With the company growing I have spent a lot of my time focused on improving business processes, fixing areas that can be improved based on our teams input, and stepping away from what I would call "normal blog writing" to a more focused on our overall business and marketing processes. This shift is letting our expertise shine even more and allows our search engine optimization team, social media experts, graphic designers, and software developers focus on the free advice I had done for the past three years.
In the past two months I have been communicating about what we are doing, how we're doing it, how we are readjusting our marketing dollars, etc. I have allocated 1-2 hours per day to write articles explaining what we are doing. We have always had a transparency within the company and we're now taking it to the outside world as well. Our process is to change the way business gets done. I know some of this will be put into use by others, some not, and some will ignore it completely. I am targeting all my efforts on those that this can benefit as well as let others see how we as a company are different. Each is written quick and to around a page so that I can easily get one done and sometimes two.
I have moved into more of a focus of software development which has allowed us to almost double our creative business automation over the past several years. I am also looking at branding, marketing, and increasing communications through blog articles and free speaking engagements that I do. I have become the sounding board to everyone and spend a portion of my day in meetings which are not always the most fun but keeps the team and running at full speed and clients deeply informed to everything.
WWe have our new content writer coming onboard next month and are excited and what she will bring to our service offerings. We wanted to make certain we were beyond a well-oiled machine as having a full-time content writer is new to the entire team as we have previously only used part-time writers. She is going to take us to a completely new level of quality for our clients. We have even started the process of talking with other content writers that want to come onboard to our team as we are expecting a huge growth in content writing where two years ago we would have looked to use the services of others.
This shift will greatly change the way we communicate with clients, clients communicate with their customers, and the quality of everything is going to go to the next level which is something we've been wanting to. Our brand will be out there more as part of our content writers' duties will be communicating not only with clients but other businesses that we've never dealt with, have never heard of us, and some that might have heard about us.
I personally feel that the power of communication is a true "lost art". I feel as too many people want to be impersonal by sending emails and that is it. This can lead to misunderstandings, loss of hearing the "tone" of the message, and leave open opportunities to not getting necessary answers to take care of a client's unique needs. Phone calls are much better than email and in-person meetings are even better yet. This past year was all about foundational elements and building our core Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that we provide for all of our clients for no additional cost. That system isn't designed to compete against the likes of SalesForce.com or Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Its focus is solely on small business and communication with customers. It is designed to be simple, easy-to-use, and to help improve overall business processes.
One item I know I am striving for is to keep these as short and sweet as possible. Since starting these short and to-the-point articles, we have seen three major changes for our company that we've seen and are sure we'll see more over time.
- Our article readership has almost doubled where we are now averaging 142 readers per day.
- We have increased our client base and they stated it was due to the articles. I have also been told it was because they were "quick reads".
- Our shares on the articles have increased by a factor of 3 across all the platforms we are sharing and writing on.
It is never too late to start your communication process for any size business. For small business this is especially true as communication is one of our traits that make us stand out to the big box chains. Any communication needs to be thought of like your marketing plan where you not only look at what you are try to achieve but have a plan in-place to actually do it. Assign responsibilities and be clear with everyone on your team so that you effectively get your word out the way you want.