Software is a term that many business owners don’t completely understand. The distinction between hardware and software is a simple one and most people understand the differences. However, what they don’t quite understand is how they both work together in order to grow a business’s technological prowess. As a result, companies usually hire expensive software developers in an attempt to grow their business, but the mistake they make is relying on said software developers to formulate a plan for them.
This is the wrong way to go about things. Software developers, while creative people, possess the skills to make almost anything happen from a technological standpoint. However, they often make fairly poor advisors due to their lack of knowledge of how businesses work and they need guidance from more experienced members of staff. As a result, people often have misled expectations when hiring a software developer and deem it as a waste of money.
So in order to help you grow your business, here are a couple of tips on how to correctly utilise a talented software developer.
Understand what software can do
First, learn what software can actually do for your business. A couple of good examples include setting up a web-based eCommerce portal to sell products online, and another use could be to use a mobile app to increase exposure for your business. There are many different ways to use software to grow your business, but it’s important that you understand the limitations involved and how you can get around them.
Have a plan for the developer
When you hire a developer, ensure that you’re going to be using them for a long period of time. Once the program is created, you’ll likely need the developer to stay on board to fix potential issues, update the software or even create newer versions in the future. It goes without saying that you can’t just hire a developer for a single project—they need to be involved in the future as well. You may also need to hire specialised developers for different aspects of your business, or to work together as a team.
Support the developer’s needs
Software developers are expensive not just because of their salary, but because they’ll need specialised tools in order to do their job correctly. For instance, this article titled Application Dependency Mapping & Performance explains how programmers use dependencies in order to expand what their software can do. In order to manage all of these extensions, they require the use of sophisticated programs and hardware in order to get the most of their code. This demands some money, so don’t be surprised if your software developer asks you to spend even more cash to meet your expectations.
Follow up with customer support
Lastly, make sure your software has a lot of support behind it. If you create a mobile app, your users will eventually run into some issues that have to be fixed and you need to give them support for when they encounter problems. This means you’ll also need a few specialists that are able to answer customer queries, be it on the phone or over email.
Are you struggling to understand why you are failing to attract organic visitors to your site/ Are you languishing on page 9 or 10 on Google, and just can’t work out why? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to go through some easy, actionable things that you can do that can really make a difference. While we can’t promise you a top result on the first page of Google, taking the following actions will improve your rankings by a significant amount.
Get the absolute basics right
First of all, it’s important to get the essentials right. According to many experts, something like 70 percent of SEO is simple, yet so few businesses get the basics done and end up in a mess as a result. Your best friend here is Google’s Webmaster Tools. It will highlight all the little issues that are occurring on your site, and addressing these matters should give you a significant improvement. There are plenty of beginner’s guides online, too, so make sure you follow the critical advice on offer.
Get to know analytics
Google Analytics is an absolute must-have tool if you want to gain more knowledge about where you are going right – and wrong. It will show you where your high performing keywords are coming from, and which ones are gaining no traction at all. You can then use this vital information to establish what you are doing wrong. Why aren’t your keywords working, for example (more on which in a moment) and why aren’t people staying on your site and finding out more about your company?
Better keyword research
The keywords you use for your site are like signposts to Google – who will give their customers the best possible answers to their search queries. So, if the keywords you are trying to rank for aren’t backed up with content that is better and more relevant to your competitors, you will be pushed down the rankings. The good news is there are free keyword research tools available out there that you can use to find other alternatives, and give you some ideas on how to rank better than you do right now. And with a little content tweaking, rewriting, and focus, nothing is stopping you from achieving better results.
Blog for your customers, not Google
It’s easy to convince yourself to create blogs that give Google what they want. But don’t forget that Google doesn’t buy anything from you – your customers do. So, if you make Google happy but when your clients arrive, they won’t like what they read. Start writing for humans, not search engines, and you will find that you suffer lower bounce rates than you do right now, and people start to take an interest in your site.
Be more local
Finally, you don’t have to compete with the rest of the world when it comes to SEO – you are more likely to enjoy success if you focus on your local markets. Lots of people are looking for businesses, brands, and products, and as Google is paying more attention to supplying them with local results, it makes sense you do too.
