Once upon a time, if you were to go into business for yourself, you might own a laundromat, a grocery store, or maybe have a service company, if you weren’t a professional in a private practice. And while those industries are still alive and thriving, the rest of the world has changed dramatically since the dawn of the Technology Era.
Online buying and selling have disrupted every country and every organization in the world. The internet alone has spawned whole new industries, like Google, Pandora, AirBnb, and the list goes on forever. Did you know that 70% of music is now downloaded from the internet and the other 30% are from CDs bought online! Not a good time to own a record shop! Indeed, not only the music industry, but television, movies, books and news have transformed in the last decade.
When I graduated from college and first became a consultant, I met a man named Bob. Bob had a small dayspa, providing skincare products and treatments such as Botox, laser hair removal and facials. He had some nice nurses and some very loyal customers, but almost no new customers and zero walk ins. As you can imagine, Bob was frustrated and worried he wouldn’t be able to stay in business.
The first thing I did was to check out his website. It was poorly designed, had no phone number, and you really had to search hard to find the street address. He was listed on Yelp! which would have been fine, but had a few angry clients who received what they thought to be poor service. Bob had never checked his reviews and didn’t think anyone else did either. Boy, was he wrong! The first thing we did was contact those unhappy customers and offer them a deep discount if they would come back and try his day spa again.
As part of his branding and marketing overhall, we created a new website with images of women with beautiful skin, luxurious hair, and happy smiles – the images his clients wanted to emulate. The site had soft colors, easy to read text, and was easy to navigate. It had all the information customers needed to compare Bob’s spa with his competitors, as well as the phone number, hours of operation, online ordering, and was GPS mappable. To launch his new site, we used One Hour Delivery to let the local businesses and neighborhood residents know about his site and his services. The flyers introduced a Facebook campaign, for a free consultation for anyone who liked the dayspa’s page, and 10% off their first treatment. We also helped him filter out the Yelp reviews and started encouraging loyal customers to post reviews and his star rating quickly increased. And those Yelp! reviewers came back and provided a positive review, as did the walk-in clients. Bob saw an increase in business from walk ins, his phone rang every few minutes, his website generated traffic, and his business has never been slow again.
Take a serious look at your company’s website. Is it more than two years old? Is it optimized? How about your Yelp! reviews? And your social media – are you keeping it up to date? I always tell my clients to look at their branding as if they had no knowledge of the business. Try this yourself….after looking at what you put out in the world, would you be enticed to become a client? If not, change it! If so, is there anything you could do to improve it?