Blogging

4 Affordable Ways To Promote Your Business

If you’re a small business or just starting out, it can be challenging to get your name out there amongst the noise of your competition. To get started, you need to develop a marketing plan to make sure you’re talking to the right people t the right time. There are several ways in which you can do this. Some might require a little more investment than others, but if your budget is somewhat restricted in the initial phases, check out these affordable ways to promote your business and gain valuable leads.

Social media

If you’re not already on social media, you certainly need to be. This tremendous resource is a potential goldmine for a small business, as it can help you tap into a targeted selection of people looking for your products and services. Deciding what platform to focus on could be the tricky part, as you need to understand the type of engagement each produces. Once you’ve set up your page, you can now start to advertise to potential customers. Social media advertising is an affordable way to get people looking at your brand, plus you can set budgets to stay on top of costs.

Trade shows and events

If you’re looking to get a little more footfall for your business, and potentially look at both B2B and B2C selling, attending a trade show is a great idea. This gives you the opportunity to promote your products or services within a chosen industry and network with like-minded people to help grow your business. Different events have different setup fees, but once you’ve invested in a trade stand, you can use this time and time again. You’ll have to think about other aspects such as promotional materials and ID cards etc. for staff so check out this website for more information.

Email marketing

This form of marketing is said to be one of the most effective for converting customers. However, the challenging part of this marketing funnel is creating a database of people that want to hear from you. In the early stages of business, it’s essential to get your list started and allow customers to join your community to hear about the latest products and offers etc. Once you’ve begun to build this, regular (but not too regular) emails can be sent to keep your customers engaged and up to date with your brand. There are several software options that have free plans for smaller databases so you can create emails and send for no cost at all.

Search engine optimisation

If you have a website and are struggling to get any hits, you might not have optimised it for the search engines. SEO can be complicated when you get into the technicalities; however, the basics should be mastered to help you get seen when people search for your products or services. There are many resources online that can help you address the main elements of SEO, plus you’ll find plenty of experts that can lend a hand to fit your budget.  

 

Blogging

Website Wonder

How many websites do you visit each day, tens, hundreds? However many you browse through, chances are you’re able to make a snap judgement on the kinds of websites that work and those that are very much going nowhere.

When you’re working on your own site, you’re looking to fulfill three or four golden rules to ensure that your lucky hits become return hits. Your website is your shop front so make sure you’re not missing any key components. In this blog we take you through some of the basics and some of the more sophisticated elements of developing your own website.

Landing Page

If your website is your shopfront, then your landing page is the display window. It should be less about you and more about the products you offer. When writing content for your site, think about how you can demonstrate to your customers the benefits of exploring your products or services.

If you’re unsure on how to write web content, don’t scrimp on this element and have a content developer write your website for you.

Create a menu bar that is clear and logical, with the same applying to any sub-menus. Make your landing page the first step of a logical progression around your site, funnelling as many visitors as possible to your products and ultimately to your checkout services, if applicable.

Media

Wall-to-wall text is a big no. Think about breaking up that text over several pages and concentrate on creating a strong visual theme for your site. If you’re using images such as photos, make sure that you’re sourcing them from a high quality site.

Make sure that the images are also royalty free, which means you have permission to use them on your site and they’re not subject to copyright issues. When using video, make sure that the imbedded media is formatted correctly and plays as soon as your website is opened. Your website will need to be able to support rich media formats. Your customers will not wait around to see the content of your video load, so it needs to load first time, every time.

 

Customer Extras

Communication and accessibility are key components that your customer will expect to find on your site. If you’re selling products or services, then your customers may have questions. Alongside your email, telephone number and queries form you should also consider creating a customer services bot.

Not sure of the benefits of a bot then visit a bot building resource page to discover how this element will make your website a one-stop for your customer.

You should also include customer testimonials on your site. These one or two paragraphs go a long way in giving your customer some reassurance that they’re dealing with experienced professionals.

Have your existing customers write a few lines for you and make sure they are properly credited to a real person in that company.

Finally, consider how your website loads on mobile devices. More than ever, we access websites on the go, walking down the street, sitting on the train. We are mobile people who need to do our banking while out and about. Your customer will expect your website to load properly, to look just as good on a mobile or tablet as it does on a laptop.

When you’re setting up your website or thinking about giving it a makeover, you need to find a combination of text, images and customer extras that mean your site rises head and shoulders above the competition.

You want your site to be found easily so think about how your content might be maximised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You’ll need to consider your key words, you’ll need to think about how people are going to find you and know your site exists. There’s little point having a great site if it languishes in a forgotten element of the internet.

If you’re able to, look at what your analytics are telling you. Which pages are getting the most hits and which are underperforming? Your site can and should be a constantly evolving site and one that you adapt and fine tune until it’s functioning to its maximum capacity.

Get your website running well and you’ll have access to the best resource in your business and a direct line to your customers. This is your shopfront and the gateway to your business so make sure it’s attractive, make sure it’s clean and well-designed and make sure it’s easy to navigate. Get it right and send your business soaring.

 

Business Blog

How to Set Up an Office

There are many different aspects to starting a business, one of which is setting up an office for yourself and your colleagues to work from. The office will be where you all spend the majority of your time, so it is really important that it is designed in a way that will encourage productivity, but also in a way that makes it a comfortable space to work in. Here, we run through some ideas on how to create a great office.

Layout

One of the first steps in determining the layout of the office, is to make the most of your light sources. If you can find a way to make sure everyone has access to a window, it will make them feel less trapped and the light will help them to maintain a positive mentality. Windows are key to making sure the air quality is good too. It can be a good idea to offer people different places to work from for example, a staff room, kitchen or their desk so that they can break up the monotony of an office environment. It is important that everyone has their own designated desks too, as it will make them feel more at home. If you want to encourage a team mentality, try organising the desks into a circle rather than having people sitting with their backs to one another; this helps aid group discussion and is ideal when it comes to company announcements. If you don’t have the space to accommodate this, split the group depending on departments, so that colleagues with similar roles can bounce ideas off each other.

Furniture

It is important to make sure everyone has all the equipment they need in order to ensure maximum productivity. This includes the right software and hardware, such as industry specific software like field service business management software personalised hardware like certain screen sizes, keyboards and mice from a company like Workwave. There are certain specifications to consider when choosing office furniture, as you need to make sure that people are comfortable at their desks. Their backs need to be properly supported by their chairs for example, their eyes need to be a certain distance from their computer screens and their feet need to be supported.

Decoration

There is a lot to consider when it comes to office decoration. First of all, you need to have the correct lighting levels. Poor lighting not only has a negative effect on state of mind, but it can also cause eye strain and headaches. Relaxed or warm lighting can cause people to lose focus and feel fatigued, so make sure the lighting is bright. Natural light is a must-have. The temperature of the room is important too; if it’s too warm people will feel relaxed rather than motivated, yet if it’s too cold, they will be uncomfortable and distracted. A nice scent can create a more enjoyable working environment too, as can some background music but make sure it is not too loud or too intrusive. Finally, make sure your office space is always kept clean and tidy to reflect the proactive approach you expect from your employees.

Conclusion

There is a lot to consider when it comes to creating an office space, so it is important to remember a few key factors when designing it. Think about the layout in terms of how people can interact with each other, make sure their desks are comfortable to use and ensure that you have the right lighting, temperature and noise level. For more business advice, take a look at www.vikingwanderer.com