5 Principles to Make Your Small Business Growing

Posted by admin on October 07, 2015
blogs, Business, Marketing / No Comments
Portrait of mid adult female shop owner holding an open signboard while standing at counter in department store. Horizontal shot.

Portrait of mid adult female shop owner holding an open signboard while standing at counter in department store. Horizontal shot.

Running a small business is a daunting challenge. Statistically, less than 50 percent of small businesses are still operational after five years. Globalization has increased the level of competition and introduced more turmoil to the business environment.

If you want to take your business to the next level, you’ll need to be open to the current realities of the new global economy, and get more creative.

Here are five ways to keep your small business growing.

1. Build your foundation

An organization without a strong and stable foundation will surely crumble in the face of uncertainty and economic turmoil. The strongest foundations in business are those whose cornerstones are based on non-negotiable core values.

Core values are your deeply held beliefs and represent the fundamental forces that influence and drive the decisions you make on a daily basis. These guide the principles behind your purpose and vision and establish the culture within your organization.

An enterprise that is built on aligned values, purpose, and vision will remain true and committed to their ideals, regardless of changes in the business environment, because they understand their way of doing business.

This is called the “principle of right-fit.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO of online clothing retailer Zappos, has made company culture a focal point in his management style. Hsieh hires people not on the basis of their experience or expertise, but on whether they are a good fit with the company culture of Zappos.

When Zappos started, Hsieh used to think his entire business was coming to an end every single day; but he pursued his vision of building an organization strongly entrenched in aligned values. From a company worth $1.6 million in 1999, Zappos is now worth $1 billion.

2. Focus on flexibility of strategy

Flexibility in strategy helps the small business owner implement improvements when needed to accommodate changes in the industry. A business that has flexibility is better equipped to navigate through turbulence than one with rigid structures.

A good example would be businesses that integrate flexible work schedules for their workforce. These include the hiring of virtual assistants, which lowers operational costs while increasing the level of productivity.

virtual assistant is an independent contractor or a freelancer who renders service online, usually from a remote location. The cost of hiring a virtual assistant is only a third of the cost of a full-time employee and generates greater productivity because of the payment structure, as virtual assistants have to accomplish predetermined milestones for payment to be released.

Quality of work also improves because people who become virtual assistants have previous experience working as full-time employees and have decided to focus on offering services that fall under their core competencies. So by hiring a virtual assistant you can increase the level of productivity without compromising your operational budget.

Business coach Tim Ferris documented the value of virtual assistants in his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-to-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich.” According to Ferris, he used to put in 14 hour workdays in his company, BrainQuicken. He was tired, stressed, and his level of productivity did not correspond with the amount of time he put in. Burnt out and spent, Ferris decided to go on a two-week vacation in Europe and delegated his work to a team of virtual assistants.

By implementing virtual assistants with a strict schedule in correspondence, Ferris was able to increase productivity, alleviate stress, and most importantly, enjoy life. Ferris eventually sold BrainQuicken and became a best-selling author, in-demand blogger, business consultant, motivator, and popular endorser.

Large corporations such as Oracle, American Express, and Bank of America have also recognized the value of incorporating virtual assistance services in their business development strategies.

3. Outsource services

Small businesses are characterized by limited access to capital and tight funding. Thus, efficient management of funding sources is highly important because small businesses have to fund both day-to-day operations and expansion projects. When a business is launched, activity begins to increase once it gains traction. The challenge for the business owner is to keep operations funded while also keeping the enterprise growing according to scale.

The most viable option for a small business owner is to outsource services. By outsourcing services, the small business owner can capitalize on comparative advantages in costs, particularly labor.

To put the cost advantage of outsourcing in perspective, the minimum wage rate here in Australia is AUD$ 15.96. If I wanted to outsource back office operations to the Philippines, the cost would range from 7 to twelve dollars per hour, and this includes salaries, benefits, power, internet, rent, and contingencies. By outsourcing, it is estimated that you can reduce cost of operations by at least 40 percent.

And it’s not just about cost savings. Outsourcing also improves productivity because it allows you to focus on your businesses’s core functions, that directly contribute to revenue generation.

