The first question is, “Do you have a business system in place?”
Tracking leads, sales, costs, appointments, inventory, projects, referrals, resellers, salespeople, emails, documents, orders, commissions, campaigns, and your time (last but not of least importance by any means).
And if you’re still using Excel – well, eventually you’ll outgrow it if you haven’t already, but it’s certainly not a replacement for a CRM or a business system.
Not having the right system in place is a direct influence in 3 of the Top 10 Reasons Businesses Fail according to the SBA.
If you don’t have a system is in place, why not?
It can’t be the time it takes to find the right one for your business with all the results on the internet searches, or the multitude of systems that your network acquaintances tell you they have. A few may be happy, but then you have to compare your business processes with theirs – it may not be a fit for you at all.
It can’t be the fact that if you do get a system for each facet of your business, the systems generally won’t talk to each other, so you’re faced with multiple entry – and you want a system that will save you time, not create more work.
Then there are the ones that you can’t tell heads or tails from their web site what you might get. Then if you get a demo, you’ll see that most make you wade through all the options they offer every time you use the system, even if you don’t need or want to see them.
Also a factor, if you’re getting all these systems because none interface with each other, is the monthly costs – that can add up quickly.
Or you might be like one of the thousands – you just like to run your business by the seat of your pants. It’s small, you can do what ever you feel like, right?
Right – if you want to slide home with those 90%. Getting into a system now while you’re small and have the time to do it is the best thing – again, if you really want to plan to succeed.
But if you aren’t doing the tracking, how do you know
1) if you’re even making money, especially if you’re not tracking your time?
2) what activities (or people) prove to be your best income generators?
3) how to price your services or products?
4) which marketing campaigns your best leads come from?
5) which networking clubs or events pay off the best?
6) what demographics you should market to (based on previous results)?
These are just a few of the basic questions you should be asking – there are so many more, if you have the facts, you’ll make much better decisions.
Using a software system is the difference between a hobby and business. If a business educational program is available with the software, so much the better!
Some other questions you should ask:
1) Do you need a new web site, a freshen-up, or SEO?
Web site Questions:
a) Does the software integrate with your web site so your registration forms automatically update your database?
b) And does it provide do-it-yourself content management?
c) Do you have a powerful call to action on your web site?
d) Can they make your web site responsive? (for mobile, pad – any device)
e) They should provide free SEO with any marketing program
2) Are you investing in internet marketing? If not, it’s like throwing away your oars out at sea to lighten the load – you’re just not going to get anywhere without it. Another reason most companies fail is not enough capital – you should not cut the budget here.
Internet Marketing Questions:
a) How often and how can you “touch” your network (leads, referrals, resellers, ambassadors and existing customers)?
b) Can you run email Campaigns – create email templates and send out campaigns based on different categories?
c) Are they a Google Adwords Certified Partner – i.e. faster results?
d) Can they get you ranked in the Top 3 for your location and service or product, or Top 10 if you’re national or international based on previous results?
3) Does the software have a referrals system built-in?
4) Does it interface with QuickBooks?
5) Does it offer full eCommerce?
6) Is it customizable to your data fields (your particular terminology and tracking needs) and can you import and export anytime?
7) Does it have access level controls that you can set yourself as Administrator?
8) Does it have a Document Repository for company documents such as contracts and insurance, which can be downloaded for signing at the customer site, then uploaded into the customer’s repository for easy retrieval?
9) Will someone who knows the system be available when I need them?
10) Does the company offer FREE educational programs and/or business and marketing consulting programs?
11) Is the system scalable – will it grow with you?
12) And finally, the most important, is it affordable?
So the question remains – do you want to be in that 10% that succeed?
And even grow and flourish!
Well, I think I’ve made my point – It’s never too late to get with the program.
However, be prepared for a little pain up front to get things going, but it will allow you to have a life in the long run and laugh when someone tells you that they work all the time – you’ll have systems that do it for you!
I’ll even make it easy for you – I spent 20+ years in Corporate America in business consulting for large corporations like IBM, Union Carbide, Caterpillar, and Square D, then 10 years in Internet Marketing working with SMB’s.
I took what I learned about what any-sized business needs and created OneBox Technology (http://oneboxtechnology.com). Click on the big orange Get A Quote button and fill it out. When you do, you’ll get a free consult with one of our specialists – you can ask business, marketing or tax questions and if we help you, we’ll be satisfied that we’re reaching our goals!
Our goal is to help 300 businesses in 2017 to reach their potential!
What Dawn is passionate about and speaks on:
– How to Run Your SMB like a Large Corporation
– TIP – the Time Invested Principal
– Why Your Website is Not Working!
(Is it just a poster or is it a big, bright LED sign on the highway?)
– Tracking and Analysis – the Difference Between SUCCESS and FAILURE
– You Need a TECHNOLOGY PARTNER you can TRUST!
– 99% of ALL Websites Make These 3 MISTAKES
– Are YOU One of the 80% That Will Fail?
– Afraid to Jump? Entrepreneurship Takes a Team!
– Two Easy Ways to Exponentially Increase Profits
– Are you Failing at MLM? There is HELP!
– All Social Media is NOT Created Equal!
– Take your Hobby to a Business
– The Big Secret (to Success) is not a Secret at all!
– Gain 50% More Revenue – Update your Database
– Do It Yourself “Touch” Marketing for Entrepreneurs
– 5 Basic Internet Marketing Ideas for Entrepreneurs
– 10 New Tools for your Internet Marketing Arsenal
– SEO vs PPC – What every Entrepreneur should know!
– The Perfect Web Site – Does it Exist?
– The Decision Dilemma of Entrepreneurs
– Security Tips from the Secret Service
– Google and Facebook are the Bait – YOU are the product!