Whole-Business-Approach 1500x1000

Are You Ready to Build Your Business?

The pandemic and the years that followed have taught business owners a lot about leadership, innovation, flexibility, and teamwork. We came to understand that business as usual can change in an instant, so we need to be able to adapt quickly to rebuild or grow. We found that technology is a great tool that can open doors if we open our minds to all the possibilities. And, we learned that with the right people, we have what we need to innovate and win despite the obstacles we face.

The start of a new year is always full of opportunities to grow both revenue and profit.  Let’s get re-energized and start to take advantage of them.

A Whole Business Approach to Profit Building

Whether you need to get more customers, fix a supply chain, hire more people, or build back sustainable profit, take a whole-business approach as you grow or build your business today.

Think of your business as a machine with a lot of connected pieces. It works best when all the pieces perform well together. If one or more of the parts are broken, the business no longer works efficiently and effectively. Profit erodes.

My whole business approach works for my clients. You can use it too and build sustainable profit in your own business. Here are the core elements:

  • Planning & Goal Setting. Aligning your vision and setting clear goals with action steps and deadlines for greater focus and results.
  • Products & Services. Packaging, positioning, and pricing your products and services to attract and retain profitable customers – today and in the future.
  • Revenue Mastery. Business development, marketing, sales, and customer service strategies that attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back and referring others.
  • Systems Mastery. Streamlining and standardizing procedures, to make daily operations easier, efficient, and more effective – whether you are there or not.
  • People Mastery. Hiring and developing employees, contractors, vendors, and power partners who are committed to your customers and the success of your business.
  • Personal Development. Commitment to learning and building skills and knowledge to help you achieve your true potential.
  • Financial Mastery. Creating synergy and profit mastery, to sustain growth and cash flow, so your business continues to serve you, your people, customers, and other stakeholders.

Apply This Approach To Build Business

There are a lot of ways you and your team can improve each of these areas in your business. Check out my free eBook, Building Profit Through Leverage. It provides additional information and practical ways to build sustainable profit using my whole business approach. Download now.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together – Vincent Van Gogh

The proven methods outlined in my free eBook can help you create a strong foundation and build profitability. Take it one step at a time and focus on small improvements in all areas of your business. Get started now. Click here to download my free eBook.

Want to get there faster? 

Would another set of eyes, ongoing support, and accountability from an expert help you take your business in a new and better direction? Then let’s have a conversation. A 30-minute discovery call is a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals, and answer any questions. Click here to book your free call.

mktg strategies

Choosing the Best Marketing Strategies

Is growing your customer base your top priority in 2023? The good news is you have hundreds of ways to create leads and new relationships. But with so many options, is it any wonder small business owners get overwhelmed? Yet choosing the best marketing strategies for your business is a key to getting more customers — and doing it profitably.

Past performance can be a good indicator. So start there. When evaluating previous marketing strategies, consider three things:  the number of leads generated, the quality of those leads, and your return on investment.  If something is working, keep doing it.

If it’s not producing enough quality sales, then it’s time to look in other directions and add some new methods to your mix.  

7 Questions to Choose the Best Marketing Strategies

What products or services do I want to promote? You don’t need to promote every product or service you offer. Invest in the most profitable or those that are in the highest demand. Avoid trying to sell everything to everyone with your marketing. It’s costly and a recipe for failure. 

Related: Do Your Products or Services Need a Facelift?

How do my target customers like to give and receive information? Too often businesses choose what is trendy or maybe low-cost. Do your customers prefer communication in-person, by phone, email, snail mail, text, digital, or social media? It may vary based on the type of information. And they may be okay with multiple methods. Choose what works best for them.

How many touches do I actually need to build relationships and create sales for my business? It takes more than one or two contacts to build awareness, nurture relationships and create a sale. With so much noise in the market, ten or more is typical.  For higher-priced services, where prospects may perceive more risk, the number of touches may be greater. So build a variety of possible touch-points and deliver the same message consistently.

