Welcome to BUSINESS GROWTH BOX, proudly brought to you by Old Mutual Insure with over 175 years of experience. This box is about Growing your business online and on the street. It includes valuable information from industry experts to help you protect and progress your business. For fun, we also included two great competitions to help take your business to new heights. We trust that you will find your Business Growth Box useful.
One of the most important FREE tools you as a business owner has is collaboration. Why? Because employees of businesses that collaborate with their customers, community and industry enjoy benefits like the opportunity of new learnings, the chance to expand your network, a sense of belonging, improved innovation, shared expenses and increased sales.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of collaboration.
Working together to promote your area brings more customers to the locality. This means more customers who can discover your business.
If local does not work for you (in case you are at an out-of-the-way location with only a few business neighbours), then think locality of interest. A similar target market, complementary services, or maybe products that work in tandem?
Offer your talents and ask for expertise in exchange. Two parties with different skills can solve a problem better together or can bring your customers a more complete offering.
Like posts from local businesses and share it on social media, or include stores in the area in your communications. Their wins can become everyone’s wins as the reputation of a business community grows.
Collaborate on a special offer, co-host an event or host a pop-up showcase.
It may seem obvious, but do you really know your customer? And more importantly, do you know what they want from you? Do some market research to gather real data and valuable insights. It is fairly easy to create a short survey and you can also consider incentivising customers for its completion.
One of the best ways to improve your business is to give serious thought to your customers’ journey. Where do they first find your business? How do they get there? What happens when they are there? What happens when they leave? Map out every tiny step to help you identify the areas that need to improve. How can you add value to any of those stages? What do you physically need to do to make it happen? For example, does your staff need training? Do you need to revamp your entrance or increase the parking area?
COVID-19 has caused a massive shift for businesses to e-commerce and the ability to trade online. Let Old Mutual Insure help you take your business digital.
It is crucial for customers to be able to find your business online, not only for more information on your business and how to contact you but also to find out how to buy online.
A free business profile on Google lets you easily connect to Google Search and Maps, helping customers to find your business and also telling them a bit about your story.
Create your free business profile at google.com/business and in just a few minutes you will be able to:
Manage the information that Google users find when they search for your business, or the products and services that you offer. Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. When people find your business on Google Maps and Search, make sure they have access to important information like your business hours, contact details, website and street address.
Read and respond to reviews from your customers and post photos that clearly showcase what you do. Businesses that add photos to their business profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses that do not.
Find insights on how customers searched for your business and where those customers are located. You can also find information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps. You can also create and track the performance of Smart campaigns to spread the word about your business offering.
Empower yourself and your team to run your business efficiently and remotely with curated Primer mini-courses, Skillshop, Applied Digital Skills and free educational resources from Grow with Google.
Not online yet? Get a free webpage in minutes. Just fill in your details right here.
60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram. So there is a very good chance that a well-crafted Instagram feed could attract new customers to your business. Here is how you do it:
First create an Instagram account. Go to Instagram.com, click “Sign up”, enter your email address, and then create a username and password.
Set up a business account. Go to “Profile” in the upper right corner. Tap “Settings”. Tap “Account”. Tap “Switch to professional account”. Tap “Business”. If you have not already created a Facebook business page, do this at the same time. If you have, connect the two accounts. Add your details. Tap “Done”.
Choose your story. Before you post anything, think about what the overall theme of your feed will be. Begin with your brand purpose. Are you about all things eco? Cost-savings? Proudly SA? Cutting-edge technology? Whatever it is, it is important to articulate your purpose and then build your feed around it.
Show different sides to your brand personality. Once you have your core purpose, mix it up a little. Show images of a new product, but also include a video of behind-the-scenes production, or a tutorial on how to get the best out of whatever it is you sell. Think about why you started your business and share a little of your personal values and ambitions.
Be authentic. The Internet is full of articles that speak to making your brand ‘authentic’, but what does that really mean? From an Instagram point of view, it means show the real you. Committed to your community? Share it. Have great HR policies? Spotlight your people. Try to show real customers using your product.
Create consistency. Think about your corporate identity in a more flexible way. For example, your brand colours could appear in tiny touches in every frame – in props, quotes or even the clothes people wear. Overall, it will create a consistent and distinctive look for your brand.
Think stories. The carousel function in Instagram – where you can put up to five photos in one post – enables you to tell a story. Show product stages or ranges to give your audience a complete picture and deeper experience.
Plan your layout. We suggest planning at least nine posts in advance. Here are some ways you can format your feed:
Fill your gallery. Start adding photos. You do not have to be a pro to tell great stories. Think about what you love about your business. Tell that story.
Do not forget to invite people to follow you. You can use the “Invite friends” option to invite your Facebook contacts and other networks like LinkedIn or Twitter.
Please note that Old Mutual Insure is not contracted to Instagram in any way or form. The information provided for Instagram is of public knowledge.
When you put your time, love and money into a business, you want to do everything you can to protect it as it grows. Old Mutual Insure understands this and that is why we want to help protect and progress your business – by offering extra value at every turn and partnering with you as your business grows. In short, we want to do everything we can to be a valuable partner to your business by doing great things, every day.
No business is without risk, whether you run a small commercial enterprise or a multinational corporation. When you partner with Old Mutual Insure, you can rely on us to tailor a risk management solution that meets your specific insurance requirements – from fire and accident cover to asset protection, motor fleet insurance and more.
Multisure is a flexible, comprehensive insurance solution that offers you peace of mind at a competitive price.
It can be tailored to your specific industry with a comprehensive range of affinity products, such as agrisure, dentisure, medisure, floristsure, pharmacyscheme, veterinaryscheme as well as body corporate cover.
The value of peace of mind should never be underestimated. Knowing that you are properly insured, advised by partners who are specialists in their fields and backed by a company with a heritage of over 175 years in the business and one of the best claims settlement records in the country leaves you free to focus on your core business.
Furthermore, being part of the Old Mutual Group provides Old Mutual Insure with access to continuous in-depth research into businesses to help us protect and progress your business in line with current trends and innovations.
We place decades of business experience at your fingertips – via our brokers and our website. We encourage you to take a look at our free library of tips and tools for business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.