If the Home Page of your website answers the “why” of your business, then the About Us page tells customers the “who” of your business. 

The Home Page is where your customers will find the company’s BVP or Brand Value Proposition – a short statement that tells them within 6 seconds why they should choose your business over the competition. 

For this reason, businesses tend to focus more on the Home Page than the other pages of their website. After all, it is the landing page of your website. Once you click on a URL, you will end up on the Home Page. 

The About Us page is often designed as an after-thought. 

Check out a few websites at random and visit the About Us pages. Most entrepreneurs and top-level executives view the About Us page as a resume on a website. 

All you read are their academic achievements, positions they’ve held in previous companies, the number of businesses they own, and awards won in the industry. 

Sure that looks good on paper – but how will a resume of your accomplishments convince your website visitor that your business has the solutions to his problems? 

At Mountaintop, we have a unique approach to designing the About Us page of our clients. 

Instead of creating a design that shows “who” the business is, our approach is to highlight the “why”:

Why you are the best person to handle the customer’s problems, concerns, and needs.

Thus, instead of designing an About Us page about you, we create one for the most important people in your business.

Your customers. 

Why Is The About Us Page Important?

According to a 2015 study, 52% of website visitors click on the About Us page. 

Why is this so? Shouldn’t prospective clients click on the Services page to find out your pricing?

Put it this way, if you were at a networking event, would you sign up for the services of a business owner after exchanging “Hellos”?

Chances are, you would use the event as an opportunity to learn more about the business owner:

  • Why did he get into this type of business?
  • What experiences in life motivated him to start the company?
  • What is his approach to managing clients?
  • Do we share common values? 
  • What is his vision for the company?

In short, what is his story? 

A purposeful About Us page can create an immediate strong connection with the site visitor if he sees that the story of the company is actually the story of the customer achieving their goals – The company needs to invite them into their story. You share a similar story. 

He reads your About Us page and he thinks to himself, “This guy – gets it!” 

It gives assurances and confidence that yours is the right business for the job!

How To Write An About Us Page That Gets Customers

Finding the right client or customer isn’t just about your skills, educational attainment, and years of experience.

Customers want to know if you are someone they can relate to. This means sharing experiences – stories – that resonate with the site visitor. 

But it comes down to your story – why your experiences, knowledge, and history make you the best, right-fit choice for the customer.

You have to establish that connection – and the About Us page is an effective way to get it done!

Here are 5 tips on how to write an About Us page that gets customers excited about your business.

1. Tell Your Story 

Everybody loves a good story. Especially those that trigger emotional cues with the reader. 

If you’re a business consultant for small and medium scale enterprises, share your stories of struggle. 

Let them know your humble beginnings – how you overcame failure and the lessons you learned that motivated you to become a business consultant. 

Small and medium-scale business owners will relate because they are probably in that situation right now. Your story will give them hope and the assurance that it’s possible to overcome failure and find success. 

How?

If inspired, they might click on your call-to-action and connect with you right away!

2. Write With the Customer In Mind

Core values… mission vision… our purpose…

These are all great. It’s nice to let the customers know you place high regard on your core values and that the business has direction and pre-defined objectives. 

But they will not convince the customer to patronize your business. 

The customer wants to know how you can help them by understanding why you are the most qualified person to handle the job.

When writing the About Us page, keep the customer in mind:

  • What are his persistent problems and pain points?
  • Which of my products or services are best suited to resolve these problems?
  • What issues are my customers interested in?
  • What types of solutions are my customers looking for?
  • Where do my customers come from?
  • How is the customer dealing with the problem right now?
  • Which of my experiences can my customers strongly relate to?

Let’s go back to our example of a Business Consultant who is creating an About Us page on his business.

A good example that would resonate with the readers would read like this:

“As a lifelong entrepreneur, I understand the challenges you face.

My first business venture failed – I lost $10,000. I thought I had learned my lesson, but my second business venture lost $100,000. 

Failure is part of life as an entrepreneur. But instead of being fearful of failure, embrace it – and learn from it.

My third business venture? We’re in our 10th year and going strong!

Let me show you how to overcome failure and succeed!”

This type of About Us content combines #1 – Tell Your Story –  with #2, Write For Your Customer.

Don’t you think the About Us copy will get the customer excited about doing business with you?

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3. Compel the Reader to Act

Now that you’ve gotten the reader interested, what do you want him to do? 

  • “Go to our services page – right now?”
  • “Give us a call or an email and we’ll get on it right away!”
  • “Click the ‘Get Started’ button – and let’s get started!”

Your website presents a great opportunity to get clients for your business. If your About Us page is spot on, the customer may not want to waste a single second and sign up with you immediately. 

Make the process easier by adding a CTA button on the About Us page. If you noticed, we ended the CTA with a strong sense of urgency. Don’t be shy about your intentions. Let the customer know what you want him to do – right now!

4. Converse – Don’t Lecture

What would you think if the person you are talking to at the networking event kept framing his sentences as:

  • “You should have done this…”
  • “You should have done that…”
  • “If I was in your position, I would have…”
  • “You shouldn’t have done that…”
  • “I wouldn’t have done that. Instead, I would have…”

You should also avoid using technical jargon or terms that may not be understood by the reader.

For example, if you provide online forex trading services, don’t try to impress the reader by writing in this manner:

“In 2005, I was able to capture the failed fifth of the move from 38 to 43 and retraced the 61.8% Fibonacci ratio which covered the move from 43 to 41. This allowed me to enter a buying position at 39.22 which terminated at the conclusion of the truncated fifth wave.”

“What? You lost me at ‘2005’!”

Write in your own voice. Don’t try to impress by getting technical. Instead, write in simplified terms.

How would you converse with your customer if you met him for the first time? 

Even if the reader hasn’t met you, being authentic allows them to hear your voice through your content.

5. Add Great Images

So you’ve written a great About Us copy that shows customers who you are. It doesn’t end there. To know you is to see you. Customers want to see who you are. 

Having a nice picture of you on the About Us page adds a face to your business. If you believe that you are your business and your business is you, then it only makes sense to add a nice picture of you on the About Us page. 

Conclusion

The About Us page can add plenty of muscle to your website. Don’t ignore it. A well-conceptualized, well thought out, and purposeful About Us page can effectively entice the visitor to strongly consider your business. 

If our article made you re-think your current About Us page, give us a call or an email. Let’s work on it right away!

And if you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to share it with your community!

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To get straight to the point – Yes, you should include social media as part of your digital marketing strategy in 2020. 

Over the last decade, social media has evolved from a platform for connecting with social circles and sharing daily updates to a powerful medium for influencing choices with the targeted distribution of optimized content, the active promotion of thought leadership, and purposeful engagement with the community. 

Thus, social media is an effective medium for sharing content. It is a proven platform for building your business’ brand and reputation, promoting products and services, and creating strong and sustainable relationships with your customers.

If social media was part of your digital marketing strategy in 2019, read on! The tips we provide will make your 2020 strategies more relevant, effective, and impactful. 

And if you haven’t included social media in your digital marketing strategy, it’s not too late! 2020 is as good a time as any to start your first campaign. 

Why 2020 Is A Good Time To Launch Your First Social Media Campaign

In 2019, there were an estimated 3.484 billion social media users worldwide – a 9% increase from 2018. 

The increase in the number of social media users goes hand-in-hand with the number of Internet users. The more accessible the Internet becomes, the more people will venture to social media.

In 2018, the Internet was accessible to 3 billion people. In 2019, the number of people on the Internet was estimated to be 4.4 billion people. 

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the growth of the Internet will slowly catch up with the growth of the population. 

The group forecasts that by 2021, 75% or 6 billion of the projected population of 8 billion people will have Internet access. By 2030, 90% or 7.5 billion out of an estimated 8.5 billion people will be online. 

Based on these trends, we can reasonably expect that as the population grows, so will the number of social media users. 

If you are still thinking of including social media in your digital marketing strategy, remove your “thinking” cap and put on your “working” cap. It’s time to get social!

7 Social Media Trends To Watch Out For In 2020

Social media is in a constant state of evolution because people’s interests, tastes, and preferences are always changing. The strategies that produced results last year may no longer be effective in 2020.

Here are 7 social media trends that could shape your digital marketing strategy in 2020.

1. Less Focus on Getting People to “Like” Your Content

Social media is no longer just a platform where the objective of posting content is to generate the highest number of “likes”. 

Getting a “like” will do wonders for your ego but very little – or nothing at all – for your business. It could just be a sympathetic gesture from friends who want you to feel good. But clicking the “like” button does not mean people like your content. 

People are looking for content that has value. They want content that addresses a specific need, compels opinions and ideas to be shared and helps members of the community arrive at the best decisions. 

For this reason, social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are putting less emphasis on “vanity metrics’ – like the “like” button and the number of followers. 

Digital marketers feel that the pressure to garner “likes” only succeeds in affecting the person’s mental health and does little to strengthen the brand or put the product at the forefront of the consumer’s consciousness.

Instead, the focus should be on the quality of content and the rate of community engagement. 

What good would it do your business if you have 1,000 followers but only 10 members regularly engage with your content? On the other hand, your page could have only 100 followers but 50 of them could be actively engaging with each other in your posts. 

2. Video Content Will Be King

Bill Gates once famously wrote, “Content is King”. Today, the billionaire-founder of Microsoft would willingly amend his statement as “Video Content will be King”.

