3 months ago on
6 Mistakes Small Businesses Should Do Away With
For the purpose of running a business successfully, you need to have expertise in finance, accounting, business law, marketing, strategic development and many other fields. As your business keeps growing, your responsibilities also keep expanding. There is a huge amount of hard work and risk in any business you run and that’s why many businesses shut down within the first 18 months.
Here are 6 common mistakes small businesses should do away with:
1. No Space for Ego – For a business to be successful, you have to make several right decisions. It is difficult to take the correct decision and choose the best all the time. Mostly, the biggest blockage to making the best choice is not lack of skills or knowledge but the business owner’s ego and stubbornness on his/her thoughts.
Sometimes business owners take a decision depending on their gut feeling without doing any proper research and survey. It is advised to stay updated always and think with an open mind. This is extremely important for a successful business.
2. Be sure before hiring – A hiring manager should hire wisely. Hiring a wrong person could lead to a big waste of time, effort, and funds. Usually, in a small business, only the hiring manager is responsible for deciding and hiring.
You should not limit the interview of the candidate only up to the hiring manager. There should be several rounds of interviews. They could be written or on computer or face to face. You have to keep in mind how well is this resource going to fit into the team. Make sure that the candidate is a complete fit in the company before hiring.
3. Spend Proper Time in Planning –A business owner starts a business in the field of his expertise. This is highly beneficial as it reduces the learning time. But there is a huge difference between having the knowledge and practical application of that knowledge. It is extremely important to have a proper business plan and an execution plan.
Even if the business owner has great skills, he must follow a plan which would be helpful in keeping the business streamlined. Plans help in meeting deadlines and stay focused on the mission of the business. There is a very old saying “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
4. Define proper goals and mission –To achieve success at what you do, you must properly draft business goals, vision, reasons, and points of passion. Even if you have a small group of people working, it is difficult for all the people to have a common consensus. So, at these times, a well-defined goal or mission is helpful in coming to a conclusion and preventing from any form of argument. You should not compromise on your goals in order to meet a consensus.
5. Accept your Weaknesses – Every human has a set of strengths and weaknesses. It would be your biggest mistake if you ignore your weaknesses. No matter how perfect you are at your work, you can still make mistakes. So, you should not be overconfident about your working skills and accept that you are also bound to make mistakes. A successful business owner would be the one who would know his or her weaknesses well. You should be open to inputs from others about what they feel you lack.
6. Manage your employees efficiently – People management skill is one of the most important skills that the owner of a small business should have. There are several misconceptions in everyone’s mind regarding managing resources. The employees are the assets of the company.
All employees are different and as a leader, it’s your responsibility to understand their key skills and behaviour. You should know how to motivate your assets and how to make them work in the most efficient manner. Make sure you spend proper time in understanding each of them.
The key to a successful business is uniqueness, but being over confident is the deadliest mistake. Even a small mistake made by you could lead to the collapse of your business. So, avoid the mistakes mentioned above and keep going, taking your business to new heights.
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4 months ago on
Why Video Marketing is So Powerful for Businesses
Video content has emerged as the preferred format of consuming content. You don’t need statistics to figure that out. Just think of your own browsing choices. If you wanted to know about the top 10 places to holiday (or any other topic), would you read about it or watch a three minute video?
Here are some staggering statistics that shows the popularity of videos:
> Video traffic was 73% of all consumer internet traffic in 2016. This will rise to 82% by 2021. (Cisco VNI, 2016)
> YouTube has one billion users. That’s two third of all internet users.
> 87% of online marketers use video marketing. (Outbrain)
> 10 million videos are watched in Snapchat everyday
> More than 500 million hours of video is watched on Youtube everyday
Why Do We Prefer Video?
So what is it that makes us prefer video over text? It’s our lazy brain.
Our brains need more work to construct meaning from text. On the other hand, comprehending visuals is easy for our brains.
The eyes are our most active sense and we have used visual communication for thousands of years. The combination of visuals and auditory input is what makes video a more natural way of communication for us.
90% of information sent to the brain is visuals and the interesting fact is that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. This is the reason videos need fewer steps to extract meaning and are perceived with ease.
What Video Marketing Can Do for Your Business?
Videos can do all that a successful marketing tool should do for your business. It can increase your conversion, builds your brand and sell your product convincingly. Consider the following numbers:
- Videos on landing page improve conversion rate by 80% (Eyeview Digital)
- 4 in 5 consumers believe that demo videos are helpful
- Online shoppers who view video are 1.8 times more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers. (Animoto,2015)
- Using the word ‘video’ in the e-mail subject line increase the open rate by 19% (Syndacast)
- Visitors spend 2.6 times more time on a page with video (Wistia)
Videos also help in SEO as more time spent on page and greater shareability of videos boost rankings on search engines. Product videos explain your product in an easy to understand and captivating way.
Check out this video of Ultra Ever Dry that went viral.
In his book Influence, Rober Caildni gives six techniques to influence anyone. Videos use all these techniques effectively which makes them great for marketing.
The six factors of influence are reciprocity, likeability, trust, authority, social proof and scarcity.
Videos can play on all of these techniques. Videos featuring founder or employees naturally build trust and likeability among viewers. A video where someone is speaking to you is much more personal than reading text. This builds relation with the brand and personifies it.
Although a text article can also show your expertise, a video gives more information to build authority. For example, authority is also built by the expressions, tone of voice and clothing.
Testimonial videos are a great way to build social proof. A compilation of your satisfied and happy customers makes visitors more likely to make the purchase.
