26 Things that will Change the Way You Run Your Business

By Published 10 July 2015
26 Things that will change the way you run your business

We all know that there are certain aspects of our business that could be improved or changed.

We all know this, but often we’re too busy doing client work, or checking emails or doing other stuff.

So when someone tells you to work “on” your business and not “in” it, or at least put some time aside to do this I’m guessing a lot of the time this is put off because the task seems too much of a mountain to climb, and you don’t necessarily know where to start.

So here are some ideas to give you a kick start:

1. Write Emails

How often do you write emails to actually get new customers. How about writing emails that give value (like this blog) to your prospects? By writing information that is helpful and of use to them, then the chances are they will more likely read it than not.

2. Google Adwords

It’s true that Facebook can be a more powerful advertising platform than Google however Google offer an option to do “Banner Readvertising” which can be incredibly successful. Amazon do this particularly well, and it works like this – say you’re looking at purchasing a book on Amazon but don’t actually go through with the sale – then you leave the Amazon website and visit another site, and you see that book from Amazon in a Banner Advert! This is done using cookies on your computer – very clever but very effective.

3. Reactivate Old Customers

How many past customers do you have that you haven’t been in touch with for months, if not years? How about getting back in touch with them with details of your new products and services? An example is a lady who had a CV Writing business and throughout her business life had helped 450 people with writing their CV.

She then approached 10 of them with their CV saying “What’s changed in the past few years, let’s get your CV updated”. She had 4 people come back and ask for her service at £450 a CV, equating to £1800 worth of business! Not bad!

4. Brainstorm Headlines

Headlines are powerful. The Sun Newspaper might be the sleaziest magazine on the planet, however they maintain their popularity because they write amazing headlines which SELL! When you send out communication, what headline do you use?

5. Who is your “Who?” Create a customer Profile

You need to know who your customer is and how they think. Your customer is NOT anyone or everyone. If you think it is, you’re using a “Shotgun” approach! Think about it. The more you get to understand who your customer is and how they think the more you can take a “Sniper” approach.

If you are able to answer these questions

  1.  What is their Gender? Age? Lifestyle? Profession? Income? Location?
  2.  What problem do they have that you can solve?
  3.  Who else is in the market that can solve this problem?

The more you can drill down and identify your ideal client, the more accurate you can be with your marketing efforts.

6. Auto-Responders

Do you have any automation set up so that when an enquiry comes through, an automatic email replies to them? This is a great way of saving time.

7. One-off follow ups

How many times will you follow up a prospect? 3 or 4? Then no more? Just because they don’t want to buy now doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy in the next few months. Keep in touch with them to keep on their radar so when they are ready to buy, they buy from you.

8. Facebook Adverts

Facebook is now the best place to start marketing to your audience. If you have drilled down and worked out exactly where your ideal customer hangs out, then Facebook is THE place to market because they have the demographics to be able to segment your targeting.

When you invest in Facebook Marketing, make sure that when prospects click on your advert that you send them to a Landing (Sales) page. If you just send them to your website for them to navigate around then it will reduce your success.

9. Planning & Writing Sales Webinars

Webinars are by far the best way to reach out to new audiences. Get your message right and you’ll have packed webinars wanting to hear what you’ve got to say.

10. Planning Sales Promotions

Take a look at your products and services and see which of them you can promote to draw in a new audience. By working out how much a customer is worth to you over the period of a year, look at how much you can afford to spend to gain a new customer.

11. Look at more profitable pricing

There will always be prospects for all levels of pricing. Take a look at how you price your products and categorise them if you like.   Look at having maybe a BRONZE, SILVER and GOLD pricing structure. By promoting the Bronze there is always the opportunity to upsell to the Silver or Gold. This is incredibly powerful when selling to brand new prospects.

12. Writing Newsletters

Businesses that say there’s not much happening in their business are not telling the truth. There is always something going on in your business and the best way of communicating this to your customers and prospects is by creating a newsletter. If you’ve not done this before it’s like creating a new habit. Once you start it gets easier and easier. Take a look at the activities and events that happen on a weekly basis and share them in a newsletter. However when you send it out, don’t title it Newsletter, people will be hooked in by the title!

13. Writing and Designing Adverts

Advertising works. If you don’t have the skills in house to do this, outsource and find a designer or an agency who you can work with to achieve this. Adverts work especially when you know who your target audience is and having a clear message is absolutely key.

14. Write Direct Mail

How the tables have turned! We used to complain at the volume of post we received. Because of the internet now we receive very little post. Everything almost is done online. How excited are we now when we receive a hand-written letter in the post! It’s madness. It may be a costly way of sending out post but when it’s done in the right way, WOW can it make a difference.