A 2019 study that was published by Social Media Week revealed the following eye-opening numbers about the future of video content marketing:

  • 82% of all online traffic will be composed of video-based content.
  • 78% of daily Internet users spend their time watching videos.
  • 72% of consumers prefer video as the medium for learning about a company’s products and services.
  • 95% of consumers retain information better with videos.
  • 54% of consumers want more video-based content.

Video marketing is an effective driver of content because it appeals to the senses of sight, sound, and can potentially trigger powerful emotions that can compel the audience to comply with your call-to-action. 

Today’s smartphones have cameras that can capture good quality videos. Start a YouTube channel for your business and upload video content about your products and services. 

How do they work? What problems or issues can they fix? You can also post videos about your personal life to give the audience an idea of who you are and what you do outside of work. 

At Mountaintop, we recommend having an explainer video made. You can post it on YouTube then embed the link on the homepage of your website. An explainer video will get more people to stay on your website and check out your products and services.

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3. Social Media Audience Segmentation Will Play a Bigger Role

Social media gives you the advantage of targeting consumers who may be interested in your products and services. Even if you’ve acquired a good-sized following, they remain part of a community – your social media community. They followed you for a reason.

People follow you for different reasons. Yes, most will probably follow you because they are fans of your business. They love your products and want to stay updated on future developments.

There could be those who followed you not for the products you are selling, but for the tips you provide in your blogs. Maybe they are not interested in your products but they value the insights you provide in the industry. 

Keeping track of who engages in your content; the ones who ”like” or share your blogs, and reading through the discussions in your posts can give you valuable insights on the market segments you are attracting.

You can use social media analytics to give you key data on the types of content that are generating the highest levels of activity on your page. Take note of who they are, where they are coming from, and how they are accessing your content. 

Use data to create specific buyer profiles of your customers. Having data-backed information will help you customize the types of content that will target specific market segments. 

4. The Continued Rise of Social Shopping

If you’re a retailer, having an e-commerce website is a key component in maximizing online opportunities. The website is where interested parties go to view your product and transact with your company.

On the other hand, social media platforms have become effective in generating inbound traffic to your e-commerce website. 

Research has shown that social media has significantly contributed to the growth of e-commerce in the United States in the last decade. 

Posting images and information about your product on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest has been proven effective in influencing the buying decisions of consumers.

Publishing blogs on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus about your business, industry insights, opinions on current trends, and providing useful tips that solve common problems will do wonders for your online reputation as a valuable resource. 

To get people to visit your website, always include a link with your call-to-action in your blogs and other types of content. 

5. Public Sharing Will Give Way to a More Personalized Approach

Privacy remains an issue on the Internet. Other than the constant threat of cyber-attacks, you want to manage the risk factors that you can control. When engaging in social media, it’s a good idea to take full control over your personal information. 

Concern over the security and integrity of personal information is one of the major factors that have contributed to the popularity of messaging apps such as Messenger. 

For example, if a follower of your Facebook page asks for details about the price of your product and preferred mode of payment, you can just send the person the information via Messenger. 

Another example is dealing with customer complaints. 

If a customer posts a complaint on your Facebook page, you can shift the discussion from the public thread to Messenger. This is a great way to manage your online reputation and at the same time personalize the approach for your customer. 

6. Greater Dependency on Authentic Content

The Internet is rife with online merchants offering a wide variety of products and services. Unfortunately, you take the good with the bad. 

While there are e-commerce websites that you can trust, the Internet has its fair share of businesses that have malicious intent as their primary objective. 

Also, there are businesses with the “take it or leave it” mentality. They only care about the sale – not the customer.

In a sense, social media has tipped the balance of power toward the consumer because it has given him a platform to air his opinions about a business. It has given consumers a valuable resource for getting information on a product or service before making the decision to patronize the business or not. 

Think about your own experiences. If you liked your dining experience at a particular Italian restaurant, wouldn’t you take pictures of the food you ate and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?  

In contrast, if you had a rough encounter with the customer service people of a telecommunications company, wouldn’t you post about the incident on Facebook or LinkedIn?

Powerful emotions compel people to write reviews about a product or a service. This is why consumers value them. They are content that is perceived as sincere and driven by purpose and therefore, authentic. 

Invite your followers to post reviews and comments about your products and services on your social media pages. 

Your willingness to leave your business vulnerable to the risk of getting scathing reviews shows your confidence in your offerings. We will continue the discussion in the next section!

7. Social Media Builds Meaningful Relationships

For businesses, product reviews and other types of customer-generated content are a win-win situation. Yes, getting bad reviews can be good for you!

In the first place, there is no such thing as a perfect product. Consumers have different tastes and preferences. 

Perfect service is the goal but it is not realistic to expect it 100% of the time because people are human and there are days that they can be off their customer service game.

If you get a negative review, don’t ignore it. Act on it right away! Use it as an opportunity to show your other followers that you care by addressing the issue directly on the thread.

For example, a customer named Matt posted a complaint on your Facebook page that the Wi-Fi router he bought from you did not last 2 days. 

A good response would be:

“Hi, Matt! Thank you for calling our attention to the router. We are sorry about your experience. I am Roger and I handle technical support. I just messaged you my email address and contact number. Kindly email the details and let’s schedule a phone call over the next 24 hours. Rest assured, we are committed to making you a customer for life!”

When you respond to a comment, it will not matter if the customer is irate. For sure, he will appreciate your immediate attention and timely response to his concern. 

And if the customer is happy, an appropriate response will show that you value the relationship and not just the business. 

Conclusion

The “social” aspect of social media refers to its dynamic nature. As people change, so do their online behavioral patterns. You have to keep track of these changes in behavior and apply your findings to your strategy so you can stay ahead of the competition.

Social media will remain relevant, useful, and valuable in 2020 and beyond because it gives your business more than just an online presence. 

Social media humanizes your business. It creates bridges that connect you with your customers, followers, and potential end-users. 

In combination with a thoughtful, purposeful, and engaging content marketing strategy, social media will give your business a personality that consumers can connect to and develop a strong, long-lasting relationship with. 

For consumers, it’s not just about “What” your business is – it’s about “Who” your business is. 

Let us help you get back on track with your social media program! 

Give us a call or drop us an email. We can design a smart, data-based digital marketing strategy for your business that will optimize our content-driven social media marketing campaign. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community!

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Whether you’re stuck in traffic or headed off to a long drive, it would make the journey more pleasant when you have something to listen to. Sure, having your favorite singer blaring in your headset or the car’s sound system provides a welcome respite from the monotony of the moment. But why not use the time to jumpstart your knowledge, pick up new ideas, or stay updated on the latest developments by listening to a podcast during the commute?

The Growth Of The Podcast Community In the United States

According to the latest report published by the Infinite Dial, more than 50% of Americans have listened to at least 1 podcast and one out of three Americans listen to at least 1 podcast per month.

In comparison, the number in 2018 was one out of four Americans.

Another interesting statistic that was revealed in the study was more young Americans were listening to podcasts. 40% of Americans aged 12 to 24 have been listening to podcasts compared to 30% the previous year.

What makes the report from the Infinite Dial compelling is that the increase in the popularity of the podcast the past 2 years was markedly significant. There has always been a steady growth in the popularity of podcasts but the increase from 2018 to 2019 was a clear jump-off point. 

A podcast can be entertaining, yet informative. Although the content of podcasts are regulated and have to subscribe to guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, discussions come across as more authentic. 

The banter between the host, the guest, and the audience – the call-in listeners – is freewheeling, sound unrehearsed, and extemporaneous. 

That does not mean the content is not researched! 

In a podcast, the show invites well-respected and highly competent resource people as guests. You can be assured, more or less, that the information you get from a podcast is updated and valid. 

If you’re not yet part of the podcast community, it’s not too late to join in! 

To get you started, here is a list of our favorite podcasts to listen to during the commute.

1. Building a StoryBrand with Donald Miller

Marketing can often be frustrating for many businesses because the campaign doesn’t produce the expected results.

In an effort to get answers, entrepreneurs and marketers tend to over-analyze the problem instead of focusing on the building block of every marketing campaign.

Its message.

Donald Miller and his team understand the power of storytelling and how to harness it for maximum results. People love to hear stories. But not everyone is an effective storyteller.

If you want your market to patronize your business, your story must be compelling enough to get them interested in the products and services that you offer.

Listeners of his podcast love the way Donald shares helpful tips on improving the message of your marketing campaign.

His approach to delivering content on his podcast best represents his idea on the most effective way to tell your story.

Keep it simple and easy to understand!

Put it this way, if people don’t understand your message, how and why will they talk about it to others?

If you’re unsure of your ability to tell your brand’s story, don’t worry. Listen to Donald’s podcast and he’ll put you on the right track so you can connect much better with your market. 

2. Creating Disney Magic: Lessons in Leadership, Management, and Customer Service by Lee Cockerell

Lee Cockerell was the former Executive Vice-President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort. He spent 10 years managing 20 resort hotels, 2 water parks, 4 theme parks, a shopping and entertainment complex, the sports and recreation facility of ESPN, and more than 40,000 employees.

How did Lee manage all the responsibilities required of a Senior Operating Executive of the world’s most popular vacation destination?

The first syllable of the word “Leadership” is pronounced “lee” and the word is synonymous with Mr. Cockerell who is a big proponent of leadership within an organization.

In his podcast, Lee shares the lessons he learned on leadership, management, and customer value during his time on the “happiest place on earth”.

Lee pulls no punches and gives his unique perspective on the challenges of making it in the big world of business. He discusses why having substance is of more importance than the image you present.

