Lead Generation Strategies What’s Working Now to Generate Leads for Service Based Business Owners

In today’s competitive business landscape, generating leads is more crucial than ever for service-based businesses. But what if there were secrets to unlocking more generated leads and boosting your bottom line? In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the world of lead generation and reveal strategies that are working now. You’ll discover how understanding your customer value journey, mastering buyer behavior, and leveraging various marketing tools can revolutionize your generated leads generation efforts.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand your customer value journey and buyer behavior to design successful lead generation campaigns.
  • Leverage a variety of discovery marketing techniques, generate leads through forms or applications, and optimize the sales funnel for conversion.
  • Measure & optimize efforts with KPIs, hire/train inhouse team or outsource to experts, it depends on individual business needs!

Understanding Your Customer Value Journey

Image of a person using a laptop to research lead generation strategies

Lead generation thrives on the customer value journey. It helps businesses understand the stages a customer goes through before making a purchase, allowing for targeted marketing efforts. Businesses can smoothly convert strangers into potential customers through understanding the customer journey using effective lead generation strategies, including a well-planned lead generation campaign. Some components of a successful campaign are:

  • Website
  • Organic and paid social media presence
  • Job applications
  • Blog posts
  • Coupons
  • Live events

Service-based businesses thrive on a well-planned lead generation strategy. Training and support can help businesses reach their goals quicker, making it easier to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of lead generation.

5 Stages of Buyer Behavior – Search Intent Marketing

Image of a person using a laptop to research different buyer behavior stages

Comprehending the four stages of buyer behavior is pivotal in lead generation. These stages are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

Knowing these stages helps businesses design successful lead generation campaigns targeting potential customers at different points in their journey.

Effective online lead generation relies on optimizing your website and content for search engines. This allows potential customers to locate your business effortlessly when seeking relevant products or services. Good SEO means your page will keep bringing in leads for a long time, ensuring a steady flow of new potential customers.

Getting Found by More Customers

Getting Found by More Customers on Google

Businesses can amplify their visibility and attract more leads through discovery marketing techniques such as:

  • Google search
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Podcasts
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Directories

With a well-rounded approach to discovery marketing, businesses can tap into new audiences and cultivate a steady stream of potential customers.

What is a Lead?

A lead is someone who fits your ideal customer profile based on their demographic and psychographic information. There are several types of leads: cold, warm, and hot.

Sales leads can be generated when someone applies for an open role, shares contact information for a coupon, or fills out a form to download content, all of which involve collecting information. Gathering a lead’s survey responses helps companies tailor initial communication to their specific needs and issues, enhancing the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

What is a MQL? Marketing Qualified Lead?

A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a contact who has interacted with a business’s marketing activities but isn’t ready to receive a sales call yet. MQLs typically engage with a business by downloading free lead magnets, checking out specific site pages, or interacting with social posts. By nurturing these marketing qualified leads, businesses can eventually convert them into sales-ready prospects.

Identification of MQLs constitutes a significant step in the lead generation process, as it helps businesses focus their efforts on leads that show potential interest in their products or services.

What is a SQL? Sales Qualified Lead?

A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a lead that has been vetted and approved by the sales team – it’s ready to move on to the next step in the sales process. SQLs are potential customers who have tried out a product or service, maybe even on a free trial, and are now showing signs that they’re ready to buy.

Recognizing SQLs enables businesses to focus their efforts on leads that are more probable to become paying customers, thus conserving time and resources.

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is the path a customer takes from discovering a brand to finally making a purchase. It typically involves stages like:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Purchase

Sales funnels help businesses monitor customer behavior to spot potential leads and nurture those leads to convert them into customers.

Comprehending and fine-tuning the sales funnel is vital in converting potential leads into faithful customers.

Top 10 Methods for Generating Leads Today

Some of the most effective methods for generating leads today include:

  • LinkedIn marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Lead magnets
  • Warm email marketing
  • Cold email marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Webinar marketing
  • SEO
  • PR
  • Paid advertising

Each of these methods significantly contributes to attracting and engaging potential customers, eventually steering them through the sales funnel.