How can I get existing customers to keep buying, buy more, or buy more frequently? The short answer is to stay connected and continue to market to them. Invest some of your marketing dollars in your current and past customers. It’s also a lot cheaper to market to those who already know and like you!

How much time and money should I invest? Consistency in marketing matters. Marketing strategies have both a time and money component. Some, like networking and social media, are low-cost but consume a lot of time. Others, like direct mail or pay-per-click, require a higher money investment but little time. The key is to balance out your time and money investments so you can do marketing consistently throughout the year.

What do I like and what am I good at? Let’s face it, nothing happens until you implement your marketing strategies. When choosing, most people avoid what they dislike or struggle with. It makes them uncomfortable. First, recognize this bias and try some things outside your comfort zone. Then do what others do: delegate, outsource, or learn how to do it effectively.

How do I systematize my marketing so it gets done easily, effectively, and profitably? Once you have decided on what you want to do, create the campaign, implement it, monitor it, modify it and document it! Look for ways to make it easy, repeatable, and more effective the next time. When your marketing takes less time and effort and still delivers the return on investment you want, you will find it’s not so overwhelming. You may actually grow to like it!

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a new level? Then let’s have a conversation. A 30-minute discovery call is a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and answer any questions. Click here to book your call. 

customer churn1

How to Fix Customer Churn

Even if you do everything right, some level of customer churn is going to happen. Customers may move away or outgrow the need for your product or service. But if you dig deeper, you will find that most customer churn is controllable. You and your team have the ability to retain valued customers.

Why Customers Churn or Leave

When businesses lose valued customers, they often assume it is related to price or competition. But too often, that’s the go-to reason to justify the loss – covering up the real issues.

Related:  Pricing: 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid to Build Profit

  • Outdated products or services. Customer needs change. So should your products or services. Do yours need a facelift?
  • Lack of engagement or perceived indifference. Most businesses invest a lot of resources on new customers. What are you doing to make valued customers feel important? Make sure they know you care.  
  • Poor customer service or quality. It’s all about your customers’ expectations. They deal with a lot of companies and industries, not just yours. What should your customer experience look like? Does your team have the tools and know-how to deliver it consistently?
  • Attracting the wrong customers. It is not easy to turn away customers. But too many one-and-done sales or dissatisfied clients do not help your business. You want people who value, want and need what you offer. People whose problems you can solve – and are happy to pay for it. Is your marketing and sales attracting the right customers?
  • Over promise and under deliver. If customers expect the Taj Mahal and get a hut, they feel cheated. When it comes to quality, service, performance, lead time, results or other benefits — be honest.

How to Retain Valued Customers

Get Your House in Order. If customer service or quality levels are broke, work to fix them. It’s the number one way to reduce customer churn and retain customers. If you fail to deliver what you promise, customers won’t stick around and will share their bad experiences with others. Identify what you want the ‘buying experience’ to look like and have procedures and tools in place to help your people deliver it consistently. 

Related: 13 Ways to Make Your Service Business a Profit Sensation

Talk to Customers. Customer needs change over time. So, take the time to ask them for feedback on what they need and how well you are meeting their needs and expectations. It’s also a great way to uncover new product or service opportunities.

Reward Retention. If retention is really a priority in your business, demonstrate this to your team. Set goals for improvement areas and reward the team when they are accomplished. This approach works for any improvement you wish to make. It becomes a focus for your team. And with focus comes improvement.

Choose People Wisely. When you hire employees or select subcontractors to interact with your customers, make sure they value customers and possess the skills to deliver to your standards. Are they empathetic and trustworthy? Can they communicate well and listen? Each customer contact with you, your team or other partners is an opportunity to build your reputation or destroy it. Make the selection of people a priority.

Say Thank You. Sounds obvious but consider this. When was the last time you received a personal thank-you note from a company you do business with? This simple strategy can really make an impact and says a lot about your company and the value you place on customers.

