- Compete against yourself
- Pretend there is a brand new competitor opening next door to you, what product and service bundles should he start selling?
- To who?
- Don’t wait for this to happen, create those bundles and target those customers yourself today
- Why you?
- What are the top 3 reasons customers should choose you?
- Put those 3 reasons in all your customer touch points
- Can’t think of any? Pack it in and go home
- Your website:
- Don’t have a website yet? Build yourself a website today for $141.50
- Got a website? What 3 improvements should you make today?
- Every business on the planet should have it’s own website. Even a crap one beats not having one at all
- Radio Ads:
- Do you advertise on the radio?
- Cancel it, or follow this advice and rewrite your radio ad
- Yellow Pages:
- Do you advertise in the Yellow Pages hardcopy and/or online?
- Cancel it today.
- You know you are wasting money so why do you renew every year? Snap out of it sucker
- The free one-liner with your phone number is all you need
If you don’t have a website for your small business, then take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
Did you know that only about one third (to one half) of New Zealand businesses have a website?
The 5 Most Common Objections I Hear From Owners:
When asked why they don’t have a website, owners typically come up with one or more of the following objections.
(Have similar thoughts gone through your head? If so, it’s time to update your thinking.)
1. “I don’t know how, I’m not good with computers”
- Then learn. Or at least find a family member or staff member to take care of the basics.
2. “Websites cost too much”
- Wrong. They can cost as little as $141.50+gst/year. I’ll tell you how in a moment.
3. “I don’t think I’ll get a return on the investment”
- Wrong. A simple website is the best return on investment you can get. It beats all other advertising options. And the payback gets better and better the longer you’ve got a website
4. “That’s not how customers choose a business”
- Wrong. It may not be how you choose a business but it is the way that hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders do it. Plus more every day
5. “I’m too busy, I don’t have time to keep it updated”
- Keep the content simple. Don’t do anything fancy. Delegate to family or staff.
The 4 Best Reasons To Have An Official Website:
Ask owners who do have a website why they do, you might hear things like…
1. “Our website is the official place where I own and control the content”
- That’s right. No longer are you at the mercy of business directories like Finda who display your brand however they like
2. “Our website is the official place where the public can be confident and trust the info because they know we wrote it”
- That’s right. Otherwise you are annoying potential customers by forcing them to use a business directory like Finda that has missing, incomplete or just plain wrong details. Wouldn’t it be better if they went to your official website instead?
3. “We noticed that the public are increasingly using the internet at home, at work and even on their phones wherever they are, to choose a business”
- That’s right. Having your own website means you get to appear in search results and get a chance at being chosen. Isn’t that better than no chance at all?
4. “We’d prefer to have an upset customer contact us via our website rather than complain publicly on Facebook or a business directory”
- That’s right. Not having an official website effectively forces upset customers to vent their frustration on platforms like Facebook where you have zero control and you won’t hear about the complaint until it’s too late to fix it, or never hear about it at all.
What You Should Do Next:
If you are a small business owner and you don’t have a website yet, here’s the 5 steps you should take next:
The 5 Simple Steps To Take If You Want An Official Website
1. Go to 1stdomains.co.nz and purchase your website address for $21.50+gst/year
- Get a .co.nz (not a .net, or .net.nz or anything else!)
- Set the DNS settings to ns1.ramsu.co.nz and ns2.ramsu.co.nz
2. Go to the website hosting company Ramsu.co.nz and purchase hosting for $120+gst/year
- Type in the domain name you purchased
- Create a database using the admin panel and write down the username and password
3. The next day, go to WordPress.org and download the latest version of their free website building software
- WordPress is high quality Content Management System that is easy to use. If you get stuck, any problem can be solved with a Google search
- Follow the set up instructions written on WordPress.org called “the famous 5 minute install”
4. Login for the first time and start writing content
- Keep it simple. No fancy stuff. Just the basics that prospective customers want to know
- Phone number + address + Google Map + your products and services + testimonials. That’s it.
- If you check your email once a week, don’t you dare put your email address on your website
5. Register your new website address with Finda.co.nz (and a few other free business directories too)
- This just gives Google a kick to announce that your website is up and running
Still Too Hard?
Then ask a family member or staff member to help.
They teach this stuff in primary school now, so find a 10 year old and get on with it.
Why are you attracted to the idea of “email marketing”?
7 Reasons Why Email Marketing Seems Cool
- Because sending emails is cheap (or free). It’s a cheap way to keep in contact with your customers
- It’s scalable – if you double or triple the number of customers on your email database there is no extra effort for you
- Because it reminds your customers about what you can do for them – it keeps your brand in their minds, it builds familiarity, relationship, trust
- Because you could sell something directly
- Because it’s fast. You can get your first response within minutes
- Because it’s measurable. You can test various headlines and offers
- Because it’s easy. You can do it yourself
3 Reasons Why Email Marketing Actually Sucks
- Because most email software is actually hard to use (despite what they claim!)
- Because it’s hard coming up with ideas for new content every week/month (exhausting!)
- Because building up your list of subscribers is slow (and why do people keep unsubscribing anyway? Annoying!)
7 Components to Make Your Email Marketing Work For You
My philosophy with email marketing is very simple:
- Make it obvious why someone should subscribe
- Don’t expect sign-ups just because your email newsletter exists!
- Provide at least 3 reasons why they should subscribe. If you can’t think of 3 good reasons, pack up and go home, email marketing is not for you
- Make your emails really plain
- Which types of emails do spend most attention to: Ones with fancy graphics and big logos, or ones that are plain text? Plain text! You always read those first and leave the fancy newsletters for last, if you have time
- No header graphics. No logo. You have your “from” address and your email signature to remind them of your brand. That’s enough. (Remember, this email is about them, not about you!)
- Make your emails really personal
- Make the email a 1 on 1 conversation between you and your customer/client
- Use the recipients first name at least 5 times. Not just “Hi Bob” at the beginning!
- Make your emails as long as they need to be
- State your point in the subject line, expand on the point in the body, close with a call to action
- Tell a story that can be read from start to finish
- Use subheadings and bullet points so readers can scan for things that interest them
- Include a photo or 2 if you can. Even better, a short 30 second video summarising your message
- Make it really easy to subscribe. Make it even easier to unsubscribe
- Create links to your sign-up form everywhere: on your website, in your email signature etc
- Put your unsubscribe link clearly at the bottom, or even better, as the very first sentence of your email – you only want people who are really interested in what you have to say so let the others go
- Brainstorm 12 months worth of content ideas before you send your first email
- Get your friends, family and existing customers to help you generate a huge list of ideas
- Make your emails really cheap
- My favourite email marketing software is MailChimp. It’s not super-easy to use but it is super cheap: completely free up to 1000 subscribers and 6000 emails per month
So have you tried email marketing yet? If not, why not?
If so, are you getting the results you want?
What do you think of these tips?
Share your thoughts below.
This book had excellent structure, but I’ve only made notes on the sections I found most interesting, so you might find these notes jump around a bit.
- I loved entrepreneurialism. I could talk about business all day, read every magazine, attend every seminar, and still my thirst would not be quenched. It took me a few years to figure out what was sitting right under my nose the entire time: That I loved launching businesses.
- Once I came to the realization that it is the birthing and maturing of a business that I love, I knew the path my future would follow.