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Improving your small business’s bottom line is all about controlling costs and maximizing your return on investment. As opposed to increasing website traffic and sales, bottom-line growth involves improving your profit margins. This means reducing the cost of acquiring customers, getting more out of your marketing expenses, and finding places to cut overhead costs. Here are some services — both paid and free — that can help streamline your small business operations and boost your bottom line.
Optimize Your Marketing Efforts
According to Entrepreneur, small businesses spent an average of $400 per month on marketing in 2017. Take advantage of tools and services to maximize the return on your marketing investments. Thanks to social media sites like Facebook, it’s easier now than ever before to jump-start a successful business without excessive spending on advertising. Every business owner should learn how to use Facebook ads. This can be especially useful for business owners sticking to a low budget.
Don’t forget to measure your ad success! Google Analytics can help you track the ROI on your marketing efforts. This analytical tool will also show you where your traffic is coming from so you can optimize your future advertising campaigns.
You’ll get a higher return on your investment by targeting select demographics rather than putting an ad out for the entire world to see. Do your research to find out how you can cater content to these unique groups. Neil Patel lists a few key tools you should be using to find out what your audience wants.
Focus on Retaining Customers
Did you know that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one? Focus your efforts on customer satisfaction and online engagement rather than acquiring new customers. Ensure each customer’s experience is simple and enjoyable, whether online or in person.
For example, take a look at your payment system. Is it clunky and outdated? Your payment process needs to be quick and easy, so ensure your online checkout is seamless and intuitive to navigate. Consider upgrading the way you take payments in person as well — for people with brick and mortar stores or those who provide services from home, a user-friendly credit card machine can really enhance the customer experience. Do your homework to find a system that’s affordable, safe, and effective.
Besides the payment process, customers will continue to return to your service if you maintain an intuitive and attractive business website. Finding a hosting service may not seem easy for many startup owners—especially when the budget is tight—but with some research, you’ll find that the most affordable option is a shared service. This option is ideal if your startup is raking in low web traffic. Because hundreds of other websites are sharing the same server, the fee remains relatively low, ranging from $2 to $10 per month.
You can also take advantage of the following online tools to build customer loyalty:
GetFeedback: Gives you insight into what your customers think about your brand.
Woobox: Allows you to create contests and giveaways to reward existing customers for their loyalty.
Rankur: Notifies you when someone mentions your business on social media so you can stay on top of complaints, address concerns, and respond to positive feedback quickly.
Automate Time-Draining Business Tasks
On top of finding the most cost-effective ways to acquire sales, you can further improve your bottom line by cutting business costs. Use automation tools to streamline projects and get more done in less time. Hootsuite and Promo Republic, for example, are great for scheduling social media posts while Constant Contact is a popular service for automating email marketing. For help with customer support, try solutions such as FreshDesk and UserVoice. Finally, take advantage of project management software so your teams can work together more efficiently — Wrike, Monday.com, and Clarizen are all excellent choices.
Growing your small business takes effort. Fortunately, you can make the process easier by using a variety of paid and free services. Today’s business owners have a growing wealth of affordable tools to draw on, so make sure you take advantage of your various options. These helpful services can positively impact your bottom line and create sustainable business growth.
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