Failure Management: Tips To Grow A Business

Failure Management -Tips To Grow A Business

The Best Tips For Growing A Business And Avoiding Failure

Growing a Business

The majority of business owners were not born for entrepreneurship. As their plans did not originally include running a business, this means they do not innately have the experience necessary to be successful. There are ways to learn to grow a business with a few failures as possible. These tips will help ensure the business remains profitable and grows every year.

Analyze your skill set 

The Importance of the Skillset

Running a successful business is a lot different than being good at a particular trade. If an individual makes beautiful candles, it does not necessarily mean they can successfully run a candle shop. The growth of any business requires more than strong skills in one specific area. The most critical aspects for the success of a business include management, employees, operations, billing and a good business mind. Numerous businesses fail because the owner focuses entirely on their profession instead of looking at the mechanic required for growth and success.

Understanding Personal Knowledge

One of the biggest mistakes made by new business owners is trying to do everything by themselves. The problem is nobody is good at everything. Most people have a few areas they excel in, other areas with average skills. and some areas where they are lacking in knowledge. Attempting to provide services or products outside of the personal skills and knowledge of the owner often leads to failure. Many people believe this is a good way to save money when in truth it is detrimental to the business. Failure can be avoided by hiring people with the skills necessary for the success of the business.

Remain focused

Remaining Focused

There is no doubt a good strategy will help achieve desired growth and a marketing consultant can help set these foundations. It is important to develop and track strategic plans for the business. These plans must be modified if they are not working as expected. It is also important to establish goals for the business. This helps the business owner see the progress they have made and provides the employees with a clear objective for success. This means everyone turns into a team, works together to meet the same goals and pushes the business forward.

The Significance of Passion

When a business owner has a passion for what they are doing, it is obvious to those around them. The combination of enthusiasm, passion, and excitement motivates the employees, encourages them to work harder, increase their focus and helps achieve personal success. These qualities are noticed by the customers and lead to company growth. If the employees are lackluster and unfocused, this will also be noticed by the customers. Negativity is a disease that can easily spread throughout a business. The biggest consequence is the failure. A common yet accurate saying in the business world is negativity belongs in the darkroom.

Online marketing

Marketing is a Necessary Expense

Just because a business has opened their doors does not mean customers will come running. A business cannot succeed if customers are not aware that it exists and what it does. This takes excellent marketing support. Consumers are extremely careful about how they spend their money. This means most of the products they purchase are referrals, have been sampled, or had impressive  marketing campaigns. The marketing must be informative, creative, and innovative to ensure it is attractive to the consumer. When a business is not properly marketed, it has a very low chance of becoming successful. Marketing, especially onlline marketing these days is a critical factor in the performance of any business.

The Talents of Employees

A business requires talent to grow and achieve successful operations. The best asset to sell products or services is talented people. These employees must be loyal to the business or they will not be using their best possible efforts. Numerous businesses fail because they do not take into account the loyalty of their employees. This can be assured when the owner truly cares about the people working for them both professionally and personally. This caring combined with loyalty programs will have a positive impact on the business and the employees. This concept is often the difference between success and failure.

The Test Management Platform

Any product should be extensively tested before it is released to the market to prevent dissatisfied customers and product recalls; a business must have easy-to-use mechanisms in place to do the testing. For example, new computer software should have a good test management platform to detect bugs and other issues. If the software is not tested there is no way to be certain it is working correctly, which can result in numerous errors, customer dissatisfaction, returns, and loss of profit which cause the business to fail. This process can be accomplished manually or be automated. In the digital age, businesses must rely on computers. The right testing software will make certain testing easier and ensure the daily operations run smoothly.

Credit cards are how business is done

The Importance of Credit Cards

A business must accept credit cards to succeed. Most people do not carry much cash and debit cards replaced checks a long time ago. The data to accept, store, transmit and process credit cards must be securely hosted and adhere to PCI compliance. The DSS or PCI Data Security Standard is the most prominent. This ensures the processing is safe by the prevention, detection and reactions to possible hacks or breaches. If the data is compromised due to an inadequate protocol or the business does not accept credit cards the chances are the company will fail.

