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.

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.

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.

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.

     

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.

Become Your Own Boss: A Step by Step Guide to Setting Up Your Business From Home

A few decades ago, setting up your own business would be the far off dream of a few, fortunate people. It would involve hiring property, huge bank loans and the necessary financial backing of business savvy investors who would expect a substantial cut of your profits in return. But in this day and age, things have changed. If you have a bright business plan, you can set up your company from the comfort of your own home. So if you’re sick of pandering to a boss and making other people’s dreams a reality, it may well be time to start laying the foundations of your own business venture. Here’s everything you need to know to get you going.

Creating a Sound Business Concept

Always do your research before setting up any business. Set up costs may well be relatively cheap, but you still don’t want to waste any of your money in building a business that might fall at the first hurdle. Not to mention the time that is going to go into this. So make sure that you have a solid business concept before getting started. You can test out selling your products on small sites like eBay, Depop, and Etsy to begin. If people show interest and sales start coming in, then you can look to expand and progress. You can also test out the market for your products at local sales. Another good idea is to conduct market research. Find individuals from your target audience and ask them about their likelihood of purchasing certain products. Questionnaires and interviews can also help you to decide on product prices and beneficial advertising techniques.

Bring in the Pros

Chances are, you’re currently in full-time employment, tiding yourself over until your own business is up and going. A day job, alongside family and social commitments, means that you probably don’t have all that much time to spare when it comes to creating your own startup. But not to worry. This is where the professionals can chip in and help to take a little bit of the weight and pressure off your shoulders. Company formation firms know the ins and outs of the formation process and will be able to do most of the hard work on your behalf. With endless startups to their name, they will know every aspect of the process that needs to be addressed, while ensuring that everything remains personal and branded to your taste. You can read more about the services available to you here.

Get Branding

If you’ve decided to go ahead with creating your business, it’s time to start branding. This allows you to build a name for yourself in the world of commerce. You will need a brand name, logo, and design for your site (this can include coming up with an effective color scheme and typeface). If things are going well, you could look into buying the rights to your designs. Trademarking will prevent copycat scammers from stealing your hard work and selling it for their own profit.

E Commerce: Setting Your Small Business Up Online

 

Long gone are the days when opening up a small business meant simply renting a store and selling your wares to people who happened to come inside. Nowadays, e-commerce is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of the market. It’s not surprising. There are endless benefits to selling your stock online. Firstly, it allows your products to reach a large audience. When you sell online, your goods become available to a worldwide market. International shipping is at an all time high, as people are showing higher interest in goods that can only be attained abroad. Secondly, people can access your business twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This means there are more hours in the day for people to buy from you. This results in increasing impulse buys, which would otherwise have been cast aside by the time you’d usually open up shop in the morning. So, if this all sounds good to you and you’ve decided it’s high time that you set up an online store, here are some top tips to getting things moving in the right direction.

Choose a Platform

There are plenty of casual sites out there that have sales options that can be added. However, these are better for individuals selling personal items through their blogs. When it comes to business, Web Hosting is the most effective and professional looking option for your sales. You gain the option of purchasing and using a domain name, allowing people to find your business more easily. You also have the option of creating a business email, which gives a much better impression to buyers than contacting you on a personal email address will. This also allows you to effectively separate your work and home life.

Choose a Design

When you set your site up, it is probably best to bring in a professional web designer. You may have already collaborated with a graphic designer in the past to create a logo and brand name font. Ask this individual to send you the original files of the designs, for you to transfer to a web designer who will be able to incorporate them into the layout of your web page. You will be able to work with the web designer to ensure that the final product is everything you wished it to be. From color palettes to font and pop-up windows. You will be able to have everything exactly as you’d imagined.

Choose Payment Methods

When people pay online, they will want to ensure that they are using secure payment methods. Paypal is a great option and one of the most commonly used online payment methods. You could use this in conjunction with accepting payments from all big card names, such as Visa, Delta, and American Express. The more options that you offer your customer base, the more profit you will make. If you don’t take a customer’s preferred payment method, they may be tempted to purchase the product elsewhere from one of your competitors and this could also result in future lost sales.

Keeping Your Business Safe from Techno Turmoil

As a business owner you should be doing everything you can to keep your business safe from any sort of turmoil. But, today, one of the biggest turmoils you should seek to safeguard your business from are those that are technologically induced. There are a host of ways in which your business can be compromised and attacked when it comes to technology. But there are also a host of ways to keep your business safe from such compromised positions and such attacks. Read on to find out just how.

 

Invest in Anti Spam Software

 

The best way to keep your business safe from technological turmoil is to invest in anti spam software. This is the single most effective way to protect against the plights that are trojans and viruses. And these are plights that are very common and very easy to subject your business to, which is why this kind of protective software is imperative. Your business can be easily subjected to these plights because of the fact that they can be hidden in emails. In fact, emails are the most common carriers of all the bad things that can infect the devices your business uses. They are the most common gateways through which your devices, and your business, can be subjected to techno turmoil. They are common because they are used so frequently, and cyber criminals know this. They also know that emails can be made to look as if they don’t pose any danger at all, when in actual fact they do. So, enlist the help of anti spam software in order to protect yourself fully, but choose wisely when it comes to this enlisting. You must choose a software that not only offers anti-spam solutions, but one that can differentiate between genuine emails and bogus, trojan and virus carrying ones. One such software can be found if you visit ATB Technologies for services and information on the services they offer. By choosing them, or another service that offers similarly clever modes of protection, you will be doing all you can to protect your business from the techno turmoil that are trojans and viruses.

