Category Archives: Business Growth

Grow your business online

5 Areas To Grow Your Business Online

Category : Business Growth

Growing your business online is imperative to connecting with a wider audience and establishing a solid internet presence where your brand can be found. Traditional marketing campaigns can be expensive and time-consuming to fulfil whereas many digital marketing tactics are affordable and have a lasting effect that will benefit your company in the long run and they are easy enough to implement. While your current ranking on Google is a great place to start and is extremely important, there are many other avenues that can be looked at when promoting your business online that are vital to focus on when it concerns the growth of your business.

The best way to take advantage of the potential marketing opportunities online is to hire a professional digital marketing agency to do it for you, they’ll have all the knowledge and expertise you need and they’ll enable you to carry on with your other business obligations. A full service marketing agency will analyse all the current marketing channels you use and highlight ways they can be improved. They will also introduce new platforms and media that could be used such as video content and social advertising if required. Highlighted below are 5 digital marketing areas that should not be overlooked:

Search Engine Optimisation

Organic search engine traffic is usually one of the primary sources of brand engagement online, but appearing on the first page of Google takes a lot of time. A digital marketing agency would be able to audit the current content you have shared online and make changes and improvements to increase the chances of being found. Using more keywords and topical blogs will help search engines recognise your brand.

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Grow your business online and get ready for take off!

Social Media

Social media is one of the most effective areas of digital marketing and is also very inexpensive to use, think of it as using word of mouth in a digital way, with no geographical restraints. The key to a successful social media post or campaign is creating content that is engaging and worthy of sharing; it’s the best way to increase awareness around your brand. Consistency is key and a digital marketing expert will be able to interpret and navigate the various algorithms that have been put in place.

Mobile Applications

Mobile usage is soaring amongst consumers who look to their phones for web browsing and applications to download, which means it is an area that must be tapped into to connect with your audience when they’re on the move. A mobile business application could be developed to improve user experience and increase brand loyalty.

Email Newsletters

Creating an email subscription campaign is a great way to connect with your audience when they are not actively looking for your brand. Content within newsletter campaigns needs to be informative and beneficial to encourage click-throughs and increase engagement online.

Podcasts

Podcasting is another area that is increasing in popularity and should definitely be tapped into if you have valuable information to share. This is a great way to collaborate with other relevant brands and build loyalty amongst the consumers you currently have.

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7 tips to keep your business razor sharp focused

Category : Business Growth

razor sharp focus

help your business to keep razor sharp focused

Whether you’re still in the planning stages of a start up, a small business looking for ways to expand, or an established company in your marketplace, growing a business can still be challenging.

It requires hard work, patience and perseverance. In this article we’re going to examine seven guidelines or tips to keeping your business focused on the important things.

You should always keep these in mind when you want to grow your business. Reviewing these simple tenets will be a sure way to put you on the right path for growth and success.

1. Define Your Goals

Put simply, you need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Setting out with a vague notion of what you want to achieve or, worse, no plan at all, will set you up for failure. As the old adage goes, “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This step is important as, once you’ve worked out what it is you want to achieve, it’s going to be much easier to work out how you are going to get there.

Carrying out a simple ‘SWOT’ anaylsis every 6 months will keep your eye on the ever changing markets around you.

Set out the larger goals first and outline a strategic approach to achieving these. The larger goals can then be broken down into sub-goals. Are there any tactics that you can employ to help with these smaller short-term goals? The accumulation of small advantages and achievements, can provide invaluable momentum for growing your business and steering you in the right direction.

2. Understand Your Customer

This is crucial. Without customers, your business is doomed. Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many small companies neglect to listen to, understand, and empathise with their customers.

Know your customer

Knowing your customer is key to growing your business

Once you understand the problems that your customer is facing, you can set to work on serving them with the best solution, ensuring that their needs are met the very best you can.

This, in turn, means that they will become repeat customers, and will also recommend you to others. SEE also our blog post on 7 excellent steps to win new clients.

Reach out to your customer and ask them for feedback, run surveys, speak to them.

Are they happy with the level of service you are providing? Are there any ways you can make further improvements?

Understanding your business from the customer’s perspective is a key exercise. In fact, we can’t overstate how important, useful and insightful this step is.

3. Assess Key Strengths

What are your unique selling points? What is it that you can offer better than anyone else in your field? Sitting down and taking the time to really assess your key strengths can be a very positive process.

Once you’ve figured out what your key strengths are, you can double down – focus and improve on these areas even more so that you stand out far ahead of competitors.

What are you bringing to the table that no-one else is? Comprehending and appreciating your key strengths will help you to communicate what they are to the world – both existing customers and prospective ones.

Modesty has its place – sometimes you really need to boast about what you can offer to win new customers and grow your business!

4. Focus on One Area and Do it Well

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Helping you generate leads

This leads on from point number three above. There’s no point whatsoever in spreading yourself thin. Whilst it can be tempting to expand out into different areas, it can be risky when you are still growing your company.

