Think National Not Local To Increase Your Sales

So many new businesses see a spike in sales which then starts to drop off after a while. You’re left not knowing why. One reason could be that you are not reaching markets on a national scale. Although you might have become a force to be reckoned with on a local level, you won’t be able to push your business to the next level if you don’t start expanding your reach and hitting markets on a national level. Any business owners out there that have found their sales starting to stagnate should read these tips on bringing in customers on a national scale.

 

Make Use Of Your Website

So many companies build a website and wait for people to come to you. This won’t work if you’re trying to grab more customers. You need to be proactive with it and reach out to people. Fill your site with valuable content that people want to read, that way you can attract more potential customers to your site.

Developing your own app is also one way of reaching new customers. If it’s successful you’ll see a huge increase in traffic but it will take some investment. Use this app development calculator to see how much it’s going to set you back. If you don’t have enough money for it, don’t go ahead with it. If you don’t spend enough on developing a good quality app then you won’t reap the rewards.

Good use of technology is often the key to a good marketing campaign these days.

 

Market Research

All of the local customers that you are dealing with at the moment will have similar wants and needs. Once you start reaching further afield, the demographic will be very different. That means you can’t use the same marketing tactics you have been up to this point. Make sure that you do extensive research into all of the areas that you are trying to expand into so you can tailor your efforts towards them specifically. You’ll see a lot more success this way than you would if you simply used blanket tactics in all of the different markets.

 

Go Slowly

A common mistake that people tend to make is that they overstretch themselves too early on. You aren’t going to be able to start selling your products nationwide overnight. If you’re operating in one town or city, the first step should be to expand your operations to a country level. From there you can move into a whole region, and then a state and so forth. Trying to hit the whole country from the beginning means that you’ll spread yourself too thin and you’ll just be running lots of marketing campaigns very badly instead of a few successfully. None of them will give you the increase in sales that you are looking for.

 

Budgeting

 

When you are writing a plan, you’ll need to work out a budget. Don’t rush into the campaign with a small amount of money. You should only spend what you can afford to lose; putting all of your capital into a marketing campaign that might not work could leave you in some serious trouble.

Category: Business

5 Reasons Why You Should be Guest Blogging

 

You’ve seen them all over the web, and probably on some of your favorite blogs: Guest Blog Posts. And of course, seeing these will lead to the inevitable question: “Should I be scheduling guest blog posts?” The answer is a loud yes! And here are just five reasons why.

 

Backlinks and SEO

When you include links to your website in the bio of your guest blog posts, it creates backlinks as soon as your blog is published on anther site. This increases your SEO, especially if you are publishing on a quality, trusted site. The more important the site, the more potential you have to earn higher SEO rankings, as their SEO juice will flow onto your blog. This means the more likely you are to be seen, and the more business you and your company can earn.

 

Gain More Followers

Posting on a different site also gives you the ability to reach a new and different audience. The blog you post on will have loyal viewers of its own, and these loyal viewers can now meet you, learn from you, and learn about your business and find a trusted new resource in the field. Pretty sweet, right? If they really like you, not only will they return again and again to your blog or company site, but they may follow you on your social media channels. The more people who visit your site, and the longer you stay, the higher your SEO rankings.

 

Win Win

But guest blogging isn’t just about you. You can help increase the SEO of the site hosting you, too. How? Simply write a post on your own blog summarizing what people can learn from your guest blog post, and link to the other blog. This provides backlinks to the site hosting you. In addition, your loyal blog readers can visit the host site, learn new things, and potentially become loyal followers to the host site.

 

 

Build Relationships

It’s no surprise that with such a beneficial partnership already in the works, you and the host site can build a working relationship where you support each other beyond guest blogging. Additionally, you can also build relationships with readers by responding to their questions and comments in the fields of your guest blog post, potentially bringing you more business. Building this relationship in the first place can be tough, however, and you will need to perfect your pitch to gain a response and a place to blog. Guestposttracker.com shows you how to get a guest post published, and how to start that working relationship. Remember that successful bloggers are very busy people, and may not get back to you straight away – if you haven’t heard back from them for a couple of weeks, a gentle nudge to remind them that you have reached out will go a long way.

