Internet Trends, stats & facts in the U.S. and Worldwide 2016

Internet Trends, stats & facts in the U.S. and Worldwide 2016

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The following collection of charts represents the most trusted research and the most recent data on major internet trends. Feel free to use the charts included here on your post on Internet World Usage Statistics, and do share it on social networks. Share

While dedicated to vpns and online privacy issues, vpnMentor also wants to be your resource for Internet trends and data.

As a result, we have scoured the most trusted researchers’ sites to present the following series of charts. Grouped by general topic, the information below represents the most recent data on major internet trends.

Global Internet Trends

Internet Traffic Statistics

Asian nations account for almost half of the world’s internet users.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Number of Websites in 2016

There are almost 1 billion websites, but this is not the high water mark. In 2014, the internet crossed the 1 billion mark.

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Web Growth Statistics

The fastest growing segment of the internet is the number of mobile social media users. The number of people who used mobile devices to access social media grew by more than 280 million globally from 2015 to 2016.

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Mobile Internet Penetration

The U.S. and the U.K. do not rank in the top 10 markets in terms of smartphone penetration. The UAE leads this statistic with 91% penetration.

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Global and U.S. E-Commerce Trends

Statistics on Internet Research before a Purchase

People between 18 and 35 years old do the most online research via mobile devices.

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Facts and Statistics about Product Reviews

Think reviews are important? You’re right! 55% of shoppers said customer reviews affect their buying decisions.

internet trends - vpnMentor

In addition, almost 40% of people in stores read online reviews before buying a product or service.

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E-commerce Spending Via Desktops

When it comes to online purchasing, people on Macs do more than people on any other platform.

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World E-commerce Statistics

Business to Consumer sales (B2C) are up globally from 2015. The Asian-Pacific nations lead this category, with an expected $707 billion + of sales in 2016.

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Who Uses the Internet to Shop?

The U.S. leads in overall e-commerce spending.

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Internet Trends: Device Comparisons

Number of SmartPhone Users

While several forecasts pegged 2014 as the “year of revolution” when mobile-only users would surpass desktop-only users, it turns out the forecast finally became reality in the U.S. in 2015.

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Use Patterns: Mobile vs Desktop

Mobile is the fastest growing platform in terms of time spent on-screen. This means more people are spending time on their phones versus time on their desktops.

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U.S. Platform Trends

In the U.S. the fastest growing segments of device ownership are smartphones (from 35% in 2011 to 68% in 2015) and tablets (from 3% in 2010 to 45% in 2015).

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Percentage of Mobile Web Internet Traffic

An astonishing 76% of Nigeria’s total web traffic comes from mobile devices. In the U.S., mobile web accounted for 22% of the overall traffic.

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Tablet Internet Use

Tablet penetration has risen slowly over the past couple of years. By 2020, tablets will be used by 35% of all internet users.

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Mobile vs Laptop: Types of Activities

Nearly as many people aged 16 – 24 use phones to chat as they do laptops. However, laptops still dominate streaming content

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Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablets in the U.K.

In the U.K., the number of people who own multiple devices grew from 53% in July of 2015 to 57% in December.

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VPN Use

Of course, VPN use and data privacy have strong correlations. By accessing a separate server for internet use, VPNs make it much more difficult for hackers and/or 3rd parties to track online activities. The following charts examine the current state of VPN use around the globe.

Top Markets for VPN Use

Asia and the Middle East continue to dominate the VPN market.

VPN Use and Data Privacy Stats - vpnMentor

Internet Trends: Performance

How Load Time Affects Web Page Abandonment

While web page features such as plug-ins, pop-ups, and streaming video may help convey your message, they hinder the page load time. As the following charts show, a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load runs a high risk of abandonment.

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internet trends - vpnMentor

Global Internet Speed Trend

Good news: internet speeds around the globe are at their highest peak ever.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Internet Trends: Search and Social Media

Most Popular U.S. Online Activities

In the U.S. last year, communication activities such as email (almost 91%) and instant/text messaging (86%) dominated.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Content Management System Trends

WordPress continued to win content management market share with nearly 60%. The No. 2 system, Joomla, had a 5.9% market share.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Percentage of Google Chrome Users

In terms of web browsers used, Google Chrome continues to thrive. According to the latest numbers from w3schools, it is more than 4 times as popular as its next closest competitor (Firefox).

internet trends - vpnMentor

Percent of Internet Time Spent on Search Engine/Social Media, etc.

