Friday, March 8, 2019

online business

online business


Three Simple Strategies To Grow Your Online Business - Forbes

Posted: 21 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

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Starting any business is tough, especially when it's online. As a coach who helps leaders build their brands online, I've seen many business owners struggle to build profitable businesses. But the formula is actually much simpler than you might think. Consider following the following three steps to help your business thrive.

1. Have a marketing strategy in place (that works).

Every single business is different, so it makes sense that many require alternative marketing strategies. For example, paid social media advertisements might work well for one business, whereas these types of ads might not be a smart investment for the next.

Spend your time getting to know your target market and how to reach them. In order to tap into your specific target market, the first step is to get crystal clear on who that target market is. Create an ideal client avatar. Study them. Learn about them. Once you have that clarity, you can start exploring different marketing strategies. Start with one marketing strategy, and try it out in your business. It might not work right away, but be sure to give it a few tries before moving on to the next one. When you find a strategy that works well, do more of it. Sometimes, it's truly that simple.

I believe it's also important to have a supportive team. They can provide you with insight into the marketing strategies that will best suit your business and be by your side every step of the way to guide you and help ensure you are on a positive trajectory.

2. Provide high-value services.

One of the most important ways to not only grow your online business but also to ensure it is sustainable is to always deliver work of the highest quality. In my experience, when you provide high value, you gain happy customers who continue to come back for more and refer others to your business.

When you're in the beginning stages of your business, it can be easy to want to slap something together and start selling it just to start getting your name out there — do not fall into that trap. Remember that a business with happy clients is a sustainable business. Rather than focusing on getting your name out there and building your business quickly, focus on creating offers that truly benefit your clients. When you create an offer, make sure it is something that makes your ideal client want to come back to you. If you are confident that this could happen based on the quality of product, you can rest assured knowing that you are providing high value.

3. Lead from a place of service.

I like to call entrepreneurs who lead from a place of service "heart-centered entrepreneurs" — they lead with their hearts and are always looking to deliver more than they promise their clients. I believe it is important to make sure your No. 1 focus in your business is serving. When you are able to release control around how much money you want to make and how much you are charging, you can focus on serving your clients well; the money tends to come naturally.

To be this type of leader, you must genuinely want to help people through the service you're offering. If you're only starting your business because it seems lucrative and you want fast money, you might get a few customers here and there, but your business could plateau very quickly. One way you can make sure you are always leading from a place of service is to ask yourself this question: If the money was not part of the equation, would I still be offering this service? If the answer is no, that is a pretty good indicator that you might want to revisit the offer and make it something not only that your clients will benefit from but also something you will enjoy.

As you work to implement these three tools into your business, it is important to keep in mind that every business is different, and every entrepreneur is different. There is no single way to implement these tools, so find a way to not only make them your own but also make them work for your business.

Data brokers are in the business of selling your online information - Marketplace.org

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 03:31 AM PST

Whether it's Facebook or Google or smart speakers that may be overhearing every word you say, there are lots of companies that pose a risk to your privacy. And there are also hundreds of companies you haven't heard of making billions of dollars buying and selling detailed dossiers — about everybody. Host Molly Wood talked about the data broker business with Michelle Richardson, director of the Data and Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Wood: There's this idea that if we regulate Facebook and Google, but don't regulate data brokers, then we've barely scratched the surface. Is that a fair characterization?

Richardson: That's right. A lot of the media now focuses on Facebook or Google because they're household names, but the system is really so complex. The data brokers are operating at a level below that, a level consumers don't see or interact with.

Wood: We've built a model where everyone takes everything, just in case. It seems like it would be a large philosophical, legal and financial shift to say, "no, companies, you've got to work with the minimum viable amount." But, I wonder, how hard is this?

Richardson: It's unprecedented in the U.S. I don't want to underplay how difficult it is, because this is going to require a change in mindset, legal structures and consequences for people. Not everything we do online has to be done in exchange for free services, sharing data or helping someone build their next product.

Wood: I was talking to a climatologist recently about climate change who said, "I used to tell people to take these individual actions. At this point, I'm telling them, that's not going to help. You need to come up with something that your whole city can do." It feels like we're there with our own data footprints, too. Even if you and I tried to turn off the hose, don't get an Amazon Echo or don't use these various products, deprive ourselves of existing in the modern world, that it doesn't even matter.

