Business

Out Of Site: Why Customers Aren’t Coming Back To Your Website

The need for your business to have a website is something that most people just take as a given at this point. It’s actually kind of amazing how much we take for granted something that only the biggest and most advanced businesses were using even a decade ago. Thanks to the rise of services that allow you to create a website without knowing even the slightest bit of code, any small business owner is now in a position to get a website up and running in less than a single evening.

This is useful because without a website your business is likely to be pretty much doomed. What might have been a neat optional extra not that long ago is now one of the central aspects of your marketing, promotion, and commerce. Without a website, it’s hard for customers to even find your business, not only that but there’s a pretty common perception that without a website your business isn’t worth taking seriously.

So every business owner is aware of the importance of having a website in the first place, but it’s surprisingly common for them to drop the ball when it comes to thinking any further ahead than that. It’s not just about having a website; it’s about creating a website that customers are actually going to be interested in visiting time and time again. This is one of the most common problems that many small businesses have. They might have decent traffic to their website, but it’s rare that customers are actually returning to it. As important as new customers are, you should never neglect the need to for customers to keep coming back over and over. With that in mind, here are a few surprisingly simple reasons why customers aren’t coming back to your website.

Bad design

It might sound shallow, but it’s human nature to be interested in things that are visually engaging. After all, the design of your website is always going to be the first thing that customers see. They’ll have taken in the overall visual aesthetic well before reading and engaging with any of the content on it. Because of this, it really can’t be overstated how important the design of your website is. Think about some of the most successful companies in the world. A company like Apple has thrived almost entirely based on its design alone. Everything from its products to its website has a consistently sleek, elegant design that customers love. It’s an unfortunate fact that if your website is badly designed, hard to navigate, or just plain ugly, customers are going to lose interest in it. Not only that but a bad website reflects really poorly back on your business as a whole. The best thing to do is to hire a professional web designer to help you create a visually engaging and attractive site.

Poor functionality

Of course, even the more beautiful website in the world isn’t going to get much repeat traffic is it’s practically unusable. We live in an incredibly fast-paced world, and customers simply don’t have the patience to sit around waiting for web pages to load anymore. You need to make sure that your site runs quickly and smoothly, even during high traffic periods. Whether you’re implementing some performance tools for Java or optimizing CSS delivery, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your website run more quickly and smoothly. Don’t let your site get bogged down in flashy gimmicks and graphics either. Not only do they look incredibly dated but they often make your website far more difficult to navigate. Keep it simple and make sure that customers have access to all of the areas of the site that they really need.

Lack of content

Your customers are pretty unlikely to keep coming back to a totally static web page that never gets updated. Of course, if you’re running an ecommerce store from your website then they’re more likely to come back, but it’s still important to keep your site constantly updated with fresh content. For one thing, the more new content that you upload to your website, the better your SEO is going to be. If you leave it too long without adding anything to it, then you’re going to see your site slipping down the rankings. But content isn’t just a matter of search engine rankings; it’s a matter of customer engagement. You’ve got to be able to write meaningful and interesting content that your customers actually want to read. If you can provide them with that, they’re going to keep coming back time and time again.

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Business

No New Tech. No New Customers.

Every small retailer faces a huge uphill battle, one that requires them to understand what opportunities look like and how to seize these opportunities. There is a simple formula to success; it is just a matter of increasing your sales and outdoing your competitors.

Of course, this used to cost a lot in terms of money, resource and energy. But that is not so much the case these days because, well, we live in a technological age where a few gadgets and some specialist software can help you get the most out of your core business functions. What’s more, you won’t have to spend a lot either.

But what tech are we talking about? What tech could possibly be cost-effective, profit-boosting and competition-beating? Well, read on and find out.

Marketing

It is time you invested in marketing automation software and found out how effectively it can save you time and money while also increasing sales. We’re talking about emails and how to utilise your email marketing in a way that encourages potential and existing customers to buy from you using targeted content and offers. The hardest part is getting into the habit, but if you invest in software like AutoPilot, everything will be taken care for you, and for only $4 a month. It will do all the marketing, all the analytics and integrate with your website. Now that is good value.

