Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at October 11th, 2019
Military marketing? We’re looking at lessons in marketing success from the military – more on that later. But first….
Our researchers at Credit Suite found these ten great business tips for you! Be fierce and score in business with the best tips around the web. You can use them today and see fast results.
Start powering up your business and celebrating as your business fulfills its promise.
And these brilliant business tips are all here for free! So settle in and scoop up these tantalizing goodies before your competition does!
Our first tip is all about finding the money for your first marketing campaign. The Self Employed says it’s a lot like finding the bucks for anything when you’ve got a new business.
So, you’re going to have to be creative.
Their first idea is one of our pet favorites – running a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding is a perfectly legitimate way of getting money for your business. So why not crowdfund to pay for your first advertising campaign?
However, as the article points out, this is going to be nigh well impossible to do if you don’t have at least something of an audience already. Hence, you probably don’t want to be doing this if it’s happening before you get prospects and customers.
Don’t put the cart before the horse.
Now, keep in mind, this is only going to be an option if you have your own space. If you don’t (or, say, you’re using a virtual office space), it is probably not going to be on the table.
But if you’ve got your own space, then read on.
Consider this. If you live in a semi-remote area and there isn’t that much of a startup scene, it is possible there are few options for entrepreneurs who don’t have their own office space. Why not provide some as a sublet to your own space?
Your extra desk could make a difference for another entrepreneur, and help your community, to boot. Pretty cool for a bit of furniture you’re not using, anyway.
The next tip is about setting up Groupon offers for your small business. Score notes Groupon is a better venue for raising awareness than turning a profit.
It’s due to Groupon’s requirements. After all, they demand you offer a substantial discount, as in 50 – 90% off. And then they take a cut (the listing itself is free). So if you sell something for $100 (a good or a service; it doesn’t matter), and you offer 90% off, Groupon will take a cut as their marketing fee. This fee will depend on industry and customer demand, plus the market. Let’s say that’s 10% (this is a figure for-instance and isn’t based on anything in particular).
For your $100 good or service, you’re now getting $9. That is, you lopped off 90% as your discount, which brings us to $10. And then with Groupon taking a 10% marketing fee, that’s another $1 off (10% of $10).
Still, if you’ve got to get stuff out of a warehouse, and need it to move fast and hopefully get at least something for it, then this could be a way to go. Plus, there’s no law that says your discount has to be so steep. You can go with the minimum of 50% off, which would put your take at $45 ($50 is 50% of $100, and then Groupon in this example is taking another 10% off the top, or $5).
A far better use of Groupon is to up the awareness of your product or service. Perhaps the best bit of advice in the entire article is to use Groupon not only for this purpose, but also to plug underutilized services or get rid of excess inventory.
So, if you go into working with Groupon this way, it can be a win-win. After all, it’s advertising (in a way), which you’re being paid for (in a way). And if you can unload some white elephants at the same time, then so much the better.
Our following tip concerns improving your LinkedIn lead generation. Wordstream lays it all out for us. The article is comprehensive, and we highly recommend reading it in its entirety.
Our favorite tip was to differentiate between quantity and quality when it comes to generated leads. What do we mean by that?
True story time.
When was the last time you filled out an online form for, well, anything? I recently decided my time is worth far more than a trinket, and so are my personal details. As a result, unless the offer is a great one which I will use ($100 Amazon gift certificate? Yes, please!), I will pass it by unless I have some other reason for filling out a form. say, I might want to know more about a product.
I also take note of exactly what a business wants out of me. As in, what does my marital status have to do with the clothes I might want to shop for? If it’s just to decide on a title for me, then why not add that as a form in an address field and keep out the specifics? After all, a woman who’s married, divorced, or widowed might want to be called Mrs. A woman of any marital status might want to be called Ms. (I do).
And if you’re a doctor, then all of that is out in deference to Dr.
I also pay attention to the number of questions. At a certain point, usually when the ten-question threshold is passed, I bail. Sorry businesses! But I often have better uses for my time.
A lot! The more questions you get answered, the more qualified your prospect is going to be. The fewer, then the less qualified. But with fewer questions, you’ll get more responses.
Hence, you need to make a decision. Do you want far fewer prospects but they’re all pretty warm, or a ton of chilly not so well-qualified prospects? There are virtues to both approaches. Choose the one which works best for your business.
For our next tip, we looked at creating reasons for customers to stay. LinkedIn says that retaining customers is vital for continued business success. And truer words were never spoken.
But, how do you do it?
We really hope it’s a no-brainer to most to know that you need to keep your finger on the pulses of your customers. That is, conduct a relationship health check, if you will. Work with your customers and don’t just disappear until it’s time to renew.
After all, their circumstances may have changed since the initial sale. And we certainly hope so, and that it’s due to using your product or service. Because nothing stands still, it’s imperative to figure out if what you first offered is still going to be helpful.
Maybe they need more, because they’ve expanded. Or maybe they’ve had a not so good time of it and need to cut back, but still want to do business with you.
Either way, you’ll never know unless you ask, and listen to their responses.
This goes hand in hand with the first. If you bug out the moment that the sale is finalized, why should your customers trust you to be around when they have questions or need some sort of service?
Your mission in sales doesn’t end the moment the check is cashed and clears. Much like military marketing, you need to hang around afterwards.
And this third tip should be at the top of your mind, no matter what. Is your phone number hard to find, and it’s the only way to get service? Then change that, yesterday. That can take the form of adding online support or another phone line or changing your website design to make the phone number more prominent.