The Challenge to Improve

The world is constantly changing due to new technology. This means every business must remain innovative to stay relevant, improve and grow. This encompasses everything from new processes to new programs. If a business does not consistently move towards the future they will become obsolete. There are always ways to improve relations with customers, improve products and services and increase profitability and efficiency. This is what drives a business to succeed.

Unfortunately, no business is guaranteed to succeed. It takes the combination of many different assets to achieve success. The recommendations detailed above will help the business avoid many of the mistakes and pitfalls that often lead to failure. Success and growth are possible with the right strategy and hard work.

Business growth

Business Growth: A Guide To Success

You hit the ground running when you started your business, and things are feeling well established. Now it’s time to do some serious growing. What’s next?

 

Ways to grow your business

Five Ways to Grow Your Business

1. Sales, Sales, Sales

Success in business is all about the Benjamins, baby. That’s why if you ask Siimon Reynolds, a contributor at Forbes, how to grow your business, he’ll tell you one thing: sales, sales, sales. Sales (or, in layman’s terms, getting customers to give you money) is the ONLY way to increase revenue; everything else is “tinkering at the peripheries.” As a mentor to many new business owners, Reynolds has narrowed this advice down to a science; he recommends that new businesses spend 80% of their day focusing on the sales process, and established businesses should spend no less than 30% of their daily time on sales.

Choose the right media

2. Get the Word Out

Sales is nothing more than connecting with customers and asking them to purchase your product. As simple as it sounds, it’s a lot easier if your customers already know a little bit about you and, better yet, if they are coming to you. That is where marketing comes in. The more accessible information is about you, the easier it is to gain new customers.

At a loss for how to get the word out? Start with social media and make sure you have a stand-out website. Networking events that you host, or attend are also a great way to get a headstart. Never underestimate the power of giving back to the community. As with all things business, don’t forget to measure your results, so you can focus your energy on the things that are most successful!

 ave an informative FAQ page

3. Provide Great Customer Service

There is nothing more memorable than a great customer service experience. Keep your FAQ pages very crisp and address issues that your customers are usually facing. Your customers want something easy, friendly, and reliable when they are looking for customer service, and the way you provide that to them is a huge part of your brand. Even if a customer had a bad experience with your product or service, if you provide excellent customer care, you can win them back, or even get them to refer you to a friend! So, make sure you always put your best forward.

Work smart!

4. Work Smarter

There are hundreds of menial tasks that need to be done on the day to day of running a business. Working smarter is all about finding ways to consolidate, outsource, automate, and delegate. Can your schedule be rearranged to take out time wasted commuting to meetings or waiting for the next thing to start? Do you have a lot of social media accounts running that you still haven’t gotten an autopilot scheduling program for? If you hire an assistant, will the time it saves you let you work on more lucrative projects? Whatever you do each day that turns into dollars, maximize the time you spend doing those things. Everything else–cut it, or delegate it.

Take care of your team

5. Take Great Care of Your Team

Don’t think this point is less important just because it’s last on the list. If your team is overstressed and distrusting of your leadership, all the work you put into the last four points is basically garbage. According to research done by the University of California, feeling motivated, valued, and supported at work can lead to a whopping 37% increase in sales, and 31% higher productivity in general. Amazingly, well-being programs that support these outcomes lead to employees being an incredible 87% less likely to quit. That turn over reduction? Yeah, it saves tons of time. And recruitment costs. And headaches in general.

A  Final Word On Business Growth

Remember, your behavior is where your whole business takes its lead, so above all else, don’t be apathetic. Stay passionate and excited about your goals, and about your people.

No matter who you are, what your business is, or how far your business has to go, you can grow your business into whatever you want. As long as you focus on taking great care of the employees that make up your team as they sell, you can make the little things fall into place. Go get ‘em!

38979152 - social media concept.

SEO Trends That We Will Continue to See in 2018

While the landscape of digital marketing is in no way static, a lot of people overestimate the pace at which things change in this field. While it is true that today we see new technological marvels like biometrics, virtual reality and augmented reality, which was in the prototype stage just a while back, the truth is that not that much has essentially changed. Sure, virtual reality marketing promises to make a huge revolution in the world of resales, in reality, trends like social media marketing, email marketing and content marketing are still going strong.