In 2009, Mike Scanlin, owner of Born to Sell, an online investment program,outsourced programming work to Eastern Europe, and he estimates the move has saved him $500,000. Not only did his decision to outsource generate cost savings, but he did not compromise quality because the programmers had Master’s degrees in computer science.

4. Set goals to push boundaries

Why do you think competitive people generally perform better than non-competitive people? The difference can be found in the ability of competitive people to set goals for them to accomplish and become better.

When you set goals, you set the direction of where you want your business to go, and this carries over to the improvement in your level of focus, work attitude, dedication, and commitment. Goal setting improves confidence and motivates everyone to perform at their best because there is a united objective.

This is often referred to as “management by objectives,” or MBO, which was widely praised and utilized by Hewlett-Packard. At every level of HP, managers of every department had to identify objectives and integrate these with the company as a whole.

For small businesses, you must first have a clear understanding of what your business is all about. For example, you are running an eCommerce business that sells specialty toys. You should first define your target market and determine the strategies on how to reach them. Then identify the goals and distribute them to the various departments in your company.

Thus, if your goal is to sell x number of toys per month, discuss the production quota with your suppliers or manufacturers. The quota should accommodate the sales targets, and ensure that there are enough items in stock to cover unforeseen demand and any potential lag in production for the following month.

Then, provide your sales team with the target sales quota together with the appropriate sales incentives. As the small business owner, you must be able to coordinate the productivity of your various departments with your established goal as the central reference point.

Remember that when you set goals, these must be realistic and within the capabilities of your business and your people. There must be a basis when you set goals, historical or otherwise, and any adjustments in the targets must also be within reason. For example, it is not reasonable to set a goal of 50 percent increase in sales if the online toy industry has shown 25 percent contraction over the last two years, and the growth of your business has only shown 1.4 percent improvement.

5. Apply the law of comparative advantage

The formal definition of comparative advantage is a condition where one partner in a deal holds an absolute advantage in production, or a situation where the trading partner makes products faster, cheaper, and better.

In the mid-1990s, the Japanese took this concept one step further by integrating a key principle from “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu.

In the book, Sun Tzu states that during times of war, the spy is the most important position. Once a spy infiltrates your camp, your best strategies and defenses will be exposed and rendered useless. It became common then for companies to infiltrate the ranks of their competitors by sending their own people to apply for key, sensitive positions.

These “spies” are tasked to procure valuable information and uncover confidential plans and strategies which can then be used by their company.Companies such as Burger King and McDonald’s were known to have routinely engaged in comparative advantage.

There are many ways in which you can spy on your competitor without having to work for them. Here are a few options:

  1. Use available software programs. SpyFu researches all the keywords and AdWords used by your competitor. GoogleAlerts allows you to track what your competitors are up to.
  2. Talk to your customers.Your subscriber or market base provides an accessible resource because they always want to get the best value. They will tell you what your competition is doing.
  3. Hire your competition.Target those who used to work in sales or marketing, but be prepared to pay them well. Information sometimes cost a premium.
  4. Conduct research.Put together a research team that can conduct surveys through phone or email, and note key developments in pricing, product launch, and recent innovations.
  5. Call them up!You can hire a virtual assistant who can pose as a subscriber or potential customer, and ask as many key questions as possible.
  6. Go though social network.There is great probability your competition has put up its own social media pages. Follow or like their pages; you can note plenty of key strategic information based on what they post.

If you want to keep your small business growing, you have to be creative and innovative in your methods.

Digital technology has made this possible, but the biggest advantage of small business lies in its ability to become more mobile and flexible due to its lack of size, structure, and processes—qualities which the large corporations do not have.

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The pre-Independence day offer which you can’t like to miss.

