3 Powerful Tools For Business Expansion

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Whatever it is that your business sells or trades in, there is one thing that is almost guaranteed about your hopes for that business: you probably want it to be able to expand, if not now at least at some point in the future. This is something that practically every business owner hopes for for their business, and the good news is that there are a number of ways that you can get the ball rolling in that respect. In this article, we are going to go through some of the most powerful tools which you might consider using for better business expansion. As long as you are using these, or at least one or two of them, there is nothing you can’t achieve.

Investors

Although not often the first thing that people think of when they think of business tools, actually your investors are among the most important tools of all. Thanks to them, you can have a much easier time of expanding your business in a short space of time, as you can rely on their ongoing investment to ensure you can do it. It is worth trying to make the best use of whatever investors you have at all times. This simply means that you do everything you can to involve them as much as possible in whatever you are doing. You might be surprised at what a profoundly positive effect this can have on your business in the long run.

Internet

These days, no business can actually get all that far without using the Internet for at least some purpose or another. But when it comes to business expansion, the Internet is a vital tool which you need to take advantage of as best as you can. One of the best uses of this particular tool is to utilize the various SEO techniques to bring in more and more viewers to your website. If you struggle with this practice, it might help to hire the likes of Get Going Media SEO Agency. They will be able to assist you in ensuring that you make the best possible use of SEO that you can. This, in turn, will undoubtedly lead to an influx of customers which will be essential in building your business up and up.

Word Of Mouth

Sometimes, the old ways really are the best. One of the very oldest marketing methods is word of mouth, and this is very much still one of the most effective ways of growing any business. If you want your business to be ripe for expansion, then at the most basic level you should make sure that you are talking about it as much as possible to as many different people as possible. Word of mouth goes a long way, so be sure to make good use of it as often as you can. With a bit of luck, your business will soon be in a position to expand much faster than it ever has done before.

The Ecommerce Business Guide to Offering Top Customer Service

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Running an ecommerce business is never easy. There are so many things that you have to get right. It’s important not to forget about customer service. Just because you are not interacting with customers in a face to face kind of way, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to think about customer service issues. The guide below will help you to ensure you always offer the very best customer service.

Stay in Contact Post-Order

When someone has placed an order on your website, this is not where your activity ends. It’s when it starts. Yes, when you have their money, and they’ve made an order, it might seem like it’s mission accomplished. But that’s the wrong kind of attitude to take. You need to stay in contact with these customers post-purchase. When you do that, you can be sure that they know what’s happening with their order, when it was dispatched and when they can expect to receive. People want to know these things, and making sure they do is a big part of offering good customer service.

Provide a FAQs Page to Help Out Visitors

You want to offer answers and help to the people who visit your website. But at the same time, you don’t want to have to deal with a million different customer interactions and questions each day. It can all get a bit much, and customers don’t want to have to contact you when they can’t find the answer to a question either. So, it makes sense to produce a FAQs page that offers answers and help to the problems or questions people often have when visiting your company’s website. These are so easy to set up, and they really do make a difference to the customer experience.

The Many Mysteries Of Modern Marketing

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Standing out as a small or large company in the modern business world seems to be an increasingly-difficult task. There are more opportunities than ever before to be noticed, thanks to the internet, but that means there are also more competitors than ever before vying for attention on this incredibly popular and important platform. Consumers are all online, which means all businesses are online squabbling and clawing for the top position in order to capture their attention. The problem is that most businesses are all doing the same thing.

Maybe you fall into that category, as your business has a website and social media profiles but the nuances of modern marketing escape you. Maybe your business can’t quite achieve the success you feel it deserves because it isn’t getting the attention it deserves. As mysterious, confusing and ever-changing as the techniques involved with modern and online marketing methods may be, that doesn’t mean the concepts are beyond your understanding. It’s simply time for you to learn about them, and here are some pieces of advice if you want to uncover the many mysteries of modern marketing in order to achieve greater success for your business.

Use more than one marketing method.

In the days of old marketing, you wouldn’t simply put up flyers and call it a day. In much the same way, when you’re delving into the world of digital marketing, there’s far more to it than simply stamping a few adverts for your business on websites. You need to be expanding your marketing strategy and using every potential marketing avenue available on the internet. It’s all about experimenting with different strategies, as certain avenues might not work well for your specific industry or business, and you wouldn’t want those to become a money pit. For example, if an advert on a billboard wasn’t garnering attention, then you’d simply take it down and stop renting that advertising space.

