Why Most Salespeople Are Order Takers And Not Sellers by @keenan

Quick, what do you consider to be the number one job of sales people?   Quick, answer it in your head.

Are you thinking about it?

I will give you a hint. It’s NOT selling stuff or driving revenue or some results oriented thing.

What do you think?  What have you come up with?

Did you say:

  1. Building relationships
  2. Knowing how to close
  3. Negotiating well
  4. Knowing the product
  5. Setting goals
  6. Over coming objections
  7. Being strategic
  8. Giving killer pitches and demos
  9. or did you say something else?

All of these are relevant to some degree or another, but they are not the most important element of a sales person’s job.

The most important aspect of a sales person’s job is to influence or put differently, to get the prospect to let you help them.

Influence: a person or thing with the capacity or power to affect someone or something.

The core of a salesperson’s job is to influence a sale and the people engaged in the sale. Without influence, a sales person is not selling.

Selling is about change, and it’s salespeople’s job to influence that change. Salespeople who can’t influence change are simply order-takers.

Not enough sales leaders and sales people understand this, and it’s affecting their ability to drive revenue.

Not enough sales people understand this critical distinction between selling (influencing the sale) and order taking.

The best salespeople do, and they possess the ability to wield deep influence with their prospects and customers.  They move deals right to left, up and down, north and south, east and west based on what’s happening in the account, and the goals the buyer is looking to attain. They influence the people, issues, objections, and challenges their buyer’s face through out the sales process. Great sales people aren’t victimized by them, they are reacting to them in a fashion that increases their probability of winning the sale.

Great sales people understand their worth as a sales person is derived from how well they can influence the sales process and their buyers.

Unfortunately, most sales people are victims of the sale, wielding little influence and simply reacting to the demands and requests of the buyer, ultimately hoping they win the deal.

Get the Buyer to Let You Help Them

Influence is given. It can not be taken without permission.  You can not influence someone who has not consciously given you permission. Until a buyer lets a salesperson help them, nothing is going to happen. It doesn’t matter if the buyer allows the salesperson to do a demo or meet other people in the organization.  It doesn’t matter if the buyer says they like the product or takes the sales reps call, if they buyer will not let the sale person help them solve a real problem or set of problems, the rep is not selling. They’re just taking orders.

However, once a buyer agrees they need help and are willing to let the sales person help them, they have given permission, and the sale has begun.

Too few sales people understand this vital difference in their job, and because of it, they are unable to position themselves as influencers. They pitch and push, taking orders and barking out the value of their product to all that will listen and who are willing to go on the ride. But they aren’t selling. When a deal goes south, they are powerless to stop it. When a new buyer enters the situation, they are neutralized, assuming they even see it coming. If a blocker starts making progress, they have no way to combat the threat.

Sales people who are unable to influence the sale or don’t realize it’s their job to influence the sale are victims of the sale, not drivers of it.

The value of your sales team can be easily measured by the amount of influence they are able to wield with their prospects and customers.

Evaluating for Influence

To many, it’s difficult to test for influence. How do you know if your reps are influencing the sale or reacting to it? How do you know if your reps are executing to an effective deal strategy designed to ensure they win the deal?

Deal reviews, that’s how.

The key to a solid deal review is to dig deep into HOW the rep is managing a deal (an opportunity.) You want to understand how they are influencing the opportunity, what elements the salesperson understands, what they are targeting and why.

Here are some questions to ask in deal reviews to ascertain if your sales people are influencing the deal or if they are just going along for the ride:

  1. Why do they (the prospect) need to buy (or why do they need a new solution), what’s their motivation to change?
  2. What happens if they don’t do anything?
  3. How are they doing it today?
  4. What is it about how they are doing things today that is causing problems?
  5. How is the problem affecting their business (competition, cash flow, product development, sales, marketing, productivity, etc.)?
  6. Why did they choose the approach?
  7. What’s the next customer “yes?”
  8. What other solutions are they considering?
  9. Which key stakeholders are helping vs. combating the solution and why?
  10. What are the prospects decision criteria
  11. What’s the reps deal strategy and how does it take into consideration the answers to the above?
  12. And more

A rep who can answer all these questions and more is likely influencing the deal, not being victimized by it. Data and knowledge are at the core to influence and therefore the more data a rep has, the higher the probability they are influencers.

Sales people can not be influencers without a massive amount of opportunity awareness and data. They have to have deep, relevant, business knowledge of their prospects and their prospect’s business challenges.

