In the world of modern business, it is essential to be represented online through your own website. It isn't enough to simply have a web presence, though. To promote the future success of your business, the website that you use to interact with clients should be built and optimized with growth in mind. The built-in tools and overall layout of a business website should inherently facilitate customer convenience and encourage repeat visits. Entrepreneurs who fully understand a website's role in business growth are poised to seize greater success in the digital age of marketing.
Crucial Website Tools
The first step towards laying the foundation for business growth through your website is to optimize the essential business management tools that every online service utilizes. A customer relationship management tool is a vital resource for storing important customer data and facilitating client relations.
Another crucial element of a business website is an enterprise resource planning system that manages typical administrative activities such as accounting and supply chain operations. To establish the groundwork for future growth, consider increasing your website's efficiency by integrating CRM and ERP tools into one convenient suite.
Accessible Payment Platform
Out of all the tools built into a business's website, the payment system that connects clients to your service is perhaps the most important. Implementing a payment platform that works well for both yourself and your customers will go a long way towards future growth. Prudent business owners should conduct market research to determine which platform their target audience prefers. Popular online payment tools include Plaid's balance API feature, which allows users to avoid expensive credit card fees and ensure they always have funds available to make payments and purchases.
Conversion and Search Engine Optimization
Observant web admins pay attention to key statistics including their website traffic and conversion rates. These metrics illustrate the site's ability to be found through search engines and retain an audience's attention. With such data to provide a benchmark, you can try out various methods to improve the efficacy of your website. Utilizing tried-and-true search engine optimization techniques and adding attractive logos or imagery can help with boosting engagement.
Another method for improving a website's engagement stats is to focus on developing a user-friendly experience. Maintaining a clean and attractive appearance on all web pages ensures that users can navigate around the site without frustration. When potential clients are able to achieve their goals without hassle, they are more likely to return and interact with your products again. Mobile accessibility is also key, as people increasingly browse the internet on phones rather than computers.
Entrepreneurs who are not versed in web development or graphic design themselves can work with professionals like Throlson Web Design to create a site that accurately represents their business and brand.
Statistics and expert opinion all point to the importance of a powerful website for small business growth. For an emerging entrepreneur who relies on their online domain to make contact with potential audiences and clients, it goes without saying that a website should be conducive to prospective growth. A thoughtfully built website is a crucial stepping stone on the way to further financial success.
If you want to grow your small business as efficiently and effectively as possible then you absolutely need to ensure that your company is as organized as possible.
The more chaotic your small business setup is, the more time you will spend putting out fires like looking for lost files or trying to find the right professional to deal with HR issues, and it will take up so much of your precious time that you could otherwise be using for developing new products or building professional relationships – the and so things that will help you to grow your company, in other words.
Okay, so organization is vital for small businesses, but how do you go about getting organized? Here are a few key strategies that you may want to consider:
1. Start with your space
First and foremost, it will be a lot easier to run your business efficiently if your office space is as efficient as possible. So, where possible, be sure to rent or buy an office space that gives you enough space to meet your needs. Then, ensure that you have enough storage for all of your important files, papers, equipment, and…well you get the idea. The less cramped and the more ordered your surroundings, the easier everything else will be.
2. Go paperless
Of course, it’s the 21st Century and that means technology is sufficiently advanced that you may not need to print out reams of files and documents anymore at all. Going completely paperless is perfectly possible with the right tolls and software packages, and it will means that you don’t have to worry about things getting misplaced or messed up. Providing you back everything up carefully, it will be safely stored away in digital form so you can find it again at the click of a button.
3. Automate as much as you can
From HRIS software that tracks everything from payroll to employee absences to accounting software that takes care of the math for you, there are so many modern small business software packages that will practically run various functions of your business for you. Using them instead of doing everything manually, will not only save time but it will also help to keep everything in good order too.
If you use social media for marketing purposes, there are various tools that allow you to schedule posts in advance and it’s a really good idea to use them if you want to stay organized and get ahead of the game. Posts can be scheduled to be posts at specific times and dates, so you can plan what you want to do and when, set it up, and then not have to think about it again, leaving you free to focus on other areas of the business instead.
