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Wednesday
Jan162019

Here’s How You Could be Using Psychology to Boost Your Online Sales

Businesses are always looking for ways to boost their sales, and for a good reason. If you do not constantly try to stay on top of your game, then your business will falter as a result, your sales will plateau and you will lose your customers to your competition. Psychology can be a fantastic way for you to get the sales you need with very little effort, and when you use it efficiently, it can have a huge impact on your company.

Know your Margins

The lowest price doesn’t always win. Pricing battles usually end up with one party pricing their products too low, and even if you have tons of customers, the chances of making a profit from this can be slim. If you find that you are lowering your prices to the point where you are actually losing money then you may want to try and find a better source, or even adjust your product offerings. If you don’t do this soon then your customers will always expect the lower price from you, even when it is unsustainable for your company. The end result? You’ll lose customers, your company and any trust that you established over the years.

Know your USP

Think about it, what makes you different? Every single company has to tackle this question from time to time because the answer is your unique selling proposition. For example, you could provide a fantastic customer service, free delivery or even a product that cannot be purchased elsewhere. Pricing competition is now reaching its peak, so as a retailer, it is your job to think outside the box when you are crafting a marketing or even promotional strategy.

Selling Below Market Value

Discounted pricing can be very advantageous if you pair it with the right strategy. This is known as loss-leader pricing, and it assumes that if you sell products below their market value, that it will encourage customers to buy more overall. This way, you have the chance to cross-sell, sell and even increase the value of each online shopping cart. Even if the profit you make isn’t impressive, the amount of clients you will accumulate will be. When you have done this, you can then work out your CPA, or cost per acquisition to try and minimise the loss you make. When you have set your strategy, this is when psychology comes into play. You lose out on money for one item, while making a profit on another. For example, you could sell cereal at a very cheap price (and at a loss) and then sell milk at a very high price.

Incentives

Motivating your customers to buy through psychology is very easy once you have established your USP, margins and other structural data. The language you use when attracting customers is so important. For example, you could tell them that you are offering a discount, such as “buy one, get one half price”. The customer will think that they are getting 50% off, but in reality, they are actually only receiving a 25% discount. Being savvy with your incentives gives you the chance to draw attention to your products. You will also build a reputation of continually having great deals, but without harming your bottom line.

Diversify

If you want to have a diverse range of products that sell, then you need to understand the

market demand. You have to be up to date with trends, and you also have to have a better idea of what your customers want from you. If you have one unattractive option, this makes your other offerings seem more attractive, and it also helps them to decide which one is right for them based on the process of elimination. Some retailers even offer bad, or poor-value options intentionally so that it emphasises the good. Of course, it’s not just your products that need to offer diversity, your payment options need to be varied as well. Credit card readers are great for in-store, but online, you have to make sure that you’re offering more than just the “Mastercard” payment option.

Testing your Strategy

As with many things in business, one size really does not fit all. For this reason, you have to measure, test and track the success of your changes. Analytical tools are fantastic for this. if you find that one strategy is working for you more than another, don’t be afraid to go with that as far as you can, before following your customer trends to find that next step to take.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jan162019

Outsource These Small Business Essentials

There are only so many hours in a day and as your business starts to grow you may find you do not have time to complete all the tasks. This is when you should consider outsourcing some of them. This is cheaper than employing people and gives you access to expertise that might otherwise be unaffordable. There are freelancers and agencies galore that will assist you, and most of them are very experienced at what they do.

Accounting And Payroll

These two areas cannot only be very complex, you can incur the wrath of the IRS if you get them wrong.  It is far better to outsource them to a freelancer or agency that knows what they are doing. They will ensure that your records are handled in the correct manner and that everything is submitted to the IRS on time to avoid penalties and fines.

IT Support

Technology has been moving at an amazing pace for some years now and you cannot expect to keep up to date with all the latest innovations as well as run your business. Outsourcing IT to the right agency could make the world of difference to the efficient running of your business and you should visit MXOtech to see how they can help you. Using experts is the best way to stay on top.

Social Media Management

Most businesses are aware that they cannot ignore social media if they want to succeed but using it effectively can be very time-consuming. Outsourcing the management of it can give you the best of both worlds. You will know that post are being done for your company that comments are being replied to and that any users who want to look at your website will be able to click on a link to take them there. However, you will not have to spend the many hours each day it can take, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best - run your business.

General Admin

It is estimated that 80% of emails businesses get are trash, but that with some of them you are not aware of that until they have been opened. Checking your emails for the important ones is just one of the jobs a freelance virtual assistant could do to take some of the mundane general admin off your shoulders.

Find Your Weaknesses

You have to be totally honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. There are only so many hats you can wear, and if there is any area that you feel you need help with, you should consider outsourcing as the way.

Just take an example of a graphic designer. To employ one would easily cost you well in excess of $50,000 a year. If you are paying one as and when you need them, probably at a rate of around $50 an hour, you could save yourself an absolute fortune, and this is only one example of the savings to be made.  

Think How much it would cost you to employ an IT consultant or an accountant and you will soon see that the saving are to be made across the board.

 

Friday
Jan112019

How do These 3 Travel Influencers Stack Up on Social Media?

According to Upwork's 2018 Future Workforce Report, 38% of hiring managers predict that their employees will work predominantly remotely in the next 10 years. The simple fact is that many millennials are meandering from the nine-to-five office grind in favor of making a living for themselves by doing what they love best -- traveling. These social influencers, ranked by IZEA, have turned their favorite way of living into a permanent way of life, and many brands can take advantage of the power of influence they truly have. Let's take a look at three top-ranked social media accounts dedicated to the love of traveling.

Kiersten Rich, aka, 'The Blonde Abroad'

Kiersten Rich, aka, The Blonde Abroad, has about 429,000 followers on Instagram and is ranked as a top travel influencer. She started her traveling and blogging career after deciding that corporate life just wasn't for her. Aviation data company FlightAware estimates that there is an average of 9,728 planes carrying 1.27 million people in the air at any given moment, and from the moment Kiersten Rich became one of those passengers and stepped on a plane to her life abroad, she's never looked back. Check out her Instagram photos for picturesque shots of beautiful and scenic locales including New Zealand, South Africa, and Bali. She also has a website -- TheBlondeAbroad.com -- that has an itemized guide organized by country with specific advice. Visitors can browse based on their destination country of interest, like Poland, France, or Ireland, which is 32,595 square miles and has over 3,000 miles of coastline. Essentially, The Blonde Abroad is a one-stop site to get modernized and millennial-targeted travel expertise.

Eric Stoen

Travel blogger and photographer Eric Stoen has also turned his hobby into a career he enjoys with the whole family. That's because his approach focuses on family travel. Understandably, his Instagram account is filled with photos of him and his children enjoying the carefree life that comes with being on a permanent vacation. According to data from Benedict Evans, people share around 22 billion per year on Instagram, and Eric Stoen has garnered more than 61,000 Instagram followers to date. He's also an ambassador for Travelocity and experiential travel publication, AFAR.

Brian Kelly, aka, 'The Points Guy'

Brian Kelly, better known as The Points Guy, is all about sharing advice on how to save while traveling abroad. His website, ThePointsGuy.com, gets about 4 million unique visitors each month. Brian and his team are dedicated to telling other travelers about how to get the most of various travel rewards cards. His Instagram also has 145,000 followers and is full of scenic and breathtaking shots. Kelly was even voted as the number one travel influencer by Forbes in 2017. Furthermore, Kelly has gone above and beyond when it comes to his philanthropic efforts:

"An avid believer in using travel as a force for good, Kelly is passionate advocate for causes around the globe, using his platform to create change and supporting organizations close to his heart," read The Points Guy's 'About Us' page. "As a Committee Member for Rainbow Railroad, he is intimately involved in the organization’s cause to provide transportation for LGTBI individuals flee persecution and seek asylum. He’s also an active Global Ambassador for the PeaceJam organization, where he brings Nobel Peace Prize winners to promote peace and support young leaders in communities all over the world."

Take a look at some of these travel influencers' websites and social media pages. What stands out to you? You can use this insight to better tailor your own social media efforts to a unique and specialized audience.

Thursday
Jan102019

Why Your Office Productivity Is Down In The Doldrums

Economists often talk about something called the “productivity puzzle.” It’s the idea that we have an expanding economy with fantastic new technologies coming on board on what seems like a daily basis, and yet, people aren’t getting more done for every hour they work. Despite all the progress in technology, gains aren’t showing up in the productivity statistics.

Delve a little deeper into the data, however, and you quickly find out something interesting: some companies have improved productivity. Dramatically so. So what’s going on?

The experience of internationally-facing companies like Bosch, Unilever, and Audi, shows that it is humanly possible with today’s technology to improve worker output. We’re not reaching the “hard limits” of technology as some commentators suggest. What seems to be happening is that some businesses just aren’t following best-practice when it comes to boosting revenue per hour worked. The knowledge exists, but it’s not being used on the ground.

Smaller companies without access to the best consultants tend to fall down in certain areas, particularly when it comes to the way they organize and run their offices. Making changes here could yield substantial productivity benefits. Here’s how your office might be letting you down.

You Don’t Have A Clean Desk Policy

Clean desks are a hallmark of some of the most successful companies in the world, with many having official “clean desk” policies to ensure as little clutter as possible. Why companies do this is no mystery: research from unclutterer.com shows that workers surrounded by clutter are distracted, make mistakes, and get less done with their time at work.

Messy desks are also potentially dangerous. Clutter can get on the floor, causing a trip hazard, diverting business resources away from the core activities.

You Don’t Use Electronic Filing

Okay, so your business generates thousands of documents: that’s to be expected. But what’s no longer acceptable in 2019 is storing all those papers in physical format (unless required by law). Top companies, like Dropbox, use digital filing methods to store and retrieve all their documents. What’s more, they use smart software that can automatically file new documents away, cutting down on rote, dull administration tasks. Use a third-party, off-the-shelf programme to take over complex document handling needs, and stop relying on old-fashioned archiving and storage methods. It’s expensive, inefficient, and takes you away from your core operations.

You Work In The Dark

People aren’t separate from the natural world (although this can be hard to believe as they sip their coffee and tap away at the computer); they are linked to it in fundamental, biological ways. People, in general, are hard-wired to rely on the sun as a signal for their daily cycle, and so making sure that the sun features in their daily life should be a priority.

Working in a dark, dingy office all day long is not conducive to work or good health. People need exposure to the sun to activate hormones which signal that it’s time to wake up and get on with the day. Research shows that people tend to work more productively when they have a view of the outside world and can see the sky. No, you’re probably not going to be able to offer all workers a 20th-floor view of the surrounding cityscape from a glass-fronted office skyscraper, but merely opening the blinds can help. Remember, the view doesn’t have to be magnificent - it just has to be there.

You Don’t Have An Equipment Schedule

There’s nothing more time-consuming for workers than faffing around, ordering new equipment when things run out. A much better solution is to build a relationship with sites like FilmsourceInc.net to deliver supplies before existing stock runs out automatically. Waiting three days for printer ink to arrive could severely hamper your overall productivity and cause workers to become frustrated about the fact that they don’t have the tools they need to do their jobs.

You Don’t Use Scheduling Tools

Did you know you no longer need to hire admin staff to do scheduling? If you don’t, you could be one of those companies stuck in the productivity doldrums. Scheduling tools allow you to do all kinds of things, from taking bookings on your corporate website to keeping track of workers when they’re in the field.

You Don’t Use The Cloud

The cloud is a bit of a tricky technology to get your head around, but once you understand the concept, the business applications are clear. The cloud allows workers to access company data, no matter their location or device. There’s no need to make notes off-site and then update on-site computers with the data: people can create new information on-location and automatically store it on the cloud. Often cloud services are so seamlessly integrated that people don’t even realize that they are using them: they just work.

You Don’t Allow Sharing

Ideally, you’d like all the people in your office to work together optimally to achieve your business objectives. But sometimes, individual team objectives can interfere with your overall goals. For instance, competition between departments might mean that it’s strategically advantageous for some members of your organization to work against the interests of others.

As a first step, you want to undermine the incentives that lead to this kind of behavior. Ceasing all departmental reward structures might be one method, but as a second step, you may find it useful to institute the use of tools which foster collaboration between departments. There are many tools on the market for businesses, including SharePoint, Slack, Live Meeting, and GoToMeeting.

You Don’t Create A Community

Where do the best ideas come from? Usually, they emerge in conversation with others. But if your workers have no place to go and chat about what they’re doing, then they can’t exchange ideas and come up with ways to make your organization better. Top companies always provide office space for communities to develop. Workers can share their skills and experience in these settings, boosting overall knowledge transfer and boosting overall productivity.

 

Thursday
Jan102019

Avoiding Copyright Infringement: 3 Tips for Marketers

Online marketing is absolutely essential for businesses to build their brand, especially in today's digital world. In fact, 45% of companies say content marketing is "highly integrated" into their SEO strategy. And between 70% and 80% of consumers look up a company online before deciding to make a purchase from them. But when it comes to marketing tactics, there is something companies need to be aware of: copyright infringement. So here are a few simple tips to help businesses avoid copyright infringement when marketing.

First off, like most other things in life, it's important to always ask and receive permission. If you're looking to use copyrighted content like images or music, it's best to simply ask for the creator's permission to use it. Once permission is given, you should keep records of the permissions in case there is a concern later on. And you need to remember that just because you have permission to use the content, that doesn't mean you don't have to give credit. The creator of the content always deserves credit, even after they give permission. If you fail to give credit, you could end up in a sticky legal situation.

If you use a lot of pictures, images, or music in your marketing tactics, it may be best to consider one of two options: either create your own content or buy content. Creating your own content can be a great way to save money, have original pictures, and avoid issues with having to find images and music to use. But having someone in-house to create this type of content isn't always reasonable. If this is the case, consider simply buying content. There are plenty of platforms that have resources for sale so you can legally purchase and use the content. Purchasing content is an easy way to ensure the artist not only gets credit, but that you're using their content with them knowing it.

No matter which kind of content you're using, it's crucial that you always read the terms of use and licensing information. There are laws in place to protect people from stealing their content and information -- there were 1,134 trade secret case filings filed in 2017 alone. So to truly avoid getting into legal trouble for using other people's work, make sure you fully understand the rules and regulations in place. If you are buying a license for images, make sure it allows you to choose which images you use. Overall, taking the time to understand regulations can help avoid copyright infringement issues.

With there being so much content on the internet today, it can be difficult to figure out how to safely use someone else's pictures or music. So follow these tips and keep up-to-date with the guidelines in place so you can avoid copyright infringement.