How to Preserve Employee Safety in Your Business

employee safety

Employee health and safety is a serious concern, from both a legal and ethical standpoint. Health and safety legislation has come a long way since its first real introduction to UK law in the 1970s – but for many starting out their own new business venture, the essential routes to ensuring staff safety are ill-defined. How can you ensure your staff remains safe in the workplace?

Risk Assessments

Employee safety and health measures are underpinned by the risk assessment, which seeks to comprehensively identify and engage with the various risks and hazards presented by a given workplace or site. A risk assessment not only recognizes a given risk, but identifies manners in which it can be reduced and grants responsibility for these measures to an individual – establishing accountability.

PPE

employee safety

Hand-in-hand with recognising the various risks present in your workplace is the provision of equipment to protect against them. Where a safety officer has recognised the serious risk of hearing damage from loud or sustained volume of tools or industrial equipment, hearing protection in the form of ear defenders or plugs must be supplied. Likewise, crush risks from heavy or falling objects should be met with hard hats and steel toe-capped boots.

This is not just an ethical or morale-based standpoint. Health and safety legislation is unequivocal on a business’ health and safety responsibilities to its staff, with the provision of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) a legal requirement.

Signage and Procedure

But PPE is regarded as a ‘last resort’ in terms of workplace health and safety. It is often the last barrier between a potential hazard and a member of staff; more effective forms of health and safety intervention occur earlier in the chain, mitigating exposure to risk or even eliminating risk altogether.

These kinds of interventions can be achieved in a number of ways. Signage is the most obvious way in which hazards are outlined and risks mitigated; with proper signage, workers and visitors can understand any present dangers, and take steps to avoid them. The robust procedure, enshrined by company policy, is key to aligning staff on the importance of safety.

Training

The above provisions are absolutely crucial to promoting a safe working environment for your employees. However, their impact can be negligible if not shored up with arguably the most important piece of the puzzle: training.

Without a comprehensive approach to staff training, not all employees will have the same understanding of your business’ safety expectations. On a simple level, if an employee has not been trained in the proper use of certain apparatus, the likelihood that they will injure themselves with it is heightened. This extends to the wearing of PPE, and the following of strict health and safety procedures.

By regularly and repeatedly training staff members in the correct conduct and practice from a health and safety standpoint, you can ensure all employees are upskilled to the same level. Employees will be on the same page, and no one weak link can inadvertently cause a preventable incident.

Finding and Training Great Employees for Your Company

finding and training employees

The people you hire to work for your business can be your biggest assets and your biggest headaches; finding and training great employees can be a challenge. They can support and help you to achieve the vision you have for your company – but they can also prevent you from reaching that vision.

Finding and Training Great Employees

Too many businesses overlook the role of employee recruitment and retention when planning for the success of their organization. Staffing is an important exercise that needs to be purpose-driven and strategic, just like marketing.

Employees Think: What’s in it for Me?

It is vital to understand in today’s market that the relationship between employee and employer is a two-way street. Now, more than ever, employees have a “what’s in it for me?” attitude that extends beyond salary and benefits expectations into incentive and rewards programs. The days of simple compensation structures are over.

Now, this may sound like a big headache, but it’s actually a good thing! With some simple systems and open dialogue, you will be able to effectively create – and keep – your dream team.

The Power of Your Dream Team

How much of your own personal time has human resources – staff hiring, firing, issues management, etc. – taken this year? No doubt staff recruitment and retention is one of the biggest challenges facing any business owner today.

The truth is, if you spent half as much time on human resources as you do on marketing, I guarantee your sales would increase dramatically.

Employees Treat Customers Exactly the Way You Treat Them

Customers know the difference between happy employees and disgruntled ones, and it makes a difference when it comes to purchasing decisions. I’ve heard it said that your employees will treat your customers exactly the same way that you treat them. Would you rather have your car serviced by a grumpy mechanic who doesn’t feel his good work is rewarded or a pleasant one who just stepped out of a weekly team meeting?

A successful business owner has confidence in the people who work for him because he believes they are the best people for the job. Employees who know their employer believes in their skills and abilities will go over and above to get the job done, to make the sale.

Successful Business Owner Invest Time and Money in Employees

Successful business owners invest time and money in finding, keeping and training great employees. These are the people who share and support the collective vision of the company.

I’m not talking about a complicated formula or magic concoction. I’m talking about some careful thought and a proactive strategy that will make your business shine from the inside out.

finding and training great employees

Finding Your Dream Employees

Building a dream team starts by finding and hiring the right people for the job. Sounds simple enough. You post an ad, find someone who has the necessary qualifications and hire them on.

Not so fast. Recruitment is a complex process that can dramatically impact your business operations. Just like finding and securing the right customers, finding and hiring the right candidates requires pro-active planning and careful evaluation.

Create an Internal Recruitment System

If you currently work with a recruiting agency to build your team, now may be a good time to stop and evaluate the effectiveness of their service. While a recruiting agency can save you the time and hassle of working through the hiring process, it can also cost more money in the long run.

I always recommend creating an internal recruitment system, not because recruiting agencies do a bad job, but because no one knows your business like you do.

Create an Attractive Business Culture

If you want to attract and retain the highest quality clients, you must have a culture that is attractive and a future that is compelling. Developing an effective strategic plan and including your employees in the process is a good place to start. Determine where you are going, what your mission is and how your organization will treat others. Once you have established your vision, mission, and values, then you must deploy them throughout your organization to ensure that you “practice what you preach.”

An internal recruitment system ensures that the true essence of your business culture is communicated – from advertisement to interview. You also have the opportunity to communicate expectations from the outset, instead of relying on the recruiter to relay this information. The middleman’s thoughts and impressions are eliminated, leaving you to make decisions based on your impression of the candidate and no one else’s.

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Step One: Advertise the Opportunity

The first step in recruiting candidates is obviously letting potential candidates know about the opportunity with your company.

But before you pick up the phone to place a classified ad, remember that advertising for potential employees requires just as much consideration and planning as general advertising for your business.

Before You Place an ad ask yourself:

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  • Who is your ideal candidate?
  • What are their skills and qualifications?
  • What is their personality or demeanor?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What are they looking for in a job?

Once you have a mental picture of your candidate, then you can begin to write an ad that will not only reach them but also inspire them to act (and submit an application).

When writing this ad, be as specific as possible and focus on the benefits of the job. Remember that potential candidates screen job postings with an eye for “what’s in it for me.” Tell them exactly that.

Here are a few sample job postings:

Are you the Marketing Assistant we need?

About You

You’re fun, friendly and have a keen eye for detail. You’re always two steps ahead of your colleagues, and eager to take on new and exciting challenges.

You’ll be the glue that keeps the marketing team operating in a seamless fashion, responsible for website updates, copywriting, event coordination and client relations. You’ll be punctual, responsible, and well put together.

You’ll ideally have an undergraduate degree in marketing or English, and some previous office experience, but a fast learner with a great attitude will also get our attention.

About Us

We are a collaborative team of young professionals. We offer a competitive salary, great benefits and performance incentives.

Think you fit the bill? Email your resume and cover letter to John Jones at [email protected] business.com by Friday at 5 pm.

Are Computers Your Life?

About You

You are smart, outgoing, and a wiz when it comes to computer programming. You’re on your friend’s speed dial for computer emergencies, large and small. Helping people understand the complex digital world is your passion.

You’ll be our Lead Computer Technician, managing our computer repair counter and five Junior Technicians. You’ll have great people skills, mounds of patience, and enjoy working as part of a dynamic team.

About Us

We operate Anytown’s leading computer repair store and are known across the region for our customer service. We work hard, play hard, and offer a competitive benefits package to our employees.

Tell us why this job is for you. Email your resume and cover letter to [email protected] by Thursday, September 23.

Both of these job postings speak directly to a very targeted audience. They’re friendly, colloquial, and communicate the job requirements in an informal way.

Every job posting should:

finding and training employees

  • Be written in the way that you talk
  • Be specific
  • Describe benefits
  • Include skills, qualifications, duties and job title
  • Be written in the present tense
  • Have a great headline
  • Call the reader to action
  • Be simple – in word choice and sentence structure
  • Be more exciting than the competition

Now that you have a great ad to post, you need to decide where you are going to publish it. This depends on the level of the job (junior to management) and on the specific type of candidate you are looking to recruit.

Here are the five major places to advertise your opportunity:

Government Employment Center

These are great places to find blue-collar or junior level employees. Candidates register with the center, which keeps their resumes on file. Be cautious with this route – it can produce a wide variety of candidates who are not qualified.

Indeed, Ziprecruiter, Etc

This is a great place to post junior to mid-level employment opportunities. You’re looking for basic qualifications from local applicants, perhaps even for part-time positions, with minimal cost.

Linkedin

Senior employment opportunities that require specific high-level qualifications are best advertised with a broad scope. This incurs a greater cost but will return a greater variety of candidates.

Online

This is a cheap way to tap into a massive database of job seekers. Post your ad online on sites like www.monster.com or www.workopolis.com and watch the resumes come flooding in. A large number of highly qualified job seekers who do not wish to register with a recruitment agency will use these services.

Referrals

The most ideal way to find candidates is through your existing network – including associates, colleagues, employees, friends and family. These candidates come to you already vetted by a trusted source. You may also wish to consider giving your staff an incentive to refer their qualified friends and associates to you.

Other Niche Areas

You should also brainstorm a list of any other niche areas that your target market may look for a job. Consider vocational schools, colleges, industry publications, industry associations, small publications, etc.

Once you’ve posted your ad, your next step is to manage the inquiries that come flooding in. These are just a few steps in the process of finding and training great employees.

Screen and Interview Candidates

Screen and interview candidates is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the recruitment process, so you will need to work out a system to manage the response to your job posting.

Screen and interview candidates is a system that will also ensure you ask all potential candidates the same questions, and provide them with the same information about the role as well as about your company.

1. Decide whether all inquiries will be handled by one person or several.

To screen and interview employees whether it will be handled by one person or several, depends on your staff resources and capacity. A system will allow multiple employees to assist in the process.

For example, if your candidates have been instructed to submit their resume and cover letter to you through email, designate a single email address and inbox to receiving and responding. This way you or another staff member will not be bombarded by emails and can designate an hour of time each day to managing the inquiries. If your candidates are calling in, designate a unique phone number or answering machine for this purpose.

2. Decide how inquiries will be responded to.

This can be as simple as an email acknowledging receipt of the resume, or specific instructions on an answering machine. Ensure everyone receives the same information, and that you receive the same level of information from all candidates (resume, cover letter, portfolio, references, and other relevant information.).

If you have asked candidates to call you instead of submitting their resumes through email, create a standard checklist of questions to ask them, as well as of information to provide them with. You may wish to create a script. Some questions might include:

  • What kind of job are you looking for?
  • Why do you think you would be well suited to this position?
  • Tell me a bit about yourself.
  • What makes you interested in our company?