Finally, the principle of reciprocity is also used when you give lots of information in the form of video which is easier to consume but harder to make. Your customers are more likely to notice the effort and pay you back.
Our natural preference for visuals and human interaction make video marketing the most powerful tool for business. Here are some tips to make sure your videos drive consumer action.
#1 Keep videos short and to the point
According to Animoto, Almost 75% of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds. Consumers are impatient with their attention and penalize brands that waste their time. Ask yourself if there is a shorter way to tell your message.
#2 Prefer Humans over Animation
Videos with people get more engagement than animated or whiteboard videos. We naturally connect more to a smiling human face and a trusting voice. However, animation may be a better option for explaining complex concepts and processes.
#3 Use the right type of video
There are many categories of video. You can make a product video, testimonial video, founder story video or an entertaining content video. Use the right video on the right page.
For example, a testimonial video would be great to convert leads on landing page whereas founder’s story would fit well on the homepage of your website. You must also choose the video based on your industry. A product business will require a product video but a law consultancy will do well to produce videos with legal tips for clients.
#4 Budget Videos
A popular video doesn’t have to be expensive. Many small business owners shoot regular videos from their desk and get good results.
The important part is to understand what your customers would like to see and deliver that in the simplest way possible. Make sure the lighting is sufficient and voice is audible.
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4 months ago on
How Businesses Benefit from Social Media Marketing
Social media was considered to be a passing fad a few years ago. Today it is a proven platform for businesses to reach target audience and grow revenue. Businesses are taking social media seriously. Facebook reported $9.16 billion in advertising revenue in the second quarter of 2017.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter help businesses reach out to their prospects personally and develop relations. Here are some ways businesses benefit from social media marketing:
- Builds a Brand and Brand Loyalty
A brand is built by consistent messaging and presence. According to Global Web Index, people spend more than two hours on social media platforms daily. You are missing out on precious customer attention if you are not active on social media.
Source : MarketingProfs
Having a profile on social media allows you to post and interact with your target market. A Study by Convince and Convert has also shown that people who follow a brand on social media are more loyal to that brand.
A profile on these platforms ‘humanizes’ your brand. You can like and comment on your followers’ posts like a friend. This is great because people like to do business with humans and not a company without any human traits.
Social media is a necessary platform to be on and give your audience a seamless experience between the offline and online branding efforts.
- Reach more people
In traditional marketing, businesses had to spend big money to reach their target customers. Advertisements in print and television assured no guarantee that your target audience would see it despite investing huge amount.
This has changed with social media. Now you can reach the right target audience for free! Followers increase consistently with time as long as you post content regularly. What’s more, users who follow you are interested in your brand and ready to engage with you. This is much better than placing a hoarding that most people don’t even look at.
It is also an excellent platform to reach the global audience. Viral marketing can increase your followers exponentially overnight. Although there is not set recipe for a viral content you must strive to post content that connects with your audience and is something that they identify with.
- Source of Inbound traffic
Social media is an important source of traffic in inbound marketing. It is a channel for content distribution and is great to attract new visitors to your site.
Every post, infographic or video you share can lead your followers to your site. This is the reason why more than 58% of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer see improved search engine rankings (Source: Social Media Examiner, 2015). Most of the social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow you to include a link in your post.
Make sure to include a call to action in your post. This way social media will give you a steady flow of traffic to your website. This works great for your inbound sales funnel as more targeted visitors convert to leads and eventually customers.
- Get Detailed Customer Profile
Never in the history of marketing have marketers been able to gather so much data about their audience. You can know the locations, interests, like and dislikes of your followers on social media. Social media is a gold mine of data for marketers. You can know your customers and prospects intimately by the conversations they are having and concerns they are voicing.
A simple search on your industry or topic can give you large amounts of data for research.
This detailed data on your followers can help you in market research, business idea validation and customer profiling.
- Grow a Community
Social media is a two way communication platform where you can grow a community. Some companies are using it to foster brand loyalty among their current customers. This can be done by encouraging conversations between customers.
You can also share tips on product usage and lifestyle. For example, if you are a company selling bicycle you can share information on fitness and diet to encourage a healthy lifestyle among your customers. This lets the customers know that you care and increases chances of them recommending you to their friends.
Brands are also using Facebook pages for handling customer complaints, feedback and product training. In fact social media has now emerged as the top choice for customer care contact.
- Increase Conversion rate
Yes! Social media has a direct impact on your sales too. Studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
This is because you can get highly targeted leads from social media. Only users who are interested in your brand follow you and are more likely to visit your website. Also, a higher number of social media followers tend to improve trust and credibility in your brand which then drives higher conversions.
- Support HR and R&D
Social media has benefits beyond sales and marketing too. Human resource can use social media for recruiting, employee engagement and monitoring employee sentiment. According to Jobvite, 59% of recruiters rated candidates found through social media as “highest quality”. LinkedIn has become a major source of data on prospective candidates for HR.
Contacts and conversations on social media can also be helpful for product development and research teams. Social media is also the place for latest news and trends in the industry. Therefore all departments can benefit from having a presence in social media and being in touch with industry influencers.
With so many benefits at no extra cost, a brand must invest in social media platforms. It does take time to build your followers on social media but the opportunity of being in close touch with your market is something we must take advantage of. It is something the previous generations of businesses had no access to.
According to Hubspot, 84% of marketers found that as little as six hours of effort per week were enough to generate increased traffic. Even an hour a day can show results over the long run.