For instance, some effective methods for lead generation include:

  • LinkedIn marketing, which allows businesses to connect with professionals and build relationships
  • Content marketing, which provides valuable information to potential customers, establishing trust and credibility
  • Lead magnets, which entice potential customers with valuable offers in exchange for their contact information

Leveraging these methods can help businesses generate high-quality leads and boost their overall lead generation efforts.

Leveraging LinkedIn for Lead Generation

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for lead generation, as it allows businesses to connect with potential customers and build relationships. LinkedIn, with its professional orientation, provides a unique platform for direct engagement with business owners and executives, hence it’s a crucial tool in any lead generation strategy.

The Power of Content to Generate More Leads

Content marketing is a crucial aspect of lead generation, as it helps businesses provide valuable, relevant information to potential customers. Businesses can cultivate relationships with potential customers and steer them through the sales funnel, thereby increasing conversion chances, by developing engaging content that caters to the needs and interests of their target audience.

Moreover, content marketing allows businesses to capture buyer information and keep their audience engaged, building trust and loyalty in the process.

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is an offer created to entice potential customers and obtain their contact information. These offers can come in various forms, such as:

  • free ebooks
  • whitepapers
  • webinars
  • discounts

Lead magnets play a vital role in lead generation, as they provide an incentive for potential customers to share their contact information, aiding businesses in guiding them through the sales process.

Why You Need the Right Lead Magnets

Selecting appropriate lead magnets is vital for lead generation, as they attract your target audience by providing value and solving their problems.

Creating lead magnets that are relevant to your target audience and offer something unique that they can’t find elsewhere ensures that you capture their attention and, more importantly, their contact information. This allows you to nurture and guide them through the sales funnel, increasing the chances of conversion.

Warm Email Marketing – Why You Need to Grow Your Email Subscriber List

Expansion of your email subscriber list is crucial for flourishing lead generation. By providing valuable content and offers to your subscribers, you can build relationships with potential customers and guide them through the sales funnel.

Moreover, having a larger email list allows you to reach more potential customers, increasing the chances of conversions and driving sales.

Cold Email Marketing to Book More Appointments

Cold email marketing involves sending unsolicited emails to potential customers in an attempt to generate leads and book appointments. By crafting captivating subject lines, personalized messages, and compelling calls-to-action, businesses can reach a large audience quickly and book more appointments, ultimately increasing their lead generation efforts.

It’s paramount to adhere to all anti-spam regulations in cold email marketing while focusing on providing value to the recipients.

Video Marketing to Boost Lead Generation

Video marketing is an effective way to generate leads, as it allows businesses to showcase their services in an engaging and visual manner. By creating informative and entertaining videos, businesses can build trust and credibility with potential customers, demonstrating the value of their services.

Given the rising popularity of video content, integrating video marketing into your lead generation strategy is necessary to maintain a competitive edge.

The Power of Webinar Marketing to Generate Sales Qualified Leads

Webinar marketing is a powerful lead generation tool, as it allows businesses to provide valuable information to potential customers in an interactive format. By hosting webinars on relevant topics and addressing common pain points, businesses can engage potential customers and guide them through the sales funnel.

Research has shown that around 30%–40% of webinar attendees become leads, making it an essential strategy for generating sales qualified leads.

SEO Strategies to Getting Found on Google Searches

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial element of online lead generation. By optimizing your website and content for search engines, you can ensure that potential customers can easily find your business when searching for relevant products or services.

Implementing effective SEO strategies, such as using keywords in your content and optimizing for mobile devices, can help your business rank higher in search engine results and attract more leads.

Building Instant Trust with the Power of PR

Public relations (PR) is an important aspect of lead generation, as it helps create a positive image of the organization and its offerings. By using PR to share interesting and engaging content, businesses can build trust and credibility with potential customers, ultimately increasing the chances of conversion.

PR efforts, such as press releases, social media engagement, and prompt responses to customer inquiries and complaints, can help businesses build strong relationships with their target audience and generate more leads.

Paid Advertising for Instant Results

Image of a person using a laptop to research different lead generation tools

Paid advertising, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, can provide instant results by driving new customers and sales. By utilizing paid platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other social media platforms, businesses can target their marketing efforts and quickly reach a large audience.

