Is Your Business Keeping You Busy or Fulfilling a Need?

Do you know business owners, whether brick & mortar or online, that are crazy busy but just not that successful? I know I do. That ‘crazy busy but just not that successful’ syndrome means one thing. Lack of sales.

I have a friend that owns a local dry cleaning business. He works 7 days a week, all the time. I recently had a conversation with him regarding his business. He’s doing OK, but has no online presence. After lengthy discussions about how he runs his business, how he does this, and how he does that, it became apparent that although he has been in business for several years now, he had lost sight of his golden ticket.

If you are already in business and trying (as we all are) to improve, increase, make more sales, generate more revenue, etc., the one place to look for the answer is simple, THE CUSTOMER. The customer is your golden ticket.

Running a business can be overwhelming, if you lose perspective. The proper perspective, in my opinion, is not accounts receivable, accounts payable, cost of goods sold, inventory, payroll, taxes, etc., even though these are important. The proper perspective is your customer. My friend had lost focus on his golden ticket, the customer.

You see, I don’t pretend to be some type of marketing genius or guru, but I do listen very well. Listen to your customer or more importantly, that lost customer. They will tell you why you got the sale or why you lost the sale. So, now you ask, how do I find out my customer’s needs? Simple, you see what they are searching for.

Internet tools are available, based on keyword research, that will tell you what customers or potential customers are searching for. The number of searches for a particular keyword is a great indicator of what your customer needs. For example, if I’m in the dry cleaning business, and do a search for the keyword ‘dry cleaning 1 hour service’, depending on the number of searches you can determine if your product or service is in demand for your local area.

By typing in a keyword or phrase, such as dry cleaning services or 1 hour dry cleaning, you will get results for the number of searches for the previous month. Listed below are 3 FREE keyword research tools you can use for your business. One is entirely free and the other 2 offer certain limited free searches and contain paid upgrades for more advanced searches (for other keyword research tools just do a Google search).

1. Google AdWords keyword-planner. Obviously, this is Google’s keyword research tool. Although the tool itself is free, it is based on advertising with Google AdWords, a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising option. This keyword tool helps you build your search network campaign by finding keyword ideas and estimating how they perform.

2. Keyword Spy allows you to ‘spy’ on keywords. You simply type in any domain name into the search box and you can obtain reasonable accurate date on how much that site is spending on paid searches, who their competitors are, and what keywords they spend the most money on. Further, their upgrade allows you to open a domain report of your competitor. Imagine what you could do with this type of information.

3. Sem-rush is a paid tool that has a free option. The free option should be adequate for your business needs. The free version allows the metric for the number of results in Google. The number of results is useful because it essentially shows you how big the competitive field is for each keyword.

Remember, focus on your customer by fulfilling their needs. This requires some discipline and a little homework, but after it becomes habit, your business bottom-line will thank you.

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