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6 Things Your Company Must Do to Break Its Startup Shell

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Growing a startup is no easy task, but there are a couple of things that you absolutely must do if you want to break out of that startup shell and walk among the well-established businesses in your industry. So in this post, we’re going to look at some of the most crucial things your business must do in order to break free from the label of a startup.

1. Focus on your audience more than ever

Whether it’s listening to customer feedback or engaging them on social media, there are lots of ways for you to focus on your audience. You can get endless value out of listening to your audience thanks to the feedback they give. As long as you keep an ear open to them and start taking on their feedback and criticism, you’ll easily be able to work out what to do next for your business.

2. Brace yourself for failures

Every company fails in its lifetime. Whether it’s an accident on social media, a poor product launch or a legal issue, there are lots of ways for your business to screw up and fall out of the limelight. However, bouncing back from these mistakes and learning from the past are key ways to help you grow your business.

3. Take control of your workflow

The less control you have of your workflow, the harder it’ll be to scale your business. Between using cloud-based accounting services to signing up for a cheap VPS for all of your server hosting needs, there are plenty of ways to take control of your workflow. This will help you not only understand your business better but also help you save money in the long run.

4. Start training your employees

It’s vital that you start training your employees so that they can be prepared to become managers and senior leaders in the future. A growing business will go through plenty of staff members, so it’s essential that you train them up to be valuable members of staff in the future. This could mean hiring a consultant to help train them or it could mean mentoring them yourself.

5. Evolve your idea by diversifying or specializing

There are two approaches to growing your business; you either diversify your company or you specialize. Trying to do both will only make things more difficult because you’re spreading your resources thinly. Make sure you focus on offering either a diverse range of similar products or perfecting a single product or service before you make something else.

6. Reduce your expenses as much as possible without reducing your quality

It’s vital that you start saving money to help grow your business, so look for ways to cut down on your expenses without reducing the quality of your products and services. This can be difficult depending on how much capital you have, but you should ideally be reinvesting every penny you make back into your business after paying everyone’s wages.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Why A Great Website Is Always A Business’ Top Priority

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Photo by Domenico Loia

If you run your own company, whether that’s digital or refers to the old bricks and mortar business, you may be wondering how you can make it more appealing to potential product/service buyers. This will refer to getting yourself a website that provides information, graphics, videos and much more. Once you have established your website, you must ensure you’re hitting the targets that you want.  There are a few steps you can undertake to ensure your website starts to do better, which will in turn lead to the generation of sales and new connections.

Style is key, the substance to all website design 

People buy into good aesthetics and design because it looks well thought through and it boasts good features that will make any reader impressed.  If something looks appealing, if the graphics are gorgeous and your imagery is beautiful, then people will be much more likely to click through links and other pages. If the website is well designed, people will stay on your page longer which is a key factor when trying to boost your SEO and ranking. SEO is the goal, ensuring that search engines can see your website and that it is being taken seriously. Look at your design, what is going to be appealing, what design fits your brand? You will most likely want to hire a professional, a graphic designer. You may look at Superside’s design process and understand the steps in graphic design that can really assist your brand. Then once this has been established, you should aim to be consistent with every single post and page of your website. The goal is for it to look professional as this will really enhance your website. Look for royalty free images if you are unable to access a HD camera yourself or pay a photographer to help you with imagery and put out well crafted messages and information to your readers, with calls to action if necessary. Style and design is going to shape how people see your brand. 

SEO is your bread and butter

Marketing your website is tricky, but with some simple steps, you can start to see a difference in the way that people are viewing your business. Using keywords and buzzwords as well as plenty of healthy links, will help or you can take it one step further and look at a company to assist you. Once you have mastered SEO or hired someone to do this for you, then you will want to maximize on the amount of keywords you use and aim to use them often to reach Google searches, depending on where you use your keywords. Good clear titles, consistency with the content is also key – what do your readers want to know about your business? Any good business person will know their demographics and have used these demographics to their best advantage. Someone within digital marketing will be able to greatly assist you with this. 

Some of the main benefits of SEO will already be ingrained in your mind but if you need some added assistance on the matter, then these eight reasons may just really help reinforce the benefits (according to industry professionals):

  1. SEO Leads to Better User Experience. 
  2. SEO Is a Primary Source of Leads. 
  3. SEO Brings Higher Close Rates. 
  4. SEO Results to Higher Conversion Rate. 
  5. SEO Promotes Better Cost Management. 
  6. SEO Encourages Local Users to Visit the Physical Store After the Search. 
  7. SEO Builds Brand Credibility. 
  8. SEO Helps Establish Brand Awareness.

