The drive to continuously improve is one of mankind’s most innate characteristics. This trait is seen even more prominently in the business world between other competitors and individuals. A business that stays competitive must constantly evolve into a better organization. This article will discuss ways your business can improve core competencies that will help your business improve.
Review Customer Feedback
Over 60% of consumers read customer reviews before buying. The reviews you receive from your customers are vital to your business’s success. You can use them on your website and social media. Use reviews as an opportunity to market your product. When the reviews are positive, they are a great advertising tool for you. Responding to reviews in a positive manner will make you more personable to the customer base. Negative reviews should be seen as an opportunity to improve your product and generate a bigger following. Customer feedback should be seen as your golden opportunity to improve your business.
Develop and Improved Brand Identity
As a business owner, it is crucial to develop a strong brand that sets you apart from your competition. Brand identity isn’t just how you identify with your brand, but also how your customers and employees identify. Your brand needs to sell something unique that customers cannot access anywhere else. This generally comes down to “why” you are selling, not “what” you are selling. Establishing your why is a major step in developing and improving your brand identity. Your brand identity and how it distinguishes itself as being different from everyone else will entirely depend on how tangible your brand energy is. Focus on why your business is important to you and find ways to communicate it with others.
Focus on What You Know How to Do
Core competencies include the defining products, services, skills, and capabilities that gives your business an advantage over your competitors. If there is a skill you are not particularly good at or do not have much experience with, it cannot be a core competency value for you. As a business owner, it is important you focus on what you know how to do. Don’t try to copy other businesses unless you can do so successfully. If there is a production, business, or management element that you are not an expert in, outsource the required work. This will help your business run more efficiently and produce consistency.
Change How You Manage Finances
Without good financial management, any business will fail. Keeping track of your business expenses, overhead, and open accounts can become overwhelming quickly. Even a slight error can throw off your projections significantly. Improve the financial management in your office by using accounting software. Accounting software can keep financial data organized and reduce the risk of human error. This software assists with budgeting, tracking inventory, managing accounts receivable and accounts payable. Accounting software can streamline functions for better performance at your business. Using software to change the way you manage finances will reduce stress, increase productivity, and help you make wise decisions for the future.
Invest in a Friendly UX
UX refers to a user’s experience on your website. A good user experience is determined by how easy it is for visitors to find what they are looking for. An investment in a user-friendly website retains visitors longer, increases the number of visits to your site, and consequently contributes to rising conversion rates. For example, if you have an instant messaging option, a customer who has a question can immediately ask about the product, receive an answer, and determine whether they want to purchase it. Without this interaction the user is likely to leave the site, think about it for a few days, and eventually forget about it. Making your site quick, responsive, and easy to read lets your visitors focus on what product you offer and what you are selling.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media has become an excellent marketing platform for businesses. When done correctly, social media can be the cheapest and most effective way of marketing your business. You can reach more customers by developing targeted ads with a target audience. Focus your marketing on specific groups and social media sites to run a more effective ad campaign. For example, the Facebook demographic tends to be an older audience while Instagram attracts millennials and gen z users. Twitter has nearly 200 million users with the potential to monetize. Identify who your audience is and what platforms they use to capitalize on your investment.
Improve Quality Management
Total quality management pertains to the operations of the business. Without a quality management system, you cannot complete work or consistently satisfy customers. Businesses that have quality management programs focus on clarifying the businesses vision, mission, and values. This gives the company a direction they can follow. Management should also identify critical success factors (CSF) that will help the organization come closer to achieving their potential. For example, what are the financial, customer relation, and employee objectives? Identifying goals and developing ways to measure progress towards those goals will encourage development within the company.
Rally Around a Common Vision
Without direction and purpose, a team is rendered useless. Every business needs a common vision and culture that their teams can rally behind. Clearly define what your company vision is and what you aim to accomplish. Communicate company objectives and goals you want to achieve within a specified period. Direction will give your employees something to work for and a sense of accomplishment when they reach those goals. Setting a common vision will help you create a company culture that will set you apart from your other competitors. A common vision will also help you track your progress and make calculated decisions regarding the future of your business.
