Simple but rather time consuming projects such as updating an organizations website, investing in new software, or managing an online presence fall to the way side for small-medium sized businesses (SMB's). Often, due to a lack of time, resources, and planning capabilities, well-to-do and hard working team members simply do not have the time or the support to take on additional work (on top of the five hats they already wear outside of their daily duties and responsibilities).
In many construction, aviation, and manufacturing businesses, any activities that are not directly tied to revenue generation year after year get pushed to "the backburner" seemingly doing no harm to the business. Truth be told, skimping out on marketing and operational improvements may not directly impact your bottom line, but it can be limiting the potential of the enterprise. By not adhering to the new basic do's and don'ts, new customers and employees may take these as a sign to look elsewhere to invest their time, money, and relationship capital. Moving into 2023, plan on addressing a few key area's that can further grow your firms brand and earning potential in the coming year.
Website Improvements. For organizations that do not yet have a website, now is the time to invest in a simple (but user friendly) platform to share information with prospective stakeholders. Be it a customer, job searcher, or channel partner (insurance company, industry safety group, etc.) the first impression that used to be done in person is now done almost exclusively online. In a few seconds, an opportunity can be created or destroyed based on a lack-of or poor preforming site. While a website may not be used to sell a product or service, it does serve as a gut-check for those interested in seeing if they align with your company's service offerings, brand, and mission. For most firms, a simple five-eight page site with basic information, multiple contact methods, and frequent updates shows potential clients that you are a relevant player in your specific industry. Expect to spend $10-$20 thousand or even as little as $3-$5K based on your needs and desired functions for a website. If you'd like to learn more about website do's and don'ts, Contact Edge Solutions and we would be more than happy to assist with that process.
Software Implementation. We live in a world of spreadsheets, text's, and email's that require interfacing with multiple communication and storage methods to run projects, dispatch aircraft, and fabricate products. For SMB's, the most affordable methods of managing sales and operations lean towards low cost, easy to learn strategies. While this is a great way to do business with proven results, it may be time to scale up and invest in a CRM, ERP, or a mixture of the two to keep your team running smoothly. Industry-specific software packages can bring together sales data, financial reporting, and operational tracking into a simplified system with customizable, shareable dashboards (this means less meetings). Yes, these improvements often take months to research, thousands of dollars a year to own, and require short-term productivity losses to focus on training (and not working on day to day activities). In many cases, the software may offer too much or not enough of the functionality for what the organization needs currently. With some planning and flexibility, this seemingly impossible implementation can be done during a slow season directed by an appointed "point-person" assisted by ad-hoc committee that meets regularly to help share the workload. Sales, production, and finance will benefit from being involved from the get-go for a smooth roll-out down the line. Our team also assists with project planning and management for internal projects. Contact Edge Solutions to schedule a conversation on your next internal improvement project.
Online Presence. Creating and sharing on-brand content via a website, social media account (primarily LinkedIn and Instagram), as well as podcast or video production is a low-cost but effective way to market to industry viewers. Blog content (like the post you are reading now) assists in ranking a website's landing page position while sharing valuable information with clients and partners. Posting the bare-minimum on social media is also helpful to establish relevance in the marketplace while taking into consideration the privacy of customers and project-specific information. This will push employee's to interact with other team members and get out into the field to capture daily happenings or share corporate development information that otherwise would go unseen. Regarding video or podcasts, these extremely accessible pieces of media allow for more long-form content sharing that may not fit into a social media post or webpage. While many trade specific jobs have their own hiring websites or organizations distributing information on their behalf, having the ability to receive resumes, update position postings, and market to new team members allows for more control and better outcomes to fill roles. Taking the initiative to drive branding internally can yield positive results with limited cost and lift to the organization. For any content generation needs, Contact Edge Solutions today.
Before jumping into action, here are some factors to consider to aid any implementation process for back-burner projects:
Establish a "Point-Person." This is the person held responsible for the end "product." Ensure they have the interest, time, and support to take on additional activities that will include research, qualifying vendors/partners, and coordinating internal team efforts.
Plan as a Group. Appointing team members from various departments will aid in overcoming roadblocks in the early stages of development. From website's to software, there will need to be a buy-in from teams across the organization. Their expertise will be of great assistance during initial phases to answer questions, set aside resources, as well as help shape outcomes specific to their own functions; as they will most likely be using the new system or process as well. Having others involved on a bi-weekly or monthly basis can also foster positive attitudes when their input and energy is not only respected but required. Nothing great is ever accomplished alone.
Get Your Ducks In-a-Row. The most significant hang up with any project is not having a plan in place from the beginning. For a website, have a vision in mind and a date for completion. Assets such as basic text/content, pictures/video, or other company related media should be outlined and procured well in advance. Nothing is worse than waiting to hear back from managers and leaders on where to get pictures, what goes on the About Us page, etc. This lack of readiness will increase project costs on both the vendor/developer side as well as lost productivity and frustration on your team's end. This factor is what often creates "back-burner" projects, so get ahead of the curve and be flexible.
If your organization can benefit from marketing related assistance with any of the idea's and issues mentioned above, Contact Edge Solutions today. Partnering with an outside expert versed in construction, aviation, and manufacturing nuances can save your team valuable time, capital, and resources by simply adding some outside help. Have a Happy New Year and best wishes for a successful, prosperous, and safe 2023!
For marketing assistance in and around the construction, aviation, and manufacturing industries, contact Marketing@edgesolutions.online today.