By Eric Spellmann –
If you’ve heard me speak before, you know that I feel strongly that a website should never be just a virtual pamphlet or online billboard. It must DO something. In more than 90% of the cases, that “do” can be defined as “generating leads.”
But how do you get a website to drive leads, or more importantly, qualified leads to your business? The key is to understand online user behavior and build your site to not only accommodate your site visitors, but prompt them to action!
I’ve noticed three big mistakes most websites make when trying to meet the goal of lead generation:
Hiding Phone Numbers
When needing a phone number, very few people pull out their phonebooks. In fact, today, the number one use of the yellow pages is to prop up computer monitors! Most people simply “google” a business to find a number. (more…)
By Ramon Ray –
I know you get social media (or at least you’re trying). You try to post on a regular basis to Twitter. You try your best to create a great Facebook page. On the other hand, you know that you’ve got to be very focused on your customers. What you might not know is why it’s important to blend your customer service tools with social media intelligence.
Maybe you sell carpet. Before your sales teams calls upon your dental client, Dr. Marvin Drillman, wouldn’t it be great to know that he just Tweeted something about his wife’s upcoming birth day and you could suggest he re-carpet their den for her birthday. This is “social crm”.
As your business grows it’s critical that you not only invest the time and resources to build a database of your customers and know about their past sales trends and purchase preference, but that you and your team also know what your customers are saying in social media. (more…)
What runs through your mind when you flip on the evening news or catch the headlines on your mobile device and see that another tornado or hurricane has devastated town “X”, leaving countless businesses, not to mention residents, in dire straits? I’m guessing you feel empathy, perhaps followed by the question, “Wow, if that happened to me, would my business survive?”
Well, these are actually really important questions to be asking yourself, regardless of whether you live in an area prone to natural disasters. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and they’re not just physical. Virtual disasters that wreak havoc on IT networks can be just as destructive as physical catastrophes, paralyzing businesses and threatening their survival.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster and, of the remaining companies, at least 25 percent will close in two years. Furthermore, with fewer resources than larger corporations, SMBs have a harder time recovering from virtual and physical disasters than their larger counterparts. (more…)
By Peter Justen –
When I’m asked to speak on small business, it always amazes me how few people realize the role small business plays in our economy. Here are some interesting stats from the Small Business Administration.
- Small businesses Generate $5 Trillion in business in the US
- Represent 99% of all employer firms
- Pay 44% of total US payroll
- 68% of employment
- Employ 50% of private sector employees
These are the numbers that helped build our country, that keep our economy running strong, that create the jobs. We don’t need bailouts or government assistance…all we need is the opportunity and the drive to make it happen. (more…)
Success in the small business arena can be measured many ways. However, one of my favorite barometers is tied to the speed at which a business owner can adjust his business to the ever-changing needs of his customers. And making those decisions quickly is directly tied to having the right information at the right time.
Today’s smartphones empower business owners with real-time access to this information. But, with literally millions of apps competing for space on your phone, which programs should earn a spot? Following, are my four favorites that I use every day.
I used to keep a small slip of paper in my pocket, my to-do list. However, at the end of the day, it would disappear along with all of my undone tasks. Now, I don’t have that problem anymore. With toodledo, I can access my list from anywhere and any device. Their incredible iPad and smartphone apps sync, so every task is only a click away. All tasks are organized in folders of your choice to help separate, say, home tasks from office errands. This one app keeps me focused! (more…)