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5 effective ways to bring in new business

You have come a long way from launching your business and making it a full-time job. As a small business owner, You would want to generate more leads and bring in customers to grow and scale your business. The best thing that happens when you start from nothing is that by now, you have a loyal relationship with your customers.

You invested your time in strengthening your skills and now you are confident that your product or service is actually the best that your business can offer.

Now, the question which arises at this point is “How can I grow my customer base and bring in more business?”.

From better networking to marketing tactics, use these five tips and watch your business grow quickly.

1. Go where your customers are: Networking and referrals are not only a cheap way to get more businesses but it is also a most effective way to land customers with high retention rates. Referral customers tend to do more business with you over time and they can become a real asset to your business.

So, how do you find referrals? Easy, you need to have a clear idea of what your ideal customer is. Then, look at their daily schedule, how they are spending their time, places they usually visit and the kind of people they talk to. You would get a better understanding of them and then develop a marketing strategy to approach them with your offer and services.

2. Get online: It is very important for your business to get online. You need to have a website, a social media page, and a listing of your business in local directories. People nowadays want to search you online before contacting you. Now imagine, if you have a decent website with a decent following and happy customer base, what are your chances of getting a client?

You guessed it right, it means your business is growing. Scaling up a business takes time, dedication and patience. If you don’t know how to take your business online, contact us from our website and we will provide you free counseling.

3. Give something for free: You need to focus on your own products and services to meet the needs and wants of your ideal customer. Now approach that customer with something free in hand. It can be anything from free first service or an attractive offer at a very low price.

Nothing is more interesting for a customer like a freebie. It can also be a free trial of your product or service. Offer them something free and watch them banging on your door. This is also an amazing technique to build a relationship with your customer. Always remember, customers are the lifeline of your business, take care of them well.

4. Start referral discounts: You must be having some customers right now and you can ask them for their help in growing your business. Ask them to refer your product or service with their colleagues or friends or business partners and return, give them a discount on their next invoice. It’s as simple as that.

When you get a referral, start by investing time to understand their business and objective. Write them a personalized email telling them how can you add value to their business.

5. Twitter & Linkedin & Online advertisement = more clients: You should have your profile on Twitter and Linkedin. They both are an amazing platform to meet new people and generating more opportunities. The best thing about this tip is that it can all be done with just a laptop or your mobile phone.

You just need to be looking at the right place. Find out where your potential customers hang out online. Introduce yourself, understand their needs and wants and offer them your service to solve their current problem. They will be glad that you approached them in the very first place to offer your help.

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How outsourcing your Social Media Management can benefit your Work-Life Balance

Running a business is indeed time-consuming. Sometimes it’s hard to make up time for your business’s online presence and marketing. Many entrepreneurs have begun to realize and understand the power of virtual assistant in growing their business.

“Outsourcing” refers to hiring professionals to complete a portion of your workload. Social media management is one of the tasks which takes up a considerable amount of time. It includes engaging with the audience, creating and finding relevant content, graphic design, scheduling and always staying updated about the new industry trends.

For instance, if you are in a business of selling products or you are providing a professional service, you can save hours by outsourcing tasks like email management, calendar management, social media management, website management, etc.

You will be able to make up time for other things which really needs your attention.

Pros of outsourcing social media management

  • More time for important things: It is common to find yourself buried under the mountain of ToDo tasks when you are running a business. Initially, when you started your business, you had to do everything yourself including chasing clients, social media, graphics, delivery, web design, etc.

    Your hard work and tenacity certainly helped you scale your business. However, as the business grows, you start getting busier and busier day by day. When you outsource tasks, you are making up time which you can use to expand your business.
  • High-end expertise: Digital marketers are professionals who can provide you invaluable expertise. By outsourcing the management of your digital presence, you can access their expertise and knowledge about social media marketing and grow your business.
  • Maintain the balance between work and family: How many hours are you working in a week? If you answered more than 50 hours, you need to consider outsourcing tasks which don’t need your attention. You can easily save 10-20 hours per week by outsourcing social media management and website management.

Most of the successful people know where their time is worth spending. This is what keeps them ahead of the general competition. This article from The Washington Post states 5 reasons why you shouldn’t work too hard. I highly recommend you to check out this post.

So, how exactly you can outsource social media management with us?

Social media is not just branding, it’s storytelling too. It is a place where you interact with potential customers and showcases your work and dedication.

I can’t speak for all digital marketing agencies but here are few reasons why our clients love us.

We at GrahamAndAssociates have a unique approach to understand your business. We love the work we do and your satisfaction is our first priority. We take care of all the time-consuming admin stuff so you can relax and focus on really important things and your family.

We require you to fill up a simple questionnaire which helps us to understand the business from your point of view. Then, we build up a strategy to meet your business goals and build up your brand online. It’s as simple as that.

If you are still unsure, get a free consultation with us. Maybe we can help you with your online marketing needs. Contact us here.

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7 Amazing time management tools for busy team leaders

Leaders have a ton of responsibilities that keep their days completely packed, often overflowing. They are always juggling multiple projects at once. Effective strategies include management of different tasks to be completed in a predefined time frame to accomplish your goals.

Effective team leaders put up their time management skills to tackle the challenges faced in daily life and maintain a balance between work and their life. There isn’t a way to add more hours to a day but effective time utilization can save some hours. Being a leader doesn’t mean that you have to do everything yourself. You need to know which responsibilities can be delegated to the employees to free up your time for things that really need your attention. Prioritizing tasks can be a great way to get organized and more productive.

“You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” -Charles Bruxton

This is where online time management tools come into play to ease off the pressure. If you have been struggling to manage your time, below is a list of 7 online tools which can help you manage time.

1. TRELLO: Trello is a project management tool that organizes your projects into boards. It gives you an online board where you can list your sticky notes with links, photos, attachments, etc. You can collaborate with your team and assign them tasks to complete.

In one glance, you can easily know what’s being worked on, who is working on which project and which projects are in progress right at that moment. The simplicity of the interface and drag and drop feature makes it super easy to use. You can give priority to important tasks and put deadlines on it.

This tool will help you to understand what’s important for you and what can be scheduled for later. Hence, time saved.

Download Trello from this link for your operating system:

2. ASANA: Asana enables teams to work together effortlessly. This tool is very useful for managing both large and small projects. Sometimes, complex projects consume so much time and most of it goes into collaborating, sending emails and attending an unnecessary meeting.

Asana is somewhat like Trello but it takes a more task-oriented approach to project management. It is used by some of the top organizations like GE, NASA, and Airbnb.

Asana on iOS

Asana on Android

3. RESCUE TIME: RescueTime is a tool that helps you understand how you and your team spends their time and attention. A unique function of this tool is that there is no need to enter data. The tool is smart enough to track which application you are using and what websites you are surfing.

RescueTime will help you to narrow down the inefficiencies in a day and help you figure out where time is being invested and where it is being wasted. It has dozens of cool features like setting goals and alarm, detailed reports, productivity score, etc.

Download RescueTime from here:

4. GOOGLE CALENDAR: Google Calendar is one of the most famous tools for time management. You can schedule events, create reminders, share and view calendars, and customize it the way you want. It’s easy to use interface makes scheduling and entering data super easy.

You can sync the calendar on all your devices and can start scheduling meetings and events. Google calendar can be integrated with a dozen of online tools and is highly customizable.

Google Calendar on iOS

Google Calendar on Android

5. SCORO: Scoro is a team time management software which allows its users to control their entire business from a single page. It offers a ton of features like collaboration, project management, CRM, quoting and billing, work scheduling and tracking, reporting and tracking, etc.

Scoro can save a lot of time for team leaders who are managing projects and make the process faster. This can in turn save time and increase productivity.

Scoro on iOS

Scoro on Android

6. CLICKTIME: ClickTime is a time and expense management tool which helps you monitor working hours. It also helps to ensure that your expenses are well documented and managed. It has a feature called “Project Insights” which helps you predict the profitability of your business.

You can manage your entire workforce with this tool. You can also assess employee capacity and maximize the productivity by distributing tasks that suit their skills and expertise.

7. 135LIST : 135List is a tool that uses the 1-3-5 rule to prioritize the day. This tool is very simple to use and very effective in increasing productivity. It works on the idea that you need to select 1 big task, 3 medium sized tasks, and 5 small tasks.

It has a beautiful interface and is very flexible. You should give this one a try and you will feel more productive at the end of each day.

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6 Signs You’re Ready to Hire a Virtual Assistant

“You can do anything, but not everything” -David Allen

As a professional, you have got all the tools you need to work faster and smarter. Still, you find yourself falling behind the deadlines with unfinished tasks on your colorful sticky notes. This is happening because no matter how many tools you have, there are always 24 hours for you in a day.

A virtual assistant can be of great help for busy professionals or business owners who need an extra hand to get the work done. Sometimes, they work overtime without even realizing that it is affecting their work-life balance and can impact the quality of work they are doing.

Before moving forward, what exactly is a virtual assistant?

The internet revolution has brought us a ton of new concepts. The advent of WWW(World Wide Web) gave birth to a myriad of digital services that cater to the business community. Virtual Assistant service is one the gifts of the internet to individuals and business owners. Virtual Assistant (VA) is an individual who possesses a specific skill set that allows him to work remotely as a personal or administrative assistant. They can perform various tasks such as social media marketing, graphic design, data gathering and analysis, web development, SEO, content creation, bookkeeping, and so on.

Below are the six signs for you to know that you need a virtual assistant.

You have so many tasks on your work plate

How much time are you spending on a task that isn’t worth that much? Are you spending much of your time on administrative tasks and not on revenue-generating tasks? Are you juggling between tasks like posting content to social media, processing emails, researching new solutions, scheduling meetings or travel, or tasks that are taking up too much of your time?

These tasks can be delegated to a virtual assistant to clear up your calendar for high-value tasks. This way, you will have someone to watch your back and make sure that everything is getting done before the deadline. You will discover a dozen of hours that you can use on things which only you can do.

You have work to be done which you aren’t skilled at

There are tasks which need special skill sets, knowledge, and experience. A virtual assistant can help you with projects which need a specific skill set. You need to be spending time on things you are good at. You can outsource the things which you can’t do to a virtual assistant.

You are working 10-16 hours a day

Are you waking up in the middle of the night wondering if you have forgotten something to do in the office? You are struggling to keep up with all the work you have to do and you find yourself always behind the deadline. This is a sign which is telling you to partner up with a virtual assistant to clear up your time and manage your tasks. VA ensures that the work is done within the timeframe and you will be relieved from the stress and enjoy your evenings and weekends.

You are spending your time on managing not leading

Are you spending most of the time to manage websites, social media pages, updating databases, administering programs, etc? You can easily transfer these responsibilities to a virtual assistant who can help you pull your business up. This way, you can clear up your to-do list and focus on getting more prospects and lead the team. You can utilize this time to implement all those ideas which you have been thinking to improve your business.

You have multiple projects and close deadlines

Sometimes, you may find yourself stuck with multiple projects from multiple clients and you can’t say no to them. These deadlines can sometimes seem unachievable. This is the perfect timing to hire a virtual assistant to help you manage different tasks of a project. This way, you can get things done quickly and achieve milestones before the deadline.

You need help but you can’t afford a full time employee

 Most of the small businesses are not able to afford the costs associated with hiring a full time employee. It is also difficult to find an employee who can just work few hours a day for you. A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who works virtually for you and you only have to pay for 100% productive work. There are no recruitment fees, no HR paperwork, no overheads like office space, equipment, supplies, etc. A  VA is always interested in the success of your business.

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Written by: Ana Graham

January 2018

Whеn іt comes tо starting thе nеw уеаr, mаnу оf uѕ ѕее іt аѕ a chance tо start again, аnd that mеntаlіtу аррlіеѕ tо our buѕіnеѕѕ, tоо. Whеn considering whаt resolutions tо mаkе fоr уоur ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ, соnѕіdеr thе challenges уоu faced in 2017, аnd аѕk yourself hоw you саn turn them іntо орроrtunіtіеѕ in 2018.

Dеаr 2017, thаnkѕ for аll the lеѕѕоnѕ. Wе’ll bе sure tо lеаrn frоm оur mіѕtаkеѕ аnd hореfullу never mаkе thеm аgаіn.

Dеаr 2018, we’re rеаdу for уоu. And to show you just hоw prepared we аrе, wе’vе сrеаtеd a lіѕt оf 6 аwеѕоmе rеѕоlutіоnѕ ѕо уоur small buѕіnеѕѕ саn hit thе ground runnіng in Jаnuаrу. Have a bеаutіful уеаr, еvеrуоnе!

  1. Invest in ԛuаlіtу ѕоftwаrе

Wаnt a ѕhоrtеr hiring рrосеѕѕ іn 2018? Thе rіght software can hеlр уоu dо that. Start with a ԛuаlіtу аррlісаnt trасkіng ѕуѕtеm, which саn hеlр you ѕtrеаmlіnе аnd simplify уоur hіrіng рrосеѕѕ bу соllесtіng, organizing аnd ѕtоrіng applicant data аll in one рlасе. CаrееrBuіldеr’ѕ Aррlісаnt Tracking, for еxаmрlе, helps you еаѕіlу distribute jоb роѕtіngѕ tо multiple рlасеѕ to buіld уоur саndіdаtе database, ѕеаrсh and find ԛuаlіfіеd саndіdаtеѕ in уоur dаtаbаѕе, and еngаgе them with аutоmаtеd еmаіlѕ. It also hаѕ reporting сараbіlіtіеѕ thаt enable уоu to track thе success оf your efforts and improve еffісіеnсу.

