Is It Possible To Make Your Ecommerce Store Even More Successful?

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Maybe you believe that you already have a wildly successful ecommerce store. However, there are usually ways you can improve, even if you don’t seem them yet. Aiming to improve consistently is always one of the most important things about being an entrepreneur! Let’s take a look at how you could perhaps make your ecommerce store even more successful:

Take A Long, Hard Look At Your Content

The content on your ecommerce store is going to make a massive difference as to whether you’re making big sales or not. If you’re using titles and/or descriptions lifted from the manufacturer, this isn’t going to do you any favors! You need original content. You need content that will make others feel compelled to buy from you. You need to go into detail, be helpful, and even add a bit of personality in there! You can’t be too thin on your content, but don’t be tempted to stuff keywords in either. Make sure you’re valuable.

Optimize More For Mobile

If you haven’t already, optimizing for mobile is a must. Mobile browsing and shopping is quickly taking over desktop browsing and shopping, so make sure your site is responsive and optimized.

Make The Checkout Process Super Simple
You have to make the checkout process really simple if you want more success. The second somebody hits a bump in the buying process, they could decide to leave and buy elsewhere. It’s just that easy for people to change their minds! You can learn more about how mobile browsing and shopping is affecting ecommerce in the infographic below.


Credit to Digital Agency

Online Business Made Simple For Silver Entrepreneurs

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Did you know that more and more people over 60 are setting up their own business these days? There is one main reason for this. Lots of people who worked hard throughout their careers can often find it hard to adjust to retired life, and they need something to occupy them. This, along with the fact that the Internet now makes it easy for anyone to set up a company these days, is why entrepreneurship is now a popular pastime with the older generations. In fact, there are so many retired entrepreneurs now that there is even a nickname for them: silver entrepreneurs!

However, all is not simple for this elderly age group. Most business is carried out online nowadays, and as many retirees aren’t too hot with computers and tech, there are lots of online benefits they are missing. It also means they are failing to do some very basic online tips and tricks that will really help their new companies take off.

To help all you silver entrepreneurs out there, here’s a quick rundown of some of the things that many people neglect or forget about their online business. Make sure you don’t do the same!

Forgetting About Social Media

The majority of people have social media accounts, whether they are on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. And you need to get your new company out there on social media too so that you can attract all the social media users to your brand. In fact, setting up social media profiles for your company should be one of the first things you do for your business. Don’t worry if you don’t know the difference between a tweet and a gif, you can always hire a social media manager to look after these accounts for you!

Ignoring SEO Best Practices

There are so many silver entrepreneurs who get confused about Internet search engines and SEO, that they just choose to ignore all the best practices. But that’s a terrible idea, especially when you could outsource all this work to a company who offers SEO services and content marketing management. But, simply put, good SEO can help your company website rise through Google’s rankings and get to the top spot. That means, lots of web users will quickly find you. However, bad SEO will leave your company trailing behind on the tenth page of results…

Not Getting Mobile Ready

As well as everyone being on social media, you will also find that most people are always on their smartphones these days. In fact, smartphones have recently overtaken laptops as the device that most people use to view the web. So, it is crucial that your website and company blog are mobile ready. Otherwise, they just won’t look good on a small phone screen. Most website hosting sites now come with templates that can help you design a slick mobile-responsive site. If you’re having trouble, though, you can always hire a designer to help you out.

There’s no reason for your company to fail if you’re a silver entrepreneur! Just follow these tips!

Develop Your Brand – and Protect It.

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Your brand is what makes up the identity of your company. This identity, or personality, is essential to ensuring that you stand out in the world of business. Developing your brand requires quite a lot of work and involves many different pursuits. From commercials to the way you conduct yourself online, there are a lot of different aspects that will affect how effective your branding is.

Developing your brand is one thing, but making sure it actually remains in the public eye, as well as ensuring it’s legally protected, is something else. We’re going to take a quick look at the considerations you have to make if you really want to make an impact with your brand.

Your name

A lot of budding entrepreneurs actually get lost in brand development before they’ve even decided on a name! They love to design logos and slogans, but may have nothing more than a vague idea about what their company is going to do. Businesses with trendy names are going to have an easier time with brand development; it will also be easier to design the visual elements such as your logo. Make sure you have a strong business name – then ensure that you can get a website domain titled appropriately. Without a domain name that matches your business name, you’ll have a harder time in brand development.