Instead, we’d recommend that you carve out a niche and build a reputation for exceeding expectations in this particular area. Once you’ve perfected whatever it is you do and your business has grown to a comfortable level, only then should you consider branching out.

It’s all well and good trying to optimise profits by offering as many different products and services as you can, but expanding into different areas too quickly can be challenging, risky and stressful.

The bottom line is this – don’t over complicate things whilst you are still in the stage of growing your business.

5. Know Your Market

SEO Agency in Southend on SeaResearch is a key component in the success of any business, big or small. And when it comes to growing a business, research is vital. As well as knowing who your customers are and what their needs are, you should be taking a close look at your competitors. What exactly are they doing to meet the needs of customers in your market?

You can learn a lot by taking the time to carefully study your competitors approach to business.

What are they doing that works? Are there any ideas you could improve upon? Taking the time and patience to conduct thorough research is certain to be rewarded with insightful data which you can apply to your own business to help it grow.

6. Define How You Make Money

win new clientsYou should have a carefully articulated sales process in place which should be continually studied and tested to ensure it is optimised to maximise profit. How do you drive traffic? How do you generate leads? What are your conversion rates and how can these be improved upon?

These are all questions that you should be asking yourself as you strive to grow your business. You should be thinking about the customer journey and how it can be enhanced and built upon to help deliver maximum profit.

This ties in with step one regarding defining your goals – if your sales process isn’t clearly defined it’s almost certain that profit optimising opportunities are being missed.

7. Look After Your Staff

Free ConsultationWith all the stress and commotion that can sometimes come with growing a small business, this one is very important and can also be easy to forget.

We’ve stated earlier in the article that, without customers, you don’t have a business. This is equally true of your staff – they are integral to the continued success and growth of your company. With this in mind, it is important that you treat them fairly and respectfully.

Nurture your staff and help them to train, develop and grow – your business will inevitably grow and develop as they do. Creating a positive, forward-thinking, fun and lively work environment will bring out the best in your staff. Listen to their feedback and ideas – this is an invaluable way to help you with every staff challenge that may come your way!

If you’re looking to grow your business online, then please request a free quote today here, or call us on 01702 742 077.


10 warning signs for start-ups and SMEs to stay ahead

Category : Business Growth

10 warning signs for businesses

Here you can find ten warning signs that are helpful to ensure your business stays ahead of competition in today’s ever growing competitive markets.

You may look at these as 10 indicators to make sure you have your bases covered, when actively managing your business. You’ll be surprised at how many companies maybe struggling, or lacking in some of these, and haven’t yet confessed. These can certainly apply to start-ups, as well as SME’s.

10 warning signs to keep in mind

 

  1. Not setting yourself apart: You must have USP’s (unique selling points), i.e. the law of attraction, why do your potential customers opt for you? You need to tell your story, if you’re selling services then show the value as well as price, especially when selling products.
  2. Not keeping up with SEO: Search Engine Optimisation is vital to your website and business. SEO shows you are and expert in your field and a helpful resource of information to people searching for what you want to sell. Quality isn’t just in the content, but also in the site structure, layout and your online reputation.
  3.  Not living digitally: People search through many different methods these days either by mobile phone, tablet, smart TV, as well as their PC. You need to have your company well positioned for all of these devices.
  4.  Not investing for more customers: It’s very easy in today’s world to be so engrossed in the tasks at hand that we forget to invest, and budget for future growth. How many customers do you expect in 12 month’s time? 2 year’s time? 5 year’s time? Forward planning is key.
  5. Not measuring, or evaluating the results: In today’s world measuring success is much easier as we can track behavior’s and patterns online very easily through various analytical tools. There are also many clean up tools that help us manage our online work to ensure it stays clean.
  6. Not getting into the detail: It’s been well said that ‘the devil is in the detail’ which is very true! Making sure each department needs to have ‘the t’s crossed’ and ‘the i’s dotted’ to make sure nothing gets missed.
  7. No planning: It’s so important to have a business strategy plan, or marketing plan to know where you’re heading. Financial forecasting, increasing leads, calendar planning, stretching profit margins, scheduled activity etc. The plan helps you navigate from A to B and you can even have a company dashboard now that lets you know you’re going to make it. 1st Choice Marketing can help you with this and give you a free consultation.
  8. Missing repeat and referral business: It’s sometimes so easy to be focused on looking forward that we can easily forget the customers sitting right under our noses. Gaining referral business can be an easy way to generate you more business. See our 7 tips to win more clients.
  9. Not staying on top of the finances: This is critical, knowing how much can be spent and when will help any company go on to do bigger and better things. ROI is really important here to ensure your areas have a return on investment as much as possible.
  10. Lacking in customer service: Making sure your customers are well looked after and get what they need quickly is instrumental for them to keep using you. What customer service procedures do you have in place? What is your complaints process? How are you communicating with your customers?

