So your online business is doing ok. Your brick-and-mortar business of course is driving all of the sales, and the site is merely an online advertisement and you’re lucky to get one or two online sales a month. That’s a huge waste of time, you know. You can do so much more with your website and your not even utilizing your site’s potential to the hilt.
You can try promoting your products on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all while placing a link to your website for online sales. It doesn’t hurt if you have an online checkout/shopping cart solution in place already. Submit your site to an Australia Business Directory as well, that will work wonders if your site’s located in Australia. If you’re somewhere else, it goes without saying that you just need to look for your location’s business directory.
The problem may also be because your possible customers may be having a hard time to find your site online. Have you tried googling for your product? Did your site land in the first page of results? Then a bit of search engine optimization may be needed. It’s expensive, it will take a lot of time before you see results, but yes, it works and has great results in the long term.
Your website isn’t something you just create and put on the web and just expect people to come and visit it. It needs to be constantly tweaked and updated and promoted for you to maximize it.
Setting up your marketing campaigns can be a tedious task, especially if youâ€™re managing more than one venue at the same time and want to maximize your earnings from all of them while spending as little time as possible. Not many people realize the great benefits attached to hiring a freelance copywriter to take care of your advertising â€“ and believe us, it can actually be one of the greatest favors you can do to your business if you want to see success in the end.
Even if youâ€™ve got the perfect graphics designer whoâ€™s working day and night on your campaigns, if the text on them is lacking in power this can ruin all the effort and bring you back to the starting point. This makes it crucial to hire someone who actually knows what theyâ€™re doing for writing those texts â€“ and this is where a freelance copywriter comes in. More →
The last two weeks have been tumultuous for everyone in my company. While we knew that the management was undergoing some changes, there were a lot of surprises that were sent our way. I suppose that we should have seen it coming, what with the never disappearing talk of the credit crunch and financial problems.
What happened was that 3 people in my team were let go. You can call it what you want but in effect, our team was downsized; without a warning â€“ at least an explicit one. While I should be happy that I still have a job, I couldnâ€™t help but wonder. What if it had happened to me? How long would I survive on the measly severance pay that would be given to me?
The only thing I can think of now is this: it is always a good idea to have some sort of business that can back you up if things do take a turn for the worse. One of my colleagues, for example, has been running a baked goods business for the last year. It is small, no doubt, but at least she has something to do in terms of income while she looks for another job. In the past, she saw it as a supplement to her regular income but I can just imagine how thankful she probably is that she has this small business to get her through.
Events like these are more than good enough reasons for us to make sure that we have something to back us up in case something happens.
What’s your back up plan?
Cost cutting is the buzz word these days. Go to any office work place â€“ whether it be a big corporate office or a small business location. Cost cutting is what everyone is trying to do effectively. What are some of the ways by which you can considerably cut down on costs?
One, get rid of multiple telephone lines.
How many lines do you have in the office? Two or more? Why donâ€™t you evaluate your set up and see how many lines you really need. If you are running a small business, I doubt that you would need more than 2 lines. You do not need a separate phone for each person. While that would be more convenient, think of the money you can save if you have only one or two main lines and use extensions for others.
Two, limit business travel.
If you need to travel for meetings and similar activities, why not look for an alternative such as telephone and video conferencing? With the technology that is available to everyone these days, there really is no excuse to spend more than is necessary for meetings. To save even more, invest in a VOIP package that will cut your telephone costs considerably.
Three, make sure everyone turns their PCs off at the end of the day.
The habit of many employees is to leave their PCs on when the leave the office. While this is convenient â€“ no need to boot up the next day â€“ the electrical consumption does add up. Remind everyone to shut down and turn everything off or even assign people to check everyday. You will be thankful for the power savings that translate to money.
For the first several years of my working life, I found myself drawn to start ups. Perhaps it was not by choice. Perhaps it was simply because I got really good opportunities with start ups at that time. And I have to say, I really learned a lot during those years. If there is one thing that really stuck with me, however, it is that any business â€“ no matter how big or small it may be â€“ should have clear policies at the outset. Without clear policies, you might be able to get by for the first couple of years. Once you start expanding, however, you will see that having no policies spells disaster. Here are some tips that you can consider when coming up with policies for your business.
While you may be content to run your business at the pace and scale that you started out at, expansion is inevitable at some point. As such, you have to bear in mind what can happen and what you will do in case these things happen. Planning ahead is always a good thing and having a solution to an event that has not occurred yet can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.
Know what policies you will need, even from the start.
There are some things that you cannot do without. If you have employees, then you need an employee handbook. You have to establish policies regarding compensation, leaves, performance evaluation, and so on.
Make sure there is a concrete venue by which you can communicate your policies to everyone involved.
One of the worst things is having policies without anyone in the company being aware of them. When you spring a â€œruleâ€ on your employees without the proper process, it might very well backfire on you.
Technology is something that has become an inherent part of any business. In the past, a business could survive, even flourish, without really putting much thought on technology and how it affects the day to day running of a business. Today, however, not paying mind to technology can very well be the start of the unraveling of the tapestry. So do you have a technology plan? If not, here are some ideas to get you started.
Start with the big picture
Much like having a business plan, you need to look at your technology plan by looking at the big picture. What do you want to achieve? Set your goals and then slowly work at the details.
Align your technology plan with your business strategy and goals
You canâ€™t treat the technological aspect as a separate thing. You need to know your business strategy and goals, and let those guide you as you create your technology plan. Bear your overall business goals in mind as you make decisions for the technological aspect.
Treat technology expenses as investments
One thing that keeps some people hold back on their technological improvement efforts is the fact that they see the associated expenses as merely costs. They do not see that somehow, it is an investment. Change your perspective and youâ€™ll see that investing in technology will end up saving you money in the long run.
Get expert help if needed
If technology is not your forte, donâ€™t force it. While there are things that you can learn, there are also some things that are better left to the pros. If you need help, do not hesitate to get it.
Every company has big dreams. Any businessman aims for growth. The difference lies in the rate of growth. Sometimes, a company grows really quickly, and when this happens, certain aspects are sometimes overlooked, resulting in complications. Oftentimes, IT is one of the areas that do not get the required attention.
In this regard, we can all learn something from what others have experienced in the past. One particularly interesting example is that of Enova Financial’s case, wherein they went through an explosive growth phase. During this time, the manager of IT Engineering – Jeff Bagnall – stepped up and decided to go the IT outsourcing route. The interview with Jeff Bagnall is something that you might want to take a look at, as you can learn a whole lot in terms of managing your IT needs as your company grows.
One outstanding point that he made was how a business should look to outsourcing. He stated that outsourcing IT needs to a data center service is more practical as the business does not have to sink millions in setting up its own infrastructure. This makes even more sense if you are only leasing your offices and do not own the building.
Other salient points to consider when looking at various data center services:
- Your power requirements and how much the provider offers
- Response time of the provider
- The amount of available space
His parting argument for outsourcing your business’s IT needs? When technical issues arise (e.g., power/cooling issues), it is NOT your problem anymore. It is now the data center’s issue, and this frees up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Photo via The Planet