NAVIGATING COVID-19 & OTHER BUSINESS CHALLENGES

NAVIGATING COVID-19 & OTHER BUSINESS CHALLENGES

Where Are You Going?

Navigating COVID-19 & Other Business Challenges

 

Part 1

 

Introduction

As I’ve counseled, coached, and consulted with local businesses, there’s a common challenge that many of them face, mostly without realizing it: They haven’t clarified why they are in business and what they are trying to accomplish.

I’m not an advocate of “corporate” mission statements and other lip service declarations, but I do believe in developing a clear sense of Why, Who, What, and How for your company.

“When Values Are Clear, Decisions Are Easy”

Once you’ve identified your reasons for being in existence, decide on a goal to point your company at each year (or quarter, or some other reasonable cadence). After creating a defined and aligned objective, the last step is to determine how you’ll measure success.

I’ll share a condensed version of what I’ve learned and read about into simple principles you can start with, as well as a recommended reading list at the end of the post.

“Action to be effective must be directed to clearly conceived ends.”

Why?

A useful “mission” statement is simply a declaration of why you are in business and what you hope to accomplish, stated consistently with your company culture & communications. The simpler, the better. Your “Why” is the basis for everything your business will do. If you don’t have a mission yet – stated or otherwise, get started. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it can change, but if you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing – how will you know if your actions are effective?

Here’s a few “why” prompts to get you started:

  • Why are you in business?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • What change are you trying to make?
  • What problems are you trying to solve?

Who?

Once you’ve got an idea of Why you are in business, who is your company intended to serve? Who are your customers? If your instinct is to say “anyone who will pay” you are not alone, and sometimes we have to do what we have to do to survive. However, it’s not a sustainable strategy for your business. Part of deciding who you serve – is to determine who you will not serve. Creating a “customer experience” is only possible if you know who that person is and how they’d prefer to interact with your company.

Here’s a few “who’s your customer” prompts to get started:

  • Who are your favorite customers to work with
  • Who are your most profitable customers
  • What customers refer you to other customers
  • Who are your repeat customers

 

To Be Continued…

Part 2 will continue our journey into better defining what we do and how we do it – followed by a deeper dive into aligning and defining organizational focus to make progress on your mission.

“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

Part 1 Reading

  1. Start With Why – Simon Sinek
  2. Find Your Why – Simon Sinek, David Mead, & Peter Docker
  3. Clockwork – by Mike Michalowicz
  4. The On Purpose Business – Kevin W. McCarthy
Help Fight Hosting Deficiency Syndrome

Help Fight Hosting Deficiency Syndrome

Help Fight HDS #thereishope

About Hosting Deficiency Syndrome

Hosting Deficiency Syndrome (HDS) is a serious problem plaguing the WordPress community. Symptoms include slow page load times, the need for caching plugins, poor security, out of date WP installations, terrible customer service, and more.

Fortunately there is hope.

The treatment for HDS is Managed WordPress hosting from www.GetFlywheel.com. Their dedicated team of hosting professionals will migrate your site for free and have your website operating better in no time.

If you, or a company you know suffers from HDS, please contact them today.

About Flywheel

Hosting Deficiency SyndromeFlywheel is an amazing WordPress hosting company based in Omaha, Nebraska (AKA The Silicon Prairie). They do an awesome job of managing WordPress hosting for design firms like us at Workshed.com. If your website is built on WordPress, check them out (Also they do free migrations, which is very, very, helpful).


CONTACT FLYWHEEL

 

About Workshed

We approach design, marketing, and websites from a business owners perspective. Sure, we love cool tech just as much as the next geek, but we know that providing solutions to real business problems is a better way to provide value.

CONTACT WORKSHED

 

Financial Advisor Websites | 5 questions to ask yourself

Financial Advisor Websites | 5 questions to ask yourself

The Office Audit

Back when I first started as a financial adviser, Van Kampen mutual funds was doing a big ‘value add’ push to attract more business. I’m not sure how successful their effort was for them, but one of the positive outcomes I received was an introduction to their office audit (along with a few books like “Storyselling for Financial Advisers” and “Millionaire’s Advisor“) which helped advisers understand the non verbal messages an office can communicate to clients and prospects. The typical suggestions usually consisted of things like “remove clutter,” “add pictures of family,” and “display your hobbies.” All of which were intended to instill confidence and make connections. The same is true (perhaps more so) of your website.

 

Financial Advisor Websites Audit

an image 5 questions for ask about financial advisor websitesPull up your website and pretend it’s one of your competitors. If you were looking at it for the first time what would it say about you and your company? Does it help someone learn anything meaningful about your firm or differentiate you from all the other advisors out there?

Here are a few questions to help you conduct an audit on your firm’s website:

  • How often to you add content?
  • Is the content written by you or someone at your firm?
  • Does your home page answer the WIFM question for prospects?
  • Is your website build to be search engine friendly?
  • How does your website look on a mobile phone or tablet?

Write down your answers to these questions. Have your staff do the same. Unless your answers were weekly, yes, yes yes, and great, there is room for improvement. Enhancements to anyone of these areas can lead to significant improvement in the conversion of visitors (or getting more visitors) into clients.

In reality there are many factors that go into building great looking, high performing financial advisor websites, but by starting with these 5 you’ll have an advantage (assuming you do something after asking the questions) over your competition. I’d also recommend reading Storyselling for Financial Advisers and Millionaire’s Advisor, they are great books that will help you connect with clients and run your practice more efficiently. If you need help or have questions, you can get them answered with a quick message here:

 

50% off a Social Media Makeover

50% off a Social Media Makeover

Social Media Makeover

UPDATE: For the rest of March, we’re offering our social media makeover for 50% off!

Social media is one of the first places prospective clients are going to “meet” you and your company. What will their first impression be? Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts (yes you should have an account on each) are sending the right message, by letting the Workshed team create a custom profile and background image for each.

Social Media Makeover

What’s it cost?

Typically we charge $500-$600 for this service, but through the end of March we’re “slashing our prices” (imagine the guy with the crazy radio voice) and offering it for $300. For those within the range of our photographer, that’s an epic deal, for the rest of you…you’ll have to settle for a great deal!

What about the free giveaway?

To enter the “Great Social Media Makeover Giveaway” is easy. Just tell us in the comments below how you currently use social media (if at all) to market your business and share this post to the social network of your choice.

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover

[clear]If you are selected we’ll contact you with the rest of the details.

For the forward thinking types who want to proceed with the social media makeover anyway (because it’s such a great deal, and you know how important it is) we’ll refund your payment if you are selected.

What’s Included?

Photography

If you are within 30 miles of our office, we’ll send Brady over with his fancy camera to take pictures! If you’ve ever had professional pictures taken, you know this is a screaming deal. If you are not within range of our visual arts master, we take what you have and work with it. If it’s rubbish, we’ll do something with graphics instead.

Facebook Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

Google Plus Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

YouTube Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Channel Art

Twitter Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Background Image Custom Header

LinkedIn Page

Custom Header Image Custom Standard Logo Custom Square Logo

Universal (for your other pages)

Custom Background Image Custom Profile Image

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover

[clear]

Social Media Makeover Form

A simple form to collect the stuff we need for your social media makeover
  • What is your Twitter profile name? For example ours is: @workshed
  • What is your Facebook Page url? For example ours is: https://www.facebook.com/workshedinteractive (yours might have numbers if you never claimed a custom web address)
  • What is your Google + page url? For example ours is: https://plus.google.com/b/107939241718879668106/+Workshed/posts
  • What is your LinkedIn profile url? For example ours is: http://www.linkedin.com/company/workshed-interactive
  • What is your YouTube profile url? For example ours is: http://www.youtube.com/user/WorkshedCreative
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, eps, psd, ai.
    Please upload the best quality file you have for your logo (usually bigger is better)

5 Important Steps To Optimize Images For The Web

5 Important Steps To Optimize Images For The Web

Images are essential to an effective website. Quality photos can mean the difference between a successful website and an ugly website that burns the retinas of it’s viewers.

Photos are especially important for websites that need to communicate anything visual; such as products, artwork, or services.

Here are a couple of websites that do a great job communicating visually with images:
www.spotify.com
www.littleco.com

Not only is it important to be posting big beautiful photos, it is equally important that they are properly optimized for the web. Not having properly optimized photos means you are probably missing out on potential visitors and sales.

Do your images provide Google and other search engines with the relevant information they need to be properly indexed? If not, how are people going to find them?

Are your photos too big? If so, they could be taking longer than necessary to load on phones and other mobile devices.

Why optimize your images?

Google can’t read photos… at least not very well. This is why you need to tell Google what the image is so that Google can correctly index and organize it.
Is that another photo of your cat with sunglasses? Or is that a photo of your Grandma’s famous green jello recipe? Google doesn’t know. You need to tell it.

Here are 5 important steps to optimize images for the web:

1. Image sizes

Before your photo is posted to the world wide web, it’s important that it be the right file size. If your images are too large, your visitors are not going to wait around for your website to load; especially mobile visitors. Images that are small in file size are essential for fast page load times. Unless you have access to expensive image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, there are plenty of free online tools to help optimize image size; here is a great one.

2. Image Title Tag

Give your image a good title tag. The title tag is what the visitor is going to see when they highlight over the image with the cursor. Wordpress makes uploading and tagging images a piece of cake. Simply type in the title tag after uploading your image:

Example of how optimize images for the web
If you’re not using wordpress, and are updating your website like a dinosaur, the format goes like this:
<img src=”cat.jpg” title=”My Cute Cat”>

3. Image Caption

Add a caption tag to give your visitors a nice description or insight about your image. In WordPress, the caption is added directly underneath your image. Image captions are not used by Google, so only add if you want to give your visitors additional information.

Optimize your images for the web

4. Image Alt Tag

The Alt tag is especially important for SEO and Google indexing. Make a habit of always putting relevant keywords that describe your image in your alt tags. The alt tag will also be displayed in place of the image if the image link breaks and cannot be displayed. WordPress also has a handy field to add an alt tag:

how to add alt tags to optimize images for the web

<img src=”cat.jpg” title=”My Cute Cat” alt=”cute brown cat”>

5. Image File Name

When uploading any image, make sure it has a descriptive file name. A year from now when you or a visitor are searching for a particular image, which one do you think will be easier to find?
IMG_8692.jpg or cute-brown-cat.jpg?

These are 5 great ways to help optimize your website and get more traffic. Interested in more information on maintaining an effective website, sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar.

Have any more image optimization tips? Please leave them in the comments below!