Launch Your Business Successfully In 3 Easy Steps

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It doesn’t matter whether this is your first business launch or whether you are looking to launch a second venture, current uncertain times can make your startup a little more risky. As an entrepreneur in the planning stages of your money-making venture, you will have a list as long as your arm of tasks to complete. You need to be a finance expert, a marketing guru, a social media whizz, an admin boss as well as the head honcho. While these pandemic days have halted us in our tracks, you shouldn’t allow this to prevent you from continuing your business plans. Take a look at these three simple steps that you can follow to launch your business successfully.

Social Media

Before you launch your business, you can sign up for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at the very least. Your corporate side is effective for funding your business and pitching to official investors. But, for your customers, they want to speak to a chatty and informal individual. Your social media feeds are the perfect way to do this. Before you even think about getting your business off the ground, you can generate an online buzz through Facebook. Create a launch event page as well as posting relevant and meaningful content regularly. By creating a feed that promotes interest in your brand, you gain greater exposure as your followers share your posts. When your business does launch, you can use your social media channels to direct traffic to your website by posting links, discounts, and incentives.

Website

Your website design is crucial to the success of your business. With added SEO capabilities, you can ensure that your website appears high up in the Google search rankings. Search engine optimization means honing your keywords and the quality of your content to give your page the kudos needed to help you compete with your rivals. If you don’t have the expertise in house for this business function, think about outsourcing your website design to an external team. These individuals are specialists in making your website industry-specific, and super customer focused on your target market. They will enhance your brand and communicate your business vision and ethos through your homepage aesthetic and website content.

Staff

As a new business, the chances are that you will require a small staff team. These individuals will be crucial to your business success. With a stable and cohesive team that buys into your business ethos, you will have a workforce that will care about the work that they do. Ensure that you ring fence some cash for the professional development of your staff. By investing in their wellbeing and career, you are demonstrating that you value them and respect them. You don’t want a high turnover of staff with low morale. Facilitate a workplace that is conducive to teamwork, and you could have a productive team working for you.

Follow this guide, and you will soon be launching your business successfully in three simple steps.

Tips To Help Improve Your Website

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Improving your website is an important part of growing your business because so many of us are spending more time online. And with so much potential reach out there that could translate into customers, you should be taking full advantage of this where possible. Here are some tips to help improve your website.

Utilize Call To Action

A call to action is where you provide an opportunity for your reader to do something. That could be commenting on an article or clicking on a link to take them to another part of the website that needs more traffic. It’s basically asking them a question, and they are choosing whether to answer it or not. Having more of these calls to action on your website can help with engagement and to give your readers an opportunity to make themselves more known to you as a company. It also helps you learn more about your readers so that you can tailor your website even more to suit them. So try and utilize the call to action option where you can.

Make It Mobile Friendly

When it comes to your website, there’s a number of things you can do to improve its functionality, but the main thing you want to focus on is how mobile-friendly it is. As more people hop online, more tend to use their mobile phones than anything else and so a website that doesn’t function well on a phone isn’t going to be great for business. If text is too small or buttons don’t function the way they’re supposed to, you’ll likely have more of your audience switching off out of boredom or frustration. Seek feedback from your audience about the response on phones as they can be different depending on the type of phone they own. It can be good to know so you can do what you can to improve it. You might want to look into app developers to see if an app version of your website is more appropriate.

Improve The SEO

Search engine optimization is important to get your website out there and ranked high on search engines which will essentially bring more traffic to you. There are lots of basic SEO practices that you can do like compressing images and just creating good content for your website. However, it might also be worth getting in the experts to take over management of this as it can tend to be a job that might take up a lot of time.

Fix Broken Links And Functions

And finally, try to fix any broken links and functions on your website when you spot them because it can be highly frustrating when you have new users going onto your website for the first time. Try to make it a regular thing that you check on so that it doesn’t start piling up and your website loses its ranking.

