In part one, I shared that I don't write what I do out of a notion of knowing the entrepreneurial struggles but never experiencing them. As a small business owner, I've been through the ringer over the past decade with business.
In this second and final part however, I want to focus on, not the "sins of the past", but the "promise of the future". As a follow up to the 3 Reasons Small Business Owners Are Their Own Worst Enemy (Part 1), the following are three ways you can acknowledge those struggles, but ultimately move past them. In a nutshell; What can you do to future proof your business?
1.) The Future is Here. Embrace it Like Dear Aunt Millie at Your Family Reunion.
Hey, maybe you love your aunt Millie... or maybe you just accept her because she's family. Entrepreneurs often have the same mixed feelings toward digital marketing and social media strategy.
To hear, "the future is digital - embrace it", sounds a bit like blah blah blah to many long-time entrepreneurs. But, really, you have two choices here; embrace the truth because you want to move forward - like hugging a relative at a family reunion you’d rather pretend not to know the rest of the year, or avoid it completely and sit in the metaphorical corner alone.
Your business has the opportunity to embrace what you don’t like, or maybe even don't understand, in order to be able to "mingle with all the rest of the cousins" and get out of the red at the end of each month.
As the lines between content and advertising are blurred, it's important to remember that every word written, spoken, or posted, works for or against your brand. Digital media and marketing are running 24/7 non stop, and as the old adage goes, if you aren't moving forward, you're moving backwards.
Hop on the digital train and embrace the perks of your brand's voice reaching customers at all hours of the day, with all sources of digital media and content.
2.) Grow Digitally.
Never has there been a better time for small business owners to assess their growth strategy than now. Although I do believe there is a place for expansion in brick-and-mortar, as I said in part 1 of this article, it is a place that needs to be partnered with digital marketing.
As a business owner I know how important analytics are. Have you ever gotten desperate in business and decided to drum up some leads with cold calls, only to find out that the person you’re calling passed away years ago?
Well I have, and let me tell you, it’s a tough conversation to save face on and even tougher to accept yourself after the call is over.
“Yes, Hi. May I speak with Mrs. Soandso?”.
“Oh she died two years ago? Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ll take her off our contact list.”.
“How did we get her information? Oh, well, no worries she’s off our list. I’m so sorry for your loss. Good bye. Bye now. Yes, bye.”
Head hangs down wondering how you got to this place from your not-too-distant notions of building an empire.
Let me tell you how, analytics and lead generation. The best – and I mean best - way to generate leads and get "right every time" analytics is to have a thriving digital presence collecting such data. Without it, you risk calling deceased leads.
Don't call dead people - go digital.
3.) Best Practices of Successful Outsourcing.
So if content is king and outsourcing is necessary, what exactly are you looking for? In my business there are two sides of the coin. There’s the side that knows a little more about social media and content creation than you, and there are the experts. The ones who have studied content, copywriting, psychology of the sale, marketing, social media, and several other helpful sciences.
Here are a handful of helpful hints in finding the right person for the job.
Cheapest does not equal best. Don’t look for the best person to shape your digital presence by price shopping. This is a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot approach. Spend the extra, even if money is tight. Your options are a) get someone cheap – get cheap results, or b) get someone great – get great results.
Don’t be terribly involved. Look, you’re outsourcing for a reason right? Let the professionals create, and do your best to trust the process. Interjecting too much may halt the growth of your business.
·Stay in communication (not to be confused with interjecting). When your digital marketing outsourced professional has questions or plans a call, be sure to secure that time to communicate your voice, plans, progress etc. Be available and spend some time helping them understand the vision and goals you have for your brand. This is imperative for a successful campaign. Communication is key.
Expect detailed analytics regularly. If you are outsourcing with a digital marketer or social media strategist and you aren’t getting monthly “progress reports”, you’re partnering with the wrong professional. Getting these reports are what, over time, turns your business around or future proofs your business, depending on your current situation. It’s how you know if you need to change/what you need to change, who your market truly is, and how best to give them what they want from your business.
So that’s it! Simple aye?
Embrace the future, even if you don’t like it.
Grow digitally along-side your brick-and-mortar.
If you want to future proof your business, contact me and let’s get started together.
There is a way for you to thrive and be one of the few businesses that see regular growth over the course of many years. Don't miss out. Opportunity is knocking.