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Category: BUSINESS (Page 1 of 3)

Business

How To Get More Clients

How To Get More Clients

Regardless of what industry you are in, you always want more business. However, for startups, it is even more daunting when your phone does not ring or you have tonnes of emails with people selling you things but you have no inquiries.

So you have got a business plan and you think you have it all worked out but you still have no customers so what do you do?

In this article, I will list some ideas that you may not have thought about.

But first, we have to establish the difference between a small business and a large powerhouse. With a corporation or business that has been established for many years their brand name is well known and people will always choose a well-known brand over a lesser-known one.

If you are just starting out or are struggling to get business through the door, you may have to adopt different strategies to get you noticed. If this is the case you need your business to be in the news you need to be consistent and not hide behind your brand but instead be out there flying your flag high.

A more established company will have more money to spend on advertising and on staff and employee incentives. These companies use marketing agencies to help them get more exposure and will encourage their staff to publicize their company, products, and services

If you are a small business for example of 1-10 employees and your advertising budget may be on a shoestring, you have to invent ways to advertise your brand on next to nothing.

So here is a list of things to do to increase business.

(Some are free and some are pay per click or editorial or offline advertising suggestions)

  1. Start a podcast, talk about your company, conduct interviews with people that are making the news in the same industry as you.
  2. Start a Vlog and set up your own YouTube Channel.
  3. Consider Video Marketing, design your own videos or hire an agency.
  4. Start a Blog and write regular content. Do make sure the domain name has the exact match searchable keywords and phrases.
  5. Perform a SEO audit report and see how you can optimise your website/blog to perform better.
  6. Get backlinks.
  7. Get Like for Likes on social media groups and pages.
  8. Guest blog for free on other peoples blogs or comment on their articles. Some companies even pay you if they find your articles useful.
  9. Network with other businesses, LinkedIn is a good place to start and if you have networking events in your area consider going to one or two and start making acquaintances.
  10. Make use of all your social media platforms. Create business pages and join groups and like, comment and share your blog posts and interact with other business owners, don’t forget to use hashtags and if permitted backlinks to your page or site.
  11. Set up a business forum in your niche through WordPress, they have plugins that are already designed for you.
  12. Join Business Forums and interact.
  13. Set up a (chat) on your website and blogs so that you can interact with your visitors (www.talk.to is free). Remember to have the chat bot on during office hours.
  14. Share Banner Ads on Social Media, Platforms, Pages and Groups.
  15. Advertise in Business Directories (most are free).
  16. Advertise on Classified Ads (Some are free, like Gumtree, Craiglist and FreeAds).
  17. Interact with local communities, some have websites (Quora, Reddit) aswell as Facebook groups.
  18. Set up a local workshop.
  19. Do Public Speaking.
  20. Offer free business consultation if you are in the industry of helping business grow.
  21. Offer to advertise other peoples businesses, products and service on your site free of charge for a limited time.
  22. Sell your advertising space to business owners.
  23. They say the money is in the list, set up a newsletter and send out information to your contacts. Offer incentives to get people to sign up to your newsletters.
  24. Consider Affiliate Marketing where you get paid if someone clicks an ad you are displaying on your site or through an email list or newsletter.
  25. Pay people to advertise your business through companies such as ‘Clickbank’ ‘Rakuten Linkshare’, ‘Shareasale’.
  26. Write an ebook that you can offer your customers in exchange for their email.
  27. Set up an event such as a conference, auction, or networing seminar.
  28. Sponsor an event, this could mean you may have to either pay/domate or offer your services for free. This will give exposure to your company and your brand.
  29. Organise an open house and offer wine tasting or set up a stall and sell your products and services. The series on Netflix “Selling Sunset” hosted parties and a wedding in a few of their luxury properties they were selling to VIP guests, multi-million dollar real estate.
  30. Set up an auction or fashion show and get other businesses to donate something and charge an entry fee for the evening of the event with your brand name in the limelight.
  31. Partner with a small business, offer your products and services at a discounted price and ask them to do the same in exchange. They may be a Web Designer but may not offer marketing, whilst you as a marketing agency could offer your service in exchange for leads and visa versa.
  32. Public Relations – make an announcement on PR Agency websites where journalist can write about you.
  33. Create a Google Business Page and update regularly just like you would a blog.
  34. Set up a contest/competition.
  35. Offer Discounts and Incentives to all you current and prospective clients.
  36. Upsell to your existing clients.
  37. Offer Free Trials and Demos.
  38. Wear your insignia and get your employees to wear branded apparel.
  39. Send out compimetary useful merchandise with your company logo, website and telephone number.
  40. Ask for referrals, offer you clients incentives that if they refer you, you will give them something in return, it could be a product, service or discount.
  41. Get your family and friends to spread the word.
  42. Consider leaflet drops to businesses or homes depending on the industry you are in.
  43. Sell a course online to educate people in your industry.
  44. Sell merchandise with your company name.
  45. Set up a Wikipedia page.
  46. Set up a Crunchbase profile.
  47. Pitch your business to angel investors, private equity firms to raise funding and spread awareness. Angel investors may put you in touch with some of their contacts if they think your business is viable, in exchange for a commission on every introduction.
  48. Set up a squeeze page using click funnels to your offer.
  49. Consider advertising your busness on other sites (rate card advertising prices will apply).
  50. Google Ads not only help with ranking they will get you on the first page of Google instantaneously providing you meet the bidding price of your daily budget.
  51. Facebook Ads, can fine tune the audience you wish to target.
  52. Instagram Ads – Instagram has over 500 million users per month.
  53. Start following people and businesses in your niche on Instagram and interact with their posts.
  54. Newspaper Ads.
  55. Editorial Publication Ad Campaign.
  56. Guerilla Marketing, do something outlandish but first get permission from the local council and the police. If you are a web designer set up a office type table and chair in a busy high street and when people ask what you are doing you can hand out your business cards. Baroness Michelle Mone did a stunt promoting her ‘Ultimo Bra’ brand back in the day when she was starting out by having actors dressed up as plastic surgeons protesting that ‘Ultimo’ was putting them out of business. The day of the event all her bra’s got sold out. Hire a plane or drone with the flogo and have your advert flown sky high.
  57. Promotional giveaways, you can do this digitally or can set up a physical stall, you can giveaway products and services but do get permission first if you plan to do it in a public place.
  58. Make the most of trade shows by either networking or setting up a stand an expo.
  59. Create your own App.
  60. Billboard advertising is another way to attract business, such as bus stops and on sides of buildings.
  61. Advertise on Publish Transport on the side of buses and taxis.
  62. Send your products and services to influencers and celebrities and ask them to endorse your brand.
  63. Advertise your business on Black Cabs if you are in the UK and Yellow Cabs in the States.
  64. TV & Radio Advertising.
  65. Help non profit organisations by donating or marketing, either way the charities will advertise you.
  66. Go physically into businesses that are in the same niche as yours and if you are a pet sitting/dog walker business go to your local vets and ask them to display your posters or brochures. If you are selling cruises get your local high street travel agents to display your information.
  67. Offer your services for free for the first month or so, get people to sign contracts as they could take you up on the offer and then walk away once it is ended. Or if you are selling a product why not “try before you buy” type of offer.
  68. Ask businesses if they would like free exposure to their products and services and display, their merchandise in your establishment, moreover they may also do the same for you.
  69. Go to cafes and grocery stores where they have message boards and display your information, or if you are more high end, visit hospitality venues and advertise your products and services there. Give them incentives to market your business such as an exclusive discount and mention their name in the print.
  70. Start a directory of businesses in your niche and offer both free and paid listings. When constructing the directory contact each business owner and tell them they have a free listing. This will give you the opportunity to explain who you are and offer them more exposure with more prominent paid advertising. Instead of waiting for the mountain to come to Mohammed, get Mohammed to go to the mountain.

