Saving Time and Money: Listings and Reviews
20% of small businesses fail within their first year, 30% of small businesses fail within their second year, 50% of small businesses fail within five years and 70% of small businesses fail within 10 years.
I deal with Local and Small Businesses each and every day. I get to interact with able and productive Business owners constantly. I have seen some of the most amazing services or products, where you just have to marvel at the ingenuity of man.
There are 627,000 new businesses open each year. That means in year one 125,400 of these businesses will fail. In year two that number will climb to 188,100. By year five that number will be 313,500 and finally by year ten that number will be 438,900.
What I find most interesting is that these numbers are known by almost every small business owner and despite the statistics these men and women still put their heart and soul into their work to service their clients.
I thought it would be a wonderful idea to assist them in their endeavours.
One of the biggest contributing factors to small businesses failing is concentrating only on delivering to the clients they have managed to get without spending the time necessary to get new clients (Marketing).
Marketing is how ANY company gets new clients. There is an interesting law in this world that most people don’t know or don’t give a lot of credence.
Nothing in this world stays the same. NOTHING. If a company is not expanding continuously, then it will fail eventually.
Let me paint you a picture. You have a small business that deals with setting up Internet phone services for companies in his local area. He has 100 clients and he feels this is enough and doesn’t want to take on any more clients. Thus he dedicates all his resources to servicing the clients that he does have.
His clients appreciate his service. A few months goes by and one of his clients sends in a notice of cancellation. Of course the business owner calls up his client to understand how his services didn’t meet up with his expectations, but his services are not the problem. His client is going out of business or sold his business, etc.
Another client sends in a request for cancellation. Again the business owner contacts the client to understand why this client )who just a month ago told him how great his service was) has decided to cancel. He finds out that another company contacted his client and gave him a lower monthly cost with the same exact services. The client is sorry, but it was a financial decision and not a personal one.
These types of problems/circumstances happen every hour of every single day for small businesses all across the country.
The small business owner is in a bit of a panic mode and goes into super delivery mode, only to lose a few more clients due to circumstances not under his control.
Now he realizes he needs to get new clients. He frantically tries to start a marketing campaign, hoping to negate some of his losses.
How long do you think it takes a marketing campaign to become effective? 6 MONTHS at the minimum and 12 months for seeing the best results.
Sure you can throw up a Google Search Ad and might get lucky and snatch a client from the low hanging fruit, but a company is going to need a lot more than one client.
This is how local and small businesses fail. They do not put the necessary attention on marketing or they can’t because they don’t have enough resources (Time, Money, Employees).
So how do we help a local or small business owner address these problems?
First is education. There are many marketing companies that provide marketing education for local and small businesses in blogs like this one all across the country. Subscribe and start educating yourself on best practices.
What are some of the key actions that every local and small business should do?
In this article I am going to cover two must have marketing functions for every local or small business.
Lets review both of these separately and how this can be made easier with the proper tools.
Listings – What is a listing as it pertains to the marketing world?
There are local business directories in every city in the Country. There are over 205 actually. These directories have listings for businesses. Think of the Yellow Pages from 20 years ago.
This is the same scenario, except now there are over 200 (Yellow Pages being one of them).
These listings will give your business name, business address, phone number, website and other pertinent information.
Why are listings important? Well, all major search engines will go through each of these directories when looking for search results. It is not the only thing these search engines do, but it is one of them.
What are all these directories? I will put many of them here to give you an idea:
As you can see there are a lot of them and this isn’t even the full list.
How much time do you think it would take you to set up individual listings on each of these directories? It seems a bit daunting and time consuming doesn’t it?
Well here is the good news. There are tools you can purchase for a minimal fee to do this job for you and make sure that it is 100% accurate and that is EXTREMELY important.
Evolved Strategic Marketing offers such a service and if you search on the internet I am sure that you can find other companies that offer similar services.
Not only will such a tool help your Local Search Engine Optimization, but it will also help your Organic Search Engine Optimization. Why?
That is a bit technical, but it will create what are called citations and these citations help increase your Organic Search Engine Optimization.
See, you just vastly increased your marketing and it would take you all of maybe half an hour to get it done.
Reviews – How important are reviews to a business?
There is not a word in the English language that could describe how important reviews are to a business, so I’m not going to even try.
Let me just give you some statistics:
97% of people read reviews for local businesses.
91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decision
89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews
92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review
Only one of these statistics was under 90% and it was at 89%. That means that reviews are 100% one of the most important things that your business can do for its marketing!
When I tell my clients to work on getting reviews, guess what is the number one response I get back! It takes too much time to get reviews from clients!!!!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
Do you know what the most effective marketing on Earth is? WORD OF MOUTH.
What do you think reviews are? WORD OF MOUTH.
So how can this be made easier? Well I can think off the top of my head of at least 3 different pieces of software that help a company get reviews, while not spending a lot of time doing it.
These services would allow you to upload your contacts via a CSV file. It will allow you to build out email and text message templates so that the messages can be branded to your company, it allows for you to send bulk messages or one at a time and you can even use them to forward other marketing messages.
Once a week you can upload your new clients. Bulk send out a request for review either via email or text. Problem solved and time saved.
I hope you found the article helpful and engaging. Please follow us on our social media platforms and subscribe to our newsletter so that you can always get helpful articles like this one.
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