Running a business is not easy. Especially if you do not have a large team supporting you. Heck, it is not easy even if you do have a large team.
But these days, with the proper application of the right tools and technology; you can alleviate many of the day to day recurring challenges all entrepreneurs face. If you equip yourself and embrace change, you can empower yourself to spend more time on your business and not in your business.
What is even worse is that many entrepreneurs do not really know they have these challenges. The reason being we are all used to doing things a certain way and many a times it is not easy to see that there may be a better or more efficient way of doing something. Unless you see someone else doing what you are doing in a better way or the pain of doing nothing becomes more than the pain of doing something.
So what are the various challenges that entrepreneurs and small businesses run into on a daily basis. Well to put it bluntly there are many.
As a business owner, you need to constantly put your brand and your products/services out there to attract new leads. With everybody using social media advertising and targeted marketing, it is becoming harder and harder for prospects to click on a particular ad or link and then request more information from you. If you do manage to convince a prospect to click on your ad, the next step is to convince them to give you his or her details.
Now, depending on your industry and the kind of product or service you offer, having someone to give you their information can vary between medium to really hard. And keep in mind that as a savvy business owner, the most valuable asset you can start building right now is a database of potential customers or people who have expressed interest in your amazing product.
So coming back to the challenge. As I was saying, it is hard enough to get someone to give you their name and email address let alone buy something, on first contact. And this is where keeping constant contact with your prospects is so important. Making sure that you educate your prospect on your business and yourself. But more importantly add value to whatever they are doing.
We will discuss the many different ways in which you can add value another time. But for now only understand that you do it by basically providing lots and lots of valuable information that if your prospect follows, will make a big or small difference in their day to day activities for the better.
Studies show that before a prospect will do business with you, you will have interacted with them at least 15 to 20 times (touch points).
Now obviously there are different ways of interacting with your prospects, but if you are doing it all manually, you can only do so much. You start loosing leads because you are not able to provide them the experience that a better nurtured prospect would have or a competitor may be providing. And this is where putting marketing automation in place can provide an extreme amount of value.
Normally the sales process or your sales pipeline is a human driven process because you are obviously working with people and those relationships need to be managed. But sometimes managing your whole sales pipeline right from your email manager can get really difficult. I have seen people build a whole Customer Relationship Management system in outlook that they are so proud of but in reality makes them so inefficient.
Relying on everything to be done manually and only have the perception of everything fully organised is just you fooling yourself. Remembering to put your next follow up in your calendar or looking up an old prospect notes or scrambling through a hierarchy of “organised” folders to figure out where a prospect’s record is kept can only be fun up to a point. Mostly it is just a pain.
If you can only change a few small things and be open to learning a few more, you can save yourself so much time.
Day-to-Day Admin Automation
When you are running a business, it is as important to keep your day to day processes organised as it is to keep your sales and marketing processes in check. Things like when a particular order is supposed to go out or when you need to follow up with a client on how they are doing.
Of course you can set up reminders and use emails to constantly send updates to your team or may be keep a diary. But when everything is scattered in multiple places, you can only cope with it for so long. There comes a stage when you or your team will start missing stuff. You are not sure where everything is. You stop enjoying working in your business because it is so hard to keep track of things.
When you don’t have automation in your business, you are definitely lagging behind than your competitors who have caught on with the current trends and are doing the right things by their business and their teams.
If you want to learn more about how you can put in automation in your business, I encourage you to browse through some of the other posts on this website.