October 21, 2019

Simple Online Strategies That Help Your Business Reach More Potential Customers

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The power of the internet is proven. It offers several solutions for those who are trying to develop a personal brand, grow a business, or receive attention for another endeavor. Additionally, there is a good mix of free solutions as well as paid solutions. Here are four simple online strategies that can help your business reach more potential customers that are worth trying out.

Google Maps

If your business has a location, whether it is a storefront or office, it should be listed on Google Maps. Approximately 154 million people use Google Maps each month, making Google Maps a phenomenal tool for business owners to reach a huge potential audience. This is a free service that only takes a few minutes to set up. When a user is searching for a mall, restaurant, or movie theater, they may accidentally discover your company when scrolling around the map. If they are searching for a specific address, Google Maps shows what else is next to it if those companies are listed.

Advertise on Social Media

When your company’s budget allows, consider advertising on social media. You can always test the waters and decide whether to continue or not based on the results that you receive. You can also pick the best social media platform to advertise on based on the market you are trying to reach. Ads on Twitter are great for those who can write witty banter with a limited amount of characters. Instagram is great for the beautiful photos and visual ads, while Facebook has served as a good catchall. You can pick from display advertising, pay per click, and remarketing campaigns as well as affiliate advertising and video ads. If you speak with professionals in the digital marketing sector, they can go over your options. Based on your goals, budget, and preferences, they can offer you a number of suggestions.

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, used to be an afterthought and an add-on service for digital marketing firms. Today, everything that has to do with online marketing and advertising begins with SEO. When professionals build a new website or revamp an existing site, they will deliver the final product optimized for the search engines. It is very important to ensure all your digital assets are optimized for the search engines because it allows them to be indexed. Indexing leads to exposure, and if your SEO strategy is well-executed, it will rank your website in the top three results. Optimized websites are architecturally sound, contain no broken links, and are full of relevant content. The search engines feel it is their duty to protect their users from those trying to game the ranks, so their algorithms weed out the bad websites as well as potential scammers.

Subscriptions

To reach more people online, consider starting an email list. Subscriptions to a blog feed, email list, or social media account updates help your followers remember that your company exists. Ideally, you are going to email relevant content that they will share with their friends and family. When that email list begins to grow and you have solid open rates, you can become confident that your online reach is growing too. 

Given that 3.7 billion people have set up at least one social media account and that at least 80% of consumers conduct online research before purchasing a product or service, capturing clients online is to your advantage. There are several simple strategies that can be used to help you gain traction among potential customers including Google Maps, online advertising, and SEO.

Interested in learning more marketing strategies? Check out this article next!

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Should I Allow Cell Phone Use at Work?

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Cell phone use in the workplace is a hot topic. Some experts claim that cell phones in the workplace can improve productivity. Others, however, say that it reduces focus among employees. Here are some things to consider.

Wasting Company Time

Companies and individual employers want to create and maintain a workplace that values efficiency and output. Allowing employees to use their cell phones while working can have unintended consequences. Depending on the type of work your employees are engaging in, it might be acceptable to allow the use of cell phones during designated times and in designated areas. However, permitting workers to have their cell phones out while on the floor can result in wasted company time, which is a risk you definitely want to weigh before permitting employees to use their mobile devices at work.

Improving Internal Communications

With regard to internal communication, however, the intentional use of cellular mobile devices in a work environment can have a positive impact. Allowing cell phones at work can increase access to information that is relevant to the task at hand, which, in turn, can increase productivity. Apps can be designed to facilitate internal communication with employees, which can lead to greater employee engagement. This potential for increased engagement and an enhanced work ethic should be considered when you’re making a decision about whether to welcome cell phones in your workplace.

Striking a Balance

Just as no two businesses are exactly the same, cell phone policies are often unique and depend on the type of work being carried out. For businesses that rely on internal communication advances, a cell phone policy that allows for certain apps to run while others are blocked is a strong compromise. On the other hand, if the work carried out requires complete concentration and could be potentially hazardous otherwise, a stricter cell phone policy will probably make more sense for that specific business. There is no one-size-fits-all cell phone policy, just as there is no right or wrong answer as to what a cell phone policy should look like. Knowing what your workers need to be safe and productive is key.

When all is said and done, ensuring workers remain on task and in good spirits is what matters the most. Having a strong knowledge of your employees’ work ethic and individual needs will help you best determine what cell phone policy is appropriate for your workplace.

Develop a more focused, productive team with coaching by Shannon! Sign up today.

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4 Foundations of a Scalable Business Model

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If you have decided that you want to build a scalable business, you’ll need to quickly learn how to lay down the proper foundations to support it. Not all profitable businesses are able to climb up the business ladder quickly. To build up a business, you need a business model that can quickly multiply revenue at a minimal incremental cost. For example, a piece of software takes a lot of labor to develop, but once developed, it can be copied repeatedly with the same minimum cost. However, a family restaurant is vastly different. Labor and fresh ingredients are costly, and while a family business can grow well and be profitable, it would be a poor business model. Here are some ideas on how to lay the proper foundation for a rising enterprise.

Set Your Business Plan

One of the most crucial mistakes when building a scalable business model is not starting with a business plan. Eventually, businesses will need to begin searching for investors and having meetings with bankers. Your business plan should be ready to go. However, a business plan is more than just a description of your product. Your business plan should contain information about the problem you’re solving for your target market, your solution, how your solution will benefit your target market, and the financials and forecasts to back it up.