Sales people’s job is to influence the sale. It’s not to be an order taker. It’s not to react to whatever the prospect says or demands. That’s order taking.

It’s time we start taking more stock of the influence we have in the sale. Salespeople are not paid to be order takers. We’re paid to influence the sale, to provide information, insight, support, guidance, and advice that increases the opportunity the buyer chooses our solution over the competition or the status quo.

Let’s put an end to order taking and earn our keep by being powerful, knowledge driven influencers. It’s what we’re paid for.

How Social Media Helps Thrive Your Business by Junaid Ali Qureshi

The social media stats by ‘we are social’ suggests that by the end of 2017, there were 2.80 billion active global social media users. Among them, the FaceBook social media platform had 1.37 billion active users. This number is soon to be rounded off to 2 billion alone for the most trending social media platform in the year 2018. The next in line is Instagram followed by Snap Chat and Pinterest. Each social media platform offers great benefit.

The power of connecting with the people all around the world, through one way or the other, that it holds is immensely valued in the global business industry. The different business firms in U.K, U.S, the Middle East, and the advertising agencies in Dubai invest their time, money and effort in social media for the betterment of the business company. The social media marketing is at its peak in the present era and here is how it helps thrive your business:

  1. Helps in the initial ‘creating awareness’ phase

The social media promotes a business industry by creating awareness about the brand products and services on a large platform. Whether you have a small business or a large setup, it is impossible for you to sell the products if you haven’t introduced your brand to the general populace. The first thing that the social media helps in doing is creating your online presence. Once the brand is on the online platform, you can add photos, images, live videos, short videos and blog posts to let others know about your brand and how it works.

  1. Generates interest and encourages the action of the viewers

The leading branding agency Dubai shares their experience of social media marketing. They vouch for the fact that it helps in directing the interested viewers to the official website thus generating leads. Is it possible? Yes, it is!

The social media network is the ideal way of digital communication and without it, it is nearly impossible to reach billions of people at once (explained ahead). Thus, it can be used to drum up interest in your product as well. The discount offers, sales contests and give away offers attract the users instilling the interest to invest in the brand. Furthermore, the call-to-action on the social media encourage the users to click on the website link. The link directs them to the website’s landing page which in return helps thrive the business.

  1. The wide reach of the social media platform

As mentioned above, the numbers of people who use the social media are countless. This means if you are investing in a national or international business brand, you’ll need to reach out to a lot of customers to make your brand popular. The social media networks are the golden place to do so. You can target any type of valuable customers you want. According to Marketing Sherpa, the 95% of the online adults aged 18 to 34 most probably follow a business brand via social media. The adults in every region of the world, either men or women, use Social Media. Even the children and elderly, and people from every profession use it making it easier for you to reach the general and desired population.

  1. Drives more traffic to the website

The use of images, blog posts, content status, and videos on the social media platform helps in driving more traffic. The followers of the business brand are attracted and convinced to browse through and see what the brand offers. The CTAs and impressive brand’s discount offers enhance the trust and drive more traffic to the official website through the shared links.

 

 

 

  1. Improves the website’s SEO

The studies show that establishing an online presence on the social media networks and promoting the brand there helps in elevating the rank of the official website in the search engine. There is no doubt that social media marketing is one of the best ways to conduct digital marketing. The multiple links shared and traffic driven through different sources along with its proper website development makes the business industry popular on the internet. Thus, it is important of search engine optimization!

  1. It establishes customer loyalty and relationship

Customer loyalty is what ensures the business growth and prosperity and to achieve this it is very important to maintain the social media business profile. An active profile is what proves to the users the authenticity and trustworthiness of the brand. The Texas Tech University’s report on social media concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Thus, focus on your social media marketing and facilitate the viewers as much as you can.

  1. A cost-effective way of marketing and promoting the business

There are both online and offline ways to market your business. The former one is cost-effective as compared to the latter one. This is because all it requires is a high-quality internet connection, a good digital marketing team with latest skills and expertise and investment in the form of innovative and new ideas.

A small business company can benefit from this nearly free, highly targeted, cost-effective marketing solution by carrying out the actions by themselves. And if they aren’t aware of how to do it, hiring a team that knows the job is the best resort. This still costs less than marketing through other means. Hubspot states that 84% of the marketers find as little as 6 hours of effort per week enough to generate increased traffic. Doesn’t this prove the cost and time-effectiveness of the social media marketing?

