Sharon Remeikis Online Marketing Solutions

Providing Online Resources For Small Business Owners and The Busy Entrepreneur

Happy Labor Day!

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Free Book…7 Secrets to Success

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Hello there. Today, I am feeling pretty motivated to share this amazing book from my mentor and coach Matt Morris.

Yes, the real Matt Morris!

Many Network Marketers know Matt Morris and his journey to acquiring unbelievable success.

Matt went from being homeless and living in his car to climbing to the top of the ranks in network marketing!

He spent many years reading countless books and learning all that he could to became an expert in his field.

Matt is so amazing and driven in everything he does. He has such an extraordinary passion for life as he travels around the world speaking and helping others.

How did he do it you might ask?

Well, I already gave you one nugget that I had mentioned above. 😉

In Matt’s book that I am excited to share with you below, he shares his 7 secrets to success.

If your feeling motivated reading and learning from Matt, then allow me to present you with your complimentary copy of his book below.

7-secrets-to-success-book.pdf

I hope you will enjoy the read as much as I did and feel the motivation to take action.

Wishing you all the success in all that you do!

Today’s Entrepreneur Quote

How Networking Is Necessary for Effective Entrepreneurship

Photo: Pixabay

Connecting with the right people helps you expand your business, find new partners and become more visible as an entrepreneur.

By Kirk Cooper

Whether you’re already on your entrepreneurial journey or just starting, you need to know how to network. Learning to use networking to your advantage is the best thing you can do for yourself and your business. There are many reasons to do this, but the most important of them all, perhaps, is to keep your business from failing.

Why is networking so important? Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found approximately 20% of all small businesses fail within their very first year. To avoid becoming another statistic, it’s essential to do as much as you can to keep your business flourishing and relevant even before you set it up. An excellent way to do this is to network. 

You don’t have to go to all the networking events and spend your time at every professional conference that rolls into town to network effectively. Instead of going out to every event, I target spots depending on where the type of people I want to associate with will be present. Don’t just meet people; that can be a waste of time. Meet the right people, and you’ll see the right results. 

Expanding your business

Before your business takes off, networking can help you get to where you have the right team for the job. After all, you want to surround yourself with people who are not only a good fit, but also have the same goals and aspirations as you do.

When I started Ecom Automation Gurus, it was crucial to have a team that was a proper cultural fit for the company. But it was also essential to have a team that was the right fit for me personally. So, it was important not to waste my time networking with just anyone — purposeful networking should be the aim here.

Even if you’re starting as a one-person show, you’re eventually going to get to a place where you want to have your business grow with you. Hiring from a network of people you know, and building and fostering partnerships with people you already have a rapport with can be invaluable to the success of a business.

Finding new partners

Sure, networking can help you find the right team for the job, but do you know what else it can help you do? Partnerships, resources and funds. That’s right — networking can take your concept from idea to business just like that. With a more extensive network of people either in the same business or similar businesses, you have more access to things that can help you grow and prosper. 

A person you met at university can become your new investor or your buddy from that professional conference can help you get in the room with a new client. Targeted networking is a great idea, but also remember that everyone you’ve ever met has the potential to be part of your network. So, don’t be afraid to build on and leverage these connections right from the start.

Have you ever wished you could bounce all your brilliant ideas off of someone who would just “get” them? Nurturing the right kind of network is just as important as building one, and it’s essential to learn how to do both to be an effective entrepreneur and leader.

You can feel like you have an excellent idea and wonder why it hasn’t worked out for you. In this situation, your network offers you the ability to take those ideas and transform them into tangible business options with a higher likelihood of delivering results. When you talk to other professionals in your field, you may realize how little you need to switch around or tweak to take your idea from good to great.

As I found even before I started Ecom Automation Gurus, speaking with people who share the same intellect and vision can help you grow and flourish.

Becoming more visible

When you network effectively, you become more than just the face of your business. As an entrepreneur or even a would-be-entrepreneur, you know that it’s always best to stand out for what you can offer rather than simply one thing you’ve done.

With a network of people you regularly connect with, you can become the go-to entrepreneur for new ventures in the pipeline and have new and exciting prospects open up for your career.

