Dos and Don’ts for re-opening businesses post lockdown

The COVID-19 phenomenon has wreaked havoc and unleashed challenges on every individual, family, industry, and nation in the world. What started as a mysterious illness among a few people in a country, soon went on to cause widespread fear and devastation among millions of lives and terrorize the globe.

The unlock:

Millions of people all around the world are in some form of a lockdown or the other. But as we can see, with the passage of time lockdowns are starting to ease up, restrictions are being relaxed and guidelines are being put in place paving the way for economic activities to resume and businesses to start back on track. If not right now, eventually more and more businesses will have to start opening up and more people will need to get back to work to keep the nation running and sustain their livelihood. 

But the process of restarting is not going to be a smooth one. There is a high chance of work processes slowing down and a spike in expenditure. Jumping the gun will work to no one’s advantage.  

Businesses need to keep various factors in mind, have a blueprint in place, and follow certain guidelines or take precautionary measures when they restart.

Precautions for a healthy restart:

Here are some of the precautionary measures businessmen can take while restarting their businesses post the lockdown:

  1. Social Distancing and limiting interaction – First and foremost, it is extremely important to stick to government regulations and guidelines regarding maintaining social distancing and limiting interaction between people.
  2. Hygiene practices – Basic hygiene practices need to be in place and mandatory for everyone, especially hand-washing and wearing masks.
  3. Medical Information – Information on hospitals, clinics, medical authorities that are nearby need to be kept handy. This also includes having a contact number of someone belonging to the municipal corporation.
  4. Status Updates – Daily COVID status updates should be a part of the daily routine.
  5. Check on visitors – Occupants and visitors need to be tracked and kept in check while looking at symptom visibility for security purposes.
  6. Keep clients happy – One should regularly keep in touch with their clients/customers and keep the interaction going because the businesses solely depend on the clients and if they are not on good terms then it can severely impact the business.
  7. Flexibility for staff – It is important to allow some flexibility and not force all staff members to be present, it is better to let them take the call. Forcing the staff to attend only leads to a decrease in morale.
  8. Backup Providers –  The former suppliers or service providers may not be available due to certain limitations and restrictions. Hence it is important to have a backup plan in place and contact alternate suppliers and service providers. 
  9. Try E-business – A lot of businesses or companies could make use of the opportunity to transform into online businesses if possible and shift to digital marketing services. 

The right approach:

Businesses can try out a simple five-step approach to help emerge victorious in the battle with the pandemic and restart. These are :

  • Resolve – It is necessary to identify the challenges and accordingly prioritize them. Contact suppliers, customers etc. to understand the ground reality and accordingly make decisions. 
  • Resilience – It is essential to ensure that your plan for improving liquidity and cash flow is executed. Focus on cash flows for the short term profitability. Take the necessary steps to shorten your cash cycle. Don’t withdraw money from the business, reinvest the profits for the growths. Execute the plan to resolve the financial crisis and finally dispose off the uncalled for inventories to bring some cash flows and reduce the inventory carrying costs.
  • Return – It is important to focus on products and services that would easily provide returns in the current situation. It is crucial to sell what is needed and ignore something that has no short term profitability. 
  • ReimaginationA business which was normal before the impact of Corona, maybe impossible after that, therefore, one should imagine the new normal, and should act accordingly to achieve that.
  • Reform – There may be certain changes in rules and regulations post the lockdown or rather when things start going back to normal. Therefore, planning and actions should consider new policies and regulations.

Stay Healthy and happy – Last but not least, it is essential to stay healthy, be positive, and keep everyone (employees and customers) motivated and happy.      

What Businessmen Can Do Indoors While the World Waits for Markets to Resume

As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps extending and causing a ruckus, most of the self-employed people are finding themselves deep-diving into introspection and making plans for the future. “What to do once the pandemic is over,” is a major concern for every businessman affected by the calamity that has befallen upon us. As we make plans to get back on track once the business begins to resume, there is a major factor that can help in making a difference, not just when the business opens again, but something that also will be beneficial in the long run.

A wise TV character once said, “Knowledge is Power.” Indeed, in this fast-paced world with cut-throat competition with someone ready to knock you over, being skilled is a powerful weapon to maintain your speed and stay ahead of the competition. As we sit in the home, learning a thing or two, maybe even ten will surely help you get more out of your preneur.

