Helpful Degrees Which Will Prepare You for Being a Business Owner

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When you start a business, there is a lot to learn, and much of this has to be done as you go. However, you can certainly prepare yourself more effectively by learning as much as you can about business-related topics before you actually launch a venture. Read on for some of the most helpful degrees to consider studying if you want to be an entrepreneur.

Computer Science

Read any business magazine or newspaper article these days and you’ll see entrepreneur after entrepreneur who has made their fortune by developing an app or other software program which has been used and purchased by millions of people. In this digital age, knowing how to come up with tech-related products or services can be one of the best ways to become a successful business owner. As such, a degree in computer science can take you a long way.

Studying this area is useful in ways that goes beyond an actual product or service you create to sell too. Big data is extremely helpful in all industries, in many ways. For example, it can be utilized to cut costs, increase productivity, market and sell to consumers, improve customer service, streamline processes, and a whole lot more.

Having a background in computer science can help you to use and/or develop programs which automate tasks or reduce the amount of time required to complete them. It is also of benefit when you need to create a website for your business or use other tools to market it; plus knowledge in this area can help you understand and tap into emerging fields before your competitors.

You might wonder: how hard is a computer science degree? and, will the investment of time and money be worth it? However, just take a look at all the industries and businesses being disrupted by tech tools these days and you’ll soon see the commitment will be of great benefit on your entrepreneurial journey.

Business

Another degree that’s top of mind for budding entrepreneurs is, of course, a business one. Programs such as MBAs and Bachelors of Business courses are the perfect options when you want to give yourself a thorough, overall understanding of how organizations work, not just locally, but all around the world.

When you complete a business degree, you will learn about topics such as sales, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, leadership, psychology, organizational management, administration, communication, international markets, and so on. You will have lots of different areas to choose from when deciding on subjects, and get the chance to enjoy practical placements and internships for on-the-job experience too.

Another benefit of business degrees, particularly MBAs, is that you get the chance to meet like-minded people from around the globe. You will connect with people who could go on to become not just your friends but also your sounding board, client, partner, investor, or employee as the years go by. As well, because business degrees tend to be made up of such diverse groups from many different nations, backgrounds, and cultures, you’ll have the chance to learn from and exchange ideas with people you might never have otherwise met.

Psychology

In business, to achieve success you’ll regularly need to think about how other people view the world, and the wants and needs they have. This ranges from customers and employees, through to journalists, investors, lenders, suppliers, and more. As a result, if you learn about psychology, this can help you to run your business more profitably and effectively.

Through studying a psychology degree, you will become versed in theories on how the human brain works; how different personalities learn, interact, clash, and otherwise vary from each other; and how needs and wants can be determined by the actions, body language, words, and tones of people.

When you complete psychology courses, you’ll obtain knowledge which helps you to design products and services to best suit particular market segments, and you’ll better understand how to target the right potential clients, and how to cater to their desires well. You’ll be more effective at inspiring, motivating, engaging and leading a team, and at communicating with all sorts of people in all sorts of situations.

Psychology skills will guide you when it comes time to brand your business and to market your wares as well. Providing customer service that really satiates clients will also be easier, as will your ability to hire the right people and otherwise surround yourself with the best team possible.

Five Things That Can Help Your Business Stand Out

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Every business owner wants their business to thrive, don’t they? After all, you don’t start this journey wanting to mediocre, you start it with the vision of making it a success, am I right? However, apart from some of the fundamental aspects of running your business efficiently, is there anything else that you can do to make your business stand out? Sometimes thinking outside of the box, being creative and doing things differently can work in your favor. I thought I would share with you five of the things to help get your started.

Offer different levels of communication

There are customers out there who like to talk, customers out there who prefer email, and there will be customers out there that like to send an old fashioned letter or even a fax, believe it or not. Having a fax machine for your business won’t be a bad thing, and this is when you need to ensure that you are fax GLB compliant. In truth, with your lines of communication having all options means that your business is open to every type of customer, which expands your reach.

Use social media as a marketing tool the right way

Social media is an amazing marketing tool for your business, and it is so good that people are trying to now use it in different ways to promote their businesses. If you think outside of the box in terms of your marketing, then you can really stand out in the world of social media. This might mean improving your images, using Facebook live or Instagram stories as a behind the scenes look. If you can add personality and passion to your social media ten your business will thrive.

Have a business blog

Blogging is fast becoming a useful tool that your business can capitalize on. It opens up another way of driving traffic to your website without it feeling like it is an aggressive or direct sell to your customer. Blogging can also be used in conjunction with search engine optimization, which in theory, will help boost your search engine ranking and direct more people to your main website. It is a great tool to have for your business.

