Why You Should Prioritize Online Marketing

digitalmkt

Online marketing is a huge part of business these days, and if your company’s marketing strategies are not up to scratch, you could fall behind your competitors and potentially lose out on lots of sales. Any and all businesses have something to do with online marketing from small local companies posting about their products on Facebook to large corporations brainstorming their next online campaign. Whatever type of business you own you are bound to have some online presence. Granted, some small companies might not need to use online marketing strategies if they deal with customers face to face and are recommended by word of mouth. However, any company can up sales, production and get their brand out there by formulating a marketing strategy. Considering the power on online marketing can do so much for your company and in today’s world, not having an online presence that is successful could potentially damage your business. Read on for some online marketing ideas to get you started.

Get People Reviewing

Reviews can make a huge difference to people investing in your services and buying your products. As few as two negative reviews can deter customers from buying from you, which shows how important reviewing is to your business. This direct customer feedback shows a dialogue with your audience and shows that your business affects people’s lives in a positive way. Replying and talking to customers that may have had negative experiences can also be a good way to deal with negative feedback. Engaging with the customer about their experience, offering them solutions, their money back or advice on their dilemma can make you and your business look really good. If you are replying to customers and helping them with their problems, you look like a caring company that will help customers out with any concerns they have. Reviews are a great way to use customer written content to promote your business, and negative feedback can be used to shed the best light on you.

Update Your Website

Your website is the front of your shop, and having one that is ineffective or looks bad can deter people from using it. Coding and designing websites is an art, and so this is something that you need to hire someone to do. Making the design simple, sleek and easy to navigate is something every business should aim for. It can be useful to keep in mind the customer’s perspective and what they want from the site. If you want help with your website consider Praxent, a web app development company. Using conversational English that is free from jargon is the best way to inform customers and relate to them. You might have to use some specialized language depending on the product, but make it clear and simple. No one wants to read over-complicated language when looking at your website.

Good Quality Content

If you are new to online marketing, it is tempting to buy adds on various websites and assume customers will automatically come to your site and buy your product. This is not all it is cracked up to be though and is often expensive and not that beneficial for many businesses. Creating good quality online content is, however, a great way to get traffic to your site and people engaging with your business. A great way to do this is creating a blog on your website if you don’t have one. A blog is a way to get traffic to your site and a way you can subtlety promote your products and services. Writing useful content that is genuinely informative can be an amazing way to inform customers and highlight what you can offer them. This is not a sales pitch though! Write something customers want to read, and make the subject of the article insightful information that only you can offer as an expert in your field. Getting content out there and linking it back to your site is a great online marketing strategy to get customers to your site.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started with online marketing. Following some of these ideas could give your business the boost that it needs. Having an online marketing strategy is the best way to get your business ahead of competitors and get you noticed. Creating good quality content through a blog, using social media and making sure your website up to scratch is the best way to improve your business. Make sure you prioritize your online marketing and try some of these ideas out today.

Business Lessons Learned From The Experts

Startup Stock Photos

One of the first things that anyone learns in business is that they need to create their own pathways to success. Still, modern entrepreneurs can gain huge amounts of inspiration from the companies that came before them. Frankly, that’s something that your new startup should be very eager to do.

 Here are some of the most valuable lessons that have been taught by the experts and successful entrepreneurs before you. Use them to spearhead your progress for far greater results.

 Online Success Is Vital

 The world of business has undergone huge changes in recent times, and it’s largely thanks to the internet. Mark Zuckerberg, Pierre Omidyar, and Jeff Bezos are just three examples that show how the internet can accelerate a company’s progress. Meanwhile, there are various lesser-known success stories in virtually every field imaginable.

 Even offline companies can benefit greatly from having a strong web presence. This is due to the way in which consumers interact with companies and complete their research. Nowadays, tapping into the mobile market is an equally crucial factor. Get this right, and the entire venture will be destined for a far brighter future.

You Don’t Have To Target Everyone

Most new business owners assume that marketing their products to everyone is the best way to create the biggest audience. However, these companies that master social media underline the fact that narrowing your search can be the best solution. Essentially, success with your niche audience is far better than alienating everyone due to a lack of direction.

Local and global populations continue to grow. As such, even the increased level of competition shouldn’t stand in your way of achieving those dreams. Knowing exactly who your products and services are for should provide direction in a whole host of areas. Frankly, that leads us nicely into the next lesson too.