Now that the mind to learn something new or brush up/update your knowledge has been made, the natural question that arises is, “What do I learn to improve my business”. As we introspect and try to tickle for things to learn it would be surely helpful to take a look at what your business needs right now to leap into the next league. Diving into your performance aspects of the past few months should give you valuable insights as to what can be done to improve the condition or how to take it one step further.

Start Learning Something New Today

As your business begins picking up pace again after the lockdown is over, you might want to maintain the spree of high demand, keeping you occupied. This is when some know-how comes to the rescue. As you grapple more customers, new and larger problems would begin popping up, taking up a lot of energy. These would be those times when knowing a soft-skill or a tool would go a long way toward making your life easier while you’re busy making it big.

Al-Tijaarat Al-Raabehah has, in these times, compiled a holistic list of free courses and tutorials for businessmen and their families to learn from and add a feather or few to their hats. Gathering nitpicked courses to ensure learners understand the concepts and are able to apply them practically, the courses are a must-try while businessmen stay in their homes. 

Financial upgrades made easy

If your business felt like it could use an updated financial system, like tracking and invoicing, learning Excel or even Tally may be in store. Crafted specially to learn better data management, and inventory tracking, Udemy is offering free courses to learn simple tricks and easy to learn techniques which are sure to help you keep a better track of your dealings.

Digital Marketing gains more and more customers

In case your business has had fairly good traction, you may want to look for more. Digital marketing is a hot topic right now. With more and more people joining the world of the internet every day, something as simple as making a Facebook page can make a huge difference. Learning to market your business and reaching out to people without having to leave your seat sure is a lucrative idea. Khan Academy offers courses to learn the basics of digital marketing and deriving insights which can go a long way to getting more and more customers. As the world is grappled by the lockdown, people are hooked to their phones and computers most of the time. This may be an excellent time to build up a fan base and get potential customers once the lockdown opens up.

Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies on the table

The world economy is sure to be facing some grim conditions in the coming times as lockdown affects the flow of money by a huge factor. As countries with emerging economies face the brunt, they may be willing to make business easier to get the money flowing in and out of the country to improve the conditions. Harvard University is offering a free course on entrepreneurship in emerging economies and insights.

This is just a small list of examples from what is a huge ocean of opportunities and possibilities.  Moreover, these courses are being offered for free during the lockdown period. Grabbing this opportunity, which is like a silver lining on the dark clouds of COVID-19, is imperative for the smart businessman. Moreover, what better way to spend your time learning something new, which would not only be interesting to read but would also help you improve your status and ability as a self-employed person.

The Expert in Anything Was Once a Beginner

Upgrading your skills and keeping your mental sword sharp is an important aspect of becoming an achiever in today’s world. This extra time that we currently have is perfect to prepare your axe to cut down that large tree of next-level business capabilities. Once a person begins learning, there is only one way forward. These courses are just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more to learn and a lot more to explore for your business to flourish, expand, and keep running smoothly. Visit this link to access the free courses.

Strategies to follow for businesses during COVID-19 to remain productive

It is not a hidden fact around the world anymore that the COVID-19 crisis has hit hard every country’s economy. This brought challenges for every kind of business operating in that particular country who are the backbone of the economy. For developing nations like us (India), the phase of challenges is bigger without a doubt.

But, even if it is hard yet not impossible to overcome the situation if businesses make and follow a few strategies for the COVID-19 period. Here in this blog, we will discuss those few strategies a business can follow during the COVID-19 period to prevent facing complete loss.

Few business strategies to follow during COVID-19

Build up and Amalgamate every relationship

Due to the sudden pause in the regular business dealing procedures, many businesses are facing a loss of productivity and challenges in liquidity. One of the greatest fears that have become a reality for many businesses today is maintaining a proper flow of cash.

But, there is one thing that everyone has right now, i.e. time. Utilize this time to build stronger relationships with clients, stakeholders, partners, employees, and other members associated with your organization. Focus your everything on strengthening these qualities with structured engagement programs.

Remember, the relationship building that you will work on today will help you grow tomorrow.

Always stay true to your promises

This is the phase where your words will be valued more than money. In the time of crisis, everyone expects some empathy and understanding from one another. If you are able to stay apt to your promises and remain honest to your clients, employees, and others at this time, they will return this to you in time with double interest.