Consider your branding

Your branding is your key message to your customers and other businesses out there, so it needs to be right for your business. It is relevant to your logo, the colors you use, the message you want to say, and it needs to be true to your and your business. There are digital agencies out there that can help devise the perfect brand for your business.

Having a fantastic website

Finally, as we live in a digital world it is important to ensure that your website works efficiently. It needs to load up quickly, be bright and have good quality images and to also hold all correct information. This enforces trust into your business and to your brand.

I hope that these tips help you to ensure that your business is able to stand out from the crowd.

Fill In The Potholes On The Construction Industry Roads

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You may not think it, but the construction industry can actually be a very profitable sector to enter into. If you think about it, there are always businesses, governments and private individuals who need construction work completed and it is a specialist skill. Not everyone can succeed working in construction, that’s for sure. That said, there are a few issues on the road to profit in this industry that you need to be aware of. If you don’t tackle these issues head-on, they could bring the bricks of your construction business toppling down.

Watch Those Hours

The first issue that you need to be prepared for is allowing your employees to work long hours. You have to keep a tight control of how long you’re letting employees work for and make sure that they don’t get overstretched. While not in the construction industry, recently attention has been brought to the dangerously long hours that the cast and crew members on hollywood sets work. This will no doubt cause a ripple effect and make every industry explore just how long workers are on the clock and on the road without breaks. As such, it is crucial that you keep this under control and make sure that you are protecting the safety of your workers and the safety of your company.

Keeping Costs Constrained

One of the biggest issues in the construction industry is definitely the cost and from that the competition. You will constantly be up against businesses that can promise a much smaller bill for their projects. If that’s the case, then you can bet that you will lose contracts with your clients. One of the best ways to handle costs is to consider what work you need to do yourself and what should be outsourced. Obviously, you will want to handle the actual construction work yourself. But what about getting rid of waste materials or bringing in materials that you need. That’s a basic level job and can be completed by an outside company. If you click here for more info, you’ll see that you can hire a plant company to complete this work for you and make sure that you’re not spending a fortune on equipment and transportation.

Gaining Attention

It’s quite common for construction business owners to think that their hard manual labor company should play by different rules compared with the typical office business. But actually, a lot of the requirements are the same, and that includes marketing. You need to make sure that you are marketing your company effectively, making sure that you do get the interest you need on the market to succeed. Otherwise, you will be left in a position where you’ll be struggling to keep up with the bigger construction companies.
We hope this helps you fill in the potholes on the construction industry roads. Once you do, you’ll find it’s smooth driving traveling from profit to profit, without any trouble at all. Take our advice and there will be nothing in between you and great success.

Is Technology Causing More Problems For Your Business Than It’s Solving?

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There’s no doubt that we live in the age of technology. Just about everyone has access to the internet, and most of us have devices in our pockets that let us connect with anyone and everyone at the touch of a button. Of course, it’s no surprise that, because of this, the world of modern.business has changed in some pretty significant ways. Most of these changes have been for the better, but if you assume that technology is always going to improve your business no matter what, then you’re sorely mistaken. With that in mind, here are some ways that technology could potentially cause more problems in your business than it solves, and how to avoid letting that happen.

Network problems

The vast majority of businesses in the modern era take place almost entirely online and for a good reason. After all, people spend more time on the internet than ever, and it allows you to connect with people all over the world. Of course, if you’ve got a network of customers that involves dedicated software or ecommerce, then there’s almost always going to be the potential for something to go wrong. If something goes wrong with your network then there’s a good chance that your customers are going to to be pretty unhappy about it. That’s why keeping track of it is so important. You can download a free trial of network monitoring software to see just how much easier things become when you’re able to see what’s going on with your network at all times. That way you can solve a lot of problems before your customers even realize they’re happening.

Security

As wonderful as the internet is as a tool for your business, it does leave you vulnerable to attack in a number of different ways. You might have previously been mostly concerned about security in terms of your premises, but now, cyber criminals are the largest threat to your business. In order to make sure that your business isn’t vulnerable online than you need to be sure that you’re taking care to keep all of your firewall and anti-malware software up to date. Something so simple really can make a huge difference to how secure your business is.

Data loss

Data storage has become so much easier since the dawn of the digital age. Rather than keeping things in physical form in large boxes, you can store everything on a hard drive, or even in the cloud. However, if you’re not backing up all of your data then you could end up in serious trouble. As secure as digital storage can be, it’s not totally bulletproof which means if you don’t have your data backed up, you could lose all of it in one fell swoop.

