Losing Sleep Over Your Business?

Let’s be honest. Most successful business leaders – owners, executives, managers – are kept awake at night by two things: How can I improve my bottom line – more revenue/lower expenses? How can I get more time?

There are few challenges in business not related. Go ahead… name one, and you can likely trace it back to one of these two. If you have problems with employee turnover – that’s a time-consuming issue (which means less time to spend on the business). And, it may affect customer service (which means less, or unhappy, customers, which impacts the bottom line). If your vendors just raised prices and it’s negatively impacting your margins, you either have to find new vendors (which means less time to spend on the business) or you have to raise your prices (likely fewer customers, which affects bottom line). If you think you need more money, it’s either because it will allow you to improve the business to get more customers, or maybe to hire more people so that you have more time to work on the business instead of in it. You get the idea. Most roads lead back to the bottom line and/or the desire for more time.

News flash – no one sells time. It’s the one thing none of us can get more of, no matter how great your resources are. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, your most successful competitor, all work within the constraints of a 24 hour day. It can’t be manipulated, stretched, borrowed or purchased. However, time can be used in many ways – good and bad. For example, if you spend your time chasing customers, that’s probably an inefficient utilization of the one precious resource – time. An effective digital marketing strategy, along with good digital design, should bring customers to you. A great online experience will also help your customers help you get more customers (see Jerry Maguire reference – “help me help you, Jerry!”). An effective customer engagement strategy will ensure that your customers (and prospects) know what you’re up to and be called to action when you need them. We could go on and on about how data management, content marketing, search optimization, systems integration, and great user experiences create time efficiencies and bottom-line impact that you may have not considered. But let’s move on for now.

Have you ever visited the website of a business and immediately formed a judgment based on what you found there? Like everyone else in the modern world, of course, you have. Have you ever changed your mind about a business you were looking for based on what you discovered online? The honest answer is yes, and thank you for admitting that.

Would it surprise you to learn that 9 out of 10 visitors to a business website are much less likely to return after a bad experience and that the one who does return will not recommend that business until they are fully satisfied you are better than your website led them to believe? How can this be? Isn’t digital the great playing field leveler? The equalizer of all things? The final democratizer?  When every consumer of nearly every product or service is using a digital device (usually mobile) to explore a virtually-connected world before putting their feet to use, shouldn’t it be a business imperative to compete effectively in that space? We’re not talking about erecting massive signs on expensive real estate, or hiring hundreds of people to pass out flyers on the street. Digital is the one place that every business can compete equally and cost-effectively if done right.

Here’s are the reasons most companies do not make the right-sized investment in digital:

  1. It’s too expensive.
  2. It’s too time-consuming.
  3. It’s too difficult to understand.

There it is. It is staggering to learn that nearly half of small businesses in the US don’t even have a website. That’s not a typo. Why, you ask? Maybe because they’re cousin Bob, aka computer guy, told them they didn’t need it. Just throw a Facebook page out there and you’re all set. Or, while harder to believe, maybe they just don’t know, or worse, don’t care to know.

Interestingly, the most likely reason is that they believe it’s too expensive, too time-consuming, or too difficult to understand, or all of the above. Even if any of these were true, and they’re not, it still doesn’t add up. Businesses simply can not compete in a digitally-connected world without making an intentional investment in digital technology. And, in a world where truth has become ambiguous, that is a hard fact.

Why do businesses need great online digital? The most obvious reason is because THAT’S WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE! Over 85% of consumers search for you on a mobile device before they think about heading to your business. And, not only are your customers online, but they will judge you harshly if you aren’t there too. If you are there already, that’s great. But, you better meet their high expectations. That means giving them a great user experience on any device they own. and making it easy for them to find exactly what they came looking for. It’s not that customers won’t be able to find you somewhere online. You’ve been scraped out of the phone book by US White Pages at a bare minimum. But, if consumers decide to go looking for you and find something they don’t like, they will beat you up for it. And, you may not even realize it’s happening until customers start saying nasty things, or just stop showing up; and hopefully, it’s not too late at that point.

When properly designed and implemented, YOUR website allows YOU to communicate with YOUR customers. This is an invaluable opportunity to educate, inform and build loyalty with the people who want to do business with you, or someone like you. But, let’s go a step further. What is digital significance? When we talk with customers at Delegal Digital about being digitally significant, it’s not a Facebook site or a website. Exposing your business online in a way that is reasonably acceptable to customers and prospects is pretty easy, even though for some reason most of the businesses that do have a website haven’t even gotten this far. That’s not you, of course – it’s other businesses (wink, wink). Digital significance means leveraging digital technology to make your business significant in its class – that is:

  • Significant in the eyes of your current and prospective customers.
  • Significant in growing your business.
  • Significant in amplifying your brand.
  • Significant in serving your employees.
  • Significant in maximizing ROI for your marketing and ad spend.
  • Significant in improving your operation.
  • Significant in giving you more time to work on the business.

Is it easy to do? Not necessarily. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy or everyone would have already done it. Are there good providers out there who can help you through it? Undoubtedly.

Right now you may be thinking this sounds expensive and time-consuming… hmm. It’s a fair concern. Here are better questions to consider: How expensive is not competing effectively? Look, the big digital wave is no longer pending arrival. It’s here! Your competitors are investing. Some are already in front of the wave enjoying the ride, some on top, and some are trying to catch up. But if you go out on the web and surf your competitors, you can see that the pack is being separated. Some get it and some don’t, or at least not yet. In being intentional about your digital investment, you will be better positioned to compete, and your valuable time will be utilized on things that matter – things that convert new customers and keep them, as well as locking in the customers you already have. And, by being digitally empowered, your work can be done in your office, at home, or on the beach. Your technology investment should work for you, while you work ON your business.

Our leadership team at Delegal Digital comes from a consultative background and we’ve worked with over 60 top brands in multiple sectors, which makes us well-equipped to deliver best-of-breed solutions that address your specific business needs. We’ve also built a great team of world-class partners to ensure scale at any project load. You can always reach us if you’d like to know more. 

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