An Eye on the Metrics

An Eye on the Metrics

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Over the past month, our digital marketing experts have talked through – Digital Marketing Tips and how to approach the two main digital channels for most businesses – Facebook and Google.

Today, we touch base with them to understand what and how to track your digital metrics for marketing success.

“Digital marketing is all about tracking what works, what doesn’t, and knowing how to improve this to make a channel work for your business,” says Stacey Vermaak, Growth Marketing Consultant at Lulalend.

Related: Small Business Marketing Strategies: Google vs Facebook

While each business is different, there are a core set of key performance indexes (KPIs) that you can start tracking in order to make sure that your marketing efforts are performing well for your business.

“As a fundamental rule of thumb, you want to make sure you are tracking through to your final goal – either a sale or a signed client or contract. Also be sure to track the monetary value of these.”

Michael Rampjapedi, Digital Marketing Manager at Lulalend says, “You should focus on implementing the conversion tracking tools available on the various marketing platforms, as well as in setting up Google Analytics to track any actions on your site that are important to you.”

Related: 5 Digital Marketing Strategy Tips: COVID-19 SME Support

Vermaak continues, “One mistake many businesses have made is tracking to a point too early in their funnel and then judging their marketing based on the number of leads, or cost per lead, without understanding how many of those leads convert into sales for that specific channel or campaign. This often leads to over investment in a channel and under investment in others. It’s important to understand that not all leads are created equal.”

“It is important to assess marketing performance based on return on ad spend and profitability rather than on metrics such as cost per lead,” said Vermaak.

They agreed that, for most businesses, the below metrics are a good starting point:

  • Traffic split by channel (users) – get this in Google Analytics
  • Cost per user by channel or CPC (cost per click)
  • Conversion rate by goal and by channel/ campaign/ ad message
  • Customer repeat rate – how many purchases each month are from repeat customers vs new customers
  • Lifetime value
  • Retention rates (for long term clients, or subscription services)
  • Cost to acquire a customer by channel
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROI) – while you can simply divide revenue by costs, we prefer to divide profit by cost in order to benchmark based on profitability.

While some of these may seem foreign now, if you can get started with tracking these on a monthly basis you will start to understand how the different levers involved in your marketing are working. Once you understand which ones you can affect, you are able to develop a plan to get you where you need to go.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Generate PR for Your Small Business

Women Powering SA: Sheila Visser & Cheryl Chapman, Wolf Printing

Women Powering SA: Sheila Visser & Cheryl Chapman, Wolf Printing

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A Story of Resilience

Some of the greatest business legends have shared their stories of resilience, about never giving up and about how winning is just getting up one more time than you were knocked down.

Beautiful, thought-provoking quotes that can be much harder to live through and by.

Sheila’s story below reminds us of the grit and determination that is required to get up again and again. We felt privileged when she shared it with us, and we hope you do too.

 

The Business

Wolf Printing offers a whole host of products and services for the corporate sector as well as the man in the street. No order is too small or too big for Wolf Printing to handle.

Their aim is to offer each customer individual attention and build a strong and lasting relationship with them.

Their range of products for the corporate sector is extensive and their range of personalised items spans everything from custom printed wall decals to custom printed children’s aprons. Their range can be viewed on Facebook and we challenge you to take a look and not find something you want to order.

If you are looking for something in particular, they encourage customers to send them an email with their requirements.

 

Sheila’s story

“I have been in sales all my life and 8 years ago I decided to start my own business – corporate and personalised gifts and clothing. I have never been in this trade before and decided to give it a try. It has been an uphill battle as I did not have much capital – only enough to buy the basic machines. I am 62 and my partner is 57 and Sheila learned all her designing on google as we did not have funds to go for courses. 3 years ago our vehicle was stolen, which left us in a terrible situation as we could not get to suppliers or customers.