5. Use a password manager
As a small business owner, you are probably subscribed to various services and software packages, all require a different password. It is important that you make passwords as unique and strong as possible as part of your cybersecurity strategy, but it can make them difficult to remember and there’s nothing worse than being locked out of a service when you need it most. Luckily, these days, you can use password manager programs to memorize them all securely for you, so you don’t have to! Make use of them and it will make your life a whole lot easier.
6. Use the cloud
When your business is on the cloud, you can do everything from uploading notes on the go to sharing important documents remotely with your employees wherever they will be. It helps you to streamline pretty much every aspect of your working life, and it can also save you time and money by removing the need for you to have your own on or offsite servers/storage for your digital files. Just make sure that you choose a cloud provider that specializes in offering small business services with a high level, of protection so you can ensure that your private business files are as safe and secure as possible.
As you can see, there are so many things you can do to improve your company’s organization levels, even if you are a small business working with a modest budget, and doing so will certainly help to make your company one of the most efficient around so you can beat the competition and grow faster than otherwise expected. Of course, you don’t have to implement them all now, or even ever, but if you think they may be useful to you, why not give them a try?
How To Manage Your Small Business’ Finances Easily
Having A Billing Strategy
Invoicing can be difficult at the best of times. While many clients will happily pay on time and to the full amount, there are always some that don’t. That’ll be detrimental to your cash flow.
You’ll need to have a billing strategy in place for this. You could offer a discount on invoices paid within a certain amount. While there could be a 30-day wait period, offering a certain amount off if they pay within ten days would be appealing.
Make sure this strategy is consistent and works for your cash flow.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Loans
Most entrepreneurs would rather they don’t take out any loans. That mightn’t be possible sometimes, however. You shouldn’t be afraid of this.
Instead, you’ll need to be smart about it. Knowing how to manage your small business’ finances often relies on getting the best loan possible.
Spend time comparing and researching so that the loan is right for you.
Invest In Growth
Every small business needs to find areas for growth. In many cases, these opportunities will need funds to capitalize on them. You shouldn’t be afraid to do this.
Budgeting to set aside a certain amount of money every month is recommended for this. There can be multiple growth opportunities that you can find.
These will vary from company to company, however. If a competitor in a nearby city is closing, then investing in attracting their customers would be recommended.
Though this costs money up-front, you’ll make more in the long term. You’ll see a much larger return on investment than you’d think, making growth opportunities an appealing option.
When your business first launched, your focus was likely on getting those first orders coming in and fulfilled. Once your business becomes better established, you may be thinking about the future and how you can best ensure your company continues to attract customers while maintaining your existing ones. Growing your customer base is not easy, especially when you are competing against other businesses selling similar products. It is in this situation that the importance of building a brand becomes clear.
For many businesses, branding is an afterthought. Many companies only begin to strengthen their brand and create an authentic brand identity after their company and its core products have launched. This is because branding is often considered an optional extra or something that only large corporations can do successfully. But, strong brands can be built by companies of all sizes and should be at the heart of every business.
Read on to find out more about branding and its importance, plus how you can improve brand awareness for your business.
Why Your Business Needs Branding
If you have not thought too much about your business's brand before now, you may be wondering why branding matters. Well, if your company has reached a plateau and you are keen to drive it forward to greater success, then thinking about your brand is essential.
The main driver for developing a brand is to differentiate your business from its competitors. There are likely to be many businesses selling products similar to yours, maybe at an identical price point. So, how do you ensure that consumers choose your products over the comparable offerings of your competitors? The answer lies in your branding. A strong brand adds value to a product over and above its intrinsic value. This is the reason consumers are willing to pay more for a designer brand rather than a cheaper alternative, even if the products are identical.
What is Brand Awareness?
Building your business's branding is your first task, but once this has been done, you will need to focus on spreading the word and developing your brand awareness. Brand awareness refers to your brand's visibility and whether consumers can recognize the brand as belonging to a specific company. In short, you want to build your brand and get it recognized so that consumers want to be associated with it and choose it over and above your competitors.
