The Best Way to Write a Marketing Plan

Perhaps you have been spearheading the roof installation content’s marketing efforts for some time, and your performance has so far convinced your boss to fully adopt content marketing. However, you get a requirement to write and present your content marketing plan to your boss, but you haven’t done something like that before. You don’t even have any idea where to start. If you are faced with such a case, how do you go about it?

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic roadmap that businesses use to organize, execute and track their marketing strategy over a given time. Marketing plans may include separate marketing strategies for different marketing teams across the company, but all of them will always work towards achieving the same business goals.

Marketing strategy

A marketing strategy describes how a business will accomplish a particular mission or goal. It includes which campaigns, channels, content, and marketing software will be used to execute the mission at hand. There is a distinct difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy.

A marketing plan contains one or more marketing strategies. It is a framework for which all your marketing strategies are created. It helps you to connect each strategy back to a larger marketing operation and business goals.

If you are looking forward to writing a marketing plan, here are some things you need to get right.

State your business mission

The first step to writing a marketing plan is to state your mission. Although this mission is quite specific for your marketing department, it should serve your business’s main mission statement. You need to be specific but not too specific. You will have plenty of space left in your marketing plan to elaborate on how you will acquire new customers and accomplish your mission.

Determine your KPIs

Every good marketing plan will have a description of how the department will track its mission progress. You need to determine which ones will be your key performance indicators. KPIs are those individual metrics that measure the various elements of a marketing campaign. These units will help in establishing the short-term goals within your mission and will communicate your progress to business leaders.

Identify your buyer persona

A buyer persona is a description of whom you want to attract. It can include aspects such as age, sex, job title, family size, and much more. Each buyer persona should be a direct reflection of the potential prospects and customers who want to interact with your business. Business leaders all must agree on who their most ideal buyer personas are.

Describe your content initiatives

At this stage, the most important thing to do is to include the main points of your marketing and content strategy. You need to define which types of content you will create. These may include blog posts, infographics, YouTube videos among others. Define how much of it you will create. Understand the goals and KPIs you will use to track each type. You must also define the channel on which you will distribute the content you create.

Steps to Create a High-Performing Sales Team

Is everyone on your tow truck business giving you 100 percent during the end of the sales period you have set for your employees? Data has shown today’s employees are more engaged than ever and if you are not careful, they might get distracted to a point that they don’t deliver what is expected of them. It is therefore important to establish a culture that promotes attaining sales goals that you set for your teams.

If you are looking forward to establishing high performing sales teams, here are some important steps you can take to ensure everything goes according to expectations.

Identify culture warriors

You need to identify culture warriors and hire for those attributes. Identify who on your team drives the culture you are trying to build. You need to think about those reps who crush the numbers even when you are not available. Such people are going to be your culture warriors. Think about all the traits they exhibit. Are they coachable, are they fast learners? Think about how collaborating and adaptable they might be as well.

Authority during hiring

You need to give cultural warriors yes or no authority during the hiring process. One of the easiest ways to get your team to think like owners are to treat them like owners. Once you have identified your culture warriors, it’s time to empower them by integrating them into your hiring process. They will care as much about the company as you do, and they will be empowered and motivated to make key decisions that can have a big effect on your business.

Set personal and professional goals

For your team to succeed, you must establish clear and attainable goals that all members of your team will be motivated and poised to deliver. Any journey that starts without goal setting is doomed to fail. You must set goals that are realistic to achieve, and not so easy to attain. When you give your team a reason and a purpose for why they should wake up early, they will have a reason to remain more motivated and work towards the set goals.

Share customer success stories

Behind every cold call, there is a prospect with a challenge that needs to be solved. It is important to understand that sales will never be an easy job, and you must work as hard as you can to achieve something meaningful. For every call you make with a prospect, there will be something to be learned. The motivation that comes from these calls will be enough to get you started in a higher gear to achieve the tasks before you.

Give consistent feedback

There is nothing as important as giving consistent feedback on the performance of your sales teams. If you want your team to learn and get better, you must be willing to sit them down, review their performance, and give them feedback. Additionally, ensure you provide your team with the right tools and resources needed to ensure they can deliver results as expected. Get deeper to be involved with your team to learn the challenges they are facing and provide them with the tools and resources needed to improve on their performance and make easier the delivery of the tasks before them.

Important Customer Service Tips for Startups

When starting a business such as towing service or any other startup, you can’t expect your customer service to look uniform during every stage of your business development process. At the beginning of your business, you will have a lot of things to fix, and customer service would normally be the last. However, at that stage, the best way to deal with customers is to introduce to them products that fit their market.

As your business grows, you will work on improving customer service, and here are some of the tips you can stick with.