Every freelancer will tell you that the worst thing about being a contractor is not knowing where your next job or project will come from. What with all the uncertainty over future work, there is no wonder that freelancers simply say yes to every offer that comes this way. Because of this, all freelancers will have experienced extremely busy periods – you know, making hay while the sun shines. Unfortunately, every freelancer will have also been through very quiet periods with hardly any work. And that means there isn’t much money coming in!
As this imbalance in work and income is very common with freelancers, they all like to have some extra tricks up their sleeve that can help them make some extra cash during the hard times. If you are a strapped freelancer and need a little boost of income, here are some great ways to earn a little bit of extra cash.
These days, most freelancers have a college degree, especially if they are content writers or web developers. Did you know that if you have a degree, you can become a tutor? It’s true! Once you have a degree in a subject, you can tutor it at high-school level. You may need to brush up on what students need to know for their assignments and exams but, once you get clued up, you will be able to look for clients. The best places to advertise your skills include online sites like Craigslist and in local newspapers. If you have space to hold your lessons in your own home, you will have very minimal expenses as a part-time tutor.
Resell Web Hosting
There are now a few companies, including Wizz Hosting that can help individuals and businesses sell their web hosting onto others. This is a really easy way for freelancers to make some extra money as you don’t really have to lift a finger. Simply sign up to the company on the website and then choose the best plan for you. The only thing to remember is you should always resell your web hosting through a company that offers white label plans so that you know everything is above board and legal!
Offer Social Media Management
Many freelancers now use social media to market their own business and find new clients and projects. Think your social media skills have pretty good? Then you might want to offer your services to a local business. These days, it is absolutely imperative for all companies to have a presence on social media as many customers now find new companies via Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, looking after these accounts can take quite a bit of time. Many entrepreneurs outsource their social media management as they don’t have time to take care of it themselves. If you have the time to spare a couple of hours each day, it could be worth looking for work in social media. It only involves scheduling tweets and status updates for companies, and it is fairly well paid compared to other freelance work.
Take Advantage Of Festival Season
Don’t worry if you don’t have many projects through the summer months – it’s festival season, and there will be plenty of jobs you could do at festivals! One of the main benefits of dabbling in festival work is that you will be able to travel around the country to different festivals. Lots of people find work helping with festival organisation, such as crowd control and working on food stalls. The best way to find work at a festival is to contact the main organisers directly.
Use Your Car For Cash
Enjoy driving? If so, you might as well earn some money from it while your main freelancing work isn’t too lucrative. One of the easiest ways to earn money with your vehicle is by signing up as a driver for Uber. Once you are registered with the company, you can start giving lifts to customers, much like a taxi driver. One of the best things about driving for Uber is that all payments are done through the app, so there isn’t any worry about carrying high amounts of cash with you. You also won’t need to stress about having change all the time! Driving for Uber is a very flexible job, and you should be able to fit shifts around your main work.
Don’t worry if you have a month of not much work – as you can see there are some great options that can help you find extra cash!
Working from home is often viewed as the ideal arrangement. It provides flexibility and allows you to achieve your objectives at your own pace and in a location that makes you feel comfortable. You do not have to endure an exhausting commute. Dealing with petty office politics is thing of the past.
So, why have you seen your productivity fall since you have been working from home? This is a problem that you need to tackle. Your employer will soon notice it as well and that will lead to tension with your boss. If you work for yourself, you will soon see this lack of productivity reflected in your small business profits. Here’s a fail-safe plan that will get your productivity back on track.
Is your tech letting you down?
Remote working can only be successful if you have the technology to support it. If you are relying on an ancient laptop and outdated communication technology, you are probably wasting hours every day that could be put to better use. It is also very frustrating. It is time to call in the experts.
If you contact this IT consultancy you don’t have to spend hours working all of this out for yourself. The consultancy will be able to advise you on which advances in technology are important to you. They know how you can best manage your business functions and come up with reliable tech strategies. This frees up your time so that you can focus on what you are good at.
Create your own timetable – and stick to it!
A regular timetable is a must when you work from home. If you do not have a boss clocking you in and out it is all too easy to start in the late afternoon and stop at 4 p.m. This is not going to help you achieve anything. Set your alarm and start early. Work at a steady pace and build plenty of short breaks into your day when you get up and walk around. This will keep you focused and at maximum productivity. Remember, it is not the hours that you spend that matters but what you achieve whilst you are working.
