StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

3 Major Benefits of Effective Web Design

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Web design is about so much more than creating a pretty looking store space. Of course, every brand needs an aesthetically pleasing web page. But there are several key aspects of web design that can make the difference between your online business excelling and prospering or it falling flat on its face in the first year of operation. Remember, the success of any E-commerce company relies heavily on the brand’s visual presentation: this forms the majority of what potential consumers know about you. So make it effective. Here are five benefits of well-managed web design.

Creation of a Consistent Brand Identity

Brand identity is essential to create the impression of a consistent, reliable company. Most people are prone to mulling over the appearance of one aspect of their business at a time. First a logo. Then perhaps a font. Then a color scheme. This is likely to form a rather mish mash aesthetic when all of the different aspects are put together. Professional web designers such as Ignite Digital, however, look at the bigger picture from the start of their projects. They will have an idea of how absolutely every part of your business is going to fit into their design scheme, whether it’s web pages, affiliated blogs, business cards or advertising. Always bear in mind that one, stable and reliable image is bound to make a much more positive and lasting impression in consumers’ minds than five different images that appear as though they could appear to five different companies.

Drawn Out Pageviews

Yes, you want to bring plenty of traffic to your site, so clicks are important. But you don’t make any profit from individuals who click your homepage and leave straight away. You need to keep people on your page, browsing different areas and perusing different collections and products to see your traffic convert into sales and profit. In a world saturated with web pages and web vendors, it will take something pretty impressive to encourage an audience to stay on your page for longer than a few seconds. So collaborate with experienced designers to create an eye catching and engaging homepage.

Content Form and Structure

You need to ensure that your products and collections are presented to internet users in their best light. You want your customer to feel confident enough in the product to invest their hard earned cash in it. Effective web design can help with this. Options such as zoom or rotation on product images, links to sizing information, delivery options and terms and conditions and well-placed product descriptions in an easy to read font all go down a storm with consumers. You also want products displayed on individual pages, allowing customers to focus on the item they’ve clicked separately to all of your other stock. The key to a successful site is simple navigation and minimalism.

These are just three of the benefits that effective web design can bring to your brand. Needless to say, there are plenty more. So get started on creating a brilliant business web page.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Start Spreading The Word: How To Get A New Product Noticed

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably noticed that putting your business on the map is no mean feat. There’s so much competition out there, and in a world when 90% of startups fail, it can be difficult to forge a path and get yourself noticed. If you have a new product and you’re desperate to shout about it from the rooftops, here are some tips to help you spread the word.

Your online presence

Many businesses nowadays rely on an online marketing campaign to sell their products and services. In the US, around 70% of small businesses have a website, but over 90% of those that don’t have a site plan to have one up and running by 2018. According to a study by LinkedIn, over 80% of companies use social media in a marketing capacity. If you have a new product, using the Internet is an effective way to both market and sell your product. The first thing to do is set up a brilliant website, which gives people information about the company, the product and the difference it will make to their lives. Ensure the website looks great, it works properly, and it enables a customer to do everything they want to do. If you’re offering the chance to place an order, this should be a seamless, swift process.

You can promote your website by running a blog and using social media. Using sites like Guest Post Tracker enables you to connect with bloggers and increase your number of subscribers, and you can also form relationships, which are mutually beneficial using features like backlinks and sponsored posts. Keep the blog fresh and link your content to your social media profiles. You can boost your number of followers and friends by investing in advertising and by running competitions and offering flash discounts and sales for those who subscribe or like your page.

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Launch events and trade shows

If you’re hoping that your new product will be the next big thing, you need to show it off in all its glory. Planning a launch event and attending trade shows can really help to get your product out there and cause people to take notice. If you are planning a launch, put your guest list together carefully and think about how you can use the exposure in the best possible way. Prepare some demos, check that everything is working properly, and get to grips with your pitch. Show off what you’re selling, invite people to have a look, and be ready to answer questions. If you’re going to a trade show, focus on the visual appeal of your stall, and try and make the experience interactive for your customers. Take advantage of networking opportunities and work on your negotiation skills.

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When you’ve spent time and invested money in a new product, the last thing you want is it to fall flat because nobody knows what it is or how they can get hold of it. If you’re keen to get your new product noticed, hopefully, these tips will prove useful.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Freelancers, Here’s How To Put Your Website To The Test

Being a freelancer means relying on your website to bring in customers – it’s your main source of income. For any business, big or small, a website is a vital marketing tool. However, for freelancers it’s more than that – as a freelancer, your website is the heart of your business, which is why it’s so vital to ensure that it’s as effective as possible. The question is, of course, how can you do that – how can you determine how successful your business website is? Use our guide below to determine if your website is as effective and as successful as you think it is…

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Utilize objective feedback

A simple way to determine whether your website is as effective as it could be is to utilize objective feedback. There are many options for getting this feedback, with one of the best ones being AB testing – this is where an objective group of people are shown multiple versions of a website or page and choose the one that they like the best. There are several benefits of AB testing, including being able to get a better idea of what you could consider changing and what you should ensure stays the same. The fact is that when it comes to ensuring that your website is as well-designed as possible, objective feedback is key.

Monitor your site’s traffic

The number of visitors that your website gets is a good indication of how effective your website is as a marketing resource. Think of your website like a shop window for your products and services – for your business to be a success, your website needs to be as appealing as possible and get plenty of traffic. Monitor your overall traffic using Google Analytics or another similar tool and take note of when there are dips and spikes in your page views and cross reference them to days, times, and anything else that may be relevant.