15. Identify who’s got the best list for my niche

As you niche down to exactly who it is you want to target, look at other businesses who are similar to yours but have a bigger slice of the cake. For instance if you’re training online and you want to reach a new audience, take a look at Amazon Local, Udemy or Groupon. All these organisation are doing the same but in a much bigger way, so why not piggy back off their lists?

16. Develop new products

Businesses change all the time especially as technology is rapidly changing. We must all look at our own products and services to see how the market has changed, and then maybe how we can change our products to best fit the new developing markets.

17. Design a Referral Campaign

Our best business will always come from referrals. So why not create a referral campaign to encourage your best customers to refer business to you. Make sure that it’s a WIN/WIN so that everybody gains from it. For example a Hair Salon is offering 50% off to all their customers who bring in a new customer, AND 50% off to the new customer too. That way the Hair salon benefits by gaining new clients and the client gains from having 50% off. Think about how this could work in your business.

18. Review and Update your Website

This old chestnut! One of my favourites. So when was the last time you not only updated your website, but reviewed the content on there? This is so overlooked and forgotten about, yet should be such a simple thing to do. If your website isn’t mobile responsive – seriously consider getting it looked at. If you don’t have access, get your web designer to update the content. It shouldn’t be too expensive, but it’s important to make sure your content continues to give value to prospects.

19. Planning and Writing FREE reports for giveaways

To build your list so that you can email prospects, think of the value that you can give away to them in the form of a free giveaway. What information do you have that your prospects would like to know? Whatever this is, convert it into a FREE giveaway document to add onto your website in exchange for a name and email address. This is a very powerful way of growing your list. And as your list grows, you can then start to email and reach out to your prospects.

20. Gather VIDEO Testimonials

Do you know how easy it is to do a video testimonial? Easier than you think. We all have mobile phones right? If you get one of your best clients who sings your praises just ask them the right questions, and then you get the content you want. Ask:

  • Why did you choose to work with us?
  • What sort of job did we do?
  • Would you recommend us to other people?

21. Google Analytics

So how many of you have Google Analytics on your website? And how many of you actually understand it? If you don’t understand how this works, work with your website developer to understand how by making certain changes to your website that this can affect your rankings in the search engines. This can be quite a technical subject, so make sure you find a good Agency who can help you work through the minefield of the analytics to achieve the best results. Having a good ranking in Google can make a big difference to your business.

22. Planning how to build your list

Often times the value of your business can be in the size (and quality) of the list you have. So look at how you can build your list. One of the best ways is use an “opt-in” on your website. So prospects opt-in to your marketing in exchange for content of value to them. This is a great way to build your list, but make sure this process is not a manual one. It needs to be automated to save a lot of time, so your website designer can set this up for you using something like Aweber, Mailchimp or better still Infusionsoft.

23. Headline Test

Try out different subject headlines to see which of them gets the most opens. Make your subject line interesting and go-getting. That will have more impact than just “July Newsletter”! Test and Try out different headlines to see the difference in impact that they have. You’ll be amazed how powerful a great headline can be. CoSchedule have a brilliant headline analyser if you’re ever unsure about how strong your headlines are.

24. Building Squeeze Pages

Squeeze pages (or landing pages or Sales pages) are specifically a single page on the internet where once you’ve landed on it – you have two choices of what to do:

  1. Sign up with your name and email address
  2. Leave the site

They are designed specifically for that reason – to get your name and email address and are used specifically when you’re advertising on Google or Facebook. Your advert will be quite specific leaving the prospect wanting more information. You then direct them to a landing page where you give them a bit more information but leave them feeling “incomplete” and the only way you can make them feel complete is for them to give their name and email address! Bingo!

25. Segment your database

It’s possible now to split out your database into what their separate interests are.   By doing this you can specifically target your messaging. This way you are not sending information to people who don’t want it. You can write specific messaging to people who are interested in specific products or services.

Infusionsoft is by far one of the best tools on the market to do this. Capture prospects, segment them and then target them with what they want to hear. Incredibly powerful way to drill down your marketing.

26. Scripting & Recording Videos

It’s true. VIDEO is the future for Websites and Facebook and most other social media platforms. People have a very short attention span (and by the way you’ve done well if you’ve reached this far in my post). Short videos of value are very powerful. People will listen to your message more if it’s a video than they will if it’s written!   Start out by using your mobile phone, then when you feel you’re getting the hang of it, outsource to a competent video company who will be able to create professional videos for you.   People really will buy into you then.

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Do you have any other ideas of doing things differently that can change your business? I’d be really interested to hear them. Please let me know in the comments below! What do you think?

Author: Alison Boyle

Alison co-founded LA Marketing and is specialist in strategic online marketing for small businesses, and is passionate about teaching SME’s to grow their business through understanding social media, and empowering them to market themselves online. You can follow Alison on Twitter or Google+

Connect on Linkedin Alison Boyle

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