The top 3 activities for desktop users in terms of time spent in 2015: Portals (Google, Yahoo, etc.), business/finance, and entertainment/news. The top 3 activities for Mobile device users: maps, photos, and games.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Percent of Most Visited Websites

Google wants to be the internet’s portal, and it is well on its way. The internet giant’s flagship page nearly tripled the 2nd place website (Facebook) in terms of page visits.

internet trends - vpnMentor

2016 U.S. Online Shopping

In terms of U.S. e-commerce, Pinterest is lapping the field.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Forecast and Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Currently, mobile users spend double the time in apps as they do on mobile web pages. In future years, this gap is expected to grow even wider.

Mobile App vs Mobile Web

internet trends - vpnMentor

Worldwide E-commerce Forecast

By 2018, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to approach $2.5 trillion.

internet trends - vpnMentor
Internet Trends: Resources Used

www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
hostingfacts.com/internet-facts-stats-2016/
www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/
asia.googleblog.com/2015/06/mobilestatsforasia.html
www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/online-shopping-behaviors-based-on-age
blog.kissmetrics.com/5-ecommerce-stats/
marketingland.com/167928-167928
www.statista.com/chart/541/conversion-rates-of-online-shoppers-in-q4-2013/
dazeinfo.com/2013/07/01/global-ecommerce-sales-2013-india-us-uk/
www.statista.com/chart/3790/e-commerce-revenue-per-online-shopper/
www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
www.slideshare.net/kleinerperkins/internet-trends-v1/24-24Time_Spent_on_Screens_by
www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership-2015/
dazeinfo.com/2016/06/13/number-internet-users-worldwide-2016-2020/
smartinsights.com/?attachment_id=72442
www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2014/UK-Digital-Market-Overview-February-2014?cs_edgescape_cc=US
blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/?wide=1
www.yottaa.com/company/blog/application-optimization/marketing-web-performance-101-how-site-speed-impacts-your-metrics/
www.statista.com/statistics/204954/average-internet-connection-speed-worldwide/
www.statista.com/statistics/18
Category: Business

Reaching The Modern Buyer [VIDEOGRAPHIC]

The modern B2B buyer has changed — what can your organization do about it?

It seems every month a new report is out showing sales teams that use social correctly see better results in terms of client relationships, pipeline gain and revenue growth. We’ve compiled the latest from including Forrester, CEB, CSO Insights and many more into an easy-to-watch videographic. Some highlights:

  • 84% of B2B leaders use social in their purchasing decision
  • Those who use social see 54% deeper relationships with clients compared to non-social sellers (all other respondents of the study)
  • Those who use social see 27% better conversion rates than non-social sellers

Enjoy, and feel free to share.

Original Post “Sales For Life

Category: Uncategorized

Ultimate Guidelines For Super Successful Online Business Copywriting

Anyone can write, right? Well, a quick look around the web and you will soon find that this just isn’t the case. Every day I see examples of terrible copywriting on the websites of both small business and global corporations.

The trouble is that the words you use make a big difference to your chances of success. There are no excuses for poor copy that is grammatically incorrect, or that doesn’t compel the reader into taking action. And the truth is that you will lose sales, scare off customers, and fail to get your core message across.

So, do you think it is time to take the words you use for your business more seriously? If so, read on. I’ve put together these ultimate guidelines to creating fantastic copy that will make a huge difference to your sales.

We’re going to go through everything from why you should focus on the benefits of your product to understanding your audience. Let’s get started right away.

Who you are talking to?

First of all, who is your audience? If you don’t know, how can you possibly communicate with them? Establish an ideal consumer – the average person who visits your website, for example.

Who are they, where do they live, and what do they do for a living? How old are they? What are their interests, and what excites them? What other products and services do they buy? The more details you can draw from your customers, the better.

It will help you begin writing for that ideal customer every time you put pen to paper. You can target every word to appealing to them, and make every last sentence relevant.

How do you give them value?

Another critical fact to establish is understanding the value you offer your customer. If you don’t know why people buy from you, it won’t be long before you start struggling in the sales department.

So, have a good think about your value proposition. What differentiates you from the competition? Do you do things faster, cheaper, or better? If so, how? Understanding the value you give will hand you the opportunity to create convincing copywriting.

