One of the critical keys to building a successful business is to fully utilize the skills and abilities of everyone on your team---from top management on down.
Still, all the talent and motivation in the world will not be enough if certain tools that could help spell success go unrecognized and underutilized -- and there are many you could be using.
With that in mind, here's a look at 5 underused tools that businesses both large and small would be wise to adopt.
When it comes to business software, most companies have the bases covered. From antiviral software to office management and accounting software, there are many popular packages to choose from. Still, many of these software tools are underutilized.
- Excel is an extremely powerful tool that many businesses are not using anywhere near its full potential.
- Cloud based software is another example of software that many businesses aren't yet sure what to do with. And yet cloud-based tools such as SEOMoz and HootSuite have been shown to help businesses grow dramatically while saving both time and money.
Promotional Wall Calendars
In this age of Tweets, texts, and emails, promotional gifts such as wall or desk calendars serve as a tangible reminder to your clients and customers that they are appreciated. Wall calendars are also a great way to promote brand awareness by keeping your company name and logo in front of customers both past and present.
And what better way to alert customers of special promotions throughout the year than to have them printed as red letter dates on the calendar they're looking at on a regular basis?
Endorsements from satisfied customers can be very powerful in persuading others to do business with your company. And yet many experts in sales suggest that testimonials are being underutilized by businesses for two main reasons.
- The first reason is that businesses don't know how to look for and ask for testimonials from their customers - no matter how enthusiastic they may be about the product or service they've experienced.
- The second reason is that once testimonials are obtained, businesses don't know how to use them to their full potential. When customers give positive feedback about your company, product, or service, ask them if you can use their comments in the client endorsement section of your website.
Online surveys are a very effective way for businesses to obtain customer feedback that can be used in testimonials. They are also a way to receive unbiased opinions - the kind of honest and relevant information that can be used to help a company improve in the critical area of customer service.
Effective online surveys should be simple and engaging, and should be designed with the end in mind. Surveys that offer respondents promotional incentives such as discounts or special offers have been shown to have typically higher response rates, as do those that tap into an already loyal customer base.
Not all that long ago many companies dismissed Social Media as a fad that would have little effect on business success. Now you'd be hard pressed to find a business without a Facebook and Twitter presence of some kind. Yet, Social Media is still being underutilized.
The beauty of Social Media, if used correctly, is that it allows customers to connect with one another and effectively build traffic for you. Newer sites such as Pinterest are giving savvy businesses a whole new way to connect to very specific target audiences.
Photo credit: newmediadl.cas.msu.edu
Bio: Rick Delgado is a passionate freelance writer in the tech and business space. For more technology and business updates, circle him up on Google+ or follow him on Twitter (@ricknotdelgado).