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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…

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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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

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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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!

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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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.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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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

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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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.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

Staffing Problems: How To Start Hiring The Right People

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article
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Forget the advancements in tech, the improvements in your management systems, and the upgrades you have made to operational functions; there is only one place true success comes from in business and that is your employees. It may not be easy to measure, but that is a fact by the way. Unfortunately, hiring the right employees isn’t easy, which is a slap in the face because getting your staffing wrong can have a negative effect on both your bottom-line and your reputation (which then affects your bottom-line).

So, to help you land the talent your business is absolutely crying out for, we have come up with some strategies that can make your recruiting process really work, and here they are:

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article
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Think About You

You cannot possibly hope to land the perfect employee if you don’t know what you want from an employee. It’s that simple. As such, always start by figuring out what it is your goal is. Could be customer service mixed with adaptability, proactive mixed with technical skills, friendly but dedicated. Once you know what you are looking for it becomes much easier to find it.

Honest Job Descriptions

The more detailed and honest your descriptions are the more chance you have of walking into an interview and knowing they understand exactly what you want. Just look at Applebee’s application information at jobapplicationcenter.com. They give it to prospective applicant straight – hours, wage, positions, experience, training etc. Don’t be scared that your description may put a lot of people off because that is what you want. You want to find those that meet your very specific needs and wants so that you know you are getting the right person.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article
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Look At Social Media

When you get an application, it is going to be tailored to meet your needs and say the thing you want to hear. That is why it is so important that you have a little look at their online profile and find out a little more about their personality as businessnewsdaily.com explains. This will give you an idea of how they may fit in with your other employees, which is crucial to your success.

Two-Way Interview

It is so important that you don’t paint a picture of green fields, red roses and the sweet smell of a fresh bread when describing your company because that won’t weed out the chancers from the serious candidates. Instead, give them the reality so that they can paint an accurate picture in their head and decide for themselves whether they will be a good fit. Interviews should be two-way, and the person in front of you will only excel if they want to work in your company.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article
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Skill Isn’t Enough

Too many employees get it wrong by focusing on technical skill and past experience. What you want to focus on is personality traits so that you can understand what their future with you may look like. That’s how to nurture leaders from the get-go. You can teach someone new skills, but you cannot teach them how to be responsible, respectful and great to work with. That’s another hard-to-measure fact.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Making A Blog Your Business

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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Starting a business has never been easier and harder at the same time than in 2017. You see, the resources you need to start a company are available at the click of a button. Take a blog as an example. By signing up to WordPress and playing with the themes, it is possible to go live within half an hour. However, the hard part comes when you try to turn blogging into a business. Because the industry is saturated, it is almost impossible to stand out from the crowd and become a market leader. Well, it is until now. Here are the tips that will help you turn blogging into a viable business model.

Go Narrow

Going narrow has nothing to do with the shape of the blog. It does, however, have a lot to do with the content. Thanks to all of the sites on the web, there is an originality issue because the content overlaps. It is your duty, then, to try and be unique as possible when you come up with an idea for a post. Although it sounds easy on paper, it is devilishly hard when push comes to shove, which is why the content should be as narrow as possible. Why? It’s because the more specific it is, the more chance you have of being an expert. Also, there should be fewer articles online about fly fishing in Africa.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Revenue Basket

Of the success stories you hear, most of them revolve around wealthy advertisers that funded the site. So, because it’s human nature, bloggers attempt to replicate this model to make money. It is worth noting that money for advertising is a viable option, but it isn’t the only one. To make blogging a successful business, there needs to be a variety of revenue options. For instance, don’t be afraid to sell products and services through the site. This tactic gives the customers the opportunity to spend money instead of only converting via a signup form. And don’t worry because it isn’t tacky as long as you don’t shamelessly promote at every opportunity.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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Choose A Good Host

There is a reason people want to know who the best WordPress hosting company is, and it’s because a host can make or break the business. Although you are the one in charge, they have the power to limit your ability to do business. It might not happen on purpose, but it happens all the same. Think about the cost, to begin with. A host might want a lot of money to play the hostess with the mostess, and you might not have the cash. Then there are the issues of security and support. A bad host could leave you open to attack if they don’t take online safety seriously, while some are not available to fix issues. Before you sign on the dotted line, you need a host that will cover all of the bases you find important.

Build A Community

Have you ever wondered why social media platforms are effective? If you haven’t, the answer is simple: they are a small community. Yes, people can talk to their favorite celebrities, but that is a bonus. The reason most people sign up for Twitter and Facebook is to interact with other users and check out shareable content. And, it is a business model you should try to replicate. If people can come to the blog and mingle digitally as well as consume content, they will have a reason to return. Not only is it as an excuse, but it is also a compulsion because people get addicted to interactive features.

Play The Long Game

One sure-fire way for a blogging business to fail is to expect too much too soon. Why? Well, it’s because the mentality forces you to make decisions that are bad for the business. The obvious example is changing the model after a couple of weeks. After six months or a year, there is an argument to re-evaluate your strategy to improve and expand. However, that isn’t the case after a short time as you need to give the blog time to grow organically. The most lucrative bloggers in the blogging industry make money now, yet that wasn’t the case in the first place. In fact, it can take up to 18 months to make enough to live off and be comfortable. If that is too long, then blogging isn’t the business for you.

As you can see, it is possible to make money from blogging, but you have to be ready to work hard and make savvy decisions.