Small businesses can beat corporations with brand value and the ability to stay agile.

Small businesses are still alive and well. You just need to know how to keep up with the needs of your customers and be accepting of change. Most businesses have a way of doing things, and they stick to it. Change means they could lose money which is not a risk most sustainable businesses are wanting to take (understandable too).

But change brings new opportunities to expand your business and grow at the cost of having to do more on the fly thinking. You also may have to do some of the ground level work first to make sure it is done right, but these are all hurdles that are easy to get over and keep racing.

1. Yelp Basic Business account and Google Listing
Yelp and Google My Business for your business needs to be set up, updated and showing your best light
These are tested ways that physical businesses can get foot traffic and these are them. How do you expect to get traffic without being in places where people search for businesses. Google and Yelp get most of the business search traffic and are used by most people in the US.

This has become apart of the routine when picking a restaurant or business – young people will always look online and at reviews first before stepping foot somewhere. They know they don’t want to waste their time and can get photos and reviews of food from their phones. Convenience is key, and a lot of these points below involve an element of making it convenient for your customer to find you or to get to you.

2. Social media posting daily: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn depending
Your business needs to be using these free platforms that have free attention on them. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat and all the other platforms have lots of eyeballs and if you want to expand your business you need to use these services.

There are two ways to use them – PAID OR UNPAID. By using them unpaid, you can develop the skills needed to have good social media and then you can have a better feel for what your audience wants. Paid social media can be a money black hole if you aren’t careful so make sure you are ready to maximize your budget and don’t just jump into it with a large budget expecting to it all back.

3. Make sure your website has a place to collect emails
Make sure to put it in your sidebar, when they come to your site, in the menu, and you can even use an exit-intent pop-up to offer them something exclusive if they are going to leave your website.

All of these tactics, combined with the right offer or service of yours, can make a killer strategy to get returning customers coming back more and more often.

4. Email your customers weekly
This doesn’t need to be anything complicated or crazy discounted but you should be in contact with your customers via email at least once a week. This will keep you on their mind and will allow you to keep them updated on products, changes and other info to get them to come in again.

5. Online ordering if applicable
Make it convenient for your customers to integrate online ordering into your sales process. You can use this as a way to save time for your busy lunch rush or use it as a way to cut out the fees taken by Postmates, Uber, etc. There are lots of people that would rather get the food themselves if they could order online and get notified accurately when their order is ready.

You can use a custom solution that works with what you already have or you can see if your existing POS / Order management software offers this as an add-on. It is becoming pretty popular so it is not a weird thing to ask them at all.

6. Track websites analytics and learn how to read data
Use Google Analytics to track what your website viewers are doing so you can make your website better. By looking at your website data you can make sure you are improving the most frequented pages and are paying attention to some key points.

With Google Analytics, you can track conversions, bounce rate and time spent on site. These are important metrics to see if people are actually looking at your website or clicking away.

I write a lot about analyzing data and what you can do with it, so stay tuned to my blog for specifics but you first need to understand how to read the data and make sure everything is set up properly.

7. Adding content to your website weekly
Whether it is new company updates, blog posts, event recaps, menu changes or anything else you need to be adding new content and pages to your website frequently. The frequency shows Google that your website is current and relevant and that helps with SEO rankings.

By adding new content, you are also giving yourself more things to promote on your email marketing and social media so it is a win-win. You get content to post, and you can promote your own content through your own channels all while adding more content to your website too. The name of the game is content but that doesn’t mean that you can’t maximize your content for all channels

Better marketing please,