SEO.

This is a term you’ve likely heard mentioned repeatedly across all manner of businesses. Perhaps you’ve even tried to implement some SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques on your company’s website, but this isn’t just a ‘one-time’ fix. The algorithms that search engines such as Google and Bing use to determine which websites are the most popular across the internet and in which order they should rank on results pages are constantly changing. It’s clear that you need to be updating your SEO tactics on a constant basis in line with the latest algorithms used by search engines, especially if you want to have the top spot on result pages.

You could look into web designers to help your business if you’re unsure as to what you could possibly do to improve your current website. The layout of a site is crucial to its success, as not only will your rank above your competitors, but you’ll impress customers who stumble across your business’ website. People use all manner of devices to browse the internet (phones, tablets, laptops, etc), and they expect to come across websites which look ‘right’ on their device. This is why a responsive web design is so important for your website, and it’s why search engines favour websites which take the time to make their layout responsive to all manner of devices.

Know the consumer.

Much as has always been the case, the consumer has to be at the heart of your marketing strategy. This is something which will always drive advertising, no matter what manner of modern strategies emerge in the future. Of course, the way in which your business can know potential consumers and existing clients has changed drastically from the days of traditional marketing.

You need to understand the platforms through which you’ll be connecting with customers both current and potential. For example, night clubs might be able to entice people in the local area to visit them with Facebook events offering great deals on certain nights. Restaurants might be able to entice people in the local area to visit by posting enticing Instagrams pictures of meals they offer. It’s about looking at the platforms on which you’ll find your consumers and targeting them with your most creative, personal brand of marketing. People don’t like corporate jargon; they like simple, straightforward offers communication with real people.

This is why it’s important to have a team dedicated to social media within your company, no matter how big or small it may be, as communication with your customers on these platforms to solve any problems or answer any questions proves that there’s a human element behind the face of your brand.

Mobile advertising.

The platform is also incredibly important when it comes to modern marketing. People are using a wide array of devices to browse for the goods and services they want, as mentioned earlier, but this expands your marketing opportunities beyond merely adapting the company website to fit numerous different screen sizes. Mobiles in particular should be of particular interest to businesses, as we are a world of people glued to our screens.

Given the amount of hours per day that potential customers spend on mobile games and social media whilst they’re out and about, your business might want to consider targeting its advertising to mobile applications, as this is where you’ll find your target market. Their eyes aren’t gazing up at billboards or posters around them in the city; their eyes are fixated on their screens.

Does traditional marketing still have its uses?

Yes. Despite all that has been said about the wonders of online marketing, traditional marketing still has a big stake in the world of business advertising, and there’s no harm in using it as an addition to your online marketing strategy. Of course, as with every other method of marketing mentioned in this list, it all depends on your specific business or industry. If you’re in the real estate game, physical and traditional marketing is still as popular as ever. People like to see houses in person when they’re considering moving to an area, and they’ll see signs with a specific estate agent’s brand beneath the words ‘For Sale’. To put it simply, if your business can benefit from putting its brand name in a real-life place that captures people’s attention, then it should do so.

Forever Friends: Improve Relations with Your Supplier!

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Good business relationships are an essential part of the success of any company. Like great marketing, innovative products, and an impressive online presence, it’s a cornerstone of business success. After all, you don’t exist in a void: your business is going to have to rely on other businesses from time to time. (Although, if your business actually did exist in a void, you technically wouldn’t have any customers, so I guess you wouldn’t have to worry about it that much.)

One of the most common relationships found in the world of business is the one between the core company and their supplier (or suppliers). This shouldn’t be a cold, strictly-business relationship. You should approach this with a different mindset: an open and welcoming one, one that knows that a great relationship with your supplier can bring many benefits.

Want a shot at bagging yourself a mate’s rate with your supplier? Then read this essential guide to this all-important relationship.

Remember: it’s a symbiotic relationship

You need your supplier. Your supplier needs you. This is a symbiotic relationship: two things working together to achieve a goal that is the requirement of both, such as you often find in wild animals. It’s mutually beneficial. Keep this in mind throughout every step of this process.

If you find great success in your products and services, then that means great success for your suppliers: they’ll get more of your business. If your supplier is doing great business – and yes, that means the other businesses that they work with also doing really well – then they’ll be able to upgrade their own service, providing benefit to you. By working closely together and forging a strong relationship, you can improve the successes of everyone involved.