Furthermore, paid advertising provides actionable feedback on marketing efforts, allowing businesses to refine their strategies and boost their lead generation results.

Lead Generation Tools and Technologies

In addition to the strategies mentioned above, businesses can also utilize various lead generation tools and technologies to streamline their efforts and improve efficiency. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, landing page builders, and marketing automation platforms can help businesses manage and nurture leads more effectively, ultimately increasing the chances of conversion.

CRM Systems for Small to Mid Size Business Owners

CRM systems are essential for small to mid-size businesses, as they help organize customer data and interactions, allowing for better understanding and targeting of customers. Popular CRM systems include:

  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot
  • Zoho
  • Microsoft Dynamics

These systems provide businesses with features like automated customer segmentation, lead scoring, and automated marketing campaigns, helping target marketing efforts more effectively and save time and money.

Landing Page Builders

Landing pages play a vital role in lead generation, as they provide potential customers with a clear and straightforward way to access information. Tools like Leadpages, a popular landing page builder, help businesses create high-converting web pages that effectively capture leads.

By focusing on clean design and clear calls-to-action, landing page builders enable businesses to maximize their lead generation efforts.

Marketing Automation Platforms

Image of marketing automation platforms, a person using a laptop to research lead scoring and nurturing techniques

Marketing automation platforms can significantly improve businesses’ lead generation efforts by streamlining various marketing processes and providing valuable insights. Popular platforms like:

  • HubSpot
  • Marketo
  • Pardot
  • Salesforce

offer features such as automated email marketing, social media marketing, and lead generation, allowing businesses to manage and nurture leads more effectively.

By utilizing these tools, businesses can optimize their marketing strategies and drive more leads and sales.

Qualifying and Nurturing Generated Leads

Qualifying and nurturing the generated leads is vital to enhance the likelihood of conversion. By implementing lead scoring and nurturing techniques, businesses can identify high-quality leads and guide them through the sales funnel, ultimately transforming potential leads into loyal customers.

Lead scoring helps to prioritize leads based on their likelihood to convert. It also helps to identify

Lead Scoring

Image of a person using a laptop to research key performance indicators

Lead scoring is a method that businesses use to determine which leads are most likely to convert. By assigning a score to each lead based on their behavior, demographics, and engagement with the business, companies can easily recognize which leads are more likely to convert into customers.

This allows businesses to allocate their resources efficiently, tailor their marketing strategies, and enhance their overall conversion rates.

Lead Nurturing Techniques

Lead nurturing is an essential part of having a successful online business. By developing connections with potential customers and providing them with helpful content, businesses can cultivate good leads.

A nurture sequence, for example, is a great way to provide potential customers with valuable content after they sign up, guiding them towards making a purchase.

Measuring and Optimizing Lead Generation Efforts

Businesses must incessantly gauge and enhance their efforts to guarantee the success of their lead generation strategies. Here are some ways to do that:

  1. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts.
  2. Hire and train an in-house marketing team to focus on lead generation and conversion.
  3. Consider outsourcing certain marketing efforts to experts who specialize in lead generation. By implementing these strategies, businesses can fine-tune their lead generation efforts and achieve better results.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential for measuring and optimizing lead generation efforts. By tracking metrics like customer satisfaction, website traffic, sales conversions, and more, businesses can gain valuable data-driven insights into their performance.

This information can help pinpoint areas that need improvement, set goals, and make informed decisions based on the available data.

Hiring and Training Your In-House Marketing Team

For businesses aiming to elevate their lead generation efforts, constructing and educating a proficient in-house marketing team is indispensable. This team should include:

  • A marketing manager
  • A content creator
  • A social media manager
  • A web designer
  • A copywriter

Each member of the team should have specialized skills and expertise.

By investing in the development of their sales and marketing teams, businesses can ensure that their marketing efforts are tailored to their specific needs and goals, ultimately driving more leads and sales.

Outsourcing Your Marketing and Lead Gen

An image showing a graph with an upward trend, representing the success of generated leads through outsourcing your marketing.