Sales

One of the most effective ways to free up time and resource is to invest in a decent mobile point of sale system, something that will allow your staff to spend much more time assisting your customers and whole lot less time waiting for a sale to be processed and closed. It may only be a small change to you and your customers, but upgrading to a credit card scanner, you will increase efficiency and thus increase your profits. But isn’t just about how quick you can process a payment. No. By having a mobile POS system, you can maximise the space of your retail outlet, and more space can either mean more choice of things to buy or more space for customers to browse. Accessibility can make a huge difference to a customer’s experience and how quickly your staff can get there to assist them. Double-whammy.

Avenues

Don’t just rely on your physical space to bring in customers and bolster sales. Now, more than ever, people are choosing to go online to do their shopping, and that means you need to integrate an ecommerce store into your current arsenal. It could be that you have a website that acts as a landing page. But just think how much more effectively you could operate if your website had the ability to close sales. As such, why not invest in a cheap website design company, like Squarespace or WordPress, and take control of your online space. To ensure this operates as best as possible, make sure you also have a good returns policy, a reliable sizing guide and even a few tablets dotted around in store; that way customers will be able to browse efficiently.

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Business

Why All Your Best Employees Are Leaving You

Do you ever get that sinking feeling on your way to work? It’s that feeling you get when you never quite know when your next employee resignation letter is going to land on your desk. And it’s not a nice feeling to have: employee turnover is one of the highest costs your business faces.

The problem, though, is that many companies misdiagnose the problems. They think that there’s something wrong with their hiring process and for some reason, they’re attracting the wrong people. But more often than not, it’s a problem with the company itself. It’s not the hiring process that’s bad, it’s the culture that’s toxic.

Managers

Curt Coffman famously said in his book, First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, that people don’t actually leave their jobs, they leave their managers. When you think about it, this is kind of absurd. The whole purpose of having a manager is to facilitate work and to make sure that teams are organized. Workers should be better off with managers, not the precise opposite. But all too often in business, economic logic gives way to personalities, and those personalities wind up wreaking havoc.

It’s no surprise that managers who don’t communicate with their employees, don’t appreciate them and don’t look after them, suffer from high turnover rates. So instead of looking at your employees or your hiring practices, ask whether your managers could be doing a better job.

Lack Of Support

One of the reasons employers find themselves managing sick leave and employee absences with shocking regularity is because their employees have a lack of support. Ask yourself the following questions: have you sat down with each employee and discussed an action plan for their future? Have you had follow-ups to make sure that that action plan has been carried out? Do the people that work at your organization feel appreciated for all the hard work that they do?

Everyone wants to be appreciated, says Mary Kay Ash, the founder of her eponymous cosmetics brand. She says that if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it all to yourself: let them know how you feel. Her company incentivises its salesforce with glamorous events, gifts, and public recognition. Kay reminds her fellow entrepreneurs that people are a company’s greatest assets, and they should be treated as such.

Negative Competition

Some companies think that adding competition to the job is a good way to motivate people and drive up standards. But it turns out that most people aren’t wired up for heavy competition, and they don’t enjoy it. If a job is making a person feel ill from stress, then they are much more likely to leave.

Endless Reorganization

If you’re going to reorganize your company, do it once and be done with it. The problem with reorganization is that it creates uncertainty. With every shuffle, people are lost and the people that remain fear for their jobs. All this uncertainty means that the people in the firm start looking for more secure work elsewhere. Not good, if you’re trying to build a cohesive team.

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Business

Is Your Tech A Liability To Your Growing Business?

Most businesses nowadays have a lot of use of a strong tech presence. Which means that as they grow, that need is likely to grow as well. However, it’s not as simple as getting yourself a few new computers in the office. You need to cope with a broadening diversity as well as a broadening range of demands. If you’re not taking your tech seriously as you get more of it in, then it could be the weak link that breaks all your efforts to scale.

Leaving holes in your training

As your business’s reliance on tech expands, it’s likely you’re going to be introducing new processes. Whether that’s using specific new software or implementing new security practices. You have knowledge that you’re going to have to train to all your staff. However, this isn’t training that just needs to be done once then forgotten about. If you make that mistake, you will have a harder time bringing people who missed the training or new employees up to speed. Instead, make sure you document everything and systemize your new processes as a part of the business’s core knowledge. Otherwise, you will be letting skill gaps grow to the point that employees are significantly less productive and efficient.

