Maybe you’re excited about your company’s progress in recent months, but you’re curious about how you can push your business forward. Digital transformation might be the answer! By investing in digital innovation, like revamping your company’s website with Waking Girl Web Design, you can achieve and even exceed your business goals. Here’s how to take on digital transformation initiatives for your company.
Focus on Business Process Management
Your processes dictate the way your business runs - and if your processes are not as efficient as they could be, you’ll inevitably waste time and lose out on revenue. But what is business process management? Through business process management, you can automate and optimize processes and move your business forward through digital transformation. By explaining to your employees that this will allow them to tackle projects faster, you’ll be able to gain buy-in from your team. As you create your company’s BPM framework, you’ll need to continue monitoring its effectiveness as time goes on so that you can make changes if necessary.
Choose Tech With Great Support
No matter what kind of technology you’re thinking about investing in, you don’t want to choose programs that lack customer support. After all, if you’re having an issue with your software, you need to be able to get in touch with someone who can help you remedy the problem. Prior to purchasing any new software or hardware, connect with their customer service department and ask a few questions to gauge the effectiveness of their support services.
Explore Cloud Computing
Why are cloud systems so essential for businesses these days? They allow you to store and organize your digital files, and ensure that your team can access the documents they need even when they’re away from the office. Investing in a cloud storage system will definitely make it easier for your team to collaborate on projects. Centrilogic also states that cloud computing can support agile processes, help you cut overall costs, and allow you to scale your business since you can always purchase more storage space if necessary.
Use Helpful Software
If you haven’t already onboarded your team onto project management software and customer relationship management software, now is the time to take care of it! Choosing the right versions of these software can be a complicated decision. It’s important to figure out exactly which functions and features your company will need, so talk to other business owners who run companies of a similar size. Ask them which programs they use, if they would recommend these systems, and which features their team relies on most heavily.
Apply Data Analytics
By using the right software, you can collect valuable data that allows you to make crucial decisions about your company’s future. How can data analytics benefit your business? Treehouse Technology Group states that your data can reveal which processes are actually supporting your business as intended, how your customers behave, where you need to make improvements, and what kinds of actions you can take to change your business for the better.
When your business is run with technology, there is so much potential data that you can collect - and if you’re not already gathering this data, you might be missing out on key knowledge about your company. Therefore, data collection should be of the utmost importance.
Digital transformation is a major undertaking. But embracing digital innovation can help you rack up entrepreneurial accomplishments that you didn’t even realize were possible before. With these tips, you’ll be inspired to start incorporating innovative digital changes into your company!
Are you ready to drive serious business growth? Turn to Waking Girl Web Design for support! Call us today at 775-544-6612 to learn more about what we can do for your company.
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Ultimately, every business owner will want to know the resale value of their business. Even if they intend to pass it on to the next generation, it is important to be able to defend your valuation. Several criteria are needed to come to a reasonable valuation.
If there is real estate involved, and it is assumed that a new owner would continue the use of the property for the same or similar business, a commercial appraisal may be needed. However, lenders have some leeway on whether a fee appraisal is necessary, especially if the real estate value is less than $500,000.
A second consideration is whether the business will be sold as a "going concern" or if a new owner will be starting something new or a re-start of what was once there. A "going concern" will be valued based on historical profitability and how bankable those figures turn out to be. Most business acquisitions will involve financing, so it is important to avoid being too aggressive in write-offs in the immediate year's tax returns, otherwise a prospective buyer will devalue the business to comply with lender requirements. Saving some in taxes could result in even greater losses as it relates to the lowering of net income and thereby lowering the value of your business.
When a prospective buyer learns about your business, they will want to see two things right away. First, they will look at your website as it gives a first impression of how current your business is. Second, they will want to see your financials to determine the viability of the business.
If you're thinking a sale of your business is in the near future, contact Waking Girl Company. They have the resources to update a website and to give guidance on an independent evaluation.
When planning a succession or sale, business owners should consider turning the reigns over to either the “heir apparent” or an interim CEO/President while still on-site.
