By Liz Kollias
Director and Founder of The Little Space – a co-working and meetings and events space in Bondi Junction, Sydney.
As the owner of a ‘bricks and mortar’ business, and six years into this business, I now have a clear picture of where my customers come from. My website and word of mouth. It’s as simple as that. This will not be the case for all businesses but if you wish to grow your customer or client list then it would be foolish to neglect your website. Think of it as a pet or a plant. It needs attention, it needs feeding and it needs quite a lot of love and attention. Plus it’s needs will change as it grows so pay attention to what is needed!
There is absolutely no doubt that buyer behaviour is now heavily influenced by online searches before buying. Need convincing? Check out this overview of buyer behaviour created by Hubspot
You don’t need to be an SEO expert and you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on online marketing and web support to get your website optimisation under control.
Here are our top tips to improving your website.
- Assess your site. Every month I pay someone a few hundred dollars to maintain my site. That’s all! It’s not much. It ensures my site is secure, all plug ins are up to date plus I get the help I need to make tweaks and changes I need. Take advantage of the various plug-ins that are now available which enable you to assess and rank your site. You will get a score out of 100 and suggestions on how to optimise the content you already have. With a few hours work you can review the existing site content and create a shopping list for other tasks to improve your site. And if you are time poor just get an expert to do this for you. It should not be expensive and it’s better than adverting. The best money and time you could spend is getting this right.
- Content, content, content. Once upon a time, Google was all about stuffing your site full of key words. Those days are over. People use Google because it works and it works because it’s programmers will quickly stamp out people trying to ‘game’ the system. So Google now values genuinely helpful content, written for humans to read easily. It’s as simple as that. So sit down once a week, or just once a month if you don’t have time and produce some information that is genuinely helpful to your clients. Are you a psychologist? Write about the latest treatments for anxiety or managing workplace stress. Are you a maths tutor? Share some great online resources for parents to support their kids at home. Don’t just sell your stuff, provide real value.
- Google My Business. If you run a location based business, spend some time getting your Google My Business page set up. Complete all the information you can including opening hours and make sure you update this over the holiday period. Google normally prompts you in case you forget. Keep posting and adding photos and videos to this page. Google loves Google so feed it like the hungry animal it is. 10 minutes a week is plenty. You can share your blog post and any other content you have.
- Reviews. Seek out genuine reviews from genuine clients. Reviews are highly influential on buyer behaviour. And your good customers are your best asset. Go ahead and ask them if they would be willing to give you a favourable review. They will or they won’t but almost everyone is keen to help when asked.
- Local directory listing. This is a bit of a painful task. It’s a little tedious, finding free local business directories and adding all the relevant information about your business. You could do this when you are feeling a little brain dead in the afternoon or get a uni student in to do this for you. Ideal if you are looking to boost your local business profile.
So get access to your website and get writing! Done is better than good!
Operating a small business, either working solo or in a small team, means you wear multiple hats.
Few small businesses have the luxury of a marketing department or a communications specialist.
Here are our 5 top tips for streamlining your small business and supporting your business (and cutting down your admin time).
- Get your bookkeeper on the phone. And yes we mean the app! Tax time can loom like a dark cloud when you scramble to find and update expenses, chase debts, and wish you had been a little more organised. “I’ll be more organised next year…” All accounting platforms now offer phone apps so you can scan and save your receipts and upload expenses on the go. I make a habit of a daily bank reconciliation so I know what is owed and how the budget is going. Cash flow and debtor recoveries inevitably benefit from daily check ins. Your quarterly interactions with your (real life) bookkeeper will become a breeze!
- Automate your social posts. If you are short on time or don’t have a marketing specialist or copywriter in your business, then make life easy for yourself. Use a social sharing platform like Hootsuite. Posts can be pre-scheduled, automatically posted and engagements tracked so you can see where your clients are hanging out. So you can post a short weekly blog post to your website and then share automatically with Hootsuite. And don’t forget to repurpose your content. Make your email into a blog and then into a social post. Make every minute you spend count!
- Clear your inbox by using a team management platform. There are loads of these platforms on the market. My most recent experience is with Basecamp. All team communications occur within the platform so there is no more searching and sorting through your inbox to find that document you need to mark up. Create projects, assign tasks and chat casually. But turn off the inbox notifications and just check in over the course of the day! The idea is to free up the inbox, not to fill it up with pings from your team conversations.
- Get a VA or and EA even if you can’t afford it, because actually you can! Your job is to grow your business. Keep a work diary and see how much of your day could be delegated to an assistant. It may take a little while to find the right fit but it’s worth persisting. Make your time count and hand the admin to someone who is better qualified to do it. And if your budged doesn’t extend to someone full time, just engage someone by the hour. Even 3 hours of week will transform your week.
- Check your screen time. Cut the distractions in your day and do a little digital detoxing. As I write this I am in a café on the way to the office. There is no wifi and my phone is switched off because frankly, if my phone pings, I can’t help myself and I know I will pick it up. Download a screen time app or use the one already on your phone. You will be horrified by what you see. There are hours in the day to be reclaimed.
The Little Space is a boutique work space in Bondi Junction catering for all events and co-working needs. Designed with flexibility in mind, we aim to streamline the booking of your next meeting, corporate off-site away day or just provide you an efficient and cost effective solution in a space to work.
We are located directly across from public transport and the Bondi Junction train station to make getting to us easy.
Book a meeting room for an hour, a day or a weekend; Book a desk for one day, a week or set up your permanent business address from our space full time. With an online booking system it is easy to see availability and very simple to lock in a booking.
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Suite 3, 384 Oxford Street,
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
0414 546 383
24 Hours access / 7 days a week