  1. Offers good customer support service

The Bain and Company showcase the result of a study saying that the businesses that keep in touch and engage with their customers are 20 to 40% more likely to earn increased revenue per customer. Also, the use of social media helps in keeping the customers intact. How does this happen? One of the reasons for this customer engagement and retention is the fact that social media allows the business to offer great customer support service. By solving the customer’s queries and problems, the business team makes them feel important and valuable. This is what maintains their loyalty to the brand.

  1. Increased social advertisements

The state of social 2018 report suggests that 67% businesses intend on increasing their advertisement budgets. This means that other than the offline advertisement and the one through GoogleAds, the scope of paid social advertisement is increasing rapidly. This is one of the latest trends to be followed in the social media marketing for the year 2018. The idea behind is to make the product known and accessible for all.

  1. Increases the sales

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When all the above-mentioned ways and techniques are summed up, they offer the result of increased sales of the product! The social media definitely helps in increasing the sales of both the offline and online business stores. A research shows that 70% business-to-consumer marketers acquire customers through the social media namely Facebook.

In the end:

These are the top ten ways in which social media boost the business industry. Running a business in a competitive environment like that of today is a tough job. It requires all the effort and sources that you can use as leverage against the other business and social media marketing is one of the best one. Start practicing social media marketing to understand in depth the way it promotes the business.

 

Junaid Ali Qureshi is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart Leads.ae, Progos Tech and eCig.

What Has Caused Your Recent Loss In Traffic?

Although it’s something that we’d all like to avoid, you may find that you experience a dip in traffic at some point. As much as this might frustrate you or even worry you, it is something that can happen. It can be a seasonal trend and not overly anything to worry about. If you know that you’re working with the right channels and you’ve not experienced any changes lately, then you should start to see an improvement soon. It may just be a natural dip that bounces back to your normal traffic levels soon. However, if you are experiencing a loss in traffic that keeps on dropping, you’re going to want to look into the issue and fast. So let’s take a look at five different things that it could be.

1. A Change In Strategy

One huge reason for why you may have seen a drop in traffic is if you’ve recently changed your marketing strategy. When you’ve been working with set tactics for a period of time, you will tend to see a regular stream of traffic as a result of that. Sometimes, we decide to change things up to try and boost traffic, sales, or whatever your marketing objective may be related to. But they won’t always give you the results you expect. Use this result to help you turn things around and keep testing to find out what will get you the results you were looking for.

2. SEO Issues

Next, you’re going to want to look at your SEO. Maybe you’ve lost some links or your competitors have knocked you off the top spot? You may even want to discover more by working with an agency to help you. When you bring in an expert eye, they can really analyze what has gone wrong and then propose a strategy for making a change. And, they’re going to take care of it for you, so it’s a win-win.

3. Demand

Earlier, we briefly mentioned that sometimes seasonal trends mean that your traffic will be down. And that’s only natural. But, you may also find that demand is down too. And this could be more of a long-term problem. So, you’re going to want to come up with a strategy to help you create that demand again, and increase your traffic while you’re at it.

4. A Lack Of Content

Have you been working on your content recently? Maybe you need to update your website to fix the issue. When you have a lack of fresh content, it may be affecting how you rank in searches or how many clicks you get from social. Even repurposing old stuff can be a great way to overcome this.

5. A Server Issue

Finally, if you think you’ve nailed all of the above and it can’t be any of them, maybe you’re having an issue with your server. This is something that you may need to take up with your hosting company, so you’re going to want to go directly to them and see if there is an issue that needs sorting on their end.

Category: Business

A Guide to Choosing the Best Digital Channel for Your Business [Infographic] by Jess Andriani

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, it’s critical for any business to establish and maintain a strong online presence. Digital channels present new markets and new opportunities for businesses. But, there are many businesses, whether small or large, that have not realized the power of digital channels, while some of those who do still fail to harness its full potential in reaching their business goals.

With several digital marketing channels available, you need to choose the tools worth focusing on to get you a step closer to your goals. There are a variety of digital channels you can leverage for your business such as email, SMS, SEO, social media, content, or digital ads. It’s just a matter of choosing the channel where you can put your marketing dollars.

Make sure to maximise your marketing budget and get more bang for your buck. Here’s a guide to choosing the best digital channel for your business.