So, it is highly important to remember one phrase at this time. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Always remain honest and transparent to your clients and employees.

Redefine the existing strategies

The strategies you may have with you already made is completely useless in today’s situation. No matter how bitter that sounds but it is the reality of today’s world. So, you need to redefine all your existing strategies. It doesn’t matter if they are made for employees, your business growth, sales purposes, etc you have to reshape them according to the current scenario.

Understanding current market demand and shaping the sales accordingly

It is important to know what the market is demanding before going for sale or it will only give you a devastating outcome. Recognize the true sales leader and the buyer instead of approaching everyone hastily. Train your team to go accordingly to bring out proper outcomes. But, don’t put excessive pressure on your team or the result will be negative.

At last, there is only one thing to say. Everyone, whether they are entrepreneurs, industrialists, businessmen or whatever role they play in the economy, have to understand that lots of challenges have come and lots are yet to come. We have to remain prepared while pushing ourselves slowly to not get out of the race. It may be slow, but your company will remain productive.

Remember the saying in today’s scenario,

Slow and steady wins the race

Are You Prepared for the New Era After the Lockdown?

Are You Prepared for the New Era After the Lockdown?

Are You Prepared for the New Era After the Lockdown?


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world to unprecedented levels. With the infection and death curve beginning to flatten, governments around the world are now beginning to plan their actions in the aftermath of this global illness-causing virus’s impact. As we steadily head towards defeating this virus and containing its advance for the good, we must also take a look at how this pandemic will impact the world as its leaves.

The black death had brought about radical changes in European society and so did smallpox. Similarly, we can expect some very important changes in the social structure and the economy. Not that the current economic system will become completely obsolete; it will go through some strong changes to help accommodate in future cases. 

At this point, all the countries in the world are focusing on how to mitigate the crisis and open the locked world step-by-step.

What will be the Exit Strategy

As new cases start becoming rarer, governments may consider reopening schools, colleges, educational institutions, semi-essential businesses at a distance of one or two days each. Doing this would ensure important social activities such as schooling resume in order to ensure children don’t miss anything further.

As a second step, as the recovery numbers begin surpassing new cases, we can expect a full reopening of all the places, including non-essentials businesses and sectors such as restaurants, travel lounges, hotels, spas, gaming zones and more. Somewhere in between the essentials & non-essentials and services, semi-essential products and services such as hardware, furniture, electronics etc. should reopen just a little while after the full-lockdown is lifted.

Effect on The Businesses Sector

The lockdown has severely impacted the business and retail structure of every country in the world. Barring food, grocery and medical, every other business is currently experiencing deep losses with the smaller players potentially never recovering from it.

From the looks of it, the worst-hit are the tourism and hospitality industries. Even after the lockdown, it appears difficult for businesses in these sectors to be able to recover for a long time as people would still be reluctant to go out.

As for semi-essential products and services are concerned, they are expected to suddenly face explosive demand before returning to normal in a few months. Prices are expected to rise due to a possible shortage of supply. Stocking up or making a detailed inventory chart of your business may be of importance right now. Ensuring that your inventory has a steady flow will go a long way to ensure your business doesn’t face glitches in the aftermath of the pandemic.

What to Expect and Do?

If you are a shop owner, expect more visitors and shoppers your way. Find and implement ways to manage crowds while urging them to maintain social distance. As you get more customers, ensure your suppliers are working smoothly and a steady flow of deliveries and your order placements are in place.

For businessmen whose business does not involve direct interaction with customers and clients, you can ensure your logistics and/or delivery methods are going on glitch-free. Craft your ERP software to keep a track of supply, demand, sales, and deliveries perfectly.

As money begins flowing back in the market, you may also begin making plans to clearing up dues and following up on pending payments which may have gotten stuck due to the lockdown. Checking your books for held-up credits and money-to-be-recovered may be in line with getting your horse back on its feet and running as soon as the lockdown is gone.

Let Your Customers Know

The world is currently in turmoil now. As governments open everything up, we can expect a frenzy-like atmosphere and your customers may not know what to do and in what order. Send out an email, SMS, broadcast or even a simple personal WhatsApp update could go a long way to get people back to doing business with you as soon as your reopen.

