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5 Things Your Business Needs To Focus On In 2021

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Business 2021|5 Things Your Business Needs To Focus On In 2021For anyone glancing back over 2019’s plans for 2020, it will become glaringly obvious that flexibility and survival were always going to come naturally for some companies, but for other companies, the very need to survive wasn’t even a consideration.

A Big Learning Curve

If 2020 has taught businesses anything, it’s that you need to be ready to be adaptable and that trusting our employees to work with you rather than against you is vital to the survival of any business -both large and small.

Here are five things that your business needs to be doing in 2021 to weather the storms to come over the next year and, hopefully, set yourself up in a better position to weather any storms in the medium and long-term future too.

Improve Your Website

The switch to online has accelerated in the last 12 months, and any business still relying on that ‘good old fashioned handshake’ to survive is being and will be left out in the cold.

Investing in your website now will improve your chances of survival, employ some professional web development services, and get involved to make sure your website works for your business as well as your customers or clients.

A Resilient Marketing Plan

All marketing strategies for 2020 went down the pan by about March time, and, as shown by the Keep Calm and Travel On campaigns, marketing had to adapt and change within days along with the changing guidelines issues by every country.

In 2021, as a vaccine is rolling out for a lot of the world’s major economies, your marketing department will need to be working overtime to keep up, so keep your marketing plan flexible and resilient, and don’t be afraid to pull campaigns at the last minute if needs be.

A Strong Remote Working Policy

Remote working and working from home has been popular for a few years, but in 2020 that took on a whole new look when hundreds of thousands of workers were forced to take their office home with them.

There’s not much you can do aside from going with the flow, but putting in some strong policies around expectations can help employees feel connected without feeling like they’re being micromanaged and monitored every five seconds of the day.

The Ability To Be Flexible

Flexibility is likely to be the new buzzword of 2021, and for a good reason.

With rolling lockdowns and changing restrictions coming every few weeks, you will need to now an incredible amount of flexibility around employees, time off, and working allowances to keep things going. Still, flexibility isn’t all bad and some employees, especially working dads, may be thriving in this new working atmosphere.

Focus on Talent Acquisition

While many companies will be considering sweeping redundancies in 2021, it’s important not to lose sight of talent acquisition.

If you can find new employees to cover the skillset that would normally take two or three employees, now might be the time to invest in better talent over just more talent.

Quality over quantity.

Making as Many Sales as You Possibly Can During Difficult Times

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Making Sales|Making as Many Sales as You Possibly Can During Difficult TimesIt’s nearing the end of 2020 and many of us are having a bit of a tough time in many ways. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has been impacting the majority of our lives since March – and for the most of us, this hasn’t been in a particularly positive way. Now, it’s important that we don’t forget the main tragedy to come out of this pandemic – the huge loss of life throughout the world caused by this potentially fatal virus and disease. But that’s also not to say there haven’t been other troubles along the way too. For many of us, the pandemic has caused significant hardship and financial struggle. Why? Well, in order to save lives by slowing the spread of the virus, many governments around the world have implemented measures that have caused businesses of all shapes and sizes to struggle. In order to combat the virus, we need to stay at least two metres away from each other, or, when the R rate has boosted, even had to go into lockdown situations where all non essential businesses have had to close their doors. All of this means less sales. If you can’t have people in your store, you can’t operate. If you can still have your store open, but can only have people in there if they’re stood two metres apart, you have a limited capacity and sales will suffer. This is all doom and gloom, we know. But what can you do to continue making sales during these difficult times as a business owner? Here are a few pieces of advice that could help you to get through this!

Selling Products? Switch to Ecommerce

If your store sells products, now is the time to switch to Ecommerce. Ecommerce stores are allowed to continue operations. Sure, you’ll need to make sure that the staff fulfilling your orders in the warehouse are safe, and if you have your own delivery staff, you’ll need to make sure they’re safe too. But this is an ideal way to be able to continue operations while stores are shut and even while stores are open, but you can’t have all too many people inside. Now, we’re fast approaching two of the biggest shopping seasons of the year so far. These are Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season. So, you’ll want to make the switch as quickly as possible in order to be able to make the money you usually might. So, how do you go about switching to Ecommerce? Here are a few steps that will help you to get it right first time around.

Set Up a Website / Improve Your Website

If you don’t have a website yet, now is the time to create one. If you already have one, but haven’t focused on it all too much in the past, now is the time to improve upon it. Your website is going to be your customers’ and potential customers’ main contact with your store. So you need it to look good and you need to make sure that people can easily navigate their way around it to find what they want. Of course, learning how to code and learning what kind of design works is a long and difficult process. You probably don’t have time for this right now. So, work with the following individuals – a web designer, a web developer and a UX designer. The web designer will make sure that your site looks great. They’ll know what to put where and how to combine everything together to create something that is on brand and beautiful. The web developer will take care of the back end of your site. They’ll make sure that everything actually works. The UX designer is a user experience designer. They’ll ensure that the site makes sense for your users and is easy to use. This reduces the number of people leaving your site. Finally, you should work with all three individuals to make sure that your site is optimised for mobile too. Increasing numbers of people are shopping on their mobile, so you don’t want to miss out on these sales!

