Have you ever watched the Olympics and marveled at the athletes who have mastered control of their muscles and movements? It all looks so easy because they have mastered their craft. It’s deceiving how effortless it looks to achieve such perfection. We all know that years of training and hard work brought these top athletes to this world stage. Determination and hard work applied to small business will pay off too. Maybe someone looks at you and thinks you have it so “easy”!
We work with clients who are brilliant in their field. Some are too busy to monitor the engagement and content for their social media. Some are so focused on what makes their business great, they need to outsource their bookkeeping and have up-to-date financial reports readily available. There are many tools available for small business owners and entrepreneurs to help their business run smoothly and to make the process look easy-peasy.
Grammarly is a free software that you can access through your browser. It also offers a plug-in to help you correct your grammar wherever you’re writing. Grammarly boasts, “Great writing, simplified”. That sounds easy-peasy!
- Google Docs
Google Docs is an effective way to share information between a client and your company. We use this with a number of clients, as it allows them to share information with us and if they require our input, we can provide edits easily and efficiently.
Trello is a great tool for prioritizing workload. This program allows you to organize your tasks, make notes, set deadlines and file when completed. It works especially well for teams. Designated team leaders assign tasks or projects to other team members’ “boards” to communicate they need to be completed during the day, week, or month. You are able to add attachments, instructions and links to other resources. Our team uses this program as an organization and communication tool to keep our organization running smoothly. The best part? It’s available for mobile as well so that you can update your tasks on the go.
With so many applications to use in your business, there becomes a growing list of passwords. BitWarden simplifies keeping track of all those passwords and also allows you to input them to any given website at the touch of a button. Some of our team members use this and find it user friendly and valuable.
No, this isn’t a program. It’s a concept. Running a business is complex and can be easier if you consider outsourcing the tasks that bog you down or that you aren’t passionate about. Here at Mind Your Business, we work with people who have made the choice to outsource their bookkeeping, social media and website design. We love to learn about our clients’ company and help them to thrive!
You work hard at what you do, and we work hard at what we do! Together we can make it all look so easy. Let’s talk about what your challenges are and let us help you mind your own business!
If anyone had told me that the middle of March would be my last day in the office for the foreseeable future, I would not have believed them. When COVID-19 began, it felt like something from my childhood dreams. I thought staying home in your pyjamas and doing something you love was the ultimate goal. As it turns out, I was only partially right.
If this experience has taught me anything, it’s that we are social creatures who need some type of connection. I didn’t realize how much I would miss sharing a space with the uniquely diverse people that can be found at Innovation Works. I was in the office on Wednesdays, which included a lunchtime gathering known as Salad Club. I remember striving to finish as much work as possible before lunch, in anticipation of good food and conversation. Although I was an eager participant, no amount of salad could prevent me from grabbing an afternoon snack at Edgar & Joe’s, the in-building coffee shop. My visits were so regular that the staff nearly had my order memorized.
I wish I could tell you that my three cats are helpful and engaging coworkers, but the only thing they help with is the occasional distraction and the reminder that I need to take a break. If you’re like me and have to start working from home, the most important piece of advice I can give is to find some sort of balance. For me, that means still enjoying the comfort of pyjama pants, while making a point to be put together on the top. It’s important to stay connected to others however you can. Express your feelings, and tell others how you are doing, because we’re all in this together.
Running contests on social media is a great way to interact with, and show appreciation to existing clients and customers. It’s also an opportunity to draw in new people to your existing audience. Some of our favourite small business friends have been found by following them through online contests!
When running a contest, it’s important to make sure that your delivery matches your brand, and your goals. Do you want more page likes? More engagement? Or maybe, you’re wanting to learn more about your own fans and followers.
Here are a few examples of contests that have been proven successful to expanding your reach, and ultimately reaching your goals:
A Photo Contest
Ask followers for a specific kind of photo, such as pets. This will encourage engagement. The audience can vote for their personal favourite, or you can choose a winner randomly. Be clear about the timeline of the contest and the prize.
Does your business have a gift certificate or product that eager fans and followers would love to win? Gift certificates are a great prize to attract engagement. To win, you could ask a trivia question, solve a puzzle, or comment on a favourite product or service. Don’t forget to have followers tag their friends to draw more attention!
Partner with Another Brand
Everyone loves collaboration. Talk with a local company that you love and whose core values and brand are in alignment with yours. Consider combining swag from each business as part of the prize! Collaborations are an easy way to get your business exposed to multiple new audiences.
Be Careful About Asking People to Share your Social Media Post!
