Author: T Gregory

Why Training Should Be a Top Priority for Your Business

Businesses take a lot of work to be successful. No single person or group within the business is typically single-handedly responsible for the level of success a business achieves. It tends to be a group effort, which means that the group needs to be on the same page and prepared for the work that needs to be done. That means that training needs to be a top priority for your business.

Improve Competency

The more competent your employees are, the better their work will be and the better off your business will be. It’s pretty normal for businesses to do some training as a part of the onboarding process, but unless job responsibilities change, that’s often the end of it. The thing is, most, if not all employees would likely do better at their jobs if they were trained on how to improve. It may help to assess employee performance so you can cater the training to their needs.

Improve Safety

Depending on the industry you work in and the type of work your business does, you may benefit greatly from regular safety training. Businesses that work with safety labels especially need to put safety first. Employees need to have a solid handle on what the different aspects of safety labels signify, the risks that they can expect to encounter during the course of their work, and how to deal with them when they do. The more familiar they are with these things, the less frequently you should see accidents and injuries in the workplace.

Improve Culture

The culture you cultivate at your business will impact how well you retain your employees and the experience your customers have with your business. If yours isn’t quite the way you want it to be, training your employees may help improve it. Training meetings give you a chance to make employees aware of your expectations. Knowing what is expected of them is the first step to delivering on those expectations. The next step is to give them the tools they need to meet those expectations, which is where additional training will come into play.

Making training a top priority for your business can provide multiple benefits. It can help improve employee competency, make the workplace safer, and improve the culture of your business. Start identifying what areas of your business would benefit from more in-depth training and setting up some training programs so you can start enjoying the benefits that come from them.

Read this next: Social Media Platforms Your Business Should Be On

Social Media Platforms Your Business Should Be On

As more and more people have constant access to the internet, it is increasingly important for businesses to develop multiple online, social media platforms. Nevertheless, you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed with so many different platforms to choose from. Here are three different social media platforms that your business should get on as soon as possible.

Facebook

Facebook is a great option, especially for newly emerging businesses: Facebook is relatively cheap for those without a large marketing budget, and it also allows new business owners to expand their outreach and gain much-needed customers. Furthermore, since Facebook posts can incorporate a variety of different types of media (i.e. videos, pictures, etc.), posting on Facebook can increase customer engagement and help customers learn more about your brand. Encourage customers to leave a positive review of your business on Facebook so that you can increase your brand’s visibility.  

Instagram

Instagram is one of the best influencer platforms because it has over one billion users around the world. It is also the perfect place to connect with the younger generations, which can be especially critical if your services and products are intended for younger populations. Instagram also allows you to embrace the visual elements of marketing. As you develop a business identity on Instagram, be sure to incorporate a lot of videos and photographs that are eye-catching to users. Lastly, Instagram offers many advanced tools for businesses who would benefit from elements such as selling products directly through their profile and auto-publishing.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not be the prime space for customer outreach (although it can be, depending on who your audience is), but it is a perfect place for networking and finding potential employees. The more that you expand your professional network, the more you will be given access to potential business opportunities that you may have not otherwise had. Through LinkedIn, you can also monitor your competition and learn from industry experts. Through direct messaging, you can connect with people who may be interested in what your business has to offer. Furthermore, if you need business partners or employees, there is a free job posting option.

Social media is the current best place for businesses to be. Other forms of marketing are being pushed into the past, so you will want to start transitioning your marketing and outreach tactics online as soon as possible. Doing so will provide you with opportunities to engage with your target audience more than you ever were able to before.

Read this next: How to Build a Reputation for Customer Service

How to Earn the Trust of Potential Customers

Being in business, and especially staying in business relies on your ability to build and maintain trust for all of your customers. When customers know that they can trust you, your products, and your service, they are much more likely to continue using your business and to recommend you to others. There are many things you can do to help earn your customer’s trust and here are a few.

Improve Your Customer Service

Customer service will leave a lasting impression on your customers, whether that is positive or negative. Making sure that it is always a positive experience will help your customers to trust that you and your business are invested in their well-being and stand behind their products. Through the process of your customer service, you should get to know your customers and listen to what they need. This will help you to respond appropriately to their questions and build stronger relationships. Remember your own customer service experiences when you’re working with customers so you can show them the care and empathy they deserve.

Be More Legitimate

If your business doesn’t seem legitimate, it is pretty much impossible to build trust with your customers. Legitimacy is developed through the ways that your processes work together to create a cohesive whole and show your customers what you have to offer. Things like consistent marketing and materials can help to add to that legitimacy. Quality web content can improve your reputation by providing more legitimacy. Working to ensure that everything you put out for your business is cohesive and professional will help you to establish and improve the legitimacy of your company.