Provide Customer Support

Of course, when people buy online, they tend to have more questions than they might in store, as they can’t feel or try out the products themselves before buying. This means it is essential that you have some sort of customer support put in place and that your website lets customers know how to get in touch too. If you don’t have time to deal with customer queries, make sure to hire a customer support agent who can respond to questions via a business email, via a chat box on your website, or even via phone. The more points of contact that customers have for your company, the better, as it allows everyone to use their preferred way of getting in touch!

Selling Essential Services? Manage Your New Workload

If you’re selling essential services and cannot work from home, chances are you’ll be able to continue work as usual. You’ll simply have to follow new safety measures, which will include staying two metres away from others, wearing appropriate additional PPE (such as face masks or face visors) and washing or sanitising your hands regularly. Now, chances are, you may be experiencing an increase in demand. Essential services are in high demand right now and, unlike the majority of the population, you may be experiencing a higher workload. You’ll need to organise and manage this effectively to ensure that you don’t miss anything out or disappoint anyone. Consider using software or apps like JobNimbus to help you with this. It will take care of everything from sales to estimating, scheduling and work orders. It can be tempting to take on more work than you can handle, but avoid this. You want to do a good job, get good reviews and maintain a good reputation. You also don’t want to burn yourself out.

Are Your Staff Able to Work Remotely?

If you’re running a business where staff would usually work in an office, consider whether they would be able to work remotely. Remote working is becoming favoured by business in a wide range of industries. Many have seen that their staff can work just as effectively from home and are opting to continue remote operations permanently, as it saves significantly on commercial property rent and overheads too! Now, a switch to remote working has to be done carefully to ensure that everyone copes with the move well. The steps below could make this process seamless.

  • Ensure All Staff Can Work Remotely Safely and Comfortably – in offices, you provide your staff with ergonomic furniture and equipment. This keeps them safe and prevents them from experiencing issues such as chronic strain injuries. Apply this same mindset to when they’re working at home. If your staff require, allow them to pick up their chair, footrests, backrests and other essentials from the office to use from their own home.
  • Make Sure Staff are Trained in New Software – it’s likely that your staff will have to use new software when they start working from home. This can include software like communications software, video call software, time tracking software and more. Don’t simply assume that everyone will figure out how to use it. Instead, hold virtual training that will ensure everyone knows what they’re doing.
  • Set KPIs – if you are concerned about your staff’s productivity while they’re working from home, you may want to set KPIs. KPI stands for “key performance indicator” and it will be some sort of individual goal that each staff member will need to achieve by a set date. This will indicate whether they are performing as they should. This will ensure that everyone keeps up with their workload and doesn’t slack.
  • Be Understanding and Flexible – of course, these are very difficult times for some people. So, make sure to be understanding and flexible with your staff. Some may not have ideal working conditions, or may have more responsibilities on their hands during the day, such as extra childcare if schools close, or caring for vulnerable loved ones.Chances are you’re experiencing a lot of changes if you’re running a business right now. But at the end of the day, change may be essential in order to keep things up and running! Hopefully, some of the above advice can help you to experience success with your business in spite of the pandemic. Some of the changes are easier to implement than others, but all are essential for different types of businesses to continue making sales and generating profit. Implement them into your operations sooner rather than later and you should benefit!

5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience on Your Site

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Improve Customer Experience|5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience on Your SiteCustomer experience is vital to the success of your site, and your business. Your website is the first place your customers will go to find out about your company, so you want to optimize their experience to the max. You need good web design to make your site clear to navigate and with engaging contact to draw customer interest. It’s also important to keep on top of user analytics and measure customer satisfaction. Don’t forget to offer sufficient customer support and you could even add a personal touch. Here are five ways to improve customer experience on your site.

Work with a web design agency

The web design needs to be perfect, not only for customer experience but also for SEO. For this reason, it’s advisable to hire a web design agency that has the expertise and the resources to help you. Site navigation needs to be simple and easy. If your customers can’t find what they’re looking for it won’t take them much effort to change to a competitor’s site. It’s also important to include things like a strong call-to-action and plenty of options for customer support.

Create engaging content

If you really want to drive up interest in your business you also need to create engaging content on your site. A web design or digital marketing agency can help you do this as well. Video is very popular, for example, or instructional guidelines on how to use your products. You could try out different forms of media as well such as podcasts and long informative blog articles.

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User analytics

It’s vital to constantly measure customer satisfaction in order to improve it. You can do this using some of the best website analytical tools. It’s also a good idea to create buyer personas for your target audience and try to relate as much as you can to their needs and interests. You could also carry out surveys for your customer to give feedback. You could offer a promo code or voucher in exchange for doing this. Include any positive customer testimonials on your site in order to build trust.

