11:44 PM 18TH FEBRUARY 2017
SMALL BUSINESS HACK (TIPS) PT.2
This is a concluding part to our previous post, if you missed it, see: SMALL-STARTUP BUSINESS HACK (TIPS) PT.1.
In this second part of the post we are going to look at some more helpful tips/strategies which we have personalized and which have helped us in navigating the boat of our business to the shore of success - even amidst the treacherous waters of starting a business in an unsupportive environment.
- Loud Social/Online Presence – No matter how small you are in ‘brick and mortar’ size; on social media you can be as big as you want to be. Everyone has the same opportunities. According to a Gartner research: “Thirty percent of small business with a web presence and fewer than 20 employees now generate more than 25% of revenue through good use of online platforms.” The problem with many small businesses is that they dedicate too little resources to creating a visible presence on social media. To succeed: be present, engage with your audience and let them know you listen.
- Be flexible – The ability to move with the flow of the times and season is important. We now live in the Digital era; where technology is constantly redefining society and the way we do business. Foresight and being flexibly is the key to remaining relevant. A good example is strategy utilised by McDonald fast food. They are able to take the local food of any country they go, and add a tinge of their McDonald taste to it. That is being flexible, look for ingenious ways you can adjust your business services or processes around your customers.
- Use free tools – For a small business, one of the greater issues to be dealt with is - finance unavailability. There is never enough fund to scale, advertise or to do any of those things that businesses usually require money for. Truth is, there are some things you will definitely need finance for, but there are also some things you can get done for free. Most service providers offer some sort of freemium plan in their service package. Look for the best ones relevant to your business operation and use them. We will not be able to document the tons of free stuff that can benefit your business, but issues like Customer Relation Manager can be sorted out with a free Hubspot CRM. If you want to automate some part of your business process; look through Zapier’s tons of ready-made zaps. These are just a few examples (relevant to us of course). Search the internet and I promise there will be lots of free stuff that will do your business a lot of good.
- Surprise your customers – The long term success of your business is based on what your customers think of your brand and the quality of your service. You do not really need to send a full basket-load of hamper every Xmas season (if you can afford it; that will be massive), you can make your customers feel unique just by sending them a simple ‘Thank You’ in a special way. Everyone wants to feel special, even more so your customers. If you are still a small business, then you really do not have an extensive list of customers; take out time during special holidays like Valentine’s Day to call them, a simple “We love you, thanks for being a part of our business success” can make you win a customer for life.
- Give out meaningful stuffs – This is more like Inbound marketing, 'bees will always be attracted to flowers with great nectars'. You want more people to know about you? You want to get more leads and more customers; then give things out for free – it doesn’t have to cost so much. It could be as little as creating relevant contents such as tips and helpful guides on social media and even on your company blog (this blog post is good example, we think). Apart from contents, if you can make a part of your product free such as Hubspot does with their CRM that would be great! You could also give out souvenirs such as branded t-shirts, pens, umbrellas etc. Work with something that falls within your budget, the idea is not in the size of the gift, but in the act of giving.
- Be positively grateful – This one is on a much personal level. You will experience setbacks and challenges; sometimes you may even feel like you made a bad decision in starting a business journey. Always remember that good things come to those who work hard, work smart and are patient. If you work with a team like we do here, always keep the spirit and the vibe of the team focused on goals and the vision of the future. Whenever you look down, you are bound to see dirt, but looking upwards, you see the sky, you see the stars. Start each business day with confidence; let your customers feel the energy around your brand. Not everyone can experience the joy of owning a business and creating values for customers, so if you do – be grateful for it.
Conclusively, the survival of a Startup/Small business will depend on doggedness, ruthless execution and the ability to stay phenomenal. There may be lots of resources and tools you wouldn’t be able to afford just yet; so give creativity free reins and let innovation lead where it wills. We leave you with this one:
“It’s not what you don’t have that limits you; it’s what you have, but do not know how to use”
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