Successful Business

Having the honesty to admit there is a problem and then the courage and support to change it will certainly help alleviate the issues.

We’re always here on hand to help you navigate your way through to becoming the best company you can be, and reaching your maximum potential. There are many solutions out there and part of the core values here at 1st Choice Marketing is to be solution providers! And to find them fast.


Generate Sales

7 excellent tips to win new clients

Category : Business Growth

win new clientsAs we know there are loads of ways to generate more business and win new clients however, we’re going to focus on one particular area to help you gain and win new customers.

One of the main focus areas for any company is to evaluate your repeat business strategy. It’s changing the mindset from the ‘1st sale mentality’ into the ‘2nd sale mentality’.

Customers who have already dealt with you in the past would be ready to use you again providing they enjoyed the products, or services you’ve offered. A lot of the hard work and initial sales and marketing campaigns has won them through the door, so the questions now are ‘how can you get them to come back again?’ and ‘how can you get them to bring someone else with them?’

Before we get started on the tips, it’s a really good idea to check your current referral processes with the goal of encouraging previous buyers to recommend you to their friends, family and colleagues.

Example: Local fitness clubs are very good at this by offering free day passes to friends and family, as well as cash incentives to get someone new in the door. These offers are well displayed in the clubs, on their websites or you may receive regular mail shots. Part of your strategy plan with us would be to cover referral areas with you and see what tactics would be best suited for your business. Please contact us for a free SEO chat.

Getting an existing source to give you a contact name and number is classed as a ‘low-grade referral’, however having someone walk in and sign on the dotted line would be classed as a ‘grade A referral’. So, how do we achieve those grade A referrals? These leads can be scored and measured by tracking and calculating the NPS (net promoter score).

Refer a FriendHere’s a case history example of a client we’ve helped: They sell loft conversions and extensions. Their focus is on repeat business and win new clients. We recommended that once a satisfied customer had their loft conversion built and were satisfied, then why not offer a cash incentive (£50) for every new client that views their home and goes through to sale. This worked really well as it built confidence with the prospective buyer, but also brought in some weekly cash for the happy new loft homeowner. This boosted their sales by 30% and needless to say the existing customer were double excited to be promoting the loft conversion firm for only 15 minutes work to show someone around. The existing customer became an ‘active promoter’ for the business, and even referred more sales through their local football club.

7 easy steps to win new clients

  1. Set up triggers for your referral plan. Some referral business will just happen, however one of the big mistakes is that you can just assume they will just come in. This isn’t always the case! You will need a plan that has triggers events based on events that will attract those referrals to come in. You will also need to get all of your staff onboard to execute the plan. Here’s a tip: don’t ask for referrals as the customer is about to pay, set the triggers in motion either before, or after and make sure you show appreciation to customers who give you a referral.
  2. Offer Incentives. Most people like to save money where they can, but coming up with the right incentives will need to be tailored to your business. McDonald’s would be quite happy with 2 for 1 offers, however Mercedes would steer clear of any of these types of offers. So, coming up with the right incentive scheme takes care and evaluation with some clear market research based on your target audience. You can then test these incentives by targeting a small number of customers to help you collect the data for future campaigns.
  3. Target the most influential customers. These would be people who represent a group of others and should be discovered when reviewing your process (just like the customer we mentioned who run a football team). These customers may represent others in the community or industry, but finding them would definitely be of great benefit for recommending your services. How many friends do they have on social media networks etc.? These are the people to target first. Do they have a website? If so, bear in mind that links do matter.
  4. Target other businesses related to your industry. An example here would be a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims would want to get local doctors on their side and target some adverts into their waiting rooms. Make sure you contact other organisation’s that could really promote and enhance your services, but not be in competition.
  5. Provide marketing materials. Don’t just rely on word of mouth, but give customer’s something that they can pass onto their contacts. This materials could be a link to an online flyer, or an enticing page on your website, recent newsletters detailing offers, products and services with the clear benefit of buying from you. Remember, your prospective clients will be thinking ‘what can you do for me?’, so your message will need to reflect that.
  6. Build relationships. Gaining trust is vital to bringing in more referral business and also win new clients. It’s great that someone has trusted you and bought from you, so if you’re going to start contacting these customers you haven’t spoken to for a while, you will need to re-establish that trust.
  7. Keep your records up straight. When gaining information such as contact details this may just be a lead, but store this information for evaluation and future communication. You may want to run surveys, checklists or web based programmes to capture more details, BUT, always remember to keep your records up straight. This will really help to chart the success of your referral campaigns to help you measure and fine tune them for the future!

Summary

Aim to save people money, give them a great deal with excellent levels of service and provide clear ongoing communication to keep the relationship alive. This will keep people keep trusting you and spreading the word.


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