Consistency Is Key

Running a modern business is far too much work for one person. Therefore, it’s inevitable that you will have a number of people working for the business. Letting them show a little initiative is crucial. Sadly, letting them run wild with their own methods could be very damaging to the creative processes and customer experience.

In fact, Jozef Opdeweegh has created an entire guide on creating a company culture. This helps provide guidance for your employees, ensuring that clients gain consistency at all times. From branding to post-sale customer care, this can be hugely beneficial.   

Moving Forward Is Key

Many companies show us that innovation and evolution are crucial factors for sustained success. In truth, though, the need to avoid staying static is best illustrated by the failures. Look at Blockbuster and Kodak as the key examples. Accepting that client demands change is pivotal. On a similar note, continually striving for better is essential too.

Even something simple like improving the payment gateway or data protection can have a telling impact on the business. Likewise, finding ways to reduce the overheads so that the savings can be passed onto the client will put you in a far stronger position. Stand still in business, and the competition will leave you behind.

The Fatal Flaws Of DIY Marketing

question-mark-2492009_1280

A typical business owner tends to prioritise one issue over others, and that’s cost. Business owners are always looking for a way to reduce costs and make their model a little more financially friendly. By doing this, they can make sure that their business is competitive and that they don’t have to worry about another businesses being able to lower their prices, pushing them out of the market.

It’s for this reason that a number of business owners resort to DIY marketing. This can seem like it makes a lot of sense. Particularly, if you are a running a business solo without any extra employees. If you can avoid it, you probably don’t want to take on that extra paycheck because that’s going to weigh down on your business costs. But there are a few fatal flaws of a DIY marketing campaign that you must be aware of, so let’s get into it.

Google Penalties

The first issue you need to know about are Google Penalties. You might think that there’s no risk in completing your own marketing campaign, but you could not be more wrong. If you complete your own marketing, you may, accidentally, stumble onto blackhat SEO tactics including keyword stuffing. A lot of people think that a technique like a keyword stuffing is easy to avoid because it’s obvious what’s over the line, but that’s not true. A couple more keywords than you should have could be enough to push your business into dangerous territory, and you don’t want that. Keyword stuffing doesn’t necessarily mean that the content is unreadable. It just means that you’ve used a keyword enough times to get picked up by the Google Algorithm.

Wasted Opportunity

According to a top SEO agency, there are 40,000 searches on Google every minute. Let that statistic sink in for a moment because it’s important. Now, granted not all of these customers will be searching for your product but that still means you could earn potentially thousands of clicks a day if your website is high up enough on the SERPs.

The only way you’ll be able to do this is by using a professional service. You can try to get there without the help of an expert, but there’s a problem there that can’t be overlooked.

A Powerful Competition

You might decide to cut costs by avoiding paying for marketing but don’t think that your competition will follow suit. Big companies that are competing with you are more than happy to pay for extreme levels of marketing, adding fresh content to their site like clockwork and running this social media using professionals. Even individuals often have social media managers these days to make sure that each post has the greatest impact.

The mistake that people make is thinking that jobs like social media management are so easy and quick that they can be completed without assistance. However, tweeting in your spare time will never be the same as tweeting to build up leads and make an impression on the market.

We hope you see now why it is indeed in your best interest to invest in pro help when marketing your business.

Unexpected Ways You Can Get Ahead of The Competition in Business

pexels-photo-669615

To do well in business, you can’t just be focused on what you’re doing. You need to have your eye on the competition too- in a world saturated with businesses you’re always going to be competing for customers. If you want to truly be successful, you need to give people a reason to shop with you rather than hopping on over to a similar store or business. That way you will be turning a healthy profit while holding your share of the market and making money while giving people what they want. But these methods aren’t always obvious, and some of these things might not seem linked to your competition at all. We all know that being different, having a good unique selling point and keeping an eye on your competitors products and prices are all good ways to go about this. However, there are some others too- give them a try and you might well find that it helps you get ahead. Here are some ideas

Improve Your Office

When you’re thinking about getting ahead of your competition, chances are your first thought doesn’t go to your office. But actually, it’s a great place to start. Providing your workers with a pleasant space can help them to be more productive. More work done (and more efficiently) can mean turning more of a profit and generally boosting your business. It can also make you look more professional to clients and customers, and creating a good impression could well lead to more sales. Light, neutral walls, good quality furniture and equipment, professional signage and lovely green plants will all make for a pleasing office space that most people will enjoy. A well-designed office simply shouldn’t be an afterthought, and if you’re looking to get ahead of your competitors then it’s well worth looking into.

