• Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

    How to Configure Your Small Business

    by  • October 30, 2014 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    It can be easy to scan the newspaper headlines and see the fearful titles declaring businesses closing, mega-retailers declining, government incentives drying up. Unfortunately, some of these headlines truly do reflect the state of the economy. But fortunately for you, many others are blown out of proportion. They only reflect the failure of businesses that avoided a few simple steps to improve optimization and efficiency. By keeping your business in a healthy and well-managed state, you can ensure the longevity of your business, and keep your output at maximum. To do this, you’ll have to work with the tools at hand, which often means limited marketing, equipment, and employment budgets, unlike the massive corporations that tend to make the news. The modern small business, however, has more tricks up its sleeves than ever before, and you’re primed to take advantage of these features. Here are some of the most effective ways to whip your small business into shape.

    Stay Current

    The race to stay ahead in business often involves being proactive about what innovations and trends you embrace. No matter what your customer base is, or how diverse your selling model may be from your larger competitors, the need for constant overhauls and upgrades is essential. When designing your small business and its model for sales approaches, try to keep modern innovations and current designs in the forefront of your mind. Some of the latest technological advancements in retail include the rise of cloud computing, which enables you to store your data on centralized servers and grant access to any users you select. This can be a fantastic way to keep your business connected and on the same page, but it can also enable you to overhaul your business’s Point-of-Sale (POS) model, transferring from your standard desktop to a more sleek and mobile tablet system. As Business News Daily highlighted, businesses are rapidly replacing their older models with customer-driven POS systems and tablet platforms. Some companies, such as Shopify, have already created entire lines of hardware for the iPad tablet, including credit card payment terminals. These upgrades will keep you firmly attached to the modern trends, and allow you to maximize your efficiency in employee management, overhead costs, and inventory tracking.

    Set Priorities

    Often times, you might be pressured by advertisements and the waves of business articles that grace your favorite magazines. You might be tempted to buy each and every product on the market, praying that it will cause some miraculous upswing in your sales numbers. The truth is that every upgrade to your small business should be carefully weighed and considered before it’s implemented, and you ought to pore over your options to determine which upgrade will yield the most benefits. If your business deals with shipping, then upgrading your self-checkout stations will probably not be a primary concern. Be practical and judicious in what you choose to overhaul, and be sure that it will raise your profit margins, relative to its base cost. Some upgrades are completely free, but still make heavy use of the modern trends in today’s business world. Social media site like Facebook and Pinterest have become a prominent and powerful tool in the marketing sphere, and you can easily take advantage of these systems. American Express pointed out that 35 percent of small businesses are now utilizing Facebook to attract new customers and build their brand name; why shouldn’t you?

    Emphasize the Employee

    When asked what makes your small business truly small, you probably won’t think of your square footage or income first. Small business is generally defined by its employee numbers, and like most businesses in the United States, you probably employ a limited number of workers compared to the retail giants. To make up for this discrepancy in employee numbers, you need to really maximize the efficiency and role of each employee. All Business discusses the necessities a proper business leader must have, including the ability to aim for and focus on the positive trends in business while staying flexible in how you assign your hours. Most employees, if treated properly, will be more than willing to work with you and help your business grow. With their cooperation, you can have a healthy and sustainable business model, and work in tandem with your most precious and determined resource, your hard-working employee base.
    In today’s economy, the need to stay relevant and keep your business optimized is more crucial than ever. With a bit of know-how and the proper application of your funds and workers, you can have your business run as a tight ship, and rake in the subsequent profits. Staying optimized and organized often boils down to a keen eye in the workplace, and ensuring that you make the most of every asset in your small business. Follow these tips, and you’ll be competing with the big dogs in no time.

    8 ways to monetize your website

    by  • September 29, 2014 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    The Internet is a great way to make money. In order to do this though, it is necessary to know how to monetize a website. There are all sorts of different ways to do this, but knowing the ins and outs of this process is helpful. That is why understanding the eight different ways to monetize a website can point a potential business or website designer into the right direction.

    1. Banner Ads on the Website

    This is one of the easiest ways to monetize a website. Ads placed on a website can help generate some money, depending on the kind of ad you use. Google Adspace is the most often used way of integrating banner ads onto the website. Basically, the site owner receives a certain amount of money every time someone clicks on an advertisement. With other ad services, a website user receives a set amount of money for the number of people who view the ad and do not click it.

    2. Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing is a way to bring in money by advertising different products or services. For example, someone can make a how-to video on how to build a garden fence. They can then provide links to the tools they used to build the fence. When someone clicks on the link and purchases the tool, the website owner receives money for this purchase. There are all sorts of different affiliate services out there. Amazon has this, as does TicketMaster, and dozens of other services. It all depends on what a website coves.

    3. Selling Ad Space

    While the pay per click options and pay per view features are available through the banner option, it is also possible to sell ad space on a website. This is generally done for more popular websites where a flat fee is given. One company might pay $1,000 to have their ad placed at the top of the website or in a certain location.

    4. Sell Products

    A website is able to either sell digital products or physical products. Digital products are the easiest to perform as it does not require any sort of shipping. With the digital option, someone pays to purchase a music track or an image. The physical products require someone to mail out the product, but either way, having a web store on the site is a great feature to integrate into the site. If you want to sell something on your website pay more attention on finding the best domain name as a part of your branding strategy.

    5. Donate Button

    For not profit options (for profit websites can use this as well, although they might find it harder to generate income), it is possible to bring in money through donate button feature. This button allows people to send any amount they want to the Website owner. It usually connects to a PayPal account, but there are different ways to do this and generate some income. You can easily create yours here.

    6. Email List

    When people sign up for information from a website, they provide their email account. After enough emails counts have been obtained, it is possible to sell the email list to a third party, who then sells the list to companies interested in purchasing the information.

    7. Premium Website

    For many website builders, they create a website that features advertisements and one that does not. It is possible to charge someone a monthly fee to access the website without ads. While the amount charged is usually just a few dollars a month, if the website has enough of a following, it is possible for someone to generate a few thousand dollars a month, just by incorporating the service, and it does not alienate visitors to the website as they can still connect to the site, only with ads.

    8. Charge to Access

    For other websites, it is possible to charge to simply access the material inside. The website might provide videos and other special content people do not access without the monthly fee. For some, this can become rather lucrative.

    Five Steps to Setting Up Your Online Business

    by  • September 10, 2013 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    There are several online services that allow you to sell products, whether those products are hand-crafted wares, antiques, or even baked goods. Of course, getting your online business up and running can be a little daunting, depending on how complex or competitive your industry may be. These five steps can help you achieve a no-sweat startup for your new business.

    Shop Around

    The first step, naturally, is to get a sense of what’s already out there. You’ll really want to look for the exact products that you plan to sell. This is the best means of determining not only what your target prices should be, but also how to distinguish your business from the competition. It may also be a good starting point for ideas; for example, if you weren’t initially planning on highlighting your customer response, you may find an aesthetically pleasing way of having your customers share their reviews and photos of your product.

    Partition Shipping Costs

    Customers are obsessed with shipping costs. Even if an item is relatively cheap, a heft shipping charge will stop most consumers in their tracks. A good way around this is something called “price partitioning,” which calls for you to divide the shipping costs between the listed item and shipping costs. So, if you want to charge $20 for that poster sized print, and shipping would cost six dollars, you may want to list the item as a $26 print with free shipping. If figuring out shipping costs to begin with is your hang-up, consider directing your business’s finances through PayPal. They have a useful online service to help you figure out PayPal shipping rates.

    Take Good Photos

    Because your customers will be unable to physically examine your products, the pictures that you use to display them are of utmost importance. Take the highest quality images possible, and, when possible, photograph your items in natural light. It’s also encouraged that you take pictures of your products from multiple angles. Close-ups are also useful for giving your prospective customers a sense of your item’s finer details.

    Promote Yourself

    Though it’s easy to assume that customers will stumble across your store themselves, this is not likely to happen when you’re just starting up. Take advantage of social media to promote your store and encourage your friends to share it. This is a good way to get you some early customers, and, by extension, product reviews. If you’re using a community-based site for your business, consider contacting other shop-owners and offering to promote their products on yours. Chances are that they’ll offer to do the same in return, resulting in an arrangement that’s mutually beneficial.

    Provide Excellent Service

    You want your customers happy, and the best way of achieving that is to go above and beyond the call of duty. Be prompt about shipping and notify them when products have shipped. If they have questions, respond to those quickly, too, and try your hardest to fulfill any special requests they may have. If you follow this advice, you should have a large and dedicated customer base in no time.

    Finances and Romance Don’t Mix

    by  • June 7, 2007 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    I’m sure you’ve seen this commercial for Chase bank. To sum up, a young woman gets her first paycheck, then immediately runs out to open her first checking account, of course at Chase. For some reason the scene cuts to her dancing around a fountain; apparently she got some good stuff that I didn’t get when I opened up a Chase account. She then proceeds to buy a puppy, walks down the street, pay bills, and have lunch with friends and pay for the bill like we do, but of course all of these actions are punctuated with her looking at her Chase account on her phone, on the computer, or an ATM.

    It is the last part of the commercial that really irks me. For your pleasure, I’ll post some screenshots of the final scene with some commentary…

    firstpaycheck1.jpg
    You’re gettin’ some tonight…

    firstpaycheck4.jpg
    Wait! I have to take this call.

    firstpaycheck3.jpg
    Oh, it’s just my other boyfriend Chase. Yay deposit!

    firstpaycheck5.jpg
    Sorry for the blue balls!

    Seriously? Who does that? What would you do if your make-out session were so rudely interrupted by your make-out partner for such a trite action?

    Barcode Branding

    by  • July 6, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    There’s something about slick branding that makes me wish I majored in advertising instead of science. I can’t get enough of the cool Apple or Target ads that have been showing as of late.

    Design Barcode is a design firm in Japan that combines, well, design and barcodes. I loved the samples of their work, along with a cool Quicktime video of their stuff.

    Sure makes shopping that much more fun.

    (via Digg)

    Sell Out, Destroy Your Credibility, And Make Money At The Same Time!

    by  • July 2, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    While it seems especially prevalent (and quite ridiculous for some) in the personal finance blog community, advertising on blogs is fairly commonplace in the blogosphere. We all like to make a few bucks here or there by pursuing a hobby. Google ads, text-link ads, affiliate banners, and the ever popular referral link are some of the most common methods bloggers use to monetize their message.

    Due to ad blindness, software that blocks ads, and general dislike towards advertising in general, advertisers are looking for innovative ways to get their messages into the hands of the people who will buy their products.

    Fortunately for advertisers, but unfortunately for the internet as a whole, PayPerPost offers a service that will clog up Google’s index with even more spam: they will pay bloggers to drum up some buzz about a specific company.

    Bloggers are supposed to be grass-roots and largely un-tempted by money in order to bring the frontline news to the masses. The minute an author is paid by a company to pimp its product is the minute I deem him a sell-out, a corporate drone, a puppet. If a few bucks can persuade an author to write a good review, what else will that person say for some extra cash?

    We have ads on our site, because, well, WE’RE BROKE. But for the record, the content at Make Love, Not Debt will NEVER be influenced by the advertising on this site. We’d rather call it quits than let that ever happen.

    (via CNET)