Remember that none of these advantages will come to fruition if you network ineffectively. One way to do this is to start with a light conversation. Talk about what you do, what you want to do and your specializations — remember to exchange contact details and then stay in touch.

Today’s Entrepreneur Quote

52+ Free, Fun, & Festive December Marketing Ideas

By Stephanie Heitman

December is almost here! The Starbucks holiday cups have been released, we’re preparing to stuff our bellies with turkey and pie, and we’re gearing up for winter holidays and the start of a new year.

While December brings fun, family, and food, it can also leave business owners and marketers feeling pressed for time—and resources.

Idea #1: Take the best Christmas card photo ever.

But with the right strategies and promotions, you can make your December marketing a breeze and spend more time relaxing with your loved ones. So in this post we’re giving you:

  • A full list of December holidays, awareness causes, and national days.
  • Over 52 creative ways to use them in your blog, social media, emails, and more.
  • Real examples from businesses just like yours.

We hope this post inspires you and leaves you feeling a little less stressed during December. Read on to finish out the year strong!

December awareness

Here are the December awareness causes you can use for cause-based marketing.

  • Business planning 
  • Car donation
  • Drunk and drugged driving (3D) prevention 
  • Human rights
  • Safe toys and gifts
  • Spiritual literacy
  • Operation Santa Paws

It’s also national tie month, pear month, root vegetable and exotic fruits month, and bingo’s birthday. Who knew?

December national days

There’s a full list of December national days at the bottom of this post, but here are some highlights:

  • Rosa Parks Day (Dec 1)
  • InterNinja Day (every Dec 5)
  • World Trick Shot Day (first Tuesday in December)
  • Cat Herders Day (Dec 15)
  • Underdog Day (Third Friday in December)
  • Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day (first day of winter)
  • Make Up Your Mind Day (Dec 31)
  • Universal Hour of Peace (Dec 31)

Merry December marketing ideas around holidays & observances

Should you decide to go with any of these ideas, you may also want to decide NOT to use generic copywriting! Use this guide to cliche-free, emotion-filled holiday copywritingso you can stay authentic and stand out above the noise. 

Free Shipping Day

Free shipping is a big deal to customers. A LOCALiQ consumer survey found that only 20% of people will pay for shipping. If you have an e-commerce business, consider joining in on Free Shipping Day on December 14 by offering free shipping on all purchases.

Don’t forget the #freeshippingday hashtag on all your social posts promoting your offer!

Ugly Sweater Day

There’s nothing that attracts customers like a fun attitude, so take advantage of the festive spirit! Embrace the ugly sweaters on Ugly Sweater Day. 

Here are some dress-up ideas for your business this month:

  • Grab some reindeer antlers or wear Christmas pajamas if it’s appropriate for your business.
  • Daycare centers can have fun dressing up and encourage a pajama day for students!
  • Business professionals can have fun with a holiday-colored tie or socks to get in the holiday spirit.
  • Post pictures of you and your employees in your ugly sweaters and offer a discount to anyone who visits in their ugly sweater.

Of course, don’t forget to post on social media with the appropriate holiday hashtag.

Gingerbread House Day

Did you know December 12 is National Gingerbread House day? Participate in this fun and festive day—here are a few different ways:

  • Hold a gingerbread house decorating contest with your employees. Post the finished products on your social sites and have your audience vote for their favorites.
  • Ask your audience to share pictures of their gingerbread houses to their social sites and tag you. Choose a winner to receive a special holiday promotion.
  • Create a gingerbread display at your business for people to (safely) take pictures in front of.
  • Share healthy alternatives for gingerbread houses if you’re a healthcare business or dentist.
  • If you’re a bakery, create a build-your-own gingerbread house kit for people to buy.

No matter how you participate, make sure to use the #nationalgingerbreadday hashtag!

National Flu Vaccination Week

Healthcare professionals are urging people to get their flu shots this year. What better way to get the word out than to participate in National Flu Vaccination Week? 

Here are some ways your business can get involved:

  • Share information on where people in your community can receive a free flu shot.
  • Post pictures of you and your team members getting your flu shots or after your flu shots (extra points for a fun and festive bandaid!).
  • Reshare resources from reputable organizations about the importance of the flu shot.
  • Healthcare businesses can share videos from their professionals about the flu shot.

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By participating in this awareness week, you can show your community that you care about their well-being. And, it’s a great reminder to get your flu shot, too!

First day of winter

While it seems like it’s been cold for the last couple of months, the first day of winter actually falls on December 21. Celebrate with a simple picture on your social media pages, a winter promotion, or with some special treats—to go—at your business location to celebrate.

Don’t forget Hanukkah!

Many businesses focus all their December marketing energy on Christmas and New Year’s and leave out a very important holiday: Hanukkah! Make your holiday marketing inclusive by adding Hanukkah decorations to your location, running special promotions that target your customers who celebrate Hanukkah, and by wishing them a happy holiday on your social pages.

Or Kwanzaa!

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the U.S. every year that celebrates African heritage. It has seven principles:

  • Unity
  • Self-determination
  • Collective work and responsibility
  • Cooperative economics
  • Purpose
  • Creativity
  • Faith

Use these as inspiration for your thought leadership and core values-focused content!

December promotion ideas to gift your audience

These promotion ideas will make your audience shout with glee!

Host a live (or virtual) party & giveaway

Events are a great way to market your business during the holidays. Have an open house and extend your business hours one evening. Invite local customers and other businesses to stop by and mingle. Serve some food and drinks or get them donated by another local business! A party or open house is a great way to ignite some word-of-mouth marketing and build solid partnerships.

Encourage everyone to pour a glass of their favorite beverage and award some prizes for those who attend.

Send holiday cards (with a promotion!)

There’s nothing more fun than getting mail around the holidays. Gather your contact list and send out holiday or New Year’s cards from your business to them. You can create a traditional holiday card with a picture of your employees and a simple greeting along with a promotional code to encourage them to visit your business during the holidays.

Image source

Customers like to be appreciated, and a holiday card can keep your business on the radar of customers—new or loyal—so that your business comes to mind when they need your services. More sales promotion ideas here!

Run a holiday Instagram giveaway

Instagram giveaways are popular throughout the year, but they can give you a real boost in December around the holidays. Think about the goal for your Instagram holiday giveaway—are you trying to get more followers, increase awareness for a specific product or service, or just spread some cheer to peoples’ feeds? From there, determine the right giveaway for your business.

Here are some holiday Instagram giveaway ideas to help you get started.

Host or participate in a toy drive

The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to those in your community. Host or participate in a toy drive and encourage your customers to do the same.

Here are some ideas for your toy drive:

  • Set out a large box for customers and community members to drop toys in.
  • Offer a promotion for customers who donate to your toy drive—you can give them a coupon for their next visit, a percent off a purchase, or a stamp on their customer loyalty card.
  • Partner with other local businesses in your area to get the word out about your toy drive and encourage them to leave a box out at their business.
  • Share photos of your participation on social media and tag the charity you’re working with.

If you’re looking to participate in a toy drive as a business rather than host one, you can still take pictures to share on social so you’re getting the word out about how to help children this holiday season.

Image source

For a list of toy drives, check here.

Create a photo opportunity

You’re busy during the holidays. Save time and money with user-generated content during the month of December. One easy way to do this? Stage a photo opportunity at your location (or outside of your location) by inviting Santa to come or by setting up a winter wonderland for customers to post in front of.

Everyone wants a picture with a gigantic polar bear, so give customers the opportunity to market your business for you by having something fun to take pictures with!

Pick up some props like Santa hats or tinsel garlands and let customers go to town. Make sure to include a hashtag with your company and share, retweet, or regram customers’ photos on social media.

December marketing ideas to close out your year stronger than your Aunt’s eggnog

Here are some more ways to promote your business in December and increase your holiday sales!

Update your Google Business Profile

Holiday shoppers are going to be turning to Google for all of their holiday needs, whether for gift ideas, home cleaning, appliance repair, travel, safety, and more. Make sure your business information is up to date so you can get found on search.