Keep an eye on the clock when you have lunch or stop for a coffee break. If you do get up from your desk to attend to some household chores, set a timer. It is easy to get carried away!
Create a work area
Sitting on the couch or on your bed is not a good idea. These are the places that you relax and your brain will find it hard to switch into ‘work’ mode. If you can set up a study in a spare room that would be best. Close the door and focus purely on your work. If you do not have the space for this you could choose a corner of the dining room. Try to face the wall or a window so that you are not distracted by the room.
A few decades ago, setting up your own business would be the far off dream of a few, fortunate people. It would involve hiring property, huge bank loans and the necessary financial backing of business savvy investors who would expect a substantial cut of your profits in return. But in this day and age, things have changed. If you have a bright business plan, you can set up your company from the comfort of your own home. So if you’re sick of pandering to a boss and making other people’s dreams a reality, it may well be time to start laying the foundations of your own business venture. Here’s everything you need to know to get you going.
Creating a Sound Business Concept
Always do your research before setting up any business. Set up costs may well be relatively cheap, but you still don’t want to waste any of your money in building a business that might fall at the first hurdle. Not to mention the time that is going to go into this. So make sure that you have a solid business concept before getting started. You can test out selling your products on small sites like eBay, Depop, and Etsy to begin. If people show interest and sales start coming in, then you can look to expand and progress. You can also test out the market for your products at local sales. Another good idea is to conduct market research. Find individuals from your target audience and ask them about their likelihood of purchasing certain products. Questionnaires and interviews can also help you to decide on product prices and beneficial advertising techniques.
Bring in the Pros
Chances are, you’re currently in full-time employment, tiding yourself over until your own business is up and going. A day job, alongside family and social commitments, means that you probably don’t have all that much time to spare when it comes to creating your own startup. But not to worry. This is where the professionals can chip in and help to take a little bit of the weight and pressure off your shoulders. Company formation firms know the ins and outs of the formation process and will be able to do most of the hard work on your behalf. With endless startups to their name, they will know every aspect of the process that needs to be addressed, while ensuring that everything remains personal and branded to your taste. You can read more about the services available to you here.
If you’ve decided to go ahead with creating your business, it’s time to start branding. This allows you to build a name for yourself in the world of commerce. You will need a brand name, logo, and design for your site (this can include coming up with an effective color scheme and typeface). If things are going well, you could look into buying the rights to your designs. Trademarking will prevent copycat scammers from stealing your hard work and selling it for their own profit.
Long gone are the days when opening up a small business meant simply renting a store and selling your wares to people who happened to come inside. Nowadays, e-commerce is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of the market. It’s not surprising. There are endless benefits to selling your stock online. Firstly, it allows your products to reach a large audience. When you sell online, your goods become available to a worldwide market. International shipping is at an all time high, as people are showing higher interest in goods that can only be attained abroad. Secondly, people can access your business twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This means there are more hours in the day for people to buy from you. This results in increasing impulse buys, which would otherwise have been cast aside by the time you’d usually open up shop in the morning. So, if this all sounds good to you and you’ve decided it’s high time that you set up an online store, here are some top tips to getting things moving in the right direction.
Choose a Platform
There are plenty of casual sites out there that have sales options that can be added. However, these are better for individuals selling personal items through their blogs. When it comes to business, Web Hosting is the most effective and professional looking option for your sales. You gain the option of purchasing and using a domain name, allowing people to find your business more easily. You also have the option of creating a business email, which gives a much better impression to buyers than contacting you on a personal email address will. This also allows you to effectively separate your work and home life.
Choose a Design
When you set your site up, it is probably best to bring in a professional web designer. You may have already collaborated with a graphic designer in the past to create a logo and brand name font. Ask this individual to send you the original files of the designs, for you to transfer to a web designer who will be able to incorporate them into the layout of your web page. You will be able to work with the web designer to ensure that the final product is everything you wished it to be. From color palettes to font and pop-up windows. You will be able to have everything exactly as you’d imagined.
Choose Payment Methods
When people pay online, they will want to ensure that they are using secure payment methods. Paypal is a great option and one of the most commonly used online payment methods. You could use this in conjunction with accepting payments from all big card names, such as Visa, Delta, and American Express. The more options that you offer your customer base, the more profit you will make. If you don’t take a customer’s preferred payment method, they may be tempted to purchase the product elsewhere from one of your competitors and this could also result in future lost sales.
