By Caron Beesley
Did you give your business a spring clean this year? Are you looking for new ways to boost sales, build your brand or get your business plan back on track?
Check out some of these great suggestions and be inspired!
Q: When should a small business website be updated?
A: An outdated website sends the wrong message to potential clients, a monthly sprucing and the inclusion of a blog in order to make your website more attractive to Google.
Q: What's one of the best ways to get your press releases picked up by the media?
A: Cultivate a relationship with a reporter so that you can call them directly and not have to reinvent the wheel each time. Collaborations always seem to be of interest to the press especially if the outcome can be shown to have some real impact. That should be your aim-to show impact. Impact equals news. Try and target reporters who have influence on social media. Check their Klout score (a measure of influence), the kind of stories they write about and share. Look for a match with your product/industry.
What is the best format to utilize social media to grow your business?
A: The short answer is, it depends on the business. Some businesses should stay away from certain forms of social media. For example, a Facebook page might not be appropriate for a medical doctor. A review of your target market and a short consultation with a professional can help you determine what kind of social media is appropriate and most effective for you.
What are some easy ways to spring clean my expenses related to my business?
A: Pick a number, say $200 or so, and any expenditures with an annual outlay of above this amount would have to either show a benefit-meaning the expenditure is directly parlaying into revenue-or absolute necessity. If the expenditure cannot do that, eliminate it or find a less costly way. You might even set some goals for expenditures-like how much you will spend on advertising for the year.
I own a franchise business. It's been open for 7 years, and I need some capital infused to help me grow. I am a sole proprietor. Any suggestions?
A: Gather up all your financial reporting, including tax returns, and make an appointment with someone at SCORE. Did you know that it might be possible to get a coach at SCORE who has experience in your industry and can mentor you?
Q: How do you fine tune your elevator pitch after you do your spring cleaning?
A: The general rule of thumb for composing elevator speeches. Name (you'd be surprised how often people forget to say their name in the press of the moment), the name of your company (again, people forget), the purpose of your service or product (this should just be a sentence or two) and last but not least, something that adds a sense of urgency or uniqueness about your firm or product."