Credit : ConnextDigital

Category: Business

12 of the Coolest Offices in the UK in 2018 by John Baird

Not only are the best and the brightest of British talent beginning to expect to work in fantastic and funky offices, but there have also been numerous studies that have shown that they can actually increase productivity. When people work in an engaging and exciting space that both makes them feel valued and allows them to work in a more collaborative and creative manner, they are more likely to not only worker harder but also stay at the company long term.

So what are some of the companies that have got this right and have some of the coolest offices in the UK in 2018? In no particular order….

 

Zoopla

The property listing’s company’s offices in London have been designed to feel like a house (albeit a very posh one!), with themed areas such as a library, living room, wine cellar, treehouse and even a meeting room that looks a like a swimming pool. Onsite perks include a coffee bar, gym with a fresh towel service, free breakfast and snacks, and the now ubiquitous games room.

 

 

Innocent Drinks

In their aptly named ‘Fruit Towers’ London HQ, Innocent have designed their offices to look and feel like a quintessentially English village fair; complete with astroturf floors, picnic style benches and miles and miles of bunting.

 

 

 

Money.co.uk

Set in a 10,000 sq. ft. Victorian castle in Cirencester, the comparison site’s HQ includes features such as a Star Wars themed cinema, meeting rooms modelled on ice caves and ski lodges, a library with a hidden door and an onsite gym.

 

 

Missguided

This funky fashion brand has followed its own trend with its playful and creative offices in Manchester. Think eons of pink, a plethora of unicorns, swing seats, a selfie tunnel and a series of captions across the walls – my favourite being ‘don’t worry be yonće’!

 

 

Splunk

This big data firm based in London is promoting the fact that data most certainly isn’t boring through both its brand name and fantastic offices. Meeting rooms are designed to ‘transport your mind’ with one being based on the Tardis and another set out as a retro train carriage.

 

 

AO

The online white goods and electronics retail giant AO, aims to recruit and retain the very best staff into their Bolton offices with onsite perks such as a subsidised onsite salon, restaurant (the Park) and Starbucks, along with free drinks and snacks, the obligatory games tables and loads of fun company events for employees. Meeting rooms are filled with Lego or football themed.

 

 

Superdrug

The healthcare and beauty chain’s huge 6 floor, 55,000 sq. ft. head offices in Croydon embody many of the brand’s features, especially with the onsite brow and nail bar and the wellbeing clinic.

 

 

AutoTrader

With office bases in both London and Manchester, AutoTrader gives you no doubt as to what the company does with its car themed everything. The London office has spaces decorated with actual vintage Minis suspended at crazy angles along curved walls, whereas the Manchester office sports an old school van that serves as a coffee bar.

 

 

TalkTalk

Based in the iconic old Soapworks factory in Salford Quays, the communications company’s HQ is filled with artwork depicting Manchester’s history along with a rooftop garden, pizza bar, deli and coffee station.

 

 

Red Bull

The first office on our list to feature a slide from one floor to the next (it had to happen sooner or later), Red Bull’s Soho office also features a rooftop terrace with amazing views over the London skyline.

 

 

Virgin Money, Edinburgh

The stand out feature of these lovely offices is the LED light installation that forms a ‘sky ceiling’ above the main atrium of the building. Thankfully it isn’t designed to mimic the often dreary sky outside, but to remain bright and to recreate the passage of the sun over the sky.

 

 

Google

We couldn’t omit the company that really kicked the cool office trend off. Google’s London offices feature £17,000 sofas, a running track and gym where you can check your emails whilst you work out, a full suite of complimentary restaurant standard food and even sleep pods for those well-deserved power naps.

 

 

 

Written by John Baird from Scotland Debt Solutions. Scotland Debt Solutions specialise in helping Scottish residents overcome their debts problems through taking the time to fully understand your situation before advising on and administering a range of personal debt and insolvency solutions.

Category: Business

B2B Content Marketing Trends to Shape Your Strategy in 2018 and Beyond by Kimmy Maclang

The content marketing landscape is like a runaway train. It’s tough to keep up because everything moves so fast—thanks to search algorithms and the emergence of new technologies like marketing automation and big data. There are now more platforms than ever where consumers and audiences can be reached.

As a result of these emerging technologies and consumption behaviors, our attention spans have shortened significantly and the way we create, search, consume, and share content is changing. The lines between the various digital marketing disciplines are now becoming increasingly blurred, with each discipline overlapping another as campaigns become highly-integrated.

 

Adapting to Change

Consumers nowadays are smarter and more powerful than ever. All the information they need is just a tap or click away. They can research about the products and services they need before they decide to purchase. They can see other users’ reviews and experiences about a brand, and likewise, write reviews for brands they’ve interacted with.

As consumers become more powerful at influencing the success of companies, competition becomes tighter and fiercer. Brands need to fight for their own share of the market and clamor to get their audience’s attention. There’s too much going on. As such, marketers need to constantly determine what consumers want and need, and how to best deliver it to them. When consumer behavior changes, so does the marketing landscape.

Brands need the right marketing foresight that will enable them to develop and plan their strategies according to accurate predictions of future market developments. In short, you need to future-proof your content marketing strategy by staying abreast of the trends.

 

Noticeable Trends

What may help a brand succeed today may not be what’s relevant tomorrow. That’s why it’s important for marketers to remain vigilant in keeping up with the trends.

2017 is almost over, and 2018 is just around the corner. While there have been many changes in the content marketing landscape, there is one thing we know for certain—content marketing will become even more relevant in the coming year.

Yes, there will be changes in content marketing, but these changes will help B2B marketers reap tangible growth and deal with marketing ROI pressures. Here’s a comprehensive list of content marketing trends that will help shape your strategy for next year:

Content Marketing Adoption

Content marketing is no longer the new marketing trend. Brands and marketers are no longer questioning whether it’s worth investing in. It has already proven to increase brand awareness, engage prospective customers, improve brand loyalty, generate leads, and increase overall profit and revenue.

Companies are now asking “how” instead of “why.” The relevance and importance of digital content to the success of any brand or organization is obvious, so much so that in the survey produced by MarketingProfs and CMI, it was discovered that 91% of B2B businesses are currently using content marketing to fuel their success. Furthermore, the number of brands and marketers who focus on content marketing to build their audience grows by 18% every year.

The same survey also revealed that 77% of marketers claim to be successful in their content marketing efforts now compared to last year. This means that content marketing is maturing, and more businesses are adopting the right strategies to achieve their content marketing goals.

Another statistic that backs up the value of content is how content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more unique website traffic than non-leaders or followers. If that’s not proof enough to get serious with content marketing, nothing will be.

 

B2B Buyer Insight

For B2B content marketing to be effective, marketers need to consider what buyers need and want above all. It’s no secret to marketers that a brand needs to establish itself as a thought leader to be considered credible and authoritative by consumers.

In the 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report by DemandGen, it was confirmed that 87% of B2B buyers give more credence to content from industry leaders.

The report further revealed that 47% of B2B buyers rely more on content for research and making purchase decisions, and that they consume at least three to five pieces of relevant content before initiating contact with a sales person.

 

Content Creation

According to a recent study, 78% of B2B marketers claim that higher quality of content and efficient content creation contributed to the increase in overall success of their content marketing campaign.

Case studies and white papers are still the top content format according to 78% of B2B buyers. Buyers also reported that they give more credence to peer reviews, user feedback, and third-party publications.

To increase the quality of content, B2B buyers recommend that content creators provide more benchmarking data and use research to support the information they provide while lessening any attempts at direct promotion.

 

Content Distribution and Promotion

When it comes to content distribution, it’s important for B2B marketers to be consistent in publishing content. A study reveals that 91% of the top business blogs today publish content at least once a week, while another recent survey shows that 58% of B2B marketers deliver content consistently.

Despite the fact that gated content such as case studies and e-books remain the top content formats for B2B marketers, 71% of B2B buyers want content that’s easier to access according to the DemandGen 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report.

However, 95% of buyers claim that they’re willing to provide their name, company, and email address in exchange for valuable content, while only a fourth of buyers indicated that they’re willing to provide their phone number. So, it’s better for marketers to stick to the basic information requirements when gating their content.

In terms of engagement and encouraging content sharing, the top channels to use would be LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. For best results, ensure that your content is sharable on those top channels, no matter what other platforms you may choose for content distribution and promotion.

 

What This Means for B2B Businesses

Content marketing isn’t going anywhere in the near future. Yes, content and social media marketingmay be converging, but as far as content is concerned, social media is just another platform where content can be distributed, promoted, and shared.

Whether your marketing team is big or small, what’s important is to develop a content strategy that enables your brand to consistently create and publish valuable content that attracts your target audience. This involves knowing who they are, what they’re interested in, and how they consume content.

Long-form content that’s backed by data is most relevant information for modern B2B buyers, and will remain so. That includes white papers, case studies, and e-books. To further compel your audience, make sure that your content is presented creatively so that it’s visually appealing to readers. Share and promote your content on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to generate as much leads as you can.

Bottom line, the content marketing landscape is rapidly evolving, so brands need to stress the importance of being flexible. When change is the only constant, being able to adapt quickly to serve the changing needs of your audience will do wonders for making your brand stand out from the crowd.

Original Post

Category: Business, Marketing

These Are The Easy Online Business Opportunities You’ve Been Looking For by John Hawthorne

Brick and mortar is no longer a necessity for entrepreneurs. If you want to start a business, you just need a good idea, a computer, and internet access. You want to run a business from the comfort of your home or a beach or a chalet in the Alps? You can do it.

Of course, before you start an online business, you need to have an idea or two. People aren’t going to pay you to surf the internet.

Consider this article your guide to finding the online business that’s right for you.

We’ll cover the different business models, help brainstorm business ideas, and give you the step-by-step guide to getting off the ground.

The Different Types Of Business Models

Before we jump into how to start your business, it’s a good idea to know the common business models out there. Once you know the various models, you can pick the one that’s the right fit for your personality and goals.

Merchant & Brokerage Models

When selling a product to consumers or to other businesses, you have two different types of models: merchant and brokerage.

Merchant — A business that opens up an online store where consumers can buy products directly from the company. Target’s online store is a prime example of this. If you want to buy Target products online, you go to their eCommerce website. If you have a product you want to sell, the merchant model could be perfect for you.

Brokerage — A business that brings sellers and buyers together into one marketplace (example: Amazon and eBay). The buyers purchase from the sellers and the brokerage takes a small fee. Thousands of people have created full-time jobs and businesses from selling products on eBay, Amazon, and other brokerage sites.

Community Model

The community business model is when consumer reviews of products and services drive the success of the model.

This could be businesses like Angie’s List or Yelp. Basically, the model relies on consumers sharing info and experiences about the business. The consumers benefit from the honest reviews and the business can monetize their customer base. For example, Angie’s List charges to let customers see the reviews and Yelp lets businesses advertise on their platform.

If you can create a platform where consumers can share reviews with each other, you could have a big money-maker on your hands.

Infomediary Model

An infomediary gathers information about products and presents it in an unbiased way to their customers. For example, Consumer Reports objectively reviews products and then presents that information to their customers. Some sites like Wirecutter review products, present an unbiased opinion, and then receive a commission if someone purchases through them. If you love reviewing various products and giving unbiased reviews, this could be a great option.

Affiliate Model

Websites that are a part of an affiliate program make a commission from the products that consumers buy through said website (example: Amazon’s Affiliate Marketing program). Websites that get a significant amount of traffic or have dedicated followings can get significant revenue through affiliates.

Advertising Model

You see online ads everywhere you go, from Facebook to Google to Forbes. If a company has a significant amount of exposure (think web traffic), they can charge other companies a premium to advertise on their site. In terms of a business, if you can create a website or app or platform that attracts a large following, you then become very appealing for businesses who want to promote their services or products.

Manufacturer’s Direct Model

The Manufacturer’s Direct model is simply buying directly from the manufacturer. If your business manufactured a product, consumers would go right to your website to purchase and customize, rather than outsourcing to a seller (example: Dell, which allows customers to customize the computer to their needs).

Subscription Model

More and more online publications, like The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, are moving to subscription based business models. Basically, readers pay a monthly amount to get full access to the business’s content.

Subscription services, such as Dollar Shave Club, are also becoming hugely popular. These services allow customers to get a product delivered to them on a regular basis so they don’t have to remember to buy it.

Sweepstakes Model

A sweepstakes business helps other businesses grow through by creating sweepstakes for them. For example, if you run a sweepstakes business, you could help a local catering company run a sweepstakes in which customers exchange their email address for a chance to win a catered dinner.

Most companies don’t have the knowledge, manpower, or technology to create a sweepstakes, which is where your business comes in. Franchises like Sweep Surge make it incredibly easy to build a sweepstakes business.

Web 3.0 Model

Most people are less familiar with the Web 3.0 model. A step up from Web 2.0 (or the Social Web), this model relies on collecting as much info about consumers as possible (like online activity and purchasing history) and aggregating it to create a personalized buying experience.

