There are a lot of articles out there about how you can achieve small business success. Some articles talk about the best networking connections or the best research tools, and while those are definitely factors, the truth is much simpler than that. Back to the basics, business is about people and if you want to achieve small business success online, you need to keep people in the center of your marketing sphere.
At Cazbah, we coach our clients on 5 essential aspects of small business online success:
We call them the 5 C’s:
- Customer Service
These points cover all aspects of what a small business is and what it needs to be, to itself and it’s customers.
Content, it’s all about content. Your website needs to accurately portray who you are as a small business. You don’t want potential leads bouncing off your site because they’re having trouble finding information about your business or your specific products.
You have about 8 seconds to grab a searchers attention on your website before they leave, and you can do that with your website content! Put your most popular information front and center on your website and use an easy to follow layout design that moves your viewers through your website, encouraging them to click and read. Small business that invest in quality content have more customers and longer futures.
Personally, if I visit a website with an old design style or that has information that hasn’t been updated since 2014, I’m leaving. Having quality website content is how search engines determine SERP rank. The better and more optimized your web content, the higher you will rank for certain keywords. If you rank higher, you’ll tend to get more website visitors and more leads staying on your site to browse your content and learn about your business.
The quality of your website is how people will judge your capabilities as a small business. Use your content to demonstrate your small business success and capabilities in your field.
Your Website Needs To:
- Be updated frequently
- Be user friendly
- Provide easy to understand, useful information
- Connect with your target audience
Community is two-fold in this sense when it comes to your small business success. One, you need to be an active participant in your community and let those in your local area know you’re involved and present. Two, you need to be the center of your community market and industry.
Being active in your local area community helps establish positive brand awareness. Local residents will more easily recognize you and your business if they consistently see your name and/or logo associated with a 5K, a food drive, or a little league baseball team. They will also be more inclined to become customers since they’re already familiar with your business and can see your dedication to those around you. Residents in your local area have the potential to be easy customers simply because of their proximity to your small business.
Once you have established you name in your local area, you can then start to build your status in your area of industry. Apart from quality content on your small business website and a comprehensive, educational blog, you can also demonstrate your expertise by having multiple social media accounts where you can engage regularly with potential leads. Know who your competitors and your target audience is, so you can develop techniques to manage your relationships with both.
Strive to be the top competitor in your market and have your business be the name people think of when they’re searching for a specific product or service.
Communication is so important if you want to fully understand what your target audience needs and wants from your small business. Regular communication with potential and current customers builds trust, relationships, and long term customers for your business. There is no excuse to not communicate with your customers in our world. You can create a Linkedin group, have an online meeting, send a personalized email, or just call them on the phone. After all, your small business success depends on the happiness of your customer base!
Regular communication goes a long way. You can get to know your customers better, which will help your marketing and sales efforts, and your customers can learn more about your business as well. If you’re in regular communication with your customers and leads, you can omit problems before they occur and ensure customer satisfaction with your products and services. Your customers will gladly give you a positive review and advocate your business to others if they’ve had a positive customer service experience.
For the few minutes it takes to send a message or make a phone call, your small business could could see major benefits down the road.
This is how you’re using the internet and your website to market your business, products, and services. Your website can help sell your products online and attract actual leads you can add to your marketing funnel. Having and utilizing the full capabilities of your small business website saves you time and other valuable resources by reducing the sales cycle. You no longer have to cold call and recruit customers to buy your products, leads now come to you because your website content pulls them in for you!
If you want customers to purchase your products and services, you need to show them how your business is different from the rest. What makes you stand out as a small business and why are your products and/or services better than your competitors?
Whether you’re an ecommerce business or not, your small business website helps you sell your products or services by providing informative content to searchers. Yes, customers are searching online to have their needs met, so you want to make sure they find your website in their search.
I’ll say it again, your customers are what makes your small business successful. They’re an important aspect of your business you can’t afford to overlook or push aside.
Put your customer’s needs and priorities first as they go through the buyer’s journey and move through your marketing funnel. Your customers should want to stay with you because you’re providing them with something they haven’t been able to find elsewhere. Too many companies are focused on their own small business success during a sale, but you need to focus on the customer instead. By shifting the focus away from you, you’ll be able to fully concentrate on what your customer’s looking for.
Communicate with your customers to make sure their needs are being met and they’re happy with your service. Live up to your business mission statement and go the extra mile to ensure life-long customers!
Following the 5 Cs will ensure steady, small business success on the web. These steps are not static and relate to each other in every stage of your marketing funnel. As our economy and culture becomes more advanced, we sometimes overlook the small factors of business, like people and relationships. At it’s core, business has always, and will always be about people.