Office Management Direct provides office personnel to local businesses in Salt Lake City. Patterned after a temp agency but specialized to office management in particular; the company’s best-selling product is the ability to save a business about 50% in wages, benefits, etc. by providing office staff.
While reviewing the company website, first and foremost was the need to enhance its platform from 2001 technology to the cutting age appeal of the present. WordPress seems to be the easiest way to create a website if you want to try on your own. The following article (Insider, 2010) recommended some clear guidelines that will dramatically improve the company’s website.
Clear description of who you are by stating your name and summing up your products or services.
- An easily navigated site map using drop downs.
- Easy to find contact information such as phone, e-mail, and a standard contact form, your address, and links to your other social media locations.
- Customer testimonials. “They help your potential customers to build trust in you, especially if you are new.” Zuhang.
- Call to action. Implement a “call or sign up for a free quote”.
- Implement SEO basics so the website can be found.
- Fresh quality content. Keep it updated.
- A secure hosting platform so that all information shared is kept safe and secure.
- Design and style that is friendly to online readers. Most readers have a very small attention span. Keep things simple and to the point.
The next step is to create a strong social media presence beginning with Facebook. Some of the advantages will be driving traffic to the company website by listing it on the Facebook page. Facebook has the potential to generate search engine results for business. ROI-related metrics are available due to the analysis of marketing and communication tracking done by comments, posts and “likes”. Facebook connects you and your staff to customers therefore building customer relations. You are able to target individuals by sate, gender, age range for communication and strategic purposes. If hosting an event, you will be able to reach followers easily offering the ability to promote. Customers and other advocates can post to your Facebook Wall, share photos and video, ask and answer questions, and interact with you and one another. All of these marketing tools come free of charge. (Belicove, 2009) If it seems too good to be true; it probably is. A recent change in mid-January of 2015, Facebook began to remove unpaid plugs in user new feeds. Businesses that post free marketing pitches or reuse content from existing ads will suffer “a significant decrease in distribution.” The change will make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to reach fans of their Facebook page that aren’t paid advertising. (Angus Loten, 2014)
Office Management Direct began before the development of the Cloud. Contemplating how to keep the business progressive the concept of a cloud based virtual assistants was introduced. They can do what any office assistant can do but from home. This will save the business overhead cost. Some of the tasks that can be done by a virtual assistant are accounting, HR, travel, appointment setting, event planning to name a few and accomplished through the cloud. Some of the software tools suggested by Michael Hyatt (Hyatt, 2013) provide a great starting point for transition:
- Basecamp. This is a web-based, project management tool. It is super simple to use. It enables us to store all the files, tasks, due dates, and discussions with the appropriate project.
- Dropbox. We use this popular tool to share files with one another.
- Google Calendar. This is a web-based application that makes it easy to share my calendar with my teammates on a need-to-know basis.
- GroupMe. This is a web-based application and is also a terrific iPhone app. It is designed specifically for group chat.
- LastPass. This is a password management program that allows me to share my passwords and login credentials with co-workers while reducing my security risk.
- Messages. We use this for normal, one-on-one text communication and small, ad hoc groups. (If it involves a more permanent group or is larger than three people, we use GroupMe.)
- Rhino Support. Though it is technically a help desk application, it is the perfect solution for this use. My assistants can assign messages to specific members of my team, attach notes to individual messages or senders, ask how we want to handle the message, and use email templates to respond to frequently asked questions.
- Skype. We use this application for individual and small group meetings.
- SnagIt. I use this application for sharing screenshots and brief screencasts with my team. It makes it possible to quickly and easily share what I see rather than trying to describe it via email.
- SweetProcess. This is a web-based tool for documenting recurring procedures. It enables me to provide step-by-step instructions for my teammates, so they can replicate the process and accomplish specific tasks. I can even embed screenshots and screencasts.
This professional networking site offers features that allow small businesses to post jobs, search for clients, recruit potential employees and check references. In the following article (Contact, 2012) Contact recommends to prepare your business page with a personal profile and business page working together for best results, strong key words, keep your contact information and company overview up to date. Potential employees will look at these items to see if the business is a good fit for them. The next step is to build connections by reaching out directly with messages, sharing an update on your profile describing the position desiring to be filled, reach out to previous employees, collaborate with other small business owners in the area, family or friends can provide recommendations, LinkedIn Groups can help you discover candidates, advanced search. Finally, you can pay a fee to post your position on the LinkedIn Job page which proves to be most effective in finding applicants.
A business needs to be prepared to exchange money. PayPal is the world’s most widely used E Commerce. PayPal payments are made using a user’s existing account or with a credit card. Money can be sent directly to an email address, which creates the need for users to sign up for a new PayPal account. PayPal also allows its users to send money through the service. This will be beneficial to use for the business, client and employee.
Web 2.0 has opened literally a world of opportunities for businesses and the consumer. the sources are easily accessible, support collaboration amongst people, they are low cost if not free, have very little risk in trying them and they don’t require much IT support which is beneficial especially for the beginner. If there is any doubt that Web 2.0 resources are beneficial to business, the following statistics (Kusinitz, 2014) speak boldly and persuasively that Social Media is effective and here to stay:
1) 92% of marketers agreed that social media is important for their business, up from 86% in 2013.
2) 92% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses.
3) 80% of marketers indicated that their social media efforts increased traffic.
4) 72% of marketers are using social media to develop loyal fans.
5) 71% of marketers are using social media to gain marketplace intelligence.
6) More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least three years report it has helped them improve sales.
7) 74% of marketers who spend 40+ hours using social media per week earn new business through their efforts.
8) 95% of marketers who use social media at least 6 hours per week indicated their social media efforts increased exposure for their businesses.
9) More than half of marketers who’ve invested at least 1 year in social media marketing report that new partnerships were gained.
10) By spending as little as 6 hours per week, over 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.
11) Nearly half of those who spend at least six hours per week on social media efforts saw a benefit of reduced marketing expenses.
12) More than 58% of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer improved search engine rankings.
13) More than half of marketers with at least one year of social media experience were generating leads with social platforms.
14) Over 84% of participants found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing.
15) Of those with at least 1 year of experience using social media, 69% or more found social platforms provided marketplace insight.
16) Of those who have been using social media for at least 1 year, 69% found it useful for building a loyal fan base.
“Over the past 60 years, marketing has moved from being product-centric (Marketing 1.0) to being consumer-centric (Marketing 2.0). Today we see marketing as transforming once again in response to the new dynamics in the environment. We see companies expanding their focus from products to consumers to humankind issues. Marketing 3.0 is the stage when companies shift from consumer-centricity to human-centricity and where profitability is balanced with corporate responsibility.” ― Philip Kotler