New Year. New…Same Business

So, 2018 ended, you had 2019 all figured out; it was going to be your year for business profits, but somehow it’s mid January and you’re still struggling to keep those New Year’s Resolutions. Rings a bell?

As with our own personal lives, our business needs focus and dedication. However, without planning and structure, we end up losing that focus and get sunk into a vicious cycle of procrastination and poor results. In fact, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. Ask a former smoker how they stopped smoking and they might tell you how many attempts it took and how hard it was to stick to it.

Your business, without a laid out process and smart goals, will struggle to compete, to bring in more leads and generate extra revenue. While you dream away about your business goals, the competition is already doing it and taking your customers away.

But How Do We Get There?

Sticking to the plan is key

Goal – What you want to achieve. Are they SMART goals?

Plan: Identify your target audience. Make lists! Stick to it! How are you going to get there?

Action – Take small actions everyday towards your goal and you’re a step away from a successful business.

Here’s what you can do to stick to the plan and grow your business in 2019:

Stop wishing, start doing it!

1. Work Your Brand

Nothing speaks more to a customer than a Name they can relate to. Your business will appeal to them based on how you promote your brand.

What makes your brand stick? Is your product animal or environmentally friendly? Do you engage and give back to the community?

By having a strong brand you become an Authority in your Industry, driving more organic customers than your competitors. Examples of strong brand names are: Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Virgin.

Brand building ties in with your Blog Content, where your audience reacts to it based on how you connect with them.

Build a strong brand and you’ll have an empire!

2. Revamp Your Website

Unless you’ve been living in the 80’s, you might’ve noticed that everything these days is done online and that’s where you would want to be in order to have a successful business. Nothing wrong with Big hair, lacey shirts and leg warmers though! Ok, perhaps a bit less on the hair length, but you get the idea.

Your website is your online presence and that’s where your customers will find you to learn about your business, your products and services, and how it meets their needs.

In 2018 alone 47.3% of retail purchases were done online and that’s how powerful businesses online presence is when reaching their target audience. Customers know what they want and make their research before purchasing. Therefore it’s so important to keep UX in mind when building a customer focused website to stay ahead of the competition.

3. Know Your Target Audience

Your website is up and running. Now you’re open for business and ready to sell to everyone. Right?

Wrong! Your target audience is who you want to sell to. There’s no point selling a product without knowing who is more likely to buy your product or service.

Your audience is your most valued asset. The wrong target audience equals less business and poor revenue.

Engage with your customers, run polls, surveys. Find out who your customers are and go get them!

4. Social! Social! Social!

Socialising is a great way of engaging with your audience. Who doesn’t like a good old conference? But when resources are limited and the average person spends a significant amount of time on their mobile, 52.2% in 2018 alone, a robust social media strategy and presence can help you reach your desired audience and drive consistent results by maximizing and optimizing your Social Media Marketing efforts.

When building your online presence, make sure to use online channels relevant to your target audience. No point in boasting about how great your company is on LinkedIn if your target audience is primarily B2C and loves a good old Tweet!

Whether it is via organic or paid Ads, Blogs or email, social media engagement is key to increase your conversion rates.

5. Get Blogging

Engage with your audience! Build a Blog; create a series of Blog Posts and use a platform to help you do your job. Platforms such as WordPress, Joomla or Tiki Wiki, among others, will help you to get there.

Whether this is done in-house or through an agency, make sure your topics are current, relevant and that they speak to your audience. Content Marketing is key when it comes to capturing new leads.

6. Be First. Be Seen – High Ranking SEO

Have you ever heard of people who have grown up in a house with 5 siblings and was always last at the dinner table? It’s safe to say we know who was the one getting only the leftovers.

Picture your business in the same position. When people look for your services online, if they can’t find you they won’t know you exist, then you will be the one with the leftovers; customers who only found you by chance.

Want your customers to find you on the Search Engines? make sure to rank high on them by implementing a good SEO strategy and techniques that will attract your desired audience to your website first, leaving no room for the competition.

Driving traffic to your website is important and that’s where a Defined SEO Strategy will help you in doing so.

As an old colleague would say: “The best place to hide a dead body would be on the 2nd page of Google”. Who clicks past the 3rd result, let alone the 1st page when researching on Google?

Be first! Be seen and your customers will find you.

7. Have a Mobile Friendly Website

So you’ve got a new and exciting website. But how user friendly is it? Is it optimised for Mobile?

The majority of online purchases is made via a mobile device; to have an online platform that caters for mobile users increases the probability of purchase since 70% of online purchases come from a mobile device.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with the majority of small businesses, where 90% of such will only have a desktop website.

By having a mobile optimised website your audience will feel appreciated and will most likely purchase from you.

Keep in mind, a happy audience is an audience you get recurrent revenue from.

8. Email Marketing

Emails can be a very powerful thing and you can make use of the best tools in order to reach your audience.

A good headline, good timing and great content is what can get your customers across the line as it is great for lead generation.

When your content is good your customers engage and subscribe to your newsletters. This drives continuous traffic to your website and increases the chance of a repeat purchase.

9. Customer Service & Customer Experience

Having a business is great but having customers is even better. Have doubts? Ask any retailer on Black Friday! Your customers are your best advocates and the best ones to tell you what you’re doing right or wrong.

Focusing on a customer based approach and on great Customer Experience; from your website navigation, to onboarding, customer care and post sales processes, you will have your customers behind you and advocating for your brand. Make sure you don’t confuse the two with Customer Care either.

Meet your customers on a regular basis. Find out what they want. Are you meeting their expectations?

Value your customers and you might be one step closer to Customer Loyalty! Do it right, and you will get customers for life!

Wrapping up:

Your customers will thank you for any effort put into your business in order to help them in their buying journey, and will advocate for your brand when things are done right. As long as you devise a Customer Focused Strategy aligned with your Sales & Marketing goals following a defined process, you will certainly have positive results.

Brainstorming sessions, weekly reports, strategy review; it’ll all help you in the end! All in all, having a business requires hard work, but why work so hard when you can work smart?

Remember, your business is gold but your customer is king!

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