Don’t be a pushover

Here’s the problem with some people who focus too much on wanting to be liked: they end up being a pushover. If someone wrongs them, they grin and bear it. If they need something, they’re not likely to be very demanding about it. Some businesses may take this sort of approach in their aim to strike up a great relationship with a supplier. But here’s the thing about pushovers: people start to take advantage of them.

Learn that it’s okay – even good – to be a demanding customer. Make sure your supplier knows precisely what your needs are. What kind of quality you expect, what timeframes you need to work in and why, that sort of thing. Hold the supplier to the agreements you make together. Of course, if things do go wrong, then “not being a pushover” doesn’t mean you should exact brutal vengeance upon the supplier in order to make sure it Never Happens Again. (More on that a bit later!)

Pay up

I don’t have to spend too much time on this point, right? It’s basically rule number one: pay on time and in full. Here’s a fact: suppliers (distributors, manufacturers, etc.) are often running on pretty thin profit margins. That doesn’t mean their business is doing bad; it’s just the nature of that field of business. They need full and consistent payment.

Remember that, in this relationship, you’re both using some sort of spreadsheet or software to keep track of and gauge each other’s work. Think of it this way: when you’re late with payment, or you don’t pay in full on the due date, then this is going to be noted in that database. Some suppliers actually rate customers by their payment history. They want to work with trusted customers. Even the smallest business around is going to get the respect of their supplier if they pay on time.

Put an expert in charge

Dealing with the actual supply management is one thing, but you’ve also got to deal with the actual relationship between your business and your supplier, too. For some very small businesses, this can possibly be performed by a regular business owner or manager, especially as the operation is bound to be fairly small in scale.

But in most scenarios where a business works with a supplier, you’re probably going to want someone on this job full-time. And you shouldn’t assume that just about anyone who can use Microsoft Office and has a friendly manner can do this job. What you want is a procurement professional, someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. (Someone, in fact, who definitely wouldn’t need to read an article like this!) Agencies like Portfolio procurement can help businesses find the right person for the job.

Encourage transparency

You know what they say about friendships: if there’s no trust, then there’s no real friendship. Trust requires a degree of transparency, and this is something you can achieve through improved communication, as well as the recent advances in the technology of the supply management field.

Your procurement manager, assuming you’ve taken our advice and hired one, is going to need your help. You need to supply them with the software that they need to get this area of the relationship worked on properly. For example, an integrated procure-to-pay system allows access to real-time information without having to try to contact a supplier by email or phone. This allows for more substantial conversations when you do contact your supplier, instead of the sort of rote information-collecting you usually have to engage in.

Don’t get mad: get solutions

Sometimes, things go wrong. They’re going to go wrong with your business, they’re going to wrong with your supplier’s business. Sometimes, your suppliers will disappoint. They won’t deliver something on time, or they’ll overcharge accidentally, or they’ll send you the incorrect inventory… a lot of things can go wrong. Maybe it was a genuine mix-up at their end. Maybe they were just a victim of circumstance.

Whatever the cause, don’t start sending angry emails or giving some stern lecture to a representative over the telephone. Not only is that anger usually unjustified and not really worth it, but it’s not really going to get you anywhere. It’s going to erode your relationship with the supplier. As long as they know they’ve done wrong – and, believe me, they’re probably well aware of it and very apologetic for it – then keep it friendly and work together towards a solution.

The Rocky Road For New Entrepreneurs

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The idea of becoming an entrepreneur is one of the greatest pulls going, but actually becoming an entrepreneur requires you to overcome a serious amount of challenges. Of course, each challenge you overcome grants you a huge reward, but that doesn’t take away from the fact they are tough challenges. Ask any serial entrepreneur and they will tell you every time they launch a new company they are faced with the same challenges over and over again.

But what if you are new to entrepreneurship? Well, you’ll find that there are some very unique challenges that you need to know about and prepare yourself for, challenges that you may well have overlooked.

Leaving Behind Your Security

As an employee, you are granted a certain amount of security, whether that be a fixed salary or employee rights. But you are going to have to be willing to let all of this go if you want to launch your own business and guide it to success. Quite simply, it will be too much to try and manage two different careers without it harming both. You may be excellent with time management and an avid follower of tugofwarwithtime.com, but if you want to grow your business significantly then you are going to have to quit your current job. As such, it is so important you think your decision through very carefully, do your market research and go with your instincts.

