Essential Ideas to Help Your Home Business

Running your business from your home is a smart move to make, but it also presents some difficulties. Here are some essential ideas to help you make a success of it.


Limit Your Overheads

One of the key benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to pay to rent an office. This helps to keep the overheads of your business nice and low. So, you need to stick to this plan. It doesn’t make sense to save money on your business premises if you are then going to blow your money on other things. When you’re starting out and profits are slim, you don’t want to have high overheads anyway. It will be much easier to make a profit if you are not spending much money to begin with.


Shut Yourself Off from the Rest of the Home

Just because your business operates from your home, that doesn’t mean there can’t be a separation between home life and work life. It’s essential to shut yourself off from the rest of the home when you are trying to do work. It can be really difficult to get work done when you have your children running around you. You should have a dedicated home office where you can go to and work in a quiet and relaxed environment. Some people decide to turn their shed or garage into an office to achieve this.


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Use a Virtual Business Address

There are a couple of great reasons for you to use a virtual business address for your home company. First of all, virtual business addresses allow you to maintain some privacy and keep your home and business separate. It is also a great way to attract clients. You probably don’t want potential clients to know that you are operating out of a semi-detached house. But using a virtual business address allows you to make them think that you’re located in an ordinary office block.


Take Advantage of Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a great way to get a professional service that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get as someone who runs a home business. So, if you have communications or data entry needs, think about hiring an external company to take care of them for you. It will save you some time, and you will be getting a service from a company that does this kind of thing all the time. This is essential when you are running a business by yourself. There are so many plates that need to be kept spinning.


Stay Organised

Organisation is one of the most important factors to consider for every business. This is something that is just as true if you run a business from your home. In fact, it’s even more important. It’s very easy for your business to become messy and disorganised when you operate from your own home. Make sure that you file all your important documents, receipts and invoices correctly. This will help a great deal when it comes to organising your finances and filling in your tax return.

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Top Ways to Make Things Easier for Your Customers

No one wants their potential customers to give up and spend their money elsewhere. So one of your top priorities as a business should be making things easier for everyone. The easier it is to buy what you’re selling, the faster people can become your customers. They’ll be much more inclined to buy from you if the purchase process is simple. However, With Polygon, you can build great UX, scale your Dapps and learn more information on cryptocurrencies.

When you’re a social seller, making things easier for your customers is partly about connecting with them. But it’s not all down to the quality of the conversations you have. Concentrate on the factors like having an It Support company below if you want your customers to have an easy time.

Businesses looking to give their bottom line a boost should consider cryptocurrency. As cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin grow in popularity as a mainstream form of payment, businesses can capitalize on a new target audience, among other profitable benefits, to learn more visit


Image source: Didriks

Simplify Payment

Paying for their products might seem like one of the last steps in the purchase process. In fact, there are many things that come after it. For example, delivering the order and providing customer support should still be priorities. However, payment is of course the most important part of the process. It’s when you secure the sale, so you want to make sure it goes ahead. If payment takes forever or is too complicated, you face the risk of customers abandoning you. Luckily, simplifying things is easy. Using a service like Payline Data, you can make things easier for your customers in-store, online and on mobile. You can bring together all your payment methods. Customers can pay wherever and however they like.

Be on Top of Customer Service

Excellent customer service is essential for any business. If you’re a social seller, it should be a top priority even more than anyone else. When you contact a company, how long are you prepared to wait for an answer? Depending on the method of contact, you might be willing to wait a couple of days. However, you might want an instant response from a business with a properly managed business phone system.

You especially would want one when using social media or making a phone call using your leased lines for businesses. If you’re a social seller, your customer service via social media should be especially on point. Make it easier for your customers to talk to you by being available during set hours.

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Make Finding Information Easy

Customer service channels are perfect for solving queries and problems. But people shouldn’t have to use them to find out basic information. It’s a waste of your time and theirs. If you want to make it easier for people to make a purchase decision, you should give them all the essential information they need. Don’t skimp on the text and images you offer them on product pages. Give them all they need to make an informed decision.

Be Trustworthy

Many business experts like Andy Defrancesco believe that building trust between your brand and your customers can be easier to do if you use social media. It’s an excellent way to have real conversations with people and show your human side. However, it’s not all about talking to your customers. There are other ways you should build trust too. For example, your website should be secure and appear safe to visitors.

