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When it comes to running a business, it is easy to get bogged down in the daily grind and forget to think more strategically about goals and how to run more efficiently.
But sometimes a few small changes (marketing, equipment, productivity, etc.) can go a long way in helping your company succeed and grow.
Read on to learn more from the top experts in tech as they share some ways to build and maintain successful businesses in the following categories:
Set Up Written Goals
Even if you are a one-man army, setting a goal provides motivation and direction, and keeps you focus on what you want to get out of your business. Some example goals could be revenue for the year, number of clients you would like to acquire. A great book for learning how to set goals is: Goals! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracey.
Systemize Your Rasks
For any task that you need to do more than once, systemize it to save time. It might take you a little longer to set it up than just doing the task, but, using tools like Zapier and IFFT you can systematize a lot of repetitive tasks, and save hours every week.
Improve your open rate by helping your recipients easily recognize you as the sender and understand the purpose of your email. Ensure your sender “from” name includes a recognizable name, such as your personal name and/or your business name (e.g. John Smith, John @ Good Bagels, or Good Bagels). It’s also important to use a clear, concise subject line and send your email from a business domain email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), rather than a free webmail account (e.g. email@example.com).
Build better relationships with your most engaged subscribers by segmenting your contact list. Filter your contacts and create unique list segments for “active” contacts and “inactive” contacts. “Active” contacts may be those who recently opened or clicked your emails, or made a purchase. Then, you can easily share special offers and opportunities to further engage your most active contacts.
Stay Close To Your Customers And Their Problems
GetResponse was launched out of necessity, to solve a burning business pain. It turned out many people had the same issue and were spending too much time on sending emails manually. Turned out automation was the result. And now, years later it not only became a spark to start a business, it’s now one of the main features of our product.
Hire People Who Are Smarter Than You
At first, it’s important to learn all the ropes by yourself. But there will come a time when your knowledge and everything you learned is not going to be enough. Recognize that point and then focus on hiring someone who is an expert in the field, who will bring value to the business and knows more than you. Then learn from that person, develop your skills more with the CANI rule in mind: Constant and Never Ending Improvement.
Contributed by GetReponse Founder and CEO, Simon Grabowski
Save Your Originating And Governing Documents
One of the most essential steps prior to starting your business is to file an originating document, such as the articles of organization for an LLC. This step is critical to ensure that your new business complies with your state’s formation laws and can prevent a lot of headache down the line.
Depending on the structure of your business, you may also need to create certain governing documents like an operating agreement or bylaws. These documents are helpful as they lay out structures, ownerships, voting rights, and the roles and responsibilities of the directors.
Both of these types of documents, as well as hundreds of other business documents and services, can be easily completed online at Rocket Lawyer.
Move Your Data To The Cloud
This is one of the most efficient ways to future-proof your business. Storing things in the cloud means that your information is being saved online instead of on an external hard drive or server. If you’re wondering why this is is a better option, good questions! When you store data online, it makes it your information readily available from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection, and you can run your business from anywhere. Also, cloud-based technology has dramatically lowered upfront hardware and software costs for growing businesses.
There are a variety of ways to take advantage of cloud-based services and software. If you own or run a retail store, a quick-service restaurant (QSR) or a full-service restaurant, we recommend trading in your old cash register for a cloud-based POS system. Not only will your business’ data be more secure, but POS systems provide you the ability to easily accept a variety of payments (cash, credit and mobile), track inventory and monitor sales while keeping an eye on the productivity of your employees. They also help you with customer engagement and email marketing at a fraction of the cost when compared to traditional PC-based systems.
Video: See ShopKeep in Action
Watch this minute and a half video to see how ShopKeep can keep track of all your payments and reporting so you can stay focused on the things you love to do most.
Give Employees The Option To Stand (Instead Of Sit)
This ergonomic solution can drastically reduce health problems, resulting in less sick days taken, health insurance savings, and a more productive workforce. In addition, moving around throughout the day, both in and out of the office, can significantly improve productivity and energy levels. We love to recommend health & activity based incentives – for example, providing a voucher to all employees towards gym memberships, or bringing in a yoga instructor a few times a month, budget permitting. Alternatively, hold a competition where everyone tracks the amount of steps they take on their phone or a FitBit over the course of a month – set a goal, and if you reach it, throw a party or give everyone a day off. Making health and fitness fun really helps to increase the morale of everyone in your workplace.
Over 50 office managers at companies that have StandDesks have told us that there’s been increased collaboration and employee interaction since using the desks. Once you’re already standing up, it’s much more intuitive to walk over to someone you want to talk or work with. We also recommend hosting standing meetings, as standing increases energy and engagement.
Whether you’re sitting or standing while you work, having the right ergonomic positioning is extremely important in reducing back and neck pain as well as carpal tunnel syndrome. A quick Google search provides tons of information on the best ergonomic positioning; we have also written a dedicated article on the benefits of standing desks. Provide your team with resources on how to sit/stand while they work for optimal, pro-longed comfort.
Keep your website alive by making sure you keep your visitors up to date with the most current products, events, blog posts, pictures or updates from your small business. The content should stay fresh to keep repeat visitors engaged and get you into a good habit of showcasing your latest achievements or latest products to sell online. We see too many websites that remain stale for months – there’re no excuses anymore! The Weebly App allows any small business owner to update their site or store from any location, and it’s incredible to see how it helps busy small business owners manage their digital presence on the go.
Market like the big guys! Target email campaigns, customized lead capture, coupons and contests are not just for the big budget box stores. The technology to master these tools from your kitchen counter has never been more readily available (and affordable). Driving sales from email is a sure bet and with the new Weebly 4 you can actually track how many sales you made with a single email campaign to know what works and what needs to be optimized for next time. Apps like Better Coupon Box allow you to build a contact list of new customers with coupons and contests for visitors to your site. Couple that with SEO expert help from the Market Goo App and you’re sure to see sales on the up and up.
Bonus Tip From Canvas On Demand
And last but not least, a tip from Gavin Jocius Executive Vice President of Art at Canvas on Demand:
“If you sell online, be mobile-first. Mobile is the future of commerce.” We couldn’t agree with you more on the future of “m-commerce” Gavin!
We hope you learned something new and many thanks to all our contributing partners.
Got any essential business advice you’d like to share with our readers?
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