When running a small business, your time is both incredibly valuable, and probably very packed. When your small business depends on you, it’s very important to make every minute count! If you’re like most small business owners, wondering how to be more productive, this is the guide for you! We’ve outlined some of the 2 most important areas of growing and running a small business, that you should focus your time on first.
Most Important: Customer Service
Customer service is a great place to start because it’s a “gateway” to so many other areas; your business’ reputation, customer loyalty ($$), word of mouth marketing, and sales (yes, customer service can = sales). It’s important for the head of business to remain involved in the customer service project. You should make sure questions are being answered correctly and professionally, and review the customer requests regularly.
|Do Now:||Put Off:|
|Answer pressing customer issues and purchasing questions||Answering “cold lead” questions (people who are unlikely to become a customer in the near future)|
|Create a thorough FAQ section on your site (& direct some queries there)
& have your team use common responses templates.
|Hiring more staff|
|Once a month, review the most common customer requests (or a curated list)||Costly customer surveys|
|Once a week, review customer services answers for correctness and professionalism||Reading and/or answering every question yourself.|
|Curate and encourage a customer loyalty program||Overly focusing on NEW customers|
Top Priority Checklist for Customer Service:
Second Most Important: Marketing
Every second you spend marketing your small business is time well spent. This is how you increase your business’ profits, and grow your reputation as a strong, reliable business.
There are some marketing efforts that are more productive than others, so if you’ve only got a few hours to spend on this area, here are the best tasks to focus on throughout the week:
|Do This||Put off|
|Update your website’s information||Upgrading your website to a fancier design (unless your current site does not meet the basics)|
|Offer coupons on your site||Offer coupons in the newspaper|
|Participate in local events (how to do this)||Advertise on local billboards|
|Own and manage your online review profiles (how to do this)||Trying to be on EVERY social platform|
|Network with local reporters who might write a story about your or your business||Buying a lot of print advertisements|
|Make your site Search Engine Optimized (SEO)||Buying a lot of online, banner ads|
Top Priorities Checklist for Marketing Efforts:
Your Business’ Website:
Your Business’s Reputation: