Here’s How To Sell Your Products Online

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Much of today’s business is conducted online. There are some keys to selling your merchandise online. The following contributed post is entitled, Here’s How To Sell Your Products Online.

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Although, the internet has its drawbacks (such as hackers that are a threat to businesses) the internet is arguably the root of all opportunity. Mainly because people from all backgrounds, so long as they have a laptop and an internet connection, can earn money online if they put their minds to it.

You may have decided your current physical store that you use to sell your products is limiting you from the reach of sharing your items with the world. Or maybe you’ve uploaded your products online somewhere to sell, but you haven’t received any sales. So how do you sell your products online, and where do you begin?

Choose Your Platform(s) Wisely

You have a few options at your feet for selling your products, but it’s up to you to decide which one fits your product and where you think your intended audience will be. Bear in mind, with ready-to-use popular platforms such as Amazon, there are rules you need to adhere to, to sell on their website. If you trip up and break the rules, it could lead to your account being suspended. If this does happen to you, it is possible to build a case for reinstatement to get your Amazon account back up and running. It just takes a bit of time and effort to do so..

Besides the well-known selling platforms such as eBay and Amazon. Look at the potential of developing your own ecommerce website to display your products to the public also.

Presentation

The way you present your products is an essential aspect to consider. Images that are too dark, poor quality or look unprofessional will prevent your product from selling as well as it potentially could. If you can afford to, have professional pictures taken of your products. If this isn’t possible, create a transparent, uncluttered background for your product to rest. Take shots of different angles in clear daylight, so that the customer may see various aspects of the product before deciding to buy.

Copywriting

The art of copywriting is to set the scene and engage readers on why they should buy your particular product. It’s your pitch to explain why this product is perfect and what it brings to a person’s life but also to outline the specification such as colours and measurements. People like to read about what their new product might entail. They also want transparency on what to expect, and so you need to give the reader both! When you write descriptions etc., keep it clear, simple and in keeping with the voice of your brand.

Reputation

A business’s trust and reliability are earned over time. Once your product begins to gain momentum with authentic online reviews, you can trust that the sales process of your products will be a lot easier. There are ways you can give your product a leg up online in this regard. For instance, you can give your product out for free to popular bloggers and ask if they would be so kind as to write about it on their website. If your product is fantastic, they’ll tell their readers. Which means your audience and reputation gradually expands.

Whether you’re setting up a side hustle or developing a full-time business, selling your products online will be a lot easier to do if you follow the steps above.

Think About Protecting Your Business Online Today

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. So much of today’s business is done online today. There are individuals and entities out there who are looking to wreck havoc on even the smoothest running operations. The following contributed post is entitled, Think About Protecting Your Business Online Today.

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Picture by Methodshop

A lady called Paige Thompson gained access to 100 million credit card applications and accounts at Credit One in recent months. From social security numbers, names, addresses, credit scores, limits and balances, millions of customer records were violated. What does this mean for Capital One and it’s CEO Richard Fairbank? With Capital One and a string of other companies who have been hacked, it provokes uncertainty amongst the public and business owners about their data. Such as how the data breach occurred and what can be done to stop it. If you want to seek solutions and create a strong defence against criminals invading your business intelligence online, there are a few things you can do.

Anti-Virus Software

If you’re currently risking the safety of your business intel with no anti-virus software insight, you’re gambling with the likelihood of your data being deleted or tampered with by a virus, or stolen by cybercriminals. The type of software you will need depends on the scale of your current business. Only you can decide whether or not purchasing well-known software such as Akismet, McAfee or Norton 360 will suffice. Or alternatively, whether you need to hire an expert IT service company to defend your company information for you.

Back-Up Solutions

Whether you’re just starting out with a new business venture or running a long-standing successful company. Either way, you need to find a way to back up your business data immediately. Depending on the scale and type of information, your existing PC(s) hold will affect what source of back-up is right for your company. Your options span from purchasing an external hard drive to regularly back up your data and keep in a separate place away from your business. Alternatively, it could mean hiring a cloud service company to frequently back-up and store your data on your behalf. Or, it might mean purchasing large servers to continuously keep track of the mass of data your company consumes daily. Find the source of back-up that is right for you, and then revisit your processes regularly to assess whether you need to upgrade your back-up solutions.

Business VPN

A VPN for businesses provides end to end encryption for your company devices internet connections. This secures the network for your employees and makes it much safer to share company details while protecting your data from unauthorised access. Securing your internet connection this way prevents the issue of hackers, competitors, advertisers and the government from infiltrating your confidential digital files. Anti-virus software and firewalls are not sufficient enough to ward off threats alone, and so finding the best VPN for torrenting and securing your business data is a smart way to defend and protect your business activities online.

Now you’ve thought about protecting your business intel, it’s time to do something about it. Research the options that are appropriate for the scale of your company, incorporate anti-virus software on your systems and keep these updated. Find a route to back-up your files to keep them safe from intruders and of course, delve into using a VPN for your business to safely share your business information with end to end encryption.

The Things You Need To Think About When Launching A Website

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Properly launching a website can make all of the difference in the world in terms of launching you business and or blog if you have one. The following contributed post is entitled, The Things You Need To Think About When Launching A Website.

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In the digital age that we live in, your website is going to be one of the most powerful tools your business can have when it comes to marketing. Launching a website and managing it can be quite a daunting job, especially if you have little or no experience. Don’t worry, though, because, in this article, we cover some of the things that will help to make launching and running a useful website a lot more straightforward.

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

Carefully select your team.

Before you do anything, you need to choose whether you are going to do it all yourself, whether you will use an in-house web team or whether you will outsource to a third party. All of these options have their pros and cons, and most of it comes down to your budget and how much control you want over your website. Creating a site that looks good, but most importantly works with little downtime is a demanding and skilled job, so many decide to leave it to a professional. It is also worth having general IT backup from Real IT Solutions, Inc. to protect against any loss of data.

Develop the content

Before you spend ages building a website, you need to make sure that you have plenty of content prepared and ready to go on there. Many commercial sites now have a blog section, where they can share information, thoughts and relevant content linked to the industry, or give their clients and customers a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the business. One thing that you should be aiming for is not only to be selling your product or service to your audience but to be an industry expert. If you are using your website purely for sales, people will only come to your site when they are looking to purchase something. If you have a blog attached to it, people will be checking in regularly, so you need to be updating it regularly with fresh and exciting content. Google now considers interaction when ranking websites, so having material which encourages interaction and discussion with your customers will only help push your content higher up the search engine.

Social Media

You more than likely already have a presence on social media, but if you want to promote your website, it is even more critical. Business pages on Facebook and Twitter are essential, and Instagram is growing in popularity for businesses. Make sure that it is regularly updated, and that you don’t just push your own content. Try and aim for an 80:20 balance – 80% of your content should engage your customers and encourage interaction and conversation, and 20% should focus on your brand. Sharing content from other people may sound counterproductive, but it is the best way to find out what interests your customers, what they are looking for, and to increase the overall visibility of your website.

Make sure it all works.

Before you go live with your website, make sure every aspect of it works. This includes looking at every page, and every link, every plugin that you may use in the backend, any analytics software that you are using, and that is mobile responsive. Check regularly – broken links can be infuriating for your customer and can also harm your website ranking if there are too many, so make sure you update or remove if they are flagged up.

Drilling Down: The Essential Components To Starting A Manufacturing Business

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. A lucrative business to get into is a manufacturing business. The are some key aspects to getting started in this sector. The following contributed post is entitled, Drilling Down: The Essential Components To Starting A Manufacturing Business.

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Photo from Unsplash

When are you are looking to get into an industry that gradually produces lower running costs, increases productivity, and does this all en mass, the manufacturing industry is hard to beat. In many ways, it is the perfect distillation of what a good business can do. Creating thousands, if not millions, of products, to time, perfectly formed, and distributed to the corners of the world. But these days, there are so many of us that try our hand on a smaller scale, whether this is through our own online marketplace, or setting up a brick and mortar shop, don’t realize just how difficult it is to produce these things. So what is the key to setting up a manufacturing business in the right way?