Getting The Funds Together

Even the most successful and experienced serial entrepreneurs can struggle with getting funds together for their new venture, so you can imagine how hard it is going to be for you to attract investors. As such, you’ll need to fully understand what funding options are available to you and how you can exhaust them. You’re starting from scratch, so you’ll likely need to have some money saved up, some strategy in place and a real knack for networking.

You’ll Need A Team

So many entrepreneurs fail because they try and go it alone. The reason for this is no one possesses all the skills needed to launch a business. You may be great at some things, but you probably lack in others, which is why it is so important to build a team that compliments one another and your goals. But picking the right team can be a serious hurdle to overcome. It’s not just hard to find great candidates to fill certain roles, you also have to work out how you are going to pay them, where they will work from, what they will bring to the culture and add to the overall team. This is a tough ask, and the pressure is on time wise too.

Being An Ideas Person

The need to come up with new ideas, new visions, new innovations, all of that falls on your shoulders.  As www.fastcompany.com/ explains, it is part of being the founder of a new venture. You’ll be looked up to, you’ll need to steer the ships, come up with new ideas for expansion and know how to solve issues that arise, and they always arise. On the stop, creative thinking is its challenge, but this becomes even harder when there is so much on the line.

Is Your Marketing Strategy Dead

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If you’re a business owner, then there’s every chance that you’re pretty sick of hearing about marketing and advertising strategies, but ignore them at your own risk: marketing really is just as important as everyone keeps telling you it is. In fact, it’s probably even more important than that. If you’re not dedicating a significant portion of your capital into marketing, then it might be about time to redirect it into marketing and breathe new life into your campaigns.

Knowing What’s Hot

The experts know what’s going to happen in the near future because they study the trends, and so should you, because it’ll give you a head start on everybody else. If you know that Facebook advertising is set to boom in 2017, then that’s where you’ll be advertising this year. Similarly, if you had been paying attention to the forecasters who announced that video traffic would account for the vast majority of internet traffic, then you would be investing in high quality videos for your website. It’s not too late to incorporate either of these trends into your campaign, and in the new future do your best to stay abreast of what’s happening.

All on your Mobile

The high levels of smartphone use is not a blip. We repeat: IT IS NOT A BLIP. More and more internet interaction is coming through mobile devices, and it shows no signs of easing up. If your campaign isn’t specifically focused on capturing mobile internet users, then you’re missing out on too many users for your strategy to be effective.  

Adapting Past Ideas

There’s a school of thought that says traditional marketing is dead altogether, but that’s simply not the case. Traditional marketing – specifically offline marketing – can be very effective, but it has to be executed using modern methods. For example, if you were sending fliers to homes, then sending to all homes would be a colossal waste of resources; however, sending to specific homes using data you’ve acquired would be effective.

Exploring New Ideas

The virtue and curse of modern marketing is that it’s always in flux. The remedy to success that is so effective right now might not be as effective in a year’s time from now. Consequently, your marketing strategy will always be dead if you’re not willing to have an agile approach wherein you explore new marketing ideas – and taking a few risks in the process. Be bold: if you’re making the most of the big data that’s all around you, you’ll get it more often than not.

The Modern Customer

We talk about marketing in pretty abstract terms, but never forget at the base level it’s all about person: the customer. The only thing that every customer has in common is that they’re all individuals, and you should be treating them as such. Companies in the good old days could be forgiven for having one approach for all because they didn’t have access to the type of information you have access to. Their interests and desires are different to your company’s, and your marketing should reflect that.

Are You Making The Most Of Your Online Presence?

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It’s amazing to think just how much of a difference the internet has made to modern life in the space of a few decades. What was once purely the preserve of scientists and expert engineers is sitting the in pockets of just about every single person on the planet. What was once a luxury is now pretty much a standard part of everyday life. This means that, where many businesses might once have had a presence on the internet as a bonus, it’s now something that you simply cannot be without if you want to be successful. If people want to find a business, then the first place that they’re going to look is online. If they can’t find you online, they aren’t going to make an effort to go searching through the phone book for you. To make sure that your business doesn’t fade away, here are some ways to make sure that you’re making the most of your online presence.

Website

Your website should be the center of your online presence. Think of it in the same way you would think of your head office or your physical store. It should be the hub where customers can go to find everything they need from products to further information. The first thing that you need to do is find and register a domain, with something like a buyerlinkage.com GoDaddy promo code, you’re able to find one without breaking the bank. Then you need to make your site attractive and easy to navigate. You should also make sure that everywhere that your business exists online is accessible from this one place.