For businesses deficient in resources or expertise to handle these tasks in-house, outsourcing marketing and lead generation efforts can be a feasible alternative. By partnering with external companies or individuals, businesses can access specialized skills and expertise while saving time and money.

However, it’s essential to carefully research potential partners and maintain clear communication to ensure a successful outsourcing experience.

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/blog/outsourcing-vs-marketing-team/

To sum up, both outsourcing and maintaining an in-house marketing team present advantages and disadvantages in the context of lead generation. While outsourcing can save money and provide access to specialized expertise, an in-house team offers more control and the ability to quickly adapt to market changes.

Ultimately, the decision will depend on the specific needs, goals, and resources of each business.

Summary

In conclusion, effective lead generation is crucial for the success of service-based businesses. By understanding the customer value journey, mastering buyer behavior, leveraging various marketing tools, and continuously measuring and optimizing efforts, businesses can unlock the secret to generating more leads and boosting their bottom line. The key is to stay adaptable, innovative, and focused on providing value to potential customers, ensuring a steady flow of high-quality leads that convert into loyal customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is generate leads?

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers through marketing efforts and collecting their contact information in order to create sales opportunities. It’s typically done online via a web form.

What is an example of generating leads?

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects to your business and increasing their interest through nurturing, all with the end goal of converting them into a customer. An example of generating leads would be offering free ebooks in exchange for contact information like email addresses and names.

Where can I generate leads?

Social media, email marketing, discounts and coupons, conversations, and free content are all effective ways to generate leads. Take advantage of these tactics to get the results you need.

What are the key components of a successful lead generation strategy?

To create a successful lead generation strategy, understand the customer journey, target marketing efforts based on buyer behavior, and use various marketing tools.

How can I generate more leads for my service-based business?

To generate more leads for your service-based business, combine strategies such as LinkedIn marketing, content marketing, lead magnets, email marketing, video marketing, webinar marketing, SEO, PR and paid advertising to attract and engage potential customers.

Secrets to Successful Marketing Strategy Execution for Small Business Owners

 

Small business owners often struggle to find the best marketing strategy that fits their budget. Here is a look at some of the greatest tips for getting the most bang from your marketing budgeting.

 

Whether you’re a B2B, B2C or expert firm, you’ll walk away with enough secrets to successful marketing to add new leads and find loyal customers.

 

How Do You Successfully Market a Small Business?

 

Small and medium enterprises in the United States spend marketing dollars directly based on a business owner’s decisions. Smaller businesses might find it wiser to focus on local clients first. According to Statista, companies spend around $173.3 million per year on local advertising. They split the rest between TV, radio, digital, and events.

Successful marketing strategy execution often starts with an overarching goal. Small business owners find a top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) strategy works well to build brand awareness and develop a loyal customer base. Over time, you’ll gain referrals from your current clients.

What are some of the top secrets to successful marketing campaigns? Here are our top suggestions for small business owners.

 

 

1. Learn From Your Customers

 

Get to know your audience and what their needs are. The better you understand your buyers, the easier it will be to meet their needs. You can survey them, pay attention to buying trends and ask what you can do to improve their experience.

 

With your TOMA marketing strategy, you’ll want to take actions such as:

  • Call those who buy from you repeatedly and ask why they chose your brand in the first place. 
  • Inquire about how you can help them refer more friends and family. For example, can you offer any materials that would be of help? Reward them when they do refer new customers.
  • Survey your customers after a successful campaign. Find out why they chose to buy and if they have other needs. When you understand their pain points, developing the relationship you need to keep your brand at the top of their thoughts becomes much easier.

Pay close attention to any negative comments or complaints. How can you fix the issue for that customer and prevent it on future orders?

 

 

2. Use New Technology to Manage Clients

 

You don’t have to track every little detail of your client’s needs. Instead, invest in technology that handles customer relationship management. Regular emails from you can keep you at the forefront of their thoughts.

  • Try to automate functions such as sending out emails when new products arrive they might be interested in.
  • Send a birthday greeting to let them know you enjoy their business.
  • Offer discounts when sales slow down to clear out old merchandise and make way for new.

The happier your clients are, the more you can use their reviews and testimonials in your marketing campaigns.

