It’s official people – we are a week into January 2020. The honeymoon period of Christmas break and New Years is over. I know – back to real life! But before the warm and glowy feeling of a new year wears off, let’s get your ducks in a row to make this your best business year ever!
Since it’s 2020, we went the extra mile and compiled 20 top tips from different fields like marketing, business and finance to help you reach your goals!
#1. Delegate Tasks to People and Machines
Did you know? In the United States, there are 252 work days in 2020.
104 of the days went to weekends, and 10 more went to public holidays.
That leaves you with 6048 hours.
If we sleep the recommended 8 hours a night, then we spend almost 2016 of those hours asleep.
The average work day is also 8 hours.
If you work too long, productivity tends to decline. We need time to eat, and enjoy pass times, and derive inspiration from other aspects of life.
So you’re left with around 2016 working hours for the whole year, give or take if you work on some weekends or stay late on some days.
With so few hours to manage and grow your business in, time is precious.
And yet, it’s so easy to let the hours fritter away with email checking, manually completing tasks that could be automated, and spending too long on a task someone else could complete much faster. The year ends and we might wonder why the business didn’t grow more and what happened.
This year, strive to make the most of your working hours by performing a self-audit of how you spend each day – where are all your hours going?
Define which tasks are eating up the most of your time. Which ones can be delegated to machines (such as marketing automation platforms) and to people (either employees who work with you or someone working remotely.)
The cost of employing someone else to complete tasks that are taking up all your time could free you up to grow the business more effectively, and thus pay their salary and then some.
Hot tip: Set yourself up with rules for what times you can check your email and for how long, and turn off notifications on your phone if you find yourself too tied to it.
#2. Identify your Customer
There’s always a temptation to try appeal to everyone with your business, but that might water down your message and actually discourage your real target audience. It’s also very expensive to try and market to everyone, when the message is wasted on those who are not going to be interested.
Analyze the numbers and maybe even survey your customers to discover who really buys your product or services, and how to appeal to more people like them. There are over 7 billion people in the world – find your niche market, and gear your marketing towards them.
#3. Nurture your Customers
Once you have a collection of customers, the main goal is to keep them! After all, it is much more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep your current ones happy and have them be your cheerleaders recommending your business to their friends and family.
If they have any complaints – respond promptly, politely, and do your best to make it right for them. It can take just one negative experience to sour someone on a company they have been loyal to for years, and they will let their friends know about it too.
This may involve helping them fix something, delegating them to someone who can fix it, offering a freebie if warranted, and generally just doing whatever you can to help them stay a happy and loyal customer.
#4. Discover how your Customers use your Website
When you’re designing a page for your website, you might think its an amazing arrangement, but it could turn out that all the information you wanted customers to see, is never actually seen. Using software like Hotjar and Crazy Egg, you can record your visitors’ browsing sessions and see how they navigate around your pages, what they click on, and how far down a page they scroll.
#5. Talk to your Customers and Website Visitors
When people visit your website, they are generally considering whether or not to purchase your product or service. The best thing you can do is be available to answer any questions they might have. Not all answers to their questions might be readily apparent on your website, so they might just move on thinking you aren’t right for them otherwise.
Sending an email is time consuming and many won’t want to do that, and others might not wish for the social interaction of a phone call, especially if they aren’t sure they want a sales pitch yet. Live Chat features are becoming very popular on websites now because they are a quick/no obligation way for potential customers to ask a question. It can also automatically reach out to visitors that have been on your website for a while, asking if they have any questions.
#6. Make your Website Mobile-Friendly
You have likely put a lot of work into making your website look beautiful, so you don’t want it to look like a mess on mobile phones or tablets, which many people are using these days to check out websites. An easy way to have a website that’s responsive – adjusts nicely to different screen sizes – is to use a responsive WordPress theme. It also enables you to use all the amazing WordPress plugins, like our Customer-Connection WordPress Portal!
Here is a list of 60 responsive WordPress themes to glance at, just in case :).
#7. Where is your Money Going?
You might be feeling like you only just broke even last year. What can be done to change that in 2020?
The first step is to map out all your business expenses. Sometimes it’s little expenses that are accumulating, other times it’s a big expense that’s taking a major chunk out of your income.
One thing many people accumulate now is subscriptions. There are many apps you can choose from to manage your subscriptions, so that you know when a payment is coming up, and the money isn’t just quietly leaving your account for things you aren’t even using, or services you should maybe be on a different plan for.
Not to toot our own horn too much… but 1CRM strives to include everything you need to run your business within a single app, so you don’t have a slew of subscriptions from different companies to just make the complete CRM you need.
#8. Plan your Marketing Promotions (Make a Calendar!)
Plan out your year of marketing promotions from the start. That way, your marketing team will be ready to roll out any of your new products/services or features properly with teasers and warm-ups, and be ready to share blog posts across social media.
You can also plan if you’d like to do any fun promotions for holidays, like a Spring break, Christmas, Back to school, or some spook-tacular deals! You don’t want it to suddenly dawn on you that a holiday is tomorrow and you could have aligned your company with something fun others are participating in.
#9. Make it Easy for your Customers
Whether out of convenience, cost, or just not realizing it, companies sometimes make it harder than necessary for customers to communicate with them, buy their products, or to even make payments. You may be aware of some of your customer’s pain points that could be fixed in 2020, if not, you could survey your customers. Request their wish lists for how things could be made easier for them. Maybe they wish you had Tap payment machines, or an online store, the ability to book online.
