Areas Of Business That Can Benefit From New Technology

Technology, data, and business have always been closely intertwined, but never as much as in 2019. Technology and data insights have evolved at an alarming rate in recent times, and now they can be used to make significant improvements to a business in any industry. So, if you are looking to improve your business, find greater success and solve problems then this is certainly an area that you should be paying close attention. There are a wide number of ways in which technology and data can be utilized to improve business in 2019, but below you will find a few of the more effective strategies.

  • Marketing

One of the most obvious ways that you can use technology and data to improve your business is with marketing. This can be done in many different ways which are important for creating a strong online presence and targeting the right customers. Here are a few effective methods for doing this:

  • Web design and optimization
  • Search engine optimization
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Social media
  • Safety & Security

Businesses are always at risk from criminals, but the landscape has changed drastically with the rise of cybercrime which is an enormous global problem affecting businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Fortunately, advances are constantly being made in cybersecurity along with security technology so that a business can protect itself both digitally and physically.

  • Customer Service

Customer service remains one of the most important aspects in business because it can help you to retain customers, benefit from word-of-mouth marketing and increase brand reputation. Technology can be used to improve customer service through chatbots, interactive websites, online chat support, and 24/7 customer service through social media.

  • Problem Solving

Many businesses operate with problems that they are unaware of, which can stop them from reaching their potential. You can use data to identify the root of problems with helpful tools such as the Pareto chart. So, what is a Pareto Chart? This is part of the Six Sigma methodology and is used to analyze data about root cause problems in processes so that adjustments can be made. Learning how to make these charts could have a significant impact on the success of the operation.

  • Productivity

Technological advances in recent times have allowed for significant improvements in workplace productivity. There are various apps, tools and software that can be used by management and staff to automate tasks, streamline the operation, manage time more effectively and increase communication. Additionally, technology has also enabled employees to easily work remotely which can be beneficial for all parties and should be seriously considered by all businesses especially if you are looking to reduce costs.

Technology and data can be used to improve practically all areas of modern-day business. A smart and current entrepreneur will be aware of how to utilize the latest technology in order to make improvements to their business operation with the above being just a few of the key areas that can benefit from this. With so many advancements constantly being made, a business owner must also constantly be on the lookout for new ways in which they can use tech and data to succeed.

3 Simple yet Effective Ways to Market Your Business

Marketing isn’t all about flashy campaigns. You don’t necessarily have to throw hundreds of thousands at an advertiser in order to promote your business. Sometimes, some of the simplest marketing techniques turn out to be the most lucrative.

To find three of the most simple yet effective ways to market your business, make sure to read on.

Email marketing

There’s still a place in the world of advertising for email marketing. For one, it’s a proven and effective way to keep customers informed and up-to-date with regards to the latest happenings in your business. This is because the majority of people check their emails countless times a day, making it a vessel you can use if you want to saturate your customer base with ongoing news. For this reason, you should be integrating with an email marketing provider to ensure that your brand is getting the day-by-day boost it needs.

To ensure that the integration between you and your third-party email marketing provider is as smooth as can be, you should also work alongside a great software development company. Such a company would be able to guide and consult you in a number of ways, and the knowledge that they impart upon you will help you to optimize your email marketing process. Take a look at this software development company listing to find the company that offers the best support when it comes to external integrations.

Blogging

If you want to advertise your business in your own tone of voice, then blogging is the marketing medium for you. By embracing this form of online marketing, you’ll be able to reach your customer base directly in a highly engaging manner. You’ll be able to share interesting tidbits about your business and on your market in general, and you’ll be able to provide information about upcoming events.

Trade shows

The Internet may offer up a plethora of today’s most effective marketing opportunities, but there’s still a lot to be gotten out of pitching up at a trade show for a few days. By setting up a stall at a show, your business will come into contact with a host of potential customers and clients. As they pass your business by throughout the duration of the show, you’ll have the opportunity to draw people in and really generate a buzz for your business.

Your work won’t be done once the doors to the trade show close for good, however. After the event has finished, you’ll still have the important job of chasing down all the customer leads you obtained. If you don’t get into contact with everybody that paid an interest in your product and services, then all that time you spent standing at your stall promoting your business will have been for nothing.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is strip everything back and go down the simple route when it comes to marketing. By doing so, you could find your brand being boosted immensely without you having to shell out loads on your advertising campaigns.

