Andrew, CEO at Bizness Apps
Andrew Gazdecki’s goal is to develop and create solutions that support small and medium size businesses. He is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps, a do-it-yourself mobile app and mobile website platform for small businesses, and Bizness CRM, a CRM tool designed to make selling to small businesses easy. A graduate from CSU Chico, Gazdecki has been an entrepreneur for as long as he can remember. At the age of 10, he was selling baseball cards to neighborhood friends, and at the age 15, Andrew created his first for-profit website. In 2009, Andrew founded and bootstrapped Bizness Apps into a global enterprise all while he was a senior in college. Since then, he has gone on to help more than 100,000 small businesses engage with their customers on mobile devices. Today, Gazdecki is the authority on mobile marketing for small and medium sized businesses. He has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as prominent industry blogs such as Mashable, TechCrunch and VentureBeat. A firm believer in education, Gazdecki offers frequent presentations and donations to his alma mater, and contributes to the school’s Entrepreneurship Week, which gives students the tools and resources to bring their businesses to fruition.
Posts by Andrew, CEO at Bizness Apps
Using push notifications, businesses can reach users anywhere, anytime with targeted, relevant messages that drive action.
Unlike mailers and ads, which are costly and may not necessarily hit the mark, push notifications are easy to create (they can be as simple as a single sentence), and can generate immediate results.
Some businesses, however, have made mistakes and turned users off with spammy push notifications. This represents a failure to follow one of the main rules of mobile technology.
When and where matter
Push notifications shouldn’t be sent at random times on the theory that the message will get across no matter what and users will take whatever action they like. It simply isn’t true. There are better times to send certain messages. Experiment to find what works best for your company.
This also applies to geographic concerns. Because you can use geo-fencing to trigger push notifications when users are near your location, you also want to consider the right places to send messages. Users may be much more responsive to certain messages and offers when they’re very close to your location, as opposed to far away.
Give them what they want, not what you want
This ultimately drives the success of all promotions and communications. You need to focus on content that users are interested in, and that they find valuable. If you start from there, you won’t go too far wrong. If you start, on the other hand, with your own wants and needs, you can go very far wrong.
Keep the user in mind, and your notifications will become welcome communications that users want to take action on. When that happens, you’ll unlock the full power of push.
Learn more about the most advanced push notification system available here.
Selling isn’t always fun. Making a sale, however, is a guaranteed good time. The tips below are offered to take you from “selling” to “making a sale” more often than not. You won’t be able to guarantee a sale, of course, but you can certainly improve your chances.
Beef up your follow up
For many in sales, follow up is limited to a call after the initial cold call, and that’s where it ends. If you make your follow up efforts more systematic and robust, however, it can make a big difference. Set a schedule, and use a variety of different methods to keep in contact with your prospect. This can help keep you in mind, and also gives multiple opportunities for the prospect to communicate in response. Always remember that most sales are closed in the follow up. You need to stick around to see the sale through.
Become an adviser
Your follow up efforts should include sharing relevant informational resources with your prospects. Industry developments, different applications for your products and services, even simple online posts. The goal is to actually help out your prospect, or at least give them something interesting. If you become a source of good info, it can help open the door to being seen as a possible problem solver in the prospect’s life.
After all, if you’re plugged in to the prospect’s issues, you probably have some kind of insight to share, right?
Talk about successes
If your company has helped out a client, let prospects know. It will help establish credibility, and show that you deliver the solutions you’re claiming to deliver. It can also provide detail to demonstrate how your company works. Once a prospect has seen a specific example, it can be easier to understand what you’re offering, and facilitate closing.
No, don’t show up at a prospect’s office unannounced.
But if you only send emails, you become just another spammer. Call, connect on social media, or find another way to stay in touch. Again, don’t be a stalker, but don’t be one-dimensional, either. It helps round out the relationship you’re trying to establish.