Blog

One of the biggest challenges that many businesses face is trying to get customers to develop and emotional connection to them. That connection is crucial when it comes to developing a bond and a sense of loyalty between your business and your customers. A blog can help you do this by lifting the curtain and showing the humanity behind the business. Rather than just being another faceless company, customers can see that your business is made up of passionate, dedicated people who are interested in creating the best possible product and experience as possible.

Social Media

One of the difficulties that many businesses have had for a very long time is that it can be very difficult to connect with individual customers. When you’re running a brick and mortar store then you can do that but only in a very limited capacity. Thanks to social media you can now interact with customers on an individual level no matter where they are in the world. You can respond to questions or complaints, interact with them in funny or engaging ways, and let them know that they do matter to you. Not only that but it’s a place where other customers can see you doing this which acts as a great marketing opportunity as well.

Don’t assume that your physical and online presence have to be completely different either. They should come together to complement each other as much as possible, cross promoting and improving one another.

Making Money Is About Managing Money-Makers

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If your business relies on the careful cultivation of sales and winning clients more than anything, then that’s the part of it that will make you the most money. It’s not all that matters, but it’s a vital aspect of the business. To make sure it functions as it should, it’s all about the sales and marketing team. How do you get the best out of them?

Give them some power

You want your money-makers to be especially engaged in the business. A bit of creative thinking on their end and autonomy to do things their way can not only motivate them. It can give way to new ideas that you might not consider from a management position. Empowering them, allowing them a bigger say in the decision-making process and asking them for opinions on feedback can be crucial to engagement.

Keep communication concise

Barking orders and expecting your team to get it done isn’t going to achieve you the best results. Internal communications need to be varied to make sure people are getting fully informed but not interrupting their work, especially if they’re working hard on closing a lead or are deep in strategizing or implementing a marketing approach. Make sure you have methods of communication that are simple to use, simple to check, and simple to reply on like a chat app for the day-to-day. For big strategy and results meetings, have a face-to-face and get everyone to mark it on their diaries so they can ensure they don’t schedule anything that would clash with it.

Know your builders and your growers

It’s important to realize there are two distinct phases of every sale and that different members of the team will be better at one or the other. A member of the team might be great at first finding and engaging a lead. These are your builders. However, getting that lead requires a different set of skills, including the ability to tailor the offer to the individual and make use of some great interpersonal skills. These are your growers. Know them and make sure they work as a team to find the right time to hand a lead off from one and to the next.

Keep them at the top of their game

The methods and mindset behind sales and marketing are changing all the time. If you want your business to remain competitive, your team needs to stay competitive. Finding them room for development through things like a social selling training course is crucial. Giving the sales team networking opportunities to polish their skills in a less pressure filled environment is important, too. It also provides some mobility in their career that every employee should appreciate.

Incentivize and engage

You can’t expect the best results from your money-makers unless you are prepared to give them a slice of the pie. This is why most companies that use a sales team have them working on commission. A results-based reward scheme isn’t the only way to ensure workers are motivated. They need to enjoy the work and the company culture, too. But a bit of incentive certainly won’t hurt any and will help plenty.

In a business that is heavily driven by a sales and marketing team, members of said team might require a bit of special treatment. That’s not to say you should ignore the other teams. They’re the support that keeps things running smoothly out in the field, so don’t forget them.

Does Your Future Lie In Financial Services?

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Have you thought about where your future lies? There are a million different opportunities for those who are looking for work or looking to create their own work these days. Financial services is one very lucrative industry that many are considering. Here are a few pointers that could tempt you to look into it:

Huge Industry, Lots of Opportunities

Financial services is a huge industry, and there are lots of opportunities. Whether you’re just getting into it or you’ve been in the same position for a while, this could be a great position for you to take on.

Lucrative Salary And Compensation Even At Entry Level

Financial services usually offers an amazing salary and compensation, even at entry level. Of course the more experience you get, the more you can expect to earn.

Have A High Level Of Job Satisfaction

Those in financial services who have been interviewed and studied were shown to have a high level of job satisfaction. It’s rare that people are satisfied with their jobs in this day and age. This is a worthwhile position where you can actually help to make a difference for people. That’s probably the reason people feel so satisfied in this role!

