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5 best ways to sell your business

Implement search engine optimization

To put things into perspective, Search Engine Optimization (A.K.A SEO), SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business on Google and other search engines. In essence, Search engines help people find what they’re looking for online, this is a free benefit for businesses.  

To give you a less technical explanation, this is how search engines work:

Search engines provide results for any search query a user enters. To do so, they survey and “understand” the vast network of websites that make up the web. They run a sophisticated algorithm that determines what results to display for each search query.

Source: Mailchimp

This could do a lot for your business, people conduct thousands of searches each day, including products and services. 

Create and verify your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile (Google listing) is what allows your business to show up in Google results including your business name, services (need good SEO), Google Maps, etc. 

If you’re ranking on Google Maps, this means your business is basically promoting itself 24/7. Moreover, you can publish posts directly to your Google listing, this puts you right in front of your target audience (at a time when they have high intent) when you put up attractive promotions.

Create a landing page offer

Yes, a landing page, not a website. Websites generally contain a lot of information, which can get overwhelming. A website convinces people about an offer, instead of focusing primarily on the offer itself. On the other hand, a landing page is more driven. It focuses on a good offer and Call to Action, which can bear more results. 

Advantages of a landing page:

  1. It focuses on ONE goal, usually selling, or call to action.
  2. Minimal distractions on the page
  3. Messaging and design precisely matched the goal

Run social media ADS

By now, you are familiar with social Ads, you have come across one at some stage. While optimizing search is good for a long-term strategy, sometimes you need more immediate results if you are running a SALE for instance. This is where ADS comes in!

Social media ADS are consistent in that they show up on your target audience’s feed every time they scroll on a specific app. When done right, the Advanced targeting feature on social ads ensures your ads are shown to only the most relevant audience. This is a great way to attract more followers/new audiences to your page, helping you build a community and loyalty around your business.

There are many different goals to select from when running social ads, it can be getting new audience/followers, running a SALE/discount offer, driving traffic to a website, and many more. Depending on your goals, this is a good option to consider.  

Online directories

An online directory is a website that tends to have high traffic. They can help enhance your online presence, and promote your business to high-intent customers. In fact, some consumers regularly visit online directories to search for businesses that fit their specific needs. Let’s just say, sometimes YOU do it without noticing. These directories can help people discover you, and sell your business without even visiting your website. 

Those are just a few easy to go about it, let us know in the comments which one you will be trying, or which one has worked for you so far. 

Business hardships

Business Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 7 Tips

 If you have been in business for some time, you know how challenging the entrepreneurial journey can be, it can get lonely too. It’s worse if you are a solo entrepreneur or don’t have a dedicated team you work with. In this blog, we will share some tips that will help make your journey a little less of a pain in the butt. 

Running a business shouldn’t take up all of your time, especially with small tasks. Thanks to technology, there are automation tools, and many other business systems you can put in place, that can make your life easier. Which we will get into. These shouldn’t cost you a leg and an arm either, especially for small businesses. 

According to reports and statistics, some of the common reasons why startups fail are due to, but not limited to lack of knowledge, and poor sales and marketing. Let’s get to it below.

7 tips to make running a business easier:

(1) Build cultures: the culture of an organization affects the running of it largely. If you share the same values, beliefs, attitudes, and practices that you live by in your organization, not only will you work well together, but you will get more done. For instance, let’s take it back to one of our examples of the common startup failure reasons stated above – lack of knowledge. If you have a reading culture in your business you get to learn more and ultimately earn more. 

(2) Hire young people: this is practically free. Organizations such as SEDA can lend you, interns, for free. You don’t have to pay them a salary, but mentor them and give them work experience. This can also help you save coins on taxes, this is called Employment Tax Incentive.  In his 2022 Budget Speech, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced an increase in the ETI values from 1 March 2022.

(3) Automate: we can’t emphasize how much time you will save by automating things. From bookkeeping systems, accounting, marketing, social listening, and so forth, these things can save you so much time yet do so much for your business to keep it running smoothly. It is even becoming unnecessary to hire an administrator because these things can be automated, even email responses. Depending on the kind of business you’re in, automate things where you can, while you tackle tasks that need your attention more. 

(4) Use customers as advocates: a happy customer will give you free marketing! You can use this as a strategy. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get people to do stuff, all you need to do is ask. If you are selling products, send them a personalized card and ask them to tag you when they use it. If you’re selling services, ask them to leave you a review on your page or website. Endorsements are effective, but you need to fully satisfy customers.

(5) Tell stories: people love hearing success stories and things they can relate to… which can help you with their confidence in your product or solution. Storytelling is the use of evoking emotions to connect your brand to customers. Be authentic when building your brand, show what it takes, or what it took for your business to get where it is. Share highlights of your business, awards, the evolution of your logo, social proof/client testimonials, and show them before and after service of a client’s success. Take your community along with you on your journey. 

(6) Keep your books updated: you can either do this by setting up software or hiring a bookkeeper to keep your books in check. It can be easy to use business money for personal use, especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur. Poor money management can lead to business failure. Not only does keeping your books up-to-date let you know how much you made or lost, but it also makes things easier during tax season. We have a full guide on this, which we discussed in our Bookkeeping Workshop. Get in touch with us if you are interested in getting the session recording + materials: info@accasesolutions.co.za 

(7) Cut down unnecessary costs: don’t wait until your ship sinks till you save, start now. Saving money is critical for the survival of your business. Cut down on traditional marketing and go digital, stop attending unnecessary meetings and do virtual meetings instead, unless it’s necessary to do so. Partner with other entrepreneurs, creators, or freelancers, in that way you save on costs while getting serviced. This can also take us to our first point – hire interns. 

Let us know if any of these have worked for you, or which ones you are going to try, Feel free to add more in the comment section down below. 

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Brand Storytelling | Marketing

Oftentimes, marketers use the word “storytelling” and the importance of it. It’s without a doubt, it’s an effective way of growing your brand… and sometimes you might have done it without noticing. Let’s unpack it. 

Firstly, understand that Brand Storytelling is the use of evoking emotions to connect your brand to customers, this creates a company’s essence. This means focusing on creating empathy by linking what your brand stands for – with the values you share with your customers. 

The powerful brands that succeed in telling stories are the ones that know how to capture attention, create empathy, and drive them to take action.

 

Thanks to the internet, reaching out to clients has never been cheaper and easier. The problem is that you’re now competing with tens of thousands of brands – big and small for your customer’s attention. How can you make sure you’re the first option? 

STORYTELLING. 

The power of Storytelling 

What makes brand stories powerful is one thing: EMPATHY. 

Great stories create an empathetic bond, and connect you with your audience, it builds brand loyalty. This is because the consumer can resonate – which can help you with their confidence in your product or solution. 

Stories affect us physically and mentally – this means that whatever you encounter, your audience feels more or less the same way you do because our brains can’t tell the difference between reality and story. The same way you can feel the pain your favourite character in a movie feels, even if the story is not real. 

5 elements of brand storytelling

  1. Consistency and authenticity 
  2. Knowing your audience
  3. Communicating the problem you solve
  4. Building your character
  5. Connecting with your community.

How-To Tell Stories 

Capture attention 

Attention is what every brand is fighting for with its competitors. A marketer said…

“Great stories draw us in. They maintain our attention by taking us on an emotional roller coaster ride.” 

This is just the same as in your favourite movie, you stay tuned until you find out what happens eventually to the main character. In this instance, you stay connected and attuned until you find out how a brand solves your problem. 

Create empathy 

By creating empathy with the audience, and telling a story that evokes emotion, your brands can take advantage of storytelling. We have mentioned prior that emphatic stories create resonance. So then, inject an obstacle into your story that customers can relate to, and position your brand, product, or service as hero. 

Drive them to take an action

With anything you do, remember to insert your CTA (call to action) to compel action. You caught their attention, got them hooked to your story –  mixed with emotions, now to offer them your solutions and add a call to action: it could be COMMENT, CALL US, EMAIL US, CLICK THE LINK, anything. 

Examples

The following are common types of brand storytelling.

  • Mission – the story of why your brand exists. This also tells your audience what you stand for, and how they can possibly support you. 
  • Vision – painting a compelling picture of the future of your company, brand and products.
  • Founders & Employees – what inspired you to work with them? What qualifies then to be in your team, or in your industry? Success in career?
  • Organizational Culture – these are your principles, set of beliefs, values, language, and everything that make up your brand and/ or team what it is.
  • Marketing and Advertising – your use of videos, GIF, images and other marketing material to communicate your message in a way that your target market understands.

We can go on and on but we will end it off here for now. Let us know how you connect with your target market in your business in the comments, we would love to hear from you!

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Black Friday for Business | 2021 | South Africa

Black Friday?  



Just so you know, Black Friday is the biggest international sale that was started in the early 1900s in USA and to date, it is still the biggest last Friday of November where consumers around the world buy necessities to prepare for the holiday and gifting season. It is an annual shopping event that businesses and customers all over the world eagerly anticipate

Small businesses can take advantage of Black Friday, this presents you with an opportunity to win customers and keep them coming back for more. Everyone likes saving and getting discounts.   

Although Black Friday 2020 was a flop for South African retailers – statistics show, with a huge decrease in in-store sales. Shoppers avoided malls and stores due to coronavirus – but also there was a lack of money in their pockets, because of the economic impact of the virus and lockdown. But this year, we’re getting more prepared and focusing on what we can change/improve. 

We had already had a social media post that summarises this, but in this blog we will discuss this in detail. Keep reading! 

Here are 3 things you can do:  

1️⃣ Social listening: Black Friday is on everyone’s lips, tune in your target market’s conversation to find out what kind of deals they hope to find. You can do a keyword research on either Google or Social Media to find out this information, see what people are mostly searching or talking about. 

That is why market research, before anything else is so important so you may know your customers. Know where to find them, how to find them, and how to entice them. 

2️⃣ Start preaching & marketing: customers research in advance, start advertising teasers. Some people already have a budget dedicatedly Black Friday deals, help them make buying decisions. On the day/weekend, people will be going straight where they want specific things and not hop into shop after shop. 

5 Black Friday Marketing Ideas:

  • On-site notifications
  • Popups
  • Email marketing
  • Flash sale
  • Social media ads 

3️⃣ Make the experience smooth: Over the past year, Covid-19 restrictions pushed many traditional stores and customers online. Online transactions increased by more than 60% – more brands selling online means higher competition. More customers, especially those who are new to the digital retail space, means new challenges and demands. 

Now that the restrictions are lifted, it might be quite a mess at physical shops, online shops also get a lot of traffic. Make sure you are prepared for the numbers and offer a variety of payment options. If need be, hire a VA (virtual assistant) if your business is online based and make arrangements with your developers to make sure your e-commerce site can take the traffic. If you have a physical store, prepare your team to be active and on the ground – helping customers. 

Before the launch of your Black Friday marketing campaigns, make sure you didn’t neglect the details that can make or break the customer experience. Take a careful look at your store or website and see if there is any room for improvement.

Do you have any Black Friday deals planned?  

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How to use customers as brand advocates

Ever heard the saying “people believe people, not brand”? This is mostly said in marketing, and that is why lately we see more brands work with Influencers. A campaign with a brand influencer is likely to perform better than an advert of a product without a user, a bonus is that influencer already have a strong community. In this article, we will show you a few ways in which you can use customers as your brand advocates. 



Businesses that market themselves on digital platforms use content to communicate with their customers, attract prospects and retain their current clientele. What we mean when we say your customers are your brand advocates is that they will create the content for you and do the marketing for your, this is called Customer Generated Content in marketing.

User Generated Content is the type of content that is created by users or customers of your brand. This content usually indirectly markets a given brand due to the relationship fans and customers have with the brand. This type of content is given by means of testimonials by customers to market your products or services.

Practical example… here’s a non requested review on Facebook and feedback;

 

Although positive customer feedback is important for brand success, taking proactive measures toward turning these satisfied customers into brand advocates is key to long-term loyalty and attracting new customers in the process. 

“It is harder to acquire a new client than to retain one”. 

Now the to the real question, how can a brand turn satisfied customers into loyal brand advocates? Here are 3 ways to do so:

1️⃣ Build a community  

A community is something a customer can FEEL part of, it gives a sense of belonging – it’s all about common interests and meaningful connections. 

The nice things about investing in an online community is that it is one of the most valuable thing any brand can have for long-term success. Some benefits include your people standing up for you. 

A community is also a great way to acquire feedback, it personalizes people’s experience and make them feel like they are talking to human beings, not brands. This is great because when they are not satisfied with your product, they will be able to talk and not go on to social media to “expose” you, they have a 2 way communication after all. 

2️⃣ Customer service 

More than anything, people remember how you treat them. Ever heard it been said “when your customer comes to you with an inquiry, they already have a competitor in mind”? The best way to win then over is through efficient customer service…and that means responding timely, politely and explaining clearly if need be. 


One of the best things about good customer service is that when things go wrong or they encounter a problem, they will communicate with the same energy, politely. 

3️⃣ After service 

Every relationship needs good communication to work, it’s a good practice to do so with your customers as well. Whether you’re asking for a review or any form if feedback, it’s always good to get feedback from clients. This also helps you know how good is your service, if you’re serving them well or need improvement. 

Some brands give points when you give a review. You don’t necessarily have to do this, however you have have that after sale conversations to make them feel you care.

These are just the 3 ways we wanted to share with you, there are definitely many more. If you have a way of getting your customer be loyal to you, let us know how you do that, we love hearing from you! 

Don’t forget to connect with us on social media for daily updates about the latest news updates, tips and other good content regarding business: @accasesolutions. 

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Common startup failure reasons in South Africa

South Africa has one of the highest business failure rates in the world, with five out of seven of these businesses failing within the first year of operation. This is worth looking into if you are considering starting a business or have a new startup who wants in for a long haul. Read on…

For a country with such a high rate of unemployment, this is very concerning. SMMEs play a crucial role in counteracting the major challenge of unemployment. What’s the gap between SMMEs and acquiring talent/skills from the qualified? 