Richardson: That's right. Information is collected about you passively, everywhere you go. It's everything from these stories about how you can now walk into a retail store and they are taking pictures of your face to see what you're looking at, are you smiling, what you buy. All that stuff is able to be reassociated to a real live human being and that's just because you walked in to buy a soda out of a CVS. Even if you want to be a lean data person and choose to opt out of some of the big names that we know to be bad actors, there's just no way out of this now, not in 2019. We just need to accept that and expect better from our private sector and how they handle our data.

Wood: I could imagine companies saying, "We need this information to conduct our business," or that consumers really like those targeted ads. Are there downsides of data brokers not having this level of information?

Richardson: There are a lot of different advertising activities out there. You do not have to get this granular to serve people ads that are relevant to their lives. The idea that it's an on or off switch, we either have advertising or not, is probably a little too simplistic. You could, for example, say that because someone is visiting a sports website, they might want to see ads for tickets for the local football team or something relevant to that website. That would be one way to do it. You don't actually have to track people for many years, across devices and services and behaviors to come up with a way to understand what they might want to see more of. That middle road would be a way to keep advertising and advertising models alive without the creep factor and the intrusive information tracking.

4 Things Online Business Owners Can Insource - Business 2 Community

Posted: 07 Mar 2019 01:04 PM PST

Outsourcing is all the craze these days. Business owners are eager to save time and still get a lot done. Sometimes, work-life balance isn't realistic when you're growing a business.

Outsourcing can also be pretty expensive if you're not focused on your ROI or simply have a lot of tasks to work on. When I consider outsourcing, I always prioritize my schedule and consider how long it will take me to complete certain tasks along with whether I have the skills to complete them.

Sometimes, it makes sense to outsource and hire someone. Other times, I actually insource and take care of it myself. Here are 4 things business owners can insource if you're on a budget and have some basic skills.

Facebook Ads

If you want to market with Facebook ads, you don't need to pay someone else to help you get started. Given the fact that you also have to pay for the ad spend, hiring out can get pretty expensive. There are tons of courses that will show you how to set up a Facebook ad campaign and create different audiences.

The best part is that once you create your ad, test it, and tweak your copy, you can basically put it on autopilot.

Graphics

I'm by no means a graphics person and I don't even have a creative eye. However, I've been creating worksheets and graphics for my site instead of hiring a designer. My secret weapon is Canva.

Canva is a free site that helps you design professional graphics. I love that they have templated for literally any project whether it's a social media image, e-book cover, flyer, presentation, report, worksheet, etc.

Since Canva is so easy to use and they have templates, it only takes me a few minutes to create a worksheet, Pinterest image, or marketing material for my blog.

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I even created a media kit for my brand with a Canva template. It only took around 20 minutes and looked very professional.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is an administrative task that some online business owners aren't too crazy about. Even if you don't feel that you're good with counting and tracking money, you can still do your own bookkeeping with digital tools that will automate the process.

Due offers software for payment processing and invoicing that can integrate with other programs you use.

This can help you keep track of your income and expenses better so all you need to do is work with an accountant around tax time.

Content Marketing

About 40% of large companies pay organizations to do their content marketing. A smaller online business may not have the budget to do this, but you can still do your own content marketing with ease.

You can definitely outsource hire a freelancer to write or edit the content you produce. But you can also repurpose. One piece of content can be repurposed several different ways. You can turn it into social media posts, ads, products, etc.

Repurposing your content will help save you time and money until you can afford to hire someone else to do it.

Summary

Outsourcing has its benefits, but so does insourcing. Of course, more online business owners want to take a lot off their plate, but you also focus on time management and efficiency. Consider insourcing these 4 things before you outsource as you grow your business.

Safe Trade Station for online business opens in Carolina Beach - WECT

Posted: 06 Mar 2019 02:35 PM PST

The Safe Trade Station at CB police headquarters at 1121 North Lake Park Boulevard is the only such location in the Wilmington area, and one of only 13 in North Carolina. It will serve people who use online trade sites like Facebook Market Place, Craigslist, Offer Up and Letgo to sell and trade items and services.

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