If you’ve got a startup venture off the ground you probably thought you were past the tough bit of owning a business – but then there’s the need to grow your business!
Growth isn’t easy – if it were, we’d all be at the helm of billion pound organisations.
That said, with some solid foundations in place you’re likely to find growing your operations far easier. We’ll look at what those foundations are and how they can be used as part of a sustainable growth strategy…
Work with solid principles
When it comes to running a business you’re either going to forge your own path or get swept in various different directions with the changing needs of your business, your finances, customer requirements and so forth.
While some business agility is a good thing, if you want to create sustainable growth you’re going to need a roadmap – and not just one that charts your projections and goals.
Instead, think about doubling-down on the principles that underpin exactly what it is that you do. Maybe offering exceptional content is the thing that make your business who you are? If so, create more, delve into what people are looking for and answer their needs. Maybe the materials you use are ethically sourced? Shout about it, get accreditations that rubber stamp what you’re doing or write a book about how other people can follow in your footsteps.
Passionate principles are contagious – pursue them and watch customers become passionate about what you’re doing too.
Create a solid and powerful brand
There are many local and small companies doing branding really well, for example, Atlas Ceramics – but they’re only doing the same fundamentals that you can also do with your brand.
Let’s take Apple as an example:
When you see that symbol you know what to expect from the product or material it’s attached to; simplicity, exceptional usability, style, innovation – to name just a few. It’s well documented that Apple have done this by sticking to their solid principles and using them as checkmarks against which EVERYTHING they do is measured.
Have you ever seen an Apple product that doesn’t tick all of the above boxes? Unlikely – and you can do the same with your brand. Consider the most important principles at the core of your business and make sure they’re communicated in everything you do – not least your actions.
Find people you can rely on
When you’re recruiting or looking for partnership companies, you might put experience and knowledge at the top of your list – and to some degree that’s understandable. However, when it comes to having the right people to help you grow your business, there could be a better way.
Next time you’re talking to a job candidate or subcontracting company, talk to them about the service you want to deliver – and about the values you’ve built your business on. When you find people that respond to your questions with the passion that you have for those subjects – those people are likely to fit in well to the environment you’ll need to grow in the right direction.
That’s not to say that should ignore experience completely – but understand that it’s a lot easier to teach skills than it is to reshape a person’s attitude.
Hold on tight to your current customers
When you talk about growth in business most people envisage some kind of graph with an upward arrow and ‘sales’ somewhere on the page. Selling more of your product is one idea – but there’s another that’s easier to deliver:
Retain your current customers.
When it comes to easy business wins, it makes absolute sense to make your current customers feel valued and loved – thus repeating the repeat business rewards of doing so – than it is to go out and find more people who’ll order with you.
Instead of focusing your salespeople on getting more business from new sources, consider an incentive that encourages them to cement and maximise the relationships you have with your current customers.
Build around your current products
If you’ve got a solid brand and a great team who are keeping your customers onboard, it might be time to think about diversifying your product somewhat.
Now, which direction you move in is totally up to you – but we can almost guarantee that there’s scope for taking your brand somewhere new and doing another service or product just as well as you are your current business focus.
Let’s carry on with the Apple example:
Were Apple to create an office chair – would it sell?
You’re absolutely right it would, by the truckload – because the principles of design and function that Apple has become synonymous with would give office workers the world over the impression that their aching back was about to be gone forever.
Understand what people expect from your brand – and which products that it would give you a head-start with were you to expand your offering.
Be ready to truly lead
There are a lot of distinctions between someone who just manages and someone who truly leads – not least the impact that the two approaches have on your company’s ability to grow.
You’re one mind – and while you might have some great ideas, there’s a chance that you employ people who get a very real understanding of what your particular coalface is like every day they show up.
If you want to know what your customers want – do less guessing and more listening to the people who are talking to them each day. There’s an old adage about the customer being king – and frankly, it’s wrong. If you make your team the most important thing in your business, your customers will feel that automatically, owing to the new levels of expertise, support and care they receive at the hands of a valued group of people.
Unfortunately for you, being a decision maker and empowering your team means you’re going to have to start taking a lot less credit when things go well – and potentially supporting them by absorbing the flak when things don’t go to plan – but that’s all part of being a leader and having a team that’ll help your business grow.
The joy of sitting down to watch a TV show you love is something pretty much everyone on the planet as in common. There’s such a variety of shows available that whatever your interests you are sure to find something to keep your interest and entertain you.
Whether you want to turn it into a social occasion where you watch with friends or talk about your favourite shows online or in person or prefer a more solitary watching experience TV is something anyone can enjoy however they want. But there is a downside to TV isn’t there? You have to be in front of a television to actually watch it, don’t you?
Well actually no you don’t! Nowadays watching TV has become much more versatile and flexible you can watch TV anytime and anywhere if you have the right tools at your disposal. This has got a little more complicated though because there’s actually a variety of ways to go about watching TV now and knowing which method is best for you isn’t always easy.