Customers don’t want to have to go through a lengthy and complicated purchase. Do whatever you can to make things easier for them. Technologies, such as originstamp blockchain for track and trace, can definitely be of great assistance.

7 Social Media Monitoring Tips To Help Your Business Spy Like a Pro

With scandals like the NSA’s mass surveillance program, akaPRISM, privacy has become an ongoing conversation in the media. Even though we can’t (and shouldn’t) access questionably ethical tools like PRISM, there is an incredible depth of information that can be attained through social media monitoring that can bring you closer to your target market.

I must admit, social media monitoring is usually a pretty boring topic but there are a few tricks that are so exceptional, I rarely ever talk about them…because I want to keep them for myself!

7 Ways To Use Social Media Monitoring Like A Prosocial media monitoring like the nsa

Feel free to share this infographic anywhere you like without modifying it. If sharing on your blog, please link back to

Why Should You Care About Social Media Monitoring?

Social media monitoring done right can help your business:

  • Improve customer service
  • Get unbiased intel about how people really feel about you and your business
  • Address negativity that would otherwise damage your brand
  • Know when people are saying great things about your business
  • Research competitors
  • Stay on top of industry trends

1. Find Exactly Who Is Sharing Content From Your Website

Simply type your website domain into Twitter search to get an immediate list of people that are sharing your content. Don’t worry about shortened links from services like, Twitter search can actually look through the link to see the true domain.

For example, here’s what happens when you type into Twitter search.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 3.59.51 PM

This also works for Pinterest…Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.30.14 PM

And Google+…Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.31.47 PM

2. Search For People Sharing Press or Content That Mentions You

We were featured in Social Media Examiner’s list of the Top 10 Best Social Media Blogs of 2014 and used the URL of that post to search inside Twitter. There were literally thousands of people that shared the article so we began interacting, following and listing them so we can engage with them over time.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.03.42 PM

3. Search For People Sharing Your Guest Blog Posts on Twitter

Thank as many people as you can that share your guest blog posts on Twitter. This is the best way to leverage your guest blogging efforts on bigger websites so that people actually follow you afterwards and potentially become fans of your blog.

TIP: When people share your content online, whether it’s a guest blog or something from your website, be sure to:

  1. Thank them
  2. Follow them (optional but recommended)
  3. Put them in a Twitter list

4. Use FollowerWonk To Understand Your Followers

If you analyze your Twitter profile with FollowerWonk, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of the most common words in your followers’ biographies. This provides amazing insight into whether or not your efforts are on target.

Here is an example of the most popular words found in the bios of Matt Cutts’ followers. Matt runs the web spam team at Google and the entire SEO industry hangs on his every word when he updates his blog or YouTube account.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 3.57.17 PM

5. Create A Twitter List of Competitors & Industry Leaders

You need to separate Twitter lists to keep track of competitors and any thought leaders and influencers in your industry. This will help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.22.28 PM

6. Get The Bigger Picture With SocialMention

This is probably the most basic social media monitoring tip on the list but the great thing about SocialMention is it provides you with an aggregated result of what people are saying about you across the social web. It even pulls data from Facebook that is otherwise very difficult to access – making it a very tough tool to ignore!Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.17.46 PM

7. Find Super Targeted Followers With is one of those tools you don’t want other people to know about because it’s that good. This is especially helpful for local businesses as you can scan targeted Twitter profiles’ followers and automatically pick out followers from a specific geographic area. This is a mega time saver!

In the example below I targeted people following the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Twitter account that live in Vancouver. This might not seem like a big deal but this is the only tool I have ever seen that will let you do this AND put them into a list for you.Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 4.37.11 PMIf you aren’t already convinced that is the coolest tool you’ve never heard of, you can get even more targeted with your search. Here is an example where I target followers of the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce that live in Vancouver with the word “Owner” in their bio.Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 3.20.58 PM

NOTE: I should mention that although is awesome, the tool can only search a batch of 20 Twitter users at a time so really specific inquiries like the one above will produce far less results than more general searches.

7 Social Media Monitoring & Intelligence Gathering Tools

What Is Your Favorite Social Media Monitoring Trick?

Do you have any secret social media monitoring tips or tricks up your sleeve? Let us know in the comments below.

