Small business is the new big business. If you want to take your industry by storm then the last thing you want to do is copy what your larger competitors have done. Many of them operate in a way that worked fine ten years ago but we are working in a new age now. You can have all the benefits of being a large business while still incorporating what is so great about the hands-on, customer led qualities that smaller businesses have. In this article I would like to offer you a few hands-on tips on how you can be a major player within your industry and become the company internet searchers want to deal with.
Answer the Phone
Many larger businesses have delegated this to untrained individuals who do not know their products and cannot or do not have the authority to answer simple questions. If someone phones your sales office after finding you online and gets a poorly trained person who cannot answer their questions, then you are wasting that person’s time and possibly losing a new good customer. When possible, management should answer the sales line or at least be in the same room. If that is not possible, and I sincerely hope it is, then by all means make sure that the person answering the phone can answer 99% of the questions asked about your products and/or services.
Do Your Own Blogging and Article Marketing
Article marketing and blogging now plays a very important role in promoting your brand. You may not always have time to write but ensure it is done either by the company directors or someone who knows your products and services inside and out. It is great to train a group of individuals who can properly represent your business in words. Recently, I have found that a lot of my own articles have been plagiarized and re-written by people who often have a poor command of the English language. They change the keyword rich articles so that they no longer make any sense and then point them at their clients, my competitor’s sites. These black-hat search engine optimisation tactics may do these businesses some good in the short run but in the end, they will lose. Take this very important part of branding new businesses very seriously and ensure that you know what is being written on your behalf. Better yet, write your own blogs and articles.
Do Your Own Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
There is a reason why the search engines want and promote properly optimised sites. These sites offer the viewer a much better shopping experience. Personally I now spend at least six hours on SEO every day. It is not difficult but it is one of the most important things you can do for your business. There are numerous books and online resources where you can teach yourself how to properly optimise your site and I recommend you do.
The above advice is time consuming and perhaps a bit dull but no one knows your business like you do!
Use Promotional Items to Build Your Brand
The easiest part of building your brand is using a tested and proven means of brand building which is giving your target customers promotional items printed with your logo and contact details. Look for items that your customers will want to own and use. Every day products such as promotional pens, printed mugs, logo printed note pads and colourful mouse mats are all brilliant promotional tools that will reinforce your brand and make it easy for your customers to find your information.
Posted by Dan Toombs