The visuals

The power of a good logo should never be underestimated. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that any old thing will do; that what makes the logo truly memorable is what your company actually achieves. This can be a useful mindset up to a point – after all, a great logo won’t make up for bad business practices. But a memorable logo is essential for powerful branding. Don’t assume that your logo has to be elaborate or painfully simple (although the latter tends to be preferable!). Get some design tips from the expert before you start sketching your ideas.

Trademarking

If you don’t have legal protection for the elements of your brand, then it’s pretty much open season on those assets. Even if your name and logo are ridiculously unique, that still doesn’t mean there’s no chance that some other company or individual will use those assets to their advantage. Never assume that you don’t need to trademark these assets. Applying for a trademark, or working directly with a trademark attorney, is an essential part of protecting the brand that you’re developing.

Being proactive

You need to be proactive when it comes to furthering the reach of your brand and ensuring that it isn’t being misused by others. You also need to ensure that your reputation – a big but invisible part of your branding – is managed and protected. This may mean occasionally Googling your own business name to ensure that your reputation isn’t being sullied in some news article or unfair review! As for being proactive in the further reach of your brand, social media is where it’s at. This isn’t just where you go to help your content go viral; it’s where you develop the personality that the public sees.

Top Payment Tools to Organize your Startup

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It’s no secret; there is an abundance of tools you can use to get your startup on its feet. Just like you can find a new startup around every corner nowadays, you’ll just as easily find even more tools recommended to succeed. Here is a simple, straightforward guide to finding the best payment tools for your business. Whether you’re looking to generate invoices, manage your accounting, or hoping to manage your employee’s expenses, we’ve got you covered.

Invoicing tool: Due

A good invoicing tool needs to fit seamlessly into your system, as well as provide a good time tracking system and a large database. Due does all of this and more. With more than 100 currency options and limitless invoicing, easy integration with PayPal and other companies, options to pay directly and a flat-rate transaction payments fee. It’s free of charge, too, and should fit the budget of your startup entirely.

Transactions: Go contactless

We always have our mobile phones with us, and if you want to make your customer’s lives as easy as possible, you should consider joining the contactless party. It speeds up the transactions so that you can process more low-value sales in a day, as well as catering to the needs of those who matters the most to your business. NFC Direct is a good option if you want convenience and innovative products – which is just the kind of trend startups all over the world seems to be in the mood for.

Although being contactless doesn’t promise an organized accounting system, it is an excellent way to stay up to date on what your customers want: convenience and security. Read more about how to keep your customers happy here.

Company Expenses: Tallie

Keeping track of your employee’s expenses is easy with this software. Scan receipts and calculate travel costs, and even see it detect expenses that have been duplicated as well as reject and approve expenses that employees submit. If you don’t know what’s going on inside of your business, you’ll struggle with staying on top of the rest – as we are aware of, one of the main reasons entrepreneurs fail is when they don’t have a proper plan in place for allocating resources.

Website Check out: ShopIntegrator

If you’re after that clean and seamless look for your website check out, ShopIntegrator is right up your alley. It blends in with the look of your site by allowing you to design it yourself, making your site look a lot more professional. It’s more to it than that, though, as it is also compatible with mobile devices and accepts credit, debit and even PayPal as payment options.

Interestingly, most of the top recommended tools for startups were startups themselves, so it seems like the trust goes both ways. Even though the market is tough, and the chances for success might be slim, give yourself a good start with a few of these payment tools. It makes it easier to manage your business, and having the right tools will put your startup ahead of your competition.

Create An On Point Brand Identity With Quirky Visuals

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Any business owner worth their salt knows that when it comes to a brand’s success, creating an on point identity is crucial. The issue is that a lot of new business owners aren’t sure how to achieve this, and often aren’t willing to spend time getting their brand image just right. There are various factors that impact brand image, one of the major ones of which is the visuals that you have in place and how you use them. The question that a lot of business owners struggle with is knowing how to get their visuals just right, as well as what areas to focus on. To make this a little easier for you, below are some tips and suggestions for creating the perfect brand identity that will help to carry your venture to where it needs to go.

Audit your brand

The first step to creating an on point brand identity is to understand where your brand fits into the market. What you need to do is know your marketplace and understand as much as you possibly can about your target customers. To do this, what you need to do is audit your brand. This means taking the time to do in-depth target market research, to determine as much as you can about your customer base so that you can use this research to aid how you create that perfect brand identity. As part of your brand audit, what you need to do is not only research your target audience but also how appealing your visuals are to them. Take your product packaging, for instance, doing packaging market research could help you to determine whether it appeals to your target audience. Or, take your logo, for example, incorporating this into your market research could be a good idea, as that way you can determine whether or not your logo appeals to your customer base.