Everyone seems to be offering their own online streaming service or app, now don’t they? But which is best and offers the most content? Research is really the only way to find this out so don’t just rush out and subscribe to the first provider you see. But we can help guide you by taking a look at all the great ways you can watch TV anytime no matter where you are!
TV apps are sometimes confused with video on demand apps like Netflix or Amazon Video and while they are similar there are some differences. TV apps like Virgin TV Go for example don’t simply offer programs and movie boxsets they also offer you the ability to watch live television channels as well.
How many channels you get will depend on the provider and what service you opt for. Many providers offer more than one TV app with more expensive options offering extra-benefits. These apps work as you would expect, you simply download them to a tablet or smartphone and you then effectively have a mobile TV you can watch anywhere.
It seems like everyone these days is using a streaming service of some kind Netflix might be the most popular at the moment but there are plenty of alternatives. Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and many more are all competing and while these streaming services are a great way to watch TV anywhere across a range of different devices they usually only offer boxsets.
This means that you can’t watch TV channels only preselected programs, however with all the choice on offer this usually isn’t seen as a downside to many people. And some streaming services do offer the option to watch TV channels live.
Exclusivity is also a problem as not every streaming service is available around the world, the BBC iPlayer, for example, is a streaming service that allows you to watch past and present BBC shows. However, the BBC iPlayer isn’t available all around the world so if you like BBC programs but don’t live in the UK your chances of being able to use it are slim.
Streaming services work across mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and they are also usually compatible with over devices like games consoles and of course computers. So, although your options will be limited depending on where you live with the right streaming service you can watch a great array of TV no matter where you live.
VPN’s are something we really have to talk about because if you want to watch television anywhere in the world a VPN is going to be your new best friend! So, what is a VPN? A VPN is a virtual private network it is, in essence, a device that changes your computer’s location so if you live in America, for example, you can make it look like your computer is in the UK.
A slightly more complex explanation is that a VPN works by encrypting your device’s internet traffic and then it routes that data through a server of your choosing. Now if you’re wondering what the point of this is I’ll explain, effectively a VPN removes any restrictions on location.
Like we mentioned earlier online streaming services like the BBC iPlayer or the American service Hulu are restricted to certain locations, the UK and the USA respectively. With a VPN you can remove such blocks and then access these services which will give you a much great variety when it comes to watching TV no matter where you are. You can also check out this guide for watching BBC iplayer.
A VPN doesn’t just offer you the chance to access location restricted service either it gives you a way to access country-specific streaming services. For example, it’s widely considered that the American version of Netflix is superior to the UK’s version and with a VPN you can access the American version.
You will still have to pay to use the service (unless it’s a free online service like the BBC iPlayer) but many people will find it a much better bargain and it will certainly give you a better array of options when it comes to watching TV.
Are VPN’s Legal?
Now while VPN’s certainly can work wonders you might be concerned about the legal side of things and that’s certainly understandable. They don’t side like the most legal devices in the world, do they?
However, VPN’s are actually legal in the majority of countries however in the following countries using a VPN is classed as an illegal activity China, Iraq, Turkey, Belarus, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
However, other countries like Russian do have restrictions on VPN’s though and even if VPN’s are legal you must still not use them for illegal activity like fraud or hacking. Now some could argue that using a VPN to stream from a website you’re not normally able to access could be classed as an illegal activity but that is what the majority of VPN users use them for.
Whether you decide to use one or not it can’t be denied that they do give you plenty more options when it comes to watching TV anywhere in the world.
The prospect of buying or trading cryptocurrency is exciting.
Although the established currencies are approaching 10 years old, it still feels like an extremely exciting area of finance, a place where the grip of the governments and big financial establishments can’t quite reach.
But you can. You can quickly and simply buy and sell.
That said, if you do decide to trade in cryptocurrency, it’s important that you understand a few fundamentals and arm yourself with the best possible knowledge – so you’re fully informed to tackle this exciting new world of money.
We’ve pooled our collective cryptocurrency advice and recommend you read through, whether you’re just starting out – or you’re a seasoned buyer looking to refresh the basics…
Most crypto is still a work in progress
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and the development of the currency lead to the blockchain technology that underpins many of the more recent products entering the field. Even though Bitcoin is the industry benchmark – it’s still very new, around 9 years old – and as such, you need to understand that you’re going to be dealing with a new concept.
Virtually any product that’s only been on the market a short period of time will see developments, patches and adaptations as it encounters the real world – and Bitcoin is no exception. While Bitcoin has so far proved to be a solid currency (at least from a technical point of view) – that’s not to say that any other, less rigorously tested cryptocurrencies will be the same.
If you want to understand the pros and cons of any product prior to investing, you should either spend a lot of time applying your brain to understanding how it works – or seeking the advice of an expert in the field.
Make sure your wallet is safe and secure
It’s a somewhat patronising comparison to make – but we’re about to make it all the same:
You don’t let strangers go into your real-life wallet unattended – so you should make sure all the measures are in place to make sure they don’t do it with your cryptocurrency wallet.
