4 Tasks You Should be Automating in Your Ecommerce Store

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Ecommerce is massive. From sites like Amazon and eBay, right down to sole retailers selling their own products online, ecommerce is becoming an enormous business as online sales grow all of the time. For years, ecommerce has been slowly eating into brick and mortar stores sale, and this is only set to continue going forward. Ecommerce stores can offer fabulous customer experience, a straightforward and convenient way to shop and a vast choice of products and styles. The structure of ecommerce can also mean that traders are able to offer quick, free delivery, better prices and wonderful seasonal deals. It’s a growing industry, and it’s easy to see why.

More and more of us are setting up our own ecommerce stores from home. Either selling our own products and services or selling on goods that we have bought at wholesale. It’s a great way to make money and gives you a very real opportunity to create a meaningful business for yourself, out of nothing.

While setting up and running an ecommerce store is easier than ever, it’s still a lot harder than many people expect. Growing an ecommerce business, making sales and doing everything that you need to is hard work. Many ecommerce store owners work far more than full-time hours, putting everything that they have into their business. But, it doesn’t need to be like this. Automation can be a lifesaver. Here’s a look at 4 of the things you should be automation to save time and your sanity.

Reporting

Are you spending hours at the end of every week compiling reports, looking at data and finding ways to make your business better? Looking through data can be time-consuming and confusing. The benefits of automated reporting are clear. It saves you time, it helps you to avoid mistakes, and it gives you the information that you need when you need it.

Social Media

Social media is a huge part of modern business. Especially online business. It’s a fantastic way to grow your audience, attract new customers and promote loyalty. But, it’s time-consuming. Social media moves so quickly that you need to be online all of the time to make any real impact and get noticed. Use a scheduling tool to set posts up to go out when you want them to, without you needing to be online all of the time.

Emails

Emails are a brilliant way to speak to your customers. They are more personal than social media posts and give you a chance to pass on information while making a one on one connection. But, imagine sending an email to every one of your customers? It would take forever. Use an email provider to send regular updates, setting up templates to make sending emails fast and easy.

Stock Counting

Stock counting is one of the things that small business owners hate the most. It takes a lot of time, and it’s easy to make mistakes. But, stocktaking is essential. It gives you a way to monitor your stock, keep track on how much you are selling and what stock you are holding, and helps you to get your ordering right. So, don’t. Use an automated stock counting system to give you real-time synchronization between your sales and your stock holding.

Successfully Run Your Business Remotely with These Tips

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We’re so lucky to be young and alive in a time where technology is sufficiently advanced that we all have the power to start our own online companies and run our lives from anywhere in the world that we desire if we so desire to do so.

Working remotely is the dream of many a millennial because it gives us greater freedom to explore the world around us, absorb new cultures and keep expanding our horizons. Of course, setting up and running a successful remote business is not as simple as many would lead us to believe, and although it is possible, it takes lots of hard work, dedication and a few wise decisions to set things up and have them running smoothly. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey as a remote-working intrapreneur:

Make Full Use of the Cloud

It should be pretty obvious that if you want to be a remote working intrapreneur, you’re going to have to use the cloud. If you store all of your data and run all of your applications from a single location, then you will be tied to it and that is the exact opposite of what you want to happen. So, make full use of cloud-ready platform solutions, like the ones available at http://www.zycomtec.com if you want to get off on the right footing. It’ll be so much easier to control things wherever you are if you do, and it’ll be a lot easier to add employees from anywhere in the world to your company when you’re working on the cloud also.

Make Contacts Wherever You Go

Working remotely with an internet business to a certain extent means that you can get away with not having lots of contacts in the local business world. That being said, it never hurts to know people wherever you are so, should you want to translate your website into a new language, or if you have trouble with your local infrastructure, there are people who you can call on. Much more importantly, it will mean there are like-minded individuals who you can hang out with from time to time – it can get lonely being a remote worker sometimes.

Spend Lots of Time on Social Media

If you want your remote business to be successful, social media is an excellent tool that will help you stay in touch with your target audience, market your goods and services to a wide range of people and keep you connected with what’s going on in your sector, all at the touch of a button. You could literally be doing your marketing on the beach!

