My latest project ‘Find Local Garages‘ – an online directory to help motorists find a local garage is now live.
Still tweaking site settings and making it more ‘motorist friendly’
I’ll post new updates here
My latest project ‘Find Local Garages‘ – an online directory to help motorists find a local garage is now live.
Still tweaking site settings and making it more ‘motorist friendly’
I’ll post new updates here
Being your own boss can be really challenging at times, but it can also be very rewarding and exciting. Business owners need to stay focused and constantly set new goals and targets, but how can you do all of this and still remain motivated?
Project management, team management, financial management; they all take a lot of energy, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a new business, an established business, small or large, we can all suffer the same lack of energy and motivation, which eventually leads us to stagnate.
From experience, you need to find ways of keeping on top of it all and leaving yourself refreshed enough to continue pushing forward with your business. Here are five ways you can stay motivated and keep on top of your business and personal goals in 2016.
Before you get started on your new year’s projects, it’s a good idea to set all your simple, short term goals first. By having a list of short term goals to refer to quickly, you can help yourself stay motivated by completing some of them on those days when you feel like you’re getting nowhere. Celebrate your small wins and add fuel to the fire that you need to keep pushing forward.
We all set goals and targets, and at times, this can seem daunting. To overcome this, remember to always make a note of why you are setting them. To follow through with your long term goals, ensure you have solid reasons for achievement that really make sense and can help keep you motivated.
If you want to stay fresh and energetic about a large new project, it’s a good idea to break it down into smaller size portions. Create small baby steps that will ultimately build up to completion of the entire project and achieving your goals. You can celebrate each tiny ‘win’ and ultimately stay motivated and see through the duration.
I keep a cork board of post it notes. I have two colours; yellow and green. I write the most important tasks on my green post-its and less important ones on the yellow ones. I find it really easy to keep track of what needs to be done, and when I feel overwhelmed, I can just ‘pick’ a task from the board without thinking about anything else. As the notes start to disappear, I get a great feeling of success and stay motivated.
Sometimes we’re all so busy setting goals that we forget one important thing: to set rewards for our achievements. When you’re mapping out your business targets and goals make sure you set a reward for completion. This will help you stay on course and will keep you motivated to continue with the next ones.
I hope these tips help you stay on course and focused with your business, and don’t forget, you can use some of these ideas for personal goals too, keeping you even more motivated!
I wish you and your business a very successful year!
Sage UK have produced an informative flow-chart guide to help you find out how you can enjoy your job more and how you can find balance with work and personal.
Interestingly enough, this is always a hot topic with self-employed people, including myself. Trying to balance a home, motherhood, marriage, business, meetings, sales, marketing and everything else can sometimes take it’s toll. Just answering the questions is a nice ‘find yourself’ feature of the graphic, helpful to anyone rushing around in the daily chaos of business today.
I hope you enjoy it.
Take a look and see what category you fit into. Mine was Dynamic!
What do you think? How do you manage to fit it all in, if at all?
This infographic was produced by Sage
Looking for an up to date guide on what to post and how to use all the top social networks? This handy infographic shows you how.
Created by Magic Logix, the guide encompasses all the essential networks for your business and gives a great overview of how you can use them for brand exposure, customer communication, site traffic and SEO.
(Click image to enlarge)
This infographic can be used to help you map out your social media plan.
Organising your email marketing should be a priority for 2014
You may have been sending emails for years now, but sending emails and getting them to be actually opened and read are two completely different things.
Not all your emails have chances of being opened. How can you boost the chances of your email being actually opened and read? Work on your subject line. Make them short, interesting and catchy. Throw in compelling information that will not be easily ignored. Make it as specific as you can. You only have a few words to use so use them wisely.
Try to sound personal in your emails. When you write, always write your email to just one customer or client. Speak in a friendly and warm tone. Portray yourself as a person who can be connected with easily. Don’t sound distant and cold! Don’t try to sound like it is another mass email sent to your 2000 clients email list. Write personally, and receive a personal response!
Whatever the subject of your email is, try to be as brief as possible. Your contacts are busy people and they don’t have enough time to carefully read through long drawn-out emails where you’re writing the email to inform them about your next webinar and it detours to how much you value your new car!
Have a clear call to action in your email. Write with a goal in mind. Decide exactly what you want the reader to do, and show them the action you want them to take.
Whether you are offering a free download or it’s a free voucher coupon, make it easy for the reader to see what you want them to do, and encourage them to do it!
Collecting subscriptions using a third party software will help you control your email marketing lists, and will help you monitor your open rates and responses. Online solutions such as Aweber and Mailchimp allow you more control over your lists, helping you create a more targeted email marketing experience for your database.
Your email marketing directly affects your business; Mastering best practices of writing emails and ensuring they are read will help you achieve your marketing goals and increase your direct response rates.
Always wanted to write a truly magnetic Blog post? The article readers come back for, time after time?