It also gives you an upper hand against your competitors. If you know you can deliver a pizza within fifteen minutes, for example, then you need to be shouting about it from the rooftops. You will automatically become the pizza delivery company of choice for anyone that needs feeding, fast!

What is the purpose of your writing?

Another big issue I see in copywriting online and off is irrelevance. It might be a blog post that is stuffed with unnecessary words just to make up a word count. It could be an email in my inbox that doesn’t explain what I need to do next. Or, it could be a business homepage that doesn’t explain exactly what they are about within the first 5-6 seconds after arrival.

Every word your business displayed needs to have a purpose. And, of course, you need to understand what that purpose is before using it.

Make sure the reader knows what they are looking at straight away. If you don’t establish that message and make it clear to yourself, it certainly won’t be clear to the reader.

What are the benefits of your product or service?

When I shop for something online, I want to know what a product will do for me. How will it improve my life? Which of my problems will it solve? Why is it better than a similar product I can buy for half the price?

The trouble is, so many online businesses get this wrong. Instead, these sites will just explain the features, rather than the benefits. So, they might say that a jumper is ‘made of wool.’ But does that really give me an irresistible urge to buy it? Far from it.

However, if that jumper was ‘woven to keep you warm in winter’ or ‘perfect for cosying up on a chilly evening’ it puts different pictures in my head. Take a look at the words you use on your site and see if you can make any improvements.

Why are you focusing on ‘me’ not ‘you’?

Countless business websites drone on for an eternity about their company history. And by the time a reader has got a third of the way through, they will just leave and go elsewhere. I hate to say this, but the vast majority of people don’t care about your business. All they want to do is find what they are looking for and buy it.

So, stop talking about yourself, save for a brief bit of info on your About page. It’s a complete waste of prime real estate that you can use far better by putting the focus on your customers. Avoid using the first person (I, me, mine, etc.) and use the second person instead. Words like ‘you,’ ‘your,’ and ‘yours’ talk directly to the person reading them. And it has a much greater impact, too. Let’s revisit the pizza delivery service again, as an example.

Which is the most impactful sentence out of these two? “Our first class pizza delivery service can deliver our pizzas in fifteen minutes”? Or, “You could be eating your delicious pizza within fifteen minutes”? The second creates an image in the reader’s head that is far more compelling, as it is more personal.

What do your customers say about you?

Testimonials and recommendations from past clients are a great way to give your service or products validity. A convincing quote from a verified customer can add a lot of credibility to your offering. However, the reader has to know that the person’s quote comes from a real individual. Photos, links to a website, and even their location can help paint a picture of that person.

While you are looking for suitable quotes, make sure you are taking notes. Let’s say you get a thank-you letter from a happy client. In it, you will find out exactly why they loved your service – and you can then use these words to create a compelling offer to everyone else. Customers are often the source of these types of reveal to companies – you might even find some benefits you had never considered before.

Are you up the task?

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, not everyone is a writer. And, not every writer is a great copywriter.

The truth is that copywriting is a skill that many people take years to master. And unless you have the time to put into educating yourself, you should think about aiming to find a copywriter or agency to help. I know how hard it is to run a business, and there is often little time to do everything. But, you have to bear in mind that the words you use represent your company, and it is critical to get them right.

Outsourcing copywriting can help you create compelling and convincing words that will improve sales. You are buying expertise and knowledge, and the job will be finished far quicker – and better -than you could do by yourself.

Are you keeping things simple?

Great copywriting is clean, crisp, and concise. The fewer words it takes to deliver your key messages, the better. Far too many websites fail to understand this, and will fill webpage after webpage with needless words and sentences. So, when you do the first draft, make sure you take a long, hard look at it when you are finished.

Could you edit it down a little, and trim off some of the fat? Could you separate some paragraphs to make it easier to read? Perhaps you could highlight specific sentences to attract a little more focus from the reader? Doing this will not only underline an important point, but it will also cover you if someone is skim reading your copy.

Are you direct?

Great copy is also forceful and direct. It doesn’t use words such as ‘may,’ ‘might,’ or ‘perhaps.’ Instead, copywriters use more direct language such as ‘will,’ and ‘can.’ These direct commands are a lot more forceful and have far more impact on the reader.

Let’s return to our pizza delivery company once again for another example. ‘Your pizza will arrive within fifteen minutes’ is far more compelling than ‘your pizza might arrive in fifteen minutes’!