Stay Connected. Social media can certainly keep your name in front of customers, but nothing beats a personal approach. Whether you do it by phone, mail or email, make sure your customers know you are thinking of them. Too often, we only connect when we’re trying to sell something. A simple thank you, a request for feedback, or a holiday greeting card can all do the trick. If you want to add a special offer, just for them, even better! While the frequency may vary based on your business or industry, quarterly contacts should be your minimum goal!

Make Customers Feel Important. Your current customers need to feel more appreciated than non-customers or prospects. While new customers are important to growth, make sure current customers get some VIP treatment. Programs, offers or specials that are exclusively available to them work well – so build some into your marketing efforts.

Make Service Everyone’s Job. Does everyone in your company understand the value of customers and are they ready to help them regardless of whose job it really is? Train your team on customer service and give them the tools and ability to take care of your customers. From the receptionist to the technician or delivery driver, your team will make an impression. The kind they make is up to you!

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would another set of eyes, ongoing support and accountability from an expert help you take your business to a new level of success? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com


Make Your Business Stand Out

Your customers are exposed to over 5,000 messages every day. So how do you get through the clutter and make your business stand out – without doubling your marketing budget? The key is a strong USP or unique selling proposition. When you nail it, marketing is a lot more effective so you can spend less and get more.

The latest, innovative product or service – something that nobody else offers – is one way to create uniqueness. But it’s not the only way.  Service delivery, processes, people, technology, performance and other factors can help your small business stand out in the crowd. If you do it consistently well and tell people over and over again.

Determine What Makes you Unique

The best way to discover your uniqueness is to look at your business from the outside. When working through this with my clients, we start by answering the following questions.

What do you actually sell?  Think benefits, not features.

What are your core products or services? Think beyond highest sales volumes or those that are common for your type of business. Your products or services can differentiate you, so look at them closely.

Related: How to Diversify Your Products to Maximize Profit

Who are your key competitors?  Based on the benefits you deliver, consider actual competitors who do the same thing AND those who potentially deliver the same benefits with different products or services.  Since you compete for a share of the budget, this can be helpful.  

What are the perceived standards in your industry and other industries? Consider customer service, technology, product quality, sales and marketing. Your customers’ expectations are built from experiences with a lot of industries – not just yours.

What are some ‘claims’ about your products, services or business that you take for granted – and assume customers know about? Coors built their USP around their cold brewing process. While not unique in the industry, Coors was the first to actually tell people about it. And they still benefit from that message today.

Narrow Your Options

As you go through the process of brainstorming and answering these questions, ideas will pop into your head.  Write them down, no matter how silly they may appear at first glance. Use all the information to come up with a few options to consider.

Next do a little research with your customers. Bounce some options off them. Did they know this about you or your business?  Do they care?  Why or why not?  What does this claim say about your products, service or overall business?

Find something you do so well that you can guarantee it, especially if your industry has a reputation for doing this poorly.  Look for a process in your business that links your products or services to quality or performance or reduces risk.

Sometimes simple things, such as custom scheduling blocks to eliminate long wait times, can make you stand out.  You only need ONE.   Identify your claim to fame and make it the focal point in your communication to customers and prospects.

Related: Is Your USP Compelling to Those Who Matter?

Need another set of eyes to help you define your claim to fame? Let’s do it together. Call me at (856) 533-2344 to learn more or get started.
nurture prospects

5 Steps to Nurture Prospects and Grow Sales

When your business spends precious time and money on marketing, you expect to generate leads that convert to sales – now or in the future. So how you respond to leads is critical, especially the ones who aren’t ready to buy now.

Prospects buy when they are ready, willing and able. So you need a process to move them along – to follow up on leads and convert them into customers.  Whether you call it lead nurturing or sales management, how well you do this makes a difference in your sales results.

RelatedAre Your Customers Ready, Willing and Able to Buy?

Millions of small businesses waste time and money and regularly lose sales because they lack proper follow-up and a method to nurture prospects into customers.