 

 

3. Promote Yourself

 

Put yourself in the shoes of the average person visiting your site for the first time. If you’re a newer business, they’ve likely not heard of you and don’t know if they should buy. However, they’ll feel more comfortable trying out your product if you stand behind your work.

People often have to hear of you several times before remembering the brand name and messaging. How can you promote yourself consistently and frequently for your TOMA approach?

  • Create a social media persona matching your brand personality.
  • Post frequently and predictably at the same time of day and on the same weekdays.
  • Enlist the help of others to get your name out there. Ask customers to share your social media posts or forward your newsletter.
  • Pay for ads to get in front of the same people repeatedly.

Feature glowing feedback from customers and highlight how much you believe in what you offer. Do you feel your product or service is the best in the industry? Thinking about your unique value proposition and using it in your marketing can help gain new clients’ trust.

 

 

4. Send Welcome Emails

 

You likely already know email marketing can be highly effective at attracting and keeping customers. However, did you know that welcome emails have a 91.43% open rate and offer an opportunity to highlight your brand personality?

How can you enhance your brand awareness via emails?

  • Stick with brand guidelines, using your logo and brand color palette for instant recognition.
  • Make calls to action (CTAs) look the same as the ones on your website so people know to look for a particular pop of color.
  • Create great subject lines that tell users exactly what they’ll get when they open the email.

You can also track how well an email performs by seeing how many opens you get and who clicks through to your offer.

 

 

5. Use SMS 

 

Short message service (SMS) is an excellent way to add personal touches to messages you send. You might use it for customer service issues and to problem solve. There are also many ways to connect with your clients through small positive messages.

  • Circulate an offer, discount code, or just share news. 
  • Add links to orders or short surveys.
  • Send a happy thought just to let customers know you are thinking of them and care about more than just making a sale. 
  • Thank them for an order or update them on the status of one. 

Many businesses have found great success with this marketing strategy. 98% of people will open your message, which is why thousands have used texting to drive customer retention.

 

 

6. Set Clear Employee Expectations

 

As your company’s leader, you must train your employees in the customer service model you want to exude. Make sure everyone understands your expectations and their role in the buyer’s journey.

  • Write out what your company policies and philosophies are.
  • Encourage employees to tell others why it’s a great place to work.
  • Feature your top staff members. Put a face on the workers for better brand awareness.

At the same time, you don’t want to create an atmosphere where people say, “That’s not in my job description.” Set the example by jumping in and helping when someone feels overwhelmed or has a tight deadline. If your employees see you taking the lead and helping others, they’ll be more likely to embrace the same spirit with their work.

 

 

7. Watch Trends

 

Pay attention to what kids are into and how other businesses in your industry market to their customer bases.

When apps like TikTok first arrived on the scene, mainly preteens used it to repeat dances and popular songs. Today, companies worldwide use them to reach new customers via fun marketing videos. 

 

Stay on top of what your competitors are doing.

  • Study their social media presence. What kinds of posts do they schedule? How often do they post? Do they use paid ads?
  • Why do people know their names? Do they do a lot of radio interviews? Perhaps they sponsor local groups and have a strong presence in your community.
  • Study their name versus yours. Is their business moniker more memorable or more applicable to the industry? 

 

Take a step back and rethink your brand image. Don’t be afraid to rebrand if necessary or to tweak colors and messaging until you hit what keeps your brand at the forefront.

 

 

Why Should You Change Up Your Marketing?

 

Embracing new trends and paying attention to what works for the competition are the secrets to successful marketing. You may not have time to woo people one-on-one, but you can automate relationship management and invest in social media marketing.

If you fail to step up and try new things, you risk growing stale and your customers getting bored with your brand. You only have time and effort to spend. If something doesn’t work, replace it with a new idea.

If you choose to focus on a top-of-mind awareness strategy as outlined above, run everything through the filter of how it will impact brand recognition and keep your audience engaged.

 

Which one of these list items would you like to implement today to find your successful marketing strategy?

 

Eleanor Hecks

 

 

 

Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design, and/or tea on LinkedIn!

How to Effectively Manage a Remote Team as a Small Business Owner

Working from home is a great benefit for both employees and business owners. It opens up larger talent pools for companies to source individuals from and allows people the opportunity to stay in one place rather than relocate to another. But despite its various benefits, remote work can still have its own set of problems.