Don’t give up
This is the most obvious piece of advice to give, but it bears repeating. This isn’t about getting rejected repeatedly. Instead, it’s about realizing that, even if you’ve been ignored, there may come a day when you are suddenly relevant, and you want to “be there” for that day. Circumstances and budgets change, and there may be a place for you. But you won’t know if you don’t reach out again, so go for it!
The worst they can say is, “No.”
Dustin Pesch is a sales professional with extensive knowledge and passion for helping other succeed with sales. You can read more about Dustin Pesch on his personal blog.
Loyalty programs have been around for a long time now, but mobile loyalty programs are growing very quickly, as more and more small businesses put them in place. Why are the programs becoming so popular? The six reasons below set things straight. If you’re on the fence about adopting a mobile loyalty program in your small business, this post will help you see how valuable they can be.
1. Drive activity and boost revenue
This is obviously the biggest benefit for most small businesses. Mobile loyalty programs give customers an extra reason to stop by and make a purchase. Each sale, while rewarding on its own, now becomes a little bit more exciting for the customer as they build towards whatever benefit you have offered. When a customer is close to a reward, it’s very hard to stay away. Mobile loyalty programs take advantage of this and create a bit of extra energy around your business.
2. Ease of administration
Traditional loyalty programs with punch cards that need to be printed up, fake purchase detection to worry about, and other issues, can add tasks and costs that you simply don’t need.
A mobile loyalty program, on the other hand, is easy to administer.
You can change it as needed from your dashboard (if you built your app using Bizness Apps, that is), there are no cards to carry around and remember, and everything is handled on users’ mobile devices.
Clean, elegant, and cost-effective – mobile loyalty programs make things very simple.
3. Reduce churn and improve loyalty
Mobile loyalty programs give customers a reason to choose you over the competition. This helps you bring down churn and improve customer loyalty. In short, when a customer thinks about his or her options, you’ll have given them a reason to choose you.
No surprise there. After all, they are called mobile “loyalty” programs!
4. Address loyalty program fatigue
A big stack of cards in your wallet or purse is no fun. People might carry a few cards for their favorite companies, but most people have a limit to how many they’ll bother with. Mobile loyalty programs cut right through the fatigue, and make it easy for people to participate without having to carry anything around. Once everything is on a mobile device, there’s nothing more to worry about.
5. Improve customer satisfaction
If your business is struggling to keep customers happy, a nice way to improve their experience is to offer a mobile loyalty program. It shows that you appreciate your regulars, and that you’re willing to give back a little, as well. Generosity can go a long way toward pleasing your customer base.
6. Track customer activity
Mobile loyalty programs help you see what rewards are motivating, how fast people redeem rewards, and more. Additional info can almost always give you insight into your customers’ minds, and can often help you improve operations. By offering a mobile loyalty program, you may learn valuable facts about your customers and your business.
Mobile loyalty programs are a great way to boost your business and keep customers happy. Everybody wins! Click here to learn more about the mobile loyalty apps offered by Bizness Apps.
Cold calls are the dreaded way to bootstrap a company into profitability, and many salespeople hate them. The reason they’re so hated is often because the salesperson has experienced the most ineffective version of cold calling, which let to them being rejected over and over again. A more successful approach, however, would naturally be more enjoyable to perform.
For that reason, in this post, we offer a few basic, valuable tips that will help anyone convert a higher percentage of their cold calls. Implement these guidelines, and your cold calls can become significantly less painful.
Do your homework
Doing a bit of research on each person you call can pay off tremendously, especially once you learn what things to focus on. A quick Google search will tell you a bit of basic info about the person’s company, and maybe even their role in it (at the very least, their title). This gives you background info, but can also give you clues into what the prospect’s mindset will be; what matters to them and what will persuade them.
It seems time consuming, but if you can leverage the information into increased conversions and easier bond development, it’s well worth it.
Focus on problem solving
Put simply: just ask how you can help. Almost everyone will talk about their problems and concerns if prompted. This is your chance to listen to their issues, acknowledge them, understand them, and see if your solution is a fit. Ask if what you offer meets that need, and if not, what would.
In good scenarios, the prospect will see that your solution could work for them. But at the very least, you’ll get useful information that can help you on future calls.
