ROI or ROUS’s?? -Focusing on priorities

Ok, Ok, so I know I promised a post on shoutouts. BUT- I went to write it up… and totally lost what I was going to say (have you ever had one of those days?). Whatever brilliant idea I had about those shoutouts- well, it’s out the window now. I could only come up with a minimum of two paragraphs about the subject.

So, I’m moving on. Maybe one day, I’ll return to the subject. I’m sure you’ll be holding your breath in anticipation, right? 😉

So, for today- you ever hear about ROI? No? Good, you’ve come to the right place. And no, it isn’t about rodents of unusual size, or any kind of rodent for that matter! (for those Princess Bride fans out there- you know who you are!)

ROI is a marketing term, meaning “Return Over Investment.” It’s basically the amount you’re getting in return, versus what you invest. Typically, it refers to marketing, but I make an application to other areas of business, as well.

Weekly, I meet with someone whom I am helping get her business started. We’ve had to discuss this topic many times, and so I’m bringing it to you. In starting a business, there’s so much going on and so much to do. Certain business genres have even more- such as a crafting business, where the owner creates all the products.

With so much going on, it’s easy to get distracted from your focus. It’s easy to get off into side trails and lose sight of the main focus of your business. That’s where you need to look at ROI.

Business involves so many things, especially starting out. You’re working on getting set up, while at the same time trying to get the word out. Sometimes, it isn’t easy trying to decide which of the items loudly clamoring for attention need your attention the most.

ROI helps to bring things into focus. When organizing your tasks for the day, look at your ROI. Which activities will be most beneficial today?  If you are creating a product, focus on the ones you know. I ran into this recently with Fern, the lady I mentioned. There is always the temptation to experiment, to bring in something new. Be careful not to become too distracted with that, however. Before you bring in something new, work on solidifying what you’ve already got. Take a hard look at your products and decide which one will give you the most return versus the time and money you’re investing.

Sometimes it isn’t a product at all. There are legal steps that need your attention as well. You need to file that report, but you also need to write that employee handbook. Both are good to have, but both may not be necessary. Do you have employees already? Not planning to hire for a while? Then focus on the file.

Starting a business is tough. It’s also crazy busy. But if you focus on prioritizing your tasks and putting the emphasis on those which are most necessary or have the highest return, it can become easier to manage.

Good luck on starting your journey!

Business and Social Media: Into the World of College Students and Teeny-boppers

Most businesses today, especially larger corporations, have at least some sort of online presence. Most have a website, and many have a Facebook page or other social media account.

There are still many, however, who question the necessity of having such a presence. Even if they can see the point of a website, they scoff at the idea of Facebook and Twitter, declaring that these are for college students and teeny-boppers, and NOT professionals.

Maybe that’s how Facebook got its start. But since its inception in 2004, it has exploded in popularity. Now, my 80-year-old great aunt has a Facebook page, and it doesn’t sit idle, either!

What does that mean for business? It means that there is a market just waiting for you. Being a business owner means that you have to start looking at every opportunity for your business. This is especially true for small business owners!

A website may sound like a big step and you may be overwhelmed by all that goes into it. A domain name and FTP transfers? What the heck?!

Rest easy, folks. It doesn’t have to be all that difficult. In fact, forget the website– for now. It has its place, but if you’re going to at least get a foot in the door, I recommend social media.

It doesn’t have to be Facebook, although that is my preference. Start with one, and as you get your page established, move on to the next to reach a greater crowd. Keep them connected, but unique.

I’m a huge fan of meeting the people where they’re at, and that’s exactly what this is about. You can’t expect customers to just show up at your door. No one else does, either. That’s why they advertise. But advertising isn’t always in the game plan, especially for smaller businesses. It’s expensive and difficult to target properly.

Social media gives you a ready-made target audience, and at no cost to you other than your time. That may be precious in and of itself, but I’d recommend it as a good and even necessary investment.

That said- when is a good time to start it? My strong suggestion is to do it immediately, and I’ll explain why in next week’s post.

Do you have a Facebook or other social media site, or know someone that does? If so, feel free to post it in the comments and share! Yes, I’m giving full permission to blatantly advertise in the comments… THIS time. Your comment will appear after moderation, so it may take a little time. From the comments, I will choose a few businesses to feature in a new post! 🙂