Starting a small business on your own can be a very stressful endeavor. I am sure you have started researching subjects dealing with startup tips and have read many articles about advice and business solutions. Doing this research has probably led you to a few articles about pitfalls and cautionary tales about startup businesses. This can be very discouraging and may even have you second-guessing your business plan. But don’t stress! We are here to help you every step of the way with our business solutions. We want to see you succeed and can provide you with useful tips that can be easily implemented into any business model. In this featured article we will go over three little steps that can positively impact the success of your small business.
1. Develop relationships with other businesses in your industry
How many times has a satisfied customer referred you to a friend or other business? And did this referral generate you new business and increase your profits? I’m sure it did! And how easy was that? Your prior customer did all the marketing for you by telling your new lead about your impressive services. It’s a known fact that social networking really does work. Not only should you strive to develop strong relationships with your customer base, you should also start developing professional business relationships with other companies in your industry.
Here’s an example. Lets say you own a small floral company and want to increase your profits and list of clientele. You should first start by introducing yourself to other businesses in your area that offer their services to the same demographic as you. For a floral shop this might include catering companies, party or wedding planners, hotels, banquet halls, limousine companies, or even DJs as all of these services are needed for parties, weddings, proms or other social events. And what else is always needed for weddings, proms and similar events? Flowers. From your floral company!
By developing a relationship with these different businesses you can help one another out by recommending each other’s services to your existing customers. It’s a win win situation, as you aren’t competing for business with these other companies, you are just complimenting one another and referring their services. Networking and forging strong business relationships can really help promote your business and help you gain a wider customer base. Now go out and start meeting people in your industry!
2. Use social media for marketing as a business solution
We are living in a time where technology and social media are becoming very dominant forces in our every day lives. Businesses nationwide are starting to use at least some type of social media to promote their services and gain clientele. The only problem that arises with this is that the majority of these businesses aren’t using these social outlets properly. Don’t make this mistake! Social media is of the cheapest and easiest ways to gain exposure for your business. Take the time to research the benefits of these sites and use them to your advantage as a business solution.
Lets start with an easy one, Facebook. With over a billion active users throughout the world, Facebook is the biggest social media platform to date. Their site can be a great instrument for social marketing as it allows you to target a specific demographic that you want to market your business or services to. Making a Facebook page for your business is a very easy (and FREE) way to help you broaden your reach, keep your customers informed, and develop brand identity for your business.
A new and exciting feature Facebook now offers is ad sharing. It does cost a small amount but the outcome can be substantial. You can make an ad for your business and then use the sites tools to target it directly to your niche market. This new feature is also a great way for you to test out new promotions or products on consumers and start gaining a strong customer base. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Facebook and their marketing tools you can then move on to other social media sites. Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn and Instagram are also all great sites that can help you market and establish your business. If you’re still a social media newbie and aren’t quite sure how to use their features, take advantage of the many helpful blogs and tutorials you can find on the Internet. You found us, so I’m confident you can find other helpful sites as well.
3. Outsourcing your calls to a phone answering service
How many times have you missed a call or potential sale because you were too busy to get to the phone? If your answer is anything above zero you are in desperate need of some phone support. It’s a proven statistic that 80% of customers will hang up on a business if they hear a voicemail or unable to talk to a live person. Don’t lose out on potential profits for something as little as not having adequate staffing on hand to handle your telephone lines.
A phone answering service will allow you to forward your business phone lines only when you need the extra help. Most answering services, or at least the type you want, will allow you to customize how and when you want your calls and messages forwarded. You can also have the answering service screen leads, answer questions about your business, dispatch emergency services if needed, and even schedule appointments. These are just a few of the benefits of outsourcing your telephone lines to an inbound call center. But there’s even more! The best part is that these answering services are very cost effective and can allow you to be available around the clock. If you outsource your answering needs to a phone answering service on a per-call basis, you can really reduce your payroll expenses while enjoying the increased productivity of your current staff. Did you know that you can pay an inbound call center as little as $10 a month to answer your phone lines? With rates like that how could you over look this service?
When choosing a phone answering service make sure you do some research. You could even rely on the advice from one of your new business relationships (I told you networking would work to your advantage in more ways than one). You are going to want a trusted, professional and well-established answering service company. One of these such companies is A Courteous Communications. They have been in the industry for over 30 years and have a skilled team of virtual receptionists that handle the answering needs of an impressive clientele list. This is the type of answering service you want for your business! They have tremendous customer reviews and proven testimonials of what they can do for businesses, which is supported by the various awards they have been honored with throughout the years. Your chosen phone answering service will act as an extension of your office. So make sure you choose the right one that will positively compliment your business
We understand the stresses of owning and running a business and want to provide you with the best business solutions we can. Take things day by day and start out focusing on small and easy tasks that can benefit your business. With time, we are confident that your business will grow and mature into an established and profitable company. We hope you have found this article informative and will work these three ideas into your business model. Our business solution team looks forward to providing you with more useful information for your business and hope you check back with us soon.