Better Solutions Through Better Understanding
When Binarix was launched 12 years ago, the potential of websites as a business management, marketing and sales tool was perceived within the SME Market with great interest, as well as scepticism. But Vanessa Van Wyk recognised the potential this presented and decided to take a “leap of faith” from corporate life, and says that the journey continues to be phenomenal.
Binarix helps clients grow their businesses through web development, marketing and training. And despite the initial challenges Vanessa faced convincing small business owners of the benefits of websites as a business tool, today 60 – 70 per cent of her clients are SME.
“We love them because they are outcomes focussed and want improvements in the short term,” she explains. “With SMEs, it’s about how we can make them money, or save them money in the short term. Big business place more focus on long term planning outcomes.”
Many small businesses are nervous about telemarketing, another part of the Binarix mix, but Vanessa says it can work for any size business, even a micro-business.
Vanessa explains: “The key to telemarketing success is to have three things in place: strategy, skill and systems. To be great at telemarketing, you have to love it…that our job as trainers. Often at the beginning of a training program we’ll ask ‘How many people here hate it?’ Usually 50 per cent of people respond with a resounding ‘yes’. When we suggest that post the training, they may love it….raucous laughter usually fills the room.”
Vanessa says many people are still making fundamental mistakes with their websites. She identifies:
1. Lack of planning: the strategy, from analysing competitors through to design, content and promoting the website, needs to be planned before building.
a. Ensure your strategic content will achieve the website objectives. Does it cover what potential customers are looking for when sourcing a new supplier etc?
b. Ensure the content optimises search engine criteria.
3. Marketing: There is no point having the best website in the business if no one can find the site. From the initial planning stages, you need to allocate the correct website marketing mix.
4. Measure: analyse statistics on a regular basis, identify areas of improvement and refine the site and marketing initiatives.
Vanessa says that the most important features SMEs should incorporate in their website are:
- Compelling content to view on the website
- Call to action: What do you want website visitors to do once they see the content? How clear and motivating is it?
- Positioning: have you positioned the business as intended on the website? Is your USP clear on the website?
- Competitors analysis: SME’s often underestimate the importance of analysing competitors’ sites and positioning themselves against them.
Vanessa’s Top Three Tips:
- Planning: a vision for the future is paramount.
- Staffing: don’t underestimate the importance staff plays in developing your business. They can be your greatest asset, so you should ensure you have a clear direction for them when it comes to their development and future.
- Training: knowing your learnt trade or skill is only about a third of what you need to succeed in business. Elite athletes and successful CEO’s conduct regular training and/or engage a mentor. We are no different in small business. Think about your challenges right now and ask yourself how are you going to change the outcome? Training in all aspects of your business is not a luxury, it’s critical to the development of the key individuals who are part of the value chain.