Empower Your Small Business With Technology And Combat Inflation In 2022
National Small Business Week is celebrated during the first week of May every year. The goal of this week is to honor the entrepreneurs in the United States who have played a major role in improving the economy and bringing innovation to the business world. At Scorpion, we hold this week near and dear to our hearts, as our purpose is to help local businesses succeed through cutting-edge technology and marketing.
With inflation rates at their highest since 1982, it is more important than ever to empower small businesses with the tools they need to succeed. According to new data from the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Special Report on Inflation and Supply Chain Shocks on Small Business, inflation is the top concern for small businesses right now.
Instead of rushing to raise prices and cut employees, one of the best ways to combat inflation is to streamline and automate processes. A functional website with proper communication tools like scheduling and live chatting will save your team valuable time, which will ultimately save you money. As the cost of labor increases, investing in automation is sure to pay off in the long run.
Further, in today’s digital age, word-of-mouth marketing will only take you so far. It is essential to automate your process and increase online visibility, as demonstrated by A-TEMP Heating, Cooling, & Electrical. The family-run HVAC business had a great reputation in Portland, but was virtually invisible online. Not only did this create more work for its employees, it made it much harder for customers to get in contact with them.
This lack of accessibility was costing them, and in this economy, every dollar matters. Scorpion was able to help them appear in search engines and create a user-friendly portal where customers can contact them to schedule appointments.
Erika Schneider, co-owner of A-TEMP Heating, Cooling, & Electrical says, “Since working with Scorpion, we’ve had nothing but record-breaking revenue months.” The company experienced a 25% revenue increase in the first year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Even during a time of massive inflation, making the process simpler for your customers and for your employees will go a long way.
Small Business Checklist: Does Your Company Follow These Three Golden Rules?
Small businesses are the cornerstone of Scorpion’s mission and the reason behind why we do what we do. Working one-on-one with small business owners provides unique, valuable insight into the best ways to conquer a niche and succeed. To celebrate National Small Business Week, get these valuable tips that small business owners can learn and apply from the successes of Scorpion clients:
- Establish your “WHY”
As a small business owner, it is important to establish the motivation behind your work and let it drive you every day. Without this underlying purpose, it can be far too tempting for an entrepreneur to abandon the mission and jump ship to work for a more established business.
One business that had a clear vision and was able to realize it through strategic marketing was Pilgrim Plumbing and Heating in Greater Massachusetts. Its owner Brian Maffioli had the vision to employ more people in Massachusetts, refresh the look and feel of the brand, and continue growing and serving the state.
As Maffioli put it, “That was the catalyst, really, not only for branding and rebranding but to grow. To grow the company, to take on more employees and try to build more revenue, and just be something other than just a one-man show.”
To meet these goals and take Pilgrim Plumbing and Heating to the next level of exposure, Maffioli began working with Scorpion. The first steps were to optimize an advertising budget and launch a new website. Since launching the website, Maffioli has seen a regular increase year-over-year in organic and paid leads, an increase in website traffic, and an increase of 6.5% in positive reviews. None of this would have been possible without establishing a solid “why,” keeping clear goals in mind every step of the way.
- Use comprehensive marketing technology
In the digital age, one of the problems that many small businesses run into is a lack of understanding of the technology that powers their marketing efforts. Instead, they blindly place their trust in professional marketers who might fail to explain the details of their process. This leaves business owners who are not digitally savvy confused and left in the dark about whether their investments are paying off.
No matter whether you are running a small business or a large corporation, your marketing efforts need to be individualized and specific to your business. Above all, when it comes to your marketing efforts, you need to understand them yourself. Five Star Painting, a Scorpion client in El Paso that yielded a 1400% ROI after working with the team, is a perfect testament.
The painting company needed to expand its business, and Scorpion laid out focused marketing efforts through display advertising, social media ads, pay-per-click ads, and a local SEO package. Although these features might sound complicated to someone who is unfamiliar with digital marketing, Scorpion presents them in a way that allows clients to understand exactly how their investments are working to their advantage.
Jorge Campos, Managing Owner at Five Star Painting, worded it best when he said, “The way you guys organize the information on your portal where we have access to take a look at what the performance has been, it’s done in such a way that’s very easily understood. That has made it extremely valuable for me, in particular, to understand exactly what it is that’s happening.”
Whether you are working with Scorpion or with another team of marketing professionals, your small business must realize the value of looking at your marketing efforts not as a passive observer but as an active member of your own team.
- Hire and retain top talent
With the inflation rates as they are, hiring might be the last thing on your mind. If that is the case, it is certainly understandable, but many small businesses have demonstrated that focusing on quality when it comes to hiring and being intentional about their team can pay off in the long run. If your small business feels like it is at a standstill, or you are spending so much time on the ground with your employees that you cannot focus on managing them, it might be time to strategically expand.
If you feel like you are not ready to expand yet, investing in marketing efforts that increase your visibility might be the push your business needs. EZ Flow Plumbing in Gilbert, Arizona is a perfect example of that. Its goal when the company joined Scorpion was to increase its revenue to the point where it could support hiring a team of technicians. Through strategic digital marketing efforts, the company was able to increase its monthly calls by 63% and boost monthly revenue by 55-64%. All of this allowed EZ Flow Plumbing to double the amount of trucks and plumbers they had the year prior.
The key here was to free up the owners’ time enough so that they could focus on creating an environment where employees would want to stay for the long haul.
With higher numbers than ever, EZ Flow Plumbing is confident that it can keep its employees busy with jobs, but what is needed to retain top talent is much more than that. It was important for the team to be in a financial position to compensate the team fairly and to make their voices heard. Proper training and setting clear expectations from the beginning also plays a role in creating a team of high performers.
When your marketing needs are being met with strategic, goal-oriented efforts, you will certainly bring in more revenue. This will allow you to free up the time you need to focus on creating the kind of environment that makes strong employees want to stay, even as outside factors like the economy are constantly changing.
For more tips on hiring and retaining top talent, download our free ebook here.
- Set yourself apart through outstanding service
When customers seek help from a small business, what often keeps them coming back is the exceptional service. In 2011, most Americans stated that they preferred the customer service experience of small businesses to big businesses’ service. A 2019 survey found that this trend has continued. Maintaining strong professional relationships with your customers will instill brand loyalty and motivate them to continue choosing your business over other bigger brands on the market.
One of the small firms that particularly values this quality is Yekrangi & Associates. Ashkan Yekrangi started his immigration law practice from the ground up, answering all his own calls, scheduling appointments, and working directly with clients to make sure they felt taken care of.
Although Yekrangi wanted to expand his practice, this touch of small business personalization remained a top priority. That is why, when choosing a marketing agency, he wanted to work with a team that could spread the word about his top-notch services while helping him expand and serve even more clients.
It was also important for him to work with a team that valued prompt, personalized communication as much as he does. As a result of these client-focused digital marketing efforts, the firm has gone from $100,000 a year to $1 million a year in revenue. What a success story!
Yekrangi says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Scorpion’s help. Their customer service is exceptional. My marketing team stays on top of the latest digital marketing trends. And I always get an immediate response. This is what keeps me on board with Scorpion.”
If you are driven every day by your purpose, provide exceptional service, and have a solid understanding of your marketing efforts, your small business will stand out from the crowd. Let’s keep these initiatives in mind as we strive to empower and celebrate small businesses not just during National Small Business Week but every week.
If you want to improve your visibility and need a helping hand with your marketing efforts, reach out to the team at Scorpion.