Improving your website takes time and effort on your part as a business, so implement the changes to make sure you’re making the best of it for your company.

Identify Your Thing – Then Launch A Blog

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So things are looking good.  Your career is on track, you’ve some money in your bank, and things have never been more positive. You find that you are in such a chilled out zone, that you have time on your hands, and want to fill it doing something you love.  

You’ve already fitted in time at the gym, and your social life is well –  sociable, so what could you do with those spare hours that will tick a box in the learning curve of your life.

So how about starting a blog?  It may well be that thousands and thousands of blogs are launched every day of the year, but there is still room for another one – and that could be yours.

But first you have to identify what to blog about, and whilst that can be hard for some, the answer could actually be easier than you think, and staring you in the face. 

People usually start a blog because they have something to say, some knowledge to share, an opinion, a talent, or a cause close their heart.  Once you’ve identified what your ‘thing’ is, then because you either know about it, or are passionate about it, writing about it will come really easy to you. 

For example, you may have a talent for making fabulous meals from very affordable ingredients and your dinner party guests constantly compliment you on your amazing food. 

Of it may be that you can revamp a vintage ball gown, and turn it into a stunning cocktail dress all within 24 hours and your friends constantly come to you to fix their clothes, or to make them a one off, exclusive dress.

When someone turns to you for advice, or to fix things, or to create things, then generally that is your thing, your talent, your speciality.  That is the thing to blog about. You feel someone’s pain, you fix it. You can answer their questions, solve their problems and be the ‘go to’ person. So what better subject to blog about than the ‘thing’ you already do. 

There are some general things you need to think about when starting your blog.  Along with the name, the theme, and all the general nuts and bolts of blogging, you want people to find you, so  things like search engine optimization are going to be very important to you.  

This is something that you might not ever have heard of before, but in simple terms, it means ensuring all those people you’d like to help, can find you easily, and your blog or website will come up as one of the first when someone types in, ‘affordable ingredients’, or ‘revamp ball gown’.  

Don’t let the fear of technical jargon put you off from starting a blog. Help is out there for every conceivable problem you may have.  Just as you know your ‘thing’, another person’s ‘thing’ will be helping people to start a blog. You just have to find them, and all your problems will be solved.

Creating The Perfect Website

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There are many reasons why you might need to have a website. But whatever the underlying purpose, there are a lot of things that you will want to consider if you are going to create the perfect site, or get as close to perfect as possible. As it turns out, creating the perfect website is easier than you might think, but it does take time and effort to get there. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the things to bear in mind as you try to create the perfect website.

Purpose

Every website must have a purpose, and the clearer you are on what the purpose of yours really is, the better it will end up being. You need to hone in on this as finely as possible to really make the most of it. It might not quite be enough to say ‘my business needs a website’. Instead, ask yourself why your business needs a website. To generate traffic and so improve your customer base? To act as a communication channel? To spread the brand? Likewise, if you are looking at setting up a personal website: what exactly do you need to get out of it? Why does it exist?

Choosing the Right Platform

When you’re first starting out, it’s generally best to make creating a website as simple and low cost as possible for yourself. There are a number of Ecommerce platforms out there that allow you to set up your own online store with everything that an effective website could possibly need. You can craft a landing page, create product pages with images and descriptions, FAQ pages, contact pages and more. Take a look at Shopify reviews to learn more about what this platform can do for you and how it compares to other options!

Outsourcing

Many people these days will outsource the actual web design process to professionals who know what they’re doing. That is something that you will want to consider too. If you take a look here, you will see that outsourcing your web design is generally a more affordable way of getting it done, while also bringing about much better results too. So make sure that you are considering this if you really want to make your website as professional and complete as it can be.

Simplicity

Whether you outsource or do it yourself, you need to make sure that you keep the website simple. Simplicity is really the main quality that you should always look out for in any website, and something that you should champion in your own when you are designing it. As long as it is simple, you will find that you are going to be able to draw more people in, and that they are going to enjoy it a lot more too, so that is something that you are going to have to think about along the way. Simplicity really does make a difference.