The Right Support Network
Not just in terms of the business support, but also the suppliers that need to keep you going. You’ll realise that after a while, manufacturing business is dependent on the right business model. Every business requires an appropriate model, but a manufacturing one is just a bigger version of the standard business model. Whether this is running a food and beverage processing company, and you need the right supplier for industrial grade epoxy floor coating or you are working with a company that provides equipment for you to undertake your working practices safely, the right support network isn’t just about making your business work more efficiently, it’s about ensuring that you have the right people to guide you along the way.

The Right Location
Setting up a business is all dependent on location. Whether you’ve had experience in running a bricks-and-mortar store, or you work out of the comfort of your own home, the big temptation that we all have is to look for cheap prices. A manufacturing business requires better infrastructure, and the specific areas to grow, not just in terms of distribution, but the transport links, not to mention the skill set of the people that live in the nearby area, are all crucial. We have to find the right workers, but if we set up in a location that inaccessible, it will not last long, and we are wasting money.

The Best Team
While the location will aid a specific skill set, if you don’t have the right caliber of workers, you won’t retain any sense of productivity. It’s always worth speaking to local recruitment companies so you can get a good idea of the talent pool area, but also get in contact with local educational authorities, as they usually have decent information on this sort of thing. Being near to transport links is crucial.

Manufacturing is big business, and this really is skimming the surface of what a manufacturing business can do. It’s very easy to stick to the more antiquated business models. But as the modern workplaces are relying more and more on computers and technology, we’ve got to find the best marriage of man and machine. A manufacturing business now isn’t just about operating cheaply, it’s about the best processes in place so everybody can benefit.

Five Ways To Keep Your Small Business Safe

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship, and Technology. In today’s digital world, a key to running your small business is keeping it safe, particularly in terms of your Information Technology (IT) operations. The following contributed post is entitled, Five Ways To Keep Your Small Business Safe.

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The general consensus with small businesses is that they start from home. Working from home is a huge privilege, and if you are running a business from home, you’re getting even more significant benefits than you could imagine. However, many people think just because they’re working from home; they’re safe in their business. The benefits of working from home cannot be disputed, but what about the precautions that you take to ensure that it’s a secure option for you. When you have a small business, you share everything online, from your current activity to your expectations for the coming quarter. People can see this information, and while this is the idea, it’s also a fine line between the audience you want to see your information and those you do not. Everything is accessible, so it’s in your interest to put that information out there while protecting yourself.

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While you keep that in mind, consider the following five ways that you can protect both your new online small business and your home at the same time. Given that you are working from home, protecting it is the best thing that you could do.

Choose The Right Hosts

Your online infrastructure needs to be stable so that you can ensure that hackers don’t come after your information. Use outsourced IT services if you don’t know how to run your network yourself, but make sure that your online services are 100% protected with a good internet host and provider.

Keep Buildings Secure

You’re working from home, so you can think about adding some extra security so that your business is also protected. If you have a driveway, think about getting driveway gates and driveway gate openers that are electric which you can control from inside the house. You deserve the utmost protection for your home and the faster that you can install that, the safer you and your business will be.

Get Registered

Part of being safe in your home business is ensuring that you aren’t going to be hit by huge fines from the taxman. Getting your small business registered is so crucial so that you can start making some decent income. Think about how you want your business to look to others, and get registered with the proper authorities as soon as possible.

Register For Domain Privacy

It’s vital that you don’t register your domain name and leave it as is. Using domain privacy is so important if you want to ensure that your domain is more than what the public can see. By registering for a private domain, you can keep your home address safe from public prying eyes.

VPN

Using a private VPN network to protect the history of your internet searches is so essential if you want to keep your privacy in your business. Your browsing online stays private, too, so no hacker can see what you’re doing. It’s all in the name of your protection, so take note and make sure you follow the right instructions for a healthy and safe business.