A similar thing happens in the world of SEO, as well. So, let’s take a moment not to look at digital marketing prototypes which may or may not be huge in the future but reflect on SEO trends that will continue being relevant in 2018. That being said, here is a brief list.

1.    Voice recognition SEO

In 2015, Google embarked on the path towards enhancing their search engine by adding a completely new dimension to it. We are talking about voice recognition. You see, the option to initiate a voice search is present for a while now, yet, a huge portion of the internet has chosen not to use it in the past. The reason behind it was quite simple. It was in a crude form and it was incredibly inefficient. In the end, you would most likely be forced to type in the term you are looking for so why bother?

Today, however, things have drastically changed. First of all, Google engineers started working closely with their linguistic team in order to try and enhance the engine with the ability to understand context. Still, in order to get there, they first had to rely on the GPS of the user in order to understand the geopolitical circumstances of the area, as well as to recognize the language that was spoken. The result was overwhelmingly positive.

Needless to say, this resulted in a major shift in the popularity of this feature and in 2016 about 55 percent of the teenage population was reported using voice search on a daily basis. Furthermore, 41 percent of adults used it in the same manner as well, which was on its own quite staggering.

On the other hand, it took SEO companies a while until they figured out just how important this new trend was about to become for their field. However, they were quickly on their feet and on their way towards devising voice search strategies of their own. In 2018, the growth of this trend’s popularity can be expected to continue on, pretty much, same intensity as in the previous several years.

2.    Domination of long-form content

In the past, the size of an average blog post was somewhere between 600 and 1000 words, however, a lot of things have changed since then. Nowadays, it has been noticed that posts that contain more than 3000 words receive far more traffic than their smaller counterparts.

 

While this may seem a bit puzzling, in reality, there is a method to this madness. You see, the time spent on your page is one of the metrics that Google uses when determining your SEO rank. Needless to say, the longer your post is, the longer your audience is bound to stay on the page. Furthermore, spending more time on this piece of content will give you a chance to cover a topic more thoroughly, which means that your audience won’t have to go anywhere else.

3.    Visual content gets the upper hand

It is undeniable that the world we live in is a mobile one. Therefore, mobile-friendly formats get much higher conversion rates. Sure, this doesn’t mean that textual content is getting outdated but it is incredibly inconvenient to read on the move while holding the tiny screen of your phone on the palm of your hand. However, if you were to present your content through an infographic or a video, you would have a much better shot at appealing to your visitors.

Ecommerce tips

According to experts behind a prestigious SEO company, the greatest issue with this particular idea is the fact that, in order to pull it off, you need to have an in-house team capable of delivering such a content on a regular basis. This alone is one of the major obstacles that a lot of people have in the face of SEO.

4.    Focus on user experience

Finally, you need to keep in mind that, no matter how Google changes their algorithm, the UX (user experience) will always be at the forefront. Like any other provider of services, Google remains No. 1 search engine, due to the fact that they offer the most user-friendly results.

Needless to say, this answers to all the other questions you might have about SEO. For instance, why is responsiveness important? Because it improves the overall UX. Why are long-tail keywords efficient? Because they give more specific answers to the questions asked by users.

Overall, whenever you are in a dilemma on whether a trend is SEO-friendly, try to imagine yourself as an average Google user. Would you wait for 6 seconds for a random page you’ve just entered to load? Would you enjoy the page with an unreadable font or a content crammed with links? The answers to most of these questions are fairly simple.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that SEO is intuitive or easy to understand, still, a lot can be learned through a simple role-play or a change of perspective.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, while the world of SEO is constantly evolving in order to adjust to the daily changes in the algorithm, some of its basic principles are quite durable. Of course, when you look at the early 2000s (keyword cramming and similar practices) and compare that situation to what we have today, this is a completely different story. Nevertheless, bear in mind that this was nearly two decades ago. Needless to say, when it comes to 2018, there is no reason to believe that, at least, these afore-mentioned four trends (especially the last one) are going to diminish in significance.

Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystems

Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem

The word “ecosystem” has meaning outside of a biology textbook. At its most basic definition, it means a collection of living organisms in a certain location that all depend on one another for survival. They form a complex network of interdependency in which removing one organism would have dramatic repercussions on all the others. For example, killing all the grass on the African plains eventually would cause lions to die.

Without the grass, there would be no herbivores to keep the lions fed. Based on this definition, an ecosystem can be described as any kind of complex system in which each component is necessary for others to thrive.

This may already seem familiar to Internet marketers, who manage immense ecosystems of their own. These ecosystems are their online lead generation campaigns, which depend on the coming together of multiple complex systems to form a much larger system that generates new sales leads for their businesses.

These lead generation campaigns need to have all their components functioning in perfect harmony to deliver the best results. If any element is misaligned or missing, it can result in failure of the entire system.

However, keeping everything running smoothly can be extremely challenging for Internet marketers due to the sheer number of components that go into these campaigns and their complexity. With all the reasons why visitors come to lead generation websites, it’s crucial that lead generation campaigns be constructed to capture and convert as many of those types of visitors as possible.

That’s why it’s essential for Internet marketers to have a blueprint as they construct their campaigns. In nature, ecosystems develop slowly over millions of years of evolution. Internet marketers don’t have the luxury of time. They need to know how to build successful lead generation ecosystems right away.

Building the Perfect Ecosystem

We at Straight North, an Internet marketing company based outside of Chicago, have spent a lot of time trying to put together something Internet marketers can use as a blueprint for building a successful lead generation campaign.

Through the research of our professionals, we have identified the most important components all successful lead generation campaigns must have to convert as many website visitors as possible and developed the infographic below.

For instance, many visitors come to a website to research a product or service. They may not need convincing that they should have that particular product or service, only help finding the one that’s right for them. For these visitors, content such as testimonials from past customers can be very persuasive. Other visitors might only be curious about a product or service, not yet entirely convinced that they would want it.

For these visitors, a lead generation campaign can convert them with dynamic, eye-catching content such as videos and high-quality photography. Other visitors don’t even know they want that particular product or service yet, but well-crafted social media posts shared by their friends can inspire them to visit the website to start investigating.

Road Map to Greater Success

These and other elements can be found on the infographic below, and it’s easy to see how they all feed into the main objective of creating new customers and driving more business.

Any online marketer who wants to have the most effective lead generation campaign possible needs to be aware of how essential these elements are and how they fit together. Using this infographic as a road map can help online marketers build their campaigns from the ground up to be as effective as possible.

Initially, this blueprint was created to serve as an internal training tool for Straight North’s Internet marketing professionals. In time, however, the value of this infographic to serve as a useful resource for Straight North’s clients and other Internet marketers became apparent.

Many times, marketers know they need to have myriad kinds of content and elements to attract and convert visitors through their websites, but they don’t know the sheer scope of all those elements. Being able to visualize the lead generation process can help these marketers build a campaign that works.

Whether you’re building a lead generation campaign from the ground up or working to rebuild an existing campaign to become more effective, this flowchart representing the Internet marketing lead generation ecosystem can be a powerful resource to help you along your way.

Ecosystems in nature take thousands upon thousands of years to develop into fully functioning, interdependent complex systems. However, you don’t have to wait that long for your lead generation ecosystem to take shape. Use this infographic to guide your efforts, and you’ll be able to see a more effective and efficient lead generation process emerge from the chaos.

 

Infographic created by Straight North, an internet marketing company

Author Bio:

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing firm in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC. and web design services. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, Brad has been featured in leading online publications including Entrepreneur, Moz and Forbes.

 

5 Biggest Website Mistakes Ecommerce Business Owners Make

5 Biggest Website Mistakes Ecommerce Business Owners Make

Running an ecommerce business seems like a straightforward affair – you have products that people want and you sell them online. You do a bit of marketing here and there and you’re off, right? Well, not exactly. Ecommerce is a fantastically competitive sector with millions of stores vying for the attention of customers.

It soon becomes very obvious that you have very little room for error which can be a problem considering how easy it is to make mistakes as an ecommerce business owner. The worst among these are website mistakes that can effectively destroy your online store.

Today, we explore these mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.