SEO

Whatever the purpose of your website is, you probably want to make sure that it is reachable, and that you are generating as much traffic as you need. In order to do that, you need to focus on utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that your website is going to be as close to perfect as possible in terms of getting up the top of the search engines results pages. That alone will ensure the popularity of the site, and that will be a sure sign that you are doing things right. Be sure to focus on this if you want your website to actually be known.

It’s Time Your Business Embraced Outsourcing

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The idea of letting someone else get their hands on your business can be seriously scary. When you’ve put your heart and soul into something, the last thing you want is for someone to come along and mess it up. But collaboration is one of the most important elements of business (as well as life.) Not only that but if you try to take on every single element of a running a business by yourself, then you’re going to run out of energy very quickly. The best solution to this is to find the aspects of your business that you don’t have either the time or the expertise for and outsource them. This way the job gets done by professionals, leaving you free to focus on other important aspects of your business. Here are a few parts of your business that you can afford to let someone else deal with.

IT

Not everyone’s a computer wizard. There’s no shame in that. We all have technology around us at all times, but very few of us have a really solid idea of how it all actually works. This is even more pronounced in the world of business. Companies use more advanced and specific technology. This requires equally advanced and specific knowledge to be able to maintain. Cloud solutions, network monitoring, security. These things can be incredibly complex and can’t be dealt with half-heartedly. The best thing you can do is to outsource your IT needs.

SEO

SEO isn’t as simple as it used to be. Once upon a time you could put a decent amount of keywords onto your website, and that was that. But now things have gotten a lot more complicated. Search engines blacklist sites that do that in favor of well-integrated SO. It’s a good idea to look into an SEO service that can use their know-how to create the most effective and well-integrated content possible for your website.

Accounting

Your money is at the heart of your business. None of the other elements could even function without it. So the last thing you want is to leave your finances as an afterthought. This is especially true if you’re not much of an expert with money in the first place. Mistakes in your accounting can not only affect your finances but can put your company into serious legal trouble. The best thing you can do is to hire an accountant to focus entirely on that side of your business. That way it leaves you free to focus on the side of the business you’re most useful without having to worry about whether your books are all in order. 

Obviously, there’s a great deal of your business that you’ll want to handle yourself. It is your business after all! But by being able to let go of a couple of things here and there, you can make sure that your business continues to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Selling Online – Slow & Steady For Success

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Many people are looking for an extra source of income. Perhaps you already have a product you can sell, or maybe you don’t. Either way selling online is going to be your best bet. Aside from the fact you can sell globally in most cases, you can manage it from home. It is always worthwhile to remember that in most cases, selling online takes some time to get going. There is usually less risk involved because you don’t need to have storage for products in most cases, you aren’t paying the rent on a shop, and there are many options for selling. 

Let’s dive into some tips for success!

Products 

Although you might be having dreams of laying in bed with a coffee watching the cash roll in from your online store – that isn’t going to happen unless you know what you are going to be selling. You need to think about the profit margin you are looking for – and always remember that you will be up against the much cheaper competition. If you don’t already sell anything specific, then the world is your oyster here. What do you have a lot of knowledge in, access to or can produce yourself? If you choose an item that you are passionate about, it won’t feel so hard on the long days. 

Name

If you are freelancing already, then you probably have a brand name that you can work with. If you don’t, then think about the future and not just now. If you have plans to expand one day, you are going to want to make sure the name will fit with that growth. It also needs to fit into a domain name and all of your social media channels. Easy to say, easy to read, gives a lead (into what you do). 

Where

This is where many people get a bit lost. You can choose to have your goods only on your own website, but really you are going to be looking for those big audiences that you can get from Shopify, 3dCart, Amazon and more. Though it doesn’t hurt to have your own site too. But you should always remember that each of those points of sales has rules, and if you break them, you are going to be looking to get help at appealasap.com. Be sure you know what you are signing up to, what the costs are and what the benefits are for you. 