Automate Wherever Possible

One of the key requirements of a scalable business model is that there is a set system for accomplishing tasks, and everybody follows the same system. Automating as much of your mundane tasks, such as data entry, is one of the first things you should set up so that you can save on hiring additional employees. You can also automate email responses and appointment reminders. At instances where automating is not possible, consider hiring a virtual assistant instead of a full-time employee to manage routine tasks. This will save you time and resources so that you and your key team members can focus your attention on the clients, product development, and potential investors.

Intelligent Sales Software

Many software solutions such as CRM and POS can help generate more sales, improve customer experience, and scale your business. When searching for software solutions, try to search for those that have integration functions so that you can integrate as many applications as you need into an application suite. Not only are application bundles usually less expensive, but software from the same family are also usually more powerful when synced together. In addition, adequate training and education on existing software can help your retail stores save time and money at the point of sale.

The Corporate Shield

Setting up your business as the right business entity can save you a lot of hassle and headache. While there are many business entities types available to register as LLCs and LLPs are the main business types that can help protect your business assets in the event of legal proceedings.

Building a scalable business model is a hefty enterprise that requires a lot of preparation beforehand. If you are thinking of building a business or is interested in making your current business profitable, make sure you follow these tips to build with a solid starting foundation.

If you need help setting up your business, I can help! Contact me to learn more about my coaching services!

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3 Updates to Keep You Competitive in eCommerce

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It’s exciting to have your ecommerce site beautifully designed and ready for business. But that’s not the end of it, however. It’s very important to stay on the cutting-edge of technology if you want to stay competitive in this sphere. Could your site use any of the following updates?

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly

In this electronic age, the use of the standard desktop computer is declining. Patrons can now access their tablets and smartphones at an easier pace than sitting down and turning on their desktop computers. Professional tablets are now replacing desktop computers. Tablets are lighter, and the computer chip processors are in some cases faster than the desktop computers.

Every time you design your webpage for e-commerce, you want to make sure that you have a mobile-ready website for your business. People will normally recommend your business more to their associates with a mobile website. The mobile website should be easy to read, easy to navigate, and lovely to view.

Point of Sale System

It is prudent to understand all the tax implications of the dynamic and ever-changing economic nexus laws. States are collecting revenue from online sources because of the declining brick and mortar sales in their respective counties. The South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. case provided incentives for States to continue their aggressive collection efforts. The judge decided in favor of South Dakota in June 2018.

There are currently 16 states that have adopted economic nexus laws. A further eight states are considering revising their legislation to collect online sales tax. Businesses that sell to clientele in states that have adopted economic nexus laws need to update POS systems so they can collect sales tax from anywhere.

Once you understand which states have adopted economic nexus laws, you will want to determine if you will need to charge your customer sales tax from each specific state. This process should be easy and automated as possible. Some online ecommerce POS systems automatically collect sales taxes for you and send them to their desired destination. If this platform is unavailable for your business, you can purchase automation sales tax software to be embedded into your website for convenience.

Sales Tax Forms

Most POS software companies will give you a detailed analysis that demonstrates the amount of sales tax that were collected for each state. You can then use this information to file your monthly sales tax return. As always, you want to check for any sales tax discounts. The sales tax return can be submitted automatically online.

It is important to stay current with advanced technology for ecommerce websites. Utilized technology leads to a better experience for your clientele.

Get consulting from Shannon that will help you increase revenues, develop a high performance team, and avoid costly mistakes! Book a complimentary 30 minute Business Strategy Session here.

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3 Tips for Getting Your Product Listed on Amazon

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You can easily start a business on Amazon with little to no investment. Whether you sell your own products or act as a reseller, the e-commerce site offers a simple way to help you get started. Its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) system functions as a drop shipper, so they can take care of packing and shipping for you.

Amazon lets you expand your reach easily. It already has more than 310 million active customer accounts, and since 2016, it has accounted for 43% of online retail sales, says market research firm Slice Intelligence. The e-commerce giant provides you with a ready customer base of online shoppers. Here are three tips to help you get started more quickly on Amazon.

Prepping Your Product

Pick your product. Make sure you choose something Amazon allows. You can speed along the process by choosing something that does not require Amazon’s permission to sell. Items that don’t need permission include beauty products, cameras and their accessories, home and garden equipment, home improvement items and sporting goods. Other categories, like clothes, fine art, automotive and grocery require approval to sell on Amazon. Banned items include weapons, illegal drugs, pornography, tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Once you find the right product for Amazon, the next step is to set up a shipping plan.

Go Pro

You can sign up for a pro account for $39.99 per month. This lets you sell an unlimited number of items on the site. Without a professional Amazon account, you’ll only be able to sell 40 items per month. You will also need to pay a $.99 cent fee each time you sell something as well as a referral fee, which is about 15% of the selling price of most products.

Brand Yourself

Establish your brand and keep it cohesive across all of your listings. Use your logo and store name on each product listing. Complete each product listing with a clear, relevant title and detailed, well-written product description. Include high-quality images that accurately show the product. Amazon provides space for nine photos per listing.

Sharing as many quality photos of your product as you can will boost your chances of success on Amazon. Your main product image should show the product against a white background. The other images can show other angles or sides of the image.

Following these simple tips can help you get started more quickly on Amazon. While nothing can vault you to top-seller status immediately, with a little hard work and perseverance, you can turn your Amazon business into a dependable stream of income.

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