Note From The Editor.

When promoting your business try to expand your products and services, it is good to have your fingers in many pies.

As well as the above-mentioned hints and tips, re-train your mindset and stay focused and positive. Be assertive with yourself and do not allow any negativity to get in your way. Just before you go to sleep visualize your ultimate goals and desires and imagine yourself already have acquired your wealth, do this every night for 30 days and see changes manifesting. Research neuroscience and the power of thought.

Do some research into neuroplasticity and a book that is highly recommended read is Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”

Further Reading:

https://blog.wishpond.com/post/59612395517/52-tips-how-to-market-on-instagram

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#marketing #advertising #videomarketing #networking #socialmedia #shoutout #businessrecommendations #marketingtips

Pros and Cons Hiring a Contractor vs Employee

Pros and Cons Hiring a Contractor vs Employee

When businesses start up they may invariably decide that you need extra help.

Most small businesses start by hiring outsourcing their work to agencies and freelancers, but eventually, they may decide to hire staff instead to make things more permanent. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of hiring employees vs. independent contractors and how starting out can save you money hiring companies rather than employing staff.

Hiring Employees

Hiring employees, a business owner is obliged to pay a wage regardless if there is any work or not. The perfect example is being furloughed during lockdown; this was a headache for most business owners unable to trade.

An employee is basically a person who works for a person or company whereby the employee is under the control of the employer and has to work a certain number of hours each week.

The advantages of hiring an employee are you have sole control of the employee’s work schedule which would mean the employee only works for you and is trained and guided by you. You have few restrictions or limitations on what you can assign to the employee or about your ability to terminate the employee without paying out a contract.

However, by employing a staff member, you have to abide by the laws and regulations of your given country. You cannot hire and fire unless it is legally warranted. You have to abide by the payment of wages or salaries, overtime, and other work rules.

You must adhere to comply with payroll tax requirements, including paying National Insurance and Taxes, Pensions. (This part is an example for the UK, other countries have different payroll rules).

Hiring Independent Contractors

By hiring an independent contractor, you pay for a job or assignment. You do not have to worry about paying for holidays or sick leave. You do not have to worry about paying wages and P.A.Y.E.

The advantages of hiring an independent contractor are you assign a job to meet a deadline and once the job is completed you have no other obligation to the person or company you hired. You can assign duties to an independent contractor and impose a deadline, but you cannot tell that person how to get the job done. You can however ask the independent sub-contractor to sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure your trading information is not shared with their competitors.

An independent contractor sets his/her/their own hours and fees which are agreed by the client and he/she can work for other companies as well as yourself. An independent contractor often provides his/her/their own equipment and tools i.e., computers, cameras, software, and may come to your place of work or work remotely based on their terms and conditions.

However, when you are doing your tax returns (HMRC UK) you should also include that you have paid sub-contractors.

To be defined as an independent contractor the following must apply:

  • He/She/They consult for multiple businesses.
  • He/She/They control the hours worked.
  • He/She/They choose where they work.
  • He/She/They are ineligible for employment benefits from your business.
  • He/She/They work independently and choses their location where to work.
  • He/She/They decide how they will complete the work.
  • He/She/They incur costs that relate to the comletion of the assignment.
  • He/She/They are experts in a chosen field with the relevant qualifications and experience.
  • He/She/They are responsible for paying self-employment tax.
  • He/She/They are not entitled to workers’ or unemployment compensation benefits.
  • He/She/They are not eligible for overtime pay.
  • He/She/They are not entitled to holiday pay, sick pay or maternity leave.