Employers Encourage Graduates To Climb The Career Ladder

Employers in financial services always encourage graduates to climb the career ladder. There’s no such thing as a dead end job in financial services.

You can take a look at the following infographic for more information on things regarding financial services:


Credit to The Blockchain – Enabling Financial Services

Exploiting Efficiency To Improve Income

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In the modern day, everything has to be rapid. People want to have their online purchases next-day or better. And, people are unwilling to wait more than ten minutes for a meal. This need for speed has come with the digital age. Now, we have the resources to make a lot of jobs as fast as possible. So, you may as well make the most of them. To do this, you may have to make some changes within your business. But, the results will be very much worth it. With your staff working at peak efficiency; you’ll never have to worry about losing potential income. This post will be going through some of the ways that you can change your business to boost productivity.

Most businesses need more than one person to keep them running. In most cases, this will come in the form of employees. But, to make sure that your staff are working as hard as they possibly can; you need to make sure that they are being treated correctly. First, you need to think about their satisfaction and comfort. They should have to do jobs that aren’t in their job description. And, you should always make sure that they are paid on time. Along with this, it can be good to give your staff regular reviews. This way, they will always know what they’re doing well and what needs improvement. A site like https://www.fairsail.com/ can help you to make sure that you right technique for something like this. Having reviews can give your employees greater confidence in their work. In most cases, this will also lead increased productivity.

Once you’ve worked out the kinks in the people that work for you; you can start considering making some of the processes in your business more refined. To do this well, you have to focus on what computers can do for you, that they currently aren’t. For example, you may be using hand-written invoices for clients. But, this will always take a lot of time than using a service like Quickbooks to do your accounting. When you’ve already got computers within your business; you may as well use them for as much as possible. It will usually save you some time.

When you’re serving customers, you always have to think about their needs. Most customers will be unhappy if they have to wait a long time to be served or to buy something online. It’s critical to make sure that these experiences are as pleasant and swift of the customer as possible. To do this, you need to think about your website and physical store, to determine if there are any ways to change it. Making something like this faster will take time and could cost a little bit of money. But, making your customers happier with your service will be worth it.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done if you want to improve productivity within your business. It can be hard to find new ways to make a difference here. But, once you do; you will be able to make your company much more efficient.

Your Startup Should Start by Getting These Things Right

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Making a success of your startup is going to be tricky. That’s always the case when you’re trying to run a new business. And you always have that thought in the back of your mind that your business could be one of the many startups that fails in the first year. To avoid that happening to your young company, you will have to take certain steps and get some of the important things right.

Getting all of these things right will allow your business to lay the right foundations and put it on the path towards success. That’s a pretty big deal, so don’t make the mistake of just making things up as you go along. If you try to do that, you will probably never find success. So, read on now and take advantage of the information offered below.

Balancing the Books

The first rule of business is always that you need to balance the books. If your accounts are not in order, and the business is not bringing in more money than it’s making, your business will be in trouble. It quite simply won’t survive for long enough to be a success. So, rather than letting this slide, you need to be on top of it straight away. Businesses that don’t pay attention to balancing their books fail sooner or later. I’m sure that’s not something that you want to happen to your business. You can hire an accountant if you don’t think this is something you’re going to be able to do alone. Learn how to do this at www.entrepreneur.com.

A Flexible Approach

Flexibility is a really important factor when running a modern business. You have to be able to change things up and do things differently when necessary. In those early months in business, you will be finding your feet, testing things and finding out what works best for your business. It’s during that time that you have to be able to shift things and shuffle the pack to make the most of the situation you find your business in. So, try to make your business and its workforce as adaptable and flexible as possible.

Customer Targeting

Knowing who your business should target with its products and services is really important. Every business should have target customers. If your business doesn’t have these, you will be pretty aimless, and your advertising and marketing efforts might never be seen by the most important people. This is a problem that many new businesses face because they haven’t yet thought things through clearly. You can change that by carrying out some market research and finding out what kind of customers are going to be most interested in what you have to offer.

Online Marketing

Online marketing is something that your startup will need to get right from day one. If you fail to get it right early on, your business will not be able to take advantage of everything the internet has to offer in terms of making sales. First of all, you should make sure that your business is present on all of the major social media platforms, as well as some of the minor ones too. If your business sells things that are visually appealing in some way, use platforms like tumblr and Instagram. You can also go to https://www.clarkempire.com if you want to improve your SEO techniques. This will help drive more traffic towards your business’s website.

