Using Your Resources

Using Your Resources

When it comes to running a successful business, a little knowledge goes a long way. The effective use of available resources is one way to gain that knowledge. Additionally, businesses can achieve new heights of success by utilizing their resources efficiently.

For many small business owners, however, managing their resources can be challenging. For one thing, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for managing all your company’s resources. Here are some recommendations to get you started.

Resources for social media

When it comes to using social media for business, you will want to keep in mind that there are significant differences between professional and personal use. Fortunately, there are many resources available both online and off to help you plan and create the best social media content for your business.

You’ll learn quickly that fact checking should be a top priority when sharing social media content on your company’s social media sites. We all want people to read, enjoy, and share our pages’ posts. However, before you share an enticing, hot-off-the-press piece in the hopes of gaining engagement, make sure it is accurate. As we have mentioned in previous posts, false information abounds on the internet, so verifying your sources when creating and/or sharing content is critically important for building trust and social proof with your audience. For example, if you are checking the validity of a story online (such as a political story, news story or celebrity based story), www.snopes.com can help you verify. When looking to verify statistics, try www.statista.com for accurate information.

The appropriate use of hashtags is another resource that helps businesses manage their social media. In fact, hashtag usage has skyrocketed on social media over the past few years. And, with the right hashtags, potential customers can find your company on social media platforms more easily, and your posts will reach a larger audience. Hashtag tracking tools, such as the one provided by BrandMentions (https://brandmentions.com/hashtag-tracker/#) aid in the discovery of popular and relevant hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms.

And lastly, there are the resources that provide you with analytics for your business’ social media platforms. In a nutshell, analytics are important since they uncover insights in social media that can be used to benefit your business. They will assist you in determining where to focus your social efforts, which networks are active, and what type of content has the greatest impact on your audience. Each of the main social platforms provides ways to access and view your pages’ analytics such as the number of followers, reach, impressions, and engagement.

Resources for bookkeeping

Proper bookkeeping for your business is essential for its overall financial health. Having your books neat and in order aids in tax preparation, among other things. Many business owners choose to keep up with their own books, but it’s time-consuming and labor intensive. One resource that is readily accessible to help you learn the ins and outs of small-business bookkeeping along with managing your books is online accounting software. A quick online search will produce several results from which to choose.

Creating and regularly reviewing a Profit and Loss Report (P&L) for your company is another valuable resource. The P&L is a financial report that summarizes a company’s revenues, expenses, and profits/losses over a specified period of time.

The main categories that can be found on the P&L include:

  • Revenue (or Sales)
  • Cost of Goods Sold (or Cost of Sales)
  • Selling, General & Administrative (SG&A) Expenses
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Technology/Research & Development
  • Interest Expense
  • Taxes
  • Net Income

Another source of online information for bookkeeping and accounting fundamentals can be found on the websites for the Canada Revenue Agency (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html) and Service Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/service-canada.html).

As your company grows, however, you may discover that you have less time to devote to precise bookkeeping. Hiring an accountant and experienced bookkeeper can assist you in staying organized and current with government filings while saving you from headaches in the long run.

At Mind Your Own Business, for example, we work with our clients and communicate with them regularly as we maintain their books and ensure that all government filings are completed on time. (https://www.myobontario.ca/are-you-ready-if-the-auditor-comes-calling/)

Resources for websites

An invaluable resource for any business website is Google Analytics (https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/). Installing Google Analytics is a smart option because it is a free website analysis tool that collects data and then produces reports with thorough statistics on who visits your site. As well, Google Analytics assists you in better understanding your site and app users to better evaluate the performance of your marketing, content, products, and other initiatives.

Some of the statistics you may find helpful include users, sessions, pageviews, and bounce rate. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who left your site from the home (landing) page (they left the site from the same page they entered it on). A high bounce rate typically indicates that your site’s landing pages are not relevant to your visitors and/or the content isn’t what the user was looking for.

There are numerous advantages to implementing Google Analytics. It is a useful tool for all types of businesses because it provides information on who your website visitors are, if they’re engaging with your content, and how long they stay on your site.

Over to you

Small business owners are fortunate to have access to a wealth of resources to assist them in starting, running, and growing their companies. A good business owner is always learning; acquiring knowledge through various resources enables you to recognize and capitalize on opportunities around you, allowing your business to thrive in the face of competition and ensuring its relevance in your industry.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Is Your Online Window Display Fresh?