For Mr. Cockerell having an MBA degree and wearing the nicest, most expensive suits amount to nothing if you don’t respect the culture of the organization. To learn how to manage people, you must learn how it is to be managed.

Take 20 minutes to learn valuable tips on business from Lee Cockerell. 

 3. Seth Godin’s Start-Up School

Seth Godin is one of the most respected experts in the field of marketing. In 2018, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Marketing Association. He has also authored close to 20 books. Many of his books, such as Free Prize Inside and The Dip have become must-have in every entrepreneur’s must-read list.

If you haven’t read Seth’s works, you can listen to him in Seth Godin’s Startup School. Think of this as a “reality podcast” where Seth takes 30 entrepreneurs through a master class on how to start and grow their businesses.

Under Seth’s guidance, these entrepreneurs learn to appreciate and apply concepts that may not have been taught in school such as managing your fears, trust, motivation, and how to effectively manage cash flow. 

4. The EntreLeadership Podcast

EntreLeadership is a podcast hosted by Alex Judd. Alex is an in-demand Leadership Coach who believes you can only get better at what you do if are willing to operate outside of your comfort zone.

As the host of EntreLeadership, Alex shares his thoughts and ideas on leadership and gives valuable tips on how to cultivate the best qualities in you. The show regularly features guests who have made an impact on their respective fields.

On any given day, you may find yourself listening to career-defining insights from Mark Cuban, Simon Sinek, Seth Godin, and Jim Collins plus the most reputable persons from the world of medicine, politics, sports, and the sciences. 

5. Lead To Win with Michael Hyatt

New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt hosts the Lead to Win podcast which focuses on topics that help entrepreneurs, managers, employees, and everyday people gain knowledge on improving personal development.

Michael knows what he is talking about in the podcast. He used to be the Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers before making a successful tenure to life as an entrepreneur.

His entrepreneurial pursuit was included in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. Within 3 years, Michael’s business grew by 330%.

Listen to Lead to Win and learn useful tips for holding productive meetings, staying on track with your goals, co-existing with co-workers, choosing a business coach, improving mental fitness, and increasing your level of productivity. 

6. HBR IdeaCast

HBR Ideacast is the perfect podcast to listen to for people who are motivated to move up the corporate ladder. If you’re looking to find ways to become a more effective manager, listen to this podcast on the commute to work.

HBR editor Sarah Green Carmichael leads a team composed of HBR staff members to engage valuable resource people from different industries in lively banter and insightful interviews.

Although the show is categorized as a management and marketing podcast, it covers more ground than advertised. You will gain knowledge and insights on diverse topics such as science, health, and politics. 

7. The Liberator Podcast

GIANT Worldwide is a world-renowned company that strongly advocates leadership development. The company creates amazing programs and publishes top quality content designed to help anyone – entrepreneurs, office workers, and corporate executives – harness the skills to become effective leaders.

The Liberator is a podcast that has become popular because it is a wonderful resource for learning useful tips on leadership and personal development. Hosted by GIANT co-founders, Steve Cockram and Jeremie Kubicek, the Liberator has helped many of its listeners become more productive and actively involved in the progress of their business and people.

In every session, Jeremie and Steve introduce the latest developments in the world of business as well as new concepts, ideas, and methods in developing leadership skills. 

8. The Pitch

One of the limiting factors in starting and growing a business is funding. For many entrepreneurs, borrowing from a bank is out of the question because of the credit requirements and high-interest charges. Funding through interested investors has become a preferred option.

But what are the risks of getting venture capital? How will it affect your ownership of the business? Are having venture capitalists onboard your business worth it?

More importantly, is your business worth the risk for the venture capitalists?

The Pitch is a show that will answer all of your questions about venture capital. Hosted by entrepreneur Josh Muccio, the podcast is loaded with tips on how to sell your idea to investors, maintain good relationships with them, and make the arrangement prosper. 

9. Side Hustle School

If you’ve been thinking about augmenting your monthly income with a side job, listen to the Side Hustle. This is a podcast that’s worth a listen for anyone who’s thinking of opening another stream of income through a sideline occupation.

The Side Hustle is hosted by Chris Guillebeau, a bestselling author who has written several books and written blogs on the topics of entrepreneurship and personal development.

Every podcast show will feature resource people who have gone through the experience of starting a side hustle. Learn valuable tips on how to succeed – as well as how to avoid their mistakes.  

 10. Dear HBR

Dear HBR is a must-listen-to podcast for those who embrace the daily 9-to-5 grind at the office.

The excellent hosts led by Harvard Business Review editors Alison Beard and Dan McGinn talk about the issues that matter to everyone who works at an office – from the newest recruit to the company CEO.

Alison and Dan provide wonderful insights to all of your questions. Nothing is off-limits! Dear HBR makes it a point to invite renowned topic experts as they handle each question with thought and objectivity.

Dear HBR will also give you updates on the latest research on management, productivity, and valuable tips on motivation and dealing with toxic employees. 

Conclusion

As you have read, most of the podcasts we recommend are focused on entrepreneurship, personal, and leadership development. We acknowledge the value of small businesses not just in America but in the entire world. 

In America, 99.9% of businesses registered are categorized as small – 30.2 million businesses in all.

The sad reality is that more than 50% of these small businesses close down after 5 years. 

Can you imagine if we can improve the success rate of small business America to 55%? Our economy will be more robust and progressive!

Listening to these amazing podcasts is not a guarantee that you will turn your business around. But the tips and insights they share will give you the necessary knowledge to give your business a fighting chance to survive – and thrive!

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community.

And if you want to know how we can help you manage and grow your business through website design and digital marketing, give us a call! 

Keeping on top of all the assignments that stem from running a company can be challenging – even when you have a whole support system behind you. But when you’re a solopreneur, it all comes down to how much you can accomplish on your own. For the most part, this means maximizing your effectiveness and minimizing distractions.

If your goal is to bring your small business to the next level (and maybe even expand), you will need to find a way of staying in control of all the challenges you face daily. The following strategies help you do exactly that. By implementing them in your daily work routine, you’ll find the perfect way for you to achieve your goals without losing precious time, energy, or resources.

Strategize

If the word strategize reminds you of going into battle, then you’ve already got this whole business thing under your thumb. Because that’s exactly what business is – a war for survival in a cruel, dog-eat-dog world. The only way to make it out alive is to know very well what you’re doing. 

For most entrepreneurs, this means putting a lot of effort into their products or services, designing a great website, maintaining a strong social media presence, and paying close attention to customer service and quality control. And although not many like to think about it, it also means creating an effective exit strategy that you can implement in the case of unexpected circumstances (or simply more exciting projects on the horizon).

A good business plan can also help you determine your goals, and even more, turn them into to-dos you can tackle on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Finally, don’t forget about the importance of your calendar and good project management software.

Don’t underestimate the beneficial effects of rest

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs tend to make is that they work themselves to the bone. In the long term, this can lead to some pretty serious consequences. Burnout affects up to 44% of workers, which is alarming when you think about the negative effects it has on physical and mental health. 

To avoid it and achieve a better work-life balance, it’s important that you get enough downtime. This means limiting the hours in your workweek, taking the occasional vacation (even a staycation will do), making sure you’re eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis, and practicing some form of meditation. Aside from getting you to take regular breaks from your company, these habits are also beneficial because they can help you sleep better.

Keep your eye on the prize

Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is lose focus. And as a solopreneur, you definitely won’t be short on everyday distractions that will require your immediate attention. This is especially important if you work from home –a concept that always seems so convenient until you find yourself sitting at your desk at 2 AM because you haven’t been able to get any work done during the day.

Practicing self-discipline is key. Be conscious about removing distractions. For some, this will mean scheduling a specific time of day for replying to emails. For others, it’s silencing their phone or cutting down on multitasking. 

Another great thing you can start implementing today? Setting short-term and long-term goals. Defining these will help you focus on the big picture, while still allowing your vision to be flexible enough to embrace any positive surprises you encounter on the way.

Use all the tools (and help) you can get

Although, as a solopreneur, you don’t have any employees, there are still ways in which you can save time on mundane tasks. 

For example, you can use automation tools for things like invoicing, tracking expenses, or social media strategies. Even basic programs such as Microsoft Excel can go a long way in helping you get things done more efficiently, and often more accurately.

Another thing you might want to consider would be to outsource menial tasks or assignments that need a skilled worker such as an accountant. While you could take care of all your finances on your own, perhaps there are better ways to spend your time than going through receipts each month.

Conclusion

For your business to succeed, it is important that you approach it with both wisdom and willingness to do hard work. 

Luckily, as a solopreneur, you already have the drive and passion that are at the core of a satisfying career. Combine them with a few smart productivity practices, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming not only effective but, more importantly, satisfied with where your business is headed.

Other than “to lose weight”, “to start a small business” is another popular resolution for the New Year. 

In a survey on small business conducted by Guidant Financial, it was revealed that 27% of Americans were more encouraged to transition from corporate life and begin a career as a small business owner. 

If you are planning to start a small business this year, here are 5 challenges that you might face in 2020.

1. Cultivating a Productive Culture Within the Organization

You cannot run a small business on your own. You need to hire good people to help you manage the different areas of your business. Take note, we said “good people”, not the “best people”.

When companies say they want to hire the “best people” for their business, nine out of 10 times, Human Resources is probably focused on the information stated on the Curriculum Vitae.

There is nothing wrong about hiring candidates with the highest educational attainment, longest tenure, most citations and awards, and those with the brightest achievements in their career. 

