The one things Starbucks never does is ask me to leave if I am there just to enjoy the free wifi. I can set up shop for twenty minutes or three hours and never order a coffee, Frappucino or Chicken Artichoke Panini on Ancient Grain Flatbread.
You won’t close every deal. You won’t convert every visitor to your website. Not every person that passes your trade show booth will love your product. And that’s ok.
I’ve said this before – and it’s an idea I’ve been borrowing for some time – that every “no” gets you that much closer to a “yes.” What does that mean? It means that if your success rate is 4 out of every 10, or 40%, you’ll need at least 6 people to tell you “no” before 4 people can say “yes.”
This should encourage you. Don’t worry about every lost deal. Do what you can to learn from that interaction – was your price too high or too low, were you too aggressive or not aggressive enough, etc. and then get ready for the next potential customer.
You can’t and won’t win them all. Stay focused on the success rate, and always try to leave everyone in better shape than you found them.
So, maybe not the best business and marketing tips ever. But certainly very good tips. And most likely the best tips you are reading right this very moment.
1. Have a pretty URL (web address)
I know that it is becoming harder and harder to buy the perfect URL (MyExactBusinessName.com), but that shouldn’t keep you from getting close (MyExactBusinessName+City.com). I’m also a believer in avoiding the .net and .biz whenever possible. Consumers expect to see .com. They expect to see your business name in the URL.
Bonus tip: spell out your business name. No abbreviations. Potential customers don’t know how you’ve chosen to abbreviate your business name.
2. Get a professional email
If you have purchased your URL, you can get a professional looking email for very little cost. Google Apps for Work costs less than $5/month for a professional email.
What do I mean by this? I mean [email protected]. Having @gmail, @outlook, @yahoo, @aol, or @hotmail as your business email is not very professional.
3. Keep track of all your passwords
There are software programs that will help you generate random passwords. These programs also save and organize your passwords. One such program, 1Password, lets you generate random passwords for all your accounts while only needing to remember one password.
At a minimum, you could keep a spreadsheet of all your business accounts and passwords. I do that, however, I have the Excel spreadsheet encrypted with a password.
4. Not good at marketing? Outsource.
Not everyone that runs a small business is a marketing guru. In fact, very few are. That’s ok. As I always say, there are people great at baking cupcakes, but terrible at selling them. You don’t have to wear every hat and do everything for your business.
Outsourcing your marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to be outsourced overseas. You might know of outsourcing marketing in terms of advertising agencies, PR firms, marketing agencies, design agencies, etc.
Finding a firm (shameless plug: like Tinderbox Consulting) to handle your marketing, can make life just a little easier. And hopefully, drive some more sales too.
The folks over at WeWork have put together a great blog post that features seven tricks and tips to save time by doing less. It’s a great article on productivity, especially as it concerns being efficient.
My favorite tip – although they are all excellent – concerns the delegation of certain tasks. From the blog post:
Simply put, the two essential components to running a (small) business are:
Merriam-Webster: able to move quickly, easily, and lightly : able to learn and understand things quickly and easily.
Merriam-Webster: easily changed : able to change or to do different things : willing to change or to try different things.