Social media is your strongest ally

When it comes to your branding, social media is probably your strongest ally. That might sound like a strange thing to say but believe it or not, it’s true. In terms of creating a certain brand image, the right visuals are crucial – from your logo to your stock images – and sharing those visuals is just as important. That’s why social media can be your strongest ally if you use it effectively, that is. The key to using social media in an effective way to improve brand identity is about sharing images that show your brand in the best light and have a professional look to them. It’s also about using social media to connect with the right people via tagging them and using hashtags. Take a look at how your competitors use social media and take inspiration from them.

Don’t be afraid to be creative

One mistake that far too many businesses make is failing to be creative when it comes to their visuals and branding. The fact is that to have a successful brand your business needs to stand out, which is why getting creative when it comes to your branding is so important. If you’re not sure how to work in a more creative way, it could be worth contacting a design agency and working with them to ensure that your visuals are as quirky, eye-catching, and unique as possible.

There you have it, everything that you need to know to create an on point brand identity complete with quirky and eye-catching visuals.

3 Reasons Your Small Business Idea Simply Isn’t Good Enough

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Do you have a small business idea but aren’t sure if it will work? Or, have you started a small business and are seeing a lot of struggles? If so, this article is perfect for you. Below, you will find three reasons your small business idea simply isn’t good enough:

Someone’s Already Got There Before You

Picture this; you have a really great business idea, and you start getting excited about it. You can tell right away that it’s a brilliant idea, and you can’t wait to pitch it to friends for feedback. You’ve run the numbers and come up with the costs of starting the business, and it all seems fantastically achievable. Then, you pitch the idea, and everyone glances at each other awkwardly to tell you it’s already been done before. There’s already a business that offers exactly what you offer and is already successful.

This is an issue many entrepreneurs have. If some other business has already got there ahead of you, it makes your idea less amazing. Now, you have a business idea that’s clearly good, but it will be harder to work with as there’s a company doing it already. What you need to do is go back to your think tank and start coming up with ideas to tweak your idea, so it’s set apart from what’s already out there. This will make your idea great as you offer a similar business, but with extra things that make it better.

Your Products Cost Too Much To Make

It’s all well and good having an idea for a product that you think will sell like crazy. In theory, everything seems good, and there is a gap in the market for your idea. However, in reality, you make your products and find they cost too much. As a result, you have to sell them for a price that’s less than appealing, making it hard to sell.

To solve this problem, you need to go back to the drawing board. Before you sell your products, get some rapid prototyping done to view examples of each product. Take a look at them and figure out ways you can reduce the costs. Perhaps you should use different materials? Or, look for alternative manufacturing methods? You have to do something, as your current idea is too costly to work.

You’re Not Thinking About The Future

The problem with a lot of small business ideas is that they’re only focused on the present. Someone comes up with an idea that looks great on paper, but where will it be in a few years time? It’s all well and good capitalizing on a current trend to try and make money, but you need to think about the future of your business too.

Whenever you come up with a business idea, you should have a clear idea of what will happen in the future. Even if that plan is to make as much money as possible, then sell the business and start a new one. As long as you’ve thought about the future, it will be okay. Just don’t start a business without any idea of what will happen next.

Take a look at these three reasons and consider what you can change about your idea to make it better and see more success.

Making The Right Impression: 3 Ways To Impress New Clients

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Business owners in all industries will want to make the right impression when they meet new clients. There are lots of ways you could work towards that goal. However, we’ve mentioned a couple of the best ones in this article. With any luck, they will open your eyes and point you in the right direction. Of course, you are the only person who can make the final decisions. You just need to look for techniques that will help you to seem intelligent and conscientious. Those are the two traits most people desire when dealing with a new brand. At the end of the day, you just need to use some common sense. That said, the suggestions below are an excellent way to start.

Always arrive early and prepared for meetings

The first thing you need to do is make sure you never come late for meetings with new clients. You are not going to create the desired impression if you turn up half an hour after the agreed time. That will make your clients feel like they are unimportant, and you’re not bothered about their business. For the best results, you should aim to reach your destination with at least fifteen minutes to spare. That way, you will appear enthusiastic and keen to start negotiations. Also, ensure you always dress appropriately and wear aftershave or perfume. Pleasant smells will encourage people to look upon you in a better light.