Not backing yourself up

Speaking of inefficiency, let’s take a look at how you’re using all the data that your business relies on. Whether it’s important documents on plans and finances or data you could use like customer metrics, you need to be careful with it. This means not keeping it only on one device in one location, but taking the time to back it all up on a regular basis. It doesn’t just go for your data, either. It also goes for the tech you use and even your internet connections. If it goes down, you should have a replacement in the wings to cut down the level of work interruption it’s causing. For your internet, you should consider using backup connections like dongles when your router or main service provider goes down. It might be more expensive than usual, but will most likely not be as expensive as losing all those working hours.

You don’t need a computer for every single person

There are times when you could stand to be a little more cost-effective, however. New tech in the business costs money. Not just through the initial purchase, but through software licensing and future maintenance costs, too. So, consider offering employees the option to work using their own devices. They could even work remotely from home. Just make sure that they’re following proper protocol and security measures with those devices. You don’t need external sources proving a vulnerability to the business. You could even go as far as offering that option primarily to those with lower levels of access.

Expanding your security efforts

The idea of offering different levels of access is just one of the ways you could take the security of the business tech a bit more seriously. If someone doesn’t ever need access to certain kinds of data, then allowing them to access it makes them nothing but a potential liability. Even so, no-one should be lax with password security of leaving their devices logged in when they shouldn’t be. But teaching appropriate use of tech and data isn’t the only way to protect the business. You should be investing in more thorough security measures, from software that blocks malware to even hiring teams like ethical hackers who find vulnerabilities in your network with the express purpose of helping you seal them up.

Know your limits

When your reliance on tech gets to the point where you are using networks and taking security more seriously, you need to think about how much responsibility you’re able to take on them. Go too far and you could be spending more time running your IT systems as opposed to running your business. That does not make for a very productive company. If you’re not at the stage where you can justify hiring a full-time IT team, that doesn’t mean you should try handling it all yourself. Instead, you should look into outsourcing options like technology consulting. You need to know your own capacity to deal with the administration and fixes of your IT system.

Get serious about energy costs

Back to cost effectiveness, it’s not just the hardware and software costs that are going to build up if you’re not careful. An extensive tech system is going to be a particularly large source of cost for the business. Particularly when it comes to energy bills. But you can let your business really run off the leash with said bills if you’re not careful. Make sure that you are teaching your employees to properly consider how much energy they’re using, ensuring they don’t leave their workstations turned on for too long when they’re not there. You should make sure all devices have automatic sleep mode at the ready, but even that isn’t enough. People have to be responsible for their machines.

Finding new revenue sources

Expanding your tech also offers more opportunity to make revenue, too. For instance, we’re going to assume that part of your tech expansion includes a bigger presence online. But you shouldn’t just be spending money to make sure that said presence is a lot more visible. You should also be using it as a platform to make more money and open new revenue streams. We’re not just talking about going into ecommerce, either. You can just as easily make a new revenue stream by monetizing a blog connected to the website or even using your brand to sell eBooks and webinars from your site.

Adding to your workload instead of reducing it

As we’ve said, taking on a lot more tech could easily shut down the productivity of the business if you’re not aware of how to properly allocate your efforts. But that could go as far as the work that you’re able to do on the computer, as well. If your business is scaling, you’re going to have a lot more administrative work to do. A lot more human resources records to look over and correct, a lot more financial expenditures and income to properly file. More payroll to get moving. Instead of doing it all yourself, you should into software that can automate more of your business processes. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a bigger IT section if it isn’t making it easier for everyone to do their jobs?

Not upgrading your means of communication

As a business gets bigger, it’s also going to have the need for a lot more communication Internally and externally. But relying on old methods that might have seemed okay in the past will no long be good enough. You might have been able to rely on instant messaging when it was just a team of three using their devices to stay in touch. However, when you’re upgrading to a team of ten, fifteen, or more, then a lot more time that could be wasted in IMs. Instead, you should be using more direct contact, like video conferencing, or an organized email or notes system if you don’t want to interrupt someone in the middle of their workload. You need to find the communication methods that are most efficient for your business in particular.

Letting the tech take care of itself

One of the mistakes that a lot of business owners make is underestimating the needs of the tech after their initial purpose and install. Like all devices and hardware, they are susceptible to issues down the line. So you need to create a full maintenance and improvement schedule to keep them as reliable as possible. Have someone in the now keeping an eye out for hardware drivers that the devices in the office need to stay most effective. Take the time every now and then to clear temporary and unnecessary data. Check your backups and make sure they’re consistent with all the data you need. You should even schedule simple things like cleaning dust from the hardware itself.