Set up a simple workflow

You need to set up a simple workflow to manage your customer requests. You will want to keep the intake process as simple as possible and continue making relevant additions incrementally. What works at that particular moment will soon break as you scale. Just start with the simple process you can and focus on working to improve your processes. Learn from your customers and introduce processes that solve their needs.

Meet to review customer issues

You need to meet regularly to review common customer issues and fix bugs along the way. You need to listen to the market and decide on what to build. This should be done from frequent consultations with your team to determine where you are getting it right and where you can improve. The most important thing is to ensure you are listening to your customers. They will be the people who took a lot of risk with your business at an early stage, so it’s important you reward them abundantly.

Involve your entire team

You need to involve your entire team in helping to solve customer issues. While scaling, ensure you build teams and data silos. Keep your support as wide as possible and be inclusive. There will never be a better way to stay close to the voice of your customers than improving support. Ensure you use customer feedback collection tools to help you gather information about customer satisfaction.  Customers will always provide you with immediate feedback that can significantly improve the support process.

Develop a rapport with all customers

When running a small business, ensure you make it easy for your team to identify your customers and their needs. Your customer demands will be small and your support agents can spend a lot of time looking into customer issues. However, as you scale, the time you have with your customers will shorten. With the growth of the customer base, ensure your agents focus on customer efficiency as much as they focus on customer satisfaction.

You also need to hire employees who are great communicators. Small businesses will tend to have small service teams that comprise three to five people. For such businesses, employees will find themselves wearing different hats and performing different tasks, including service and support. This structure can work but will be depended on the choice and type of employees you have, so ensure you get your recruitment right from the word go.

How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing Like a Pro

Social media has been around for many years. Millions of businesses such as Vienna lawn care make use of social media to market their products and services in front of their prospects and customers. If you choose to market your products and services on social media, you stand to benefit by having your offerings seen by millions of users. This increases your chances of converting. When running social media marketing, you need to consider automating your processes to get the best results.

Social media Automation

Social media automation includes the process of using automated tools with the aim of improving your social media presence through creating and scheduling content to be published on your channels. Automated tools can help in reducing the amount of time spend gathering posts and engaging with your users.

Automating social media can be very useful in developing content plan to ensure you are always prepared. However, it is very important to note that social media automation tools should never be used in dishonest or in unethical manner. Additionally, you should never automate processes to buy followers. Doing so presents you as dishonest, and also reduces your chances of creating meaningful engagements.

To automate your social media, here are a couple of things you need to consider;

Look at social listening tools

Many social media automation tools can be used for social listening. Typically, social listening involves the process of monitoring what people are saying about your business or brand online. With the use of automated tools, you will be able to see brand mentions across all platforms just in one place. Additionally, you have the chance to follow certain keywords, topics or hashtags to see what is going on in your industry. On the same note, social media automation tools can be used to follow your competition.

Use chatbots

Another way to make use of social media automation tools is the use of chatbots. Chatbots can be used with sites such as Facebook Messenger to streamline your marketing, improve customer experience and provide a warm customer support. You can create automated replies or suggested replies to customer questions and comments. When a customer responds on hours you are not available, the chatbots will be able to give an automated response.

Gaining valuable insights

Most social media automation tools provide useful analytics that can help you on your social media strategy. You can connect tools to your social platforms and make use of analytics to determine the best time to post content. A large benefit of using automation tools is that you get analytics such as impressions, reach and engagements on your social media platforms all in one place. You can create reports that are easier to compare and can help you make informed decisions.

Additionally, social media automation tools can help you with content curation, by producing content curation ideas. You can choose the industry or topic you want your audience to read about, and have the tool suggest some topics for you.

Everything You Need to Know About Employer Branding

When a job seeker begins their search, they want to have results that best reflect what they are interested in. Today, company reputation matters more than ever. When you are looking for companies offering parking management, you want to choose one with impeccable customer service, a good reputation, and ratings. This will all happen if such a company has a good brand. 86 percent of workers would not apply or continue working with a company that has a bad reputation with its former employees or the general public.

What is employer branding?

In its simplest terms, employer branding refers to the reputation among the workforce, as well as employee perception towards their employer. Employer branding is how you market your company to job seekers and internal employees. The better you are at employer branding, the more likely you are to attract top talent. Additionally, a positive employer branding can be key to retaining top talent.

For companies to do well, they need to put in place an employer branding strategy in place to control and positively change the dialogue surrounding your company. This is all done to ensure higher talent acquisition and retention. At its most basic level, employer branding refers to how you market your company to job seekers and what employees say about your company as a workplace. A good employer branding strategy can play a key role in helping you attract better talent, cut down on hiring costs, and also reduce employee turnover.

Here are some key things you need to know as well.

Know your company’s unique value proposition.

