If your business is not active on social media, then you may be missing out on a huge amount of business. Here are four tips to help you promote your brand on social media.
With more and more people spending a significant amount of time on social networking sites, this type of media has become a vital aspect of online marketing. No matter the type of business of own, whether a small start-up or a multi-million dollar company, it is extremely important to leverage the power of social media, in order to increase your company’s brand visibility and business.
Are you not sure about where to start with your social media efforts? Do not worry, use our list of the top four ways by which social media can be effectively used to build up your brand.
1. Extend your social reach by using every available site
It is very important to create a profile for your company on every leading social media website like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. You can even venture into sites like Slideshare and Pinterest to increase your social reach. You must remember that the more company profiles that you maintain, the more customers you can reach on a regular basis.
2. Always be active
It is not enough to only create company profiles. The next important thing is to avoid neglecting your social media profiles, as your customers will think that your brand does not have anything new to share. You will have to update all your profiles on a daily basis. Though this is tedious, the consequences of not being active are much worse. You can use a tool like HootSuite to effectively plan out your social media activity weeks or even months in advance. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered what is Qualitative Research all about and if you should use it for your business? Read on to know more about Qualitative Research and its benefits.
Defining qualitative research
Qualitative research is a popular research method that is used across various sectors, be it in social science or market research. A qualitative researcher primarily aims at gathering a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour and the reasons behind such behaviour.
The science behind this type of research assumes that among individuals, there is a relationship between attitude and behaviour. Qualitative research is an essential tool in data collection and can prove to be extremely useful in market research.
How is data collected for qualitative research?
Data is usually collected through a direct interaction with individuals on a one-to-one basis or through a direct interaction with individuals in a group setting. Since the data collection process in qualitative research is time consuming, qualitative research can be expensive. However, the information will be accurate and will also give you a deeper insight into the subject that you are researching.
Popular methods in conducting qualitative data
Focus groups, individual interviews, observations and action research are some of the popular methods used in qualitative data collection.
Benefits of using qualitative research
Are you on the verge of choosing an accounting system for your business? If yes, read more about the usability, flexibility and comprehensiveness that QuickBooks offers.
If you are looking for an accounting system, you will be faced with several choices. Though there are a host of accounting software programs that offer different benefits, it is QuickBooks that stands out from the crowd and proves to be the ultimate financial package. Apart from QuickBooks being robust enough to process and report all of your financial transactions, it also eliminates the requirement to use multiple software packages. Most important of all, it gives you the power to maintain all your financial records with ease.
Benefit # 1: An all-in-one package
If you opt for QuickBooks, you will not have to keep buying separate programs, for producing invoices, managing your payroll or handling job-costing. QuickBooks includes a wide range of integrated sub-systems, that can help your business effectively manage your Accounting Payables, Payroll, Purchase Orders, Inventory, Management Reporting, Accounts Receivables, Management Reporting and General Ledger to name a few.
Benefit # 2: Minimizes your data entry work
QuickBooks can help you drastically reduce your data entry work. With lesser month-end balancing and reconciling steps to carry out, you can easily manage the integrity of your data. With the use of QuickBooks, you can be assured that your accounting will always be correct with minimal extra work. Instead of worrying about accounting, you can now channel your valuable time into building your business. Continue reading
How did the end of year tax period go for your business? Were you spending countless hours trying to input accounting details or add up the receipts? Were you aware of what you spent and what you earned? Was it a complete shock when you finally saw your tax returns? Well, there is one simple solution to these problems and an easier way of ironing out your accounting worries. The answer is Xero. Here are five reasons why you must consider making the switch to Xero.
1. Anytime, anywhere cloud based accounting
With a cloud based accounting system, you can access it from not one but multiple locations. This eliminates the need for a bookkeeper to come to your office premises and enter the data. The greatest advantage of using Xero is that it can be accessed at anytime from anywhere. Everyone in your team can view the same version, at the same time, no matter where they are located. Xero removes the need for files to be sent back and forth. You can also stop being concerned about regular software maintenance or buying accounting purchases.
2. Rules coding enables automatic bank transactions
Using the Xero software for your bank feeds is like magic! Since the software has a unique rules coding system, once you create the rules, this software will automatically match all of your bank transactions. You can now finally be free from manually entering code transactions. Even using PayPal with Xero is very easy. All you have to do is set up your PayPal account and you can get live feeds right from your PayPal account into Xero. This automation feature of Xero, makes it easy for users to spend less time on entering transactions and more time on growing their business.
3. Quick, simple and live invoicing
By using Xero for accounting, you can quickly create and send out professional looking invoices that are customized as per your requirement. Through the online invoicing feature, you can then email your clients with a live invoice, which will include the status of the payment, the history of the payment and a Pay Now button for the client to make an online payment. Paying an invoice online is a much more simpler and quicker that traditional payment methods. Another unique feature is a little green tick that informs you if your invoice has been viewed by your customers. Continue reading
Do you plan on starting a new business venture? Or maybe you plan on introducing a novel business strategy? If yes, your business will find it quite helpful to conduct a SWOT analysis. With a thorough analysis of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, you can get a deeper insight on the external/internal factors that can help you business reach its goals. Though a SWOT analysis is quite useful and easy to perform, there are a few things that you should keep in mind while performing a SWOT analysis.