All of the above lead to a better online presence and you can start to see the benefits of how it can benefit your business. In e-commerce, SEO is vital because of the plethora of competition that you have to face daily. You need to show that your company stands out.

Social media will become your best friend

If you’re not already doing this, then connect your website and brand upto social media and start to use it to its full potential. Be brand consistent, which in essence means having an awareness of your brand and being able to hone in on the areas of it that make it special. Creating themes, logos and style throughout and tone of voice is so important and having a presence online allows your customers to clearly see what is going on in terms of your business, changes, offers and service updates. Social Media will definitely improve your website’s standing and it can be known as a great way to drive traffic to your page. Use Pinterest and Facebook, too. On facebook, you will find access to further assistance such as paid ads and display ads that will allow you to reach set audiences. Paid ads and campaigns can be massively useful and you can target your ads to the people who want to see them. 

Twitter can be helpful if you want to use hashtags and join in with communities similar to yours. Online sources state that social media is one of the biggest vital tools that you can use for your business. It provides numerous benefits, including: 

  1. Faster, Easier Communication. Customers can contact a customer service representative faster and easier now than ever before thanks to social media. 
  2. Networking & Partnerships – Collaborations is one way to start building that all important database of customers and other businesses.
  3. Boost Organic Visibility – Who is going to see your website first? Perhaps it is people who have not been directed but naturally stumble across on Google.
  4. Increase Website Traffic – Get more people to come and visit your page.
  5. Customer Feedback – What they think of your products and how they want to communicate with you.
  6. Impress Potential Customers – What will they think of your brand and how do you draw them in?
  7. Branding – allow your brand to flourish further. 
  8. Track Your Competition – See how they are doing things and how it differs from you.

Bottom line, your business website and the way in which you promote it, is a vital tool in seeing it flourish.

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Preparing To Start A New Business: Things To Think About

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There aren’t many people who don’t daydream about becoming their own boss. However, the percentage of those who do daydream about and those who actually do it is a lot lower. What is it about becoming our own boss that stops us from following our dreams and turning a dream into a reality?

For many people, it is the fear of the unknown. Not knowing if you are making the right decision can be the tipping point for many people. Another hurdle is money and, dare we say it; self-belief can be a huge factor in starting your own business. If you don’t believe in what you are selling, then it goes without saying that no one else will either.

Removing all the obstacles you place in front of yourself is the first step to starting your journey to becoming your own boss.

Business plan

Every new start-up and trading business needs a business plan. Why? Well, for starters to steer you in the right direction to making a success for your new venture. Knowing what you want from your company, where it is going and where it could potentially go will give you something to aim for and make sure you deliver what is required to make your company successful.

What exactly does a business plan comprise of?

Essentially it is a detailed list of the projected journey of the company to help you steer it in the right direction. What the plan involves can be different depending on your trajectory and what you are offering, but the following will help you to form a plan and know where to start. 

  • What are you selling?
  • Who is your customer base?
  • What percentage profit can you expect to make in the first year? 
  • What is your initial outlay cost to get up and running?
  • Is there scope to expand in your sector?
  • Do you have a USP? (Unique Selling Point)
  • How do you plan to find and attract customers?
  • Why will your customers stay with your company?
  • How do you plan to evolve the company and expand?
  • Are there ways you can adapt what you do and offer more services/different products?
  • Where do you see the company in 5 years?
  • How do you plan to get your company to that point in 5 years?

A thorough and detailed plan will help you for many years to come, not just for their initial starting period.

Know yourself

And know what you want to do and how you plan to get there. Building a new company for the wrong reasons will never work out well and may end up leaving you in a worse place than you were before you started. With as many as 50% of businesses failing in the first five years, knowing how to succeed and being willing to do what it takes will help you stand the test of time if you are genuinely doing it for the right reasons. 

Combine your goals with your personal drive and perseverance and make sure that you are fully committed to making it a success. Simply starting a new business because you dislike working for other people or you think it is a get rich quick scheme will no doubt be your undoing if this is why you are starting a new business.