Their accomplishments in academics and career, thus far, put to rest questions on talent and qualification.

However, hiring the best people does not necessarily mean having the most productive people on your team. 

An employee with all the accolades and achievements can become destructive if he is not a good fit for the culture of your organization. 

Think of a talented but wrong-fit employee as an All-Star caliber player who can’t make a team win because he can’t play with his teammates. He does not want to play within the system and is only concerned about accomplishing individual goals. 

On the other hand, you can have a candidate with modest accomplishments but fits perfectly with your organizational culture. 

He is willing to work within your system; play by your rules and “unlearn” skills that he believes are contradictory to your company’s processes. 

It only takes one ill-fitting employee to infect your business culture. 

In contrast, an organization composed of right-fit employees will foster an environment that is productive, encouraging, and nurturing and will put your business on the fast-track to long term growth and sustainable success. 

Our advice: Put greater emphasis on soft skills over hard or technical skills. 

Soft skills refer to the personality or behavioral attributes that best define the candidate’s approach towards work and life, in general. 

There are software programs that use behavioral-based algorithms to pre-screen applicants by identifying those who share the same values as the company. 

The preliminary interview should feature questions and encourage discussions on topics that best uncover the candidate’s foundational values and deeply-rooted attributes. 

Finally, having candidates participate in group work such as projects and discussions will help identify the ones who fit best in your organizational culture.

2. Adopting Efficient Business Models Without Compromising the Quality of Goods and Services

In an uncertain business environment, small business owners should not only train their focus on revenue-generating programs. 

Small business owners might have to develop or adopt business models that promote greater efficiency – lower costs without compromising the quality of goods and services. 

Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Tap Into Global Talent 

Talent is not restricted to any single region in the world. You can find talent everywhere. This is the reason the freelance economy has been growing for the last 2 decades. 

The growth of the freelance economy is tied in with the expansion of the Internet. In March 2000, the Internet was only accessible to 304 million people. Fast-forward to 2020 and there are 4.4 to 4.5  billion people on the Internet every day!

The growth of the Internet has made it possible for businesses to reach out and tap into global talent. 

While there is no significant discrepancy in talent or qualifications across the globe, you can capitalize on comparative advantages such as lower costs of labor. 

For example, in comparison to North America, where the average wage rate for a full-time employee can range from $16 to $20 per hour, you can hire freelancers at one-third the cost. 

  • Integrate Technology-Based Solutions

You can significantly streamline costs by integrating technology-based solutions to your processes. 

For example, instead of using landlines or post/pre-paid mobile phone services to communicate, you can switch to Internet and app-based communication channels.

Communication platforms such as Viber, Skype, and Messenger are effective, dynamic, and cost less compared to traditional channels. 

  • Outsource Tasks

Tasks such as accounting, digital marketing, customer service, and administrative functions are key activities in running a successful business. However, if you have to hire full-time employees to manage each task, your payroll could blow up your monthly budget.

The solution? Outsource or delegate these tasks to qualified third-party service providers.   

In outsourcing, the service provider usually offers flexible payment options. You can negotiate a fixed monthly fee, payment on a per-project basis, or based on performance. 

Outsourcing is a proven way of managing costs without compromising the quality of products and services.

Outsourcing is also a viable solution to the recruitment problem.

In the same survey conducted by Guidant Financial, 22% of small business owners reported that recruiting and retaining employees was one of their most serious challenges to growth. 

If you are having a hard time recruiting talent for your business, you may want to consider outsourcing select tasks to third-party companies or freelancers. 

3. Building Stronger, More Purposeful Relationships With Customers

The idea of building purposeful relationships with customers was put to light by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow”.

According to Kahneman, consumers tend to patronize businesses that have successfully triggered an emotional response from them. They understand the “why” or purpose of your business; not just “what” products and services you sell.

Consumers know “who” you are and subscribe to the same values that your business espouses. 

Yes, customers care about what goes into your product. However, they would be more interested in learning why you developed the product and why you got into this type of business. 

Customers want to see a face behind the brand, not just a logo. Customers love a brand that is fully engaged with its end-users because it makes them feel more important and appreciated. 

Our advice: Get out of the comforts and confines of your office. Be active on social media. Set up a website where your followers can find your products, services, and learn more about your company.

Blog actively; but not just about your business. Share your thoughts, ideas, and opinions with your customers. In other words, become a thought-leader. Let your customers know that your brand is not the business. 

You are the brand. 

4. Fortifying Defenses Versus More Aggressive Cyber-Attacks

2019 rung in the New Year by having 1.7 billion records leaked or stolen in various cyber-attacks all over the world. According to a study by Juniper Research, half of cyber-attacks target small businesses. 

Yet, small business owners spend less than $500 on programs designed to fortify defenses against cyber-attacks. 

Dealing with cyber-attacks is part of your current reality as a small business owner in 2020. There are no signs of slowing down and these attacks will only become more aggressive. 

Unless you take these acts of cyber-criminality more seriously, it will not be a question of how, but when your website, social media accounts, and other sources of online information will be compromised. 

Your website stores valuable pieces of information. Your clients and customers have entrusted their business/personal information to your care. It is your responsibility to safeguard and protect their data from malicious online thieves. 

What will you do if you found out your website has been hacked and all of the confidential information – Social Security Numbers, addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers – were all stolen?

Our advice: A single breach of data can destroy everything that you have worked for. Cyber-criminals are trying to stay a step ahead. Today’s latest anti-virus software can be obsolete tomorrow. 

Protecting your small business website isn’t just about getting the latest anti-virus software. You need a holistic defense system; one that can scan, screen, identify and eliminate attacks before they can do damage. 

And it will not break your bank account.

If you want to know how we have protected 100% of our clients’ websites from cyber-attacks over the past few years, give us a call. 

Let’s talk about defense and strategy!

5. Managing Work-Life Balance

One reason why an entrepreneur makes the shift from a 9-to-5 office worker to a small business owner is to have a better work-life balance. But perception is often different from reality. The entrepreneur soon finds himself spending more time at work instead of life.

All the benefits of entrepreneurship – financial independence, managing your own schedule, and having more time with loved ones – become fleeting thoughts; fantasies that may never be realized. 

Small business owners should strive to find a balance between work and life. Putting in more hours at work will not guarantee success. It will only succeed in stressing you out and affecting relationships with friends and family. 

Mobile technology has created a conundrum. Automated processes, software programs, apps, and cloud-based platforms have made it easier to get work done. 

However, instead of clearing out our schedule, we end up doing more things in the same number of hours per day. 

Take a look around you. There are people working on their smartphones while having dinner with family. Couples are answering emails instead of spending quality time with each other. 

Our advice: Productivity is achieved by the quality of hours spent at work, not by the quantity of hours. Set realistic goals – targeting 3 to 4 tasks or projects per day is reasonable and doable. 

In the same way that you schedule time each day for work, schedule time each day for the other important areas of your life – family, friends, self, and silence. 

In your moments of silence, take the time to express gratitude for the day’s successes and failures that have given you valuable insights on how to become better. 

Lastly, be in control of technology, don’t let it control you. Technology is a wonderful thing but it can be disruptive if not managed responsibly. When you’re with family – be with family.

Conclusion

2020 is just another year. If you think about it, 01 January 2020 is just 24 hours removed from 31 December 2019. However, does that mean that the challenges you faced just before you closed the books in 2019 remain the same? The answer is “No”.

The challenges that small businesses face in 2020 are greater and more magnified because with the new year comes new competition, new regulations, new consumers, and new technology. 

The best way to overcome these challenges is to take a more calculated and measured approach to managing a business. 

Think big but start small.

Establish your business culture. How do you want your business to run? Who are the people you would want to work with? What type of working environment do you want to promote in your business? How do you want people to feel about working for you? 

Focus on business efficiency. Look into ways that you can streamline costs without compromising the quality of output. Integrating smart technologies and proven cost-saving processes such as outsourcing can significantly improve business efficiency without breaking the budget.

Prioritize your existing market. Finding new customers is great but don’t neglect your existing customers. They are a wonderful source of recurring business through repeat purchases and referrals. 

Take the necessary steps to buildin strong relationships with them by incorporating an effective customer service process in your business.

Try to mitigate business risk by addressing potential pain points right away. Don’t become a statistic. Fortify your website’s defenses against cyberattacks because you never know when the criminals have trained their sights on your business.

As part of your planning process, give us a call. We can help you map out an effective strategy for starting and growing your small business. In addition to website design and development, we provide digital marketing services that can help promote your business, its products, and services. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community!

Every leader has their own version of what the word “good” will mean for them.

As will every employee.

Being a good leader is about more than getting good results – it’s also about team happiness, efficiency, and productivity.

But when your team is faced with a tight deadline, your role as their leader changes, too.

Here is how you can adapt to the situation and still make the most of it.

Have a system in place

The best thing you can do in the first place is to set up a system that all your employees will be familiar with and able to adhere to.

This system needs to encompass everything, including the designated communication channels, attendance and days off, responsibilities, and task delegation – the whole shebang.

The reasoning behind the system is that you, as the team leader, need to be aware of everything that is going on at a glance, without having to make a single call or send out a single email.

This will enable you to predict breached deadlines and the potential for disaster, and allow you to act accordingly as well.

A good project management tool to help you achieve just that is a Gantt chart, which you can customize as much as you need to.

Know your team

Another prep step that leads up to the tight deadline scenario we are discussing, and the most important prerequisite for success in any team, is knowing your players well enough to be able to assemble your starting lineup flawlessly.

