Part 1: The Local Small Business Owner: How I Helped A New and Unknown Small Business Rise to The Top of Google Search Results
This is part one of a five-part series intended to help a local small business owner understand how to attract local customers with a local search marketing strategy. Each blog post in this five-part blog series will document a part of the local search strategy I have developed for local businesses to rise to the top of search.
20% of Businesses Fail Year One
Surely, you’ve heard that nearly 20% of businesses fail in their first year. And, over 50% by year 5. Not the most encouraging statistics for someone considering opening a small business…yet an average of 4 million businesses are started every year. Let’s keep that glass as half full mentality, friends!! But, also let’s go in eyes wide open.
Eyes Wide Open, Please 😳
Your product or service offered has to be something the local community wants or needs BUT before you have the opportunity to see if locals like your specific offering you must FIRST have a plan to attract local customers.
You might have great road frontage for walk-in traffic or launch a grand opening with a large network of friends and family but if you want to accelerate your business growth and maximize your revenue potential…
Your success as a small business will rely on the strategy within your marketing plan.
While this blog series is me spilling the
tea coffee, almond latte please, on the marketing plan I developed for attracting customers, I need to say upfront this is a PROVEN strategy.
The strategy is also consistently refined (thank you Google for keeping me on my toes!!!) but it was initially developed and tested when I began consulting with one new and unknown local business back in 2019.
The approach I took with this company is now implemented successfully for other clients who are:
- New and unknown
- Not visible in search
- Needing more foot traffic
- Unsure how to find customers
- Conduct business in a crowded market with tough competition
In sharing the approach, it will also introduce you to stages of my local search strategy which include:
- Part 1: The Local Small Business Owner’s Must Dos
- Part 2: Becoming Visible
- Part 3: Gaining Visibility
- Part 4: Gotta Build A Brand Not A Business plus, Build Brands Amongst the Brand
- Part 5: Staying Visible
And the good news, is more help is available!! If you want a marketing plan that will closely guide you, save your seat today for the launch of Start Your Local Search Engines!
Start Your Local Search Engines, is a class series for local business owners or marketers that launches in early 2024.
Ready to become the savviest you can be? Let’s dive into how I set out to help a local small business owner begin to rise to the top of search and the strategy I use with all my clients today.
Hey, Business Owner! This is just for you 👇🏻
Part 1: The Local Small Business Owner’s Must Dos
1 – Focus on being
To grow 🌱 a business, a business owner must start recordkeeping from Day One. For my client, this meant I needed to build the business a simple, easy-to-use CRM. This is one of the most effective tools you can use to FOCUS yourself and your team on what’s productive for business growth. It also serves as a tool to reframe what’s important for YOU and team members when the day-to-day disruptions can easily EAT away the day.
After implementation, you can watch for what I call a long-term business success predictor.
When you can see as a business owner that your team has the ability to recognize when a distraction has the potential to derail the day and can evaluate for themselves in real-time the level of importance the disruption has over revenue-generating activities, you’ll know the future is bright!!
Yes, some distractions take precedence – especially when customer satisfaction is involved – but many distractions could be avoided if boundaries around your priorities were kept and you “scheduled” the distraction for another time.
Establishing a CRM will help both solopreneurs and teams prioritize sales opportunities, and make informed marketing campaigns or advertising decisions and it will help you the Owner truly understand whether you are on track toward your revenue goals.
BTW…if you want a simple CRM to use to get started, shoot me a request at Hello@TopofSearch.com with the subject line CRM PLEASE and I’ll send you the Google Sheet I created for my client to help you get started.
2 – Dream Big and then Tell Your Team
It is extremely hard to scale a business and make good decisions without a focus on revenue. Yet, I see so many business owners fail to create structure within their business around revenue targets. I do believe this is one reason why businesses fail. No structure, no focus. If you are savvy, you will have a monthly/yearly revenue goal for your business modeled out.
It’s also a core belief of mine that if revenue goals for a business are not transparently spoken to with the entire team then you lose out one of the biggest culture builders there is for a young business.
Every member of your team should understand and be accountable for how their role can directly contribute towards the business’ revenue success.
When business owners can adopt a culture of accountability and responsibility within each role toward business success, you win. The employee wins. The customer wins.
Sales teams for a business have historically garnered direct praise for helping a business grow revenue but a small business owner who can cultivate a culture where everyone matters and understands how they are accountable towards the business goals has a great opportunity to accelerate growth and maximize the business’ revenue potential.
Determining your revenue goal is step one. Modeling it out to see how realistic and achievable it is matters too. Anyone can throw a number at the wall BUT if it isn’t tied to a strategy to achieve the goal…you’re playing the lottery.
Nothing is more deflating than having a goal that no one can envision how they will reach.
With the new and unknown business I began working with, revenue goal-setting was discussed at the outset. Monthly sales goals were set and an incentive program with bonuses was introduced to the team. To hold everyone accountable, a monthly revenue tracker was built. And, the marketing and advertising budget and campaigns were directly tied to the expectations around business revenue.
And, I cannot stress how important this is. The newness of a job will fade away but a team that understands the goal and is rewarded for playing their part will remain motivated.
If you need one to get started with, shoot me a request at Hello@TopofSearch.com with the subject line REVENUE TRACKER and I’ll send you the Google Sheet I created for my client to help you get started.
3 – Set Expectations Early Around Driving Sales
If you have a CRM and you know your monthly revenue targets, you should begin setting expectations in your business from very early on that everyone plays a role.
The easiest way for my client to establish structure was to hold a weekly Driving Sales meeting amongst the entire team. Each week, Sales Team members’ sales were shared and everyone was informed how that rolled up to the business hitting its Monthly Revenue Goal. Each week, team members were asked to discuss their individual pipelines. Additionally, as the Marketing Arm of the business, I would share the marketing initiatives underway and afterward the owner would ask the team where they could use additional support.
This type of structure around discussing the business’ revenue weekly establishes a flow of communication critical for small businesses.
It allows for team members to have a voice, for challenges to be spoken to early, and for marketing campaigns to remain closely aligned toward what the business or team needs to be successful.
This meeting is still being held. And, I can vouch that this single meeting has helped the business weather many challenges and avoid unnecessary setbacks a young business often faces.
When monthly revenue was down for a team member or their pipeline was low, others rallied. When unpredictable challenges arose, specifically the pandemic in 2020, the entire team weighed in with their perspective – from different vantage points – with information to help the business determine the best way forward.
And, best of all, the weekly agenda was simple.
- 1 Minute from the Owner
- Sales Pacing (Individual and Team Pipeline)
- Marketing (Current Initiatives and Upcoming)
- Open Discussion (Areas of Support)
This one meeting (no more than an hour) served to reinforce weekly what success looks like at the company and to keep the team focused on how – as a team – everyone was helping to accelerate the business’ growth and maximize revenue potential.
OKAY, LET’S PAUSE.
A CRM, revenue goals and the structure to consistently evaluate yourself against your goals is extremely valuable. And, it is without a doubt, what has helped my client accelerate revenue growth from $0 to $3 million + annually with a team of 4.
Do you have these tools and structures in place within YOUR OWN BUSINESS to make business growth easier?
If yes, I’d love it if you’d comment and share what other tools or structures you’ve implemented as a business owner to maximize your revenue potential.
If your answer is no, guess what? There’s no time like the present. You’ve got this!
Part 2: Becoming Visible (is coming soon!) Shoot me a quick email at Hello@TopofSearch.com if you want to learn how Becoming Visible starts with You!
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