Disclaimer

This post is meant for UK Businesses and in other countries, federal laws will be different, so you must check the rules and regulations appertaining to your location.

#employee #independantcontractor #subcontractor #selfemployed #outsourcing #hiring #staff #payroll #furlough #furloughed #employment #contractor

Working From Home.

Working From Home.

The burning question that is trending right now is the topic of working from home especially after Rishi Sunak said that “working from home is not nearly as “valuable” for young people’s career progression as going into the office” after the government changed its guidance.

I agree that young people need to be nurtured and need onsite training, they also need to be monitored for complacency. Young people left to their own devices (no pun intended) are more likely to spend more time on their phones than doing any work. Only focused people who are dedicated to their jobs will succeed, that is why it is imperative to keep an eye on young people especially school leavers. A more mature person will be more responsible.

Hence home office jobs should only be offered to people who are more than capable of setting critical time paths (CTP’s) and guarantee to get the job done by the given deadline.

A young person needs to learn the skills first and that usually needs to be onsite. They also need to have someone of authority (management) making sure they do the work properly and do not slack.

The advantages of working from home can be beneficial to both the employer and the employee. The employer will save on overheads of heating and lighting and coffee breaks. Whilst the employee will save money commuting to work.

However, there will be employers that will want to get their money’s worth and will expect their employees to work at the business location rather than home.

Employees, working from home on the other hand can boost productivity as the employee will get more done without the pressure from a normal working environment.

An employer that hires virtual assistants can save a lot of money rather than employing someone and having them on their books.

The employee will have a duty to their employer and an obligation to complete the assignments. If they are customer service telesales they have to have an area in their home designated without distractions. A virtual assistant is a subcontractor and will already be self-employed with their own office setup. A virtual assistant will already be supplying a service that would invoice for the job in question.

In an office, banter is kept to a minimum and people have less freedom to talk, whilst working from home you can do the work productively without the stress of your boss overhearing or management watching you.

Working from home is ideal for mums and disabled people. Disabled people can adapt their home around their office unlike a business adapting their office around the disabled person.

To work effectively from home, you’ll need to make sure you have the technology & equipment that you require, a separate workspace from your family and kids.

When working from home you also need good Internet service and speeds, you will also need a landline or a VoIP phone. You also need to treat your home office as a business and work the hours set out by your employer unless you work for yourself that is.

Top Hybrid Jobs for working remotely include information technology (IT) and healthcare; positions include customer service representatives, sales representatives, project managers, etc.

A lot of top companies such as Google, Microsoft do offer work remotely.

At the end of the day, it is up to the individual’s personal preference and personal circumstances if they would prefer to return to a normal office environment or work from home and the employer should give the opportunity providing deadlines are met. However, the bottom line will be whatever your employer wants rather than what you want.

FURTHER READING.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15762396/rishi-sunak-warns-home-working-harm-career/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58068998

#HybridWork #workfromhome #workremotely

40 Ways To Get More Business.

Advertising & Marketing.

40 Ways to Get More Business.

I have decided today to take a leaf out of my own book and practice what I preach.

With that said I am going to develop a directory of businesses and forums on my site where people can come and hang out. It is in the beta stage at the moment, watch this space.

I may even start a local periodical magazine.

There is a saying ‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain‘ arises from the story of Muhammad, as retold by Francis Bacon, in Essays, 1625: Mahomet called the Hill to come to him. … If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the mountain.

In other words get people to come to you, rather than you going to them. Moving one stone at a time you will eventually move the mountain.

