Get On The Bus 

Get On The Bus 

We all remember that foreboding time – back-to-school – the photo on the front steps, shopping for new shoes, backpacks, supplies, and a haircut. This year, over 78 million students returned to the classroom, with a reported 2.5% suffering from Didaskaleinophobia, the fear of going back to school. Yes, it’s a real neurosis. It’s understandable to be apprehensive of new teachers, homework, the bus rides, peer pressure and awful cafeteria food.

Though the school bus has long left us behind, there’s still good reason to prepare for the “next semester” of your business. It’s easy to get caught up with doing what’s urgent – rather than what’s important. Most business owners are guilty of the “if it ain’t broke” attitude. We’ve heard it before: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Though the “back to school” timeframe serves as a reminder to start fresh and to sharpen the pencil – it’s not the only time of year to make an appointment with yourself to “work on the business.” Make your own business a client for a day and focus on marketing as your important subject. 

Here’s your homework assignment:

1. Review what your customers see in person and online. This could mean “walking” the building to really see what your customers see – signage, artwork, the front desk – all those things you “see” every day but never notice. These are the actual things your customers or prospects observe as their first impression. Next, take a deep dive into your online appearance. Search your company name, and your name, and check how your website is rendering on mobile devices. Is there any confusing information – old addresses, ex-employees, reviews that are surprises? If so, have a professional repair these so your online presence is accurate and inviting. 

2. Read your website content – does it encourage engagement? Sure, a couple years ago you tackled that new site, proofed the text and approved some pictures – but how’s it holding up today? Are you really in the same business as you were years back? Are you simply telling readers what you do instead of how well you do them? Are the images clear and up-to-date? Just read your website like you would if you were evaluating a company to engage.  

3. Reach out to customers with something informative and interesting. If you’re like most business owners, you have great ideas, interesting perspectives and the ability to “share your brain.” But like so many others, you never take the time to do so. You’re not alone, it’s a very popular oversight. It’s important to establish a schedule for blogging to improve your online value. People want to hire a business that is intelligent, informative and interesting. Using LinkedIn, social media and a regular email campaign will impress your customers and prospects.  

If your company feels stuck, then do something that wakes up your audience. Just like school, tackle a one assignment at a time, read and write about it and master it. You’ll be surprised what a difference a regular marketing  program will make. It starts by doing your homework!

Remember: For your company – everything is marketing.