The constantly evolving world of business today makes for interesting times.
Whereas in the past, companies of all sizes were able to pick their niche, formulate a plan, and work slowly and diligently towards a successful solution, the climate today requires rapid thinking, constant re-engineering of process and products, and adapting to changes in the marketplace and competitive landscape.
While it seems the largest, most successful companies in the world hit home run after home run, of course that’s not true, they stumble nearly as often as start-ups and small enterprises. It’s how they deal with failure that sometimes makes all the difference, and there are valuable lessons small business can learn from the largest companies on the planet.
In social media today, for example, you can create campaigns in-house that rival even the efforts of large corporations and the only real investment required is time, not money.
Begin with end in mind, pick a goal and stick to it. There are three ways social media can help a business:
- Increase awareness by growing the number of people you reach
- Build loyalty by engaging with customers and supporting them
- Increase sales by providing an impetus for repeat sales
Be a publisher first. Before you start any campaign, develop compelling content that will attract potential customers to your business.
Understand what motivates your audience, and allow them to share your story. Use the various sites that the purpose is to create near viral content, like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
Big companies like Google are offering employees huge perks these days – free meals, massage, transportation, recreation, and more. Small companies can’t afford those kinds of perks, of course, but by realizing your employees are your company’s most valuable asset, treating them like that, and making sure they understand how you feel, you will have a much great impact for success.
Focus on the fundamentals of your business. Knowing the big picture is fine, but it’s the day-to-day details that will often spell the difference of success or failure in your company. As a small business, resources are often in short supply, and constantly changing focus is going to cause a rapid depletion of those precious resources. Focus on the key parts of your business that make customers happy.
Your competitors and new start-ups are going to pop up every day. They will have new ideas, services, and products. You’ll go broke quickly if you try and respond to every single competitive threat that comes along. Again, if you’re focused on how users interact with your product or service, and ways to improve that process, you’ll achieve a lot more than responding to exterior stimuli.
Finally, small companies should consider investing in automation marketing, software platforms that help automate repetitive tasks. Employees enter criteria and expected outcomes, and the software manages the tasks on a regular basis. Originally designed for email marketing, software platforms of this ilk now are sophisticated enough to handle a wide variety of tasks, including marketing intelligence, campaign tracking, lead generation and more.
Many large companies publish blogs or newsletters on a regular basis that talk about innovations, or “coming attractions.” Picking a few of these information sources, digesting the information, and implementing what’s practical on a regular basis will help you guide your company to the next level.