Category: SEO

What Payments Should I Offer My Customers While Running a Small Business?

As a business, it’s up to you to make sure that you meet your customers where they are at. One of the thing you might want to consider is how your customer experience is overall and how you can improve it. How your customers pay can be an important part of their experience working with you and whether they will choose to come back to your business in the future.

Here are some of the payment options you might want to provide to your clients.

Check or money order

One of the more old-fashioned ways that clients have made payments in the past is through using a check or a money order. Bank accounts and other payment forms have made it much easier to pay with other methods, but some customers might still be interested in making large purchases in this way. Offering check or money order can establish trust, but it can also cause difficulties if there are not enough funds within a client’s bank account or if they want to pay off a big purchase over time.

Credit or debit cards

Many businesses avoid using credit or debit cards as a main form of payment because they do not like the added merchant fees. However, many do not know that there are additional merchant services that go along with offering this as a payment option. Credit cards also allow clients to make payments over time, which can be helpful if you are selling a more expensive product or service. It can also provide you with additional help if you have a customer that wishes to cancel a transaction or you are dealing with any issues in regards to payment.

Cash

Cash is another simple way that your clients might make payments. While many customers have switched toward using credit or debit cards instead of carrying cash around with them, if your business has small products or services available, then it might be more convenient for them to pay with cash. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to make sure that your clients can pay with bills, though this can be harder to track if you have to submit your profits or you want to know which payments have been made.

Online and mobile payments

While mobile and online payments haven’t entirely taken over yet, it’s likely that you will start to see more of them within the coming years. That’s why it might be beneficial for you as a company to consider implementing them—especially if you foresee making most of your sales online. Many mobile or online options work very similarly to credit cards, so you still get the benefits of added help as a merchant and assistance with transactions. You might not need to immediately need to add online payments as an option, but it can be a good idea if you plan on carrying your business into the future.

The right payment options can make all the difference for your small business. It’s always a good idea to offer several so you can have a variety of customers interested in the products and services you provide.

January 8, 2019

How to Put Together a Team for Your Business that You Can Count On

When you are trying to make your business a success, there are many factors that come to mind. Ones of these is creating a team of employees that have your company’s best interests at heart, and who want to give their best. However, creating a dream team can take some planning and thought in order to find the right workers for your needs.

Here are some ways you can create a team that cares about how well your businesses does.

Make sure you have the same goals

Before you choose to hire an individual, it’s worth it to discuss what he or she feels he or she can bring to your business. Having an idea of this individual’s personal goals, dreams, and experiences can go a long way toward determining if he or she would be a good fit for your company. Coming up with a list of questions can help you to steer the interview toward deciding whether you and a potential employee are on the same page, and if he or she will work well with the team you already have.

Make organization a priority

Where many companies fail to do well is through showing their employees how they want to be organized. This might mean teaching them certain techniques or how to use various types of software, such as Faith Teams. Many conflicts can be resolved within a team setting by making sure there are set systems in place and that your employees know these systems well. Organization is often overlooked, especially when a business is first starting out, but it can have a big influence on how well your business will do.

Make sure to listen

As a business owner or manager, you’ll also want to take time out from your daily concerns and focus on those of your employees. It’s important to know what is going on when you are not there yourself to see, and to let your workers know that you care about their opinions. Most people like to know they are being heard, and it is important to let them know that you care about what struggles they might be facing at work. This can go a long way toward establishing a relationship of trust for the future.

Make a plan for the future

No one likes to be kept in the dark, and it is essential to let your employees know what you have in mind for your business in the future. Holding meetings where your team feels as though they can contribute their opinions can alert you to any problems or give you new ideas on how to approach certain issues. Before you make any rash changes, it’s often a good idea to involve your team and to make sure that they know what is going on.

It’s not always easy to build a quality team, but once you have taken the time to listen to your employees’ concerns and looked to how you plan to approach problems in the future, you’re more likely to succeed. A good business takes into account how their workers feel and how you can build a better future.

December 17, 2018

Why Your Online Business Can’t Survive Without SEO

More and more businesses are choosing to move online, and along with all this requires companies to think about how they are going to reach customers. In the past, physical stores used direct advertising and marketing efforts to get new business. Nowadays, online companies have had to think about reaching the right buyers through more technical means, including using SEO.