Diving too deep into the Cloud

Cloud software has had a large impact on business. It can be very useful as a way of temporarily storing and sharing data of all kinds. However, you should never make it the permanent home of the business. Nothing is 100% reliable. If your Cloud provider’s server goes down you could lose access to important data just when you need it the most. Even worse, you could potentially lose it forever. Use the Cloud as a helpful tool, but not as one of your main methods of storing or backing up your essential data.

The proper use of resources, the right hardware choices, the allocation of effort, and the availability of knowledge are essential to running a professional operation with the right tech. Miss of any of them through making the mistakes above, your tech will be a liability, not the boon that it should be.

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Business

Costly HR Mistakes It’s Best To Avoid

Your staff members are your company’s most valuable asset. Failure to see them that way can be a costly mistake, with regular hiring and training costing company resources, and even the legal fees that can be resultant of poor human resources. It’s critical for the success of any business to treat staff well, and failure to do so can put your business in dire straits. Here are some common mistakes you could be making with your company’s human resources.

Expecting too much

Your staff are human beings, they have good days and bad days, and they have strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else. Treating them as machines with constant high expectations can put unnecessary stress on your employees, leading to poor staff satisfaction, low efficiency, and even valued members of the team moving on to new employment. Remember your staff members are only human, they make mistakes, and be sympathetic to their difficulties – you were in their position once after all.

Not having an employee handbook

An employee handbook is a crucial part of any employee/employer relationship. It should lay out the expectations on both sides in more detail than a contract of employment. This means that a worker has their standards and expectations laid out of them. It also enables them to find out information about holiday leave, grievance policies, and notice periods, so you’re all on the same page. Not having an employee handbook is doing a huge disservice to your staff, but also making your life as an employer more difficult too.

Not giving feedback enough

Your staff are living organisms – they grow with their environment, take on criticisms and thanks, and adjust accordingly. Failing to give constructive feedback is not only unfair on the staff, but it also means you’re not getting the most out of your employee. Most staff want to be great at their job, either for general satisfaction or for the hope of promotion. Feedback allows them to improve on their shortcomings, and feel pride in what they’re doing well.

Ignoring employment laws

All employment laws are relevant to you, and ignoring them can lead to legal trouble of varying degrees of severity. Seek out HR consultants near you to ensure you’re complying with employment law to the letter – ignorance as an employer can be a very costly mistake. And remember that laws differ for companies of different sizes, so it’s important you’re well read on the subject and have a competent advisor.

Keeping poor records

Employment records are crucial if any problems come to light, and well-kept records can keep your company from getting in serious trouble if someone has a case against you. It’s also crucial for taxation, immigration control, and leave of absence records. Failure to keep your company records up to date can result in large fines, so it’s worth spending a bit of time on it.

Avoiding costly human resource mistakes is just about being prepared and treating your staff well. They’re a costly asset for your business, but when treated properly they can become your best asset too.

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Business

Are You Doing Enough To Look After Your Team?

As an employer, you owe your team more than just pay in return for their services. As well as benefits and provisions, you have a responsibility for their well-being. Quite a few employers don’t take that responsibility perhaps as serious as they should. Yet those that do reap the rewards. Those rewards include a workplace that has fewer incidents interrupting the workflow and a more engaged, happier, and healthier workforce. If you’re wondering how you could do more to look after your staff, then keep reading.

Shutdown conflict early

Unfortunately, one of the greatest sources of stress and a negative atmosphere in the workplace comes down to how individuals treat one another. This includes you. If your business is prone to seeing fights, side-taking, and even rumours circulating, you’re dealing with a hostile work environment. In that environment, people feel much less invested in the success of the team and their own work. It can also lead to severe emotional trauma if it goes on at an extended rate. You should take a proactive approach to sorting conflict. First, make sure you have a no-tolerance policy on any kind of bullying and harassment. When conflicts start, talk individually to begin with, then as a group identifying the source of strife. Team building exercises are a good way to lessen the risk of conflicts when not directly dealing with one. When team members see one another as human beings, it makes them a lot less likely to start trouble with them. Naturally, sometimes you just have to be able to identify a toxic influence on the workplace. While you should do work to help them address their problems and behaviour, don’t feel like you have to keep them around if they fail to reach your standards.