Be sure to:

  • Verify your contact information
  • Update your holiday hours
  • Upload photos of your seasonal products and services
  • Create Offer and Event posts

There are many ways to optimize your Google business profile to stand out in search and attract customers—and no better time than now to do it!

Don’t be shy—get personal on social!

Your business is built by real people, and your customers want to connect with you! By sharing a glimpse into the lives of your employees and yourself, you can help build a connection with your audience.

Share pictures or stories of your family and holiday celebrations on your blog and social media profiles. Do you have a favorite holiday memory that inspired you to open your business? What about a family recipe or tradition? Share yours on Facebook or Instagram and ask your followers what theirs are.

Here are some ideas for personal stories you can share on social media or your business blog:

  • Bakers can share a video or recipe on their blogs.
  • Photographers can post their family Christmas pictures on Instagram or Facebook and encourage others to do the same.
  • Personal trainers should encourage clients and potential clients to join them on holiday road races through social media.
  • Makers can share the inspiration behind a specific product.

Sharing this type of content through your social channels and on your website will help you build engagement—and it’s a fun way to connect during the holidays!

Create a gift guide

A gift guide is a great way to get your name out there and provide a helpful service to your community. We know that people will be searching for holiday gifts online this year more than ever, so write a blog post or social post about gifts for moms, dads, kids, and friends!

The gift guide can include some of your products, but the best way to sell your business is not to sell it at all. Instead, showcase items that are related to your industry:

  • Gift Guide for Accountants (tech gadgets, ties, fancy pen)
  • Gift Guide for the Home Decorator (Christmas pillow covers, gold candlesticks, electric candles)
  • Gift Guide for the Fitness Enthusiast (ice cleats for running outside, winter hat with Bluetooth headphones, Epsom salts for tired muscles)

Image source

People are always looking for gift ideas, so show potential customers how helpful you can be!

Share 12 days of tips or products

Take inspiration from the 12 Days of Christmas and feature a tip or product of the day on your blog or social media feed.

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Fitness-related businesses like personal trainers or health centers can give an exercise of the day to fight off gaining holiday weight.
  • Flower shops can feature a wreath or bouquet of the day featuring different holiday colors or flowers.
  • Restaurants and bars can showcase a cocktail of the day for the holidays.

You could also run a different deal or offer for each of the 12 days. This will keep people coming back to your social sites each day, which can increase engagement on your pages.

Decorate your location for the holidays

Nothing gets people in the holiday spirit like some festive décor. Take some time to string some lights inside and outside of your location, hang some garland, and out up a tree and menorah. If your location is in an area with a lot of foot traffic, you can also create an eye-catching holiday window display to get people to slow down and check out your location or come inside.

Now is the time to have a little fun and make your business a welcoming place during the busy holiday season.

Take customers behind the scenes

Show customers what your business is like during the holidays with video marketing! Are you a busy baker who is making cakes and cookies? Take customers into the kitchen with a video of preparations for the holidays.

People are curious by nature and giving them a sneak peek of new products or behind-the-scenes action will set you apart from your competitors!

Stay top-of-mind with email marketing

During the holidays, people get busy. Remind them about your business with email marketing. Your email communications can include special promotions you’re running, a round-up of local holiday events in your community, or just a simple reminder to visit your business in the New Year. Make sure your holiday email subject line stands out so people will click your email!

Here are some ideas for your December email marketing:

  • Dentists can send an email about the best and worst holiday treats for your teeth.
  • Fitness businesses can send an email about ways to stay healthy during this busy month.
  • Mental health professionals can send an email about ways to de-stress during the holidays.
  • Restaurants can send an email about special catering options they have available for family dinners.

People are looking in their emails during the holidays—in fact, 75% look at their email specifically to find deals and discounts. So, take advantage of that this month by emailing your holiday promotions.

Refresh your online reputation & get more reviews

A good reputation is important for your business year-round, but this might be an ideal time to put a little extra focus on getting reviews for your business.

Take some time to ask your customers for reviews, respond to all your reviews, and make sure you’re managing the most relevant places where customers are reviewing your business—including Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook.

Use these tips to ask for reviews.