Pardon the sporting reference, but you get the picture.

There will be people in your team who are great at what they do and are also great communicators. There will be those who are great at what they do, but have no idea how to communicate. And of course, there will be those who are great team players, but lack the skillset to get the job done at the same level.

Your team needs all of these players, but all of these players need to keep working on what they lack – with your help, of course, and that applies to the best of them, too. And you need to know where each of them stands, and where to place them at a time of crisis.

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Set clear goals and agree on the necessary steps 

When a deadline is tight, the most basic thing will help out the most: a well-laid plan.

Call a team meeting and come to a decision together – you don’t need to come up with the plan yourself. In fact, the more heads involved, the better it will be.

Make sure everyone takes on what they can and what they know. This is where your knowledge from the previous two steps comes in. Don’t let the nice, kind person who always volunteers but never gets anything done on time take on too much. Don’t let the most talented person take on all the work.

You are the leader, so it’s up to you to make the final call. But the more input each individual provides, the better your team will perform.

Communicate

When things are stressful and the repercussions can be significant, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop.

Make it clear with your team that they need to tell you everything, even when they come off bad, or someone else does.

Fearing the consequences, employees tend to hide from their managers when they are struggling with something. And while you will never be able to eliminate this fully, try to enforce a rule that no punishments are handed out as long as the person in question raises the red flag in time.

You can hope to meet any deadline only once everyone is clear on their specific responsibilities and priorities. Your job is to achieve just that. Don’t hand all the info out to everyone: as you hold all the cards, you should know exactly who needs to know what.

Have a Plan B

Deadlines will be missed sometimes. It’s just that simple.

Before that happens, it’s important to have a backup plan in place.

First of all, it’s your job to let the higher-ups know that you won’t be able to do it in said amount of time. But instead of just coming in with the bad news, have a solution ready.

How much extra time will the task take? Can you add in some overtime to get it done sooner? What are the overall outcomes you will have achieved? 

Try to focus on the good, not just the fact that the deadline has been missed.

Depending on the situation, there might be some music to be faced. You will be the one facing it, more likely than not. Don’t take it out on your team, if you are certain they could not have done better. If what it would have taken to meet the deadline is for everyone to perform at a perfect level the entire time, the deadline was never realistic, so don’t forget that.

Wrap up

At the end of the day, when things might feel like they’re getting out of control, always remember to trust yourself like the captain at the helm of a ship. 

Don’t place upon yourself the burden of having to be perfect – good leadership rests on good organization, understanding, and communication. Strive to grow and learn from each experience, and with each new deadline, you’ll be better and better at all of these fields. And your team will definitely appreciate you for it! 

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Buying an existing business is a good idea. If the enterprise has been in business for an impressive number of years, that is a sign of its reputation and stability in the industry. Should you take out your checkbook and issue a downpayment or reservation fee?

No.

When it comes to buying an existing business, don’t take chances and assume everything is in order. Performing due diligence via a financial audit is a smart first step but it is not enough.

Financial records and bank statements will not give you an idea of how the business is perceived by the industry and its market. You should perform an audit on the business’s online presence to learn more about its reputation and approach to managing its activities.

Here are the 6 things that you should look for when performing an online audit on a business:

1. Brand Awareness – Determine the Online Reputation of the Business

You may be surprised by what a simple Google search may yield!

With the Internet accessible to more than 4.5 billion people or 58% of the world’s population, it will be hard to stay hidden for long. News websites, content aggregators, and Internet users regularly upload or share information that captures their interest. 

If the business you are planning to buy engaged in news-worthy shenanigans in the past, trust that your Google search may pull out deal-breaking reports:

  • Was the business engaged in fraudulent activity?
  • Is the business mired in debt? 
  • Is the company facing lawsuits from clients or customers?
  • Is the government after the business for tax evasion?
  • Does the company have a director who is suspected of criminal activity?
  • Are the products of the business the subject of scrutiny regarding their quality?
  • Are the employees treated proper?

You should also check the social media pages of the business.

  • What are they regularly posting about? 
  • What topics or issues appear to be of interest to them?
  • How is the lead-in to the content presented? Is it in a professional manner?
  • How does the company moderator interact with the commenters? 

70% of recruiters screen the social media content of job applicants to assess if the candidate is a good fit for the company. 

You should do the same with a business before you buy it because your company will assume its brand. The message of the brand must align with your business’s purpose, values, and vision.

A good website to visit is Glassdoor.com which allows current and former employees to post reviews, comments, and information on their employer. If the business you are planning to buy is listed in Glassdoor, you may get helpful information about the company.

Of course, there is always the possibility of reading reviews made by disgruntled employees. After going through a few posts, you may have a better idea of what the company’s culture is like. 

2. Uncover the Relationship of the Business with its Customers

One of the greatest benefits of the Internet is that it creates avenues for customers to engage with the business. Among the most popular avenues are social media platforms and chat messaging.

If the business you are planning to buy has social media accounts – and it should – visit their pages. When a business opens a company page, people who follow or like the page will be allowed to post comments. 

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect business. It is not realistic to expect every consumer to like the product or service. Then, there are the unfortunate incidents. No matter how stringent the quality control processes are, mishaps are bound to happen.

The usual course of action is for customers to file a complaint. While some customers will be discreet and choose email or chat messaging as the medium of communication, many will post the complaint on the business’s social media page.

When reviewing the social media page of the business, assess the following:

  • Are the majority of the comments or posts from irate customers?
  • Did the company respond in a respectful manner?
  • Did the company respond within an acceptable time-frame such as 24 to 48 hours?
  • Do the engagements between the customer and the company result in extended communication threads?
  • Was resolution eventually achieved?
  • Did the business provide a process for the customer to follow?

The new term for customer service is relationship management. Businesses should take great care of their relationships with customers. 

A disgruntled customer can become a loyal customer if the issue was dutifully resolved. Excellent relationship management will also strengthen the brand of the business. 

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3. Assess the Scope and Depth of the Business’ Online Presence

The scope and depth of the business’s presence on the Internet should play a factor in determining its true worth. After all, you are buying their brand. 

  • What online activities has the business undertaken to build its brand?
  • How much work has been done to increase brand awareness online?
  • How strong is brand recall? 
  • Does the website attract an impressive amount of traffic?
  • Do the social media pages have a good number of followers?
  • How would you assess the level of engagement in the business’s social media pages? 
  • Which channels of communication are in place? Chat support? Social media moderation? Email? Inbound call service? 
  • How invested is the business in ensuring excellent customer service? 
  • Does the business have a blog page?

If the business has not done much or anything at all to enhance its online presence, that means you will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting to give the brand the traction it needs on the Internet.

All of that heavy lifting may come at a heavy price:

  • If the business does not have a chat support service, you will have to install the feature on the website or on its social media pages.
  • If the business does not have social media pages, you’ll have to set up the accounts yourself. Building a network of followers will take time. 
  • If the business did not blog, you may have to hire a content writer to create compelling blogs.

Building the business’s presence on the Internet will cost you resources in terms of time and money. 

As the saying goes, “Your business is representative of your leadership”. If there is no online presence, you should start to wonder about the people you are dealing with.

4. Existence of Social Proof

You’ve done the feasibility studies, checked the finances, and performed due diligence. In business, there is no such thing as a “sure thing”. Even if the results of the projections are in your favor, it does not mean the business you purchased is a good deal. 

One way to ease your worries about the viability of the business is to look for the existence of social proof.

Social proof is a concept that was introduced by Robert Cialdini, a professor of Marketing at Arizona State University. According to Cialdini, consumers change their behavior based on the actions of others. 

For example, if you see a long line of people outside a donut store, you will be compelled to join the queue because your assumption is that the food must be good. 

Of course, you may end up disappointed when reality falls short of expectation. Still, the presence of an impressive queue was enough to get you to try the donut store – and ring the business owner’s cash register. 

What types of social proof should you look for that attest to the viability of the business you are purchasing?

  • Product or Business Reviews
  • Influencer’s Endorsement
  • User, Client or Customer Testimonials
  • Positive Reviews or Reports From Various Media
  • Social Media Shares of Published Content

When reviewing social proof, take the good with the bad. You can’t please everybody. Consumers have individual tastes and preferences. However, if the feedback is overwhelmingly negative, you might want to re-think your decision to purchase the business. At the very least, use social proof to tilt final negotiations to your favor.

5. Is the Website Responsive?

It’s not enough for the business to have a website. It must be responsive. Otherwise, your business will not be accessible to potential customers who use mobile devices to conduct an Internet search.

How important is it to have a website that is mobile responsive? More than 60% of searches on the Internet are carried out on a mobile device. 

If your website is not mobile responsive it will not set up properly on a smaller screen. The Internet user will not have the patience to zoom-in just to read your content and to navigate around your website. 

What will happen if the website of the business is not mobile responsive?

For the reason that the Internet opens up your business to an ocean of opportunities, you simply will not thrive with a website that is not mobile responsive. Thus, you will have to spend to make the website mobile responsive. 

Similar to building the online presence of the business, you have to bring up the matter of the non-responsive website to the negotiation table. 

6. Is the Business Visible on the Internet?

Does the business post content on its website and social media pages? Blogging is a proven way of building the brand of a business. Its other benefits include driving more traffic to the website, generating leads, improving the search ranking of the website, and enhancing the business’s online presence. 

However, to realize these benefits, the content must be optimized. 