Sell Worldwide

Going global and selling worldwide allows you to enter foreign markets, and generally allows your products and services to be available to as many places across the globe as possible. This allows you to make more sales and reach a wider audience. However it can be tricky, and some elements can be a logistical nightmare. First of all, you will also need to expand your production services to be able to cope with a global demand, as your company will need to be ready to tackle the extra workload involved? You will more than likely need more employees, managers, staff in general. Not to mention extra departments in your company. You will need to secure reliable supply lines, and look into things like shipping containers as a way to transport your items in bulk. However once you’ve worked out the kinks and things are running smoothly, it’s a chance to be turning a much bigger profit and kicking your competitors to the kerb.

Gain Good Reviews

If a customer is undecided between two businesses, checking out both of their reviews is an easy way for them to make their mind up. If you have lots of glowing reviews over a good time frame, this can really help to build up confidence in the customer’s mind and sway them into shopping with you instead of your competitor. Unfortunately you can’t give incentives for positive reviews, however what you can do is simply ask people. While some people will leave a review off their own back many won’t, but just asking them nicely can be enough for them to do so. If you have a facebook business page there’s a section you can add to allow customer reviews. Otherwise, third party review sites such as Reevoo and Trustpilot are very well trusted. Make sure you’re providing excellent service every time, as well as responding to any queries or complaints. Complaints can be frustrating, however they give you an insights as to where things are going wrong and can allow you to improve. Make the necessary adjustments so that you’re not failing customers in the same way again.

Improve Your Online Presence

The big companies on the world have got on board with what apps can do for their business long ago. However lots of smaller and mid sized businesses are still living in the stone age in this respect. And it makes no sense, we all know how we’re glued to our smartphones, and now research has even shown that more sales are made on phones and tablets than on laptops and computers. This just shows how things have moved on in the modern world, and as a company owner, is this something you think you can afford to overlook? Since many of your competitors won’t have a business app right now, use this as a way to get ahead of them. They will catch on to this later on, but for now it gives you time to build your customer base and generally get ahead. Have your website redesigned if it needs it too. This will be the first thing many customers see of your business and so it needs to make a good impression. And if they’re clicking around through similar stores, it makes sense that they’re likely to eventually settle on one that looks aesthetically pleasing. It might not be the number one thing the decision is based on, but it certainly helps to sway things in your favor. If your site looks amateur it could well put customers off, as they may assume the rest of your business is just as unprofessional. You then lose a customer to one of your competitors. The way you present yourself online is crucial so be sure that this is something you’re getting right.

These are just a few of the more unexpected ways you can boost your chances of customers choosing you over your competitors, and getting ahead in general. Focus on doing great business yourself, but keep a watchful eye over your shoulder to make sure your competitors aren’t doing things better and taking customers, or even  doing something that renders your own company obsolete.

Marketing Bungles That Are Costing You Business Money

dollar-2891819_1280

Marketing is meant to bring in business and up your profit through increased sales. However, get it wrong, and it can end up costing your company money! To prevent this from happening take a look at the most common marketing bungles below so you can steer your business well clear of them.  

Forgetting the data collection

Marketing is no longer just about getting your product in front of potential customers. In fact, a large part of any modern marketing strategy will be to collect data both on how the customers are responding your campaign, as well as their contact details.

Collecting contact details, in fact, is a hugely important part of a successful marketing campaign. This is because it is these that can be turned into warm leads, as the individual conceded has already shown an interest in your product. Something that as any salesperson knows is far easier to convert into a sale that will make you money than a cold lead.

Ignoring personalization

Ignoring personalization in marketing is a mistake that many companies are still making. They are still working on the old school assumption that the more impressions you can get in front of people the better. However, this isn’t always the case. You can bombard people with images and slogans all day long, but if they don’t find anything relevant to themselves or their life, they will discount them without a second thought.

That’s where the personalization of marketing content comes in. It’s a way of appealing directly a group or individuals that are picked on the strength of their demographic to be the most likely to want or need your product. Something that can make your marketing much more effective in terms of conversion, even though you may be reaching fewer people overall.

Not tailoring content to your industry

Not all fields and industry are alike, and more business would do well to remember this in their marketing campaigns. After all, the content and approach you take for a breakfast cereal are not going to work in a situation where the main product is luxury perfume or vice-versa.

