Firstly, I should point out that I decided to change the name a few years ago from Stacie Chalmers Inbound Marketing Solutions (very much a soloprenuer business) to The Inbound Marketing Company. I had decided I was ready to grow the business so I wanted a name that reflected that vision.
The first thing I did was hire affordable freelancers. Ouch! I spent more time explaining what to do, how to do it, repeating myself and then in the end doing the job myself. I even experienced the pain of a provider making a huge error that my client was not happy about. This scared me as it was my reputation that was at stake - so I decided to no longer use outside freelancers and to do it all myself. It may not be a scalable business model but at least I could enjoy what I was doing, provide quality service to my clients and help them learn how to market better and grow their business.
As a business owner, your personal life spills over to your business and has a significant impact - as there's no team to carry the workload when you manage it all yourself. So, when my huband and I decided to move from the US (first Maine then Florida) back home to Australia - it took a lot of my time and focus away from the business. Thankfully I had existing clients and referrals but the move was so demanding that working on the business was purely just a thought and future plan rather than action.
Commited to customer service and results, I spent all my available time on my clients, rather than on my business.
With demand picking up, a clear business schedule and a new year on the horizon I'm very excited about taking The Inbound Marketing Company to the next level in 2013. And what has me super charged is acheiving the Silver HubSpot Partner Level.
In an effort to be transparent and provide reliable marketing support Hubspot have a tiered partner levels that award those partners who achieve results for their clients - this is known as the Customer Happiness Index (CHI) - and is related to customer results like increased traffic, leads and customers. Knowing that these results are linked back to following the inbound marketing methodology and using the Hubspot tools like; Blog, Page Grader for SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, Landing Pages and Forms and Analytics - it stands to reason that, as a Hubspot partner I would introduce, implement or train my clients on all these tools - which I do!
So my takeaway for small business owners is to focus on your customers, providing quality and reliable service, and grow your business at a pace that is manageable for you. When you have proven results, and a good system it's a lot easier to recruit and grow.
If you're a small business owner, or marketer and would like to increase your leads and customers with marketing practices that help build your company as credible and trustworthy - I would love to talk to you about the inbound marketing methodology and discuss how I can create a strategic action plan that will systemise your marketing efforts and help you achieve your business goals.
To learn more about The Inbound Marketing Company, click on the following links to: