Business-Goals-for-GrowthIf you haven’t already done so, January is a great time to decide on a list of business goals for the new year. Whether you have decided to take the leap with a new business start-up or you want to expand your existing business, planning and setting goals, with details, for exactly what you want to accomplish will help you stay accountable and on task throughout the year. Having an accountability person, coach or consultant is also a great idea.

Here are 5 ideas for new business goals for growth to help get you going

Lower Expenses

Take a reflective and realistic look at last year’s expenses for your business and analyse which ones were higher than they should have been. Whether it was on office supplies or business lunches or even printing costs, you should find ideas on how to decrease the numbers. You can consider buying office supplies in bulk or even re-evaluating the partnerships you have with vendors to see if there are opportunities there to lower expenses. Even though it may cost money to seek professional business consulting it usually pays for itself with the proper consulting.

Reach New Markets

You can determine to make this year a growth year by reviewing last year’s marketing plan and results from specific campaigns to evaluate what worked, and of course, what didn’t. For example, social media and online marketing avenues are cost effective if done properly, if not they could be a big failure. If you haven’t tried promoting your business online, it’s definitely time to start. If you have and it hasn’t worked out for you like you thought it would seek professional help. You can also make a list of your specific target audience and obtain new ways to reach them. If you can’t come up with new ways that’s what marketing companies are for.

Keep Learning

Expanding your business means you have to constantly keep up with your competitors and new market trends in your industry. You can do this by following local marketing professional’s blogs in your area and keep informed. Another great way is to attend a course or seminar. There are lots of marketing agencies that offer free learning workshops. Just be careful, some are nothing more than sales pitches. With each new skill and connection you make, you’ll find that you are adding valuable knowledge to your business that when applied will help your business grow.

Know Your Weaknesses

Lastly, acknowledge where you are strong and where you are not. When you can know where you are not strong but still need success then find someone else who can do that part for you. It has been proven over and over if we let those do what they are truly good at and not try to do what we can not do well, things will improve. Let go and acknowledge what you are not good at. Be humble if you want to grow and just pay someone else to do what you need to have done to meet your goals. Yes, that can increase expenses but it should increase profit far more than the expenses.

Work Life Balance

As a marketing agency owner myself, I know it’s easy to let your business take over your entire life. Make time for yourself, for your family and friends, and set work hours that will create an optimal work life balance. Without a doubt there will be times where you have to work 12+ hours a day but have balance. You have to prevent yourself from getting burned out if you want to continue to run a successful business and love doing what you do. Evaluate which elements of your business create the most stress, and evaluate ways to automate tasks or off load them to someone or somewhere else to create more time for you.

Whatever your business goals are for the new year, it is vital to ensure they are achievable and measurable and that you have also set a reasonable time frame. I have found that setting short term goals (30 days), quarterly goals (90 days) and yearly goals help. It is too much to measure along the way with only yearly goals. Working towards goals which are actually achievable will help keep you motivated each time you meet one to keep going and growing your business. Quantifying your business goals with specific numbers also means that you can measure your progress and give you something to strive for. You will also be able to know for sure whether or not you have met your goal. Like in marketing we analyze goals weekly and monthly to make sure we are on track with our goals and growth is happening.

 

Read more

in3 aviation website design

Video content can help take your website to the next level. With either online video advertising or through the use of YouTube, you can generate more traffic and boost your search engine rankings. It is estimated that in the United States alone 1.2 billion online videos are watched each day, yet only 24% of all national brands use online videos as a marketing tool.

Videos boost brand awareness. When they are combined with elements that create a viral video, they can draw in interested consumers and multiply your efforts. The videos don’t have to be very long. They can be as simple as a short Vine or several minutes long if you prefer. Just make sure the content is interesting and inspires people to click and share.

Look at our clients IN3 Aviation, they incorporated video into their website as a main feature: in3aviation.com

 

Read more

biggest-mistakes-website-owners-make-300x300One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is not making sure their content is original and high quality. When a customer comes to your website, they are looking for an answer or a solution to a problem. It is important to provide them with the answers they are looking for, in as original a manner as possible.

Obviously, there will be some carry over in information from various websites. But try to add something personal to each post rather than creating something clinical for visitors to your website. That helps build a connection that will cause the visitor to come back or share your content.

After all, people still crave something real when they are browsing the internet.

 

Read more

timing-is-everythingAs a small company you might think advertising is going to cost a vast amount of money. The truth is that today, the best and most cost effective advertising in the world is social media marketing. Whether you’re paying a marketing company to do formal social media or you’re doing it yourself, over time there are a few things that you should know about social media. What you write and when you release it make a big difference.