Here are some reasons why your online business is unlikely to take off without a quality SEO strategy.

You need to target your customers

Traditional marketing methods have a built-in target in mind. Whether it is determined by location or who tunes into certain TV shows or radio where ads might run, your targeting is done automatically. With the internet, the world is wide open to almost any country on the planet with an unlimited variety of interests and budgets. SEO helps you to narrow down who you are marketing to so you can hone in on the perfect buyer for your product or service. With such a wide availability of customers, you will need to find a way to reach the ones who will want to use you.

You need to have authority

Most customers tend to choose the first or second results on search. They tend to see these sites as more authoritative and as the experts in their industry. This can be especially helpful for a variety of companies looking to reach new buyers or those are researching their options. SEO for SaaS businesses can be incredibly necessary because of the variety of software applications available. In order to stand out from the crowd, it can pay to work on having your business show up at the top in order to legitimize your company.

You need to temper your budget

Paid advertisements can be useful, but they shouldn’t be the only way you are reaching potential clients. They can also be very expensive if you don’t know the right way to use them. The great thing about SEO is that it allows you to set a more defined budget that can work with your needs at the moment. You can build a budget that suits your needs and build as many links as necessary. While you should have a combination of paid and SEO advertising, SEO can be more flexible in many ways, while paid social and ads might require a more rigid strategy.

You need to stand out from the competition

It’s likely if you’re thinking about implementing more of an SEO strategy into your business, your competition already has. For online companies, if a competitor has been working on building their authority online, then you might already be behind. For many trying to sell a product or service online, they could be competing with companies who have already spent a lot of time, money, and effort on building links to their website. This makes it all the more important to be involved.

SEO is an essential tool that almost all businesses have had to implement—whether they are online or brick and mortar. With the right strategy, you can create a steady stream of customers and build the authority your business needs to succeed.

December 7, 2018

How the Right Location Can Make a World of Difference for Your New Business

There are a lot of considerations you are likely to have when starting a new business. Many of them will probably relate to budget, how you are planning to attract clients, and which goals you see yourself fulfilling within the next few years. However, where you plan to be located can also be something you should think about. Your location can be a huge factor in whether your new business will take off or not.

Here are some reasons why the right location can make the difference for companies just starting out.

It helps you connect with potential customers

Your customers will be the determining factor in whether or not your business will succeed over the competition. Creating positive relationships with them takes work, but it’s also a necessity. When you choose your location, you are also choosing the spot where you feel as though you can connect with the clients who will choose to come to you again and again. Before you settle on a spot to build your business, make sure that your buyers will be able to find you.

It can determine your budget

Starting a new business also means that you will have to be fairly discerning in how much you are planning on spending for a location. While you might dream of looking for businesses for sale in Los Angeles, it might be a bit too ambitious for someone starting out and on a particular budget. You might want to look to some of the surrounding neighborhoods or to another spot where you can still connect with your ideal customers, but also make sure that the cost of the rent or building coincides with the budget you have put in place.

It can determine your branding

How you choose to market yourself as a new company can be one of the most important decisions you make starting out. Branding yourself means that you have an exact idea of how you want to look to your customers—and where you choose to place your store can say a lot about how you want to present yourself. Before you pick the spot where you want to settle as a business, see if the building reflects what branding efforts you want to put into your store.

It can help you stand out from the competition

Some areas might have more competition for you than others, and this can have a big influence over how well you will do in the beginning. You want to have a location that serves an area that doesn’t have similar products or services available, and to be able to reach clients looking to find a store like yours nearby. Don’t be afraid to stray a bit from other stores who provide similar services—this can give you an edge and make you the preferred choice for many.

Starting a business isn’t easy, but with the right location, it can be much easier. You’ll want to take time to consider several options before you make the leap and choose the spot where your company can thrive.

December 6, 2018

4 Tips for Adding More Secure Measures to Your Business

Making sure your business is secure is an important step that most businesses have to take nowadays. Because many rely on sharing information online, it can be essential to take the time to have some other measures put in place. This can mean offering clients a safe place to share their data, making sure it is encrypted, or watching your correspondence so it is not hacked by someone from the outside.

