Things To Consider When Outsourcing

Like a lot of small business owners, you might have mixed feeling about outsourcing. Despite how easy it is to start a profitable business in this digital world of ours, “outsource” is still a dirty word in some circles. However, if you want to get through that initial period of uncertain trade in the most cost-effective way possible, outsourcing may be the way to go. Here are a few areas where you should consider reaching out for help.

Marketing and Growth Hacking

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You probably knew a thing or two about marketing long before you decided that you were going to start a business. Still, despite all your efforts, you may simply be failing to make sales. To give your business a healthy kick-start on the marketing front, it may be worth hiring the services of a growth hacker. If you’re not already aware, a “growth hacker” is a professional with a keen understanding of modern marketing tech – SEO, website analytics, A/B testing, content marketing, and so on, to get a given target market to flock to a business’s products or services. Marketing has always been in a feverish state of fluctuation and evolution, so if you’re finding it a little hard to understand, this could be a very smart area to outsource.

Reception and Customer Service

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Obviously, someone needs to answer the phone when it rings at your business. However, if it’s you, or the dreary-voiced guy who’s in charge of your IT, then it can give off the wrong impression. Obviously, your customer facing skills aren’t going to be a direct reflection on how good your products are, or the professional standards of your services. Having said that, the first impressions people get of your company can make all the difference. Outsourcing your reception and help desk needs is a little clichéd, I know. However, it may be a very smart move if you’re currently taking customer calls on your own steam. Just make sure you shop around, and find a help desk service that has worked with businesses that are similar to yours in the past. This will make it much easier to assure they fit in with your company culture.

Payroll and Taxes

You may have started your venture because you wanted to make money, but I’m sure you didn’t want to spend a lot of time crunching through mind-numbing spreadsheets. If it’s tough to find time for your bookkeeping needs, or considering them simply makes you want to bang your head against a wall, then you may want to get help with your taxes and payroll. Financial services like this are one of the most widely outsourced aspects of business in the world, and something you should seriously consider passing onto another firm. While it may not save you a huge amount of money, it will definitely save you a lot of time, headaches, and possibly legal trouble. Commercial accountancy is big business, so it won’t take long to find a firm that’s a great fit for yours either!

Why Your Online Shop Isn’t Working And How To Fix It

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Initially, it started as a hobby. You sold a few items online and had some success. Your friends and family liked your products and placed a few orders. Word got around. Encouraged by this you took it to the next level and set up an online shop, and orders began trickling in.

However, it never really took off as you expected. You don’t receive as many orders as projected and you’ve had some problems with delivery. A couple of negative reviews have made things worse. What’s gone wrong and how do you fix it?

1. Review

Take a step back to review and reassess. Go through the sales process at each point and try to understand where things are going wrong. A good place to start is with your current customers. Ask them for some honest feedback about your product, the online shop, delivery, etc. There are lots of online survey tools you can use for this. Offer an incentive, such as entry into a prize draw to encourage customers to take part. When compiling questions, use some of the suggestions below to receive meaningful feedback.

2. Your Product

Regarding your product, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this a quality product?
  • Is there sufficient demand for your product?
  • Are other people selling it?
  • Is the pricing right?
  • Are you targeting the right customer base?
  • How are customers using your product and does this affect how it is marketed?
  • Is the packaging consistent with the product and relevant?

Presumably, you went through a process of market research before you began. If not, you should go through this process now.

3. Delivery

One common reason customers give for abandoning their shopping carts, is delivery. Either postage and packaging costs are too high, or the order cannot be fulfilled on time. We live in an environment where orders can be delivered quickly and efficiently. If you’re not able to fulfill these requirements, it might be time to consider an outsourced fulfillment center. Your products will be packaged and delivered professionally and in a timely manner. This will free you up to work on other areas of your business, such as marketing, etc.

