For small business owners the long list of unfinished tasks or future plans don’t leave your head at the end of the day or week. You might turn off your computer and the lights in your store or office at the end of the day but that pesky internal dialog never seems to leave your brain. Thoughts range from organizing the back room or how will you pay your bills at the end of the month to what will entice more people to learn about your business, and the amazing service you and your staff provide. And this just leads to more questions, like; What can you do to add more value to what you offer to your clients?.. and How can I afford another round of marketing?
Not so long ago your newest and best idea or marketing approach could be cost prohibitive and if it it didn’t work out as planned, it could make or break a month’s budget or worse. Anxiety, like this, once upon a time, may have driven antacid and liquor sales but did little for real peace of mind, nor did it solve the problems at hand.
However, there are solutions, and some of them can be solved in an economical way. First, a well crafted and easy to navigate web site, coupled with a plethora of digital marketing applications and social networking sites can eliminate some of the wringing of hands and trepidation.
There are still hurdles to online marketing because consumers can be fickle and anticipating buying trends is not a science, not to mention how fast technology is changing, which influences how you need to communicate with your customers. Even your branding can become blasé and ineffective over time.
Lucky for all of us this also makes what we can do online and through the digital airwaves faster and easier too. Websites that allow for instant updates and changes, e-newsletters and even highly targeted print media can be created, distributed and tracked on various levels and used to perfect almost any marketing plan. Website traffic is easily analyzed with a variety of reliable tools. Search engine optimization powered by Google analytics and WordPress tracking provides us with data that shows where our web traffic is coming from, how long a user stays on our sites, and where we can improve both content and code. E-newsletters, from almost the moment the design is completed, content finalized, and sent, the numbers start accumulating. All this feedback tells us how many people visited, opened, clicked, forwarded and how many new subscribers were added to mailing lists. In a little more than a few days you can tell if you are getting the response your initial enthusiasm predicted or if you have more work to do.
What a wonderful time to own and run a business! We can work from home if the situation allows, which saves us time and money. Websites offer visitors a reliable way to comparison shop without leaving the comfort of their easy chairs. E-newsletters deliver savings and information to home desktops, laptops, cell phones, and now portable tablet computers. However we chose to take advantage of these communication tools, we can be confident that wherever the trends take us – we can keep up, stay relevant, and continue to contribute to a solid and reliable economy.