Small businesses have some very specific needs, as most startup and SMB owners will tell you. While every entrepreneur feels the need for a few extra hours in the day, and a few extra zeros in the asset column, it is also the very same entrepreneur who can work around the issues with innovation and efficiency.
These are the two basic traits that every entrepreneur must apply to his or her business – especially when that business is a small or medium-sized one. Doing business is all about taking that risk and ensuring that there is growth with these two traits.
When we speak about innovation and efficiency, what we need to understand is that the two things are very closely related in the case of small and medium businesses.
And for both these things to thrive, here is what an entrepreneur needs to do: we will find that there is one solution that stands out in common for all the above – marketing automation we will find that there is one solution that stands out in common for all the above – marketing automation
1. Save Time
Time is a premium for entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized businesses especially since they have to don many hats at a time. Everything needs the attention of the entrepreneur who is trying to grow a business from a new idea in the niche.
Now, this idea may or may not have the resources readily available in the market for seamless execution. So the entrepreneur of the small and medium-sized business will have to lead with example and set the wheels in motion.
This requires making optimum use of time to reach customers, tweak the existing line of offerings, handle sales and delivery, carry out inspection and take care of grievances.
Saving time would include automating and outsourcing as many processes as possible within the limited resources. For the entrepreneur who is trying to do it all, the important part is to focus on his or her core capability and automate the rest.
2. Build Processes That are Automated
In keeping with the above insight, the entrepreneur of the small and medium-sized business needs to automate the process so that he or she can spend time in creating innovative products and creating memorable relationships with prospects in that target audience base so that brand recall may happen.
In order to do this, automation of marketing processes, accounting processes, customer care processes, and many others need to be well defined so that there are a few glitches as possible. For this to happen, the entrepreneur needs to know all the troubleshooting issues and answers like the back of the hand. This will help in automating things with just a few clicks.
3. Know Where, When and How Much
Marketing and social media or digital automation are one of the foremost areas that any and every entrepreneur would need to look into. While the small and medium-sized business owner would need to do this so as to find the time to focus on the innovative ideas that first started the business;
A large business owner would also need to do it as the very quantum of marketing communication would be so large as the audience would expand on a routine basis which also means that the individual and highly specifics needs would also expand, thereby creating a need for more number of posts and communications to address those needs.
So, a foolproof plan for the marketing automation process would be the need of the hour in order to ensure that there is no lapse in communication and interaction with one’s core audience. The entrepreneur would have to know exactly how much effort would go into which platform and at what time. This requires automation with a properly formulated plan.
4. Create Room For Innovation
Innovation is the name of the game along with efficiency, as we have mentioned earlier. One without the other would be completely useless. Constantly doing something in a routine without finding a new and creative way to do the same thing would bore your audience and make your digital presence just a tick in the box rather than actually yielding results.
The entrepreneur of the small and medium business needs to be especially vigilant of this fact since they could miss the boat when it comes to servicing a client with a simple addition or correction in the existing line of products and services.
This could also pertain to price points. If there is something that a larger brand or business is offering, which could easily be offered by the small and medium businesses at a lower price point, this should be considered as the perfect entry strategy into the niche.
But in order to have full focus on these things and strategies, it would be imperative for other routine processes to be planned and automated so that one can focus on the former.
5. Improvise With Insights
The small and medium business owner needs to be in a constant state of improvement. Automation also plays a key role here. With many automatic tools, one also gets insights and the chance to test the deliverables that are automatically scheduled.
With such insights and analytics, one can constantly gauge reactions and the efficacy of the tools being employed to a degree where improvisation becomes second nature. With improvisation at play, the small and medium business owner also become more and more aware of the needs of the target audience.
The entrepreneur, in this case, is much more in tune with the solutions that should ideally be offered to each and every specific need that comes up in the market rather than offering a one size fits all solution that will do nothing for the brand standing in the long run.
Automation would help here with the insights that are routinely generated so that the entrepreneur knows exactly what has to be done and when the course of action needs to be changed for a better and more opportune destination.
If we are to look closely at all of the needs of the small and medium business owner outlined above, we will find that there is one solution that stands out in common for all the above – marketing automation.
From content generation to email marketing services and even scheduling of social media posts or finding ways to create videos without actually going out there and shooting for the same, there are a number of tools that can help small businesses automate their processes. Here is the importance of each of these automation tools especially in the context of the small and medium-sized business:
An email marketing service like Mail Chimp, Hubspot and many other email marketing services that are widely and easily available would ensure that the email marketing campaign is an automated one that can easily reply on the flexible templates available on such platforms even as the platform in question manages the databases with ease.
You can choose the segmentation options available so that you know which kind of email would be drafted for which kind of database exactly, which makes your job that much more creative and gives you the leeway to actually indulge in some creative and innovative techniques of expression and communication while the platform handles all the nitty gritties in terms of the technical efficacy of the same.
These platforms also offer you the chance to integrate social media pages and a CRM element so that you can easily direct your audience and prospects towards a more rewarding and conversion inspiring call for action.
7. Content Curation and Generation
Generation of content and keywords would be one of the best ways to optimize for small businesses so that you do not have to spend hours doing research on the same.
These platforms also usually provide you with insights about what is working well for your competitors and how your own posts may be doing in the long run so that you can easily make improvements where required. Buzz Feed would be a great platform for the same.
8. Social Media Scheduling
Tools like Hoot Suite, Buffer and other social media marketing tools help you schedule your posts so that you may create them and not worry about the optimum time when they need to be posted on your social media pages. Such predetermined queuing will ensure that your social media game is strong without needless signing in and signing out, which can surely save you plenty of time.
Also, this tool ensures that you get insights on these posts so that you can directly interact with your prospects and keep them interested with innovative content as per the suggestions of the platform and the dips and peaks of your audience interest.
With these tools, you can understand the why and how of automation, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, which would further help you in planning your resources for maximum innovation and efficiency.
This would fuel growth and drive engagement on a routine basis with something new to offer to your audience in terms of infotainment, even as you indulge in your core skills and competencies to make a true impression in the market.