Posted by: midpen | January 29, 2013

Three New Year’s Resolutions for Professional Service Businesses

Changes ahead

Now is the time to make a few Simple Changes in how your Market your business

‘Tis the season, right?  My wife and I were talking at dinner last night. I said, “Gee, It’s been kinda cold these past few days. I think I will try getting a guest pass at the indoor gym down the street.” She said, “Wait until next week; all the folks who made New Year’s fitness resolutions will have dropped out, and you’ll have the place to yourself.”

Admirable resolutions too often are not carried out. People can be filled with inspiration but fall short on perspiration and “stick-to-it-tiveness”. But it’s not too late for a small business to make and begin implementing resolutions.

Here are three ideas that will grow your bottom line before it’s time for fireworks and sparklers and lazy afternoons:

One:  Take the time NOW to re-vision your business. You can’t make progress in anything if you don’t know where you are, where you want to go, and how you can get there. Take a look at your business, re-examine your goals, and resolve to follow the steps in my Business Re-visioning Process.

Completing these steps takes only four 1-hr blocks of time, and you SET your course for the year!

Two: Harness the power of Google and Bing. This seems simple, but you ignore it at your peril. These days, a professional services business must maximize its “digital foot print” to get the most out of the pull marketing technologies that the search engines provide. This means:  1) figure out what needs to be improved in your website and digital real estate and 2) invest systematically in the elements that typically deliver the best ROI.  Incidentally, Service for Profit LLC can help you with this. Fill out our contact form at the bottom of our home page for a fast response.

By far the most impactful thing you can do is blog – and if you are already blogging, improve your blog’s effectiveness as a digital business development tool. Ask yourself: could your topic selection be improved?, should you increase your frequency? and what about Search Engine Optimization? Could it be more effective? For instance, what are you doing about tagging? I think “Why you should Blog and How to do it, an  article, by James Martin, has some great ideas, and I keep a copy of it on my desk and review it from time to time to make sure I’m following all his advice.

Three: Reach out and touch your customers – regularly.  A big problem for many a small business is that they fail to keep in touch with their customers and former customers with sufficient frequency. For example, I started a newsletter but got busy on a large customer project and just forgot about doing the next issue in a timely manner.  Sometimes I just don’t have anything new to say, so I delay and writing a new issue.  But I’ve learned that not all blog posts are original material. Sometimes helping to spread someone else’s good idea to your readers/customers is helpful too. I am resolving to fix that as part of MY new year’s resolutions.

Yet the regular distribution of a newsletter is a great idea. If you haven’t sent a newsletter, consider starting one. The web abounds in articles about the importance of the newsletter as a vehicle for inspiring customer loyalty. Here’s one .   Make no mistake: your revenue is the sum of spending by your NEW and EXISTING customers.  I like to follow Jim Palmer on Twitter and on the web, and  occasionally buy his materials. His book Stick like Glue has a lot of good ideas.

Keeping in touch with customers demands periodic high-value communication. Many of my customers go to great lengths to develop and refine an email marketing strategy that allows them to adapt their communication to the needs of their customers not just for one-way communication but to encourage customer engagement

We’ll be using a new tool called Tikkl.com to foster greater engagement with our MPPA members and Service for Profit customers by encouraging comments on blog posts, increasing attendance at MPPA events, and hosting online chats on topics of interest. From time to time, we’ll post an update on how we’re doing.

Bottom line:  Resolve to stop and plan what you’re doing, get serious about your digital impact, and communicate more with customers and interested prospects.  Consider letting us and your colleagues know what works and what doesn’t by dropping us a note, or adding a comment to this blog post.

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Scott Le Roy Marketing and commented:
    Some business resolutions for 2013!


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