Post and Respond to Customer Reviews

Reviews from other customers help to show current and future customers that you are a reliable and trustworthy company. Even negative reviews can have that effect if you respond to them carefully and work to resolve whatever issue the customer was experiencing. When you show your customers that you are listening and that you have a history of positive interactions with customers in the past, you build their trust and establish stronger relationships. Don’t forget to respond to positive reviews as well to show customers your appreciation and to give them further evidence that you are invested in their positive experience.

Your company is an important part of your life, financially, and otherwise. Earning your customers’ trust is an important step to making your dreams a reality.

Besides customers, another crucial part of a successful business is a good website. Contact us so we can help you!

Meaningful Steps to Building a Powerful Marketing Strategy

Creating a strong marketing strategy takes a lot of preparation and research. Before you can expect customers to enter your business, you have to get the word out that your business exists. Carefully presenting your brand will impact the kinds of customers you have, how you communicate with them, and how easy your product keeps them coming back.

Build Backlinks

One solid way to help people find your products is by building backlinks. Links to your business website from other peoples’ websites can help you get more exposure. Your website should have interesting content that demonstrates how worthwhile your service or product is.

Talk with other companies and see if you can strike a deal. Collaborating with another company can be messy, so you should find a great lawyer who can help you establish the business deal. Consistently refer to other peoples’ websites as a form of advertising, and they will to you as well. This is one great way you can use links in your marketing.

Increase Positive Reviews

Earning positive reviews from customers is the perfect way to expand your company’s reach. Reviews and ratings online play a significant role in your marketing strategy. If your business has a 4+ star rating, more people will be willing to give it a chance. You can also use some of these reviews in your advertisements—especially if they are public figures.

When you receive negative reviews, you shouldn’t ignore them. Instead, you should respond immediately asking what you could do better. This not only will give your business a chance to set things right, but it will also show humility to customers looking into your business.

Be Creative

Any company can make an advertisement. But making an advertisement someone will want to watch is much harder. Because digital media is all the rage, your advertisements need to be quick, informative, and entertaining all at once. It may not score you a buy instantly, but it will create a fun image of your brand.

Work with your writers to create a work environment where bad ideas can be improved. Be extreme with your advertising and tone it down if necessary. Establish an entertaining narrative that anyone could understand. Creative, daring advertisements are the best way to catch someone’s attention.

These steps will improve the marketing strategy you are considering. Building backlinks and working with other companies can increase exposure, positive reviews can build trust, and creativity can establish your brand. Each is important in its own right.

Part of a good marketing strategy is having a professional-looking website. Contact us so we can help you build one!

How Build a Reputation for Customer Service

“The customer is always right,” or so they like to say. Whether or not it’s true, delivering quality service and making your customers happy is essential for businesses who want to succeed. A business who earns a reputation for excelling in customer service is more likely to retain customers and build customer loyalty. So how do you go about doing that?

Admit Your Mistakes

It can be tough to admit when you’ve made a mistake, especially if you’re concerned about how admitting to being fallible might reflect on your business. The truth is that no person or business is perfect and all make mistakes. When you do, your customers will appreciate it far more if you admit that you made a mistake and then take steps to correct it. This shows that you are capable of recognizing your flaws and care enough to fix them. Admitting your mistakes can even lead to improvement in your business. After all, it’s hard to fix a mistake if you can’t admit one was made in the first place.

Source: https://www.peoriamagazines.com/ibi/2013/oct/five-ways-your-business-can-improve-admitting-mistakes

Answer Their Questions

Customers often contact customer service because they have problems they need solved, questions they need answered, or both. Your response time to their questions is a key factor in how satisfied they are with the service they receive. Failing to respond to questions can leave customers unhappy and cause them to drop your business. It comes across as rude, uncaring, and like you don’t have respect for their time and business. Instead, respond quickly, even if it’s just to say that you don’t have the answer just yet but that you’re working on it and will get back to them with an answer within a set timeframe.

Source: https://www.podium.com/article/real-time-messaging/

Go the Extra Mile

If you really want to earn a reputation for excellent customer service, find ways to go the extra mile. Doing so doesn’t have to include grand gestures and costly favors, though it certainly can. Instead, find small ways to show your appreciation to your customers. Even personal touches like using the customer’s name or a sincere, polite complement in personal interactions can leave a lasting impression. Doing a little extra to over deliver in your customer service will leave customers with a positive impression of your business and a desire to return for more.