To create a powerful employer brand, it is important to start by focusing on your company’s mission statement, values, vision, and culture. It could also be helpful to identify what your business needs are and work towards understanding what type of talent you need to acquire to fill all objectives. It is very important for a company to align its values and its employer brand with a business goal.

Conduct an employer brand audit

You might not be fully aware of the reputation your company has among job seekers or even among your employees, not until you conduct an audit. You can send out internal surveys and conduct social media searches or check out at places such as Glassdoor to read reviews. Additionally, you can hire a firm that administers reputation monitoring to help you out. Ultimately, your search will uncover the favorite aspects your employees find with your company, and it will also highlight areas that need improvement.

Write an employer value proposition

Once you are done with your research and come up with a list of values and benefits your company offers, you will want to create an employer value proposition. An employer value proposition refers to a marketing message and a promise, so you need to be keen not to say anything that is not true. Additionally, the employer value proposition is something your recruiters and human resource team can discuss with potential candidates. You should also leverage all your current employees.

How to Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

At this point, you probably know the importance of search engine optimization for your business. However, one area of an overall digital marketing strategy that needs to be given a keener look is your social media marketing. With social media, you can accomplish a lot for your business and get you on the right footing. From building your brand to generating sales, social media has a lot for your business.

Here are some tips to go by, to optimize your social media marketing strategy.

Establish goals

Just like in SEO, you will need to figure out what you would like to accomplish from the onset of your social media marketing campaigns. The goals you set will determine how you will approach everything going forward. You may have goals that include the following;

– Grow your brand awareness

– Drive new leads

– Increase website traffic

– Make new sales

– Boost customer relations, among others

The goal(s) which will be most right for your business will depend on where you are in your growth curve. A new business will mostly be focused on building brand awareness before it can devote too many resources to other goals. Once you have properly set your goals, you will want to go after leads and sales.

Find your audience

Your chances of getting conversions from social media marketing will increase with every interaction you have with a potential or existing customer. If you can communicate directly with people on social media, it will help you to find and grow your audience. Through that process, you get to learn what people want and how you can give them what they want.

Target your content

Numbers and analytics are very important parts of your planning processing process in your social media marketing strategy. Once you have a clear idea of who you are targeting and what you want them to do, you will need to come up with a content strategy that matches that. You may consider Instagram, a visual platform that is primarily for teenagers, and those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. If you want to reach out to professionals, LinkedIn and Twitter would be your best platforms.

Promote your content

Once your analytics research is done and you know your audience, the next step is to craft content that perfectly resonates with your audience. However, every other business on social media is also creating such content. You need to do more than the bare minimum so as to create outstanding content. The industry you are involved in, and the type of content required, will determine your content creation budget.

On where to push your comment on social media, you will be faced with a lot of options. Facebook ads will allow you to get quite specific to audience targeting. You may need some patience to get your analytics and targeting right, so as to show ads to the right people. You may also need to try out YouTube and Instagram. Each of these platforms enjoys its own huge audiences, which can bring various mixes and options to your business.

Ways to Reduce Small Business Costs

Reducing costs in your small business and creating processes that help you save money can be key to the expansion of your business. In many cases, reducing costs all boils down to making smarter choices when deciding where to put funds for your small business. It can be the choice of technology you use, going paperless, as well as cutting your overheads.

Here are some ways to go about it, when you want to reduce costs.

Use Technology

Technology will allow you to save money and advance your business in different ways. You can make full use of technology in a number of ways, from the use of teleconference services, online payment services, open software, and even remote desktop applications. make it a habit to fully adopt the use of technology to help you run different business processes.

Avoid Landline

It is a good idea to ditch the use of traditional landline as it can be expensive and in most times, unnecessary. Small business owners who opt to use cell phones, VoIP, and virtual phone lines at the expense of traditional landlines stand to benefit a lot from reduced business costs.

Go Paperless

The cost of paper, mailing supplies, ink, and postage may seem minimal at times, but eventually, it can add up to a large business expense at the end. It is important for businesses to consider going paperless by not printing unless it’s necessary. Try to transition to a digital invoice and bill payment system and fill all your important paperwork on your computer, instead of using a file cabinet.

Do online marketing

If you are yet to join the fulfilling internet marketing front, you are missing out on a lot from a business perspective. You are missing from potentially fast-paced, high yielding, and low-cost marketing. There are different ways to go about it when it comes to online marketing. You can have a blog where you share your opinions and ideas, exchange business information, and promote your products and services. You can also advertise on different social media platforms and get your products and services in front of your audience.

Avoid credit card debts

Another sure way of reducing business expenses is avoiding the interest associated with credit cards. In the long term, fees and interests associated with credit cards present a not so effective way of utilizing business funds. Reducing credit card debt won’t come quick and easy, but it presents a smart way of ensuring your business gets the financial space required to breathe.

