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Business Opportunities



The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs



Updated: 2017-02-23T07:31:04Z

 



Anik Singal and Micro-moment Marketing

2017-02-23T02:01:23Z

Google explains micro marketing moments as, "the critical touch points of a customers journey" Read the full article to discover this journey and find out where in the journey your customers WILL buy from you Anik Singal and Micro-moment Marketing It’s no news that consumers prefer digital media over traditional media in exploring and making decisions every day. For this reason, marketers devote billions of dollars to make sure their ad messages get to their target customers. Among the different types of digital media, mobile has continued to lead in a race for the consumers’ soul. What makes mobile so attractive is its relationship with the Internet. So once again, the leadership role of mobile in digital consumer marketing is in the news. It was in 2013 when an Internet Trends Report revealed that Internet users interacted with their phones about 150 times daily. This interaction involves messaging, gaming, searching, music, and everything else a phone is capable of providing. The most common form of interaction was messaging, which consists of SMS and email. Interestingly, the report uncovers the business model of marketing and advertising guru Anik Singal. For Anik, “Email is a choice marketing method for entrepreneurs with little start up capital. It allows you to target individual customers and track their purchases at low cost and on a global scale.”   There is reason to suggest that marking via email has the potential to return profit to marketers when you carefully consider the micro-marketing moments of the Google content marketing team.   Explaining Micro-moment Marketing The marketing paradigm of micro-moments is simple. The Google content marketing team defines it as “critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.” The team identified four critical moments in the journey of consumers in making sense of a myriad of information on digital media. The preferred device choice for looking at digital messages is the smartphone. Every minute consumers are turning to their smartphones to make searches and buying decisions. Google advises that marketers ought to be there at every stage of the consumer journey if they want to succeed. The moments are shown in percentage, representing consumers who are caught in each step of the journey. Here is a list of the micro-moments.   I-Want-to-Know Moments (66%) I-Want-to-Go Moments I-Want-to-Do Moments (70%) I-Want-to-Buy Moments (82%)   For example, imagine you see an ad on TV about where to buy a DIY shoe rack, but because the ad is fleeting, you turn to your smartphone to get better information. (This is the I-Want-to-Know Moment) During your search, you discover there are many stores offering this item for sale, but you are wondering if a local store sells it. So, you search for a local business nearby. (This is the I-Want-to-Go Moment)  Considering that the item needs to be assembled, you once again turn to your smartphone for a video of how to do (This is the I-Want-to-Do-Moment). Eventually, you are at the local store and you need help making a final decision, and again you resort to your smartphone (This is the I-Want-to-Buy Moment).   To read the micro-moments marketing report, click “Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile”.   Seizing the Micro-moments Opportunity Marketers could make gains by looking at the best ways to win in the battleground of micro-moments marketing. Four strategies have been summed up by the Google team; we will see how they apply to email. Be there. The team advises marketers to anticipate the next thing consumers will be searching for and make sure they are there to help. For instance, if a consumer had just seen an ad about property insurance and stumbled on your site for better knowledge, how would your email marketing integrate with the overall experience the consumer would have? Being there means you should have valuable information about property insurance on your site. Then the next quest[...]



What Does it Take to Start a Lawn Care Business?

2017-02-21T23:08:17Z

Have you been wanting to start our own lawn care business? Here is an article from Craig Daniel of Acer Lawn Care where he tells us the challenges he has faced and what it really takes to be a successful lawn care professional. What Does it Take to Start a Lawn Care Business? In almost every business niche there is fierce competition and that is certainly true for the lawn care industry as well. But where there is a will there is a way. What it takes to be successful in today’s business environment (in any industry) is to be willing to go above and beyond the competition in terms of both service and quality. In the U.S., just about everyone who can afford a lawn care service has one. While some people do enjoy caring for their own lawns, most do not or they simply do not have the time to do it. In the UK however, things are different. Most people do not understand the lawn care sector yet and still clip their own grass. Things are beginning to change. Craig Daniel of Acer Lawncare tells us that in some of the UK’s wealthier areas like Manchester and Warrington, lawn care companies are springing up out quickly. With that, he says, “the competition is becoming quite stiff rather quickly.”   If you are thinking of starting your own lawn care business, it is important to know that most consumers expect it to be an expensive service. This is both good and bad. Good if someone is ready to hire you and knows the service will cost a little. Bad if they are not hiring a service because they feel it will be too expensive for them to even check out.   How Much should you charge? There are a few things to consider when you are setting your pricing. You will want to focus on having a large amount of customers within a small travel area. If you try to take accounts all over the place, you will spend a lot more on gas and wasted travel time and hence your business will be less profitable. So the first key to success is having a concentration of customers in a small area. When you are staring out make sure you spend your down time marketing your business in a small radius you would like to work in. Have flyers made, door hangers, business cards and so on and canvas an area. If someone across town wants to hire you that could be good too. Just make sure you are charging enough to make up for the time travel to that area. If you  have employees, trucks, gas, insurance and so on, make sure you figure all those expenses into your quotes and make sure you are giving yourself an adequate profit margin.   How many customers do you need to make a profit? That all depends upon how big you want your business to be. Do you want to keep it small, be home based, do the work yourself and have one truck? Or, is your vision to have 20 trucks, 40 employees and several cities you work in? As a part of your early business planning, make sure you think abou that. That way, each decision you make will further you toward your end goal.   In either scenario, figure out what your total overhead will be. Then figure out how much money you want to make per month. Add the two numbers together, divide it by the number of accounts you believe you can handle, and that will tell you where your pricing needs to be. Of course that is a very over-simplified model but it is a good way do a quick and dirty business plan to see if your concept works for you. If the pricing is too low, is there some other service you can offer to set yourself apart from the competition? Can you offer fertilizing, tree trimming, pet clean up or total organic products? Be creative and unique and your customers will see why you charge a bit more.   How do you get your business off the ground? We chatted with Craig Daniel of Acer Lawn Care, about how he managed to get his lawn care business off the ground. He told us, “Starting this lawn care business from scratch was very difficult to be honest. Before I began I researched my local area to ensure there were enough potential customers to satisfy my business goals a[...]



Don’t Give Up On Past Customers, Re-Engage Them With These Tips

2017-02-20T04:44:52Z

I was just looking myself for a way to reach out to my former customers and find out what they liked about my site and what I could do to improve it for them. I found an excellent article by MarketingLand.com and wanted to share it with you here. It has great tips on how to re-engage your old customers so enjoy!

Don’t Give Up On Past Customers, Re-Engage Them With These Tips

Source: Marketing Land www.marketingland.com

Writer: Joanna Lord

Let’s face the facts: customer lifecycle marketing is hard. Traditionally, the acquisition stage of the customer funnel kept marketers busy, but it appears the tides are turning — the majority of marketers interviewed in a recent 2014 State of Marketing survey said retention and re-engagement are now a key focus. Here Are a few great tips to re-engage your customers.

Customer engagement
So, how can we re-engage our past customers? There are a number of authentic and mutually beneficial ways to reach out and reconnect with those customers that have departed — cancelled their product subscription, uninstalled your app, etc. Let’s jump into some of the more popular ones.