5 Steps To More Sales Conversions

Have a System.  The best approach is a consistent one that details the steps from initial interest (lead) to conversion (sale) – in a logical, practical way.  Your process should incorporate three things:

  • How many touches are required to go from lead to sale. Depending on your business this will vary — but it is likely more than one or two!
  • What are the best methods to connect? Don’t rely on one thing. Combining calls, emails, ads, print and social media allows you to reach people in a variety of ways without being too intrusive.
  • How often should you connect? Don’t wear out your welcome by over-communicating. Seek balance in your communication.

Act Quickly. The best system won’t matter if you don’t respond to leads quickly.  Often the one who gets the business is the one who got there first.  Speed matters – so make it a priority.

Know the Source – and Do It Anyway.  Leads come from a variety of sources such as networking, referrals, website, search engines, direct mail and social media.  While it’s helpful to know the source, don’t take shortcuts based on the information or assumptions.  I see this often with referrals. Yes, they may be warmer leads but use your system to nurture them into customers. Be consistent.

Cultivate the Not-Quite-Ready.  This is where a lot of leads are lost.  A ‘no’ today doesn’t mean forever. If the prospect is a viable candidate in the future, have a plan to build on these relationships — so they think of you when the need is there. You already invested time and money to create sales opportunities. Why waste them? Here are a few things to make it work:

  • Capture leads. You can’t stay connected if you don’t have the contact information. Whether you use CRM software applications or contacts within your email system, a database for prospects is a must. The amount of detail you want to capture will vary based on the type of business and planned marketing efforts.
  • Educate in small chunks. Nurturing is a marathon, not a sprint.  Give potential buyers relevant information in small pieces. Think education, not selling – but do include a call to action for when they are ready.
  • Vary the formats.  People respond differently to communications. Don’t rely on one method – think diverse.  Use a combination of emails, newsletters, personal notes, articles and other content to move them through the sales funnel.
  • Plan your re-marketing.  These are not new prospects, so improve conversion with a series of communications that are designed to nurture and build relationships. Include them in your marketing activities. If you tap into technology for email campaigns, auto responder services, greeting cards and thank you messages – it’s easy and allows you to use various methods to stay connected.  Decide on the method, message, frequency, and timing then schedule it.  How else will it get done?

Track Results.  As I often remind clients — what we measure, we can improve. Know the numbers that drive your sales such as leads, conversion rates, click rates, etc. Establish goals for your sales-related metrics. Monitor how you are doing and take appropriate action.

While we all love prospects who are ready to buy now, many are not.  But with a little nurturing they will be in the future. Apply these principles and watch your sales soar.

New Monthly Article & Business Tools

For new business improvement articles, exclusive tools and insights on entrepreneurship, click here to subscribe to my monthly eNewsletter. When you do, I’ll also send you my free eBook, How to Build Profit Through Leverage.

marketing plan

8 Question Marketing Plan

Is revenue and profit growth a key objective for your business this year? Then a marketing plan is an essential tool. It provides the blueprint of what you will do and how you will do it.  And it’s not difficult. It’s simply a matter of answering these eight questions.   

Who are you trying to reach?

Whether you call it your target market or ideal customers, it’s the group of people who want or need your products or services – with the capacity to pay for them. Those you want to reach with your marketing efforts. Think small groups or niches, not the masses. Be specific. The more you know, the easier it is to speak to them – in a way that is compelling and effective.

Can you create a profile of your best customers? Whether you serve consumers or other businesses, think beyond basic demographics. What is important to them? What do they value or worry about? Why do they like doing business with you? If you are unsure, do a little research. Talk to some of your best customers – and see what patterns emerge.

How do you compare with competition?

Today’s buyers have a lot of choices and access to information. They also have personal experiences with a wide range of companies – inside and outside of your industry. As a result, customer expectations on quality, service, convenience and more are higher. How do you measure up in areas that are important to your customers?