Ultimately, the success of your company depends on the functionality of your business. If you cannot improve internal operations, the external results will be affected. Improve your core competencies by focusing on operations management, employee performance and customer satisfaction.
Read this next: How to Instill Customer Confidence in Your Brand
As a business owner, you are probably super aware of all of the costs and financial needs that your company has. There are areas where you might be able to save money by going with cheaper options, however, there are some things that you should never skimp on, like certain technology features and tools. Here are a few examples of technology that you want to wisely invest good money in, as each of them will greatly benefit your company and employees.
Web Hosting and Design
First off, you definitely don’t want to be stingy with your money when it comes to investing in web hosting and design. There are certain design techniques that you can use to make your website more interesting and attractive to viewers, which is something that you’ll want to invest time and money in to accomplishing. Often, when new and potential clients are interested in finding out more about your company, they’ll try and find your website on the internet. If your website is aesthetically attractive, easy to maneuver, and well organized, visitors on your website are much more likely to buy your products, request your services, or contact your company.
Employee Management Software
Another important technology investment for your company is employee management software. Regardless if you have few employees or even hundreds or thousands of employees, you’ll want to make sure that you have a way to keep track of and take care of each employee. Quality employee management software will allow you to do many things often related to an HR position or department. For example, it will allow you to quickly and easily manage payroll, organize benefits, input special recognition, or organize other employee details.
One of the best ways to protect your company is to invest in data protection. Data protection technology can allow you to safely use IT services and create sensitive files with important information that can be protected and stored. It can help your employees to have better control over their personal data as well as company data. Unfortunately, there are people on the internet that seek to break into your company’s important data and harm the privacy of you or your employees. Keeping your IT services up to date will prevent you from falling victim to malware or other attacks. This is a great way to protect both customer and company data, which will ensure the peace of mind of all your employees.
Recent advances in email application technology have facilitated business communication and email use, diminishing if not eliminating the demand for in-house and desktop email services. Today, many businesses use email applications to send automated updates and responses, communicate with clients, and spread information securely and efficiently. Through email application technology, businesses can network with important contacts and even market to their target audiences. Quality email applications will be able to accomplish each of these tasks without annoying your customers with unsolicited ads or spam messages. This technology allows you to quickly manage your business emails and save time for more consuming or demanding elements of your business.
Automated Customer Service
Providing customers with self-service hasn’t always been the most popular option, but recently, software applications have been developed that provide consistent, quality automated customer service. Certain software might offer features like an automated answer for phone calls, an automatic text chat that pops up on social media sites or internet websites, and other offerings of automated service applications. This removes the need for customer service positions, allowing you to train your employees in more important positions. These applications can even be used to provide a space for customer feedback so that your company can know how to retain your audience and improve your service. This is one element of technology that you’d definitely want to splurge on, as quality support applications with dedicated technicians can save your company a lot of time and money when helping customers with questions.
Content Management Technology
In a world that depends so much on internet content, social media presence, and easily accessible information, it can be overwhelming to keep your business’ web content updated, especially if you or your IT employees aren’t super familiar with the different elements of the website coding. Content management technology greatly simplifies this process. It can allow your business to update, modify, and enhance your website and online content without having to hire an independent coder to help you with the website HTML or coding. Investing in this technology will allow you to keep your online presence updated, which will attract more customers and allow for greater networking.
Social Media Networking
Many small businesses learned the great power and influence of social media networking and marketing when the world shut down for quarantine during COVID-19. Countless businesses were able to stay afloat as they launched sales, grew their audience, and made connections through their online presence on social media. Companies that invest money in their social media accounts can launch popular advertisements and use handy features like swipes for links. Some companies like to create entertaining content like YouTube videos, or Instagram reels, allowing customers and viewers to engage more in the behind-the-scenes experience of their business. These features facilitate growing a bigger audience and enhance the customer’s experience, making the business more successful in its online endeavors. Since society today depends so much on social media to communicate, shop, and discover, businesses should be doing the same by investing money in social media accounts and features.
Just as the world’s technology is constantly shifting and advancing, the technology that your company uses should likewise be developing and facilitating your company’s productivity. Remember that there are certain technological features that are worth every penny that your company may spend on investing in them. These different kinds of technology will allow for greater success in your company’s goals, both for employees, products, and customers. Using effective and quality technology can change your company forever.