As a business owner you should be doing everything you can to keep your business safe from any sort of turmoil. But, today, one of the biggest turmoils you should seek to safeguard your business from are those that are technologically induced. There are a host of ways in which your business can be compromised and attacked when it comes to technology. But there are also a host of ways to keep your business safe from such compromised positions and such attacks. Read on to find out just how.
Invest in Anti Spam Software
The best way to keep your business safe from technological turmoil is to invest in anti spam software. This is the single most effective way to protect against the plights that are trojans and viruses. And these are plights that are very common and very easy to subject your business to, which is why this kind of protective software is imperative. Your business can be easily subjected to these plights because of the fact that they can be hidden in emails. In fact, emails are the most common carriers of all the bad things that can infect the devices your business uses. They are the most common gateways through which your devices, and your business, can be subjected to techno turmoil. They are common because they are used so frequently, and cyber criminals know this. They also know that emails can be made to look as if they don’t pose any danger at all, when in actual fact they do. So, enlist the help of anti spam software in order to protect yourself fully, but choose wisely when it comes to this enlisting. You must choose a software that not only offers anti-spam solutions, but one that can differentiate between genuine emails and bogus, trojan and virus carrying ones. One such software can be found if you visit ATB Technologies for services and information on the services they offer. By choosing them, or another service that offers similarly clever modes of protection, you will be doing all you can to protect your business from the techno turmoil that are trojans and viruses.
Provide your employees with security awareness training
Providing your employees with security awareness training is a must in the business world of today. This is because of the simple fact that they probably come into a lot of contact with a online technology. And because they are in such frequent contact with it, they make themselves susceptible to being inflicted with turmoil induced by it. On this type of training they would be able to learn all about spyware; just how it can contact them and the damage it can do to them and your business. It would teach them how to deal with unwanted emails when they surface in their inboxes. It would teach them how to spot any suspicious and dangerous emails if they do manage to slip by the anti spam software you do in fact choose to use. And it would teach them how to manage their inboxes in the correct fashion.
But you shouldn’t just seek to teach your employees how to spot any dangers that come their way. No, you should also ensure that they aren’t bringing any potential technological dangers to work with them. In the business world of today the enemy could lie within when it comes to techno turmoil. The enemy could lie within because of the fact that each of your employees will have their own mobile phone which connects to the Internet. Therefore, whenever they step foot in your business’s premises they open up an online gateway to it. And potential dangers can use this open gateway at their will. This is because each phone connects to your business’s network. This then means that any apps that your employees have on their phone may be able to also access this network. For example, when Pokemon Go was the go-to mobile game for most in the summer of 2016, the app’s creators Ninantic were being granted access to the users Gmail accounts. And if an employee of yours was using this game during working hours at the office, they could have been granting this company access to your business data. This doesn’t mean that Niantic themselves posed a danger, but if they were to ever be hacked themselves then the hackers would then have access to your business too. So, it’s imperative that your employees are not accessing any third party apps when they are in the vicinity of your business’s technological network. And it’s down to you to inform them of this.
Seek the services of an uptime operator
But even when you have a strong anti spam software. And even when your employees are fully aware of everything they need to be doing when it comes to their usage of your business’s online network. You still need to ensure your business’s use of online technology is always up and running. When, say, your business’s website is down, this most certainly constitutes as techno turmoil. It does so because you are going to lose potential customer if a potential customer cannot access your site. This is because they will become impatient with your site if it is down and then proceed to take their custom elsewhere. Therefore, you should enlist the help of an uptime operating service such as UptimeRobot. This kind of service would monitor your site at all times — come rain or shine, at both night and day. It would then alert you via email or SMS to the fact that it is down, if it does in fact go down. It would then be your job to get your site back up and running again; but knowing that it is down as soon as possible helps you to do this quicker. And finding a quick solution to such a turmoil is pivotal. Monitoring your business is pivotal if you want it to be a success. But monitoring your website at all times personally is just not a feasible or realistic venture for you, or any other human, to take. Therefore, you should always seek the services of an uptime operator.
