Tools of Rethink’s Success
Man was first considered ‘sophisticated’ when he stood up on two legs and began using tools. Before that, survival was a much greater struggle. Here at Rethink, we understand that many small businesses face that same struggle to grow and succeed. We’ve clawed our way up from the bottom, and we don’t intend to be back there any time soon.
We could not have achieved success on our own. Along with our three core tenets (See our previous blog post to discover what these three tenets are and how they led to success), there were numerous tools along the way that helped us maximize our output and our efficiency. In order to reach your full potential, you, too, must be willing to utilize the tools at hand.
Invest in small business apps
Perhaps you’re the type of person who wants to be in charge of everything; you’ve worked so hard to grow your own business that giving away any small part of it seems painstaking at best. But eventually, you’ll reach a point where you just can’t do it all on your own. That’s when it’s time to outsource.
A large chunk of outsourcing is about providing your employees with the tools they need to succeed. We understand that as a small business, you’re juggling a lot of different things - we face the exact same problem. However, we’ve figured out a way to streamline our processes that greatly reduce the amount of juggling needed to get work done: pay for business apps.
It might be difficult to justify paying for extra resources when you have so few to begin with, but we guarantee it’s worth it. (P.S.: this is not a sponsored post. None of the following companies have paid us in any way, we just really appreciate how awesome they are!)
There are several apps we use so frequently that save us so much time and effort we’re not sure we’d be able to survive without them. Here’s a list of 5 of them so you can be helped out, too.
Make Every Day a Monday
Not words many people would use. We, however, love Monday. But to us it’s not just the sad day after Sunday; Monday is an organizational tool that allows each employee to see all of their tasks and deadlines at a glance. It shows what team members are also working on the project, and at exactly what stage along the pipeline the project is. It’s super easy to break down which client has a project for which employee, when a supervisor needs to approve a project, or when that project is ready to be passed along to the client.
Monday keeps us accountable for our assignments and takes the ambiguity and guesswork out of our job duties. (We’ve also found their customer service team to be very helpful when we have questions.)
Leave a Buffer Zone
We also utilize Buffer for our social media scheduling needs. Buffer lets us organize the social feeds of each and every client and schedule posts well in advance. A person will create a draft, then after they’re done with it, request approval from a supervisor. After the post has been approved by the supervisor, it goes into the queue. You can set it to go live at any time, and you can have an unlimited number of posts in the queue.
This system of approval takes the stress out of social media planning. Your posts have plenty of time to undergo revisions, and there’s no last-minute scrambling to get content out.
Keep your Emails Active
It’s important to keep in contact with your subscribers. Many small businesses use email marketing systems like MailChimp, and we do too, but we’ve discovered a different platform that works better for our larger and more complex email campaigns. ActiveCampaign is a great tool to amass thousands of followers, especially if you’re pulling them from a landing page. It has a very flexible email system that allows you to customize every aspect of your email series, keeping it simple like the email below….
….or making it very complex and reliant on Boolean logic, as the example below. You can also process the data (such as clicks, opens, read-throughs, etc.) for each email.
Un-bounce Your Landing Pages
Some campaigns call for a unique landing page. Unbounce is a great platform to build such custom landing pages, providing easy access for the designer on the back-end as well as the consumer on the front-end. Unbounce easily lets you filter different pages for different clients and also shows live stats on how well your pages are doing.
We’re a big fan of using landing pages to provide access to original ebooks (and our clients are big fans as well!).
Grow your Business
Grow specializes in “Business Intelligence,” which essentially means that they can aggregate data from across multiple platforms so you can see the live metrics for each thing you want to measure, all in one place. Grow can show you pretty much any KPI you want to know, from which of your people have the most sales, which ad is doing best, forecasts for future growth, how much money you’ve spent per project, and so on. It presents data in a way that is very visual and good for reports, both internally and externally.
One thing to note: Grow isn’t very intuitive, and there is a bit of a learning curve. However, their support staff is excellent (our employee who deals in Grow is on a first name basis with members of the support staff and has learned all about their family!), and the data they provide is invaluable for measuring the success of your campaigns.
Are any of these tools used to bring success in your campaigns? If not, maybe you should consider adding them to your belt.
Be sophisticated. Give your business the tools it needs to survive.