Military Equipment: Tactical Vision Systems

A key focus of my blog is Technology. The defence industry is critical to our military forces as there is a constant need to improve the technologies for combat. A key aspect of this is tactical vision systems. The following contributed post is entitled, Military Equipment: Tactical Vision Systems.

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In the modern-day, the world of military is more advanced than one could ever imagine. It is an industry whereby constant intelligence and research is being utilized in order to push boundaries and strive to achieve the top strategies, advanced equipment, pivotal skills, and innovative tactics. After all, defence specialists and military personnel need to be better than ever before with the unimaginable challenges that come their way.

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In this day and age, more emphasis is placed on tactics than ever before, with specialist equipment being designed in order to enhance an individual’s awareness. The likes of Norwich University have Military History courses and you can really learn about how this has developed over the years. Military personnel always need to be one step ahead of the enemy. That is why the added emphasis is placed on vision in particular. When in dark and difficult conditions the need for clear vision is something which cannot be underestimated and thus giving serious consideration to the type of tactical vision system purchased is absolutely essential. After all, you do not want your men and women to be at added risk because of a poor choice.

The tactical vision systems employed need to combine all of the elements which come together to give an individual thorough awareness of their bearings. First and foremost, night vision is one component which is highly important. After all, this is when individuals are most susceptible to attacks and they need to maneuver through the night like it is second nature. Nevertheless, a tactical vision system incorporates so much more than being able to see in the dark. One needs to be assured of their bearings in relation to the battlefield as a whole. Thus the equipment should be able to aptly let the individual in question know where they are in relation to their surroundings. Furthermore, people need to be able to see accurately into the distance for precision, aim and as a result dependability and protection. Therefore, clear and accurate vision is absolutely essential.

In addition to this, you need to ensure that the tactical vision system incorporates effective communication software. This may not directly be linked to visibility through your own eyes, nevertheless when in military practise it is a case of using all of your senses and capabilities to stand you in best stead. Therefore being able to communicate through mouth is very important. Moreover, you also need to be able to aptly transfer information to your team, as well as they being able to transfer data to you too.

All in all, the top military personnel embrace new technologies and advancements and are constantly redeveloping themselves to ensure that they are ready for any challenge. One area which certainly needs to reflect this notion is that of tactics related to vision. The systems and products available are vast and thus you need to make a careful decision regarding which to utilise. It is highly recommended that you seek a reputable company which has experience in providing military personnel and defence specialists with products. They will be able to advice you with regards to the best tactical vision system for you. Moreover, you will be assured of quality because you will know that the company has served many sectors of the military industry before.

3 Tips For Your Online Business

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Most business is conducted online today. You online business strategy is there are part of your business that you have to keep sharp. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Tips For Your Online Business.

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Whether you are just looking into starting up your online business, or you have been established for some time, these tips will stand you in good stead to make some savings both in terms of costs and time, and help to ensure that your business continues to thrive.

Image Pixabay

Make the best use of technology

There are IT solutions to cover pretty much every conceivable area of your business nowadays, so do ensure that you make good use of them all.

As your business is run wholly online, this is an area that you simply have to invest in, and it might be worth getting an IT consultant involved. You need to maintain the highest levels of security and ensure that there is minimal downtime.

It is then worth using technology to assist you with the administration side of your business. Rather than having to run things manually or employ someone in-house to take tasks on, you will find you can get accounting software, payroll services such as CloudPay and bookkeeping apps that can take care of everything for you. These options will not only be speedy, but also highly effective, freeing you up to focus on your business.

Maximise your traffic from every source

Many an online business has been built on one primary source of traffic, and then has sadly crumbled as that source dried up.

Take the recent Instagram changes, where business profiles receive less exposure as an example. Businesses that gained most of their traffic and promotion via this social media channel have suffered significantly and are now scrambling to gain traction on other platforms or elsewhere.

As such, you need to be ensuring that you are covering as many bases as you possibly can with your marketing and lead generation. Online businesses can do very well from social media, but spread those efforts out more evenly. Utilise Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter equally and closely monitor all content to understand what you are best sharing.

You should also always work to maximise your SEO, as if done correctly, this can be relied upon to deliver long term traffic to your website. This will not rise and fall on current trends and you need not be reliant on social media platforms changing their algorithms.

Build a strong brand and reputation

You are battling amongst thousands, hundreds of thousands, of other online businesses within your sector. In order to succeed you have to stand out.

You need to focus on your branding and ensure that you are conveying all that you are about within your design, website and logos. People need to land on your website and instantly understand your product offering, and they need to recognise you when they stumble across you elsewhere on the internet. Strive for something unique and something that says what it is that you do.

You will then have to monitor what people are saying about your business online. Your business needs to have a good reputation so you will be seeking to receive excellent reviews and to be responding to any online feedback. Set up Google Alerts so that you are always aware of any fresh content written about you.

Taiwan is Becoming a Blockchain Island, and Jason Hsu is behind it

Three key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Blockchain Technology is a technology that will impact numerous sectors is an area that’s worth keeping an eye for those the financial and technology sectors. In the first Blockchain Technology piece on my blog, I gave a comprehensive overview of the technology. The following guest post comes courtesy of Techwarn. It discusses plans to implement and grow the technology on the island of Taiwan and is entitled, Taiwan is Becoming a Blockchain Island, and Jason Hsu is behind it.

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Image from pixabay.com

The world’s digital infrastructure, internet usage, and connectivity are changing rapidly. This is all thanks to the emergence of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain. Blockchain — the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc. — in particular, is a very powerful idea. Just like the internet did in the 1990s, Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize our lives.

Although it was originally developed for financial transactions, blockchain technology can be used to record just about any type of data or transaction. This revolutionary technology allows the distribution of digital information without copying thereby creating a new kind of internet that seems incorruptible. The use cases of blockchain extend beyond cryptocurrencies, and many countries are still on the fence on whether to advance its adoption, with the exception of Taiwan.

Serious About Innovation

The east Asian island nation-state of Taiwan is serious about innovation in the fintech. The country is pumping millions of dollars into advancing the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Jason Hsu, a congressman in the Taiwanese parliament is working tirelessly to integrate blockchain on a national level and steer the state towards the use of blockchain technology for more than just cryptocurrencies. His goal is to help Taiwan become a blockchain island.

In an interview with Jason Hsu, ExpressVPN asked the popular Taiwanese parliamentarian how exactly he plans to transform the small island nation-state into a crypto and blockchain hub. According to Jason Hsu, the law is a major impediment to innovation in the country. The congressman wants to use his legislative powers to help create an environment that nurtures and cultivates blockchain and financial technology and attract more start-ups to the island.

Who’s Jason Hsu?

Jason Hsu is a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur who wants to turn Taiwan into a haven for people working on different applications for blockchain technology. Hsu moved back to the island in 2009 and started working with the government as the advisor to the prime minister on matters innovation and technology. He joined politics in 2016 after being nominated to the Taiwanese parliament as a legislator-at-large. In his role as a congressman, Jason Hsu focuses on technology broadly and does not represent any singular district.

Since he became a congressman, Jason Hsu has worked on legislation relating to autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity, and the digital economy. Currently, the man christened “the Crypto Congressman” by Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin is on a mission to transform Taiwan into a blockchain island and cryptocurrency hub. Jason Hsu is working tirelessly to deal with any issues between public policy approach and technology. The ‘Crypto Congressman’ hopes to remove legal barriers to technology innovation in the island.

How Has Jason Hsu Changed Taiwan?

The blockchain landscape in the world remains highly uncertain. Countries such as Singapore and Switzerland have taken a proactive approach and have cultivated favorable environments for the advancement of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. These nations are the pioneers of the current digital currency regulatory frameworks in favor of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Taiwan wants to join the ranks of Singapore and Switzerland and become a blockchain island. Jason Hsu is leading transformation efforts.