Some of the items may seem small, but customers like to feel heard, and they like to get products and services in the easiest way possible. If it’s too difficult with you, they will choose someone who makes it easier.
One option that checks off a few boxes is the Customer-Connection WordPress Portal. It enables customers to manage subscriptions, view bills, approve quotes, review projects, book appointments, etc., all right on your regular business website!
#10. Get to Know Google Analytics
If your website isn’t connected yet to Google Analytics, get connected, and start tracking! It can tell you how customers are finding your website, whether organically, from ads you might be running, or from a 3rd party that might be featuring your products! It can also give you geographical information, and you can find out which of your pages are the most and least popular on your website. There is basically a world of information on there that you need to know in order to tweak your website and marketing efforts effectively.
#11. Explore Inbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is basically when you push your message out to a wide audience, and hope they will respond by purchasing your product or service. Inbound marketing is when the customers search for products like yours and come to you. Outbound marketing is generally more expensive, and some might deem it to be a more outdated approach. Inbound marketing requires more creativity to be successful at it.
Inbound marketing strategies can be viral videos, topical blog posts, webinars, eBooks, SEO optimizing your website so that anyone searching for words like the ones featured on your website might then be directed to you.
#12. Support your Supporters
Few companies enjoy the customer support side of things, and customer’s don’t enjoy needing support, so why not help yourself out and make sure your guys have all the data they need to succeed.
Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), your support staff (or just you) can simply look up any customer profile to see all past interactions with them, along with any purchases made. You can see what’s happening in projects, marketing, and support tickets to give the customer up-to-date information from any area they need, without having long wait times of enlisting other co-workers to help.
#13. New Year Clean-Out!
A new year is like a fresh sheet of paper, so why not have a fresh inbox too? If you have a bunch of un-opened emails, or even physical mail, get started on clearing it out for the new year! There might be some valuable opportunities with them, or issues that need tending to.
Clutter adds to your mental load too, which impacts your productivity. When everything is clean, you see less reminders of what you should be doing, and can focus more on what you’re actually doing.
#14. Get Social!
If your business isn’t on social media yet, it’s never too late to get started!
Try to research which platforms your clients frequent the most. Are they more professionals who hang out on LinkedIn? Looking for artistic things on Instagram and Pinterest? General social conversation on Twitter? You can’t do all platforms well, as it would spread you too thin and take too much time to update them all frequently with unique content for each. Choose the top 2 you think your clients might be looking for you on.
You can search for your business name on Twitter to see if your clients are already having a discussion about you there that you can get in on!
Answering your customer’s questions on social media not only helps them, but it also makes your business look good because you are getting the facts out there, and dutifully supporting your customers.
For your own tweets, try to inform, entertain, and help your followers. They want to follow you because your page is interesting, not for sales pitches. Try to add a tasteful (nothing controversial) amount of personality to your posts, that aligns with your brand.
#15. Hire Friendly People!
It might seem like a given, but not every entrepreneur or person working there should be a customer-facing member of staff. Some people are much better at being friendly, charming the customers, and smoothing over situations. This might mean you have to hire an extra member of staff, but it is well worth the cost if no one there is currently the ray of sunshine your customers want to interact with.
#16. Nurture your Staff!
With businesses large and small, the staff is the glue that holds it all together. They know how things work, and the customers are familiar with them. Especially with your star employees, you need to ensure they are paid adequately, and are allowed to schedule certain days off. They need to be challenged enough and feel that they can obtain more responsibilities and roles within the company.
Losing star employees sends a red flag to customers that not everything is going well behind the scenes, and thus casting a dark shadow over your business. Employees can also leave reviews on websites like Glass Door too, and you want those reviews to be good ones!
#17. Personalize your Marketing
Customers receive enough emails without also getting ones that really don’t apply to them. If you already purchased something, why are you still getting emails encouraging you to pull the trigger? Because someone didn’t create the campaign to be personalized.
Using a software like Lead Guerrilla, you can create campaigns that will change according to the actions of the consumer. If they have purchased, they now enter a different line of emails, that contains information relevant to that particular customer.
#18. Make it Interactive
Customers don’t like just reading text all the time – give them something fun to do!
Think about adding polls, quizzes, videos, maybe even a series of videos that are choose your own adventure! This can be easy with a product like Splic!
Who knows, you might do something fun enough that it could go viral!
#19. Testing...Testing...A/B Testing...
You can never have enough A/B testing. Changing one aspect of your website, or an email, to see which one gets a better response from customers. That’s how the pros decide everything down to which tint of blue they might use for a button. Using a tool like Optimizely makes it easy to see the results!
#20. Set your Goals!
What is the ultimate way to have the best year in your business? Set clear and obtainable goals. It will be business as usual unless you specifically plan otherwise. Do you want to increase revenue by 15%? Get your planning hat on!
To reach that goal, you could either slowly increase prices (not surpassing what your customers are willing to pay), increase the amount of customers you have, or find a way to cut costs by buying from different suppliers, in bulk, or using your marketing dollars more intelligently.
The year has already begun! Set your goals, lay out your plan, and the steps you will take to try and reach your goals by 2021!