Related: Women in business part 2: Real women, real challenges, real engagement

Sheila got a small pension payout and we eventually bought a 2nd hand vehicle. Then last year we were held up in our home by 6 armed men and they stole our computers, cell phones, camera, and other items. As we were not insured, this set us back again. And as you know, this year the dreaded COVID-19 struck and we are now 3 months behind on rent with a landlord threatening eviction at the end of lockdown.

These last 5 years have been an absolute nightmare, but this is all we have, so will fight to the bitter end.”

Cheryl and Sheila demonstrate the beauty of resilience in their ability to pivot and view each change and challenge as an opportunity to grow and further build a business that serves their customers better.

Related: Women Powering SA: Ann Clark, Options in Training

 

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter.

 

Download the Wolf Printing catalogue here.

Contact Sheila at info@wolfprinting.co.za

 

Business Details:

Wolf Printing

Windham Ave, Hillary, Durban, 4024

Phone: 031 – 463 3801

Cell: 071 006 3100

www.wolfprinting.co.za

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Women Powering SA: Ann Clarke, options in training

Women Powering SA: Ann Clarke, options in training

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ann Clarke

MD of options in training

The Business

options in training offers training that covers everything from an introduction to computing in business to intermediate and specialised Microsoft office courses, often tailored to meet an exact business or personal requirement.

They make keeping up-to-date and improving your skills fun by ensuring that it’s relaxed, interactive, and supportive in small, facilitator-led, computer, and business skills classes.

They have been around for over 30 years, have full MICT SETA accreditation with courses mapped to unit standards, are part of the Microsoft channel, and a testing center, but have never lost that personal touch or the flexibility to schedule courses where and when it suits you. They thrive on the challenge of developing new courses, to your needs.

Over and above Microsoft training they also offer:

Project Management, Visio, CorelDRAW, Publisher, and Internet courses.

Business Skills Training: developing your communication and people skills – whether you are looking at interaction with colleagues, bosses, employees, or clients.

They believe that when writing, presenting, training, leading, supervising, or talking, a depth of knowledge and understanding of both yourself and best practices predicts success.

Ann’s story

It was in the ’80s when Ann created a solid business plan that secured the finance she needed to start options in training. She credits this and the youthful positivity which gave her the confidence in getting started. At the time she entered the professional services industry, it already welcomed female entrepreneurs.

“A couple of lessons I’ve learned, which have so often stood me in good stead, are that saving in the good times eases the stultifying financial stress of the not-so-good, and cherish your reputation, it keeps you in business. But you wouldn’t have a business without a dedicated team who care as much as you do, look after them, “ says Ann.

“Today, our computer and business skills training has moved from our beautiful thatched premises to the small screen of our computers, in our home offices.”

“To my surprise, this hasn’t diminished our trademark personalised attention and has opened new opportunities for distance training. So hold on to perseverance and belief – they are your path to continued success.”

Get in touch with them to enrich yourself or your team’s skills and take your business to the next level.

Contact Ann at ann@optionsit.co.za

Does Alternative Lending Make Sense as a Cashflow Management Tool for Your Business?

Does Alternative Lending Make Sense as a Cashflow Management Tool for Your Business?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Running a small business is hard, especially now during lock down. One of the biggest challenges that faces small and medium-sized businesses is cash flow how does one keep the lights on when cash flow is tight? For business owners, managing business operations is hard enough, but throw in managing the finances and it can sometimes feel impossible.

In this post we will introduce how an alternative credit lending facility can help SMEs take advantage of growth opportunities, to not only keep their business operating but also generate a positive ROI in the long term.

Cash flow management 

How does one manage business cash flow effectively?

More Sales? – the easiest and best would be to increase sales while managing costs – if only it was that easy! With the constant drive to increase sales while juggling cost inputs (all with different timelines) one really needs to know how to juggle one’s cash reserves

Credit Facility? – having access to a credit facility, be it a bank overdraft or an alternative lender credit facility, can be a lifesaver,

Bank overdraft vs a Credit Facility

What’s the difference between a traditional Bank Overdraft Facility and an alternative lender Credit Facility?