This will give the owner a chance to determine whether they are comfortable with a transition of authority, especially on day to day matters. Giving someone else authority to make decisions on hiring, marketing and vision-casting before actually going on that long awaited world cruise can be a good method to check out the mentality and initiative of a would-be successor before giving more comprehensive authority.
Often owners just want a break from the minutia of running the business which allows them to spend more energy on long range planning. Obviously, the physical and mental health of the owner should be considered as well. Asking, “Is the time right to retire, sell or turn over the day to day operations?” is a major decision especially for someone that has poured their heart and soul into the founding of a business. The emotional attachment can often blur the right decision.
One should do some soul-searching about whether the goals they had at the beginning have been achieved or whether it is more likely to be achieved with someone else at the helm.
Want to see if your business is ready to sell, or if you just need a vacation? Call us today for a complimentary business consultation.
Written by Larry, Business to Business Consultant
Larry, B2B Consultant
I was so happy when a Tim Hortons coffee and donut shop opened on the US side of the Canadian border. Whenever I visited family in International Falls, Minnesota, I made a point to bring my passport so I could cross the border to Fort Frances, Ontario where I was able to enjoy a thriving store with unique donut options and excellent coffee. Keep in mind, to cross the border at that point requires a fee as you first have to cross a toll bridge to get to the actual border crossing. So those donuts had to be good!
Why did Tim Hortons fail to be profitable in the US?
My opinion is that they carried the name across the border without carrying the level of service that I found at the Canadian branch. At one location my wife and I were the only customers in the store and we were outnumbered by Tim Hortons employees. However, there was not one table cleaned and ready for new customers. At another store, they did not even carry my favorite Oreo cookie donut, which I think is a trademark of the franchise. I recently visited another franchise only to learn that many of their choices were not available. This is when it became obvious to me that the franchise could not continue.
Typically, I would rather eat at locally owned and operated businesses, rather than a franchise. Of course there are good reasons to eat at franchises as you know what to expect as far as menu choices and a certain level of service.
Locally owned non-franchise places depend on building a reputation of their own, spread by word of mouth or social media.
Local businesses must learn from the errors of places like Hortons to stay profitable.
stay in business.
If you enjoy trying out the locally owned places as I do, remember to post a Yelp review for that business. More people are using reviews as a deciding factor when choosing where to dine or buy products. Locally owned businesses can find creative ways to encourage customers to post their experience on social media or post a review on Yelp or Google. Engaging a team of professionals to assist in this effort is worth directing some advertising dollars to, in order to get the benefit of obtaining reviews and knowing how to boost them to get maximum results.
While some web design companies offer this service, not all of them do and not all that do are experienced in this realm. Make some inquiries before committing to making the investment. In the event the business has had some negative reviews, a good web company can work with the business to address those concerns and turn some negative comments into positive change.
Several of our restaurant clients have had terrible experiences with various food delivery services. Here's an inside look at the reason some of your favorite restaurants are not participating in UBEReats, GrubHub, Postmates, etc., as well as some solutions YOU can use as a consumer.
Dear Delivery Service,
There is a lot more involved in proper delivery of our menu items.
1) The fleet needs to be prepared to immediately exit the premises and drive directly to the diner's location. We have experienced drivers from various services getting comfortable at the bar, and delaying their deliveries.
2) Based on the Yelp reviews we have received from diners who received their meals from delivery services like Postmates, other events are happening between our restaurant and the food's destination. I'm not sure what events this could entail, but it is not conducive to our customers' expectations.
3) The other problem is tipping. Our hard-working staff has no incentive to service delivered meals, and in fact, is often penalized for it. The IRS withholds based on the total sales, not on the total tips. So, a delivered sale will be taxed as if the server is receiving a full tip, but in reality, the tips are often small--as consumers don't understand the extra work involved in packing a to-go meal, and it's being split with the driver.
How Postmates can help:
Our hope is that Postmates will take this feedback seriously and enact immediate changes.
If your system changes, please let us know! We would be happy to reconsider participating in your platform.
Recently, a not for profit organization had a change of Directors. This change was not foreseen as the Director was diagnosed with a terminal condition that quickly took her life. The organization failed to keep a record of passwords and other pertinent information that were necessary to edit their website, check email messages and access bank and credit card information.