If you are not sure, a simple SWOT analysis may help. What do they do well and not so well? Talk to customers, employees and suppliers to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Then you have some information to answer the next question.

Related: How to Use SWOT to Uncover Opportunities

What makes you unique? 

What do you do so well that you could potentially guarantee it? Do you do it better than others? Is it something your customers truly value? If so, turn this into your unique selling or value proposition. It’s the reason why your customers should choose to do business with you.

Remember, you only need one differentiation to stand out.  Here’s an example. When it comes to customer service, Chick-fil-A has consistently ranked high. Their claim to fame: their employees were rated among the most polite in their industry category. In other words, please and thank you, done consistently well, made them stand out – and their customers noticed.

What should you charge and why? 

Your marketing message should work with your pricing strategy. It relates directly to perceived value and is a factor in purchase decisions.  Don’t ignore this when developing your marketing plan.

Related: Pricing – Six Common Mistakes to Avoid

How will you reach potential customers? 

This is the substance of your plan – and often where most small businesses start.  Your promotional plan covers all your communications and dictates how you get the word out to prospects and customers. Ideally, it should combine a variety of tools – digital and print. Advertising, publicity, direct mail, social media, email marketing, promotional products and direct sales work well together.

In addition to integrating a variety of tools, consistency matters too. Whatever tools you select, determine the frequency and stick with it. It is better to do fewer tactics on a more consistent basis – than periodically doing a lot of different things. Looking for some ideas? Check out my 155+ profit building ideas.

How much will you spend and on what? 

A marketing budget serves two purposes.  It helps you determine what you can or cannot afford – and prioritize what you spend it on.  Since many small businesses have limited marketing budgets, this is vital.  And with technology today, some activities are more affordable than they were in the past.  Do a little research, don’t assume everything is out of reach.

What tasks do you need to complete to execute? 

Most marketing requires a series of tasks to complete. For each tool or tactic, list the critical tasks you need to do to get it done. Don’t forget to give yourself some due dates to keep you on track.

Here is an example. If you plan to do a direct mail campaign, you will likely include some of the following tasks: set objectives, budget and drop date, hire designer to create piece, write copy (or hire copywriter), develop mailing list, etc.

How will you track results?

When you invest your time and money on marketing, you will want to know how those efforts pay off. So, tracking results is important. Tracking will also help you determine what you can improve upon as you move forward.

The metrics you choose will depend on the marketing tools you use and the call-to-action response you are trying to achieve. Here are some common ones to consider: new leads, website visits, social media likes, new social media connections, CTA response rates, requests for quotes, sales appointments or calls, new customers and sales conversion rates.

Surprised that I included some sales metrics? You shouldn’t be. Good marketing should create leads, calls and traffic.  But it should also smooth the way for sales – which is the ultimate goal right? So, make sure your sales process is also up to the task. Because leads that go unconverted are simply a waste of time and money.

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would another set of eyes, ongoing support and accountability from an expert help you take your business to a new level of success? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com

drive business growth grow revenue

The #1 Rule To Drive Business Growth

If growing your business and attracting new customers is a priority for you, here’s the #1 rule you need to follow.  Never let a day go by without doing at least one marketing activity.

Unfortunately many small businesses only focus on marketing when time allows, which rarely happens, or when forced into it when sales decline or the pipeline dries up.  Like most things in business, success comes from consistency – doing the right things each and every day.

Now you may be thinking, “I barely have time to do what I do, how do I add marketing into each and every day”?  Well here is the key – break down activities into small tasks that can easily be done in 15-30 minutes AND block the time on your calendar to do them.

