Customer Acquisition 2012


Businesses fail because some of the following reasons:

Keep the Doors Open

– low awareness among a target market
– didn’t acquire enough profitable customers
– acquired enough customers but at too high of a cost

Customers are assets, acquired, managed for profit and retained to keep a competitive edge in the market places. Customer acquisition is major priority for all start-ups or small businesses. It is a daily activity to keeping the doors open. When entering new geographic or customer market segments or launching a new product/service.

Within the customer acquisition process is the economics, cost of acquisition and retention vs. profitable customer.It’s imperative to understand the economics of customer acquisition. To know the cost/benefits of different customer acquisition strategies and tactics. To gather up metrics such as customer numbers, average cost value, acquisition-to-conversion and cost-per-qualified-lead can help distinguish the effectiveness of your acquisition efforts.

To keep the doors open in 2012 and beyond, small businesses/starts up (really, all businesses) have to be more calculating, on how they go about acquiring their assets and especially when working with limited resources in the way of fund, bandwidth or talent.
Creating a plan, strategy and processes can go along the way in saving time and money.

Create a customer acquisition strategy:

Define a customer acquisition process.
Define a role that focused on prospecting.
Identify your success factors and metrics for the new strategy
Develop a marketing campaign process that requires integrating lists.
Monitor process and feedback loops to adjust the process as necessary

Customer Acquisition Tactics:

Social media -Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Bookmarking Sites

Content –Blog, Articles, Case studies or White papers

Direct Marketing –Direct mail, email campaign, Webinars, podcasts

Paid Search- Online ad campaigns (Facebook,LinkedIn, Google Ads etc)



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A LinkedIn Company Profile


Although company profiles have been available since 2008 on LinkedIn, LinkedIn main focus has always been  building a platform for professional.

Online Presence, Branding, Optimization,Inbound Marketing

Errand Managers LinkedIn Profile.

Benefits:

  •      Post products or Services
  •      Share company profiles
  •      Clean Business profile with a mix of company profile, social media and the people
  •      Another sizable platform to give your business more visibility.
  •      Find key talent that is interested in working for you
  •      Connect with professionals who work for key accounts or businesses
  •      Keep up with your competition.
  •      Visibility and ability to follow other companies
  •       Get recommendations from you customers

LinkedIn and Business

  • As of January 2011, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2010 Fortune 500 companies as members; its hiring solutions were used by 73 of the Fortune 100 companies as of March 22, 2011.
  • More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
  • LinkedIn represents a valuable demographic for marketers with an affluent & influential membership.
  • Thousands of developers are using LinkedIn APIs to create innovative tools and services for professionals.

Back when individuals would provide information regarding the firms they worked for on LinkedIn, company listings would appear with various spellings and accounted as an individual company as well as location. I worked for a Level 3 Communication. Some folks listed that they worked for Level3 Communications, other LEVEL (3) Communications or Level 3 Communication Inc or LLC. Basically, it’s one and the same company. Well, companies are taking charge of their online presence as a way to manage the brand messaging.

If you  have a LinkedIn profile you may have received an email from LinkedIn regarding a your company profile. Take advantage of this offers as with most technology companies today they start of as a free service, and once they reach a critical mass, they begin monetizing the products. LinkedIn is a free tool for professional to get their profile out there. However, there are limitations for the basic accounts. I believe it’s only a matter of time before they start charging for the services, such as connection or introductions.

Errand Managers a Small Business Service Provider

LinkedIn Company Profile

If for nothing else, treat this as a branding opportunity as well as a key online presence profile. Back in the day, your business would have been listed among millions other businesses on the yellow pages. LinkedIn, Facebook or other Social Media or Online Communities business listings can be treated as such.  Help your customers find your business and make it easy for them to make the decision to buy from you.

Leverage Free /Inexpensive Tools on the Web and Save Money!


It’s not having a bad product or service that causes eight out of ten startups to fail, some of the reason include,no market research and/or  not understanding the market needs. Experts will tell you startups fail because they are “under capitalized”. That’s a business school term for not having enough funds to muscle your way through the startup period. Alternatively, not having enough capital due to a run of unexpected expenses.

So coming out of the starting gate, do everything you can to preserve cash. It’s crucial to your company’s success. Of course one of the first things you need for your business is making sure you have the right technology solution.

What exactly are the right solutions?

Small Businesses can save a lot of money by leveraging technology solutions available today.

Business Fiscal responsibility.

