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Generating online sales

The UK’s e-commerce market is back to posting double-digit growth after several months of a less stellar performance from online retail outlets.

In fact, the ONS revealed that sales were up by 13.1 percent in April 2015 when compared to the same period last year, primarily as a result of smartphone and tablet use helping to bolster e-commerce activities nationwide.

There are, of course, differences between performance levels depending on the type of products that are being sold, with fashion and clothing doing better than groceries, for example. But even with small discrepancies and seasonal shifts, there are a few things that businesses of all sizes can do to generate increased online sales.

Improve your SEO

Gaining a good position for your site on search engine results pages is inescapably important, yet can seem like a daunting task given the regular updates to the algorithms that govern ranking.

The best way to capitalize on SEO at the moment is to focus on mobile optimization since this is now taken into account when pages are ranked following a mobile search. And almost half of the world’s biggest companies are still flagging when it comes to mobile-friendliness, which is why start-ups and emerging rivals can leapfrog them with just a few minor tweaks.

SEO is still essentially reliant on filling a site with the relevant, interesting, and original copy, so remember not to neglect this area even as you pursue a mobile-focused update.

Run a PPC campaign

SEO will only get you so far and is something that established sites can benefit from most, so paid search ads are worth harnessing if you want to increase the profile of your budding brand and generate those first clicks and conversions.

If you do not have experience of utilizing PPC and platforms like Google AdWords in the past, then it is a good idea to consult with a third party to make sure you get this right and avoid wasting money.

Contacting a London AdWords consultant company is a good starting point and will allow you to navigate this similarly fluid, evolving medium, which as with organic SEO is now increasingly influenced by mobile.

Embrace social media

Social media presents the perfect opportunity not only for businesses to promote products and services and provide links to the places where people can purchase them, but also to engage customers in a proactive manner and get involved with the conversations that are being had about what they offer.

Facebook and Twitter presences should be a well-understood basic requirement at this point, but if you are looking for increased engagement with an audience then multimedia platforms like Instagram and Vine are also worth adding to your arsenal.

People are easily captivated by images and videos, whereas text alone is less likely to grab and retain their attention. So if you want to boost traffic and send sales skyrocketing, you cannot ignore the potential of social media.

5 Useful and Effective Email Marketing Tips for Startups

When it comes to promoting your business, nothing is as powerful and direct as mobile email marketing. These days, our email is as close to us as our house keys. Just imagine your business being that close too. Indeed, by creating an email marketing campaign, you can have a direct channel to market your product or services. Not only will this boost revenue, but it will also boost brand recognition. Plus, if we keep our email that close to us, just imagine how many more people will see a single email if it seems relevant enough to forward to friends. And what if there was an incentive to send it to friends?

Here are five useful and effective email marketing tips for startups.

Blow them away with the subject line.

Just like an advertisement uses a tagline to draw customers in, you have to use an amazing subject line to get people to open a particular email. When it comes down to it, most getting dozens of promotional emails a day. Some of those emails are automatically categorized in a promotional folder, so half or more of them don’t even get read. So, you need to be that one email that stands out, which is why your subject line is so critical.

Pictures say a thousand words without saying anything at all.

When you open an email that has a lot of text – what is your first response? – Usually, you’ll close the email and tell yourself that you’ll read it later. All of a sudden, the day goes by and you haven’t even looked at the email – you may never get around to reading it at all. This is why your email marketing campaign must be picture heavy. You want to say as much as you can with a single photograph.

Create a hierarchy of text.

In an email, you want to find a way to highlight the important stuff without making it seem obvious. This is why you want to create a hierarchy. At the top, you want to showcase the most important information. The secondary information can go in the middle. And the tertiary information should go at the bottom. The reason why you want to do this is that you want the most critical information to jump out at the reader.

Use an intuitive platform for your email marketing campaign.

You don’t want to use just any email marketing company for your campaign, you want to use a platform that will really get the message out there. For instance, Blue Hornet Email Marketing Services offers many tools to send out your campaign intuitively and effectively. Not only do you want people to open the email, but you also want them to click on the information.

Offer the incentive to share the email.

Not only do you want to have buttons where people can share the email on social media – but you also want to offer some kind of incentive for sharing the email with friends. The best way to do this is with discounts or some kind of special, limited-time offer. In the end, if you can get more life out of one email, it will be well worth it to hand out discounts.

5 Tips for Starting and Operating a Parking Lot Business

Starting a parking lot of business can be a great way to break into both the real estate market and growing industry with lots of exciting potentials. In the parking lot business, you are essentially buying valuable plots of land that are in-between use. Typically, these plots of land are in parts of cities that are densely populated, have an excess amount of cars, and a lack of available street parking. This is where your parking lot comes in handy. With a decent rate for parking, you can literally take a corner of the market in your particular town or city.

Wireless Networking Basics for Your Business

Wireless networking and internet access are vital to almost every business these days. The ability for you to wirelessly access and share information lies at the core of most businesses and has become a near-universal expectation for clients and patrons. But as you set up or plan to improve your wireless network, there are a few basics you should keep in mind.

