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Strategy State’s Power 9 Marketing Tactic

Strategy State’s Power 9 Marketing Tactic

We know that marketing activities can sometimes be a drag. It can often be hit and miss, all over the place and you occasionally don’t know what you’re doing.

It’s really important that you have a “Marketing Process” that is simple, effective and most importantly streamlined for efficiency.

This is even more important if you have a small business that doesn’t have its own marketing department or dedicated marketing person.

In a previous article, we’ve put together a guide to the best marketing tactics for 2019 – click to read.

To shed more light on how to improve your marketing efforts, let us tell you one of the marketing tactics we recommend at Strategy State.

Today we’re going to show you a VERY effective marketing tactic.

It’s called the Power 9 Marketing Tactic.

The goal of this marketing tactic is to spread your message as far and wide as possible and to squeeze as much value as possible from your marketing efforts.

 

Strategy State’s Power 9:

The Power 9
1. Create a Resource / Free Tool

This could be a chart, template, white paper, checklist, eBook, how to video, etc.

2. Create a “Free Download” landing page of the Resource/tool you have created

Insert an email opt-in to collect email addresses.

3. Write an article about it

In that article, you need to add a link to the free tool or resource.

4. Email Marketing – Add the links to your article and free resource

This helps drive traffic to your website.

5. Create a short video (up to 5mins) about your free resource

Show people the benefits and how to use it. Add this to your YouTube channel and other platforms.

6. Post your free Tool / Resource in Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest & other social platforms you’re on.

7. Repost your content 4 – 6 times per year.

This will give your content the maximum amount of exposure.

8. Post it on other people’s sites/platforms

Identify as many other sites and platforms where you can share your content

9. Continue to create multiple free resources and repeat

I.e. 1 X Free tool + 1 X Free Download + 1 X article + 1 X Email Marketing + 1 X Video + Post on Social Accounts + Post 4 – 6 times per year+ Post on other platforms + Create additional resources

 

This is how it works:

 

1. Create a Free Resource / Free Tool

Your free tool can be a chart, template, white paper, checklist, eBook, how to video, etc.

Time Analysis Exercise

Free Tool example: Time Analysis Exercise

 

Now, what is the point in giving away free resources? Isn’t that what you are meant to be selling?

Well yes and no. Firstly, it’s important to know that you need to give away A LOT of value in order to receive value in return.

One of the goals of creating free content is that it helps brands you as an authority within the industry. If prospects go to your website or social page and see you have dozens of posts, content, articles, freebies, etc. They’re typically going to view you as someone who knows what they’re talking about. Especially if the content is good.

Additionally,

Many people think that if they give “free stuff” away, then prospects won’t buy their products or services. This is not true.

The people that just use your free tools and don’t convert, will most likely never be your customers. They may be time rich and cash poor. While those who are cash rich and time poor will consume your products.

 

What free resources should I create?

Well, that really depends on the type of business you have.

The best way to find out what free tools to use would be by conducting keyword research. You can do this by using software such as Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and Keywords Everywhere.

This will tell you how popular certain keywords are.

You’ll then know what free tools and resources people are searching for within your industry.

Here are a few examples of free resources that have worked well for others.

  • Lighting and ceiling fan shop = How to switch your fan to winter mode.
  • Marketing Agency = Free website audit tool.
  • Beauty Salon = 10 x DIY hairstyles you can do at home.
  • Car mechanic = How to maintain your care video/checklist.

 

 2. Create a “Free Download” of the Resource

As discussed earlier in step 1 this tactic involves creating a free downloadable resource for prospects.

For this to work, we need to Insert an email opt-in to collect email addresses.

Time Analysis Opt-in Form

Email opt-in form example: Free download the Time Analysis Exercise

 

Once you have created your free downloadable resource and uploaded it to your website.

You can add a simple feature to your website that enables prospects to download the resource once they have entered their email and contact details.

The goal of this step in the process is to increase your email subscribers list. The reason being is that the backbone of many marketing initiatives revolves around email marketing, as email marketing can get the highest return on investment compared to other marketing initiatives.

 

3. Write an article about your resource

When writing an article, you want to describe the issue and the solution you are offering with your free tool.

In that article, you’ll add a link to the free tool or resource.

Blog articleBlog article example: The 5 Deadly Sins of Business

 

The benefits of writing an article are multifold.

Firstly, an article supports your SEO efforts. This helps you rank higher and makes it easier for prospects to find your products and services.

Secondly, an article will help educate your prospects on the benefits of your free tool and push them further down the sales funnel. It also helps build trust and your relationship.

For best results articles should be around 2,000 words in length, contain your main keywords and 3-5 high-quality images. Make sure you keep your paragraphs short and add subtitles and lists to make it more readable. Be sure to add a clear call to action.

 

For more details on how to write amazing articles, check out Neil Patel’s guide here.

 

4. Email Marketing – Add the free tool to your email marketing campaign

We have now completed steps 1 through 3:

Step 1. You have created a free resource.

Step 2. You have added the free resource to your website.

Step 3. You have written an article that supports the resource.

 

Now we can move on to combining it with email marketing.

Email marketing

Email Marketing example

 

If you don’t use email marketing, it’s a good idea to consider it. As discussed, earlier, email marketing can be really effective and have a high return on investment. It’s a great way to keep prospects informed and help business owners and consumers stay connected.

There is a wide range of email marketing platforms available. Many of them are free up to a set number of subscribers. These free accounts will be more than enough to get you going if you’re starting out.

Some of the most popular include: MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, ConvertKit and GetResponse to name a few.

Keep your email marketing clean simple and to the point.

People are constantly bombarded with emails and are reluctant to read long-winded newsletters. To increase your open rates, use a title that will entice people to open the email. Like: “Free Tool”.

For this tactic to work, we suggest you make the email about the free tool.

Here is an example of one we have created.

Always ensure that it is super easy for your subscribers to share the free resource and or articles.

 

5. Create a short video (up to 5mins) about your free resource.

The next step is to create a video that will help you reach potential customers and drive traffic to your website. A video is a highly-engaged form of media that works well with your social initiatives.

Short Video example: Time Analysis Exercise Instructional Video 

 

According to Animoto Video was consumers’ #1 favorite type of content to see from brands on social media in 2018.

 

Animoto

To read the full article click on the link below: https://animoto.com

 

The video you create can be in a format of a “How to” video. It can showcase the article you’ve written about and introduce the benefits of your free tool.

Add your video to YouTube or any other video platform you use. You can also add the video to your website, as additional content to your landing page or article.

The goal of creating the short video is to use another form of media to help drive awareness and leads for your business.

 

6. Post your free Tool / Resource on Social Media platforms

Now it’s time to post your free tool or article on social accounts. The most popular platforms are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

instagram

Social Media example: Instagram

 

Again,

The goal here is to spread your content as far and wide as possible and to engage with as many people across different platforms. You may not know which platforms your ideal customers are on, so you’ll need to test and measure to see which platforms work best.

When posting on social platforms, take into consideration: When you post, what day of the week and how you can create content that people want to engage with.

When posting on social platforms, quality and consistency is the key.

 

7. Post your content 4 – 6 times per year.

To maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, we recommend that you post your content 4 to 6 times per year.

This will give you the best chance for all your potential prospects to consume your content. Often people may need to see your content a number of times before they engage with you. Always ensure you’re adding value with your content. Don’t post for the sake of it. Quality is king!

For more information on this specific tactic check out your Neil Patel’s video here.

This should run in conjunction with your content marketing plan.

If you would like a free social content plan template – Click here.

 

Ideally, you should automate your content marketing by using tools such as Hootsuite. This will enable you to preschedule and organize your social media in advance.

 

8. Post your content on other people’s social accounts/sites/blogs.

In this step, we will talk about two ways to create leverage using other people’s social accounts, sites, blogs.

The first way is to leverage your contents exposure is to use guest blogging. As the name suggests, you publish your content on other websites. It’s a common practice in digital marketing and is very helpful for SEO.

This involves identifying relevant sites and blogs where you can share your content. You need to find other sites that have a similar target audience to your own. Your content will need to compliment what that website is focused on.

Another way to leverage your content is to use social influencers. Influencers have a dedicated niche of followers who are passionate about a particular interest.

Influencers have built up trust and authority with their follows. If your product or service aligns with the influencer’s audience, it can be a great way to start a conversation and build a relationship with your brand.

To find influencers that might be useful to your business, try using tools like:

Social Blade.com. This tool enables you to search for popular influencers across many different platforms.

 

9. Create multiple Free tools and repeat

I.e. 1 X Free tool + 1 X article + 1 X Free Download + 1 X Email Marketing + 1 X Video + Post on Social Accounts + Post 4 – 6 times per year.

 

Now that you’ve gotten to the stage, you’re starting to become a real marketing Pro.

thumbs up

 

To make this marketing strategy fly you need to consistently create additional free tools, articles, email marketing, videos, etc. Then post them across all your different platforms, while leveraging off other platforms that get lots of traffic.

 

As time goes on, you’ll get much quicker at creating an organizing content.

This strategy does take effort but is designed to squeeze every last drop out of your marketing efforts. Over time you’ll see great results as your influence and brand grows.

Your ranking will improve, your inquiries will increase, and you’ll gain authority which will lead to additional sales.

The 5 Deadly Sins of Business

The 5 Deadly Sins of Business

Part of being in business means that we’re always testing new ideas, experimenting and yes – making mistakes.

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we all strive to buy a high learning curve position and to reduce the number of mistakes we make.

There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes; the only issue is if we don’t learn from them.

Mistakes will be made, and that’s ok, but there are a few critical sins in business that can and should be avoided if possible.

Below is a list of the five key sins that can be deadly for your business.

Recognizing and avoiding these sins will help you grow and develop your company, it will help you reduce your risk, increase your chances of success and most importantly enable you to have more fun while operating a business.

The 5 Deadly Sins of Business

1. We commit the sin of the inaccurate assumption

We all make assumptions on a day-to-day basis, and that’s human nature.

The issue arises when we make assumptions within a business context that can have disastrous results.

It’s essential that we continuously test our assumptions on a regular basis. What may have been true in the past may not be true in the future, and with technology moving at such a rapid rate, we need to be constantly adapting.

By not seeking feedback or validating our concepts, we can head down the path of mediocrity.

 

Case in point, I was working with a client one day, and we were identifying the top and bottom 20% of his customers.

I asked as I always do, how much does it cost to service each client? The response was “$400 per month”.

I said “fine, and how much do the smaller clients pay you each month?”

The response was “$250 per month”. I looked at the person puzzled and said, “Wait, you charge them $250 per month, but it costs you $400 to service them, is that right?”

He looked at me begrudgingly and said: “Yes, but the smaller clients turn into bigger clients!”

My response was “Okay,

Let’s check all the big clients and see how many of those started off as small clients.”

By this stage, the client was reeling and becoming very defensive.

Sure enough, when we checked, all of the big clients had started out as big clients, and none of the small clients had turned into big clients.

 

This means it would have been cheaper for the company just to write out a cheque for $150 per month to the smaller clients and have done none of the work!

 

This assumption had cost the company over 1 million dollars over a 10-year period.

No one had thought to check the assumption of whether or not small clients turn into large clients, or if in fact, it was worthwhile engaging with small clients in the first place.

 

2. We fail to see our business as a series of processes and systems that must be in writing

As it turns out only 4% of companies have systems and in place.

Funnily enough, only 4% of businesses do over a million dollars a year and turn over.

This strong correlation indicates that business that have systems and processes in place do far better than those they don’t.

 

More evidence can be seen if we look at franchises and chain stores. These companies all have strong systems and processes in place. When someone buys a franchise, what they’re buying is a proven set of systems and processes that will ensure their business succeeds.

As a business owner, do you have systems and processes in place? Especially for the ten most common tasks in your company?

The reason why businesses and systems are so important for companies is that they provide accuracy and consistent outcomes.

 

This is great for managing customers’ expectations and experience, but it’s also valuable for your employees.

