Ways to Grow Your Business

Every business reaches a point when it’s time to take things to the next level. From startups to veteran companies, there are many reasons to force business growth. Does your business sit in an evolving industry? Has your business received increased demand? So much that is has forced you to expand to service that need? Growth for a business is always a good thing, especially if that growth is organic and is based on servicing an inadequacy in your business.

When it’s time to grow, there’s a way to do it appropriately so that it doesn’t risk your business. How you grow depends on the type of business you own and its current status. Selecting the proper growth strategy will also depend on the resources available to you, how much money you are willing to invest, and if you are able to sacrifice the amount of time and sweat equity that’s necessary.

If you run a brick and mortar location, obviously growth means opening another location. However expanding into new territory isn’t simple. Having two locations does not always equate to doubled profit; the math that’s involved in knowing if physical expansion is right for your business is much more intricate. If you have not properly managed your cash flow, stayed up to date on the economic and consumer trends or maintained impeccable financial records, justifying expansion will be difficult. Not to mention the gamble involved if you do indeed expand without observing all of these considerations.

Perhaps instead of expanding into another location or storefront, you may want to consider licensing your product or offering a franchise opportunity. A franchise opportunity can be a great vehicle for expansion because it places much of the responsibility that ownership requires. In both a franchise and licensing growth model, your business can receive a wealth of upfront monies and royalties from the continued sale or use of your product or services.

You may also want to consider seeking and forming an alliance with a comparable business. Joining forces with the competitor and doubling your brand loyalty could be a way to reduce margins from the lessened competition and make more profit. Alliances are always popular because they rapidly increase market share for your product and increase demographics without a drop off in profit.

Don’t allow the need for growth to disrupt your business and sacrifice your margins. Business growth should always be premeditated, and the more preparation the better.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

To many businesses, social media marketing is a vital component to their daily operations due to an understanding of the benefits involved. For some, social media is still a fad that should be engaged in a business’ downtime. To many others, it requires intense strategy that involves constantly staying updated on new technology, modes of communication and platforms.

Due to its quick emergence, social media still has a social and “fun” stigma attached. Its place in business hasn’t been solidified due to what many would consider a lack of bottom line measurement. However, if you consider the amount of customer engagement, ability to promote products and services in addition to staying in tune with the hotbed topics of your industry, social media marketing is the way to go.

There are a variety of ways that social media marketing can improve your business. Every chance that you get to distribute new content and increase your visibility is of value to your business. Consider all of your social media channels to be television stations, and you must provide content that people will want to watch. Not only do you want to address your current viewership, you want to expand and gain more viewers. The same should be said for social media. It provides a great opportunity to grow your customer base while increasing brand loyalty.

Does your business have an online sales platform? Social media also gives you a greater chance of conversion. Businesses typically become more humanized when there is increased interaction between customers and the brand. This is an extremely underestimated component of social media marketing, simply because as a rule of thumb – people enjoy doing business with other people – not faceless enterprises.

Last, you don’t have to worry about any losses stemming from your social media marketing. It doesn’t take much time to post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any of the other social media platforms. A creative social media agenda can produce a high rate of engagement, while taking it easy on your budget. Even social media advertising isn’t very expensive with the various options there are to expose your products and services. Get the word out and keep them engaged. Social media doesn’t have to be taboo.

Should You Create a Facebook Page for Business?

Before you dive off into the world of social media looking to engage in conversation that will prove beneficial to your brand, it’s a good idea to examine each social media platform and if it’s a good fit for your business.

Insert Facebook; before you begin to schedule posts on the company calendar and come up with new creative ideas for content you should consider if a Facebook page is necessary for your business. You will want to know how well can Facebook’s mechanics and platform style fit into the overall structure of your brand. Simply paying attention to the structure of which Facebook operates (likes, comments, advertising and sharing) doesn’t cut the mustard. Those key elements are the foundation by which its users communicate, but they are not always the standard by which your business succeeds.

A number of businesses simply create social media pages to one up their competitors and counteract their industry moves. Many do not take the time to consider their customer base, if they are on Facebook and if that’s a proper mode of communication to reach them. Facebook, Twitter and all other social media platforms are about connecting and expanding your customer base. If the core demographic of your business is (for example) baby boomers, it would not be in your best interest to spend time on Facebook, as your messages will either reach the wrong demographic for your product or services, or perhaps your communication will be ignored all together. Either way, a loss occurs; a loss of time, profit and effort.

Appealing to the unique culture of social media is an important consideration. Every social network has its own “vibe”. Facebook is a bit more intimate due to no restriction on the length of posts. Do you constantly unveil new products that require an in depth understanding? Do your products sell more when they are marketed with many photos and descriptions? You may want to consider Facebook as a new marketing alternative. Just remember, it’s important to have your brand presence anywhere that your customer base is active. If that is Facebook, then post away.



Website Branding for the Real Estate Industry

Branding is of very vital importance for any business. It makes no difference what industry you are in, most customers always look a business and their reputation up online before doing business. The same serves true even for real estate agents. Your brand identity can give off an overall impression about you, your services and capability. It’s up to you as to what type of story is told, and on you control the first and lasting impression about your business. Your brand should make a bold statement about the scope and quality of work that you provide. The most successful real estate agents are also masters of their brand. Your brand as a real estate agent online should clearly convey your value, in addition to what separates you apart from other agents.

When you are hoping to brand your website in the interest of gaining more clients and keeping the business rolodex that you have, it is a good idea to format your website for your target customer. Are most of your client’s big families that are searching multi-family units? Do you work with some bachelors who are looking for million dollar condos in the heart of the city? You should have already come to an understanding of your core demographic, and be ready to capitalize. That’s only half of the equation for your website. Having a deep understanding of your target customer will not only help you with anticipating and servicing their needs but a website that speaks to those needs and exudes confidence in addressing them is highly valuable.

Next you will need to have a bit of a personal appeal on your site. Bullet points and single sentence descriptions of your business and the services involved are easy to maintain. However, a website that gives off important industry information is more useful. Having a mix of video, text, and audio that clearly communicate your professional position and the services that you are ready to offer is also key, and when your website conveys those points, you’ll lead the industry.
Last, your website branding should make you look like a real estate expert. As the adage says “it’s all in the details,” therefore it’s imperative not to take a cookie cutter approach to your website branding. Different, but useful is the idea, and when branding for the real estate industry, you’ll be a step or two above the competition.

Building a Strong Brand: With Consistency

Every business has a brand, regardless as to whether the brand serves as a priority to that business or not. Simply put, your brand is what resonates with people with they think of your business. It is a collection of impressions that encapsulate your brand, and if they’re not a priority at the moment, they need to be asap. Brand perception can come from your business logo, your stand out products or services or even the brain trust that is involved. It’s a vital part of any business, and keeping your brand consistent is even more important.
A strong brand is one that is built over time and includes a wealth of carefully planned strategy, master craftsmanship and consistent implementation. A business’ commitment to being consistent exudes professionalism, stability and positive intent, which are three elements that add to business credibility. All of which will resonate with your customers.

Keeping your brand consistent can also serve as a reflection of your business attitude. Your ability to remain steadfast in your communication, signage, website, copy and much other collateral materials keeps tonality consistent. Are you a business that is lighthearted and fun? Does your business operate in a medical or science industry, requiring a more serious impression? All of these questions are frequently addressed when keeping your branding consistent.

Brand consistency can also protect your profit margins and investment. Businesses that are seen as unstable typically don’t do as well as those who do. When a customer engages your business and commits to a purchase of your product or service, that customer wants to feel ensured that he or she is placing money in a credible and trustworthy resource. The tough transition for some to go from buying their goods solely in physical retail stores to internet spending is a great reference to this idea.

Last, you must always keep in mind that your brand is not for everyone – and it shouldn’t be. Most businesses are based on the principle of servicing a need. Your business has a core group of targets that you consider customers, clients or any other identifying label you use. When you keep your messaging consistent with that core group, it produces brand loyalty, which in turn can keep your margins consistent. When you stray away from the core foundation of what your brand should be and how your business operates, losses occur. No business owner wants that!