Collaboration goes a long way toward furthering your marketing objectives. As a small business owner, you have your eyes on the future (e.g., team growth, brand recognition, and profit) but your efforts are firmly focused on the here and now (e.g., day-to-day operations and administrative tasks). Building a business takes a ton of work, but success begins with a single good idea or problem-solving product and a resourceful team to see it through.
You have the ideas and the people. But how can your small business optimize its processes in order to be as productive—and as profitable— as possible? Here are some strategies.
Smaller businesses can create collaborative environments without a formal organizational structure. One way to instill a culture of collaboration is by making teamwork one of your company’s core values.
Empower teams to get work done amongst themselves, and make sure to hold them accountable for results. This can be especially impactful in startups and smaller businesses, where workers often act as cross-functional experts.
As you empower your employees, make sure your providing resources and cross-training opportunities, as well. If your workers aren’t familiar in all areas of the business, how can you expect them to effectively work together?
In some areas of your business, it can be tough to break down cross-functional walls. Information silos build up over time, leading to serious breakdowns in communication across your business and overall productivity losses.
Because businesses rely on information flowing freely from marketing departments to sales and finance and vice versa, investing in tools with built-in social capabilities such as an ERP system can help your business stay collaborative. You can manage projects more effectively by commenting and tagging stakeholders at any stage of the process, as well as optimize expense reporting and sales forecasting. Your business data will make more sense when key team members are able to access, report out, and connect about your current trajectory.
Even if your business isn’t quite ready to grow into a large-scale business suite, there’s still a case to be made for automating your business processes. Marketing, in particular, can prove to be an organizational challenge for resource-strapped small business owners. Luckily, marketing automation exists, which means you can spend less time on collating metrics in a spreadsheet and more time on developing high-level strategies.
Your small business can benefit enormously from leveraging free and low-cost marketing tools like Hootsuite or Tailwind to automate social posts, create customized reports, and even monitor your social channels for brand and competitor mentions. Saving money on measuring key marketing metrics allows you to invest in developing a better marketing strategy for your small business.
Gaining new customers is the ultimate business objective. Although there’s a wealth of consumer dollars up for grabs in the market, it’s important to remember the old adage of “quality over quantity” when employing a marketing strategy. Customers respect businesses that take the time to develop high-touch, thoughtful marketing campaigns that align with their needs. This is directly reflected in their purchase decisions and your brand’s overall salience.
Small business owners are scrappy and used to operating on shoestring budgets and with limited teams. Focusing on productivity and collaboration places you in a position to succeed and grow, possibly even establishing your business as the next household name.