 

Establish Credibility

The more quality content you write, and the more people see it, the higher you can rank in Google, which means more people visiting your site and even higher SEO rankings. When people learn they can rely on you, and when you consistently provide quality content, you can become a trusted leader in the industry.

Category: Blogging, Business

Every Good Employer Has These Things For Their Staff

There will come a time when you need to think about hiring some staff for your business. After all, it’s the best way to grow your company. And if you want to take on more work from clients, employing staff is a necessity. It can also help to lessen your own load so you can concentrate on other areas of the business. After all, as much as we wish we could do ten things at once, it’s easy for things to go wrong when we are multitasking! However, if you want to ensure your employees stay happy at your company, you need to put some important things in place. After all, you don’t want your new staff running to another business as they aren’t getting treated right with you. You want loyal staff who are happy to stay and build their career at your business. To ensure this happens, here are a few things every good employer has for their staff.

 

Time

It’s so easy to get caught up in your business. After all, when there are tight deadlines to be met, and you are trying to win over new clients, you can get into a bubble. And the outside world often gets ignored while you are so busy. But you do need to make sure that however busy you might be, that you still make time for your employees. Otherwise, they could easily feel taken for granted working for you. And if they are suffering with their heavy workload, or having a poor time with a colleague, they might not feel like they can talk to you. Therefore, they could end up quitting and moving on to a different company. And then you will have lost a good member of staff. So to ensure you are a good employer to your team, you need to make it clear that you always have time to speak to them. Tell them that they can come to you at any time if they are having a problem with the work. If you show that you have time for them, they are bound to stay longer at your company, and have much more respect for you as a boss!

 

A HR team

While an employee might talk to their supervisor about a work problem, there are some cases they might feel like they can’t open up to them. After all, the issue might be with the supervisor. Or it might be a personal issue which needs to be dealt with carefully. And if they have no one to go to, it might lead them to get stressed out in the workplace. In fact, they might end up leaving and going to a different company. Therefore, to ensure you are a good employer, you need to get an HR team on board. After all, it will ensure your employee has a good port of call if they are having any problems. And they will feel more comfortable talking to them about workplace matters. If you go through HR recruitment specialists, you can make sure you get someone with experience who will know how to deal with employee relations. And having an HR employee on board can also help you out when it comes to hiring and firing employees. After all, if you have never had employees before, it can be an overwhelming experience. Therefore, having someone to help you can make it a much easier task to find good, solid employees for your business!

 

Good company benefits

As much as an employee will start working for you down to the role and pay, they will also look at the company benefits. After all, these are the things which can help make your business stand out as an employer. And it can ensure they want to work for you rather than going with a different company. In fact, if you have a lack of company benefits, you will struggle to get any applications when it comes to looking for new employees. Therefore, it’s worth thinking of some good company benefits you can bring to the table. It might be that you offer a bonus scheme for work completed. That will ensure your team work harder to ensure they get a bonus at the end of it. You also might want to offer good training opportunities. At the end of the day, employees want to advance and learn new skills. So if there is training on offer, they are more likely to want to work for your company. Also, make sure you offer things like a Christmas work party and the occasional Friday drinks. It can boost morale and ensure your staff feels like they are having a good experience working for your company!

 

Flexibility

It used to be the case that you would head to work at 9, have an hour’s lunch, and then head home at 5. But now in the modern world, a lot of people want to work flexible hours. After all, it can ensure they can fit their work around everything that is going on in their personal life. They want the opportunity to start early so they can finish earlier in the afternoon. Or even come in later and finish at a later time. So if you just offer set hours without any room for movement, it might leave your staff members unhappy. Therefore, to be a good employer, ensure you allow flexibility for your staff. Allow them to start or finish at whatever time is necessary. At the end of the day, as long as the work gets completed, it’s fine to be a bit flexible. And they should reward you by working hard to ensure you can make a success of your business.

 

Remember to ensure you have good facilities for your staff. After all, it’s going to lead to a low morale if they don’t have things like a staff room to chill out at lunch. And if they have rubbish toilets they have to use on a daily basis. Therefore, ensure they have proper facilities to keep your staff happy!

Category: Business

Effective Ways To Give A Good First Impression In Business

 

When trying to source clients in your business, first impressions count. You need to make every effort to ensure your company stands out from the competition, so how you present yourself and your service matters.