Employees need to know what the process is for each task, if they don’t have these systems and processes, then they’ll make it up themselves. A lack of systems and processes all result in low productivity, confusion, mistakes, errors, and generally low levels of workplace happiness.

 


Click below to download a free flowchart maker to help with your systems and processes:

Download Your Free Business Tool


3. We spend too much time on low-value tasks

As mentioned in an earlier article, many business owners spend more time than they should on tasks that will have little or no impact on growing their business.

Click here to read more about the Essential vs. Growth Activities in Business article.

 

In business, there are often only a few core tasks that will help drive growth. If you’re not focused on those tasks, you can end up been busy all day every day running around putting out fires and solving small issues.

 

As business owners, there are an endless array of distractions that can suck time from us. Controlling how we use our time is really important.

 

Business owners often like to engage themselves in tasks that are emotionally safe. These are frequent tasks that we are very familiar with or enjoy doing. Now there’s nothing wrong with doing things that you enjoy doing, but often the significant gains are made from doing things outside our comfort zone or tasks that are going to have a considerable impact to your business’s growth.

 

To outline this concept further, below is a table that illustrates the above example.

Essential Vs. Growth Table

What you can do about it?

If you would like to improve how you use your time, follow this easy exercise.

 

  • Before you start:

Download the free Time Analysis Exercise.

 


Click below to download your free Time Analysis Exercise:

Download Your Free Business Tool


 

  • Step 1:

Record the tasks that you are completing every 15 minutes.

For an 8-hour day, this will require you to fill in 32 slots, where you record what you have done.

This needs to be continued over one week.

In total, you should have 160 x 15-minute slots where you have recorded the tasks you were working on.

 

  • Step 2:

Break your tasks up into three sections.

    • Tasks that can be done, but offer little or low value.
    • Tasks that are essential business to your business
    • Tasks that directly impact the growth and development of your business.

 

  • Step 3 (Complete step 3 at the end f each day):

Score each tasks using the key below:

    • Can be done tasks = 1 Point
    • Essential tasks = 3 Points
    • Growth tasks = 6 Points

Use the dropdown menu to add a score next to each of the 160 x 15-minute slots.

 

  • Step 4:

Once you have done that, you can now analyze how you use your time.

The template will automatically calculate your total score.

Check your results:

    • 160 – 360 = Poor
    • 361 – 560 = Moderate
    • 561 – 760 = Good
    • 761 – 960 = Amazing

On completion of this, you’ll now have a much better understanding of how you use your time throughout the week, and how you can better use your time to grow and develop your company.

 

4. We don’t hire superstars, then delegate everything so we can plan and think

Many business owners and especially those that have started businesses from scratch, often have ideas that nobody can do the job as well as they can.

This is entirely not true and is a limiting belief. Often this belief becomes apparent when business owners micromanage their employees.

The role of the business owner is to think, plan and develop the company; it’s not to get involved and every minute aspect of the business.

 

Avoid low-value tasks

As discussed earlier there are three types of tasks 1 Low Value, 2 Essential and 3 Growth.

All low level and essential tasks should ideally be done by employees or outsourced.

This gives you the best opportunity to work on high-value tasks that are going to have the greatest impact on your business.

 

Tasks that require specific skill sets

Another issue that some business owners have is they like to do everything themselves.

If there are tasks that need to be actioned in the business, which require specific skill sets, rather than trying to break your head on it yourself, why not get someone in who is an expert in that area and has done it 100 times before.

 

Many times, I’ve seen business owners work on projects that have taken up months of their time when they could have gotten someone else to do the job and had it completed within a week, and with a much better result.

In business, speed is the key!

 

Empty your plate

As discussed previously, the role of the business owner is to think, grow and develop the company. To do this, you need time to think and plan.

Whenever a new task comes into the business, the first question you need to ask yourself is ” who is going to do this task.”

I support the approach of bottom-up delegation. This means that all tasks and duties within the business are given to the lowest level of employees within the business. They do what they can with set and responsibility level, from there anything that they can’t do is pushed up to the person above them.

This means by the time tasks come across the owner’s desk, they are of the highest importance and value.

Bottom Up Delegation

 

To make this easier, it begins with recruiting right, great employee inductions, and continuous staff training. This should be supported by KPI’s for each role.

 

5. We don’t seek advice from those who will tell us the truth

Business owners sometimes fail to seek advice from those who will be honest with them. This is understandable as some entrepreneurs link their identity to the business, and by default critiquing their business is the same thing as criticizing them personally.

In order to grow, business owners must seek the truth; they must be open and honest about the business and themselves.

Becoming comfortable and surrounding yourself with people that will agree with you is the road to mediocrity. Business owners need to be continually challenging their ideas, thoughts, and assumptions.

Often, it’s front line staff and employees who have some of the best insight to give, but in order to give higherups advice, you usually have to ask them. Create an environment that promotes constant feedback in an honest and authentic way. Ensure employees at all levels can provide input that will help develop your company.

 

In conclusion,

Developing a business is hard work. But by recognizing some of the five deadly sins of business, you can improve your company and avoid issues before they arise.

Business is about driving results. Park the ego at the door. Focus on what the goal is.

 

What are some mistakes you’ve made in business? Comment below.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business (2019)

THE ULTIMATE LIST OF CHROME EXTENSIONS FOR BUSINESS

Business builders are always on the lookout for any edge they can get.

The team at Strategy State have put together a list of the best Chrome Extensions for business owners.

What are Chrome Extensions?

Chrome Extensions are small software programs that customize and add new features to your Chrome browser and personalize your browser.

They can be powerful tools to help enhance your browsing experience.

There are an endless number of extensions on offer, with most of them being free.

We’ve broken our list of extensions up into logical sections to help you navigate them easier.

 

How to get started with Chrome Extensions?

  1. Open your Chrome browser (you can free download it here).
  2. Open the Chrome Web Store.
  3. Find and select the extension you want.
  4. Click Add to Chrome.
  5. Some extensions will let you know if they need certain permissions or data. To approve, click Add extension.

To use the extension, click the icon to the right of the address bar.

 

How to install Chrome Extensions:

Productivity

These chrome extensions do a number of tasks that can help with your everyday productivity, including: Helping you with your to-do lists, staying focused on core tasks, spelling, and grammar, sorting and highlighting text and working with other team members.
If you’re serious about improving your day to day productivity, check out these extensions.

Grammarly Grammarly
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business (3) Evernote Web Clipper
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business (3) StayFocused
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business (3) Toggl Button – Productivity & Time Tracker
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business One Click Extensions Manager
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Print Friendly & PDF
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Momentum
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Todoist – To-Do list and Task Manager
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Ginger
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Super Simple Highlighter
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Taco
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Keep Chrome Extension
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Any.do Extension
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Asana

Trello Extensions:

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Planyway: Calendar and Timeline for Trello
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Gmail-to-Trello
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Add to Trello
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Scrum for Trello

 

Administration

Admin extensions revolve around using Microsoft word and google doc products, making it easier to use them. There is also an extension called DocuSign that is very useful for adding electronic signatures.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Save to Google Drive
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Docs Offline
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business DocuSign – Electronic Signature for Gmail
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Office Online

Communication

Communication within a business is vital. These extensions like Skype and Hangout will no doubt help you improve how to connect with people.
Using video as a form of communication is the preferred option for many people, as it’s more personal, and you can give much higher levels of detail while understanding complex topics.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Skype
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Hangouts

Email

We all use email on a daily basis.
There are many email extensions that can be utilized to enhance your emailing productivity and experience.
Some of these extensions help you Sort emails, send them at a later date, find email addresses on websites, etc.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business SignEasy for Gmail
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Boomerang for Gmail
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Hunter – Find email addresses in seconds
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Mail Checker
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Random Signature Quotes for Gmail™

CloudHQ Extensions:

Cloud HQ are experts in this area. They have a large range of email extensions that work specifically with Gmail.

To check them out click here:

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business CloudHQ Gmail Productivity Tools

Marketing

Sales and marketing are a key aspect of any business. These extensions help you better utilize some of your online marketing initiatives. Whether that be analyzing pages, managing RSS subscriptions or exporting your data studio reports to PDF, we have you covered.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Data Studio PDF Export
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business RSS Subscription Extension (by Google)
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Page Analytics (by Google)
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Impactana

SEO

There are a number of really cool chrome extensions that can help you with your SEO efforts. These tools are super simple to use but offer great insights into how you can improve your SEO and shed light on your competitors.
Some of these tools can help you Audit your website, keyword research and a host of other technical analysis that can help you improve your SEO.

 The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business SEO Minion
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business SEMrush Social Media Poster
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business BuzzSumo
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Mozbar
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Keywords Everywhere – Keyword Tool
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Tag Assistant (by Google)
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business SEOquake
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business SEO & Website Analysis (By Woorank)

Social Media

Most of us in business have social accounts. These run-in alignments with our Content Plan so we consistently make the right touch points at the right time.
These extensions will help you track and measure your performance, as well as automate some of the processes.
The extensions cover social accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to name a few.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business LinkedIn Sales Navigator
 The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Pinterest Save Button
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Save to Facebook
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Buffer
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Desktop for Instagram
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Helper Tools for Instagram
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business LikePool
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business EverLiker
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business App for Instagram
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Downloader for Instagram™
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business RiteTag

Website / Online Tools

We have added a few Chrome extensions that will help you with online tools and your web experience. For instance, a bit.ly creator, various Google products, Feedly, which is a content management tool and various others. Check them out and see what will become useful to you.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business  Bit.ly
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Voice Search Hotword (Beta)
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Translate
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Dictionary (by Google)
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Feedly
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Zapier
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Chrome Remote Desktop – Screen sharing
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Google Forms
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Bookmark Manager
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Check My Links

Graphics

Not just for the creative types.
Most of us use graphics to the same degree or another. Having a few useful tools to use from time to time can be a real help.
We’ve put together a list of extensions that fall under the “graphics” category.
Let us know what you think, what extensions are we missing?

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business  Save Image As Type
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Sumo Paint – Online Image Editor
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Inkscape – Editor for drawing and graphics
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Web Paint

Screen Recording

If you ever wanted to take great screenshots or video record instructions for someone, then these are the chrome extensions for you.
Video recording is one of the best ways to communicate with people when there are a few steps (that can be complex or detailed). Using screen recording software can be much easier and faster than writing long drawn out emails.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business  Lightshot – Screenshot tool
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Awesome Screenshot – Screen Video Recorder
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Full Page Screen Capture
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Soapbox – Video Recorder
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business MakeGIF Video Capture
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Loom – Video Recorder: Screen, Webcam and Mic

Security and Privacy

Security and privacy is probably the most important thing to many of us.
We’ve included a list of some of the most popular extensions that cover: Privacy and ad blocking, history and disk cleaning, password management and person blocking tools.

The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business  AdBlock
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Ghostery – Privacy Ad Blocker
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Click&Clean
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business McAfee Endpoint Security Web Control 
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business McAfee SiteAdvisor Enterprise
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Password Checkup
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Personal Blocklist (by Google)
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Blur
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Avast Online Security
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business Fair AdBlocker
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business LastPass – Free Password Manager
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business EditThisCookie
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business (85) Adblock for Youtube
The Ultimate List of Chrome Extensions for Business (86) Video Adblocker for Youtube Extension

Click below to download this list as PDF:


We hope that you’ve found this list helpful.

Which one is your favorite?

Did we miss any Chrome extensions?

Tell us what extensions you use in the comments below.

As we want to keep this list as accurate and up to date as possible, please let us know if any of the links fail to work so we can remove them.

Contact us: info@strategystate.com.

175+ Best Free Tools for Business (2019)

Free Tools for Business

The team at Strategy State have compiled a list of the Best Free Tools for Entrepreneurs.

We understand that growing a business can be tough at the best of times and managing cash flow is always a challenge.

That’s why we have compiled a list of free tools to help you keep growing. We’ve tried to find tools that are 100% free.

Read through the list, we hope you find some useful tools that you can use.

We’ve broken them up into sections for easier navigation.

 

Strategy State Free Tools

The team at Strategy State have a great set of free business tools to help grow and develop your company. These tools cover business planning, marketing strategy, 100-day plans, KPI’s and much more.

Strategy State – Business Plan Template

Strategy State – Marketing Plan Template

Strategy State – Big 5 Business Growth Calculator

Strategy State – Productivity Calendar

Strategy State – Pain Points Chart

Strategy State – Essential Business KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)

Strategy State – 100 Day Business Development Plan Template

Strategy State – 70+ Free Chrome Extensions For Business

Strategy State – Candidate Interview Tool

Strategy State – Social Content Plan

Strategy State – Time Analysis Exercise

 

Team & Project Management

These tools will help you manage projects more effectively while working across teams. They’re great for keeping everyone on the same page.

Asana – https://asana.com

Trello – https://trello.com

Slack – https://slack.com

Airtable – https://airtable.com

 

Time Management

Tools to help you manage your time more effectively. Some of these tools block specific website for defined periods of time.

RescueTime – https://www.rescuetime.com/plans

Airtable – https://airtable.com/

 

Password Management Tools

If you’re like most people and have dozens of different accounts across different platforms, then keeping track of usernames and passwords can be a challenge. These tools can help with that.

Dashlane – https://www.dashlane.com –  Store passwords and personal information

StickyPassword – https://www.stickypassword.com – Password Manager

 

Communication & Meetings

Tools to help you communicate via video. Enabling you to work with people out in the field and from around the world.

Skype – https://www.skype.com/en/

Google Hangout – https://hangouts.google.com/

TeamViewer – https://www.teamviewer.com/en/

Evernote – Free Note Taking, Organizing and Archiving App – https://evernote.com/

Appointlet – Free Online Appointment Scheduling – https://www.appointlet.com

 

Networking

These networking sites are great for meeting like-minded people.

You can find your target audience, create events or your own club to help support your endeavors.

Meetup – https://meetup.com/

Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.com/

 

CRM

Having a Client Relationship Management system is essential for all modern-day business.

Here is a list of some free CRM’s to get you started.

Streak – https://www.streak.com/

Hubspot CRM – https://www.hubspot.com

Workbooks.com – https://www.workbooks.com/

Zoho CRM – https://www.zoho.com

Zoho Contact Manager – https://www.zoho.com/contactmanager/

Really Simple Systems – https://www.reallysimplesystems.com/

Insightly – https://www.insightly.com

Apptivo – https://www.apptivo.com

Capsule CRM – https://capsulecrm.com/

 

Customer Service

These tools are great for collecting feedback from customers, testing and validating new ideas for products and services.

Survey Monkey – Free Survey Tool – https://www.surveymonkey.com/

Typeform – Data collection tool – https://www.typeform.com/

ClassMarker – Quiz Maker for Business & Education – https://www.classmarker.com/

Jotform – Form generator – https://www.jotform.com

 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the backbone for many small businesses.

It also boasts one of the highest ROI’s of any marketing initiative. Use these tools to maximize your email marketing.

MailChimp – https://mailchimp.com/

Mailerlite – https://www.mailerlite.com/

Send in Blue – https://www.sendinblue.com

Email Cloud HQ – https://www.cloudhq.net/

 

Google Products

Google is always coming out with new products. Most of them are free, it’s just that many people don’t know about them.

Review what products google offers and see what is useful to your business.

Google My Business – https://www.google.com/business/

Think With Google – https://apac.thinkwithgoogle.com/index.html

Google Analytics – https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/

Google Search Console (Previously known as Webmaster Tools) – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

Google Tag Manager – https://tagmanager.google.com/

Google Ads – https://ads.google.com/

Google AdSense – https://www.google.com/adsense/

Google Merchant Center – https://www.google.com/retail/solutions/merchant-center/

Google Trends – https://www.google.com/trends

Google Forms – http://www.google.com/forms/

Google Drive – https://www.google.com/drive/

Google Keyword Planner – http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

Google Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts

Google Books – https://books.google.com

Google Calendar – https://www.google.com/calendar/

Google Hangouts For Business – https://hangouts.google.com/

Google Scholar – https://scholar.google.com

Google Drawing – https://docs.google.com/drawings

Google PageSpeed Insights – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Google Mail (Gmail) – https://mail.google.com/

Google Translate – http://translate.google.com/

Google DataStudio – https://datastudio.google.com/

 

Website Platforms

Here are a few platforms to help you build a free website, landing page or blog.

WordPress – https://wordpress.com

Wix – https://www.wix.com

Blogger – https://www.blogger.com

 

eCommerce and Lead Generation:

The free tools listed below will help you generate leads and convert more sales on your website.

WooCommerce – https://woocommerce.com/

Sumo – Free Tools to Automate Site Growth – https://sumo.com/

Hello Bar – https://www.hellobar.com/

Prove Source – Recent Sales pop up – https://provesrc.com/

Freshchat – Free Customer Live Chat Software – https://www.freshworks.com/

ManyChat – Visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger – https://manychat.com

Jotform – Form generator – https://www.jotform.com

 

Website Audit

Every website needs to be regularly audited to keep it healthy and up to date.

These tools will help you analyze your website and provide recommendations to help optimize it.

SEMrush – https://www.semrush.com/siteaudit

GTmetrix – https://gtmetrix.com

Google Analytics – https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web – Web analytics service

Google Search Console – https://search.google.com/search-console/about – Web service by Google for webmasters

Responsinator – https://www.responsinator.com – test responsive websites on different device resolutions.

SSL Checker (By Website Plant) – https://www.websiteplanet.com/ssl-checker – Check if your SSL certificate is installed properly & trusted by browsers

 

Website Speed Test

Ensuring your website speed is as fast as possible is vital to reducing your bounce rate.

Use these tools to test your website speed, then find out what needs to happen to improve it.

GTmetrix – https://gtmetrix.com

Google PageSpeed Insights – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights

Google Test your mobile speed – https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com

 

SEO Tools

Here is a list of tools to help you with your Search Engine Optimization, including keyword research, competitor analysis, and many other useful tools.