The Director probably had all that information saved somewhere, but where? So not only was the organization suddenly scrambling to keep up on the day to day activities the Director had been doing, they also found themselves in the dark as it related to all the technology that had been part of the organization. That is one reason to make sure the organization's website has a maintenance plan with your web designer.
Some businesses try to save a few dollars by having a staff person manage their website. Every owner or board of directors should consider engaging their web company to maintain the site and keep access for edits and changes even if the employee is making some edits. That is like an insurance policy against having an employee quit or otherwise leave the business wondering how to manage the site without them. At the bare minimum, a hosting and maintenance plan should be included with your web company.
There is no doubt that how we do business has changed dramatically since the world wide web presented itself. We have seen the demise of brick and mortar businesses all across our country. The last Blockbuster Movie store just closed as a good example. Changes in how we buy goods and services have impacted the traditional process. How we find companies to do business with has changed as well. Phone books and Yellow Pages have been replaced with web domains. Almost every business has some level of web presence these days if they want to stay viable.
When the time comes to sell a business, owners should consider part of the value of their company is their web presence. It is just as much an asset as inventory and real estate. That being the case, business owners that are thinking of selling should invest some effort in making sure their website is current and valuable and can be demonstrated as a generator of revenue. Some web designers do much more than host a site. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts are a good example of additional services that drive traffic and attract sales. Social media posts and ads directed to a target market can be shown to prospective buyers that your business is viable and current with today's marketing strategies. A discussion with the web hosting company should be part of the selling process to determine what is owned and if there are any contractual arrangements that would prevent a new owner from assuming the website terms and conditions.
Your website can be modified to include a "hidden" page that can be shown to prospective buyers that give information not visible to the public that could include sales helps such as a history of revenues, profitability, cost of goods, recent evaluations of inventory, real estate holdings, etc. Tapping into the full potential of a website includes working with your web team to promote the value not only of your products and services, but your business as well.
If Facebook ads and Print ads were in a competition, Facebook ads would win almost every time.
**The following is a conversation I had with a tourism based community about bringing more traffic to their town.**
We can target people on Facebook who are fans of "Explore Minnesota Tourism."
Just in the last week we have reached 3271 people in the United States who have expressed interest in "Explore Minnesota Tourism."
From August 27-September 6 we reached over 5000 people.
We have received engagement (a Like, Comment, Share, or Click-through to the website) from over 900 of those people.
The hard Facebook ad cost of reaching this captive audience was just: $49.86.
We have the potential to reach 180,000 people on Facebook who are interested in visiting Minnesota.
The circulation of the Explore MN magazine is only 32,750 households.
Our daily reach is estimated at 300-1700 people, based on effectiveness of the ad and the ad budget.
As you can see in the graph, interest is now waning in this ad that has attracted over 5000 people:
It takes more than just the Facebook ad budget to make an ad successful.
Each ad requires: copy, a graphic and photo, and a Call to Action.
Each ad also needs to be carefully watched each day.
Fans need to be engaged with. Questions need to be answered, etc.
Fans also need to be invited to become permanent fans of the page.
This takes time and resources.
Not every ad is successful.
But it only takes a few dollars or a few hours to see if an ad is working or not.
The most exciting thing about Facebook ads, is that putting money into it is like putting money into an investment portfolio. Every time we run an ad campaign, we see a gradual increase in Page Likes or Fans. Once we have a Fan, we can more easily reach him/her with organic posts and paid posts.
We started the summer off with 10,500 Fans, and increased that number by 100 each month--June, July and August--we're winning people over for years to come!
The Facebook Page's Fan base is roughly 1/3 of the Explore MN Magazine Ad circulation.
If we could use the magazine budget of $925 for their smallest ad (1/6 page), we could potentially reach as many as 9000 people A DAY.
With their largest ad budget of $3300, we could potentially reach 32,000 people A DAY.
[These are estimates from Facebook]
Going into Fall and Winter, this is the time to build our Fan Base, so we can remind them monthly to start planning their Summer Vacation in Rainy Lake!!
Let me know if you want to reroute your Print Ad Budget to more Facebook Ad Campaigns!
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