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4. Your Website Isn’t Responsive

Gone are the days where customers placed orders solely from their desktop. They now expect to be able to place orders at any time on a range of devices. If your website doesn’t perform well when viewed on a tablet or mobile device, you could be losing a large percentage of your customers. You don’t have to invest in fancy apps. You just need to ensure your website is responsive. This means that it is optimized for different viewing sizes and will perform well regardless of the device.

When writing your website brief, you should specify that the site meets Google’s Mobile Friendly requirements. You may also have heard about AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. This is likely to become increasingly important, in terms of how your website ranks in the search engines. Essentially AMP is a streamlined version of the code used to create your website. It focuses on readability and speed. Expect to hear more about this over the coming months.

5. Your Design Isn’t User-Friendly

When you launched, a friend developed your website for you. And that was great because it saved you a lot of money. However, unless they are a digital expert, they are unlikely to be familiar with everything that goes into web design and development. For example, user journey, intuitive processes, SEO, user-friendly controls, page load times, etc. If your website is confusing or difficult to use, customers are likely to click away in frustration and shop with a competitor. A good way to check this is to set up a funnel in Google Analytics and work out where users are leaving the process.

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6. Your Photos Are Not Up To Scratch

Presentation is everything. If your product photographs are not up to scratch, they are less likely to sell. When a customer can’t see or pick up a product in real life, they rely solely on the product images. So, a few quick pics on your mobile phone won’t cut it. If the photographs are not professional, customers may deduce that the products and service are not professional. Either set up a small studio and learn how to take the images yourself, or outsource to a professional.

When arranging photo shoots, consider the following:

  • As well as cut-out images, would it be beneficial to show the products being used? This is important for items such as clothing, etc. as it provides context.
  • Can the customer see all angles of the product?
  • If the product is available in different colors, each color should be shown.
  • Video is also useful to demonstrate products further, in terms of how they work or behave, etc.

7. Your Marketing Isn’t Up To Scratch

If your problem is getting customers to your website, you need to review your marketing. Do you have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place, that includes everything from mailouts to mobile marketing? If you haven’t, it’s likely that potential customers are not even aware of your existence. You need to put together a comprehensive marketing plan that will address your core customer base and establish meaningful targets.

A good marketing plan should look at all aspects of marketing, including traditional offline channels and a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Each of your objectives should be specific, measurable and timebound. A marketing plan isn’t something that you go to great pains to write and then leave in a drawer. It is an ongoing entity and should be the focus of your marketing activities. ‘Doing a bit of Twitter and Facebook’ just won’t cut it, and your business is unlikely to achieve growth. If you feel that this is not something you can comfortably achieve yourself, you should look for an expert to help you. They will work with you to establish and execute a comprehensive plan of action. Each step should be monitored and measured carefully. This will provide you with useful data for future campaigns and will identify areas for improvement.

There are many reasons why your online shop may be failing. The above are just a few. That’s why it is important to begin this process by performing a review and working out exactly what is going wrong. You can then take the necessary steps to turn it around.

Think Again: 4 So-Called Essentials Your Business Doesn’t Actually Need

There is plenty of information which claims you need certain ingredients for a successful business. More often than not, these things are not actually essential, but only seem to be. In business, there is always a way around any given ‘essential’, and in this article we will be looking at some of the ways to do this. The fact is, you actually only need a very small amount of things to begin and run a business. As long as you are happy to be fairly minimalist in your approach, you will find that running a business can be much easier than you may have thought. Let’s take a look at four things your business doesn’t actually need.

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Capital

It is a fair assumption to say that your business needs funds in order to get up and running. It is true that you will probably need some kind of money in the beginning. However, you might be pleasantly surprised at how little you really need. The truth is, taking out a bank loan for your business might not actually be the way to go. You can easily set up a business with whatever personal income you already have. There are examples of businesses which started for less than you might spend on coffee in the average month. You will need some kind of money, yes, but don’t go thinking that you need to start your business career in debt.

Office

Most people assume that an office is necessary for any business which wants to be taken seriously. But plenty of successful businesses have been run out of someone’s bedroom or attic. What’s more, it is possible to have all the benefits of an office without the stresses of running one. This is where services such as mail forwarding addresses can come in handy. With these forwarding addresses, you can have somewhere to give your clients – and still run the business from home.