Optimize keywords

Keywords are what tend to link SEO and customer experience. Your customers will arrive at your site depending on what they enter into Google. A web design agency can give you plenty of advice on how to choose the right keywords. It’s a good idea to analyze the competition and test Google to find out which keywords and phrases work best.

Personalized marketing campaigns

In order to improve customer experience, you could even personalize your marketing and email campaigns. CRM software and email marketing services can help you here. This is a great way to humanize your brand by greeting customers by name, without overstepping the mark of course. Here are some more tips to personalize marketing campaigns. The more you try to reach out to the right customers, the more you’ll improve their experience and generate more interest. You’re also more likely to turn clicks into leads.

Choosing A Web Design Training Course

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, Choosing A Web Design Training Course

Website design training is a must for all businesses. In the current day and age, the importance of having an attractive and effective website simply cannot be ignored. The only trouble is that there are so many web design courses for you to choose from, which can be a little bit confusing and overwhelming.

But, there is no need to panic, as we are going to give you a helping hand by giving you an insight into the key qualities that all web design training courses should have.

  • Private training – You should always look for a training instructor who is willing to provide you with private training. This ensures that you extract maximum value from the training course, and that the content you are being taught is entirely suited to the needs of your business.
  • A good reputation – You are advised to read reviews that have been left by people that have already taken the course. The same applies irrespective of whether you are looking for HTML training, an Adobe Illustrator course, or any other form of training. If you come across a lot of negative comments, you know to look elsewhere.
  • Various design platforms – What platforms are you going to be taught about creating a website on? Does the trainer have the flexibility to adapt to your needs? WordPress training may be something you want to look out for in this respect. If you take a look at a reputable website design company today, they may specialize in one platform, but they will have a basic understanding and have probably received training in a number of areas.
  • Impressive portfolio – Last but not least, take a look at the trainer’s website design portfolio. After all, why should you trust them to teach you about website design if they can’t create impressive websites themselves?
  • Their own website – This leads to the next point: if you are going to choose the right website design training company for you, you should look at their website first. After all, if the website is slow to load and difficult to navigate, this does not leave a very good impression, does it? For experts in website design, there are no excuses not to have an incredible website, and so this is definitely an area that we recommend paying a lot of attention to when you are looking for the best courses for you.
  • Practicalities – Last but not least, you will want to consider all of the practicalities, such as course time and location. You should also consider the price to make sure that this is something you are happy with as well. These are all the sort of things that you will know yourself what is right for you.

If you take the points that have been mentioned into account, you can be confident that you have found the best website design training for your needs. This is not an area you can afford to rush into and make a rash decision.

3 Back End Web Design Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Business Site

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Back End Web Design|3 Back End Web Design Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Business SiteWhen designing a business website, it is important that you get all of the front end aspects right. Things like navigation and the overall aesthetic, for example, are incredibly important because they impact the way that users view your business and a poorly designed website will not convert. However, it is important that you don’t neglect all of the back end web design elements as well. Even though these may not seem as important, mistakes with the background design of the website can cause you some serious problems. These are some of the biggest back end web design mistakes that you need to avoid.

Poor Hosting

Hosting your site in the right place is absolutely vital, and if you do not have enough server space to accommodate the number of visitors that your site gets, it will run incredibly slowly. Poor hosting services also increase the chance of errors and site crashes, which lose you money as well. There is nothing more frustrating than a slow website or a site that keeps crashing, and potential customers won’t stick around and wait for pages to load, they will just give up and go elsewhere. It’s vital that you find a reliable hosting service for your website so you can be sure that it is always running smoothly.

Lack of On Page Optimization

When Google is trying to rank websites and decide who gets the number one spot, it takes a lot of different factors into account. If you are going to consistently rank well you need an on page optimization strategy in place. Things like titles and keywords in your content are important, but you also need to manage a lot of back end things like meta tags, URL structure, and meta descriptions. If you are unsure about how to manage these things, you should call in a company like Integrity Marketing to help you develop a strategy. Carefully crafted content will help to rank fairly well, but if you want to hit the top spot, you need to consider all of the back end elements of on page optimization as well.

Not Optimizing For Mobile

Over 50 percent of all web traffic comes from mobile devices and that figure is only going to get larger in the coming years. When people are searching for a business, they are more likely to take out their phone than they are to open a laptop, which is why optimizing for mobile is so important. If you only design a single version of your site and it is optimized for a computer or laptop, it will not run well on a mobile device. Users will soon become frustrated and give up, so you need to create a specific mobile version of the website as well. When you are choosing a web designer, make sure that you find one that has good experience creating mobile websites. You could also consider developing your own app if you want to improve the experience for mobile users even more.

These common back end mistakes can seriously impact the effectiveness of your website, so it is important that you avoid them.