  • A computer with enough muscle to get your tasks accomplished. What’s right for one business is often far different for another business. Graphic designers needs are different those of accountants.
  • Having the appropriate software solutions. Again, there is a lot to choose from. An expert can be helpful to you, in getting the best solution at the right price point, for your needs. Fair warning, there are a wealth tools or solutions  and it can be overwhelming, I guarantee,  you will find tools and resources you would not have thought off and hence making a decision is a challenge.
  • Good communication tools. No, this is not just having a phone line, website, email and the Internet. Having good communications tools include project management, collaboration tools, business-class Instant Messaging, Social Media networks just to mention a few.
  • Leveraging free/inexpensive solution in the arena of cloud computing. This saves you the expense of the  purchasing software for you PC/Server for your small business network. Explore the vast solutions within the Software as a Service arena. There are the questions regarding the security on these solutions, for which I say to you, someone has to take some ownership on securing your information, whether it,you or the service provider.

Example: Recently, a client, who works for non-profits, thought she got a great deal on a solution that supports the organization’s marketing effort. She paid $$$$ for it, and thought she got a good deal. When we showed her the same solution for less, she was ready to kill the messenger. And that does not take into account the time she could have saved researching on-line. Alternatively, a company with millions in revenue using a free tool to management invoicing as well as book-keeping solution.

Do not spend money, unless you really have to.

Here are some sites to check out for free tools and resources and keep your profits. Do a search on Google there are tons’ resources out there.

Let us know what works for you. The next post will list the solutions out there you can leverage and succeed in growing your business.

http://www.expensefree.com/

Check out NFIB.COM

Check out smbceo.com

We are creating a list of inexpensive solutions for small business, if you have one please post it in the comment section of this posting.

Contact us:  We will be happy to help you find and implement solutions that fit your small business.

Tel:  404-806-6817   | Fax: 404-806-0186            | Concierge at errandmanager dot com   |www.errandmanager.com

We are in the business of making sure “life” does not get in the way of your success.

“Our clients prefer a flexible, technology savvy and ultimate time defender of their precious time

The Woman Entrepreneur and Technology


With all the technology out there that is supposed to make managing our day to day life easier. It still does not add to 24 hour day although we have tried to maximize the day.

The phone has become the it tool for business, they are on steroids, apps are coming fast and furious to help the time starved woman entrepreneur.Check out some apps that tailored for busy moms on the  Android and iphone

The web has unlimited resources or tools and more women business owners should embrace them. Some business operations can easily be automated shave some time there. From email to invoicing. From employee time tracking to updating your company twitter account.

Don’t know to much about a certain business subject matter, check out webinars they are mostly an hour long and you get some basic understanding a subject matter. You will get an insight on how entrepreneurs apply these solutions and how you can successfully apply them to your business.  The best part is they are free.

You will know enough to ask good questions, when you seek an expert opinion or solution provider for implementation. For example social media, slowly businesses are getting on board, it such new business application, that most business owner do not understand or know how to implement it or what role the application would play in their business. Another good place to start is  blogs by experts in their fields.

A few Women blogs we found out on the web, we love to check out and learn from.

  • Veronica Belmont – Veronica Belmont’s Blog –  Mostly tech and gaming focused, Veronica writes with infectious, geeky enthusiasm about what’s brand new.
  • Dawn Foster  – Fast Wonder – Using a combination of her technical and business expertise, Dawn educates companies on how to get business value from being a part of online communities…without boring us to death.
  • Jenna Wortham – The New York Times Bits Blog – Before writing for The New York Times, Jenna was a culture and technology writer for Wired, and it shows. Her pieces generally focus on smartly outlining digital culture, while simultaneously showing how people are putting new technologies to use in their lives and businesses.
  • Xeni Jardin –  Xeni’s Blog –  Xeni is a stylish and well-known tech culture journalist who watches the industry with both an aesthetic and functional eye. Find her on Boing Boing.
  • Corvida Raven – SheGeeks –  Corvida vets and blogs about useful tech services and tools with an eye to what is going to make your online journey less noisy and more interesting.
  • Adria Richards – But You’re A Girl – InspiredMag called her blog fresh for a reason, because Adria takes on tech – and life – with vibrant and energetic posts.
  • Leah Culver – Leah’s Blog –  People get all hot and biscuit over Leah’s programming speak because she’s a high profile woman in a male dominated industry with an impressive list of successes to boot.
  • Barbara Coll –  Webmama – With nearly 15 years under her belt in the biz, this industry veteran has plenty of insight into what works and what won’t.

The Beginnings of the Girl’s Club


It’s just fantastic to read about women blazing the path in the entrepreneurial journey.  Check out Women 2.o Be sure to apply for to pitch you business, deadline is October 1st 2010

There are loads of resources tailored for women looking to start a business. As per my previous blog entry on women the challenges are enormous. Even with more than 40%  business are women owned. Here is a recent whitepaper on women entrepreneurs in technology.

Here is an interview of Cindy Padnos.

Here is an interview of Jalak J an women in Venture Capital

How other women got started

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