The most important thing to remember is that technology is a tool. If you treat it as though it’s going to solve all of your problems and instantly turn your business into a success, then you’re almost certainly going to end up in a pretty dangerous position. However, if you think about it as a tool to solve specific problems within your business, then you’re going to avoid relying on it too much.

3 Strategies For Increasing The Speed Of Your Company’s Computer Network

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Do you have issues with the speed of your company’s internal computer network? That could cause you many problems related to a lack of productivity and efficiency. If you don’t want to spend a fortune and ask IT specialists to come to your workplace to conduct an assessment; you might like to try some of the suggestions mentioned on this page. Of course, at some point, there is no getting away from the fact that you will have to invest in a better system for your office. However, right now, there are probably some actions you can take to improve the situation.

Compress as many files as you can

There are lots of tools you can download that will enable you to compress files and create some extra storage space on your network. That should help to increase the speed and take some of the stress away from your computers. Those who use Apple devices just need to search online for the best app that enables you to compress documents and to unzip files. That way, you can make sure that old data doesn’t clog your system and make it run slower than it should. Entrepreneurs who use Windows or Linux can follow the same strategy.

Store your documents in the cloud

Cloud storage will provide many benefits to your business and your customers. Firstly, you should never have to worry about hacking and data theft again because most cloud solutions use advanced security technology. However, you also need to consider the fact that storing your documents in the cloud will free-up lots of storage space on your computer network. You can still access the records from anywhere in the world if you have an internet connection. So, your employees and clients won’t notice the difference, but you won’t have to hang around or deal with lengthy loading times.

Remove unnecessary programs

There is a reasonable chance that you have some programs on your network that might slow the computer system down. For instance, most companies have no need for internet browsers because their workers don’t work online. Removing them from your system could help to create extra space and ease the strain on your resources. So, do yourself a favor and take the time to perform an assessment. Work out which software applications you don’t need and then uninstall them as soon as possible. You could double the speed of your computers in extreme cases.

You should now have a decent idea about the strategies you need to consider when increasing the speed of your computer network. As mentioned at the start of this article; there will come a time when you need to invest in new technology. However, you don’t have to do that right now if you can make some of the changes highlighted here today. Just remember there are professional IT consultants out there that you can employ if you get stuck or need some assistance. The purpose of this post was just to try to save you some money.

Are You Getting The Customers You Deserve?

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There can be no argument that one of the most vital things in all of business is to bring in as many customers as possible. However it’s not just the numbers that count; you also want to make sure that you are bringing in the kind of customers that you want for your business. If you are wondering what that means, we are referring to having the customers that your business needs and deserves. The caliber and quality of the customers is hugely important as it ensures the likelihood of your business being able to continue in the same vein in future. With that in mind, let’s look to how you can make sure that you get the customers you deserve and need for the success of your business.

Understand Your Goals

The better that you know what you are actually trying to do in business, the more likely it is that you will be able to attract those who are keen on that kind of product or service. Being clearer in your goals means that you will automatically begin to act in ways which draw in the kind of people you need in your business, and this includes both customers and employees. So the first step here is to make sure that you fully understand what your goals are, and why they are what they are. As long as you do, you can be certain that you will start to draw in the customers that your business needs, and that will mean that your business has a much stronger base from which to work.

Focus On The Right Leads

There is much to be said for trying to get leads, but you need to make sure that you are approaching it in the right way. As well as finding enough leads, they need to be of a decent quality, otherwise there is really no point at all. Of course, that is easier said than done – but the trick is to simply make sure that your lead generation and forensics is the right kind for your business. For this, it helps to look at how much it is likely to set you back. If you feel that the Lead Forensics pricing is not suitable, then it is unlikely that it will really help you in the long run, and the same is true if it is not delivering in the4 way that you would ideally hope. Focus on your methodologies here for a better future.

Go Wider

Of course, there is still much to be said for the act of going wider as a means to bringing in more of the customers you need. The wider you cast your net, after all, the more likely it is that you will end up with the customers you actually deserve in your business, so that is worth considering as much as anything else. If you feel that you could do with looking wider, then make sure you do so – but don’t just do it randomly. Instead, focus on those areas where you are most likely to find the people most interested in your business and its various goals.