Ensure you take an eco-friendly approach

Sometimes you might meet clients at your place of business. For that reason, it’s vital that you design a fresh and forward-thinking environment for your team. Representatives from other brands will feel impressed if you’ve adopted green technology. So, maybe you should consider getting advice from commercial solar companies? Switching to solar energy is a massive step in the right direction. It will show your new clients that money isn’t the only thing on your mind. That will encourage them to trust you a little more than they otherwise would have done. You can also look at other green technologies if you want the best outcomes.

Go above and beyond what your clients expect

No matter what happens, you should always deliver more than your clients expect. If you sell services, make sure you produce better results than you predicted. If you sell products, place an extra item or two in the box before you send it out. Small ideas like that can make a huge difference to the impression you create. It will highlight to clients that you value their contracts and that you want them to continue. Also, try to drop your prices as much as possible. Everyone loves a discount!

Using the methods mentioned in this article, you should have no issues with creating the best impression. The only other thing you need to consider relates to the way in which you communicate. You’ll have to stand up at meetings and make presentations. So, you need to ensure you have excellent public speaking skills. If you don’t have what it takes at the moment, you should consider taking an educational course. As with anything else in this world, success often comes down to practice.

Safe To Proceed: Essential Considerations For Every Startup

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If you own a business, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you do everything possible to keep your workforce safe. Although many accidents arise as a result of employee error, some are caused by the management’s failure to comply with health and safety regulations. Nobody wants to find themselves in the situation where they’re faced with legal action after an accident at work. If you run a business, here are some essential considerations to ensure your team is safe to proceed.

Safe business premises

If you own an office, a studio, a warehouse or a store, it’s your duty as the company owner to ensure that the premises are safe, secure, and suitable for the nature of work carried out on a daily basis. There are general guidelines in place, as well as more specific requirements, which apply to the owners of businesses operating within certain industries. If your business handles hazardous waste or there are dangerous chemicals on site, for example, your health and safety policies may be more robust. Carry out regular risk assessments to identify problems before they arise, and learn from previous experiences. If the same accidents are recurring, it may be time to change your approach and find a more effective solution to prevent any further incidents.

Training

Training is an essential part of keeping people safe at work, and it also enables your workforce to develop skills, which will reduce the risk of accidents and injuries and improve their performance at work. The kind of training programs you should provide for staff will vary according to the field in which you operate. OSHA training is recommended for construction workers while lifting and handling courses should be provided for care workers. There may be a list of courses you have to provide as a company manager, but additional programs can also be beneficial. Training is mutually beneficial for employers and employees, as it enables people to develop their skills and gain new skills.

Working conditions

Every employee has rights. Preventing accidents and injuries doesn’t just boil down to ensuring employees have the relevant safety equipment or eliminating slip and trip hazards from the office. It’s also important, as an employer, to recognize the importance of the conditions in which your employees work. If you’ve got a lot of people complaining about work-related stress or anxiety, this may indicate that you could make improvements in terms of working hours, workload and communication channels between staff and the management. Listen to your employees, take feedback on board, and try and find solutions. If people are working overtime constantly, you may need to consider outsourcing jobs or recruiting new members of staff.

If you run a business, the safety and well-being of your staff should be one of your main concerns. Even if you take a backseat and have senior members of staff overseeing day to day operations, it’s your duty to ensure that your business is compliant with the latest regulations. If there are problems, the buck will stop with you if you haven’t taken the necessary steps to keep your employees safe.

How To Operate Your Online Business 100% Online

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Wanting to start up an online business on your own can be such a great feeling to have. But, you can often feel like you’re never going to be able to make it work. With the need to file taxes, promote yourself, and even carry out some level of customer services, it can all feel a little bit daunting. However, it doesn’t have to. Instead, you can focus on what you know. Whether that’s the product you’re selling or the service you’re providing, you can make sure that your online business kind of runs itself by making sure all of its operations are carried out completely online.

Use Online Software

Firstly, you’re going to want to make sure that all of the operations you need to handle are online. But these days, that’s so much easier than you think. You can even use an online business tool comparison to find the services that you need. Whether that’s finance software or a website builder, you can do it all online, using templates and guidance, so that each task is made easier.

Store Everything Online

The online environment also means that you don’t have to worry about printing everything (or even anything) off and having to file it away. Some people do choose to do that still, but there’s no need – thanks to cloud storage. If you want to keep your business safe, cloud storage is often a good idea so that you can access it from anywhere should something happen to your hard drive.

Accept Online Payments

One part of business that can often be physical is the financial side. But if you really do want your entire business operations to run as smoothly as possible, you’re definitely going to want to make your finance 100% online too. Not only does that mean you need internet banking, but you’re going to want to accept online payments using something like PayPal too. That way, you don’t have to deal with cash or wait for cheques to clear – your payments are made and received instantly for ease.

Use Online Contractors

A lot of people feel as if they need to have physical connections, meetings, and partners to feel like they’re really doing business. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, you might want to think about using online contractors. Whether you need a graphic designer, admin assistant, or even an accountant, you can deal with them all 100% online. That way, not only do your operations run smoothly, but you get your work done without having to have meetings.

Use Online Documents

And finally, the last thing that you’re going to want to do online is the majority of your work. You might think that you have to work in something like the Microsoft packages to get that done. But you don’t. You can now do it all online with Google Docs, of any of the many alternatives to Google Docs that exist. All of your work can then be done online, saved online, shared online, and accessed online – simple.

Inspiring Your Team Isn’t That Hard

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If you manage a team, whether you’re the boss or simply the manager, you need to make an effort every day to ensure they are feeling inspired and putting out their best work. You might think this is hard, but the truth is, it’s quite simple. Making a team feel important and valued is one of the best ways to inspire them and make them want to work harder. Here are some pointers you can use:

Let In The Light

Natural light is such an underrated tool when it comes to inspiring a team. The light can help people to feel more positive and productive, plus, it has many more health benefits over artificial light. You’ll also save on electricity and become more eco-friendly!

Make The Workplace More Inspiring

Make the workplace a more inspiring place to be. Your team isn’t going to want to come into work every day if it’s drab. Inject a little colour. Make things more comfortable. Put up art, and maybe some motivational quotes. Let them decorate their desks a little.

Give Positive Feedback

Don’t be one of those team managers that only ever gives negative feedback. Let the team know when they’ve done something well, both individually and as a whole. This will make them feel great and they’ll appreciate you taking notice.

Treat Them

Occasionally, you may want to treat your team to let them know they are valued. How about incentives and bonuses, or even just donuts on a Friday afternoon? The infographic below has more information!


Credit to USC Online Master of Communication Management

Don’t Get Left Behind In Business

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Running a business is extremely hard work. If you’re currently in charge of a business, you know exactly what we’re talking about, and you are probably nodding your head right now in agreement! There’s a lot to do in business – and certainly, you need to be a master of all trades. You’ve got to be a fantastic communicator so that you can deal with customers, clients, and your staff. You’ve also got to be able to think on your feet so you can deal with any situations that come your way – the world of business is ever changing, so this is a key skill indeed. We need to be balanced in our approach, we need to be good listeners, and we need to be fair and decisive to act on certain things and situations that arise in day to day business life. We need to be good with finances to ensure that we can balance the books and run an efficient and sustainable business that makes a profit if it’s not making ends meet.

There are far more skills needed than that in business though – far, far more and that’s why running a business is such hard work – you’ve got to be everyone to everything, almost like a chameleon. While you’ll certainly look the same, you’ll have to wear many different ‘thinking caps’ if you want to make a success of your business – or even if you want to make sure your business exists in a few years time!

While any budding business owner certainly needs to ensure that they keep up with their skillsets – you also need to keep up with the times. Today’s business? It changes from day to day – and if you’re not paying attention to developments – you’re going to be caught out. You, as a business owner – or a potential startup entrepreneur – will be caught out. Developments in the world of business mean that you need to not only adjust your skillset, but adjust how your business operates. If your business cannot keep a track of new methods, new technologies, new people, or new skills that need to be utilized – it won’t just be caught out. As time ticks on, it will be left behind, and that in itself is a pretty sad prospect. Just because you couldn’t take a leap of faith – or get to grips with something new – your business will suffer.

No business owner in their right mind wants their business to suffer, but this is a reality that faces business owners who can’t – or won’t – adapt. It’s only natural to stick to your guns, but that can sometimes make you the captain of a sinking ship. Open your business up to new developments and keep one eye on the world outside of your business to truly take advantage of what is going on in the world.

What could you take advantage of?  There are plenty of things – but technology has you standing to gain the most from it. Technology has done wonderful things for business, and if you aren’t willing to grow with the changes in technology, it is yet another area where you and your business will be left behind. From the Internet of Things 2017 to phones that can handle multiple calls – the world of technology is complicated, it is ever changing, and it is varied. That’s no excuse for you to ignore it though – you’ll need to get to grips with tech if you want to succeed in business.