It won’t matter how amazing the blogs read. They won’t be seen unless the content is optimized with the right keywords. 

And it’s not just the blogs. The content on the website must also be optimized. 

Here’s a checklist of what to look for when testing for website optimization:

  • Presence of broken links
  • Optimization of meta tags
  • Page loading time
  • Existence of spelling errors
  • Quality of keywords
  • Assess the quality of the links 

Improving site optimization will take time. If the content published thus far isn’t good quality, then you will have to start from scratch. Poor quality content is described as content that is:

  • Irrelevant
  • Not informative
  • Poorly researched
  • Embedded with irrelevant links
  • Not unique or fresh; risk of plagiarism
  • Presence of spelling and grammatical errors

Poor quality content will affect brand perception. Spelling and grammatical errors will put off readers. Plagiarism will damage the reputation of the business perhaps beyond repair. 

It is strongly advised to run the published content through a plagiarism checker program such as Copyscape before finalizing the decision to purchase the business. 

Conclusion

Buying a business is like buying an old house. 

The value of the property is not on the house itself but on the land it is built on. Of course, the value of the home is considered when calculating the final sale of the property. 

A house that is for sale may look good on the outside but make no mistake, it is a depreciating asset. 

Even if the seller says he spent for repairs, don’t take his word for it. Inspect the house from top to bottom. Bring in an engineer or general contractor to give you a professional opinion. 

If you have to conduct repairs, the cost should be factored in when negotiating for the final price because you will be spending extra money to make the house livable.

Like real estate property, the business you acquired can pay out dividends in the future. However, before buying it you have to ascertain the viability of what you are paying for. 

Otherwise, you end up paying more than it’s worth. If the online reputation is poor and potentially beyond repair, you may never recover the cost of the investment.

Are you thinking of buying a business? Give us a call and we’ll help you run an audit on its website and overall online presence. 

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community or with someone who is planning to buy a business.

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“The chief business of the American People is business.”

  • Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America

Is it surprising that 98% of all businesses registered worldwide are categorized as a small business? The definition of what constitutes a small business may vary from one country to another but the characteristics are the same. In comparison to larger-scale enterprises, small businesses generate smaller revenues, have fewer employees, and operate on a limited scale.

Consequently, the risks facing small business are greater. Studies have shown that if a small business cannot succeed within its first 5 years, the chances of failure increase by more than 50%.

Despite the risks, many entrepreneurs remain undaunted. They dare to dream and work to turn the vision into reality. The entrepreneurial spirit has been responsible for the growth and prosperity of America since the 17th century when the first settlers made their way to the country. 

A Brief History Of Small Business In America

The first settlers were farmers who overcame difficulty and hardship by working on acres of land; growing produce and raising livestock to support their families. In addition to food, the farmers also used the land to manufacture other basic necessities such as soap, toiletries, shoes, and clothes. 

As the population grew, so did the needs of the people. Farmers were growing produce that could be supported by the land they lived in. It wasn’t for long that settlers across regions saw the benefit of trading commodities. Trade made it possible for consumers to avail of new products and acquire services. 

Commodities were subject to the Law of Supply and Demand. There were times when farmers would not have produce to trade because it was not growing season. 

Small businesses came up with a compromise solution by establishing a credit system. Instead of paying for products with cash or produce, businesses accepted credit coins or charge plates which committed payment to be made at a future date. 

By the 20th century, economic activity had grown to a point that small businesses had difficulty producing goods and services sufficient to meet demand. The small business naturally adapted to the changing landscape by expanding the scope of operations. 

Small businesses began hiring more people to increase production output. Likewise, the banking system had evolved to a point that business owners could avail of credit to cover the cost of expansion. 

Departments were created to help organize the additional functions of the business. To manage these new departments, people with the right experience, competencies, and proper education were hired to oversee the performance of all duties and responsibilities.

Hierarchies and workflows were introduced to lend organization and stability to the frenetic pace businesses were moving at. It has been said that the very first incarnation of the American corporation can be traced to the earlier years of the 20th century.

What Can Overseas Small Business Learn From American Small Business?

America has long been referred to as the “Land of Opportunity”. The United States is home to many immigrants who have come from far-off places to carve a new life as nationalized citizens. 

We’ve heard or read many inspiring stories about immigrants who were able to support their families and have a great life with the small business they put up. 

Some immigrants became very successful entrepreneurs in America. Here are a few of them:

  • Thomas Peterffy – Hungarian immigrant who arrived in New York in 1965. Thomas worked as a draftsman and as a computer programmer for a stock trading company. He founded a company that facilitated electronic stock trading with the $200,000 he had saved up. The venture led to his founding of the Interactive Brokers Group. Thomas has an estimated net worth of $12 Billion.
  • Jerry Yang – Jerry came to the United States in 1976 by way of Taiwan. Jerry only knew 1 English word “shoe” but excelled throughout school and eventually graduated from Stanford University. In 1995, Jerry founded Yahoo! When he stepped down from Yahoo! Jerry was worth $1.15 Billion.
  • Andy Grove – Born Andras Istvan Grof in Hungary, Andy escaped Nazi-occupied Germany and came to America in 1967. Andy funded his studies at the City College of New York by working as a busboy. In 1968, Andy moved to California and co-founded Intel. 

Other than immigrants, there are also the Overseas Workers – foreigners who travel to America to find well-paying jobs so they can take care of their families back home. 

The Philippines has the highest number of overseas workers in the world – 2.33 million. 57.1% of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) work in Western Asia. Only 5.4% work in North America. 

OFWs are considered “national heroes” in the Philippines because their remittances contribute $13.7 Billion to the economy. 

The stories of life in America make it back home. The entrepreneurs who made it big and the OWs who were able to support their families with monthly remittances often share their experiences in the great Land of Opportunity.

1. Be Resourceful – Work With What You Have

Small businesses are challenged by the lack of resources available at their disposal. Entrepreneurs are constrained by tight funds, limited materials, and the dearth of talent. 

In most countries, local banks offer business loan programs for start-ups. However, interest rates may be high. You could be looking for a good quality substitute for a key ingredient but the domestic suppliers offer limited choices. 

If you are really desirous with starting a business, be resourceful and work with what you have. 

In the 17th century, the early settlers in America grew produce that could be supported by the land they lived in.  The pioneers were able to manage because they were resourceful and open to working with other settlers.

What is your product or service about? What are the materials or main components of the product? Look for suppliers and ask them to provide sample materials that you can use to create prototypes. Identify the material that delivers the best results.

Determine your budget for the product and negotiate the best terms and price with the supplier. 

Negotiation should always be viewed from a win-win perspective. Suppliers are willing to give you the price and terms you want. However, you must do your part by ordering the agreed-upon volume and paying on time. 

2. Learn to Adapt to the Situation or Changing Conditions

Business conditions are changing rapidly. Digital technology has been a game-changer. Consumers have immediate access to information. Companies can use digital innovations to introduce more efficient processes in operations, finance, marketing, and other key areas of business. 

If you don’t adapt to the changing conditions of business, you will become extinct. There are small businesses in Asia that still use traditional methods of marketing such as flyers, posters, and streamers to promote their enterprise. Many businesses – 63% – still don’t have a website.

A good example is the Philippines. Similar to Thailand and Indonesia, the Philippines has a notorious reputation for having horrendous traffic. Avoiding the inconvenience of traffic is one reason why online shopping is becoming more popular in the country.

Putting up an e-commerce website to complement your brick-and-mortar location can open up a new stream of revenue and give your customers a more convenient way of buying your products. 

Small businesses in the U.S. adapted to changes in the business landscape by keeping track of products and services that were in demand. If they could not produce the item, the small business owner would initiate a trade or propose distributorship arrangements.

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3. Embrace Competition

Free enterprise is an integral component of American small business. A by-product of the free enterprise system is competition. Because of competition, businesses had to focus on producing quality products and providing top-level services. 

Competition also had businesses thinking of their profit margins. Between 2 products with similar features, price became the differentiator for the consumer. A good sign that an industry is booming is increased competition. 

If more players are entering your industry, it means the enterprise is profitable. Don’t shy away from the competition! Embrace it because competition is part of running a small business. 

Competition reminds you to “keep your guard up”; not to be complacent and to consistently look for ways to make your products better and your customers happier. 

4. Develop a Long-Term Plan For Your Business

How do you see your business in 3 to 5 years’ time? Or have you thought that far? Developing a long-term plan for your business may seem gratuitous, especially for a startup small business. But planning for 3 to 5 years gives you the vision to pinpoint where you want your business to be in 1 year’s time. 

Business planning is a step-by-step process. Before you can get to year 5, you must get through years 1 to 4. How will you get to year 2 if you can’t survive year 1? 

The small businesses that thrived during 19th-Century America had the foresight to prepare for the challenges in the 20th-Century. They focused on expanding the production capacity and the volume of output by hiring more people and investing in machinery. 

A good example would be Ray Kroc, the brilliant American entrepreneur who transformed a nondescript hamburger restaurant into the institution that McDonald’s has become. 

Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers and invested in automating the food preparation system to reduce serving time, increase customer turnover, and generate higher revenues. 

The late Ray Kroc had the vision to turn McDonald’s into the biggest fast-food chain in America. He invested in innovation that was unheard of in the food retail industry at the time. By doing so, McDonald’s became a leader in fast-food service not just in the United States, but in the world.

5. Expand Your Value Proposition

In the 1970s and 1980s, more foreign businesses made their way to America’s shores. Many of these foreign businesses were in manufacturing. Carmakers from Germany and Japan started to eat up the market share of U.S automobile companies such as Ford and General Motors. 