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Website

If you ask the majority of marketers whether a website is essential, they will probably tell you yes. However, there are many ways to market your business without having to have your own web space to look after. Social media alone will enable you to market your business as much as you could possibly need to. As long as you are making the most of these websites, it is unlikely that you will really need one of your own. You might benefit from a website in the long run, but it is not something that you should consider to be essential.

Mobile App

Something which is becoming increasingly common these days is businesses having a mobile app. If you are offering a service, it can be tempting to try and make it work through a mobile app. However, this is unlikely to be absolutely essential. The truth is, an app is only going to be vital if your business is solely in the business of selling that app. For any other company, an ap might be handy – but never essential.

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Blogs: The Personality Your Business Needs

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What is the most important method of communicating in business in the digital age? There is a lot of work that has to be put into making a brand out of your business. And you need to ensure that it goes across the right platforms and to the right markets. Can a business be communicated effectively in one single tool? Is there a magic formula? I will argue the case for blogging and why it can work for all sizes of business. From the small startup all the way through to your massive conglomerate.

Why Blog?

To blog is to get the word out there. There are many companies that use blogs on such a small scale that they are deemed insignificant to the overall ethos of the company. It is merely thought of as a little addendum or a corner to cover. While many small businesses may use this as a marketing tick-box exercise, if you want to get a blog to sing, you can get it via the correct social media channels. There are so many people that have started a blog to get their ideas onto paper, and it spiraled into a massive money spinner, inspiring and creating a high amount of custom towards one product. You can do this with your business too.

What Can It Do For Me?

From the perspective of business, you can utilize a blog in one of two ways. Very simply, you can make an external blog and/or an internal one. Internally, it can work to communicate the company much like a newsletter, but it can be so much more. If you use the internal method to create a tone and style that is pleasing, it has been a good testing pad to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Externally, you are using a blog to give your company a face to the name. You can speak about whatever is useful to your customers. You are communicating what your business is, and how it operates. While there are small companies that can type out their basic processes and put in a quaint little blog that maybe a few thousand people will see, it isn’t going to project that business into the big leagues. You can always outsource to a professional blogging company like the hoth blogger to choose the content that is right for you.

The Image Of Your Company Can Be Defined By Your Blog

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If you decide to go down the blogging route, be sure that whatever the content is, that it reflects who your company is. If your business is of a rustic, family-run style, then having complex language and terminology is not going to be the right fit. The language and the images are signs and signifiers that will loom large in customers minds. So if you choose images or decide to create your own, then they need to be a perfect fit. Finally, it is so tempting to think of the blog as a random bit of text on the website that no one will read. A blog is a marketing tool that you need in your arsenal. So use it!

How To Overcome Your Sales Problems In 3 Minutes Flat

Sales figures aren’t the only crucial barometer in business, but they’re certainly important. After all, without revenue, you aren’t going to get anywhere. So if your sales numbers are sliding, fixing this problem needs to become the very top item on your agenda.

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Increasing sales revenue and gaining new customers can feel like a daunting task. But it doesn’t need to be as tough as you’d think. Here are five top tips that should work wonders for the brand.

Boost Web Presence

Shifts towards the digital arena cannot be ignored.  Upgrading your web visibility with localized SEO will increase brand awareness offline as well as on. Missing out on those opportunities would be a sin.

Meanwhile, embracing modern tech by launching an App can help your company feel more relevant in the modern arena. If it enhances the perceptions of your visitors, it can only increase your hopes of sales. If it helps you reach new audiences too, that’s a huge bonus.

Encourage Decisions

Customers often avoid buying products because they don’t have to. Consumers often show an interest before continuing to put off their purchase until tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes unless you actively force it.

The best way to do this is through timed promotions. Whether it’s automated email streams or in-store offers doesn’t matter. Forcing customers to make a decision won’t always work. Then again, four completed transactions have to be better than 10 maybes. Doesn’t it?

Utilize People Power

Your marketing endeavors are important and can go a long way to creating a sense of enthusiasm for the business. However, nothing you do will carry the level of authority that the power of recommendation will bring. Let’s face it; customers are far more likely to respond in a positive manner when they hear good words from friends and family.

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Nowadays, consumers are equally likely to listen to the words of popular figures and strangers. As such, using customer testimonials and influencer marketing can be a great way to see conversions shoot through the roof. Better still, you won’t need to put in any extra effort yourself.

Accept More Payment Methods

Your products won’t attract everyone. But it’s important that those interested people become customers. Losing them due to a lack of payment facilities would be nothing short of a scandal. For starters, you should invest in the technology that accepts as many cards and payment types as possible.

However, it’s equally important not to overlook traditional methods, particularly in B2B transactions. Services like check o matic will ensure that those aspects of the business are running as expected. Ultimately, with added flexibility, you should see a far greater reaction.

Give Out Freebies

Keeping your business fresh in the minds of your customers is vital, and promotional goods like t-shirts and mugs are a great option. It doesn’t only show a level of appreciation to customers old and new. Perhaps more importantly, it gets them feeling positive about the brand.

In addition to those items, you could hand out overstock and end of line items to loyal customers too. It’s a reminder of the quality products you offer, as well as the service. Essentially, learn to look after the consumer, and they will return the favor.

Twitterfeed.com shuts down

I just got the sad news…

Howdy, Twitterfeeders!

We’re writing to let you know that Twitterfeed will be shutting its doors on October 31st, 2016. It’s been one heck of a run and we can’t thank you enough for your loyal usage and support over the years.

If you’re looking for a service similar to Twitterfeed to continue using in our absence, we recommend checking out the good folks at Buffer.com or Dlvr.it.

Thanks again for all the feeds!

- Mario
Founder, Twitterfeed
139 5th Ave. New York, NY 10010

Google To Tax Australian Adwords!

As of November 1st, Google will be charging GST on Google Adwords.

How To Protect Yourself Against Hacking

This article is a great starting point to protecting yourself from the Privacy Pirates

Some articles are just so good, you’re better off going straight to the source, this is one of them!

Mobile Apps Aren’t Just For The Big Brands: They’re For The Little Guys Too

It might seem that the mobile business app space is dominated by the big brands – and it is. But you’d be wrong to think that they were the only companies benefiting from the technology. The mobile app market has matured considerably. And today, mobile apps are just as common among corner shops as they are corporate giants.

Mobile apps involve more than just making your website mobile friendly. They’re an effective marketing strategy in their own right. And if your business is in a suitable industry, they can take your marketing efforts to the next level.

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There’s a chance that you’ve already experienced this phenomenon in action. You might have been to a beauty spa or a restaurant with its own app. The purpose of these apps is to make the customer experience more engaging and boost brand appeal.

Businesses are developing apps for all sorts of reasons. Around a fifth are building apps purely for the purpose of marketing their products. Another 30 percent are doing it to directly generate revenue. And around half use apps to either support or engage with customers on a regular basis.

If that hasn’t sold you on the idea already, check out these reasons why mobile apps are good for the little guy too.

Increased Customer Visibility

The data shows that the average person spends around two hours a day on mobile devices. That’s a lot of time to be exposed to just one platform. Granted, customers probably aren’t spending all of that time exploring every nook and cranny of their business apps. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t, at some point, want to use your app.

Customers will often scan their phones for the apps that they want to use. When your app is there on the screen, your brand gets imprinted on the customer’s mind. Suddenly, your logo is strangely recognisable. And customers find themselves thinking about your company way more than they would have otherwise. Thus, having an app can serve as an important source of advertising, regardless of whether customers use its actual functions.

Direct Marketing Channel

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Your mobile app doesn’t just have to provide a link to buy your products. And it doesn’t just have to facilitate your particular service. It can provide customers with any information you feel would be helpful to them. Apps can serve up booking forms, messengers, user accounts and news feeds. This means that apps are a lot more self-contained than other platforms, like websites. Businesses can, therefore, target the type of information they want to put in front of their customers. Sales and promotional activities can be much more focused. Push notifications can be used to prompt customers when your product or services make sense.