Although it’s new, places like Amazon and their suggested products feature and Facebook’s ads setup are taking a stab at it. The challenge of creating this type of business is that you need to have a huge number of users in order to gather any meaningful amount of data.

Internet Business Ideas

Now that you know the different types of online business models, let’s dive into some potential internet business ideas. This is by no means all of the possibilities, but these are some ideas to get you started.

Web Design

If a business has no website (or a terribly designed website), it can really hurt business. Essentially, every business needs a website.

So why not start a business to provide websites?

If you want to build deep, technical websites, you’ll probably want to learn coding an the variety of website building platforms available, such as WordPress or Joomla.

However, it’s increasingly possible to design outstanding websites for businesses using services like Squarespace or Weebly, which make it possible to create sites with no knowledge of coding.

And if you’re good at web design, your own website is the best place to showcase your talents.

Affiliate Marketing

Forget what you think you know about affiliate marketing. You might have heard people say you will work 10 hours a week while making $30,000 a month.

Maybe some experts do that, but they’re outliers.

However, you can make a living from affiliate marketing, but it will take work. As mentioned above, affiliate marketing is basically a referral program. So, knowing that only a fraction of your referrals will lead to sales, you’ll need lots of referrals.

Lots of people do this through blogging. They drive traffic to their website by writing content people want to read, then link to products within their affiliate program.

Social Media Management

Many businesses aren’t sure how to market themselves on social media, which means there’s a huge need for social media managers.

Marketing is moving away from simple ads to social interaction and engagement. So if you can learn the tricks of social media management that lead to more sales, then you’ll be in a great place to create business for yourself.

And it’s not all about pulling traffic to your clients’ websites. It’s about helping a business converse with their customers to create a long-lasting bond that will, in time, lead to more sales.

If you have a smartphone and some time, you can easily get into the social media management business.

Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant (i.e. work-from-home assistants) is another business opportunity that’s in high demand. As more and more businesses move toward remote workforces, the need for virtual assistants is skyrocketing.

If you start your own VA business, you can offer services like bookkeeping, marketing, scheduling, website management, and anything else your traditional assistant would do.

Or you could simply focus in on one of those skills and become an expert at it, meaning you could charge more for your services.

Freelance Writing

If you can write, you might have a future in freelance writing.

It involves everything from writing advertising pieces to writing technical articles to simply creating high-quality blog posts. Businesses are increasingly relying on content to demonstrate their authority, and if you’re a great copywriter, you may be able to take advantage of this growing demand.

If you can learn about a topic quickly and write about it clearly in a easy-to-read way, this might be a good business idea for you.

How To Start An Internet Business

Alright, now to the fun stuff. Here are the general first steps to starting an internet business.

No Demand, No Business

One big mistake many entrepreneurs make is starting a business without seeing if anyone even wants what their selling.

If there’s no demand for a product or service, why start a business centered around it?

Start with finding a potential market. Find the need first. Here are a couple ways you can do that:

  • Browse specific forums and ask people about their problems (which you can then solve by creating the right business). For example, if you were in a small business forum, you could ask business owners if they have trouble getting new leads. This would indicate that a franchise like Sweep Surge could be a big service to these people.
  • Figure out what people are searching for on the internet and see if a lot of other businesses exist in that problem-solving area. A simple way to do this is to go to Google Trends, which will show you the various things people are searching for on the web.

Create A Website

Now that you’ve picked your business model, your market, and your problem-solving product, it’s time to bring that all together on your website. If you’re going to get new customers, you need to be able to point them to your website.

The best thing to do is to keep it simple. Navigating your website should be easy. If it’s overwhelming or confusing, people will close out of your website and never return.

Make sure that it’s really clear what your business does. Create a services page which spells out everything you can do to help customers. Also, make it very easy to have people contact you. Make your phone number, email address, and social media presence easily findable.

Wrapping It Up

Like we said at the beginning of this article, to be a successful entrepreneur, you don’t need to go anywhere but to your computer.

Heck, stay in your pajamas all day. Your customers don’t know, and honestly, they don’t care. As long as you keep selling them what they need.

The opportunities are everywhere. You don’t even need a lot of capital to get started with many online businesses.

But you do need to get started.

So what are you waiting for?

