Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts

4 Tips to Boost Your Small Business Website in The Holiday Season


The holiday season provides an excellent opportunity for people to make sales and increase revenue. Customers are in the shopping mood and the average spending during this season is around $794 on gifts alone. The US retail industry generates around $3 trillion around this time.

If you want a piece of this pie, you need to make sure your website is optimized for it. Most of the holiday shoppers shop online or at least research online before they make a purchase in-store.

It is important to provide a great website experience to customers if you want to make sales. This article provides some tips on how to boost your small business website during the holiday season:


1. Amp up Website Performance


It isn’t uncommon for websites to become overwhelmed by the holiday rush. Many small business websites crash or experience similar problems during the holiday sale season. That’s why it is important to optimize your website as much as you can.

Don’t hesitate to splurge a little on this optimization as it can benefit you over a long time. Here are some factors you should look into:

Website Speed – Most visitors to your website will expect it to load in 3 to 4 seconds. According to Google, around 53% of your visitors will leave your website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Make sure your website is fast and every page loads quickly.

Mobile-Friendliness – More than half of the traffic comes from a mobile platform so it is important to make sure your website delivers a good mobile performance. Invest in a responsive website because it looks great on all devices, especially mobile. Mobile-friendliness is also a ranking factor.

Hosting Service – Low speeds and frequent website crashes are often caused by poor hosting service. Consider switching to a better hosting service and use a VPS instead of shared hosting for your website. That will ensure its performance remains smooth.

Website Structure – Make sure your website has great structure and is easy to navigate. Poor website structure doesn’t just affect user experience, but also your ranking.

Product Pages – All product pages should be optimized before sales or holiday season. Make sure you provide the most up-to-date content to your audiences. Add good-quality product images and rewrite product descriptions if you need to.

Checkout Process – Optimize the checkout process as much as you can. Remove any distraction that might disrupt the process to improve the conversion rates. 

The idea is to provide the smoothest user experience to your audience. A good website will help boost your reputation and will also help you rank higher on the search engine results pages.





2. Add a Holiday Theme to the Décor


When you post-holiday content, declare holiday sales, and provide related discounts, you create expectations. When your prospective customers some to a plain, regular website after following a Christmas ad, you defy that expectation and disrupt the shopping experience.

It is important to incorporate a holiday theme to your website during this season. It has an impact on your customer’s behavior and helps create a unique atmosphere. This is similar to decorating your brick and mortar store during the holidays.

Fortunately, the process isn’t difficult or expensive. You can just add a few holiday banners and festive décor to bring the spirit to your site. You can also include some holiday-related pictures to add the festive cheer to your site. In addition to optimizing your website, you can also add a holiday theme to your logo or add a snow-effect animation to the page.

You can easily find free templates, banners, animated banners, graphics, and other such decorative additions online.


3. Plan Holiday Content Well in Advance

Image Source - phillipllewellyn.com

Holiday content will help you become more visible on search engines. You can incorporate holiday-specific keywords into the content and start crawling up the ranks. It is a good idea to plan holiday content in advance because it takes some time to become visible on the first page of SERPs.

Content planning and execution don't require too much time and effort. You can make the content in advance and schedule it to become available to everyone during the holiday season. Here are some tips that can help:

~ Create some articles and blog posts that will help your prospective customers with their holiday shopping.

~ Research holiday keywords carefully to make sure you include the most effective ones in your content.

~ Utilize the power of User Generated Content by creating contests or reposting content by users that feature your brand.

~ Invest in different types of formats like infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. A great content strategy should always include different formats. They offer much better returns than regular content. For example, the video provides 66% more leads to marketers who use it.

When you have a good content marketing strategy in place, you can focus on other aspects of your business and let the existing campaign work its magic.


4. Start a Retargeting Campaign

The best way to run a successful ad campaign is to target people who already know you. Retargeting provides much better results compared to regular paid ads. These ads are shown to people who have already visited your website or have bought things from you in the past.

A good retargeting campaign will remind prospective customers or your presence. It will encourage them to visit your website again. Such campaigns benefit from special discount offers and sale announcements.

Customers will be tempted if a familiar brand offers a great discount. It is easy to set up this advertising strategy as all you need to do is add a retargeting pixel to your website. That will track visitors and help with the targeting process.