Finalize your Q1 marketing plan for next year

Once the holidays are over, January will come quick—make sure your marketing is prepared by taking a look at your marketing plan for 2021, or at least for January. Outline any business goals and objectives you want to accomplish next year and determine what’s needed to help you reach those goals.

Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • What marketing strategies do you absolutely need to run throughout the year to help you maintain business or grow? Think: your website, SEO, PPC, and more.
  • What marketing strategies do you want to try to reach new audiences or engage with your current audience?
  • Are there any gaps in your marketing plan that you need to fill—like a channel your audience frequents that your business isn’t marketing on?
  • How will you measure success for your marketing in 2021?

These questions will help you solidify your marketing plan as you look ahead to the next year.

The month of December can be stressful for business owners and marketers, but with a few creative and simple ideas, like the ones listed above, you can maximize your business’s exposure, connect with your audience, and set your business up for success in the new year.

Interested in more marketing ideas for every month of the year? We can help with that.

 Full December national day list

As promised, here’s the full list so you can find December marketing ideas relevant to your niche. List is brought to you by National Day Calendar

December 1

Rosa Parks Day

Pie Day

Eat a Red Apple Day

Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day

Day With(out) Art Day

Package Protection Day – Wednesday after Thanksgiving

 

December 2

Fritters Day

Mutt Day

Special Education Day 

 

December 3

Roof Over Your Head Day

Faux Fur Friday – First Friday in December

Bartender Day – First Friday in December

 

December 4

Cookie Day

Dice Day

Sock Day

 

December 5

Bathtub Party Day

InterNinja Day

Repeal Day

 

December 6

Pawnbrokers Day

Microwave Oven Day

St. Nicholas Day

Miners’ Day

 

December 7

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Illinois Day

Cotton Candy Day

World Trick Shot Day – First Tuesday in December

December 8

Brownie Day

Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day

 

December 9

Pastry Day

Weary Willie Day

Christmas Card Day

 

December 10

Dewey Decimal System Day

Lager Day

Human Rights Day

Nobel Prize Day

Salesperson Day – Second Friday in December

 

December 11

App Day

Noodle Ring Day

 

December 12

Ambrosia Day

Ding-a-Ling Day

Gingerbread House Day

Poinsettia Day

 

December 13

Cocoa Day

Violin Day

Pick A Pathologist Pal Day

National Guard Birthday

 

December 14

Bouillabaisse Day

Alabama Day

Monkey Day

 

December 15

Cupcake Day

Bill of Rights Day

Cat Herders Day

Wear Your Pearls Day

 

December 16

Chocolate-covered Anything Day

Barbie and Barney Backlash Day

December 17

Maple Syrup Day

Wright Brothers Day

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – Third Friday in December

Underdog Day– Third Friday in December

December 18

Twin Day

Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day

Wreaths Across America Day – Changes Annually

 

December 19

Hard Candy Day

Oatmeal Muffin Day

December 20

Sangria Day

Mudd Day

December 21 

Crossword Puzzle Day

Humbug Day

Maine Day

Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day

Winter Solstice – Day Between December 20 and 23

Flashlight Day – Day of Winter Solstice

French Fried Shrimp Day

Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day – First Day of Winter

Yule – Day of Winter Solstice

Anne & Samantha Day(also June. 20, 2020)

 

December 22

Date Nut Bread Day

Forefathers Day – December 22 (Unless on Sunday, Then Following Monday)

 

December 23

Pfeffernusse Day

Roots Day

Festivus

Re-Gifting Day – Thursday before Christmas

 

December 24

Eggnog Day

Christmas Eve

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December 25

Pumpkin Pie Day

A’Phabet Day or No “L” Day

Christmas

 

December 26

Candy Cane Day

Thank-you Note Day

Whiner’s Day

Boxing Day (Canada)

 

December 27

Fruitcake Day

 

December 28

Short Film Day

Chocolate Candy Day

Card Playing Day

Holy Innocents Day

Pledge of Allegiance Day

December 29

Pepper Pot Day

Tick Tock Day

 

December 30

Bicarbonate of Soda Day

Falling Needles Family Fest Day

Bacon Day

 

December 31

Champagne Day

No Interruptions Day – Last Work Day of the Year

Make Up Your Mind Day

Universal Hour of Peace 

 

stephanie heitman wordstream author

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the managing editor of the LOCALiQ blog. She loves talking to business owners and sharing stories about how marketing helps them grow. When she’s not keeping up with the latest in online marketing, she enjoys watching reality TV with her husband and their two pups.

