Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Best Practices for Troubleshooting Your Business Regularly

We know it. You are extremely busy. You work your business day in and day out and there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do it all. On the surface it all looks good. You are taking care of the normal things-marketing, client work, speaking engagements, networking, paying bills, and so forth. But, is it really going as smoothly as you think? What about the things lurking in the back-end which might not be as obvious? Is there anything happening behind the scenes costing you clients and money? Look for things you might not be aware of or just don't have enough time to manage. It's time to take a few minutes and do a "business check" to see if everything in your business is working as it should.

Be especially mindful of these mistakes which can be drastically hurting your business:

Your contact form not working. You would be amazed how many sites we visit and are unable to contact the business owner because their contact form doesn't work. Whether it goes to a 404 error or you can't figure out the code it requires, you might be missing out on business because they just can't reach you. That's why you need to stop right now and check your contact form. Is it working properly? Send yourself a message and make sure you receive it. Believe us when we say if prospects can't contact you, they will move right on to the next one. Also, we highly recommend having a phone number on your site aside from your contact form. That way if something does go wrong, those interested can still get in touch with you.

Links not working. Yes, they probably worked when you set them up, but oftentimes something happens and those critical links end up going to no man's land. That's why it's important to periodically have someone review your website, blog, newsletter, and so forth to check all of your outgoing links. Now if one or two links don't work, it probably won't send a potential client packing, but if someone lands on your site and numerous links aren't working, you can almost see them hitting the pavement and running. It's these kinds of errors and oversights which cause a potential client to lose confidence in your professionalism and make them feel like the work you do for them might reflect the same lack of attention.

Be especially mindful of your press page. You might have had a link to a press release on a news site, but the link could have been disconnected. When someone lands on your press page and are redirected to the main page of the site because the links to your release or article are inactive, once again, you lose that professional edge. That's why it's good to frequently check all of your links as well as create a PDF of any media mentions.

Your autoresponders or newsletter opt-ins not working correctly. As with the other items mentioned above, it's so important to regularly test your autoresponders to ensure they're working properly. Let's say you're offering a free eBook accessed through a special link when someone signs up. More than likely, those who sign up are receiving the link just fine. However, we all know things can go amiss sometimes. That's why you need to check these things out periodically. One easy way to do this is to sign up for your own newsletter or eBook and see if you receive it. You might need to use a different email, but it's important to do.

Social media profiles not updated or links not working. You don't want all your social media efforts to result in zippo results. This is exactly what can happen if your profiles don't have the right contact information. Spend time to review and update your social media profiles and pages and check the information making sure it is consistent throughout all of your social media sites.

Now this might look like a tall order. But it doesn't have to be. This is just one of the services you can turn over to your online support specialist to manage for you. Best yet, turn it completely over and have your support specialist periodically check things for you on a regular basis so you don't even need to think about it. You can then relax, sit back, and know your business is getting the right attention it should be and ensuring you are easily reachable via your website and social media channels.

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