Stay with One Time Zone

If you have the freedom to do so, chances are you’ll be moving around and entering different time zones quite regularly. For business purposes, it’s vital that you maintain the same time zone for your working hours, at least if you’re running the business solo. Why> Because customers need to know when they can get in touch with you, and it makes it a whole lot easier for you to design your schedule wherever you are too.

Do you run a business remotely? Do you have any tips to ensure it’s a success?

Tried And Tested Business Practices

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You don’t really have to worry about trying something new out with your business. Chances are it has already been done by someone else, and it has already been tested to the highest standard to make sure it’s going to improve the way a business is ran. But the sad thing is, not a lot of businesses actually try and use them. They stick to what they know, and often what they know might not be the smartest move. So, if you know you haven’t pushed the boat out a bit and experimented with different business practices, here are a few tried and tested ideas for you to give a go.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is easy, simple, and one of the best things a business can do. There’s so many different elements to a business that could be outsourced as well. Some are more important, and will probably benefit your business so much if you actually gave it a go. One of the best is marketing. It’s so hard to understand how marketing actually works for some people. You’ve got the simple techniques such as social media marketing. This is a technique that is pretty easy to master yourself. Then you’ve got techniques such as SEO which is pretty complicated, but there are specialist agencies that you could outsource to to get them to do the work for you. Techniques such as SEO are so effective, so it’s probably best to outsource to get it right.

Relying On Software

Relying on software is something every business should do because there’s just so many different bits of software that can help a business. First, you’ve got ones such as cpq. what is cpq software you ask? It’s software that allows you to track and monitor sales and revenue, something that can be really difficult to do without the aid of such software. For pretty much every department of your business, there is software that can help with it. With accounts, there’s pieces that will allow you to track profits, losses, new customers etc. to see what your overall figures for the year might be without actually knowing. These predictions can save a companies life with things like overspending or overestimating the profit that might be made for the year.

Flexible Company Policies

A lot of companies are so strict, and it can have a real negative effect on the people that work for them. However, there are some companies that are so flexible, and their employee turnover is so low, and the overall satisfaction for working for the company is high. Try and be flexible with things such as annual leave, bonuses etc. You should also consider letting employees allocate their own breaks and their own break times. So long as they’re getting all their work done in the day, letting them have an extra half an hour or so to relax and recharge before finishing the rest of their shift might be beneficial for them and you!

We highly recommend you try a couple of these business practices and see how they help your business!

Bring Your Store out of the Past and Into the Modern Day

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There are probably thousands of stores around the world that still haven’t updated the way they work. Technology has introduced some clever and wonderful advantages that have helped us change the way we work for the better. It has sped up processing times for orders, it has widened our audiences and it has helped us grow considerably larger than we were in the past.

All of these added together makes for a more successful business overall, but there are still many stubborn stores that just refuse to or simply can’t upgrade their processes to the modern age. In this article, we’ll be updating your knowledge of the modern business facilities and features you need in order to grow your company.

Updating your payment methods

If you still haven’t at least introduced credit and debit card support in your business then you’re living in a dark past where cash was the only accepted form of payment. Get yourself a free credit card reader so you can start taking different payments and finally remove that “cash only” sign on your door. Accepting different payment methods opens you up to more customers and it helps to make purchases more convenient, which is an essential factor when thinking about customer retention.

Get yourself a website

Thanks to the easy website builders available on the internet, it’s simple to get yourself an online presence. Many people think this is a waste of time especially if they’re just a humble grocery store or antique shop, but you’d be surprised at how useful it is to at least have some presence on the internet. You’ll be easier to find in online directories and you’ll be able to provide contact information if a customer wants to get in touch for one reason or another.