1. They Ignore SEO

We live in a world where people’s online habits are governed by various search engines, primarily Google. In such a world, not doing search engine optimization for your ecommerce store is one of the worst things you can do. Namely, without doing at least some basic SEO, you are allowing worse online stores than yours to rank higher than you and take your customers.

The good news is that it does not take too much work to get the SEO basics done for your ecommerce store. This will include finding the right domain name, handling your meta descriptions, ALT tags, sitemap and robot.txt file the right way.

In addition to this, you might want to start a blog which will help you rank for certain keywords, as well as start a guest blogging campaign that will be able to target some higher visibility websites which might be averse to linking to product pages.

Of course, you will also want to do your product descriptions the right way, meaning you will be writing them all on your own (or hiring someone to do it) as opposed to just copying manufacturers’ descriptions. Altogether, ecommerce content can get quite serious, but you need to do it the right way.

2. They Don’t Blog

We already touched upon your ecommerce store’s blog, but since it has become so important, we should probably say a bit more about the benefits of featuring an ecommerce store blog.

For one, your blog will provide you with content that you can build on as part of your content marketing strategy. You will be producing mind-boggling content that will set your ecommerce website apart from the competition and even tell a story.

Ecommerce tips

Your blog can also build you a following if you happen to strike gold, i.e. a way to engage with your readers who will then recommend your blog to their friends and acquaintances.

Your blog will also be a great tool if you decide to build some links to your website which is an integral part of SEO no matter how you cut it. Namely, since website and blog owners are averse to linking to product pages, a smart blog link might work better.

3. Their UX is Appalling

One of the main reasons why people even purchase at online stores is that it is more convenient than getting out and driving to a store. Unfortunately, this condition is not fulfilled if the website is difficult to navigate and if you start pulling your hair out because you cannot find the ‘proceed to checkout’ button.

In other words, the user experience should always be the focus of every online store, no matter how big it is and what it sells.

Imagine if you were the person buying at your online store. Can you find the products easily? Can you find information that you need before you make a purchase? Is it easy to actually purchase the products? Are you being hassled by never-ending ads?

If you feel that your user experience could do with a bit of tweaking, then by all means tweak it.

4. They Lack Visuals

The web has been undergoing a shift from text to visual since its earliest days and we truly live at the age of precipice where the focus is being absolutely put on the visual. When ecommerce website owners are in question, this is perhaps even more important than for some other webmasters.

For one, your product pages need to feature as many images and as HQ images as you can humanly muster. You might not have the budget for it, but rotatable images are even better, especially for products such as clothing, shoes and accessories. They really give the potential customers a clear image of what they are buying.

Your blog should also feature visual content heavily. For example, many lifestyle brands nowadays do not even write articles and, instead, they do videos that cover one aspect of their work – how-to videos, behind the scenes videos, interviews or anything else they can think of.

Another thing to keep in mind is the visual layout of your website and its unison visual identity. Namely, people need to be aware of what website they are on at any given moment In order for this to happen, your ecommerce website has to be visually coherent and homogenous.

5. They Lack Customer Engagement

All the best ecommerce websites are teaming with customer action and interaction. They feature dozens of product reviews where people truly go into detail about the stuff they bought. They also feature lively blog comments sections where people get into huge arguments about the stuff that is talked about in the blog post.

The days of static internet are long gone and people want interaction. Your customers want to leave reviews of your products and your customer service.

User experience is crucial

Let them do that. Not only will your website look more serious, but it will also give Google and other search engines a clear signal that your website has organic traffic. This can do wonderful things for your SEO efforts, providing you with absolutely free content that will play a role in the rankings.

Of course, if your customer service is appalling and you sell products that are subpar in quality, customer engagement may not be the best idea in the world.

However, if you can stand behind the products you sell and you know a thing or two about customer service, let your customers say nice things about you.

In addition, if you’re selling products both on and offline, you run the risk of ruining the customer experience when a product unknowingly sells out. Integrate the on and offline experience with a high-quality eCommerce platform and use a connected portable credit card reader for offline sales. All transactions should be processed through the same dashboard.

 


AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has been in brand promotion for almost two decades. He is the editor-in chief of BizzMarkBlog.

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