Survey Them
While most companies have a survey on their cancellation page, don’t forget that you can also email past customers and request more feedback. You can ask them why they cancelled or what suggestions they might have for your company. Members that cancelled have a wealth of knowledge that can help steer your product and engineering efforts.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

CLICK HERE to read more excellent business tips in our Business Opportunities Blog

 




Getting Back into the Corporate Culture After an Addiction Recovery

2017-02-20T01:03:30Z

Becoming sober is hard enough, but assimilating yourself into a new life can be daunting in more ways than one.Becoming sober is hard enough, but assimilating yourself into a new life can be daunting in more ways than one. Naturally, you will have gone through withdrawal symptoms, and overcome all the cravings you feel for a quick drug or alcohol fix. In fact, emerging from rehab treatment  and into an everyday work life has been likened to stepping out of a cave. Undoubtedly, it is a transition process that requires many steps, adjustments, and resolutions in order to succeed. If you are recently out of recovery, whether you manage a business or work as an employee, you’ll want to make sure you begin on the right path. You have been given a second chance and it is important that you approach it in good stride. The Importance of Working Getting busy is a big deal. It is actually a necessary part of long-term recovery. Being self-sufficient and having a steady pay-check is essential to building your self-esteem. But it’s more than that. Davide Gerrard, expert adviser at Addiction Helper says, “Addiction is typically a disease of isolation and idleness, the less busy you are, the more likely you are to relapse.” It is therefore important that people who are in recent recovery integrate themselves back into society. Getting a new job, starting a new project, and meeting new groups of friends are positive ways to promote sobriety and start life in long-term recovery.       Here are some particular ways to assimilate into the work lifestyle: Start gently Be careful of launching yourself into your new role with over-enthusiastic vigour. Many people, in an attempt to prove they are past their addiction, start off taking the bull by the horns, only to burn out after a while. You may feel excited and eager to begin, but take some time to meld in carefully. If you are self-conscious of people around, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Your recovery is for you alone. It’s a good idea to live life to its fullest, but don’t take more than you can handle. Besides, a lot may have changed while you were away, and you’ll need some time to adjust. Make up for the past If you are resuming at the same place where you worked prior to recovery, there is a chance you may have built up grudge among colleagues or employees. Whether it’s something you said or did, find time to make up with the affected persons so there is no ‘bad blood’. Some, (if not all) rehabs have a 12 step program that includes making amends for mistakes caused as a result of your dependence on the substance. No matter how happy they are to see you, note that you may often notice the effect of old wounds in your colleagues’ behavior towards you. Find out ways to right any wrongs you caused in the past.   Find out what is expected of you Communicate with your colleagues at work. Let them know you are open to discussion and feedback. Avoid referring to your substance abuse in the office. After the initial makeup, focus squarely on your work objectives. If you work with a group, try to understand what each member is supposed to do, and delegate responsibilities the best way you can. Conversely, meet your boss and discuss your new expectations and any challenges you may have in achieving them. If you run a business, do the same with your partner or colleague; ask for feedback. Having a checklist of your goals to make it easier for you to accomplish them. Take on new projects After you have settled in for a while and you feel more comfortable in your work environment, you may volunteer to participate in social projects. If your company is not involved in any charity activities such as community development, get involved as a way to give back to society. Additionally, it can help you build your own self-esteem as a coach or mentor. Addiction usually leaves a vacuum in one’s life, and joining a good cause is one way to fill it with somet[...]



10 Things You Should do to Market Your Business Online

2017-02-17T20:44:17Z

Online advertising is slowly taking over more traditional forms of marketing. Your own business needs to jump on the train so as not to get left behind.10 Things You Should do to Market Your Business Online   Online advertising is slowly taking over more traditional forms of marketing. In the event you currently have little or no online presence, you will want to jump on the online train so you do not get left behind. Here are some easy steps you can take to boost your exposure and ultimately draw in more customers.   Figure Out Your Goals   Establishing a marketing plan can be difficult to do without knowing what it is you want to achieve. Your goals could be to increase sales, develop a larger customer database or enhance your social media following and all of those are great goals. However, the more specific you can be with each of them the better off your plan will be. In other words, your goal should not just be to “increase sales.” Instead, it should be to “increase sales by 20 percent by the end of the year.”   Build Your Brand   Effective marketing is reliant on knowing what sets your business apart from the competition. Every message you send out through your website, email announcements and social media channels needs to be on-brand. Highlight the aspects of your business that are unique. What is it that you do that is extra special or makes you – you? It could be that you offer the fastest delivery or the most unique styles or the best customer service. Whatever it is, use it in your campaign always – to really brand yourself. Keep in mind too that your business type will also affect the types of social media pages you utilize. For example, if your business is dependent on visuals, then setting up Instagram and Pinterest accounts would be advantageous as they are both very visual platforms.   Utilize Social Media   At the very least you will want to have a Facebook and/or Twitter account. Use these accounts every day if possible and be sure to your followers and customers. If you do not have time to do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. Most social media pages provide you with metrics, so you can keep track of what posts did well and which ones did not. This allows you to know what type of marketing to focus on going forward. If you have not already posted today, then go ahead and post right now. Give it a try – it’s fun!   Develop an Email Campaign   Directly emailing people is a great way to stay in your customers’ minds. When people visit your storefront, encourage them to sign up for your mailing list, so they stay in the loop. Some helpful tips for effectively utilizing an email marketing campaign include:   Emailing frequently enough so you stay in people’s minds – but not so often you annoy anyone (monthly is good) Include valuable content your customers will want to read Write an interesting subject line so they will open the email Include links in the email back to your website and to your social medial channels Invite your customers to FB like you, come in to the store or call for an appointent (according to what you do)   Implement SEO Practices   Search engine optimization is the practice of using valuable keywords in your company’s online content so that it appears higher up in search engine rankings. Any business with a website can use Google Analytics to determine what local keywords to include. Proper SEO also entails using keywords in URL links and adding meta descriptions and title tags on web pages.   Create Shareable Content   It is not enough for a business to simply create web pages. You want to be certain the content you are publishing is something people will want to share while still being relevant to your business. As an example, a restaurant could make a blog post about a recipe people can make at home while also promoting new menu items. Your[...]



The Future of Boutiques & Fashion

2017-02-17T04:50:37Z

Trends change fast in today’s technology-led world. If you went back in time, hardly anyone would be talking about Instagram as a key driver of fashion or acknowledge that most people are happy to buy goods online. Suffice it to say the future of fashion will also look different than what it is today. So what will this world look like? READ MORE for industry predictionsThe Future of Boutiques & Fashion Trends change fast in today’s technology-led world. If you went back in time, hardly anyone would be talking about Instagram as a key driver of fashion or acknowledge that most people are happily using online shopping platforms instead of visiting boutique shops. Suffice it to say that the future of the fashion world will look very different that what we are seeing now. Predictions are always difficult, but if you want to dream about what the future of fashion might look like, here are some of the fascinating trends we see ahead:   Everyone can become a designer Until now, fashion design has been left up to professional designers who personalize each item they make and sell. However, with the advent of the 3D printer, the future of fashion design seems it will be far more available to anyone and everyone. For example, you will be able to design more personalised products and even print out your own creations at home. What could this mean for the fashion world and designers everywhere? The prediction is that new clothing lines will start popping up throughout the year with far more designers able to access the trade. Retailers will swap larger collections for a more ever changing line-up with new and constant designs coming at every turn. So a far better variety indeed.   Fashion and technology continues to merge You’ve probably heard the term ‘wearables’ by now. The idea of clothing that has in-built technology has been around for quite a while, with the predictions slowly becoming a reality. The merging between fashion and technology is going to speed up and it might be hard to know which industry is driving which at some point in the future. Heather Picquot told Who What Wear that, “wearables are becoming much more comfortable and fashion focused. A great example is Samsung’s Body Compass that was unveiled at CES 2016in January. It’s a tank top with a tiny visible metal disk, a bottle cap-sized sensor.” This particular fashion item can measure your heart rate and keep an overall check on your health and we think that’s amazing. While the discussion has so far been mainly about how health will be monitored with wearables, future predictions indicate the addition of social elements and wow factors to fashion trends. Utility and functionality will no longer be the focus of these technologies. It might be fun to have a jacket that closes itself when the temperature drops!   Sustainable choices The fashion world is being pushed by consumers towards a much more sustainable model with social responsibility at the forefront. Consumers are much more aware of the impact their shopping decisions can have. While people will continue to buy nice things and update their wardrobe regularly, they will want to do so in a way that doesn’t put strain on the climate or harm the planet or people. Brands like Adidas are already investing in inventions like their their recycled sneaker. Stella McCartney has begun using new, cutting-edge materials that provide consumers with a more sustainable choice – without having to forego great fashion elements.   Mobile shopping is the new black When it comes to buying beauty and fashion items, online shopping will continue be a buyer’s dream come true. The convenience of using online stores to find great things and update your wardrobe without ever leaving your home will be quite appealing to people with busy, hectic lives. Online shopping will also continue to transition from the laptop to mobile devices so onl[...]