Make Some Changes

Cash is expected to be hard to come by, according to many financial experts. As the world stays indoors for a long time, most of the people have begun using cashless methods of payments as the primary mode over hard cash. As markets reopen for business, people may have gotten used to the hassle-free mode of payments. The days are already here when people don’t carry cash anymore while going out for shopping. Getting multiple cashless payment modes on-board would be the choice a smart businessman makes in the aftermath of the crisis.

Deliver Your Products Remotely

Another effect of the lockdown is that people would now prefer delivery services instead of going out themselves. Multiple delivery partners would also like to push their customer base and try to cater to a bigger audience. As more and more people become habituated to getting their stuff delivered home, they wouldn’t mind paying a fraction of their expenditure as a delivery fee, if they can get what they want without having to venture outside. 

Choosing to partner with these delivery companies or even starting your own delivery service would help you reach customers who do not visit you personally.

In a Nutshell

With this pandemic, the global economy is in the house for a drastic transformation, if not for a makeover. Businesses and institutions will now be able to work remotely on a greater frequency. Most people would prefer to still work from home for a long time after the lockdown is finished. While non-essential businesses will have to see a constant decline for some time, semi-essential businesses and shops are expected to find a surge in demand. Any business that can handle this is sure to rake in improved profits. Taking the help of technology in this upcoming era is also crucial as a cashless mode of payment is on its way to becoming the primary transaction tool for every economy.

Steps to Take To Avoid Panic During the CoronaVirus Lockdown

The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has left the world as we know it in a state of deep turmoil. Businesses are affected adversely everywhere and the effect is serious. People have isolated themselves completely. In such a tumultuous situation, we only have our phones, PCs, laptops to stay connected with the outside world; and as such, it is imperative a lot of panic-based and false news might also circulate causing untoward frenzy and getting people unnerved. Here are some things you can do to ensure no panic and unwarranted/false information is not circulated around you.

Verify the Source of Information Coming to You

As we all know, WhatsApp University is the most dangerous source of misinformation. More often than not, unverified and false news is circulated in groups and spreads faster than the Australian bushfire. FACTLY and BOOM keep a tab on false news and alert people. During these perilous times, it is very important to know that forwarding one message in 5 groups will not grant a kid $5 for every 100 forwards.

This lockdown is also the golden period for scammers and fake businessmen to thrive. Beware of all the “Earn Money From Home – No Investment Needed” and “I have a great business proposal for you” emails and texts. It is far more probable that they are big-time scams asking you to pay upfront in order to continue working and then never contacting you ever again.

Make Contingency Plans on to Get Back in Business

This pandemic has created global unrest and has affected economies everywhere, with the business sector getting the worst beating. Barring essential things like food, grocery, and medicines, almost all other shops are facing a tremendous lack of customers. However, this is a temporary phase and once people are free to go out, there is a surety of more orders and people visiting other shops. 

Ensure your supply chains are not disrupted in this process. Getting more than one distributor on-board may turn out to be a good strategy. This applies to both sides of the distribution – the ones to take supplies and the ones who are the suppliers. 

Keep Yourself Busy During the Isolation

As the saying goes, “An empty mind is the Devil’s workshop”, doing nothing all day will get into your head. Keeping yourself busy during isolation is a sure-shot way of not panicking and also not becoming the cause of it. There is a wide range of things that you can do during the lockdown, closed by the walls; from binge-watching your favorite TV series to spending hours playing various games. Or, you can always visit our channels to check out our informative blogs, and other useful online activities to explore new waters.

Here are a few links to try out: 

  • The DBohra Blog is excellent to find out business ideas and teeny tiny solutions to tinier problems in day-to-day business life
  • For budding business folk, the DBohra Educational Series is an excellent way to make things smoother
  • DBohra Webinars are another amazing platforms to find out the latest trends and have your queries solved

 Keeping the mind busy is a great way to keep panic aside.

Trust and Subscribe to Government of International Organisations

The World Health Organization is constantly in touch with governments around the world, collecting data and publishing it for people to know. Also, for regular updates from WHO, you can add this number +41798931892 to your contacts and send a hi on WhatsApp.

For the Twitterati amongst us, Verified profiles have a blue tick. You can follow your local leaders and authorities for local updates and plans of action. Also, just a little bit of digging leads to the verified truth behind every ‘update’. Stay informed, not misinformed.