You aren’t there to push the prospect into anything. That’s not your first goal (or a proper goal at all). Instead, your first focus is to listen and zero in on the opportunities presented by the prospect’s problems. Once you’ve done this, the rest of the puzzle pieces that lead to a sale are a lot easier to put in place.
Have something to give
If you have a free informational resource (a blog post, an e-book, an upcoming seminar, etc.) that you can share that is responsive to the prospect’s issues – that’s great! It puts you in closer contact, may get you an email address, builds rapport, and lets you deliver value right from the start. This is an effective way to move from cold call to warm prospect.
Review the numbers
What times of day work best, what issues should you focus on, which prospect titles produce the best results, what should you lead with, etc.?
These are all great questions to ask, and great questions to capture data about. The more you track, the better you can understand and refine your approach. That way, you can improve over time.
Keep at it! If you battle through enough quick hang ups, you’ll eventually make a sale. And the more you make, the easier it gets.
Dustin Pesch is a sales professional with extensive knowledge and passion for helping other succeed with sales. You can read more about Dustin Pesch on his personal blog.
But if they knew how much revenue they were losing, they probably wouldn’t be so happy.
Go on, take a guess. How much is the lack of mobile websites costing small businesses each year?
No. Too small.
A billion? That’s a big number, right?
Nope. Wrong again!
A trillion? It’s not a trillion-dollar loss, is it?
Small businesses lose about a trillion dollars each year by not having mobile-optimized websites. Most of the losses are due to local shoppers having bad experiences on non-optimized websites and avoiding the businesses that give them a hard time online. The data show that mobile searchers tend to be ready to make a purchase and visit a local business, but that bad websites interrupt their trip. If more small businesses had mobile-optimized websites, they would earn more revenue from mobile searchers.
Well, that’s only the beginning of the benefits that mobile technology can bring to a small business. Here are a few other major benefits that have more small businesses going mobile every day:
Efficient mobile payments
Plugging sales into desktop software, generating invoices, mailing them out, chasing delayed payments, and all the clunky processes of yesteryear can be eliminated for many small businesses, now that mobile payments are fully developed. With a Square card reader, anyone can take a credit card payment through their mobile device. And with PayPal, anyone can send an electronic invoice instantaneously from any location. Mobile technology is making payments incredibly efficient.
Remote-accessible, cloud-based operations
Why download and manage your own IT solutions when cloud-based providers have developed such excellent solutions? Of course, for some businesses, a custom-tailored program is important. But for the majority of small businesses, apps that can be used on any mobile device will work just fine.
Once operations are mobile, business can be conducted and managed any time, any place. Mobile frees everything up and removes needless limitations on your business.
Customer-friendly mobile apps
More and more, when a customer is a fan of a business, they’re coming to expect to be able to download its app. Apps let customers learn of new specials, deals, and events, help them connect with other customers in fan communities, allow them to submit mobile orders, and lots more.
Years ago, a fan of a business would sign up for a mailing list. Nowadays, they want much richer connections. And if your willing, give your customers a business app to them, you’ll be handsomely rewarded.
Many small businesses avoid mobile apps, however, because they imagine that they’re expensive, difficult to manage, or that people won’t use them.
But the actual small buisness app experience is quite different. Let’s discuss each myth in turn:
Myth 1 – Mobile apps are expensive
If you use a development firm, this myth will come true. In fact, making a custom app can cost $50,000 or more! But with Bizness Apps, anyone can afford a mobile app. For a low monthly fee, you can have a mobile website and apps on both the iOS and Android platforms.
And you can build it yourself in minutes, instead of months. With our step-by-step app builder, mobile apps aren’t hard to make and they definitely aren’t expensive.
Myth 2 – Mobile apps are difficult to manage
You don’t have to have any specialized knowledge to manage a Bizness Apps app. Instead, you can make changes easily at your dashboard. You can add features, remove them, check out analytics, and more.
No IT gurus needed. If you have a question, however, you can always contact customer support and get an answer night ot day.
Myth 3 – No one will use your mobile app
Mobile apps are more popular than ever. With the average person’s mobile time per day steadily increasing, your app can expect to earn a good amount of users and gain strength over time. It will need a bit of promotional help, of course, but even a simple line about your new app in your ads and mailers can give it the push it needs.
What can I do once my app is out?
Once your app is out, you can use it to grow your business in a variety of ways. First, you can take sales directly through your mobile app. But if you need to drive activity and revenue, you can use push notifications to send messages to your user base and create demand.
You can also create a mobile loyalty program to reward frequent shoppers. And with loads of other features, the only real limit on how you can use your app to grow your business is your imagination!
We won’t belabor the obvious – sales are good for businesses, and most business owners want more of them – so we’ll cut right to the chase. If you want to increase sales, offering a mobile-optimized website is a great way to do it.
“Why bother?” you ask, “I’m already online. Most mobile devices can browse to my website just fine, can’t they? Who needs a mobile site?”
You do! Here’s why:
Browsing non-mobile-optimized sites is a nightmare
The problem is, even though some smartphones can pull up a website, if the website isn’t mobile-optimized, the experience can really suck, to put it mildly.
You’ve probably experienced it yourself – you search for a site on your mobile, wait for the results to load, find a likely link, click it… and then the problems begin.
First, the page takes too long to load. You’re staring at that damn progress bar as if you could will it to completion. But it won’t budge. You wait, and wait, and wait some more.
Finally, the page loads. You can’t read a thing, though – the text is the size of microscopic life. You try to zoom on your display, but you accidentally click a link on the page in the attempt, because you can’t see anything. A new page begins to load…
Okay, if your phone survives the browsing session without being planted into your wall, you won’t be going back to that site. And research shows that most people don’t return to bad sites. This is the penalty you suffer when you don’t have a mobile optimized site.
The mobile-optimized difference
The browsing experience on a mobile-optimized site is much smoother and easier. The site loads faster, and everything is simplified and designed to display well on the small screen. You can read the text, scroll quickly, and find what you need.
Why is this so important for small business owners? Well, 75% of people use their mobile device to get real-time location information. And overwhelmingly (90% of the time), these informational searches lead to an action, like a visit, or a purchase. In fact, 50% of the time, the searcher winds up buying something based on their searching!
Putting these things together, 1) people are looking for local businesses on their mobile devices, 2) if you have nice mobile site, your business will be in the running, and 3) half of these people are looking to spend money. Such conversion-ready leads are just about the best thing you could ask for when it comes to sales.
Okay, so they’re helpful. But what’s involved in getting a mobile optimized site up? Do I need to hire a developer to build a whole new one?
Nope. With Bizness Apps, you can get a mobile-optimized site up in short order and start welcoming the mobile searchers that are going to help your business grow.
Easy as pie.
If you have any questions, please contact us – we’d be happy to help!
Whether it’s a residential or a commercial property, ABC is trusted to keep it cool in the heat, warm in the cold, and preserve air quality in all seasons.
And now, whether you need emergency service or routine maintenance, there’s a super-easy way to get in touch with ABC: the ABC app!
With it, you can:
• Schedule an appointment
• Get coupons and special deals
• Read heating and cooling tips
• Schedule reminders (e.g. to change air filters)
• Send a message or start a call with ABC
• Browse products, ratings, brochures, warranty info, manuals, and more
• Record and send voice messages
It’s got everything you need to keep your systems in tip-top shape. The ABC Heating and Air Conditioning app really shows that any small business can create a beautiful app with Bizness Apps!
In our opinion, we’ve been right each year!
Mobile has grown continuously by leaps and bounds. Even quarter-to-quarter, huge increases in mobile activity, app downloads, time spent using mobile solutions, volume of revenue earned through mobile, and many more benchmarks show that each year is indeed The Year of Mobile. Innovations show us new ways to use mobile solutions, mobile devices become more and more useful and precious to us, and day-by-day, mobile becomes a bigger and bigger part of our life.