While working from home, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page. As a business owner it’s vital to stay on top of your remote team and the responsibilities associated with it. Here are a variety of ways you can streamline your remote team’s process, so you can manage your team effectively.

1. Create Communication Channels

Going hours without speaking or messaging someone on your team is not a good sign, especially when you have team members working from home. If you’re not actively communicating with one another, you will have no clue where a project may be in production.

That’s why constant communication is one of the most important aspects of managing a remote team. When people worked in a traditional office setting it was easy to turn around or walk over to their workspace to talk about a problem or discuss a change. Now that your team is located in different places or even time zones, you need to have multiple platforms for communication.

While it seems like a given for remote work to have an instant messaging and video conference channel, select one that’s right for you and your work situation. If there is a free tool that will do everything you need, you can save some money for your business. Slack, Zoom, and Google Chat are common platforms for daily communication between remote employees.

Aside from conversation tools, also consider project management ones that team members can share materials on or mark the progress on a task. Software like Hive, Asana, and Trello allows your team to check off completed work or share materials with one another. Whichever tool you decide to use, make sure everyone understands how to operate it.

2. Set Daily Expectations

Goals are necessary for a variety of business operations, one of which is daily expectations. If your team doesn’t have a goal for the day, how is anything supposed to be completed? Now, each department is different when it comes to the everyday task to finish. For instance, an HR team will have a different focus than a writing team. It’s up to you, the manager, to work with your employees to establish what needs to be done by the end of each business day.

Start small when making a task list for your team. Maybe, in the beginning, it’s just logging their timecard. Once you’ve developed that steady rhythm, work with each individual and their working style to create larger daily expectations.

Every individual is unique in what they can accomplish in a day. While one employee can churn out multiple tasks and juggle different projects, another may want to focus on one thing for the week. That’s why you need to meet and learn about your individual team members, so you can play to people’s strengths and get things done.

3. Remember That We’re Humans

Unfortunately, the entire workforce has not become robots, yet. What that means for you is that burnout still occurs with your teams, especially when they are remote. Working from home can still often involve traveling to clients. These factors, amongst others, can lead to burnout and other negative health effects. For you as a leader, set the parameters and example for your team by shutting off from work at the end of the day. However, this doesn’t mean you log off every day at the same time, just differentiate circumstances such as a critical deadline.

It’s not just work deadlines you need to consider in your team’s daily lives. People have kids, hobbies, partners, emergencies, pets, personal lives, and other outside-of-work things that can pop up unexpectedly. If you haven’t already, create a leaving work for emergencies policy book or guidelines for your team. That way employees know the proper protocol for how to report their emergency and what qualifies as one. Situations like these pop out of nowhere, and can be frustrating, but remember your people come first, not the job.

4. Build Fun Opportunities

All work and no play are not conducive to keeping a remote team motivated. Take a break every few weeks or perhaps after a project is done to celebrate and relax a little. Virtual happy hours and other team bonding experiences became popular when the COVID-19 pandemic first made many businesses go remote. But now it’s time to bring back these virtual games to break up the workload and build bonds between teams.

Scavenger hunting, cooking, show and tell, or virtual home tours are all ways to get to know each other and not talk shop for a little bit. Ask your team if there’s an activity they want to do or if someone wants to lead a session. You’ll be surprised at what hobbies or skills people have outside of work. Kicking back to relax and just chatting is okay to do as well. Just mark time on your calendar every few weeks for fun activities like this to help your team unwind.

Closing Notes

Managing a remote team can seem daunting some days, but it doesn’t have to be the case. Using the right communication tools, setting daily expectations, remembering that everyone is human, and scheduling time for fun are all ways to make a team unit run efficiently. At the end of the day, your business’s success depends on your employees, and working together with them will help your end goals.

READ NEXT: CREATING HIGH PERFORMING SALES TEAMS

Guest Blogger Brian Thomas is a contributor to Enlightened Digital. He enjoys reading and researching tech and business. When he’s not looking into the latest trends, you can find him out cycling.

4 Tips for Startup Business Success

The majority of the difficulties in starting a business depend on doing the little things correctly. Any good coach will tell you at some point that the fundamentals are what get you to the top. There are many factors that play a huge role in the making and success of a business. So, if you are considering starting a business, here’s some important business success tips to follow:

1. Be data obsessed.

The more data you can track, the better your business decisions you’ll be able to make. Business always demands some “gut feel” decisions, but it is smarter to inform your gut as much as possible with all available facts.

Tracking key performance indicators for your company and understanding why they rise or fall can help you make decisions that will help your company grow and stay on track. By creating systems to provide you all the important and accurate data you need, you will ultimately make your business run smoother because you’ll be able to make better decisions each step of the way.

Be sure to have databases of people you interact with, that includes their names, job titles, business phone number, or even client’s feedback so that your decisions in the future will be based on all the information you have collected over time.

2. Pay attention to online reviews about your business.

Your business is “always on” even if you just operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Every company should set up Google alerts to monitor what their customers are saying about them, their competitors, and the market in general. Google Alerts is a fantastic and free tool for “listening” online. Be the first to know when a customer leaves a negative review or when someone praises your company online. Use these methods to remain ahead of the conversation and capitalize on it.

3. Be aware of your competitors.

Both your direct and indirect competitive options must be known and understood. You should continually be aware of your competitors’ activities, including what they are doing, how they market, and how they price their products. You may be the only one of your kind in your town or industry, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have indirect competitors.

RELATED ARTICLE: MAKE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS STAND OUT FROM THE COMPETITION

4. Have a greater goal: a strong mission.

People prefer to work for companies that are more than just a money-making machine. That’s not to say you can’t have sales or profit targets; it just means that if your employees feel like they’re part of something bigger, they’ll work harder and be more loyal. Customers also like to buy from companies that they believe have integrity and a valuable mission.

Here is an example of my own mission statement of why helping entrepreneurs matters https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/about-yoon-cannon/why-it-matters/

Certainly, there is way more advice I don’t have the space in this short article that go into making a startup business successful, but use these four starter tips to help you take some baby steps forward.

Overall, today’s business requires flexibility as well as solid planning and organizing skills. Many people start a business with the expectation of turning on their computers or opening their doors and immediately producing money, only to discover that making money in business is far more difficult than they anticipated.

You can avoid this in your business operations by taking the time to seek out experts to give you invaluable advice, feedback, support to coach you to success. Investing in yourself early on in your business will save you hundreds of thousands of dollars of costly mistakes, not to mention save you from years of struggling and spinning your wheels.

▶ Want To Explore What Business Coaching Might Look Like For You?

Book a complimentary discovery call with me here:

https://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com/APPLY

QUESTION: What question can I answer for you next about growing your startup business? Share your comments and questions below.

Managing a Productive Hybrid-Remote Work Force for SMB Owners

As an entrepreneur, you’ve likely dealt with some unimaginable circumstances and challenging decisions over the course of the pandemic. Although the last few years might have been filled with some extreme lows, both professionally and personally, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel.

Entrepreneurs, such as yourself, now have an opportunity to reinvent and grow their businesses in ways never considered before. By taking advantage of this new perspective, you can set yourself apart from other companies and invest in one of the most important components of the business – your people. If you’re looking for some helpful ways to show your remote or hybrid workforce that your company is worth investing their energy and future in, keep reading along.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

The pandemic has certainly heightened the need to be able to maintain a balance between work, family, personal obligations, and caring for our own health. Of course, this has always been something of value to individuals and professionals, but not at the same frequency it is now. From employees with aging parents unable to risk a trip to the grocery store, to parents of young children with changing school schedules, employees need the flexibility to adapt their careers to their life, not the other way around.

Supporting a flexible work arrangement as an employer is more critical than ever before and establishes trust within the employer/employee relationship. When employees are given the freedom, they need to be successful in their personal lives, it makes it easier and more enjoyable for them to be motivated and productive during their working hours. Rather than feeling stressed and anxious about a personal obligation, with flexible hours they can step away from their work for an hour and make up that time when they’re feeling calm and focused.

Adjust Benefits to Support Employees and Families

With the personal and professional lifestyle changes brought about by COVID-19, employee benefits should be reviewed and adjusted accordingly. According to the American Psychological Association, one-third of Americans developed mental health issues related to working from home coupled with the stress of the pandemic. Consider rethinking employee benefits to better suit their needs in this post-pandemic world. For example, enhance your well-being benefits to cover flexible schedules, caregiving, financial well-being, and mental health services. Whether it be online therapy, a life coach, or simply a way to navigate new challenges, evolving benefits will positively impact the way employees work.

Hold Financial Literacy Training

Financial issues have been increasingly prevalent because of the various changes in employment, pay, childcare, and so on. That said, your employees might feel strapped when it comes to making financial decisions that impact their future. Providing virtual training that allows employees who’re both remote or hybrid to continue building their financial literacy can help them feel empowered in their daily lives and more satisfied professionally. Employees might be wondering if they need to start setting more money aside and building an emergency fund for difficult times. This is recommended by financial professionals in general, but especially over the last few years, it’s been clear that you can never be too prepared.

Others might be looking to grow their family and, with that, are looking to purchase their very first home, upsize, or move. Employees might be uninformed about how to get preapproved for a mortgage, especially if this is their first time investing in the market. Providing resources that outline the documentation needed to start the process, when to get preapproved, and how long the period lasts is all helpful information that can guide them in coordinating their next steps with less stress.

Create Team Bonding Opportunities

Team bonding is a great way to inspire connections and get to know your employees on a more personal level. Even if it’s partially virtual, having conversations and activities that go beyond work deliverables and sales discussions is extremely beneficial for the company at large. Of course, building a strong professional team is key to your success as an entrepreneur. With that being said, to continue to foster those relationships, it’s helpful to know your people both personally and professionally.

Don’t leave it all up to your employees, as a business leader and entrepreneur you should also get involved in team bonding experiences. Host a trivia night, scavenger hunt, recipe swap, or happy hour. If you have a hybrid workforce that comes into the office on certain days you can schedule a field day at a local park, a hike, or a team picnic outside. The point is to simply make room for communication outside the walls of the office and create more personal relationships.

Establish Open Communication and Organizational Transparency

When times are tough or uncertain, employees want to feel like they can trust their employer to be empathetic to their changing needs. Establishing an environment where employees feel comfortable asking questions and voicing concerns is healthy for everyone. Creating a transparent work culture comes with some effort required, but it’s more than worthwhile. If your employees don’t feel they can trust you, there might not be a long-term relationship formed between the two, and therefore you’ll experience some issues with retention. Providing your company with regular financial updates that showcase the health of the business as well as being transparent when it comes to new opportunities in the company, changes in leadership, promotions, problems, and so on will help your people feel connected and involved.

Invest in Coaching Leadership

Leadership can make or break your success as a business owner. If you have strong, effective leadership, you’re likely to run a much smoother operation and experience positive growth. If you have employees who don’t like or respect management and other members of your leadership team, you’re bound to run into turmoil.

By investing in proper training for current and future managers, you can establish a better system of trust and authority. In addition, expanding leadership’s knowledge of the different types of workflows and support needed by some employees can be beneficial. If leaders can understand their team and the way they work, they can create a schedule that allows them to be productive without unnecessary stress. Most individuals aren’t natural-born leaders, and even if they do a great job, there is always room for improvement.

Prioritize Employee Recognition

According to Forbes, a happier team is not only more creative and energized but they actually have the ability to get more work done! The key to productivity is happy employees which translates to improved customer service, efficiency, and satisfied customers. According to Tanner Learning Group, 79% of employees leave their place of work because they don’t feel appreciated. This makes sense, but the numbers are truly astounding. By simply taking the initiative to create a recognition system, regularly checking in with your employees, and asking them how you can make them feel more valued, this number can be drastically reduced.

It’s no secret that happy employees make for a successful business. Although this is true, it’s much easier said than done when addressing the needs of every employee, increasing productivity, satisfying customers, and making your company a great place to work. By slowly implementing some of this protocol into your remote or hybrid workplace, you can begin taking steps towards those goals and seeing the positive impact on your employees.