Quick Hits to Grow Revenue

What can you accomplish in just 15 minutes?  A lot when you stop viewing it as JUST 15 minutes – and eliminate the distractions, busy work and time wasters in your day.  Here’s just a few things you can do when you plan your time and make business growth a priority:

  • Initiate new contact request on Linked-In
  • Write a few notes or cards to people you met at an event
  • Call a customer (or two) to request a testimonial or online review
  • Write a blog post
  • Make a ‘how is it going’ call to customers – put that database to work!
  • Call to schedule lunch or a meeting with a current or potential power partner
  • Post an update or share a tip on social media
  • Reach out to a Linked-In connection with a private message
  • Contact a former customer – any new opportunities?
  • Ask or answer a question on social media (groups)
  • Make a follow-up call to prospects in your sales funnel
  • Make a ‘survey’ call to customers or prospects – for feedback and ideas
  • Set up Google Alerts to stay abreast of industry or competitor changes
  • Investigate industry or business groups – and schedule attendance at an upcoming event

So what about all those ‘bigger’ marketing activities – a direct mail campaign, overhauling your website or implementing a new marketing strategy?  Even if you outsource the project, there are tasks that YOU will need to do.  This is where breaking down tasks into smaller pieces can really pay off.

For example, you want to build a better Linked-In sales strategy — to generate more high quality leads. It will certainly take more than 15 minutes to update your profile, do some company or industry research, and create compelling templates.  If you wait until you have a few extra hours to tackle this, it will likely remain incomplete!

So break it into smaller chunks – and work on pieces for 15-30 minutes a day.  Over time, you can complete the project — while still handling your other responsibilities.

Remember, if you want to see consistent results, you need to take consistent action.  So make marketing activities, big and small, something you do every day!

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would working with a business coach help you grow both revenue and profit? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.

Call me at (856) 533-2344 to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing: 7 Ways to Build Relationships and Get More Customers

With the so much emphasis on social media, many believe digital newsletters and email marketing are less valuable as a marketing tool. I disagree.

When done properly, email marketing can complement other online and traditional marketing tactics. Most email platforms offer options for automation, landing pages, integration with e-commerce and list segmentation. So it’s an effective and affordable way to generate new business and keep current customers engaged and buying more.

Whether you want to stay connected with customers, build your reputation as an expert or generate leads and sales for your business, success (a.k.a. results) with email marketing is in your reach. Here are a few things to consider, so you get results.

How to Get More From Email Marketing

Build a permission-based list. Customers and prospects that choose to receive your emails are a goldmine for small businesses. Make it easy for people to sign-up by including a ‘join our mailing list’ option on your website, blog, email signature, etc. Invite people you meet at events to join. Invite customers who visit your location to join. Make building your list a priority.

Deliver what you promise. People sign up based on what you communicate: the value and the frequency.  If you promise tips and articles, include them. If you commit to specials or savings, offer them. If you promise something free, make it easy to get it. If they expect something monthly or weekly, be consistent. And remember, more is not always better. Set the expectations and deliver what you promise. Otherwise, people will unsubscribe or not open your emails.

If you use email marketing for multiple purposes, allow people to choose what they wish to receive. Most email marketing platforms allow for options or subscriber preferences. For example, a reader may sign up for your monthly newsletter only, everything you send or something in between. They have control and you have readers who want what you send.

Start with a compelling ‘subject’ line AND headline. You need both. The subject line get’s it opened, the headline get’s it read. Too often, the subject line is almost an afterthought. Give it the same attention you give a headline – make it compelling and recognizable. One way to do this is to include your company name such as ’10 Tips for Better Living from Company XYZ’ or ‘Upcoming Events from John Smith’. If you do a monthly newsletter, give it a name and include it in the subject line each month. The headline in your email is a key to getting people to read it and works the same as other print advertising. Make it benefit focused – what’s in it for them or why should they read more?

Stay True to Your Audience. Be clear on your target and always write with them in mind. Since most email marketing lists begin with customers, you should have a good idea of who they are, what challenges they face, what they like and dislike and why your products and services are the best choices.

As your list grows, you may have less intimate knowledge about your audience. That’s okay because you can assume they are looking for the same value and information. Why else would they sign up? So stay true to your target and you’ll enjoy greater success with your email marketing.