When does alternative funding make sense?

Credit lending facilities can serve a specific purpose and may not work well for every business. How do you know if this is a good choice for you?

You need a quick turnaround

  • Some deals appear and you need to act quickly. This does not allow for the long lead times of traditional lenders. You can access capital from Lulalend within 24 hours. 

You are not being approved by a bank 

  • Traditional lenders have traditional credit models, which do not suit all businesses. Lenders like Lulalend can assess a business’s ability to repay a loan in minutes using their machine learning algorithms and alternative sources of scoring data. 

The costs are not clear

  • When assessing a business opportunity, you need to have a clear idea of what the costs are to ensure you are making money. Loan initiation fees, early settlement penalties and ongoing account costs are often “hidden” costs that can make traditional lending not as cost-effective as they appear. 
  • Lulalend’s fees are completely transparent – there are no initiation fees, no early settlement penalties and no account fees – you only pay when you access your facility

Margins can support the costs (Positive ROI)

  • When making any business decision that requires using a credit facility, you should check that your income and margins can support the cost of that funding. Here are a few simple examples: 

The advantage of using a lender like Lulalend, is that you can calculate your investment costs with 100% certainty before you commit to a deal so you can ensure your ROI is positive. In addition, as soon as your deal is done, you can park the Lulalend facility – at no cost! – until the next deal presents itself. 

 

Apply in minutes online and get business funding in your account in 24 hours.

 

Increasing Your Business’s Resilience to Come Back Stronger

Increasing Your Business’s Resilience to Come Back Stronger

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the face of COVID-19 most businesses have already been taking some steps, out of pure necessity, to increase their resilience.

However, as we settle into the uncertainty and prolonged semi-locked down period, we thought we would highlight the areas most experts agree should be prioritised to increase business resilience.

In this instance we define resilience as the ability to come out of a crisis faster and stronger than competitors in your industry.

In terms of survival over the lock down period many businesses have already made use of Cost cutting, and while most owners are good negotiators, we tend to get lax in times of plenty. We must use the memory of COVID-19 to keep us on our toes in terms of how we spend our budgets, how often we choose to negotiate and how extravagant we are in times of plenty. In addition, as seen in this McKinsey study of 2000 businesses, in times of crises an early and strong focus on cost cutting can better position your business for an earlier and stronger recovery. It is worth noting that in this instance the best form of cost cutting is increased efficiency through greater digitisation.

In addition to this, business insurance, as we have all seen, is worth the investment. So too is staying on top of things like UIF and encouraging your employees to invest in income protection. It is far too easy to underestimate how often these big crises occur, but once a decade is a good benchmark (last decade there were two – 2002, and 2008).

This leads to the next level of resilience – building up savings or having access to funds that can see you through any prolonged period of reduced income. On a personal level we are told to build first 3 and then 6 months worth of savings as an income buffer – and it shouldn’t be any different for your business.

While you are building this buffer up, and indeed after, it is worth having additional funding options in place. Fast access to funding allows you to fill any gaps, or more importantly to take advantage of opportunities to grow your business and recover faster ( Lulalend’s instant access credit facility is designed to help support your business through good times and bad. It has no fixed fees so it costs you nothing to have it in place “just in case”).

Throughout the current crisis we’ve all felt there was a lot of noise, but few quality sources of information. Did you manage to discover the right source of business information. If not, it is worth making sure that you have a good, reliable source of information so that you don’t waste time trying to find the answers you need. This allows you to take action faster and keep your focus where it is most needed.

One area that can help with this is finding a good mentor or building a strong network. Simply looking for businesses in your industry either locally or internationally and sending out a request to ask for some guidance can be the beginning of increased support and insights.

What is clear from the McKinsey study is that the most resilient businesses act faster to recover faster, especially as opportunities begin to present themselves as the markets change, and as competitors begin to offload assets. Furthermore the gains they make during this time stand them in good stead for years to come.