Advantages of Buying or Leasing a Home

2017-02-17T04:01:43Z

Both buying and leasing have their advantages and disadvantages. It really comes down to whether or not you have the capital, plan to stay in the area a while, are comfortable taking on home repair responsibilities and think you may need the money for other things - like starting your own business! Read the full article hereAdvantages of Buying or Leasing a Home If you are thinking of starting a business and wondering whether it’s better to buy or lease a home, there are a few things you might want to consider before you decide. For one, think about your capital. It can take quite a bit of money to make a down payment on a home purchase. That is not necessarily bad, unless you think you will need that same capital to start your company, buy inventory, lease space or buy required equipment to grow.   Another question you might want to ask yourself is if you plan on staying in your area for more than 5 year. If the answer is a resounding yes, and you have the capital, buying might be an excellent idea for you. If, however, you are thinking you might want to change neighborhoods in the near future, renting sounds like a better fit. There are some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to leasing vs. buying so let’s go over those here:   Leasing Pros Leasing means a much more temporary situation. You can avoid the responsibilities of owning a property such as maintenance, appliance repairs, upgrades and so on. You also won’t have to worry about things like lawn care, pool maintenance, tennis court repair and in some cases, even A/C filter and light bulb changes. If you live in a community like Vintage apartment homes as an example, everything will be taken care of for you in the rent you pay each month for your lease.   Leasing Cons Leasing has disadvantages too. When you lease, you are not in control of your property. You will have to follow all community rules imposed by the owner. You might not be allowed to keep pets or smoke in the apartment and usually guests can spend a limited amount of time at your home. In addition, as rental rates rise, so may your lease rent. If you are looking to lease an apartment, and are in the Atlanta area, you might find more affordable rates at places such as  Altana Glendale and Aventine apartments.   Buying Pros A home purchase can be regarded as an investment so when the market rises, as an owner, you earn that appreciation in price. You are also the king of your own castle. You can paint the interior any color you choose, have guests over for extended periods, keep pets and basically do as you please. After all, you are your own landlord.   Buying Cons You have to come up with capital for down payment money and that might be funds you need to start, run or grow your business. Only you know your unique situation so you have to think seriously about it. Another disadvantage of owning is when something breaks or leaks, it is your responsibility to fix it. Finally, if something changes in your life, and you find yourself wanting to move quickly, it is more difficult to do so when you own your own place. You can decide to rent it out but then you have to deal with tenants. Selling is another option and does tend to take more time and effort than giving 30 days notice and being free to move – as with leasing. Both buying and leasing have their advantages and disadvantages. It really comes down to whether or not you have the capital, plan to stay in the area a while, are comfortable taking on home repair responsibilities and think you may need the money for other things – like starting your own business! Truly, only you can decide. [...]



How Has Technology Changed the Way SMEs Operate?

2017-02-18T00:24:27Z

Technology has completely changed the workplace in the past 30 years. Who would have guessed back then we'd have things like cloud storage, hackers, teleconferencing, live chat and social media to contend with. Things are changing fast and the only certain thing is that we need to get on board so our businesses won't be left behind. First off, what is a SME? A SME is a small to medium sized enterprise or business. So how have SME’s changed in the past 30 years? A better question might be how have they not changed as they are vastly different today than years ago. This is due mainly to technological inside the workplace. These tech changes have dramatically impacted communication methods, customer service, brand identity, market research and more. Here are a few specific examples of tech changes: Storage In previous years, offices had to make room for storage – and lots of it. They had to physically store things like: important documents employee records invoices account files etc. These binders, files, folders and boxes were shoved on top of cupboard, inside maintenance closets and onto shelves as far as the eyes could see. Technology has totally changed that. Nowadays, cloud technology has revolutionized the way businesses file documentation. Applications such as Google Drive allow us to make and live-edit spreadsheets, word documents are more so employees don’t print multiple copies of one thing. And services such as Dropbox allow SMEs to save, share and access all manner of files from anywhere in the world. If you have not tried dropbox yet for your business, we highly recommend you check it out.   Fraud As technology evolves and continues to grow, there will continue to be more ways for fraudsters to try and take advantage of unsuspecting small to medium business enterprises. However, technology is also ‘fighting back’ with continuous developments that serve to safeguard businesses against scams and criminals. In the past, SMEs would hand write checks and it was never suspected an employee, supplier or vendor would tamper with the check. This of course left the door open to fraudsters who were oh so happy to steal from businesses. Today, however, technology provides SME’s ways to safeguard against check washing or tampering. Companies now can use highly secure checks to safeguard themselves against the fraudsters from the past.   Business expenditure In the past, SMEs conducted most of their business deals in face to face meetings. New contracts were signed and deals were negotiated in person. While it is true there is still a great deal of value that comes from meeting someone in person, the advantages in technology today make it so much easier to work with people all over the globe and those advantages are undeniable. Programs such as Web conferencing, Face Time, Skype and Google Hangouts make it easy for businesses to get more work done, travel less, save money and this results in greater profit margins for everyone.   Market research Technology has also changed the way we do market research. Previously, market research was conducted using physical surveys, reports, telephone calls and focus groups. A great deal of speculation and assumption needed to be made because gathering the data was expensive and time-consuming. Recent technology has changed all of this. Businesses can now use online surveys to conduct market research and find out exactly what their customers are thinking. Surveys are quick and easy to disseminate and extrapolate data from and are very useful.   Customer service Customer service is another area of focus that technology has completely revolutionized for SMEs. In the past, businesses predominantly invested in telephone-based customer service resources in order to answer questions and resolve problems. Recent, technology has put greater emphasis on customer servi[...]



How to Generate Great Leads For Your Law Firm

2017-02-18T00:55:57Z

Like any other business, when running a law firm, there is always the same marketing question; what part of your campaign and spend is generating good, quality leads? Once any business can answer that, they can begin to improve their campaign and spend money in the right places - ones that improve the bottom line. Here is one unique system we thought you would like to hear about.

How to Generate Great Leads for your Law Firm

Like any other business, when running a law firm, there is always the same marketing question; what part of your campaign and spend is generating good, quality leads? Once any business can answer that, they can begin to improve their campaign and spend money in the right places – ones that improve the bottom line.

Six months ago, a new website was launched in the medical negligence market (The Medical Negligence Experts). This is the first technology platform within that industry which sought to answer the question from paragraph 1. As they built up their data, clarity and efficiencies began to filter through their marketing team. They discovered a way to get more, high value customers from their leads. Using the same budget, they could both increase their number of quality customers acquired and reduce the quantity of low quality leads.

 

How did law firms generate leads before?

Regular digital marketing agencies were the usual approach. They are always available to use date to meet a cost target per lead KPI. The problem with this approach is that it only tells one side of the story. It does not account for the quality of the leads. In other words, your marketing activity may lead to a high volume of leads. Your agency believes they are doing a great job and may spend more money in this area. However, this activity may actually be generating low quality leads that are not producing customers. This is not a good situation.

 

So how does new technology change the way law firms generate QUALITY leads?

One law firm explained they built a system that connects their marketing activity with their CRM system but they take a few extra steps up front. When a lead comes in via a contact form or phone, the law firm talks to the potential client as they normally would. After the decision is made as to whether the lead parameters are met, customer service updates the CRM with that lead detail. Should the lead be a live one, a marketing campaign begins to turn that hot lead into a live customer. Using this method also allows the firm to attain more accurate cost per customer figures and gives them a competitive edge.

