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How To Start A New Business This New Year With No Money (Yes, You Read Right)

Let’s face it; one of the most crucial steps in starting a business is finding the capital.

Some people use their savings in the bank to start their dream bakery. Others borrow from a bank or other financial institutions that extend loan to finally start the automotive shop or store they’ve been imagining all their lives. But whichever business you want to do, it always begins with having enough money to start it with.

But what if you don’t have the financial resources to start the business? Do you just give up on your dreams? The answer is no. You can still open that business that you’ve always even without money.

I bet you have a lot of questions. I bet you’re puzzled as hell on how to make that happen.

How?

Well, the answer to this very trivial single-word question is simple – You.

Yes, you dummy.

I don’t mean you sell yourself to the mafia or become a man whore to get the money you need. What I mean is that you use your capabilities, your talents and your strengths as the means to start that business you’ve been dreaming of.

A business thrives because one puts not just money but also his heart and soul into it. But how do you make it work when money is out of the equation? You capitalize on your assets.

You may ask yourself the following questions. What are my strengths? What are my skills? Are these skills usable to other people? How can I make a business out of these skills?

If the answer to all these questions is a yes, then you got yourself capital for your business.

I know this woman who has a great voice and has amazing social skills. She started with a few hosting stints for family celebrations. She later tried accepting hosting events for her church which honed her skills. It then gave way to hosting special events for other church members where she was paid for.

Because she did great in those events, she was referred to friends of her clients and is often invited to weddings and company parties. She became so in demand that she would sometimes need to take time off her regular job to accommodate them!

Her continued success has now led her to seriously consider leaving her current job and start events coordinating business with the money she earned from her hosting engagements.

You too can do the same. Find out what you’re good at and bank on it. Don’t be a loser and stick around on a 24/7 job you hate. If you’re great at cooking, try working as an assistant chef and then, later on, open your own restaurant. If you’ve got the passion for dancing, you can give dance classes for people in your community and maybe open your own dance studio.

If you think you don’t have any, then develop one. Learn something new, and use it to make your life better.

According to Sophie Kinsella in her bestselling book ‘Shopaholic Takes Manhattan’, “There’s no luck in business. There’s only drive, determination, and more drive.”

And that’s true. Money is a roadblock not a dead end to business. You can reroute your business plans and still get to where you want your life to be – better.

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3 Stress-Free Tips On How To Run A Financially Stable Business for Emerging Entrepreneurs

Secured funding is one of the major feats for every business, which requires expertise in thorough planning and analysis. However, an emerging entrepreneur can only see the real value if he makes use of the initial support he has and turning it into a long-term growth by means of doing an initiative to transform sustainability.

Financial stability is very important. Without it, brands and businesses lack a solid foundation to cater their business endeavours such as revolutionizing product lines, expanding storefronts geographically, or creating new investments into packaging and shipping for an enhanced customer experience. This is very true to emerging businesses.

Emerging entrepreneurs have a tough job in transitioning pioneer funding resource into companies having verified equity. If you’re just starting up then you need to know that in order for your business to prosper, you have to change from you simple selling idea into thinking about your whole business model and looking into a tangible financial plan.

Here are 3 tips for you on how to run a financially-stable business as a starting entrepreneur:

1. Develop your Clear Vision and Path to Profitability

As an entrepreneur, it’s essential for you to have strict principles when it comes to finance because it will govern your incoming as well as your outgoing spending. If you’re planning to seek capital by means of funding, there’s a need for you to demonstrate your anticipated ROI too investors and add detail as to where your expenditures will be going.

You should give an explanation on how you decide to manage all receivables and cash. You should exhibit a firm and clear vision on how you can become and remain positive in terms of cash flow. “Building your business” is not enough as a financial plan if there’s already the involvement of venture capital funding and private equity.