Financial outlay

Do you need money to get the company up and running? If so, you need to know precisely what you need and how much money you will need before you start looking for loans or financial backers. Some companies will be able to start up on a very small or even no budget at all. Other companies will need to look at purchasing stock, finding premises, and making sure they have everything they need to run their company successfully.

Warehouses, industrial sheds, offices, and tech for employees don’t come cheap, so factoring them into your budget is essential before you start looking for finance options.

Is there a market for what you are selling?

Who is your ideal customer? How are you going to sell them? If there is no market for your service or product, chances are you may struggle to find suitable buyers or to get people’s attention.

Being able to identify a gap in the market and fill it will help you to attract the right customer for your company. You need to demonstrate a willingness to be able to adapt to meet the demands of a changing market and satisfy the consumer needs as and when they change. Diversifying is something that will help your company stay heads and shoulders above the rest and keep you relevant and able to fulfil your client’s needs as they change.

Having a unique selling point will mean you are offering people something they aren’t getting elsewhere or may not even realize they need. Identify a gap in the market and strive to fill it before someone else does. A great way to do this is by asking current or potential clients what they are looking for and what would make their lives easier. Then, you can adapt what you do to meet this demand.

Keep an eye on the competition

Always know what they are doing and make sure you are competing on the same playing field. Copying them may seem dishonest but staying ahead of the market is essential for your company to survive, so make it your business to know new and emerging trends within your sector. Keep on top of client demands and know exactly who your competitors are and what they are offering.

Make sure to stick to your company’s values and integrate any new ideas, ways of working, or new products/services as and when demand calls for it and emulate the success of your competition for yourself.

Starting off on the right foot with a solid plan in place will give you a better head start when it comes to starting up your business.

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The best services to improve your business’ online presence

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Internet was, by far, the biggest XXI century revolution, bringing a lot of changes into our lives. One of the most significant changes that have occured over the last decades can be seen on business management and how adapting to the internet era can have a significant effect on our company’s profits. With the help of professionals in the sector, we can launch our business right into the digital media world and increase our yearly income dramatically. 

Creating a webpage for your business

Since internet became a significant part of our lives, the way we see business has dramatically changed. In today’s society, a company without a web page is perceived as obsolete and ends up missing a lot of potential business. 

By hiring the services a web design Sant Cugat assistant, you will be able to create a webpage to launch your business right into the internet era. Studies show that having a webpage not only increases the visibility of the business, but companies with a nice, simple and fast design, help keeping the customers attention, assisting companies on keeping potential business chances that otherwise would had been taken somewhere else. 

Web designing companies are aware of how important this may be for small business owners, that is why now we can find professional website designer services like the ones offered by Mudblu. 

Mudblu is a website design company created keeping the needs of business owners’ into mind. It does not matter that you are not very familiar with internet and how websites works, Mudblu will have you covered all along the way. By joining their monthly subscription services, you will have your website designed and ready to get started, as well as the assistance of your own website building team. One of the things that makes this company a smart option for small business is their customer support team, who will assist you all year on any problem or doubt that could come across regarding your website.

Trusting only the best professionals in the sector for your Google quality score

Internet has brought a lot of changes to the traditional way in which we perceive business. Nowadays, a company is destined to fail without the proper internet presence.  The most notorious example of this has to do with our company’s Google quality score. By hiring the assistance of a professional quality score agency, you will be able to dramatically improve your business in an easy way.

A company that will help you improve your business relationship with Google is Quality Score Agency. Quality Score Agency, as its own name may suggest, is a company that focuses on improving companies quality scores. But the services this company offers go far beyond that, offering companies social media advertising services, google ads, etc. 

Although Quality Score Agency is based in Spain, they operate worldwide with clients in countries all around the globe, and are recently starting expansion with the opening of new offices in Miami and Colombia. 

Launching your business’ social media presence

Social media has become a vital part for the majority of internet users. Studies show that the average user spends around 2 hours and a half per day on checking their social media pages. Because of that, having a strong social media presence has become the best form of advertisement a company can have.

One of the most relevant social media websites over the last years have been Instagram. We can easily find Instagram pages for the more relevant companies in the market, which are gaining a lot of traction among their followers. But, how can our business compete with these big companies?
An easy way to achieve this is by purchasing Instagram likes. This practice would help us raise our social media presence, since Instagram posts with a big number of likes are able to reach broader audiences.

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