So far this system seems to really be working for law firms. It gives them the clarity to ensure they are making the maximum profits on their investment. The resulting quality of the leads and cost per lead is something that the old, established CMCs simply cannot match. It is predicted that over time, more data will generate further improved results, and in turn – serve law firms everywhere even better.

 

 

 




Trading Binary Options For a Living

2017-02-18T01:26:37Z

Trading options is not for the faint of heart. It requires a great deal of study and practice and a great mentor to boot. Some call it gambling but those successful traders call it a skill. Read more here to see if it could be something for you.

If you have ever looking into options trading you know that the two most basic terms are the “put” and the “call”. With regard to the call option, one believes there is going to be a rise in the price of the stock. Whereas, with a put option, a trader feels there will be a dip in the stock price.

As a trader, you have to make a choice based on a number of market factors including the news, human behavior, algorithms and trading methods – which all work in unison to help predict what a stock price will do.

If you decide to trade, the first thing you will need to do is select a trading platform through which you will place your trades. Today you can usually place your trade online or by calling it in. Choosing a trusted broker to handle your finances is important and you should put some thought and due diligence into the process of choosing the right one.

 

Keep in mind that not all brokers offer the same services

If you are new to trading, you will want to look for a broker with an easy to use platform, good customers service and a training program if possible. You will also want to read as many books as you possibly can and open a “practice” account and don’t trade live until you have mastered the processes of the practice system.

As with most other things, if you want to become a successful trader, it takes a lot of time, practice, education and skill. There are many tricks and tips you can learn along the way to increase your odds of making a profit but learning the basics will be job 1. If possible, align yourself with a mentor. Successful traders say a good mentor is the number one way to learn the business.

Many people feel that trading options is quite similar to gambling. On the other hand, successful traders say that Binary options trading requires great skill and is nothing like gambling. While they do agree that odds can play a role in determining your profit, most of the money made is from careful analysis of the market and the implementation of skill based strategies.

Another word to the wise, when trading options, is to never let your emotions or fears dictate your trades. Trading this was is a surefire way to lose a lot of money fast.

Binary options trading is certainly not for everyone. It is speculative, requires that you have money you can afford to lose and will require education on your part. Read every book you can, sign up for courses and select a good platform with customer support. Learn as much as you can and find a mentor that is willing to work with you and teach you the ropes. That is really the best way to learn!




Small Business Online Advertising

2017-02-21T00:37:39Z

Gone are the days you had to go door to door to sell your product. There was a time when door-to-door selling was seen as the most effective way to sell products. Salesmen had to visit their prospective buyers individually. However, the growth of the internet has brought about a new dawn in advertising. There […]Gone are the days you had to go door to door to sell your product. There was a time when door-to-door selling was seen as the most effective way to sell products. Salesmen had to visit their prospective buyers individually. However, the growth of the internet has brought about a new dawn in advertising. There is no dearth of advertising options on the web. Today’s online advertising platforms allow you to set up highly targeted and cost effective campaigns to reach the right kinds of people. It’s no brainer that you need great content and captivating pictures. Thank heavens for Mac photo editing software like Aurora HDR that allow you to brush up on your pictures easily. But for you to make a big lasting impression you’ll have to do the following too. What makes your business stand out? Start by listing down around five things that make your business remarkable. Could be all your products are devotedly handmade or maybe you have snagged a couple of awards. Don’t you think having the lowest price is something your customers ought to know? All these things that make your business unique should stand out on your homepage and reiterated in your product pages. In the case of awards don’t just state it, display it to the world. Well just be sure to use your HDR software to ensure the picture screams quality. Have an engaging About us and Contact pages The first thing new customers visit is your “about us” page. They will want to know who and where they are buying from. A well written about us page should speak to the consumer on an emotional level. What inspired you to start your business? How has your business helped ordinary folks? The history of your business, press coverage and accolades are all examples of useful content that will satisfy curiosity and allow you to have a better connection with your customers. And how can I forget team photos! But it has to be quality photos-HDR photo editor will come in handy. Your contact page should offer concise, clear-cut information like email, social media, a contact form and phone number. Add a map with supporting opening hours plus an HDR quality photo of the business. This will let your customers know you are a real business that hands on and ready to support advise and help them.       Use product reviews to strengthen trust Over the recent past, customer reviews have become a necessity for online merchants of all sizes and shapes. They should be honest, and well presented and real life testimonies. This will vastly add to your social proof. Have the right category structure Your category structures can make or break your business. You ought to take into account how your customers’ behaviors differ. Let’s use hardwood flooring as an example. Your categories should be able to set out to allow the same product to be accessed by wood pieces, manufacturer, types and even the room they are suitable for. Trusted payment gateway It’s no secret that small businesses have to contend with an increased level of scrutiny from customers especially on their choice of payment gateway. It will do you good to link up with a trusted gateway, whether locally or internationally. Make certain that your trusted payment method and gateway logo is clearly shown on your website. The best place to have them would be in the footer, a sidebar of your theme or header. But they should always be displayed on the checkout and cart. [...]



Everything You Need to Know About Self-Employed Mortgages

2017-02-21T00:42:54Z

Getting a mortgage these days is difficult enough, but for the self-employed it can seem impossible to get on the property ladder. Lenders are reluctant to offer any form of credit to individuals who work for themselves due to the financial uncertainty which typically comes with it. However, there are some companies out there who […]

Getting a mortgage these days is difficult enough, but for the self-employed it can seem impossible to get on the property ladder.

Lenders are reluctant to offer any form of credit to individuals who work for themselves due to the financial uncertainty which typically comes with it. However, there are some companies out there who specialise in self-employed mortgages so if you’ve been, or you’re worried about being turned down, there are lenders out there who can help.

Here we’ll look at everything you need to know about self-employed mortgages before you make an application.

What options are available?

In the past, the self-employed had one main option when it came to getting a mortgage and that was the self-certified variety. However, after lenders took advantage, these mortgages were scrapped. So, what options are available to you now? Well, the good news is self-employed people these days have access to much the same mortgages as anyone else. It’s what you need in order to be accepted which differs from standard mortgages.

All lenders are different, but the average lender offering self-employed mortgages will usually want to see a minimum of two years’ accounts. This is basically to prove your income and show you’ll be able to make the repayments on the mortgage. However, don’t despair if you don’t have two years’ worth of accounts to show. Some lenders, such as Saffron Building, accept just one year’s accounts, though they will require a few other things to prove you can afford the mortgage you’re applying for.

You’ll also potentially need to prove how much you’re expecting to earn over the next year. Of course, it also helps to have a great credit rating and a good deposit.

Tips to improve your chances

While each lender is different, there are a few general tips you can follow to improve your chances of getting accepted for a self-employed mortgage.

Firstly, if you have an accountant, part of their job is to try and save you as much taxable money as possible. However, this can seriously damage your chances of getting a mortgage if it turns out you’re paying a small level of tax. It shows you don’t have a huge income and that is a red flag to mortgage lenders. You’ll also want to make sure the accountant is chartered.

Ideally, you’re also going to want to be able to show that your profits are increasing and your business is growing at a healthy rate. Your accounts will also need to be fully up to date.

Overall, while it was incredibly difficult for self-employed to get a decent mortgage years ago, these days there are numerous options available. Choosing a lender which specialises in self-employed mortgages is a good first step that will improve your chances of being accepted.