Advice For Rewarding Staff At Christmas

Christmas is an important part of the year for small business owners, and it is essential that you use this time to celebrate the hard work of your employees. Having a team of hard-working employees that get on well alongside one another is crucial to success when you have a small team, but this is not something that can be developed overnight. It is important to use team bonding activities and exercises throughout the year, but you can also use the holidays as a time to unite and celebrate. Read on for a few tips as to how you can go about doing this.

  • Christmas Party

Most businesses will have a Christmas party which can be a brilliant way to celebrate a year’s hard work and allow staff to relax and enjoy one another’s company. This could be a party in the office, at a hired venue or a meal and drinks out on the town. No matter where the arty is held, it should be focused on having fun and enjoying one another’s company and not related to work.

  • Team Days Out

Before finishing for the holidays, you could organize a team day out for bonding and relaxing. This could be to a nearby city, to the coast or for a fun-filled activity day as these are designed to be enjoyable but also with the goal of bringing staff closer together.

  • Christmas Bonus

There are few better ways to thank your employees for their work and to put them in a good mood heading into the holidays than a Christmas bonus. Money is the main driving factor in most cases so adding a little extra to their paycheck during this expensive period of the year is sure to be highly appreciated.

  • Live Entertainment

Tickets to any form of live entertainment can be a nice way for a small business owner to spend quality time with employees before the break and show appreciation.

What you choose will depend on your team, but a few options include a theatre production, sporting fixture or a concert. There are often many high-profile live entertainment options at this time of the year, and you should be able to find tickets for affordable places through ticket sale opportunities.

  • Gifts

Christmas is a time for buying gifts for those close to you and doing this for employees will show that you value them not only as an employee but as a person. This is particularly true if you purchase individual gifts that are well-suited to their tastes and interests. Many offices organize a Secret Santa which is a nice idea, but you can take this one step further by providing your employees with individual gifts.

It is important that every small business owner considers the Christmas period and how they can use the holidays to show appreciation for their employees. This is vital for keeping morale high and creating an enjoyable working atmosphere going into the break so that everyone returns in the near year feeling energized and motivated for a productive start to the year.

How To Improve Your Small Business Marketing Approach

Marketing for your small business isn’t an easy task when you likely already have limited time and money. Being short on staff and resources also doesn’t make your life any easier. Stay hopeful, because there are a few tips in particular that will help you improve your small business marketing approach so you can achieve better results.

What you don’t want to do is take no action and assume consumers are going to simply find you on their own. There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace and online, and you have to be able to creatively cut through it, so you get noticed.

Set Goals & Track Progress

Quickly improve your small business marketing approach by taking the time to set goals for what you want to accomplish going forward. It can be that you want to grow your following on social media or launch more online advertising campaigns in the following year. Not only come up with new objectives, but also define the metrics you want to monitor and track your progress, so you know what’s working and what’s not.

Consult with the Experts

Your marketing strategy will be a lot stronger when you don’t try to tackle all of the moving pieces yourself. As a small business, it’s important to know when to outsource different projects and reach out and consult with the experts on what you’re thinking and wanting to do. For instance, review this online resource that covers various gadgets and tech and you can read for yourself why hiring a website designer is always better than doing it yourself.

Engage on Social Media

Not only should you be spending more of your time on social media, but you want to make sure you’re engaging on these platforms on a regular basis too. Improve your small business marketing approach by sharing relevant and valuable content, asking questions and addressing any customer service issues that pop up. If you’re not interacting on social media, then you’re missing out on getting in touch with a large segment of your target audience.  

Work on Gathering Testimonials

Ultimately, consumers want to hear from other consumers like themselves about how their experience was with a brand or company. You can improve your small business marketing approach by being proactive and collecting numerous client testimonials for your business. Post and share them on your website and social media and let it be known why consumers enjoy working with you. You can advertise all you want, but what’s truly going to cause people to take action and want to learn more is if they hear positive remarks from other shoppers.

Conclusion

Marketing products and services for a small business is challenging, but it’s possible to be successful with the right strategy in place. Use these tips to help you enhance your approach and not only build trust with consumers but drive in more business and sales. Remain patient because it may take some time before your efforts begin to pay off.

What website owners need to know regarding Facebook’s Pixel Update

If you have received the Pixel update notification from Facebook and have questions, we’re here to help!

