How to Survive and Thrive Your Business Online
Success in a company is not about having the best technology or being the smartest or even about having the best customer service (although none of these could hurt). More than ever, success is now measured in speed. Today it is about thriving in an ever-evolving world where everything changes so rapidly – and that applies to any business. Today is a world surrounded by buyers who want it now, want perfection and impeccable service.
In order to succeed online, your business needs to be organized and able to handle the increased business your web site is going to generate. Here are some guidelines for running a business of speed and complete service.
1. Run your business of speed.
It’s a new phenomenon called Internet time; it’s a 24/7 kind of world today. This means if you’re business is not moving ahead 24 hours a day 7 days a week, your business is falling deeply behind. Internet time means not only doing business quickly but doing it anytime the customer wants and for as long as the customer wants it done. This I what the customers demand, and what every company doing business online needs to offer. The end result is a business that is always working, always aware of potential business, one that is always one call, email or fax away from their clients.
2. Having effective meetings means having short meetings.
Meetings are the annoyance of many employees workplace. They involve too little discussion, take up too much time, little gets accomplished, people ramble on too much, and respect and open discussion are often not granted. Meetings though are imperative, but the way in which they are run can definitely be changed for the better. Because the Internet world moves so fast, companies doing business online cannot afford to have unproductive meetings.
First set some genuine detail-oriented goals for the meeting. Let people have the option of attending, especially if the issues discussed have nothing to do with them. Post the meeting summary in a place commonly seen by employees, such as the break room. Start and end your meetings on time, and stay within thirty minutes to one hour. Have two or three shorter meetings through the day, with short goals to be accomplished by the next meeting. Also, don’t bore people with anything not on the agenda. Lastly, make the meetings enjoyable; use skits, slideshows, charts, even puppets to get your point across. These moments will likely stick in employee’s heads over the long, drawn-out boring ones.
3. Email several times a day.
In the Internet world, CEOs and employees alike uses technology to supercharge productivity. With all of the pagers, cell phones, laptops, personal organizers and more, email is definitely the most valuable tool. Set up email power sessions with employees; it allows for communication with many employees at the same time and resolves any issues fast. With an email message, you are ensured your message gets delivered to all the right people exactly how you wanted to say it, without the hassle of applying phone tag with employees or risk miscommunication and misunderstanding. Throughout the work day, make blocks of time strictly to email (sending and receiving) at least three to four times a day too.
4. Brand matters on the Internet.
If your business is going to succeed in the Internet world, you will not only need to capture the market share, but also work on improving customer relationships. Whenever your potential or current customers need your products or services, where will they go online? Which Web site will they choose first? Will it be yours? Some tips to increase your business brand online include discovering a way to position yourself as being unique from your competitors. Create the right image, and be sure you continue to reinforce that brand image in everything your company does online and offline. Increase the number of online visitors to your Web site through a variety of Internet marketing strategies. Even if your business only sells locally, do not be afraid to think and market yourself internationally on the Internet. Advertise, advertise, advertise. Remember the importance of earning your customers trust too.
5. The power of feedback.
Ask your customers for feedback, through emails, surveyed phone calls, feedback forms on your Web site, case studies and letters. Ask for feedback often, whenever you are testing out a new product, reviewing sales on an existing product or service, or simply because you want to know how your customers feel about your company. Don’t neglect receiving feedback from your employees too; they know your business too because they work with you.
6. Most importantly, have fun!
Create a working environment where your employees feel free to mix a little fun into their daily routines and express themselves comfortably. After all, a happy employee is a productive one. Let your employees know they are appreciated and needed too, and they will be proud to come to work with you.
The Internet world is about building a better business environment through increased communication, greater convenience, personal enjoyment and greater access to information. How does your business measure up online?
About the Author: Wendy Suto is president of Search Circus, a Website marketing firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. She keeps pace with the latest optimization, link building and article submission tactics. Before becoming an SEO consultant, Wendy was a computer instructor for a wide range of businesses, including Gateway Computers. As a certified SEO consultant, she teaches SEO training classes in Cleveland, Ohio.