Source: https://www.shopkeep.com/blog/inexpensive-customer-appreciation-ideas

Over time, consistently delivering quality customer service earns businesses a reputation for excellence in this area. Taking ownership of mistakes that happen, having the answers to questions, and going the extra mile go a long way toward engendering customer satisfaction. This, in turn, will increase customer loyalty and earn your business a strong following.

We can help you to create a website that will satisfy your customers and their needs. Contact us so we can start helping you today!

How to Prevent Marketing Missteps

Understanding how to prevent marketing missteps is essential for any business. Keeping these mistakes to a minimum allows you to maximize the reach of your company and give you an advantage over your competitors. On the other hand, always making simple marketing mistakes makes it much more difficult for your business to maintain success in the long-term. You also want to make sure you are measuring the success of your marketing efforts. Taking the time to focus on marketing is crucial for the growth of your business. Here are a few simple marketing tips to keep in mind for your business.

Do Your Research

One of the first steps in creating an effective marketing strategy is to always do your research beforehand. You should use a number of tools for customer segmentation. Taking the additional time to perform research allows you to target the needs of your audience and create a much more impactful marketing campaign. Understanding what your customers want allows you to market more effectively and help your business grow.

Measure Your Progress

The next stage in a marketing campaign is to always measure your progress. Keeping a close eye on your progress allows you to see what works and if you need to make any changes. Marketing goals should be measurable. You can use a variety of software programs to help you determine the success of your marketing outreach. Continually measuring your results allows you to find ways to improve and never stay satisfied with the status quo.

Always Invest Enough Money

Many small businesses make the simple mistake of not investing enough in marketing. However, a lack of funds for marketing makes it much more difficult to obtain new customers. Over time, this can significantly limit the growth of your business and cause you to fall behind your competitors. Always setting aside enough money for marketing is essential in reaching new levels of success for your company by maintaining a steady growth rate.

Learning how to prevent common marketing mistakes is critical for any business owner. Always doing your research, measuring your progress, and investing enough money are all critical aspects of a successful marketing strategy. Failure to focus on marketing makes it much more challenging for your business to grow and attract new clients. Today’s workplace is very competitive but focusing on these marketing tips can help you reach a wide range of customers and ensure your business maintains long-term success.

Of course one of the worst missteps is not having a well made and maintained website. Luckily, we can help! Take a look at our packages and get started on having the best website today!

Top Workplace Standards That Will Enhance Your Business

In order to create a safe workplace, certain standards must be implemented and followed. These guidelines, often regulated by government agencies, are in place to provide organized safety for all employees. Other standards that exist may not have anything directly to do with safety, but they exist to protect the employee.

Institute Safety Guidelines

For a place to be deemed as safe, there must be guidelines set up and implemented. These are often called cardinal rules. They ask that every employee adhere to them in order to maintain a safe and efficient working environment. They should often include precautions that have been tested and are established as the safest means possible.

Establishing safety standards keeps people safe, increases efficiency, reduces potential risks, and offers several other important benefits to your company. Leveraging the right resources can help a safety manager easily access the materials needed to create a safe working space.

Create Communication Policies

The news of safety must be spread to all employees. How does one do it, though? The messages must be vibrant, consistent, and informative. The timing of a safety message should be weekly, and they should be discussed in all employee meetings.

Safety communication does not have to be a dry, lifeless piece of information. Make it fun and attention grabbing. Insert quotes from knowledgeable sources regarding employee morale. A communication can use an employee as an example of someone doing something safely. The main message of a safety communication should be relevant and timely.

The Importance of Safety Committees

Safety comes in numbers. A safety committee is, usually, a safety manager and employees who are dedicated and concerned about the safe practices in and around their work environment.

A safety committee is an excellent way to formulate ideas and action. The group can brainstorm ways to communicate safety guidelines and policies to the rest of the employee population. The direction of the safety group should be the benefit of all the employees, keeping in mind that the employees should not be dictated. The policies from a safety committee should be a cooperative effort between managers and employees. The safety committee is a great way to incorporate those efforts.

Safety guidelines are in place to make the work environment a safe and effective place to work. Once the guidelines are implemented, more communication policies can be created through the works of a safety committee.

Read more: How a Wellness Program Benefits Your Business

How to Know When to Outsource and When to Keep It in House

One of the best advantages of the internet for businesses today is the ability to outsource professionals and talent on a whim at any time. When you have a business venture or idea of your own, knowing when to outsource and when to keep your IT services in-house is essential, especially if you intend to grow and scale your company and brand in the future. Once you are familiar with the advantages and drawbacks of both outsourced as well as hiring in-house, choosing the right solution for your own business will become much simpler and less confusing and stressful.

Stronger Marketing Strategies

One way to take advantage of outsourcing talent and professionals is to do so when you are in the beginning stages of building a new brand or business. Marketing is one of the most important and useful elements of running a business or promoting a brand’s image and message to prospective customers. When you are first spreading the word and message of your brand, hiring outsourced marketing experts and professionals can help you to save time while optimizing your current advertising budget. Outsourcing professionals of any kind also provides you with instant access to a much larger talent pool of people in various industries. If you feel limited with your current in-house hiring choices, outsourcing the right candidate may be best.

What to Do About Technology Issues?

Today, most successful businesses and mega-corporation conglomerates understand the value of the internet, having an official online presence, and an active social media following. IT tech support goes beyond simply restoring servers or protecting websites from being hacked by potential thieves, trolls, or data harvesters. Unfortunately, many tech companies only focus on IT issues, such as when you’ve been hacked or your server is down, and don’t go beyond that. If your website begins to run slow or during a traffic surge, having an in-house IT specialist is highly advisable. While outsourcing IT professionals at the beginning of your business venture is likely more affordable and much simpler, consider expanding to an in-house IT team of professionals once your brand has been established and has shown that it has profitability for years to come.

As your business continues to grow, scale, and expand, it will also require more resources in order to properly function adequately while remaining profitable. In order to scale your website at an appropriate pace, consider hiring an in-house IT team. In-house IT teams can help with structuring and setting up your very own hosting servers, providing you with more accessibility and control over your website’s speed and who can access your data and company files at any time. While outsourcing an IT team or individual professional or contractor is extremely appealing and attractive to new websites and ventures, an in-house solution or team may ultimately provide more advantages as a company continues to grow within their industry.

Budgeting

Before settling on the decision to outsource or hire in-house, be sure to spend time reviewing your company’s finances as well as the budgeting you have available. Budgeting and reviewing your finances regularly is a way to prevent overspending or going into debt, especially if you are working with capital for a new company and brand. While outsourcing an IT professional or specialist of any kind may be more affordable for short-term results, hiring a full-time IT employee can also help to cut back on unexpected expenses and fees in the future, especially as your company demands more attention from specialists and IT professionals.

Social Media Presence

A successful brand or business does not avoid the power of social media, even if they do not make most of their sales online. Establishing an online presence is more than launching a simple website and sharing your company’s details with Google MyBusiness and other online local directories. In order to truly make a mark in your industry while garnering new followers and prospective customers, it is important to craft a well-executed social media marketing strategy.

While it may seem simple to create an online social media marketing strategy, it does require skills and a complete understanding of current trend monitoring, keywords, SEO, and targeted advertising campaigns. Outsourcing a professional to help create a base social media presence is one way to get your business and brand off the ground with little to no effort and a small budget. However, as you begin garnering new followers and communicating regularly to your customers via social media and online ads, hiring an in-house social media professional can significantly improve the responses and overall performance your campaigns receive.

Web Development

You only have one opportunity to make a great and lasting impression on your visitors and prospective customers or clients online. Without a well-developed website, your website’s bounce rate will likely skyrocket, preventing you from generating sales and remaining profitable. A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who exits a website after viewing its official homepage or just one landing page they have visited via an ad, search engine, or online promotion.

Even if you do not intend on creating a massive online presence with your business, it is imperative to hire a professional web developer to ensure your online presence is modern, relevant, and accessible to your target audience. Hiring a professional web developer is a must, whether you choose to do so by outsourcing talent or hiring a professional in-house developer that can help to make updates and changes for your business online instantly and with little notice.

Ultimately, you want the best for your business. Take the time to consider your current business model, strategy, and place within the market or industry you are working in before hiring any new professionals to join your team. Whether you are working with a brand new startup or an existing business with thousands of customers, it is always important to know when the best time to outsource or hire in-house is to ensure the ongoing future success of your business and brand.

How a Wellness Program Benefits Your Business

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure everything is going smoothly. This includes checking on the well-being of your employees. Your employees play a very important role in your business. They’re the ones on the front lines and behind the scenes. However, your employees are not machines that can go on indefinitely. If you suspect that your employees aren’t doing as well as they should, a wellness program can do them a world of good. Here are a few ways that a wellness program benefits your business.

Improving Employee Health

One obvious benefit of incorporating a wellness program into your business is improving the health of your employees. No matter what their jobs may be, your employees work hard to keep your business going. In between commuting, tight deadlines, and possibly challenging co-workers, their productivity can suffer. Implementing a corporate wellness program not only shows your staff how much you care, but it also gives you an opportunity to engage on a different level. There are a lot of wellness programs that aim to improve the health of your employees, including exercise initiatives, stress reduction, physical therapy, flu shots, and health screenings.