Simply put, you can’t stand still and rest on your laurels. You might get things up and running, but if you aren’t looking for improvements constantly, you might not get on the ground floor of revolutionary ideas. Take social media for example, if you were a business that adapted to developments like Twitter the day it emerged – you’d get noticed on it because you’d be one of few businesses using the platform. You could learn its uses and advantages quicker. Now? Twitter is huge – and it’s hard for a business to learn its uses and get noticed on the platform. Sometimes it pays to be first.

What if you’re at a  Ground Zero of technology though? What if there is nothing new about your business? Well – you need to act fast. Get on board with computers, get them linked and networked so your staff can share files locally – then get yourself fixed up with cloud-based software so those files can be shared regardless of location. It’s important to ensure that business can adapt to an agile working program in the modern day so that workers can complete work regardless of their location. Computers don’t have to be big and chunky either – they can be small and portable, and you might want to swap out desktops for laptops if you’re moving to agile working, or remote working. We want our workers to be able to move – business is less rigid than ever before.

You might not even consider a computer if you’re really on the ball – you might spot that tablet PC’s and even smartphones can do the same job as a locked down desktop stuck to a table. The possibilities here are great – it means that a workforce can not only be fluid and remote – but almost global. It means a start-up has access to a workforce that spans the world. A business can operate and sell to any corner of the globe and operate a workforce from anywhere. The only thing that stops you from this is a lack of understanding – but also, a lack of imagination.

The world of business is nothing if not a world of opportunity. However, those many opportunities that come your way in business might slip through your fingers if you’re ensuring that you stay left behind. Keep your skills up to date, and your business up to date to make a real success of whatever venture you choose. The world of business is at your fingertips, but it certainly won’t be if you opt to stay completely stuck in the past.

The Sequence Of An Event

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As a promotion tactic, you cannot go too far wrong with an event. The common business event is a way to get new people interested in your products, create and sustain relationships between the customer and the brand, and get your company more suitable clients. As a startup, the importance of nurturing new relationships in every single facet of your day to day dealings cannot be underestimated. And while there is a massive difference between startup success and
startup failure
, the amount of startups that don’t see past the first year will blame their lack of funds as the reason they didn’t take off. How do you get funds? By forging worthwhile relationships with your customers and clients! So, what is involved in an event, and how do you use it to your advantage?

The Preliminary Matters…

The first place to start is to figure out what sort of event will benefit you the most. Do you think you can set up your own event and get enough people to come? Or would you benefit more from setting up a stall at a trade show? If you go down the avenue of a trade show, which show(s) would benefit you the most? You need to examine specific details, such as the typical number of people who attend those shows that could be potential customers, the demographics of these people, and what other businesses tend to be at these shows. If you have other, very similar, businesses setting up camp and you’re at the start of your business life, and they’re a few years ahead, can you feasibly compete with them? What you need to do beforehand is to speak to other businesses that have been there before you to get the lay of the land. You have to find out which ones have the best ROI? Once you have done your research and sized up the competition, register for the event. Do it as early as possible if you can to save some fees. Registering for a trade show could save you thousands of dollars, so it’s worth trying! Once you’ve got these set up, you can get ready for…

The Run-Up To The Event…

While advertising might be the first thing your mind will jump to, before you head there, start to think about what you really want to achieve by being at this event or holding this event. Do you want more knowledge and recognition of your brand? Do you want to interact with future clients? More customers? By boiling down an overall goal into smaller sections is how everyone solves problems, and this is how you can solve the problem of what you really want to get out of your event. With these goals in mind, it’s time to prepare your strategy for the event. This will consist of the standard marketing, promotion through social media, and what your presence at the event will be like. For example, are you going to hold an event outdoors, such as a fayre or a big live event/mixer to get introduce new customers and clients to your business? Choosing the format of how your event will pan out does a few things; it communicates your ethos and attitude (laid back, serious, dynamic, rustic, etc.), it shows how you really run an event, and it shows people the kind of clientele you would like to associate with. And this is very difficult to attain when you’re a coltish startup without proper knowledge of your target market. In which case, you need to pinpoint exactly who you want your business to cater for. The definition is key, and the cliché of appealing to a broad canvas of customers isn’t what will get you the custom, it’s targeting the kinds of people that will go to this type of event (like your demographics) and then focus on them.