Original post at TopDog Social.

Simple Ideas For A Better Performing Blog

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If you are a blog owner who is struggling to make an impact, read on. In this guide, we’re going to show you the simple steps you need to take to improve your blog’s performance. There’s plenty to get through, so let’s get it on as quickly as possible.

Write what your readers want

Many beginner bloggers think that it is all about them. And, to an extent, they are right. However, to get your blog performing better, you have to think about what your readers want; not about what you want to write. Look at your most popular posts – the ones with the most hits, likes comments, or social shares. There will be a theme somewhere – so pick up on it and use it.

Mix it up

Don’t stick to one form of content, and try and mix it up a little. Infographics are an excellent way to get a better response, and if you have a ‘greatest hits’ set of posts, why not make a video about them? It’s never been cheaper to make a high-quality video than it is today, so make use of the wonderful technology on your phone. You can also think about adding more images to your posts, creating an ebook, or searching out other blogs who accept guest posts. Which brings us to our next point.

Find authority bloggers

Take a look around at your blogging peers and find the ones that have the big audiences. Look at what they do, and get involved with the conversations they have. You can follow them on Twitter, or Facebook, or leave comments on their blog. It doesn’t matter how you do it; the point is to make contact. Then, you can create a blog post on what authorities in your industry think about an individual subject. Reach out to them, and you can include their responses in your post. They will share it with their followers, and voila! You will have an increase in the number of visitors to your site, and exposure to a much larger audience.

Have clearer goals

Are you just writing for the sake of it? If so, you are on a hiding to nothing. To measure success, you have to have goals in place – and, you need the ability to convert those objectives. You might want to increase your signups, or sell an ebook, for example. The way to do that is to look at CRO, or Conversion rate optimization. What is conversion rate optimization? In simple terms, it’s making it easier for your visitors to take the actions you want them to take. So, if you want them to buy your ebook, you run through tests to find the best response rates, and keep improving things until you achieve your goals. However, before you get started on anything, it is important to have these objectives in place.

Have a clear purpose

Finally, a simple little thing that so many new bloggers get wrong. What is your blog about? If people can’t tell what you are about from the moment they arrive on your website, they won’t stick around for too long. Your site has to have a clear purpose – and any fuzzy thinking or presentation will work against you in the long run.


Go Social: Set up Your Own Blog by Amar Sheth

In a previous blog Sharing Isn’t Caring we covered the necessity for sales people to create their own content – releasing their thoughts and views into the business universe.  This simple act will set you apart from your peers and allow you to connect with buyers in a way that is both meaningful and conversational.  Buyers would rather talk to you once they know your views and you’ve established some level of knowledge about a particular subject matter.  Let’s face it, doing this over a cold call or blind e-mail isn’t quite the same and just can’t compare.

Listen up sales professionals; here are some practical tips on how you can start creating your own content.

Write a Blog

It’s such a great medium to express your thoughts.  Now, I know some of your companies may not allow sales reps to write blogs on the corporate site, but have you considered starting your own?

Free Blogging Resources

There are a myriad of free blogging platforms out there, like:


Build your Own Customized Blog

Something to consider: do you plan on taking your own personal brand as a sales professional with you if you ever leave your company? Chances are you’ve answered “yes”.  Then have you considered building a legacy and digital trail of your thoughts? A custom blog can allow you to do just that.

Register Your Own Domain

By custom blog I mean having your own domain name.  It’s really easy.  Head over to (sorry, GoDaddy fans) and register your own domain name.  It costs about $10/year and if you search on Google, you’ll find promo codes like this all the time.  Try and get a .com domain – they’re just more well-known and more memorable.


Pick a Look & Feel @ ThemeForest

Remember, if you choose WordPress as your blogging platform, you’ll be able to integrate that into Hootsuite easily.  Next, see if you like any blog themes at WordPress.  If not, try a website like Theme Forest to buy a ready-made blogging theme for $10-$40.


Find a Web Developer @ oDesk

Once you’ve done this, you can easily find a website developer to set up the whole blog for you at a site like or  You have many different filters to choose from to fit your requirements.  But without getting too complicated, you can set up your own blog for about $100 (or less).


