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l i z a w i s n e r . c o m Do you want more customers, more money and more time? To grow your business you need to figure out how to literally pull new time out of thin air to get what you need done. You need to create systems as you delegate to your team. You need to spend time working on wha Why Automate Your Business? Automating your business is probably one of the most rewarding and time - saving things you will do. Once your business is automated, the business can "run itself" to a certain degree, allowin g you to concentrate on marketing and sales, improving processes, new product development or to simply take a "real" vacation. By "automating your business" we accounting and handle customer service. We do mean, however, that you should have a process for doing these tasks in your busine ss. This process should be well documented and should be able to be understood by anyone you hire (or yourself) for that particular task. The most c onsistently successful type of business is the franchise. You see them all around you: , etc. These businesses almost always succeed no matter where they are opened or who runs them. Why is this? Because each of these franchises have a "franchise manual" and training program that allows virtually anyone to learn their internal processes and deliver a consistently good product or service. Everything you need to know to run that particul ar business, from hiring employees to marketing and sales is written down in the "franchise manual". Even if you never intend to expand to other locations or open up multiple offices, a well - documented "Business Operations Manual" for your company can hel p you do several things: Easier management and growth; you can focus on perfecting your product or services and processes while employees do the day - to - day tasks. Hire staff with relatively little experience, they simply follow the tasks outlined in your m anual . Focus on "Big Picture" things instead of being overwhelmed by repetitive daily tasks. Enjoy running your business.
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m How Do You Start Automating Your Business? 1. Determine How Large You Would Like Your Business to be in 1 to 3 Y ears. Do you want to run a 3 person business or have 100 employees? How big do you think your business can grow and do you want it to grow that big? How much revenue and how many employees? 2. Create an Organizational Chart for Your Company With a genera l idea of how large you want your company in the next few years, create an organizational chart that details what tasks will need to be performed on a daily basis. Examples include sales associate, vice - president of marketing, forklift operator, operations manager, financial manager, etc. Once you know which tasks need to be filled, create a detailed job description for each hly tasks and responsibilities. Truth - be - told, you will probably have multiple people doi ng most of these jobs for now. Just keep your organizational chart as an overall vision of how you would like the business to eventually be structured. 3. Create a "Business Operations Manual" Remember, you want to create a manual that will allow a comple te stranger to take over the operation of your company. Every daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly procedure must be outlined for every employee. Every process must be detailed step - by - step including opening and closing procedures, order handling, sales calls, customer service, etc. Below is a basic outline: Introduction, Letter from the Founder Organizational Chart Employee , etc.) Human Resources (hiring/firing, vacations, overtime, payroll, etc.) Products & Services The Industry The Organization Business Management Daily Operating Procedures End of Week, End of Month, End of Quarter and End of Year Procedures Sales Policies and Procedures Customer Service Policies and Procedures Advertising & Promotion Repor ts & Records (business reports, keeping records, etc.) Safety & Security Maintenance & Repair Legal Matters 4. Use and Maintain Your Business Operations Manual Make sure to update any changes in policy, processes or procedures immediately in your manual. Also, continually work on simplifying and refining your manual to make it as easy as possible to understand: group similar topics together, color - code different sections, integrate procedures from computer software, fax machines, etc.
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m Even a very small company has communication issues. For your business to be successful you need constant, reliable, and secure communications with others in your business. You cannot rely on always being in the office to hold a staff meeting or make an ann ouncement. To automate and gain some precious time back, you need to consider a company intranet . An intranet is similar to a web site, but it's an internal network exclusive to your company and its employees. This is where your business operations manu al can live and be updated as your business grows. Insperity Human Capital Management http://www.insperity.com Intranet Connections http://www.intranetconnections.com ThoughtFarmer http://www.thoughtfarmer.com Bloomfire http://www.bloomfire.com/ IGLOO http://www.igloosoftware.com/ Podio http://www.podio.com
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m Did y ou know that 10% of small businesses are getting 81% of the sales? First of all, your sales are crucial king is that so many small business owners are NOT focused on selling and how to go about making more sales. Here are some statistics that may help you understand - 2% of your potential customers will buy from you on the 1st contact 3% will buy from you on the 2nd contact 4% will buy from you on the 3rd contact 10% will buy from you on the 4th contact 81% will buy from you on the 5th or more contact 48% of business owners will quit reaching out to their potential clients after the 1st contact! To automate your selling process es consider implementing a CRM (customer relationship management) solution. Qualified visitors to your website or leads c oming in are like gold, and you want to create multiple touch points to extend the conversation/interaction, and convert them into customers. OnePageCRM http://www.on epagecrm.com/ ZohoCRM http://www.zoho.com/crm Sales Cloud http://www.salesforce.com/sales - cloud Infusion Soft http://www.infusionsoft.com
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m Today, a sales rep resentative that prospects on the phone has less than a 9 percent chance of even getting a prospect on the phone, much less converti ng them to an opportunity. Sending a cold email message with an offer averages less than a 1 percent response rate . Prospects get a majority of their information from sources oth er than sales reps often online, from web sites, search, and of course social networks. A recent study found that on averag e, customers are 57 percent of the way through the purchase process before ever contacting you. Marketing automation can help marketing teams carry out campaigns more effectively, control your brand, and drive s ignificant revenue contribution you can me asure. Infusion Soft http://www.infusionsoft.com Eloqua http://www.eloqua.com/ GreenRope http://www.greenrope.com/ Aweber http://www.aweber.com/ MailChimp http://mailchimp.c om/ HubSpot http://www.hubspot.com/
