Most small businesses see the New Year as an opportunity to re-boot and reenergize. Unfortunately, many small business owners return from the holiday respite only to be overwhelmed by the day-today demands that distracted them from honoring last year’s resolutions to improve efficiency, productivity and sales.
1. Try a New Marketing Channel
Change up your marketing strategy by trying one or two new marketing channels. For example, you might want to consider video marketing or branching out to another social media channel. Before you take on a new marketing channel, however, do some market research to determine if it even makes sense for your company. You don’t want to lose money and there’s no point in pursuing an additional social channel or creating a few short videos if you’re not able to generate any engagement with your target audience. Expand your options and learn how to manage multiple marketing channels like a pro.
2. Implement CRM
Don’t put off implementing CRM software because you’re scared that you’ll experience too much downtime or that you’ll get pushback from your sales team. A CRM is a great tool to help manage a pipeline. There are many versions of CRM that are designed for small business and they don’t cost a fortune. Having your sales team use CRM will free up their time spent trying to manage contacts and find opportunities.
3. Clean Your Marketing Database
Data decays at a rapid pace so keep your marketing database updated at all times. Research shows 95% of email addresses and contact data within customer files and CRM’s are inaccurate, and CRM information degrades at approximately 2% per month. If it’s been over six to eight months since you last updated your CRM chances are the business contacts in your database are inaccurate. Make a point to clean your database before the year is up to ensure that you’re not wasting time trying to communicate. Better yet keep up with it daily so it’s always accurate.
4. Align Marketing and Sales
While completely aligning your sales and marketing team is a lofty goal, there are several things you can do to get the ball rolling. Start by creating shared definitions; for example, create a solid definition of what constitutes a lead. Once you’ve done that, move onto developing the lead clearly defining what tasks each department is responsible for completing. Next, put a periodic meeting on the calendar so everyone can get together to discuss ways in which they can improve marketing and sales strategies.
5. Get Your Financial House in Order
Taking control of your cash flow can have an enormously positive effect on your small business. Contrary to what many small business owners think, improving cash flow doesn’t necessarily mean increasing sales. Often, the problem isn’t how much revenue you’re generating, but how quickly your invoices are paid. Instead of traditional bank loans to get you through the tight months, you might consider invoice factoring, also known as accounts receivable factoring. Unlike traditional bank loans, factoring typically provides you with the operating funds you need in as little as 24 hours, and requires no complicated and time consuming audits. Many factoring companies do not charge an application fee, and the process does not require a long-term contract, or negatively impact your credit score.
Small business owners are busy people juggling a million different tasks all at once. To start the year strong and hit your bottom line goals, consider implementing one or two of the strategies listed above. For more insight and social media marketing guidance contact a representative.
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