SEO Spider Tool – https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/

Duplicate Content Tool – http://www.siteliner.com/

Free Moz Tools – https://moz.com/free-seo-tools

MOZ Tool Bar – https://moz.com

Moz Keyword Explorer: https://moz.com/explorer

Moz Link Explorer: https://moz.com/link-explorer

Moz Local Search Engine Tool – https://moz.com/local/search

Moz Permission Management for Google My Business – https://moz.com/local/mybusinessconsole

Moz Local Category Optimizer – https://moz.com/local/categories

Google Keyword Planner – https://ads.google.com/intl/en_au/home/tools/keyword-planner/ – Keyword Tool

Uber Suggest – https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ – Keyword Tool

SEMrush Keyword Planner – https://www.semrush.com/lp/keyword-research/en/ – Keyword Tool

AnswerThePublic – https://answerthepublic.com – Keyword Tool

LSI Graph – https://lsigraph.com – LSI keywords Tool (Latent Semantic Indexing)

Subscribers – https://subscribers.com/ – Push browser notifications

HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator – https://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator – Gives you a year’s worth of blog post ideas

 

FTP Application

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used to transfer files between two computers over a network and Internet.

FileZilla – https://filezilla-project.org

Cyberduck – https://cyberduck.io

FireFTP – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-Us/firefox/addon/fireftp

 

Code Editor

Code editor tools will help you edit text and source code easily. These tools support plain text and several programming languages.

Notepad++ – Text editor and source code editor – https://notepad-plus-plus.org

Atom – A free and open-source text and source code editor – https://atom.io

Visual Studio Code – https://code.visualstudio.com

 

Content Tools and Plagiarism Checker

Below are tools that help with your content creation. These tools analyze your content for plagiarism along with other quality measures.

Grammarly – https://www.grammarly.com – Grammar and spelling checker

CopyScape – https://www.copyscape.com – Plagiarism Checker: Is your content original or copied

Quetext – https://www.quetext.com

Dupli Checker – https://www.duplichecker.com

PaperRater – https://www.paperrater.com

Word Counter – https://wordcounttools.com – Word count tool to analyze content

 

 

Competitor Research and Market Intelligence

Analyzing your competitors and gaining market insight is vital to remaining competitive.

Use these free tools to help you improve your performance and stay ahead of the pack.

SimilarWeb – https://www.similarweb.com/home – Online competitive intelligence tool

Buzzsumo – https://buzzsumo.com

BuiltWith – https://builtwith.com – Web technology lookup tool

SEMrush – https://www.semrush.com – SEO tool & competitors’ analysis

Alexa – https://www.alexa.com/find-similar-sites – Similar sites based on shared audience and keyword overlap

 

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Tools

Below are tools that will help you with your Search Engine Marketing and PPC Ad management.

Google Ads Editor – https://ads.google.com – Google Ads application to work offline and make bulk changes

Broad Keyword Converter – http://tools.acquisio.com/AdwordsBroadKwConverter – Convert to Google’s Modified Broad Match format

TitleCap – http://titlecapitalization.com – Automatically capitalize your title

 

Social Media Channels

Here are the leading social media channels.

Target your relevant audience using the channels what work best for you.

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/

Snapchat – https://www.snapchat.com/

WeChat – https://web.wechat.com/ – Chinese social media & messaging

Tumbler – https://www.tumblr.com/

Weibo – https://s.weibo.com/ – Chinese microblogging website

Qzone – https://qzone.qq.com/

Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/

 

Forums

Forums can be a great way to interact with your target market.

The below forums receive thousands of visitors each month.

Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/

Quora – https://www.quora.com/

Ask.fm – https://ask.fm/

 

Social Media Management and Tools

These tools will help you manage and track your social media more efficiently and extract as much value from your social initiatives as possible.

SocialBlade – https://socialblade.com/

Ninjalitics – https://www.ninjalitics.com/

Buffer – https://buffer.com/

VSCO – https://vsco.co/

Crowdfire – https://www.crowdfireapp.com/

SMHack – https://smhack.io/

SocialOomph – https://www.socialoomph.com/

Tweetdeck – https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/

Friends+Me – https://friendsplus.me/

Dux Soup – https://www.dux-soup.com/ – LinkedIn connection generator

Free Web Automation App – Zapier – https://zapier.com/

Quote Cover – https://quotescover.com/ – Free Simple Quote Maker

Hootsuite – Manage all your social media accounts in one place – https://hootsuite.com

Freshchat – Free Customer Live Chat Software – https://www.freshworks.com/

ManyChat – Visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger – https://manychat.com

Zoho Social – Social media management platform – https://www.zoho.com/social

IG Audit – Evaluate an Instagram account’s followers and estimate if they are fake or not – https://igaudit.io

 

Copyright Free Images / Royalty Free Images

Before you spend your hard-earned money on stock images, check to see if there is something you can use that is royalty free.

These free sites offer thousands of royalty free images you can use.

Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/

Gratisography – https://gratisography.com/

Morguefile – https://morguefile.com/photos/morguefile/1/pop

Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/en/

Stockvault – https://www.stockvault.net/

Pexels – https://www.pexels.com/

Picjumbo – https://picjumbo.com/

Pikwizard – https://pikwizard.com/

Rawpixel – https://www.rawpixel.com/

Reshot – https://www.reshot.com/

For an in-depth and detailed review on the best Free Stock Photo Sites, read Stock Photo Secrets.

 

Photo Editor and Drawings Tools

If you require photo editing tools, here are a few free options to get you started.

AutoDraw – https://www.autodraw.com/

Funnelytics – https://funnelytics.io/

Photopea – https://www.photopea.com/

Photoshop Express – https://www.photoshop.com/products/photoshopexpress

GIMP – https://www.gimp.org/ – Image Editing

Giphy – https://giphy.com – Gifs online database and search engine

Lightshot — Screenshot tool for Mac & Win – https://app.prntscr.com

Compress PNG/JPG (By Website Plant) – https://www.websiteplanet.com/imagecompressor – Compress jpeg or png image and allow you to keep the quality as is while decreasing the size.