That is why it can be valuable to your business to keep your marketing methods appropriate for the industry that you are in. To do this, you can work with a specialist like Berbay Marketing & PR that have extensive experience in particular industries such as finance and law. Something that gives you the best chance of finding an effective and appropriate approach.

Alternatively, you can also do some research on your closest competitors and see how they are running their marketing campaigns. Although, it is worth bearing in mind that you don’t want to come out with something too similar as the possibility of confusion in the eyes of potential customers is too strong.

Relying too heavily on influencers

Influencers are the big dogs of the marketing world, right? It’s them that everyone listens to and if you have their stamp of approval then your product is guaranteed to sell, or is it? Actually, experts predict that the power of online influencers will sharply decline in 2018, making investing a fortune in sponsorship, collaborations, and free products for review a bad idea.

Instead, focus your marketing funds on tech solutions such as automation and increased personalize as noted above, as these can help you generate profits more effectively.  

Being too traditionally minded

Last of all, a mistake that some firms are making, and that is costing them big, is their overreliance on the traditional forms of marketing. Forms such as TV, radio, and cinema adverts, as well as direct mailings, and newspaper and magazine articles.

It’s not that these methods don’t work at all. It’s just that there are more effective ways of spending your marketing budget. Something that you will need to keep an eye on if you want to make a profit.

For example, the open rate of direct mailing is super low, but nearly everyone will open and read a text, even if it is sent from a company that they have not heard of before.

Even email marketing isn’t as strong as it used to be, as most people have spam filters and can easily delete items if they don’t have incredibly effective taglines in the title. However, buying ad space through instant auctions that match the type of customer to your demographic are much more likely to end in a conversion.

Something that means even if you are not willing to go entirely digital in your marketing approach, using both will help you to get the best returns for the money you invest.

How Can You Up Your Website Game This Year?

pexels-photo-205316 (1)

When you look at your website, what do you see? Do you get excited? Do you feel as if you’re meeting all of your marketing objectives? Do you think your customers have everything they need when they’re on site? If not, then maybe it’s time to up your website game. Of course, not every website can be perfect, but it should always be your aim to get as close to that as possible. And we’re not just talking about the look of your site, but the functionality too. Because your web functionality is a huge part of the sales and marketing process. Your customers need to be able to use your website and get the most out of it. But how will you know that they are?

Well, the first part of upping your game is going to be all about your customers and what they want. We’re going to take a look at some ideas, but you really do need to look at your analytics first to figure out where your website might be lacking. From here, you’re then going to be able to work on the key areas that can be improved to make the most difference going forward. But once you’ve taken a look at those analytics and you know where the issues lie, here are seven ideas on how you can turn that around this year.

Focus On White Space

It’s often hard to look at your website objectively, but you really need to do this in terms of the design. Because something that looks cool to you, may be irritating to your customers. To avoid this, the best option for your design is to focus on white space. When you have lots of space in your design, it looks clear and functional. Your customers will be able to navigate around the site more easily as your menu options should also be a lot clearer (an extra hint here).

Create A Featured Products Section

If you want to work on your product sections a little more, then why not think about adding in a featured products section. By working with a software company, you could come up with something really cool. Whether it’s a plugin that you’ve made specifically, or a section of the site that allows you to showcase certain items, not only can this be a really cool new feature of the site, but it may also help to push your sales too.

Work On Your Account Area

Next up, you’re going to want to give your members’ area a little attention. When it comes to the ‘your account’ area of the site, you’re going to want to make this exciting for your customers. And you have a really great opportunity to increase your sales in the process too. By making this area more exciting with personalized recommendations and features, you’ll be able to keep your customers interested and buying your products.

Offer A Loyalty Program

As an extension of that, or something in its own right, you should also think about offering a loyalty program. Loyalty programs where your customers can collect points and redeem rewards are an excellent way to not only keep your customers coming back, but to increase your engagement with them too.

Launch An App

From here, you may also want to think about what you’re offering in the mobile front. Because if you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, you may be missing out on a large chunk of custom. Not only should you think about having a site that works well on different devices, but an app too. With a specific app, you can target your mobile customers and make shopping easier for them too.

Improve Your Content

How is your content looking at the moment? Because if it’s not engaging or interesting or really getting the results you need, then you’re going to want to work on that. Improving the web content that you have is so important to not only engaging your customers, but getting them on site and keeping them there too.