Strengthen Your Brand
Ensuring that your brand is as robust as possible is vital when you are building brand awareness. Strengthening your brand is a key part of the process when growing awareness of your brand. One of the most effective ways to improve your brand is by ensuring it is cohesive and consistent. If you have several different versions of your logo and switch between using different colors, your brand can become diluted, which makes growing brand awareness challenging. Using your logo in a consistent way, and selecting your corporate colors, and sticking with them will speed up the process of building brand awareness and ensure your products are distinctive and instantly associated with your business. Creating branding guidelines is an excellent way of maintaining consistency throughout your products and ensuring that everyone in your business is aware of how to use your branding correctly.
Improving your company's presence online is another useful way to build brand awareness. Working on improving the use of branding on your website is an excellent starting point, as it will ensure that customers notice the similarities between your company's physical and online branding. So, thinking about the types of images used on your website, the fonts you use, how the logo appears, and the colors that feature throughout will ensure that your website is consistent.
Working on your business's social media pages to ensure they take the same consistent approach as your website is also vital. Your social media platforms are also the perfect place to give your brand some personality and to reflect your brand values. The more effective your social media posts are, the more likely it is that you will attract new followers, which increases awareness of your brand and leads to a broader customer base. One of the best things about utilizing social media for your business is that it allows you to interact regularly with your target audience, which provides valuable insight into how your followers and customers engage with your brand. The more engagement and interaction on your social media pages, the more likely the algorithm will work in your favor, and your brand will be visible to a wider audience.
Use Memorable Promotional Material
Finding unique ways to bring your brand to people's attention is a really effective opportunity to get noticed by a much wider audience. Using promotional products featuring a company logo and corporate colors is a popular choice for many businesses. But, for your promotional efforts to have the desired effect, you need to be sure that you choose the right products. Selecting practical items to use as promotional materials is always an excellent idea, as they are more likely to be used and to get noticed. You could get playing cards printed featuring a unique design and your company logo and give them to your customers when they make a purchase. Everyone loves to receive free items, especially if they are something they can actually use and look fantastic, so this is definitely something to consider when looking for additional ways to get your business noticed.
Take a Combined Approach
Improving brand awareness is not something that can be achieved overnight. Instead, you will need to make a consistent effort and strengthen your branding in every aspect of your business so that it builds awareness. Building brand awareness is an ongoing process, but it is incredibly worthwhile. When you focus on building your brand and growing brand awareness, you are making a long-term investment in the success of your company which will continue to benefit your business for many years to come.
When to Hire a Certified Public Accountant for Your Business
Have you thought about hiring a certified public accountant (CPA)? If you run a small business, this is something you should definitely consider. A CPA can offer a number of benefits to your small business, whether you’re just getting off the ground or you’re looking to take your venture to the next level. And since financial issues sink so many small businesses, hiring a CPA is always a good investment. Web designer Nick Throlson outlines some great reasons to hire a CPA to boost your small business and secure your financial future!
You Want to Do Your Taxes Correctly
When you become a business owner, your taxes become a lot more complicated. Hire an accountant to ensure your taxes get done accurately.
An accountant can help you choose a business entity that saves the most money in taxes. But to create an LLC, turn to a formation service.
An accountant can help you establish a reliable and efficient payroll system, so your employees always get paid the right amount and on time.
You’re Not Sure How to Manage Your Finances
Good financial management is important for ensuring the long-term success of your business. Because you have big-picture issues to worry about, hire a CPA who can help you handle your daily financial tasks.
When you hire a CPA, they will help you determine the best accounting method for your business.
They can also help you decide on a type of business loan if you need financing to meet your goals.
If you want to make the best financial decisions for your business, hiring a CPA is a no-brainer. Beyond helping with matters like taxes, payroll, and bookkeeping, your CPA is a knowledgeable person to turn to when you’re facing a confusing financial question or a challenging decision.