Stay Safe, Stay Home

At this point in time, the only thing that remains to be said is, “Stay Indoors and Stay Safe.” May God guide us through these tough times towards a triumph over this illness.

Don’t Miss Work During The Pandemic – Here’s What Technology Can Do To Keep Up With Productivity

The latest pandemic the world is currently facing, the COVID-19 has left the entire world astounded. With the number of infected people on the rise constantly, we see how the world has come literally to a standstill. As people have begun avoiding venturing out altogether except for gathering essentials, it is becoming more and more difficult for everyone to keep their productivity up.

MNCs and other large companies have their solutions to keep up the productive work amidst all this, but small organizations may not be able to get their hands on mass communication tools for internal and external coordination amongst their at reasonable costs. We did come across quite a few apps, websites and online tools to get your work on track while staying indoors and safe from infections.

Zoho – For End-to-End Business Management

This tool is a great assortment of everything you need to manage in your business – right from CRM to HR. This powerful cloud-based management suite can make every type of management including finance, people, customers, IT and more a piece of cake. What’s more, you don’t even need to leave the comfort and safety of your home – all you need is a computer and the internet.

Trello – Keep Your People at Work Without Worries

This task management tool has an active dashboard where you can assign all your employees, colleagues and subordinates different tasks and then monitor them. You get timely and custom reports to keep a track of the way work is going on in your team. To add a cherry to the cake, Trello also lets you integrate any apps you may already be using with your teammates.

Slack – Your Handy Office Messenger

If you have independently working people in your team and need a simple and easy-to-use platform that can help you organize, assign and control the flow of work, slack is your go-to application. Available for Android as well as PC desktop app or even accessible like a website, Slack lets you collaborate with people and add a little bit of organization to your work. Like Trello, Slack can also integrate various apps to make your job easier.

Flock – For Birds of a Feather

Flock is a platform that is similar to slack and offers a wide plethora of features like instant conversations, video calls with multiple people at once, productivity tools, app integrations and more. You can even chat one-on-one or start a channel, add people to it and broadcast your message to your teammates. Flock makes conversations over long distances easier.

Microsoft Teams – For Easy and Effective Communication

If you manage a lot of people, having all of them working home is quite a task to manage. Microsoft is your dependable buddy when it comes to communicating and coordinating between teams and teammates. A chat-based platform in the basic sense, Microsoft Teams is much more than just that. Apart from the app integrations and clutter-free chat spaces, you can schedule, remind and conduct meetings remotely without people having to be physically present in a meeting room.

If your company has many employees and you use Office 365, Teams is an application easily accessible to you which you can integrate anytime.

Google Suite Apps – So That Your Business is Always As Usual

Google has recently jumped into the work management space currently ruled by Microsoft. Google suite gives you and your firm an amazing amount of freedom and easy-to-use platforms to get every task that can be done remotely, well remotely! Google Suite seamlessly integrates with Docs, Sheets, Presentations and other Google Chrome Apps to ensure your work keeps flowing smoothly. Calls, messages and conferencing are managed by Hangouts; be it home or office, Google Suite doesn’t even let you feel the difference.

HeySpace – Easy Task Management for Everyone

If you are looking for more than just a tool to chat with colleagues or more than just task assignments, HeySpace comes to the rescue. HeySpace brings 3 different salient features to the table – team (chats), spaces (channel-based communication) and cards (task assignments and management). HeySpace doesn’t only collaborate within the team, you can also communicate with your clients. In a nutshell, HeySpace makes use of Trello and Slack’s features to give you a fine blended experience.

In a Nutshell

These seven tools are great to keep a track of your and your employees’/colleagues’ work while working remotely. Staying safe and working at home while taking preventive measures can help in keeping the work going and you can always say, “It’s business as usual, just remotely.”

Stay Safe During the Pandemic

Governments of every single country are actively taking strict and powerful counter-measures to keep the spread of this extremely contagious disease away from their citizens. We, as responsible citizens, are also actively taking precautions by isolating ourselves from society temporarily. Let’s all avoid gathering in huge crowds and wash our hands thoroughly. Venture out only when necessary and wear a mask at all times when outdoors. The bad times are here to pass.