Here are 4 ways you can make sure your security is enhanced for your business.

  1. Change your passwords often

One mistake many businesses and personal users make is not updating their security information on a regular basis. Updating your passwords takes a few moments, but changing it often can go a long way toward making it difficult for hackers to access your accounts. Try to choose something that you haven’t used before and that is completely unique from your other passwords. It’s a small thing, but it can add up when you have people trying to take your data.

  1. Consider a virtual data room

Having a safe place where you can keep your information is a good idea no matter what industry your business is in. If you have a company that requires you keep some sensitive documents, then a virtual data room can be a great option. Because it has your files located on another server, it can be more difficult for hackers to access, and you don’t need them to worry about wiping out your computer. Virtual data rooms can be a great option if you find yourself needing to store vast amounts of information and you want them to be safe.

  1. Encrypt your files and emails

One of the most common ways that files are corrupted is because they aren’t properly secure. The good thing is that you can you can download a certain type of software or use a security program through your email server to make it more difficult for hackers to find out your information. Emails are often the most-targeted by those looking to access information they shouldn’t, because they can often be accessed from both the end of the sender and the receiver. Encryption can help you feel more secure and help to keep the information you’ve sent remain safe.

  1. Consider a VPN

A VPN is another affordable way you can deter hackers from finding out your information. Every site and login page you visit leaves a trail, and those who know how it find it might use that information to exploit your business. A VPN scrambles your IP address, making it more of a challenge to follow where you have been and what information you’ve entered. They are also often an easy solution to making sure others don’t know your customers’ data and to keeping your own files safe and sound.

Whether you want to be more secure for personal reasons, or you would like to feel as though you are offering your clients the safety they need, having extra measures never helps. Fortunately, it often takes a short period of time to keep your business from sharing information.

December 5, 2018

How Having Quality Contracts Can Make Your Business Soar

Every business should feel as though they have some form of assurance available, and having well-written, high-quality contracts can go a long way toward making sure you feel secure. However, you want to make sure that the contracts you are putting together make sense and offer both you and your clients extra support. Having an established agreement before you begin business can go a long way toward creating a good relationship.

Here are some reasons to consider implementing quality contracts into your business plan.

It creates customer trust

Most of your clients are unlikely to agree with working with you if they feel as though they don’t have a plan for your success. One of the best things you can do in the beginning of your relationship as a business owner and customer to take time to lay out the various terms of your arrangement and what you will provide. A contract can go a long way toward helping you create the kind of connection you want with your new customers.

It provides structure

If you are a new business, a contract and a contract management system can be especially helpful as you fulfill the first few agreements you’ve made with new clients. A contract can give you a basic idea of what you need to deliver and when while offering some structure. Depending on what industry you work in, a contract can be the best thing to help you determine what deliverables you should offer and when they should be provided for customers.

It helps you if there are problems

Not every deal you make with a client will go smoothly. In fact, sometimes you might find yourself dealing with problems with customers that might seem difficult to resolve. If you have taken the time to put together a quality contract, you can refer to it with your buyers and work together to come to a solution. In your contract, you should have a few clauses that provide help if something goes wrong so you know how to handle any disputes that come up.

It can entice new customers in

Most people don’t like to feel as though they don’t know what they are getting themselves into when they sign up to work with a particular business. For those who might be hesitant about using your product or service, knowing that there is an agreement in place can go a long way toward encouraging new clients to use your company over the competition. That is why it can be incredibly important to have a well-written contract that uses concise language and that makes sense. Without it, customers might be unsure about what they are signing up for and what you are providing them as a business.

Contracts are a simple way to show customers that you care about them and their business. Make sure you have thought about how you want to reach clients and whether or not you have created terms that make sense so your business can thrive.

December 4, 2018

Different Payment Methods

Freelancers making money

making online payments

In the past, there was only one way to pay for a large purchase: through writing a check. Now, however, there seems to be unlimited ways that clients can invest in a product or service, and many companies are unsure about how to handle the newest payment options. With so many new ways to purchase the item of their dreams, certain businesses can learn a lot from other industries that offer several payment methods to their customers.

