By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
At some point, the methods your business relies upon for growth will become stagnant. In order for that growth to continue, small business owners must constantly adapt as technology and trends evolve. Before you make any changes, it’s important to examine your company’s current strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can focus your energy on improving the areas of your company that have the greatest potential gain.
UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media marketing is a simple, but impactful way to grow your business. From video marketing to hashtags, using social media will assist in expanding your customer base while keeping loyal customers in the know.
On Instagram, the Story feature is a great avenue for video marketing. You can raise awareness for a new product, explain an in-store promotion or showcase your talented employees. Also, your customers can easily respond to and engage with Stories with questions and comments that your brand can quickly interact with. Get creative with the types of videos you post. For instance, explain to customers the backstory of your business — why you founded it, what you hope to accomplish, etc.
Another way to further utilize social media is by using a variety of hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. Include your city, business name and the types of products you sell to expand your reach and be easily found in searches. You can even use Socialert, which tracks hashtags and keywords that are related to your industry. Incorporating these popular hashtags and keywords will allow your business to participate in trending conversations, all while furthering your reach and customer base.
To increase efficiency with social media marketing, try scheduling tools, like Sprout Social, to take the hassle out of posting. One day a month, sit down and curate all your posts for the month. With this process in place, you will have an active social media account without having to be constantly glued to your phone.
Pro-tip, enable the Business Account setting on Instagram. This will allow you to view more extensive Instagram Insights, like understanding how your followers engage with your posts and you can even view audience demographics.
TRACK YOUR FINANCES CONSISTENTLY
It’s essential for small businesses to have an accurate understanding of their daily, weekly and monthly numbers and financial trends. Staying current on cash flow is critical to financial freedom, so it may be in your best interest to hire an accountant to stay apprised of your company’s finances.
Another small but effective suggestion is to plan and create a budget for your business expenses a year in advance. Planning your larger expenses such as rent, payroll, taxes, interest, cost materials for goods and products, debts, utilities and other operating expenses can help reduce the risk of a financial burden. This will also help ensure your cash flow position stays strong even in the tightest months.
KEEP UP WITH TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS
Technology is constantly evolving, which in turn makes running and managing your business easier. One way to improve your business is by maximizing your Search Engine Optimization. Start by checking that Google is indexing the correct landing pages for your keywords. Once your landing page is optimized, your SEO will drastically improve without much further work.
Technological advancements and applications are making communication between employees easier than ever for small businesses. Slack enables teams to collaborate and allows for communication between teams to take occur in one place. Also, Google Drive makes it easy for your employees to collaborate on projects and documents together. Adapt to these technologies and tools to allow your company to grow and your employees to thrive.
SIMPLIFY EMPLOYEE AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is managing employees. Start simplifying this responsibility by writing everything down and keeping all the information in one organized location so that it’s easy to find. This will get rid of the he said/she said debate and miscommunication of employee onboarding and daily practices.
Next, set measurable goals for yourself and your company. Use the goals you have established to ensure that your business is constantly moving forward. An example would be to set a goal to increase viewership of your company’s website. Make sure the short-term goals are reasonable to achieve and the long-term goals seem unachievable or even uncomfortable. Long term goals should stretch out of your comfort zone and take your business to the next level.
Finally, establish your company’s best practices policy. The best practice policy should encompass policy alternatives that have been effective in addressing similar issues in the past and could be applied to a current problem. It’s essential to keep transparency. This includes breaking down silos, communicating effectively, testing and monitoring and approving your processes.
MAKE KEY CHANGES TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY
Institute Key Performance Indicators for every job role to measure success. Encourage your employees to evaluate their progress on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to ensure your employees and business stay on track.
Create systems that encourage you and your employees to stay productive. One of the easiest ways to do this is by instituting silent days in the office. Two days a week, encourage your employees to not chat, email, talk to or schedule meetings with other employees. Without these minor distractions, their focus will be renewed.