In a previous Tenet Financial Group blog, we covered many of the key components for developing a business plan and how that plan is important when seeking business funding, such as a SBA Loan. Let’s dive a little deeper into the Operations Plan portion of a business plan and look at three proven strategies for operational success.
Maintaining An Online Presence
The message your business communicates online is vitally important to the success of your business. In fact, a large percentage of consumers would tell you before they visited your business, they “Googled” your address, hours of operation, products or services, business details and more. Everyone has a smartphone and chances are most of your customers aren’t wandering in off the street with no knowledge of what to expect when they come through your door.
Start with a website that gives the specifics about your business, as noted above, and is mobile optimized to be easy to use on any handheld device. Include a simple Contact Us web form that allows customers to dialogue with your business quickly and easily (and that can you can use for direct marketing purposes later). If you have them, share customer testimonials or reviews on your website. Nothing resonates better with potential customers than praise from current customers.
Next, consider adding social media profiles for your business, especially if you are an online only, non-storefront business. If people can’t view your products and services in person, social media is a great – and inexpensive way – to market what you are selling. Good photography is a must, so keep that in mind when posting a pic of your latest clothing item, home décor piece and the like.
Maintaining A Hard-Working Team
Your team of employees is your greatest asset and they shouldn’t be overlooked as part of your Operations Plan. Is your benefit package attractive and scalable? Do you offer opportunities for advancement? How will you recognize a job well-done? Is your salary or hourly compensation fair and equitable? Spend some time considering these questions and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your team happy and eager to work hard for you.
Maintaining Contact With Your Customers
As noted above, a Contact Us form on your website is a great start to building a customer database for marketing purposes. After all, the success of a business relies on repeat business, of which there is no greater compliment. You might even consider offering a signup form on your website that allows people to “subscribe” to your email newsletter, RSS feed, follow you on social media, etc. All of these tactics allow your customer to initiate an open line of communication and engagement for your business directly with them.
Other marketing tactics such as advertising and local event involvement/sponsorships should be considered for reaching potential customers who haven’t yet interacted with your business. Something as simple as taking a marketing brochure or business card to businesses near your business can result in an opportunity to sell your product or service. Maybe you sponsor a local little league team. Perhaps you set up a booth at the local craft fair or 5k fundraiser. The point is to get out in front of customers and prospective customers as often as possible. The adage, “If you build it, they will come,” is no longer a given in today’s business climate.
Tenet Financial Group can help you with your funding needs as your business needs grow and evolve over time. Contact us at 1-888-901-3335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with our team today.