Wise Ideas for Growing your Business in a Tough Economy

Tonight I attended a Business Leadership Council seminar on ways to grow one's business in this tough economic climate.  What amazed me was that much of the advice the panelists and audience members were giving out closely mirrored the advice I had received at the Voices That Matter: Web Design Conference a month prior.  Even though the audiences were completely different at both events, the overlapping content focused on core business tips and strategies that often get overlooked when a new shiny web tool suddenly captures our attention.

Goals BLC panelist David Burk, Founder & CEO of Clear Ink, repeatedly reminded us that our very first step is to figure out our goals.  Is it that we want a million visitors to our website?  Or do we want 80% of the traffic that visits our site to turn into business?  Equally important to determining our goals is to find a way to measure the success, otherwise we have no idea if we are meeting our goals or not.

Stick to the basics Another core point was that website search engine optimization is absolutely vital.  Go ahead a do a search for products or services that your business is selling.  If your business is not on the first few pages, it might as well not be there at all.  The trick is to using frequently searched terms in your body content.  You also should compare yourself to your most successful competitor and see what they are doing right.  One of panelists mentioned that traffic coming in via a search engine typically has a much lower bounce rate than that coming in via Twitter.

Testing Always be testing, retooling, and testing again.  There are great metrics tools out there that let you set up comparisons between different variables on your website or search engine keywords.  Using these comparisons, you can continuously tweek your website or advertising to best serve up your company.  Don't take a guess as to whether your "buy now" button should be blue or yellow or red.  Instead, set up all three and use these tools to equally split your traffic.  After one day or one week of data, you can find out which color leads to the highest percentage of your visitors choosing to push that button instead of wandering off to another site.

If you are interesting in learning more, be sure to check out the online notes that moderator David Spark, founder of Spark Media Solutions, took during the session.  It features recommended links, tips, and panelist contact info:  http://bit.ly/BLCJCF The Jewish Community Federation’s Business Leadership Council (BLC) is a vibrant group of Bay Area Jewish leaders dedicated to connecting business professionals with each other, fostering Jewish values, and raising funds to secure a Jewish future.  To learn more, or to attend their future events,  please visit: http://www.sfjcf.org/groups/blc/


May 26, 2009


The Federation