Our advice regarding Facebook’s Pixel Update Announcement

Definitions

The Facebook Pixel – a Code snippet you have or should have on your website to track customer interactions on your website related to boosted posts or Facebook ads. If we have managed FB ads for you, we certainly added this for you.
First-party Cookie – A cookie your website puts on a visitors browser to register their device. If you have a shopping cart, you definitely use them. These cookies are read by your own website to personalize the experience for your visitors based on the prior interactions.
Third-party cookie – A cookie on your website that comes from a 3rd party. These are now being effectively blocked by Apple’s Safari browser, Mozilla Firefox, and many ad-blocking tools. Right now, if you use the FB pixel, it is adding a 3rd party cookie to the users browsing activity.

Why is Facebook Making this change?

The purpose of this is to get advertisers to allow Facebook (Opt-In) to establish a first-party relationship with their website visitors. Once advertisers opt-in to first-party cookie data sharing, you are enabling Facebook to create cookies in your visitor’s browsers that pass data back to Facebook in compliance with how privacy-oriented browsers are requiring data to be shared.
You need to option to this if you have previously used the Pixel. After October 24th, new pixels will automatically opt-in unless advertisers opt out.

Should I Opt-In?

If you are using Facebook ads, you definitely want to opt-in to this. If you are not using Facebook ads, or if you are in a heavily regulated industry, then you are probably already aware that you can’t use some of the more interesting features of retargeting and digital ads and you probably want to opt-out. To do so, take the steps below to make sure you are opted out.

How to I Opt-in or Opt-out?

  • Login into your Facebook account [link, new window]
  • Go to Facebook’s “Events Manager”
  • Under “Pixel and Cookie Settings,” you can choose to turn off first-party cookies.

If you have questions, feel free to call or contact us!

Six Ways To Protect Your Emails

In today’s day and age, everyone relies on their email account heavily whether this is for work, study or simply for their personal life. While emails are a superb way to communicate and stay updated on important information, they can also be dangerous as many hackers and cybercriminals will use emails to either gain access to your private information or to install damaging software on your computer. There are many advanced scams and constantly new ones being developed which means that everyone with an email account needs to consider a few ways that they can protect their email account and stop cybercriminals in their tracks.

Strong Password Protection

Every email account will be password protected, and it is important that you are using a random password which nobody could guess. It much easier to think of something personal like your favorite sports team or film, but this can make it incredibly easy for hackers to gain access to your account.

Two-Factor Authentication

In addition to password protection, most email suppliers also provide two-factor authentication (2FA) feature which adds another layer of protection. In addition to a password, you will also need to have something else to gain access to the account, such as a phone number.

Be Wary of Suspicious Emails

Any emails that you receive are from an unknown sender or seem suspicious in any way should be deleted. You should never open an attachment from an unknown sender, or if it is from someone that you know, but the message sounds suspicious. Additionally, be wary of phishing which will involve a hacker attempting to obtain sensitive data by disguising as a trustworthy entity – these can be difficult to spot so always be careful and check with the trustworthy entity before entering any information.

Anti-Virus

You can also protect your emails by having high-quality anti-virus software like Sonic Wall installed. This will keep you protected against the various email and internet threats and remove anything dangerous that makes it onto your system. Be sure to keep this up to date to stay protected against the latest threats.

Public Wi-Fi & Shared Computers

If possible, avoid using public Wi-Fi to check your emails as it could be unsecured which could allow a hacker to gain access to your account – you can avoid this by using a virtual private network (VPN). Additionally, avoid logging into your account on a shared computer as it could store your password and/or be infected with spyware.

Multiple Accounts

Another way to protect your emails is to use multiple accounts. Many people have a personal and professional email account so that they are easier to manage, but this is also a good way to spread the risk so that if one is compromised then the data contained in the other account is kept safe (provided that you use different passwords).

Email accounts are seen as the gateway into somebody’s computer by cyber criminals which means that everyone needs to be vigilant when it comes to email. The above are all effective ways to protect your emails and your sensitive data.

How to Improve Your Business’s Brand

Your business brand is one of the most important assets that you have. That’s why it’s so essential that you take the time to cultivate it and enhance it wherever possible. No matter which point you are at in the lifecycle and implementation of your current branding strategy, from reputation building to proactive promotion, your brand is often the key to a better business-to-client relationship and will be the foundation of your growth strategy. There are several ways of making improvements to your brand, and if you’re concerned that your current branding is lackluster or underdeveloped, then these three tips should provide you with the starting point you need to improve on what you have already established.