Is Your Online Window Display Fresh?

In this digital age, having a website for your company is essential. However, keeping your website and its content up to date is equally important. Your website is, without a doubt, a representation of your company. In fact, it may be the only part of it that some people see. As such, keeping your site updated and relevant will go a long way toward generating a positive impression on both current and potential customers.

Here are a few reasons to keep your website up to date:

  1. Your website can help your business generate revenue, increase brand recall value, promote goodwill among clients and target audiences, plus deliver powerful marketing messages around the clock, 365 days a year!
  2. Keeping your website’s material current contributes to the development of relationships between you and your customers, which ultimately helps to build trust and credibility in your company. Customers are most likely looking to your site for relevant information that helps them stay in-the-know.
  3. Customers are likely to feel comfortable using your services when your company has a high-quality website. Plus, your website can help its visitors feel confident that they will have a positive experience in all aspects of your business.
  4. Because search engines like Google place a strong emphasis on local results, having a website is even more important if you are a local business. More people are using the internet to find local businesses than ever before so if you don’t have a website, they may be unable to contact or locate your company.
  5. When your company has an updated website, you will have an increased ability to communicate with customers in real time. This is especially true when your website’s content and social media are integrated. Your social media pages all work together to increase your website traffic and boost revenue.
  6. The ability to attract new customers is one of the most compelling reasons to invest in updating your website. Since the visitors to your site will be at various stages of the sales process, including researchers, comparers, and buyers, you’ll want to make sure you have offerings for them all. The goal is to convert website visitors into leads, so speaking to their needs and providing them with a clear action plan to take the next steps will help make the process smoother.

Let’s get started.

We build WordPress websites for our clients and provide them with two hours of training after launch to teach them how to make minor changes on their own. We recommend WordPress because it is customizable and user friendly.

Are you ready to talk about your website design and management? Fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch!

The Importance of a Business That ‘WOWS’

The Importance of a Business That ‘WOWS’

Most small business owners agree that one of their most powerful marketing tools is their website. And, as you are probably aware, some websites are designed better than others. Have you ever visited a website and been disappointed by its appearance or complicated navigation? Or become frustrated when visiting a website that takes forever to load? Of course, you have. We all have. And, more likely than not, you have probably moved on to a fancier (and faster!) website.

The simple truth is that a business that wishes to be competitive online needs a website that wows its visitors. In a nutshell, a business website has the potential to do one of two things:

  1. Help you stand out from your competitors or
  2. Drive people directly to your competitors.

Savvy business owners realize their potential clients go online for more than purchasing products and/or services. Instead, they crave a unique and highly visual online experience which entices and delights them as well. This is where the importance of exceptional website design comes in.

Reasons why you need a well-designed business website:

1. You only have one chance to make a first impression – so make it count!

Visitors to your website often decide whether they want to do business with you within a fraction of a second, based on their perceptions of your site. They may not even be aware they are judging you, but having bias is part of being human.

The better first impression you give, the more likely your visitors are to stay or return to your website. In other words, your website’s design can make a big difference when it comes to attracting and retaining potential clients.

2. Your business website is a direct reflection of YOU.

Along with that all-important first impression a website gives to its visitors, your website design also gives them an idea of how you conduct business. For example, a web design that is outdated or sloppy may inadvertently give your visitors the impression that your products or services are also inferior or low quality.

On the other hand, a well-designed website can go a long way towards building trust in your business, and trust is a big factor in sales. An organized website with a strong visual component helps to create an air of legitimacy for you and your business. This is why we say your business’ website is your most powerful marketing tool. Consider good design as another way for you to successfully reach out to your customers.

3. Your website is an essential component of your business’ brand.

As part of your marketing toolbox, your business’ website also serves to promote your brand. While brand awareness is valuable for all businesses, brand-building is especially important for new business owners who need to establish a positive reputation from the get-go.

Over to you

Good website design is a must in today’s highly visual market. Understanding the importance of a well-designed business website is step one. What is the next step? Building one. Mind Your Own Business will work with you to develop and implement a plan to create a website that accurately represents you and your business in a current, approachable, and positive way. Are you ready to get started? Contact us today by calling 519-657-4283 or by filling out our online form.