 

Royalty Free Music

Every marketer and business owner needs music for their promotional videos.

Try these free options before you open your wallet.

Bensound – https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

Artlist – https://artlist.io/lp/Royalty-Free-Music-For-Video

Filmstro – https://filmstro.com/music

 

File Sharing & Storage

Here is a list of some free file sharing and storage platforms.

Google Drive – https://www.google.com/drive/

DropBox – https://www.dropbox.com/

We Transfer – https://wetransfer.com – Sharing big files

 

Security

Maintaining computers free of malware and virus is important for all business owners.

These free tools will help you protect your computers and allow for a safer browsing experience.

McAfee WebAdvisor – https://www.mcafee.com/mcafee-web-advisor.html – Security check, safe download, blocks malware and phishing sites.

TotalAV – https://www.totalav.com/free-antivirus – Free Antivirus & Internet Security.

Dashlane – https://www.dashlane.com –  Store passwords and personal information

StickyPassword – https://www.stickypassword.com – Password Manager

 

Print and Stationary

These tools will allow you to obtain free business cards, and provide an improved printing experience.

Vistaprint – https://www.vistaprint.com – Free Business Card (with their branding on the back)

PrintFriendly & PDF – https://www.printfriendly.com  – Optimize webpages for Print and PDF

 

PDF Converter

Convert your PDF files into word files with these free converters.

WPS – https://www.wps.com/pdf-to-word

Online ORC – https://www.onlineocr.net

Uni PDF – http://unipdf.com

PDF Sam – https://pdfsam.org/download-pdfsam-basic – Split, merge or rotate PDF’s

Free File Convert – https://www.freefileconvert.com

 

Infographics Tools

Below are some useful tools to help you build and design infographics for your business.

Snappa – https://snappa.com

Canva – https://www.canva.com/create/infographics

Google Charts – https://developers.google.com/chart

Infogram – https://infogram.com

 

Video Editing Software

If you need to edit video, then these free tools are a great place to start.

Some of the tools are basic and easy to use, while others like Davinci Resolve is incredibly advanced.

Shortcut – https://shotcut.org

FXhome – https://fxhome.com/express

Davinci Resolve 15 – https://www.blackmagicdesign.com (advanced)

VSDC – http://www.videosoftdev.com

Blender – https://www.blender.org

Openshot – https://www.openshot.org

 


Click on the button below to download this list as PDF:


 

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What have we missed?

What free tools do you think we should add to the list? Let us know?

The web moves at a tremendous pace if any of the above links have stopped working or are no longer free tools. Please contact us at info@strategystate.com and let us know.

Motivational Quotes to Inspire Success in Your Business

The Best Motivational Quotes to Inspire Success in Your Business

We know that life as a business owner can be very demanding. It’s filled with continuous challenges,
most of which you have to battle alone, but knowing you’re on a path that has been walked before
by others who have been successful can be motivating.

We’ve put together our favorite quotes from business gurus, leaders and people who have inspired
us with their amazing life stories. We hope this helps you on your own personal journey to
becoming the best entrepreneur you can be.

 

 

I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over

“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.”

 – Warren Buffett

 

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living.

The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

 – Mark Twain

 

I don't believe the most successful people are the ones who got the best grades, got into the best schools, or made the most money

“I don’t believe the most successful people are the ones who got the best grades, got into the best schools, or made the most money.”

 – Ben Stein

 

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

 – Will Rogers

 

Don't worry about failure; you only have to be right once

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

 – Drew Houston

 

Business is like poker. You have to be able to read people. You have to understand the odds of a particular endeavor. You need to make calculated bets. And you have to get lucky

“Business is like poker. You have to be able to read people. You have to understand the odds of a particular endeavor. You need to make calculated bets. And you have to get lucky.”

 – Richard Harroch

 

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

 – Roger Staubach

 

Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win

“Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.”

 – Bernadette Devlin

 

I hate how many people think, glass half- empty when their glass is really four-fifths full. I'm grateful when I have one drop in the glass because I know exactly what to do with it

“I hate how many people think “glass half- empty” when their glass is really four-fifths full.

I’m grateful when I have one drop in the glass because I know exactly what to do with it.”

 – Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Always deliver more than expected

“Always deliver more than expected.”

 – Larry Page

 

Rich people buy luxuries last, while poor and middle class tend to buy luxuries first

“Rich people buy luxuries last, while poor and middle class tend to buy luxuries first.”

 – Robert Kiyosaki

 

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

 – Ayn Rand

 

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

“I have not failed.

I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

 – Tomas Edison

 

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

 – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Try not to become a person of success, but a person of value.

“Try not to become a person of success, but a person of value.”

 – Albert Einstein

 

Fall seven times and stand up eight

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

 – Japanese proverb

 

Actually, your past successes are your biggest obstacle- every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today

“Actually, your past successes are your biggest obstacle- every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today.”

 – Robert Greene

 

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin

“Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.”

 – Grace Hansen

 

 knew that if I failed I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying

“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”

 – Jeff Bezos

 

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

 – Winston Churchill

 

My first job was washing dishes in the basement of a nursing home for $2.10 an hour, and I learned as much about the value of hard work there as I ever did later

“My first job was washing dishes in the basement of a nursing home for $2.10 an hour, and I learned as much about the value of hard work there as I ever did later.”

– Douglas Preston

 

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

– Abraham Lincoln

 

“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”

– George Santanaya

 

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”

– African proverb

 

“Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.”

– Oscar Wilde

 

“Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.”

– Henry A. Kissinger

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”

– Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Why Evaluating Your Business Is The Most Important Thing You Can Do In 2019

Why Evaluating Your Business Is The Most Important Thing You Can Do In 2019

Evaluating your business, auditing it, giving it a health check, popping the bonnet under the hood of your business, whatever you want to call it. All businesses need to be analyzed and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that they remain healthy, competitive, and heading in the direction that the owners intend.

Evaluating your business has often been a task that is overlooked by business owners as most of their time is spent working in the business and managing the daily tasks.

Not much has been written on the subject of business evaluations and the importance of business owners stepping back periodically and taking a good look at their business from the outside.

