Don’t Leave Your Small Business Up To Luck: Tricks of the Trade for Small Business Success
By Hunter Hoffmann
Head of US Communications, Hiscox USA
Most small business owners rarely have time to catch their breath, let alone weed through every advice book, latest app or new gadget. Luckily, there are already a few simple, proven tricks of the trade that can help small business owners decide which ones to give a shot. We have compiled some simple tips that our customers use regularly to enhance their small business operations and bring forth success:
Use business apps to keep you organized: Apps are increasingly used by small business owners as valuable tools to help businesses grow and function fluidly. We recommend utilizing the Google Drive app, which allows users to edit files across PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It’s a fully-featured office suite and cloud drive, allowing you to store and access any file type via app or web interface. If you are someone who needs help remembering everything, Evernote syncs your notes, photos and documents across all platforms and makes them all available anywhere at any time. Of course, another app that has proven to be extremely helpful for small business owners is Square, which allows business owners to accept credit card payments via smartphone or tablet. With no sign-up or monthly fees (Square takes 2.75 percent of each transaction), it really is an invaluable app for small business owners.
Small Business Success
LinkedIn makes small business marketing easy: LinkedIn has a lot to offer small business owners, if you know where to look. Take advantage of joining LinkedIn groups (did you know you can join up to 50?) and directly message fellow group members whether you’re connected to them or not. Another trick is to sync your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to increase your visibility while maintaining the same work load for updating your social media accounts. Also, don’t forget to personalize your URL to make it easier for others to remember it.
Send out newsletters for meaningful contact with clients: Send out newsletters to customers on a regular basis, using easy programs like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. But don’t just send out empty newsletters – make sure they are filled with helpful content to establish yourself as a thought leader in your space. This can be as simple as providing tips for customers or featuring articles that are relevant to your field. This strategy helps retain current customers and also draws in new people who are interested in advice, which can lead to new queries for services.
Utilize brand ambassadors to stand out to customers: Establishing brand ambassadors for your small business can help make your company’s marketing efforts stand out to your customer base. A well-established brand means consumers will think of your small business first over other competitors. If your company released a new product or service into the market without a major marketing push behind it, how successful would it be? Brand ambassadors can step in and help generate buzz about your products and services. To establish your brand ambassador program, here are a few steps to follow: use social media and review sites to see who’s already talking about you; create relationships that are beneficial for you and brand ambassadors; establish benchmarks to measure your program.
It’s our hope that these tips for small business success can help your business as much as they have helped our customers. After all, you can’t just leave your small business to luck.
About the Author
Hunter Hoffmann is Head of U.S. Communications at Hiscox, the international specialist insurer. Hiscox is the first company in the U.S. to offer insurance for small professional services businesses direct, online, and in real-time. Follow the company on Twitter @HiscoxSmallBiz or Facebook.com/HiscoxSmallBiz. Visit http://www.hiscox.com/small-business-insurance/ for more information.