Posted by admin on August 05, 2015
Business / No Comments
triplehorn services

Independence day offer

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50 TOP SEO TIPS FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS

Posted by admin on May 26, 2015
Business / No Comments

You may find numerous lengthy articles about how to implement SEO exactly But in the rush of competitiveness of today’s world, who has the time to spend time on those prolonged procedural steps?

seo

So, here we come up with short yet powerful quotes about SEO from industry experts taken from all possible social media sites & blogs for your convenience We carefully categorized them according to their respective writers

Hope you enjoy it Let’s dig in right now:

GOOGLE WEBMASTERS

  1. A bad user experience can hurt your site’s ranking on search results
  2. Add summaries or transcripts below videos for mobile devices for users who do not have time to watch the video
  3. Google must understand your mobile and desktop sites are the same, or the results will be skewed
  4. Treat Googlebot as a regular user (not a specific user-agent)
  5. Faulty redirects result in a negative user experience
  6. Make sure your site is keeping users on their preferred version of your website for their entire visit
  7. Spam on your site will hurt your site’s search ranking
  8. To prevent spam: set up a Google Alert to tell you if commonly spammed terms are on your site
  9. The biggest SEO myth is that if you buy ads you’ll rank higher on Google
  10. Google’s model is set up to give users the best search results to keep them coming back
  11. Happy users are loyal users
  12. Google is not focused on money, they want to give users the best search results possible
  13. SEO myths: pagerank is a measure of the popularity of websites
  14. The popularity of a site depends on if people frequently visit it
  15. Page rank depends on how many people link to your page
  16. The clarity of what you write matters a lot
  17. If you can’t explain your content well, you don’t understand it
  18. The clarity of your content matters almost as much as what you’re actually saying
  19. If you’re saying something important but you can’t get you message across, it will be ignored
  20. Make your content sound as natural as possible
  21. 39 Read your blog posts out loud to make sure your writing is polished

RAND FISHKIN (Founder of Moz)

 

  1. The fundamental aspect of SEO is keyword targeting and the distribution of keyword demand
  2. If you have a small website with less content you should stick to a small group of focused terms
  3. Don’t produce pages for no reason, you should have a holistic content strategy
  4. Bing powers Yahoo, so the your rank on each search engine will be equivalent to each other
  5. The things that you do right for Google will propagate over to Bing and Yahoo
  6. In the future, great content marketers will focus on quality over quantity
  7. Google is looking for someone who posts truly, valuable content
  8. Third party domains have a lot of authority and they require very few links to get to the top of search results
  9. Half-a-dozen links from great sites will get your website to rank on page one
  10. Don’t post spam links on a high authority domains to increase your rankings 
  11. Be unique with your content presentation to stay relevant
  12. The way Google targets your content is based on your contents’ topics AND keywords
  13. Sharing someone’s content is only dangerous when you try to take credit for someone else’s work
  14. Don’t always go after experienced link builders, a great partnership can be found inside your company
  15. Do things that will create value around your brand that also happen to carry a link
  16. Marketers need to focus on link earning, instead of link building
  17. Everything you do for SEO affects your inbound channels
  18. Execute in multiple channels, not just one, and then find the channels that are creating consistent value for your company

HUBSPOT

 

  1. Thefaster your website loads, the better rank your site will have on Google and other major search engines
  2. Focus on “long-tail keywords” that are very specific to your business and the products/services you offer
  3. The page title is one of the most important things that Google evaluates to determine what is on a web page
  4. Google and the smaller search engines put extra importance on the words in your H1 text
  5. “Experts” advise you to use your keyword anywhere from 4-6 times to 10-12times
  6. Any images used on the page should be optimized so that search engines can “read” the image
  7. Every website page, including your blog, should have at least one call-to-action above the page’s fold
  8. Calls-to-action can help SEO by creating an internal link on your website to a specific landing page
  9. Creating remarkable and unique content should be your highest priority, above any other off-page SEO tips
  10. Local hosting typically helps reduce page load speeds
  11. Page titles should be under 70 characters with no more than two keywords per page title

 

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B2C MARKETING STRATEGIES THAT ARE USEFUL FOR B2B COMPANIES

Posted by admin on May 25, 2015
Business / No Comments

Marketing your product / service to an end customer is sometimes easy when compared to convincing a company to sign up a contract for the same. Marketers need to balance the sales graph by entering new quality leads and at the same time increasing overall sales revenue. These competing priorities can be hard to manage for any marketing executive.

By appropriating some B2C marketing strategies in our B2B marketing campaigns, we can more efficiently accomplish these goals.

Here are some strategies of B2C marketing plans that are tailored for B2B companies that can make our marketing plans execute.

b2b vs b2c

EDUCATE FIRST

B2C marketer’s first priority is to educate their customers with minute information about their products’ technical stuff. They share granular information about the product which is apt for the customer to know. See how Amazon markets their products online. They provide customers with product information, Pictures, Customer reviews & ratings.

This is something every B2B marketers could implement in their marketing plans. By increasing the amount of product information in our websites, we can educate our visitors before engaging with sales. By following this methodology, we can increase qualified & educated prospects and reduce the data redundancy of leads to follow.

The temptation of a B2B marketer is to hide some information in their websites, newsletters and even in landing pages so that a prospect can call the sales rep. They believe that by hiding some information leads the prospect to contact directly and provide a chance to convince in-person. Though this methodology is good for some extent, this behavior can lead to annoy or frustrate some of the prospects who are willing to buy.

So by limiting the information you risk wasting time for both your sales rep’s and your prospect.

PRICE TRANSPARENCY

Almost all B2C companies publish their prices in their websites, Landing pages & Blogs etc. This allows the prospects to choose your product / service if your pricing is in their budget or opt-out easily. This will make only qualified leads to your company by reducing the work load of your sales rep’s and customers. This tactic can be implemented in B2B as well.

If you have different version of product for different industry segments, publish the prices separately and indicate the value proposition they’ll get by choosing your products. You can segment your prices according to industry level like small, medium & large or via sector in which you deserve to serve.

Most of the B2B companies think that if prices were published directly, customers would opt-out easily without knowing the quality of the product / service you are providing or that their budget may not sufficient for your service. But this is wrong. If you provide all the technical spec’s, feature lists, pictures, ratings they educate themselves and develops a trust in your website before buying any product or service.

SIMPLIFY BUYING PROCESS

Last time when I opted to buy a Laptop from a B2B company which offered a competitive price, I didn’t stayed much longer on their website because of the extraneous buying process. The website asked me register first to make a payment. When I did so (though I don’t have any requirement to buy anything further from their product line) they have very limited payment options. I usually buy using paypal but they don’t have this option.

I opted out only for the reason that I have to go through a lengthy process to buy their product though their service is very good in the industry. So being a B2B marketer myself, I looked at my website and included all possible payment methods that I can to make the process really simple. To boil down: B2B marketers must strictly follow the payment process by B2C companies. Further by remembering the repeat customers you can save the time consumed by the customer before his adrenaline rushes into irritation.

OFFER FREE PRODUCTS

If you can give some product for free, do it first. Most of the B2C companies offer their products for free before launching into market or as a promotional offer. This builds loyalty & buzz about the product. This makes the B2C marketer some free space to negotiate the product with the user and can do the business process simple.

Being a B2B marketer, you may think about what you can offer for free that makes your product go viral. If you are a service provider for websites, offer a free SEO implementation for the first month for free. Use all possible media that you can to promote this offer. This attracts most of the companies. Though your target group is a well established company, still you can attract them by this free offer. No doubt every human is tempted for anything that can be free or on a trial base. Don’t let your marketer run down to offer a small offer to a big company. They even are tempted for free offers.

CONNECT ON A HUMAN LEVEL

B2C marketers are very good at connecting to their prospects and creating new human connections whenever possible. Look at any advertisement of a B2C company on a television or on Youtube, they involve people and tell more about how their products can give comfort to their users rather than boasting about their product.

This B2C strategy is what we B2B marketers ignore the most. We are highly concentrated on our product line rather than to give a simple yet powerful explanation on how our product / service can leave our users with a better experience.

Connecting on a human level can be difficult for a B2B marketer because of our mindset of lowering transaction costs, streamlining inefficiencies and increasing employee productivity. But by focusing on the benefits of our product line instead of functionality that delivers, you can gradually increase productivity.

CONCLUSION

As inbound marketers we are constantly trying to attract prospects, educating them in various stages of buying process and finally making them customers. Though we stopped believing in old traditional marketing strategies that B2B marketers still follow, by using some of the tactics we can create a new & fresh model of our inbound marketing strategy by implementing some of the ideas from the B2B companies.

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WHY WEB STRATEGY & INBOUND MARKETING – Infographic

Posted by admin on May 22, 2015
sales / No Comments

WHY INBOUND INFOGRAPH

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