Improving Productivity

A wellness program does more than simply boost employees’ health. Wellness programs are designed to address challenges commonly faced by employees that can prevent them from being as productive at work. The opportunities provided by a wellness program can help to increase your employees’ productivity and reduce stress levels. They’ll often also be happier to come to work. Unmotivated employees can do more than simply put people in a bad mood. Without the right motivation and the right wellness program in place, poor attitudes can cause your business to lose money. Studies show that incorporating a wellness program helps boost productivity significantly and creates a stronger feeling of unity in the workplace.

Improving Recruitment Rate

Having a wellness program can also lead to higher levels of retention. You may be able to bring in more highly qualified candidates during the hiring process. As a result, this can give your competitors a run for their money as you take on more employees with talent. In fact, potential recruits are more likely to work for a business with wellness programs that help to reduce stress.

Wellness programs are a great way to keep your employees active, vital, and happy. If you’re not sure what kind to choose, simply ask your employees. Try to incorporate a variety of options that suit everyone’s needs.

To learn more ways to help your employees, read on here!

Simple Things Business Owners Can Do to Help Their Digital Marketing Team

In today’s internet-connected climate, digital marketing is an absolutely essential part of running a business. However, communication is also an essential part of business, and communicating with your digital marketing team is necessary if you want to create a successful online presence. Here are some ways to connect with your digital marketing team to work toward further success.

Prepare Information

When you hire or put together a marketing team, you trust that these people have the skills needed to get the job done. But it’s important to remember that, while the team is made up of experts in marketing, they may not be experts in your industry. In order to help your digital marketing team develop quality content, give them information about your industry as a whole (and not just about your company). Be sure that the team knows you are willing to answer questions they have as they generate content.

Encourage Communication Between Sales and Marketing Teams

In just about every case, communication will help your business. And one of the most important points of communication is the one between your sales and marketing teams. By encouraging regular communication between the two, you can support your business’s success. For instance, after your marketing team launches a campaign, your sales team can get in touch with recent sales data. From here, the marketing team can adjust their strategy if needed.

Offer Motivation Through Appreciation

In many cases, people who feel appreciated work harder. And for a hardworking marketing team, it can mean a lot to know their efforts are seen and appreciated. Appreciating your marketing team doesn’t have to involve a large amount of time or money, it can be as simple as saying thank you, offering a gift card incentive, or taking the team out for drinks once a goal has been reached. One thing to be aware of is that you should start off small. If you suddenly start offering major rewards, it may make your team suspicious. Start by thanking individuals or groups and give small incentives, and then build from there.

Be Set Up on Google

Google is one of the most major sites on the internet. And for any serious marketing effort, getting a business listing set up on Google is one of the first steps. A Google business listing is not only free, but it also offers you opportunities to connect with customers through both search and map functions. This is a step you can initiate even before hiring a marketing team you can set up a Google My Business account and add location, hours, and business name. This account will then provide you and your marketing team with valuable information. You will be able to monitor Google reviews and also see search data on how most customers are searching for and finding your business online. Google review links are easy to make and should be listed in numerous places.

Help Create Structure

If your digital marketing team is through an independent agency, the team likely already has some structure built-in. But if you’re like many small business owners who opt to build an in-house team, structure is essential. If you are structuring your own team, make sure you include people who specialize in content creation/SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, search advertisements, and mobile marketing. By creating clearly defined roles, you’ll be able to save the team you assemble a lot of time. You’ll also ensure that different aspects of digital marketing are covered equally.

Offer Information About Your Brand Voice

It’s important to remember, especially if you have hired a team from an external agency, that the team is coming in with little information about your business itself. If you have an existing brand voice that you want to maintain, or even if you have more general ideas about the kind of brand voice you want to cultivate, be prepared to collaborate with your team early on. By offering guidance when it comes to brand voice, you’ll save the team some time while also taking the guesswork out of the equation.

Few things are more frustrating for a digital marketing team than being given very general instructions, only to have the business come back and harshly criticize their efforts. Early talks and collaboration will ensure you and the team are on the same page. In conclusion, your digital marketing team is likely to be one of your business’s greatest assets, especially if you’re very early on in your marketing campaign. However, like most aspects of business, marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

By collaborating with and offering assistance to your team when you can, you will save everyone time and effort. You’ll also make it more likely that your digital marketing content matches your brand voice and ethos. By working with your marketing team, you’ll be well on your way to drawing more customers.

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