Today’s Entrepreneur Quote

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Take advantage of the biggest travel boom in history to 3X to 5X your sales overnight by giving our high value travel certificates to your clients.

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4 Ways to Get Qualified Cold-Calling Leads

Shutterstock 

By David Walter

“The leads are weak!” says Shelly.

“The leads are weak; you’re weak,” exclaims Blake from downtown.

This dialogue from Glengarry Glen Rossshows the great struggle that salespeople have when trying to find a qualified lead. The struggle is so prominent that it’s become a pitched battle between management and sales. Management blames the lack of success on bad salespeople, while reps point their fingers at the leads as being the culprit for missing quota.

I am talking specifically about issues of bad data, wrong numbers, old information and names being incorrect. These all waste precious time for sales reps.

It can be extremely difficult to find qualified leads for a cold-calling team or salespeople. Often list providers make grandiose claims about how verified their data is, when in reality it often turns out to be garbage, as in — garbage in, garbage out.

The good news? There are four ways you can get qualified leads for your sales teams.

1. Manually qualify your leads

This is by far the cheapest technique, but it is the most time-consuming process to get a qualified list to make prospecting calls. The basic idea is to look for your prospects on Google and LinkedIn, find a list of companies and then look for the decision makers’ contact information. It can take as long as a week to comb through these sites and build your own highly qualified marketing list.

2. Buy a list from a leads provider

One reason to conduct your entire qualifying process manually is that it takes so much time in the beginning just to get a list of target companies. One way to shorten that process so it’s not so daunting is to buy an inexpensive list from a leads broker. You don’t want to use just any broker, and you must have the right expectations about what you will receive.

Sometimes list providers aren’t right, but it won’t matter too much because you need the C-level decision makers’ names anyway. The advantage is that you are starting with a list of qualified targets.

3. Use artificial intelligence to automatically qualify your list

Since nearly all the information we are trying to gather on these prospects is on the internet, why not use AI to get that information and automatically create a qualified marketing list? Some companies have already done this and have become remarkably successful at making this process work for salespeople.

The one caveat is that while this system can save you tons of time, it will take a little bit of training to get it up and running. Also, it is still a good idea to look over the data and verify it so that you have a quality list. This represents an affordable option that most SMBs can fit in their budgets without spending too much money.

4. Just pay for a highly qualified list

The simplest way to speed up the process of getting a qualified cold-calling list is to simply pay for a qualified list. List providers I trust, like ZoomInfo, can offer a highly qualified list with all the decision makers’ names, extensions and even the C-level names.

While trustworthy providers can provide a highly qualified list fast, it can be a little pricey. This option, however, allows you to get your cold-calling teams on the phone and productive in the shortest possible time frame.

I have found that many companies use a mix of these techniques and services like a hybrid patchwork of services. No matter which direction you go, any of these options will make your cold-calling reps or salespeople far more efficient.

Today’s Entrepreneur Quote

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 🥘🥖🍁

From Our Table To Yours…Wishing You a Wonderful and Safe Thanksgiving Holiday. Enjoy!

Blessings! 🙏🏼

How To Calculate ROI

Getting the most out of the money you spend is at the top of any business’s priority list. This requirement is doubly the case for small businesses, where every investment you make needs to contribute to your growth and financial success. Whether you have a head for numbers or you’re not so good with figures, ROI is a necessary way to measure the worth of the money you spend on anything.

If you want to know how to calculate ROI, why ROI is so important, and what data you need to capture in the first place, we’ve covered all you need to know. Read on for our complete guide to ROI.

What is ROI?

Return On Investment, typically known as ROI, is a key metric that any business can use to indicate the profitability of an action or investment they take. ROIs are often used alongside Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, to quantify how successful a particular investment is. By calculating ROI and understanding the process, you’re able to reduce the risk and guesswork in important business and marketing decisions.