In contrast, the small business industry had proven resilient to the challenges posed by foreign corporations. The success of small business America inspired more Americans to become entrepreneurs. 

Because of their smaller scale, it was easier for small businesses to change the business model; offer new products and services and expand the overall value proposition. 

If you have an idea, work on it. The idea may seem like a concept now but in a few months or years, it could set the standards in the industry.

Innovation was the reason why Silicon Valley grew to become the start-up hub of America. Banks and other financial institutions introduced lending programs to assist budding entrepreneurs. Successful businessmen offered to fund startups and started a wave of venture capitalism. 

Conclusion

Today, the small business continues to be at the forefront of America’s economic growth. In 2018, small businesses added 1.9 million jobs to the economy. Since 1998, small businesses have grown by an average of 1.9% per annum and have accounted for 44% of America’s GDP. 

Entrepreneurs have long been hailed as America’s heroes. What starts out as a business idea intended to support a family or a lifestyle can eventually drive an economy from hardship to prosperity. 

The educational institution has acknowledged the role of small businesses in the growth of America that schools have begun offering courses and degrees in Entrepreneurship. 

Likewise, schools in Asia and Europe have followed suit and have included specialized courses in entrepreneurship and business development. 

The foremost proponents of these courses are the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in the Philippines, United International Business Schools (UIBS) in Switzerland, the University of Wollongong (Dubai), Woxsen School of Business (India), and Help University (Malaysia).

A small business may be considered “small” because of its size and scale. However, as a collective, small businesses are big in value – they can move and shake an economy. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to share it with your community. And if you want to know how Mountaintop can drive your small business forward, please give us a call or an email. 

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Since we started Mountaintop Web Design, we have made a conscious effort to seek out the best talent available to help us provide top-notch, world-class services to our clients. 

Talent is never the monopoly of one country or one region. In a truly globalized economy and with the scope and reach of the Internet, you can access talent from different parts of the world. Collaborating with people from other nations and cultures has been a rewarding and enriching experience for us. 

In the years we’ve spent working in the trenches with our friends from Southeast Asia, we made it a point to learn how Asian small businesses differ from Western small businesses when it comes to managing enterprises.

Here are some of the interesting tidbits we learned from working with small businesses in Asia: 

1. Family Comes First

Did you know that the vast majority of family-owned businesses come from Asia-Pacific? 

According to a study funded by Credit Suisse, the family-owned businesses from Asia-Pacific have a total market capitalization of $4 Trillion. As expected, China accounts for the largest slice of the pie with 159 companies and $1.38 Trillion in market capitalization.

The rankings for the most number of family-owned companies are as follows:

  • Asia-Pacific and Japan – 528 companies (53%)
  • Europe – 226 companies (23%)
  • The United States – 121 companies (12%)
  • Latin America – 64 companies (6%)

Why does Asia have so many family-owned businesses? 

For years, we’ve heard or read stories of Asian family-owned enterprises being protective of the business’ succession. 

Is there more to this ideology than just to “keep it (the business) within the family?”

The Credit Suisse study found out that family-owned businesses outperformed non-family-owned businesses in terms of revenue growth and profitability. For example, in Japan, family-owned businesses delivered more than 25% greater Cash Flow Return on Investment (CFROI) than non-family-owned businesses.  

A study conducted by Harvard University on family-owned businesses in the Philippines reveals 2 reasons why these types of businesses perform better than their counterparts.

  • In family-owned businesses, management and family are one and the same. The family is the business. Therefore, they do not experience the standard conflicts between management and the shareholders on issues such as governance, returns, and management pay as do non-family-owned businesses.
  • In a family-owned business, the founders remain deeply involved in the business even after they have gone past retirement age. The founders have taken up a greater role as a symbol of commitment, hard work, and discipline to inspire employees to perform at their best every day at the office.

Generally, while the founders are still alive, the other key role in the organization –  CEO – is delegated to outsiders or non-family members. The reason for this is to create a balance between tradition and the demands of globalization.

In time, when the founders have passed on, the business is carried on by the succeeding generations. 

2. Everyone Starts From The Bottom

As discussed in the previous section, when it comes to family-owned businesses, Asia rules the world. 

In the Philippines, 80% of small businesses are family-owned. If you are a Filipino, you are expected to work for the family business after you have graduated from university.

That does not mean you will walk straight to the Chief Executive’s office the day after you receive your diploma. You have to work your way to the top and that means starting out from the bottom. 

A friend of mine from the Philippines said that when he worked for his father’s ship-staffing agency, he had to start out as a Liaison Officer. The job meant heading off to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) every day to process the documents of the seafarers. 

As a Liaison Officer, days are spent waiting in queues for several hours and going from one department to the next getting signatures and having work contracts approved. 

The job of a Liaison Officer in a recruitment agency is regarded as entry-level. It is usually given to a seafarer who cannot find work and needs to earn money to pay for his expenses while in the city. 

According to my friend, the experience was hard and humbling but gave him a deeper perspective on what overseas Filipino workers go through to find greener pastures in other countries. 

He also gained a better understanding of the culture of the overseas worker. It helped him articulate ideas and establish strong, trustworthy relationships with the seafarer and the shipping principals which were based in Singapore and Malaysia.

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3. Respect Days of Religious/Spiritual Obligation

Asia is a continent where the countries practice a wide range of religions such as Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, and Taoism. Religion and spiritualism are a big part of life among Asians. 

The Philippines is the only Christian nation in Asia.  86% of its population is Roman Catholic. The Philippines observes the following religious holidays: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Christmas. 

Filipinos also observe the days of religious obligation as instructed by the Catholic Church. Many businesses do not have work during religious holidays. It is a tradition for employees to be with their families and to maintain the practices that have been handed down for generations. 

For example, during Maundy Thursday, Filipino families visit and pray at 7 churches. On Good Friday, Filipinos troop to Churches at 3:00 pm to hear a special mass and listen to the priest’s rendition of Christ’s “Seven Last Words”. 

Although Asia is home to different religions, spirituality has a big influence on how Asians live their lives and make decisions. Historian Teodoro Agoncillo once described Filipinos as “fatalistic”.  

Filipinos have a favorite phrase “Bahala na” which translated to English means “I leave it to fate”. Another version is “Bahala na si Lord” or “I leave it to our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Applied to business, the Filipino will do his best to succeed but he understands nothing in life is certain. 

The industry can be very competitive and others want to succeed as much as he does. Thus, he will leave the outcome to fate or to his faith in Jesus Christ. If success is for him, it will happen. If not, he will try again. 

Faith gives Asians hope. If everything else fails, he has his beliefs to fall back on. If he succeeds, he gives credit to his faith more than anything else. 

4. Perform Beyond the Value of Your Service

Outsourcing has grown to become a very profitable industry for nearly 20 years. Outsourcing’s jump-off point was the year 2000 when the industry was valued at $45.6 Billion. By 2014, outsourcing hit a high of $104.6 Billion. 

Asia became the global hub of outsourcing. Countries such as the Philippines and India became the primary destinations of companies that wanted to outsource services. 

The biggest benefit of outsourcing for businesses is its ability to lower costs by capitalizing on comparative cost advantages particularly labor. 

For example, hiring a full-time accountant in the United States will cost you $29.63 per hour. In comparison, outsourcing services to an accountant in the Philippines will only cost you $3.33 per hour. 

However, when you outsource to Asia, the saying “You get what you pay for” does not necessarily hold true. The reason why the outsourcing industry continues to thrive in Asia is that the quality of service and deliverables is world-class. 

According to the online job platform UpWork, freelancers from the Philippines are the 3rd highest earners in the world which confirm the continued demand for their services.

In general, Asian businesses do not want to commoditize their services by driving prices to basement-bargain levels. The rates are lower simply because these are in line with industry standards. 

Asian businesses share the belief that once they have proven their worth to the client, requesting for an increase in fees should be within reason. Thus, they provide work that is over and above the monetary value of their services. 

Yes, companies in Asia do respect religious holidays but many will set up small-size workforces to render services to clients during these days of obligation. The businesses don’t mind paying their employees twice their daily wages to make sure the clients’ needs are covered. 

Asian businesses don’t view their clients merely as clients but as strategic partners; one that shares a common interest to succeed in the industry. 

Conclusion

Close-family ties, a strong belief in honorable work, respect for faith and spirituality, and unwavering commitment to provide their best to clients and customers – we learned that Asian small businesses do not separate the enterprise from who they are. 

The popular thought process is to keep life and work separate – who you are at home should not be the person running the business. We should be more professional or formal at work so that our employees will respect us. 

But how is it to be a “professional”? Does wearing a formal tie, dress shoes, a pressed shirt, and slacks and a face-forward appearance fit the bill of a professional business owner? When employees say “Good Morning!” or “Good Afternoon!”, should it be considered as a sign of respect? 

As the popular saying goes, “respect should be earned, not given.” If you manage people and clients from the position of your values – the principles that made you who you are – you are being authentic and truthful to them. 

The employees, clients, end-users, suppliers, and other stakeholders in your business value chain who are aligned with your values would be motivated to help you attain long-term, sustainable growth. 

Put it this way, if you manage your business and attend to the needs of your employees and clients with love in your heart – the same way you feel when you are with family – how can you ever go wrong? 

If you enjoyed this article, please go ahead and share it with your community.

And if you want to learn more about Mountaintop’s services and how we can help your business achieve new levels of success, please feel free to give us a call or an email.