Work In New Tools

Finally, you should definitely think about the new and exciting tools that your business could use. There are a ton of must-have features that every website should have, so if you haven’t got those covered off yet, now’s the time. But you may also want to speak to your developer about different software applications that you can use to really spice up your website features and see improved results.

Why Brand Is Your Most Important Tool

coffee-smartphone-desk-pen

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.

The Different Search Result Types Your Business Must Be Aware Of

sgimage

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.

Streamlining Your Business For Growth

pexels-photo-533189 (1)

You’ve worked hard to get people to back and invest in your idea, you’ve grown your business, and now it’s up and running generating a steady stream of income. Now it’s time to maximize your profits by streamlining your business model. Below are three ways of saving some money in your running costs to help increase your profit margins.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is by far the most popular way of trimming some of the fat in your budget, and there are many different ways of utilizing these services. The most usual departments of a business people outsource are HR and IT. Filling vacancies in your business is an incredibly important process to dedicate your energies to, mainly because every day that goes by with an unfilled vacancy is robbing your company of efficiency, growth, and money. By employing a recruitment agency, you not only get a top-rate service that will be able to fill your vacancies quickly, but they will have extensive networks and contacts to ensure that you are getting the best possible candidates in the market at that time. IT services fill a similar role in that they help you to avoid your company being slowed down by inefficient computer networks and viral attacks. Another outsourcing option not many people know about is your buying network. If you regularly source merchandise or parts from several different suppliers, it can be very time-consuming to negotiate and liaise with them all. Companies like leelinesourcing.com allow you to consolidate your buying process, meaning that you only have one company to deal with instead of ten. All this means that you have more time to put into growing your business and keeping your customers happy.

Online vs Brick-and-mortar

Many people cling to the notion of a brick-and-mortar business as it can seem more ‘real’ and add an air of credibility. Whilst that is all well and good, if the online section of your business is bringing in more than your store, it may be time to rethink your business model. There are a huge amount of overhead costs associated with a traditional brick-and-mortar business that could be needlessly eating into your profit margin. Every outgoing cost must be measured against the return on investment; if your store is costing more than it brings in, it’s time to do the right thing and pull the plug. Switching to an online-only model will dramatically reduce your spending and allow you to focus more on growing your global brand.

Reduce plastic and paper usage

The world is slowly shifting its priorities to become more eco-friendly, and the public is increasingly beginning to favor those providers who share their values. By making a conscious and public effort to reduce your carbon footprint by minimizing wastage, you will be building a positive reputation that you are a brand that cares and is worth investing in. Not only that, but reduced wastage also means reduced cost, which means increased profit. It’s a win, win scenario.

There you have it, three simple ways to streamline your business to help foster some continued growth. Running a company is like being a gardener; sometimes you have to trim back some of the plants to allow the garden as a whole to bloom.

Have You Considered Reselling As A Business Option?

shoes-696830_1280

Entrepreneurs these days are making significant profits by setting up reseller businesses. A reseller is someone who purchases goods at a low price with the intention of reselling at a profit. Goods range from preloved items sourced from auctions and car boot sales to buying surplus stock from wholesalers.

Many people enter the world of reselling through selling unwanted items on ebay and other online auction sites. Once people realize that they can gain significant profit from their own items they begin to source items from different places to provide them with stock.

Develop your USP

It is possible to develop your own niche within reselling. Some reseller’s choose to concentrate on sourcing and selling retro games and consoles, as the whole retro gaming industry is currently very popular. Another popular niche market is vintage clothing. Certain era’s can fetch huge profit if you can manage to source your stock at a reasonable price. Whatever you choose to sell, It is best to sell what you’re interested in, you will then develop an “eye” for what will attract the highest profit margin.

Industry knowledge

If you have previous experience of working within different industries, you may be able to utilize your knowledge by sourcing second hand machinery, cars and commercial vehicles from auctions. Many auctioneers offer commercial truck resale at affordable prices, you could then resell at a profit. Previous knowledge would be advantageous as you would know what to look for in the commercial products and vehicles.

Your knowledge will help in the re selling process too, as you will be able to provide useful, inside information to your customers. Many new startup businesses will be looking to source equipment and vehicles at reasonable prices, so you have a ready made market. You will also have industry connections that you could utilize to your advantage in both sourcing the goods and reselling them.