The reason we make this comparison is because many people don’t take the appropriate steps to secure their Bitcoin wallets, instead, hoping for good luck or trusting in companies they have no relationship with. The right place to begin your security checks is by making sure you’ve read some reviews of the site or product you’re looking at using – like this one covering some Coinbase alternatives.
When you’ve got a feel for the company you’re going to use, you need to choose the appropriate wallet for your plans. For example:
If you’re planning on investing £25,000 and sitting on your investment for some time – seeking a high security ‘cold’ storage wallet is going to be the route to take. Alternatively, if you plan to buy a few quid’s worth of Bitcoin, Ethereum or another crypto – you probably don’t need the hassle and complexity that comes with expensive cold storage devices that make your coin hard to spend again.
Use a wallet that’s designed for your cryptocurrency intention.
Cryptocurrency price is volatile
November 2017 saw Bitcoin’s price pass the $10,000 mark for the first time since its release – and while that’s seriously good news if you bought a few years ago – or even at the beginning of 2017 – it signifies one thing to the financial markets:
Bitcoin has crashed prior to now – and some people say it will do so again.
If you’re looking at Bitcoin as an investment – you need to understand that no matter how exciting, it’s still considered to be high risk. If you can’t afford to lose the money you’re looking at putting into your chosen cryptocurrency, don’t invest.
All that said, if you had invested around £80 in Bitcoin in 2011, you’d be sitting on around 350 Bitcoins now – which would be worth around £2.8 million as they cracked that $10,000 level in 2017… High risk can sometimes equal a very high reward.
Understand the limit of your rights
Now, the fact that Bitcoin and other cryprotcurrencies work on a decentralised ledger means two significant things:
- They’re free from the constraints of government or large financial organisations
- You don’t receive any of the protection you’d get from government or large financial organisations.
So, you take the rough with the smooth – depending on your stance on the world economic situation!
In very real terms, it does mean that Bitcoin transactions are final – and any undoing of a payment would rely on the vendor sending you the same amount of Bitcoin back – no refunds – and not much chance of getting money back if the person isn’t as they seem. The message is this – be careful who you deal with when Bitcoin or other crypto is your choice of payment.
Most cryptocurrency isn’t anonymous
Most people understand Bitcoin to be anonymous – and media outlets will often tell you that it’s the currency of choice for international drug dealers and those looking to employ the services of assassins and hitmen.
Sorry to pop the exciting bubble – it’s not any of those things.
Cash remains the currency of choice for the criminal underworld – as Bitcoin can fall under the same level of scrutiny as any other financial system, i.e. a warrant or subpoena will mean the trail can be examined very carefully.
In fact, for every small criminal transaction that might take place with Bitcoin, there’s another huge number that the blockchain infrastructure probably thwarts – given that it cannot be corrupted or controlled.
The top and the bottom of the issue is this – if you’re looking for a currency that ensures anonymity (and there are plenty of legitimate reasons why you might) – do a lot of research and consider using services that remove your personal details from the transaction. But remember, our second point was about wallet security – and under no circumstances should you let that slip, not least if you’re trying to work with anyone who promises anything cloak and dagger…
When looking at marketing options, search engine optimisation can seem confusing, especially if we’re new to the world of SEO. However, the more time you invest, the sooner it all starts to make sense, and this is where businesses soon discover how SEO can help businesses.
There are many benefits associated with SEO, which is why more and more businesses are employing in-house professionals, or outsourcing their work to third-party professionals. Those looking to take advantage of what SEO can expect the following benefits.
Improves the Search Engine Ranking of the Business
While this is an obvious benefit, it’s one that’s worth reinforcing. SEO needs to be carried out in the right way, so any shortcuts or attempts to manipulate the system will often lead to your site becoming penalised. However, using ethical SEO practices ensures that you are offering online users a platform that is informative and trustworthy, meaning that your search engine rank improves as a result. This means more and more online users become familiar with your brand when entering certain keywords into a search engine.
Understand Your Customers’ Needs
The art of SEO means a lot of research needs to be carried out, but it’s not only your search engine ranking that can benefit from SEO. Keyword research means seeking out phrases that are used to search for content online. For example, if a user was to search for an answer to a specific computer problem, and you run a business that offers computer repair, then you could craft content that appeals to appeals to users looking for a solution. In some instances, the process can be more complex, but it does give you an idea of how offering valuable content can help a potential customer, meaning that they’re more likely to make a purchase or use your service.
It’s not unusual for a business to look at several avenues when it comes to marketing their business or brand, but some can be more expensive than others. A fully-developed business may have no issue when it comes to an advertising budget, whereas smaller businesses and start-ups may have a limited budget.
The great thing about SEO is that it can be adapted, depending on your budget, and this is ideal for a business. A new business can start their SEO efforts straight away, and build on the over time. If you have an established website that you’re looking to optimise, then you can have an expert look at it, and determine how much work you need to be carried out. Many SEO professionals understand that no two businesses are ever the same, and will work closely with you to ensure the right methods are being used, while working within your budget.