2. Make use of Investors to Increase your Financial Viability

Thinking about your own finances is an utmost priority for you as an entrepreneur but it’s also equally important that you critically think about your partners’ and investors’ success because they’re the ones backing up your business’ growth. It’s a sign of good partnership if you’re able to make decisions having them in your mind. By helping your investors and partners, you’re also given the chance to ask help as a return of the favour.

3. Make Stable Hiring Decisions

Shortcomings are hard to admit but as a smart entrepreneur, self-awareness is your mark on focusing on your business’ financial future. Other successful entrepreneur’s expertise and experiences are best in avoiding the waste of essential financial opportunities. It will be very impressive if you can better understand leveraging finances. Be smart in bringing in executives; better if they’re already successful players in the industry.

Running your business as an emerging entrepreneur is not all about money but the proper management of your finances is an integral key to the long-term success of your business. It’s good to make investments and smarter in making financial decisions on advertising spend, customer acquisition, costs, and strategies for liquidation.

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Five Must-Know Tips To Start Your Business With Little To No Capital This 2018

‘I want to start a business but I don’t have the means’, says the entrepreneur-wannabe that resides within you. Most of you are taunted by the idea of shifting from the typical corporate slavery to the empowering realm of entrepreneurship. Commonly, you fear the possibility of losing job security and you are not financially stable enough to carry out a big plan like running your own business. Apart from these, you are also crippled by the thought that you don’t have the financial resources to ditch your crappy boss and become your own master. Apparently, all these are just myths designed to encapsulate you in your cowardice by settling into mediocrity. The truth is – there is promise amidst the uncertainties. You just have to be brave enough to embrace it while making use of all your skills, your marketing and sales knowledge, and your good work ethics.

Now you can take heed of all entrepreneurship advices from successful entrepreneurs, but when you’re sitting alone, torn between the amount of money in your bank account and your tedious pile of office work, remember that the following guidelines do not require big investments.

#1. Know your target market and create something

While creating something does require some money to fulfil supplies in order to fill your inventory, the products you create can always be priced more than the actual cost. Better if you are an artisan as online platforms are sweet spots for handcrafted items, for example Etsy and the newly launched Handmade at Amazon. Both have their advantage and disadvantage. While Etsy’s listing price ($0.20 USD per item) remains inexpensive compared to Amazon, the latter has a strong foundation in terms of online selling and attracting traffic. Either way, both have their strengths and weaknesses, it just depends on how you market your brand to your target market.

#2. Master the art of reselling

Holding garage sales in your own backyard is a cost-effective way to earn income. Have the freedom to rummage through various thrift shops and/or flea markets near you for unique items that you can resell either online or in person. Should you decide to take the route of online selling, consider the convenience of drop shipping which is a retail fulfilment method that allows you to sell items without even touching your products. The process begins when you purchase your products from a manufacturer and let them ship it directly to your buyers. This definitely enables you to launch your own ecommerce store with very minimal capital and low overhead expenses.

#3. Bank on intangible capital – Skills

No money? No problem! Earning extra income through your talent and skills is another revolutionary way to break into the entrepreneurship realm. The variety of services that you can sell is almost limitless. Can you write, babysit or even be a personal assistant? If you answer yes to any of these, stop vegging out in front of your TV and slowly carve your way through financial stability. While this is not a cake walk due to a large pool of services out there, ensure that you have a competitive advantage that can make your service distinct from the rest. This is where branding comes in but promoting your services through Upwork, Elance, or Craigslist will definitely be a good start.

#4. Try outsourced services to build up your business

We all know that brand exposure is critical especially when starting up a business. You may need ad campaigns or to build relationships within the industry you’ve chosen in order to establish your brand. To make it happen, your logo, website, and other online representation should reflect the image that you want to portray. When you hire designers, take advantage of outsourced designers that you can find on various talent sites and websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, or Elance. You’ll be surprised at how much you could save without sacrificing your desired quality.

#5. Enjoy free advertising through effective use of social media platforms

When you seize the power of social media advertising, take full advantage of it and use it effectively. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are currently leading the list of traffic generators in terms of brand promotion. Analyse the analytics and utilise it to reach out to your target consumers. When you discover their social media behaviour, it gives you the edge to speak to them lucratively through your brand. Learn how to engage other users and they will surely keep coming back to your page which will lead to increased traffic that will eventually yield high conversation rate.

Feeling confident enough? You don’t always have to break the bank. Sometimes, all you need is the drive to ignore the negativity and just dive in with a solid plan. While starting up a business is definitely not an effortless task, one day your sweat equity will pay off.

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3 Easy Ways To Make Social Media Work For You And Your Business

The world of business is very competitive. It’s a dog eat dog kind of world and as they say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. That’s how one should condition his own mind if he wants to succeed and stay successful. No sulks or losers are allowed to dabble in the business world – might as well pack up and go home! Being on top would rake in more investors and the company’s monetary value will increase. It would also mean your business would expand, more branches/offices opening up and more responsibilities. But before all those can happen, let’s focus first on how we should market the business to gain its popularity.

Social Media, being one of the most popular mediums we have right now, can work very well for you and your business. It’s basically free advertising! Well, not all the time, but even if you do shell out a couple of bucks, it should be worth every cent of it since it’s got a wide coverage. It’s capability to reach out to your targeted audience and beyond that is a big help towards your business. Here are a few pointers on what you should basically keep in mind in your first step to advertising via social media:

1. No such thing as a (totally) free publicity

When we mention the word “spend”, we automatically think the cost might be too much. However, the type of spending you might do for social media marketing would surprise you compared to that when you spend it on print media—it would cost a lot less. Sure you have to spend for graphic artists, content writers and pay the social media sites to give your ads a bit of a boost, but when it comes down to cost cutting, social media marketing should be considered. The cost of having to put up billboards and signage for your business in different areas are ten folds larger than what it should cost you to pay for social media advertising!.

2. Be strategic because people still read

Yes, people read and appreciate, so hire the best graphic designers and content specialists/writers. Hire the right people to make your social media ads eye-catching. To attract audience your social media posts should be visually stimulating! People will not tolerate garbage content. They have to feel some sort of connection to the product they are seeing advertised on social medias and they have to be able to relate to it, so might as well consider being a bit realistic and don’t let your content writers and graphic artists go over the top in the marketing agenda. Provide contents that are informative, inspiring and entertaining at the same time. Be as realistic as possible without compromising the “charm” of your ad. Use taglines that are short yet catchy and can describe your business in less than, say, four words. Hashtags are useful tools for social media marketing, too, so you might want to use them (since everyone else does). Like taglines, they should be kept short and catchy, describing your business in just a few words and should also be unique as much as possible.

3. If you want to be heard, learn to listen too

Listen to your audience. Find out what they are saying and what they want so you can use that for your marketing strategies. Do not underestimate your audience and their expectations of what they might want to read. Social media has raised the bar of social awareness, therefore it would be very easy for the public to criticize and compare so be sensitive to your audience and their constructive criticisms.

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Which Social Media Accounts Are The BEST For Your Brand And Why

If you are planning to launch a small business or you’ve started one just recently and you haven’t utilised the power of social media because you think it’s for teeny boppers only – then you’re dumber than I thought! You have probably encountered a load of information explaining how you can use social media to promote your business which makes sense because social media is a powerful money making machine as long as it’s utilised the right way. It doesn’t really matter if you think social media is for kids, bottom line, EVERYONE is on social media and it’s free communication.

Although there are millions of social media users all throughout the world, it is quite easy to get carried away by the number. Looking for the right social media sites to get your business promoted and maximize its potential is important to the success of a business, and it is the part where you should be concentrating your efforts.

What will your business gain from engaging in social media?