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For your business to grow, you must market and promote it. There are no ifs and buts. How will people know about your business if you stay silent or remain invisible? Especially in highly competitive industries – think logistics, retail, automotive, and technology – you have to be seen or heard to remain top-of-mind of your target market. 

Marketing consultants will recommend that you should set aside 2% to 3% of your annual gross revenues for marketing and promotional activities. 

For example, if your business generates $500,000 in gross sales per year, you should set aside $10,000 to $15,000 to fund marketing expenses for 12 months. That will come out to an average of $833 to $1,250 per month to cover marketing-related expenses. 

Is that a lot of money to spend on marketing?

According to a study conducted by Gartner CMO, businesses in the United States allocated 11.2% of their annual gross revenue for marketing. 

That means a small business in the U.S. which earned $500,000 in gross sales in 2018 will set aside $56,000 to cover all marketing-related expenses for 2019. 

$56,000 per year distributed throughout the year rounds out to $4,666.67 per month for marketing activities. 

If you’re thinking “Wow! That’s a lot of money!” we’re here to inform you that you don’t have to set aside 11.2% of your annual gross revenue to run an effective marketing campaign. 

12 Ways To Market Your Business At Least Cost – Or No Cost At All!

In this section, we will discuss 12 ways you can market your business without breaking the bank and still get high returns on your marketing efforts. 

Most of the strategies that we discuss are Internet-based. There are a few that will require you to roll up your sleeves or to dust off the loafers for a bit of leg work.

1. Blog

Content marketing is one of the fastest-growing strategies for promoting a business. 

A study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMS) showed that businesses allocated 26% of the budget for content marketing. The same study revealed that 90% of B2B marketers have done content marketing in one form or another.

Blogging remains a cornerstone process in a content marketing campaign. 65% of B2B marketers surveyed by the CMI reported that blogging is a mainstay in their content marketing toolbox.

Blogging is a great way to communicate with your audience. It gives you a platform to share your knowledge and hopefully, help readers find solutions to their problems or concerns.

Your only cost in blogging is time -time to do research, write and review your content before posting it on the Internet. 

However, if time is a rare commodity, consider outsourcing blogging to qualified writers. The CMI study indicated that 62% of businesses in the US outsource content writing. 

Blogging is not an expensive strategy but it delivers great results in terms of acquiring followers, building your brand, and moving up in the search results.

2. Stay Active on Social Media

Social media is a proven marketing platform for staying top-of-mind. People spend 136 minutes per day on social media – and there are 3.4 Billion of them!

The social media community is so wide and vast that it presents wonderful opportunities for your marketing and advertising content to be seen by a targeted audience. 

All you have to do is to stay active on social media and you can do this in a number of ways:

  • Post Content Regularly – Keep in mind that not all social media networks function in the same manner. Choose 2 to 3 social media platforms, learn what you can about the network, and create a posting schedule for each one of them.
  • Engage Your Followers – Social media activity is not just about posting blogs and curated content. Engage your followers by “speaking” to them directly. For example, if you are in the business of selling supplements, you can post a daily question such as “How many of you get a good night’s sleep with Melatonin?”
  • Participate In Group Discussions – Networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook have interest groups. Join a group that is relevant to your industry. 

Participate in group discussions and share your expertise. On some occasions, initiate the discussion yourself. 

3. Go Live

Sharing “live” content is a great way to humanize your business. It lets people know – and assures them – that your business is real and authentic. Most importantly, it will encourage your followers to engage with you. 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson, and Tesla’s Elon Musk are just a few of the big names who do live feed on their social media networks.

If you are in the real estate business, you can stream the launch of a new property development that is pre-selling lots or you can showcase the homes you are selling to your followers. 

4. Grow Your Network Via LinkedIn

LinkedIn is popular among professionals and job-seekers. The content that you find on LinkedIn is much different than those in networks such as Facebook or Google+. 

It is easy to grow your professional network on LinkedIn. Blogging, posting curated content, and engaging in group discussions will get you noticed by other people in your community.

If your posts and types of engagement are consistently relevant and compelling, people will reach out to you and request you to connect with them. 

5. Get Your Followers Involved

Your customers and followers are part of the value chain. Social media not only gives you the platform to stay on top of their minds. It also gives you the medium to keep track of what your customers and followers want and need. 

Why is this important? By knowing the concerns and interests of your customers, you will have a better idea of how to improve your products and service, what to add in your product mix or suite of services, and the types of content to publish.

Invite your customers to post reviews and suggestions on your Facebook Business Page. This shows you value their opinions and your commitment to improving the experience.

Don’t be afraid of getting negative feedback. It is not realistic to expect everyone to love your product. 

You should welcome negative feedback because it can pinpoint a flaw in your product and at the same time give you the opportunity to interact directly with your customer. 

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6. Register Your Business at an Online Directory

Registering your business at an online directory can help you increase sales. This is a proven tactic for businesses that own a brick-and-mortar location.

Consumers are always searching the Internet for businesses that can help them address a particular need. If your business is registered in a popular online directory like GoogleMyBusiness, it will show up in the consumer’s search query. 

Here are 3 key statistics that will encourage you to sign your business up with an online directory:

You can learn about the importance of registering your business at an online directory in our article “Why Should Retail Locations Be Listed In Search Engines?”

7. Start a Podcast

One of the best ways to pass time while stuck in traffic or on a long drive is to listen to podcasts. Statistics show that 22% of Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis. 

Podcasts feature high-energy discussions because the format is more informal. Feedback is more extemporaneous; even with guidelines, there is less filter and therefore, more authenticity in the content. 

How much will it cost to start a podcast? A good quality microphone will probably cost you $100. To improve audio quality, use free editing software such as Audacity or GarageBand. 

8. Allow Your Followers to Go Behind-the-Scenes

Are you about to launch a new menu item in your restaurant? Take your followers behind-the-scenes and show them how the dish is created – just don’t show them the secret ingredient!

Allowing your followers’ backstage access to what goes on in the making of a product or in the day-to-day operation of your business fosters transparency which eventually, builds trust. 

9. Sign Up Right-Fit Brand Ambassadors

When you sign up an expensive influencer, are you certain of brand loyalty? What will prevent the influencer from patronizing a competitor when you’re not looking? 

You don’t need big-name endorsers to generate more interest in the product you are selling. A better option would be to sign up actual users of your product whose loyalty to your brand is irrefutable. 

These people are called right-fit ambassadors. Not only did they choose your product over the competition; they are consistently promoting it on their social media pages. 

Right-fit ambassadors believe in the value of your product. The power of their belief clearly resonates in how they speak or write about your product –  they come across as authentic, sincere, and honest.

Right-fit ambassadors will not ask for the moon and the stars. The idea of being chosen as an ambassador for your product will be an honor. 

Of course, you can reward them by giving free products, offering affiliate marketing arrangements, and special discounts for loyal patrons. 

 10. Collaborate With Other Businesses

Now, for some old-fashioned legwork! 

Mark an area with a circumference that is 5 kilometers from your business. Put on a pair of comfortable loafers and sneakers. Take a walk around the marked area and note the down other businesses with products or services that are complementary to yours.

Prepare a formal proposal letter and personally deliver it to the shop owner on your next visit. With any luck, the shop owner may be willing to sit down and talk to you about your proposal. 

By collaborating with other businesses, you open up your products to a different market and a new audience. Reciprocate by offering the products of the other business in your store. 

 11. Reach Out to Your Community

You may not have to go further than your own community to market your business. 

If your neighborhood or district has a local association that caters to its residents, schedule a visit and talk to the person-in-charge of community affairs. Find out if you can promote your business through the association.

For example, if you own a gym or a Personal Training business, ask if you can offer free classes at the community center on weekends. In exchange, the local association may allow you to sell memberships on the premises. 

 12. Attend Networking Events

Networking events present wonderful opportunities to build your network and promote your business. 

Find out if there are networking events in your area, how to sign up, and if it’s possible to be given a few minutes to present your business. Trade shows and expositions are also good venues to promote your products. 

You should also consider joining associations or organizations that cater to your particular industry.

Conclusion

Because of the innovations in digital technology and improved accessibility of the Internet, marketing and promoting your business has become more convenient, measurable, and cost-effective.  

Traditional forms of marketing such as print and TV advertising, radio commercial spots, and distribution of Point-of-Purchase materials are not extinct. Within a well-planned and organized marketing campaign, these traditional methods still have value. 

However, the cost of making print, TV, and radio ads is very expensive. These types of ads are not evergreen; within a few months or days, consumers will find them obsolete. 

Likewise, it’s difficult to target your key demographics with traditional marketing methods. How can you be sure that the majority of the people who saw, heard, and read your ad meets your Buyer’s Profile? 

The answer is you can’t. There is no way to find out with 100% surety that your ad hit the target market. 

If you spend more and get underwhelming results, your ROI on the marketing campaign will be very disappointing. 

Your best option would be to go digital. 

There is no cost to using the Internet. Likewise, there is no signup fee for opening a social media account. The costs for blogging, graphic design, and paid ads can be negotiated and customized to fit your budget.

You can monitor the progress and keep track of the results. Digital marketing has the tools to access information in real-time so you can fine-tune your campaign and make data-backed improvements.

Do you have other suggestions on how to lower the cost of marketing a business? Please share in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!

And if some of our ideas got you thinking – don’t hesitate to give us a call or an email. We can help you plan a low-cost marketing campaign for your business.

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