Market trends

Be aware of market trends and “hot” products of the moment. Every Christmas there is a list of “must have” toys. If you can find out what these toys are likely to be and buy a large volume of them at the right time, you could be in profit. There will be times when you buy items that won’t sell, as long as you resell them at the same cost of buying them, there will be no losses. As in all businesses the larger profits made on certain items will counteract any small losses made.

Selling outlets.

Sales can be made in a number of ways and can be done entirely online by using auction sites such as ebay. Facebook is also a good selling outlet and if you are selling a niche product you can tailor who sees your items by joining sites dedicated to people interested in what you are selling.

Offline selling outlets could be newspapers adverts, Gumtree, market stalls or even shop premises. Recent years have seen a number of preloved clothing and toy stores appearing on the high street.

Everyone loves a bargain, so you have a captive audience. Just remember to do your maths carefully when working out profit margins. Ensure you take into account fees from selling, listing and distributing your products.

10 Digital Marketing Acronyms Every Entrepreneur Should Know

marketing-image

As an entrepreneur, you can be forgiven for wanting to manage every aspect of a new startup. Your new venture is your brainchild, after all, and you want to do what you can to see it grow and prosper. But sometimes, doing what you can means letting other people do things for you.

One of the areas where experience matters more than enthusiasm is digital marketing. There are many reasons why hiring a digital marketing expert is the right choice for your startup. The bottom line is that they’re better at it than you. Plus, you get to focus your attention on the areas where you can contribute the most.

When you hire a digital marketing expert, you’ll learn that they speak funny. The majority of important marketing notions, concepts, and activities are referred to using acronyms. Since the success of your start greatly depends on your ability to communicate effectively, here are some explanations of the most important acronyms in digital marketing.

1. SEO — Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a group of practices for improving your website’s visibility in search engine results. The activities that fall under SEO include choosing a good host, researching keywords, optimizing website performance, creating high-quality content, and link building. When done well, SEO will ensure your website had a healthy stream of organic traffic.

2. SEM — Search Engine Marketing

As opposed to SEO and organic traffic, search engine marketing is concerned with getting you paid traffic. Instead of using optimization practices to improve search engine visibility, in SEM you use paid ads that appear in search results. Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Ads, and Bing Ads are the most popular search engine marketing platforms.

3. PPC — Pay per Click

Pay per click is an advertising model where you pay a certain amount of money each time someone clicks on your advertisement. The cost per click has an acronym of its own, CPC. However, some people will use PPC and CPC interchangeably. Search engine marketing is a form of PPC advertising.

4. KPI — Key Performance Indicator

Key performance indicators weren’t invented for digital marketing. However, digital technologies provided marketers with the opportunity to gather an enormous amount of data. They use that data to derive indicators of the success of their online activities, or KPIs. You should also know that KPIs are useful as long as you know which ones to choose for which activities. Choosing the wrong KPIs can lead you astray.

5. CTA — Call to Action

Website visitors will sometimes need encouragement to perform certain actions. If you want them to order something, subscribe to your newsletter, or visit a certain page, you use calls-to-action or CTAs. A CTA is a combination of copy and visuals that tell the visitors what you want them to do. CTAs are usually buttons or links on a website. They use short, assertive copy, such as “Order Now!”. They are also made to stand out on the page and be easily visible.

6. B2C — Business-to-Consumer

Business-to-consumer and its relative business-to-business (B2C and B2B) refer to your customers. If your business sells products or services to consumers than it’s B2C. If it sells to other businesses, it’s B2B. In marketing, the activities you undertake are dependent on your customers. B2C and B2B marketing might use different channels, different types of content, and different tones.

7. CTR — Clickthrough Rate

The click through rate is a handy metric that describes the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. The CTR tells you the share of people who performed an action out of the total of people who had the opportunity to do so. For example, the click through rate for a landing page CTA is the number of people who clicked on the CTA divided by the number of people who visited the page.

8. UX — User Experience

User experience, or UX, is a term that describes the users’ experience when interacting with your digital assets. UX is important if you want your customers to be satisfied. To develop a good UX, you need to adopt the point of view of your customers, and then build your assets around what they would want. At the very least, make sure your assets are easy to navigate and display on mobile devices. That way, the UX you offer won’t be disastrous.

9. CRM — Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management is a term mostly used in the context of tools you can use to manage customer relationships. These tools allow you to track all sorts of things about the customers. The basic ones handle contact information. The advanced ones can track customer interactions, send personalized emails, and leverage geolocation to improve targeting.