Why Brand Is Your Most Important Tool

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Nobody wants to put weeks, months, even years, into their business only for it to fall at the first hurdle. And if there is one thing that is crucial to the success of your business, it is your brand. Your brand is not simply your logo or your slogan; it is your reputation. It is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. In a global marketplace that is quite often saturated with competition, it is important that you have a way of standing out from the crowd. Below are a few reasons that having a strong a trustworthy brand will benefit your business.

Employee retention

If there’s one thing that’s going to keep your staff loyal to you, it’s pride. If they are proud to say that they work for you, you’ve already won them over. You can even develop your brand further by speaking to your employees about what they need. Good pension schemes, and Employee Assistance Program and even an Outplacement service can all provide some strength to your company’s reputation as a good place to work. Try your hardest to cultivate a positive and supportive culture around the workplace. Do everything you can to ensure that your employees are looking forward to heading back to work on a Monday morning.

Customer retention and growth

This is where you can really start to see those dollar signs in your eyes. Not only will your reputation as a good employer mean that your customers will want to use your services, but you can also build on your reputation by providing a first-class service. You can work hard to nurture lasting relationships with your clients. If your customers feel valued and taken care of, they will be more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. This means that you will experience a growth in your customer base without incurring any heavy marketing costs. Word of mouth recommendations are the kind of marketing that people trust the most, and you can’t buy. You must earn it.

Hiring process

As your customer base grows, you will likely need to hire more staff to deal with the increased workload. For every day that you have a vacancy that is unfilled, your business is essentially losing money, so you want to hire the right people as quickly as possible. Good quality staff will naturally gravitate towards good quality businesses. How do they know which are the best businesses to work for? They find out what their reputation is. If you have built up a reputation as a good provider for your customers, and a good employer for your staff, you will find that the best job seekers are lining up at your door.

Building a strong reputation takes time and consistent hard work, but once you have earned it, it will pay dividends to your business growth. Be wary not to relax and simply ride on the coattails of success though, a good reputation can be lost much quicker than it is made, and a bad reputation is not easy to shake off.

When Your Office Harms Your Business

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There could be quite a few reasons your office needs a bit of a redec, so make sure the areas we mention below aren’t ones bothering your employees! It could end up severely lowering the productivity of your workplace at the end of the day, and no one needs that when they’re in business. Check a few of these most hazardous areas to make sure they’re not disturbing the livelihood of everyone you work with.

It Doesn’t Look Good from the Outside

Curb appeal is something we’ve all heard of, but we usually apply it to the residential sector. Yet it applies to the business world as well; when something looks out of place, as soon as someone sees this they’re going to be off on a badfoot with you! It’s simply human nature at the end of the day, so make sure you’re using it to your advantage, rather than working against it.

Call in some commercial roofing contractors to make sure you’ve got no rotting tiles or thousands of moss patches on the roof of your building. These are unsightly and can immediately inform someone’s opinion on you and what you’re offering; even if you are a hidden gem, people will walk away! Don’t let your deals come out unfruitful simply because people place value in appearances.

When the Cold Runs Straight Through You

Similarly, psychology tells us time and time again that environment perception has an effect on how we feel. With that in mind, make sure you use more warm colors around the rooms of your office. When people feel comfortable, they’re more likely to settle into the tasks they need to get on with, instead of wasting their energy shivering to themselves!

Buildings get worn down all the time, At the end of the day, make sure all your employees are feeling appreciated, and that they’re being treated fairly by the people around them. A lot more work is done as a result, and you’ll be in good business surrounded by talented people for years to come!

When There’s No Space

So work can feel cramped a lot of the time, especially when we’re in a bad mood. However, when you’re fitting 10 or so people into one room, it can be an extreme squeeze. You need to be able to get all the necessary furniture in the same space, and the computer wires can be a real hazard for someone to trip over.

It’s time to increase on your space without actually having to build some new walls. Put some mirrors up if you’re on a bit of a budget, as these can immediately make a room feel a lot bigger due to the reflective element. They can also make the space feel a lot more aesthetically pleasing!

Is your office harming your business operations? Sometimes we don’t even notice it, but make sure you check things out every so often. It’s all for the good of your business, and the effort pays off!

Seven Secrets About Business Tax That Nobody Will Tell You

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As a business owner, your job is to make sure that your money goes as far as it can, and you can invest further money in your venture to continue growing. Nobody likes meeting the tax man, as they usually come around to find mistakes in our accounts or ask for more money. If you would like to know how to make the most out of your tax reliefs and get the best rates possible, read the below tips.