Real Life Example

Check out this great blog by Ben LaFlamme.  Ben is an Account Executive @ Element Fleet Management and he’s taking his brand seriously.  He’s set up a blog where he publishes his own thoughts on his industry.  Talk about a great way to get noticed.  Ben’s goal is to be able to demonstrate to his future buyers that he has a firm grasp of issues in his industry.  Ben registered a domain name and found an offshore contractor to build his blog for around $100.

How many Account Executives in the Fleet Management space are doing what Ben is doing? Chances are, zero.  Ben has instantly created a way to differentiate himself by making it easier to stand out in a sea of noise.

Ben now has tangible assets to share – these vignettes can be shared with future buyers to demonstrate expertise/knowledge, awareness, and more.


 The Bottom Line

Remember, your brand will live with you for the rest of your professional life. It’s important you have a medium to express your thoughts that’s independent of your company yet inclusive of your professional efforts.

This is a simple way that social selling can help set you apart from your competitors.  And more importantly, it allows your buyers to see that you’re capable and have a grasp over the inner workings of your industry.

Need some help in getting a blog started or in discussing social selling? Feel free to contact me to get your questions answered.  Remember, social selling isn’t difficult, it’s just different.

– See more at:

The Ultimate Guide To Happy Employees

Employees are one of the keys to a successful business. But, only if they’re happy and motivated. Unhappy employees can end up damaging your company, instead of helping it. Bearing that in mind, here are some ways to keep your staff happy:

Pay Them A Decent Wage

The number one way to your employees hearts is to pay them well. If you’re paying your workers below minimum wage, they’re not going to be happy. In fact, it’s against the law to pay full-time employees less than the minimum wage. But, you could also be paying them less than what other companies are paying for the same job. It’s only natural that your staff will be annoyed if they’re getting less than people that do the same work at another company. If you pay them a decent wage, they’ll be far happier. People find it easier and more motivating to work if they’re being paid well. When you know you’re getting a good paycheck; work life is much more pleasing. If you’re wondering about temporary position and part time jobs difference, visit Perelson’s website and read their article about the topic.


(Photo via Flickr:

Offer Employee Benefits

A surefire way to ensure your employees are happy is to offer them benefits. These are a range of things, in addition to their salary, that you offer when they sign their contract. Benefits can come in all shapes and sizes. A free lunch is an example of a small benefit that can still keep them very happy. Then there are bigger things like a pension fund or health insurance. You could also consider things like an employee support programme by Health Assured as a benefit. You may also consider healthcare insurance and healthcare navigation solutions for your employees; you may visit sites like to learn more. This is a programme that offers your workers free help and guidance with any problems they’re having. Things like this are a brilliant way to ensure your employees are constantly smiling and joyous. If you don’t offer them any benefits at all, don’t be surprised if they hire an HKM employment attorney.

Keep Them Motivated

Often, employees will be unhappy because they’re bored at work. They have no motivation to do anything. Every day is the same, they turn up and sit behind a desk for a few hours and then go home. Most of the time, they lack motivation because the boss isn’t providing it. If you don’t push your employees and egg them on, they’re bound to become bored and unhappy. However, if you start being more motivating and getting involved, this can change. Become an active boss, someone that gets more involved with their employees. Walk around the office and check on everyone’s progress. Make sure they know what they’re doing and when they have to complete it. If you show more of an interest in your employees, they’ll start to get more motivated. When the boss is walking around trying to give everyone a boost, the mood changes. People prefer bosses that are involved and don’t just lock themselves away in their office all day. Give your employees some motivation and you’ll soon see a change in the way they are.

Do all three of these things if you want happy staff all year round! Trust me, it’s a lot easier to run a business when everyone has a smile on their face.

Make Your Mark Online With this Advice

It’s 2016 and the door to your business becoming a huge success online is wide open. It doesn’t take much for a new business like yours to gain the attention of a big audience. You just need to be smart when you are setting up and perhaps take my advice. Obviously one of the most important parts of getting audience recognition is social media. The name of this site didn’t pop up from nowhere. Social media is one of the key parts to making an online business successful. You’ve heard about getting thousands of followers across the net, but how does this work. It all starts with building up your profile online.

To build on online profile, you need to start thinking about connecting with your audience and customers. To do this it’s crucial you stay active on all the available social networks. Before you are open for business, you should be using social networks to update people on news in your industry. For instance, you might be thinking about setting up as a tech analysis company. If that’s the case you should be letting your followers know about the recent increase in interest in contactless tech. But, it’s not enough to just be active on social media. Your social networks also need to be connected to your bigger business model.

It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll be using an ecommerce agency for your business. You might be using a platform like Magento to sell your product or service online to your consumers and that’s great. But on the same platform, there should also be a connectivity to social media. This should be a two-way street. People from your site should be able to find your social media easily. Users following you on Twitter should have a link to your site when you are talking about your business. By doing this, you will be able to increase the level of traffic to your business website.

As well as this, you need to be aware of the importance of search engine optimization. SEO is a term that should be familiar to any business owner hoping to be breakout success online. It’s the only way to make sure people find your company. But again, it starts with social media. One of the easiest ways to increase your search ranking is to get content from your site shared. To do this, you just need to be posting links across your networks and using images to advertise them. It can be that simple if the content is of high quality.

You should also be looking into how you can find new business leads and form new deals. To do this, you will have to know when an opportunity presents itself online. But at the same time, you should also be advertising you are, as a business owner, open to such a possibility. Setup a page on your site, designed to attract and intrigue business owners. Forming a solid partnership is one of the best ways to expand your online reach.

I hope you take this advice on board. If you do, I think you will see great success for your company this year.


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4 Social Networks Every Business Should Use

Social media marketing has become a staple in the business world during the last few years. Company bosses spend millions on making sure their presence is known on all the top sites. However, people just starting out might struggle to know which platforms offer the best advantages. With that in mind, I’m going to highlight the big four social media websites all business owners should use from day one. When you have more cash in the bank, you can expand your campaign to encompass all the others too.



It’s important you start with Facebook because almost everyone uses that platform on a daily basis. That means you can reach people from your target market, wherever they might live in the world. There are also some fantastic paid advertising solutions that will help you to get more attention without breaking the bank. Make sure you also research location-based social media tools before pushing ahead. Depending on the nature of your operation, they could help you to save a lot of money. They could also assist you in reaching the right people much faster than you otherwise would have done.



Twitter has become the platform of choice for people who want to view breaking news. It’s also perfect for B2B marketing and reaching the general public. A few months ago, the guys at Twitter released a paid advertising tool similar to the one on Facebook. So, you can invest some cash and push your posts towards your target market. Just upload some attractive graphics and a decent profile picture of the best results. That should help to ensure people become a little more familiar with your brand. Also, take the time to comment on posts for which you can provide authoritative replies.



Networking is one of the most important elements to business success. You need to make yourself as available as possible, and that’s where LinkedIn can help. Creating profiles on that website should allow you to communicate with almost any other business owner. Likewise, they’ll find it much easier to network with you too. You never know when a joint venture could help to drive your company to the next level. Launching your account is not complicated, and you can have everything running in a couple of minutes.



All business owners need a Google+ profile. However, you probably won’t use that platform very often. You need a profile because it links to your Google listings and gives them more authority. The search engine will feel more confident in promoting your brand as a legitimate company if you engage with that social network. Make sure you share any posts from your Facebook and Twitter accounts to ensure the page remains active.


So long as you use those four social networks from day one, online success should fall within your grasp. As I said at the start of this post, you still need to create a presence on all the other sites too. However, beginning with the big four should help you gain a lot of attention and build your audience without spending a fortune.


Catch you next time!


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Social Selling on Facebook IS creepy!

I came across an interesting infographic from HubSpot where they asked “Is Social Selling Creepy?”. Indeed it could be if you do not change the word selling to serving. Taking the approach of Social Serving to your clients and providing them value will always win over ” I see you play golf, I do too, buy from me”

However the survey HubSpot ran was specifically around the research you conduct and what you do with that found information. So it is very interesting to read.

Not surprising were the Facebook responses.

Would is be creepy if a salesperson sent you a Facebook message? Yes = 81%

Would it be creepy if a salesperson sent you a friend request? Yes = 78%

I wrote about Facebook in this blog, perhaps you have read it? They asked, Do you Facebook? I said, No


So here is the full infographic, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on what you think is or is not creepy about a sales person reaching out via social media. Pop a comment below.


High Five Hubspot for this content 

Social Selling Creepy Infographic