24 Feb Building Your Business: Fantastic Hacks And Where To Find Them
To be a successful business owner in today’s world, it takes more than just tenacity; it takes knowing the best ways to manage your resources, and how to keep that initial vision glistening after years of hard work and dedication.
We know that running a business is filled with all types of mysteries and unknowns. But luckily, there are resources that can take away some of the mystery, and can help you soar above and beyond your competition!
No more bumping around aimlessly—we’ve compiled some of the best business hacks for you to use while managing your business. And from marketing to sales to business relations, these ideas are the perfect way to make your job a little easier.
Since the days when the “marketplace” was a literal marketplace, humans have been sizing up the goods of their competitors. From farmer to baker, knowing your competition has always been key to having a successful business. In today’s world, we don’t have to go through the guesswork that our ancestors did. Luckily (and sometimes, unfortunately) for us, the world of content is at our fingertips.
We have social media showing us what, when and how our competition is doing what they do. You have access not only to their website, but to their blogs, Twitter, Instagram, SEO searches and the ability to see how all of these things perform with their customers.
So how does this give you an advantage? The better question is, how can you take advantage of the resources out there? Here are a few quick ways:
1. Sign up for their email list. You’ll be getting an insider look at all of their content that their customers are receiving, as well as a weekly or monthly inside look on updates their company is broadcasting
2. Follow them on social media. It might seem odd to follow the Instagram or Twitter accounts of your competitors, but if you have qualms about following them directly, try a sneak approach such as following with a personal account, or creating a list, which you check regularly. This will allow you to track them (and other competitors) all in one place, while not having to directly follow them.
3. Follow their RSS or use Google to set up alerts for keywords associated with their business. Check out other sites such as Buzzsumo to get the inside scoop on how their posts are doing on social media.
Figuring out which tools are best for your company can be a journey in itself. Here at SimpleKeep, we have a few favorites and love helping you find the easiest way to make them work hard, so you don’t have to. For competitor analysis keyword searches, try SpyFu, which is a great resource that allows you to see the paid keywords that your competitors are using to target their customers. Another source, Compete, measures digital performance and is great for helping you and your business discover new opportunities, while keeping an eye on your competition.
Buzzsumo, which we’ve found to be great for figuring out top industry influencers, is also a great resource for targeting your social media reach. You can optimize your use with these steps:
Utilize Advanced Search Abilities
One of the most useful aspects of Buzzsumo is it’s influencer search abilities, which can help you not only track your competitor’s social media presence, but become proactive in striking back and doing so more efficiently. While other apps use the ability to search other influencers, Buzzsumo claims an advantag.e If you search for a topic, they not only return influencers with the topic in their bios, but also influencers who share social media related links.
To research influencer trends and metrics, start off by inserting the topic you want to search in the search bar and then selecting what filters you’d like to add. For example, if you’re looking for a post written by a type of poster (blogger, company, journalist etc.). You can also filter by date. Once you’ve determined which filters you’d like to use, check or uncheck boxes to coincide with what you’re searching for.
Gather Social Media Metrics
While seeking to step up your business’ competitive advantage, you’ll be able to gain valuable access to metrics for each of the sources posted by using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.
Not only will this allow you to see where your competition stands, but it will let you see what holes in the market they aren’t covering—which essentially will allow you to reach out to customers within those markets. You can also filter your results to show top influencers in the areas you are researching.
Another one of our favorites is Dasheroo, a collaborative business dashboard that makes your data easier to understand and act on so you can focus on growing your business. Dasheroo is great for small businesses because it allows you to check stats, measure engagement and spot trends without ever logging into your social media dashboards! Consolidation means you get to spend more time on the more pressing aspects of your business, all the while providing you with information on your target market, customer base and social media interactions as a whole.
One of the most desirable aspects of Dasheroo is the customizable aspect of the dashboard you, essentially, build. Choose any of the applications you use regularly and structure them to create a dashboard that requires minimal effort, while providing you with all the necessary information you’ll need for your business.
Customize Your Use
Dasheroo is a great resource for your team, as well! While allowing for users to chat with, comment on and interact with other users, in real time, it will give you faster interactions which means keeping your marketing on point with whatever the market throws at you. This essentially allows you to communicate with your team, or others that you’d like to share data with, quickly and efficiently.
Tracking Your Businesses Networks
Another great way that you can use tools like Dasheroo is to see the outreach and impact of your business. This can mean being able to check on customer impressions, post clicks, likes, comments and shares – just to name a few! This is a great way to keep organized while managing multiple social media accounts, allowing for you to be at the top of your game when it comes to responding and reacting to the data you receive.
Your company’s culture is an essential part of your business.
Customer-centric cultures are one of the most important aspects of businesses, today . While it may have been acceptable to focus solely on product and performance, during past generations, those traditional methods are quickly becoming obsolete.
Today, customers not only want your product or your service, they want interaction and a cause to stand behind (even if that cause is simply joining a community of like-minded individuals!). Finding companies who match these needs is huge to customers, and is one of your most valuable selling points as a business. There is always room in these areas to outshine your competition. Try these three tactics, as a starter:
1. Find your competitor’s weak spot on social media, and market to potential customers on that platform. While your competitor may have an edge in certain areas of your shared market, carving out your own niche will help you to really capitalize your efforts.
2. BOOST! Finding new customers is crucial, and many social media platforms help you do this by allowing you to boost or promote your posts. On Facebook, you can boost your post, and use as little as $5 to send a post out to, potentially, thousands of people. On Twitter, there is a bit more detailed, but similar, way to pay to reach further audiences. When it comes to Pinterest, your pinning promotion is more of a bidding process for the audience you’re trying to reach.
3. Unhack to hack: While technology may seem like the key factor to building stronger customer relations, sometimes the best way to build relationships with customers is to get on a person-to-person level. This may include hand written notes, phone calls from the CEO, or even something as simple as writing “Thank You” on a packing slip, when shipping out a product. Never underestimate the power of taking your customer service one step higher.
You may very well be part of the growing community of small businesses that operate with less than 5 people. Or, you may even be the sole worker in your workplace. Either way, It’s important to utilize all of the available resources you can.
For your small team, try using an employee scheduling software, such as WhenIWork, to keep track of hours and requested time off. Not only can this help to keep you organized, but it can allow you to spend more time focusing on other aspects of your business.
If you’re looking for a joint way to communicate with customers, Zipwhip is a great service that allows for multiple people to text from a registered (in your case, probably your business phone number) number, from multiple computer systems.
For keeping your team organized, try services such as Asana, which allow for project management and scheduling, along with the ability to assign tasks to various people on your team.
Whether you’re a one person operation, small, or growing business, your time is valuable and utilizing these tools can help ensure that you have time to manage your company with full focus. Whether it’s using an app, a website or scoping out your competition, taking full advantage of the tools out there can be invaluable.
So, what did we miss? What are your favorite business hacks?