Use this opportunity to get a feel for the applicant’s personality, and trust your initial impression. Create a form on which to record this information, and file it with their resume when you receive it.

3. Devise a process for reviewing resumes or applications.

The easiest and most time-efficient way to do this is in a single session, after the stated deadline, and not as you receive them. You may wish to enlist the assistance of a senior colleague to provide a second opinion.

Review the resumes and application materials, and divide the applications into three piles: interview, no interview, and maybe. From here you can begin to call candidates and set up the first interview.

It is also a good idea to be in touch with unsuccessful candidates, and politely let them know that you will not be asking them in for an interview. If you anticipate your response rate will be overwhelming, you may wish to consider stating in your advertisement that only successful applicants will be called.

Step Three: First Interview

The first interview is also a screening interview; your objective is to develop a first impression of the candidate as a person and to determine if they are qualified for the position. If you feel you have found an ideal candidate, this is also your opportunity to convince them to choose your company over any others they may be considering. Good people don’t stay in the market long.

Interview Candidate Structure

You will need to decide on a structure, or system, for the interview process as well. Will you be conducting the first interviews, or will another manager? Will the interviews be conducted one-on-one, or will several employees participate? If you are replacing an employee, you may want to consider inviting that employee into the interview to provide insight into the role.

finding and training employees

Interview Candidate Materials

Just as you are asking the potential candidate to come prepared to the interview, you must be as well.

  • Have an outline prepared for what you would like to cover? Topics include company history, job description, interview questions, compensation structure, availability, and room for advancement.
  • Bring two copies of a typed job description. Include all tasks the candidate will be responsible for completing or assisting with.
  • A company profile or overview document (other marketing collateral will also work here).

Interview Candidate Attitude

Begin to build a relationship with each applicant. The purpose of the interview is not just to discuss the job description, or for the applicant to get all the interview questions “right.” It is to determine if this person has the right attitude for the job, and whether or not they will fit in with the company’s culture and its employees.

Keep the interview professional, but make sure the applicant is comfortable. Interviews test our ability to perform under pressure, but you will want to gain an understanding of the applicant’s true nature. Remember that even if the applicant is not well suited to the role they have applied for, they may be suited to a future opportunity with the company.

Interview Candidate Questions

The questions you decide to ask the candidate are highly specific to your company and the role you are hiring for. Take some time to brainstorm what you really need to know about each person, and what questions you can ask to get that information.

Keep in mind that part of the objective of the first interview is to get a sense of the candidate’s personality. You will want to ask questions about their responses and begin to establish a real relationship with them.

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Here are some starter interview questions to get you going:

  • Tell me a little bit about your background.
  • What has been your first impression of our company/product/services?
  • Tell me about a time when…[insert a likely scenario they will encounter in the position]. How did it make you feel? How did you handle the situation?
  • What advantages do you feel you have over the other candidates?
  • What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Tell me about an achievement you’re proud of.
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • …and so on.

Make sure you take good notes or ask a junior member of your team to take notes for you. Also, record your impression of the candidate after each interview. You will want to be able to reflect on each interview before inviting the candidate to the next phase of the selection process.

When the first interviews have been completed, review your notes and discuss your first impressions with other employees involved in the process. Then, decide who you would like to invite back for a second interview, and let the unsuccessful candidates know they are not right for this particular role.

Step Four: Second Interview + Reference Check

The second interview is used to confirm your impressions of the applicants you believe are well suited to the job. It can also be used to get more information, or to more closely compare two solid candidates.

Make sure you only offer a second interview to those you are considering hiring. If you are on the fence about a candidate, chances are your instincts are right, and bringing them in for a second interview is a waste of their time and yours.

Callbacks

When you call a candidate to invite them to come in for a second interview, remain professional and don’t make any allusions to a job offer. If your impression of the candidate changes during the second interview, you do not want to have to go back on something you said. Let them know what you thought of them based on the first interview, and ask if they would be interested in meeting with you a second time.

Give yourself and the candidate at day or two between interviews to reflect on the first interview and prepare for the second.

Interviewers Can Change

You may wish to change the person or team of people who conducted the first interview. Usually, the second interview is conducted with more senior team members at the table.

Interview Candidates Questions

While the second interview is often less structured than the first – a relationship has already begun to be established – you should still prepare a list of questions for the candidate.

These questions should focus on the specific tasks related to the job, and on providing more information about the culture, systems, and values of the company. You can also use the second interview to ask questions you may not have had the chance to in the first interview.

Office Tour + Introductions

Once you have determined that you have found the candidate for the job, take them on a tour of your office or business, and introduce them to your staff members. This is a good way of gaining an initial understanding of how the candidate might interact with your existing staff members.

Calling References

This is the final – arguably most important – step to make before offering the job to the candidate. You should ask your candidate for at least three employment references, and perhaps one character reference.

Call each reference contact, and explain who you are and why you are calling. Then ask if they have a few moments to answer some questions about the candidate. You will want to find out information about punctuality, professionalism, skills, and their reason for leaving. Cross-reference this information with your interview notes to ensure consistency between the candidate and their reference.

Step Five: Hire Your Employee

Provided their references are solid, now is the time to make them an offer of employment.

Call the candidate personally to offer them the job. Make sure you congratulate them and express your enthusiasm in welcoming them into your team. You will also need to follow up your conversation with a letter or email that includes the job offer document or contract.

In the case a candidate declines the job offer, you may wish to do a reference check on your second pick candidate and make them an offer.

Training Your Dream Employees

Once you have landed your dream employees through a rigorous recruitment process, it is essential that you continue to invest in your decision by putting them through a thorough training process. Training great employees makes them a great asset and grow professionally, and this makes them stay in your company.

finding and training employees

Training is Important for Employee Retention

Training an employee is actually an element of recruitment. A new employee’s orientation and training set the tone for their entire employment; this includes their impression of your business, its systems, and respect for its leaders. This has an impact on your ability to retain good people and avoid unnecessary or redundant recruitment processes.

Too often, businesses rely on junior employees to train new ones without any guidelines or ‘curriculum.’ New employees are thrown into the deep end without clear expectations or an understanding of ‘how things are done around here.’

Your Leaders’ Involvement in the Training Process

These elements affect how an employee perceives their own required level of effort or performance. A business that doesn’t give much thought to planning, expectations, and preparation will end up showing a new employee that the same lack of attention is expected from them.

Here are some things to ensure you implement when you create your comprehensive training system:

Prior Learning / Existing Knowledge

Acknowledge your new employee’s prior learning, and don’t overestimate or underestimate their existing knowledge.

Choice of Trainer

Investing time and effort in training employees, make sure the person or people who will be training the new employee are sufficiently qualified and experienced. If an administrator is leading a salesperson’s training and orientation, consider asking another salesperson or more senior team member to assist on specific days or sessions.

Training Materials

Have all the required training materials handy. This includes company manuals, industry guidebooks, common reference materials, work samples and anything else that will aid in the training efforts.

Training Tools

Also, ensure you have the tools available to train your new recruit. Will the training be held at their workstation or another workstation? Do you have all the software you need? All the equipment required? Doing so will ensure the training runs smoothly and the time provided will be used effectively.

Time for Training

Provide more than ample time for training – including time for questions and elaboration. Rushing training benefits no one, including your profits.

Testing to Ensure Mastery

Consider including some ‘tests’ or checks to ensure the new recruit understands each component of the training. Ask the trainer and the trainee to sign-off on each section.

Employees’ Part in the Big Picture

Each team member’s role is part of a larger picture: the company as a whole. Ensure that the trainee understands how their role contributes to the big picture on each level. If they are a junior member of a department, they should understand how their job contributes to the department, as well as how the department contributes to the entire company.

Encourage Employee Feedback

The trainee should be able to ask questions and review information at any time – including after the training process. Create an environment that encourages open dialogue and encourages employees to ask questions when they are unsure of a task.

The other common mistake that many companies make is ending training after the first few weeks of a new recruit’s employment.

Ongoing Employee Training

Training our employees is an ongoing process for every single member of your team, and there should be a system or structure in place to ensure that staff training and development happens on a regular basis. This can include cross-training, employee development, and new systems orientation.

Benefits of Regular Training

Regular training not only benefits your staff and improves their performance, but it allows you – the business owner – to:

  • Implement new policies + procedures
  • Invest in your staff, thereby improving confidence and morale
  • Evaluate staff performance at an individual and team level
  • Reward staff based on performance improvements
  • Provide a regular arena for feedback and discussion, including positive and negative experiences and issues

One-on-One Training + Evaluation

An effective system of ongoing training for employees is by weekly, monthly, or quarterly staff reviews. When conducted one-on-one, this provides a forum for regular communication with employees to review performance and identify areas for improvement. A one-on-one environment will encourage more open and honest dialogue than if the session were conducted as part of a team.

As a business owner, these sessions are valuable sources of information and insight into the strengths, weaknesses, and motivations of your team.

Senior Staff Mentoring Junior Staff

If you have a large staff, consider pairing junior staff with senior staff and establishing mentorship relationships. This is a powerful way to build the synergy of your team and frees you up from weekly meetings with each staff member. Instead, each senior staff member can report back to you on the results of their regular training sessions, and you only need to conduct these sessions with your senior staff.

Team Training Events

Team training events are great team builders and provide insight into how your team interacts as a whole. These can take the form of “lunch and learns”, where senior staff or guest speakers conduct an hour-long session with staff members or more social team-building exercises with a less formal program.

Team training exercises will shed light on the leaders and followers in an organization and bring together employees who may work outside of the office. These can be especially helpful if you and your senior staff do not see the team ‘in action’ on a daily basis.

Keeping Your Dream Employees

Now that you have spent hours of time and potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars recruiting and training your staff, your human resource job is done, right?

I suppose you’ve done what you’ve set out to do: get the right people working for you. But what happens when those people get bored? Or stolen by another company? Or feel they’ve “done all they can do” at your company?

The final step in the overall recruitment process is employee retention. This includes keeping your employees happy, supporting their development, and giving them an incentive to continuously improve their performance.

Your Work Environment

The environment you create for your staff has a huge impact on your employee retention rates. This includes the interior design and layout of your office or business, the lighting, plants, and kitchen amenities available. It also includes the culture of the company – what is the general working atmosphere? Are most people loud? Quiet? Is there a buzz or hum to the office space?

The bottom line is that employees should enjoy and feel comfortable coming to their workplace – they do spend most of their waking hours there.

Spending a little more on comfortable office furniture and amenities like coffee, tea, snacks, and social spaces will go a long way toward keeping your employees happy at work.

Recognition, Rewards, and Incentive Programs

finding and training employees

Did you know that many employees place more value on positive public recognition for a job well done than they do on salary?

Recognition and rewards are powerful tools when it comes to keeping employees happy. Positive feedback from those in more senior positions has a higher perceived value than a 3-5% salary increase – and it costs the business little to nothing to implement.

Retaining Your Employees

Incentive programs are a formalized way of rewarding employees for their achievements and successes. Clear targets and milestones are identified, and when an individual or team reach those milestones they are rewarded with bonuses or prizes.

Recognition, rewards, and incentive programs are an important part of employee retention, as well as team building. They will be discussed in further detail in the Team Building chapter.

Professional Development Programs

Another common reason employees choose to leave their positions is professional development. Many feel they need to move to another company in order to develop their careers or gain more responsibility. They may not necessarily dislike their current role, but become bored or stagnated and believe they have ‘done all they can do’ at that particular company.

Keeping good people means providing opportunities for growth and advancement within your company. This benefits the company because you can hire from within, and save money and time on recruiting and training new staff. It also benefits your employee and increases their loyalty toward your business.

Staff Retention

Professional development programs are an important part of staff retention – but they are also an important part of business growth and development. A company with staff who are always increasing their knowledge and improving their skills will stay on the ‘cutting edge’ of their industry and have an advantage over the competition.

Ongoing training and development should be a primary focus for any growing business. Here’s why:

  • Increases productivity
  • Increases staff retention
  • Increases workplace safety and morale
  • Increases customer service
  • Increases sales

Professional development programs typically focus on the big picture ambitions of the company and its staff members. The longer-term goals and career ambitions are recorded and taken into consideration.

Professional development can be easily worked into your ongoing one-on-one training systems. Keep a folder or binder for each staff member that outlines current role responsibilities, short and long term goals, and areas for improvement, and review it during your weekly or monthly meetings. Identify specific areas for growth, and develop plans of action for that growth.

For example, if your marketing assistant wants to grow into a marketing coordinator or manager role, and needs to improve her people management skills, consider putting her through a management course.

Simple System Tools for Employee Retention

Maintaining this program doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. With some simple system tools and a commitment to regularly scheduled meetings, you can have a clear and effective program for your staff.

  • Evolving job description documents to monitor roles, responsibilities, and tasks
  • Regular performance evaluations
  • Goal planning worksheets
  • Continuing education programs at local business schools
  • Regular meetings between staff and supervisors
  • Rewards and incentives
  • Difficult to re-organize
  • Best for smaller lists

Conclusion

Finding and training employees is one of the most challenging issues that small business owners are facing. Implement these practices and see your business take on a life of its own!

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Why is Sales Training important for any business to grow

sales training

Training is a learning and upskilling process. This process entails sales personnel becoming fully equipped with the knowledge they require to sustain a business and make constant attempts to grow profit margins.

Let’s look at what exactly are we going to learn in this article:

  1. What is Sales training
  2. Importance of Sales training for growth of business
  3. Taking the help of the LMS system for sales training

1. What is Sales Training?

Sales training is an activity that involves the up-gradation of the sales personnel’s skills. It is through effective sales training that they can polish their selling skills by gaining adequate knowledge and are also able to perform their tasks better. This helps them immensely in closing the deal and turning it into a sale for the organization.

2. Importance of Sales Training for the growth of business

For any business, sales are of utmost importance, and this is why they spend their valuable resources on training the sales personnel, as it is directly related to the goodwill of the company. A well-trained sales team can survive the competition in the market and generate revenues to keep the lifeblood of the business flowing. Let’s look at its importance one by one:

Returns on Investment see an upward trend

Businesses have to spend large amounts of money for training purposes, yet, they are willing to incur these expenses; the reason is the return on investment. Sales training is a one-time expense, but the lessons learned are for a lifetime. Employees can showcase the skills they learn while making a sale without having to lure the customer with a discount and making the customer understand how they can recover the cost in no time.

It helps teams become dynamic like today’s market

Markets today have become volatile and dynamic. They are continuously evolving and as a result, sales teams have to follow suit. Team members have to keep their skills up to date. Any change, be it a change in the technology or a product feature, the sales team has to know before the world. A good training tutorial offers all the updates and keeps the team informed.

sales training

It strengthens the credibility of the business

The sales team develops a personal relationship with the customers, not just professional. So, they exactly know their pain points and can provide the right itch for that scratch. This also strengthens the goodwill of the business and builds a solid brand image. If the salesperson can gain the trust of the customer, then it’s highly likely that they will return in the future for other prospects.

It helps improve customer experience 

If optimizing the customer experience and making them happy is your ultimate goal, then sales training is something you cannot skip. In today’s time, posting feedback about a brand is very easy, looking at the convenience of social media and its reach. Therefore, if the customer has had a bad experience with the brand, they may talk about it, and in the worst-case scenario, post about it on social media.

Sales training ensures that your employees know exactly what to do to make the customers happy and improve their experience. 

It helps improve the leadership skills of the employees

A good training session can empower the sales team with knowledge and the ability to distribute that knowledge among the customers. It teaches them effective communication skills, which improves their overall personality, making them good leaders and confident people.

It helps achieve business growth

If you want to see your business grow, you have to make the people in the business grow. That can only happen if they are trained enough to educate the team and also the customers. Quality training gives the team the knowledge they need to empower themselves and the people around them. All these attributes are important for any business to experience growth and stability.

3. Using LMS systems for imparting sales training

Learning management systems are platforms or software that help provide and upskill the qualities of employees with the help of training programs. These come with many features which help in learning, training, and updating knowledge.

Reasons why you should use LMS for sales training:

Cost-effective and affordable

Imparting training through an LMS is not just cost-effective but also yields numerous benefits. One such software for sales training is Docebo. There are no administrative costs involved in online training, such as travel and accommodation costs of the trainer, printing cost of the training material, and many more similar expenses. All the modules and study materials are updated and uploaded to the system for sales personnel’s reference and guidance.

Content is easily accessible without geographical limitations

Learning is made easy with an LMS as there is no geographical limitation. It can be accessed anytime and from anywhere. Once the content goes to the system, it can be studied without any hassles. This enforces fast-paced learning without any dependency on anyone. Learners from across different time zones can utilize this flexibility ensuring consistent training modules across locations.

sales training

Content security

In an LMS, content is mostly secured. All the learner data and data related to the training are stored in one place and can be accessed by authorized personnel only. With an LMS,  learners do not have to waste extra time finding the right and relevant content; everything is made available to them on the server.

Tracking the success of the training course

A robust LMS comes with an in-built feature for reporting and analytics, whereby it becomes easier for trainers to track the learning paths of the learner and identify the potential areas of improvement. By keeping a tab on individual learning, leaders make sure that the employees are benefitting adequately from the training program and can achieve their training goals on time.

Conclusion:

The above-mentioned points will tell you how sales training is an integral part of any business. Good sales mean good profits for the organization. So, keeping the sales personnel up to date becomes important for keeping the customers of the company happy. It is mandatory for businesses, in times like today, to draft a strategy for successful implementation of the training module and to leverage its benefits.

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5 Soft Skills To Improve For Better Lead Generation And Sales

soft skills

When it comes to lead generation and sales, soft skills are just as important as hard skills. In fact, some would argue that soft skills are more important since they’re what allows you to build relationships with potential customers and clients.

If you’re looking to improve your crucial skills, here are 5 soft skills you should focus on.

Improve your communication

If the objective is to improve your lead generation skills, one of the most important things you can do is work on your communication skills. Whether you’re communicating with potential customers, clients, or colleagues, being able to clearly and effectively communicate is essential to success. There are a few key things you can do to improve your communication skills:

  1. Be clear and concise in your communication. When you’re communicating with someone, make sure that you’re getting your point across clearly and concisely. Don’t try to include too much information at once, or you’ll risk overwhelming the other person and confusing them. Instead, focus on conveying one key message at a time. 
  2. Listen actively. Effective communication with someone requires you to be a good listener. Pay attention to what the other person is saying, and try to understand their perspective. This will help you better respond to their needs and wants. 
  3. Use nonverbal cues. In addition to the words you use, your nonverbal cues – such as your body language and facial expressions – can also convey a lot of information. Make sure that your nonverbal cues are consistent with the message you’re trying to communicate. 
  4. Improve your writing. You can improve your writing in a variety of ways, including reading more (and writing more). You can also incorporate word games like Scrabble into your daily routine, which relies on verbal intelligence and vocabulary to excel at. Scrabble can take some experience to get good at, so if you’re struggling, there are many word unscrambler tools on internet which help you arrange letters into winning combinations. 
  5. Avoid making assumptions. When you’re communicating with someone, it’s important to avoid making assumptions about what they know or don’t know. Instead, ask questions to clarify any misunderstandings. 
  6. Be patient. Communication can be challenging, and it may take some time to get your point across. Be patient, and allow the other person the time they need to understand what you’re saying. 
  7. Practice, practice, practice. Like with anything else, the more you practice communication, the better you’ll become at it. Make a conscious effort to improve your communication skills, and you’ll see a difference in your ability to generate leads and close sales.

soft skills

Relationship building

If you want to be successful when it comes to find and closing leads, it’s important to build strong relationships with potential customers, clients, and colleagues. Strong relationships are built on trust, respect, and communication. There are a few key things you can do to build strong relationships:

  1. Be genuine. When you’re interacting with someone, be genuine in your interest in them and their needs. People can tell when you’re not being sincere, and it will damage your relationship. 
  2. Be honest. It’s important to be honest with the people you’re interacting with. Don’t try to hide your true intentions – people will see through it and it will damage your relationship. 
  3. Be helpful. When you’re interacting with someone, try to be helpful and offer assistance when you can. People will appreciate your help, and it will strengthen your relationship. 
  4. Be a good listener. To build strong relationships, you need to be a good listener. Pay attention to what the other person is saying, and try to understand their perspective. This will help you better connect with them.
  5. Show interest. When you’re talking to someone, show interest in what they’re saying. Ask questions, and make sure that you’re engaged in the conversation. This will help to build a stronger relationship.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware and understand your own emotions and the emotions of others. It’s an important soft skill because it can help you better understand and connect with potential customers and clients. There are a few key things you can do to improve your emotional intelligence:

  1. Be self-aware. Being emotionally intelligent requires you to be aware of your own emotions. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling that way. This will help you better understand and control your emotions. 
  2. Be aware of others’ emotions. In addition to being aware of your own emotions, you also need to be aware of the emotions of others. Pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, to better understand how someone is feeling. 
  3. Be empathetic. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. When you’re interacting with someone, try to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they’re feeling. This will help you better connect with them. 
  4. Be able to regulate your emotions. It’s important to be able to control your emotions, especially during difficult conversations or situations. Take a step back and take a deep breath when you can sense you are getting too emotional. This will help you stay calm and maintain control. 
  5. Be able to manage stress. Stress is a normal part of life, but it can be detrimental to your emotional intelligence. Learning how to manage stress will help you better cope with difficult situations and maintain your emotional composure.

soft skills

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and make decisions based on logic and reason. It’s an important soft skill for anything related to sales or lead generation, as it can help you better assess customer needs and make informed decisions. There are a few key things you can do to improve your critical thinking skills:

  1. Be open-minded. To think critically, you need to be open-minded and willing to consider all sides of an issue. Don’t let your personal biases or opinions cloud your judgment – instead, objectively consider all the evidence before making a decision. 
  2. Be analytical. When you’re faced with a decision, take the time to analyze all the available information. Break down the pros and cons, and weigh all the options before making a choice. 
  3. Be inquisitive. Making informed decisions means allowing yourself to be inquisitive and ask questions. When you’re presented with information, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or more details. This will help you better understand the situation and make a more informed decision. 
  4. Be systematic. When you’re making a decision, it’s important to be systematic and methodical in your thinking. Follow a step-by-step process to ensure that you’re considering all the relevant information before coming to a conclusion. 
  5. Be rational. It’s important to be rational and logical in your thinking. When you’re making a decision, don’t let emotions or personal biases cloud your judgment. Instead, base your decision on logic and reasoning.