Do you include a direct call to action?

Finally, it is possible to have the greatest piece of sales copy the world has ever seen but still not make any sales.

How? Well, the aim of all marketing is to create a response from the reader. It could be to sign up to an email list or buy a product, for example. But not every customer knows what they should do, even if they are impressed with what they have read.

It is essential that you make it clear what you want the reader to do next. And the best way to do this is to include what we call a Call To Action (CTA).

CTAs provide clear direction for the reader as to what they should do next. A CTA should also create a sense of urgency, to compel the reader further. Let’s head back to the pizza place one last time. A good call to action might be “Phone before 7 pm and get 10% off!”

I hope this guide to online business copywriting has helped. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Category: Business

Hiring Your First Employees: Guidlines To Success For Social Enterprises

So, you have started your social media business, and things are going well. Business is booming, and you have plenty of customers. The trouble is, you have no time to take on anymore and your business runs the risk of becoming stale.

The answer, of course, is to seek out some help, and hiring your first employees is one of the most obvious solutions. But before you do, it’s vital to understand that as soon as you bring on full-time staff, many different problems can arise.

Well, we’re going to explore some of those issues today. And, we’ll take a look at many of the other guidelines to make sure your social business hiring process is up to scratch.

job_interview__________one_of_the_really_neat_things_about_g___flickr

Do you need to hire full-time workers?

First of all, hiring employees is an expensive business. They will need space and systems to work in. You have to pay them, regardless of whether your business is making money in any given period. And, of course, the extra costs of insurance and security can weigh heavily. So, before hiring anyone, ask yourself if you could outsource instead. Doing this means you will only pay for the work you need, and there are no tax or National Insurance issues to contend with. Plus, you could consider using freelance workers as a trial period to see if you genuinely need more workers on board.

Are you prepared for the paperwork?

The second you take on full-time staff, you will find yourself swamped with paperwork. Contracts, sign-offs, training schedules and a lot more besides can all eat into your time. In fact, without proper organization, you might find that managing employees starts to take you away from your clients. And that can be bad news for your business. So, look into HR software, or consider hiring human resources professional to help out as your first recruit. It should take away a lot of the pain you will endure, otherwise.

chase_shares_tips_on_online_job_searching___thanks_to_www_ja___flickr

Are you hiring the right people?

Building a great team relies on having an impressive hiring process. And, again, this can take a lot of time out of your busy schedule. There are solutions, of course. Finding a recruitment agency or agent can help you reduce the amount of time you spend finding the right candidates. However, you will have to ensure that you are taking in the right people that fit with your social business. The right mix of personalities is essential for success. And, taking on people that you can trust to represent your brand just as you would is critical.

Employee retention

One of the biggest issues you will find when hiring great talent is that unless you are appealing to their needs, they will look elsewhere. Retention is vital if you want to keep your business performing consistently. It’s not a great look for your company if your clients have to start again with a new face every month or so. So, work on your business culture and invest in personal development for your staff. Think about giving them a benefits package, too. You might not be able to match your competitor’s wages, but you can provide staff with a better environment.

I hope these ideas help you find the right people at the right time for your social business. All the best!

Category: Uncategorized

Dematerialize Your Business, Work Better

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and just think about how much “stuff” businesses needed to operate in the past. They required filing cabinets, full of archived folders, documents and contracts. They needed big desktop computers, and mainframes to run their business systems. They needed expensive conference rooms and theatres to entertain clients. And they needed all of the paraphernalia that goes into constructing a modern office.

 

 

Then, around fifteen years ago, we were introduced to the idea of “natural capitalism.” This was a concept championed by some of the world’s leading technology companies. The idea was to have a capitalist system that could operate sustainably and protect the environment. Companies began work, looking for ways to reduce the physical footprint of businesses. Trailblazers wanted to find the means to deliver products that customers wanted. But they wanted to do so without the usual business resource overhead.

Of course, if they had succeeded there and then, then they would have made killer profits too to sweeten the deal. But dematerializing business is a tall order. If it was so easy, practically everybody would be doing it.

But then things changed around five years ago. All of a sudden we started hearing whisperings about a new technology, enigmatically named the cloud. The cloud was a sort of wonder platform – capable of being accessed from any location using any computer. At the time, people didn’t really know how it was all that different from the internet. But as soon as they saw how it could dematerialize business operations, it began making a lot more sense.

