You made lists of gifts to give your family, friends, and employees. Now that the holiday festivities are almost over and hopefully everyone is happy with the gift they got, it’s time to make a list of gifts to give your business to make it successful.
Customers love do-gooders and are willing to buy from companies that show social responsibility. Making your business as green as possible will appeal to the growing green-minded customers. The International Institute for Sustainable Development reports that green consumers do not expect companies to be perfect in order to be considered ‘green’. Rather, they look for companies that are taking substantive steps and have made a commitment to improve.
Small changes such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, setting up recycling bins and using email receipts are powerful signals to customers. Participating in tree-planting programs and getting customers involved through small donations is another great way to align your businesses with green initiatives.
Going green is also a great opportunity to develop depth by moving beyond the brand. When you Associating your brand with the green lifestyle and starting and participating in conversations about the lifestyle in newsletters, social media, etc., is a great subtle way of promoting your business without being too salesy.
Optimized systems are a staple for companies with productivity and profitability that increases consistently.
What makes a system optimizing? Steve Sashihara gives a great example in his book, The Optimization Edge: Reinventing Decision Making to Maximize All Your Company’s Assets. Most businesses spend a great deal of effort on information gathering and analysis. The data is then fed into business intelligence systems that produce reports that wind up with being fed into spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides. Managers then look at the presentations, debating what the data means and what decisions should be made. In many cases, good software could make the decision itself.
What makes a system or piece of software optimizing is that it makes a recommendation or a ranked list of recommendations. The GPS in your car or phone is optimizing when it says “turn left at Main Street.” Google is optimizing when it searches the web and presents you with a list of the pages it considers the most likely match for your keywords.
With an optimized system, you can offload routine decisions to a computer system which will make a decision free of human bias. The best optimization software will give you a way of seeing how it arrived at its conclusion so you know how far to trust it.
Don’t know where to start? Optimization technology can be applied to any problem of limited resources – budgets, people, times, shelf space. The software should look at the many possible uses of resources to find the optimal combination.
You’ve heard this a million time and it’s now a cliche but we’ll still say it – Content is King. People and search engines respond best to fresh content so you need to continually update the information on your website.
Giving your website a makeover is a wise investment, considering it is your primary online marketing tool. When redesigning your website, consider the following:
Make sure it’s responsive i.e. it should ‘respond’ to the device it’s being viewed on. Mobile websites are becoming more and more important and if yours is not mobile-friendly, then you risk alienating a whole generation of chronic smartphone users.
Incorporate social media. Social media use is skyrocketing so including links to your social network profiles and enabling social sharing will significantly improve engagement with your website visitors.
Improve usability and navigation. Attention spans are shrinking and customers are becoming more impatient so if your website visitors can’t quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave ASAP. A user-friendly website that’s easy to navigate and with targeted calls-to-action will get you more visitors and ultimately more customers.
Customers like engaging with and getting to know the companies they buy from on social media. When used appropriately, social media can reach new customers/markets and help maintain a relationship with existing customers.
It’s also a great platform for feedback. Many customers do not call to complain anymore but would rather their problem be acknowledged online. Social media offers a comfortable platform for the customers to have conversations with a business, whether good or bad.
This is a shameless plug but in all seriousness, digital signage is one of the quickest and easiest gifts to implement.
Digital signage is a powerful visual communication tool that empowers businesses to engage with their audiences, improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. Displaying dynamic and relevant content such as social media, weather, traffic, news, a list of events, emergency/CAP alerts, etc., will add value to your customer’s experience.
Such memorable experiences drive customer satisfaction and loyalty more than discounts and price cuts can.
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