Social media is all about engaging through sharing, which means, in business, it’s targeting your services, your product range, or your articles at engaging a possible client base or customer. With millions of users worldwide, social media is covering every topic range that you would be able to think of.

Along with engaging a prospective client base and customer, social media also plays a big relevance to SEO. Social media has been a unique format because it is helping you promote your content directly to your audience, which in turn, would generate traffic through people who share your content with others, and through search engine optimization.

The most prominent social media sites and their uses:

Below are six of the most prominent and significant social media sites that you need to utilise right now if you want your business to succeed.

1. YouTube  – This site is about showcasing videos to a large range of audience. It is being utilized by businesses at all times to sell products and services. While YouTube is owned by Google, videos have a tendency of featuring prominently on the search engine results. You are even given chance to utilize the YouTube ads for making a secondary stream of income.

2. Google+ – It is in part a combination of Twitter and Facebook and has become essential for SEO, if nothing else.

3. Facebook – This social media site has been predominantly built for sharing. These can be articles, products, or services. It is for sharing your content with as many people as possible.

4. Twitter – It is about sharing news on any subject. You should not let the word “news” make you feel as if it does not apply for products. Twitter is good for new stock ready to be sold, new product launches, and other press releases.

5. Blogging – It is a great way of imparting expertise and news to your customer, client base, followers, and readership, offering a great way of attracting visitors to your website through search engines.

6. Instagram, Pinterest and other bookmarking sites – These social media sites are good to use when it comes to showcasing visual products. If your business is selling something on the web, make sure you post on Instagram, Pinterest and as many bookmarking sites as you can find.

These are just some of the basic advantages of social media, and the uses of each of the sites. Later on, I’ll get into detail how you can use your social media accounts to make decent money online.

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3 Ways to Think Like A Self-Made Millionaire

There is nothing worse than being a loser trapped in a job that you don’t like. It’s a known fact that most people want to actually break free from the rut of a nine-to-five job and start their own businesses. Why? Because with most nine-to-five jobs the pay is sh*t, the hours are annoyingly long and for some, the work environment is bloody ridiculous. Now if you are one of these people that want to finally resign from your jobs and start a new life as an entrepreneur or possibly a millionaire in the near future, then good on you for having the balls to do it.

Here’s what a lot of people don’t realize; crossing over from a typical day job to a full-time business is not just a physical move – it requires a complete change in your state of mind because you will be crossing over to a completely different world from what you were used to. You have to dump the old job mentality, and instead, you have to develop an entrepreneurial outlook. If you want to be a big shot millionaire one day then you have to THINK like one.

Now if you want to cross over to the entrepreneurial world, you need to embrace the following three ways of thinking:

1. Networking is essential

As an entrepreneur, you have to realize that most of the time ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ You have to interact and build relationships with like-minded individuals and business contacts that you can trust and whom you feel can help you grow your business. It’s a simple formula, people do business with people they like and trust, just as they are friends with those they like and trust. If you want your business to succeed then you have to realize that networking is not just about what others can do for you, it’s also about what you can also do for others. Being an entrepreneur actually means helping out others and providing value when you can, not taking others down. It means creating a mastermind group of individuals you can share and discuss ideas with. You shouldn’t be afraid of losing out and having others rise above you.

2. Learn from other successful people

As an entrepreneur, it’s second nature to be competitive because you want to be on top. But even though you have to think big and be the best in what you do, you don’t have to go as low as destroy other people in the process. You have to understand that we each have a unique outlook and value that we can offer. To get to the top you have to learn from others who are already sitting at the top. You don’t look at the person in their fancy house and feel envious of what that person has, instead, find out who this person is and tell them that you admire what they have achieved and want to learn from them – usually, that successful entrepreneur would agree to give some tips. Entrepreneurs understand the notion of profusion. They know what it takes to get to the top and most of them are more than happy to take the time to help someone get to the top as well.

3. You have to think BIG

As Donald Trump would say, “If you are going to be thinking anyway, you might as well be thinking big.’ It’s true, if you are thinking small time then you’ll always be small, if you can’t even think of doing something big then you will never do anything big in life. There is no cost in dreaming so you might as well dream big.”

As an entrepreneur, you have to realize that that the road to eventual prosperity and success can be a very long and tough one. Many losers start with huge goals but then the moment they run into some unexpected hiccups, they get distracted and they lose sight of their goals. Keep in mind that you always have to focus on the ultimate vision. In saying that, you also have to be different from the rest of the pack – you have to think outside the square and find new and unique ways to be make money and be successful. You always have to say to yourself, ‘How can I make this better? How can I be unique? How can I do this in a much bigger way?’

A typical nine-to-five job employee only focuses on the task provided to them by their boss, they follow what most people are doing so they are not used to looking at the bigger picture because that vision is for someone else to worry about. Bringing this limited mindset over to the entrepreneurial world is dangerous because it can restrain your creativity and hold back your ability to cope with and solve the many challenges that will come your way. When you think outside the square, you also create things that make you move above the rest of the pack.

If you currently have a business and you haven’t made much money yet, that is okay. As long as you keep your eye on the prize, focus on the bigger picture, build your brand, and network with the right people then later on you will reap the rewards. You also have to be HUNGRY for success. Hungry people are motivated people, if you are currently satisfied with what you’re earning then what will motivate you to be wealthy and successful? To get to the top you should always set a higher goal for yourself.

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Top 3 Reasons Why Most Businesses Fail Miserably While Others Succeed

Let’s face it; starting your new business is never easy because you’re investing time, money and resources on a ‘hunch’. In a nutshell, you’re investing in something that may or may not actually work out in the end.

While most people would like to gladly work for themselves so that they can control their own their own time, not everyone has the will nor the patience to follow through with it though. Studies show that in average it actually takes around 5 years for any new business to just break even, basically, you’re more likely to see any profits on your new venture after 5 years have passed which of course sounds like a bloody long time for any budding entrepreneur!

Of course, this is not always the case because a lot of entrepreneurs do reap profits almost immediately after they put up a new business – especially those entrepreneurs that provide service rather than a product. But typically, you are supposed to be looking at 3-5 years before you can start seeing any real profits so you really need patience if you want your business to stick around.

Now if you’re a budding entrepreneur who is interested in starting a new venture, then here are three crucial mistakes most people make that you should be aware of:

1. People don’t do their homework

The biggest reason most losers fail is that they don’t do their homework.

The moment they come up with a good idea they want to get things going immediately without enough research or background work on this idea which of course is a huge mistake! A good idea for a new business is a good start, but it is imperative that you do your homework though.

You should be asking yourself questions such as: Who’s your target market? Why would people buy your stuff? What makes your business unique? How will you market your new business? What sort of capital and resources would you need to get things going? How will you make the business grow?

There is no possible way any new business can succeed without proper research and background work. Keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day; it takes time and perseverance for any business to grow. Just make sure you do your homework properly so that when hiccups start to show, you’re more than ready to tackle it head on!

2. People are afraid to take a risk

It’s quite simple really, no risk – no reward. The higher the risk – the higher the reward!

But in saying that though, keep in mind that you need to take “calculated risks”. Make sure you won’t get stuck at a point where you have zero dollars in your bank account because you were such a dumbass that you have invested everything in the new business. Remember, it may take a while before you start seeing any profits from the new venture, what if it takes years and years before you start seeing any profits? What then?? Are you going to live on virtually nothing until the new business “potentially” starts making any real money??

Don’t be afraid to take any risks, but in saying that, just make sure they are calculated.

3. People don’t network

Your business will never succeed if you’re a loser who doesn’t know how to network and connect with others.

Start mingling with people who are actually successful in their businesses and learn from their experiences. Start going to functions and events and start connecting with potential sponsors and investors within your field. Networking is one of the key components in any new business, the more you network the bigger your database gets and the more people you attract to your business.