Business Trip Deductions

Not many business owners know that they can deduct their business trip expenses when submitting their taxation documents. How much you can claim will depend on the distance, your income, and other expenses, as well as your business type. You will need to check with your local tax office what the current rules, are, or get help with from a tax attorney and claim back your expenses to reduce your total payable tax bill. If you find recording and calculating your expenses too complicated, you might be able to take advantage of a cloud based accounting software that automatically works out your allowances.  

Meals

Most people assume that all meals are deductible as an expense, however, in reality, you can only claim back 50 percent. You can, however, include the cost of meals you paid for when you had a business dinner with a potential customer or partner. You should check the current regulations and make sure that you get the right format of receipt that can be submitted as a proof of purchase. You might need to prove that you were present at the location when the next tax account review is due.

Tax Reductions Depend On Your Books

You will need to have your accounts and books in order if you would like to make successful tax reduction claims. If you seem to be spending beyond your business profits, you might be questioned, and an audit is imminent. Make sure that you don’t show reckless spending on your books, and you have a good financial balance sheet before you start claiming tax reductions, or you might have to answer some serious questions by the tax man.

Tax Breaks and Credits Can Help You Out

In periods when your business is not doing so well, you can ask for tax breaks and tax credits. It is important that you check the small business tax regulations before you submit your application, and tick all the boxes to qualify. There are certain criteria for tax relief and credits that you need to satisfy, or your request will be declined. You can even get these tax credits and breaks if you don’t have to submit a federal income tax return. There are different forms of rebates, such as the American Opportunity Credit and the earned income tax credit.

Making Estimated Payments

In most cases, you cannot delay paying your taxes until after the tax year, and you will have to make estimated payments to the Inland Revenue Service. You cannot use the government’s money all year, therefore, you will be sent regular contribution bills. This law applies to landlords and self employed people, therefore, you must make sure you have a sound financial plan and a budget that covers the regular business tax contributions.

Return Deadlines

If you would like to minimize your taxes, the last thing you want to do is miss the filing deadlines. You will be surprised how fast the penalties and charges can build up, and increase your tax bill in just a few months. Even if you cannot pay your bill, you should submit your return on time. After your calculation is completed, you can pay with a credit card, or set up an IRS payment plan. If you don’t file your tax return, you will still be liable for the payments, and will be exempt from the statute of limitations, which mean that the IRS can chase you for the unpaid taxes forever

You Can Get Your Passport Seized

If you don’t pay your taxes on time, after a certain time, your passport can be seized or invalidated. Even if they allow you to travel, your bank account will not be safe from the IRS, and payments will be deducted whenever there is a positive balance. Make sure that you talk to the taxman and discuss your options, instead of burying your head in the sand.

Business taxes can be complicated, and challenging for most. If you are confused, or don’t trust your judgment, talk to a professional instead of ending up with huge fines and penalties.

Startup Safety 101

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Safety isn’t exactly the most exciting aspect of starting a new business for the first time, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important.

Let’s face, it not only does no one want to work in a place that isn’t safe, but business owners don’t want to be faced with an employee who’s consulted a law firm for personal injury and is now on the hunt for compensation either. That’s why you need to take safety seriously from the very second that you start your business.

Obviously, you can’t 100 percent guarantee that no accidents will ever occur within your company, but if you take the following steps, you will cut the odds significantly…

Ensure Safety Rules are Easy to Access

There’s no point doing all kinds of risk assessments and setting up the best safety procedures you can think of to protect your employees, and your company from litigation, if you don’t make them accessible. Your employees need to be able to see a clear list of safety rules that have been explained in simple language that anyone can follow if they are to follow them. That’s why it never hurts to create an employee handbook and hang up safety rules around the workspace.

Invest in Employee Training and Encourage Your Staff

It’s much easier to keep your startup safe when all of your employees have undertaken safety training relevant to your line of work. It’s even easier when you’ve made it very clear to them how important safety is to all of you. It is for that reason that you might want to consider encouraging safety by, for example, offering small rewards and bonuses to any members of staff who identify potential dangers in the workplace. It’s a simple way of ensuring that everyone in the office is on the ball and always scouting for potential dangers.

Install Safety Officers

Even if you are a small business with very little money to spare, it is not a bad idea to designate a` safety officer for each floor of your company. That way, you can be sure that if there are unsafe practices going on, you will be notified of it. A safety officer doesn’t have to be a separate employee – just give one of your existing staff members some extra training and a slight pay rise and have them take on the role.