Make sure people don’t have too much on their plate

Another common source of stress is down to the work itself. Particularly, you need to keep an eye on just how much work is being assigned to the individual. If someone believes they have more than they can handle, it’s as likely they will try to cope even if they know they can’t. Look at processes and see whether they can be outsourced or given to someone else, or if you have the tools and software to make those processes easier and less time consuming. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of overtime your team is doing as well. While it might be a good way for them to make some extra money and for you to get extra work done, impacting their work-life balance too often will cause them problems down the line.

Don’t make every task do or die

There’s also a real issue of prioritising in a lot of workplaces. If you stress the importance of every task you delegate, it’s going to make it a lot harder for people to figure out which to tackle first. Not only does this make them feel like they’re dealing with too much, but it also confuses communication and makes them a lot less productive and efficient. You also need to take more serious what exactly you’re asking them to do. Employees might succumb to employer pressure on things like attending social events or donating to charity. Make sure you’re not inadvertently abusing more authority than you have a right to. It’s alright to incentivise, but not to pressure.

Operate an open door policy

The truth is that a lot of the problems above can be handled a lot better if people are simply willing to talk about it. But in most workplaces, there is an invisible barrier between the employer and the rest of the team. If you haven’t noticed it yet, that might be because you have taken the first step to break it down. The onus of opening the lines of communication is always on the employer. Don’t just make it clear that you’re willing to talk. Take a moment in team meetings to address common problems. From burnout and overwhelming demands to stress and mental health. Broach the topic broadly, inviting anyone to talk more in depth with you if those factors are impacting their satisfaction at work.

Lend a hand in a pinch

Sometimes, it’s simply too late to identify and deal with a problem before it becomes a major crisis for the employee and the business alike. If you’ve been unable to identify a problem, it might grow the point that it becomes a full-blown crisis. Medical costs, work stress, and familial issues can all drastically impact an employer’s ability to give their job the focus and attention it deserves. Rather than letting them struggle to deal with it themselves, an employee should be able to lend a hand. By implementing benefits like critical incident stress management services, you can use the advisors and counsellors as your disposal to deal with these crises in the timeliest fashion possible. Otherwise, many of your employees might find the stresses of life making them entirely unfit to continue working, which benefits neither them nor you.

Show your care in the environment

Naturally, there’s a link between the physical and the mental that goes a long way in making sure that people are fit to work. There might be some aspects of the physical working conditions that seem negligible to you, but do harm over the long term that can contribute to the dangers of stress. For instance, repetitive strain injury caused by poor posture and little activity. Or the impact of how too much contact with a computer screen with little lighting and not only cause headaches and eyestrain but lead to a lack of sleep. Make sure you’re doing what you can to create a healthier working environment for your staff.

You want to do everything you can to make sure that employees are healthy, comfortable, and engaged at the workplace. To that end, you need to establish the right culture. It’s one of open communication, problem-solving, and paying attention to the risks. Do that and your business will immediately see the benefits.

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Business

Is Your Product “Good Enough”?

The term “good enough” comes from the world of software design. It’s the idea that most products will do what the customer wants them to do, even if they don’t have all the features the software developer would like.

Although the term has been around for a long time, the notion has been gaining traction in recent years. Technology, especially software, has developed dramatically, and this means that there are now a lot more features that most software developer companies can pack into their products. Although these opportunities are exciting, many people in business, as well as customers themselves, are now concluding that many software packages are over-engineered and it’s causing developers to rethink their approach.

This notion that products could be “over-engineered2goes against most developer’s intuition. They have been trained from a very early age to strive for perfection: but striving for perfection can just be another way of delaying and procrastinating, and not actually getting anything done.

As a result, more and more businesses are jumping on the “good enough” bandwagon. They’re ditching features left, right and center, and looking for ways to deliver products that customers will love, even if they don’t have world-beating functionality.

Google is perhaps the best example of a company that has mastered this particular art. Every month, it introduces new services and products. Often these products remain in beta for years as they are slowly developed over time. Google Maps, for instance, began as a very basic map service. In fact, compared to Apple’s offering, what Google offered was laughably simple. The first versions weren’t even integrated with GPS. But as the number of users grew, Google added more features and detail. It then integrated the app with satellite navigation and allowed businesses to connect with their customers through it. Over time, what was once “good enough” became a market leader, precisely because it identified a niche early on.