These tips can help you improve customer experience and become more visible. It is a good idea to implement some of these changes a few months before the holiday season is set to begin.

For example, you can optimize your website during the summer and plan for content before winter sets in. Advance planning will give you an edge over your competitors.

Author Bio: Derek Luise is working as a Jr. content writer and blogger with Ethane Technologies. He can be seen blogging about digital marketing, web design, SEO, SMO, PPC, etc.

5 Different Ways How to Improve Employee Engagement?


Since having an effective business is each business' fantasy, organizations accentuate worker commitment. With a draw in staff of representatives, you bring down your danger of turnover, help consumer loyalty, and increment your organization's general possibility of accomplishment. Discover how you get highly employee engagement listed below.

Employee engagement is the dimension of duty, energy, and unwaveringness a specialist has toward their work and friends. The more connected with a worker is the more work they will advance.

Picture two representatives: One comes into work 10 minutes early every day, is eager to be there, and continually thinks of and shares thoughts for enhancing activities. The other employee engagement is the opportunity to chip away at a time each day.

1.      Try not to Skip preparing

In the event that a worker does not have an idea about their obligations, they will not lock in. Rather, they will be confounded, baffled, and raced to make up for lost time, which prompts withdrawal.

Specialists who are anxious to meet their objectives are connecting with the organization. Onboarding and preparing new contracts are probably the most vital advances you can take to guarantee representatives are drawn in at work. One SHRM study detailed that 33% of new contracts left their occupations after just a half year.


2.      Establish your goals

To maintain a fruitful business, you require a marketable strategy with a rundown of objectives you need to achieve. To connect with workers, you have to include them in achieving business objectives.

You should set yearly, semi-yearly, quarterly, and month-to-month objectives so representatives have something to move in the direction of, achieving objectives is something that supports worker commitment.

3.      Recognize Employees

Representatives do not naturally progress toward becoming connected with when you give them more acclaim, much appreciated, or some other sort of affirmation. Nevertheless, workers can rapidly progress toward becoming withdrawn whether they have an inclination that they are undetectable.

Drawn in representatives have a feeling of solace capacity and goodwill with your business. Once more, it is essential for representatives to know their collaborators and create kinships with them. In any case, it is additionally critical to building up a relationship of regard and fellowship between boss and worker.


4.      Concentrate on employee development

There are numerous reasons work searchers apply for and acknowledge a position, similar to pay and advantages. Nevertheless, numerous specialists additionally need the chance to develop their vocation. One Gallup survey found that 87% of millennial (and 69% of non-millennial) see improvement as essential in their occupations.

Representatives need to build up their aptitudes and keep testing themselves. They would prefer not to do dull errands that require negligible exertion. Drawn in representatives continually utilize their brain and improve their abilities.

5.      Micromanage


Workers cannot connect within the event that they do not have opportunity in how to carry out their employment.  Micromanaging can be harming to your business. One business found that micromanaging brought about 68% of workers saying their spirit was a hose and 55% saying it prompted a decline in profitability. Lost spirit and efficiency prompts effectively withdrawn laborers.


5 Possible Consequences of a Data Breach

Image Source: Pixabay

Whatever your chosen industry, a data breach could have serious consequences, and this is something that every business owner should understand. There is confidential customer data which must always be protected and should your marketing strategies get into the wrong hands, this could seriously impede your progress. If you are a business owner, here are just a few of the potential consequences of a data breach.

1. Hacked Customer Information – 

Imagine what would happen if all of your customer details were hacked by someone? If this includes their financial records, there is a risk of serious fraud and as your company is responsible, this might lead to you having to face a lawsuit. Cybercriminals employ state of the art software that can hack into an unprotected database, yet by using cyber and network security services based in Sydney or wherever your business is located, you can ensure that all your confidential client data is protected at all times.

2. Loss of Trade Secrets – 

If your company invests a lot of time and money in research and development, those results are very valuable and should they fall into the wrong hands, this could seriously damage your company’s future. Every company that is at the cutting edge of design and manufacture is at risk of having their trade secrets hacked and most would employ a security consultant to ensure that this valuable data is protected from cyber-attack. There is some more detailed information about the potential consequences of a data breach, which highlights the reasons for employing security.


Image Source: Unsplash


3. Malicious Virus Attack – 

Not all unauthorized data hacks have the desired outcome – some are designed to simply destroy both hardware and the data it contains. If you were to be the victim of such an attack and did not have a backup of your data, you could lose everything. New viruses are released almost on a daily basis and without adequate protection, you are wide open to this sort of attack.

4. Going Offline – 

If your company website was hacked, you would have to take it offline, at least until the problem is resolved. This could easily lead to a loss in brand confidence, not to mention the risk of losing your customers to a competitor who has better online security. No business wants to experience an offline website and by taking adequate security precautions, your website is protected against any malicious attempts to breach it.

5. Losing Customer Confidence – 

Any organization that is the victim of hacking runs the risk of losing many customers, as people will not feel secure when doing business with a firm that does not protect their online data. This could have potentially disastrous consequences and for that reason, you really must enlist the help of a data protection company.

Image Source: Storyblocks

The mysterious world of digital networks carries many risks of data breach, which is why you should ensure that your data is fully protected. If you would like to talk to a security expert, all it takes is an online search to take the first step towards total data protection, which is essential for any online business.

E-Commerce Landing Page Hacks that should be Implemented Now

landing page hacks

Online advertisers are about transformations. It is the thing that keeps them in their employment, in this manner, any approach to build transformations is imperative. There is no better route for an online business to build permeability and change than utilizing the highlights of a web-based business presentation page format.

What is a Landing Page?

It is a site page that remains solitary far from the primary site and whose reason for existing is to promote or advertise some item or administration. It is utilized to get subtle elements of guests, for example, their email address in return of something that they may need or like. The presentation page may likewise elevate prompt deals to the guests relying upon what you offer them.

At the point when a searcher taps on an online advert or query output, they are conveyed to the landing page where they can leave their subtle elements and access the offer made to them. The points of interest gathered are leads for potential customers. You can utilize the data to showcase items later on and perhaps get deals.

12 of the Best ITSM Tools for 2019

best itsm tools

Every organization has to manage its information and data in an appropriate manner in order to conduct their operations and also to serve their customers efficiently.

In the case of providers of information technology services, this is all the more important and hence, those companies that offer these services aim to use the right ITSM tools that are otherwise known as the Internet Technology Service Management tools. With the help of these tools, these providers can easily carry out their activities that include designing, planning, delivering, and controlling their services. 

In short, these tools are useful for them in all their operations. Most importantly, companies that offer IT services can satisfy their customers perfectly with the help of these tools. 

Though there are a number of ITSM tools available, you, as the owner of an IT service providing company, should opt only for an appropriate software that suits your business. Let us have a look at some of the best IT Service Management tools of 2018-19.

1. Samanage


Thanks to its full compliance with the most recent framework pertaining to IT service management, Samanage offers robust support even to large providers of IT management services. Further, the tool has all the required features that can fulfill every need of providers of IT services. That is the reason it stands out among a plethora of available software. 

Customers who wish to use their self-service will also find its e-mail-integrated portal very much useful because they can get their issues resolved without the help of the customer service representatives. Providers who have opted to use this tool can use its IT asset management platform for controlling and managing all their company assets. The most impressive feature of this customizable and scalable tool is its mobile access that helps users opt for doing work remotely.

5 Ways Your Small Business Can Impress First-Time Customers

customer satisfaction

Impressing the first-time customers is perhaps the most challenging task for a business. While satisfying the retainer customers is absolutely important, engaging with first-time customers is crucial for the success of any business. These customers can bring in new customers as they share the positive experience with you. 

In the competitive market today, nothing works well like a verified feedback. Customers are deeply influenced by what fellow customers have to say. Hence, every customer is important for your business and first-time customers should be treated the best. Helping customers to solve their issues is pivotal for your growth because these customers will either be satisfied with your customer support or will move on to your competitor.

Be Prepared to Answer the Queries: 

Research shows that 70% of customer tend to switch brands primarily because of their dissatisfaction with the helpdesk. The volume of your business doesn’t matter to those who are willing to do business with you. What matters to them is your preparedness to answer all the questions. 

Perhaps you are well aware of the fact that flawless communication is the key to the success of your business. But you need to make sure that there are enough channels to get in touch with you in case of urgency. Most of the unsolved queries make their way to the social media where customers tend to share the negative experience. 

Just like prevention is better than cure, your ability to answer questions on time is better than having queries unaddressed. In order to answer questions, you will require to have information on your product, the USP, the brand promise, return policy, refund policy and so on.

Understand your Customers: 

Most of the small businesses fail because they don’t have a clear image of who is their target audience. In order to understand your customer, you should create a profile of your ideal customer. With a comprehensive understanding of your customers, you can start developing fruitful marketing methods. 

While developing the marketing methods, you need to define what is the reason because of which your customers will believe in your product or service. Once you have all of these sorted, you will have more clarification on your strategy. 

Perhaps the first step of attracting new customer is to develop a website that actually informs and educates the buyer instead of trying hard to sell them. In this era of new media, a sophisticated website helps you to establish your credibility which in turn makes the customer more confident about doing business with you.

Take Care of the Expectations: 

You can only expect your customers to buy from you when you meet their expectations. Every customer has his or her own expectation when they purchase a product or service from a brand. That expectation may be in terms of the quality of the product, experience with the customer service, ease of user interface and so on. 

Once you personalize your communication to meet the needs of your customers, you will be on the path to develop a long-term relationship. While large corporations might not be able to show their care for the customers very effectively, you can and this will differentiate you from others once you do. 

While purchasing the product, every customer is keen to be treated as valued. Therefore, your approach can make a difference. A simple discount or a coupon to be used in future can do the trick. But you should be able to portray that this is not a no-strings-attached relationship.

Staying in Touch with Customers: 

Staying in touch with customers is another important thing that you need to excel at. Your relationship begins when a customer enters into your shop or online website. Irrespective of whether the customer makes a transaction or not, you should never leave them. Get in touch with them after they make a purchase and be keen to know their feedback. 

Multinational companies usually send a birthday notification or email a newsletter every month. But you can personalize it by offering a discount, especially on his or her birthday. You can also ask them politely to review the service they availed or the product they purchased. 

This unravels the rejuvenating path for you to know the level of satisfaction of the customer as well as to invite other customers. You can also invite your customers for a sale or a conference that you are speaking at.

Thank Them: 

Many businesses forget to express their gratitude to the customers once they are done doing business with them. This is not the way you should adopt. While you can be creative in your way of saying ‘thank you’, you can take a simple route as well. 

However, a customary thanks don’t do much good. So it is wise to mean what you say. By resolving an existing issue that your customer is suffering from, you become a valuable resource for them. 

Thus you stay in their top of mind. All of these can help you to grow your business as you ensure customer satisfaction and hence get referred to other potential customers in the neighborhood. 

List of Top 5 Best CRM Tools for Small Businesses

Best CRM Softwares for Small Businesses

What is a CRM?

CRM is an abbreviation for Customer Relationship Management. It is a cohesive unit that collaborates with technology, tools, strategies to develop and improve the acquisition and retainment of customers. It is a software solution that can store prospects and customers, make calls, send emails, create reports, schedule meetings and add notes. 

CRM is the store-house of data for your sales team. The software ensures that every stage of interaction between the company and a customer sails smoothly. It nurtures and guides potential leads through your company's sales process. It converges information about your customer from several platforms and stores detailed information about them. From your customer's interest in their purchase history, personal information and behavioral patterns while making a purchase.

CRM software also ensures your company of maintaining relationships with your customers and encourages more business. It is a well know fact that repeat customers are much easier to sell to compared to a new customer, so recording information through this software can help you provide excellent service to your customers and deliver pleasurable experiences.

How does it work?

CRM systems are designed to keep track of customer information. The software records customer's interactions online and gathers intel when he/she contacts the company through the website, telephone, mail or social media.  

CRM allows your company to store all contact information and relationships with customers in one central location. CRM software is now gradually moving into the cloud. You can buy CRM software online on a subscription basis and customize it to your company's requirements. They are mainly web-based for desktops and laptops. There is new technology that optimizes the use of this software on mobile phones as an app on Android and IOS.

Exposure, increase in sales, larger customer base and more employees are the main focus for small businesses. There is a need for efficient organization skills and streamlined processes to accelerate growth. CRM software is an important tool for small businesses to flourish. It is mandatory that these small businesses select the best CRM software for their company and goals.

Here are the top five CRM software for small businesses, in the market today:

1. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM software is one that is on-demand. It features a multichannel to communicate with customers via e-mail, live chat, phone and social media.

Zoho is a CRM that offers new age features that include conversational AI and mobile CRM management. It provides its users with a website tracker, scoring leads, notification of successful sales and more. The Zoho CRM lets you access its software and obtain up to 10 users with no extra cost.

Zoho can be purchased at different price levels depending on your requirement. However, there is a free version where you can use Zoho's CRM mobile app anytime and anywhere.

2. Salesforce CRM

It is a cloud-based solution built with all that a CRM software possesses. Salesforce is a tool that helps small businesses grow. It has a platform of products and tools that small businesses can find affordable and useful. It is one of the most widely used CRM in the market. 

It offers a version called Lightning Essentials for small businesses. This edition provides an advanced contact manager with email integration and schedule-reminders as well as tools for integration and customizing.

The Salesforce platform is user-friendly and includes key features like lead generation, sales forecasting, workflow-automation and a lot more.

3. Insightly CRM

Insightly CRM is a solid customer relationship and lead tracking tool, that is aimed specifically at small businesses. It works directly with the company's email inbox and connects it to other apps and services like Xero, QuickBooks and MailChimp to provide you with a specialized look into your customer's communication and sales process. 

Insightly is a Lead Management software as it's interface is easy to use and it allows for customization and integration. It has all the required tools that small businesses need in a CRM and it is highly scalable as your company grows. it is one of the most affordable CRM solutions available in the market. There is a free version available to get you started off and paid plans are not too expensive.

4. Hubspot CRM

Hubspot's software contains all the tools that a startup/small business needs in a CRM. It offers a free version of its CRM software, which is popular among small businesses. 

It provides a variety of tools for companies to get a direct overview of their sales pipeline and features such as email notifications, in-app calling, assigning and tracking deals, managing data, etc that keep the sales process organized. Hubspot offers a pile of software products for users to pick and organize according to their company's objectives and needs.

5. Nimble.

It is a popular CRM software that is an insightful and simple customer relationship manager.  It associates contact management, social media, sales intelligence and marketing automation into an excellent CRM platform. 

This unique CRM provides insights into every platform. The interface is user-friendly and easy to use. Nimble CRM has a smart and quick way to monitor customers as well as engage and nurture them along the sales process.


Final Words
CRM software is clearly a powerful tool for small businesses. Getting to know your customers and understand their needs as well as the products they will find valuable or how you should communicate with them etc. are the ways in which a small business CRM system can help you.

6 of the Best Online Team Management Tools

Best Team Management Tools Remote

In the current era of information, everything is going digital. With tremendous advancements in the tech industry, now we can work through the internet without going to the office. Remote work is the latest and hottest trend in many industries. It brings a lot of benefits to the table, but there are a few downsides of it as well. But, you can neutralize those downsides with the help of right and effective tools.

One of the most challenging parts here is managing your work with your team members. If you’re already handling a team, you must be well aware of how complicated it gets while team management. You can make this job easier by using one of the best team management tools. To help you with this, we’re listing down 6 of such tools, so keep reading.

Top 6 Team Management Tools

There are tons of management tools out there, but only a few offer the best set of features. So, here’s a list of six best team management tools available in the market:

Slack:

Slack team management tool

One of the pioneers in the industry, Slack offers a wide range of features that fit perfectly to the needs of almost any team. This tool helps you improve the efficiency and productivity of your team. Some of the main features of this app are team chat, reminders, and advanced search filters. 

Apart from these features, you can also integrate several cloud solution such as Dropbox and Google Drive. You can also use tags to send messages either to individuals or the entire team. Furthermore, you can also use slackbots to automate several things.

Podio:

Podio

If you are looking for something that helps you communicate with your team and assign tasks to them, Podio is the way to go. You can automate many aspects of your workflow with this tool. It also offers you file sharing through encrypted gateways. 

Several important modules such as project budget tracking, sales pipelines, and many others can be automated with this app. It’s a perfect team collaboration tool for the teams who work on complicated processes.