 




3 Steps to Start a Seasonal Business

2017-02-16T04:30:05Z

Your seasonal business is a great opportunity to make extra money or boost your income for the rest of the year. Don't get caught up in the technical aspects like credit processing and office rentals, which will slow down your launch. Here are 3 Launch Tips to create the perfect seasonal business.3 Steps to Start a Seasonal Business More entrepreneurs than ever are starting seasonal businesses. These might be accountants who put together tax firms in the spring or holiday proprietors who create pop-up stores for Halloween or Christmas. Either way, these types of seasonal businesses have a very specific window to launch. After all, they need to make as much money as possible before their season has passed. That means they don’t have time for complex problems and convoluted contracts. Follow these 3 tips to get your business launched in a few weeks so you can take advantage of the seasonal rush.   Look for Temporary Space – office or retail If you’re trying to make the most of a few months, then you’ll want perhaps a temporary mall kiosk or perhaps an office workspace where you can have meetings and use professional office equipment. This of course assumes your business is not a work from home concept. Look into coworking spaces in your area and see if there are options for renting an office for a few months. This creates the appearance of professionalism without the expense of a year-round office. If your concept is retail, contact all your local mall manager and ask them what types of products they are accepting, if they have kiosk’s available, what they rent for and the required hours you must be there.   Hire Contractors as Seasonal Labor When running a seasonal business, the key to success is making sure you can replicate the process year after year. To do this, make sure you have seasonal labor that you can rely on to work for you next year. Many haunted houses flourish in October because employees regularly return in the fall. The same happens during spring training in March. If possible, hire your employees as contractors or as part-time hourly labor. Part-time contractors also have more flexible schedules than people looking for a full-time job, so you should have a wider talent pool to choose from. After all, you are not the only one out there trying to make a little bit of extra holiday money. Put an ad on craigslist.com in your area and watch the resumes pour in.   Find Vendors Who Work With High-Risk Businesses As a seasonal business owner, it’s hard to build your credit history. That can turn into a major red flag for some businesses. For example, banks and credit processors might decline your application because they don’t know the frequency and size of purchases to expect. One thing you can do is find a high-risk credit card processing company to help you establish a merchant account. Once you are up and running and have a season or two behind you, getting better rates should be much easier.   To find other vendors that work with seasonal and small businesses, talk to other professionals in your coworking space or attend networking events. Others in your industry should be able to point you in the right direction for staffing, health care, insurance, and other technical necessities that your business must have before it can start making money this season.   Your seasonal business is a great opportunity to make extra money or boost your income for the rest of the year. Don’t get caught up in the technical aspects like credit processing and office rentals, which will slow down your launch. Remember, you only have a few months to make the bulk of your revenue. If you’re stuck finding employees, a retail space o[...]



What’s it Really Like to Own a Cold Stone Creamery Franchise?

2017-02-16T04:52:59Z

I am a former owner of a Creamery franchise. I had never owned a franchise before and I did not do the proper amount of due diligence or ask the right questions. I paid dearly for those mistakes. Please read my story here as I had a true franchise nightmare. READ MOREWhat’s it really like to own a Cold Stone Creamery Franchise? Self Interview from former owner of a Cold Stone Creamery Franchise – Laurie Bennett    What type of experience did you need to start your Cold Stone Creamery Franchise? I had a college degree in business and I had owned a clothing store for 5+ years when I had my first taste of Cold Stone with my husband. We loved it! My husband really wanted to go into business for himself and we felt Cold Stone Creamery was perfect. I already had a lot of business experience so it was an easy decision for us to make.   How much capital was required for the total business and how much cash did you need? We were told (in 1998) the cost to build a store was $185,000 in the FDD and by Doug Ducey the Cold Stone President.  However, we later learned those were outdated numbers. In actuality, it cost upwards of $325,000 to open a store and we had to learn that from the other franchisee’s that were in the system, opening stores and were finding out themselves. It was a scary time for all of us. Honestly, if we had known the true costs in advance, we would not have gone forward with a franchise. We simply could not have afforded it. We ended up getting half way though our build-out and learned from the actual invoices and existing franchisee’s that the actual costs were $325,000+. My husband and I were scared to death. We had a 2 year old and a new born, my husband was still working full time, I was running my clothing boutique and we were in the process of building our Cold Stone. I kid you not – we had to quickly sell our house to get enough money to finish the store. Honestly, I learned then and there the importance of doing a TON of due diligence when you buy into a franchise BEFORE you agree to invest.   Did you have to get financing? The franchise was so new back then and we talked to a few banks but no one would finance that concept. We had $200,000 cash so we really thought we had plenty of capital since the FDD listed the high side of the cost to get a store open as $185,000. Turned out the actual cost was much higher and Cold Stone knew that – they just never told us.   What other franchises did you look at before deciding on the one? Honestly, none. I had never really considered a franchise before. But I loved the Cold Stone product, environment and vibe and so did my husband. We stumbled onto it, loved it and went for it. We honestly thought we were getting in on the ground floor of something amazing. A few years later, after we knew everything there was to know about Corporate Cold Stone, we decided we needed to leave the system.   What was your worst customer experience? We didn’t have too many but I remember one from the day we opened. One of our first customers came in and we were giving out free ice cream the first hour as a promotion. Yes…it was FREE and this lady still was complaining. My husband made her a super duper ice cream treat and mixed in her favoring things (according to her specifications). She took one bite and just about spat it in his face. She yelled out that she hated it. We went on to sell more than $5,000 of ice cream that day but it was a horrible way to start our first day in business. Of course we laugh about that now but that day it literally broke our hearts.   What was your relationship like with the Corporate Franchise? It started out really good but unfortunately, it turned downward after [...]



Should Your Business Buy Premises

2017-02-21T00:42:02Z

Many businesses have always rented their premises and have never even considered the option of buying. But if you have the capital ready, it can actually be a fantastic option for you in the right circumstances. Let’s have a look at whether your business should buy its premises. The advantages of buying The first advantage […]Many businesses have always rented their premises and have never even considered the option of buying. But if you have the capital ready, it can actually be a fantastic option for you in the right circumstances. Let’s have a look at whether your business should buy its premises. The advantages of buying The first advantage to consider about buying is that it gives you complete control. When a property is yours you can choose exactly what happens in the building. It also allows you to decide when you stay or go – you aren’t tied to any a fixed-term contract that can leave you in a difficult position if your business needs to move on. It’s also worth pointing out that buying a property will be functionally cheaper, especially in the long-term. Just as with residential properties, paying rent could be seen simply as wasted money that is going to someone else. It’s also usually the case that your repayments are likely to be lower than the price you would pay to rent. Remember that when you buy a property it becomes a business asset too – this gives you the potential to sub-let to earn back some of the money you’re paying out. Equally when you come to move on you could even let the whole property. Additionally you could look at making an eventual profit when you come to sell. That means that buying a commercial or industrial space is perfect if this is a long-term acquisition. But that doesn’t mean that they are not a challenge. The challenges of buying Of course if you are going to buy that you’ll need to put in a substantial initial capital investment. You need to consider whether or not your business can afford this outlay. Tying up a lot of your capital in property may be a smart investment but it can leave your business without financial flexibility. Also it can be quite complicated legally and you may need to consider getting legal advice before you buy. One thing you’ll need to think about is who is going to buy the premises; you or the business (more on that later). Another issue is that you have to take more responsibility. Buying business premises places the onus on you to deal with issues like building security, maintenance and insurance. That means that instead of being able to hand issues over to a landlord to deal with, you’ll be committed to the ongoing costs associated with property ownership. Once again this can tie up capital as you’ll need to keep money spare to deal with potential problems as they arise. Would renting be better? Renting is a popular option for many businesses of any size as it can provide flexibility. While renting will be comparably slightly more expensive in terms of monthly payments, you won’t need the huge capital investment to begin with. When you are renting you can easily choose to up or downsize without the expense of moving. Also remember that selling can be difficult and the commercial property market can be temperamental. Overall that means that buying is not an ideal solution for a growing business that would be better suited to giving themselves the flexibility to move with the market. However, if your business is settled and is likely to remain in the same location for a number of years. Buying will be a much smarter option that renting – it simply depends on the specific circumstances of your company. The legal issues If you consider how comp[...]



Can Buying YouTube Views Enhance Your Marketing?

2017-02-08T01:24:28Z

So you have decided to become an internet celebrity. You have some ideas and you know how to use a video camera (or your cell phone) so you have recorded a few things and put them up on YouTube. What do you do now? Did you know you could actually buy hits, clicks, views, likes and followers for sites like YouTube, Instagram and even Facebook? I had no idea until today. Read more to learn how

So you have decided to become an internet celebrity. You have some ideas and you know how to use a video camera (or your cell phone) so you have recorded a few things and put them up on YouTube. What do you do now?

Did you know you could actually buy hits, clicks, views, likes and followers for sites like YouTube, Instagram and even Facebook? I had no idea until today. There are actual agencies that can help you buy everything you need.

You can reach one such agency here. Agencies like Rantic say they will help build your social fan base with 100% REAL fans without needing your login credentials, without using “bots” or any tactic that can get your account banned. They promise their campaigns do NOT violate any terms of service or rules with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

 

They do warn you to be careful selecting the agency you go with. There are some unreputable companies out there (like with anything else) so be sure to check reviews and feedback and do due diligence the way you would with any other company you might hire. Choosing a cheap agency can actually do you harm in that your fan base can decrease and you could be removed from social sites so do choose wisely.

 

The bottom line is, if you are launching yourself on sites like YouTube, it isn’t wrong to get the number of viewers to your videos higher. After all, videos that have a higher ranking get them on the front page. If you wish to be featured, it is much better to get more eyeballs on your video. It is true that money can’t buy everything but in this case, it might buy you what you need.




3 SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents

2017-02-08T00:34:25Z

Figure out what keywords people are searching for when they look to buy a home. Keywords are an integral part of any SEO effort because they can help get your website ranked high in search engines such as Google. Here are some tips to show you exactly what to do

3 SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents

 

People are not only ordering clothes and gadgets online, they are also searching for their next home. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors titled “2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” 86% of people who recently bought a home found websites to be helpful, and 44% began their quest to buy a home online. Real estate agents can reach these home buyers by putting these three SEO tips into action.

 

Put Keywords to Work for You

Figure out what keywords people are searching for when they look to buy a home. Keywords are an integral part of any SEO effort because they can help get your website ranked high in search engines such as Google. The keyword phrases you use should include the name of the town where the house for sale is located. For example, if the home is in Tampa, you might use the keyphrase “Houses for sale in Tampa”. You don’t have to be an expert when it comes to finding the right keywords for your real estate strategy. Over the Top SEO knows what keywords will help lift your real estate website to the top of the search engine results. In addition, you should also focus on mobile SEO since Google now notices if a website is mobile-friendly and ranks it accordingly. Mobile-friendliness means making your website more accessible to people viewing it on a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet.

 

Get Social

Social media is an extremely useful SEO tool for real estate agents. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are a few of the social media sites real estate agents should be using to improve their SEO while at the same time building relationships with people. Real estate agents can generate interest in houses by posting images on Facebook and Twitter. They can form relationships with future house buyers by replying to questions about the house listings. Real estate agents can also upload house video tours to YouTube to give people a 360° view of houses for sale. Another way real estate agents can use social media is by posting links to blog posts about houses for sale on Facebook and Twitter.

 

LinkedIn is another website that can help a real estate agent’s SEO. Since Linkedin connects people in the workforce, it gives real estate agents the ability to form connections with other agents. It also sheds a professional light on real estate agents by letting them share their accomplishments such as awards they have won. Some people will specifically search for a real estate agent’s LinkedIn profile page when looking for a house, so it is not something to overlook.

 

Get Listed in Real Estate Agent Directories

Being listed in real estate agent directories can improve a real estate agent’s SEO. Two major house-buying websites which feature real estate agent directories are Zillow and Trulia. Zillow even lets you link back to your real estate website, Facebook page, and Twitter profile.




5 Essential Apps for Online Marketing Professionals

2017-02-07T21:55:44Z

Having been affiliated with online marketing for a whopping five years, a lot of folks seek my advice on what apps to use. Plain old Facebook or special hidden gems? Free growth hacking apps or expensive licenses? Click here to find out the 5 Apps I can not live without as a marketing professional5 Essential Apps for Online Marketing Professionals Having been affiliated with online marketing for a whopping five years, a lot of folks seek my advice on what apps to use. Plain old Facebook or special hidden gems? Free growth hacking apps or expensive licenses? Well, it’s something in between. These are tools for every online marketer, no matter the product you dabble in. It’s in no particular order. I have intentionally not included the social-related apps since they vary according to your professional focus. Dropbox All of my personal and professional life is stored on Dropbox. Spreadsheets with performance statistics, client materials, and even pictures of my dog can all be found in the cloud. No more fretting over losing files when your laptop is jammed or broken. Depending on the plan you pick, you will be privy to file history, two-factor authentication, unlimited file sharing as well as business invoicing and expandable storage. The best part—all this is on your phone. It proves handy when you are working remotely, on the road or have to send last-minute detailed emails. I personally use Dropbox Pro for which I get 1TB of storage for 99 Euros per year. Evernote While Dropbox stores files, Evernote stores my ideas. Reminders, scribbles, meeting minutes, blog post drafts, and social copy, web clippings and fragments of information are all housed here. Thanks to its handy widget, Evernote is extremely fast to use.  Its web interface is way faster than that of Dropbox, making it the perfect storage complement.  If you’re always rounding up ideas and inspiration for your next series of online marketing, then you should make the most of Evernote. Google Drive This app offers real-time, collaborative editing of spreadsheets, and text documents. This is my go-to app for managing content calendars,seeing as most content management platforms do not offer intuitive file/share storage that sharing Google Drive accords. As with all things google, there is a nice free version but you can also bump up the features and storage by paying a few dollars a month for the Google suite package.   LastPass Do you recall the time you shared a password with a client or friend through Facebook chat? Pretty terrifying to think about. (I even got the password for my doctor’s online booking system sent to me in plain text through an unencrypted email. Seriously, my very personal health information is somewhere in there). Start using secure passwords—unique for every service you are utilizing which you don’t need to remember and are accessible on every device you use. My choice for this is LastPass. They offer a trial version so you can check it out and see if you like it before ever paying them any money.   Slack Mentions. Channels. Direct messages. Checklists of your to-do’s which you can access on your phone. Cross-device conversations on all your online marketing adventures. Easily manageable push notifications sent directly to your phone. Plus: no more emails. Get the Slack app. It’sfree.   I hope you enjoy these 5 Essential Apps every bit as much as I do! [...]



The Brilliant Business Tycoon, Bill Gates

2017-02-15T20:09:14Z

Since 1987, Gates has been frequently seen in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people. It is estimated he will be the world's first trillionaire by the year 2040 with a current net worth of US $84.2 billion...READ FULL ARTICLE

The Brilliant Business Tycoon, Bill Gates

Bill Gates is the American business tycoon and legendary icon behind Microsoft, the top computer software company. It has been said that Bill Gates has the potential to become the world’s first trillionaire, a word so rare it is still not used in the dictionary. It is estimated this will happen for Mr. Gates in approximately 25 years, or around 2040. As per a late Oxfam report, wealthy people are gathering riches at an astounding rate; to the point that the world could see its initial trillionaire in only 25 years.

Since 1987, Gates has been frequently seen in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people. Today, Gates is the wealthiest person on the planet, with an estimated net worth of US$84.2 billion as of January 2017.

Exponentially growing wealth is nothing new for Bill Gates. Way back in 1999, as his wealth crossed the $101 billion barrier, the media began to call him a “centibillionaire.”

For more information on what it means to be a trillionaire, check out this great article: DOW JONES TRADING ABOVE 20,000 FOR FIRST TIME EVER!

When Bill Gates parted with his company, he had a new worth of $50 billion. After 10 years, despite his praiseworthy endeavors to give much of it away through his worthy foundation, his wealth figure has now grown to $75 billion. The bottom line – The wealth of Bill Gates has increased by half ($25 billion) since he cleared out of Microsoft in 2006.

Other notable billionaires are Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison and Michael Bloomberg.

Worldwide money related administrations organization UBS has evaluated that in the following 20 years, 500 individuals will hand over $2.1 trillion to their beneficiaries –more than the GDP of India, a nation with the population of 1.3 billion people.

If all goes according to prediction, Microsoft originator Bill Gates will be the world’s initial trillionaire in 25 years at the predicted age of 86 years.

 

 




5 Business Ideas To Start On Your Smartphone

2017-02-07T21:23:57Z

People are smart these days, and there is a reason why that is. Here is a business case example: When the world learned that a brick-and-mortar outfit was not going to be able to make it without a bit of e-commerce, websites sprung up and made history. But did the buck stop rolling there? Certainly not! A paradigm shift happened, and what we notice now is that most youngsters with the business itch have begun using their mobile phones to start a venture - some of them have become very successful too. If you want to be a successful mobile business entrepreneur, here are five businesses that you can start just by using your smartphone!5 Business Ideas To Start On Your Smartphone! People are smart these days, and there is a reason why that is. Here is a business case example: When the world learned that a brick-and-mortar outfit was not going to be able to make it without a bit of e-commerce, websites sprung up and made history. But did the buck stop rolling there? Certainly not! A paradigm shift happened, and what we notice now is that most youngsters with the business itch have begun using their mobile phones to start a venture – some of them have become very successful too. If you want to be a successful mobile business entrepreneur, here are five businesses that you can start just by using your smartphone! Take a look:   Mobile App development  Let’s face it, in the world of smartphones and iPhones, we need our apps to function nice and smooth. People are willing to pay and download apps only if they are worth it and are cost-effective. For those of you that have a penchant for app development or have a great idea for one or many, you create an app and run it from your mobile too. There are lots of developers out there willing to help you develop your app and turn it into a reality and hopefully a very large business in the near future.   Mobile translation services If you have a penchant for languages and are extremely good with the, mobile translation could be a way to make money and start up your own business. The demand for translators and interpreters is huge these days. You can take advantage by getting a talented pool of ready- translators and interpreters alike. You can work from any location and at any time; a smartphone with a computer and fast speed internet access is what you need, that’s it. Your idea can help bring people closer and communicate better!   Mobile salons and spas From massages to skin therapies, hair care to makeup and hairdressing too, mobile salons have sprung up on playstores and app shopping lists like never before. Mobile spas have already begun to source high end clients; people that need services at their doorsteps rather than visiting a salon. Since the world is a fast paced these days, people have less time and their schedules are tight. Mobile salons collaborate with salons in the area closest to the client and reputed coupon websites that give huge discounts and incentives to the customers. Customers get the pampering they need through your mobile app, and you get paid a commission.   Mobile grooming for pets Most people have pets at home and getting them to the groomer can be a huge chore. Why not start a business as a mobile groomer, have an app and provide service right at your customers door. Clients hate to waste time searching for just the right place to go. With a mobile app they can find you right away, schedule you and have you come take care of their pooch in a jiffy. You do need the right type of grooming training for this busines[...]



The Overlooked Benefits of Cloud ERP Software

2017-02-06T22:54:41Z

The debate over on-site vs. cloud ERP software has now been settled. Companies of all sizes and in every industry prefer to rely on the cloud for its ability to lower costs, increase functionality, simplify maintenance, and amplify the benefits of enterprise resource planning software overall.The debate over on-site vs. cloud ERP software has now been settled. Companies of all sizes and in every industry prefer to rely on the cloud for its ability to lower costs, increase functionality, simplify maintenance, and amplify the benefits of enterprise resource planning software overall. In practice, however, cloud ERP software is able to deliver even more benefits than even the most enthusiastic adopters expect. It is worth being aware of the overlooked benefits early so that you can begin taking advantage of their full potential starting on day one. Improve Data Security Data security is a paramount concern for every business. The risk of a breach is greater than ever, and the consequences range from disruptive to catastrophic. Cloud ERP software actually enhances the level of data security that companies can depend on by bundling a number of security resources together into a single package. Cloud service providers have invested heavily to secure their clouds, and to manage and monitor those clouds according to the direction of world-class security experts. In almost all cases, it will be too costly for companies to invest in similar capabilities just for the protection of their own data. Optimize Your IT Team Since the heavy lifting of managing and monitoring your cloud enterprise resource planning software is handled by the provider, your in-house IT team is liberated from a lot of time and labor-intensive work. That means that rather than having to install updates and patches, they can spend their time working on IT initiatives that can deeply impact your bottom line. You free your IT team up to utilize the full extent of their credentials rather than handle an endless stream of rote assignments. Embrace Mobility Being able to access mission-critical apps from anywhere at anytime is no longer just an exciting capability for today’s businesses. It is an imperative for any company that hopes to remain competitive and avoid the slow slide into irrelevance. Cloud ERP software has been built from the ground up with mobility in mind. That means companies can instantly embrace a mobile strategy, and evolve that strategy as new devices, data sources, and client expectations are introduced into the mobile ecosystem. Prepare for the Future Perhaps the single biggest advantage of cloud ERP software over any other type of implementation is how seamlessly it can change. Since the cloud offers on-demand access to a pool of computing resources, companies can match their exact capabilities to their exact needs at all times. As a result, when growth suddenly accelerates, new markets open up, or the industry landscape takes a turn to the left, companies are not stuck with IT that is no longer relevant. The cloud puts these companies in the perfect position to adapt to changes over the short-, medium-, and long-terms. Maximize Customer Satisfaction Cloud ERP software is often viewed as an in-house resource. It is designed to improve communication, collaboration, processes, and strategies for everyone on your team. But as a result of these refinements and enhancements, the overall customer experience improves significantly as well. Issues in the financing, distribution, sales, and marketing departments[...]



Quick Pointers to Enhance Your Website’s Content Marketing Program

2017-02-06T21:24:19Z

This is an excellent article on content marketing for your website. While it was written with medical practice organizations in mind, the tips apply to any type of business that has a website and is interested in attracting customers and building a strong lead marketing list. Quick Pointers To Enhance Your Website’s Content Marketing Program This is an excellent article on content marketing for your website. While it was written with medical practice organizations in mind, the tips apply to any type of business that has a website and is interested in attracting customers and building a strong lead marketing list. With over 15 million people worldwide having cosmetic surgery each year, it’s safe to say that the demand for cosmetic surgery procedures is bigger than ever before. Procedures within the US seem to be one of the most prevalent. Americans spent a colossal $10.1 billion on plastic surgery last year alone, suggesting that many people wanting to get a cosmetic procedure are willing to pay a very large amount for it. However, the downside to this recent boom in cosmetic surgery is the increase in competition, with cosmetic surgery clinics all over the world competing to attract new customers. If you or someone you know is looking to improve their surgery’s marketing strategies, (or any other type of business) you’ll be pleased to know that there are numerous methods that can be used right away to instantly increase competitiveness and overall success. Below you’ll find some key tips to perk up your practice, guaranteed to kick-start an increase in customers and sales!   Emphasize content Many people assume marketing is all about pricing and making worthwhile offers to new potential clients/customers. While this is somewhat true, there is still one aspect of a cosmetic surgery’s practice that is even more important: content. What’s the point in having a sophisticated, attractive looking website if you don’t have any useful content to back it up? In addition to finding the best possible surgeon for the procedure they’re looking for, potential clients want information they can use and will educate them. People would not visit your site unless they had some sort of interest in cosmetic procedures. It is essential you utilize this and provide as much useful content as possible. Always encourage your visitors to stick around and see your practice as their number 1 option. Generating leads and making them convert isn’t as easy as it sounds, so it’s essential you learn how to include content into your overall marketing strategy without getting lost in the process. Therefore, getting some expert help with your cosmetic surgery marketing will be extremely useful, and give a much better chance of more clients, more appointments, and more money. The point is to start building an email list. You might want to offer a “lead magnate” for visitors on your site. It should be relevant to whatever it is you do. For instance, if you are a dermatologist, you might offer a free guide such as “Top 10 ways to make your skin absolutely glow this summer.” Once people download your guide (guide needs to be filled with 10 EXCELLENT tips), you will have potential clients names on your email list. You can begin a email marketing campaign from there. Use this list to announce the new products you carry, that it’s time for a client’s annual check up or that you have a new online booking system they really need to c[...]