Once your audience/target market are decided on, it’s time to get everything you need. Make sure you have enough supplies available, and it’s always best to overestimate than to underestimate, but you don’t want to overestimate too much and waste lots of money on documents that will end up in the store cupboard. Pick your stalls or marquees if you are holding the event outside, and look for ones that will hold up in all weathers. You can check out eventdisplay.com.au/tents-shades/event-marquees to get an idea of what to look for. Decorating your stall or marquee is a harder task than you might think, so either get a design company to help with this or make the most of an artistic employee.

Have you thought about the technological aspects of an event? While we all use the internet to market our companies, one really useful aspect that you can take advantage of is to bring different platforms and interweave it with the event. Although the event is live, you can take advantage of those that cannot attend by streaming it online. It’s a common thing for music festivals and if you are going down the route of preparing a huge event, but low turnout hampers some of the atmosphere, you can still have people view it on the internet. Even the standard live tweeting methods and having a dedicated Instagram account where people can upload their own videos of the event is a simple way to get people talking about the business, and it doesn’t cost you anything! Working with tech in this way is gold if you can get it to work in your favor, and once you’ve got people talking about your business, that’s free (and easy) publicity for the event.

Preparation…

As the event momentum builds up, it’s time to start promoting the business as much as you can to the confirmed attendees of the trade show, or to your existing customer roster. Go for all the common methods, from email to blogs, and even mention it in the signature of your email. Be sure to note where your stall is so people can locate you. Once the customers are covered, the potential clients are next on the hit list. Email your ideal clients in advance (3 weeks at least) and inform them of your attendance and when is a good time to have a quick discussion. Many other companies will have the same idea, so make your email as catchy as you can, and another nice little trick is to offer a meetup time that is somewhat unusual. For example, 1.43 will stick in the mind over 2 o’clock.

After all the basic details and the admin is sorted, it’s time to get the right staff members that will represent your business. Even if you have flashy images, catchy slogans, and even celebrity endorsements, they will never replace the good old fashioned knowledge of the services and the products. Making sure that you choose staff that is clued up on the brand is paramount. Either choose people from within the company or get specialist workers. If you go for the second option, you can go via agencies like on www.jvainc.com/, but you need to make sure that they are adequately knowledgeable of every aspect, right down to the facts and figures. If you have people being the face of your business, they’d better be good. You can do a lot of damage if you have the wrong person fronting your stall.

On The Day…

Everything has been prepared, and now you are ready to go! If you’ve done your homework and got the right staff members to work the event, they will be energetic and full of detail. While the designs and approachable people can entice potential customers, it’s the detail that will keep those customers hooked. They need to be aware that they could be speaking to Joe Public or a leader of a rival business. New products, market trends, competitors, and future plans need to be at their fingertips. It’s all about building a real rapport with customers and clients alike. Once that relationship has been established, the staff can get contact information using a leads qualification survey, and they can visit other stalls or marquees to feedback key information about how the competition are handling themselves. And once the day is over, that doesn’t mean the work is done! You will have to follow up with your contacts to get honest feedback and fine-tune the next event to cater to people’s tastes. Be kind and thank them for coming, and offer an incentive for attending the next one, this could be in the form of a discount or a something they can redeem.

Using a business event to market your company can very easily establish you as a thought leader within your industry. Trust is the key notion between businesses and customers, and an event, where people can be approached and engaged with, is infinitely more effective than an impersonal email. Remember this the next time you use email marketing as your sole tool for promotion. An event is a bridge builder in many ways, so use it to your advantage. 

Struggling to Get Your Business Noticed on the Local Scene? Try These Tips

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If you’re struggling to get your business noticed in your local area, you shouldn’t worry too much. It’s one of those things that happens to small businesses that are starting out. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just ignore the problems that you are facing. Instead, you should try to make sure that you overcome these problems. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Get Out There and Talk to People

You definitely need to get out there and talk to people one on one if you want to have an impact at the local level. People are more likely to buy from brands that they recognize. So, getting your face out there, as well as the name and logo of your company, is going to be key. This will show people that your business exists, and that’s the first step to making a sale. So, set up stalls and market your business to people directly. You can really connect with people this way. It can be tricky and challenges to talk to people who are strangers, but you run a business and that’s what you have to do.

Find Out What Your Rivals Are Doing Better

If your rivals are currently doing better than you are, you need to find out why that is. It’s not enough just to observe this problem. You also need to dig deeper and see what’s causing those customers to choose those other companies over yours. Is it simply down to the fact that they have a bigger advertising budget? Or is there a bit more to it than that? If there is, you need to try to get to the bottom of this. When you know what they’re doing better than you, you can take steps to make sure that you do better them in the months and years ahead.