Don’t Cut Corners

So many workplace accidents happen when employees cut corners, often at the behest of their employers. If you don’t want to end up getting sued, you absolutely must not encourage or demand that your employees skip out on safety procedures, no matter how much pressure you’re under. Sure, it might speed things up and ensure that you don’t lose that contract, but if it means there’s an accident and you end up having to pay so much compensation that your business is bankrupt before it even gets off the ground or even worse one of your employees suffers life-changing injuries or even death as a result, is it really worth it?

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re doing it right, you should be training your employees in workplace safety as they join you, but that shouldn’t be the end of it. From time to time you are going to want to get the team together to refresh their memories of the correct safety procedures, work out new improved strategies for keeping everyone safe and do some refresher training where applicable.

Use Protective Equipment

If you work in a dangerous environment, you should always look up the rules and regulations on safety equipment and not only ensure that all staff are using it where necessary, but also that the equipment you use meets official standards. It’s so easy to go for the cheaper option, only to find that it isn’t quite as safe as it should be and end up in a whole lot of trouble. This is one area where, as a small business, you will want to pay more.

Get Insurance

Despite your best efforts, accidents can and do happen, which is why, as a small business owner, you should always make sure that you are insured for every eventuality. If you aren’t and one of your employees ends up getting hurt on your watch, you could be hit with a huge negligence suit that would ruin your company. That is the last thing you want to happen, and you can mitigate against it by having that all-important policy in place.

Stay safe!

The Different Search Result Types Your Business Must Be Aware Of

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Business owners regularly think that there is just one type of search result they need to contend with; organic search. Others are aware that paid results exist, but this still doesn’t cover it all. You see, when a website looks to improve its search engine performance, it will often only contend with these two types of results. In reality, there are way more out there that you must focus on to make your site more visible online.

Below, we’re going to look at each search result type out there, and how your business website can optimize itself to do well in these results. It will lead to a website that’s seen by more people and regularly pops up at the top of all rankings

Standard Organic Results

These are the search results we often think about when we talk about improving SEO. They’re the natural results that everyone sees and no-one pays for. They appear in a list, with the websites ranked in order of authority.

Every business owner should know the benefits of having a website that ranks highly in organic searches. There’s simply no negative to this; it will directly influence your traffic, lead generation, and customer base. Many businesses see an increase in sales when their site ranks highly.

Getting your business to perform well in these results has been talked about many times before. Essentially, you have to make it search engine friendly. Ensure you; target the right keywords, include valuable content on your site, build backlinks, optimize your site for mobile, structure your pages properly, make the user experience good, and have fast loading times. There are plenty of other considerations too, but this article isn’t about SEO tips, it’s about the different search results your business needs to know about!

Paid Results

The paid results are also commonly known as many businesses pay for adverts to try and improve their search engine visibility. These results tend to appear before the organic ones, meaning you could potentially be seen before any of the organic sites. This leads to more clicks, more traffic, and possibly more sales for your business.

Paid search results all go through Google Adwords. You have to bid on certain keywords, and you’ll appear in the relevant search results. Although it’s beneficial to get into these results, it can be very costly. Some popular keywords will cost your business a lot of money to bid on, and you have to pay Google every time your link gets clicked on.

This is an investment you probably shouldn’t think about until your business is more established and you have the funds to allocate to it. Otherwise, you’re better off focusing on the natural approaches that won’t cost as much money.

Local Results

Next up we have the local search results, which are so beneficial for small businesses. These results are designed to point people in the direction of your company. Instead of only displaying your website, they’ll show your business name and location on a map. This allows users to click on the map, see if you’re close to them, check your opening times, and decide whether or not to proceed with any actions.

Your business needs to focus on ensuring you actually appear in these results. If you don’t, then you could miss out on loads of customers. The easiest way to get started is by setting up a Google My Business account and registering your company. Here, you can fill in lots of information about your business that will be displayed in the local results. This includes company info, location, opening times, and contact details. But, you can also use keywords to target certain searches and make sure you’re found by the right people.

Local results are perfect for small businesses with physical locations. Restaurants and retail stores are probably the two types of business with the most to gain from these search results.

Rich Results

Rich results are one of those things you’ve definitely encountered but weren’t aware they were a special thing. A lot of the time, when you search for a query, you’ll get a search result that appears before anything else. This is normally in a little box that provides the answer to your query without you needing to click on the page.

If your business website starts appearing in these results, it will only benefit you. First off, you will be seen before all of the generic organic list results. This gives you more exposure and can direct more people to your website. One of the key ways in which you can get yourself in these results is by creating SEO structured data markup code. This code allows your site to display its content in a format that’s very easy for search engines to digest. As a result, their bots can crawl through your pages and find the relevant content for any specific queries. This allows it to present your content in the form of a rich result snippet.

This is something that’s becoming more and more popular and competitive nowadays. Google realizes that users often don’t want to go through the annoyance of clicking on a website and scrolling through paragraphs of content before they find the answer they wanted. Instead, they can just see it on the search results page and be done. While it can still help you gain more traffic, the main purpose is to help make your business more of an authority in your line of work. If you keep popping up in the rich results for queries relating to your industry, then it makes you look professional and respectful!

 

Mobile Results

Lastly, we have mobile results. Now, these search results pretty much cover all the results we’ve spoken about, only the mobile versions of them. When someone searches for the exact same keyword or phrase on their phone, they could see completely different results to the ones they see on their desktop computer. This is because Google specifically orders mobile results to display mobile-friendly sites first and foremost.

As a consequence, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, then you could well miss out on loads of mobile traffic and visibility. It’s found that over half of all internet users are on their mobile devices more than their desktops. So, you could say that half of the people searching for your business are using their phone or tablet. If you don’t cater to their needs, they won’t find you.

Thankfully, it’s very easy to improve your mobile search performance. All you have to do is design a website that’s responsive. This way, your business won’t miss out on valuable mobile web traffic.

Why is all of this important? Because search is still the number one way for a consumer to find a business online. Yes, social media is powerful, but search remains at the top. It’s not good enough to optimize your small business for one type of search result. If you have good organic results, it will generally benefit you, but you can take things to new levels by getting rich results, paid ones, local, and mobile too. Everything is brought together, and you start to see your business more and more in search results. It becomes impossible for people not to notice you, which should lead to financial benefits down the line. The more people that find you via searches, the more traffic you gain and the more potential leads you have. This lets you convert more leads and end up with a handful of paying customers. At the end of the day, all the money you put into search engine marketing will be repaid with the results.

Cash For Your Company: Getting Your Finances Right as a Bootstrapped Business

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When you’re starting up a business, money matters. As the old adage goes, you need to spend money to make money- but when you don’t have a whole lot of it to begin with you need to be careful. If you overspend and get into the red early on, you could go bust and it be game over for your business before you’ve even really started. Here are some things to consider when it comes to your finances.

Start on a Smaller Scale

Instead of throwing everything you have into your venture and hoping that it does well, why not start on a smaller scale? This way you can see that it actually works and let it expand and grow organically. You could start in a small office hiring just a couple of staff members and focusing on providing an excellent service to the customers you get. This way you’re not overstretched, and if you find you do well and are getting more custom than your small setup can handle, you can use profits to move to bigger premises and hire more people. That way you’re not sinking a load of cash into your business and losing the lot if doesn’t do as well as you thought. Renting equipment instead of buying is another good way to keep it small and avoid large upfront costs. Once you know your business is doing well, you can buy this equipment for yourself.

Outsource

You might be under the impression that outsourcing is something that larger businesses do, and maybe is something to consider later down the line. However it can be a lifesaver for smaller businesses. While you will pay for the services of a third party company, you’re able to reduce upfront costs as you don’t need to buy additional equipment or hire more staff. Recruiting and training can be expensive, if you hire a specialist company to deal with certain areas of your business then you don’t have to worry about this.

Attract Investors

If you have a great business idea but really need a cash injection to get started, one option would be to seek out an investor. Here you will be offered cash for a share in your business, and your investor will also act as a mentor in many cases. There’s a lot of competition for this kind of help so you will need to stand out. An interactive annual report with all of your figures, earnings and projections is a smart move. Be ready to answer any difficult questions and practice your pitch until it’s spot on.

Expect The Unexpected

No matter how well prepared you are in business, something could go wrong. For this reason it’s well worth having an emergency fund as a buffer that you can fall back on just in case. Anything from a burglary, a fire, a flood could occur, or a crucial piece of equipment to your businesses could stop working. Give yourself some funds to fall back on, and take out the right insurances too just in case.

If You Want A Successful Startup, It’s Time To Embrace Outsourcing!

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One of the most tempting things about setting up any kind of business is the idea that you no longer have to answer to anyone else. Rather than taking orders from your boss every day, you get to be the boss and be in charge of guiding the direction that a business takes. Because of this, the idea of handing over any aspect of a business can be incredibly unpleasant for many business owners. However, the truth is that without reaching out to others for help and support, your startup is never going to be able to succeed. With that in mind, here are three ways in which your business needs to embrace outsource in order to be truly successful.

Logistics

The organisation and delivery of your products is something that is not only incredibly complicated but can also be well out of the scope of possibility for many small startups. That’s why working with trucking and logistics companies can be so valuable. You’re able to hand this incredibly important aspect of your business over to companies with a much better understanding of the process. That way you can make sure that customers receive your products in as timely a manner as possible while keeping your products completely safe and secure in transit.

Marketing

Marketing is something that far too many business owners seem to assume is simple enough for them to deal with themselves. However, the reality is that, especially in the modern era, it’s an incredibly complex and multi-faceted aspect of your business. This is particularly true when it comes to your digital marketing. Because of that, it really does pay to hand things over to a company that knows how to make the most of all of the marketing options that are available to you.

Accounting

Accounting is one of those things that is simultaneously incredibly important for the success of your business, and incredibly boring and frustrating to deal with. This can lead many business owners to ignore it for as long as possible, with disastrous consequences. Ignoring your finances is a sure fire way to end up in some incredibly serious legal hot water. It’s far better to hire an accountant who can deal with your accounts for you. That way you can be sure that your business is in a secure financial position, while also allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business that you find more interesting and engaging.

Of course, it’s important to remember that one of the best things about outsourcing is that you still get to be in charge of the way in which your business shapes out as a whole. Sure, you’re handing things over to other businesses in order to get some specialized expertise, but you’re still going to be the one directing the business and instructing them on how you want things to be done. Just because you’re handing things over to an outside organisation, that doesn’t mean that you’re losing control of your business.

Can You Really Build A Site Without Any Code

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Across the web, there are loads of different services which promise to give you the power to build your own website without any code. The allure of this sort of promise is very strong, as a lot of small businesses simply don’t have the resources to go any other way. Of course, though, building a website is a complicated job, and the idea of doing it without code can seem too good to be true. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring this area to give you an idea of the ease you’ll find in doing it for yourself.

What Do You Need?

To begin this journey, you first have to consider exactly what your website is going to need. Building an ecommerce site which can sell products, for example, is a lot harder than putting together a simple blog, and will be more likely to require coding skills. As someone new to the game, it could be hard to know what might be possible or not. So, you might have to do some research at this stage, especially if you want to achieve some good results.

Understanding exactly what you’re going to need might take a little bit of time. To start, it can help to write a list of the features you’d like your site to have, being as specific and detailed as possible. From here, you can figure out exactly what will need to be used to make each feature work, along with the skills you’ll need to do it. After a short while, you will find yourself getting to grips with exactly what you’ll need.

Choosing A Platform

With a good idea of what you’re going to have to build, you’ll be ready to choose the best platform for the job. There are three different levels to this sort of tool, and you can find some examples of them below. In some cases, the best platform will simply be the one you feel most comfortable with.

  • Wix/Other Builders: The most commonly chosen tool for this sort of job is a handy DIY tool, like Wix. While limiting your scope, this sort of tool makes it very easy to put together something beautiful, without having to know anything about web design. Of course, though, they will make it hard to achieve large jobs like ecommerce sites.
  • WordPress/Bootstrap: Next, options like Bootstrap and WordPress are often the very best for this work. Enabling you to build a site with all of the normal features you’d have access to, while also making it nice and simple, this sort of tool is perfect for beginners. With over 75% of the world’s websites using platforms like this, you can always find support and documentation to help you.
  • Starting Fresh: In the past, all websites were built from the same basic pieces; HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Of course, though, this sort of method is often very hard, and a lot of people will struggle a lot more than they have to if they choose to go with it. In most cases, professional companies won’t go down this route, so it makes sense for you to try and avoid it.

Finding Alternatives To Code

The only option out of the ones above which will completely limit the need for code is a service like Wix. Unfortunately, though, this sort of site is rarely enough, and most businesses will need something more to power their work. To help you with this, you can find some alternatives to programming which can be used with platforms like WordPress and Bootstrap.

 

  • Plugins: With platforms which are so widely used, you can almost always find a plugin for the job you have to do. Finding options like this is a simple matter of doing some searching. Once you find some options which work for you, though, it will be a lot easier to use them than trying to start fresh.

 

  • APIs/Shortcode: In some cases, you may not be able to find a plugin or add-on to do your job for you, but this doesn’t mean you’re completely lost. Instead, you just need to find a company like Plivo to provide you with easy to use APIs which can do loads of different jobs. There are loads of guides and other resources around the web which are dedicated to helping new users with these sorts of tools.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your website building dreams. For a lot of people, being able to put together a website without any code seems very far-fetched. In reality, though, this will be nice and easy, as long as you put the time into your research at the beginning.