How to Generate Attention on YouTube as a Small Business

2017-02-06T22:28:35Z

The YouTube community accounts for two thirds of the premium online videos watched on devices by millennials. Despite this, only 9% of small businesses use the platform. For brands that use YouTube, it has become a lucrative advertising channel, bringing with it the opportunity to target specific groups and interests. Read More about using online video and YouTube to grow your businessThe YouTube community accounts for two thirds of the premium online videos watched on devices by millennials. Despite this, only 9% of small businesses use the platform. For brands that use YouTube, it has become a lucrative advertising channel, bringing with it the opportunity to target specific groups and interests. Sometimes the success of a video can be somewhat of a surprise, with viral content capturing the public’s imagination and hitting the magic formula in getting shared across the world. A perfect example of a seemingly inconspicuous message from the ALS Charity Ice Bucket Challenge of share the challenge and nominate your friends, raising £88 million in just a few short weeks. Investing in content on social network such as YouTube has proven results. Social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk says that due to the advancements in competition on social media every successful company must now also be a media company which means that companies are now spending more time and money to put out great content in their feeds. Creating compelling content for YouTube is, of course, a goal for many SMEs, who want a share of that viral magic for their own businesses. In this article, we list a few top tips for YouTube success, that any SME can utilise for their own brand. Understand what your customers are looking for src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vPGhqQ9vZPM" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> YouTube content should always be developed to appeal to the target demographic of the company producing it. Irrelevant or gimmicky content that has little to do with the company’s products or image is unlikely to prove successful. US toy firm, Hot Wheels has found a way to use YouTube to grab kids’ attention, in order to market successfully in a very crowded marketplace. Hot Wheels’ videos shows action-packed footage of its toy cars racing in realistic competitions, instantly getting across the thrills and excitement of these toys. It’s not particularly sophisticated, but it’s certainly effective. Highlight your USP src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LS-ErOKpO4E" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and Hebridean whisky distillery, Lagavulin, demonstrated this brilliantly with its Christmas YouTube campaign. The firm hired actor and comedian, Nick Offerman, to star in a 45-minute video, in which he does nothing but sit in a comfortable armchair in front of an open fire, drinking whisky. No words are spoken, but the atmosphere is superb, and the message – that you can’t hurry a good whisky – is made abundantly clear. This tactic was repeated over the 2016 festive period, with Nick Offerman again appearing for the whiskey company in an hour-long countdown to New Years to great effect! It’s a basic marketing principle that consumers like brands that they perceive hold similar values to their own. Lagavulin worked on that principle with this video, to create content that whisky lovers could relate to personally. For SME[...]



How to Make Money Selling Your Videos

2017-01-31T21:53:52Z

Video is a terrific way for businesses of all sizes to engage with customers, from international giants to small startups.How to Make Money Selling Your Videos   In the past six years, American adults have more than doubled the amount of digital video they watch, from an average of just 20 minutes a day in 2011 to well over an hour in 2015. By 2019, video is expected to account for 85 percent of all internet traffic in the U.S., with mobile devices increasingly used to stream content.   Sound impressive? It should. Video-streaming technology has given the average consumer far more power over their own entertainment and education than ever before. Rather than being at the behest of television networks, we can now pick and choose what we watch, when we watch it, and (crucially) how we watch it.   More and more businesses are seizing the opportunity to connect with their customers (both existing and prospective) through video. Not only can you use it as a means of communication and brand reinforcement, you can also generate significant revenue.   Video is a terrific way for businesses of all sizes to engage with customers, from international giants to small startups. Not only can you inform and educate viewers in a more personal, direct way than through text, it also requires less effort on the viewers part. Rather than wading through blocks of dense copy on your website, customers can simply sit back and absorb the information instead.   Sixty percent of people would rather watch a video than read, while video keeps visitors on your site for a longer period of time.   Video can also be as dynamic as you like, and employ various storytelling techniques, including visuals, graphics, animations, audio narration, split-screen (for showing multiple videos at the same time), and more. You can pack far, far more into a two-minute video than you can in a lengthy article – and your customers are more likely to watch it.   Of course, selling videos online is a challenge when so many free ones are available on YouTube, but it can be done.   How can you get started?   Know Who You’re Targeting   You should have a mission in mind for every video you produce. However, before you can set a specific goal, you have to know which demographic you’re actually aiming for.   Depending on your business, and your industry, you may have different types of customers. For example, if you manufacture tablets, you’ll cover a broad demographic, from college students and parents of young children to senior citizens. In this case, you could create videos on using tablets to research studies, setting-up safety features on your child’s tablet, or connecting with relatives across the globe.   These are just two examples, but they show how a firm grasp of your company’s customer-base can make sure you appeal to as many viewers as possible.   Establish a Payment Model   There is no one-size-fits-all payment model when selling videos online. You can offer your customers a variety of ways to pay to suit varying lifestyles and budgets, including:   Subscriptions Rentals/Pay-Per-View One-Time Offers   For example, a business selling luxurious products or services is likely to have a wealthier customer-base. Paying for an annual subscription to all of your upcoming videos may be less of an imposition to such people. On the other hand, for companies catering to a broader [...]



Running Your Food Business: How to Go Above and Beyond Your Customer’s Expectations

2017-01-31T21:36:47Z

If you are a restaurant owner you know how hard things can be. There are new apps, delivery services, table top ordering devices and so much more coming at you all the time. You must learn and engage with everything as well as do your best to make each and every customer happy. Here are some tips on how to stay on top of it allRunning Your Food Business: How to Go Above and Beyond Your Customer’s Expectations When looking for ways to exceed customer expectations in your restaurant, the simple things are often overlooked. Going above and beyond your competition often starts with securing the foundations of your restaurant first, and then innovating in creative ways. Stay Cool Before you can be great you have to be good and a good restaurant needs friendly staff. Staff should smile and engage in small talk when appropriate, always attentive to the customer’s energy. If your customers are in a hurry and the line is long, chatting is obviously not as appropriate. But a friendly smile and courteous welcome is always well received. Teach your employees to be in tune to your customers. For instance, people of an older generation might be used to a slower, more friendly style of service. However, younger people might have kids at school, might be on a break from work or otherwise just be in a hurry and they need to move quickly through your store. Teach your employees to pay attention to the needs of their customers and always wait until the customer is finished speaking to ensure that they feel respected. Another nice thing employees can do, when possible, is refrain from putting callers on hold in general, especially if they’re angry. Your staff should always remain calm and know to keep their cool. The little bit of extra time you spend with an employee to train them on how to handle situations, the more it will pay off for your and your business in the end. Another policy employees should be trained on is to always repeat customer requests back to them to ensure accuracy to let them know that you’re listening. This makes the customer feel at ease and also will do more to improve waste at your business as less mistakes will be made overall. Ask for Feedback Customers will be far more likely to offer constructive feedback if the lines of communication are open and the response time is fast. Customer inquiries should be responded to promptly, especially if they are submitted online because people are likely to lose interest after a time and not wait for a reply. Don’t be afraid of seeking customer feedback. It may seem a bit scary at first but online surveys, in-restaurant guest cards or quick polls on social media can really help you to see what you are doing right and wrong – quickly. Remember – the information is only as valuable as what you do with it. Just don’t make it a chore. Bureaucracy is not a fun part of any dining experience. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re working for you so make their visit in worthwhile for them. Treat them with kindness and show them you are glad they chose your restaurant. Remember, freebies and competitions are always a winner too. Be responsive to customer ideas and their feedback as you will find it a very valuable source of information. Thank customers for their suggestions on Facebook or yelp, and throw in a little shout out for fun: “new, thanks to the legendary jonny24!”. Make it Personal Give cust[...]