10. CRO — Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization is a process of analysis and improvement of conversion rates. If you want to improve conversion rates of a landing page, for example, you can try using different calls-to-action for better results. Or, you can place the existing CTA at a different place. You can also optimize form length, the copy on the landing page, as well as the visuals. Plenty of things affect conversion rates, and most of them can be optimized for better performance.

 

Entice People Into Your Business Without Leaving Your Home

pexels-photo-545331

Whether you run your business from home, or you are just keen to carry your work over into your home life, you might be keen to know how you can possibly improve the standing of your business without leaving the home. We all know that marketing is an essential part of any business’ processes, but is it really possible to engage with your marketing in such a way as to make it truly worthwhile – all without leaving the home? As it happens, with the right approach and understanding of digital marketing, you might be surprised at just how much you can actually achieve. In this post, we are going to discuss that, as well as some ideas for what you can do to improve your digital marketing in the future.

Setting Up The Website

If we are to start with the basics here, the number one thing to consider is that you really do need to have a decent website set up. You want to be able to link people back to this site again and again, and to do that you need to make sure that it is a site you can be proud of,. In fact, we could go as far as to say that a decently constructed website makes the difference between successful digital marketing and marketing which is more likely to fail. As long as you get the website right, you know that you are generally going to be on the right track, so make sure you get this down first. But what does a good website consist of?

One of the main ingredients of a good website is that it is clear, bold and concise, and displays fairly and obviously what the business is all about. If you are not creating an immediate impression in this way, then you can’t be sure that your website is really doing what it is intended to do. It also needs to be easy to navigate around and to use, so that you will not be putting any potential visitors off with the design. As long as you get that right, you can be sure that you are generally on the right path. Of course, websites which really excel will also have a range of other fantastic characteristics, and it is worth paying attention to what others are doing if you really want to ensure that yours is as flawless as possible. As long as you are happy with your website, you will know that you are starting to approach your digital marketing in the right kind of way.

Drawing Visitors In

It’s not enough just to have a website, of course – you also need to find a way to actually draw people into it and visit it on a regular basis. This can be surprisingly difficult to get right, but it is the kind of thing which you really can’t overlook if you are to keep your business at the top as much as possible. Fortunately, there are countless different techniques and methods for keeping people coming into your website, so you can be sure that you are going to keep the interest up. Ensuring that the website is well-made is an essential first step ,as we discussed above. But you will also want to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to bring new people in too, and that means resorting to the likes of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to ensure that that is done right.

How can you be sure that your SEO is doing what it needs to be doing? One of the best ways is to hire the help of a professional, as they will be able to make sure that your website really is set up to draw people in as well as possible. If you go to the likes of Monkee-Boy Digital Marketing, you will find that this can make a huge difference to how many visitors your website gets, as you are essentially outsourcing your SEO to those who really know what they are doing. You can’t know just how valuable great SEO is until you have got it just right, so make sure that you consider this when you are trying to improve your own digital marketing tactics. What’s more, you can do all of this without ever leaving your home, especially given the fact that you will be utilizing outside help.

Social Media

One of the best ways you can possibly spend your spare time is on social media, as when used properly this can constitute one of the most useful ways of potentially marketing your business. You do need to know how to use it properly, however so that you can be sure that you are doing it in the right way. But as long as you do, there is no reason that your social media use can’t help to keep the interest in your business going strong.

The trick to getting this right is to find a good balance, in terms of comparing your output to the amount that you try to link back to your website or promote your business. You don’t want to spam anyone, but you do want to make sure that you are actually getting the results you want – and that means knowing what you are doing when it comes to using social media. If you spend your spare time doing this, you will be amazed at how quickly it makes a profound difference to your business on the whole. You might even be able to generate some new leads this way, and all just by using a website and tool which is absolutely free to use. You might even find that you end up enjoying this process as well, and if so you can do it all the more in the future and help your business out even more.

With the right approach, you can achieve a lot from home, and hopefully end up with your business having more and more customers in no time.

Business Boost – 5 Things Your Business is Doing Wrong and How to Fix Them

woman-hand-desk-office

Every business has its ups and downs. The down periods might last a week, a month, or even a year. However, while temporary losses are no cause for concern, long-term downturns are. You might believe your business runs like a well-oiled machine, with processes in place that tick along just nicely. However, a few words with your team might tell you otherwise. In reality, it might be those very business processes that you employ that are contributing significantly to poor business performance. Here are five things your business might be doing wrong, and how to fix them.

