Running a small business is a dream for many, even more so today. The pandemic opened up new business opportunities for both existing and aspiring entrepreneurs.
But running a small business comes with certain obstacles—employee recruitment, brand awareness, customer support, and workflow management, among others. With Magic’s roster of virtual assistants, you can overcome these small business challenges in more than one department—marketing, lead generation, customer support, cash flow, and administration.
1. Marketing and Advertising
- Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach a wider audience. You can use this strategy to promote your products and services while also building your brand. To maximize your efforts, we’ve compiled a list of email marketing best practices for small businesses to follow.
- Social media, while mostly seen as a platform for casual interactions, can be a powerful marketing tool. By optimizing your social media accounts, you can engage with potential and existing customers, promote your content, and improve your search ranking.
- SEO, or search engine optimization, is a popular technique that helps increase your search engine results. In other words, the content on your website will be more visible to audiences interested in the products and services within your particular niche. Although SEO is not an overnight solution, it’s a strategy that brings long-term, sustainable results.
What Magic Can Do:
A small business might not have a complete in-house marketing team to execute a successful marketing campaign effectively. Here’s where Magic comes in. To fill the gaps in your workflows, our marketing assistants can do the following:
- Ads – create engaging content for Google and social media ads, manage your content through ad trackers, and optimize them with SEO techniques
- Performance – use Google Analytics to closely track your SEO and SEM performance
- Campaign – use social media management tools, like Meltwater and Hootsuite, to monitor metrics, incorporate branding into your campaigns, and assist in content creation
Alisa Manjarrez, the founder of The Happy Cactus, had the same dilemmas. She recognized she had a lot on her plate as a small business owner, so, she approached Magic for help. By pinpointing the services Alisa needed, Magic matched her with an assistant to help her through those business challenges by doing the following:
- Reaching out to leads on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- Scheduling posts on social media for The Happy Cactus
- Helping with contract drafting, cost analysis, and revenue projections
2. Lead Generation
Generating leads is another challenge. In the same Semrush survey, lead generation ranked fourth. Here are some of the most common lead generation challenges you may face as a small business owner:
- No organized system to process leads. You need to have processes in your funnel that cater to every stage of the customer journey. Having more leads won’t matter if your funnel isn’t organized to process your leads.
- Not tracking your lead generation efforts. When generating leads, you’ll need hard data to determine which tactics are working and which are not. From there, you can revise your strategy accordingly.
- Limited resources. Without enough time, budget, and employees, your lead generation strategy might not yield the best results. Having the right customer relationship management (CRM) software and team members to monitor and manage it is one solution for small businesses.
What Magic Can Do:
Lead generation encompasses a variety of tasks ranging from content creation to analyzing metrics—all of which a Magic Assistant can do. Here are some of the roles and responsibilities they can take on:
- Data entry – compile customer data, fill in lead information in CRM, check data for discrepancies
- Data analysis – analyze raw data using your preferred software, create reports for shareholders
- CRM database management – remove duplicated data and records in your database, ensure accuracy of data, fix errors in your CRM
- Lead sourcing – assist in marketing campaigns, cold calling
When Scharf Industries was rapidly growing, they turned to Magic for help in this department. We matched them with a remote assistant trained in managing digital storefronts. They maintained their product catalog which also included writing product descriptions and editing images. As their customers’ experiences and sales funnel improved, Scharf Industries found themselves closing more sales.
3. Customer Service
Whether your business is B2B or B2C, customer service will always be a priority. It’s more than just answering phone calls. Customer service today can be done through email, web, and social media.
Most organizations, big or small, are maximizing their efforts in this department as revealed by Gartner’s Customer Experience Management Survey in 2019. However, these issues are consistent across industries:
- Not knowing the answer to a query. Agents are expected to answer all the questions and concerns customers may raise. Although that expectation is valid, staff or agents must still prioritize honesty (i.e. reassuring the customer by looking for the answer in documents or asking someone from the team who’s more knowledgeable).
- High customer volume. Even as small businesses, there may be days when your team has to deal with several customers at a time.
- Dealing with angry customers. No matter which industry you work in, you will encounter irate customers. There is no one way to deal with this kind of situation, which is why it’s important to have versatile, trained agents.
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What Magic Can Do:
No matter which industry you may be in, Magic can deliver high-quality customer service. We specialize in providing support behind the scenes and keeping your operations at the storefront seamless. Here’s what Magic can do for you:
- Process refunds
- Update documentation
- Positive scripting
- Quality management
Jeremy Jarman, the head of marketing at Truffle Shuffle, saw how critical customer experience was to adapt to the pandemic. As Truffle Shuffle grew, the demands for customer support increased with it. They were having a difficult time getting as much work done as possible in a day without compromising their sales and customer satisfaction. Getting Magic Assistants helped offer their customers a better overall experience, while also assisting in other administrative duties.
4. Cash Flow Management
Cash flow can either make or break your business. If not handled properly, it can be one of the main contributors to your business’s failure. Some cash flow problems you may face as a small business owner include:
- Not setting a cash flow budget. Also called cash flow forecast, this refers to the estimate of the cash you expect to receive and pay in a period of time. Staying on top of this will help you allocate the appropriate budget to each aspect of your business.
- Growing too fast. As much as scaling up your business is a positive, growing too fast can be more of a problem to you than an achievement. Sudden jumps in overhead expenses (e.g. hiring, inventory, tool upgrades) can upset your cash flow—especially if you lack proper checks and balances.
- Delay in payment processing. Accessing the money paid to you by customers is not as immediate as one may expect. With electronic payments, processing may often take some time. This particular issue is due to the bank’s processes, but it’s your responsibility to sustain your cash flow to maintain business operations.
What Magic Can Do:
Magic can match you with bookkeeping assistants to keep the financial side of your business running smoothly. Here are a few of the things they can do:
- Bank reconciliation. Cross-check your financial records and statements in the bank with the ones in your database to prevent issues such as bounced checks and overdraft fees.
- Bookkeeping. Ensuring the data in your database is void of errors and discrepancies will help you create accurate insights for your business.
- Financial reports. Beyond data collection, Magic can create high-level reports and analyses of your financials.
Petra Reyes, the founder of PetraGo, was a small business owner facing the same challenges. With her juggling her MBA and a full-time position at a different company, she reached out to Magic for help. Aside from email management, customer relationships, and administrative duties, Magic helped out with financial projections and organizing spreadsheets.
5. Administrative duties
On top of all the small business challenges listed above, there are other administrative tasks that small business owners need to attend to. With limited resources and time, these might just become a hindrance to you. Below are some examples:
- Calendar management
- Email management
- International calls
- Clerical tasks
What Magic Can Do:
Magic can provide assistance for all those administrative tasks, much like how we helped The Boost Pad with their business needs. Below are some of the tasks that a Magic Assistant did:
- Joined company meetings and shared ideas to improve processes
- Facilitated access to work information
- Regularly monitored the executive team’s emails
- Participated in weekly routine meetings
With Magic’s range of services, you can get matched with a virtual assistant that can take on the issues small business owners face. Check out our comprehensive hiring guide to get started.
Let’s Grow Your Business
Scale your business at a fraction of the cost with a Magic Assistant. We can help you find a virtual assistant based on what you need in just 72 hours.