 

The Cloud And Dematerialization,

In the past companies lived and died on the back of their document processing abilities. Thousands of boutique firms, like estate agents, lawyers and accountants pushed paper until the cows came home. It was an expensive and environmentally costly exercise. There was first the energy and resources that it took to get the material to their offices. And then there was the additional cost of sending it back out again in its new form. It cost a lot of money and put up prices for consumers and businesses.

But the cloud sought to change all of that. With document management software businesses didn’t have to rely on traditional means to push paper. Instead, they could digitise their paperwork and get it sent from one location to another with zero resource cost.

Dematerialization Is Even Better Than Physical

It wasn’t just that dematerialization was the same, just cheaper. It was also better. Companies found that they could turn the cloud into a new usage platform, allowing them to collaborate on documents in real time. Cloud computing enables network working in a way that just hadn’t been possible before. People could work on documents without having to be physically present. And they could use automatic sorting tools that simply weren’t available when documents were filed by hand.

The changes that dematerialization has brought to the workplace are extreme. The only barrier to getting rid of offices entirely now appears to be a cultural one. How long before the corporate world figures this out, I wonder?

 

Category: Uncategorized

Cyber Attacks: Is Your Business In Danger?

When anyone mentions the term ‘cyber attacks’, it’s not uncommon for a few shudders to go around the room. The idea of our business’ precious data being compromised, stolen and lost is unthinkable. It could literally destroy our business in the space of a few minutes; such is the damage that can be done. Unfortunately, we don’t always protect against cyber attacks as effectively as we should. Now, we’re assuming you’ve got IT support on hand to assist with any catastrophic incidents. Once you’ve got that, here are a few other prevention techniques to think about.

Servers & The Cloud

If you’re operating a business (no matter how small), you need some kind of central system to secure your data. By allowing employees to take security matters into their hands on an individual basis, you’re putting your data at huge risk. So, it’s up to you. Do you look at data centre building for the purpose of adding servers, or seek a potentially less secure cloud service? Ideally, you’ll do both in order to maximise prevention against cyber attacks.

Smart Passwords

We’ve been educated about the need to use smart passwords for years, but many of us still don’t use them. The harder your password is to guess, the harder it will be for anyone to hack it. The same goes for the rest of your employees. In fact, you can actually buy random password generator tools that plug into your USB slot. Failing that, you can always go online and use a free random generator.

Keep Tabs On Modern Risks

All that information you were told back in 2006 is still useful now, but the digital world has changed. The type of threats that we open ourselves up to are advancing all the time. In truth, even the antivirus companies out there struggle to keep up with new cyber attack methods. So, it’s up to us to stay vigilant and watch out for the signs. If you still think phishing refers to an activity with a boat and some bait, you’re behind the times.

Get Cyber Insurance

Yes, this is a thing! Although it’s relatively unheard of, cyber insurance is something that could be very beneficial for your company. It aims to help you in the event that a data breach was to occur for any reason. While companies haven’t looked to this sort of thing in the past, they’re increasingly becoming forced to. Don’t be surprised if cyber insurance becomes the norm over the next few years.

Ban Personal Mobile Devices

It’s really difficult to totally ban employees from using their mobile devices in the office. But, I suggest you do it, at least from a network point of view. Giving your Wi-Fi password to those with mobile access only makes the threat of a cyber attack more likely. Encryption techniques aren’t always implemented, and device management appears to fall by the wayside. If you’ve got an employee that doesn’t quite understand the dangers of the net, you could be in trouble. My advice? Ban them entirely.

Category: Business

The Importance Of Having A Well Designed & Professional Office

As a small business, you’re already at a disadvantage. This is because the majority of the time, people prefer to work with bigger and better-known brands. The main reason for this is because larger companies tend to be seen as being more professional. There’s nothing to say that a company that’s been running for 30 years will be more professional than a startup that launched six months ago. However, it’s a common misconception that many people make.

With that in mind, as a small business owner you need to ensure that your company is always as professional as possible. A big part of doing that is providing a good first impression. You see, in business, first impressions are everything. With that in mind, it’s crucial that you make every effort to always keep your office up to date and relevant. As that way, anyone who comes to your office will see that your startup is just as professional as your larger competitors.

Ensure the decor is smart and stylish

Your business premises should reflect your personality and sense of style. However, the most important thing is that the decor is smart and stylish. The vital thing to remember is that your office is a professional space. That means it’s crucial that it is designed and decorate to look and feel professional. If you’re unsure how to update your decor to be more professional, hire an interior designer to help you.

Opt for minimalism

There is nothing more unprofessional than an office space that is stuffed full of this, that and the other. To ensure that your office looks and feels professional, it’s important to adopt a minimalist approach. This means keeping the entire space free from clutter. The key to doing this and having everything that you need to run your business effectively is good storage solutions. There are plenty of options to choose from; it’s just a case of taking the time to think them through.

Make health and safety a priority

Regardless of the size of your office space, health and safety should always be a priority. There is nothing more unprofessional than a company that doesn’t take things like health and safety seriously. Because it shows their lack of regard for their employees (if they have any), customers, and the business industry in general. To ensure that your business premises is safe, perform regular checks on it. Any areas that you’re not trained in hire a professional to come in and check over. Take your electrics, for instance. Say, for instance, your power keeps turning on and off. It’s a good idea to use a electrical service to find the problem and repair it. Or say, for example, you’re having a problem with your safety lighting. It’s important to call in an expert to deal with it. It’s totally unprofessional to leave a problem, especially if it could potentially be dangerous.

Incorporate branding

If there’s one thing that instantly gives a space a more professional feel, it’s branding. Regardless of how big or small your business is, having branding used in your office can have a big impact on how professional you seem. There are various ways that you can incorporate branding into your office space. It’s just a case of getting creative. Think signposts, wall art, flooring.

So there you have it, how to ensure that your office is well designed, relevant, and professional.

 

Category: Business

Why Your Business Should Accept PayPal Payments

If you haven’t yet heard of PayPal, you probably haven’t been spending too much time online in recent years. It’s becoming the payment option of choice for many people, offering renowned security and protection. Like anything else, it has its flaws. But, people are gravitating towards it, and your business should be implementing it. Why is this so important? We’re glad you asked.

 

 

  • Consumers Don’t See It As Real Money

 

If you’ve got a PayPal account, it sits separately to your normal bank account. It’s an online bank where some of your money might be deposited, but you’ll never actually see it. Sure, a customer can put it into their bank account and withdraw it, but many don’t choose to do that. Instead, they see it as ‘play money,’ which makes them more likely to spend it. There’s nothing lost and nothing gained – they’re just figures on a computer screen. That’s the mindset that many adopt, leading to more expenditure.

 

 

  • Because People Have PayPal Debit Cards Now

 

PayPal has always been thought of like an online service. However, times have changed, and PayPal has a huge presence in the real world too. PayPal cards allow people to spend using the money in their account, and retailers need to be ready for this. A PayPal credit card reader is your option if you want to solve this issue.

 

 

  • It’s Secure

 

Ask all the customers that use PayPal for transactions about why they use it, and you’ll probably get one response. “It’s secure.” PayPal has a very well-implemented protection system in place, and it has become famous. It’s the go-to solution for anyone who might be scared about spending money online or even in-person. And, it’s not just the customer that benefits from the protective elements of the service. Businesses can rest easy knowing they’re protected with PayPal, too.

 

 

 

  • It’s Simple For Both You And The Customer

 

Even with all the protective features of PayPal, people wouldn’t use it if it was overly complicated. Luckily for PayPal, this was realized very quickly. Setting up an account for personal or business use is very easy to do. Once this process has been completed, it gets even easier. Customers just need to log in with a username and password when they need to. Businesses might need a little more admin, but nothing too taxing.

 

 

  • International Payments Are Easier

 

If your business is going to be trading online, you’ll probably start to make international transactions. There are a lot of stumbling blocks that can arise as a result of this necessity, but PayPal makes it easy. Although you will have to deal with conversion charges, they’re nominal. Many businesses see it as a necessary evil in order to take advantage of the simple nature of international transactions.

 

 

  • eBay Needs It

 

If your business is going to get involved with eBay in any way, you’re going to need PayPal. While it’s true that customers can pay via other means, they often don’t. PayPal is heavily integrated with this online marketplace, and you stand a chance of losing the sale without offering it.