Most people visit and view social media during lunch time and at or just after dinner time. You’ll get more views if you pay attention to when most people comment on your social media and time your releases to those time slots. You’ll have more people viewing it when it is fresh, and that may direct more traffic to your home page or products page.

The same goes for email marketing and direct mail. Days of the weeks, weeks of the month all play a strategic part in the most effective time to send a campaign. Of course there are general statistics and best practices but the real optimal time is discovered by really digging into your analytics and what your followers trends are. There may be a lot of missed opportunities and more so sales you are missing because they are missing you.

Start off your new year right and look really dig into the last 12 months of marketing data to know where you should be focusing on.  If you need help analyzing your data and when is the best time to do what let us know. We are here to serve.

 

Read more

Search-Engine-OptimizationWhile it is true that Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin have changed the face of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it doesn’t mean it is something you can forget about. Take the time to keep up with the changes occurring as a result of the three and incorporate those changes into your website. When you do that and keep up with high quality original content, you should find there is a minimal impact on your search engine placement and customers will be able to find you without any problems.

One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is not making sure their content is original and high quality. When a customer comes to your website, they are looking for an answer or a solution to a problem. It is important to provide them with the answers they are looking for, in as original a manner as possible.

Obviously, there will be some carry over in information from various websites. But try to add something personal to each post rather than creating something clinical for the visitors to your website. That helps build a connection that will have the visitor coming back and sharing your content. After all, people still crave something real when they are browsing the internet.

 

Read more

power-of-a-blogHaving a blog that offers informative content that isn’t designed as a sales pitch will work wonders for you. In fact, as you routinely blog, at least three times a week, you’ll see your website go up in search engine ranking and you should see an increase in the number of visitors you have.

If you provide an informative piece with a call to action at the end, you’ll find you can even generate some potential leads for your products and services without having overly promotional content. Content is one of the most powerful tools you have online.

 

 

Read more

pintrestIf you’re not using Pinterest for your business, you’re missing out on some great benefits. Pinterest provides users with a visually engaging way to curate and share their interests on the web. Why start using Pinterest?

First, you get the chance to create “rich pins,” which allow you to add store locations, pricing and availability of products. When individuals click on your pin, they arrive at your website.

Second, Pinterest business accounts offer you some great analytics and research tools. You’ll see which images are being pinned from your business site, offering some insight into your target customers.

Third, Pinterest allows you to start branding with a visual platform, and branding is important for any small business.

Pinterest is one of the best ways for you to push traffic to your website and to share your products and services with the world. It is also rapidly becoming one of the biggest social media sites in the world, on par with Twitter and Facebook.

 

Read more

call-to-actionWhen you’re requesting–or writing–content for this holiday season, take some time to think about what you want and to brainstorm topics. Refine your content approach to be something your readers are really interested in hearing. If you’ve heard of a new product that is similar to what your customers are using or if you’ve got a new way to use something, post it. The more innovative your content, the better it’s going to be received by your customers, no matter what time of year, but particularly during the holidays.

Create better, results-oriented calls to action. Whether you want your readers to download an ebook or to buy a piece of software, you need to make an innovative call to action that entices them to respond. Offer incentives to your writers, if possible, providing a small bonus for the writer who pens the most often clicked call to action.

 

Read more

Social-Media-VideoUnless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that Youtube is the second largest search engine on the planet and video is driving sales through the roof. Even a small, short video that offers a little about your products will sell well. If you’re in a visual business, such as decorating or cooking, a video of your products, even if it’s a slideshow style video with some upbeat music or text, can sell your products well.

If YouTube sounds intimidating, consider posting videos on Instagram and Vine. A brief 6-15 second video can still capture attention.

If you haven’t gotten on board the video train yet, the holidays may be the perfect time to do so. With great food, gorgeous decorations and impressive holiday gifts providing visual appeal, a video on social media during this season may boost your sales better than you realize.

Read more

Write-Engaging-ContentContent is king. Your marketing needs to include a fair portion of content, but the content isn’t for the search engines; it’s for your customers. The average customer knows when content is written for keyword use by search engines. You need to use those keywords but don’t let them drive your content.

The content that appears on your site needs to add real value and bring in not only the search engines but also your customers. Give them something new, something interesting and something they don’t know. Articles can draw in the search engines while also engaging your customers. Make sure they begin in an interesting way and don’t leave your customers hanging.

 

Read more
-->