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m THE ULTIMATE MARKETING CHECKLIST Market Planning Update or create a marketing plan for your business. Revisit or start your market research. Conduct a focus group. Write a value proposition. Refine your target audience and niche. Expand your product and service offerings. In - Person Networking Write an elevator pitch. Register for a conference or event. Introduce yourself to other local business owners. Plan a local business workshop. Join your local chamber of commerce. Rent a booth at a trade show. Marketing Materials Update your business cards. Make your business card stand out from the rest. Create or update your brochure. Crea te a digital version of your brochure for your website. Explore a website redesign. Get creative with promotional products and give them away at the next networking event you attend. Advertising Advertise on the radio. Advertise in the Yellow Pages. Adve rtise on a billboard. Use stickers or magnets to advertise on your car. Take out an ad in your local newspaper. Advertise on a local cable TV station. Advertise on Facebook. Advertise on LinkedIn. Buy ad space on a relevant website. Use a sidewalk sign to promote your specials. Direct Mail Launch a multi - piece direct mail campaign. Create multiple approaches, and split test your mailings to measure impact. Include a clear and enticing call to action on every direct mail piece. Use tear cards, inserts, prop s and attention - getting envelopes to make an impact with your mailings. Send past customers free samples and other incentives to regain their business. Internet Marketing Start a Google Adwords pay - per - click campaign. Start a Microsoft adCenter pay - per - c lick campaign. Comment on a blog post. Record a video blog post. Upload a video to YouTube. Check your online directory listings and get listed in desirable directories. Set up Google Analytics on your website and blog. Review and measure your Google Analy tics statistics. Register a new domain name for a marketing campaign or a new product or service. Learn more about local search marketing. Track your online reputation. Sign up for the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) email list. Social Media Marketing Get star ted with social media for business. Create a Facebook page. Get a vanity URL or username for your Facebook page. Create a Twitter account. Reply or retweet someone else on Twitter. Setup a Foursquare account for your business. List your business on Google Places. Start a business blog. Write blog posts on a regular basis. Start social bookmarking your online content. Create a Groupon.
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m Contests, Coupons and Incentives Start a contest. Create a coupon. Create a "frequent buyer" rewards program. Start a clie nt appreciation program. Create a customer of the month program. Give away a free sample. Start an affiliate program. Email Marketing Create an email opt - in on your website or blog. Offer a free download or free gift to make people willing to add their em ail address to your list. Send regular emails to your list. Start a free monthly email newsletter. Use A/B testing to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Perfect your email signature. Add audio, video and social sharing functionality to your emails. Marketing with Content Plan a free teleconference or webinar. Record a podcast. Write a press release. Submit your press release to various distribution channels. Rewrite your sales copy with a storytelling spin. Start writing a book. Relation ship Building Send out a customer satisfaction survey. Ask for referrals. Make a referral. Help promote or volunteer your time for a charity event. Sponsor a local sports team. Cross - promote your products and services with other local businesses. Join a pr ofessional organization. Plan your next holiday promotion. Plan holiday gifts for your best customers. Send birthday cards to your clients. Approach a colleague about a collaboration. Donate branded prizes for local fundraisers. Become a mentor. Unique Ma rketing Ideas Get a branded tattoo. Create a business mascot to help promote your brand. Take a controversial stance on a hot industry topic. Pay for wearable advertising. Get a full - body branded paint job done on your company vehicle. Sign up for online b usiness training to revamp, expand and fine tune all of your marketable skills. Marketing Help Hire a marketing consultant. Hire a public relations professional. Hire a professional copywriter. Hire a search engine marketing firm. Hire an intern to help w ith daily marketing tasks. Hire a sales coach or salesperson.
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m While you focus on growing your business forget about improving your back end operations. Most improvements includes automating some of the tasks that started as manual and were no big deal when the volume of cust omers and em ployees was low . But as the volume grows, these operational processes become a huge cost that eats more and more into the profit margins. Human Resources (HR) outsourcing is a powerful automation tool that can help your business to grow. The Small Business Administration estimates that business owners spend up to 25% of their time on employment - related paper work. Imagine yourself with the freedom to focus on what matters most growing your company. Outsourcing even a portion of your company s HR duties can result in considerable cost savings and add hours of productive time to your week. It will provide your company with key resources: Professionals well - versed in all aspects of employee recruitment, retention and management. Better health, retirement and worker s compensation benefits. Reduced accounting and payroll processing costs. Compre hensive employer liability management that lessens employment - related risk. Once your automate your business processes, working with an HR outsourcing firm may help your business if you re experiencing difficulty wi th any of the following: Attracting and retaining quality employees Shopping, managing and controlling the cost of health insurance and other employee benefits Processing payroll Keeping up with changes to federal and state unemployment laws Managing liability and risk H andling general HR administration HR outsourcing can provide full service, or support your ex isting HR staff. Without the automation of these processes, new staff needs to be continuously hired to keep up with increase d volume of manual tasks. The great thing is that you maintain control of all business decisions and operations, while your vendor manage s the administrative aspects of your business. Find out how to g et access to better health benefits a t a reduced cost Stay compliant with ever changing fed eral and state regulations Learn how to better recruit new employees and retain the talent you have A lleviate administrative headaches a nd employment - related paperwork Instantly d ownload this free guide today! Send an email to:
l i z a w i s n e r . c o m RESOURCES: actionsellingbookassessment.com automateyourgrowth.com conquerthechaosbook.com emyth.com executiveboard.com forbes.com grasshopperherder.com gregclowminzer.com growthink.com mynewcompany.com openforum.com refreshleadership.com sbinformation.about.com