  1. Design and market a business blog. In fact I have several and use them as part of my SEO link wheel. Once you have decided what your blog is about you need to have categories of different topics people actively search for and want help with. Tip use keywords in your categories.
  2. Guest Blog on other peoples blogs. This will create backlinks back to your default site. Ask bloggers in your LinkedIn contacts if they would be happy publishing your articles. Find Blogs similar to your niche and gust blog post there.
  3. Write posts on groups and social media pages. It is a good idea to also have your own group and pages.
  4. Online Social Media advertising, you can have a Video or Squeeze pages which can help increase your total number of conversions while providing you with enough information needed to nurture leads into sales. This applies to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  5. Adwords, obviously you need a budget for this and Google often do promotional incentives for first time users such as get £75.00 free credit if you spend £25.00
  6. LinkedIn Ads are similar to Google Ads the only difference is your LinkedIn ads will only be visible on LinkedIn. However because LinkedIn is a Business Platform this by far one of the best ways to connect and network.
  7. Offer online courses and sell your courses on site like UDEMY. Obviously the best place to sell is on your own websites and social media platforms. Put to together a “how to” course and teach people a trade.
  8. Local Workshops are a good way to network and get like minded people together. This can be done online although pending lockdown restrictions regulations this can also be a physical place to meet.
  9. Business Listings, if you already registered with Google My Business you should, make Google your friend and they will track you and rank you faster.
  10. List your business with all the main business directories, like Yell, Yelp. 192 etc.
  11. List your business on classified websites such as Cardiff Free Ads. Just type into Google search, Classified ads and you will get your answer through the search results.
  12. List your Business on Business Forums and Community websites.
  13. Post articles on Quora and Reddit.
  14. Post Articles on all you social media pages consistantly otherwise people lose interest and the more times your brand is visible the more popular you will become.
  15. Events. If you like talking, why not speak at events, talk about your product, brand, story.
  16. Host a conference, get people to come to you and get them networking.
  17. Partner with a competitor, that way you can help each other.
  18. Partner with a non competing business, that may benefit your skills.
  19. Go to Networking Events Hosted by Other people, this can be online and physical.
  20. Ask for referrals. Start with family and friends and ask them to share your business cards and social media shares with their connections, you will be surprised how many people will get to see your business. Gettting referrals and utilizing your network can be a quick and easy way to score more client projects.
  21. Set up a suppliers page on your blog/website and get people to advertise.
  22. Set up an affiliate marketing program and get other people to promote your business in exchange for a commission.
  23. Start a competition and get people to enter their details for a chance to win a prize.
  24. Giveaways, give an ebook away about your niche in exchange for an email, everyone loves to get something for free. Give branded merchandise away.
  25. Consider outbound marketing and contact people that may be interested in your product or service.
  26. Editorial Advertising, put an ad in a newspaper or periodical.
  27. Leaflet/pamphlet advertising and post them in your neighbourhood.
  28. Notice Boards in Supermarkets and coffeeshops, leave your business card or small leaflet. Leave your merchandise, keyfobs, pens, handsanitisers, pin badges, balloons, mini notebooks (This depends on your advertising budget).
  29. Wear branded clothing that has your website address visible in bold, this is advertising on the go.
  30. Design a magazine and get businesses to advertise.
  31. Have an advertising banner on your car you can get magnetic banners.
  32. Gift your family, friends and neighbours with branded merchandise such as fridge magnets, pens, key fobs, mini notebooks, branded facemasks. Give things that people will use rather than throw away.
  33. Give a trial offer to your product or service. If you give something for free your are giving people the opportunity to test and trust you.
  34. Sponsor an event or auction off something using advertising, marketing strategies.
  35. Get your brand in the news get journalist to write about you.
  36. Video Marketing, you need to be professional and make your videos top notch. I do not mean tik tok style. If it looks like you have spent money on video advertising it will look like you are successful.
  37. Vlogging, this a good way to have brand awareness, get your staff to contribute. Have a video the day in the life of driving instructor or graphic designer etc. People like to have some sort of idea how you manage a business which may give them inspiration.
  38. Influencers are people that use social media platforms to promote, their products or other peoples products and service. Hire models and take photos and videos of them using your products or services and then share on all the platforms or get influencers to promote your products or services for you.
  39. Write a book about your business or if you do not know where to start hire a writer that will write the book for you and then send it to businesses that may find your book useful. (You could have a book the day in the life of a …….).
  40. Do a publicity stunt, publicity stunts are an organised events designed to attract the public’s attention to the event’s organizers or their cause. Be unique and amaze your audience with a well thought through campaign.

Final Thoughts.

Nothing happens overnight, however, if you concentrate on social media and post banner ads eventually people will like and share and even buy. Be patient, stay focused and be consistent.

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Ecommerce Definition.

This domain name is no longer brokered by us and you should contact ‘Fathi Said’ Directly on his website www.ecommerce.com, using his contact form.

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce definition is a business model conducted online. The most popular example of eCommerce is online shopping, which is defined as buying and selling of goods via the internet on any device. However, eCommerce can also entail other types of activities, such as logistics, payment gateways, online auctions, online shopping, online ticketing, and internet banking.

Imagine having a website that can offer all these things and more, imagine having a site similar to Amazon, Alibaba, DHGate, Ali Express, Ebay, all under one roof. Imagine having a directory of retailers, wholesalers importers and exporters and logistic companies.

eCommerce is the fastest growing retail market and was projected to hit $4.135 trillion in sales in 2020

A new trend has also arisen through Mobile commerce, where more and more people are using their phones to buy online. This domain name could be an app aswell as a static website it could cater for mCommerce as it is known. mCommerce is gaining more momentum as a rapidly growing new avenue of eCommerce that’s mostly driven by the expanding market and influence of smartphones and millennials’ comfort with shopping online.

It has been speculated that since 2018, the mCommerce sector has increased sales by a 39.1% compared to the previous years.

Different eCommerce Business Models?

eCommerce is typically defined into three different categories, Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C), and Customer to Customer (C2C).

  1. Business to Business (B2B) is when a business sells to another business. This is typically office equipment, stationery and inventory such as food or merchandise for the hospitality sectors. Normally B2B companies provide a trade prices per unit if customers buy in bulk. This not only encourages business to buy more as an incentive to save money, it also has room to make a profit margin on resale.
  2. Business to Consumer (B2C) is the most commonly thought where merchants sell to consumers typically in the hospitally and retail sectors such as pubs, restaurants, retail shop. An example of the B2C would be supermarkets where consumers buy their shopping but would not neccessarilly buy in bulk.
  3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C) is where a person rather than a business sells to make a profit this typically is a person looks to resell an item to another consumer, through social media like Instagram and Facebook or on marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist, this can be a lucrative business for selling items that you no longer want.

Pros of eCommerce

eCommerce is an an essential way of eyeryday life and has explosive growth in the past couple of years. Businesses are taking advantage of the numerous benefits of eCommerce, the most notable of which include:

  • Global market. A global market is where a business has a physical address and physical store. This type of store has imitations if it is not online and may be limited by a geographical area it can serve. An online store on the other hand is able to serve consumers globally or in their targeted regions. Diversifying from Local to Global offers a greater advantage for the consumer. In 2018, 11.9% of global retail sales came from online purchases and this is only set to increase yearly.
  • Availability. An advantage to having an online store one does not have the same overheads as a physical store, not need to pay rent for your premises, rates and heating bills. Running an online business you can set your hours to suit you and talk with your customers using chat widgets. Your store potenially could be open 24/7/365.
  • Reduced costs. Having a business online you essentially are reducing your running costs. Obviously you have to pay for the hosting and management of a website and unless you have a warehouse you do not need to hire as many staff. You can even hore virtual assistants rather than emply people. eCommerce costs go to warehousing and product storage, however you can eliminate that by having a dropshipping business and enjoy even lower upfront investment requirements. Merchants that can save on operational costs, can offer better deals and discounts to their customers.
  • Inventory. eCommerce business providing it is done through dropshipping or fullfilment whereby an organisation such as warehouse, store, pack and ship your inventory on your behalf through automation management by using electronic tools to accelerate ordering, delivery and payment procedures. This business model is saving businesses billions in operational and inventory costs each year.
  • Geo Targeting. With access to social media platforms and PPC advertising you can set the audience you wish to target. Algorithms will track users searching for specific items and will draw attention to your offers. With a wealth of customer data and an opportunity to keep an eye on customer buying habits as well as the emerging industry trends, eCommerce businesses can stay agile and shape their marketing efforts to provide a better-tailored experience and find more new customers. Imagine fine tuning your audience by age, gender, location and interests, imagine how successful you can be selling your invontory to people that are actively lloking for what you are selling.
  • Niche markets. Running a niche brick-and-mortar business can be difficult. Imagine being in the middle of the desert how are people going to find you? Having the know how and being online you can easily implement exact march searchable kewyords and phrases in your SEO by scaling a niche product to become popular is effortful. Having a place where businesses can tap into a global marketsuch as an online directory eCommerce retailers can build a highly profitable niche business without any further investment. Businesses can save on costly website hosting and management fees by having landing pages with their inventory under one hub. Using online search capabilities, customers from any corner of the world can find and purchase your products. This is especially true if you have a large directory of categories that include niche products.
  • Internet. As long as you have a computer and internet you can work virtually anywhere in the world without worrying about running costs of a physical bricks and mortar business. Often, running an eCommerce business means that you don’t need to sit in an office from 9 to 5 or suffer through a commute day-in and day-out. A laptop and a good internet connection is all it takes to manage your business from anywhere in the world.

How to Start an eCommerce Business?

www.ecommerce.com

There are a number of ways you can set up an ecommerce business, one is to build a website which takes anything from 12 to 18 months to be ranked by search engines for get you to the first page of Google ultimately. The other way is to sign up with an already established site where they offer landing pages and subdomain pages so that one can list inventory. There also dropshipping sites that offer sub domain pages. Which ever route you choose with one being building an ecommerce store from scratch you need to dedicate time and money in order for your store to be successful. Although you can set up a an actual online relatively easily and quickly, there are many months of extensive SEO that needs to be done when launching and growing a profitable eCommerce business. SEO is very complex multi-layered process involving different strategies and it takes many months of hard work to get your store seen.

Launching

Launching a website is more complex than what people realise, simply activating and publishing a website will only make your site float in cyber space. You need to have knowledge of SEO and you need to also generate backlinks. You also need to definine your key performance indicators upfront which will help you track your progress and performance and fix any issues as they emerge. Other important things to take care of include setting up your social media profiles, getting your email marketing ready, installing Google Analytics, doing keyword research, defining your shipping strategy and finalizing the launch promotion plan.

Sourcing

Deciding what products to sell is one of the first steps to starting an online business. One needs to research what products are profitable and trending, or if you have a new invention you have do a lot of advertising and marketing. You may want to sell white label products that have your company band name or you may want to be unique and sell something that no one else is selling, either way you need to establish trust with your audience and having a brand name that people recognise is an important fact in building a successful business.

It is important that your product have healthy profit margins. Once you have decided on the product you need to find manufacturers that you can source your product from. You may decided on having a factory of your own and warehouse or you can outsource you work and have manufacturers do the work for you. You may even want to sell other peoples products and simply drop ship. There are four main methods of sourcing products and inventory are manufacturing, wholesale and dropshipping or making it yourself.

Research

With every new business you have to have a business plan and analyse your product idea and the most important areas you need to research will be your competition, pricing strategy, and your unique value proposition. A business plan will help you visualize your growth strategy and identify any potential threats or obstacles.

Branding

Key elements of branding your products and your your store is fundemetally your brand name and your domain name. Having an exact match searchable keyword domain name will get you traffic much faster than a brand name. With a brand name you have to do extensive advertising and marketing to get your audience to recognise your brand, this includes haveing a unique and memorable logo. Getting your brand spot on from the start can help accelerate the growth and conquer the hearts of potential customers. You also need to have knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) before turning your attention to building the store.

Selling Strategies

There are a number of ways you can sell online.

  1. You can build your own website from scratch or use web builders, which takes time to get ranked by search engines and you need to dedicate an lot time optimising the site, including advertising and marketing. Designing from scratch you need to know coding whilst the later is done for you templates.
  2. You could use off the shelf eCommerce platforms such as Shopify but you will find most website hosting companies offer online shops that you drag and drop your products and integrate dropshipping.
  3. Sell on websites that are already ranked such as directories simliar to dhgate, amazon, ebay, alibaba to name a few.
  4. You could sell on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram
  5. Marketing you store takes time and money. If you are not an expert digital marketer, getting you store off the ground and in front of a targeted audience can be difficult and you may have to hire a company to promote your store on your behalf. You should also experiment with regularly expanding or refreshing your inventory. Remember you need to put the work in to get money out. An online store can be daunting but offering an already done for you subdomain can be beneficial if your are starting out. Starting small and gradually expanding is one option to consider. Start you business on already established websites such as Amazon, Alibaba, Ali Express, DHGate and you never know even on Ecommerce.com

Final Thoughts.

For a startup www.ecommerce.com could be ideal marktetplace as a way for any business to be listed and found quickly, especially if they are a newly branded name. Most businesses need a gentle push to get more traffic, imagine being listed on a website that people would be actively be using to promote their brands or simply wanting to buy products from. This website could also list all payment gateways all under once roof helping businesses find their ideal banking system quickly and easily. There is a multitude of business models that can be developed around this domain name.

