Milanese
by Mark Milanese
January 3rd, 2014

New Year Resolutions

Did you make a resolution to improve yourself this year? According to statistics, half of Americans make New Year resolutions and the top resolution for 2014 is the perennial favorite—losing weight. We all know diet and exercise are the keys to losing weight. Eat less, exercise more and you will lose weight. Executing this plan for long term results must be more difficult than it sounds or losing weight wouldn’t remain the top resolution.

Did you make a resolution to improve your business this year? About half of business owners do. The top resolution is to increase profit. Spend less, sell more and you will increase profits. Once again, this must be more difficult than it sounds, but changing “diet” and “exercise” are still the keys to long term profits.

Diet

Over the last five years you may feel you have cut back on spending as much as possible, but did you cut out “bad” foods or “good” ones? Across the board cuts are not a healthy diet change. Cutting costs on sales and marketing may have done more harm than good for your profits. Sales and marketing are the proteins that give our business energy.

Exercise Your Marketing Muscles

Marketing cuts have been massive for most retailers and this is true for home remodeling too. Not knowing where to invest advertising dollars for best results has been part of the problem.  Our customers aren’t reading papers or magazines. They are fast forwarding through television commercials. Direct mail is decreasingly effective. “Do not call” laws have limited the ability of phone banks to generate leads. What is the best marketing fitness plan to improve our business health?

“Keeping Fit – Out of the Box”

Implementing an “Out of the Box” plan is one way to exercise our marketing muscles.  Andersen added “Renewal” consumer-direct sales and installation. They sent salespeople wandering through K-mart and Walmart to promote the program and generate leads from shoppers. They and others have gone back to canvassing neighborhoods for leads. Others are using satellite technology to pinpoint neighborhoods so direct mail might be more effective.  These unique tactics may give our sales force the energy they need, but the most effective marketing exercise to create new leads for now and in the foreseeable future is an “Internet Workout.”

“Internet Workouts”

Take a look at how well you are represented on the Internet. A strong Internet presence starts with a website, so that should be the first place to look for improvement.

Increasing sales should be the primary goal of your website. Does your website provide you with additional revenue? Does it even talk to your customer? If not, it may be time to make some serious changes.

Your website should be built to answer questions and provide solutions for your primary customer—the business or individual who is your best customer. When that person or business is looking for your goods or services they need to find your website and have easy ability to contact you from the site. Over half of all web searches are on a smart phone or tablet. The first action taken during a smart phone search is a phone call to the business sought so your site needs to be mobile device friendly with your phone number visible and active when seen on a smart phone.

In order for that process to be successful, you will need staff to answer your prospective customers’ phone calls. That staff will need to be trained to convert the website visitor calling your business into a prospect. Finally, you can use your sales force to convert that new Internet prospect into a sale.

“If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It”

You’ve worked hard to improve your business physique, now its time to show it off on the World Wide Web. Use social media to showcase project portfolios. Broadcast video and photographs of projects and processes that make you the best. Lead the way and give others reason to follow you, like you and share you with others. A well-balanced Internet workout will incorporate a strong presence on social media. Social media marketing will improve the top of mind awareness of your business that over the long term will result in leads and sales, but if the idea of posting and managing a Facebook page seems too big of a challenge there are other ways social media can actually provide you with leads today.   For instance, a successful Facebook marketing strategy can reach the exact audience you want with relevant targeted ads and you will know the effects of your campaign because results are tracked.

Achieve your personal and business New Year’s resolution goals in 2014. Improve your diet and increase exercise to lose 10 pounds and increase profits by 10 percent!

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