Here’s why you might want to consider adding a few payment methods to your business.

It builds customer trust

How your clients view your company and the reputation you’ve established can be one of the defining factors in whether or not your business will succeed in the long run. In order to establish good relationships with clients, you need to build their trust and let them know that you are willing to accommodate their needs. Having a few payment methods available shows them that you plan on meeting them where they are and helping them find the right solution toward purchasing what you have to offer.

It benefits your business

Offering a few payment methods not only helps clients, but it can also benefit you as a seller. Merchant services can help you when you are dealing with difficult situations with customers and you need some extra assistance. Whether your client decides to cancel the deal, the payment doesn’t go through, or a transaction needs to be revised, payment companies can work with you to come up with a solution that works for your business and for your clients, as well.

It helps you track payments

One of the best benefits of having a few payment methods can be having simpler ways to track your expenses and the payments that come in. While most customers will probably choose to pay with credit card, companies often offer businesses tools to help them keep track of the money that goes in and out. Many businesses would have had to manually submit payments in the past, and it was easy to miss things. Now, the companies that offer various payment methods make it much easier to have a general idea of how your company is doing overall.

It brings in new customers

Dealing with professional companies and providing more than one way to pay can also help you to attract new customers who might be on the fence about using your company. By showing that you hold yourself accountable to certain standards dictated by payment companies, customers can feel more comfortable working with you. They might also be attracted to visiting your business knowing that they can use their preferred payment method in order to make a purchase. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have some other methods other than buying your product or service through check.

As online payments become more common, it’s a good idea to think about where your business stands and how you are planning to appeal to customers. Having a few payment methods can go a long way toward showing that you care about your clients’ experiences working with you.

November 19, 2018

DevOps Transformations

Technology has made the world crazier and complex. The technological transformations are key drivers of almost any business. The sooner that this is realized then it can be addressed. Before we get into our main subject, it is vital to recognize that fundamental key drivers of change are digital transformation.

Interestingly, nowadays every business is behaving like a technology startup. It is a widely accepted fact that those companies that embrace this change are more competitive than the others. I guess you heard that right. Basically, companies have been revolutionizing usage of products and services thus propagating digital transformation. Let’s discuss transformations driving IT today.

IT infrastructure transformation

Increase in technological capability makes it more complex. IT experts are adding micro-services, cloud infrastructure, and server-less computing but by doing this they are not solving the fundamental problem. This explains why technology is moving faster while the business is not. Read on to fully understand what this is all about.

• What is IT infrastructure transformation

It is the completeness of an organization’s IT systems which involves changes to network architecture,storage, and accessibility of data,software, and hardware. The transformation influences what gets automated, workflow, business rules, and the corporate culture. Naturally, the primary goal of IT infrastructure is to change IT department to being more proactive which can promptly respond to changing business requirements.

• How do we adequately transform Infrastructure?

At an advanced level, IT infrastructure transformation is all about becoming more efficient in budget allocation and resource to new projects and managing daily infrastructure in a cheaper and easier way. The following are some high-level goals for IT transformation:

 

  1. Multi-generational architecture: Demand in scale leads to new deployments in its frequency. Change in demand must ensure that predictability of data access must remain constant since infrastructure remains around it.
  2. Multi-cloud data management: This must be automatic. Single architecture can consolidate multiple clouds through a selection and specific cloud service.
  3. Immediate deployment: There are multiple technologies that can speed up storage such as SDS and storage infrastructure deployment.

Image Source

DevOps transformation

What is the role of software development? DevOps is changing the delivery of IT operations to be more responsive and agile. Site reliability engineers and software as service engineers need to be respectful and responsive to the demands of customers and software teams.

Devops is gradually gaining momentum as are devops tools and technologies that support it. The following are fundamental for DevOps success:

  • High–trust cultural norms
  • Architecture that is testable and deployable
  • Technical practices that include continuous delivery, continuous integration,proactive production monitoring, and automated deployment.