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Provide Your Customers With Value

Most companies offer some kind of loyalty or reward programme to their repeat customers. The old fashioned way was to do this using a physical card. And so getting points onto your card or account was a hassle. But with a mobile app, it needn’t be. You can use mobile apps to make it easier for your customers to build up rewards. And you can even build in smart features that allow them to track their progress toward a particular goal. Once you make the customer experience easier, you’ll get more customers and more revenue. Make sure you check out services, like PunchMe, that allow you to create loyalty programmes on smartphones.

Stand Out From The Competition

Now might be the time for small businesses to embrace the mobile app. But the mobile app is still rare among smaller companies. Those that take the time to learn how to make apps put themselves at a distinct advantage over the competition. It’s the sort of thing that customers really notice. The cool thing is that there are now a bunch of courses, like this from Simplilearn, that can help businesses learn how to make their own apps. These days, you don’t even need to hire an app developer to give yourself a leg up. You can invest in yourself and start making great apps for your business today.

Increase Customer Engagement

One of the things that web experts always go on about is the importance of having a chat feature. Chat features allow customers to immediately engage with your business and build trust. You can do the same thing with mobile apps. Mobile apps provide a platform for messenger services or help desks. You can communicate update information through your mobile app to your customers. Or you can offer a help desk service, providing technical support and advice.

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Just think about apps like OpenTable. OpenTable built its success on its messenger function. The last thing customers wanted to do was to spend ages, ringing up restaurants and booking tables. OpenTable made it possible for them to get the table that they wanted with just a few taps on their smartphone. There is probably a whole host of ways you could simplify your business too with a mobile app. Right now, your customers might have to ring up and spend time talking to a representative over the phone. Wouldn’t it be cheaper and better if they could just get what they wanted through a targeted app?

The evidence suggests that most customers prefer texting to calling. This is particularly the case when the task is something routine, like booking a cab. Thus, with a mobile app, you may be able to capture customers who would otherwise be put off.

Build Brand Recognition

Building a brand is a complicated operation that involves many channels. But one of the best channels is the mobile apps. The mobile app is much more than just a visual image or a slogan. It can brand your business through unconventional channels. Let’s say, for instance that you run a consulting firm, and you want to build a brand around expertise. You could use a mobile app as a conduit, through which to send customers bespoke information. Customers would see you producing regular content, convincing them that you truly are at the top of your field.

What if you run a legal firm? Well, one way you could brand your business would be to include a “calculator” function into your app. Customers could use your app to work out a compensation estimate for various injuries or accidents. Thus, your app would be far more than just a newsfeed about your firm. It’d be a tool that clients could use to work out if it is worth pressing charges.

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How about if you run a medical practice? Well, there are some obvious uses for mobile apps here too. The number one problem facing practitioners is the fact that patients don’t turn up to their appointments. Apps, therefore, can be used to both book appointments, and remind people they need to show up. The other big problem is making sure that patients stick to their treatment plan. Apps can be used to automate reminders, telling patients what they need to take, and when.

But it’s not just the practical applications that can help build a brand. It’s also the fact that exposure to your brand makes customers want to buy more quickly. The important concept here is something called “effective frequency.” Effective frequency is advertising jargon for the number of times a person needs to be exposed to a brand before they buy it. You can reduce the cost of these exposures by getting your brand in front of your clients. The more personality you can inject into your app, the more effective each exposure will be. According to data and experience, you need around 20 brand exposures to really make an impact on your customers.

Cultivate Loyalty

Perhaps the biggest reason why your business should use mobile apps is customer loyalty. To be successful, you need customers who come back over and over again. The advertising space is a crowded one. Your rivals have AdWords campaigns, ads in the phonebook, Facebook pages, email marketing and so on. With so many advertisements all over the place, it’s easy for your business to get lost in the chaos. This is how mobile apps can help. They’re not so much an advertising platform as they are a tool to connect with customers. Just as in the past, the thing that customers value the most is the connection they have to your business. Mobile apps can help customers become loyal lovers of your product in a way that just wasn’t possible in the past.

If there was ever a year in which the mobile app was set to hit the big time, it was 2016. According to figures published last year, 40,402 businesses created apps. Golf course, hotels and even plumbers all got in on the action. Companies are realising that consumers have an appetite for interacting with their firm on a daily basis. They don’t necessarily have to be loyal to their brand. There just needs to be something that they can grab onto in the app itself that’s useful.

Top Secrets For Using The Success Of Your Rivals

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It can be disheartening to realize that you’re just a small fish swimming in an incredibly vast pond. Those bigger fish sure look intimidating, don’t they? Some of them are sharks! Wouldn’t it be great if you could use their size and their success to your advantage? Well now, you can because we have got the secrets that will allow you to piggyback off the success of your competitors. There are a few different ways to do this. Let’s start with the one that’s simplest.

Well now, you can because you can legitimately piggyback off the success of your competitors. What’s vitally important is not to cross the line of impropriety and illegality. This is not about doing the wrong thing(s), but being smart about how to leverage what is working.

Communicating With Their Customers

If you know a popular direct competitor to your business, you should contact their customers. It would be useful to find out why they chose that company over yours. Essentially, you’ll be looking for their USP and seeing if you can replicate it. Contacting their customers can be tricky.

If you work offline, we suggest you hire an agent who can contact the customers for you. They can wait near or outside the business and contact the customers directly. By engaging them in conversation, they have an excellent chance of getting honest and useful answers.

The goal is NOT to steal their clients, but to learn what they want/need.

If you work online, things are a little different. We suggest  you begin by using social media. You can retweet competitors when they make big announcements. Make sure you give them credit for the tweet and you’ll attract interest from their followers online. They may then follow your business and at this point, you have the chance to convert them to your company.

You can use a social media profile to do this. On Instagram, target their followers and use them for user generated content. You’ll be amazed how quickly they start taking an interest in your company.

Using Their Online Profiles

Are your business competitors seeing fantastic levels of success online? If they are, it might sound like a great idea to copy their marketing strategy and SEO profile. For instance, using your competitors’ backlink profiles could boost your online performance . Be careful about doing this though because it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. You need to know how to find their backlink profile for starters. To do this, you’ll need to complete some research online, using tools such as Ahrefs.

Replicating Their USP

Companies always market and promote their Unique Selling Proposition (USP). That’s the whole point of having one. You want to show customers what makes your business different from the rest. This means it’s easy to find and understand the USP of a competitor. It will probably be highlighted on their website or in their store. You need work on fitting their USP into your business model. This levels the playing field and allows you a better chance at capturing their customer base.

Once again, we are not adavocating you steal anything – but that you tailor your offering legitimately and authentically, if and only if it fits in with your plans and strategic goals – this is not about ripping anyone off. That won’t work and will backfire.

Piggybacking On Their Marketing Campaign

Finally, a competitor might be using an effective marketing campaign online. In this campaign, they might be using things such as hashtags. You can use their hashtag for your own business. When you use their hashtag, you will again, gain attention from their clients. It gives you the perfect chance to build your online reach.

As you can see, these are great ideas, but in the wrong hands, they can do more harm than good. This article is about leveraging what’s out there and  making the most of it. Don’t cross the line. If you think you’re about to cross a line, don’t do it. nowledge is power and today’s article is about

Knowledge is power and today’s article is about acquiring that knowledge and making the most of it.

3 Mistakes Not To Make With Your Business Website

A lot of people dream of starting a business. They hear the tales of companies who start with nothing and develop into a multi-national brand. This inspires them to start their own company. If you’re thinking that now’s the right time to launch your startup, it’s important to understand that it’s not going to be easy. There’s a lot that goes into launching a new company. That being said, if you’ve got an idea that has the potential to be successful, it’s more than worth the time and effort.

Of course, the most important thing for almost all business startups is their website. This is how new customers will find them. How they will get the word out about their brand. For startups, a website is the most crucial tool that they can have. With that in mind, if you have any chance of success, it’s crucial that your website is as effective as possible.

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A lot of new business owners make fatal mistakes when it comes to their websites. If you want to ensure that yours is as effective as possible, avoid these three mistakes.

1. Don’t go DIY

Money is an issue for a lot of new business owners. That’s why a lot of startups choose to go DIY with their company website. This, however, unless you’re a web design pro, is a fatal mistake to make. If your website isn’t smart, stylish and professional, you can kiss goodbye to any chance of success. Once your company is associated with a bad website, that’s all anyone will think about your brand. That’s why, despite the cost, it pays to hire a web designer to create your website. You can specify the colours and design features but make sure to use a pro to build your site.

2. Fail to make your site user-friendly

 

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No one is going to buy from a website that isn’t user-friendly. Your website needs to be easy to use and navigate, it also needs to be appealing to your target audience. If you have an issue when it comes to getting sales via your website, it’s worth using conversion rate optimisation. This will work out what is causing your site to be unpopular with users and should be able to suggest how you can improve this. For example, A-B split testing might show that larger text and clearer images make your site more appealing. It’s just a case of ensuring that your site is as appealing to your target audience and as user-friendly as possible.

3. Ensure you don’t forget to add a blog

If you want your site to have high amounts of traffic, adding a blog is essential. If you’re not able to produce high-quality content, it’s a good idea to outsource the task. A blog is essential for every business website as it helps to increase search engine ranking and drives traffic to the site. However, it’s also essential that the blog boasts high-quality, well-written content. No one is going to share a blog post that’s badly written or return to the website for me. That’s why it’s essential that if you’re not a skilled writer, you outsource the task.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your business website is everything that you need it to be. After all, everyone knows that for new businesses, their website is the key to success.

Shift Happens

We all know SHIFT HAPPENS. But wouldn’t it be nice to have 20/20 Foresight?

Consider these digital disruptions:*

  • The world’s largest taxi company owns no taxis (Uber)
  • The largest accommodation provider owns no real estate (AirBnB)
  • The biggest communication companies own no infrastructure (networks) (Skype, WeChat)
  • The most valuable retailer has no inventory or stores (Alibaba)
  • The most popular media owner creates no content (Facebook)
  • The fastest growing banks have no money (SocietyOne)
  • The world’s largest movie house owns no cinemas (Netflix)
  • The largest software vendors in the world don’t write their own apps (Apple and Google)

SHIFT HAPPENS … At an unprecedented rate. Click on the hyperlink to see how the world has changed just since 2006 when the video was created – SHOCKING!

* Thank you to Andrew Powell of Montreal, Canada for submitting this amazing list!

Boomerang For Gmail

This is a cool app for Gmail users – called Boomerang. Check it out, it might help your productivity.

Basically, Boomerang for Gmail lets you take control of when you send and receive messages.

If you like to work late at night, you can use Boomerang to schedule emails to send in the morning. Data has shown that a well-timed email is 30% more likely to be read than a poorly-timed one. Most people check their email at the beginning of the workday, so the best time to schedule your messages is between 6-7am.

Many emails don’t require immediate action, even though they’re important. It takes mental energy to remember when you need to respond to each one. Boomerang allows you to snooze a message out of your inbox and have it come back to the top of your inbox at the specific time that you choose so that you can take action.

Boomerang can also automatically remind you when you need to follow up with someone. If a person hasn’t responded to your email after a certain amount of time, Boomerang can automatically bring that email back to the top of your inbox for you so that you can follow up on it.

Boomerang for Gmail enables you to send messages later, get email reminders, and snooze messages seamlessly inside of Gmail. Download Boomerang for Gmail and see for yourself why over 240,000 businesses and millions of people around the world use Boomerang to help them get and keep their inbox under control.

Give up Facebook? Are you nuts? No, just happier

Another interesting study revealing the downside or social notworking apps like Facebook

Could you handle going cold turkey for a week? Hmmm…. What does that say about you? Your life, the quality of your relationships or lack thereof?

I am not making a value judgment, just asking a few simple questions.

The stronger your emotional reaction to these questions – well….

 

 

Vaut mieux tard que jamais!

Better late than never… Check out this story on Skype’s new LIVE simultaneous translator tool

Pretty cool stuff n’est-ce pas?

New iPhone OS 9 Tip

Check out this tip to avoid potentially HUGE DATA CHARGESTurn OFF WiFi Assist.

Free Space In The Cloud – DropBox

We all need more FREE disk space – especially up in the cloud. If you’re not using DropBox, click on one of the hyperlinks and you’ll instantly get 500 Mb of free space. Need more space? Invite more friends and you can get up to 16 GB of free space in the cloud.

Dropbox is ideal when you run a virtual company with freelancers and contractors working around the globe. It’s one of the many priceless web-based tools we teach our clients to use to leverage their time and resources – exponentially.

It’s also ideal for personal use to send video and other large files with one click of your mouse. Once your friend has downloaded the file, you can delete it and “re-use” the space for the next video. It sure beats dealing with USB flash drives…

DropBox Sign up

The Visual Power Of Big Data

I have blogged about the Privacy Pirates and the massive invasion of digital privacy issues that abound… And I’m not even a conspiracy theorist!

That being said, this TED Talk shows the incredible power and majesty of what big data can reveal. I can only imagine what oppressive regimes do behind-the-scenes that we never get to see, but then again, I am NOT a conspiracy theorist.

The video below is magnificent, it shows beautiful, colourful renditions and extrapolations of data like I’ve never seen before. Gone are the days of endless, broing numerical printouts and tables. If only we had had visual tools like this when I studied cluster analysis in my doctoral multivariate statistical analysis course. I probably would have understood and retained a lot more…!

Blogging For Business – Does it really work?

Don’t take my word for it. Read the email correspondence below from Malcolm Whitfield in response to a Post Program Planning (automated) email we send to all our clients after-the-fact.

___________________________________________

Hi Marc, (or whoever handles your mail),
 
Just thought I would reply to this.

I attended a half day Internet Business Blogging Workshop several years ago (2012).

I knew it was just a taster for further services, but I felt I got genuine value out of the few hours.

I implemented a couple of the ideas I got from the session, (there were more that I could have used, but I’m slack), plus what I have gleaned from the info on your website.

I got a feel for how the web thingy actually works. My tiny little website with its tiny little business pulls enough customers to outperform all my competition, including St. John’s, in my local area, and brings about as much work as I can handle by myself. (I’m 65 and not really wanting to hire staff and build a big business).

Your training session was tight and professional and jam-packed with real, usable tips and information. (I’m a trainer myself, and I’ve seen a lot of mediocre ones).

Don’t know how the people who do your mentoring programs (Platinum Program) and bootcamps go but if they get the same bang for the buck that I did, they should all be millionaires by now.

Just thought I’d let you know.
Cheers
Mal

______________________________________

This email, unsolicited and received more than two years after-the-fact tells you a few things… Among them:

  • Classy people still exist in this day and age of entitlement. If ever you are working late dealing with a client request and wonder if it’s worthwhile – remember you change the world ONE person at a time. Not many will tell you, but many more than you think will appreciate it.
  • When you pay it forward, it all comes back to you. Malcolm and I met at an event several years ago, but I still remember him even though I’ve spoken to thousands of people since then. Be INTERESTING and people will be INTERESTED in you and your story.
  • Give without the expectation of reciprocation. This is so much truer today than ever with “everything” being free and too many people taking things (and people) for granted. If you are well served and are provided with great value – let the person/company know. Praise and acknowledgment never, ever falls on deaf ears!

 

You know you’re texting too much when…

… You need to have your own lane…

This is both funny and sad at the same time. I am all for multi-tasking, but not to this extreme!

 

Stairs and texting