Okay, so you know where we stand.
But what’s on tap for 2014? Well, if you ask Kim Whitler over at Forbes, you’ll learn that mobile may reach a tipping point this year. A few numbers to review that were cited in the article:
• 20% of online sales now come from mobile users (up 55% year-over-year on Cyber Monday).
• Leading marketing firms will be spending 10-25% of their budgets on mobile this year.
These reasons, among many others, are probably why (according to the article) Jay Henderson, Strategy Program Director at IBM is recommending a “mobile first” approach. (In our words, a mobile first approach means that you don’t simply translate existing things into mobile versions – instead, you spend the time to build fresh mobile products to take full advantage of the fastest-growing platform around.)
Anyhow, when even a blue chip juggernaut like IBM has taken the plunge, you know a technology has reached a significant milestone.
Our Predictions for 2014
Mobile will be abandoned and people will return to writing letters and looking things up in encyclopedias. The paper just feels nicer, you know?
We’re going to go out on a limb and say that mobile will definitely continue to grow significantly in 2014. More businesses will go mobile, more users will increase the amount of time they spend on mobile devices (and the variety of things they do with them), and the world will continue to detach from non-mobile devices.
In addition, we might also start to see a solidification of the advantages that mobile-friendly small businesses enjoy. They’ve got more “mobile time” under their belts, and will leverage this to stay one step ahead of non-mobile competitors. It’s still a hugely favorable time to go mobile, don’t get us wrong, but the number of competitors that have done so will continue to grow.
That is, today, a small business that goes mobile can still get a boost from the fact that not all competitors will have done so yet. By the end of the year, this boost will probably not be as large.
Okay, we’ll see you all in 2015. Get excited, we’re thinking it could definitely be “The Year of Mobile!”
All of these new mobile strategies are wonderful, sure. It’s great that people can pop out their mobile device and look up my business. But is a mobile app and mobile website are really worth the money?
Below are six simple ways that going mobile helps boost your bottom line.
1. Increased visits and purchases
This is the most basic one. When someone in your area does a mobile search, and you have a mobile website, you make it a lot more likely that they’ll be heading into your location to do business. Put simply, having a mobile website opens up a new channel to help you connect with customers. As a result, you’ll see more of them.
Nothing complex about it, really. Having a mobile website just makes you visible to a whole new audience.
2. Avoid the “non-mobile penalty”
If a mobile searcher comes to your site, and it isn’t mobile-optimized, they’re going to have a bad time. This will lead them to avoid your site, and potentially your business, in the future. The reality is, a non-mobile site is too slow, too difficult to use, and too unfriendly, while a mobile-optimized site is a pleasure to use. If you don’t want to drive mobile searchers into the arms of competitors, a mobile site is a must.
A mobile app takes the mobile experience further and can help drive customer loyalty. Having trouble increasing repeat buyers? Having trouble getting buyers to come back after their first visit? Try offering a loyalty system using a mobile app to reward customers for becoming repeat buyers. This has been proven to be an effective marketing strategy!
3. Take market share from competitors
Be on the right side of the equation. Businesses that have mobile apps and mobile sites are continuously earning sales that could have gone to the competition. But if the competition doesn’t have a mobile app or site, you’ve got a mobile monopoly! We don’t need to tell you how valuable being the only game in town can be (but we will anyway) – it’s a huge advantage for your business!
4. Connect with new customers
People who already know about your business are a valuable segment of the market, but new customers are always welcome, right? Businesses spend plenty of money trying to reach new customers through mailers, local ads, circular coupons, events, and more, but a mobile app is a simple, cost-effective, 24/7 way to pull in new customers with a plethora of engaging features.
5. Increased inquiries, calls, and information sharing
Even if a searcher doesn’t come to your location right away, you can plant the seed with a mobile site. They can learn that you’re out there. Next time, they’ll be that much warmer to the idea of using your business. By opening up an avenue for communications, you’ll increase awareness and ultimately boost sales.
There you have it. Mobile sites and mobile apps can help you make money in a number of proven ways!