How many times have you paid for an advertisement only for it to be ineffective. While adverts in magazines and newspapers have a place in the world of marketing, it’s important that we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.
SEO is not only cost-effective, but it’s also a great way of maintaining a robust online presence. Those who focus their efforts on organic SEO effects are effectively planting a seed from which a multi-branched tree will grow, promoting your existence in several online spaces.
However, to achieve this, it’s important that we’re able to stay on top of any SEO endeavours. If you find you’re struggling when trying to meet the demands that SEO can throw up, then it could be worthwhile speaking to a professional.
SEO Builds Online Credibility
Back when the rules were a little more flexible in relation to SEO, it wasn’t unusual to see a thrown together website that made use of black-hat techniques that would often disappear as soon as it arrived. However, in a bid to make search engines a valuable tool, search engine providers such as Google implemented several changes to their algorithm to ensure that many conditions had to be met to achieve online dominance. This means that website content must be relevant and informative, as well as in receipt of some positive business reviews.
As more reviews are left and more content is share, your online popularity will begin to grow. You can also learn a lot more from your research efforts.
Create More Relevant Advertising
When carrying out SEO, the research doesn’t stop once your strategy in place, as there’s still a lot of information to yield. While you may need to make use of a content management system, the use of analytics can help understand the purchasing habits of different customers, as well as how much time is being spent on your website. Using this information allows a business to create more tailored marketing that looks to persuade those sitting on the fence, as well as creating content that has viewers hooked.
Break into New Markets
Regardless of whether you’re looking to be recognised around the world or just in your local area, there’s no denying how beneficial SEO is when it comes to acquiring new customers. The use of keyword research not only allows for you to search what terms are being searched for, but you can also break this information down into different funnels to determine what terms are being searched for within your chosen demographic.
Although there are free tools available online, to get the best from keyword research, you may need to make a small investment. If you’re using the services of an SEO professional, then keyword research will often be used unless they have been instructed otherwise. However, it can be worthwhile asking for a breakdown of what work will be carried out, so you have an accurate record of what strategies have been implemented.
The more SEO processes develop, the more they can offer. All a business must do is implement a strategy, or used a professional to ensure that the business is getting noticed by the right people online.
Last year, the Independent surrendered to the weight of its ever-shrinking print readership and turned off the printers for good, trusting the future of the publication with its online audience.
In the past, newspapers were known to hold companies and indeed governments to account. Today, their numbers are vastly depleted. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over half of the jobs within the news industry have disappeared in the last 15 years.
There’s been a steady decline of 2% for print newspapers for a rather long time, so what has changed? What has caused the breakneck speed of print publications losing their readers? What one thing has grown so exponentially in the past 15 years to become an intrinsic part of everyone’s life? It’s the internet, and online subscriptions such as https://proefabonnementkrant.com/telegraaf/of course.
Where’s the evidence?
The effects of the internet on printed publications can be further seen when we look to other pieces of evidence. You see, it isn’t just the rich world newspapers that have suffered the change. Across the western world, newspapers and magazines alike have felt the shift towards online media.
Celebrity gossip mags like Hello and Closer have seen their readership fall and fall, while music reviewing mag NME has also suffered the changing winds. Meanwhile, in the developing world, where a steady internet connection is more a luxury than an expected right, the newspaper still reigns supreme over digital news. In fact, readership figures for print publications in India are booming.
The Effects of Advertising
Most revenue generated by a magazine comes from its advertising. This is especially true for the free dailies, who rely solely on advertising revenues to finance their business.
For the publishers, this only doubles the pressure. They no longer have to focus on holding onto their readership for dear life, they’ve also got to worry about financing their efforts.
But the advertisers are too busy chasing readers out to the door. According to the Pew Research Center, this is an inevitable truth for the news industry. In 2005, advertising revenues generated by printed papers in the US topped $50bn.
Ten years later, figures had fallen to $20bn. In contrast, the revenues created from newspaper websites grew from $2bn to $3.5bn. It’s a sharp decrease for print and a small victory for the web, but the numbers are indeed there.
So why have advertisers chosen to throw in their lot with digital media? The first reason that springs to mind is consumer matching. For an advertiser, the internet is bursting with information about customers.
That’s because everything we do on the internet is recorded. Google will kindly track your browser history for you, recording the sites that you’ve visited, how often you’ve done so and how long you’ve spent on each site per session.
Creating user profiles on news websites (and indeed other sites) provides data about your age, your location and perhaps your interests. Advertisers are then able to collate all of this data to find out:
- The demographics of the people who normally purchase their products.
- Where to find more of these people so they can be tempted to buy their products.
Web users have become so accustomed to this personalised form of advertising that it’s almost expected. For an advertiser, this is the holy grail. They no longer need to place expensive adverts in newspapers and presume their efforts are making a difference. Now, sellers and buyers can be brought together, and every checkout completion can be traced.
What do the readers want?
