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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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4 Business Tools You Need to Reconsider

 

When you're running a business, everyone has a bit of advice to give.  If someone's heard good things about a marketing gizmo, they may not even understand what it does — but they're going to tell you that you need it.

Of course, good advice is always worth listening to. It's also true that some ideas are just repeated so often that you end up feeling like you'd better just go along with them. When you hear this kind of advice, it's important to consider what you really need for your business, and how you're utilizing the resources you have.

Below are a few tools and strategies that get talked about all the time, but need to be well understood to be used properly. If you're going to use any of these four tools, consider our advice first to make sure you will really benefit from their features.

1) ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is a hugely popular marketing tool.  It's very easy to use, and it delivers good results for many people. However, it certainly falls into the category of things that is constantly being pushed as a necessity.

This is partially because ClickFunnels works with so many affiliates, so its advertising reach is massive. It's everywhere. But do you really need it? ClickFunnels optimizes your sales funnel, but a business can create a highly efficient sales funnels without spending a huge amount of money on it.

Using tools that come highly recommended is appealing for those that aren't familiar with the technical side of online marketing. Even if this is the case, though, there's a host of great ClickFunnels alternatives out there, at far lower prices. 

Do your research and don't assume that achieving a lot requires spending a lot.

2) Cloud Servers

Cloud servers are another concept that gets thrown around a lot without a great deal of understanding. ‘Cloud’ sounds better, right? It sounds more advanced, it makes ‘other’ servers sound like they're lodged in a 90s desktop that might blue screen at any minute.

The thing is that cloud servers deliver amazing performance for a lot of businesses, but they're of most use to larger operations. They can scale effectively and handle large amounts of traffic, but for smaller operations they can be a costly investment that isn't actually needed.

Businesses can save so much money with a little learning. ‘Optimizing’ your business sounds appealing, but optimal performance is more about money saved in every area than it is about having tools that you don't fully need or understand.

3) Inactive and Ineffective Presences

Another oft-repeated bit of advice is that a business must have an online presence. Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses to promote their brand and engage with a wider audience. Even many smaller businesses consider it essential to have their own social media division.

Okay, so you've got a few accounts all set up — now what do you want to say? This is where many businesses stall and never invest quite enough thought. Answer questions, check. Respond to reviews, check. Post links to new developments, okay, but you're just treading water.

If you're going to use social media, you need to choose a unique and interesting voice. And you need to talk. You need to talk a lot. Unconventional approaches can work — Denny's' anarchic Tumblr account is a great example of this. Make your voice heard, and make it memorable.

4) Boring Blogs

If you're going to invest time and money into running a blog, it's worth also putting the effort in. Create content that your audience will want to engage with and enjoy reading. A few sporadic posts every month without any real substance isn't just a waste of money, it makes your audience actively think that your brand is dull.

Bottom Line

A bit of planning before making any decision for your business goes a long way.  Any business who has money to waste only got to that point by not wasting money.  For every choice, do your research and cost it thoroughly.  Success doesn't come easy, and it certainly doesn't come with wasteful spending.

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