As an example Alibaba is one of the most prominent Chinese technology names around the world and has a market value of about $463 billion. So far this year, its stock price has risen about 3.6 percent with shares hitting highs in June. You could be the next Jack Ma or Jeff Bezo (Amazon).

10 biggest e-commerce companies in the world are (sorted by revenue):

  1. Amazon ($386.06 billion)
  2. JD.com ($82.2 billion)
  3. Alibaba ($56.15 billion)
  4. Suning.com ($38.06 billion)
  5. Meituan-Dianping ($13.7 billion)
  6. Rakuten ($11.6 billion)
  7. eBay ($10.8 billion)
  8. Wayfair ($9.13 billion)
  9. Zalando ($7.26 billion)
  10. Coupang ($6.23 billion)

Hence what the owner of this domain is asking for is chump change compared to the perceived equity this domain name can bring.

Owning www.ecommerce.com you can be in control of the global market and have all businesses all under one roof with the largest directory in the world. You could have a platform such as Amazon and combine it with a business model like Ebay with an auction feature. You could also be a dropshipper. Having a directory of all businesses around the world, from importers, exporter. manufacturers, warehouses, dropshipers, logistic companies where by you could charge for advertising space and make millions. This domain name could the biggest website in the world. You could also offer services such as Advertising, SEO and Marketing, ideal if a business is new and wants to be found relatively quickly.

This domain name would be ideal for:

  1. Startups, or entrepreneurs starting their own business.
  2. Domain Investors that may want to develop their own business model or established businesses that may want to secure the domain and point to their website.
  3. eCommerce Dropshipping Business (B2B) Dropshipping are packaged and distributed by the third party company, and the owner(s) of the dropshipping site never come into contact with a product, they just take a small percentage or commission from the person or business who is actually making and distributing it.
  4. eCommerce Payment Gateways, such as stripe, gocardless.com, paypal etc.
  5. eCommerce Online Store (B2C) Such a Amazon.
  6. eCommerce Wholesalers (B2B) A wholesaler acts like a middle man between a manufacturer and a retailer.
  7. eCommerce Consumer to Consumer (C2C) With consumer-to-consumer selling, there’s no business involved at all, and it’s usually a pretty casual setup. Think of a garage sale, or a platform like eBay.
  8. eCommerce Consumer to Business (C2B) This is where a consumer sells their services to a business. Freelancers are the perfect example of this.
  9. Subscription Services (B2C or B2B) Subscription boxes all work slightly differently, but basically involve signing up to receive a different type of a product that you like each month. (Typical versions of this could be wine or book clubs).
  10. Private Labeling and Manufacturing (B2B or B2C) Any business or individual doing private labeling and manufacturing is one that is basically just carrying out all the presale stages in-house. That’s to say they’re making, packaging and then selling the goods directly to the end customer.
  11. While Labeling (B2B) Companies operating on a white labeling business revenue model rebrand (or ‘label’) products purchased from a manufacturer, and sell them on as their own products.
  12. Manufacturing (B2B) is the making of goods by hand or by machine. Items used in manufacture may be raw materials or component parts of a larger product. The manufacturing usually happens in a factory on a large-scale production line of machinery and skilled labour.
  13. Rent to Loan (B2B, B2C & C2C) Rent to Loan is when the customer is only paying for use of their product or service, rather than to buy it outright. An example of B2C is car rentals.
  14. Freemium – A freemium payment model is one that you typically only see used by digital products. With a freemium business model, you can sign up to a free version of the product, which has reduced functionality. Spotify is a classic example of a business operating on a freemium revenue model.
  15. A vendor-specific website (one brand seller) is a dedicated website which only sells the goods or services of one individual, or one business. Most ecommerce websites fall into this category. For example Rolex, a high end watchmaker brand, has a dedicated website selling only Rolex Watches.
  16. Online retailers such as Harrods or Selfridgdes, Harvey Nichols, bring together products from separate vendors under one online roof. The online retailer has control over which vendors it brings together in this way.
  17. Marketplaces C2C), like Etsy and eBay are excellent places if you are a consumer starting out selling your own products to other customers.
  18. Classified Ads – Websites such as Craiglist, Cardiff Free Ads are places where you can list items for sale and may have to pay an aditional small fee to get your listing featured .
  19. Directories where Business can list their company information with options to be featured with Banner Ads at an additional cost.
  20. Marketing Agencies and Consultants that may have a directory of businesses they market.

UPDATE!

As of 04/07/21 Michael Dooner and I regrettably are no longer brokering the domain name www.ecommerce.com and you should contact ‘Fathi Said’ Directly on his website using his contact form. According the the owner ‘Fathi Said’ he has found another broker.

#ecommerce #mcommerce #amazon #alibaba #aliexpress #dhgate #shopify #onlineshopping #retailshopping #wholesalers #dropshipping #importing #exporting #ecommercedirectory #jeffbezo #jackma #dianawang #michaeldooner #doonerdomains

How To Increase Business & Followers.

I noticed today a post on LinkedIn from someone that was connected with me but was not an internet marketer per-se, stating “How to increase followers from 30K to 225K followers” in five minutes per day by commenting #yes

The first thing that came to mind is he has no authority to advise considering he is and what I saw was a clever click bait hack and nothing more. This is a disappointment when people are genuinely looking for answers and come across someone just looking out for him/herself, simply having people click the post for the post to go no where.

Therefore I have taken upon myself to write this post to help individuals increase followers/business. This method can be applied to all social media platforms:

1: Optimize Your Profile Pages, optimise your cover photo and also your profile picture. Make your profile picture look professionally done. Remember to be aware of your background in the photo. A picture says a thousand words. Try to get a professional head shot done at a local photographic studio (when they are open again) or get a friend to take a photo without any distractions in the backdrop.