ROI is simply a calculation based on specific data you provide. It’s what you do with that information that can have a direct impact on your business. ROI provides a window into how your business is doing and allows you to see how likely it is that an investment will be profitable for you.

Why is ROI important?

ROI is important for several reasons. Firstly, it gives you the foresight to decide whether an investment is worthwhile for your business. For example, calculating the ROI of marketing activity, such as a specific brand campaign, can be an excellent way to determine whether it’s worth investing the money or considering other options. The outcome of ROI calculations can make or break a future project or marketing activity and is an important consideration in business planning and strategy.

Secondly, ROI can help you to make decisions where you have multiple concepts and ideas in mind. By calculating the ROI of individual activities or investments, you can figure out which is the most likely to be profitable for your business. As part of a strategy to grow your business, ROI is an invaluable resource that is easy to use and practical to complete; provided you have the correct data captured.

How to calculate ROI

Calculating ROI may initially sound complex, as a specific formula is needed to measure the data you input to figure out a final percentage. The average small business can quickly calculate ROI using this easy formula:

ROI = (Net Profit ÷ Cost of Initial Investment) x 100

Using this formula, it’s possible to get a quick and easy answer to whether a particular investment is worth it for your business. When ROI is calculated following an activity, this uses the facts and data you’ve gained throughout the year. If you are calculating a speculative ROI for an activity you’re planning, you’ll either want to use data from existing, similar activities or use forecasting to figure out the profit.

Example #1

Say your local business has been solely word-of-mouth before now, with a single-page website that doesn’t do much for your brand. Now, you’d like to invest in a brand-new platform with an investment of $3,000 overall, inclusive of everything you need to get your brand in front of local potential customers.

Once your website is launched, you see an income of in the first month of $1,500.

The net profit is calculated by taking away the monthly costs of website maintenance and any other payments you have to cover. Once you’ve figured out these costs, you’re left with $1,000 in net profit.

In this example, you have all the data available to you, and you can calculate your ROI as follows:

($1,000 ÷ $3,000) x 100 = 33.3%

Example #2

As your business grows, you plan to invest in social media marketing activities that drive traffic to your website. Before you invest, you want to figure out whether the ROI is worth an investment of $2,000 for advert creation.

In this case, you’re not using data that already exists for your ROI. However, you have run a similar marketing campaign in the past, which has shown an immediate increase in income of $10,000 for the year following the campaign launch.

Minus the annual costs of paid advertising and seasonal advert alterations, this leaves a yearly net profit of $6,000 for your past campaign.

To calculate the potential ROI in this case, the formula will be as follows:

($6,000 ÷ $2,000) x 100 = 300%

What data do I need for ROI?

For ROI to be calculated successfully, you’ll either need access to captured data or the ability to forecast the likely outcome of future activity. At the very least, you’ll need figures for the cost of your initial investment, as well as the net profit of your investment.

When you are first planning on a marketing activity or business investment, speculative ROIs can give you a general idea of what you’re likely to see. But if you want your ROI to be pinpoint accurate, you’ll need precise figures for both initial investment and net profit for formal reporting and specific information.

Net profit is the data that you’ll need to capture the most information for. You’ll want to have clear information on what money you’ve made from a marketing activity or investment, and you’ll need to have the necessary details to subtract any costs from that amount.

How do I know if my ROI is good?

Any ROI that’s in the green is good news for your business. It indicates you’ve turned a profit, and therefore you have a good return on the money you put in. However, it’s worth considering other factors alongside ROI. As percentages, ROI can look very impressive on paper, even if it isn’t as impactful on your business. For example, a 200% ROI on a $100 spend isn’t nearly as impactful as a 75% ROI on a $100,000 investment.

As a valuable tool, ROI can help you make important decisions about your business. Whether you’re looking to grow or you want to figure out the best way to invest your marketing spend, calculating ROI gives you the foundations to figure out what might work best for your business.

For more small business tips and tricks, check out the rest of our Limecube articles and guides. We’re here to take the mystery out of marketing for small businesses.

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