Small business owners
looking to cut costs and increase their return on investment (ROI) need to stay
creative and use the many available financial and marketing tools available.
This is a chance to increase web traffic, sales, and brand awareness, among
other things. Clear goals, tracking results, and making the most of social
media and search engine optimization can only help a small business grow and
Clearly Define Goals
There are many ways to measure ROI. For example, one business may want to increase profits across the board whereas another may want to reduce expenses or increase web traffic to the website or Facebook page. Another business may want to increase brand preference or increase customer satisfaction or repeat business. The first step to success is clearly defining goals. They should be specific, measurable and attainable. And of course, one should know their current return for 2014 so that success can be tracked.
Track Your Results
Smart business owners use data analytics to track their results. Investing in the proper accounting software ensures managers can keep track of expenses and income. Additionally, one should have technology that can track web activity and how customers are finding out about a business. Collecting data and analyzing it helps business owners better market their products and services. Smart managers should always seek out customer feedback and make good use of this information when shaping advertising or pricing plans.
Reduce Unnecessary Costs
Business owners or managers need to be smart about reducing expenses. This does not mean paying talented staff less. Instead, it means looking to see if there is way to cut down on utilities, lower production costs by finding alternatives, and always looking for discounts and deals. Comparison shopping insurance and utility services can cut costs as can replacing materials or looking at different vendors or manufacturers’ rates.
SEO Is Your Fairy Godmother
Consumers use the Internet to shop and find out about new businesses. Smart owners will make sure to really refine their websites and make the most of social media. The key to being noticed online is to understand the power of search engine optimization (SEO). Thus, businesses need to think about how their products and business are described online and which keywords customers may use to find information. There are consultants and companies who offer SEO competitive analysis that offer rich insight into online branding. Investing in these services can help a business really get noticed.
Highlight the Business’s Strengths
Smart business owners need to heavily advertise what makes their business special. For example, if a restaurant is known for its chili, this should be heavily promoted online, in local publications and media, and with coupons and specials. Such products or services are cash cows that get new customers in the door. This adds revenue and attention to the business. Similarly, it is important to pay attention to timing. A swimming pool company is most likely to generate interest in the spring and summer. Thus, it is important to tailor advertising campaigns and promotions for this time of year.
Use Social Media to Communicate with Customers
Lastly, it is important to engage with customers. One of the most immediate ways to do this is online. Smart businesses can offer unique promotions on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, among other spaces, and make sure to respond quickly and positively to all customer feedback or questions. Personal yet professional communication really builds a business’s brand.
Increasing ROI is about business owners really knowing what they want out of 2015. Clearly defined goals, accurate record keeping, and smart advertising and online branding can make all the difference for a business.