Make Content Count. If you are writing promotional copy, keep it concise and make sure your message – value/benefits, offer, and call to action – is clear and understood. Bullet points and sub-headlines work well. Write copy in the present tense, not passive voice. Avoid weak words like can, may, and maybe since they dilute your message.

If you write newsletters, make sure the topics are relevant and timely for your audience. Select topics that tie-in with what is happening in the news, in their lives or in their business – at this time. Include links to your website, blog, special offers, or other resources – to create additional traffic.

Encourage sharing. Ask readers to share directly or via social media. It’s a easy way to get your message to others, grow your list and generate additional leads.

Include Customer Quotes. Adding a brief but compelling customer quote creates a third-party endorsement and added credibility to your email marketing. Make the customer ‘real’ to your readers by including the customer’s name, city, company (if applicable) or even a picture. If you have testimonials on your website or online reviews, include a link and invite your audience to check them out.

It’s Measurable & Actionable

Email marketing is highly targeted, low-cost and measurable. Most programs include reports to show you how many subscribers opened, clicked on links to your website or other URLs, and bounces.

But here’s the best part. You can get a list of WHO opened and then clicked through to learn more. It’s actionable. You can follow-up or send additional information to create more sales opportunities.

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com

Customer loyalty

Customer Loyalty: 7 Secrets to Create Raving Fans

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits – they will be embarrassingly large.” Henry Ford’s words reinforce the importance of customer service, satisfaction, and customer loyalty in your business. So what are you doing to create raving fans – and why is this important?

Why Create Raving Fans?
  • Loyal customers spend more and buy more frequently.
  • Customer satisfaction is linked to customer retention.
  • It’s cheaper to retain profitable customers than acquire new ones.
  • Customers are willing to pay more when service is better than the competition.
  • Happy customers refer others, write reviews and sing your praises every chance they get.
  • Unhappy customers tell anyone who will listen about their negative experience – and social media makes this really easy!
7 Secrets to Improve Customer Service

Get Feedback. Encourage and welcome customer input about how you can improve. Provide a method and process to get constructive comments and suggestions. Customers can be your best advocate and your best source of learning. They are knowledgeable about competitors and what they do or don’t do well. Remember, you cannot fix or improve something if you don’t know it’s broken.

Treat Employees Well. Appreciation starts at the top. Your team will treat customers the way you treat your team. Do you greet them when they arrive? Do you thank them? Do you listen to their concerns and ideas? If you take care of your team, your team will take care of you.

Handle Customer Complaints. No matter how good you are, things can and will go wrong. Identify the source of the top 5-7 complaints, even if they only occur periodically. Then develop a procedure to handle them. Don’t forget to include guidelines and limits of authority so your people, who actually deal with customers, can resolve the majority of complaints without going to the boss! Keep in mind, complaints, if handled well, can actually build loyalty with customers.

Track and Reward Customer Satisfaction. If customer satisfaction is really a priority in your business, demonstrate this to your team and customers. Develop a method to measure it, set goals for improvement and reward the team when the goal is accomplished. Keep it simple.

And here’s another plus. If your documented customer satisfaction score is 95% or better, you now have a great message for use in marketing. It sure beats the ‘we deliver great service’ message so many businesses like to put out there.

Train Your Team. Customer service skills, like technical or sales skills, can be developed and improved with training. While most businesses train new employees, existing team members need ongoing training and development too. In addition to better service, employee training is linked to improved employee retention and satisfaction – a big benefit in a competitive labor market.

Document Your Critical Systems. Too often the source of dissatisfaction or perceived poor quality is tied to your processes. Take a look at your procedures, from initial customer contact through billing and collection. Document what gets done. I guarantee you will find gaps in consistency and opportunities for improvement. Systems put money on the bottom line by reducing re-works, returns or callbacks – a big satisfaction driver.

