In an interview with Ruby, Chief Growth Officer Jamie Adams laid down some foundational rules when it comes to growing your small business. Check below to find out his four best tips, and how you can create a stronger business plan and strategy to apply in your own company.
Go beyond Google My Business
Google My Business is pretty essential to building trust and recognition with potential customers or clients. However, for any business to stand out from the crowd, it’s all about your website—the place 100% represented by your business.
Your website should invite the customer to engage with you. That means clear calls to action, direct communication of what your business does, how it can help the customer, and where you are available.
Aside from Google My Business, this is most likely your first interaction with a potential customer, and you want to make your website content count. A marketing company, like Scorpion, can help you accomplish that. But to get started, here are some direct tips from Jamie:
- Put your contact info in the top right-hand corner of your site
Avoid burying important information midway through the page
Service-based companies should provide a scheduling option—including specific time choices
Give a chat/text option as most people prefer not to speak directly over the phone
Amplify your ‘Word of Mouth’ with Referrals
Most companies rely on good old-fashioned word of mouth for their business. And while, that’s still in practice today, most customers search for businesses to use online. That includes researching online reviews about your company. Reviews are a great way to entice potential customers to use your service or buy your product. That is why its important to have a strong focus on review management.
To make the most of your online presence, request a review from a satisfied customer. Go behind the scripted language and be sincere. Let them know how much it impacts your business and be thankful for their cooperation. If the review is negative, be sure to address it in a timely manner.
Make Room For Values and a Mission Statement In Your Business
Writing a mission statement may sound like a buzzword from a Stephen Covey book, but having a mission statement (along with set values), sets a pretty important foundation. As Jamie points out, many small businesses risk a “miss” by not providing them for their employees and their customers.
When both are laid out, it creates the foundation for a successful endeavor. When you not only write but uphold your mission statement and values, you set expectations, make clear how your business should operate, and provide a tone that all should expect from your company.
More importantly, it provides a compass for employees to follow. From Jamie, “It gives all your [employees] a real sense of purpose of why they’re coming in and they’re choosing to work with your organization every day.”
If you find it’s been difficult to hire and keep talented employees, make sure you have a solid mission statement and values in place. Oftentimes, it will give you a leg up from your competitors to prospective employees.
Build a Positive Impact In Your Community
Nowadays with communities rallying around helping small businesses grow, it’s more important than ever to be known in your area. Not only does it get the word out of who you are, but it provides a well-received image by your local customers.
Jamie provides a few ideas on how to get involved in your community including:
- Get to know fellow business owners-this creates a strong network of peers and clients
Participate in community events- find out if your town holds events that showcase small businesses
Create a profile on NextDoor- The app provides a space for local businesses to interact with their communities
Get involved with local organizations-schools, religious functions, community centers, etc.
Sponsorship-Donate to your community and get your name out there in a positive way
Decide Now Your Commitment To Investment
With instant streaming access, two-day shipping, and immediate download times, instant gratification has shifted the world’s focus into one of impatience. That has the potential to leak into how small business owners view marketing. Jamie Adams even points out that he has come across small business owners that refer to marketing efforts as a “silver bullet” and “when am I going to see this whiz-bang result?” But similar to that pot of water, it’s not going to boil while you’re staring down at it.
Invest in your marketing efforts with clear expectations
Marketing your small business is going to take time and patience. In order for those efforts to pay off, Jamie urges business owners to keep in mind there won’t be an immediate ROI (return on investment) for time and money spent.
Jamie continues with “we need to take a step back and think about that word and what it really means, and then on a broader scale, examples of how investments take time to really manifest and get the outcome and the result that you want.”
Your marketing efforts will require patience, time, and maybe even a few tears (although if tears are being shed, feel free to drop Scorpion a line), but the pay off is where it all feels worth it.