Simply put, they want to the news and they want it now. The internet is full of real-time action. You can stream videos live, update people on your location and fight with strangers in 140 characters or less. With everything being so readily available at everyone’s fingertips, it stands to reason that the news should follow suit.
No longer are we waiting for days to find out about a sign being stolen for the village hall or that there was an accident on the motorway last week. Everything is available as it’s happening. In turn, this has led to an increase in journalism.
Well, sort of. Now, everyone with a keyboard can share the news. It causes a lot of slander and bias to leak into reporting, but newspapers are often associated with political parties or owned by conglomerates, so the bias is hardly something new.
Readers also want their news for free. Millennials in particular, it seems, have grown accustomed to having access to so much information, that they no longer deem the news worthy of being paid for. Some printed publications have cottoned onto this trend, and have changed their business model to centre around the free dailies.
These have remained popular, with 22 million copies distributed worldwide and read by 45 million people every day. However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for these print papers, with a string of lawsuits filed against them in Europe. Covering everything from littering concerns to the right for the Metro to be distributed through public transport, the attack on print is ceaseless.
What is the future of news reporting?
Although print newspapers are on the decline, it is hard to imagine that they will disappear completely. Some believe it’s simply impossible, with the likes of John S. Carroll, former editor of the Los Angeles Times reporting “Newspapers are doing the reporting. George and Yahoo! Aren’t those people putting reporters on the street in any number.
Blogs can’t afford it.” Simply put, the decline in newspapers means a decline in reliable and researched news. Although newspapers may suffer from a dwindling readership, it is other mediums of news reporting that rely on these companies for their facts and figures. So how do we finance the people putting in the hard graft? “It is the fundamental problem facing the industry” says newspaper analyst, Moreton. Hopefully we will have an answer soon.
Starting a new business or entering a new industry can create many issues that perhaps were not thought of initially. Most new businesses will begin with a business plan that they believe possesses the Midas touch and see profits instantly soar through the roof.
As any industry veterans know, the business plan gets thrown out the window and it’s often a game of calculated trial and error on the steps you take to success. Today we are going to take a deeper look into the online gambling industry and look into a market that is often greeted by authorities as being an unwelcomed necessity, an advocate of addiction, and by the public, a general misunderstood area.
For operators, the online gambling scene is a competition for web traffic and players and this is a merry dance that can be won through a number of different ‘proven’ strategies. Some of the main marketing methods of the industry are embedded in a finely tuned SEO strategy, pay-per-click advertising and the use of affiliate marketing.
To gain a greater insight into the industry and some of the pressures faced by an unknown name in the gambling world, we spoke to Scott Manford, CEO of Easy Slots “When we initially decided to start an online platform we were heavily invested in our SEO strategy being the main driving force for our web-traffic and marketing technique. That is still very much the case but we have needed to make necessary tweaks along the way.”
“At this moment in time we seemed to have found an SEO and marketing strategy that suits both our requirements and matches nicely with the ever-changing Google algorithms. In respect of this we have also engaged in methods such as pay-per-click advertising and affiliate marketing. I have a number of years’ experience working across both land-based and online casinos and wanted to take the next step and build a platform that brought together the best of both worlds.” Click here to view his website.
It’s perhaps only with time, experience and error that you can come across the correct ingredients that will aid your success. Outlined below are just a few of the ingredients that can be used and manipulated within the online gambling industry. It explains both some of their pros and cons and real life industry expectations of each.
Affiliate marketing is one way of externally generating customers and the resulting traffic to your platform. This operates as a branch effect where a business will have an army of affiliates who will each go out in search of drawing in new customers to the brand. What’s it in for you? You have more customers who are going to be depositing more money onto your site. What’s in it for them? Often the case with affiliate partnerships there’s always some sort of hybrid deal in place that is based on revenue share and something else. However affiliate customer generation can often be temperamental and the quality of the traffic is never guaranteed.
For anyone who didn’t know, the online gambling industry is met with fierce competition and the volatility of the first page rankings of google for popular keyword terms is often a situation that needs to be monitored constantly. Pay per click is a fast way to shortcut this and pay your way to the top which is a good method to use by the big names in the industry.
Search Engine Optimisation is often something that many people overlook because they see it as an intangible expenditure. However, SEO is vital to success in the online gambling industry. Where the first two methods could be argued to be short-term stop gaps for success, SEO can create a lot more stabilised and considered method of marketing. It allows you to create an understanding of your place in the market through intense keyword analysis and research.
While all three of these marketing strategies have proven to be successful in securing some first-class rankings in the gambling industry they are not exhaustive. To succeed in the gambling industry and the specific niches that exist within it careful consideration must be placed into the keywords you want to rank for and the quality of traffic you want to drive to your site. With Google algorithms constantly changing the market is just as volatile as the 5 reel slot games that exist within the platforms that house them.
Setting up a business for yourself has never been easier. This is all thanks to the internet and the introduction of ecommerce and online stores. Some people use it as a way to make sure extra money on the side, along with their current employment. Others may decide that they want to put all their time and effort into running that one business.