 

Provide your employees with security awareness training

Providing your employees with security awareness training is a must in the business world of today. This is because of the simple fact that they probably come into a lot of contact with a online technology. And because they are in such frequent contact with it, they make themselves susceptible to being inflicted with turmoil induced by it. On this type of training they would be able to learn all about spyware; just how it can contact them and the damage it can do to them and your business. It would teach them how to deal with unwanted emails when they surface in their inboxes. It would teach them how to spot any suspicious and dangerous emails if they do manage to slip by the anti spam software you do in fact choose to use. And it would teach them how to manage their inboxes in the correct fashion.

 

But you shouldn’t just seek to teach your employees how to spot any dangers that come their way. No, you should also ensure that they aren’t bringing any potential technological dangers to work with them. In the business world of today the enemy could lie within when it comes to techno turmoil. The enemy could lie within because of the fact that each of your employees will have their own mobile phone which connects to the Internet. Therefore, whenever they step foot in your business’s premises they open up an online gateway to it. And potential dangers can use this open gateway at their will. This is because each phone connects to your business’s network. This then means that any apps that your employees have on their phone may be able to also access this network. For example, when Pokemon Go was the go-to mobile game for most in the summer of 2016, the app’s creators Ninantic were being granted access to the users Gmail accounts. And if an employee of yours was using this game during working hours at the office, they could have been granting this company access to your business data. This doesn’t mean that Niantic themselves posed a danger, but if they were to ever be hacked themselves then the hackers would then have access to your business too. So, it’s imperative that your employees are not accessing any third party apps when they are in the vicinity of your business’s technological network. And it’s down to you to inform them of this.

 

Seek the services of an uptime operator

 

But even when you have a strong anti spam software. And even when your employees are fully aware of everything they need to be doing when it comes to their usage of your business’s online network. You still need to ensure your business’s use of online technology is always up and running. When, say, your business’s website is down, this most certainly constitutes as techno turmoil. It does so because you are going to lose potential customer if a potential customer cannot access your site. This is because they will become impatient with your site if it is down and then proceed to take their custom elsewhere. Therefore, you should enlist the help of an uptime operating service such as UptimeRobot. This kind of service would monitor your site at all times — come rain or shine, at both night and day. It would then alert you via email or SMS to the fact that it is down, if it does in fact go down. It would then be your job to get your site back up and running again; but knowing that it is down as soon as possible helps you to do this quicker. And finding a quick solution to such a turmoil is pivotal. Monitoring your business is pivotal if you want it to be a success. But monitoring your website at all times personally is just not a feasible or realistic venture for you, or any other human, to take. Therefore, you should always seek the services of an uptime operator.

Technological turmoil can strike any business, which is why you need to both plan for it and protect against it. By taking heed of the advice above, you would be going a long way to doing just that.

 

3 Things That Need Polishing To Make Your Business Shine

Keeping your business running smoothly is no small feat. However, you didn’t get into it expecting an easy ride, and you’re capable of dealing with the obstacles, twists, and, sometimes hurricanes, that the market throws at you. There are some key elements of your company that you need to keep to a high standard to ensure that your business runs as smooth as possible; the following are the areas to take a look at and to keep polishing.

 

Employees

Any people that you have working for you not only need to be properly trained and qualified but, also happy and enthusiastic about their job role. No matter how hectic the week gets at work, there needs to be a set time to catch up for formal and informal meetings. If you care about your staff and show that by keeping an eye on their well-being within the business; their trust and loyalty to you will strengthen, and their work ethic for your company will continually improve.

It’s a smart idea to invest in their career development also; any employee that feels stagnant within the business is likely to lose motivation, and start looking elsewhere for work. If you have got the means to train and develop people in-house, then there are an array of courses and businesses events that you should consider involving them with. You want your employees to be an asset to you and your brand, and bring in skills and knowledge that you don’t necessarily have, so investing in the right training is a wise idea.

 

Content

When your potential clients or consumers arrive on your website; you want them to be impressed by what they’re reading and attracted to your brand. However, if your content is of poor quality, they’ll leave your site, move on to the next and are unlikely to return. So, make sure whatever content you’re putting out there, it’s of high quality and engaging.

For your business to pop up in Google searches and appear where it deserves to on the web; you’ll need your content to be working hard for you. You might need to consider using an SEO company to ensure that keywords and links are all where they should be, and your online presence evolves and strengthens regularly. Remember that your content is likely to be the first thing new customers see, so they need to get a sense of your business’s identity and leave with a positive impression.

 

Marketing

If you’ve been using the same marketing strategy for a long time, and there’s been no recent boost to traffic to your business, then it will need looking into and rethinking. Marketing often favors the bold; so be brave and try new things. Look into what the big guys have been doing recently and how successful their strategies have been; learning from other company’s mistakes and successes with help to guide you in which direction to take. Take a look at some smarter ways to spend your marketing budget here: http://benmartin.pro/smarter-ways-to-spend-your-marketing-budget/.

Until you’ve looked into each crucial area of your business, and made the changes needed; you’ll be coasting along, and any advancement will be a struggle. So take the time and regularly invest in the parts of the business that will help it flourish and overtake the competition.