Negotiation

Negotiation is the process of trying to reach an agreement between two or more parties. It’s a crucial soft skill for improving your ability to sell your products and services because it plays a fundamental role in helping you better understand customer needs and reach mutually beneficial agreements. There are a few key things you can do to improve your negotiation skills:

  1. Be assertive. If you want be a successful negotiator, you need to be assertive and stand up for what you want. Don’t be afraid to speak up and state your case – doing so will help you better advocate for your needs. 
  2. Be collaborative. While it’s important to be assertive, you also need to be collaborative and willing to compromise. Try to find common ground and reach a mutually beneficial agreement. 
  3. Be prepared. Before you enter into a negotiation, it’s important to be prepared. Know what you want to achieve and have a clear idea of your bottom line. This will help you better negotiate from a position of strength. 
  4. Be persuasive. Negotiation is relies on an ability to persuade and convince. You need to make a strong case for why your proposal is in the best interest of both parties.

Conclusion

Developing strong emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and negotiation skills can help you better generate leads and close sales. In summation, those looking to improve their ability to generate leads and close sales should focus on developing the important soft skills covered in this article. Together, they enable you to build and nurture the kinds of customer relationships that will convert into not just one-time sales, but referrals, repeat business and long-lasting, mutually beneficial business

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12 Ways to Make Old and New Employees Feel Motivated

motivate employees

Do employees get better with age, or do they wear out? 

The general workplace environment comprises old and new employees, and keeping them motivated can be tricky. Unmotivated workers cost the US economy about $550 billion each year. 

As employees get older, their priorities change, and what may have worked in motivating them last year may not work so well the following year. Employers and managers are responsible for finding what works in keeping both their old and new employees motivated.

In this article, we help you uncover the best ways to make your old and new employees feel motivated. We examine the best strategies you can employ to excite your old and new employees for the best performance.

Before we get into that, let’s quickly divert to explain why you need to make both your old and new employees feel motivated. 

Why is employee motivation important to your business?

Positive employee testimonials for career pages. 

Most candidates view your career page before applying for your job openings. This is the best place to grab their interest.

A typical career page content example is employee testimonials. 

When your employees are motivated and active, they give great testimonials and are more valid as they’re delivered on-screen. 

You can easily pull the positive quotes of your employees and paste them on your career page.

An excellent career page will fetch you quality talent. You can see great career page examples.

Improved employee turnover rate.

See your employees as family.

Retaining employees is very important for every company; as your employees continue to work for your company, they gain more business experience, improve efficiency, and cut recruitment and training expenses.

Improved relationship between management and staff. 

Don’t be the cranky boss. Build great relationships with your staff.

The most motivated staff have great relationships with their leaders or managers. They are always willing to work, make improvements and 

accept modifications without debate. Happy employees’ work makes the work easier for their managers. 

Enhanced worker performance. 

You motivate your employees; they get the job done. Motivation stimulates engagement, and a highly engaged workforce increases profitability by 21%.

When you keep your workers motivated, not only do they get the job done, they do so effectively and efficiently and are more committed to their jobs. Companies with motivated workers are more productive and increase the overall output of the business. 

Exceptional quality and improved customer service 

A motivated employee is more inclined to work to provide high-standard services and put extra effort into producing quality products. Those in service-related enterprises are also more committed to providing excellent customer service and are more excited about their job.

Find their Commonalities

Every employee needs motivation. Old and new employees may have shared things that make them feel motivated. You can take out time to find those commonalities. Motivating old and new employees aren’t so different from each other. However, we individuals examine the ways of motivating old and new employees. 

Finding commonalities and similar interests is a significant part of the social bonding process, and it is always profitable for managers to form bonds between their old and new employees. 

Ways to make old employees feel motivated

Employee perks.

It is important to note what perks are not.

  • Perks don’t include health care, dental, or vision packages.
  • Employee perks don’t include factors like mission, vision, values, fair play, or a strong/ethical team.
  • Perks are not the same as company culture but are a component.

A good employee perk is providing travel management services for older employees. Small business travel management companies can help to manage all aspects of business travel for the company’s staff, from signing contracts with airlines and car rental companies to arranging other services. Save your employees the stress involved with business travels and make business travels easier.

Communicate your expectations to them.

Generally, people have misconceptions regarding older employees’ willingness to learn new things. Most old workers are quite teachable and ready to learn new skills, software, and equipment. It’s best to communicate your goals, mission, and expectations to all your employees, both old and new, and have an open mind to avoid the thought that your more senior employees are already burnt out and can’t do much for your company.

old and new

Value their experience

Older employees, in most cases, have more experience than new employees. Encourage your new workers to learn from them. Experience is valuable to every business. You should value and encourage your employer more as they stay longer on the job. You can consider making productive ones the head of their various departments.

Take the Time to Understand Their Motivations

It’s essential to find what motivates your older workers. Their motivation might differ from fresher employees, although that isn’t always the care. It is important that you do your research and discover what works. Build a relationship with them and know their personal goals, ambitions, and desires.

Be Open to Feedback

As a good manager or business owner, it’s important to accept older employees’ feedback. Ask your senior employees about your performance, what can be done better and how to make better decisions. Remember, you are dealing with experienced individuals. Listening to their opinions and feedback helps you understand how to motivate them and make them feel important and appreciated. Asking for feedback makes them see you as a leader and not some boss.

Focus on Results

Focus on results rather than their methods of doing things. Older employees usually have a different approach to things. Considering they have been working on a job for several years, they tend to create unique work techniques. Instead of forcing older employees to adopt a new method, focus on the results. The most important thing is to focus on whatever gets the job done, regardless of the techniques adopted.

old and new

Ways to make new employees feel motivated

Express trust for new employees 

It’s normal to see new employees lack confidence in performing their jobs. It can result from the new environment, new job description, or fear of poor performance. You can avoid this and boost their confidence by expressing trust in them. Show them you expect them to do great in executing tasks, just like older employees. Encouraging them to be the best of themselves is an excellent way to go.

Track their productivity 

Set targets and goals for each employee to measure how productive they are. We get motivated when we hit targets, no matter how little. You can employ these tactics for your employees.

It’s important to reward employees that steadily hit their targets. This will encourage them to achieve more and work to develop themselves and improve their efficiency.

Give specific roles to your employees. 

Employees are more productive when they have specific tasks assigned to them. It also shows their efficiency and value to the business. As your employees perform their duties, they get motivated to achieve greater heights.

You should make your new employees recognize their role in the business vision and goals and how their performance affects the company. This gives your employees a sense of responsibility.

Stay positive 

As a manager, maintain a positive atmosphere. Your employees must see you full of enthusiasm and motivation. Regardless of your feelings, always stay positive and transmit the same to your workers. 

Always see the possibility of success in every project.

Create a good work relationship with your new staff

Paying particular attention to your new employees helps them adjust to their new work environment and boosts their performance. 

Ask about their challenges and how they are coping with their work. It is also important to get feedback. Their opinions will help you know how to motivate them.

When you succeed in creating a good relationship with your new employees, you’d know their weaknesses and strengths better and how to motivate them. Plus, they will trust you more and be more excited to work for you.

Reward your new employees when they perform well 

Rewards best-performing employees to keep them motivated and encourage other employees to put in more work. Create a system that rewards jobs well done. Two-thirds of employees are motivated to stay at their job with the presence of a motivational scheme for employees.

Rewards like extra stipends, movie tickets, and paid days off. You can also ask your employees what they’d love as a good reward. This will help you provide the most motivational incentives.

Wrapping Up the ways to make your old and new employees feel motivated.

We all need inspiration and encouragement to give our best. This is necessary for optimum productivity and profit in the work environment. Companies with highly motivated employees make up to 27% higher profits— this is some high profit, and you can get in on it.

You can keep your employees motivated and active at all times. These simplified strategies can be adapted to help motivate and keep your old and new employees inspired to give in their best.

Your employees are your asset. Keep them motivated. 


Author Bio
Martins Favour is a creative content writer with over five years of experience writing SEO content for various brands. She finds a home in weaving worlds out of words. Stories are her life and LinkedIn is her favourite tool. 

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A Small Business Guide To Business Phone Systems

business phone systems

Communication is crucial in any organization, which is why any size or scale of business should invest in a practical business phone system. These systems become an integral part of your business operation where you realize your business will run smoothly, thanks to its many features. However, since a few business phone systems are available in the market today, choosing which one would fit your business needs can be confusing. 

The key is assessing your business first, how often you need to communicate internally and externally and what would lead to more cost savings. After all, these phone systems require money—installation fees, monthly subscriptions, or phone bills. If you want to get to know their features and compare the different business phone system choices available today, use this article as your brief guide. 

business phone systems

Types Of Business Phone Systems  

Business phone systems are always more effective than traditional ones, no matter your business size. You can choose a business phone system for several reasons. Which system is best for your business depends on your needs. Choosing different phones systems from various providers can help you decide which phone system is best. Hence, before selecting the right business phone system, consider your company’s future and how it will grow. Here are the different options to consider:

  • VoIP Phone System  

Systems like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) use the company’s existing internet connection rather than copper wires like landlines. Without hefty costs, you can benefit from expensive features that were only made available to larger companies in the past. VoIP phone systems today can allow you to enjoy advanced calling features like automated call attendants, CRM integration, queues, and more. You can access voicemails on your company smartphone too. 

The business’s phone system is accessible to remote workers via VoIP systems. VoIP is a sophisticated phone system with all the features you need for easy daily communications. Compared with landline systems, these systems are easy to install and configure. A small business looking for the components of a sophisticated phone system at an affordable price won’t be disappointed when using the VoIP phone system.   