Below are the top seven reasons why evaluating your business is vital with business changing at such a rapid rate.

 

1. Evaluating your business can identify risks, problems, and issues before they occur.

 

On average, over 60% of businesses are profitable before they go into receivership or bankruptcy. This means that some of these businesses are “good businesses,” but still manage to fail.

Most businesses that go under, don’t go under because of some catastrophic event, but because there have been many tasks that they have, or have not been doing over an extended period of time.

By completing an evaluation and taking the time to step back and have a look at your business, you can often identify problems and issues before they get out of control.

The old saying of “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” rings true. If you don’t evaluate your business, it can be hard to put the finger on what the issues are.

 

2. You have blind spots!

 

As the saying goes, you can’t proof your own work. It’s very hard for people to objectively look at their business and fairly recognize the holes and mistakes that they might have and inadequacy within the business. This is especially true if you have been involved in the industry or business for a very long time.

This is the main reason why people get business advisors and business coaches involved. They want someone from the outside to help them with their business that’s coming at it from a different angle.

 

3. You don’t know what you don’t know. So, ask and find out!

 

As a business advisor, you come across many interesting people. I had a discussion with a guy one day, and I asked him a question, “How do you quote on your jobs?”
He proceeded to explain in great detail how he priced his jobs. To my amazement, he had been misquoting his work for the last 25 years. Now, I don’t mean he quoted differently, I mean incorrectly!
He was under-pricing his work substantially in relation to industry averages. He didn’t know what his competitors were charging; he was in a race to the bottom all by himself.This practice over a period of 25 years had him losing money (leaving money on the table) on every job.
Now, if we take a figure of $15,000 per year (loss), and we span that out over 25 years, we could say that this person lost $375,000 in revenue.
For a solo operator, that’s a chunk of change.

The lesson here is having a deep understanding of your industry, and make sure you know everything there is to know about it.

 

4. Know the key areas of your business.

A solid evaluation should cover the following areas (see list below).
Examining these key areas will ensure the greatest chance of success and reduce your business risk.

Business Strategy

  • Business Strategy Plan
  • Cost Reduction
  • Compliance and Risk
  • Legal
  • Process Improvement
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Benchmarking
  • New Product / Service Development

Marketing

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Branding
  • Website
  • SEO
  • Digital Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Lead Generation

Sales

  • Business Development / Sales Strategy
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Quoting
  • Tendering
  • Pricing

Customer Service

  • Customer Service Policies
  • Measure and Analysis

Human Resource

  • Recruitment
  • Training and Development
  • Employee Incentives and KPI’s
  • Workplace Culture

Leadership & Wellbeing

  • Time Management
  • Wellbeing
  • Leadership and Direction

Accounting & Finance

  • Bookkeeping
  • Tax Compliance
  • Payroll Administration
  • Financial and Cash Flow Forecasting
  • Financial Goals
  • Budget Management
  • Financial Policies and Procedures
  • Financial Performance

Operations

  • Operation Management
  • Administration

Technology

  • Productivity
  • Cloud and Infrastructure
  • Cyber Security

5. You have limited resources. Identifying what to focus on is vital.

Most small businesses don’t have an endless supply of funds, time, and resources to achieve their goals.
This brings me to my next point of identifying and focusing on the key tasks that are going to drive your business forward. But in order to get to that point, you first have to understand your business; what’s going on and what are the things that are going to generate the greatest impact.
One lesson SME’s can learn from private equity and venture capital firms is; when working for a company, they identify what the industry’s 3-5 must-wins are.

They focus on the key things that drive a business forward. What this does is that it creates a laser-like focus on the activities that are going to produce the greatest results for the least amount of resources possible, thus maximizing their return.

What solo, small, and medium businesses can take from this is that once you have evaluated your business and you’ve identified your must-wins, you can then allocate the required resources to achieve those tasks and disregard other tasks that have little or no value.

Below is an example of a chart that shows the different pain points within the business. You can see which initiatives are the most important based on Impact and Priority.

Pain points within the business chart

 


Click below to download your free “Business Pain Points” chart:


 

 

6. Evaluating your business helps with planning your business strategy and tactics moving forward.

 

In terms of business planning and strategy, as discussed earlier, businesses have limited resources for achieving initiatives.
Evaluating your business and identifying the areas that you need to work on helps with the business planning process. It enables business owners to focus on tasks that need to be completed over three months, six months, and 12-month periods.

This type of planning enables team members to concentrate on tasks that are going to have a direct impact on the profitability and competitiveness of the company.

Typically, after an evaluation has been completed, business owners can break tasks up into:

  • 100-day Plan
  • 6-month Target
  • 12-month Target
  • 18-month Target

This can also be supplemented with monthly reporting and adjusting your KPI’s accordingly.

 

7. Give your advisors and team a higher learning curve position.

 

We should all strive to buy a high learning curve position; i.e., we want to gain the greatest amount of information in the shortest time possible so that we can make better-informed decisions.
This also applies when utilizing the resources of a business advisor. Business advisors, like many other service providers, want to provide the highest value possible to their clients.
To do this, they need to have a deep understanding of your business. The more they know about your business, the better, and higher value information they can provide. There is nothing worse for an advisor to find out several months after the initial engagement that crucial pieces of information have been undiscovered.

Do yourself and your advisor a favor by giving your business a full evaluation before you engage in their services. Give your advisor a strong starting point. You want your business advisor to be thinking of ways to double or triple your business in the next 12 months.
You want them to be focusing on things, such as scaling your product, creating leverage, joint ventures, and alliances. Things that are really going to grow your sales. You don’t want them working on tasks that are not going to directly drive growth.

 

Recap

No matter what stage or size of your business, by conducting a business evaluation you will better identify opportunities to create growth and sustainability.

After identifying these growth initiatives, you’ll reduce mistakes and gain a better return on your time.
Business evaluations give owners a helicopter view of the business that allows them to analyze key areas of their business in one concise document.

Below is an example of the overview page from the Strategy States Business Evaluation:

Overview page Strategy States Business Evaluation

Like to find out more about how you can evaluate your business and take things to the next level? Read more about the product.

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