It’s simple really; you have to prioritise building relationships rather than making money because if you focus on building relationships first then money will eventually follow.

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Six Brilliant Ways To Keep Yourself Motivated For Entrepreneurial Success

If you’re someone who works freelance or has a small business, you would know that there’s a fair bit of work involved in “keeping the dream alive”. There are unique challenges that come with this approach to creating a living.

It’s a lot like building your own empire. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your freelance or small business success. If you are working on your dream there is no off button and no downtime. It takes a lot of dedication, and most importantly, it’s about keeping your motivation levels replenished. If you’re not prepared for the challenges that come with working for yourself then you might as well quit now and go back to a 9 to 5 job punching numbers like a mindless loser.

It’s quite possible that when you initially conceptualised the idea to ‘break out on your own’ with stars in your eyes – you probably had the dumbass idea that working for yourself would mean an easy lifestyle. If this was the case then you might as well pack your bags now and head back to La La Land because this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Working on your own business often becomes a harsh reality when you’re finally on your own looking for the next big payday to help you get by. When everyone is leaving the office to have after-work drinks or chilling on the weekend with family and friends, you are often stuck fielding phone calls, catching up on invoicing and trying to ramp up your marketing efforts to get you through the lean patches.

It’s often the case that you end up far too busy than you can comfortably handle, just to make sure you have enough momentum to keep you going during the quieter periods (they are inevitable). It’s all about sacrifice really.

However, that’s not to say that it’s all not worth the steep incline that you tread. But, the goal is always ‘to stay the course’ – with a dogged determination that is stronger than any of the tough times that you might encounter.

Warning: when you are forging your own path you will find that some unintentional side-effects can arise. When you are subject to the unyielding and time-consuming commercial realities that are unavoidable factors in the pursuit of success, it is somewhat likely that those who are only around for the fun times will drop out of your life. It’s often a practical reality and one of the bitter-sweet indicators that you are, in fact, on the right path.

Set a daily reminder deep within your psyche to stay true to your goals. You may have heard the idiom: surround yourself with those on the same mission as you. This rings true. Also, you might find this quote from Will Smith increasingly pertinent – “If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” That said, you need to say goodbye to friends who bring you down and annoy the crap out of you!

Another tip for sustaining self-motivation is to look back on the road that you have already traveled and at what you have invested. Sure, this means coin, but never forget the blood, sweat, and tears. Realising how far you have come is the key to moving forward.

Keeping yourself motivated is also about making consistent progress. It doesn’t always matter if this is just a small win each day, or even each week. It’s about moving forward. What if you could generate even just an extra 50 dollars a week profit?

Always think about pushing the envelope just that little bit more – what more can you squeeze out? Could you be doing more on social media to attract leads and conversions? Is there scope in your budget to cut back on expenditure? These are just a couple of the questions that you could ask yourself. Always think about your next move. It’s very easy to get caught up in the daily grind, in the operations of your tasks – to forget about the bigger picture. That’s an easy trap to fall into. Remember that it’s crucial to keep evolving and expanding. And yes, sometimes this might get a little overwhelming. Do you sometimes feel like there are periods where you flounder? What can you do to overcome this phenomenon?

Sit back and refocus. Review your business plan. A lack of structure is enemy number one when it comes to productivity. Also, think about your daily routine. You need to create a schedule and stick to it. Wake up early and set a start time. You will be more motivated to work harder and to finish tasks quicker when you have the luxury of more time set aside to do so. This produces a more manageable (and less stressful) workload.

Sure, being regimented can be a challenge. It’s a brutal fact that when you work for yourself, the only one who will keep you accountable is you. Without a boss to keep tabs on you, and without rigid working hours, you are responsible for managing yourself and your business. You are ultimately responsible for its success or failure.