As said by the specialist advisory service, access to finance is a major stumbling block,  with only 6% of SMMEs report to have received government support. Although there are government programmes and initiatives, some still find it relatively difficult to get funding due to criterion and/ or requirements.

Although there are many different reasons why start ups fail, we can’t narrow it down to 1 thing. This is worth looking into. In this blog, we will look at only 3 reasons why…

3️⃣ common reasons why South African startups fail:

1️⃣ Liquidation

In finance and economics, liquidation refers to the closing of a business when liabilities exceed assets and it can be resolved by voluntary action or by an order of the court. “216 companies were liquidated in March 2021, compared to the 178 the month before – a 21% jump. Voluntary liquidations increased by 61 cases and compulsory liquidations increased by 10 cases. This is 49% higher than the total liquidations registered in March 2020.”

Sourcewww.businesstech.co.za/news

2️⃣ Lack of skills and knowledge

They say “illiteracy in business is another reason for small business failure.although it is worth noting that finding skills/talent is not limited to finding a good cashier for example, but finding the skills + right attitude. This means finding a person with people skills (attitude towards customers), and functional skills (e.g., planning, organizing, leading and controlling). Find a team with both technical skills and people skills to keep customers coming back.

3️⃣ Poor sales and marketing

Sales is the heart of a business and marketing keeps it alive. Nothing’s more important than brand awareness. No matter how great your product/service might be, your business will take a dip if no one knows about it. Sometimes you don’t need a 20 page business plan, you need proper marketing! 

It is by far more costly to to win a new market than to preserve an existing one. It takes time to raise brand awareness, build up sales, build a new team, etc. If you can, save your small business. 

Guide to hitting Online Sales.

Landing here, our assumption is that you’ve read our previous blog on “Going Digital”!? If you haven’t, you can catch up ⏪ this blog article is more of a continuation ⏩



We believe in continuous learning, hence we are consistent in adding to your knowledge with our weekly blog posts. If there’s any specific topic you would like us to cover, feel free to drop us a comment or shoot us a DM on our socials @accasesolutions. Ok, let’s get to it!

Now that you know what does “Going Digital” means, WHY go digital, and HOW to go digital, let’s help you get started with a proven strategy that has helped marketers sell through digital platforms. In this blog, we will focus a bit on marketing and making sales online.

Rule number 1: Don’t ignore what people want, give it to them. DO NOT neglect customer needs! Second to that is knowing how to communicate your value by teaching your customers about your products/services and sticking to the mission!

Developing a digital marketing strategy
1️⃣ Define your goal.


There are 2️⃣ types of goals
☑ Ongoing – overall focus on marketing (long term)
☑ Campaign goals – specific initiative and short term

The common include:
• Improving customer engagement
• Generating more leads
• Growing sales
• Increase traffic
• Expand reach
• Enhancing brand perception


Choosing the right channels
“You need to be active on every social media platform” is a myth and bad advice. Invest in a smart mix of channels. Choose the ones that make sense for your audience.

A business should be centered around your ideal client avatar. You need a comprehensive customized strategy that’s proven to work in your industry.

Try the following:
• Research the channel’s audience
• Review research studies – source: business insider, social media today, etc.
• Discover how channels affect distinct

Facebook – 2.4 billion active users offer a lot of business features.
Instagram – 500 million active users, visually based. The online mall
Twitter – top messaging platform. Ideal for trending conversations
LinkedIn
• Top professional networking site
• Ideal for connecting with industry experts
• Great for B2B marketing
YouTube- top video sharing site. Business & influencers can create channels & monetize.

Creating content
Crafting messaging – Identify valuable content
Choosing topics – relevant topics that aren’t always marketing but also entertaining, educational, and value-driven, also align with your business goals


Selling on social media


“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around, so it’s built through sales and that means getting an experience with you.”

Stories sell!! To get to people’s wallets, you first need to get them to their feelings. That’s the hook!

> Customers trust people over brands
63% of customers trust influencers vs brands…reaching customers that trust opinions of that person
> Influencer partnerships (sponsored) – Paid endorsement of product or service
> REVIEWS – sending free products for reviews
> Co-branded – Influencer & company cooperate on product marketing, then share resulting sales
> Paid advertising – purchasing exposure to certain audiences & preferred placements. Start with a test campaign – AB Testing


When it comes to Customer Service, give INSTANT RESPONSES. Use platforms like Keyhole and Mention, be sure to make your message sounds humane. Turn on notifications, or look through manual searches.


To conclude, we leave you with the following tips:
• Algorithms change every 1 or 2 months, stay up to date.
• Customer service is important!! When people enquire from you, they already have other options. Be the best option!
• Take things personally instead of seeing them as a problem-solution equation.