And if your customers can’t figure out how to renew in a short amount of time (as in, often, a minute or less!), then they’ll go to your competition, if it’s easier to renew there.
In these days of responsive web design, there’s no excuse for making such things obscure.
Pro tip: make sure you website works for phones. No matter what, the vast majority of Americans have cell phones, and the vast majority of those are smart phones.
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, then you’re losing money.
There’s no clearer way to say that.
This tip is so cool, and it works! Noobpreneur tells us all about starting a new business effectively.
We liked this sensible, practical guide to starting a new business, and succeeding.
However, we felt it glossed over one area which we kinda know a few things about – getting funding. So there’s a bit that’s incomplete there.
However, the remainder was good advice. In particular, it makes a great deal of sense to not quit your day job until you’re sure your brand-new baby business is making money.
Grab this tip while it’s hot!
Military marketing is something we’ve probably all seen a lot of. And we can take some lessons from it.
Perhaps our favorite tip had to do with thinking offense all the time. That is, continually acting. This makes a great deal of sense, as passivity can, at times, lead to things just happening to you. The concept was also to eliminate or at least minimize indecisiveness.
However, we do have to say that we like the idea of analyzing decisions. Of course the idea in the article is to eliminate the dreaded analysis paralysis. But we still think you should at least think about what you’re doing.
That is, charge up and take that hill! Just, know which hill.
What do they mean by this? Essentially, the idea is to have vision and courage. We like this idea, although there’s a lot to be said for employee input. And that is one thing which the military really doesn’t do much of – get feedback from the lower levels in the command food chain.
So, we encourage courage (that’s hard to say) but, at the same time, there are some bits of military marketing which we should probably all take with a grain of salt.
Startup Professionals says these lessons from the folks in uniform can give you a leg up on your competition.
Check out this tip, all about revamping your company’s social media profiles. Fundera notes that social media profiles can sometimes get stale over time.
So, how do you fix that?
We really loved their idea of using a mascot. Now, this idea cannot work with every single company out there. But for those where it can, it can be a fun and entertaining way to keep your audience engaged.
Consider Swatch, the mascot for Mood Fabrics who is also an unofficial Project Runway mascot. This cute dog’s picture is in just about everything. He makes everything more accessible.
Think about your mascot a bit like colleges do. And in the interests of full disclosure, your intrepid blog writer is a graduate of Boston University and our mascot is the Boston Terrier. Which is what made the connection that much more obvious.
If your brand can do with a mascot, then have at it. And, by the way, your mascot can be someone’s child or a stuffed animal.
Another fantastic idea was to publish playlists. These can be fun and utterly unrelated to your business. Or maybe they can more subtly be related to it.
Do your employees have get up and go songs which get the blood pumping? Those are great! Or maybe a little mood music? If you’ve got a long haul trucking company, there are any number of songs about places and driving. And don’t forget Route 66!
Even marches are probably okay (talk about your military marketing!), assuming your clientele would find them interesting and pleasant.
Just make sure the songs are G rated. The last thing you want is to accidentally insult your customers.
It’s not your imagination: this tip can help beginner influencers. Young Upstarts tells us there are ways which embryonic influencers can become more seasoned.
While this article is written more for the influencers themselves, there are bits of information which are useful for you, the entrepreneur.
Our favorite tip was to use an influencer matching site.
We had no idea such things existed!
Did you? We don’t want to feel left out.
Back to the topic at hand, these influencer sites (in this, as in all things, Google is your friend) are a way for influencers to connect with brands.
Keep in mind, the more seasoned influencers with larger followings are probably not going to feel the need to use such services. But that’s okay. This can be a way to link up with an influencer with fewer followers. It should cost less than working with a big wheel influencer.
And who knows? Maybe your brand and your influencer will grow together.
Our second to last tip can give you a new perspective on quitting multitasking and focusing better. Addicted 2 Success reveals all about how to keep your focus from splitting.
We loved this idea, and it’s probably not surprising. When you fail to take frequent breaks, your mind wanders. And, inevitably, you end up checking Facebook or Twitter briefly, or text someone, etc. A few minutes here and there, and it’ll all add up.
So why not schedule those times, rather than let them take little nibbles out of your day and your focus? Interval working also makes sense simply because it’s not possible for us to go, go, go all day long. We need breaks anyway!
The other tip we really liked was to do the hard stuff first. Take advantage of being fresher and give yourself the advantage of being done with the hard stuff when you’re getting tired.
Our corollary tip is to do the most unpleasant tasks early, too. That way, the fun stuff will be a reward.
We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on helping employees avoid burnout. Effortless HR says we, as a culture, don’t value rest time like we should. Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that as well.
A corollary to this is a personal observation – not being treated like a person at the office. Employees can sometimes be treated like just so many cogs in a wheel. And when we treat people that way, it should be no great shock when they start to feel that way.
So, what can you do?
There were two tips which go hand in hand. One was to set achievable and realistic goals; the other was to recognize when those goals have been met.
These are key. Long before Credit Suite, your intrepid blog writer worked at places where goal-setting was another box ticked off by management. Goals had little to do with reality. These included going on more trips—yet cutting the budget.
Er, that’s not how the universe works.
Plus recognition, boy howdy, recognition! Money is nice (it’s always appropriate), but it can be spent. Recognition can bring with it promotions and recommendations. And those tend to last longer.
In short, treat your employees like flesh and blood humans.
What a concept.
So which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now?