Getting traffic to your website is only part of the recipe for business success. Essentially, there are many ingredients which count towards making your business website the connoisseur of the industry.
My article How to get original blog content in 10 minutes helps with writers block and creating your posts, but what is the real secret recipe for business writing?
Aim to make a ‘Golden’ piece of content, for sure, but to really make your site stand over and above others, it’s a great idea to follow a ‘recipe’ building the essential ingredients of a killer post or article, ensuring your readers really get value from their visit and return for more.
Useful, well written content, along with persuasive sub-headlines and targeted information gives your website visitors a real reason to stay and browse around.
Copyblogger have created this fantastic infographic (see below) mapping out the 11 essential ingredients of writing a blog post, however you can apply the format for any kind of business writing, no matter what industry you are writing for.
So, what are these ingredients?
Make sure your content delivers what your readers really want and need. Endless posts of the same old ocntent are utterly worthless, especially when your competitors are crafting and delivering the same.
Your customers choice will be one of convenience, not of desire. And we know that desire often outsrips the regular choice of getting it on your doorstep. Less is so often More.
Making sure you have all the ingredients will improve your audience, readership, bounce rates, and of course popularity, as your stunningly crafted articles and posts become firm favourites with your customers.
Enjoy the prospect of crafting the most superb articles you have ever written!
Please share your secret recipes for business writing in the comments below.
You can download Copybloggers PDF checklist here
So how can you have the website you dreamed of, at little or no cost, with a fully integrated CMS (content management system) and thousands of ready to use, free or paid templates?
Every business owner knows the importance of having an up to date website. You may also know that getting a new website developed for your business can incur great costs not to mention the money you pay each time you want to update your site.
Well, in case you haven’t heard, WordPress is the way to go! In fact my site, and many sites I have built for clients are all powered by WordPress.
If you want a website that features;
Then WordPress is the easiest way to get up and running. When it comes to easily manageable blogs and Websites, WordPress is a fantastic tool to use.
This tutorial series will go more deeply into WordPress later– how to use it for your business website and for your marketing.
Today’s post will look at what WordPress is, it’s basic functions and how it works.
WordPress is a content management system that allows you to create a blog or website easily without having any technical training.
People may create blogs for different topics ranging anything from a web design and development to cosmetic and baby product reviews.
Blogs are a great addition to any website, and very important for content marketing and keeping in touch with your audience.
Not only can you create and maintain a blog with WordPress it also allows you to create fantastic websites ranging from very simple, basic personal or business websites right through to very complex e-commerce and membership sites.
Once you have installed WordPress , it’s very easy to set up your blog or website. You can fix your basic site settings instantly. You can easily add new content to your blog or website.
In addition to the standard features offered by WordPress, there are hundreds of plugins and widgets – little snippets of code – that can greatly add to the functionality of your WordPress website.
When you install WordPress it comes with two free themes. You can choose to use these, search for other free templates available or you can look to buy other themes that are right for your business niche.
With WordPress it is very easy to manage your blog or website; add or remove content whenever you want, create a new article or blog post, add images, remove images, create new pages or posts. With a hosting account and a domain name you can start creating your first WordPress website instantly!
Watch out for new posts in this category as we explore WordPress more deeply in later posts.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was an online social media platform that could show you;
Sounds amazing? It sure is. The good news is, LinkedIn has all these resources available for you to use, for free, via their LinkedIn Skills and Expertise Page.
With over 200 million members, LinkedIn is connecting professionals and companies around the globe. So how can you tap in to this excellent resource and enhance your own business networking?
First, click to visit the LinkedIn Skills & Expertise page
When the page loads, LinkedIn provides you with some trending skills and insutries – in this example, it has brought up iPhone as up by 50% y/y (year on year) along with related skills for the industry and featured professionals.
In the box provided, you are asked to enter your skill or area of expertise. I am using Social Media Marketing for this example.
Type in your skill and hit ‘search’
Let’s look at what comes up after you search.
On the left hand side, you will see a column titled ‘Related skills’ Treat the words that appear below as targeted keywords to your field. You can click each keyword and browse the description of the skill, and also investigate the top profiles associated with that area.
You can see that social media marketing as a skill or area of expertise is up by 27% on a year on year comparison. This can be a good sign that your chosen field is on the upward trend, and popular. It can also mean that there is plenty of competition!
These are the companies that influencers and other LinkedIn members are following or a part of. You can investigate and research these companies or follow them to stay on top of news and updates in your industry.
You can click on each company and see what positions or opportunities are available there, and details of their latest updates and any discussions within those updates.
This section shows you top influences and professionals in your chosen field of expertise or industry. This is where you can begin the networking! If they’re a first-degree connection, send a personal message, For a second degree connection, when you click their profile, you can follow or connect with them, asking for an introduction. If the profiles listed appear outside your immediate LinkedIn network, you could join a shared group and connect with them there or if you have a premium account, you could send them an InMail.