No matter what path you are taking, one thing is for sure, you are going to need to set everything up ready to start selling. This may not be the easiest of things to do, particularly if you are not too tech aware, but there are some simple steps to follow in order to have your own online business.
Here to help, we have put together our very own guide to how to start your own online business, and in no time at all be selling and hopefully making some money too.
Figure out who you want your market to be
Before you can even start to set up your online business, you need to know who you are trying to target. What will your target market want? What do they need? How can you reach them? These are all questions that you are going to need to think about. The better that you know the market, then the more success that you will have when it comes to marketing your products or services.
Some budding entrepreneurs might worry that they are entering a crowded marketplace, but if there are plenty of other businesses all offering the same type of thing, then it is clearly a good market. All you need to remember is that you have to stand out.
Pick your domain name and register it
A domain name is a unique address, a space on the internet. Just like a patent or a trademark it is all yours. There are ae variety of online domain name registration companies where you can purchase your domain name of choice. You may even be lucky enough to find a company that will also help you with hosting packages. But it is important that you ensure that this is legitimate otherwise you may be left with a domain name that isn’t even yours!
But what name to go with? Some will choice their own name, if their online store will be personal to them. Others will have a domain name that will be reflective of what they can offer. These are often better than trying to think of something that sounds nice, but that gives no clue to what you can offer as a company.
Find somewhere to host your website
As we have already covered, some domain registration companies will offer free hosting, but there are also those that don’t. A hosting service will give you a rented space on their server, which will be to run your website. There are a variety of things to think about when choosing a hosting site for your store. You will need to think about storage capacity, whether you get a domain based email, is the server secure and how often do they have any downtime.
You will also want to make sure that you have access to customer support, as there are likely to be times when things go wrong and you are going to need help.
Start to design your online store
One of the things that those setting up an online store will be anxious about is designing their website. If you are feeling creative, or you have access to website building tools, you might want to do this yourself. However, if you are really not sure on where to start, or what will be best for your own vision for an online store, then it is a good idea to hire a website designer to help you, such as Think Zap who are some of the best web design agencies in Glasgow . They can advise you on the things to think about, the areas to focus on and what will make for the very best website.
Figure out how you will accept payments
People want to pay online, this is a simple fact. So, this means that you need to make sure that you have a method to accept online payments. There are a few different ways that you can accept payments and process transactions and the main thing to think about is that they are secure. PayPal has to be the most commonplace online payment option, and this is for good reason. It is easy to use, well recognized and a place that plenty of people trust.
Get yourself some traffic
Once your website is up and running, the time has come to think about how you are going to get people to visit it. After all, there is no point designing an amazing website if there is no-one to see it. You are going to need to think about how best to get traffic to your store and then hopefully buying from you.
It is a good idea to register with all the major search engines as a starting point, as at least this will get you on their radar. Next you need to think about things such as social media advertising, direct mailing and maybe setting up a blog to add in a touch of keyword rich content.
Keep an eye on how you are doing
One of the key factors to a successful online store is one that can be improved and change. You need to keep a track of how your online store is performing. Things to consider include, what are the most popular pages? Where is your traffic coming from? What are the most popular keywords? This information is going to prove vital for the continual success of your online store as well as how you can improve your conversions and draw in more and more customers.
Setting up an online store might not be something that comes naturally to you, but it is definitely something that you should persevere with. After all that hard work and effort, to make your first sale and send out your first order, there really is no better feeling than that!
Infographic by: www.asianentrepreneur.com
Apple is always leading innovation and they’ve certainly transformed their image in the last decade. What was once seen as a second-rate Microsoft and a struggling hardware and software company is now arguably the trendiest tech company around.
Apple might be getting headlines now because of their new iPhone models but the iPhone 8 and X aren’t the only impressive new offerings from Apple. Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California have been in development for a long time but they finally opened earlier this year and they hosted their first event just a few days ago.
Originally known as the Apple Campus 2 plans for development started in 2006 but due to a number of setbacks and development issues planning permission wasn’t granted to 2013. The former CEO of Apple Steve Jobs worked on the project a lot before his death and an auditorium was named after him on the new site as a memorial.
With an estimated total cost of 5 billion dollars, the new Apple Park, which is made up of various stone and metal buildings is one of the largest tech offices in the world. It covers 175 acres and can accommodate more than 12,000 people. With numerous amazing features to talk about let’s start by taking a more detailed look at the building’s amazing design.
The Spaceship Campus
The Apple Park has been dubbed a range of different names over its development but one that as stuck is the Spaceship Campus. The new Apple HQ as a rather quirky circular design that from a distance makes it look like a landing flying saucer.
The designs and plans for the new Apple Park certainly stick true to Apple’s innovative and space-aged approach to design. But it’s not all sleek styles and shapes, the Apple Park is run on 100% renewable energy and as the world’s largest solar-powered farm as well.