1. Start out with external factors
Begin the analysis by evaluating the external factors of your business before evaluating the internal factors. Opportunities refer to your company’s ability to grow in the market and offer better value to your customers. Threats on the other hand are factors that put your business at a risk. By finding out the threats before they can escalate, you can come up with an effective plan to get over them.
2. Convert strengths and weaknesses into opportunities
Hold a discussion with your staff and identify the weaknesses and strengths of your business. Carefully go through each and every strength and weakness. This can help you analyze whether or not it can be converted into new business opportunities.
3. Opportunities and timeframes
Discuss the deadline for all the opportunities that you have listed. Since opportunities are external, your company can take advantage of them. By assigning a timeframe, you can better understand the time needed to get the maximum benefits out of the available opportunities.
4. Threats are not within your control
You must remember that threats are mostly out of your control. However, you can view threats as challenges that your business should overcome. Continue reading
Conducting a SWOT analysis is a great way to think about your business in a whole new way. S.W.O.T is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of your business, as well as the threats and opportunities that your company faces in the market is a great way to come up with a strong business strategy.
What is a SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis is an ideal framework by which you can quickly identify and analyze the external and internal factors that can have an impact on the future viability of a place, product, person or project.
What does SWOT measure?
Your company’s strengths and weaknesses are internal (For example: patents, location or reputation). You have the power to change these over a period of time, by carrying out some work. On the other hand, opportunities and threats are external (For example: prices, competitors or suppliers). These are out there in the marketplace, happening whether your company likes it or not. You do not have the power to change them.
What are the four elements that a SWOT analysis examines?
- Strengths: Resources and internal attributes that support a successful outcome for your business
- Weaknesses: Resources and internal attributes that work against a successful business outcome
- Opportunities: External factors that your project or company can use to its advantage
- Threats: External factors that could jeopardize your company or project
Are you in the process of starting a new business? If yes, then you may be confused when it comes to choosing a logo for your business. Very often, new entrepreneurs find it difficult to choose between a cheap ready-made logo which they can buy from a logo website and a professionally created logo, which is designed by a logo designer as per specifications. Are you facing a similar dilemma? Although a generic logo is much cheaper than a professional custom-built logo, don’t go only by the cost factor. Here are four reasons why you must choose a well-designed logo for your business:
1. Earn the trust of prospective customers
When prospective customers see your logo for the very first time, they will immediately notice it, if it looks professional. If you have an amateur-looking logo that doesn’t exactly stand for what your company offers, your customers will get the false impression that you are not trustworthy or that your business is run by a team of amateurs.
2. Get recognized in the crowd
If you want your customers to remember your business, services or products and come back for repeat business, then you need to have a logo that is unique and easy to recognize. If your logo is not “catchy” enough, customers will not be able to remember or recognize your brand. This will ultimately lead to a loss in business.
Did you know that blogging is one of the most valuable tools that your business can use to build a good relationship with your customers? If you are not blogging, then its time you got started, or lose out on the sure benefits of a maintaining a business blog. If you need a little bit of inspiration, here are 13 reasons (in no particular order) why your business should start blogging:
- A business blog is a simple, easy-to-use platform that you can use to connect with customers and share relevant and timely information with them.
- Since search engines love content that is valuable and rich in keywords, you can get more traffic to your website, though a business blog.
- You do not have to be designer to come up with a great-looking blog. These are several blogging platforms like Hubspot and WordPress that are very easy to use and require no graphic skills.
- A recent Hubspot surveys reveals that 60% of businesses who blog acquire more customers.
- A business blog can give your company a voice. You can freely talk about market trends, new products/services and other relevant news topics. A blog can also bring out your company’s personality and emphasize on your brand.
- With a business blog, you can easily share your areas of expertise. Through informative articles, you can position your company as a subject area expert.
- Unlike articles on your website, a blog creates a two-way conversation with your prospects, customers and industry peers. Through your blog, customers can interact with your company and leave their thoughts on your comments. Continue reading
Is your business looking for skills or expertise that doesn’t exist within your organization? If yes, then the answer to your problems is outsourcing. The meaning of outsourcing is simple – going OUT to discover the SOURCE of what you need. Most businesses nowadays outsource in order to address the needs of their customers, both external and internal. While external customers ultimately buy a company’s services or products, internal customers are a firm’s own shareholders and employees. With the concept of outsourcing a company can obtain payroll services as well as the production of machine parts.
How did outsourcing begin?
Outsourcing can trace its roots back to large manufacturing organizations which engaged outside companies to develop the special components that they required for their products. For instance, in the past, automakers hired external companies to develop components for their air conditioning units, sunroofs and sound systems. In some special cases, automakers even moved entire factories to foreign locations, where they could access special skill sets at a lower cost.
However, in recent years, there has been a big shift towards Service Outsourcing, which refers to the practice of companies engaging outside business firms to help them with specialized work.
Has the fear of outsourcing risks, stopped you venturing into outsourcing? Well, if you want to play it safe, then you might be interested in Partial Outsourcing. With the concept of partial outsourcing, you will have the freedom to quickly change service providers in case you face a problem. At the same time, you can maximize your productivity and also have complete control over your critical business tasks.
7 reasons why your company should invest in partial outsourcing
With the current global economy getting competitive by the minute, it makes good business sense for any company (large, medium or small) to outsource at least partially. Here are seven reasons why your company should give partial outsourcing a thought: