They must be able to find you

You can have the most beautiful website in the world, but if no one sees it, was it worth what you spent for it?

So many companies throw tons of money at building a good looking website, but put no thought into getting it ranked on the major search engines. 
They think of the website as an electronic business card, rather than what it really should be – a billboard or Commercial!

In most cases, the most important function of a website is not to simply convey information about the company, but to drive business to the company in the form of phone calls and web inquiries.  In these cases, if your website is not on page 1 of the search results for the term your prospects are searching for, you might as well not even have a site. More than 80% of searchers never click to the second page of results. 

Business owners need to be cognizant of these facts as they allocate their marketing dollars in an effort to grow their businesses. 

It is vitally important that proprieters of small locally based businesses heed this piece of advice.  Local service providers face stiff competition in most areas. By ensuring that they dominate the search results in their geographical area for their business, they ensure a significant competitive advantage over their peers.  This is where Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in handy.  A good SEO with an understanding of Local Marketing can help build your strategy (and website) to be lead generating machines that never sleep.  Organizations like Rockin-G-Resources, who specialize in local SEO can help you to dominate search results in your local area, adding revenue and stability to your business.

As a business owner, efficient asset utilization is a major key to profitablity.  Your websit is an asset, and you’re probably not utilizing it to it’s potential.  SEO is one of the most important ways to maximize the value of your website, and therefore your marketing spend.

The Key To Business Process Excellence

In this post, I’ll address at a very high level what I believe is one of the most important elements to Business Process Excellence:  Core Competencies.

Business Process Improvement  has been my field for over 14 years, and in that time, I’ve worked with hundreds of companies, from small mom & pop shops to Fortune 1000 firms, helping to streamline and improve various back-office business processes.

The things that make a small company a great one are the same things that make a large company a great one.  Think about it; there is a reason that either company got off the ground in the first place, right?  Usually, it’s because they are very good at producing a particular product or delivering a particular service.  THIS is their Core Competency.

When companies engage me for a business process analysis, its usually because they’ve hit a growth plateu and can’t seem to clear it, or some area of their business is strugging, or some function has become unweildy and has become a drain on the organization.  I would confidently say that in 85 – 90% of the cases I’ve seen, the areas that are struggling are outside the realm of the organization’s core competency.  Many times this happens because of inadequate planning during an explosive growth phase of the business.  Here’s an example I’ve run into many times:

ABC Fictional Trucking comany starts out with 2-3 trucks and one or two really good customers.  Their customers grow, and thus the freight demand for ABC Fictional Trucking grows.  In order to maintain the relationship with the customer and keep competition at bay,  ABC Fictional Trucking hires more drivers and purchases or leases more trucks.  This cycle continues for a couple years, and the next thing you know, ABC Fictional Trucking has 50 Trucks and 10-15 customers, but the same people running around in the back office like chickens with their heads cut off.  They are on the verge of bankruptcy or a shutdown by the FMCSA.

Why are they failing?  Because in addition to Dispatching and Customer Service, those same office personnel are now focusing on AR, AP, Document Management, HR, Safety, Sales, Marketing and Maintenance.  More often than not, they are struggling in these areas because – you guessed it – it’s not their core competency.

In many cases, people are assigned a role and expected to figure it out as they go, thus distracting them from their primary role, and yet at the same time, not giving enough attention to the important deails of the new role. You see, just as an organization has a core competency, so do individuals.  I hate to use the worn out cliché of “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”, but there is some real truth to the concept.  Proper planning during the growth phase, including moving personnel into areas of their core competency, and hiring to fill the gaps would have allowed the key players to focus on the business’ Core Competency – Moving Freight.  It would have kept the business from stalling out, not to mention lowered the stress level of the principals.

This same scenario plays out across the spectrum:  Manufacturing, Limousine companies, Builders, Roofers Software Developement Companies, Martial Arts / Dance Schools, Gyms / Fitness Centers, Physicians, Dentists, Chiropractors, Landscapers, you name it.  Any business is suceptible.  The good news is that in most cases it can be corrected. (if stakeholders are open to change)  Effective Change Management is a whole other post.

This all probably seems obvious, and the funny thing is that if I’d shared the above scenario with the principals at ABC Fictional Trucking and changed the names and industry, they probably would have identified the problem right away.  Unfortunately for them (fortunately for me) they have been running so hard, so long that they (here comes another cliché) can’t see the forest from the trees and need an outsider with a 10,000 foot perspective to identify it and show them.

This probably sounds like an advertisement for outsourcing, and there certainly are scenarios where that makes sense, but the point is for business owners to take an honest appraisal of their enterprise and to make sure that every team member is focused on their core competency so that the business can do the same.

 

Welcome to ConnectionsCoach Blog

Welcome to the ConnectionsCoach Blog!

For the most part,  we’ll be looking at different aspects of successful business practices, connections, the ins and outs of networking, as well as various service industries and how they are connected.

We may also provide some basic business coaching on project management, sales, and partnership techniques.  Cheers!