All posts by Akia Ashmond Brew

Why Your Small Business Needs Experts to Succeed

Your company needs many things to succeed. It needs great products backed by outstanding customer service at a fair price, well-run operations with standard operating procedures and a decision-making system to reduce the time it takes to move new ideas from concept to reality. However, and with all of these components, your company can still fail if you don’t have experts within its ranks.

DIY Can Only Take You So Far

Maybe you did some research and feel comfortable that you know all of the tax saving tips and tricks, but do-it-yourself does has its limits. The truth is that the internet has created a surplus of information. Bright-shinny fruit are plentiful, with thousands of how-to-videos, blogs and online courses being published monthly. It can be very difficult to keep up and also determine who’s truly knowledgable. Unless you have the skills from a previous job or from education, you’ll want to be extremely careful.

As the visionary, there are two areas that you should concentrate on doing extremely well. The first is telling your brand story and the direction your company is headed, because you believe it more deeply in your soul than anyone else. How you articulate your company’s vision and story sets the tone for how others will when they communicate about it. The second is the part of the business that you excel at doing.  It is important to understand the elements of all business areas, but seeking to master them will pull you away from what you do well, will not help you scale and will simply keep you business in low-growth mode. 

Where Do You Need Experts?

As your business grows, make room for the experts you will need. Especially in the beginning, you may be able to hire freelancers to do most chores at your company. However, you will need to maintain access with a cadre of experts. For example, you need a tax expert because of the many new tax laws that are implemented yearly on national, state, and local levels that can affect your business. Whether or not you are selling products or services, you will need a great attorney to help you structure the various agreements to do business with customers, partner with other companies, mitigate risks and avoid litigation. Your attorney can also help you to structure your business so that it can be sustained in your absence. You’ll need to keep a human resources expert on hand to help you think through your organizational and staffing structure. There are many ways to add talent to your organization, from contract to full-time staff.  Your growth plans and budget will determine which steps to take, and your HR expert can help you with that, in addition to creating a healthy culture. You will need a great accountant to help you with your financial statements and process invoicing as you increase sales or complete work. Sadly, many businesses lose money because they simply fail to invoice! Last, but certainly not least, you need a great digital marketing expert, as technology will continue to disrupt industries. A great digital marketing, especially in the areas of e-commerce, expert can help you stay ahead of the curve, as stuffing pages full of the right keywords has never been enough. There are a number of things digital marketing experts need to master and know.

Experts Within Your Business

These are the people who represent your business in front of your customers every day. They need training in customer service, how your products work, and many other business areas. You also need to make sure that continue mastering every aspect of your products by listening to your customers and staying connected to your peers in the field.

As a business owner, it can be very tempting to try to do many things yourself. That’s not a smart move, however, and it may cost your company plenty of money. Instead, create an infrastructure, keep your advisors on hand, follow their expert advice as much as possible, and hire and train experts to help you strategize and implement along the way.

If you are wanting to go a more DIY route, make sure you check out Seen and Sustained, a workbook I wrote in collaboration with three women business owners. 

5 Marketing Strategies You Should Employ in 2019

The internet offers a vast array of resources for you to employ, and they hold tremendous potential. Effective marketing strategies will help you put your business near the top of search engine results. There are numerous methods that have been put into practice by many businesses of various sizes, but some marketing techniques are more effective than others. Though different types of businesses may target different demographics, some of the marketing strategies used are similar. Regardless of your field or the specific market for your product or service, some techniques tend to work. Here are five that you should employ in 2019 to help you increase your traffic and revenue.

Video Marketing

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and since a video consists of many pictures, this visual tool amounts to tens of thousands of words communicated to your clients and customers per second. Though it is always advisable that your website and other marketing materials be composed of well-written content displayed in a font that is easy to read, video marketing can be more effective in reaching people who understand an idea better when they absorb it visually. Locating the services of someone knowledgeable in video marketing can be instrumental in communicating effectively to your target audience and gaining a following that comes to know, trust, and respect you.

Online Reviews

With so many competing businesses in nearly every market with an online presence, having glowing online reviews can set you apart. It’s in your best interests to encourage your customers to sing the praises of your products or service. Getting 5-star reviews can convince clients and customers to try you out. It lets them see for themselves just how great you are compared to the competition. Once you gain reviews via a successful strategy, you will always be generating more, especially when utilizing tools for made for reviews.

Social Media

There are multiple social media platforms at your disposal, and one may be more effective for reaching your audience than another. To use this method most efficiently, know your target audience and then choose your social media platform accordingly. Taking notice of how your competitors reach their customers is also a good practice.

Email List

Though social media holds much potential for reaching out to your clients and customers, an email list still remains the most effective way to communicate with your contacts. One sure advantage of email is that you own the list, whereas your social media contacts could vanish in the blink of an eye for many different reasons. Email lists still have the highest conversion rate of any method for communicating with your audience, and you can add a simple email sign-up form on your website.

Advance Sales

One way to test the waters about something you want to offer your group of contacts is by offering advance sales. This is most effective when you want to know the demand of a product or service while allowing your target audience to take advantage of early bird pricing. This method piggybacks on some of the marketing strategies mentioned here already. It deserves special mention in its own section, however, because it’s a technique that works well across a variety of markets.

Over the years, internet marketing has progressed just as advertising and other marketing strategies have changed with the times. The businesses that remain in operation know how to work with their clients and customers most effectively. This applies to companies large and small. The most successful ones put a considerable amount of effort into effective marketing strategies. Your business can achieve a similar level of success if you employ the techniques laid out here.

For business success and ways to improve internal and external communication, then check out the professional workbook Seen and Sustained!