Here are several ways you can make a good first impression when meeting new clients.

Do your homework

When meeting a prospective client, you need to do your homework. Visit their website and find out as much about them as you can, knowing their company’s history and mission statement. In much the same way you would for a job interview, knowing you have done some research will make the client look favorably towards you.

Be on time

When traveling to the meeting, make sure you are punctual and arrive early if possible. Get to know the route you will be taking so you don’t get lost on the way, and take into account traffic and parking spots. You need time to prepare yourself when you arrive, such as heading to the restroom to make sure you look presentable, and to gain composure. Arriving late and disheveled is not the way to guarantee a good first impression.

Focus on your presentation

You need to look presentable, so wear something that befits the meeting. A designer suit is preferable for a formal business meeting, but you don’t want to overdress for something informal. You need to feel comfortable in whatever you wear, but you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons with an inappropriate outfit.

As you meet your clients, a firm handshake will show you have confidence. However, you don’t want to grip too tightly, as your lasting impression shouldn’t be bruising on your client’s fingers. When you shake hands, smile and give eye contact. On your first meeting, you are trying to convey a positive image, so everything from your face to your body language will improve your first impression.

Active listening

You may be pitching an idea, but it is important to engage with what your client is saying. Again, focus on your body language to show you are attentive. Don’t interrupt your client, but wait for appropriate times to speak and ask questions. If you try to hurry them or finish off their sentences, they won’t feel valued by you. Similarly, asking a question to something they have already given the answer to will show you haven’t listened properly.

A lasting impression

When meeting a client, you don’t want them to forget you in favor of your competition. Leave them with a professionally made business card from a company such as these compelling

z card printing designs. Say goodbye with another firm handshake, and thank your client for their valuable time.

Don’t hurry to contact your client again, but give them time to think about the meeting you had. However, you don’t want to lose their potential custom, so a quick phone call or an email after a couple of days to remind them you are still interested in their business will suffice.

Category: Business

How to Expand Your Home Business

A lot of people start out from home when they launch their own business. For some, they are perfectly content here, while for others, they want to grow their company as quickly as they can so they are able to move onto bigger things. If you are in the second category, then this article is for you. Though it is often not easy to expand your home-based business, there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances significantly. Here are just a few of them.

 

Focus on One Product or Service to Begin With

A common mistake that a lot of people make is that they try to spread themselves too thin by focusing on too many things all at once. Instead, you should concentrate on a single product or service and find new ways to market and sell it. The best way of achieving a goal is by concentrating 100 percent of your focus on it. Only then should you be thinking about diversifying and moving into different areas.

Increase Sales to Existing Customers

Increasing sales to the customers you have already is an enormous amount cheaper than constantly looking for new ones. Your best way of doing this is by encouraging their loyalty. Once you have their contact information, you can present them with exclusive deals via email marketing. You can also encourage them to follow you on social media and make sure you are active on your accounts. Another option is to set up a loyalty scheme which gives them a discount or special offer.

 

Outsource to Help You Out

If you are trying to do everything with limited resources, this means that your business is not operating to its full potential. One option to get around this problem is to outsource certain areas of your business. Many businesses choose to hire in a professional to help out with their accounting needs or you could otherwise look into IT Consulting for businesses as technology is an extremely important area of every company these days. Ultimately, outsourcing helps to free up your time so you can concentrate on other areas of your business.

 

Focus on Digital Marketing

Most home businesses tend to focus their efforts online as this is the best way that you can reach out to people. It is all well and good having a fantastic business idea and great website to back it up, but if no one can find you, it won’t do you much good. So, you should look at ways that you can get the word out there including social media, email marketing, SEO and digital advertising. A coherent digital strategy is vital for any growing business.

 

Learn as Much as You Can

If you are new to the world of business, you should try to learn as much as you can by reading widely, going to training sessions and attending networking events. Continual development is something that all entrepreneurs should be striving to achieve whenever possible.

     

Category: Business

How to Grow Your Business With Software Developers

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.

Category: Business

Actionable Tips To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category: Business

Extra Cash Options For Strapped Freelancers

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.

 

Start Tutoring

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!

Category: Business

How To Be More Productive When You Work From Home

 

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.

 

Category: Business