Becoming a thought leader

This is all about the respectability that you want your brand to present to the world. We pay close attention to what experts say, and if you want your branding to have more impact, then you’re going to need to establish yourself as a brand that knows its field in-depth. You can achieve this in numerous ways, but you should concentrate on providing the information that your customers need when they need it. This is most effective in the form of easily obtainable content. Concentrate on your content creation and ensure that you are using that content to provide information and solutions to those that are looking for it.

Real world branding

While the majority of your branding strategy will be focused on the digital, it’s important that you don’t forget about the brick and mortar element of it. Your office space is often where real-world clients will visit, and if you want to portray yourself as a professional company, then your office space is going to need to look clean, tidy, and reflective of your brand ethos. Use an office redesign from the experts at 360degrees.uk.com as an opportunity to ensure that your business brand is present on every level of your business, from your social media pages to your reception area. Consistency is the key to stronger branding, and if your office is untidy or chaotic, then your branding will weaken as a result.

Look to your customers

With the rise of popular, authoritative websites like Tripadvisor, the customer review is more important than ever before. Use your positive reviews and social media comments as part of your reputation-building plan. Referrals and positive interactions with your brand will help to strengthen it, and using those glowing reviews is a low-cost and easy way of giving your brand some positive reinforcement. If you consider that people now do searches for businesses before they commit to utilizing those services, then it should become clear that the positive review can make a very real difference to your overall branding strategy.

Your brand is one of your most important resources, and it will need to be cultivated and looked after if you want it to improve. Take the time to make proactive decisions that will beneficially impact your branding, and it will become the foundation of your business growth.

How to Use Content Marketing Effectively

If you want to achieve any level of success in the modern business world, it’s imperative to have an online presence. To help with that presence, you will need to understand content marketing. For small businesses, it is especially important, and it doesn’t require a huge budget like other marketing strategies and advertising. If you don’t know what content marketing is, don’t let it keep you awake at night because you are not alone. What you truly need to know is that it’s a great way to grow your brand, and how you can use it effectively.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a way of attracting people to your brand, with the ultimate goal of turning them into loyal customers. You’re not trying to sell to them, but rather, the aim is to be engaging. You should be inspirational, entertaining or educational, but preferably a combination of all three. Content marketing is about sharing information with your target audience, and this content, or information, should be helpful and valuable for them on a personal level. The information could be in the form of blog posts, articles, videos and a range of other formats.

What Sort of Content Should You be Creating?

When creating content, it is important to put your customers’ needs above your own. Put yourself in their shoes in order to understand and appreciate some of the challenges they face. You need to be providing them with helpful knowledge, but you need to be able to understand what it is they need and want to know. Think of it as being empathic; you shouldn’t be promoting or selling your company, not all the time anyway!

Many Content Marketing Initiatives Fail Because There is no Strategy

When it comes to building a content marketing strategy, you first need to define your goals. Review the current communication channels you use and make audits. If you don’t document your content marketing strategy, you’ll find yourself facing challenges. It will also be almost impossible to analyze your strategy and determine whether any changes need to be made.

Grow Your Brand by Building a Reputation  

It is the best way to grow your brand. When your brand is trusted, potential customers are more likely to become loyal. It also makes it easier to influence their future purchasing decisions. Publishing high-quality content is one way to establish authority in an industry. However, it can take up a lot of your time. You may also be lacking in confidence when it comes to writing informative, engaging pieces. However, you don’t need to worry as there plenty of companies with the expertise needed. Working-beautifully.co.uk is one such company that will be able to help with video lead generation because after all, content is not just about words. It’s about images too!   

Analyze Progress

Any effective content marketing strategy should include consistent analysis. Doing so will help you to determine how effective your strategy is and whether it is performing in terms of growing your brand. Effective analysis will include the time customers spend on your site, what pages they visited, conversions, goals, and the bounce rate.  

Running a Successful E-Commerce Business in 2018

This era seems to be one characterized by all things digital. It is no surprise seeing as the internet has become ubiquitous and most people can’t function without it. For this reason, there has been a rise in the number of businesses that are now operating online. In addition to this, people are becoming more comfortable with shopping online because of how easy, fast and convenient it can be. If you happen to have an e-commerce business, this article is going to explore a few characteristics that a successful e-commerce business should seek to possess in 2018.