As neighbors China and South Korea issue blanket ban on ICOs and ICO activity, Taiwan is moving in a different direction. Lawmakers in the island are passing legislation intended to encourage cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation in the island. Congressman Jason Hsu has played a pivotal role in the drafting and passing of legislation designed to advance blockchain and financial technology in the country. For instance, the legislator helped draft and pass Taiwan’s Regulatory Sandbox Bill.

The Financial Technology Experimentation and Innovation Act

Taiwan’s Financial Technology Experimentation and Innovation Act, popularly known as the Regulatory Sandbox Bill, is historical regulatory legislation designed to overhaul the island’s fintech and usher in a new era for the sector. The Regulatory Sandbox Bill allowed selected start-ups to launch new products and services with some immunity from existing regulation for up to one year. The bill was passed on 29th December 2017 and was a response to the decision by the Chinese government to block ICOs.

In September 2017, two months before the Financial Technology Experimentation and Innovation Act was signed into law, Chinese authorities banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) by cryptocurrency websites in mainland China. Congressman Jason Hsu came up with the idea to draft the Regulatory Sandbox Bill to ‘capitalize on this chance to introduce friendly legislation that nurtures and cultivates blockchain technology and attract more start-ups to Taiwan.’ This move earned Jason Hsu the nickname ‘Crypto Congressman.’

According to Congressman Jason Hsu, the goal of the Taiwan authorities is to create a fair regulatory environment that encourages innovation and protects the rights of the consumer. The ‘crypto congressman’ believes that Taiwan’s large pool of talent can pilot and pioneer projects that can build actual applications for the blockchain and transform Taiwan into a blockchain island. Compared to Silicon Valley, Hsu notes that the island nation has a supply of cheaper engineers who are just as good — if not better — than their counterparts in Silicon Valley.

What About Taiwan That Makes It Ripe for Blockchain and Technology Development?

In addition to his contribution in the drafting and passing of the Regulatory Sandbox Bill, the congressman has drafted numerous policy recommendations to make Taiwan more friendly to blockchain and cryptocurrency start-ups. The ‘Crypto Congressman’ has helped create a bipartisan alliance designed to help support the blockchain industry. The parliamentary coalition is currently working on implementing a number of crypto and blockchain legislation in his quest to transform the tiny nation-state into a blockchain island.

So far, Congressman Jason Hsu says he has introduced 25 projects across different government departments to address the implementation of blockchain technology in areas such as drug testing and supply chain management. Authorities in Taiwan understand that blockchain has great economic potential and are doing their best to advance the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The positivity of Taiwanese authorities towards innovation in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology indicates that the island is ripe for blockchain and fintech development.

Does Your Business Need Managed IT Services?

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. An important part of any business today is its Information Technology Services (IT). When thinking about your operations moving forward, it’s important understand if you need those services managed. The following contributed post is entitled, Does Your Business Need Managed IT Services.

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Do you often find yourself worrying about problems that aren’t really related to your business, but you think is vital for its success? Are you getting distracted by tech-related problems that you barely know how to fix, instead of giving your 100 percent to running your business? If you can overwhelmingly relate to these scenarios, you need to get a managed IT service soon.

A managed IT service takes care of the tech aspect of running your business. This includes ensuring your business website doesn’t go down with the influx of visitors, your security is up-to-date to avoid any data breach, and you have the best IT support at your beck and call throughout the day. It’s like establishing a whole in-house IT without paying too much for them.

Do All Types of Businesses Need This Service?

Sadly, no. There are a few kinds of business that will significantly profit from a managed IT service provider, however there are likewise some that won’t. Despite the fact that the advantages of having an IT expert do sound appealing – and it genuinely is – you should even now initially assess if your business is a solid match.

Does the Size of Business Matter?

Not so much. Despite the fact that you may feel that the size of the organization is what matters in picking whether to hire or sign up for managed services, the most important consideration in choosing is just the degree of what your business’ reliance is on innovation.

Regardless of whether your organization is simply comprised of ten excited people, as long as that ten can’t work without technology, enlisting this service is crucial. It would be unrealistic, exorbitant, and an exercise in futility to train these people to learn how to troubleshoot IT problems.

How Can I Tell If My Business Needs Manage IT Services?
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You can tell whether your business needs managed IT services or not if you think IT is necessary for your business to function but you don’t have the time and expertise to proactively take care of it. Or if you accept that putting resources into your technology is an absolute necessity and it’s never again a discretionary decision. Maybe cost of downtimes is taking a toll on your business more than employing an IT service provider. In the event that you can identify with any of these, almost certainly, you ought to consider having managed IT services for whatever business you have.

How Does Managed IT Services Work?

That would depend simply on the terms you, the business, and the supplier concurs on. In general, the service will take care of your business round the clock, monitoring the whole IT side of your company. Commonly, programming, framework changes, and redesigns are done remotely while the hardware side is, obviously, attended to on-site by experts. There is usually a 24/7 hotline or helpdesk that you can contact whenever you encounter any problems. You’re immediately connected to an expert who will guide you through the necessary troubleshooting steps. If it can’t be addressed through that, a repair schedule would typically be set as soon as possible.

SEOh-No: Mistakes That Could See Your Business Lose Ground To Competitors

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component of business these days as it impacts how easily your business can be found on the internet. As such it’s important to have a concrete strategy for your website’s SEO. The following contributed post is entitled, SEOh-No: Mistakes That Could See Your Business Lose Ground To Competitors.

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Starting your own business is the ultimate form of self-expression and self-assertion in a consumer driven capitalist economy. Think of it! An opportunity to untether yourself from a rat race that seems to sap all of your time and energy yet affords you just a few crumbs from the corporate table as remuneration. If you feel underappreciated, undervalued understimulated and quite simply underwhelmed by your day job, you’re not alone. This Gallup Poll a couple of years ago revealed that as many as 85% of Americans hated their jobs. When you’ve worked hard to gain the education, skills and experience that make you such a valuable commodity to any business, it can be enormously frustration when that business only utilizes a fraction of your potential.

Image by Geralt via Pixabay

If you’ve chosen to eschew the 9 to 5 and start your own business, you are one of the few who got off the starting block. The rest are still trying to overcome their fear and trepidation. They cling to their job because it offers them the illusion of security. Of course, that’s not to say that the path of the entrepreneur is risk free. Far from it. New startups have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads from day one. They know that they have a 50% chance of going under within 5 years. But they also know that they can succeed or fail on their own terms.

SEO and the competitive edge

Competition is understandably intimidating to nascent entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, competition should be embraced and relished. Competition provides a framework for operational excellence. It allows you to be the best that you can be. It lights a fire under you to be better and try harder than your nearest competitor. Competitor analysis allows you to take a detailed look at your competitor’s operations and identify opportunities to do better. It also allows you to see what they’re doing well and how you can up your game to match them in those areas and bring greater value to your clientele.

Yet, the sad truth is that it doesn’t matter how much better you are than your nearest competitor if the target market you share have no idea who you are. Operational quality is certainly not an area in which businesses should cut corners, but it needs to be supplemented with savvy digital marketing which positions you ahead of your competitors in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). The process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a rich and multifaceted discipline and needs to be applied to every aspect of your online presence. SEO is arguably the key to success in business, whether that business takes place in the online realm or in a physical space. The more you do to bolster your SEO, the greater your potential competitive edge.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding SEO which can lead well-meaning businesses to make poor decisions. And too many of these decisions could see you lose ground to your competitors.

Here we’ll take a look at common SEO and digital marketing mistakes which could damage your visibility and the online reputation of your brand…

You don’t know your needs

When it comes to your SEO and all other aspects of your digital marketing, small business owners are faced with a fundamental choice. Do they build their own in-house team to handle all of their marketing and SEO or do they use an external agency? As you’ll see if you check out this article, one option is not inherently better than the other. However, it behoves you to know your needs before you choose one or the other.

Do you need quick access to the best digital marketing talent or can you afford to wait? Do you have the budget to assemble your own team or would it work out cheaper to go through an agency? Do you know what to look for when recruiting your own team? Is there an agency out there that would fit in for the unique culture with which you want your brand to be associated? Or can you only get this by building your own team from scratch?