Office Management and Communication

Communication is a pretty big deal when you are trying to run a business. If your employees are not working with one another and communicating with one another in the correct way, your business will never get anywhere. I’m sure that’s not what you want to happen, so provide your employees with what they need in order to communicate with one another. A proper management structure is important too. This help everyone to know who they should report to and communicate with.

Analyse the Important Metrics

There are so many great metrics that can be used to assess the performance of your business. You should definitely try to take advantage of these if you can. When you know exactly how your business is performing, what it’s doing well, and what it’s doing badly, you can create a plan for what your business should do going forward. You could track how your business is being used by looking at the traffic figures, the bounce rate and the conversion rate. When you know how it’s being used, it will be clear how you can improve it.

Tips to Help You Design the Perfect Physical Sign for Your Startup Business

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In the digital age, it’s easy to assume that physical signage and other types of “real-world” branding are not as important as they once were. After all, so much of marketing today is about what you do online—from banner ads to social media to your own company web page. As of 2016, the average company was spending 35% of its annual marketing budget on digital marketing, and that money is only poised to grow. For startups—many of which get underway as online-only businesses, with no physical addresses and little need for non-digital marketing—the percentage is probably even higher.

Why Physical Signage Still Matters

Before you write off physical marketing entirely, think about your past experiences as a customer or a client. When you walk into a store or restaurant, there are certain things you expect to see as signifiers that the business is truly professional—and therefore worthy of your time and money. An attractive physical sign out front is one of those signifiers. The same is surely true if you have ever gone into an office building for a job interview or a meeting with the executives there.

The bottom line is this: no matter how much technology evolves and changes things, first impressions are always going to matter. In the digital world, some of those first impressions are going to happen on the Internet—perhaps even most of them, depending on what your company does. However, in the vast majority of cases, some of those vital first impressions are still going to happen in the physical world.

In other words, you should invest money in making sure that your website or online storefront is stunning. You should make sure that your online presence looks great, works great, and drives customer engagement. What you shouldn’t do is forget about the other side of things. Investing the time and money it takes to come up with a truly beautiful physical sign is a step that will make sure you keep one leg firmly planted in the physical marketing space—even if most of your focus is on digital platforms.

How to Design the Right Physical Sign for Your Business

So how can you achieve the right effect with your physical signage? How can you achieve a professional look while also remembering that you are a small business that needs to save money at every turn? Here are a few tips you should follow to make sure you can get the sign you want at a price point your fledgling business can afford.

  • Consider all the aesthetic angles: First, start by trying to sketch out some ideas for the artistic design of your new business sign. There are a few different factors to consider here, including color, contrast, and size. You have to consider these factors, as they will significantly impact the readability of your sign. Size (as well as the material you choose for your sign) will also affect the ultimate price tag for the project. You need to balance these strategic facets with the more artistic side of the equation. What do you want your sign to resemble? Obviously, you will want to have your brand name and your logo represented. The colors you usually use for elements in your other branding materials—such as your website or your letterhead—might be able to point you in the right direction for your sign.

  • Consider placement and perspective: One of the biggest differences between designing visual marketing materials for digital purposes, and doing it for physical applications, is perspective. When you are creating a logo or banner for digital use, all you need to worry about is how it looks. Color and contrast still matter, but your primary goal is to create something that is eye-catching—not necessarily something that is eye-catching and easy to read from any angle. For physical signage, you can build readability into your sign design, but the placement is going to be just as important. Putting the sign where it is going to attract the most attention, lighting it to make sure people can see it in low-light conditions, and playing the angles to make sure it is visible and readable from the road are all important considerations.

  • Consider hiring a professional designer: Once you’ve brainstormed what you want your sign to look like and where you want to position it, start looking for a company that specializes in wall graphics in your area. A professional designer will be able to take your concepts and turn them into something truly stunning. Plus, a sign company can take care of printing or manufacturing—steps you might not have the capacity to handle without help.

Physical signage may not mean as much in today’s business world as it used to, but it’s still an important part of a company’s brand. While your startup might not need to invest in physical signage right away—especially if you are one of those born-in-a-garage companies, eventually, you will need a physical sign, and the tips provided in this article should help you create an effective one.

No Money For Your Startup? Crowdfund It

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There are few things more frustrating that having a killer idea, a few talented souls willing to work on the idea with you, but not the kind of money you need to really get it off the ground. While there are many funding options available, some start up entrepreneurs will find their best option is crowdfunding, through which members of the public can contribute to your business either through goodwill or because they will get something in return.