Know your Needs:

If you’re setting up your business’s wireless network for the first time, it is important that you are realistic in your needs and clearly understand how your wireless network will be used. If you run a small coffee shop, your patrons may expect wireless access to come with their cup of coffee. And that wireless needs to be able to support a certain number of congruent users without interruption or delay. And a certain level of wireless security may also be expected from your business. Knowing all of this information beforehand will help you communicate with providers and give you a realistic sense of what types of services you may require. And thus you can start to calculate your monthly wireless bill.

The Right Provider:

Once you know what you want, it is time to find which company can provide the best service for your business. In some areas, your options may be limited, but be sure to pursue any and all wireless networking and internet providers for information. This will help you determine who offers the most competitive prices and the best quality service. Some providers may even offer discounts or special programs for local businesses, so be sure to ask what they can do for you before you sign a contract. And if you know other business owners in the area, be sure to ask their opinions as well. Keep reading how to evolve snom.

The Right Equipment:

In many cases, a wireless provider may be able to provide equipment, but regardless, you should make sure that the equipment you receive or purchase is of high quality and can support your needs. When it comes to broadcasting a wireless signal, some routers have different effective ranges, so be sure you know the dimensions of your space so you can adequately service it.

Professional Installation:

And finally, getting a professional to install and set up your wireless network can be the difference between a network’s success and failure. While the basics of setting up a network can be simple for some, installation can quickly become complicated and time-consuming. But be sure that you get a working understanding of your wireless network and equipment before the installation team leaves. In case of trouble, you should always be able to troubleshoot a solution before you have to call in the professionals.

Wireless networking is an important part of any business, so ensuring that you get the best service that is right for your business is vital. Whether you’re just establishing your network or you want to improve your wireless network, be sure to consult professionals to help you with your wireless needs.

Workplace Safety Basics for Small Business Owners

Owning and operating a small business means wearing a lot of hats. Whereas large corporations have the money to hire specialists and fill redundant positions to ensure optimal coverage, small businesses rarely have the capital on hand to fill all of the roles needed with individual workers, much less the best and brightest in their field. As a result, many small business owners will find themselves handling tasks like management, accounting, sales, and any number of roles they are ill-prepared to tackle. And workplace safety is definitely an undertaking that can fall to a small business owner. But if you want to limit your liability and ensure the health and safety of workers, clients, and anyone who interacts with your business, it’s imperative that you make workplace safety a top priority.

Restaurant Business Startup Do’s and Don’ts

By now, friends, coworkers, and family have probably warned you: opening a restaurant business is too risky. Some people may even be telling you to keep your day job. However, much of what people say about the restaurant industry isn’t true – the statistics are skewed. Sure, it is competitive, but with a little ingenuity, great food, and an amazing dining experience, any restaurant can make it. When it comes down to it, running a restaurant can be difficult, but mainly in the beginning – during the startup phase. This is the time when you have to avoid some of the fatal flaws that some restaurateurs make. If you can circumnavigate those flaws, your restaurant has a much better chance for success.

5 Key Factors to Consider Before Franchising Your Business

Going from the startup phase to the franchise phase can be a big leap, but it can happen. In fact, it can happen sooner than you think – especially if your establishment becomes quite popular. If your brick and mortar establishment becomes recognizable in a certain community, it may have the same power and potential for success in other communities. So, is your business ready to be franchised? Before you set the wheels in motion, you need to be fully prepared. Starting a franchise is not a cakewalk – you need to think about the legal implications, the financial implications, and a number of other responsibilities.

5 Ways That a Diverse Workforce Benefits Your Business

You have probably noticed that in the last few years alone, the world has become more globalized and diverse. You may have also noticed that diversity is not something that we have to come to terms with – it is something we should embrace. We are all human, but each of us comes from a completely different background – with completely different cultural norms and ideas. Because of this, diversity can add a whole new layer of understanding to the way we live our lives – it can make us better humans. This sentiment is especially important in the workforce and it is the reason why diversity in business is so imperative.

5 Effective Ways for Small Business Owners to Reduce Workplace Accidents

No workplace big or small is safe from workplace accidents. The only thing is that a bigger business may have the capacity to take the costs that go towards medical bills and other expenses, like legal fees – while most small businesses don’t. One workplace injury and it could cause a small business to go completely under. If your small business operates a workshop or a warehouse – anywhere that has dangerous conditions or requires the operation of power tools – preventing and reducing workplace injuries and accidents are even more important. Not only is it important for the sake of your business, but also for the health and wellbeing of your business.

5 Effective Ways to Simplify Complex Business Practices

When it comes to your business operations, you may start out with fairly simple processes. But over time, the way you conduct your business can become more complex as your company grows, as you introduce new programs and procedures, and as employees develop their own ways of getting the job done. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on your productivity, turning once-simple tasks into monumental hurdles. And the worst part is that very little of the work being done might be necessary to ongoing operations. For this reason it is imperative that you perform an audit and figure out where time is being wasted, as well as how to best create the targeted practices that ensure work is completed in an effective and efficient manner.