You’ll need to decide how you want to have your VoIP system hosted if you choose a VoIP system. Unlike landline systems, with physical installations in the office, you can integrate VoIP systems with other software and systems if you plan to rent or subscribe to a VoIP provider. Businesses can indeed improve productivity with VoIP.

  • PBX Phone System  

Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is another business phone network. It allows users to communicate easily using internal telephone lines and to receive and make external calls. There are promising features for this phone system, too, like call forwarding, call queuing, automated attending, and so on. In addition, you can operate a PBX phone system through VoIP or digital landlines. The difference with the VoIP phone system is that this is an on-premise device not connected to any data network.

  • Multi-Line Phone System  

Another good telephone option for your business is a multi-line phone system. Multiple people can use the same phone line simultaneously if it has multiple lines. It also allows you to handle multiple calls simultaneously. You can use it to communicate both internally with colleagues or externally with partners and clients. In multi-line telephone systems, audio data goes through between two parties simultaneously.  

Similar to a traditional one-line phone, a multi-line system transmits audio packets over telephone wires. The only difference is that it will allow you to communicate on multiple lines. This system is also an ideal telephone system choice if your employees are all displaced from the office. Using this method, you can attach a second phone or phone line.  

Additionally, suppose you only need another line. In that case, you can use a line splitter to connect to another phone or device. Plugging the splitter into the phone jack and inserting the phone cable into one of the ports is all it takes to set up your system. Unlike the other two phone system technology, this is more conventional and similar to landlines.  

business phone systems

Features Of Business Phone Systems

Communication is vital in making your business successful, and each employee has a different communication style. To help you communicate effectively, you must make tools and phone systems available to make communication seamless for different parties. While the features of business phone systems may vary depending on the type, here are the most common features and functions: 

  • Basic Features  

You should expect the following essential features from any phone system you choose: caller ID, conference calling, extension dialing, call forwarding, and call transferring. Depending on the operator, some of these basic features can help improve your operations or remain useless. However, checking the essential elements when selecting the best telephone system is vital.  

  • Voicemail  

Since customers have different schedules, it might be challenging to contact them in real time. Hence, it’s essential to leave a voicemail instead. Regarding this call feature, there are now additional features for voicemails. For example, you can send messages via email or text message and even have them transcribed. Make sure these features are helpful for your type of business.  

  • Call Routing  

A sales or service business must have this feature. The company may lose a potential sale if a customer goes to voicemail instead of speaking to a human. When an agent is busy answering an incoming call, calls can be routed to the available agents, reducing potential customer wait time. In addition, call routing ensures that all your customers will be spoken to, increasing customer satisfaction.  

  • Integration  

One of the best features of advanced phone systems is customer relationship management (CRM) integration. You can integrate CRMs with business phone systems easily to increase efficiency. Making and receiving calls will no longer require employees to switch from your CRM to the phone system app. Integrating your phone solution with your CRM can help achieve seamless information flow. Therefore, you can access all your communications from the same place. This saves time and makes the call more productive, and your employees can tend to the callers easily.  

Conclusion

With today’s technological advancements, there are tools and features for whatever a business may be seeking. Whether your business goes with a PBX system, a multi-line landline, or hosted VoIP—you can’t go wrong. First, however, you must focus on customer communication. Next, assess the importance of communication in your company and decide which kind of phone system is most beneficial for your operations. By understanding the different types of phone systems and their features, you can now better choose and decide which one to go for. 

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Guide to Business Success and How Business Succeed

business success

Guide to Business Success and How Businesses Succeed

Every entrepreneur wants to create a successful and profitable business; this is a basic and obvious statement. But what does not seem too obvious to most small business owners is how to run a successful small business. To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business doesn’t just happen as such. In this article, we’d look at business success – what business success is all about, how businesses succeed, and some key tips you can apply to your business to achieve business success. So, keep reading.

Business Success Definition

A successful business makes efficient and effective use of resources like human capital, money, inventory, plant, and equipment. A successful business is a living, breathing organism that contributes to everyone’s wealth and quality of life. It is crucial to remember that business success is never a certainty or a final goal. It is a journey that never ends since any one of the factors that could have an impact on a business’s success could alter at any time.

business success

Business Success Dimensions

Personal: For entrepreneurs, the process of creation – starting with an idea and producing something that lasts – provides immense gratification. Seeing your family name on the corporation gives you a sense of ownership. Successfully confronting problems and, as a result, discovering abilities and strengths you didn’t know you possessed are undoubtedly parts of personal success in business.

Financial: Successful businesses provide a significant return on investment for the shareholders who put their money into the endeavor. The company’s founders, who are typically also stockholders, can produce riches for their families and future stability while simultaneously living a more wealthy lifestyle. They define success as being able to offer a better life for their children than they had for themselves when they were younger.

Social: Business success is also measured by the benefit they provide to society. Some of the products and services they provide have explicit social purposes, such as helping the environment or offering educational opportunities for children. Others are really dedicated to philanthropic giving and becoming good corporate citizens.

Longevity: With the number of organizations that fail or start off strong only to falter in the competitive marketplace a few years later, the capacity to sustain success in the tumultuous, ever-changing business environment is another measure of corporate success.

Customer Satisfaction: Many of the goods and services we use every day were established to assist clients in solving an issue. Seeing that your goods have made a major difference in the lives of your consumers is one of the driving elements that keeps company owners working persistently to build even better solutions. Praise from delighted clients creates a sense of success that is as significant to some company owners as the financial gains they get.

Employee Satisfaction: Business owners can be able to assess whether the satisfaction of their employees is their topmost concern by assessing how hard their workers work and how dedicated each member of their team is to the goals of the business. This component of business success is measured by how many employees stay with the company for five, ten, or more years – sometimes their whole career.

How Businesses Succeed

Certain key attributes make a business successful and can be synthesized into a stepwise process of how businesses succeed.

1. Pursuing a defined mission

The purpose of a small business is critical to the operation of all areas of the organization. It assists the entrepreneurs in growing the firm with a large aim in mind. It offers employees something to strive for and provides them a feeling of purpose. It also informs clients about the company’s values and fosters personal relationships.

Your goal is more than just a flag proclaiming your support for something. Your company should operate by its goal.

2. Pursuing long-term goals

Successful businesses have both short- and long-term goals. Long-term goals are vital, whether they be investments in new technology that will not be available for several years or aiming for a particular level of growth in the next decade. Instead of bouncing from tiny success to small success, a long-term aim integrates those modest victories into a larger image.

3. Focusing on customers

The most successful businesses prioritize customer care and the customer experience. The first stage is to develop items and services that clients desire. However, concentrating on customers extends beyond your products. Customers are fed up with dealing with businesses via phone menus and automated chat bots. They are looking for a human connection. A consumer wants to know that their company is appreciated and that you will endeavor to address their difficulties. A few negative client experiences may have a significant influence on how well-liked a company is.

4. Retaining employee talent

Good managers help a successful business maintain good personnel on the payroll. Another approach is to create a purpose with strong core principles in which workers may believe. The most successful businesses identify and seek to retain their top employees. That entails more than just good compensation and a few perks.

Offering additional training opportunities and other incentives such as telecommuting days are common approaches for businesses to retain their finest employees. Another example is benefit packages that provide flexible sick and vacation day options. Finally, employees must be aware that chances for advancement, such as moving up the ladder or laterally within the business, exist. You won’t lose someone to a similar position at another firm this way.

5. Employing a great management team

Successful businesses, large and small, require effective management, from the top down to foremen and shift supervisors. Quality leaders provide communication, a natural business culture, and clear goals and objectives to their staff. Criticism is constructive, and employees feel appreciated while also knowing where they need to improve. A good leader embodies the corporate culture, follows norms and rules and serves as an example to workers. Finally, successful leaders make their staff feel appreciated.

Being a bad leader isn’t just about making poor decisions for the company. In fact, a bad leader can make good financial or marketing decisions, yet lead a team of miserable employees. From failing to empathize with an employee who struggles to communicate in an unclear or frustrating manner, bad leaders inspire employees to quit or switch departments left and right.

In picking out leaders at your business, it is important to have an expert who whispers advice and coaches you on what suitable steps you can take.

Do you need the services of a small business coach for your business? Then click here to book a free call with one of our small business coaches now.

6. Keeping detailed financial records

Financial records are an important part of how businesses succeed. Businesses must have a clear understanding of how much money they make and spend. Keeping track of money allows organizations to identify beneficial tendencies as well as potential financial hazards. Businesses that understand their finances might choose to invest, seek innovations, or pay for new equipment or suppliers. It is also how firms determine when they need to hire extra employees.

7. Continuous innovation

People will imitate you if you make a high-quality product. That’s why the most successful businesses are always inventing, whether it’s improving on existing items or creating totally new ones.

Improving a product, finding a means to give a reduced price, or inventing new ways to express gratitude to clients are all examples of effective innovations. Never give up on amazing ideas.

 

15 Keys to Business Success

 

1. Provide a Great Product or Service

While marketing is important for building excitement and increasing visitors to your brand, it can only get you so far. Once the consumers arrive, the items or services must be good enough to meet or exceed their expectations. This is how you develop a lifelong repeat consumer who will aid the business by spreading the word.

Making consumers become brand ambassadors is one of the most successful and cost-effective strategies to get a small business noticed. However, this can only happen if the service is of high quality and, most all, delivers an amazing solution to a real problem that fits a market demand. Many entrepreneurs have created mind-blowing and unique goods that fail, while others with a simple idea dominate the market – Why? Perhaps the first group became so focused on the end product that they forgot to resolve an issue, whereas the second group solved a common problem to which many potential buyers can connect.

2. Focus on Customer Service

A NewVoiceMedia research found that 51% of customers won’t do business with a company again following a negative service encounter. Additional research also shows that it usually takes numerous happy customers to make up for one unhappy one.

Make providing excellent customer service a top priority since devoted consumers are much simpler to sell to. To make sure that your small business is offering a service that is superior to that of your rivals, evaluate your existing customer service and implement the necessary modifications. You could need to spend money on employee training, change your return policy, or make simple adjustments like immediately answering consumer voicemails or emails.

3. Expand Your Marketing Efforts

You must use effective marketing to boost your sales, but doing so doesn’t have to be expensive. There are several low-cost alternatives to sell your goods and services, such as:

  •       Advertising your business on your vehicle with a vehicle wrap
  •       Cold calling (yes it can still work)
  •       Creating and using a promotion kit
  •       Developing business partnerships and doing cross-promotion with complementary businesses
  •       Giving free workshops or classes related to your products or services
  •       Involving the newspapers in your grand openings, moves, or charity events
  •       Joining professional organizations
  •       Sending out promotions with your invoices

4. Do Your Research

Business is never simply business; it must be extremely personal as well. This is not to say that entrepreneurs should throw caution to the wind and launch firms based simply on their own opinions. For example, you may believe that walking a cat on a leash is a terrific idea, but will a cat leash business be successful? Gut instincts are useful, but they are not the same as information. It is derived from data, which is derived through study. How large is the prospective consumer base, and what qualities do these people have? To effectively target customer profiles, it is vital to understand what drives and motivates them. One of the most important factors to small company success is research.

The competitive assessment is another important part of the research. To establish a brand that meets the demands of the market, you must first comprehend the playing field. Here are some questions to think about asking:

  •       Are there any companies that may be considered competitors?
  •       What can you learn from your rivals?
  •       Is there one that sticks out as a leader in the industry?
  •       If so, how did they rise to the top?
  •       What were the secrets to their small company’s success?
  •       Have they made any errors that you might have avoided?

business success

5. Update Your Business Plan

One of the key factors for business success is to regularly update your business plan.

Before establishing your business, you did create a business plan, correct? For several reasons, including determining the viability of your business idea and obtaining a loan or equity funding, a business plan is essential for startups.

It’s not too late to make one if you haven’t already. Successful, well-established companies revise their business plans every year to assess their successes (or lack thereof) and choose new objectives or paths.

The income statement, the cash flow forecast, and the balance sheet, which is all included in the business plan’s financial section, provide an overview of your company’s financial health. From there, you may decide how to increase sales, decrease losses, or reduce costs to make your company more lucrative. You require a strategy to achieve your goals if you want your company to be more successful.

6. Keep Things Organized

This point cannot be overstated. Access to information quickly and effectively will make a huge impact in the everyday operations of a small business, whether it is through a real file cabinet or an ordered digital folder structure in your computer. It is strongly advised to retain individual folders for each part of the business that are suitably labeled and structured in a way that makes sense to you and is intuitive enough for everyone in the firm to access as needed. Backups of digital information are very critical, particularly when it comes to financial data. It is critical to keep them in a secure location to avoid potentially catastrophic circumstances later on.

7. Detailed Record Keeping

Proper bookkeeping allows you to understand the financial health of your company and what may become an issue in the future. It might be the difference between becoming a success story for a small business or not. At the same time, it can help to envision future forecasts and aid in company planning. You must grasp how much money the company makes and how much it sells. While many entrepreneurs consider hiring an accountant to perform their taxes as needed, understanding your statistics entails much more. You must be able to make changes to your business every quarter to ensure that you stay on pace to meet your annual goals.

It pays to clean up your records when it comes to excellent tax record keeping. Here are three other ways that accurate records might benefit a small business owner:

Identify income sources: Using the books, you should be able to distinguish between business and non-business revenues and taxable and nontaxable income.

Maintain a record of deductible expenses: everything should be noted as it happens to prevent leaving anything out when completing tax returns.

Support items listed on tax forms: If the IRS requests extra explanation on the items reported on the tax returns, a comprehensive collection of precise and thorough documents will be crucial to speeding the inspection.

8. Keep Focus & Have Patience

Here’s another amazing small company success tip: to help you stay to a plan and avoid distractions, make a “to-do list” every night before going to bed and attack it first thing in the morning. However, it is critical to create a realistic to-do list in order to avoid setting yourself up for failure.

Maintaining focus on a specific objective is critical to achieving business success. The overarching aim must be determined, and smaller milestones must be established along the route.

That being said, it is equally critical to be resilient, not just in the face of everyday problems, but also in the face of overall company success expectations. Most successful firms do not emerge quickly; it may take years for a company to reach its full potential and become a small business success story.

9. Be Prepared to Make Tough Decisions

Every business owner must make sacrifices for the betterment of the company. However, there may come a time when the most difficult decision you must make is to set your ego aside. Pride may be fatal to a business, and not all decisions will always reflect your values and ideals. And, while a small business owner should have substantial personal and emotional stakes in the company, these should not be the driving force behind every daily decision. You should realize when you need assistance and acknowledge that there are individuals who may know more about some parts of the business than you do.

It is OK to seek assistance as a business owner. You must be willing to leave your ego at the door and listen to what others have to say, especially if it comes from your consumer or business coach. It is difficult to approach a problem with humility and an open mind, but it is the greatest way to make smart business decisions.

10. Keep Your Overhead to a Minimum

One of the keys to small company success is cash. Most business owners recognize the importance of capital liquidity as the first line of defense against any unanticipated issue. However, not all small firms can maintain a substantial enough reserve to sustain unexpected income losses or expenditure spikes.

A decent rule of thumb is to not increase the company’s overhead above what its cash reserves can support. It is far simpler to expand the firm as cash liquidity improves, rather than being forced to reduce later because the business couldn’t afford its overhead expenditures in an emergency.

11. Know the Operational Needs

You must understand everything about your company, and this knowledge should not be restricted to figures. It is critical to understand what the organization needs to function efficiently. Employees, equipment, supplies, and everything else required are all included. However, there is also the intangible factor to consider. Efficient operations and inventory management may have a significant impact on operating expenses. Researching best practices in a certain market and testing to see what works best for the firm (by trial & error) may be a time-consuming and laborious task. However, it will increase the profitability and performance of your company.

12. Build Your Online Presence

Your small business has to have an online presence since it is very quick and simple to create a professional-looking website. According to statistics from the E-commerce Wiki, 88 percent of shoppers now do their shopping research online before going to the store.

Many small businesses only need a basic website that outlines who you are, what you do, and how to get in touch with you. Your website should at the very least include:

business success

  •       A summary of what you do—your products and services
  •       Testimonials from customers
  •       Your address, including a Google Maps link
  •       Your business name
  •       Your contact information
  •       Your logo
  •       Your mission, e.g. “We make the best pizza in town…”

Social media may also be a terrific tool for marketing your company, depending on your target demographic. For the majority of businesses today, creating an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram isn’t really optional for some businesses these days.

13. Hire the Right People and Treat Them Well

This is one of those areas that may come under making difficult decisions, but the organization must have A+ team players. All small business success stories have one thing in common: they understand that the people they recruit are critical to their company’s success. Every employee at a small firm, more than in a huge corporation, must be trusted to perform his or her daily tasks with as little monitoring as possible. To reduce overhead costs to a minimum, the structure must be as lean as feasible. As a result, no small business can afford to squander a job by recruiting the wrong person. The converse case, however, is true. No small business can afford to lose a top-notch employee. So, create a team and treat them nicely. Listen to them and assist them in growing.

14. Always Look to Improve

To achieve business success, stay away from becoming complacent and innovation-blind. It’s time to start searching for methods to improve once things get going well and the company finds its rhythm. Perhaps it involves adding a new item, developing a special taste, automating a manual step in the process, or opening during more hours. Whatever it is, keep in mind that there is always an opportunity for development in any company. To prevent becoming stagnant, you must remain active. Innovation is crucial to your success as a small firm.

15. Build Word of Mouth for Your Business

Word of mouth is more crucial than ever, whether you run your business in a small town or a big city. Building a solid reputation is essential to the success of your business because the majority of customers use the internet to research businesses before choosing where to purchase.

How can you spread good word of mouth? By offering excellent, professional service, establishing and maintaining a solid local (and online) reputation, and obtaining recognition by supporting and sponsoring neighborhood groups and charities. This all adds up towards lasting business success.

So, there you have it. We trust you found this article helpful.

Do you need help taking action on all this information? Then book a free call with one of our small business coaches today. Click here to schedule a business breakthrough session now.

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How Does Content Marketing Help Small Businesses?

content marketing

There’s a considerable difference between big businesses and small businesses regarding their resources and know-how with content marketing, and this affects how successful their campaigns are. Of course, it’s only natural to think that larger companies are going to be more successful at content marketing campaigns because they have more money to invest in the effort. It’s even easier to become discouraged, thinking “let’s just leave content marketing to the big guys” — but this is a mistake.

Small businesses can make excellent headway with content marketing thanks to the internet. Small businesses may not have substantial marketing budgets or big teams to execute their marketing strategies. However, they can still increase sales, attract new customers, and grow brand awareness with a bit of gumption.

Don’t allow what your small business lacks to stop you from taking advantage of content marketing. Instead, focus on making strategic content creation and distribution choices that are true to your brand and in alignment with your target audience’s desires.

Here’s why content marketing is a good choice for small businesses.

Scale Your Marketing Strategy

First, content marketing can boost your overall marketing strategy. Not only will you be required to reevaluate your company goals, but you’ll also have to establish clear marketing objectives that support your overarching marketing strategy.

When you set company-wide goals, attach them to smaller marketing plans and define each department’s role, it ensures each person has direction, productivity gets better, and your business’s bottom line improves. These goals are generally going to be based on problems that need to be solved, and you can even take a visual approach when defining these goals with a visual problem-solving flowchart:

  1. First, draw a shape that represents the problem you’re trying to solve.
  2. Then draw a shape that represents a goal or a decision, and ask yes-or-no questions concerning these goals.
  3. Based on these answers, you’ll connect the possible paths you can take to work through the steps and individual processes.
  4. Keep going down these paths and asking questions until you’re able to narrow them down to goals that could feasibly solve the original problem.
  5. Select the goal you’d like to commit to, and then pursue it. If it doesn’t ultimately work, you can review this process and analyze what might have gone wrong, as well as select a new, more viable goal.

Additionally, it’s crucial to map out how you’re going to track your marketing team’s productivity and how they work together with other departments. By doing so, you create bandwidth in your business for content marketing and establish a workflow that supports a solid customer experience with your marketing.

Next, content marketing can make it easier to build a customer base.

Build a Customer Base

Instead of relying on word-of-mouth or traditional marketing efforts, you can reach more people with good content.

You can publish content across various channels and platforms, extending your reach beyond local, state, and even international lines. In addition, you can build a community of people that support your business and are loyal advocates of your brand with a solid content marketing strategy.

Furthermore, not only can you create a customer base, but you can learn more about it through content marketing.

Learn More About Your Target Audience

content marketing

When you create and distribute content, you have access to more data about your target audience and how they engage with your brand and business. It’s integral to not just your content marketing strategy but your overall marketing goals and business plan, to continually learn about your target audience.

By setting up data analytics tools to track the performance of your content and how your target audience engages with it, you’ll be able to make insightful adjustments to your strategy when needed.

You also have more creative freedom in a small business content marketing strategy.

Exercise Creative Freedom

There is a lot of room for creativity in a small business’s content marketing strategy. The marketing department in a small business is usually a one-person show, a small team, or run by the owner.

You don’t have to get permission from someone higher up about content marketing decisions when you call the shots. Instead, you can take creative risks with content, experiment with various platforms, and try out different distribution methods at will.

Another way content marketing can help your small business is by establishing your brand as an expert.

Establish Your Brand as an Expert

You can establish your brand as an expert when you do content marketing right. By constantly churning out entertaining, educational, helpful, interactive content, you’ll have a better chance at establishing trust-filled relationships with members of your target audience.

Content can also be the difference between becoming a thought leader in your industry or remaining in the shadows of big businesses. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you truly know what you’re talking about, or you’ll get called out for it, and may achieve the opposite of your goals. Failure to understand your industry is one of the most grow brand awareness, so make sure you don’t look like a newbie or a chump by brushing up on industry knowledge.

Lastly, content marketing helps your small business work on brand consistency.

Work on Brand Consistency

content marketing

Consistency is critical when building brand awareness. You want people to recognize your brand no matter how or where they encounter it. Ensuring your brand is represented the same in your content can help.

Content marketing helps you work on your brand consistency. You’ll have to nail down the messaging, brand voice, guidelines for visuals, and other brand elements you’ll include in your content to be as consistent as possible.

Ultimately, when you prioritize brand consistency in your content marketing, it’ll be easier for your target audience to identify your brand through your content, no matter the platform or channel.

Conclusion

Content marketing is beneficial to small businesses looking to scale their marketing strategies while staying within budget and within the realm of what their small teams can produce.

It can also help you build a sizeable customer base, learn more about your target audience, and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. It will take some time, but your small business can leverage content marketing effectively with a bit of creativity, brand consistency, and dedication.

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How To Use Technology To Spur Business Growth

technology

Currently, technology is advancing at a rate never before seen in history. This means there are constantly new opportunities for businesses to take advantage of to spur growth. With the right tools and knowledge, any business can use technology to its advantage and see actual results.

Here are a few ways you can use technology to grow your business:

  • Make Use Of Free Online Tools

Gone are the days when you had to spend large sums of money on software to get work done. Nowadays, there are an endless amount of free online tools for businesses available that can do everything from help you manage your finances to track your website traffic.technology

For example, if you’re looking for a tool to help with the day-to-day running of your business, Evernote is a great option. This tool can be used for everything from taking notes to creating to-do lists and is available on almost any device.

  • Harness The Power Of Social Media

Social media has drastically changed the marketing and advertising landscape in the past decade. Businesses of all sizes can now reach a global audience with just a few clicks.

While traditional marketing methods are still important, social media provides a unique opportunity to connect with customers more personally. When used correctly, social media can be an invaluable tool for growing your business.

One way to use social media is to create informative and shareable content. Posting articles, infographics, and videos that provide valuable information can help to attract new clients and grow your audience.

It’s also important to be active on popular platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. By engaging with your clients on social media, you can build relationships and Trust.

Finally, don’t forget to take maximize the use of paid advertising on social media platforms. By targeting your ads to specific demographics, you can ensure that your message reaches the right people.

  • Invest In Quality Website And Web App

Investing in a quality website and web application helps you grow your business in several ways. First, it will make it easy for potential customers to find you online. A well-designed website will be user-friendly and easy to navigate, and it will also be optimized for search engines so that your target demographic can easily find what you’re offering them.

Second, a quality website and web application builds trust with your market. Customers will likely do business with a company with a professional-looking website and a well-designed web application.

Finally, a quality website and web application allows you to streamline your business processes and make it easier for your customers to keep tabs. Therefore, when making a web application, consider how it will benefit your customers and make their lives easier. The same goes for your website.

  • Use Data Analytics To Make Better Business Decisions

The use of data analytics has become increasingly important in recent years, as businesses have become more reliant on data to make decisions. By analyzing data, businesses can identify trends and patterns that can be used to make better decisions about where to allocate resources.

For example, data analytics can be used to understand which products are selling well and which areas of the business are most profitable. This information can then be used to decide where to invest in new products and how to price products to maximize profits.

In addition, data analytics can also be used to identify customer needs and preferences, which can be used to tailor marketing campaigns and improve customer satisfaction.

technology

  • Automate Business Processes

As your business grows, you’ll quickly find that there are only so many hours in the day. You can only do so much, and at some point, you will have to start delegating or automating tasks if you want to continue growing. This is where automating some of your business processes can come in handy.

By taking care of routine tasks automatically, you’ll free up time that you can use to focus on other areas of your business. For instance, if you currently handle all of your customer invoicing manually, consider investing in invoicing software that can automate the process. Not only will this save you time, but it will also help to ensure accuracy and improve your customer’s experience.

Automating even just a few of your business processes can make a big difference in your ability to grow your business.

  • Let Cloud Computing Take Over

As businesses strive to do more with less, many are turning to cloud computing to improve efficiency and cut costs. Cloud computing can provide several advantages for businesses, including the ability to scale quickly and efficiently, access to powerful resources, and increased flexibility.

For businesses that are proliferating, cloud computing can be an essential tool. The ability to scale quickly and efficiently is one of the biggest advantages of the cloud. With traditional on-premises infrastructure, businesses often have to invest significantly in servers and storage capacity that may not be fully utilized for some time. With the cloud, businesses only pay for the resources they use, making it much easier to manage cash flow. In addition, businesses can add or remove resources as needed, making it easy to adjust to changing needs.

Another advantage of cloud computing is access to powerful resources. Cloud providers offer a wide range of services and tools businesses can use to power their applications and workloads. This includes everything from storage and databases to machine learning and artificial intelligence. By leveraging these powerful resources, businesses can achieve results that would otherwise be out of reach.

Finally, cloud computing can provide increased flexibility for businesses. With the cloud, businesses are not tied to a specific location or set of resources. They can quickly move workloads and data between cloud providers or on-premises and the cloud. This flexibility can be a significant advantage for businesses that need to be able to respond quickly to changing conditions.

Final Word 

As you can see, there are many ways that you can use technology to grow your business. By taking advantage of data analytics, automating business processes, and leveraging the power of the cloud, you can give your business the boost it needs to succeed. While technology is vital for any business growth strategy, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. It would be perfect if you also had a solid marketing plan, a well-trained staff, and efficient operations.

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20 Marketers Share Their Best Automation That Every Business Owner Should Use

automation

Gaurav Sharma, Attrock automation

The automation that my team and I use in our day-to-day work is sending automated personalized emails at scare. While personalization improves the ROI of email marketing, automation scales things up and helps me run bulk email campaigns.

I think if you can invest only in one type of marketing automation, go with automated personalized emails. These are cost-effective and can deliver great results, not to mention they save a lot of time and effort.

I use automated email campaigns both for my own business and for my clients. I have run several successful email outreach campaigns that delivered exceptional results and you can do the same.

So, invest in email marketing automation for your business and see the results first-hand.

 

Roxana Motoc,SocialBee

Every business owner should use a social media management tool automation. As an entrepreneur, you don’t want to spend time scheduling content daily and switching between platforms just to remain active. 

The best way to have a sharp presence across multiple networks, with the least amount of work, is by using a platform like SocialBee. You can create, schedule, share, and analyze content for all your account from one place. 

More than that, by using a social media posting tool you can: 

🎨 Use the Canva integration to design your posts right inside SocialBee. 

📦 Structure your content in categories to obtain a solid & balanced mix. 

📄 Connect the RSS Feed of any blog to import content automatically. 

✍️ Customize the posts for each social media network individually. 

🔄 Recycle evergreen posts or expire time-sensitive content easily. 

📈 Track your links’ performance with over 5+ URL Shorteners integrations. 

 

automationHelga Moreno, andcards

Here is a couple of my favorite automation that are particularly useful for every businesses. First, there is email automation. There are many email tools available in the market that allow you to automate your email sequences and send personalized emails to your contacts based on their interactions with your website and other engagement data. This can be a great way to stay in touch with your customers and prospects and nurture them through the sales funnel.

Another type of marketing automation that can be very helpful is lead capture automation. Lead capture forms allow you to automatically capture leads from your website and track their information in your CRM. This can be a great way to quickly build up your contact database and start nurturing leads down the sales funnel.

 

automationKatrina Dalao, Referral Rock

As a content marketer, one of our big initiatives is keeping our articles up-to-date and relevant for our readers. As big Airtable fans here at Referral Rock, and our team has created an auto-filled template that shows us all of our top articles that need optimizations. Anyone in our team can check this table on a regular basis and see what articles need to be checked for recency and relevance.

 

Natalya Bucuy, LiveHelpNow

Live Chatbot is one of the best tools a business can use to serve its customers. 

Simple questions, like ones regarding business operation hours, store locations, or just a simple initial greeting of the customer on a website – are the tasks chatbots can and even should handle. Answering these questions over and over again not only overwhelms customer service agents but also takes up valuable business resources. Allowing chatbots to handle these inquiries will free up time for human customer service agents to answer more complex questions. Chatbots can direct inquiries to the right department, saving agents and customers time.

Chatbots can also serve as trailblazers for new or small businesses that do not have many staff members or don’t know what type of inquiries their customers would normally have. In this case, chatbots can screen all inquiries and give the business owners ideas of what to expect when it comes to customer communications. 

 

automationHope Dorman, Kajabi

My top automation that I use in my niche of content marketing is Semrush reports. I have an automated report from Semrush that comes to my email weekly that shares the top organic search positions for our domain. I appreciate their other reports that compile the key takeaway information with the top pages by organic search, a chat with the number of ranking keywords, top subdomains and the traffic breakdown, a competitive position map, and more. These automatically generated reports provide a helpful update on how our various search engine optimization metrics are performing. 

Reporting takes a lot of time. Being able to automatically generate a report with charts and graphs without having to manually recreate them or update them in Google Sheets or Excel can save a lot of time while still providing the important information company stakeholders need.

 

automationPaul Posea, Superside

People are spending way too much time sharing on social media channels (especially not the main ones) by doing it individually. Social media posting automation can be a huge time saver if you were planning to cover multiple platforms. 

One example of how I’m using an automated process for this is by having a WordPress plugin that automatically shares my posts when I post them on the blog. Even more so, you can set up an automated email to go out when a new blog post is published.

Speaking of email, automatic customer segmentation is a must for every business that has an email list (and every business should have one). I suggest segmenting people on a few very specific categories, but not too many depending on what kind of articles and pages they visit on the site or what level of product awareness they are at.

Even more so, setting up an automated way to clean up your email list is a must if you want to get consistently high CTR in your email campaigns. For that, I recommend doing an automatic cleanup of people who haven’t opened your emails in the past 3 months (or however long you think is too long).

 

Tara Malone, Mirasee

If you’re brand new to marketing automation, taking on a complex automated marketing campaign can seem daunting. To avoid overwhelm, I recommend starting small and selecting some simple activities that could benefit from automation. This might involve setting up a welcome email sequence for new subscribers, or a thank you message that gets triggered when someone opts into your email list. Once you feel comfortable with setting up simple automated sequences, you can gradually begin to implement automation in more complex marketing campaigns. It’s also important to track the results of your marketing automation campaigns so you can see which types of campaigns work well with your audience and which ones don’t. This is powerful knowledge that you can use to create more effective campaigns that truly resonate with your audience.

 

automationArlen Robinson, OSI Affiliate Software

Email is a valuable tool for any business. It earns businesses an average of $35 for every dollar spent. Email is like a direct line to your customers, and it builds your brand. Therefore to maximize profits it is essential that a business automate the email marketing process.

The first email that you should automate is the initial welcome email that you send a prospect after they engage with your brand in any way.  When a new customer signs up, send an automatic welcome email. It’s the first chance to show them that you care. Explain how you can help them and what they should do next.

The next most important email that you should automate is the abandoned cart email. Last year, close to 70% of online shopping carts were abandoned. That’s a lot of money left on the table. To avoid this, your brand should send automatic emails to shoppers who abandon their carts. These messages can remind them that they left something behind, and encourage them to come back and complete the purchase.

The final most important email that you should automate is a Birthday or anniversary email. 

You can trigger emails based on the date of the subscriber’s birthday or when the subscriber first signed up. Send a special offer to thank them for their loyalty. These emails typically have a high click-through rate because when you reference someone’s birthday or anniversary date it will catch their eye and intrigue them to see what the email is all about.

Whichever automated email you decide to use, can easily be set up from virtually any email marketing software provider such as Mailchimp, Active Campaign, or virtually any solution that you can find these days.

 

automationKalo Yankulov, Encharge

Apart from the typical email marketing campaigns and email follow-ups, business owners that sell B2B should look into automating their lead qualification process. 

If you are not familiar, lead qualification is the process of evaluating potential customers based on their probability of converting. The goal is to minimize time with leads that are not a good fit for your business or whose buying temperature is too low and focus your efforts on hot leads.

You don’t need a fancy enterprise tool to do this. You can use a marketing automation platform like Encharge to qualify and segment your leads based on their form responses, actions on the website, and other data like country, location, etc. This process can be automated by building a flow that automatically scores good fit customers. For instance, if a lead indicates that their budget is over $10,000, you can increase their lead score by 10. Once they reach a lead score threshold, good fit customers can be automatically added as contacts or deals in your CRM. That way, you can follow up and allocate your sales efforts to the right people.

 

automationMiruna Dragomir, Planable

Digital marketers are spoilt for choice when it comes to automation tools. My team and I use at least 15 tools on a daily basis. My top pick has to be content marketing automation which involves content creation and social media. Social media creation, planning, collaboration and scheduling has to happen in the same place for us. Since that software is also our business, we use it at all times. It’s important for us to nurture collaboration and have the peace of mind that every social media post looks pixel-perfect when it goes live. And we want to do that as efficiently as possible. We’ve sworn off spreadsheets, email threads, and Google Drive images for social media management. We’d rather keep those for what they were intended: analytics and reporting.

Besides social media, we automate project management as much as possible. We use Notion for company wiki, OKRs, and project planning — Sunsama for task management, and we integrate the two. That’s one of our core principles when it comes to automation: integrate and connect the software that we use. No copy-pasting. Ever.

 

Jonathan Aufray, Growth Hackers

Email marketing is known as the digital marketing channel with the highest ROI. Pretty much anyone in business check their emails on a daily basis so why don’t you leverage this by sending automated regular emails to your prospects and leads? As soon as you have email subscribers, you need to prepare a sequence of emails that will be sent automatically. Don’t be too salesy though. Provide value first by giving them tips, industry trends, insightful content, etc. Once you’ve provided enough free content, it’s find to send a commercial/transactional email.

 

Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Scalefusion MDM

Onboarding Processes for New Customers:

Most businesses perform routine tasks in onboarding each new customer, so since these tasks are repetitive, it makes them easy to automate!

By automating your small business onboarding process, you will be able to:

  1. Enhance the buying experience for your customers.
  2. Second, make it possible for new customers to sign up for your product or service.
  3. Lastly, you can spend more time engaging, educating, and delighting new buyers.

Tips for Automating Your New Customer Onboarding Experience:

  1. Create a pre-built campaign template.
  2. Handle the transactional stuff automatically.
  3. Use tags to segment your customers.
  4. Use different email accounts to send emails.

Customer onboarding automation is crucial to building a successful business.

 

automationChris Makara, Bulkly

For me, all business owners should be using social media automation in their business. While there are quite a few benefits of using this type of automation in their workflows, perhaps the biggest is the time that you save once it is implemented. Without social media automation, business owners waste quite a bit of time sourcing, creating and scheduling status updates across various social media platforms. This can easily add up to several hours each and every week.

However, there are many business owners who are now automating this entire process with automation tools like Bulkly. By leveraging a tool like this, it allows them win back their time so that they can focus on more important things – like running their business.

 

automationOksana Chyketa, Newoldstamp

When it comes to email marketing, I believe that the entire process has to be automated. And at the same time, it’s impossible to venture into email marketing without considering personalization. Personalization includes collecting data on prospects, creating their profiles, and then segmenting lists to send more relevant messages to different subscriber groups. Thus, even when using an email template, the emails won’t look as robotic, when some personalization principles have been incorporated.

When it comes to personalizing my messages, I use Personalization Tags extensively – name, subject line, website name, link, etc., depending on the outreach campaign I work on. We use the Snov.io tool to automate this process.

And of course, adding an email signature to all of my emails is a must-have. Email signatures give this personal touch to the emails and influence the first impression a prospect gets about our company. With Newoldstamp I can automate this part as well – my email signature always looks professional and what’s more, I can track the impressions and clicks in the built-in analytics.

 

automationSantiago Safdie, InvGate 

Hubspot is our main source of automation, and the reason behind that is that it allows us to automate not only marketing but also sales.

We use it to automate blog post publications, email nurturing campaigns, workflows, customer service surveys, and even social media and ads.

It’s a great one-stop-shop that allows the whole team to have a clear view of the work pipeline, statistics, and performance of each area. Plus, it makes analysis and reporting simpler for me.

 

Mark Ankucic, Sked Social

Clearbit data capture to slack – gives you a crystal clear look into what businesses are hitting your website.

 

 

automationMykola Haichenko, Visme

For outreach specialists like me, email automation is the cornerstone of everyday work.

If I had to send each email manually, I’d miss all the deadlines imaginable. But tools like Respona let me automate the entire sending process and do it without compromising on the quality.

They leave no trace of automated mass outreach.

With a few clicks, I can personalize each email in my bulk campaigns by adding the recipient’s name, organization, post title, pretty much anything. In the end, an email feels like it was sent to one person, not hundreds.

But while it’s possible to automate the technical part, there’s still one thing that remains unautomatable – the message you’re going to convey.

Let’s take follow-ups as an example.

You can’t insert a generic portion of text like “just bumping this to the top of your inbox,” hit “Send,” and expect lots of replies. You’ll need to be more creative than that.

Try to find your prospects’ common pain point and put emphasis on it a follow-up.

What works for me is mentioning that their competitors have already done what I ask them for. By ignoring or rejecting my pitch, they’ll basically lose to their competitors on my playing field. Such a delicate hint helps me increase my response rates by around 30%.

The bottom line is email automation works with a thought-out message only, not on its own.

 

Tenny Jesse, Pearl Lemon

Chatbots are the primary point of contact on all of our websites; when we are not available to chat (rare, as we are available 24/7), or if we are moving the conversation forward, we ask for visitor emails and add them to our email marketing funnels, which educates users about marketing tips, trends, and services we offer, creating value for the visitors and growing our email lists to market our SaaS products and warm up leads. 

We use Zapier to connect Drift, Google Sheet, Clearout, and Lemlist – whenever an email is collected or a new lead is created on Drift, the automation triggers and sends emails to a Google Sheet, where Clearout validates the emails and sends safe to send emails to an email marketing funnel.

 

automationSamir Sampat, Smith.ai

Setting up marketing automation helps your business optimize its brand presence across every channel your customers engage in, allowing your sales team to focus its efforts where there’s the most likelihood of conversion.

In general, B2B marketing automation will follow the same general structure:

Step 1: Build a list of potential customers to target.

Step 2: Execute an automated campaign.

Step 3: Measure how your potential customers react to the campaign.

Step 4: Group your customers by their reactions.

Step 5: Send qualified leads directly to sales and route warm leads to a nurturing cycle.

Step 6: Monitor performance and redirect warm leads to sales as soon as they become qualified leads.

B2B marketing automation is usually done through software, but outsourcing some or all of your sales cycle is also a great strategy to eliminate repetitive tasks so your sales team can focus on closing deals.

9 B2B marketing automation strategies to implement today

If you’re wondering where to start when it comes to B2B marketing automation, these nine strategies make great first steps.

  1. Page-based triggers

Identify key behaviors leads engage in before making a purchase. Maybe that’s visiting your pricing page, signing up for gated content, or interacting with your live chat feature. Whenever a prospect engages in that behavior, automate a follow-up so you can start nurturing that lead right away.

  1. Educational content for new clients

If every onboarding process is generally the same, automate sending educational content to clients after they sign up for your service. Craft this content based on FAQ your customer service team usually fields. Depending on the preferences of your clients, send this information immediately after sign-up, or use an email drip campaign to avoid overwhelming them.

  1. Lead nurturing

B2B marketing automation is perfect for lead nurturing. Share educational information with your leads through a newsletter or other email sequences to showcase your place as a thought leader in the industry.

  1. Lead segmentation

As you gather data about potential leads, automatically segment them into different email lists based on the type of activity, their level of engagement, location, and other factors. This time-saving step will allow you to level up your lead nurturing program so each segment is personalized.

  1. Lead qualification

Many marketing automation softwares will qualify leads based on the parameters you set. Each behavior is assigned a point value, and when points reach a certain threshold indicating they are close to making a purchase, you can automatically transfer the lead to a different email list or send their name and contact information to a sales representative for follow-up.

  1. Data collection and maintenance

Studies show marketers spend 16 hours a week on repetitive tasks like exporting, importing, and sorting data from a CRM program into an email service provider. Automate that process so your marketers and salespeople can focus on conversions instead. The easiest way to do this is to ensure all your software partners are compatible.

  1. Form submissions

If you’re new to marketing automation, this is one of the easiest places to start. For any forms you have on your website, automate what happens after the lead completes it. Send it to the right point of contact within the company, and send an email to the lead letting them know when to expect a response. You can even set up your automation to initiate outbound call backs.

  1. Live chat

Seventy-six percent of millennials suffer from phone anxiety, so chatbots have become an increasingly popular way to interact with these clients. In fact, 42% of customers opt to use a chatbot when they need customer service. The chatbot can be automated to direct certain queries to a live chat feature to ensure better customer service.

  1. Social media

Marketing automation services can post content, like content from specific feeds, and even thank followers for following. When done right, your followers won’t even notice some of your feed is automated. You can also outsource your Facebook messages so your salespeople don’t have to deal with cold leads.

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