How Your Business Can Participate at Trade Shows

Trade shows are one of the most effective methods of exposing your business to new customers as well as to strengthen existing customer relationships. Not only are trade shows significant in promoting your brand as a business, but they are also a great avenue to network with new suppliers, competitors, and government agencies. However, regardless of the benefits that come with trade shows, most businesses are daunted at the prospect of participating in trade shows, especially for their first time. There is no need to worry, though.

This article outlines a few tips on how your business can participate in trade shows effectively.

Get the Trade Show Logistics Right

Regardless of how much you invest in the trade show, a little planning is essential. There are several logistics that you will need to organise and manage to make the most out of your exhibition. Such logistics include knowing your exhibition location before making a booking, establishing the amenities and facilities available at the trade show, and preparing your promotional materials. You will also need to develop a rota for your staff as a guide on who will be in charge of the exhibitions, and for which days. In case you are shipping your products for long distances, you will need to plan for transport, make visa arrangements, and book for hotels where necessary.

Check on Trade Shows Legal Issues

Before you set out for an exhibition at a trade show, you must ensure that you are not only conversant with all the legalities involved, but you also meet the legal requirements on trade show participation. Some of the critical legal issues include abiding by data protection and privacy regulations, the Consumer Rights Act, and health and safety standards. Your exhibition stand must also abide by the Accessibility Requirements as speculated in the Disability Discrimination Act. You can consult experts in events and exhibitions organising such as for more guidance.

Attendance Promotion

Exhibiting in a trade show will be a waste of time and money if nobody knows you will be participating in it. The best way to go about it is to send promotional emails or newsletters to your customers in advance. You can also create and post promotional content on social media. Promoting your attendance in advance is essential in letting people know where your stand will be and making appointments with potential buyers. You must also remember to remind your customers of your exhibition a few days to the trade show.

Stand Out from the Crowd

There will be hundreds of businesses and organisations attending the trade show. The measures you take to distinguish yourself from any other business will determine the return on investment you gain from the trade show. One of the ways to stand out from the crowd is to design a unique and interactive stand. Visitors want to have a taste of your products and services by virtue of interacting with the content at your display.

Run Product Demonstrations

The objective of an exhibition at trade shows is to create and increase your company’s brand awareness. You, therefore, want to create a more memorable exhibition booth that will keep customers talking about your business after the trade show. Product demonstrations are one of the most efficient means of creating memorable exhibitions. Display your products, and do not hesitate to issue out samples to visitors in your
booth. Preparing giveaways with your brand’s name on them and issuing discounts on the products in your booth will enhance your company’s visibility.

Keep Networking at Heart

Trade shows host numerous attendants from across various walks of life, including bloggers, government agencies, press, politicians, and business leaders. You must keep in mind that your exhibition is not just about selling but also networking. Take advantage of every opportunity that arises by interacting with people who visit your booth, including those that are non-buyers. Networking with these people elevates the chances of getting more business connections and exposure. You might want to have as many business cards as you can to issue out to your visitors. Ensure that you also maintain a friendly chat with the other exhibitors. If possible, attend an after-show party for the exhibitors, in case there is one. Sometimes businesses are best done during social times.

Email Vs. Text: Which One is The Better Lead Generation Channel?

One of the top priorities for every business is generating new leads. With so many communication channels available, it begs the questions as to which one will serve your needs the best from a lead generation standpoint.

While cold calling is the standard, perhaps even the most overused, way of contacting interested clients to turn them into leads, text-based communication is an effective alternative that you can use for lead generation purposes.

Email and text messaging are two of the most common communication channels. You will be hard pressed to find anyone that does not use either one of them at all times. These channels can also be used to generate new leads for your business.

The question is whether which one is, ultimately, the better lead generation channel. Even though both channels serve the same purpose, they are uniquely different in their own ways.

So let’s try to explore what the differences are and what makes them so effective. Consequently, this will determine which channel is best-suited for lead generation.

Email Marketing

No matter how much technology evolves and how many new, trendy marketing gimmicks appear, email marketing still remains as one of the top communication channels in all of marketing. Despite being the oldest channel, its effectiveness lies in its simplicity.