Stick to a business budget

A good step to managing your business finances is by creating a business budget and sticking to it. Budgeting plays a key role in ensuring you have reduced business costs because you stand a better chance to make smart financial decisions. You won’t be able to allocate funds in the most appropriate manner if you don’t have a clear idea of where your money is coming in and going out. A business budget will present you with a tremendous opportunity to reduce your business costs.

Guide to Managing Small Business Finances

Most small business owners are financial experts – they may have MBAs, have a lot of experience in the private sector, and have a strong literacy in all things about managing small business matters. However, there are those with limited knowledge when it comes to managing business finances. Managing finances for any business may be an overwhelming experience, especially if a lot of planning and allocation of resources is required. You need to get right the aspects of planning, accounting, and financial management.

Here are some tips to go by;

Separate your personal and business finances

Before you can get down to managing the finances of your business, you need to take an important first step, which is having separate accounts for managing your finances from business finances. Separating your business and personal finances is essential to ensure you don’t get mixed up on tax issues. With these accounts kept separate, you will have a much easier time managing finances and bookkeeping. Your finances will also be protected in case you face legal issues.

Open a business bank account

With all that said, you can separate your personal and business finances when you open a business bank account. It is also important to ensure you choose the right bank account for your business. Key issues you must get right when choosing a bank account. Look at issues such as monthly service fees, including transactions, wiring allowances, cash deposit limits, and online banking capabilities.

Get a business credit card

Another important step towards managing your business finances is to separate your personal and business finances by getting a business credit card. You will be able to make purchases for your business with this form of a card. With this card, you will also be able to simplify your bookkeeping and establish business credit. You can choose to get a business credit card from the same provider as your business bank account or explore alternative options.

Understand business accounting

The next important step to managing finances for your small business is to understand the basics of small business accounting. This may seem to be overwhelming and a daunting task, especially if you have never taken accounting classes. However, there are a couple of common accounting terms you can easily learn and place yourself in a better position in understanding accounting software. You need to understand the meaning of terms such as gross revenue, expenses, net profit, cash flow, breakeven point among others.

There are some very important business accounting documents you need to understand as well. The first is the balance sheet. A balance sheet is essentially a document that stipulates the financial position of a business at a given moment. It will list the business assets and liabilities as well as the equity if a company. You need to have a balanced balance sheet, one in which total assets of a business equals liabilities plus equity.

Other important statements include income statement – which is also called profit and loss statement, and statement of cash flows, which keeps a reflection on the inflows of revenue and outflows of expenses resulting from your business activities.

How Business Systems Unlock Your Team’s Best Work

When your employees do not have a sense of direction or lack the right tools and resources that would enable them to deliver tasks in the right manner, their productivity will greatly suffer. It is important to create business systems as they can give your team more structure and direction. Many companies have set up the right business processes that help in freeing up their team’s time and energy to focus on work that enhances business productivity.

Systematization

But let’s first understand what it entails with systematization. A system is a repeatable process. It is a routine that helps in addressing a specific problem in an automated and reliable manner. Creating a system for your business will enable it to be more streamlined, productive, and ultimately more profitable. With a systematized business, you will reduce hours spent trying to figure out how to manually do different tasks. You will also be able to work on issues as they come up.

Systematization for businesses presents a lot of advantages. Here are some of these benefits;

More efficient employees

A thoughtfully created business system will help your team manage their existing workload more effectively and efficiently. When they are empowered with processes and checklists, their work becomes more streamlined and predictable. They can complete repetitive tasks more quickly and get to work out things effectively when hit with challenges. Established business systems will also help in streamlining workflows to free up more time for people to focus on what truly matters.

Consistent and high-quality work

Systematization enables you to do more without sacrificing the quality of your work. Creating a system will help you set clear expectations for your team. Teams will be able to iterate on processes and improve their output and quality. There will be clarity on roles and responsibilities. If your team members are not clear about their roles, they might not understand what is required for them to do. Employees will perform better when they know what is exactly required for them to do. A right business system can set up a team for success. With systems in place, your team members will understand their job descriptions and everything they are required to deliver.

Growth for your business

Systematization can help you grow your business. Systems help in preventing bottlenecks and give you a firm ground to operate. With the right systems set in place, there will be consistency and high-quality work as you do less in ensuring everything works according to plan. With more time and mental capacity at your disposal, you get the opportunity to focus more on growing your business. There will be increased productivity which aids in freeing up your focus.  Team members will be able to handle more work in a more efficient manner.

There are different areas where your business needs automation. Your finance department needs automation to streamline your bookkeeping, payroll, invoicing, payments, and reporting. Your hiring and recruiting will need automation as well. Other operations and management of your business that need automation include business planning and project management.