2: Start with connecting with people, most social media platforms say only connect with the people you know, but what if you have a genuine enquiry, the best thing is to find their email addresses to write to them first before sending them a connection request, especially of you do not know them.

3: Write articles on your pages and link back to articles you have written on your blogs and share these articles with your connections.

4: Make your post intriguing only give a little away and entice the reader to click you post for more information.

5. Share photos on your social media platform pages, instagram is good for this or do infographics and add titles to your posts.

6: Be creative and publish videos, add captivating content that people will be willing to watch. Add humour, funny videos attract peoples attention.

7: Go Live. Livestreaming is not for everyone but if you are happy broadcasting an event or milestone as long as it has good content you will get people watching.

8: Advertise your brochures and share your pdf’s on your business pages.

9: Use hashtags when closing your post text.

10: Don’t forget to tag your connections and companies that may find your post useful.

11: Give your followers valuable advice. Everyone is a guru these days and some can be better at it than others but you only have one chance of being an expert in your niche and the more followers you have the more well known you will become.

12: RSS feeds are a good way of finding trending posts, create “breaking news” posts that perhaps people outside your region may not have heard of. Do not copy posts word for word as that is called plagiarism and you will be penalised by search engines. For me I always use one of my blogs to write articles which I then share with my connections and although I may read something I will scramble it into my own words, even giving my own perspective.

13: Be consistant and active everyday on all your social media platforms. I am perhaps the world worst as I only seem to hang out on LinkedIn because most of my work is B2B but recently I have been asked to do B2C hence I need to alter my mind set and concentrate on Facebook pages and groups more.

14: Create viral posts this could be something like a give away or a competition with a deadline.

15: Join groups on your social media platforms.

16: Create your own groups for your different niches.

17: Create your own business pages on all your social media platforms, keep your professional and personal pages seperate.

18: If you have an event coming up or thinking of creating one, social media is a good place to advertise and market yourself.

19: Once you have a following on your social media platforms do reach out and collaborate with your connections.

20: Set the buttons on your profiles to a “Follow” button.

21: Create a call to action in every post.

22: Promote your social media profiles everywhere, including your website, blogs and email signatures.

23: Cross promote your profile on your other social media channels. For me I have on default business card website that I point people to, this saves time typing out each social media platform I am connected to.

24: Pay per click advertising campaigns are not only good with Google & Bing but they are also is a good way of connecting with people through your social media platforms. Facebook & Instagram is a place where you can connect B2C, this is good if you are targeting a specific category or people. You can fine tune your specifications to the location, age, gender and interests.

25: Try to update your profile page frequently, a stagnant page is boring and will show your audience that you are frequesnt at updating. If you have new services, always keep them updated.

26: Always reply to comments, no matter how trivial, ignoring a comment makes the person who wrote it worthless. Obviously if you have hundreds of thousand of comments pick out the ones that stand out and thank everyone in a generic comment.

27: When people share your posts and pages, thank them.

28: Get your biggest fans to endorse you, this applies to LinkedIn more so than any other social media channel and visa versa, you will be amazed how may people who you endorse will endorse you back. The same goes with review ask your customers to write a review about your brand.

29: If you have businesses that wish you to promote them, do offer to write recommendations, this gives you exposure aswell as exposure for your client, but if the businesses wish more exposure you could offer other marketing strategies which you could potentially charge for the service. I do this free of charge by adding banner ads to all my social media pages and groups I am connected on. This is short lived advertising but for a permanent fixture on my blogs I charge a monthy/yearly fee.

30: Exact match searchable keyword and phrases are so important not only in your domain name but on your website, meta tags and social media pages. When choosing a Facebook page for example use words that people would use to search for your product or service rather than your unknown brand name. Your brand name will become popular over time and it will not be an overnight success unless you spend a lot of money on advertising, I just do not mean Google Ads I mean in publications, newspapers, radio and TV.

31: Make your social media profile searchable, make them public.

32: When commenting on other peoples posts, do not get personal and do not get into trolling arguments if someone does not see the value of your comment. Be professional and do not sell things on peoples posts. You could add a backlink to your company as a signature or hashtag but thats it, don’ be the pushy sales person.

33: Give incententives to get people to share your posts. This could be a free e-book or a discount voucher.

35: Become an influencer.

36. Become a public speaker.

37: Create educational webinars, podcasts, tutorials, use youtube and share your content on all social media platforms.

38. Create a SEO link wheel, of your websites, blogs and social media platforms.

39. Start a blog and add RSS feeds so that in engages people’s interests.

40. Have a subscribe widget or pop up so that you can capture peoples emails and then send them updates or newsletters. Do not install the popup until a person is about to exit your site and not before. I believe it is off putting to have a subscribe popup the moment you attempt to access a site. You need to earn my trust and loyalty before I give my email away.

41. Integrate a chat widget into your websites and blogs so that when visitors visit your sites you can engage with them.

42: Guest blog on other notable websites.

43: Become a podcast interviewer. Invite people to join you in a discussion.

44. Write a book about you and your niche and publish your services and products.

45. Leave business cards on noticeboards in supermarkets, cafes (when they open again).

46. Make flyers and post them through peoples doors.

47. Consider giving out freebies, such as buy one get one free.

48. Start a competition.

49. Consider getting people to market you using affiliate links. https://rakutenadvertising.com/en-uk/

50. Advertise in Magazines and in Newspapers.

51. Offer to do something for free, this could be free web hosting in my case or free marketing or promotion.

52. Wear promotional clothing.

53. Give away promotional merchandise.

54. Word of mouth advertising get all your family and friends to promote you and get their family and friends and before you know it you have a network of connections.

