by Thomas Griffin
23 April 2019
Starting a new business is an exciting experience. Your marketing strategy will play a crucial role in the success of your company. Here are three of the most common marketing mistakes, and how you can overcome them.
When most people think about starting a company, they often think too far ahead. While the long term plan is important, it's also important to take some time to think about your short-term marketing strategy.
Instead of focusing heavily on niche specific marketing mistakes, we are going to take a look at mistakes that new business owners can make when working out how they are going to market their company.
You need a complete website for marketing
One of the first mistakes many business owners make is to believe they must have a complete website to start marketing to their audience. A common trend among new startups is creating a Coming Soon page for potential customers.
A Coming Soon page is a way to give customers a taste of what's to come when your website and business officially launches. We often have it set in our minds that it is impossible to promote something that doesn't yet exist, but that's not true.
Don't forget a contact page
Surprisingly, many new business owners forget about this crucial aspect of their website. It doesn't matter if you're creating a Coming Soon page, or just launching your site on day one. You must have an easy way for customers to contact your business.
There are a whole host of free and premium form builders you can download for your website. These builders give you the freedom and flexibility to build custom contact pages for your customers so they can communicate what they need help with regarding your product or service. You could also use this as an opportunity to discover what kind of pain points your customers have – as it pertains to your niche – so you can work on improving your company once you notice a reoccurring problem.
Contact pages are relevant because they are a way for you to keep in contact with the people who buy your products, potentially adding them to your email marketing list. This strategy could open the door for future email offers and makes marketing new products to a test audience easy.
Editor's note: Looking for email marketing software for your business? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
Do you have a list of email addresses for your email marketing campaigns?
Please note: Email marketing companies do not provide email address lists. You must possess a list prior to enlisting the services of a marketing company.
Yes - We already have a list of addresses
No - We will need to obtain a list of addresses
Don't be afraid to experiment
When people start marketing their website to a broader audience, they often feel as if their way is the right way. You have to be able to come to terms with your notions of what customers want and run split tests on your email marketing campaign and on-site ads to learn what your customers expect from your brand.
For example, if you're running a site about content marketing and keep pushing a free checklist for new bloggers and no one is responding, maybe it's time to think about other things that could benefit your audience. You can run split tests with two ad campaigns – one with the free checklist and one with access to an SEO webinar – and see which ad gets the most traction.
The point here is that sometimes you have to put different options out there, see how the customers respond, and use that analytic data to determine where to take your business model next. [Interested in email marketing services for your small business? Check out our best picks and reviews.]
As a new business owner, your marketing strategy should change rapidly during the first few years of business. You'll learn how to handle customer issues and how you can use their problems to build a better product.
After you've nailed down a formula, it’s essential to keep your mind open and anticipate small changes while marketing. The small changes can and will add up to more significant changes over time. One final tip is that you must be prepared to evolve with your brand and your customers. Don’t get too comfortable or set in your ways.
If the past decade has taught us anything, it’s that marketing is continually changing based on social media, customer perception and needs, and how you present your business to potential leads.
By Zac Johnson
19 April 2019
The restaurant industry is one of the most exciting places to be when it comes to running a business, but it's also one of the most co mpetitive.Discover how to stay afloat and move ahead of the competition, while increasing your business's profits.
Arguably one of the most competitive business markets today is the restaurant industry. With so many restaurants for people to choose from, finding your niche can be a difficult task. If you're looking to grow your restaurant and increase your profits, not only do you need to offer exceptional service and a wonderful dining experience, you need to master business and management tactics as well.
Ready to turn your restaurant into a major success story? Here are several important strategies that can help you increase your profits this year.
1. Do your research.
Owning a restaurant is extremely difficult. Between managing employees, balancing finances, implementing marketing campaigns and pleasing customers, you have to do it all – and no one can be an expert on everything. If you're ready to expand your restaurant, taking time to conduct research will help guide you in the direction you're trying to go.
Regularly reading restaurant management blogs will give you keen insight from industry professionals on best practices for running your restaurant efficiently. With so many resources available at your fingertips, you can educate yourself on restaurant management practices that help you save money on costs and increase your profits.
2. Cut down on food waste.
We're all guilty of it, even at home. America is the leading country in food waste, costing billions of dollars each year. One strategy for increasing your profit margin is to focus on cutting down food waste. Start by investing in a food waste tracker. These devices measure food and have a camera that monitors food waste so you can keep an eye on what's being thrown away (and why). If you still end the day with a surplus of food, you can donate it to food banks to receive a tax break.
Another way to cut down on food waste is to redesign your menu, focusing only on making what you do best. Here are some tips for creating an effective menu:
Simplify: Don't bombard your customers with too many options.
Keep it short and sweet: Provide brief but detailed descriptions.
Watch the market: Adjust your prices to include direct, indirect and volatile costs.
Consider ingredients: Promote your most profitable items (those that use the least expensive ingredients).
Editor's note: Looking for the right restaurant POS system for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
Do you need a complete POS system or specific components?
Yes - Complete POS system
No - POS hardware only
No - Software only
I need a manual cash register (not a POS system)
3. Use technology.
Incorporating modern systems into your restaurant business will increase your profits dramatically. If you're unorganized, lose receipts and have a desk cluttered with paperwork, you may be throwing money out the window. A restaurant management system will help you keep track of sales, manage employees, and create a rewards program or mailing list for your customers – and that's just for starters.
As previously noted, food waste costs restaurants a ton of money. Restaurant inventory software will let you track every ingredient you use, whether it's a teaspoon of spices, a diced carrot or an egg. With inventory software, you can also keep a watchful eye out for expiration dates so your bread doesn't get moldy and your milk doesn't spoil.
4. Market your restaurant.
One of the best ways to grow your audience and increase profits is through marketing. There are so many marketing techniques that can help you expand your business and attract the attention of customers you previously couldn't reach.
If you want to increase your restaurant patronage and keep your regulars coming back, form a relationship with them. Social media is a virtually free marketing platform where you can interact with customers and grow your brand. Utilize social media management apps that allow you to schedule when a post will go live and give you insight on the perfect time to upload your #foodpics so you can reach the largest audience.
5. Consider food delivery options.
People love convenience. After a long day at work, the last thing we want to do is prepare a home-cooked meal or drive through busy traffic to get a bite to eat. Food delivery services now act as taxis for food, so you don't need to hire drivers or buy company vehicles to send food to hangry customers. With a small commission fee, you can partner with an online ordering company to expand your business and bring home the big bucks.
Increasing your restaurant profits doesn't have to be a daunting task. With so many resources readily available to you, you can soar past the competition and bring in more customers. Technology has saved the day with easy-to-use and efficient point-of-sale systems, marketing tools, and online delivery services. Take matters into your own hands and utilize these resources to increase your restaurant's profits.
by Rachel Strella
Catch up on my current posts along with industry articles