Promote

Once you have all of the basics set up, you are going to need to promote your store and products often. Using the very same social media accounts, we just spoke about. Learn about social media marketing, email list building, SEO, and paid advertising to make the most of what you can do. It is the promotion that is going to do the heavy lifting on the growth of your business….

The other large chunk of work is going to be from you always delivering on time, always responding to customers (consider chatbots for this if you are working alone). And really leverage that email marketing list for the upsell.

Converting Your Website’s Visitors Into Customers

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Getting visitors to your website, but no customers? In order for a website to generate customers, it needs to have the right design features to get people buying. Here are a few key tips for helping to build more leads from your website.  

Make sure you’re attracting the right visitors

If you’re getting lots of visitors but few customers, you may want to check how visitors are arriving at your site. It’s possible that inappropriate keywords may be optimized, leading to the wrong type of visitors arriving at your site. Investing in the help of an SEO service provider could help you to optimize relevant keywords that attract the right visitors and get them buying. You can use analytics tools to see which keywords visitors are using.

Speed up slow-loading pages

If your website’s pages take too long to load, visitors may get impatient and leave. This could be stopping you from getting customers. Slow-loading pages can be the result of many issues ranging from a slow hosting provider to possibly too many plug-ins/embedded media. There are guides online that can help you to improve the speed of your site’s pages.

Ensure your website looks professional

Your website needs to look professional in order to gain visitors’ trust. If it looks amateurish, visitors will assume that your company is run by amateurs. It could be worth hiring a website reviewer to check your site and point out any improvements they think need to be made. This will determine whether your site needs redesigning (you may want to hire a professional web designer to do this).

Show off your credibility

In order to trust a business site, consumers like to be able to see evidence of credibility. Award and qualification badges, testimonials and case studies can all show people that you’re qualified and experienced. Make sure to also check reviews of your company on the likes of Google and TrustPilot to ensure that it’s largely positive – too many third-party negative reviews could be damaging your ability to generate leads.

Keep the checkout process simple

A complicated checkout process can put off visitors. Lengthy sign-up procedures made up of multiple pages can irritate potential customers. Try to keep the checkout process to as few pages as possible and consider making signing-up optional. You should also make sure that you’re using a professional checkout process builder tool to help minimize bugs and glitches. Some company sites may not have a checkout process and may rely on customers ringing up to book a quote – if this is the case, make sure your contact details aren’t hard to find.

Expand your payment options

The final hurdle for customers is likely to be your site’s payment gateway. Aside from accepting debit card, consider whether you should also accept credit card and possibly alternative forms of payment such as cryptocurrency. Certain customers may be put off if you don’t offer their preferred payment option (credit card could be particularly important when it comes to large value items).

4 Areas To Outsource As A Small Business

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You may find it surprising to discover that even the most enterprising of businesses outsource from time to time. The key to outsourcing is to look at the tasks that take up the most time, your weaknesses and that are simple, mundane tasks. Outsourcing to professionals in areas such as creative, financial or other fields can result in a better quality end-product, and free up time and resources to put back into the company. 

Check out these four areas to outsource as a small business:

Content & Inbound Marketing

Long gone are the days where you were able to advertise using purely god word of mouth and flyers on walls and in shop windows. It’s all about the digital world and how we utilize it to our advantage. Small businesses must compete for customers through online and mobile marketing, which are undoubtedly better and more effective ways for companies to get seen by customers but they do take a lot of time and effort to get right. 

With the number of people searching for businesses using their mobile device or a search engine at a rapid rate, businesses should look to outsource their content creation and marketing to improve their company’s chances of being found by potential customers. The costs and time spent marketing should go down for small businesses who are inexperienced with this area if they choose to outsource. 