Category: Business

The Secret To Keeping Your Business Secure

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is keeping everything secure and as safe as possible. This task actually has many different sides to it. If you want your business to continue on for a long time with success, then you need to ensure that you stay on top of this. In fact, there are a few different major areas which you need to try and keep as secure as possible. In this post, we will go through each of them one by one. We will see the various ways in which you can work towards keeping your business more secure – and your customers. Let’s take a look now at what this might entail.

 

The Building & Premises

We should start with the actual physical premises in which your business is housed. If anything goes wrong here, then the whole business is likely to be dramatically affected. Looking after your business’ premises is relatively straightforward, albeit hugely important. One of the main ways in which you should be protecting it is by hiring a security team to keep an eye on it at all times. This is especially important when it comes to those nighttime hours when nobody is there. However, around-the-clock surveillance isn’t a bad idea, either. As long as you are keeping your business secure, you can feel safe in your business’ basic building blocks.

 

The Customers

It is vital to remember that you also have a certain duty to protect your customers’ interests and their personal data. To that end, make sure that you are doing everything in your power to protect them. For the most part, this means ensuring that you have a secure online payment system. Using a service like that offered by HBMS, you can ensure that your customers feel as safe as possible. But there is more to it than that. You also need to be careful with what information you hold about your customers on-site. Chances are, you have a lot of data about them, and you also have a duty to look after it properly. If it gets into the wrong hands, it could cause a lot of trouble, so this is highly important.

 

The Employees

Much of what we can say for customers can also apply to your employees. You need to ensure that their data is also protected, no matter what. But protecting your employees also goes far beyond just watching their data. You also need to think about their actual physical safety. Part of this is covered by looking after your premises in the ways mentioned above. But it is also vital to encourage a working culture which shuns all aggressive behaviour the moment it arises. You want your employees to be well looked-after, happy and safe in the workplace. That way, they are much more likely to enjoy being at work, and they will feel more secure. In many ways, keeping your employees secure is essentially the same as keeping your business itself secure. Look after one, and it takes care of the other.

Category: Business

Keep The Cash Flowing In While Stopping It From Pouring Out

Business is all about the bottom line. It’s easy to get swept up into some of the familiar rhetoric about business, all of which invites you to focus elsewhere. It’s about living your dream! Being your own boss! Doing something you love!

And those are all well and good – but they’re nothing without a good bottom line. If you’re not making money, then the business isn’t working – and it’s on you to change it. You need to engage with customers, get them through the (metaphorical) door and make sure you maximize every cent you make.

That means that no matter your personal spending habits, you need to become parsimonious. Every penny that you spend, down the most extreme of details, needs to be parted with unwillingly. You become Scrooge, eye on the costs at all times – though hopefully a bit nicer to the neighborhood kids.

With so many things to juggle, it’s unfortunately too easy to take your eye off the ball. There are a few common areas where you can end up overspending without even noticing it. So if you’re going to make this work, you need to apply the same business mind to the below areas as you do with every negotiation.

  1. Your Accounts

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Business and merchant account deals typically have fees attached. You can sometimes find an introductory offer which is free for a set period, but eventually, it will expire. One trap you can fall into is not ruthlessly looking for the best deal available. Loyalty is worth next to nothing in the current climate; switch at will, and make it clear you’re willing to do so. Your current provider might be tempted to offer a better deal if you make it clear you’ll leave.

  1. Currency Conversion

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If you work with overseas clients, you can find yourself a slave to international markets. You have to get your eye on the ball and transact when conditions are favorable. If you can hold off converting money or issuing an invoice until the exchange rate is in your favor, do so. Currencies are volatile in the wake of Britain’s EU vote and continuing issues in Syria, so track them every day.

  1. Insurance

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Buying business insurance is easy, but getting the right deal is not. While you can grab a pre-packaged deal with a few clicks of a mouse, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be good for you. Sometimes, it’s worth going through a broker and looking for a tailor-made policy. You don’t want to be paying premiums for something you don’t need. And as with your banking, this is something you have to be willing to change at the drop of a hat.

  1. Printing Supplies

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There is an argument for going with professional printing supplies for things such as billboards, and it’s not to be discounted. However, if you’re watching your cash flow, it can be a financial suck. In a paperless office, you won’t even need them. If you do, with a little practice, you can learn to use a graphic design program such as PhotoShop and create them for yourself. Keep the design simple, using online style guides to keep things on brand and then use a separate company to print your existing design.

 

Category: Uncategorized