Be mindful of the challenging aspects of working from home/running your own business. It can be a very isolating experience and there are some things that you do have to compensate for. Sure, it’s great that you can work in your PJs if you want to – but, you don’t necessarily get the benefit of bouncing ideas off people and the support of a team environment.

Sometimes it helps to take your work to a place where people congregate with some purpose– like a café or library. The effect of having people nearby might just trick your brain into a more productive gear. Take a small break when you are feeling stymied. Go for a walk. Fresh air often goes hand in hand with a fresh perspective. Then, begin your task anew.

Keeping the dream alive when it comes to working freelance or in your own business is often about your internal thought process. Also, it’s got quite a bit to do with your heart and soul. More than anything – it’s about refreshing your point of view on a regular basis. Building your ‘business empire’ is a day-by-day task and every single brick in the wall counts. I’ll leave you with one last quote on the topic to consider…“ people often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily” – Zig Ziglar.

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4 Crucial Steps For Creating A Profitable Business Website

What is your business without a website? The short answer is probably f*ck all! Or, it hasn’t even begun to reach its full potential. While it’s true that for some businesses a website isn’t always essential (those that rely on foot traffic like a barber, for example) a website is generally a prerequisite to establishing strong presence – and thereby strong profits – for your business.

So, we are going to assume here that you already have a website. But, have you thought about how your website might be better? Do you believe that your customers are having the most positive experience that they possibly could on your site? Or do you just don’t give a sh*t?? Most people would agree that there’s always room for improvement. And let’s face it, a better website means more conversions i.e. more dollars. So, what are the top ways to improve your website today?

An effective home page

You would have heard it said at some point that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression and this is so true when you consider a website’s homepage. This is clearly the page that your customers see first, otherwise known as a landing page.

When someone is wanting to buy some goods or services and they have a good ‘ol google for said thing, then this is where they are naturally going to wind up. Because this page receives the bulk of your traffic it’s crucial that it facilitates the process of transforming visitors into a base of paying customers – otherwise known as “conversion”.

Call to action (CTA)

You need to direct people to where they can take action on your website. If you’re not doing this right now then you’re a certified dumbass! This is what is referred to as a “call to action” or CTA. It’s most valuable to have an image or line of text on your landing page so that your visitors, leads and customers can take action in the first instance. A CTA can link customers to a purchasing platform (such as PayPal) or a subscription form that allows you to capture their contact details and to set up a customer database.

Or, they could be used to facilitate such marketing tools as downloading an eBook, obtaining a coupon or watching a webinar. They are also very effective at the end of a blog. CTAs can be used throughout your website to increase your conversion rate as much as possible. Some tips for a great CTA? You want the design to be eye-catching and you want to pose a proposition that explicitly tells people what they will get in exchange for clicking on it.

Functionality

A website is only ever as good as the user experience. Contact information needs to be easily accessible so that conversions are achieved and your brand legitimacy is never called into question. Is the site easily navigable?? People will click away in seconds if it’s all too hard to use. Another question you need to ask is can the website be viewed easily on all devices? Smartphone and tablets are driving an increasing amount of traffic to e-commerce sites. You need to make sure you’re not missing out.

Is your site social media integrated? This is all about keeping your audience engaged where they participate most (and that’s usually Facebook, Instagram etc.) so this is a massive marketing tool that you must tap into. Having the right buttons on your website to connect your users with various social media channels also keeps your search rankings high on Google, referring here to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Content

Customers need to know the benefits of buying from you but they don’t want it served up in a dry fashion. You need to provide content on your website (often by way of a blog) that is entertaining and engaging while still being informative.

It’s about giving your audience the information that they actually want to read while neatly slotting in some promotional material for your product or service. It’s a tricky thing but, nonetheless, a very important factor in achieving effecting SEO. Customers also love to feel connected to your brand and providing a “humanised” reference point can go a long way to enhancing loyalty and therefore your profit margins.