Whilst available data suggests that other forms of communication (like text messaging, push notifications and whatnot) are more effective in terms of open rate and conversion rate, email marketing still boasts the highest ROI (return on investment) among all marketing channels. A survey among 2,500 digital marketers by GetResponse has proven this claim to be true.

This makes it a pretty powerful lead generation to be reckoned with, albeit its shortcomings from a customer engagement standpoint.

So how do you use email marketing to turn potential customers into legitimate leads? You can follow these steps to ensure your success:

  1. Get people to opt in to your email marketing campaign.
  2. Segment people into groups using relevant criteria (age, gender, profession and so on).
  3. Start sending personalized emails to different segments, including relevant information for each group.

As far as the content of the email goes, make sure they are engaging. In other words, stuff like the subject line and the body of the email have to be attention catching (especially the former) as well as clearly stated. Additionally, include visual content to break up the wall of text. Most importantly, a powerful CTA (call-to-action) should be included either in the beginning or at the end so that people know what course of action you expect them to take.

Text Messaging

With over five billion mobile device owners worldwide, SMS is the only communication channel that can reach people on their mobile phones instantly. People spend a lot of time using their mobile platform. As such, from a lead generation standpoint, you should heavily focus on this channel.

Multiple reports show that customers prefer interactions with businesses over SMS as opposed to phone calls. More than that, almost half of the customers prefer to get offers and promotions through SMS. This means that people are already open to the idea of conducting business over SMS, thus making lead generation via this channel all the easier.

Lead generation via SMS follows the same fundamentals as email. Get people’s permission to text them, construct short and concise text messages with a CTA in the end, and finally start sending them out to your customers. Needless to say, personalizing messages for different demographics is a must.

Which is the Better Lead Generation Channel?

Both of these communication channels are vital in lead generation. To say that one is absolutely better than the other is virtually impossible. There are aspects where SMS excels in (better outreach, higher open rate and customer engagement) and there are certain aspects where email excels in (e.g. very high ROI).

Ideally, you can use both these channels to generate new leads but selecting just one requires you to carefully consider what the needs and wants are of your business as well as what objectives you intend to accomplish. In which case, it is totally down to your preference.

Surviving the First 3 Years in Business

Year 1 is really an exploration. You may not realize it at the time, especially if your business is an extension of what you’re already doing as an employee. “It’s not actually different,” you tell yourself. “It’s the same thing but in a new format.” You spend much of year 1 determining if this is, in fact, a business. Every small win feels enormous. If you survive year 1, you walk into year 2 feeling somewhat confident.

We call Year 2 the terrible twos. You have some idea that running a business is unlike anything you’ve ever done, but now you also have expectations, and what felt like a win last year, when you expected nothing (and no one else expected anything from you), now feels like barely scraping by. Yes, it’s a business. But everything—everything—is hard.

Did you make it to year 3? You may not feel like you won, but you did. Your business is about to hit its stride, building on those foundations that could not be knocked down last year. You may have reduced your expectations, reduced your offering, and reduced your self-esteem. But you clarified what you’re really doing, you understand yourself and your business better, and you are now building the business you didn’t know you were building when you got started.

We recommend you have, at a minimum, the below in place as soon as possible in order to survive those inevitable, terrifying ups and downs:

Your Team: As the saying goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” You will need to rely on your partners, coaches, advisors, therapist, and staff members to keep you motivated—and vice versa. The initial excitement will wear off and you may be bored of the endeavour before you start making any real money, unless you have the right people in place. You will fall in and out of love with your business. Make sure there’s one person (or several people) by your side who can keep you going.

Constant Review: Entrepreneurs are famous for being forward thinking, but you need to pair that with a regular look in the rearview mirror. What worked? What didn’t? What will you do differently? There’s no point in going through the terrible twos if you don’t learn anything from them.

Process & Systems: Free up your brain time by mapping your processes, and updating them regularly as you, your business, and the world around you change. Having systems in place will give your customers the consistency they deeply desire from you, as this communicates your reliability. These processes and systems make it possible for you to delegate chunks of your work as your business grows. On top of that, the fewer decisions you have to make about what to do next, and when, will allow you greater freedom to explore, learn, and innovate.

Business is not as easy or glamorous as media often portrays, but rest assured you are not alone! For many business owners, the first years are often the most challenging, but they can also be the best, because they’re the years that changed you so deeply that you can’t imagine doing anything else.