Making the most of your small business isn’t always easy. When you’re wearing many hats and working hard to make the most of your limited time, it’s fully possible to let things slip through the cracks. These tips can help you run your small business more effectively, making the most of the hours you spend at work – and your investment.
Automate As Much As Possible
When there’s only so much time in the day and plenty of tasks on your to-do list, the more you can automate, the better.
With today’s technology, it’s possible to automate a wide variety of business tasks, letting a computer do the heavy lifting in the background while you focus on the core aspects of your business. Marketing automation, for example, can improve output by over 14%, making it possible to save time where it counts.
Target Your Marketing Strategies
In today’s tech-centered environment, it’s no longer enough to run ads in the newspaper or on the radio in hopes that the right audience picks up on your message. Instead, targeted marketing can ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck, with benefits like the ability to:
- Speak specifically to a targeted audience
- Attract and convert high-quality leads
- Highlight unique attributes that differentiate you from the competition
- Cultivate customer loyalty
- Improve available products and services
90% of searchers haven’t made a brand decision before starting to search, opening the door to big potential if you can put your business front and center.
Outsource Where Necessary
Small business owners often do a little bit of everything, serving as a customer service rep, a marketing manager, an accountant, a financial analyst, and a human resources team, all in one. However, when the burden becomes too much to bear for one person alone, or a small team of people, outsourcing can save time, energy, and money.
For routine daily tasks, like bookkeeping or managing social media, working with a third party can improve the caliber of service without significantly increasing costs. Outsourcing can add expert input to your business while saving you as much as 60% on overhead costs and can provide availability on an as-needed basis to help your company grow on its own schedule.
Invest in Your Website
Did you know that 75% of customers judge the credibility of a business based on website design? Further, 95% of web users indicate that a positive user experience is a top priority when on a company’s website.
If your website isn’t up to par, now is the time to make a change. Upgrading your website using a responsive, mobile-friendly design can increase your position in search engine results pages, improve customer responses, and boost your reputation in the local community. In addition, the more information you make available on your site, the less time you will have to devote to answering customer queries.
Utilize Tools and Technology
Still distributing to-do lists on paper? Insist on tracking inventory by hand? While there’s not necessarily anything wrong with old-school techniques, software solutions designed to improve productivity can go a long way in a small business.
For example, inventory management tools like Whiplash and Unleashed can take the burden off of manually overseeing inventory, while Hootsuite can streamline social media marketing opportunities and Slack can improve communication between employees. No matter where your business needs to improve, there’s a tool out there to help you save time and increase results.
Encourage Employee Satisfaction
Happy employees are hard-working employees, and that means better results for you and your business. Studies indicate that companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%, and that happy employees are 12% more productive. Further, happy salespeople produce 37% more sales.
To keep your team content, focus on what employees value most: job security, opportunities to make a difference, and a comfortable, enjoyable workplace. Still not convinced? The cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be around six to nine months of the salary of the position in question.
Listen to Feedback
When you get feedback from customers, it’s only natural to smile, nod, and say thank you without really taking the time to put compliments or constructive criticism into practice. However, failing to do this can send your company in the wrong direction.
While you have a vision for your brand and your purpose, your customers are the reason you exist, and they know how well you’re meeting their needs better than anyone. Instead of charging ahead without acknowledging potential red flags raised by customers, take time to listen, process feedback, and leverage customer opinions to make educated decisions that will give your company a leg up.
While there’s no way to guarantee success in business, there are certainly steps you can take to skew the odds in your favor. From an improved website to utilizing outsourced resources, it’s possible to increase efficiencies across your company.