This is an important decision which should not be made arbitrarily. It could see you lose your edge to competitors or bury you in overhead costs without due consideration.

You’re doing content marketing… But your focus is all wrong

Many entrepreneurs are aware of the inherent value in content marketing. They know that it can be a great way of both building their brand and climbing up the rankings in SERPs. It can showcase your skills, knowledge and expertise and build value in your brand. Search engine crawlers love big websites which are regularly updated and filled with high quality content. However, to assume that more content = success in SEO can be a gross oversimplification.

Many a well-meaning entrepreneur has unwittingly sacrificed quality for quantity to the detriment of their SEO and their business’ image.

Don’t fall into the trap of writing for algorithms rather than actual readers. Yes, keywords are important but they are by no means the only metric by which your pages are judged by search engines. Crawlers value measures of quality engagement like hit counts, time on page, scroll depth and navigation to other internal links within your site. And this only happens when you create content that users actually want to click on.

Always approach content creation (whether you outsource it or do it yourself) with a customer-first perspective. Create content that is of value to them. If it helps them to overcome a problem they regularly encounter or makes their lives easier they are much more likely to engage with it, leave a comment or share it on social platforms. And those are all big ticks for your SEO.

In a world of text, don’t neglect your images

The quality and uniqueness of your text is vitally important for SEO but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect your images. Images are another useful way to drive traffic towards your pages. However, if you neglect to add alt-text to your image it will be invisible to Google and therefore won’t show up on any image search pages.

Don’t underestimate just how much traffic images can drive to your website.

Image by PxHere

You’re not ready for Mobile-First

We now live in an era where the majority of users will access your website and its constituent pages through a mobile advice rather than a desktop computer. And if you have yet to make your website responsive (optimized for mobile consumption) this could cause your online presence to be overlooked by Google. As of July 1st 2019, the search engine giant will use Mobile First Indexing. This means that competitors with more responsive websites could gain a leading edge over you if you let them.

If you aren’t sure how mobile-friendly your website is, these checks can give you a pretty reliable overview;

• Does it change shape when you resize your browser window?
• Does the source code contain the word “responsive” or “@media”?
• What does Google say? Using Chrome’s developer tools can help you to identify whether or not your site is mobile-ready.

Your web design is slowing your site down

In the mobile age, your target audience has less time and attention to spare you than ever before. They’ll be accessing your site from a mobile device and consuming your content on the go in small, bite-sized chunks. Speed is of the essence and if you can’t offer them a website that is readily accessible and responds promptly to commands on a mobile device, they won’t stick around to wait for it.

Page load times has always been a factor in bounce rates, but today’s consumers are less forgiving than ever. In fact, a page load time of just 5 seconds can increase your bounce rate by almost 40%. Since search engines value time on page and scroll depth, a slow website could prove a real impediment for your SEO.

Fortunately, a few changes at the back and the front end can help to make your page faster and less sluggish to navigate on a mobile device;

• Optimize your code. Minify scripts and get rid of unnecessary characters.
• Optimize your images. Make sure they’re not too big or unwieldy. Use an efficient format like PNG for graphics and keep them at 16 colors or less. It’s also a good idea to use CSS sprites rather than PNG graphics for icons, buttons etc.
• Make sure that your server isn’t bottlenecking your time to first byte.
• Reduce redirects and use a link reclamation service to ensure that your links are healthy and working.

There’s a lack of housekeeping

Finally, simple poor housekeeping can result in issues which are anathema to SEO. Broken links are the most obvious which spring to mind. These imply to search engines that the website is poorly maintained and they will penalize you accordingly. Duplicate content is also a no-no and could land your business with a serious black eye if you are caught plagiarizing content. Keep your content up-to-date and ensure that your links are working and free of redirects.

And don’t be antisocial! Sharing your content on social channels whenever you’ve updated it or posted something new and fresh is a great way to drive traffic.

Avoid these mistakes and you can ensure that your SEO is on top form and that you remain one step ahead of your competo=itors.