Google made use of tools for test management, making incremental improvements to its software over an extended period of time. Sometimes that software failed, (like Google Reader), but often it was highly successful, going on to be the go-to platform for customers and businesses.

Google’s strategy all along was to create minimum viable products – as they are known in the industry. It made products that offered the bare minimum to keep customers happy and did it very well. Once the products were used and tested, it then added new functions, at each stage offering customers more usability. Google Mail went from a very simple, if intuitive, email service to the best in the world, thanks to the numerous additions, including things like AI sorting of emails into primary, social, promotion and spam.

Google also placed a lot of emphasis on consumer feedback. What they they thought about their own products internally wasn’t important. Instead, they went out into the community and asked customers about the features that they would like to see. Customers soon responded, and Google implemented the ones that were the most urgent.

The bottom line for entrepreneurs is to understand that even the largest companies have tradeoffs during their stages of development. Google’s products have always been a work in progress, and so should yours.

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Business

Is It Possible To Double Your Cashflow In A Month? You Bet It Is!

When you first start out in business, you soon learn about the importance of cash flow. While you may have thought, in your naivety, before you started your business that what mattered in business was profit, you soon discovered that this wasn’t always the case. Sure, you might have been in the black for the year as a whole. But there were times during that first year when you dipped precariously close to the red and ran out of cash. As a result, you risked not being able to pay your suppliers, your colleagues and even yourself.

Cash flow, therefore, became your new focus. It was the thing that you realized that you had to focus on if you were going to avoid another disaster. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to improve the rate at which money flows into your business. Let’s take a look.

Reduce Your “Days Sales Outstanding”

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Days sales outstanding” or DSO is a technical piece of jargon used all the time in the business world. It’s just shorthand for the amount of time you’re waiting for your customers to pay you. For many small businesses, DSO is large, meaning that at points during the month, they start running out of cash.

Small businesses often feel intimidated by their larger clients and are sometimes hesitant to demand payment quickly. But when a service has been delivered as specified, it’s time for the client to pay up. Take a look at your current payment arrangements with your customers. How long do they have to pay right now? If you currently offer a three-week window for payment to be made, try reducing this to two weeks for all new clients. Even if customers don’t stick to the two-week payment schedule, cutting down the window often still means that businesses get paid faster.

Make Immediate Payment Possible

When clients don’t pay on time, it’s not because they’re trying to torture you or that they don’t have any money. It’s usually because they are lazy and can’t be bothered to go through the hassle of setting up a payment. After all, it takes a long time. This is why it’s so important for small businesses to make use of merchant services. Merchant services allow them to accept credit card payments in person, online or through their digital invoices. Some companies, like Wave Accounting, have found that including an immediate payment option speeds up client payments by an average of three days.

Do A Credit Check

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Occasionally you’ll get a client who doesn’t want to pay up front in cash. Instead, they want to pay you in a series of installments. When a client asks to do this, it’s a good idea to have a credit check done on them by a third party credit check agency. You want to find out whether the client actually has the means to pay you, in the long run; otherwise, you risk not getting paid for the services rendered. When payments are late, or not paid at all, your cash flow will suffer.

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Business

Online Resources You Should Use For Business Advice And Inspiration

Many people have dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Buy the world of business can be tough, and you’ll need to do a lot of work before you even think of starting a business. You can’t just rush into it. You’ll need to educate yourself all about business and make sure you know what you’re doing.

A lot of business knowledge comes from running one yourself. But you can still learn a lot before you make your way into the world of business. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to learn thanks to the help of online resources. You can gain all kinds of knowledge and set yourself up for success before you execute your business plan. Here are some of the resources entrepreneurs should be using.

Blogs

The first place to look is business-related blogs. There are a wealth of these all over the internet, and you can learn a lot from them. Blogs are often written by experienced business people with plenty of expertise in the field.

Blogs can help you before you even start your business. For instance, you can read articles on how to write a business plan or how to raise funding for your company. As you continue through your business venture, you can keep using blogs to learn about other aspects. You can get advice on things like marketing, financial management, and hiring.

