5 things a small business should be doing to weather the storm

23 Dec

Yes it’s a slog for many small businesses at the moment.

Tourists are staying home. Consumer spending is enjoying a brief holiday spike but we can all guess what that hangover is going to feel like. Rents are high; the competition are slashing their prices.

But the strong will survive and you can be one of them. There are 5 things you absolutely can and should be doing right now to boost your business and create sunnier days ahead.

1. Optimize the content on your website. You need to perform well for the Google masters. Your home page should be rich with searchable terms and you need to refresh your content constantly. These tactics have been shown time and again to boost your performance in search. Your customers will be looking online and there is every reason why you should make a good Search Engine Optimization strategy your first priority.

2. Market yourself. You need to let people now you’re there. When everyone else pulls their marketing budgets to weather the storm, there’s your opportunity to have a more dominant voice in the market. And take advantage of some great media offers. They’re hurting for business too. Otherwise, you’re invisible. Never a good business strategy.

(Christmas ad for a Victoria business created by Copeland)

3. Blog. Oh I know: you’re tired of hearing about blogs. You don’t really care that a website with a blog gets 55% more traffic than a website without, why should you? Could it have anything to do with the content optimization point above? More than that. A blog invites your customers into your business by offering them your expertise and seeking their comments. You are creating engagement when you blog, which in human terms means you are building relationships. Always a good business strategy.

4. Build relationships in social media. You are doing it already of course, so there is nothing that needs to be said here. Will it lead to the short-term wins you need to keep the doors open? Only if you have a strategy in place for all the social media time you are investing. Don’t have a strategy? Tch. Call me.

5. Learn. Do not spend another moment feeling sorry for yourself or bemoaning the state of the economy. There are people out there who know more than you do and can help you get your business in gear. Seek them out. Ask people you trust to recommend consultants, speakers, seminars – ad agencies too. Things are changing fast in the world of marketing. You need to get up to speed because the days of same old-same old are done.

How many of the 5 are you already doing?

(Artwork courtesy of explodingdog)


4 Responses to “5 things a small business should be doing to weather the storm”

  1. Felice December 23, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Zydeco is my favoutite store in Victoria. Love the ad, brilliant store tagline – so refreshing to find a client who would go for it. Merry CrImble!

  2. Reg December 23, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Minor tidbit, but I would add to #1 to not only optimize the home page for searchable terms, but ALL pages, including images, etc. Search rankings are, like it or not, a bit of a game, but it pays to ‘go deep’ on the optimization, as there are many pages and items to be optimized. AND if you don’t know what the top keywords are that you should optimize, find that out (first) as well, as that will help drive the success of the first exercise.

    Good tips, Doug — Merry Holidays and Happy 2011 to you & the Copeland Crew.

  3. dougbrowncreative December 23, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    > Hey thank you Felice. We actually bought the little Jesus plastic action figure from the poster. Fun client, great stuff for sale.

    > Thanks for the addition Reg, absolutely right. It’s tough to go too deep in a short blog post, so your points here are very helpful. It pays dividends for businesses to invest a bit of time in building their knowledge of what makes sites perform in Search.

    Thanks for the holiday wishes> we sure have enjoyed having your generous comments on our bog this year.


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