Deciding It’s Right For You

While fundraising has helped many projects get off the ground or grow to the next level, it’s not a right fit for everyone. For starters, a fundraising campaign requires a lot of time and energy, and it might well be that you’d be better spending the same time and energy elsewhere. Equally, not all ideas are right for this type of money raising, so make sure you have a viable, well fleshed out idea before you commit to it. Few things look sadder than a crowdfunding campaign that receives few contributors and dies far away from its end goal.

Find the Right Crowdfunding Website

There’s not just one crowdfunding website, there are many. These sites are divided into three categories: those that are reward based, which ask for donations from individual contributors in return for a favor (say, an invite to the launch party for small donations, a year’s worth of goods for the big spenders); then there are sites that connect small businesses with wealthy investors, who can provide large sums of cash that’s to be repaid when the business is doing well. Finally, there’s the equity based crowdfunding options, whereby you can receive sums of money in return for a stake in your company. All of these methods have pros and cons, but generally most startups will be looking at the first type of crowdfunding site.

The Art of Storytelling

The most important aspect of a crowdfunding campaign is the story you tell to potential investors. Indeed, most of your initial time and capital will go into weaving the story for the public to buy in to. That means having a solid, professional look, with an idea that’s well thought out and backed by data. It means having a stellar, professional promotional video, made by experts such as Crews Control, that tells the audience exactly who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. Essentially, it’s about starting as you mean to go on – and a big part of that is making it look like you’re a million dollar company even if you’re just trying to get off the ground.

Engaging With Your Donors

The process isn’t just about getting money from the public and saying goodbye. The people who give you money are your core customer base, and with their help you can build a momentum that you can take into wider world as you grow. Stay in contact with the people who have given money, updating them on your progress as you go.

Ultimately, the key to a successful campaign is treating it as your primary project for its duration, not something that will bring in some extra cash. Good luck!

The Art Of Making Your Brand Look Smart

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When it comes to making your brand appear smart or professional to customers, and even competing organisations, the goal is to create a picture which says a thousand words. You want to be portraying success, organisation, dedication and quality all at once. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Every other business within your respective industry has likely already honed the perfect image and might be drawing away your potential customers, even though you offer the same services. However, as you may well have realized by now, there is far more to the success of a business than its products or services. There’s an art to turning heads and convincing consumers that your business can improve on competitors within your industry. Here’s a guide to the art of making your brand look smart.

Strong marketing.

The business world is always changing, but, even if you’re a new and upcoming business, you’ve likely seen the rapid-paced evolution of marketing and business methods as a result of the digital era which dominates the modern world in which we live. It can be quite an overwhelming, head-spinning experience simply trying to keep up with the latest and greatest methods technology and the internet has to bring, but if your brand is going to take one thing from the digital revolution and run with it, it should be online marketing.

A professional and eye-catching brand uses the web to its advantage at every possible opportunity. Simply having a business website or dotting a few adverts on websites isn’t going to cut it. People are over pushy marketing; they independently browse for goods and services, which means you need to be putting your brand in their line of view. As mentioned over at http://seriousstartups.com, SEO techniques could help propel your business’ website up the rankings on Google search result pages through keywords and a responsive content layout. The latter will also serve to present your brand as professional, and the design will look appealing no matter the device on which people view your website.

The office.

A brand shouldn’t just be a pretty face on the outside, but live up to its big promises on the inside. That means your business needs to be projecting the same level of professionalism and caring values within the office. You should be treating your employees in the same way as you treat your customers, as this is what makes the brand real.

A dull working environment won’t inspire your employees to be the beacons of light and helpful customer service that you claim them to be. You could spruce up the office with a little color on the walls or look into new furnishings over on http://fsgofficefurniture.com/. A break-room kitted out with a pool table and perhaps a TV would also give your workers something to be excited about at lunchtime, rather than the simple pleasure of eating their lunch in itself.

Be sociable.

Customers want to talk to real people, rather than some cold and impersonal corporate entity. As suggested over on https://designschool.canva.com, the language which your company uses to talk with customers both current or potential on social media could be the difference between building lasting relationships and spreading your brand further across the platform or leaving consumers disinterested and frustrated with your approach. Make it clear that there’s a happy and motivated team of real life people working behind the scenes. Make it personal.