ProWorkFlow: 

ProWorkFlow team collaboration app

For someone who’s looking for a team management tool that helps them check the progress through various platforms, ProWorkFlow could be the best bet. You can assign tasks to your team members with ease by using this tool. You can also easily access and check the progress of workload across your teams. 

This tool also makes it much easier for you in sharing files with your team members. Managing contacts is also very simple and easy with this tool. Finally, you can also manage invoices through this tool.

Zoho Workplace: 

Zoho Workplace

This team collaboration tool has a very clean interface, making it a user-friendly app. It offers a wide variety of features that help you manage your team in a much better way. Zoho Workplace lets you save all your work at one place. You can also upload your work through email and desktop as well. 

Furthermore, this tool offers you the ability to integrate many additional elements such as Finance, Recruit, CRM, and many others through Zoho bundles.

BITRIX24: 

Bitrix Software

If you’ve got a team that requires constant communication and workload sharing, BITRIX24 could offer a great set of features for you. This app provides you social intranet that is a better way for internal communication. 

Employee workload management will be much easier with this tool. Telephone integration and customer relationship management are some of the special features you get with this app.

Scoro: 

Scoro team planning tool

For someone who’s looking for a team collaboration tool that offers all the necessary features, Scoro is a great option. This tool lets you schedule work and meetings seamlessly. Project and task management can be done effortlessly. 

You can also share large files through this app. Billing and time tracking can be done effortlessly. Furthermore, you can also deal invoices with this app.

Final Verdict


Each and every one of the above-mentioned best team management tools had been thoroughly tested by us before getting featured here. If you’re leading a team, you should never neglect the team management aspect, as it directly affects the productivity of your team. 

Use any of these tools to enhance the efficiency of your team within no time. Further, if you are worried about the performance of your PC then we suggest you should use best PC cleaner software for instant & effective results. 

Lessons Learned From Working With A Virtual Receptionist

Image Source: Storyblocks

If you are not aware of virtual reception services, it might surprise you to learn that you can have all of your incoming business calls handled by a remotely located receptionist, and at a very attractive price. The service provider has many clients and can therefore offer their services at very competitive prices. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect to enjoy by forming an alliance with an established virtual receptionist provider.

Professional Call Answering - Imagine never having to worry if the phone is being answered? You, the customer, set the time the service starts and finishes, which could be round-the-clock, in the event you have a 24-hour customer support number. Hiring a virtual receptionist by Reception HQ is advisable, as you will be provided with a range of essential services that include telephone answering.

Message Taking Service - Most businesses rely heavily on messages being sent to relevant people and with a qualified receptionist who is remotely located, all messages will be instantly relayed to the respective people. This ensures that customer enquiries are dealt with in a timely manner and all important information reaches those who need to know. If you offer your customer round-the-clock support, this can be outsourced to the virtual receptionist, who will ensure that the relevant support teams are instantly notified in the event an emergency callout is required.

Call Forwarding – A busy entrepreneur such as yourself cannot sit in the office all day, waiting for an important call, yet by having all incoming calls instantly forwarded to your mobile number so that you, the owner, can keep abreast of what’s happening. The virtual receptionist can work according to specific instructions and can do anything that a directly employed person can, the only difference is that the virtual receptionist is located at the call centre, rather than in your office.

Seasonal Surges - If you are, for example, an online retailer of gifts, Christmas and New Year are your busy times, along with Halloween, Easter and other festive occasions, which requires extra staff to handle the influx of calls. The most cost-effective solution is to enlist the services of a call handling company and you can tailor the service to what suits you. You might only need help for a few days and with a flexible virtual receptionist partner, you can start or stop the service any time. Furthermore, there are no binding contracts with such a provider, who requires minimal notice should you ever wish to terminate the service for any reason.

Affordability - You might think that having a qualified receptionist handling all your incoming calls would be expensive, yet, in reality, it is very reasonable. This is because the provider has many clients, big and small, and their running costs are spread out, making the service very affordable.

If you would like to know more about the services a virtual receptionist can provide, an online search will lead you to websites explaining virtual reception. Once you’ve availed the services of a virtual receptionist, your business will run more efficiently.