While the recovery of the global economy since 2008 has been debatable, the fact is that it has been on a rising trajectory for the last couple of years. However, despite early middle-market company predictions for 2016, it seems that this year will be even more challenging than the last one, and this trend will follow continuously for decades to come. According to the report from Bureau of Labor Statics, over 50% of small-to-midsize companies fail in the first five years. Keeping your business afloat is not easy in today’s economy, so what do small company owners need to do in order to grow and be successful?
With the ever-evolving nature and the omnipresence of the internet, it is tempting to chase the latest trends and try to capture massive traffic, plus substantial potential income, that awaits the companies who follow the latest fads. While the larger companies invest time and funds in researching and exploiting new ideas, the truth of the matter is that the market power of top performing businesses is mainly due to their mastery of solid fundamentals. Therefore, here you have the three basic strategies that all successful enterprises follow that and which lead to greater profits and sales in any market.
Strategy 1: Search Engine Optimization, basics of Digital Marketing
In simple terms, SEO is the process of designing your website so that the search engines (such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo) could easily find it and index it. When a potential customer is looking for a product or a service similar to your offering, SEO marketing ensures that your site is at the top of the search engine result page. A good SEO strategy will increase the “visibility” of your website, and make sure that you rank higher than your competition. For starters, be sure to you keep your site up-to-date; if do not maintain your site regularly, a search engine will assume it is not relevant and you will drop down on the results list. If you are an absolute newbie, be sure to read some of the starter guides, for example, Moz has an SEO guide that has been read over 3 million times.
Strategy 2: Customer experience, or UX
Website traffic does not automatically translate into sales, so if a potential customer has found your site through Google – your job is only beginning. Did you know that over 75% of online customers bail on a transaction because of the poor customer experience? If your site has bad navigation, and the customer feels lost and confused, he/she will probably leave your site instantly. You have to make sure that the navigation on your website is intuitive, logical and easy to understand. The companies able to manage the entire journey of the customer successfully reap enormous awards: enhanced customer and employee satisfaction, increased revenue, etc. Make sure that every step of your customer’s journey, from your homepage through to the shopping cart is easy, convenient and professional.
Strategy 3: Data and Analytics Applied
Over the years, data-driven marketing has evolved from a novel type of marketing to an integral part of almost every marketing campaign and strategies. For example, an analysis of your daily sales will reveal the trends and patterns of your shoppers – from best-selling items to peak shopping days. Customer data can come from just about anywhere: social listening, online surveys, sales transactions, customer feedback, etc. The raw internal data is fed into the professional business analytics software that gives you marketing insights. Once the data is analyzed and augmented, you can utilize the data to guide the decision-makers in your company.
Why is important to grow your business if you are satisfied with it as-is? The answer may not be obvious at first, but it is fairly easy to understand why it is important, if not essential. It is almost impossible to hold your company at a stable state, depending on your strategies – it is either growing or shrinking, following the state of the overall economy. If your growing strategies, the very fundamental ones, are not firmly established – a downturn is imminent. Even if you are happy with the current performance of your business, invest in your own development and focus on the long-term value of your company because we have some rocky years ahead of us.