  1. Clean up your career ѕіtе

Sixty-four реrсеnt оf jоb ѕееkеrѕ wіll rеѕеаrсh a соmраnу before thеу apply, according tо CаrееrBuіldеr rеѕеаrсh. When уоu run a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ, a саrееr ѕіtе саn bе оnе оf уоur strongest rесruіtmеnt marketing tools. Thе new уеаr іѕ a gооd tіmе tо assess уоurѕ and ask, “Dоеѕ this саrееr ѕіtе compel jоb ѕееkеrѕ tо аррlу?” Tаkе a fеw mіnutеѕ tо vіѕіt your career site аnd see whаt vіѕіtоrѕ see. If you find it hаrd tо nаvіgаtе оr fіnd thе іnfоrmаtіоn уоu nееd, vіѕuаllу оff-рuttіng оr otherwise unіntеrеѕtіng, сhаnсеѕ are саndіdаtеѕ dо, tоо. In аddіtіоn tо mаkіng ѕurе уоur саrееr ѕіtе іѕ easy tо uѕе, make sure thе аррlication process is ѕеаmlеѕѕ, thаt уоur саrееr site is optimized for mоbіlе dеvісеѕ, аnd соnѕіdеr adding a talent nеtwоrk, іn оrdеr to ѕtау іn touch wіth іntеrеѕtеd jоb seekers whо aren’t rеаdу tо аррlу.

  1. Wrіtе a blоg

If you’ve bееn thinking аbоut hорріng оn thе blоggіng trаіn, nоw іѕ thе tіmе. Wrіtіng a blоg hаѕ hеарѕ оf benefits, lіkе роѕіtіоnіng yourself оr your brаnd as аn іnfluеnсеr in уоur fіеld and bооѕtіng your SEO (Search Engine Oрtіmіzаtіоn) mojo for уоur wеbѕіtе. Nоt ѕurе hоw to set one up? Nоt tо wоrrу; wrіtіng a ѕtеllаr blog article іѕ completely achievable.

  1. Dоublе сhесk your keywords

Aftеr creating a gоrgеоuѕ wеbѕіtе, іt’ѕ time tо brіng in thоѕе роtеntіаl сlіеntѕ. Double сhесkіng уоur kеуwоrdѕ іѕ a grеаt wау tо еnѕurе your site ѕhоwѕ uр аѕ high as possible оn Gооglе rеѕultѕ. Frіеndlу rеmіndеr: kеуwоrdѕ are 2 tо 5 wоrd рhrаѕеѕ thаt your роtеntіаl сuѕtоmеrѕ wоuld wrіtе іn a ѕеаrсh engine whеn looking fоr a biz lіkе уоurѕ. Nоt ѕurе where to ѕtаrt? Wіth that ѕаіd, an amazing wау to rank hіgh іѕ tо mаkе ѕurе you utіlіzе thе rіght keywords fоr your buѕіnеѕѕ and іmрlеmеnt thеm into уоur ѕіtе.

  1. Gеt mоbіlе-frіеndlу

Wіth everyone соnѕtаntlу оn thе mоvе tоdау, іt’ѕ іmроrtаnt thаt people can vіеw уоur ѕtunnіng ѕіtе оn thе go. Yоu should сuѕtоmіzе all of the еѕѕеntіаl аѕресtѕ of уоur wеbѕіtе tо mаkе ѕurе іt lооkѕ bеаutіful аnd runs еffоrtlеѕѕlу both оn mоbіlе dеvісеѕ and оn dеѕktорѕ.

  1. Gо Lосаl

If уоu’rе a ѕmаll business wіth a physical ѕtоrеfrоnt, wе know уоur main gоаl іѕ tо gеt thоѕе ѕhорреrѕ through thе frоnt dооr. But hоw dо you rеасh thіѕ tаrgеt audience? Yоu nееd tо ѕnаg people rіght frоm thеіr Gооglе ԛuеrу. First things fіrѕt; mаkе ѕurе уоur name, phone number аnd аddrеѕѕ аrе written on your ѕіtе. This will hеlр draw a clear path frоm a Google search ѕtrаіght tо уоur ѕtоrе аnd result іn – thаt’ѕ rіght – mоrе people wаlkіng through уоur dооr. Thіѕ type of SEO for buѕіnеѕѕеѕ wіth a ѕtоrеfrоnt is саllеd “lосаl SEO.”

Copywrite 2018 Graham & Associates, LLC