What would you MOST like to learn about in 2014? I would love your feedback…
We are well in to the new year…and it’s winter. If you find that your business has slowed down recently now might be the BEST time to jump start your marketing and business building. Here are 5 easy ways to get you going:
1. Learn how to use that iPad | Tablet | Smart Phone | Notebook that you got for Christmas.
Mobile is the THEME of 2014. Whether you are accessing information or generating it…you need to know how to work with your mobile devices. It’s that important! Take the time now to read the online tutorials, browse the help files, and learn how to do your every day business tasks on your mobile device. YouTube is a GREAT resource for figuring out how to do just about anything. YouTube it if you don’t find the answer in your manual. The best way to approach working with your mobile device? Begin by attempting to complete the every day tasks that you do on your computer. When you hit a stumbling block, look up the “how to”. Make sure that you can access your contacts, email, and important social networks that you use to market yourself via your device.
2. Clean out your contacts.
A lull in business is the BEST time to clean out and organize your contact database. Your database is the bread and butter of your business. It makes you money and it should be a finely tuned tool. The more organized your database the more efficient you are at your job. Create groups for your contacts, update birthdays and business milestone dates, make sure all contacts have an UP TO DATE email address. Email addresses allow you to easily stay in touch and share valuable information with your clients. They are the keys to the kingdom.
While you are at it, clean up your Facebook friend list, your twitter followers, and your LinkedIn connections.
3. Update your marketing.
Make sure your website is the best that it can be. Are you using your website to generate new content and send newsletters automatically? If not, then your website is NOT up to date. Do your marketing materials seem dated or do they contain inaccurate information about old business practices? Do your business cards have your Twitter handle on them? No? Time to update those as well. Check it all…social media sites, email signatures, printed materials, invoices, etc… Anything that goes out to your clients either on paper or digitally – it should reflect the new year.
4. Organize your files.
Is your computer loaded with old photos, multiple versions of documents from 2010, incomplete or abandoned projects? Time to get that tool cleaned out or upgraded. I don’t recommend rushing out and purchasing a new home computer if the one you have is working properly. I DO recommend cleaning it up and running some simple diagnostic tools to get it to it’s optimal performance. If your computer is glitchy, has constant pop ups and seems beyond repair it may be time to upgrade.
5. Learn a new tool. Pick ONE.
Now there are more FREE and low cost business tools online than ever before. Now is the best time to pick one, learn it, and implement it into your business. Tools like Evernote, Mailchimp, Google Drive, and Survey Monkey are all designed for you to connect and interact with your customers easily. They also help you be more productive. Just pick ONE new tool to begin with. If you try to learn several at the same time it may become difficult to put them to use. You could become overwhelmed. Selecting one will give you a feeling of accomplishment once you have it mastered.
This months Feature Small Business Tool is Google Contacts. Why are Google Contacts GREAT? Because this application can act as your client database, it comes with your GMAIL account for FREE, it syncs with your smartphone/tablet/iPad, and because you can access it from any computer or device no matter where you are.
Google Contacts has many of the same features that some of the more costly client databases have. For example, Google Contacts includes features like contact notes, contact dates, custom fields, multiple phone numbers/email addresses, postal address, contact photo, contact groups, calendar and email integration.
Favorite Feature #1: NOTES
Notes allows you to keep track of all of your contact activities and tasks. Notes are fully searchable within Google Contacts. You can add just about anything you want to to the notes field.
Favorite Feature #2: Custom Contact Info
The custom contact info allows you to add title and company information as well as a contact photo and contact group. All of these features sync with your devices so you can quickly identify your contacts when they call or when you call them.
Favorite Feature #3: Custom Contact Fields
The Custom Fields feature allows you to add any field of information for a contact that you might need. You can add a “to-do” task date (dates sync with your Google Calendar), custom phone fields, custom email fields, or any kind of field that you might need to make Google Contacts work as your client database.
For more information about Google Contacts, use this link: http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1628008
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org