 

Original Post

Category: Business

Considering the Health and Safety Implications of Big Changes in Your Workplace

Any change that you make in the workplace is going to have wide sweeping changes that need to be taken into consideration before you make them. For example, if you’re going to add new machines or a powder coating booth to your manufacturing business, then have you considered the type of equipment or training that your employees need in order to utilize these new tools and machines to their fullest? It sounds like common sense and it should be, but not every business seems to care about the health and safety of their employees especially when new machinery or processes are involved.

This article is going to be mainly focused on industrial workplace where health and safety is a huge concern, but there are going to be a few talking points that also apply to even those working in offices. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the health and safety implications of big changes in the workplace and what we can do to reduce them.

Large warehouses and manufacturing plants are prone to accidents if you aren’t keeping employee safety in mind. 

 

Introducing New Equipment

When you add something new to your business, are you letting your employees know about it and teaching them how to utilize it correctly? For example, when you add new industrial process filters as part of your factory’s filtration system, are you giving your employees and foreman access to the manual and other important notes? Are you training them on its use and maintenance? Something important to health and safety like a filtration system needs to be fully understood even before its installed so that your foreman and managers can give their opinion on its use and how viable it is. If you don’t consult experts before making such a big change or if you ignore their warnings, then you could end up putting someone at risk.

 

Adequate Training of New Staff

Whenever you add new staff to your workplace, it’s important to train them sufficiently. It’s not just about training them to understand the machines and processes involved but also training them on your company’s workflow and any additional quirks that your staff might have in how they perform their tasks. This is going to vary from company to company, but let’s give a simple example to help illustrate this. Imagine that your staff have their own way of distributing safety equipment that is used for construction purposes. If your new recruit isn’t aware of how to receive their own safety gear from your inventory, then they’ll either hold up their work or they might be foolish enough to work in a dangerous environment without even considering the safety implications. It sounds unlikely for someone to do dangerous work without safety equipment, but it is your responsibility as the employer to oversee these things.

 

Final Words

No matter how big or small you think a change in your business is, it’s important to focus on all of the potential failure points and issues that you might run into.

Category: Business

Can You Still Grow Your Business Despite Brexit?

When many entrepreneurs are still trying to figure out the threatening consequences of a hard Brexit, there is no doubt that the British public is beginning to measure the dangers of a post-Brexit situation where no EU worker is left to help. The NHS is already in a crisis, and we know for sure that the decrease of medical EU staff has significantly worsened the emergency. But 20% of restaurants in the UK are at risk of going bust, without mentioning the numerous startups that have received EU funding to survive. Nevertheless, if you run an already established business, it’s essential to plan strategies to grow your company during these dark times. Weaker business structures are likely to close down during the Brexit transition phase. Therefore business growth appears as the most viable solution for the survival of your company. As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial that you protect your assets from the potentially damaging impact of leaving the EU market.

Dublin has become a major EU business hub

 

First things first: Tech is the key to your future

In times of uncertainty, investing in the right technology can be an absolute game-changer, as it’s the safest way to improve your productivity, increase your profit, and streamline your internal structure to gain a competitive edge. Your choice of tech investment begins with a thorough audit that needs to review the gear available in your business and compare it to your everyday needs and known issues. There might be elements that need to be replaced or updated, for instance. But these items will only need to be changed to maintain alignment with your business strategy. Finally, consider the cost of training and IT support for each tech solution, and espêcially how it compares to the gains you expect to make with the new technology.

 

Leaving the EU means you need new trading deals

Admittedly, technology is not sufficient when you consider the potent $22.7 billion trade hole from a hard Brexit. Whether you work in the automotive, consumer goods, healthcare or tech sectors, every industry branch has an annual project decline of several billion, with a drop of up to -22% in export for car manufacturers. So, as an entrepreneur, you need to research new trading partnerships. You can just accept the Brexit threats, but instead, it’s time to sit down and ask yourself: How can I export my products overseas? There are trades in the pipeline with China and the US already, so now’s the best time to check the logistic side for those.

 

Can you stay in the EU nevertheless?

However, preparing for Brexit doesn’t mean that you have no option but to exit the EU. In fact, whether you’re using the UK as a point of entry into the EU, or whether you’re a British entrepreneur, you can follow the examples of major American big players such as Google that have moved to Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is not only a tax haven, with only 12,5% corporation tax, but it’s also a cost-effective way to remain in the EU while running a competitive business.

 

If you’re still worried about growing your business despite Brexit, a combination of smart tech and effective trading deals is essential. But companies that want to maintain their EU partnerships can choose Dublin as their new business hub.

 

Category: Business