Track new vs. returning users

Using monitoring software like Google Analytics, you can track your new vs. returning visitors. Usually, websites tend to have more new visitors than returning ones, which is perfectly fine. However, if your site has predominantly more new users than returning ones, this could indicate that your site isn’t quite right and needs some changes making to it.

Note down conversion rates

A vital part of working as a freelancer is determining the conversion rate of your website. If you allow for your services to be ordered online, you can track how many users made purchases and how many abandoned their shopping carts mid-purchase. This kind of data demonstrates how user-friendly your site is, and whether you need to focus on improving usability. If your site isn’t easy to use and navigate, the fact is that your customers will go elsewhere – it’s as simple as that.

Determining how successful your website is, is no easy task, as there are lots of factors to take into account. Hopefully, however, the advice above will help to make the process of measuring your website’s effectiveness a little easier for you.

The Tools Every Small Business Should Have

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As a small business looking to expand, it’s vital that you are as efficient and professional as possible. Thankfully, there are a lot of fantastic tools that can help you with this, and ensure that you have a competitive edge…

Slack

Slack is a great tool, which enables all of your team to communicate more efficiently. It will allow you all to share files, call each other, send messages, and it even lets you send ‘tacos’ as a reward to employees who’ve done well!

Microsoft Office 365

Although there are lots of free alternatives, you still really can’t beat this Microsoft office software for efficiency and professionalism. It will allow you to complete lots of tasks, including billing, generating presentations and chatting with your team very effectively.

GSuite

Google’s GSuite was built with the intention of offering a total range of business functionality. It enables you to buy a business domain, setup and manage a company email client, track visitors launch ad campaigns, track website analytics and much more besides, and all for just $50 annually!

EchoSign

As a small business, you probably don’t have a huge amount of money to spend on paper, ink, and printers, and thanks to EchoSign, you don’t need to because you can simply upload documents to their server, and have them sent to the other party, who can then sign them digitally. You’ll save a fortune.

Goodhire

Hiring staff can be a nightmare, especially when you’re a small business, and you perhaps don’t have experience of doing so. You have to advertise, conduct background checks, organize drug screenings, test the applicant’s skills and much more besides – it’s a lot, but Goodhire will do all of that and more for you, and they will do it in 24 hours or less!

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Upwork

Upwork is a great website, which is full of talented freelancers looking for work. As a small business, this is a boon for you because it gives you direct access to professional web designers, sales people and content writers for a fraction of the cost of hiring them full-time.

Intercom

Intercom is a business communication tool that lets you speak directly to your customers via live chat amongst other things. As you will know, being able to communicate effectively with customers is of the utmost importance if you want them to positively rate you and come back for more, so having a solution like this right at your fingertips is a real benefit.

SalesLoft

SalesLoft is a great way of boosting your sales and growing your customer base, especially in the early days. It comes with a host of features that help to make your sales department more effective such as sales specific email design and a built in sales dialer.

A Great Team

Your employees are the best tools you have. Sure, they might not fit inside your smartphone, but they will be the ones working by your side contacting customers, creating products and doing the small task that help to make a small business bigger. If you invest in nothing else on this list, at least make sure that you assemble a great team.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Why Your Business Should Become More Like Orwell’s Big Brother

Monitoring your business, whether you’re a sole trader, entrepreneur or small business owner is essential. It’s often the difference between turning a profit and failing to break even.

But what does “monitoring your business” mean in practice?

In general, when gurus talk about monitoring, they’re referring to the ability of your firm to optimize its workload and achieve greater productivity simply by analyzing and refining its processes. It means going over your processes with a fine tooth comb and trying to find whether there is anything that you can improve using the data available to you. Here’s how to make your business more like Orwell’s Big Brother.

Analyze How You Spend Your Time

The biggest problem most businesses face isn’t their toxic workplace “culture” or their lack of skilled staff: it’s how they’re spending their time. Most managers just assume that their employees are working for the entire 7 – 9 hours they’re in the office every day. But when you actually look at how they are spending their time, you’re lucky if you even get 6 hours out of them.

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The reasons for this are twofold. The first is that employees spend a lot of time doing unproductive things in the office, like walking from their desks to the water dispenser or yawning during in meetings. Most of this can’t be helped, so it’s not an obvious target for monitoring.

The second reason is that employees are wasting a lot of time performing tasks that could be done more quickly and efficiently by either another team member, software or a different department. Sometimes, the issue is training – for instance, employees not knowing how to save time filling out cells on spreadsheets. These are the types of activities for which it is worth collecting data because it can result in a substantial uplift in productivity.

Monitor Your Accounts

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Getting paid is another major headache for businesses. Clients often pay late or not at all. Monitoring and managing accounts receivable, therefore, is essential. The problem for most small businesses, however, is that they are still relying on old-fashioned methods which make it difficult to keep track of clients. With monitoring, however, you’re immediately able to view client payment histories and get alerts if a customer is late with a payment. By monitoring your accounts, you’re able to identify patterns in high-risk customers and alter your premiums accordingly.

Monitor Staff Performance

With more and more work being completed online, it’s getting easier for companies to monitor staff performance. Monitoring workers is key to ensuring that you get maximum performance out of them every day, not just when they know you’re watching.

But it’s not all about Orwellian monitoring of their daily activities: it’s also about finding strategies to boost their productivity and waiting to see whether they have any effect in the real world. Something as simple as having a policy of saying “please” and “thank you” to workers could have a measurable effect. Find ways to keep your team feeling valued and help new recruits slot into the organization. Track the effects of guidance and training and find out whether it has any positive effect on your bottom line.