No matter what kind of expertise you’re looking for, a simple Google search can help you find a useful blog. Read up on plenty of these as they can often help you with tips and guides for your business.

eBooks

Short blog articles are fantastic for learning the basics of business. But eBooks can give you much more in-depth knowledge into different areas. Much like blogs, you can find eBooks for any business question or concern you may have.

Look into the best free eBooks for business. Many of these can help you develop your startup and become a successful business leader. A lot of entrepreneurs also advocate self-help eBooks. They can help you develop the right attitude for creating a successful business venture.

Of course, many of these are also available in regular book form. It’s worth checking out the business section of your local library. But eBooks are beneficial in the sense that you can read them from anywhere, and many are free. You might want to check out a few on your smartphone in your spare time.

Seminars

Experienced entrepreneurs often give talks which can help aspiring entrepreneurs. These often come in the form of public seminars which are open to the public. Check out universities and colleges in your area to see if any talks on business are being held.

You can also turn to the web for these. For instance, you can find recordings of seminars given at conferences and events on YouTube. Alternatively, you could check out TED Talks. They provide recordings of all their talks for free on their website. You can find many business-related talks from experienced entrepreneurs. There are also plenty which can help you with self-motivation.

Interviews

Want to know how to run a successful business? Get inspiration from those with experience! You can use the internet to find interviews with many successful people. You can pick up some wisdom and learn more about how they made it in their field.

There are websites full of business interviews. You could also look around on YouTube for interviews with entrepreneurs. It can help to list names of many successful people in your desired business field. Search for interviews with them on Google and YouTube, and you might be able to get an insight into how they worked their way towards success.

Podcasts

When it comes to audio, podcasts are the best resource to use. Podcasting has become a huge trend, and there are interesting ones available for all fields- including business. These are often hosted by professionals who can give valuable insight into different business topics. Podcasts also feature guests, which are often brought on for extended interviews.

Look into some of the best podcasts for business-savvy listeners and start listening. You can download podcasts or stream them directly. The majority of podcasts are free, making them an excellent source of business information.

The length of podcasts can make them hard to listen to all the way through. But they make for great listening while you’re exercising or commuting. Check out episodes from various podcasts and start soaking up a wealth of valuable entrepreneurial tips.

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Business

 Essential Tips to Successfully Brand Your Blog

If you already have a blog, or perhaps are just in the planning stages of launching your own site, you might be wondering what it is that sets those amazingly popular blogs apart from the others out there, which seem to go largely unnoticed.

While there isn’t one surefire answer that’s going to guarantee your blog is a huge hit, there is something that’s important, and that’s branding. If you find yourself pondering one of the elements that all great blogs seem to have in common, it’s probably that they have a distinct brand and that’s what the entire site concept is built around.

When you brand your blog, it’s going to not only help you be more appealing to readers, but it can also help you when you’re at a loss regarding content creation.

So how do you get started or make the necessary changes to an existing blog to give it a strong identity and sense of branding?

Look Inward First

For your blog to truly be branded and have an identity of its own, it’s best for it to be based on a concept or topic you have experience in or feel passionate about. Once you have that, you can then start building your blog and looking for ways to monetize it. For example, if you’re passionate about travel, try to build the brand of your blog around that, and if you have particular travel interests, such as traveling on a budget or traveling with young children, even better. As well as being interested in the topic, it can be advantageous to have some experience in it, otherwise finding the inspiration you need to write day in and day out is going to be difficult.

Be Thoughtful When Choosing a Domain Name

If you feel extremely enthusiastic about starting your blog, and you’re ready to dive in head first, you may not give your actual domain name the time and consideration it deserves, but that can be a mistake. The domain you go with is one of the primary components of your overall brand. In his guide to how to start your own blog, guru Neil Patel says the name you go with doesn’t have to describe what you’re blogging about, as long as it’s suggestive of what you’re covering. You want the domain name to be simple, appealing and easy to remember if at all possible

Include a Tagline

A tagline is a must-have if you want your blog to have a strong, definitive personality. Think about your keywords as well as the general focus when you’re creating a tagline, and if you can, infuse some elements of your personality or some humor into it. It’ll give your readers something to remember you by, even when they’re bombarded with so many other blogs.

As a final tip, be consistent with your overall design. Try to keep a sleek color palette and choose a theme that you feel will work for a long time to come. Eventually, your theme, layout, and design can become synonymous with the brand of your blog, which is important as you work to cultivate a loyal following.

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