Set Expectations. In marketing and sales, a  can-do attitude is important, but only if you can deliver what you promise each and every time. Set the right expectations with customers and work to make it happen consistently. Remember the old saying, better to under promise and over deliver!

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com

marketing purpose

What Is Your Marketing Purpose?

As a business owner, you have a lot of marketing choices. But what you choose and how you use them will ultimately drive success. While cost and ROI will always play a role in your marketing decisions, don’t overlook your marketing purpose and integration.

Marketing has many purposes. From creating awareness and building relationships to generating new sales or repeat business. Depending on your marketing purpose, some tools work better than others. And when you combine various tools, through integration, you have a better recipe for success.

Here are a few commonly used small business tools to demonstrate this point.

Social Media | Organic versus Paid

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are popular with small businesses. They are good for sharing things that others want to re-share – and that’s the key. Photos, infographics, local events, helpful tips and good news posts can help you stay connected and reach some new people.

If you are using social media as a free or low-cost method to reach lots and lots of new customers, you may be disappointed. Most social platforms rely on ads or premium subscriptions for revenue, so your reach is limited (by design) unless you pay to boost the posts, display ads or sponsor messaging. Promotional messages and special offers need a boost to perform well. The good news – when done right, paid social media is an affordable, effective way to reach more of your targeted prospects.

Tip:  When it comes to content and platforms, quality beats quantity every time. More is not always better. Choose the platforms that work best for your business then deliver quality information – stuff that is relevant to your customers.

Email Marketing | The Ultimate Stay Connected Tool

Your permission-based email list is an asset! It’s comprised of customers and prospects who said YES and want to hear from you. So, it’s a great tool for staying connected and building relationships that may create sales now or in the future.

Email marketing is flexible and affordable. With a variety of platforms like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and iContact, it’s also easy to keep your name and message in front of potential buyers. For helpful tips, check out my article, 7 Ways to Build Relationships with Email Marketing.

While consistency and good content are important, the size and quality of your list is a key to success. The bigger the list, the better the opportunity. So, put a lot of effort into building your list.

Use your website, social media, and sales or service teams to help grow your list. Give customers and prospects a reason and make it easy for them to say yes. Then deliver what you promise – relevant information.

Website | For Questions and Information

Good marketing gets attention and creates interest. But it hardly ever provides all the information someone needs to make a decision. So where do people go to get more information? Some may call but most will go to your website.

SEO and other marketing will certainly drive people to your site. So about us, services and contact information are helpful and expected. But you may be missing opportunities if you rely on these alone.

Blogs can answer common questions, provide updates and deliver relevant information.  Frequently Asked Questions – with simple answers – can also do the trick. Case studies and white papers allow you to demonstrate your expertise with problem-solution type information. Testimonials, online reviews, and certifications can offer proof of expertise.

Is your website the go-to place for questions or information prospects need? Here’s what you should consider:

  • What questions do prospects commonly ask during the sales process? Write them down and create clear (brief) answers.
  • What is the best way to share this information? Would a page with FAQ’s do the trick or should you create a blog post (or series of them) to answer the questions?
  • Do customers look for proof of your expertise? If so, case studies, white papers, testimonials, online reviews, and certifications can help you deliver. Make it easy for customers to find them.

Direct Mail | The Forgotten Tool

With so much emphasis on digital marketing, direct mail is almost an afterthought. When used with other tools, digital or media, direct mail helps reach new customers. It can be highly targeted and there’s a lot less direct mail competition today.

Whether you want to drive people to your website to learn more or call to schedule an appointment or get a quote, direct mail can deliver more bang for your buck when used with other tools. To get more customers, check out the article, 10 Direct Mail Tips.

A Final Thought

To get more sales and profit from your marketing efforts, build a plan with purpose and integration in mind.

It all starts with your marketing goals. Ideally, your marketing should accomplish three things:  generate new leads, nurture unconverted leads in your pipeline and create repeat business from customers.  Budget funds to do all three – with consistency.  Then, choose the right tools to support each purpose.

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com