When you click this button, you can add important skills from the related keywords LinkedIn has provided you with, ensuring your profile is optimized for the most related skills and expertise in your field. Help other people and companies find and connect with you by using keywords that are being searched for!
When you scroll further down the page, you will see related groups that members of your profession have joined. You can find targeted groups to join, and also how may members each group has.
So there you have it. 5 minutes to a laser targeted LinkedIn profile.
With the latest statistics, facts and figures from LinkedIn, it makes Facebook business networking look like a childrens tea party….I hope you enjoyed the post. Let me know if you are using LinkedIn to its fullest capacity yet or share the results of your efforts below.
If you’ve decided to go brave, take the plunge and become self-employed, then the next step is to identify new business opportunities that are open in your industry – one that you can build and model your business. With the right entrepreneur mindset it is not difficult to spot new business opportunities, especially in today’s world of technology and the internet changing our lives in revolutionary ways like never before. Here are some techniques that you can use to spot new business opportunities quickly and then respond to them.
Indeed, this isn’t just for start-up businesses, the techniques discussed below can also be used to revamp or remodel your current business, helping you keep up to date and refresh your products or services.
The first and probably most important trait of a successful entrepreneur is to keep a close eye on the market. Constantly observing the markets, analyzing new trends, and exploiting new opportunities as they hit the scene. By closely monitoring the changing markets and responding to change whenever it occurs by tweaking your original business idea, you will be able to identify exactly what the new industry or marketing you are entering is looking for.
This means that to identify a successful business idea, you need to ensure you are ready and responsive to change; don’t wait for others to react. Whenever you see a new trend – pinpoint what people are looking for and how you can adapt your business or idea to fit this new model and satisfy demand. This sometimes means you are one of the first to take the leap into a new market or trend, but if you’ve done your homework and researched it’s longevity thoroughly, you can easily profit from your new opportunity.
Another tried and tested way to identify new business opportunities is to identify a problem and then come up with a solution. You can start with yourself: there is a particular product or service that you have had a problem with and you would like to have changed in a certain way. Thinking like this will introduce you to a whole lot of useful business ideas that you can use.
While it’s great to have an original business idea it is not fundamental to the success of your business to go against the grain! You can establish your business like all the other successful businesses out there – just build on it by identifying a problem that exists in that current market and create a product or a service that addresses and solves the issue. After all the existing businesses are successful because there is demand for the product or service!!! Think about making improvements, changing certain aspects of a product, speeding up services such as delivery or recurring subscriptions.
So here are a couple of ways you can get new ideas and find new business opportunities. The most important point that underlies the whole process is to be responsive to change to be able to react in a positive manner, turning your business model into a worthwhile and up-to-the-minute product or service.
Do you know of any other ways to identify new business opportunities? Did you go through this process when you modeled your business? Please share below…
Social media can greatly boost your business. By developing a solid strategy for all the different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. you can enormously increase the odds of getting new customers to your business. However, in the blind race to secure a high place on social media many small and medium business owners, in fear of being left behind their competitors, have thrown their profiles on these different platforms without a clear strategy or goal. These carelessly placed-in-haste social profiles are prone to lose them business instead of boosting it. These are 5 mistakes that you need to pinpoint in your business profile and put an end to if you want to really have an impact.
In the blind race to secure a place for their business many people have put together social media profiles in haste that are unprofessional. They are incomplete and they lack the essential coherence that a brand needs. These kind of profiles are more likely to convey a negative impression than to give a positive one. If you own such profile(s) complete it now. Come up with one that is complete with all the required details and images. Then devise a strategy for it.
Then there are all those profiles that are complete and professional in the above sense but they are deserted places! You go there and you don’t find any new activity for weeks – even months. These are more likely to do damage than good as in case 1 because it conveys a sense of lack of interest. Remember to always keep your social profiles up-to-date with fresh and original content in your niche. It will keep visitors coming back for more fresh content.
Getting people to comment on your content is one of the primary reasons for writing and sharing content. However, it is seen that sometimes people don’t seem to respond to visitor’s comments in a timely manner. This can be particularly frustrating to your readers, especially when they find it very hard to take out the time to comment. This can lead them into thinking they are unimportant in your eyes and they might turn their back on you as well!
It is also important to have a proper strategy for all the social media platforms in place. It is important to know that different social media platforms have different target audience. You need to be able to have a balanced approach to tackling all of them in a systematized manner. It is not wise to establish a strong presence on one platform and ignore others altogether. Remember it all works as a whole. You need to tie the knots to make yourself visible to the crowd.
Another mistake that you might be making on social platforms is not combining the right kind of content for an optimal impact. You need to employ a content strategy where you provide visitors with a mix of text, images and videos. By providing such a variety of content you are able to keep the visitors to your page hooked to make them come again and again for new content. Having this kind of social media platform also shows a higher level of professionalism on the part of the page owner.
If you are making any or all of these mistakes it is time to rethink your overall social media strategy and tackle the problem areas. If you get rid of all these problem areas you will have a greater social media followership and a greater business.