Outdated or Inefficient Software

When you first set up your business, you probably weren’t thinking of streamlining or integrating your software systems. You likely selected the preferred solution for each specific task, or simply did it manually. That strategy might have operated fine at first, but as your business begins to flourish, it can become a hindrance rather than a help. By choosing to streamline your processes with ERP software solutions or business management or accounting software systems, you’re able to organize production, distribution, accounting, performance, asset management, and more. All this can be achieved in one convenient system that provides unparalleled visibility over all your operations and a reliable flow of timely, accurate data on which to base crucial business decisions and strategic direction.

Inefficient IT Infrastructure

Traditionally, business paperwork lay in cumbersome file cabinets that took up too much space. Thankfully, we all moved on to electronic data storage on in-house servers. That required a team of

 IT experts to manage. That model has been turned on its head with the advent of cloud computing and data storage. Cloud servers, Internet-based systems that are accessed remotely, are continually growing in popularity, efficiency, capacity and safety. In fact, they’re expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 19 percent by 2020.

Manual Processes

Many businesses are now operating seamlessly online, but is your business dragging the chain? If your staff is drowning in an endless paperwork and inefficient processes that eat up their productive resources, it might be time to evaluate where you’re going wrong. By now, you should be computerizing almost everything, including payroll, finances, and reports. If old Gladys in accounts is still manually calculating your profit and loss reports per month, you might want to reconsider how things are running within your organisation.

Redundant Marketing Strategies

If your business is still relying on old-school marketing strategies, then it’s likely you’re falling behind the competition. Even if you have a website, keeping it updated with fresh content and humming along with good quality traffic is a challenge. A well-functioning, efficient digital marketing strategy is no longer a luxury that businesses can afford not to have. It’s an absolute necessity in an age when the internet and mobile technology completely dominate the marketing world.

Poor Sales Management

Without sales, your company will slowly starve itself out of existence. It’s a cut-throat game and finding god sales staff is a challenge. Even if you have good people out on the coalface, giving them the tools that they need and then maintaining the right level of healthy oversight is a must for any manager. If you don’t already have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool in place, you need to consider it seriously. There is no better way for salespeople to organise and information about every lead and opportunity at their fingertips and for management to gain visibility about the progress of their staff’s efforts.

No one sets out to sabotage their own company’s success, but failure to keep your finger on the pulse of updates in your line of work can spell the end of your profits. Make changes, consult experts, and watch as the money starts rolling in once again.

 

How You Can Make More Money as a Small Business

pexels-photo-669615

When you make an investment as a small business, you need to make sure that you understand how long it is going to be before you make a profit. If you are not sure how you can make an investment or if you want to know everything there is to know about investing then all you have to do is a little bit of research and have a small amount of capital to start with.

The Salary you Pay Yourself

When you start up a business, you may find that the company that you have never generates enough for you to live on. Other times you may find that it generates just enough for you and your family to live on, and this is for most people, the definition of success. You have your own career, your own business, and at the end of the day, you only have yourself to answer to. You need to carry on growing your business until you have enough income to support other employees.

The Income from Profits

When you have become successful as a small business, there may be some profit after you pay yourself your wage. The owner can then decide to invest these profits. You can do this in an attempt to expand your company or you may even use the money to build your own savings. If you want to get the best result out of your income however then one way for you to make more money would be for you to invest in stocks and commodities. Read more at: https://commodity.com/ if you want to find out how you could benefit from this while also finding out how you could get started for yourself.

Your Investment

So as you can see above, you first need to develop your business before you go on to invest. Once you have this kind of capital, there are various methods that you can use to make more money. One way would be for you to acquire real estate and then lease it out to other businesses. A lot of successful companies have done this and they usually control their real estate from within the firm as well, as opposed to selling it on to other landlords. This is especially the case if you purchase a business space but don’t necessarily need it at this moment in time. You can rent it out until the time does come for you to use it in a couple of years and you can also make money from any of your previously owned properties.

This is just one way you can make extra money. If you want, you can even provide loans to other businesses, charging interest as you do. This can be done through third party providers where the appropriate channels are monitored, and this is a brilliant way for you to capitalize on any money that you have coming in at the moment but is not being used. If this is not suitable for you however, then stocks and commodities are certainly the way to go, and you can invest as much or as little as you want along the way.