If you’re a business owner or are perhaps a self-employed freelancer, one of the challenges you’ve most likely faced at some point is procrastination.
We’re all guilty of it. This is when we delay important tasks that need to be done or possibly leave those tasks until the very last minute. It’s an easy thing to do, especially at university, as it seems most students do this, but you have to act very differently as a business owner or freelancer. If you’re not driving sales, chasing money owed to you and producing good quality products or services, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable situation. There is nobody above you to pick up the slack; you have to put in the work to drive sales for your business. Freelancers have to act the same in many ways because without marketing your talents, you can’t expect people to invest in you or trust you. Staying organised is one thing, but make sure the work that needs to be done is being completed, because this can be a tricky spell to get out of if you let too much work build up.
LinkedIn has become the number one B2B online networking platform, but of course, it’s widely recognised as a social network too. It’s not just B2B companies utilising this space though, there are many B2C companies that see benefits of using LinkedIn too, whilst it’s a great way to upload your CV and create an online profile, so you do have a varied mix of people using LinkedIn. With this in mind, utilising LinkedIn ads can be extremely beneficial. It can help you build connections with the right type of companies or individuals, it can help you raise awareness of a particular product or service, or it can be used to spread the word about your brand in your local area. There are many different ways to reach key demographics, but as far as targeting goes, LinkedIn’s advertising platforms is up there with the best, and we do recommend you give it a try for one of your next campaigns.
Combining online and offline marketing strategies are the best way to get maximum reach from your business. That said, email marketing tends to be pushed to the back of the queue compared to social media marketing and business brochures for example.
Email marketing can be an effective tool if done correctly. Once you have a growing list of subscribers, sending out regular emails is definitely an effective marketing strategy, but only once the email is opened. Improving your open rate can be achieved by creating curiosity with your email title, making the recipient want to know more.
Once the email is opened you want to include a good amount of visuals complimented with to the point written content to drive the point clearly. A great way to break a chunky text box up is by using bullet points with simple short points. Always provide easy links to your website and relevant contact information for the readers.
This saying goes a long way when it comes to investing, and in actual fact, this is a phrase you should live by. If you are looking to make an investment and you are not worried about the outcome of the situation as you have other sources of income, and you’re willing to take a gamble, then so be it. However, if you are taking a gamble on money you really can’t afford to lose, you could be about to step into a nightmare. Smart investors will always invest money they can afford to lose, because any investment will have some risks involved, and you can’t leave it up to chance, because you could find yourself in a horrible situation, possibly losing a lot of money you’ve worked incredibly hard for.
Investing in money you can afford to lose is really rule number one of investing, so never forget this!
Business websites should be updated on a regular basis, including written and visual content to improve their position on search engines and also keep their customers engaged.
Online marketing is so important these days, due to the increasing level of web users, more businesses are turning to online marketing strategies to improve their company sales. While there are many elements to online marketing, keeping your website up to date with fresh relevant content is probably the most important. For instance, having eye-catching social media posts that direct customers to a poorly designed website will not benefit your business at all.
A good way to keep content on your website fresh is by including a blog, this way to can add new posts in a very interactive way.
You should also update any written text on your site regularly and change images to suit recent promotions or a change of season. All these small steps in keeping your website fresh will help to improve SEO, in turn leading to more traffic to your site.
If you’re considering investing in a friend’s startup but are having a few doubts, it’s important to not make any rash decisions. Whether you’ve grown a company before, or are also a first timer in investing, you have to go through the facts. You need to put on your business face and ask your friend:
What are the risks?
What’s the timeline?
Who else is investing?
How much have you already put into your business?
Will this impact out friendship in any way?
Are you doing this full time?
There are of course many other questions your friend will need to answer, but by asking these first, you’ll get a better feeling about how likely success is for the startup. You also have to forget your friend’s personality and how nice they are, but look at them as a businessperson or entrepreneur. It’s not just about having faith in the product or service, you also have to put faith in the individual, and ask yourself whether you feel you can genuinely help them succeed. Investing is a big decision; so take your time to really think things through.
Online and offline marketing strategies are very important to any business, however online seems to be taking over the more traditional methods at an alarming rate.
Social media is one of the most important aspects of online marketing, and it works by using social platforms to boost your business exposure and create leads to your website. Corporate social media accounts can be created on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus to name a few. Populating these platforms with eye catching visual content, and engaging with your followers is the best start you can make. To improve traffic to your website, you may want to consider paid adverts that help target a specific audience. Social media marketing should be implemented by all businesses, no matter how small or large, as it helps to optimise your marketing and brand exposure. Social media marketing is only one aspect of online marketing and should be used in conjunction with other online methods.
It can take quite some time for a business to get going in terms of sales, and this is because there are so many stages involved in creating a business that brings in a healthy return. Many individuals have to spend their hard earned cash on branding, product design, product development, marketing, a website, advertising and packaging, and this is all before they get any return at all.
Most startups fail because the high costs of each of these areas means savings are blown quickly, and that’s why you have to prioritise each of these tasks and find ways to save money on each of them. The power of the internet means there’s a lot we can learn online, and rather than hiring too many professionals early on, you can educate yourself. Successful entrepreneurs are those who find ways to reduce outgoings early on, and as soon as your income doesn’t cover your outgoings, you do have to quickly realise you’re in trouble because unfortunately there’s not always going to be light at the end of tunnel.
Web design agencies may be able to deliver the website of your dreams, but they may also leave you feeling a bit hard done by, especially if you don’t see some success straight away. The costs involved in web design are quite high, but that’s often the case when a lot of time and talent is involved.
What if you were able to create your own website and invest your own time rather than your money? Well you can. There are many third party platforms that make it easy for you to create your own website. It can be a case of picking a template and modifying it or adding your own content, but of course with these platforms like Squarespace and WordPress, there is a bit of a learning curve. Having basic HTML knowledge will also come in handy and it depend on how much time you have available to practice making a website, but it can help you save considerable sums.
That said, without any knowledge whatsoever on websites, creating your own is a big challenge. Sometimes the expertise you get from professional designers is worth the money, especially if they can create you a website which provides a return on investment.
No matter what industry you’re in, when you create a start-up business, one of the first things you’re likely to consider is whether or not to look for an investor. Bringing an investor on board can make sense, especially if you find the right organisation or individual who can take you to the next level, but sometimes this is a step too soon for small businesses, especially start-ups. Let’s say you have absolutely no start-up experience whatsoever. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get a good investment with your first try. It’s often a case of trial and error when it comes to choosing the right investor, so you may want to get some experience in the bag first.
You also have to think carefully about ownership. You are essentially selling ownership so can’t decide everything by yourself. The relationship with your investor matters a great deal, so rather than working alone you need to embrace teamwork. It’s also important to think about how scalable the investment opportunity is. If for example, doubling your sales means doubling your headcount, then some investors may be deterred and rightly so. They need to see healthy potential. There are many cases where people get the investment they need but they can’t succeed even with the funds they wanted so you do have to think carefully about where that money will be utilised but there will never been any certainty of success.
If you’re only just getting the ball rolling and there is a lot more you can do on your own with the resources available, then you should put as much time and effort into getting your business setup. It’s a sad truth that many individuals work for free 24/7 on companies where they do not hold more than a percent of the shares, so whatever you do, don’t be that person!