What does a blood bank, the UPS guy, and a new business have to do with one another?
I'm at the brown front counter of the blood bank when I overhear the guy next to me ask this question, "Have you seen my package? UPS says they delivered it. But I don't have it so I'm checking nearby to see if it got delivered to the wrong business."
I strike up a conversation. He's a franchise owner who just opened here in Austin Texas. He's doing some of the typical grand opening things like handing out printed paper coupons to get a free treatment. I asked him if he had the coupons online. He said "No".
I told him I could integrate the coupon with Facebook so he'd get way more people coming to his grand opening. He was intrigued but threw out the objection, "It's a franchise so we may not be able to do that." I wondered why the corporate office would stifle his business. Everybody knows customers are online. But owners are stuck in old thinking and methods.
So how do you overcome stagnation in your business?
Mindset and past experience are a double-edged sword. When positive they can lead you to greater heights and profits. When negative they cripple you and paralyze your ability to grow.
The first step is to talk with someone you trust in the online marketing industry. You can throw a rock in your city and hit somebody who claims to be an "Internet marketing expert". But If you don't know anyone you trust, ask a business colleague for a referral. If this doesn't produce a knowledgeable resource you can contact me.
Talk with this person about your goals for 2014 and be realistic about your budget. Once you get clarity this can help you overcome the stagnation that's infected your business. On the other hand, if your business has been growing fairly steady but you're looking for bigger things in 2014 this same process can help you achieve these greater heights.
I'll go briefly into 3 mega trends for 2014 and in-depth on them more in my next article.
1) Mobile Continues to Rise
If your site doesn't look good on smartphones this is the first thing you must address. Over 93.3% of small business owners' sites don't display properly on phones according to BIA Kelsey.
Don't spend any money on advertising until your website displays properly on smartphones.
"Only 22% of small businesses plan to post a video to YouTube in the next 12 months." According to BIA Kelsey.
Will you be among the 22%?
Do you read as much as you once did? Do you think your prospects are reading a lot or watching videos?
3) Hidden Gold- Customer Follow-up Via E-mail and Print
Consistent customer follow-up is the hidden gold in your business. Yet over 80% of business owners I've talked to don't contact their customers on a consistent basis.
A monthly newsletter is something your customers would likely appreciate and read.
Why Focus on Customer Follow-Up?
It's been said that a third of your advertising budget should be spent on attracting new customers, a third on getting them to buy repeatedly, and your final third on spurring them to refer you more business. Most businesses fail or underperform because they spend 80% to 90% of their advertising budget going after new customers who are the hardest to get and cost the most money.
Will you be a business focused on the highest cost customers? Or will you break out of your business pattern the easier way?
Stay tuned for part 2 where I share details how you can capitalize on these 3 trends in 2014.
I encourage your comments and questions below. I do read every comment and question and will reply.