The Evolution

This requires an admirable level of conviction and courage. Since it is difficult to change an organization’s architecture and culture. The emergence of an identifiable ecosystem in DevOps space is elevating the state of the practice. Therefore, continuous monitoring and management from dev and ops are essential for digital customer experience.

Steps to successfully start

Image Source

Consider these steps for smooth transformation.

• Start at the right time at the right place and time

Decide where you plant seeds of change to grow future DevOps experts. Then, you need to consider choosing areas where technology is web oriented and cloud. Lastly, you need to look for an area where your team will feel empowered. By doing this they will drive the change.

• Observe and orient

Measure and observe how things are working. Source for data and create a baseline. Do just enough.

• Decide and act

Do smoothing something different and fix problems.Pay attention to the data and always go back to the drawing board.

• Repeat

Don’t be rushy give the team enough time. They need to use tools and new process several times.

Tools

This involves developing DevOps toolchain. In the modern world, the metrics must be consolidated and the tools must be collaborative. The information provided by the tools must provide more contextual insights. The relationships between metrics, devices, and systems must correlate with system topology.

There is a massive demand for tool consolidation and IT operation automation which is key in improving efficiency and productivity across the teams. DevOps toolchain is used in more stages of the lifecycle as discussed below:

  • Planning: It involves releasing a plan and timing in relation to business value and application requirements.
  • Creating: This is composed of coding, building, and configuration of the software development process.
  • Verify: It directly involves the quality of software release which is purposed to ensure code of quality is maintained.
  • Packaging: It involves intermediate activities done once the release is ready for deployment.
  • Release: Activities involved includes: fallbacks and recovery, scheduled release, release coordination etc
  • Configuration: Upon the deployment of software there is the need for configuration and infrastructure provisioning.
  • Monitoring: This is an important aspect in DevOps toolchain. It allows for the identification of specific issues of releases which is key in understanding the impact on end-users. Generally, DevOps tools fit into activities which supports DevOps initiatives.

Summary

I have exclusively covered what is paramount in key transformations driving IT. The world is evolving day in day out, for you to stay on track you need to stay updated on what is happening.

November 15, 2018

How to Choose the Right Location for Your Business to Attract Customers

Many experts tout the importance of location and how it can affect the overall success of your business. Finding the right spot to operate out of can be a challenge, but it can affect how well your business will perform and whether it will reach the right client base or not. It can take some research in order to pick out the right location that will end up working with your plans to grow.

Here is how you can choose the right spot for your business to succeed.

Think about your client base

Who you plan on reaching can be a big part of where you might choose to establish yourself. You need to know that you will be in a location that works for your customers and that you can market yourself properly. While you might be looking for businesses for sale in Los Angeles, you might be able to succeed better in another spot just outside the city or in an area where you are more likely to reach buyers. For a physical store, the right location means attracting the right clients.

Consider the future

If you are running a small business that you expect to grow, then it can be greatly beneficial for you to think about whether you need a larger space to start out or if a smaller spot would be better. The size of your location can be important when you have a large inventory or you expect it to be bigger in the future. However, if you would like to remain more of a boutique shop with a dedicated customer base, then a smaller store might suit you better in developing relationships with clients.

Consider the price

Your budget can also be a major factor in whether or not a certain location can work for you. You want to make sure that your business will bring in enough revenue that you can pay off your costs, and this can be a good indication of whether or not a certain type of building will work for you or not. You’ll want to estimate the costs of your first year and how much you will make back. Your budget is likely to greatly affect where you want to place your business and how large of a facility you will need.

Think about your competition

Where your competitors are located and whether or not there is an oversaturation in the market can also be something to think about when choosing the right space. If there are too many similar businesses in one area, you might have difficulty taking off. As a new company, it can also be difficult to compete with already-established businesses that have taken time to build customer trust. Instead, you might want to consider an area where you have more opportunity to grow.

The location you choose can either make running a new business easy or difficult. With the right spot, you are more likely to be happy with the results of the growth of your company.

November 15, 2018

DevOps Transformations

Image Source

Technology has made the world crazier and complex. The technological transformations are key drivers of almost any business. The sooner that this is realized then it can be addressed. Before we get into our main subject, it is vital to recognize that fundamental key drivers of change are digital transformation.