There are also large outdoor areas that were designed to reflect Steve Job’s love for walking and nature. There are over 9000 trees of many different types and both an inner and outer courtyard, which together cover more than 50 acres.
The Apple Park is certainly futuristic but it has plenty of natural touches as well, it’s an interesting blend of ultra-modern and traditional. One thing’s for sure the Apple Park would certainly be an amazing place to work.
It’s one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world, the roof’s solar panel system alone can power 17 megawatts of power.
The environmentally friendly approach Apple have taken to their new HQ building certainly shows the growing importance green energy and environmental safety as. But while the Apple Park is certainly an amazing blend of the old and the new what everyone is really wondering is what’s inside the building. So, let’s find out, shall we?
Inside The Apple Park
The Apple Park is certainly an impressive sight to behold to give you an idea of its size it’s larger than the Pentagon and bigger lengthwise than the Empire State Building. So, there’s a lot of space inside The Apple Park and the question remains what’s inside? Tech companies have an amazing reputation when it comes to offices design so how does Apple measure up?
The full details on the interior of the Apple Park are not all known yet, after all, it only held its first event a few days ago on the 12th September. But from what we do know about there are certainly some amazing rooms inside.
But before we talk about those one thing that is undeniably cool about the Apple Park is its transportation network. A subterranean bus station is in operation which transports people to the main hub of the park, that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
Inside the Apple Park, there’s plenty to see there are reportedly seven different cafes with the biggest being three stories high and with a seating capacity of 3000. The Steve Job’s auditorium is another landmark which is actually underground and can fit 1000 people.
If you want to get a look at the interior of the auditorium you can see it during the press release event for the new iPhone models. There is also a Wellness Centre with a gym, laundry service, shower facilities, changing rooms and much more.
Other highlights include jogging trails and bike paths so there’s plenty of ways to stay fit and green while traversing the park. Apple has even provided 1000 bikes for staff to use and perhaps the best feature for anyone reading is the Visitors Centre. So, you don’t have to be an employee of Apple to see the Apple Park, well some of it anyway.
The Visitors Centre alone reportedly cost $80 million to build and features a café, information centre, Apple Store and an observation deck that will give you a view of the whole Apple Park. So, if you want to get a taste of the Apple Park head down to the Visitors Centre.
When it comes to making a splash in the world of business, many will look towards creating a website. It’s easy to assume that we only need to make sure that it’s eye-catching and easy to navigate, but there can be a series of factor to consider such as hosting!
Companies such as Siteground, who for me are ranked the best web host offer various plans for business of all sizes, however, there are also plenty alternatives which also offer free hosting, but sometimes free that isn’t the best option, especially for your business where you website is a critical tool!
Running a website will often require access to a server. This is because of the number of files that need to be held to operate a website. How much you pay can depend on the kind of service you’re looking for.
Those who are new to the world of business may be tempted by some of the free hosting options available, but is this advisable?
Free Web Hosting is Ideal If You’re Starting Out
Whether you are creating a long term business or you’re looking to make money online fast, there are a series of tools available nowadays that allow businesses to create an eye-catching website with very little effort, so all that’s required is some hosting space. If you’re new to the world of creating websites, then using a free hosting account can make for the ideal stomping ground when learning how websites work.
What’s The Long-Term Goal of Your Business?
To ascertain as to whether free web hosting is for you, you need to consider what you want from your business. While free hosting may seem like a viable option initially, there are many factors to consider. For example, how many people will be visiting the website on a daily basis? Free hosting plans normally have limited bandwidth, so going beyond this could mean that some visitors are faced with a blank screen.
Being aware of the long-term goals allows you to get the right kind of web hosting solution in place first time. In some instances, free hosting may work for you. However, if you’re looking at a busy website, you should look towards paid options.
Just because you may have to pay for your hosting solution doesn’t mean that you will spending a lot. Most providers offer a vast selection of plans that meet both the demands of your business as well as your budget.
Support Is One Of the Most Important Factors
While companies that offer free hosting plans will offer some form of support, it’s often the case that you could be waiting a couple of days for a response. To some, this may not seem like too long a wait, but you have to put it into context.
Even if your website only has 100 visitors a day, this is 200 visitors who are not able to browse your website, which in turn means they haven’t been able to purchase your product or service. This highlights that although the web hosting is free, it’s cost us more in loss of sales.
Your Business Website Could be Displaying Other Ads
While there is nothing wrong with placing ads on your website, it helps if they have some relevance to the market you operate in. While not true for all providers, there will be some who place adverts on your website because the hosting is free. The business is simply making its money back with advertising, but this isn’t going to appease customers who may feel such ads are distracting.
Opting for a paid hosting solution ensures that you have full freedom of your website, and that there are never intrusive ads distracting visitors.
There Can Be Domain Name Limitations
The domain name is one of the most important aspects of a website. For a business to thrive online, it should look to have the same domain name as the company, that can be advertised clearly.
Depending on the platform you choose, you may find that the domains on offer are weak, and don’t conform to the identity of your company.