Growing on social media

The world of business comes with many social media marketing challenges and these can make it seem virtually impossible for a small-time business to take advantage of social media. However, social media doesn’t need to be a complicated and confusing concept–all it takes is a bit of knowledge and understanding of how it works. Social media is essentially just an online platform for people to communicate, but because there are so many users it’s a fantastic way to get exposure. Growing on social media ties in with getting yourself a website because they’re both ways to boost your online presence. Again, while it seems like a lot of work and borderline pointless for most business, it’s a fantastic way to increase awareness of your store and draw in more customers.

Selling on the internet

If you run a store that sells unique goods or has products that people across the country (or even the world) are interested in, then it might be a good idea to look into selling your products on the internet. Just think of it as sending a friend or family member a gift, except this time you’re getting paid for it and if you do it enough, you’ll land yourself some deals to reduce the amount it costs to send goods around. Even if you just register your products on an auction website, it’s still a fantastic way to widen your audience.

Increasing Blog Traffic

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If you’ve recently started a blog or set up an online business, you are probably wondering why no one is reading it. You’ve put hours of work into the design, photography and writing. Your posts look and read great, yet no one is viewing them. Before you started your blog, you’d probably read others, seen how many views they were getting, that they are working with brands and that they had thousands of followers on social media and wanted the same for yourself. You assumed you’d published a post and people would read it. You imagined yourself going viral and becoming a famous blogger in the first few months.

Then, a few months in, even with a growing social media following, you find that very few people actually read your blog. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Most people that start blogs give up within the first year because it isn’t what they expected. To gain consistent traffic takes a lot of time and hard work. Let’s take a look at some ways to help.

SEO

When you start a blog, most of your viewers will come from social media promotion. Very few will simply stumble upon your content. But, that’s what you want. Most people that come over from social media are fellow bloggers and friends. If you want to reach a wider audience, who are actively searching for content like yours, you need to work on your SEO and start bringing in search engine hits.

SEO is a complex thing, that changes all of the time, so if you want fast results, it’s a good idea to look at SEO Expert Brad Blog for advice and help, not only on SEO but all aspects of blogging. In the meantime, make sure you are using long-tail keywords, filling in the alt text on pictures and adding meta descriptions to all of your posts.

Social Media

If this is what’s bringing in a lot of your traffic, you need to make the most of it. Make sure you are on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter at least and that you are actively using them. Join relevant groups on Facebook, promote old posts, engage with your audience and share other people’s work for the best results.

Remember, a huge following is nowhere near as important as an engaged following. So, get chatting with people and make friends.

Tell Your Friends

Many new bloggers feel a little embarrassed and so avoid telling people they know. The truth is, you probably will tell them one day, most do. So, get it out of the way and ask for their advice, feedback and help sharing content. If they don’t blog themselves, they’ll be pretty impressed.

Keep Going

One of the best bits of advice for a new blogger struggling to gain traffic is just to keep going. If you are writing well, promoting in the right places and engaging with your audience, the traffic will come. Just keep going, picking up tips and making changes along the way.

There are so many blogs out there today that the completion is tough. But, you can stand out from the crowd by finding your own voice and offering new ideas. Don’t give up; you’ll get there.

Why Going Viral Shouldn’t Be Your Goal

going-viral

15 minutes of fame.

Instant gratification at it’s best…but does it mean anything?

Going viral does wonders for your ego, yet puts nothing in your pocket.

If longevity is what you’re after “hits” should be an afterthought.

Nothing wrong with it, but not an accomplishment in itself.

Investors, like on Shark Tank, don’t care about your free PR. They want to see sales. Marketing is crucial, but only effective when it converts. Social media “likes” aren’t the same as purchases.

In the gig economy side hustle is a way of life. If you don’t have one now, you should in the near future. It doesn’t need to put food on the table, but supplemental income is more than just gravy. Plus you’ll never know without trying.

Take for instance a rainbow. Although visually beautiful (marketing), the pot of gold is what you should be after (sales). Nothing screams validation more than results.

More exposure is always a good thing, but don’t stop there. Remember William Hung from American Idol? He got his 15 minutes of fame, but where is he now?

You shouldn’t settle for being a one-hit wonder/flash in the pan, rather build something of substance that stands the test of time. Going viral may be part of the journey, but it should never be the destination.

Click that.