Use New Marketing Angles and Ditch the Ones That Aren’t Working

Marketing is always important, and you will need to find the right marketing methods for you if you’re going to attract new customers. You have to be targeting the right demographics and targeting them via the right platforms if you want to find success. If you run a franchise, local franchise marketing is available. So, no matter what kind of business you run, you need to get your approach to marketing right. And as soon as you notice that a particular marketing angle is not working for you, ditch it.

Get Everyone Working Together to Get Your Voice Heard

Everyone needs to be pulling together and working as a team if your business is going to have its voice heard as you aim to grow it. You will just get drowned out by all the other small local businesses that are vying for customers unless you are willing to work together. There is no replacement for a good team ethic and the willingness to work together properly. If you don’t get this right, it’s hard to see how your business will thrive or even survive.

How Do The Best Entrepreneurs Highlight Their Dedication To The Customer?

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Regardless of the type of company you run, the customer should always be your priority. Without them, you’ll never gain the sales figures needed to achieve a profit. In turn, this will prevent you from ever accomplishing the dream of sustained success. As such, their importance could not be greater.

 In business, you will always need to stamp a sense of personal authority onto those activities. Nonetheless, it’s possible to learn a lot from other success stories. Here are some of the key lessons to be gained in the field of keeping customers happy.   

  •  Tailor marketing strategies to suit your audience. All companies have their own niche, and finding a unique approach to win over a larger percentage of the market will have a killer impact. Appreciating the fundamentals of online marketing is essential for all modern entrepreneurs. However, you can gain a lot by looking at companies like Taco Bell and JetBlue Airways. Those brands always try to inject a little humor to gain a stronger response from their customers. Better still, the nature of viral content often enables them to gain new clients through this methods too.
  •  Find the right balance between visibility and annoyance. As mentioned above, advertising products and services is crucial. However, going over the top can bug people, which detracts from what you are trying to achieve. Coca-Cola only uses TV advertising in a strategic manner, maintaining a softer approach in most situations. While you may not be in the same position as this iconic brand, it’s important to learn the importance of timing and coverage. Otherwise, your marketing endeavors could have the reverse influence of what you’re aiming to achieve.
  •  Ask for their opinions. The main of any business is to give customers what they want, which is why the lack of internal market research in the modern arena is baffling. Every entrepreneur has heard the tale of Henry Ford claiming that his audiences would’ve asked for a faster horse. Of course, that underlines the fact that you can’t listen to everything that clients want. Nonetheless, you’re aiming to satisfy their needs and using these questions for guidance will allow you to do that. If nothing else, showing that their opinions matter can make clients feel respected. This in itself can be crucial.
  •  Provide individual services. For a customer, there’s nothing worse than feeling that the support team isn’t trying to solve your problems. Most people have stopped using a company due to a poor experience in this field, which is why you must embrace excellent customer service. Let’s face it; this is one of the reasons that millions stay loyal to brands like Apple, who have dedicated “geniuses” on hand to help. Even if your SME isn’t at this level or in this arena, ensuring that each client is dealt with in a unique manner is crucial.
  •  Offer special loyalty schemes for existing clients. Most businesses happily run promotions with the hope of recruiting new customers. While this can be a great way to increase your revenue, it can leave loyal users feeling undervalued. It’s quite common for large coffee chains to offer a free drink for every 10 bought while food establishments run similar schemes. This method, combined with free promotional t-shirts and mugs can go a long way to building a stronger bond. After all, consumers love getting value for money, and those items add to those sentiments.

 

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  •  Ensure that all customers know their data is safe. The Yahoo scam perfectly identifies how important security should be for your business. Many of the 500 million affected users closed their accounts and went to a rival email service following the hack. So, if your business isn’t supported by the best security and data protection features, it could fall victim to a similar fate. Given all the hard work it takes to gain a customer in the first place, this simply shouldn’t be an option on your agenda.

 

  •  Learn to operate in a greener manner. This doesn’t necessarily show a commitment to the individual client, but it highlights a desire to help the planet. Operating in this responsible manner doesn’t need to be difficult. It can begin with simple ideas like using eco-friendly packaging or using LED light bulbs in the office. If this solution gives clients another reason to invest in your company instead of the competitors, the results will be brilliant. If it’s good enough for giants like IKEA and Panasonic, it’s certainly good enough for you.