Quarterly views are not always the best way to look at the effectiveness of a campaign. If your looking to build quick results on quick results, you might end up with less in the end (or might not be building on yourself). There are some ever-green building tools that are ignored because they don’t offer quarterly boosts, they offer building blocks to success.
Hiring and Maintaining Personnel
Hiring and maintaining awesome employees is a great way to become a hyper-growth company (even though it can be hard to quantify exact output benefits). Hiring and maintaining awesome personnel means less training cost required, more productivity, and increased engagement. These all result in bigger profits from the same employees (and that’s big money). Hiring great employees is only one part of the process, caring for them and providing consistent training can be even more vital.
Hiring Great Employees
Defining your culture is a great place to the hiring process. It will help you define personality traits you want to look for, and find out what an engaged employee looks like for you. For example, a cubicle farm might allow an introverted, self-motivated employee to thrive, where as a customer facing company might need more extroverted, collaborative employees. Defining your company culture will help you find your best employees, especially if you look in a variety of platforms, (hiring pages onsite, offsite ads on craigslist, linkedin, etc, and actively recruiting).
Caring For Your Employees
Even small things that show care for your employees helps with retention ratings. For example, if you relocate an employee, showing them the more charming areas of town and helping them find a nice place to live could mean a world of trouble saved later when they show up to work relaxed and unstressed. Or, having Breakfast Monday’s if you notice that more people come in late on Monday and seem to be less productive. A fed worker with less stress in their life is a better employee than a stressed out starving one. Small acts add up and let your employees know that you care about the work they are doing, that you want them to succeed, and that what they do here matters.
Consistent up training is huge to keep your employees, even if all you do is meet with them to talk about the same old information it shows that you care about their work. It’s so easy to get lost in the swirl of things, and that’s no good for an employee who might be struggling. It also shows that you want every employee to succeed and become a better employee. This could even mean encouraging some podcasts in your field or holding webinars that they can attend from their desk. Individualized up-training is also a way of giving some assurance of job security to your employees and getting them more involved in the company.
Updating software is a definite must (especially if it’s affecting your customer facing elements). There is something deeply wrong when people can’t pull up information that they need when someone is on the phone, or when your Pos system goes down in the middle of a rush. Software updates that happen mid-quarter have an immediate cost, but don’t always have an obvious benefit directly related to the update. A good rule of thumb to follow is to update when it becomes an obstacle between you and getting things done. This could even mean going for a different system. Software updates are part of what keeps you moving and it’s part of the tool box that your employees need to do their job.
There a lot of long term goals that won’t be met with quick results. Trying to outrank your competition in the search engine results pages, make a bigger name for your brand, or getting the best website around isn’t something that you accomplish overnight. It takes years of work to get these large scale goals accomplished and can be incredibly competitive, but they are ever green tools that will continue to help you as you put effort into them.
There are some marketing efforts that take immediate effects, like PR releases or paid advertising that have their main benefits in the fast results. But you can’t build cred on quick wins. Long term plans like content marketing, social media goals, and building a natural backlink portfolio take time and build off of their own success.
For example, expecting a social media to make back the amount of money you put into it by using a tracker on referral traffic would probably leave you incredibly disappointed in the first quarter. You probably would not make your money back using traffic tracking measurements. However brand awareness will increase and that has lasting impacts for your product. It’s the same thing for a link building campaign. You might build 5 natural links today and get 40 people through those. Those aren’t life-changing money numbers, but those are branding, rank-rising numbers.
This is another one of those things that takes time. If you are a new company that just opened and spend five hundred bucks on a brand name and design, that may not pay off in the next 3 months. It’s also really hard to know that people like you for your brand. More than likely they will say they like you for your product more, but having a consistent brand name means that you can do some marketing (like filling out your local listings). It takes time for a brand name to pay off, but it’s definitely worth it to give you company a name and a face.
Onsite development is a consistent effort. While your initial site might be the best that ever was, consistent improvement might be something to be looked into, and while it may not pay off immediately, the natural title tags, htags, or usability repairs will pay off and prevent bouncing. Even small fixes can help big time with your SEO optimization, and is necessary. While you may not see improvements directly related to the cost you spent, it has long term benefits.
A lot of things are hard to quantify, especially for small business owners. Things like marketing, or cost inputs that don’t see immediate outputs are especially difficult. But if you are a forwardly mobile company, staying competitive, staying active, and moving forward will help you stay alive. Even though you can quantify the time-cost of a Monday breakfast, or the amount spent on branding, these are big pay-offs in the long-run.
This guest post is courtesy of Mary Grace.