays, when they are likely beginning new stories.
  • Avoid calling radio and TV stations an hour before their broadcast.
  • If a journalist calls you, contact them immediately – or you may lose a story.

Be polite, professional and brief.

  • Say hello, your name and why you are calling – in two sentences.
  • Ask them if they received your release.
  • Provide your five-second summary if they want to know what the release is about.
  • Ask if there is any interest in doing a story.
  • Offer to answer any questions they may have.
  • Offer to leave your contact information.

Remember that reporters are people, too.

  • They work for a living.
  • They operate under strict deadlines.
  • They receive dozens of “did-you-receive-my-press-release” calls per day.

Above all, be a resource not a pest.

  • Your media contacts will be receiving more press releases from you in the future.
  • You will want to maintain a good relationship with your media contacts.