Easier Checkout

One of the essential components of a successful e-commerce business is 2018 is easy checkout. Seeing as we’re living in a fast-paced world, people are always on the go and looking for ways to save time so ensuring the shopping experience is as quick as possible is key. Some payment options that are currently being utilized include Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal amongst others. It has also been predicted that the traditional checkout form will gradually begin to be fade, and one-click purchasing will make online shopping faster as well as more convenient. If you want checkout to be as easy as possible, it’s also important that you optimize your site.

Investment in Social Ads

Seeing as e-commerce businesses operate online, it’s essential that a successful business invests in social ads. This is one of the only ways to ensure your brand and products are visible online, meaning you will be able to compete with the many other businesses out there. If you own a drop shipping business, for instance, some marketing you should focus on includes Facebook ads, retargeting ads, influencer marketing, and influencer marketing. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t still aim to get free media coverage, but the reality is that driving clicks is becoming more difficult, so you will have to invest a noticeable amount.

Mobile Shopping Apps

It is likely that you’ve noticed that some of your favorite E-commerce sites now have apps, and that’s because businesses understand the importance of them. These apps are an E-commerce trend that you’re likely to see becoming more pervasive as E-commerce sales have continued to accelerate, while in-store retail has seen much less growth. Mobile shopping apps have seen significant growth, at 54% year-on-year making it the fastest growing app category ahead of music, entertainment, as well as utility apps. It’s safe to say that a successful E-commerce business in 2018 should be looking towards having an app.

Running a successful e-commerce business means different things to different people. While for some it means making a significant amount of returns, to others it could mean successfully being able to dominate within their niche. As an e-commerce business owner, it is imperative that you’re able to keep up with the trends and ensure your business remains a few steps ahead. Doing so should ensure that your business has a better chance at success in 2018.

Beginning a Tech Startup: 3 Things to Consider

You need commitment to launch your tech startup, and that means commitment at a financial, technical, and emotional level. Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy. You can have the best startup idea in the world, but if you’re lackadaisical about putting your idea into practical terms, then you might as well stop now. The difference between startup success and failure usually comes down to commitment. However, there are some additional factors that your tech startup is going to need to consider if it’s going to launch well. It’s only by giving some thought to every potential danger your startup faces that you will be able to face adversity and start growing your business in the right way.

Who are your customers?

If you don’t know who your customers are likely to be, then your business will suffer as a result. After all, if you don’t know who your customers are then how are you going to satisfy their needs? That’s why you should always start your business plan off with some valuable market research. Your startup needs to be solving an issue, and by being aware of who is most likely to suffer from that issue, the better chance you’ll have of creating the right targeted advertising campaigns and marketing strategies. There are some very productive methods for getting the best market research results possible, so use a variety of platforms and question types in order to build up as accurate an idea of your average customer as possible.

Security concerns and considerations

For tech startups, the question of security is often solely focused on making sure that firewalls and antivirus software is up to date. Of course this is important, and your online security will need to be addressed on a regular basis. What most startups neglect to consider is their real-world security. This can become a very swift and damaging issue, especially if your business premises are broken into and valuable equipment or data is stolen. Never forget your offline security needs, and make use of alarm systems from Eurolinksecurity.co.uk that will protect your equipment, your data, and your company. Working in a more secure environment can work wonders on your productivity and your creativity as well, because the less time you spend worrying about locked doors and access points, the more time you have to focus on attracting more clients.

The financial factor

Your tech startup is going to need some financial backing. It’s challenging enough starting a business, but without any money to fall back on it becomes nigh on impossible. For startups, there are a number of potential avenues for funding that are worth exploring. From loans to crowdfunding, the method for raising the capital that you need will be up to you and your credit score. However, one of the most popular methods for funding a startup in the digital age is the concept of bootstrapping. This is simply a business model where you use your own money to run and manage your business, and funnel any profits directly back into it. This creates a self-sufficient funding model that gives you far greater control of your budget, and forces you to become more creative with problems and solutions.

There are many challenges to starting your own business, and that is especially true if it’s a startup. Be aware of the challenges facing you, and you will be far better prepared to succeed.