This can be a helpful way to expand your audience, however, make sure you abide by the rules of the platform you are using. For example, Facebook guidelines discourage sharing contest related posts as a means of entry.
There are many benefits to running contests, it often has us thinking: Who is the real winner in this scenario?
Have you run a contest before? Share the highlights or challenges of past contests below and continue the conversation!
Social media provides a great way of connecting with potential clients and customers. However, if you don’t know where to begin, the task can feel overwhelming. It’s important to start off by figuring out your business’s target audience. For example, who would benefit from your services the most, and how old are they? Once you establish the target demographic, you can make decisions about the best social media platform for communication.
Communication can start with monitoring the feedback received from customers on your social media pages. Thank them for taking the time to reach out. If you receive negative feedback, reach out to them personally, and ask what you can do to improve the situation. This is also an opportunity to ask clients and customers what they like about the services you have to offer, and ask questions to encourage engagement with your business.
Once you have established client and customer connections, it’s important to maintain them. Always follow up on customer feedback. If you haven’t heard from a customer in a while, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask how they’ve been; as well as giving them a brief update on services they might like to use in the future.
At MYOB, we manage communication for our clients. We’ve been growing their social media to multiple platforms to expand the reach, crafting their monthly newsletters to provide business updates during COVID-19, and refreshing their websites to ensure messaging is strong and consistent throughout. We’d love to hear some of the ways you’re connecting with customers at this time. Tag us on social media @MYOBVA on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to share your stories!
The Internet and social media have made the sharing and distribution of information a lot easier than it once was. You can share something with two clicks of a mouse, and no research at all. As easy as it seems, a lack of research can land you in unexpected trouble.
There has been an image circulating around Facebook that claims Author Dean Koontz predicted the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak in his 1981 novel The Eyes of Darkness. Though the image appears convincing enough, it was proven that he did not predict the virus. If you find yourself questioning the validity of a claim, snopes.com helps to point out what is true and false within it. If you are worried about a website’s credibly as a whole, https://mediabiasfactcheck.com provides insights into various news sources.
Trending images on Facebook always need more than one look. You should also pay close attention to any articles you decide to share. At first glance they will look credible, but it’s important to take note of the website domain name, and whether you can find other examples of the authors published work; as well as whether they have an easily found and professional point of contact . Proper spelling and punctuation are also an indication of an article’s validity.
Have you ever felt like you’ve seen a post before, but can’t figure out where? tineye.com is a website and Chrome extenstion that allows you to check when and where else an image has been shared across social media. This can help determine how old a source is, and the original context in which it was used.
Why should you fact check what you share on social media? Sharing misinformation can create a lack of trust between yourself and your intended audience. Along with the tools and practices mentioned above, use your best judgement. If a story or post appears a bit fishy, shocking or too good to be true, it likely is.
H/T: snopes.com, tineye.com, https://mediabiasfactcheck.com, https://www.summer.harvard.edu/inside-summer/4-tips-spotting-fake-news-story
Eventually, you will have an unhappy customer who calls to complain. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding that can be explained quickly and sometimes the customer has resisted complaining for quite some time and has finally reached the limit of their patience.
In all cases, listening to the full explanation is critical before responding.
Recently, I called the local newspaper to complain about my delivery service. The delivery had been unacceptable for three months and I finally reached the limit of my patience.
The customer service representative was CLEARLY reading responses to me, starting with “I’m sorry you are having this problem” followed by a scripted response.
I asked two questions: Does your newspaper still promise delivery before 7 a.m.? Do I have a new delivery person? The response was complete silence, presumably while the representative was searching for the answer to read to me.
I was offered the digital version of the newspaper for the day that I called, but I CLEARLY explained my complaint was not just about TODAY, but about the LAST THREE MONTHS.
Perhaps this was not in the handbook of canned responses because I got silence again.
Finally, I said “please note my file that I have complained about my service” and ended the call.
I left the experience with more aggravation than I began. Now I am considering cancelling my service entirely.
Hopefully your front line customer service team is sincerely devoted to customer retention.
If you have an unhappy customer:
First, listen carefully.
Second, apologize and repeat back what you understand the problem to be.
Third, if the solution is not obvious, it’s OK to ask the customer what outcomes they would like to see. In my example, I wanted two things – a note on the file that delivery was not acceptable, and moving forward, delivery daily by 7 a.m.
Fourth, offer to touch base in the near future to make sure that the problem is solved.
Show you actually care and are not just hiring people to read scripted answers. Make sure that your website has a place where your customers can write to you and then make sure the emails are monitored and a response sent in a timely manner.
At Mind Your Own Business, we can help with solutions to help you mind your own business better.