Think about outsourcing areas such as:

  • SEO-Search engine optimization.
  • Content creation – Blog posts, Website info and articles. 
  • Social media advertising – Instagram feed, Twitter posts and Facebook. 

Web Design

When it comes to present your business on the web to the entire world chance are you’re going to want to have complete control especially seen as this is the face of your business.  However, web design is another service to consider outsourcing as it means you can ensure you attract customers immediately and hassle-free, you will also have a technical person to refer to if anything goes wrong rather than spending hours sorting it yourself. 

There are both creational and technical components to web design and professionals in this service can work with you to find the right balance for these elements and meet your wants and needs for the site. 

Think about outsourcing these web design areas:

  • Designing and building the background dealings of your site. 
  • SSL Certificates.
  • Databases.
  • Hosting for the website- unless you want to host your own server. 
  • Coding HTML/CSS- although it’s handy to know a little bit about this. 
  • Troubleshooting tech issues- IT services will be able to help set up and maintain software and programs you have.

Accounting

This is yet another area that most businesses outsource and if you’re not already it should be one of the first that you look in to. Yes, it’s ideal and wise for you to be on top of your accounts but this doesn’t mean you need to spend all the time doing it. Merely communicating with an accountant who is looking after your financial paperwork will be sufficient. 

Think about outsourcing these accountancy areas:

  • Payroll management – a month-end job that will free up a lot of time. 
  • Bookkeeping- hand over any expenses reports and let them deal with them.
  • Overseeing cash flow

By outsourcing these types of services, small business owners have the time to spend on growing their company instead of being frustrated with tasks that take expertise and are time-consuming.

Are there any areas that you outsource as a small business already? Please share them below.

The Business Aspects That May Require The Most Attention In Your Biz

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Starting up a business is something that many people would love the opportunity to do. They want to get to a stage where they feel passionate about something they do each day, and the control that being their own boss gives them. Starting up will be overwhelming, and there is often a lot of plates to spin. But you will get to the stage where the idea has come into fruition and you are ready to move the business forward. However, there will be aspects of the business that you may forget about. So here is a quick reminder to help you keep the dream on track.

Keep a close eye on cash flow

Cash flow in and out of your business may be something that you might not have much experience, but it is an essential area of the business to keep it moving forward. The aim is to stay in the black and not have any debts around you. But often not having the right level of insight on this area can cause you to make errors with forecasts and profit projections. Take time to be aware of funds going in and out, and also be mindful of payment windows. Some of which you can take advantage of, others will also take advantage of it as you await money coming in. Outsourcing your accounts can help to take the pressure off this are for you as a business leader. 

Think about your website

These days you have to be aware how much is done online, and your website is one area that you can’t afford to make mistakes with. You only have to look at your own habits to understand that you go online for a lot. So it may be time to ensure that you give your full attention to your website. Ensuring that the pages load up quickly. All images are quality and not pixelated. Things like stock levels are up to date with the correct pricing and also taking into account SEO so that you are driving traffic to your website from search engines. 

A business blog may be beneficial 

Another thing to consider might be to set up a business blog that runs alongside your website. This can also create more chances of using things like SEO to help drive traffic to your main website and ecommerce page. You could look at having experienced writers create engaging content for the blog, as there are affordable blog writing services for your business that you could consider. This can help you to also share other information relevant to your customers, such as knowledge of the industry or the latest offers. It can even translate into social media posts as another thing to share through those platforms. 

Social media engagement and responses 

Finally, you may want to think about how you engage and use your social media platforms. You may have a strategy in place in terms of content, but if you fail to respond to comments or direct messages then it could be all to waste. 

Let’s hope this has given you something to think about when it comes to the business aspects that require your attention

6 Reasons Why Your Approach to SEO Is Failing

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It goes without saying that search engine optimization is one of the best ways to ensure that your website is visible to a large audience. Without SEO, you could have the world’s greatest website with plenty of useful content and products to sell, but you’re never going to get the exposure you deserve unless you make friends with search engines like Google. Every day, there are over 3.5 billion searches on Google alone which means 1.2 trillion searches a year–that’s a lot of internet users! And with more users making use of smartphones and tablets to browse the web, we’re going to see that number increase even more.

So we understand why SEO is important, but are you really taking advantage of it as much as you could? Perhaps you’ve invested in SEO heavily but you’re still not seeing a huge increase that the agency promised, or perhaps you’ve been fooled to think that SEO requires a hefty time investment. Of course, there’s always the alternate reason; your SEO is failing.

So in this article, we’re going to explain five reasons why your approach to SEO is failing and how you can fix it so that your website gets the exposure it deserves.

Reason 1: Your website just isn’t good enough

Your visitor experience plays a huge role in how visible your website is. If your visitors are required to click over 5 different links to find what they need then there’s a serious problem. You may want to consult website designers to help you with things such as improving your navigation and the overall design of your site needs to be easy on the eyes. If you’re not focusing on things such as readability, navigation or even having a website that works on both mobile and desktop, then you’re going to have some serious trouble with your SEO.

Think about it this way; it doesn’t matter how much Google likes your website thanks to your keyword usage and their robots. If your website isn’t an enjoyable experience then your visitors may click your website, but they certainly aren’t going to stay let alone actually purchase something from you. So if you’re serious about SEO and improving your website, make sure you focus on making a good website first.

Reason 2: You’ve not updated your SEO strategy

SEO is constantly evolving. If you hired an agency five years ago to help you with SEO and you’re still acting on the same principles, then it’s no wonder that your SEO is currently failing. You always want to update your tactics because Google is always updating its search engine. It’s always going to change its algorithm and you need to learn about those changes and discover how you can take advantage of it to grow your site.

The best way to do this would be to hire an SEO expert since they can keep up with all the updates, but you can also do this by taking SEO more seriously and learning about the processes involved.

Reason 3: You don’t have the right team for it

You also need to ensure that you have the right team for your SEO needs. It’s often a matter of hiring an in-house team vs hiring an SEO agency, and the right choice for you will often depend on how large your business is and how much attention your website gets. If you’re just a small business then an agency is usually good enough, but if your website has many products, pages and your company gets a lot of business, then it’s best to seek an in-house team that understands your business better.

Reason 4: Your industry is too competitive

If your industry is really competitive then you might just be having trouble trying to compete with the giants in your field. For example, you might be struggling to compete with other smartphone companies since Apple, Google and Samsung are currently dominating it. If you’re trying to grow a site about something popular such as video games or sports, then there are other websites that will likely have far better content than you and domain authority.

If your industry is competitive, then it may be worth trying to find your own niche, changing your goals or even repurposing your website so that it’s easier to find for a more specific or smaller audience before expanding your brand.

Reason 5: Your industry just isn’t very popular

There’s always going to be a problem with industries that just aren’t popular. While popular industries have the trouble of too much competition, niche industries might have too few searches or highly specialized businesses that are already well-known in communities.

When it comes to SEO for niche industries, you need to play an active role in those communities in order to promote your website. This involves content marketing, social media interaction and general engagement with your audience in order to grow your audience. In other words, you need to take a different approach to SEO if you want to grow your website in a niche industry.

Reason 6: You’re focusing too much on keywords

Lastly, we should talk about keyword usage and the technical side of SEO. While it’s true that Google does look at your website with a set of algorithms to determine its domain authority and value to users, it’s important to design your website to be readable by humans first and not Google’s bots. This means that you shouldn’t stuff your content with keywords or follow SEO optimization tools that use robots to check your content.

Instead, focus on creating content that is actually readable. Focus on designing a website that has lots of interesting content for your users to read and stop putting a heavy emphasis on meeting a certain keyword requirement. Yes, the statistics and analytics are important in SEO, but arguably the most important statistic is how many people visit and stay on your website, and that’s usually down to honest high-quality content.