55. Do outbound marketing, like picking up the phone and calling or writing snail mail letters.

56. Enlist the help of other advocates in your industry, find a mentor.

57. As your employees to engage in your social media pages, make them contributors.

58. Post your articles at ceratin times of the day. I find that during working hours people are busy getting on with business. So you have to pick times that appeal to your network browsing times, otherwise you posts may not get a look in. However according to LinkedIn’s their busiest hours are in the morning and midday from Monday to Friday. This will ensure your post to get maximum reach.

59. Add multiple admins to you pages and ask your colleagues to help you.

60. Join all the social media platforms and follow companies and people of interest.

Amazon Business

What is Amazon Business?

Amazon Business is changing the way companies buy supplies. For most small businesses, buying supplies can be time-consuming and frustrating. Finding the best product at the best price with the most convenient payment terms can be a challenge, especially when they have other tasks that need to be completed. Amazon Business is the solution and brings big benefits to businesses of all sizes and industries.

How does Amazon Business work?

Amazon Business is a business-to-business marketplace that combines selection, convenience and the value customers around the world have come to know and love from Amazon, with additional business-specific features including bulk pricing, Pay by Invoice*, downloadable VAT invoices and spend management tools. In this marketplace, multiple sellers compete for purchases on common stock keeping units (SKUs) on the most favorable terms for customers. It’s like a “reverse auction” where customers save time, money and hassle in the process.

Choice, value and convenience: Amazon Business simplifies the entire purchasing process for businesses by helping them find, compare and order exactly what they need with fast, reliable shipping and flexible payment options. It’s a shopping experience Amazon customers will instantly recognise and understand.


Helpful purchasing tools: Amazon Business gives users access to helpful purchasing controls that can ensure that only authorised purchases are made, together with tools to integrate with their existing purchasing system and provide detailed purchasing analytics.


Free accounts: Unlike warehouse clubs or subscription-based online retailers, Amazon Business accounts are free, even for companies with multiple authorised purchasers. Once registered, those with accounts are able to search hundreds of millions of products in the Amazon Business inventory, where multiple sellers can compete for their purchase.

Who is eligible for an Amazon Business account?

Business Accounts and business user accounts are intended for businesses and business-related organisations and may be used solely for business purposes. To create a business user account, users must use a valid email address.

Amazon.co.uk may use the business name, address, VAT number or business identification number and any other information a customer provides about their organisation or users or that we may request or determine is necessary to verify accuracy and eligibility for Amazon Business. Amazon may make, directly or through third parties, inquiries to validate information provided to us. Amazon may accept or refuse use of Amazon Business at their discretion.

Having a Business acount you have the flexibility of buying and selling whilst using a trusted logistics company known world wide.



*Subject to satisfactory credit checks and credit limit

Sending Emails to CEO’s

Sending emails to ceo’s.

My Pet Peeve is that I have emailed some CEO’s directly of late and have other people email me back, not the CEO themselves.

If I have taken the trouble to seek a CEO’s email out, as some are difficult to get hold of, you would think they would have the decency to reply. Instead I get emails from other people underneath them.

If I wanted the opinion of another person I would no doubt have seeked them out also.

If I get emails directly, I do not portray myself to be “so very important” that I cannot answer my own emails. I most certainly would not employ someone to open my emails and filter what is worth me reading, I would somehow use the money paying someone instead to go use.

Yes I hear you, the CEO has created a job for someone, I will no doubt agree but surely making an employee more proactive and getting them to find more business is better than someone just responding to emails all day.

Why do CEO’s act like they are from another planet. Nearly all started out the same way as most of us and only a few were born with silver spoons in their mouths.

I am not talking about A-Lister Celebrities, who potentially have millions of fans emailing them, in which they may need help answering all the fan mail, I am talking about owners of companies, who also think they are untouchable and think because they have risen above the clouds they are essentially no longer human and have minions doing the work for them, whilst they sit back and reap the rewards.

To employ someone to respond to emails is basically lazy and pretentious, which I certainly I am not.

By getting someone else to respond on your behalf it like saying “Look at me, I am SO VERY IMPORTANT AND BUSY and you are an insignificant person to me, in which I will not respond directly and will get someone else to respond on my behalf”.

Obviously I have enough common sense to filter out what is in need of my attention and what is not. If on the other hand I had an email that may need investigating and I was too busy to do the work myself I would get someone to do the work and then write it out but I would still send it from my inbox as courtesy.

It really gets to me, the biggger the company the less they care about their customers and its all about how much money they make rather than seeing a customer happy.

“Without customers, followers and connections you would not be living in your fancy houses driving your fancy cars”.

I know enough that even if my emails have not been read by the CEO’s I always have my platform to fall back on if I get a lame response from someone underneath them. Never judge a book by its cover or underestimate anyone.

No matter how successful you are, remember where you came from and the strugggles and sacrifices you made getting where you are today”.

No matter how important you may be and even if you are one of the fortune 500 it is always good to show empathy to your followers, connections and customers, otherwise you have the misfortune of alienating yourself from the rest of the world. Showing people that you care will only entice more worshippers.

When contacting CEO’s evaluate is your email worthy of a response as CEO’s are busy people and although I made light of it earlier, they do not all sit in swanky restaurants sipping cocktails all day, they actually do work and jolly hard too, so you need to ask yourself does your email warrant a response.

I personally have eleven inboxes open on my phone and every few hours scroll and mark the ones that need my attention.

Finally, if all CEO’s thought they were untouchable we would not have LinkedIn and the ones that do and do not connect with you after you send them a message may find they have missed out on an opprtunity to get more business and added exposure and as I see it, thats their loss not mine.

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