Read this next: How to Boost Your Customer Communication Online
3 Search Engine Optimization Tips
In writing this post, I wondered about the spelling of 'Optimize'. I often see it spelled with both an s and a z. According to the research, "OptimiZe" is the American spelling, and "optimiSe" is British spelling (also Canadian). The academically correct version depends on who your audience is. So, that was the first tip... on to the actual SEO tips of the day:
New Facebook Pages: TIMELINE comes to Fan Pages. Get your Business Information Ready.
On March 30, 2012, all Facebook Pages will get a new design. Here is a helpful video from the Social Networking Academy, and a list of what changes are coming your way.
Main Facebook Page Changes:
1). Cover Photo – Some interesting restrictions have been placed on what you can and can’t have on your cover photo;
Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:
2). Your Profile Picture which will initially be the top part of your avatar, must be square and at least 180px wide
3). You Can No Longer LAND on a Custom Tab!!! Welcome pages and tabs still exist, but you can no longer default to land on any tabs. As with the timeline on your profile your photos and apps show in the central section in boxes, which means we can add a nice looking graphic to our Welcome pages and tabs to encourage people to click on them. Here’s what FB say about the central boxes;
Photos, likes and apps are now at the top of your Page. Photos show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else so people see what matters most. You can show a maximum number of 12 apps, so make sure to put your most important ones first.
I have to say I’m really disappointed that you can’t land on your custom landing tabs anymore, but somewhat relieved that we still have them!
4). You Can Pin Posts to the Top of Your Wall!The main design is the same as your profile page so as with that you can now add posts at different dates in the past, you can feature your post by clicking the star so it covers the width of your page, or you can hide it from your page altogether, but the really cool feature is being able to pin specific posts to the top, kind of like a ‘sticky’ post in forums.
5). There’s a brand new admin panel from which you can see your notifications, new likes, insights and the new private messages that people can now send you from your page! From your admin panel you will also see the Manage button which gives you access to the main editing section of your page (Basic Info, Manage Permissions, Apps and so on). Not much has changed in there apart from the Manage Permissions section which no longer has the default landing tab section! – Boo!
Also from the admin panel, you can access Facebook ads, a function to share your page and to invite friends, plus access to Facebooks help section.
6). New Message Feature! I mentioned above messages, well now your fans can message you directly! The messages will show within your admin panel and you can respond from there.
7). Tab Pages are now BIGGER! I believe the official size is 760px, I’ll keep you posted!
8). You will AUTOMATICALLY get the new design on March 30th. So jump in there and make the most of it, because it’s coming whether you like it or not!
Why Does Being Online Matter? Watch this video to learn why having an online presence is critical for growing your business. Tell your potential customers about your business, your products and services, and promote sales. Contact us today to get your business online.
You may have heard that if you promote other businesses on social media sites that it can boost your own business. For a newbie, it doesn’t make sense. Promoting others will be good for your own business? It’s not a surprise for most small business owners just getting into social media marketing to feel stumped about what to share on social media.
Here’s what marketing gurus and experts are referring to when they stress about the importance of promoting others aside from promoting your own blog posts, content, promotions and company information. Remember, promoting others is all about attracting attention, becoming valuable to your followers and remaining consistent.
Here are some general ways promoting others will lead business back to you.
Social media marketing can be a win-win situation if you do it properly. Everyone wants traffic to their site. Everyone wants new and more business. Why not join forces with others to drive business for both businesses? Everyone wins in this game.
Do you need a Website ReBuild?
Ask yourself these questions:
Over 85% of people contact businesses they find in local searches. That's why 100% of businesses need to be online! Your local business has many options, to remain current online such as a website, business facebook page, social networks, videos, blogs, online ads, etc. Even for businesses with a limited marketing budget, there are ways to promote your business online. Here are 10 free ways to promote your business online:
If you have a small business and you're wondering where to start in terms of marketing your business online, I've uncovered at least 15 places online you can start marketing your business. Here are the 15 best online marketing channels for small businesses. Try them all and see which ones work best for you.
These are not all the online marketing channels you have, but they are some of the best ones for new businesses. I encourage you to check 'em out.