As small businesses continue to adopt new technologies and new ways of exploiting the online world to conduct their business, they provide a necessary boost to the local and national economy. These businesses are responsible for ’60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade’, according to figures published by the US Office of Advocacy, the ‘independent voice for small business within the federal government.
Cost-effective daily operation has been made possible with the introduction of cloud computing in small businesses. Cloud computing has facilitated the sharing of valuable resources within a business, or even from business to business. Marketing databases, agendas, client files, leads and data, and product or service documentation can be accessed by multiple people, in different locations, on virtual servers. It is safe, cheap, and mobile.
A smart business marketing strategy now consists of a website, email marketing services, and a social media presence, all working as interlinked components. Articles published in the news section of a website can form the basis of a newsletter to clients. In turn, the newsletter drives traffic to the website. Dialogue on social media sites fosters relationships, which can be made more solid by email marketing, or inviting potential clients to the website.
Blogs on business websites have changed the way businesses communicate with their clients. Gone are the days of the ‘brochure website’, which was nothing more than an advertisement – another way of showing off all the positive qualities of the business without offering clients the opportunity to express how they feel. Facebook pages and social media sites like Twitter are helping businesses connect with their customers with greater ease.
Sharing insider knowledge of a particular industry on so-called ‘news pages’ has turned out to be profitable to businesses. It has helped cement relationships between the business and the client – relationships built on mutual trust and respect.
Small businesses have also discovered online criticism, and are now learning how to put this valuable information to good use. It is vital for small-business owners to learn how to deal with negative feedback from clients found on blogs, forums, and social networks like Facebook or Yelp. Complaints can be a challenge to a business, but they mustn’t be ignored (more find at Sellers Playbook seminar). After all, if a client feels strongly enough to go online and air his frustration, then something about the way the business handled this client wasn’t right. The BBB membership also offers small businesses another avenue to show off their customer service skills and respond to customer complaints. A good grade will boost the trust of your customer; you can add a link to your profile directly on your site.
Technological advances have drastically changed the way in which small businesses operate. Embracing the online world has made it possible for these businesses to work more efficiently. Their success and growth has gone hand in hand with the willingness to invest in online marketing solutions. There are now a host of companies offering one marketing solution for all of your online marketing needs. It’s important to find the one that’s right for your business. Make sure it’s easy to use and tailored specifically to your business needs. For instance, some specialize in lead scoring and nurturing where others are better at lead distribution and e-mail marketing. Some marketing automation systems are complex and highly customizable, whereas others are built with ease of use in mind. Try out several solutions as many of them offer 30 day trials, including LeadExec.