Technological turmoil can strike any business, which is why you need to both plan for it and protect against it. By taking heed of the advice above, you would be going a long way to doing just that.
Keeping your business running smoothly is no small feat. However, you didn’t get into it expecting an easy ride, and you’re capable of dealing with the obstacles, twists, and, sometimes hurricanes, that the market throws at you. There are some key elements of your company that you need to keep to a high standard to ensure that your business runs as smooth as possible; the following are the areas to take a look at and to keep polishing.
Any people that you have working for you not only need to be properly trained and qualified but, also happy and enthusiastic about their job role. No matter how hectic the week gets at work, there needs to be a set time to catch up for formal and informal meetings. If you care about your staff and show that by keeping an eye on their well-being within the business; their trust and loyalty to you will strengthen, and their work ethic for your company will continually improve.
It’s a smart idea to invest in their career development also; any employee that feels stagnant within the business is likely to lose motivation, and start looking elsewhere for work. If you have got the means to train and develop people in-house, then there are an array of courses and businesses events that you should consider involving them with. You want your employees to be an asset to you and your brand, and bring in skills and knowledge that you don’t necessarily have, so investing in the right training is a wise idea.
When your potential clients or consumers arrive on your website; you want them to be impressed by what they’re reading and attracted to your brand. However, if your content is of poor quality, they’ll leave your site, move on to the next and are unlikely to return. So, make sure whatever content you’re putting out there, it’s of high quality and engaging.
For your business to pop up in Google searches and appear where it deserves to on the web; you’ll need your content to be working hard for you. You might need to consider using an SEO company to ensure that keywords and links are all where they should be, and your online presence evolves and strengthens regularly. Remember that your content is likely to be the first thing new customers see, so they need to get a sense of your business’s identity and leave with a positive impression.
If you’ve been using the same marketing strategy for a long time, and there’s been no recent boost to traffic to your business, then it will need looking into and rethinking. Marketing often favors the bold; so be brave and try new things. Look into what the big guys have been doing recently and how successful their strategies have been; learning from other company’s mistakes and successes with help to guide you in which direction to take. Take a look at some smarter ways to spend your marketing budget here: http://benmartin.pro/smarter-ways-to-spend-your-marketing-budget/.
Until you’ve looked into each crucial area of your business, and made the changes needed; you’ll be coasting along, and any advancement will be a struggle. So take the time and regularly invest in the parts of the business that will help it flourish and overtake the competition.
It’s never easy being a business owner. For one thing, you’re under a great deal of pressure from just about everyone. Not only that but you’re expected to be able to handle just about every problem that comes up. The other main thing that many business owners struggle with is the feeling that they need to be everywhere at once. It can often feel as though because you have something of a bird’s eye view of your business, you should be aware of absolutely everything all at once. It hardly takes a genius to realize that this is a massive overstatement of what a business owner is actually capable of. After all, you’re only human and have all of the same limitations as anyone else. However, there are things that always need your attention, not to mention things that can make it a whole lot easier to manage those things.
IT is something that has been slowly becoming more and more important for just about every business over the last two decades. It’s now reached the point that, if your business doesn’t have some kind of digital component then it’s probably incredibly outdated and doomed to fail. Of course, when something is as important and multifaceted as it, it can be very hard to make sense of and manage. A dedicated piece of IT asset management software can make the entire process a whole lot easier. Rather than having to deal with everything personally, having a piece of software handle it can free up your time to cover other, equally important things.
If there’s one mistake that a lot of business owners make over just about any other, it’s the fact that they don’t pay close enough attention to their employees. They assume that just because they get a steady paycheck at the end of the month, that that’s enough to keep them happy and motivated. However, this simply isn’t the case. You should be paying more attention to the condition of your employees as well as their levels of motivation and engagement with their work. Not only that but you should be willing to adjust elements of your business in order to help them feel more closely connected to both you and the business as a whole.
Your Bottom Line
Let’s face it when it comes to business, money matters. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that it’s the most important aspect of any business no matter what. Whether or not this is true is somewhat irrelevant. The important thing is that you never fail to pay close attention to your bottom line and to make sure that your business is actually making the kind of money that you want it to. If you have the means to do it, you may even want to hire an accountant to take care of some of that stuff for you, allowing you to focus your energy on parts of the company where you may have more interest and experience overall.