Opting for paid hosting not only introduces you to a robust and reliable platform to host your website, but some also offer a domain search tool, and you can normally register the domain for a small fee.
While this will cost more, it will give the website and the brand more value moving forward. People are more likely to click on an independent domain as opposed to one connected to a hosting company.
Paid Hosting Means Less Hassle Moving Forward
Many people will look toward free hosting as they feel their website won’t use much data, and in some respects, this is true. However, when dealing with a business website, it’s vital that we look at the bigger picture.
For example, those starting a business will probably have plans for expansion in the future. This can mean more visitors to the website, as well as the website getting bigger. If you’re currently on a free hosting plan, then you may find you need to upgrade to meet the online demands of your website, but this could end up costing you more than it should if you’re choosing to stick with a certain provider.
Looking at your options beforehand allows you to plan for the short-term, while ensuring there are cost-effective options available should you look to expand in the future. This means that you only have to update the hosting, and not look to transfer your website over to another server.
While there is no issue in using free hosting, you need to look at what options are available before signing up. If the company is merely looking to offer you a trial run, and offer some competitive prices, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try it out. However, if you feel that the paid options offered by the company are a little excessive, it could be more cost-effective to shop around and opt for something more within your price range.
There are many of us who can be dissuaded from starting a business, simply because they believe that huge outlay of capital is needed. However, there are many ways in which we can fund and grow a business, and this doesn’t always mean taking out expensive business loans.
Why Use a Personal Loan?
If you’re the owner of a large empire, then it makes sense that a business loan will be required. A business that has managed to sustain an untarnished reputation and a healthy profit will normally have access to a range of funding options at some competitive rates, you can apply easily on this website.
However, those who are yet to open their doors to customers may find that although there are business loans available, they can be difficult to obtain, or expensive if a loan is approved.
This can be due to the fact that a business that is yet to have a record of its dealings is open to more prodding, purely due to the risk being taken by the lender.
Business loans allow those with a business to borrow a large sum of money upfront, but this can be ill-advised sometimes.
Consider this, you have just invested a large sum of cash into renting two properties for an annual term in order to sell your wares. However, your items aren’t gaining much traction, or it becomes clear that the premises aren’t as situated as we first thought. This can mean that the business can be over before it’s hand chance to shine.
However, breaking down your business model into more manageable chunks allows us to make plans that don’t require as much expenditure. An example of this can be a trial run with a specific product. If you don’t invest as much it’s easier to recoup from, which means that the worst-case scenario is that you break even.
A personal loan may give you less than a business loan would, but it can be much cheaper during the startup process. It also allows you to break down your business into smaller projects, which means that more focus is being invested into each aspect of the business.
How a Personal Loan Helps with Marketing
Let’s make no bones about it, there are plenty of companies out there who will state that give you unbelievable results when it comes to marketing, but these can come with a high price point. If we were given access to a business loan at the start of our business journey, it would be easy to assume that such costs are a representation of the market as a whole.
Having less to work with means that we’re making the necessary enquiries as to how well a marketing company can serve us. This doesn’t necessarily mean the service will be cheaper as a whole, but it does mean that we’re making the right moves for a successful marketing campaign.
Even if the company did transpire to be uninspiring, you could at least be assured that you haven’t overspent and there are still other avenues available.
There is Less Risk Associated With a Personal Loan
When looking at business loans, it will often be the case that if you’re still to start trading, then you’re in for a difficult ride. There is nothing underhand here, but your business is treated as a separate entity. The best way to look at this is by assessing your own financial situation.
If you had not taken any credit out in any form, your credit report would effectively be a blank page. This means that lenders could see you as a potential risk, simply because there is nothing to build a profile on. This means that although credit could be offered, it may be more expensive than those with a more solid credit history.
The same ethos is applied to a business loan. If a business is yet to trade, then it can be difficult to ascertain its reputation, which means finance can be more costly. It can also mean that you may have to use assets as collateral.
However, as it’s more likely that you will have built up a personal credit history, then access to credit is much easier. Many personal loans for smaller amounts will be unsecured, so you don’t have the worry of your assets being at risk looming over you.
Using a Personal Loan in the Right Way
While there are many pros in taking out a personal loan in relation to your startup, you still need to ensure that you’re in a position to repay the debt. With this in mind, you should look to ensure that you are fully aware of any interest rates, how long the loan will run for and that you’ve applied for the right amount.
Working out your finances beforehand means that you can plan for any shortfalls, without placing yourself in financial hardship.
It’s important that we apply for the right amount first time, as making a series of loan applications can be seen as over borrowing, which will raise red flags with some lenders. Should you need more capital moving forward, then it can wise to treat each investment as a project. So rather than applying for everything you need in one swoop, you should break down the business model into separate projects, and look to build it up in this manner.
Of course, there will come a time when further expansion will require a business loan, but there’s very little reason to opt for loans that are just too much for a startup to contend with, when you can carry out a little research and build your company in a more productive manner.
Infographic by: www.napkinfinance.com