Interestingly, nowadays every business is behaving like a technology startup. It is a widely accepted fact that those companies that embrace this change are more competitive than the others. I guess you heard that right. Basically, companies have been revolutionizing usage of products and services thus propagating digital transformation. Let’s discuss transformations driving IT today.

IT infrastructure transformation

Increase in technological capability makes it more complex. IT experts are adding micro-services, cloud infrastructure, and server-less computing but by doing this they are not solving the fundamental problem. This explains why technology is moving faster while the business is not. Read on to fully understand what this is all about.

• What is IT infrastructure transformation

It is the completeness of an organization’s IT systems which involves changes to network architecture, storage, and accessibility of data, software, and hardware. The transformation influences what gets automated, workflow, business rules, and the corporate culture. Naturally, the primary goal of IT infrastructure is to change IT department to being more proactive which can promptly respond to changing business requirements.

• How do we adequately transform Infrastructure?

At an advanced level, IT infrastructure transformation is all about becoming more efficient in budget allocation and resource to new projects and managing daily infrastructure in a cheaper and easier way. The following are some high-level goals for IT transformation:

  1. Multi-generational architecture: Demand in scale leads to new deployments in its frequency. Change in demand must ensure that predictability of data access must remain constant since infrastructure remains around it.

  2. Multi-cloud data management: This must be automatic. Single architecture can consolidate multiple clouds through a selection and specific cloud service.

  3. Immediate deployment: There are multiple technologies that can speed up storage such as SDS and storage infrastructure deployment.

Image Source

DevOps transformation

What is the role of software development? DevOps is changing the delivery of IT operations to be more responsive and agile. Site reliability engineers and software as service engineers need to be respectful and responsive to the demands of customers and software teams.

Devops is gradually gaining momentum as are devops tools and technologies that support it. The following are fundamental for DevOps success:

  • High–trust cultural norms

  • Architecture that is testable and deployable

  • Technical practices that include continuous delivery, continuous integration, proactive production monitoring, and automated deployment.

The Evolution

This requires an admirable level of conviction and courage. Since it is difficult to change an organization’s architecture and culture. The emergence of an identifiable ecosystem in DevOps space is elevating the state of the practice. Therefore, continuous monitoring and management from dev and ops are essential for digital customer experience.

Steps to successfully start

Image Source

Consider these steps for smooth transformation.

• Start at the right time at the right place and time

Decide where you plant seeds of change to grow future DevOps experts. Then, you need to consider choosing areas where technology is web oriented and cloud. Lastly, you need to look for an area where your team will feel empowered. By doing this they will drive the change.

• Observe and orient

Measure and observe how things are working. Source for data and create a baseline. Do just enough.

• Decide and act

Do smoothing something different and fix problems. Pay attention to the data and always go back to the drawing board.

• Repeat

Don’t be rushy give the team enough time. They need to use tools and new process several times.

Tools

This involves developing DevOps toolchain. In the modern world, the metrics must be consolidated and the tools must be collaborative. The information provided by the tools must provide more contextual insights. The relationships between metrics, devices, and systems must correlate with system topology.

There is a massive demand for tool consolidation and IT operation automation which is key in improving efficiency and productivity across the teams. DevOps toolchain is used in more stages of the lifecycle as discussed below:

  • Planning: It involves releasing a plan and timing in relation to business value and application requirements.

  • Creating: This is composed of coding, building, and configuration of the software development process.

  • Verify: It directly involves the quality of software release which is purposed to ensure code of quality is maintained.

  • Packaging: It involves intermediate activities done once the release is ready for deployment.

  • Release: Activities involved includes: fallbacks and recovery, scheduled release, release coordination etc

  • Configuration: Upon the deployment of software there is a need for configuration and infrastructure provisioning.

  • Monitoring: This is an important aspect in DevOps toolchain. It allows for the identification of specific issues of releases which is key in understanding the impact on end-users. Generally, DevOps tools fit into activities which supports DevOps initiatives.

Summary

I have exclusively covered what is paramount in key transformations driving IT. The world is evolving day in day out, for you to stay on track you need to stay updated on what is happening.

October 31, 2018
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