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Requirements Gathering for Project Planning

by Guest Author 26 July 2019 06:20

The key to any successful business project is proper planning. Launching any kind of project without knowing exactly what you need, or what the job entails, is a sure way to fail. Before you embark on any new project, it is important that you have all of the stages adequately planned out. One of the first, and most important, steps is the requirements gathering phase. Here's what you need to know about the requirements gathering phase and how to complete it successfully.

Start With Conversation

The first step toward gathering all of the requirements for your project is discussion with all of those affected by the project, and those who will use the final product. For example, if you are rolling out a new software platform, you should meet with all of those who will use it, and those whose jobs will be affected by it.

Take time to discuss the project with them before the planning advances too far. That way, you can get first-hand information about how the project itself will affect them, and what could make it successful. You may have a general idea, but unless you are in the midst of the operation on a daily basis, there are nuances you may not understand.

You can achieve the same goal through the distribution of surveys. In fact, you may even get more detailed and honest answers from a survey than a discussion, because some workers are more comfortable speaking up anonymously than in front of a crowd.

Host Brainstorming Sessions

The process of gathering project requirements also means that you'll need to have your project team in place early. That team plays a vital role in gathering requirements, so choose people who are directly involved with the necessary daily activities of the project. Host some brainstorming sessions to discuss the features and elements that are necessary for the project, as well as the planning needs for implementation. The more time spent brainstorming, the more information will be uncovered.

Take Time For Observation

Have your project leads spend time observing the business process that this project will affect. For example, in the case of launching a new software package, spend time monitoring the existing package in its operation. This real-time perspective will help you to identify any shortfalls that the new software should overcome.

These are three of the easiest ways to gather information related to project requirements before you proceed. With these steps, you can ensure that your project meets the needs of those who will be most directly affected.

Summer Marketing for Small Businesses

by Guest Author 16 July 2019 08:32

With warmer weather approaching and summer in the air, the mood of the average consumer changes. For many, spring is a time to clean out things like old contacts or simply try something new. Why not take advantage and earn their business?

Achieve an Enthusiastic Mood in Your Marketing

It's time to use your email list to offer some freshened up deals to current customers and lure in some new ones. To get them into the right frame of mind, use spring puns ("Spring into savings", anyone?) and try a vocabulary that uses some key buzz words and phrases: fresh, green, warm, energy, vibes, refresh, cleaning, spring fever, and spring break. The whole point is to shake off the drab of winter and inspire them to give you a try.

Use vibrant colors in your marketing materials. If you can, match some of your deals to holidays such as Easter, Mother's Day, or Earth Day. You'll probably already know what fits best for your business, but if you're stuck, go visit your competitors' materials and see what's working for them!

Sponsor an Outdoor Event

5ks, barbecues, and Easter egg hunts are just a few of the type of spring events where you can make a name for yourself. Allocate some of your marketing budget to sponsor or donate to these events. Then- and this is important- attend the event and talk to the participants. Getting face time with your customers is a well-worn marketing technique for a reason: it works.

Utilize Outdoor Space

If your business operates out of a brick-and-mortar location, there's no better time to lure in foot traffic by displaying merchandise outside of your storefront. Service industries can benefit from hosting children's events on weekends that offer free giveaways; these are always well-attended and can be cleverly matched to your individual small business in order to make a social media sensation.

Online-only businesses can try something new: pop-up locations! When well-publicized, pop-up stores can generate interest and give you face-to-face time with potential new customers. It's invaluable and lets you enjoy the weather while making a difference in your bottom line. You never know what long term customer you might meet in person for the first time!

Small Business Tips: If You're Not Content Marketing, You Should Be!

by Guest Author 26 June 2019 11:46

Most businesses today have a website. While it was something of a novelty 25 years ago, now it's become a necessity. In many ways, the same is true of a business blog, video channel, or other content associated with your business. Because in today's fully digital and marketing-savvy world, you need every edge you can get. One of the easiest ways to do that is to give your audience something they can enjoy, no strings attached!

What Does A Content Marketing Channel Do For My Business?

A content marketing channel, in this case, simply refers to the kind of content you're making, and where it can be seen. If you have a blog attached to your website, or you have a YouTube page associated with your business, then those are your content channels. The idea behind content marketing is that you make content, and that content draws in an audience. Whether you run a twice-a-week blog about gardening tips to help back up your home improvement store, or your auto garage makes videos about how to perform regular maintenance on your car, the idea is that you have content people can read, watch, listen to, etc. free of charge. Not only that, but the content needs to be engaging, and to provide value to your audience.

This marketing channel has a two-fold effect on you, as a business. First, it gives you a way to interact with a larger audience, and to make them aware of you (even if it's only as the business who writes the blog/makes the videos/draws the comics that they like to check out every week). This builds your relationship with potential customers, and makes them far more likely to make purchases from you in the future. If your channel is directly connected to your website (as blogs and other types of content channels often are), then you get the added benefit that search engines will see your updates and activity, and associate it with your business website. This increases your standing in searches, and can make you a lot easier to find, thus giving you even more people to reach out to!

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