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(showing articles 1 to 45 of 45)


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Business Consultant in Tampa Florida and nearby
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  • 05/18/19--03:13: Businesses | City of Tampa
  • Business Development Organizations

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    Summary of research paper by Frank Germann, Peter Ebbes, and Rajdeep Grewal (2015), The Chief Marketing Officer Matters!, Journal of Marketing, 79(3), 1-22

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  • 05/18/19--03:13: Tampa Business Consultant

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    Fractional Chief Marketing Officers https://t.co/A3vXhJ6nkP #FractionalCMO #FractionalChiefMarketingOfficer #ChiefMarketingOfficer https://t.co/BfukwVDINR http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1146764233088086018)

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    RT @NGATEConsulting: Do your employees belong or fit into your company? #diversity #inclusion https://t.co/iF7yEEaG6d http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1146841298571280384)

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    RT @IREMBRIGHT: Strategic Building of Society that respects #Diversity & embraces #Inclusion has been among top class leadership skills @atlascorps fellows are being trained upon to acquire via Experiential Model of learning.@atlascorps have become a global best in this Approach. @ChrisInspire https://t.co/lq7XQwF7Xn http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1146841239922364419)

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    RT @focalpointuk: Here are six ways to become a more inclusive leader. https://t.co/E4mwWL35oj #Diversity #Inclusion #Leadership https://t.co/Nmo2Dt70uz http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1146841216643948545)

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    RT @BenjminLuke: How brilliant is this by @Google on Sheets. #pride #diversity #inclusion https://t.co/q7NEQ2Rlqf http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1146841402908774400)

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    “14 Professional Networking Opportunities That Are Often Overlooked” by Kamyar Shah https://t.co/sApN7IMwRf http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1147132264985321472)

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    “15 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Wish They’d Known Before Starting Out” by Kamyar Shah https://t.co/0jFVH6LZN0 http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1147132111767375872)

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    “Stuck In Startup: 11 Ways To Overcome Budgetary ‘Analysis Paralysis’” by Kamyar Shah https://t.co/yQhlDE7ZpI http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1147132195590627330)

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    “11 Good Reasons To Go Back To School For A Career Change” by Kamyar Shah https://t.co/IsVBn0oak2 http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1147132047506452482)

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    “Promoting Someone Who’s New To Management? Here’s How To Make Their Transition Easier” by Kamyar Shah https://t.co/ixXjofaY4B http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1147132328516497408)

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    Clinical research scientists perform medical research in labs, seeking better ways to diagnose and cure a wide variety of illnesses. Read on to learn how to become a research scientist, what kind of research scientist degrees exist, medical researcher salaries, and more.

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    Learn how to become a healthcare manager. Research the education and career requirements, training and common job duties, as well as the experience required for starting a career in the healthcare management field.

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    Those figuring out how to become a healthcare administrator usually need to start with a bachelor's degree and some work experience in the field. Here we discuss the necessary degrees, what a healthcare administrator does, and more.

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    A medical receptionist is a specialized doctor's office receptionist who typically has training in medical terminology, billing, and more. Learn how to become a receptionist and the specific job duties and career info for a medical receptionist.

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    Learn how to become a clinical nurse specialist. Research the education requirements, training information, and experience required for starting a career as a clinical nurse specialist.

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    Medical billing and coding clerks are responsible for interpreting the information on a patient's chart and generating invoices using the corresponding codes from insurance companies. Find out how you can become a medical billing and coding clerk, the courses and training required, and the available certification options.

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    Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a chief administrative officer. Get a quick view of the requirements and details about degree programs, job duties, and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

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    We all know people who seem to be able to bend the laws of nature. They seem to get more done in a day. Do they get extra hours or is it magic? And it’s not a perception. They DO more.

    Their secret is time management. Those people don’t waste one minute of their precious time. Distractions are banned and a tight schedule reigns supreme.

    Everybody can learn to do this, as long as you are motivated. Try these simple adjustments to start:

    • Download a time management application and use it weekly if not daily
    • Go to bed at a fixed time, and sleep enough and not too long

    You have to understand why it’s important for you to better manage your time. Only then you will find the motivation to seek time management help and enjoy the many benefits of time management.

    A fine example is the importance of time management for students. Why is time management important for college students? Or for university students or even high school students?Because without it they will fail exams by not covering everything they need to, or they won’t make essay deadlines. Future career prospects look gloomy, and all due to poor time management.

    The importance of time management in your workplace speaks for itself. This is even more crucial for small business owners and managers who need to keep their finger on the pulse of business operations day in and day out.

    Perhaps you’re an employee? Making good use of time will impress your boss and it will make a salary raise negotiation easier. Everybody wins.

    So, how good is your knowledge of time management? And how can you personally manage your time better? Find out by reading on this article created by our team at Amelia

    Why is Time Management Important?

    What is time management?

    Tik-Tok. Time is important. Efficiency is the keyword here. Every task has a timeframe and fits into your available timetable. If you aren’t a natural-born time manager, it’s time to develop the necessary skills and habits.

    Time management is something that you do; it’s a conscious process, an activity.

    It’s about more than thinking, “I’ll spend 30 minutes on this task, then go do something fun”. Rather, it’s about looking at the amount of time you have available for any given project and then planning your tasks around your actual time constraints.

    It’s also a skill that develops over time when you practice it. This involves intuition and learning from the real-world: will that meeting really take only an hour, even though it dragged on for two hours last time? Better factor that possibility in, or you’ll be late for the next thing on your to-do list.

    There are many tools to help you manage your time, the simplest being a calendar. But we’re in the 21st century now, and the best way to keep on top of your time is to take advantage of technology.

    Think about a tool such as Amelia, our appointment plugin for WordPress websites that helps both companies and clients manage bookings. Amelia is successful because it helps people manage time. Without the time-setting (and time-saving) features it provides, bookings would be a nightmare; meetings and consultations would be missed and many opportunities lost.

    Why is it important?

    In one word: Control.

    And along with that, you’ll see better performance at work, more finished tasks, and more reaching of your goals and ambitions.

    When you stick to proper time management, you’ll no longer have nagging thoughts, guilty feelings, or worries when it’s time to have fun and relax. You will go home and enjoy your quality time with family and friends.

    Time management improves the quality of your life and provides peace of mind knowing that you have done the best you can with the time you’ve allocated to yourself. It’s about controlling your time so that you can be in the moment when it matters.

    Benefits of Time Management for Small Businesses and Their Employees

    Count to 6…

    • You deliver work on time

    Setting deadlines will help you to complete your work on time. Split up your workload into smaller tasks to finish, before going on to the next. The result is delivering on time thanks to your continuous, predictable productivity.

    • Less effort needed

    Time will fly and you will motor through your tasks for the day. That’s because you stayed focused on your tasks at hand and were efficient. Now? Your mind and body are still fresh to enjoy your evening.

    • Improved quality of work

    You raise the bar. The standard goes up. Your priorities are clear and your focus is sharpened. You give each task the proper attention because you know what needs to be done and you cleared distractions beforehand.

    • Less stress

    Self-inflicted problems cause a lot of friction. Missed appointments or deadlines can be devastating, leading to stressed workdays and less overall productivity. With good time management, you will avoid that.

    • Better decision-making

    You can now easily make decisions because you gave yourself enough time to think about them. Projecting yourself into the future allows you to figure out the best plan of action in any given scenario.

    • More free time

    Some people are napping on the train so they can finish their work at home. Others look like they still have an important meeting to prepare for the next day. You, on the other hand, don’t need to take your unfinished work home. You used the available time at work and finished everything before logging out and leaving the office.

    Get More Done by Applying These Time Management Skills

    Set goals

    And we don’t mean a general goal. To grow your business or to perform better in the office are admirable goals. But setting concrete small goals will lead the way to all that.

    Start with daily goals. Compare it with, let’s say, preparing for a bodybuilder contest. You want to win on the day of the competition. To reach that, your goal for today is to finish this many reps of squats, deadlifts, bench presses. Tomorrow ten overhead presses and five pull-ups. You know you can’t over-exert yourself all at once, so you plan a daily routine to nail your long-term goals instead.

    Plan

    Time management relies on careful planning. Decide what you are going to do when. Work smarter instead of harder.By following a set plan with a logical order, getting things done will be as easy as pie.

    First things first

    Reading the newspaper headlines with a cup of coffee to kick-off your workday…Or reading your high priority emails? Surely a good start will give you more breathing space by the end of your shift.

    Start with what’s important and while you are still feeling fresh. What’s important today? Less urgent tasks will wait. Focus on them later.

    Focus on work only

    You will have time to relax during your lunch break, feeling good about yourself. Close all unnecessary tabs in your browser, switch off your smartphone. If needed close your door.

    There is a time for everything. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work.

    One task at a time

    Working on many projects simultaneously is unproductive. Multitasking is a myth. It’s long been proven that people can generally only do one thing at a time.

    The reason is simple: every time you shift to a different task, you also have to mentally shift into the context of the new task, which may be completely different from what you were previously working on. This process of context switching wastes precious time that could be put to better use on one single, continuous task.

    Learn to say No

    If you are too busy, don’t accept more tasks. Explain the task at hand is urgent and is a priority. After completion new tasks are welcome. Remember the previous point: one task at a time.

    Manage stress

    Finish a task to your best ability. Then let it go and move to your next priority. Avoid unhealthy stress by reassuring yourself that you’re doing the best you can with the time you’ve got.

    Support Your New Skills with a Bit of Technology

    So you’ve learned the basics of time management and you’re ready to commit yourself to a whole new way of going about your daily business. Now, how do you make time management even easier? With technology, of course. Take a look at a few examples:

    • Scheduling plugins such as Amelia for WordPress, which manages your bookings 24/7
    • Time tracking apps inform you how well you are using your time
    • Note-taking apps, to never forget a good idea
    • Time-keeping and billing tools
    • Distraction-blocking software

    These technologies decrease stress, improve productivity, and let you manage your time way more efficiently than ever before.

    Why is Time Management Important for All Businesses?

    A business needs employees that arrive fresh in the morning. They had plenty of time to recuperate both mentally and physically and they come prepared to perform again. Their time management skills must be remarkable, meaning they find a good balance between work time, break time, and home time.

    Employees who control their time are in charge of their job. Everybody likes to feel they are on top of what they are doing. Only then you will enjoy work satisfaction and build a successful career.

    It’s a domino effect. Time management will improve all aspects of your professional and private life.

    With good time management, you will do more in less time. Shorter periods of full concentration are more effective. There will be time to charge your battery.

    Effective time management can help you deal with pressure. Controlling pressure means less stress and more work satisfaction. That translates into productivity.

    Productive small businesses stay competitive.

    Competitive small businesses make their employees aware of the importance of time management. You and your employees will make better decisions and you will get more things done as a business. Would you say to no increased profit?

    Meanwhile, your employees will get the reward of a better work-life balance. A happy employee is the cornerstone of your successful business. So things have come full circle. Thus, we can safely say that better time management is a true win-win for all.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about why is time management important, you should read these as well:

    The post Why is Time Management Important and How to Get More Done appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    Online coaching with the use of a professional coaching website is a profitable business. A modern coach has a modern coaching website; it looks great at first sight and delivers a good dose of energy throughout. You’ll also notice that coaching websites typically emphasize looks with bold text and clear pictures.

    When coaches introduce themselves by their coaching website, they tell you what they can do for you and why you need them. And without stalling they will guide you to a CTA (Call-to-Action).

    The call to action is the core of any good coaching website. For dry theoretics, clients can go to the zillions of university courses available. But real-life needs practical solutions and a can-do-mentality, and that’s what you’re offering.

    It’s all about building trust from the get-go.

    That’s why it’s so important that you introduce your life coach website in an attractive way that builds rapport instantly. Use colors, videos, plenty of happy photos of yourself. Make people believe they came to the right place for happy coaching.

    On your YouTube channel and other social media pages, the energy explodes from the screen. Your website must be equally sparkling. Your landing page must captivate clients and spellbind them.

    Be original, and let your personality shine through. The great coaching websites we will look at are personal. They shout: I’m the coach you were looking for! Stick around. You’re in safe hands. No question about it, this coach was born to help you.

    And we’ve all heard of finding your niche. Yeah, it’s getting pretty annoying. But great coaching websites are indeed built to attract certain people in a specific target market. So for once, we will repeat the slogan about niches: don’t cater to everyone. Find your niche and own it.

    In this article by our team at Amelia, we’re going to take you on a journey through several amazing coaching websites. Then, we’ll identify the main elements of a coaching website so that you, too, can start building your own.

    Great Life Coaching Websites

    Life-changing content that will make the best copywriter envious. A slick, polished look, and professional branding. This combination makes the following coaching websites stand out. Think of them as life coaching templates.

    Become inspired by these coaching websites and get your website ready to compete!

    Andrea Beaman

    Holistic health coach Andrea Beaman gives visitors a taste of all the ways her coaching can help improve their lives in her extremely well-designed coaching website. The CTAs are clear and in your face (as they should be), meanwhile there is tons of free content such as healthy recipes to keep visitors interested.

    Mel Noakes

    Without having to go through endless descriptions, you immediately get a feel of how Mel can help you. This is a prime example of how images are most powerful. Wouldn’t you, too, want to wake up with that dazzling smile, ready to face the day?

    Insight Coaching

    What’s coaching about and what can it do for you? On Insight Coaching’s website, you’ll discover that not only pro athletes need coaching and gain access to your own one-on-one coach. This website goes to show that you don’t necessarily need to target one or two niches. Successful coaches make their services approachable for many different types of people.

    Karla Gilbert

    Beautiful beach pictures get you in the mood for pursuing health and wellness. As a former Ironwoman Karla knows what she’s talking about, and she’s not afraid to show off her credentials. This builds trust and makes for an easy way to convince visitors to get off the fence and become a client.

    Ciara Foy

    Bestselling author Ciara’s website is a visual treasure. She presents two free offers to help you get started and makes generous use of CTA buttons throughout her site.

    David Ball

    David Ball offers a one-on-one life mentoring program aimed at men who need a little help balancing “self, relationships, and work”. The link in the menu titled ‘If you’re not sure’ convinces men to overcome prejudices about getting a coach, and it works great as a persuasion tool.

    Cortney McDermott

    “Change starts with you.” The high-resolution image of the coach makes you feel like you know her already — and hey, what do you know, there’s a video for you to get better acquainted right off the bat. Cortney is not shy about her accomplishments and she inspires trust and confidence with a host of big-name clients shown just below the fold.

    Elizabeth Rider

    Vibrant colors, positive writing, and energetic pictures. Wellness coach Elizabeth is a successful entrepreneur and a great coach, and it shows. Everything about her website shouts “vitality”.

    Alexandra Jamieson

    On Alexandra’s site, the beautiful layout and use of color lead the eye to the blue and red call-to-action buttons. Getting to action (and securing a client) is a priority indeed for all coaching websites, and this one takes the cake when it comes to CTAs.

    Gabby Bernstein

    This site is all about great content and building her community. There is wonderful interaction between Gabby and her many readers, and she certainly knows how to do social media right. Her followers number in the hundreds of thousands, phew!

    A nice touch on Gabby’s website is the Shop section, where visitors can instantly purchase a membership as well as card decks, meditation albums, and more.

    Wild Sacred

    Harlene underlines the benefits of simplicity. The simple block structure, bright colors, and smiling photos prove her right.Everything about the Wild Sacred website just works.

    Steve J. Thomas

    It’s no mystery who Steve is and what he can do for you. The “What I do” video introduces you to his presentation style and message. He has a great sense of humor and a fondness of Starbucks, football, sunsets, NYC, and dad jeans.

    Katrine van Wyk

    Ever heard of Best Green Drinks Ever? It’s one of Katrine’s nutritional masterpieces, but it’s not the only reason she’s famous. Her one-on-one and group coaching, along with cooking classes and yoga, are all testaments to her energy and drive for life.The website reflects who she is and what she does, in no uncertain terms.

    Amanda Cook

    Amanda has won awards for her health coaching and she deserves an award for her easy to scan website too. You can’t miss her weekly newsletter opt-in, either.

    How You Can Make a Great Coaching Website Too

    Top coaching is an art form

    What were the things all great coaching websites have in common again? You land on their page and don’t want to leave any time soon. Right. You feel you can trust this guy or woman, and you feel connected to what they can do for you.

    You think: this looks awesome! The colors, the layout, the structure, the personal touch… I will stick around. Where can I sign up?

    Great! Now step by step, here’s how you can emulate what works by those who have proven it:

    I need photos of me

    And not just any photos. I will invest in getting some nice photos done by a professional photographer. People will buy me. I am my business. The coach.

    Call To Action 

    That’s my message. Helping people to make changes that will improve them. Action Jackson, oh yeah. How can I help to reach your goals?

    I will make this CTA easy to find, on the top third fold of my homepage. Please “call for a complimentary session.” Good stuff. Oh, you scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the website without clicking on my CTA? Here’s another one for good measure!

    Good SEO Practices will bring great traffic

    I will ask my clients to write positive reviews. This can be on coaching databases, Google Maps, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, etc.

    Client testimonials will add extra motivation to my visitors. This will let visitors know what I can do for them and how well I can do it. But it has extra benefits too — getting reviews on external websites will bolster the authority of your own and greatly increase your traffic.

    My visitor’s interests are what I care about

    I sell a solution to a problem. No need to sell coaching, or explain too much what coaching is. My business isn’t to bore clients. I aim to help out and guide people to their goals. The client’s perspective is my priority.

    Tell clients about yourself, but put your visitors on the pedestal. It’s about them, not you.

    I include video 

    The downside of introducing myself through the internet is people can’t see me in real. We can’t shake hands, exchange invisible body language, or look at each other in the eye. How can people trust me? How can we build a relationship?

    I will add videos, so people can see and hear me. An extra bonus is that I can later get the videos I produce transcribed for my blog posts and social media posts.

    My website needs a signup button

    Maybe they will not buy now, but I’ll make sure they won’t forget about my website. I want them to return when they are ready and it’s the right time for them to use my services.

    Beyond a contact form, which is essentially mandatory, there will be some way for interested visitors to follow up with me down the line. A mailing list with CTA to register will work wonders.

    I will make my website mobile-friendly 

    I optimize my great coaching website for mobile. Keeping up with the times will keep my website relevant. Who can tell when the next client will pop by to sign up on the spot, only to discover that the website won’t work on mobile?

    Conclusion on Coaching Websites

    It’s not that complicated to build your own great coaching website. There are plenty of good examples online and many of them follow the same basic principles even when they appear completely different from one another.

    A successful business depends on a website that looks good, but that’s not the end of the story. It needs to supply all the information visitors are looking for. Their needs are all that matters.

    Personalize your website. Make people feel they get to know you. Make a good first impression, and keep making good impressions by using your creativity and imagination. Stand out! Make your brand a household name.

    Positive reviews will skyrocket your business like no other marketing tool can promise. Make sure you have a genuine interaction with your clients. If you allow clients to leave comments on blog posts, reply to each and every one.

    Most important is to focus on what you can do for your clients. Your website must breathe the Call to Action mentality. You can help, but only if you are asked for help. Make it easy to ask!

    If you enjoyed reading this article about coaching websites, you should read these as well:

    The post Great Coaching Websites and How You Can Make One Too appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    The concept of a spa as a way to make you a more healthy and relaxed person is far from new. It goes all the way back to ancient times. That spas are still popular is founded in that long history.

    The healing power of spring water was discovered by the old Greeks. It was further developed by the Romans. Bathing was a social happening. Public baths provided relaxation and personal hygiene.

    Natural springs were blessed by the gods. That’s why they cured diseases. In the present day, this belief is replaced by scientific knowledge of Balneotherapy.

    There is no consensus in the medical world. But the modern-day approach to a spa is certainly more trustworthy. On a more secular note: the Romans got relief from rheumatism, arthritis, and too much food and drink.

    In the colonies, natural hot springs were easy to find. Aix and Vichy in France, Bath and Buxton in England, springs in Germany, Baden, Austria, and Hungary. They became centers for recreation and social activities. Some included libraries, lecture halls, gymnasiums, and gardens.

    The name Spa doesn’t have its origin in the Old Greek language or Latin. Spa is a small town with a spring in Belgium, which the Romans called Aquae Spadanae. The French-speaking locals named their spring Espa, meaning fountain.

    Forward to the 21st century. Nowadays spas are as popular as ever. A visit to a spa relieves you from the stress of daily life. A day spa offers personal care treatments.

    A spa treatment is a non-medical procedure. It will nonetheless improve your health and well-being. There are resort spas, destination spas, day spas, beauty salons and more.

    How to open a spa depends on what spa business offerings you have in mind.

    Small day spas offer facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, waxing, electrolysis, and aromatherapy. Larger day spas may offer body wraps, mud baths, or hydrotherapy treatments. Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Amelia..

    Great, but how to open a spa business?

    It all starts with figuring out what type of spa you want to open.

    • A day spa
    • An amenity spa
    • A holistic concept
    • A beauty spa
    • Amix of east and west
    • A combination of salon and spa
    • A green spa
    • A theme spa
    • A cross-over spa
    • A medical spa
    • A hot tub
    • A dental spa
    • A mobile spa
    • A resort or hotel spa
    • An Ayurvedic spa

    Every type of spa will offer particular treatments. The decoration and ambience will be in line with the particular type, and each spa aims to give its guests a unique experience.

    It’s good to know the differences between spas. What is a day spa? It’s a form of a beauty salon.Why are some spas branded as luxurious day spas?

    Spas can be integrated into a resort. A destination spa is a resort for personal care treatments. Often you will find them at an exotic location. Do you see how well these concepts work together? It’s all about self-care at the end of the day, with different offerings aimed toward that goal.

    Whatever type of spa you choose, you will take part in the health-improving business. It’s very much like opening a wellness center.

    Let’s delve deeper into what you need to consider when planning your spa business.

    Brand

    Branding is a marketing practice.It creates a name and identity that is recognizable and unique. Customers will know what to expect. It sets you apart from the competition and it defines what makes you better. Your public-facing profile gives you your reputation. This reputation is an immediate result of your advertising and branding skills.

    Recognition and trust will generate new customers. Stand out from the crowd! A clear and original brand will keep customers coming back. You will create an identity that resonates with a particular crowd of people, who will tell their friends your spa is the place to go.

    Be unique. You want to be the proud owner of your day. You wish to compete with small spas and the big chains connected to resorts and hotels. Think big; think branding.

    Services

     

    When imagining a spa we immediately think “massage“. And for a good reason. Massages are relaxing and are beneficial for your well-being.

    A good massage:

    • reduces tension, anxiety, and depression
    • improves blood circulation
    • stimulates the lymphatic system
    • prevents and relieves muscle cramps and spasms.
    • soothes arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms.

    Spa services include much more than massages only. The International Spa Association explains that a spa offers massage, skincare, or body treatments. A standard day spa offers body treatments and lifestyle services. A medical spa tops that with extra services provided by licensed medical practitioners. Extra medical services include acupuncture and microdermabrasion.

    Many day spas offer additional services: haircuts, coloring, styling, and makeup.

    Examples of spa treatments:

    • Aromatherapy
    • Bathing or soaking
    • Artificial waterfall
    • Feetbath
    • Hot spring: Japanese Onsen and Roman Thermae
    • Hot tub
    • Mud bath
    • Jet hydro massage
    • Peat pulp bath
    • Sauna
    • Steam bath
    • Vichy shower
    • Body wraps
    • Massage
    • Haircare
    • Nail care, manicures, and pedicures
    • Electrolysis
    • Waxing

    Target market

    Your customers are willing to spend good money on wellness and relaxation. So, make sure they get value for their money. Know your customers and where they’re coming from. Are you looking to attract local residents? Or are you dreaming about a destination spa on a tropical island?

    Your target market will not only determine your location and the size of your spa business, but also the services you provide to make your customers happy.

    How to open a spa: Business plan

    You have a rough idea of what kind of spa business you want to open. A solid business plan is your roadmap for success. A spa business plan consists of a set of all the steps you need to take to create a spa business in the first place, and to keep it running profitably.

    Location

    Location, location, location! This catchphrase is a well-known cliche. It’s a matter of “To be or not to be”, or more precisely, “Where to be”.

    Visibility is key. Mid or upscale neighborhoods are ideal. And sufficient foot traffic will save on marketing expenses.

    It’s important that you find a spacious building that can accommodate:

    • All services, with ample room for equipment
    • A reception desk
    • A waiting area
    • A break room
    • A storage room

    Think of accessibility, parking space, and the surrounding environment too. No one wants to be interrupted from a relaxing spa session by the sound of motorcycles roaring down a busy highway.

    Start-Up Costs

    How much does it cost to open a spa? You will need at least $100,000 or more to start one from nothing. If you opt to buy an existing one, expect to pay either less or even significantly more.

    How to start a spa with no money? Get a loan from The Small Business Administration.

    These loans for salons and spas will finance:

    • Salon equipment, for all the treatments you offer
    • Beauty supplies
    • Uneven cash flow between seasonal peaks in business
    • Modeling your salon or spa
    • New health and beauty services
    • Staff
    • Marketing

    Equipment

    • Front counter or desk
    • Computer system with scheduling software
    • Product shelving
    • Hairstyling stations and tools
    • Massage tables
    • Pedicure chairs
    • Manicure tables
    • Facial equipment
    • Linen
    • Music
    • Plumbing
    • Electricity

    Employees

    The success of your spa business depends on the expertise of your employees. Their experience and level of service are capital. You need trained employees who can, at the least, answer basic questions about the services or treatments they are providing to clients.

    Community college cosmetology instructors can recommend qualified students.

    Licenses and permits

    As for any business, you will need a business license. Day spas may require additional licenses.

    • General Business Licenses: Retail seller permit, and Spa business operation license.
    • Article Of Organization. This document must include a business model. Day spa, medical spa, ayurvedic spa, dental spa, and club spa,… Fill out a business name and address. Include LLC’s members, managers, organizers, and directors. Describe the business purpose.
    • Certificate Of Occupancy
    • Sales Tax
    • Federal Income Tax ID

    States require particular licenses for spa personnel. Also, make sure your employees have liability insurance.

    • Liability Insurance Policy
    • Cosmetology License
    • Esthetician License
    • Electrologist License
    • Massage Therapist License
    • Manicurist License

    And a Spa Management Certificate Or Degree.

    Prices

    Your location will affect your pricelist. In an upscale area, you may up your prices and offer high-end spa services. Prices in big cities or major suburbs are higher.

    Some factors that influence what you can ask:

    • Is the spa luxurious? Robes and slippers provided? Is there a locker room. A steam sauna? A comfortable lounge? The more luxe, the higher the prices.
    • Are we talking about a resort or hotel spa? Locals can use them on a day pass but will have to cough up at least $150.
    • Most ‘normal’ day spas will start at around $80 -$120.

    Some more examples, to give you an idea:

    • Massage services cost between $65 and $85 per hour. 55% of the service price goes to the service provider
    • A pedicure costs between $20 to $65
    • The cost of a facial varies from $50 to over $250
    • How much is a spa day? Most “normal“ day spas start at around $80 -$120

    Website and tools

    When we list the tools you’ll need, the following will easily come to mind:

    • Skincare tools
    • Manicure & pedicure tools
    • Shower room tools
    • Timers
    • Mirrors
    • Microdermabrasion machines
    • Waxing applicators
    • Tweezers
    • Spatulas
    • Masks
    • Bowls
    • Back heat packs
    • Neck wraps
    • etc

    But how about marketing tools and appointment tools?

    They are ever so important. A website is your number one marketing tool! The most popular and best website builder is without a doubt WordPress.

    Make sure your WordPress website looks good. A beauty business can’t be represented by a badly designed website. If you don’t give your website the treatment it deserves, customers may wonder about the treatment you will give them.

    WordPress comes with an easy to navigate dashboard, attractive templates, and simple,click-to-edit functionality. There is no requirement to hire a professional designer or Web guru to create and manage your site with WordPress, although of course, you’re free to do so.

    Once you are building your website, install the Amelia booking plugin. This handy app accepts appointments and events online. Your appointment management can’t go smoother. The entire booking process is automated. It’s simple in use, yet powerful, and it will you total peace of mind.

    Ending thoughts on how to open a spa

    All items on your spa checklist are ticked off:

    • Location
    • Start-Up Costs
    • Equipment
    • Employees
    • Licenses and permits
    • Prices
    • Website and tools

    After your grand opening, your first customers become regulars and they tell their friends about you.

    You even held an opening party. You handed out discounts for appointments scheduled at the party. You promoted the values of your business. And had local and regional influencers on your guest list. A simple tweet or Instagram post may bring in many new customers.

    And best of all? You made it easy for customers to book their appointments with the Amelia booking plugin. Online, at any time.

    That’s professionalism for you! You sat down to figure out what type of spa you wanted and how to open a spa. You are now a successful entrepreneur. You went through every step of your crafted business plan.All your efforts resulted in a busy calendar.

    Can you see it in your mind? It’s as easy as that!

    If you enjoyed reading this article about how to open a spa, you should read these as well:

    The post How to Open a Spa Business and Be Successful With It appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    If you are a consultant, you need to provide all kind of solutions to your clients that need advices. To do this in a professional way you need to learn and understand how to make a consulting template for your proposal.

    There are many consulting proposal template options that you can choose from the internet, but choosing one that goes well with your style is important.

    If you have not heard before of this kind of documents, you do not have to worry. This article created by our team at Amelia, prepared you some tips on how to choose the right one and what should it contain. Let us take a look together at the following.

    The Structure of a Good Consulting Proposal

    For a more effective consulting proposal template,you want to go for one that has a clear, logical structure that can help your client make decisions. Here is what it should include:

    • The goal of the work you will be doing together, along with all the details surrounding it. This is important because you do not want to discover any discrepancies later on after you’ve already started your work.
    • Include your background, something that will show the client your experience and the fact that you can understand their problem. It is a great form to gain trust and will help both you and the client define the scope of the project fast.
    • Make a list of points, and explain what results you will provide to the buyer. You can also have the right information on what kind of impact this is going to have for the buyer’s organization.
    • A timeline is a section where you show the entire project duration together with a good consulting proposal that is going to manage expectations so that no unwanted surprise shows up. Part of this requires outlining when you are going to end the project.
    • Show all that is expected from your buyer in order to ensure that your job goes smoothly.
    • A good consulting proposal template also needs to show the pricing and offers that you want to make.
    • What your terms are, how payments should be made, and any other payment details need to be included in a simple proposal template.

    Consulting Proposal Template Examples

    We’ve made a list of consulting proposal template options that you can check to see if any of them might be a good fit for what you are looking for.

    Sample Consulting Proposal

    Get this consulting proposal template if you are used with Word. It is easy to edit, and it allows you to show sales and marketing steps in an organized manner. It also shows different aspects of the proposal like expected outcomes, scheduled plans, and much more.

    Give it a try and see if it is going to help you out with everything you had in mind.

    Business Growth Plan Template

    A business growth plan requires a lot of visualizing data, whether we are talking about financial goals or KPIs. These business proposal examples are going to help you condense and present complex technical information in a simple way that can be understood by anybody.

    Business Proposal Template

    Another simple business proposal template that you can go for is this one. It has all you can ask for from a proposal and you can customize it quickly. Go for this consulting proposal template if you want to increase your chances with the next clients that you are going to have. These types of proposals are well-proven and have been used for years.

    Professional Business Proposal Template

    This is another great consulting proposal template that can help you with the next big project that you have in mind. Its design and layout are done in 20 unique pages, and it uses master pages, along with different layers in order to give the viewer a clearer understanding of what is in there.

    Proposify’s Consulting Proposal Template

    If you are searching for a consulting proposal that allows you to change all the information contained within, one that has a more professional look, this might be exactly what you were looking for. You can also attach an electronic signature that will make it even easier for your clients to sign.

    Restaurant Consulting Proposal Template

    You can describe goals and objectives using this consulting proposal template. Your clients are really going to be happy when they see it because all the content is presented in a professional way. Do not hesitate to try this one. We think you will be satisfied with it.

    Consulting Agreement Template

    Any freelancer can take this consulting proposal template and use it well. It can be customized easily so it can fit any industry you might be in.

    B2C Client Consulting Proposal

    Although the design is simple this consultant proposal template can be a great choice to impress your clients, however, if you have already had some first talks with your client, then it is probably time to make the written proposal. See if this one is a match; we think it can do the job.

    Proposal + Invoice Template

    Create a proposal that gets approved, and then use the template in order to create an invoice when the time to bill your client has come. This pack offers you consulting templates for both a proposal and invoice so you get two from one.

    They are easy to edit, and you are going to be quite helpful in the long-term.

    Free Consulting Proposal Template by Better Proposals

    The structure of this consulting proposal template is well done, and all you have to do is add the specifics that you want your client to see.

    HR Consulting Proposal Template

    Have a look at this consulting proposal template doc,as it could potentially be the one that your HR team is going to use from now one. The document has a detailed format that will surely impress your client. Also, with this template, you can slightly modify all the details that are present in the proposal template while you are editing it.

    Financial Consulting Agreement Template

    Because financial consulting services need to be detailed, the structure of this consulting proposal template is going to be very useful. It can be used by both freelancer and financial consulting agencies, and it really does a great job.

    Abstract Business Consulting Presentation

    Some of the best presentation ideas are usually the simplest. The minimalist color schemes and fonts of these templates will put the focus on the information given. They also have some interesting icons but the key is in the text display to show the relevant details.

    Project Proposal Template

    This Project Proposal Template has a clean and modern design that can be very trendy. It has 24 pages and works great in Adobe InDesign. It can be a bit more difficult to edit if it is your first time using InDesign, and you can still master it quickly and easily.

    Free Marketing Consulting Proposal Format Download

    Have a look at this consulting proposal template that focuses on the marketing niche. It has different templates to choose from and the style and design can be really helpful when you plan to show them to your clients.

    They can be changed fast so you will have no problems in terms of editing. Check them out and see if they can help you.

    Compare This Proposal Template

    This consulting proposal template is going to impress your client with its 26 pages of layouts that you can choose from. It can be edited easily and you can also change the colors in just a few seconds.

    Ending thoughts on the consulting proposal template

    In conclusion, there are quite a few consulting proposal template options that you can choose from in online. The final one should be the template that helps you describe the best what are your services about and how you are going to bring value to your client.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about using a consulting proposal template, you should read these as well:

    The post Consulting proposal template examples to use for your clients appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    Dermatologists are a type of medical doctor who focus on the health of the skin. Find out more about how to become a dermatologist and whether or not this career is right for you.

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    A good workout starts with good prep. You need your training schedule at the ready. Ask Arnie. Reps and reps. The same applies If you are thinking about opening your own gym. Prep and rep mean the difference between failure and success.

    Go through your list enough times to check if you haven’t forgotten anything important. Wait. Let’s first make a list. It can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why this guide to opening a gym may be useful.

    Many questions pop up in your head. What type of business is a gym? How much does it cost to open a gym? Is opening a gym profitable? How much do gym owners make?

    You might want to be one of the lucky few who make their hobby their job. Or perhaps you are attracted by the revenue. It’s true, you will have a bunch of potential clients. It’s a huge market. They come by the millions, looking to lose weight, gain muscles or just to get in shape. Fitness is golden.

    This means there is a lot of competition. To prepare yourself properly, learn from experienced business owners. They will all confirm that research and setting up a solid business plan are the two first steps.

    Sit down and calculate the costs. Determine your target market. Come up with a brand name that stands out. Hold on!

    A bit overwhelming? That’s a euphemism indeed. Thinking of how to open a gym needs to be an orderly process. This article created by our team at Amelia is here to help. Let’s learn to walk before you start running.

    The first step for starting a gym: Plan your Business

    How to start a gym? First, you write down the essentials. Like studying a course to prepare yourself for an exam, you start with the table of contents. It is said that once you got the contents in your head, half of what you need to know is dealt with.

    The same applies to starting your own gym.

    Opening a gym business plan

    Your specific business plan is made up of various questions that will answer:

    • Name of your gym
    • Who will be your customers?
    • Location
    • Gym start-up costs and funding. How much does it cost to open a gym?
    • Legal structure and licenses.Getting all the paperwork in order
    • Promotion/marketing
    • Expectations of revenue
    • When do you think you will break even?
    • Matching your staff with your customers

    Think about the necessary investments:

    • Accounting and business software
    • Client management and scheduling software
    • Website and digital marketing
    • Fitness equipment
    • Design
    • Ample lighting
    • Staff

    This gives you an idea of your itinerary. Your destination will be a profitable business. Let’s put some flesh on the frame.

    Target market:Who will be your customers?

    Target market:Who will be your customers? opening a gym

    Market research is the first you do. This is an expensive way to say: what kind of customers you want to come and keep coming?

    Draw out a profile of your preferred client:

    • Clients who want to lose weight?
    • Clients who wish to work-out with personal trainers to meet personal fitness goals?
    • Bodybuilders who want to be Schwarzenegger?

    You will want to buy the appropriate equipment. And hire staff that meets the expectations of your customers.

    Your clients are your niche. Adept your gym accordingly. Niches or types of gyms can be:

    • Specialty fitness center
    • Traditional gym
    • Medical fitness and wellness center
    • Family fitness and wellness center

    Now think of a name for your gym

    Try to match the name with your target market and type of gym. Arnie’s Family Fitness may target your desired niche. It also might attract aspiring bodybuilders. Be imaginative and specific. Then ask yourself, if you were your ideal client, would you want to go to <insert your gym name>?

    Next is location

    • Again, think about your customers. This will be in your own interest. The right location can break or build your gym.
    • What if a customer has an hour to spare and wants to hit the gym? A lunch break workout might come in handy. So, located within walking distance preferably.
    • Foot traffic is another good one. You want lots of people walking by and popping-in for info.
    • Costs and convenience are factors that influence your traffic. Don’t give customers an excuse to skip a session. A nearby location helps to avoid this.Find a locationthat is easy to reach by car, foot, and public transport.
    • How many clients are you aiming for? How much space will you need?Which location is suited for the size of your gym?

    Start-up costs and funding

    You can expect between $10,000 for a personal training studio to $50,000 for a fully equipped commercial gym. This what your equipment will cost.The location will affect the total cost.

    Unless you are willing to pay ten times as much, avoid areas that are known to have high rental costs(looking at you, NYC). The only reason you would choose such an area is if your ideal clients are to be found there, and only there — if that’s the case, think niche.

    Your start-up costs will go to:

    1. Rent

    The most expensive cost. And monthly!

    2. Equipment

    A small personal training studio can be equipped with around $10,000. Commercial gyms will need about $30,000 to $50,000.

    3. Employees

    Be ready to pay your top trainers $25 an hour. Also, you may need an accountant, maintenance workers, a marketing person or team, and a lawyer.

    4. Licenses/Permits

    5. Legal Fees

    6. Software

    How to open a gym with no money?

    • Start with a small business and grow bigger later.
    • Keep marketing free. Business cards at your front desk. Use social media, cross-promote with other businesses, give free trials of your services.
    • Use Free Resources. The US Small Business Administration offers free services. From help with business plans to legal and accounting advice, take advantage of these.
    • Word of mouth. Happy clients will talk to others.

    And how to come up with this kind of money?

    Even starting a small business will set you back. Only the sunlight is free. You could live on water and bread for a decade, or find an investor who doesn’t want to own 51% of your business. A business partner is another possibility. You could also open a gym franchise.

    Sole ownership is only possible with taking a loan. Owning your own gym salary is a plus. You will own the entire debt too, of course. Keep that in mind. But it will be your business only.

    Get a loan at:

    • A local bank or credit union for a small business loan
    • Look for online alternatives, for fewer requirements and faster funding

    You will need to show up with a proper business plan. No business plan means no loan.The U.S. Small Business Administration helps you to develop your business plan and to get loans. In Europe, you can find similar organizations.

    Legal structure, licenses, and certificates

    Choose the best legal structure for your independent business. There are several possible structures.

    • Sole proprietorship
    • Partnership
    • S corporation
    • C corporation
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    Gym licenses and permits:

    • The most important license you need as a gym owner is a business license. The cost depends on how large your team is.It will not be more than a few hundred.
    • Try to hire trainers with a license already, so you don’t need to spend on getting them licensed.

    Research local demands, as this varies from state to state. Then get the business licenses. And check regulatory laws: building permits and health department requirements.

    Certification:

    Get a fitness professional certification, for more credibility.

    The American Council on Exercise and the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association all offer certification and business education courses.

    Insurance:

    Get it from an agent who specializes in business insurance.Gyms and injuries go hand in hand.

    Tip: avoid legal issues by putting a clause in the membership contract.Prevent customers from suing for self-caused injuries.

    Promoting and marketing

    A website

    Your website must provide information such as:

    • The services you provide
    • Opening hours, location, contact info, and pricing
    • An online booking system

    Appointment scheduling plugins relieve you from a lot of work. Your calendar will be bulked up without breaking a sweat. Simple scheduling solutions are:

    Amelia plugin for WordPress:A fully-featured automated booking system, that manages all customer’s appointments.

    Modern Events Calendar. A popular WordPress appointment booking and scheduling calendar tool.

    Team Booking uses Google Calendar for your website’s appointment booking system.

    Booked supports almost every type of appointment and booking through your WordPress website. It picks up external calendar feeds from Google, Outlook, iCal, etc.

    Retention

    This is all about relationships and branding. Give your customers an experience they will not find elsewhere. When they think of you at home or elsewhere, make them wish they were rather at your gym instead. Your loyal customers are the backbone of your success.

    Social Media

    Social media channels get you connected with your customers and future clients. Completely for free!

    Raise the bar. Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, community profiles, Yelp, and Google Places for Business. Reach out to influencers, offer them specials or freebies in return for a review or shoutout.

    Expectations on revenue and break-even

    How much do gym owners make? To predict your revenue you have to factor in natural ups and downs. The time of the year has an effect on new memberships. You might find more people come to the gym in winter and less in summer, or vice versa.

    A year-long membership will cost $20 to $50 per month. You can also charge a sign-on fee of $100 to $300.

    Now that you know the membership cost per person, you can multiply. It all depends on the size of your business. Are you visualizing opening a small gym? Or thinking about starting a warehouse gym?

    A small gym with 300 members can make a minimum of $100,000 per year. Big gyms can make more than $600,000 annually.

    Besides size, location affects your income. A gym in a small town can’t expect huge revenue.

    Don’t expect to break-even in your first year. Look at the larger picture and try to predict your sales over the next five years.

    Match your staff and equipment with your customers

    Employ trained and certified professionals. Your customers expect no less. Fitness instructors and personal trainers have to prove themselves. Both in-house personal trainers and freelancers should be motivated and involved.

    Leasing the equipment makes sure you have the latest fitness technology. You can test it out.It will often include maintenance of the equipment.

    Conclusion on opening a gym

    Six months to a year later, your business is now in full flow. You took the steps described in this guide. You stuck to your opening a gym checklist. You realized that a small gym business plan is no different from a huge gym plan.

    You are a success because you started off with a business plan that at least includes:

    • Client-friendly location
    • Fully insured and licensed
    • Promoting the business through clients, and online presence
    • A booking plugin
    • A professional team

    Opening a gym can be extremely profitable, not only for your bank account but also for your sense of life satisfaction. Live the dream by starting with a firm foundation and building a true business today.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about opening a gym, you should read these as well:

    The post Guide to Opening a Gym and Starting a Successful Gym Business appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    When you are in the world of consulting,you may encounter times when you have to have some form of agreement when starting a collaboration with a client. A consulting contract is one way to do this, and asks both parties to describe what their expectations are, and may also describe what instances may occur should any issues arise.

    A consulting contract is a deal between the consultant and the business looking to utilize their services. It explains what the consultant is going to do for the business.Most of the time, this type of consulting agreement option also shows the time limit within which the consultant agrees to provide the services to the business. As this is a binding, legal contract, it is important that both parties examine the contract closely and understand it before signing.

    Another thing that consultants must do is provide legal support, especially if the client is not going to pay them. On top of that, clients also need contracts in order to get some assurance that they will get the agreed services. Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Amelia.

    Why You Need a Consulting Contract

    A consulting contract is important because it is legally binding. If you want to enter an agreement, you have to meet the legal requirements. One of the main reasons why you need a contract as a consultant is:

    Project Details Need to be Defined

    When you are creating a consulting agreement, you should take time to discuss all the details that are needed. Include a description of the work that needs to be completed, think about a timeline that you think is manageable, and put the details into writing so they will help you prevent any kind of missed deadlines.

    Protect Intellectual Property

    Another key aspect of a consulting contract is the intellectual property, especially for those that create or develop copyrightable works or other licensable technologies that are needed in consulting agreements.

    Define the Business Relationship

    A consultant that is going into business always needs to be sure to define the relationship between the parties. This can be done with a consulting contract that is being offered in order to understand all the expectations of the collaboration.

    Upsell Your Services

    A consulting contract is not only a legal document, it is also a marketing tool because it helps you better understand how your client reacts to certain options that you make available by using it.

    Establish the Relationship

    If you work on a freelance basis, you will need to come up with a consulting services agreement to show that you work as an independent contractor.

    Components that Every Consulting Agreement Needs

    If this is the first time you are running a consulting business, you should check these components because they can help you make a strategy for challenges that you have not yet thought of.

    In case you have already spent some years working in the world of consulting, then you have probably already had to deal with some of the problems that can appear when working with clients, and can usually be done by using a consulting contract.

    Take note of the following:

    • Get all the details of the party involved, including names and titles, and be sure that they are written correctly.
    • Make a list with goals that you are trying to achieve and set a deadline or end goal for the job where you can say it is complete.
    • Make a detailed description of the project and show each aspect and tasks that you need to perform in order to finish the project.
    • Record all the things that you will be needed to do in order to complete the project and you can do this by having a list of checkpoints that you can refer to like your work. You can also ask your client to sign each phase of the project to make sure you keep them satisfied as you progress.
    • Specify the payment method because this step can ensure that everyone involved in the contract is aware of how the payment is going to be made.
    • Make a timeline and specify when you start and when you want to end the project by indicating different dates to go for.
    • Make a statement that shows who owns the intellectual property, such as copyrights, etc.
    • Include any other information that might be relevant, these details can be related to laws or other aspects that are important for the project.
    • Add in your consulting contract the page numbers, even if this sounds simple the idea behind it is to keep your client organized and making sure he checks all the aspects of the contract is important.

    Some good questions that you should ask yourself when creating your own consulting contract are:

    • What do I do if the client needs more work in the middle of the project?
    • What do I do if a client wants to stop the collaboration?
    • How do I distinguish one-time services vs ongoing services in the consulting contract?

    Consulting Contract Templates to Use

    Sample Consulting Contract Template

    If you need a simple consulting contract that can help you legitimize your services, you can try this template done in Word. It can help you with all the specific details that you have in mind and you can also use it to bring your own style and touch to it without starting from nothing.

    Simple Restaurant Consulting Contract Template

    If you are a consultant, or are in need of one to help you out with advice on how to run the restaurant you have, then this template can help you protect your business and make things more efficient.

    Free Consulting Agreement Template

    This is a great consulting contract that you can take advantage of and use for different terms that you want to specify on the legal side.

    IT Consulting Contract Template

    Go for this consulting agreement template because it is easy to edit and you can use it with a lot of clients that you might come across in your work.

    Consulting Retainer Agreement Template

    If you offer consulting services for several companies, sometimes you may need to move quickly because the projects are limited. With this consulting contract, a company can pay you in advance for the services you provide, and you also make clear all the legal details that you want to get done.

    Standard Engineering Consulting Agreement

    As an engineering consultant, you will be able to utilize this great consulting contract with your future clients. It helps you cover all the designs and production stages so you can create a custom agreement for your clients without leaving aside any important terms.

    Consulting Agreement

    This is a simple consulting contract that you will be able to use in your work. It has all the legal text and it takes just a few minutes to edit it as you want.

    Business Consulting Contract Template

    Business consultation can be defined as consulting that is done by experts in the field of business. Their input and advice guide and help their clients to make sure they make all the right decisions for their business. So, anybody that works around this field can get this agreement and use it.

    Simple Training Consultant Contract Template

    This is a great consulting contract that will help you create a well-organized and reasonable document to show to your clients. It uses simplified language and makes understanding all the details and components easy to do.

    AICNCC Standard Contract

    This contract is great for a wide range of consultants. So, this is great especially because it simplifies the work needed when creating one. Give it a try and see for yourself if it will help you.

    Ending thoughts on the consulting contract

    In conclusion, having a consulting contract is very important to protect you as a business and an individual, but also protects your clients. Be sure that all the steps are clearly described in it so both parties can be aware of the entire process that is about to happen.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about using a consulting contract, you should read these as well:

    The post Consulting contract examples to use for your business appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    Learn how to become a banker. Research the various education and career requirements, licensure, and experience required for starting a career as a banker.

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    The consulting market is booming, and there are numerous consultants out there that are offering a number of different types of services, as well as varying, competitive fees. Whether you are a novice consultant, or experienced in the industry, you want to be sure that the prices you charge for your services are fair for both you and your clients.

    Finding the right fee and rate can sometimes feel confusing, because you will need to understand how to value your services in order to calculate the proper rate. How do you really get the most out of your time?

    Being an independent consultant means you will have to evaluate your expertise and knowledge, and always be adapting to the changes in the market. So, how can you find the right balance that is going to be fair for both you and your client? This article created by our team at Amelia and learn some tips on how to choose a rate that works best for you.

    How to Choose an Hourly Consulting Rate

    Charging by the hour may not be for everyone, but it is a straightforward, simply way of charging for your services. If your consulting work involves attending meetings, then hourly rates are a good option. To get an approximate hourly rate, you first need to think about what type of salary you are going for. Will this be your career? Or just something you do on the side? Take this into consideration when choosing your rate.

    Once you have chosen your ideal salary, it is time to calculate your fee. Take the salary and divide it by the number of working weeks, and after again by 40 (or what number you plan to work each week). Then that number mark it up by 25% to 45%.

    Image source: Tripples

    We recommend that you also use a daily rate as a starting point for all of your rates. This can make things easier when deciding the price that you want to charge. It will also be beneficial that you know that hourly fees have other advantages, as well as being a good consulting fee option.

    It is easy to figure out how much money you want to earn, and then how much you should be charging on an hourly basis. Depending on how many days you are going to work the math should be quite simple. So, this is the way you discover how much to charge for consulting from an hourly rate point of view.

    How and When to Charge by Consulting Project

    Image source: Veronica Wijayanthy

    When you charge by hour you already should know that this is one of the most flexible pricing methods available. The downside is that the more expedient you become at your work, the less you are going to get paid.

    When you are charging by project, you need to need to focus on the goal of your work. This is how you can determine the rate of the project and make an estimate of how many hours it is going to take to finish the job. You can do this by knowing your own expertise, and how much time it takes to complete the same task in the past versus the present.

    Image source: Hafiz

    If you go for this kind of pricing model, also include a caveat in your contract. This should be stating all the extra fees that go for additional work.

    Learning how much to charge for consulting is not difficult, you just need to follow some basic principles. Another thing that you need to factor in might be any kind of costs that may appear from unknown causes, such as if materials get more expensive, or transportation is higher than you anticipated. It is good to have some sort of margin when submitting the final price.

    Think about the logistical costs, the costs of business disruptions, and any other costs that may appear.

    Setting Consulting Fees Based on Performance

    Image source: Tim Gouw Follow

    Many clients are going to offer to consultants a share of their revenue or profits, which means we get close to a performance model system. Other ones may offer the client a commission and many pays based on the results that they start to see in their company.

    So, deciding how much to charge for consulting also has to do with the payment system you are going to use. A good foundation is to think about the value of your expertise and network, ask yourself how are these components helping me and the services that I provide, how can I better help my clients?

    The money you get is not based on how many hours you are going to spend on the project. However, if you can finish faster the same task that somebody will finish in a longer period of time this means that your performance level is higher, so your consulting rates should be higher.

    This is great for both you and your client because they see faster results, and you may get more work from them.

    How to Charge Retainer Fees

    Image source: Mahmoud Baghagho

    Many consultants ask for an upfront retainer fee for the work that they are going to do over a certain period of time, such as a month. One advantage of this model is that you can rollover any unused hours to the next month, meaning the clients are going to feel that they are getting a lot of value.

    If you go with a retainer, this means that you will have a monthly fee for working with your client. You together with the client decide how many hours this involves and these fees can be great for your business, especially because they are an income that you can rely on a longer period of time. This is especially great if you are a freelancer.

    Determining how much to charge for consulting for this type of payment is not difficult. You calculate the number of hours needed, then go for a fair price for both you and your client. The retainer fees do not work for all projects but when they do you should use them. You can always you a consulting fee calculator to find them.

    Charging What Everyone Else Charges for Consulting

    Image source: DotPixsel Agency

    We reached our last tip on how much to charge for consulting. Charging the same amount that other people charge really does make a lot of sense. Depending on what the market dictates, and what the competitors are doing, charging the same price can be a signal that you are worthy of that certain price. You are making a statement and getting the baseline rate for consulting in your market.

    If you look at market values this means that you will know what your clients are expecting, and you can use this information to get better at a certain aspect in your business. Many consultants make their rates public but a lot of them are just going to wait until clients call them to get all the details. This means you might need to do some mystery shopping to find out how much to charge for consulting.

    Believe in Your Value and the Right Price Will Follow

    In the end choosing, the best price needs to be directly connected to what amount you are going to accept for your time, what amount are people ready to pay for your services, and what range of pay can you find in the market. If you answer these questions, you will be able to determine how much to charge for consulting work.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about how much to charge for consulting, you should read these as well:

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    Find out how to become a loan officer. Research the education and training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career as a loan officer.

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    Ask any consultant new to the field of consulting what is their main concern is and pretty much all of them are going to reply that they worry about how to get consulting clients quickly. This is also true of other services and businesses, but when you are just starting out in any domain, you may have a bit of a rough time.

    If you want to know how to get more clients for your consulting business, then you do not have to stress about the process. All you need to do is stop for a second, understand what value that you bring, and build a strategy around that for your consulting business is.

    Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Amelia.

    Who Is Your Ideal Consulting Client?

    Image source: Veronica Wijayanthy

    You need to ask yourself what kind of clients do you want to attract for your business. In order to reach perspective clients, you also need to have some kind of criteria for them. After you do this, you can move on to the next step on how to get clients quickly: marketing.

    Choosing the market that you want to focus on should be based on a niche that you are passionate about,and have experience in. After you have discovered the market that you want to target, you can get towards the method. Whether we are talking about ads, or marketing strategy, when you focus on just a market segment, you are going to create a huge difference for your competition.

    Each market segment has its own lingo that can be learned relatively quickly. What you can do if you want to discover how to get consulting clients fast is to check annual reports of the competition and see how they see this industry.

    Another thing you should focus your energy on is finding something that is of value for your target customers. This can be a white paper regarding some problems that the industry is facing, a webinar, or some free samples.

    Ask for Referrals From People Who Know, Like, and Trust You.

    Image source: Anton Pecheritsa

    An often overlooked method of finding new clients is by asking for a referral. An example of this could be that after you finished a consulting assignment for one of your clients that is very satisfied with what you have done, you can already ask them to do you a small favor. If you do not want to put your client on the spot there are more indirect ways.

    You can send a letter thanking them for their business and asking for some names, or you can write an email requesting the same things. Get creative with referral requests, and you are going to come up with some ideas that can make you understand how to get consulting clients fast.

    You will want to start with all the personal connections that you have. Ask them if they can introduce you to some potential clients in the field. This works very well if somebody that really has a lot of trust in you says some good things about your service towards somebody that might be interested.

    We advise that you find the people that can help you with networking, and also define as best as you can the ideal client that you want to reach in the end.

    Perfect Your Portfolio

    Make a Portfolio Website

    Image source: Osborne Branding

    Even if you do not have a vast portfolio, even a simple portfolio can still help you a lot because it shows your talent and the past results that you had. When you want to include links or screenshots of your previous work do not just resume at this. Make sure you have a few sentences that can give you the context for the work that you did.

    Create explainers and more than that also add some testimonials from your clients and show them the entire story behind.

    Optimize your website for Google search

    If you want to work with local clients, you need good SEO done for your website in order to make it appear in local searches. On top of that, you also want that every blog post that you have to be optimized for any kind of keywords that your ideal might be searching for.

    Have your blog

    Image source: Anton Borzenkov

    A good way to understand how to get consulting clients fast is by providing more and more value to them. A blog can become a great asset that is going to help readers reach you and learn from you. This might make them eventually to want to hire you and start doing business together.

    Have something to say

    Image source: Mukhlasur Rahman

    When you are in need of a client, cold calling can be a more direct way to go. People usually want to avoid this, but it is part of how you can make your business grow in just a few months.

    If you are still wondering how to get consulting clients quickly, you need to understand that proposals can be very different and that some will work for certain clients while for others they will not. Try different approaches when you do your first consulting.

    Send the proposals and the contracts separately, ask clients for feedback. Just make sure you get creative and that you obtain a lot of information from them. Many clients are not going to search for unless they have an urgent need. For a consultant, an important aspect of the sales process is to have a conversation with those people regarding the problems that they have. The value is in solving those problems and offering them the next steps that they should follow in the future.

    Create strategic partnerships with people who need help serving their clients

    Image source: Gustavo Felisberto

    This can be one of the fastest and easiest ways to obtain clients, but you will need to invest time in building the right relationships. However, this can be considered a good method if you want to learn how to get consulting clients fast.

    The main idea here is that you can find agencies that already have many clients that they cannot help. So, you can take advantage and make some kind of deal to them in order for both parties to win as they lead those clients to you.

    Webinars are probably one of the best ways to educate and provide valuable information to buyers so this means you can become an authority in that field. What you can do it in front of many people at the same time can bring more and more value as time goes by.

    One of the best ways for getting clients is to have a presentation in front of them. This is because you will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the buyer right there that you are an expert and they will be able to see it with their own eyes.

    Have a Marketing Plan

    A marketing plan is going to always be useful no matter the domain of activity that you have. If you want to get many clients you need to get their attention somehow so here is what you can do.

    Social Media

    Image source: Khandaker Rasel

    Everybody has at least one social media account these days, and you will want to be where the people’s attention is. Go for social media profiles that are current and popular, and start promoting your consulting business there.

    It is quite easy to understand the basics and once you are sure on what you are doing you can start to run different ads, create content and share all kind of information with the targeted users you have in mind. Facebook is a place to start because the platform has a huge user base.

    Personalized Messages

    Make each of your clients feel important by providing custom messages for each one. You can spend more time doing so but in the long term, it is going to help you close more deals. For sure learning how to get consulting clients fast is also about creating something special and unique for each of them sometimes.

    Newsletters & Emails

    This is one of the best ways to stay in contact with your clients in the long-term. What is great is that you do not only have to offer them helpful information through a newsletter, you can also speak about certain discounts or promotions that you are a business is having in a certain period.

    Cold Calls

    This is quite an old, but well-known way of doing sales but for sure it still works even today so that is why we consider it as something that you could try. Getting clients is possible by doing cold calls, but you will need to be sure you have the right speech and that the people you are calling might be at least a bit interested in what you have to say.

    Ending thoughts on how to get consulting clients fast

    In conclusion, understanding how to get consulting clients fast is not something that you learn overnight. It is a constant process of adapting and understanding your client’s needs, and in exchange, you must bring the right solutions at the right time so that they choose you as their consultant.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about how to get consulting clients fast, you should read these as well:

    The post How to get consulting clients quickly for your consulting business appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    Have you ever wanted to start your own business? If you have, but can’t seem to find your niche, then being a consultant may be one of the easiest ways to test the waters, since you are in control of the services you offer, and can pick what you are most passionate and knowledgeable about.

    In the ever-evolving online world, there will always be buzzwords that exist, and knowing how to define these words will better allow you to participate in the conversation and stay involved. Buzzwords are very important for consultants because they can be a position statement in terms of what you know and what you need to do.

    In this article created by our team at Amelia, we have decided to provide a list with some consulting buzzwords that are often seen and for sure they can be helpful if you deal with consultants or you are one yourself.

    The List of Consulting Buzzwords You Should Know

    20,000-Foot View

    The first on our list of buzzwords is “20,000-foot view”. It is defined as a summary of a certain situation where many details are omitted and only the key points are being discussed. In other words, think about it as seeing things in perspective. Sometimes, you may also hear “bird’s eye view” or “the 1,000-mile view”.

    80/20 Rule

    Popular in the business world, this rule states that 80% of a business problem can be solved by focusing on 20% of the causal factors. So, any consultant is going to say that 80% of an assignment can be done in 20% of the time by adding value.

    As-is and to-be

    Two other consulting terms that you may encounter are “as-is” and “to-be”, which are both basically a consultant’s way of describing what is being done now and how it is going to look after the job is completed.

    At The End of the Day

    Another popular term used by consultants is “at the end of the day”. Consultants can use this term when they are about to summarize the main thrust of a point or argument. This phrase is used in order to attempt summarization or to even close a discussion. Most consultants know it, and you should too.

    Bandwidth

    This buzzword is generally used in the capacity of taking on other work commitments. If you have a certain amount of energy that you can bring to a project, this is usually called bandwidth by consultants. It is a simple term takes the pressure off of other lines, such as “I do not know how to do this”, and is quite useful.

    Boil the Ocean

    It can be fun to understand these types of consulting buzzwords because they can sometimes be used in the context of tough tasks that have almost no value. It shows what can happen if a consultant is not focused and can be used in many different topics, depending on when and how the consultant thinks it is appropriate.

    Bottoms-Up

    These consulting buzzwords are great to use when you want to look at the smallest units possible in order to initiate the analysis. An example might be to start with the lowest-level employee in order to make the analysis of a company.

    CAGR

    This acronym buzzword stands for Compound Annual Growth Rate. If a market starts from $100 million to $150 million, in 5 years you can make a percentage of the CAGR and use it in different presentations.

    C-Suite

    A cool consulting jargon, the C-Suite refers to any executive with a capital C at the beginning of their title. The C stands for “Chief”: COO, CFO and so on.

    Deck

    Image source: Erick Chévez / VÚO

    Simple consulting buzzwords like this one are commonly used and are generally used to refer to presentations that are done in different programs.

    Deliverable

    Image source: Premast

    What you are going to send to your clients, whether it is a presentation, a sheet or report, or anything else will be known as deliverables. Consultants use this buzzword when the task is completed and everything that should reach the client is ready to send.

    Hard Stop

    You can use this buzzword in order to indicate that after a certain time the person that is helping a team, for example, is not going to be around anymore to help them. It is a polite saying used when people might have other obligations to do and need to leave sooner than anticipated.

    Leverage

    You will find consulting buzzwords like Leverage in reports most often because they give a sense of strength or careful thinking that can help you with the resources. It can be added to documents especially when a consultant can be done using the proposed method.

    Let Me Play This Back

    These buzzwords are used when listeners want to give to the discussion their own perspective after reviewing the transcript of what was said. It is a helpful method that can allow consultants to check if they understood the key issues and sound more eloquent,even if the summary did not add any additional insights.

    Low-Hanging Fruit

    This term is mostly used in sales when describing certain deals that may be easier to close than others.

    MECE

    Another acronym set of buzzwords that stands for Mutually Exclusive and Completely Exhaustive. You will see it a lot in management consulting firms and it can be considered a grouping principle. It can be expressed to show concern towards an analysis where some data might be missed.

    Offline

    We all know this one as people connected it with not being available and can be used to table a conversation until after the format meetings. It is also good to balance meetings and now allow just two persons to monopolize the meeting time that they have.

    Push Back

    Usually, certain consulting buzzwords are a great way to take some of the pressure off in a situation. For example, this one is good to show a consultant that something is difficult and cannot be realistic.  When a teammate can over-promise or is unrealistic pushing back is very important. So, for sure many of us have felt this before and we can really understand the idea of pushing back.

    Rock Star

    Image source: Hertzel

    An individual that has high results in a certain area and is impressive, this buzzword is usually used to express this admiration towards somebody. It is a way of putting the spotlight on them by expressing gratitude. Maybe your team member helped you in an unexpected way when nobody was around, resulting in you thinking of him as a rock star.

    Scope Creep

    A management consultant can be brought in to find out why a company’s new marketing strategy is affecting workplace productivity. Scope creep appears when they find that they also need to do other tasks not initially mentioned at the beginning of the project.

    Smell Test (Sniff Test)

    These consulting buzzwords are used when a certain analysis is being challenged. It goes from the simple idea of checking your food or drink by smelling it until you consume it in order to be sure that it is not already rotten.

    Takeaway

    This term is a more English term and while it originally related more to carry-out food,in the consultancy domain, it stands for the main points that the audience needs to understand at the end of a presentation. The takeaway is the goal that the presentation has in terms of learning or adapting certain things.

    Take The Lead On

    Image source: Austin Distel

    We really liked these consulting buzzwords, as they are strongly worded and express a leading principle. They are mainly used in situations where somebody asks a person to continue the topic or presentations from that moment. So, if somebody is telling you to take the lead on something, then you should know that somebody has delegated you to be in charge going forward.

    What’s the So-what?

    Lastly, on our consulting buzzwords list, we get this phrase that is mostly used when somebody on the team challenges you to explain the goal of a certain task or presentation, comparing it with their own reality.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about consulting buzzwords, you should read these as well:

    The post Consulting buzzwords you should know before starting your business appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    If you want to start a business, becoming a consultant could be a good option for you, depending on your experience level. A consultant is generally an expert in a specific field that can fix specific problems. Choosing to start your own consulting business could be a good move and is much simpler than starting other kinds of businesses, because it all revolves around what you are good at, and what kind of knowledge you can offer.

    The goal of a consultant is to improve results in certain businesses, as well as in peoples’ lives, by bringing value and helping with the implementation of necessary changes. Unlike starting other types of businesses, when you start a business as a consultant, the best way to start out is to start small and have patience. As you increase your network and gain a steady influx of clients, word will spread, and your business will grow naturally.

    There are a lot of consulting niches to choose from, and the general rule that you should follow is to be sure that you are adding value. Once you come up with an idea of what kind of consulting business you want to start, the rest is easy.

    Consulting has been on the market for years and is known to be a lucrative business choice. And though it is simple to get started, there are some things that you will want to know before you start. Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Amelia.

    Things Needed To Start a Consulting Business

    As your passion and knowledge for a particular topic or area grow, the best way to test your expertise is to try your hand at teaching what you know. This is a pretty general principal in the consulting industry.

    So, what do you need to do business consulting?

    In this article, we will present to you four things that we think are essential if you are thinking about launching your own consulting business.

    Knowledge in a Particular Area


    Image source: Sergei Osokin

    Obviously, if you want to start a business as a consultant, you will first need to be very knowledgeable in a particular area. While the best consulting business ideas come from being very knowledgeable in something that also others want to learn about, this does not mean that you have to be an expert in order to do it.

    However, if you want to be a business consultant, then you will probably have more success, and more to offer your clients, if you have some real experience in the field in order to deliver the results your clients will be looking for.

    A Compelling Offer That Provides Value

    Image source: Shreyash Barot

    A great thing about the consulting business is that, no matter what you choose to consult on,the core principle will always be to create and provide value. But until you understand how to create value, you will never have anything ready to sell.

    A Well-Populated Niche of Potential Clients

    Image source: Manjari Dwivedi

    A few questions that you will want to ask yourself are: What is the ideal client that you want to have? Will you promote your consulting business to corporations, or do you want to attracts maller businesses?

    Regardless of the answer, the first thing you want to do is come up with a good marketing plan to help lay the foundation for your business.

    A Rewired Mentality

    Image source: Baz Deas

    A way to succeed is to always keep a positive mindset and keep your eyes on the goal. When you start to see yourself winning, you will be able to overcome obstacles and achieve things that you did not believe were possible before.

    If you want to know if you are ready to start your online consulting business,then your first goal is to get your first client. Once you achieve getting your first client, it will become a lot easier to get the second, and the all the ones that follow, and things will start to flow from there.

    Consulting Business Ideas to Try

    Here is a list that you can check in order to find some of the most rapid-growing consulting niches on the market today. This will help you decide easier on to which one to specialize in.

    Career Consultant

    As more people are finding themselves not knowing what to do in their professional lives, career counsellors are always in demand. This is because what they do is guide their clients towards a job best suited to them that will help them build their professional lives.

    There are many different types of consulting options and being a career consultant is one of them. You will assess your client’s needs, help them build their resume, write cover letters, and anything else they made need to get the career of their dreams.

    Business Management Consultant

    If you are a more business-oriented person, familiar with the ins and outs of running your own business to maximize profits, then starting business management consulting may be the best option for you. A business management consultant helps their clients by offering objective advisory services that help organizations in improving their productivity or overall performance.

    Usually, a project will involve different meetings with clients, or research and analyst data, after which you can present recommendations to the client and set up a schedule for implementing improvements.

    Business Start-up Consultant

    Image source: Mahmoud Baghagho

    Business start-up consultants usually offer different services specifically for start-up companies. They help by choosing the right ideas, creating plans, financial projections, and so on. Basically, as a business start-up consultant, you are defining the entire concepts around a start-up and help people manage it all.

    Marketing Consultant

    If marketing is more your style, and you excel at developing marketing strategist and reaching out to communities of perspective clients, then jumping into the lucrative world of a marketing consultant may be for you.

    If you want to be a successful marketing consultant, then you will need to have an analytical mind, be able to build great reports, show communication skills, and have curiosity for new things. Marketing consultants are considered very creative individuals.

    Quality Management Consultant

    Image source: Mithun Ray

    Some other consulting business ideas involve quality management. Quality management consultants provide services needed to implement a quality management system to change the quality culture. They do this by adding new methods, such as failure mode effect analysis (FMEA), production part approval process (PPAP) or statistical process control (SPC).

    A lot goes into what quality management consultants provide,so you may need to dive deeper into the details in order to determine if it fits your expertise.

    Financial Consultant

    A top financial consultant really needs to know what they are doing in order to avoid spreading misinformation to their clients. If one of your skills is money management, then developing consulting business ideas around the financial world may be a great option for you.

    Maybe you already have a degree in finance, or another related field, that you can use as a start. Oftentimes, clients are looking for certifications, degrees, and field experience when searching for a financial consultant, so have any of the mentioned will be beneficial.

    Advertising Consulting

    The world is filled with millions of advertising campaigns, and many businesses utilize these campaigns in order to garner attention for their businesses. In order to achieve success in advertising, a business may need to bring in an advertising consultant.

    As an advertising consultant, you will need to support a business in developing its advertising strategy so that they can promote their goods or services in the best way.

    IT Consultant

    Image source: Shamin Yassar

    As technology evolves, the demand for IT specialists will continue to grow. IT consultants help by providing analysis and solutions for companies that want to improve their software systems and communication. They are also sometimes used in the training of employees of a company.

    There is a large demand for IT consultants in today’s market, so if you relate to this domain in any way, then you may want to explore this lucrative career option.

    Risk Management Consultant

    Do you have any kind of risk management experience? If the answer is yes, then you might be interested in trying out a career as a risk management consultant.

    Risk management consultants have a lot of options, and are often in charge of identifying potential threats that can appear and deciding what to do to reduce transfer risks. You do not need to invest a lot when starting so see if it is a fit for you.

    Energy Consultant

    Image source: Themekalia

    An energy consultant is a serious job that often involves performing in different buildings or projects. This can be a great option if you already have experience in this field and can be quite profitable.

    Energy consultants offer recommendations on how to reduce and manage energy use in a smart way. You do not need any kind of formal education to become an energy consultant, but you will want to start with at least a home energy auditor certificate.

    Fundraising Consultant

    Nonprofit organizations often rely heavily on volunteer efforts, together with donor contributions, and often need help with fundraising events.

    If you like to work with teams or individuals, and get energy from public causes, then you may want to consider becoming a fundraising consultant. Again, if you have done this before in the past, it can be an advantage.

    Human Resources Consultant

    Image source: Eftakher Alam

    If businesses need employees, they will likely also need human resources consultants. Whether the company is large or small, there will always be a demand for human resource consultants to help with related tasks.

    Probably the best firms to target as a human resources consultant are the small and medium-sized businesses when starting out, as larger companies and corporations tend to lean toward larger human resources firms.

    Ending thoughts on consulting business ideas

    In conclusion, while you can have numerous consulting business ideas, in the end, it is all about what you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Find something you are good, establish your platform, and launch your idea to your future clients.

    If you enjoyed reading this article about consulting business ideas, you should read these as well:

    The post Consulting business ideas to try for your future consulting business appeared first on Amelia Booking WordPress Plugin.


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    Whatever your niche or sector, email marketing is a promotional medium that will generate amazing results — if you do it right. Harness that power for holiday email marketing and you stand to increase brand awareness, grow your audience and boost your bottom line, big time.

    Studies show that more than 50% of U.S. consumers check their personal email account more than 10 times a day. And it’s their favorite way to receive updates from brands.

    During the holiday season, eight in 10 shoppers are influenced by online information before making a purchase.

    When we say holiday email marketing, we’re not just talking about Christmas or Thanksgiving. There are countless annual holidays and celebratory seasons out there. By tapping into the right ones, you can transform a promotional email into an invaluable profit-generating tool for your business.

    Related: Holiday marketing checklist 

    Guide to holiday email marketing

    We’re going to show you how to create a holiday email marketing strategy for your business from start to finish — a definitive guide that you can use for seasonal success all year round.

    Without further ado, let’s get started.

    A few steps to get started with holiday email marketing

    Whether your holiday email efforts are centered on Hanukkah, Christmas or Groundhog Day, to enjoy maximum promotional success, you need to start planning early.

    Get together with your colleagues or team to decide on the holidays you feel will work best for your business and mark them in a dedicated content planner as early as possible. This will give you ample time to prepare, plan, create and deliver.

    But, before you start creating content, the first thing you need to do is get under the skin of your customers.

    Related: Editorial calendar — The content, keyword and SEO connection

    Know your audience

    If you don’t know who you’re aiming your holiday email marketing efforts at, it’s unlikely you’ll see any return on investment (ROI). That said, you should build a holiday-specific buyer persona so that your marketing communications will resonate with your audience.

    By building a solid customer profile or persona, you’ll be able to personalize your emails to offer a level of personal value to all of your recipients, based on their preferences and needs.

    Armed with your buyer persona (or personas), you should make sure that your existing email lists are up to date and your subscribers are segmented into sub-lists (such as repeat customers, frequent buyers, new subscribers, special offer redeemers, etc.) so that you can enhance the personalization of your content for maximum results.

    Related: Beginner’s guide to starting an email list

    Consider your email subject lines

    If you’re going to send out a holiday email, you need to get your subject lines right. It’s the headline that will make people click though, after all.

    Tip: Always aim to make your email subject lines short, sweet and relevant.

    Here are a couple of our favorites from Black Friday for your reference:

    • “Let’s sweeten the Black Friday Deals with …”
    • “Are you taking time for YOU this Black Friday?”

    Once you’ve taken the time to plan, get to know your audience and create effective email subject lines, it’s time to start rolling out your strategy.

    Back to top

    Building your holiday email marketing strategy

    Acorns Greenery Illustrate Holiday Marketing Design

    When creating content for your holiday email marketing strategy, you should always try to speak to your customers on a personal level, remaining conversational while designing your emails in such a way that makes your intent clear and concise.

    These tips will help you create promotional email content that works for any holiday or occasion.

    Create a holiday-themed design

    When it comes to holiday email marketing, a digestible design coupled with striking themed imagery will excite and inspire your customers. And that’s likely to result in action — people buying stuff from you.

    By creating a holiday-themed email banner image and creating call-to-action buttons (“Buy now,” “I want one,” “Start shopping”) that match it, you’ll build a sense of festivity.

     

    Plus, if you place your discount codes, deals or offers near the top of your holiday email, you’re more likely to encourage click-throughs and increase sales.

    Related: How to use discounts and coupons to increase eCommerce revenue

    Share holiday gift guides, deals and teaser emails

    When you’re creating a holiday marketing email strategy, it’s important to provide a unique level of value while offering exclusivity and, of course, creating urgency — for example, “Quick, buy now while you still can!”

    With this in mind, when crafting a holiday email, employing these additional tactics to encourage your subscribers to buy your products or services will yield positive results:

    • Create a holiday gift guide with tips, advice and consultancy on what’s best to buy this holiday season.
    • Send out holiday teaser emails leading up to the holiday in question, getting your prospects excited by promising to deliver exciting seasonal content, news, and offers. Our guide to email drip campaigns will help you get your timing and ideas just right.
    • Offer exclusive holiday-based deals, offers and discount codes. Encourage your customers to take action by placing a redemption time limit on the offers you provide.
    • Send last-minute emails offering free shipping or reminding your subscribers of their deal, offer or discount redemption deadlines.
    • Offer one-click or instant purchasing options.
    • Launch a holiday-themed competition, encouraging your email recipients to enter by replying to your email or sharing a piece of content via social media. Brand awareness and engagement in one neat promotional package.
    • Go the traditional route by designing and sending out an eye-grabbing custom graphic or image to use as a greeting card.

    Related: What’s the best day to send a holiday email marketing campaign?

    Be aware: While encouraging action and creating urgency works, don’t over do it.

    Putting too much pressure on potential prospects to subscribe to your list or buy your products could hurt your brand reputation.

    Offer deals and incentives and implement redemption time limits, but whatever you do, be natural and conversational when speaking to your customers rather than forcing their hands toward the shopping carts. Essentially, you should create excitement and leave the hard sales pitch at the door.

    Produce a holiday marketing video

    As humans, we’re visual creatures. In fact, 54% of today’s consumers want to see more video content from the brands they subscribe to or follow.

    By creating a fun, inspirational or topical holiday-themed marketing video, not only are you likely to boost your brand awareness, but you’ll have a powerful asset to share in your promotional emails.

    To help you on your quest to video marketing perfection, read our guide on different types of video content to move customers through the sales funnel.

    Back to top

    Holiday email marketing optimization and retargeting

    With your timing, content, deals, design, offers and visuals firmly in place, now’s the time to optimize your holiday marketing email efforts while thinking about retargeting subscribers to enjoy maximum value from your campaign. Here are four ways to do that.

    Set up referral rewards

    Reward repeat buyers or first-time holiday purchasers by sending a follow-up email offering an exclusive referral reward.

    The reward could come in the form of a discount code, two for one offer, first dibs on brand new products or free shipping for a month — the choice is yours.

    By prompting existing holiday customers to encourage their friends or relatives to subscribe to your email list, you’ll have a bigger, more engaged audience to target when the next holiday rolls around. A real win-win.

    Deliver post-holiday or follow-up emails

    Follow-up or retargeting emails work well when delivered near the end or shortly after your holiday marketing campaign.

    When it comes to following up with a holiday marketing email recipient, there are several approaches you can take.

    First, if a promotional email recipient has clicked through to a purchase page but for some reason, decided to stop their transaction, it’s possible to retarget them with a cart abandonment email.

    Cart abandonment emails allow you to re-engage your subscribers with some sweet holiday messaging while reminding them of their previous purchasing activities.

    If sent in a timely fashion, cart abandonment emails earn solid results. If you have a template up your sleeve that you can edit according to campaign or occasion, sending out these types of emails will take minimal effort.

    It’s also possible to send follow-up or retargeting emails with personalized holiday gift suggestion or, as mentioned, free shipping or deals with expiration dates. These approaches boost engagement while creating a sense of urgency.

    Whatever approach you decide to take when following up with a promotional email, it’s important to include a clear-cut call-to-action to guide your customers to the next stage of the sales process — whether it’s a product page or instant purchase shopping cart.

    But, whatever you do, make sure you avoid these costly mistakes.

    Tip: When creating calls to action for your promotional emails, keep it simple! Even adding a linked phrase like “Shop Now” can do the trick.

    Also, you should make your links noticeable. Most clicked links have slightly larger text or are in all caps, with a different color than the rest of the text surrounding them. Red often works well.

    Try to stick to just one link per email to keep your promotion simple and clutter-free.

     

    You also can try using a linked image. Visuals immediately catch the eye and you can use them to incite a call to action. The example below features a clickable image that yielded the lion’s share of the clicks:

    Holiday Email Craftsy

    Embrace email automation

    Email automation is a process that makes it possible to send time- or action-triggered emails to your subscribers with relevant content.

    With automation, it’s possible to create and schedule emails to be sent to different segments of your subscriber base at times when they’re most likely to be engaged.

    Essentially, you can set everything up and monitor your success with minimal intervention.

    For a seamless, time-saving email retargeting experience, there’s no denying that email automation is your best option.

     

    This practical guide will help you get started, saving you time and money in equal measures.

    Holiday Email Woman Holding Phone

    Don’t forget holiday email mobile optimization

    Studies suggest emails that display poorly on mobile are usually deleted within three seconds. And, when you consider that emails are now opened more on mobile than desktop, making sure your holiday email marketing communications are optimized across all devices is essential.

    It’s a make-or-break situation.

     

    Your promotional emails must be fully mobile-optimized, offering a seamless level of user experience (UX) while looking great on screen. Otherwise, your customers will put them in the virtual trash bin, posthaste.

    With testing, time and development, you can ensure that all of your emails work perfectly on mobile devices. But the most effective solution is to use an email marketing tool like GoDaddy Email Marketing that will optimize your designs automatically.

    Doing so will allow you to preview them across devices before sending them to your recipients, resulting in time and money well spent.

    Related: How to ‘sleigh’ holiday marketing campaigns

    Back to top

    Research, track and refine your holiday email efforts

    Sector or niche aside, your marketing success as a business owner will depend on your ability to test and refine your activities for future holiday campaign success.

    Testing your holiday emails boils down to good common sense.

     

    In terms of checking and testing your emails before sending them, you might catch typos or broken links, or discover a better way to lay out a module. And by measuring the success of your emails after your campaign, you’ll be able to identify what works well in addition to areas that require improvement.

    If you don’t have a marketing team to test your emails, you should send a test to yourself or a trusted friend. It really does help to see your newsletter as it appears in your readers’ inboxes.

    Plus, if you’re starting a drip campaign, or continuing one, it’s important to ensure your campaign is functioning optimally.

    Here are two tried and tested strategies to ensure you holiday email efforts work for you time and time again.

    Benchmark your results

    By using email campaign data to your advantage, you’ll be able to benchmark your holiday email marketing efforts, empowering you to make vital improvements during the next seasonal period.

    The best way to benchmark your campaign efforts is by analyzing metrics — such as open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates — based on the performance of individual emails. You can do this through platforms like Google Analytics or your email marketing platform’s built-in performance data, using your discoveries to understand your strengths and weaknesses.

    By drilling down into your performance data, you’ll be able to decide the best and worst times to send emails, the types of content or offers that work best, and figure out which elements of your holiday marketing efforts need improvement, so you can take action where necessary.

    If you measure, track and benchmark your efforts on a continual basis, you’ll keep evolving, increasing your holiday marketing sales year after year in the process.

    Failing to do so will only dilute your promotional email efforts.

    Peek at your competitors

    The best thing about holiday email marketing is the fact that the holidays (in their various forms) happen every year, offering a fresh opportunity to dazzle, amaze and engage your audience every 12 months.

    One of the best ways to get inspiration for your holiday marketing efforts is to look at what your competitors are doing.

     

    Follow them on social media and sign up for their email lists to gather as much intell as possible.

    Peeking at the competition is great because not only can you utilize the best parts of their campaigns to your advantage by placing your own spin on their ideas and delivering them to your customers, but you can also spot content gaps to exploit.

    For example, if your competitor is doing a “12 offers of Christmas” campaign — sending out a different deal each day on the lead up to the big day — you could evolve this idea by delivering an email that includes a “12 days of Christmas advent calendar” graphic that your customers can open for exclusive deals and content.

    With holiday emails, the sky really is the limit. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to look at what your competitors are doing with their holiday email marketing activities.

    Related: How to find inspiration from your competitors (without stealing their ideas)

    Conclusion and next steps

    There’s no doubt about it: for businesses of all shapes and sizes, the holidays offer a prime opportunity for increasing your sales, boosting brand awareness and growing your audience.

    By planning early on and delivering content that will inspire as well engage your audience in equal measures, you stand to enjoy great success with your holiday email marketing campaigns.

    “Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches — at scale.” —David Newman, author of “Do It! Marketing”

    As a quick recap, here is a rundown of the best general practices for holiday email marketing:

    Be clear and direct

    Always have a clear goal for every promotional email you send to make your communications concise and impactful. Plus, if you’re looking to attract new subscribers, make sure your opt-in information is easy to read, letting prospective subscribers know what you intend to do with their contact details.

    Stay recent and engaged

    When dealing with your email marketing lists, make sure you remove any subscribers who are inactive or unresponsive, giving yourself the space to focus your efforts on new customers or existing recipients who are likely to engage.

    Exert no pressure

    Adding a sense of urgency to your holiday emails with deal and discount code expiry messaging, for example, is effective. But, don’t over-pressure your holiday prospects as it could damage your brand reputation. Make sure your communications are as natural as possible, leaving the hard sales pitch at the door.

    Test your emails

    Measuring, tracking and testing your emails is essential to your ongoing holiday marketing success. Testing your emails before you send them will ensure you capture any typos or formatting issues across devices.

    And, by drilling down into your performance data, you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t, empowering you to make improvements for future campaigns.

    Care for your customers

    Make sure you reward loyal subscribers with exclusive content and incentives, and always remember to offer a unique level of value with every single piece of content you send.

    Whether it’s a greetings card, gift guide or an exclusive discount code, you should always strive to keep your holiday email recipients coming back for more.

    This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by the following authors: Christina Berry, Emma Wilhelm, Macdara Bracken and Mira Lynn.

    The post Your definitive guide to holiday email marketing appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    You hear about domain names selling for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, but how can you find out what your domain names are worth? Great news! GoDaddy has a domain valuation tool to help you determine the value of your domains.

    Related: The top 25 most expensive domain names

    GoDaddy domain valuation tool

    Hands Holding iPad Scrolling Through GoDaddy Domain Valuation Tool Website Page

    In the past, finding out the value of your domain would mean contacting an expert and trusting their expertise to give you a calculation. This could be inconvenient — especially if you have a lot of domains or if you are concerned the trust may be misplaced.

    Now you have a tool at the touch of your fingertips from GoDaddy.

     

    You can get a valuation of your domains from a trusted leader in the industry.

    Ready to learn more? Here’s what we’re going to cover in this post:

    • Why a domain’s value is important.
    • How the domain value is calculated.
    • How to use the free GoDaddy domain name value tool.
    • How to use the valuation results to your benefit.

    Let’s get started.

    Related: What is a domain name

    Why a domain’s value is important

    All domain names have some kind of value. While the million-dollar headliners aren’t as common, the domain name in your pocket could be worth more than you think.

    A domain is an asset with intrinsic value.

     

    Just like all the other things you own, your domain could be worth a lot. Think of a domain name’s value like online real estate.

    A beachfront condo in Miami is going to be more expensive than a condo in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a storefront in New York or Paris is going to cost you a lot more than one in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska.

    Zillow has made things easier to navigate when looking for a ballpark idea of your home’s value or the value of that condo in Miami, but until recently, domain names have been harder to value in an automated fashion.

    We all know why understanding the value of your home is important. If you’re planning on moving to another city or daydreaming of a house on the beach, checking the home’s value on an automated tool is really pertinent.

    Maybe you’re sitting on one of those great names worth millions of dollars. Even if you don’t have a name worth millions, it’s a good idea to understand the value of your domains. You might find out that a domain you own is worth more than you initially thought.

    When it comes to domain names, the uses might be less obvious, but there are some cool things you can use the free GoDaddy Domain Name Value & Appraisal tool for.

    How domain name value is calculated

    GoDaddy’s domain valuation tool’s algorithm uses proprietary machine learning and real market sales data to estimate domain values, providing you with comparable domain name sales so you can price your domains with confidence.

    The tool also looks at similar domain names based on the TLD (Top-level domain) and SLD (Second-level domain) — the words to the right of and left of the dot respectively (e.g., in the case of Cars.com, cars is the SLD and .com is the TLD).

    Each domain name is different and the domain valuation tool factors uniqueness (among other things) into the equation, too.

    The length of the domain name is also examined. A domain with less than 15 characters has a greater value.

    Basically, the shorter a domain, the higher the value.

     

    This is especially true with the limited amount of domains still available using just the 26 letters of the English alphabet (excluding numbers, dashes and IDNs).

    In 2013, WHOAPI.com confirmed that all the four-letter domains are registered.

    Coincidentally, most domains less than four characters long are valued in the thousands, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars — depending on their TLD and SLD.

    How to use the domain valuation tool

    First, you want to visit the GoDaddy Domain Valuation & Appraisal page. In the provided box, type in the name of the domain for valuation.

    GoDaddy Domain Name Value Enter Box

    Once the name is submitted, the tool will provide you the valuation results along with an explanation of its value based on similar domain name selling prices, the value of the keywords, the popularity of the keywords and the type of extension being used — .com in the below example.

    Screenshot Of The GoDaddy Domain Valuation Tool Results

    At a high level, it operates in a similar fashion as appraisal tools in other industries do. These tools look for similarities in other goods that have previously sold somewhere and then figure out how alike or different your object is.

    For instance, Zillow considers, among other things, the prices of nearby homes that have a similar amount of space and amenities to determine an approximate value for your home. The GoDaddy Domain Value & Appraisal tool does the same thing, but with domain names.

    GoDaddy’s free domain valuation tool helps you figure out the value of the domain names you own — or one you might have your eye on.

    The tool also allows you to email or download and print the report for later reference. If you are shopping for a domain, it will tell you if the domain name is available and the price.

    If the domain is being sold by an individual, it will give you their asking price and instructions on purchasing it. If the domain isn’t registered, there will be a link to buy it on the front of site for the standard retail price.

    How to use the valuation results to your benefit

    Now that you know the value of the domain, are you going to keep it, sell it, use it or buy it?

    You might want to keep your domain

    Knowing your domain’s worth might come in handy when you’re looking to prioritize the renewals in your domain’s portfolio.

    Understanding the value of the domain you already own will help you rethink deleting it or allowing it to expire.

    You will want to make sure it is set to auto-renew so you don’t risk losing it if it expires by mistake.

    If you are keeping your domain, you will want to treat it with all the importance of physical property and keep it safe. Adding in extra protection to a domain name you own, like privacy with protected registration and added account security, like two-step verification, will help further protect your valuable domains.

    Related: What is two-step verification?

    You might want to sell your domain

    Seeing the actual value of a domain might even point you in the direction of selling.

    The valuation gives you insight into how much you can sell it at auction or privately.

     

    If you wish to sell it at auction, choosing a site with a lot of affiliates, like Afternic.com, gives your domain name the most visibility.

    If you have a good domain name, at some point you’re likely to get an unsolicited offer to purchase the domain privately. If you’ve used GoDaddy Domain Name Value & Appraisal ahead of time, you’ll have a good idea of the value it holds and whether or not the offer is on point.

    Related: 5 tried-and-true tips for selling domain names for profit

    You might want to use it

    Using a domain for customized productivity — professional email — or for a website is common. If you use one for an email address, the shorter and easy-to-remember, the better. If you need a domain for your website, find the one with the most market value to use for the address.

    Pro tip: Since the value of a domain is based on keywords, among other things, you will want to use the domain with the highest keyword value to connect to your website for better SEO.

    If you’re not using your domain for a website, you can actually make money on it by using GoDaddy’s CashParking service. All you do is sign up for the service and when someone visits your parked site, they will see ads that are relevant to them. When they click on these ads, you’ll make a percentage of the revenue generated.

    You may want to buy it

    The domain valuation tool can be used when making the decision to purchase a domain. If you are looking at a new registration, it will give you insight into its future value.

    If you are looking to purchase a domain at auction or from an individual, the free domain name value tool will let you know the market value — but that’s not to say that someone can’t list it for whatever amount they desire.

    Find the value of your domain

    GoDaddy’s domain valuation tool will give you insight quickly and efficiently on the domains you already own or domains you want to buy.

    While it’s still prudent to do your own analysis before determining the value of any domains, having this automated, efficient and free domain valuation tool at your disposal is a great place to start.

    Go ahead, see what your domain name is worth.

    This article includes content originally published on the GoDaddy blog by Joe Styler.

    The post GoDaddy Domain Name Value & Appraisal: A domain valuation tool appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    In eCommerce, preparation is key to get ahead and capitalize on the increased demand that most companies experience during the holidays. The holiday season is typically defined as the last 61 days of the year covering the months of November and December. In this small window, some industries can see up to 30% of their year’s total revenue. This means that your marketing campaigns, tactics and website must all be working toward a robust holiday eCommerce strategy.

    Now more than ever, companies of all sizes have access to abundant resources and information that can help them gain a competitive edge.

    Bright Holiday Lights Represent Ecommerce StrategyOnline businesses have the advantage of having a wealth of data at their fingertips, literally. They can track consumer behavior and use metrics to plan winning marketing and sales strategies.

    For example, we know from data that the majority of online holiday spending happens during a five-day period known as the Cyber Five. This shopping phenomenon starts on Thanksgiving and goes through to Cyber Monday. A survey found that 54% of American consumers intended to shop during these five days of sales.

    Competition has ramped up so much that companies are running Black Friday-level sales as early as November 1 to try to secure a competitive advantage.

    So, how do you better prepare for the season that can make or break your company’s year? The answer lies in strategy.

    Related: 11 ways to get a jumpstart on holiday eCommerce planning 

    5 steps to measure and improve your holiday eCommerce strategy

    We will go through the following steps to make sure that your holiday eCommerce strategy results in a jolly good holiday season:

    1. Conduct a situational analysis.
    2. Identify your business objectives.
    3. Determine your KPIs.
    4. Set your strategy.
    5. Experiment with different marketing tactics.

    It’s important to note that not all eCommerce sites are created equal. If you’re new to eCommerce for your business, choose one or two steps to focus on first.

    Ready? Let’s take a closer look at each step below.

    1. Conduct a situational analysis

    Let’s start by looking at what your industry standards are. This will put things into perspective and keep you from getting confused by the generic numbers that tend to be tossed around. After all, you can’t expect an eCommerce store that sells durable goods to sell as many units as a company that trades in fast-moving consumer goods.

    Clarifying this early on will give you some insight into how relevant players in your market are performing.

    It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing.

     

    Carrying out a competitive analysis periodically is another way to make sure that you get ahead of the competition and stay there.

    Related: How to find inspiration from your competitors (without stealing their ideas) 

    Once you have outlined some key metrics in the industry that you cover, identify where your company is in its business life cycle.

    The current stage of your company will greatly affect how you interpret your performance metrics.

    Take a look at the five stages below. Which one sounds like you?

    1. Launch: Low sales volume with slow growth and the few employees that are present are wearing many hats.
    2. Growth: Sales volume is increasing rapidly and starting to realize profits. The company uses this cash flow to hire more employees to sustain growth.
    3. Shakeout: High sales volume but the growth has begun to slow due to saturation and competition. The company is well-staffed, but profits are beginning to decline.
    4. Maturity: High sales volume begins to decline along with profits. The company remains well staffed but has the money to research and develop new ways to explore new revenue streams.
    5. Renewal/Decline/Exit: Sales volume and profits are declining with the company no longer able to maintain a competitive advantage. The company exits the market.

    To figure out where you want to go, you have to know where you currently are.

    How to perform a situational analysis

    If you’re not sure, a situational analysis does exactly this. It can help you map out how you can leverage your strengths and seize opportunities to be successful.

    There are three main models to perform a situational analysis:

    All three work exceptionally well to outline strategic opportunities in your current business and will help you to find where your business is currently.

    Evaluate past performance

    With the strategic opportunities in sight, it is time to evaluate how well your holiday eCommerce strategy worked last year.

    This is where Google Analytics and eCommerce platforms come into play. We tend to overlook the vast amount of data that these platforms provide. Granted, the capabilities vary from platform to platform, but they almost always offer the key performance indicators (KPI) you need to make sure that your eCommerce site is streamlined.

    Take note of as much information as you can about your performance during the months of November and December.

    If you can go back multiple years, even better!

     

    Try to identify what strategy, campaigns and tactics you were running, too, since this will help you evaluate your previous marketing efforts so you can replicate successful campaigns.

    With this done, you’ll have a benchmark of your previous performance and be able to set goals for the upcoming holiday season.

    Related: How to make data-driven decisions using Google marketing tools 

    2. Identify your business objectives

    Holiday eCommerce Strategy Writing At Desk

    What is something that you would want to have if you were lost? Perhaps a compass? Business objectives play this directional role as you navigate through the market.

    Without knowing where you are heading, you are bound to run around in circles and run into stagnant performance.

    Setting proper goals needs to become second nature to your business. Whether they are related to customer service satisfaction or sales quotas, your goals should always be SMART.

    Specific

    There should be no ambiguity to your goal. It will act as your compass and your business’s heading must be clearly defined.

    Measurable

    A good goal is something that can be measured. For example, don’t set “increase website traffic,” instead, try “increase website traffic by 10% month over month.”

    Attainable

    While everyone loves an optimist, it is also important to stay realistic while setting goals. Set something that is achievable and challenging so you won’t be too demotivated if you miss your target.

    Relevant

    In what direction is your company going? The goals that you set should help your company move along that path. Something too far out of your realm could scatter your team’s focus.

    Timebound

    Give yourself a deadline. This will keep you on top of things and keep the goal from eventually fading into the background.

    Need some ideas for SMART goals? Here are a few examples for the holiday season:

    • Increase sales: Increase eCommerce sales by 10% in the 3rd quarter.
    • Market share: Gain 5% market share by Jan. 1, 2020.
    • Customer acquisition: Acquire 1,000 new customers in March 2020.
    • Awareness: Increase Facebook impressions to 500/week.

    The fewer objectives you have, the better. This will let you and your team focus on what is important. Otherwise, you risk becoming overwhelmed with all the different factors it takes to keep your site competitive.

    With your starting point realized and your goals set, it’s time to put everything into a marketing calendar. After all, your goals now have deadlines!

    Getting organized before the holidays hit is a sure-fire way to stay on top of your holiday sales and marketing.

    3. Determine your KPIs

    A key performance indicator, or KPI, is a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc. In short, these are the performance measurements of your business objectives.

    In order to run your site successfully, you need to identify what does and doesn’t work, why it works and whether it will work again.

    Each KPI tells a different story of the same action that takes place inside your eCommerce store.

    How did someone get to my site? How much did they spend? Is my checkout optimized?

    All these questions can be answered by key performance indicators.

    Below are the top 10 KPIs most relevant throughout the holiday season. While 10 KPIs are not nearly enough to get the whole idea of how an eCommerce store is performing, the list below does a good job of summing it up.

    1. Revenue/sales: Total sales throughout a specified period.
    2. Average order size: Average order size of a customer on a single order.
    3. Site traffic (including source): Total number of visits to the eCommerce site.
    4. Conversion rate: Rate at which users are converting/buying. Total number of visitors divided by total numbers of conversions.
    5. New versus returning customers: Comparison between new and returning customers. Highlights loyalty and potential affiliates or advocates for the company.
    6. Subscriber growth rate: Depicts the growth of the subscriber list.
    7. Social media followers: Followers on all social media channels. Useful for gauging loyalty and brand awareness.
    8. Social media engagement: Measures interactions for your brand on social media.
    9. Click-through rate: Tells the percentage of users who click on a link or asset.
    10. Cart abandonment rate: How many users add products to cart without checking out.

    With these 10 KPIs in your back pocket, you’ll be able to accurately measure brand awareness, marketing efficiency, sales and site optimization. And that’s a win for your holiday eCommerce strategy.

    Related: 7 ways to use Excel to keep track of your KPIs 

    4. Set your strategy

    Woman Walking In The Snow

    A great tool to explore what kind of growth your company could undertake is the Ansoff Matrix. This matrix analyses and depicts the risk of four different strategies: Market Penetration, Product Development, Market Development and Diversification.

    Market penetration

    This strategy option offers a focus on increasing the sales of existing products in the current market to increase market share. This is the least risky strategy for a company.

    Product development

    A development strategy involves the development of a new product to an existing market. This strategy tends to be capital intensive and typically involves a lot of R&D or a partnership that gives you access to a new product for your market.

    Market development

    Unlike the Product Development option, Market Development would be the creation of a new market with an existing product. Think expansion. This strategy typically involves moving to another domestic or international market.

    Diversification

    Diversification would include the development of a new market with a new product. This is the riskiest strategy for a company, but also offers an entirely new revenue stream.

    The strategy you choose to pursue will depend entirely on your business goals, but with the Ansoff Matrix, you are better able to weigh the strategy against the possible risks.

    5. Experiment with different marketing tactics

    Marketing tactics are the strategic actions that direct the promotion of a product or service to influence specific marketing goals.
    Much like the KPI, there is a long list of tactics that can be used for any given strategy.

    With your goals defined, your metrics ready for measuring, and your direction set, you are ready to begin experimenting! Use a combination of these popular online tactics to concoct a successful holiday eCommerce strategy.

    • Price adjustment: The oldest and most used trick in the book, principally around the holidays. This tactic entails lowering your product’s price to increase demand. Everyone battles during the Cyber Five so sales are a great way to attract eyes. Warning: Be mindful of your margins!
    • Paid ads: Placing content online or in a public place (e.g., print or online magazines, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, billboards).
    • Pay Per Click (PPC): Placing digital content in media that is charged when clicked on (e.g., Google Ads).
    • Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimizing content so consumers can find your products more easily (e.g., websites or blogs).
    • Email: Sending email to consumers, subscribers or followers (e.g., newsletters, press releases, blog posts).
    • Endorsements/influencer: Getting an influencer to post or endorse your brand to their audience (e.g., social media post, mention in an email or blog post).
    • Advocacy: Getting customers to publicly share their positive sentiment (e.g. online reviews, shares on social media).
    • Affiliate: Paying affiliates to help sell the product via their personal channels. Typically, affiliates are paid a commission for each sale (e.g., Tapfiliate).
    • Co-branding: Collaborating with another brand to attract a mutual target audience (e.g., hosting an event with other like-minded businesses, creating a gift guide with other brands).
    • Contest: Creating a reward-based tactic where consumers have the possibility of winning a prize through engagement (e.g., website, social media, email raffle).

    Another note here is to remember mobile optimization for your eCommerce site.

    These days, it’s essential that websites and ads be optimized for all devices.

     

    Mobile sales during last year’s cyber week accounted for 54% of total revenue!

    Record, rinse and repeat

    Having an eCommerce website gives you an insider’s view that no brick-and-mortar store ever could. No matter what KPIs, strategies and tactics you try this year, measure and record all your efforts. This will not only save you precious time for your plans during the holiday season but also give you a solid foundation for the future.

    Each holiday eCommerce strategy varies in cost, effort and effectiveness depending on its execution, so finding the best plan for your brand will be trial and error.

    However, once you iron out the details thanks to your eCommerce data, you will begin to see results that you can replicate all year long.

    The post 5 steps to measure and improve your holiday eCommerce strategy appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    This post was originally published on Dec. 12, 2014, and was updated on Nov. 12, 2019.

    The years move by quickly when you’re a small business owner. Blink on January 1, right after you’ve made your entrepreneurial New Year’s resolutions, and before you know it, it’s Q4 and the end of the year all over again.

    Entrepreneurs often multitask their way through Q4. They prep their business for the first quarter of the new year, celebrate the winter holidays with their team, and file required documents to remain in good standing with the state.

    4 business filings to handle before the end of the year

    Which types of paperwork do small businesses need to file before the year ends? Here’s a look at a few common documents and reports startups must file to stay in compliance.

    1. Annual reports.
    2. Delayed filings.
    3. Articles of dissolution.
    4. Reinstatement filing.

    Let’s look at each of these important year-end business filings in more detail.

    Editor’s note: Looking to get more organized? Check out Microsoft Office 365 from GoDaddy for the apps you trust, with GoDaddy’s award-winning customer support.

    Business Filings Organizing Paperwork

    1. Annual reports

    Filing an annual report is due — you guessed it — annually with your local Secretary of State.

    Is an annual report the same as an initial report? Not at all.

    An initial report, sometimes called a statement of information, is filed when a small business owner first incorporates or forms a limited liability company (LLC).

    Initial reports share basic information about the business and its activities with the state. This information includes the name and address of the business, addresses of its members, the name and address of the company’s registered agent, and a brief description of what the company does.

    Annual reports, on the other hand, record any changes the business may have experienced throughout the year.

    This includes updating any changes made to the business name and/or address, member addresses, changes in registered agents, or drastic alterations to business activities.

    You may submit an annual report that reflects many changes made to the business throughout the course of the year, or the report may only note a few changes.

    In either case, annual reports must be filed in a timely manner to avoid incurring penalties.

     

    When is my annual report due? This is a great question because due dates vary depending on the state you do business in.

    Your legal formation, from an LLC to an LP, also reflects the frequency in which your annual report filing is due.

    For example, if you have incorporated in the state of Alabama as an LLC and do business in that state, your annual report is due each year. However, if you incorporated as an LLC in Idaho and do business in Idaho, your annual report is due on a biennial basis, that is, every other year.

    The best way to avoid any confusion about annual report filings is to contact your local Secretary of State.

    They will be able to provide you more information about your annual report filing requirements. You may also find it helpful to refer to MyCorporation’s “cheat sheet” of annual report due dates, updated to reflect the current deadlines for all 50 states.

    2. Delayed filings

    In general, I recommend that anyone starting a business forms an LLC or incorporates as soon as possible.

    However, what happens if you plan on opening your doors for business in November or December? Should you still move ahead and incorporate the business in the few remaining calendar months of the year? Or is it more beneficial to opt for a delayed filing instead?

    Typically when a small business owner decides to form an LLC or corporation, the process begins as soon as they submit their application form and pay a filing fee. However, one should not expect that their effective date of incorporation will be the day after they filed the paperwork.

    State processing times can range anywhere from a few days to weeks.

     

    As a result, it may be difficult to predict the exact date you are officially in business.

    A delayed filing, on the other hand, delays the effective date of incorporation. This allows entrepreneurs to file their incorporation paperwork 30 to 90 days in advance and set an exact start date for the business.

    More often than not, small business owners will choose to set their start date in the next calendar year. Why would they choose to put it off until next year instead of opening their doors right now?

    Tax savings

    Once you are considered to be “active” as a business by the state, you are required by the IRS to collect, report and pay taxes for that tax year. This is true of businesses that have only been active for two months.

    A delayed filing allows you to avoid paying taxes for two (or less) months in business within that calendar year.

    It also ensures you do not pay other fees associated with starting your business, like annual report fees.

    Set a specific start date

    If you’re sticking to a strict timeline for opening up shop, a standard incorporation filing does not guarantee the business will be active within that timeline.

    A delayed filing helps guarantee a specific incorporation date for the business.

    You’ll know when you’ll officially be in business, and will be able to set the wheels in motion towards preparing for that exact date.

    Delayed filings are prioritized

    Concerned that your delayed filing may get tossed into a backlog somewhere? Don’t worry!

    Most states place delayed filings in a priority queue.

     

    This ensures that the state will be able to address and approve delayed filings quickly without you wondering when — and if — they’ll get to your paperwork.

    Get a head start elsewhere

    Does your small business still need to file for an employer identification number (EIN) or a business license?

    Opting for a delayed filing gives you a good sense of when your business will be officially active.

    Use the extra time to get the rest of your ducks in a row. Some of these may include but aren’t limited to obtaining EINs, business licenses and permits, getting a lease on a retail space and opening a business bank account.

    Related: How to get a business license

    3. Articles of dissolution

    There are many reasons why a small business may file for a dissolution, and not every reason is negative. Some businesses voluntarily dissolve because they have simply run their course or the owner has decided to pursue another venture.

    Once you know you are ready to shut your doors for good, small business owners cannot simply hang up a “closed” sign and walk away from the storefront.

    Corporations and LLCs must file articles of dissolution.

     

    This is a formal closure of the business, which alerts the state that the business is no longer active. As such, the company will no longer be required to file annual reports or continue paying state fees and taxes.

    How does a small business owner file a dissolution? Here’s a quick primer for steps to follow in dissolving a business.

    1. Secure the vote

    Let’s say your business was a corporation. Corporations have a board of directors. That board must be able to approve decisions made by the company.

    Before dissolving the business, you would need to meet with the board of directors and take a vote to pass the dissolution.

    This vote must be approved by a majority of shareholders. Otherwise, the business will not be able to dissolve.

    For LLCs, a formal meeting must be held with the LLC members to approve dissolution.

    The one entity that would not need to have a formal meeting or conduct a vote is a sole proprietorship. This is because a sole proprietor conducts business as an individual. Hence, they would be able to dissolve their business without requesting a meeting or vote.

    2. File articles of dissolution

    This is an application that announces the intent to dissolve the business.

    You must include the name of the corporation or LLC, the date the dissolution will go into effect, and the reason for dissolving the company. Are you registered to do business in another state? If so, file an application of withdrawal in that state. This ensures that the business is no longer considered active in another state or responsible for filing annual reports and paying state fees.

    3. File Form 966, Corporate Dissolution or Liquidation

    Let’s go back to the corporation example. If your corporation was able to secure a majority vote in favor of dissolving the business, it would need to file Form 966 within 30 days of filing articles of dissolution.

    4. Cancel business licenses

    Small business owners must cancel all business licenses and permits issued to their business.

    5. Notify employees

    Do you have a staff of full-time employees? You must inform them that the business is in the process of being dissolved as soon as possible.

    Make sure you account for their W-4 state and federal withholding and provide each employee with information about the date they will receive their final paychecks, among other important information.

    6. Pay off remaining business debts

    Once the remaining debts of your business have been paid, the owners can liquidate and distribute the remaining assets to members and shareholders within the business.

    Business Filings Black Man Signing DocumentLast but not least, take the time to review the “Closing a Business Checklist” provided by the IRS. This list provides additional actions small business owners must take before they close their doors for good.

    Remember to file an annual report for the year you go out of business, file final employment tax returns for any employees you may have, and make final federal tax deposits.

    Depending on the entity your small business incorporated as, you may also need to report the shares of partners and shareholders, allow for S Corporation election termination, and file final employee pension and benefit plan documentation.

    Links throughout the checklist will help guide small business owners to the appropriate PDF forms to fill out and file.

    It is a bittersweet, emotional process to shutter any business.

     

    However, filing a dissolution is necessary before the year is up. This ensures your business avoids paying next year’s fees and filing annual reports for a business that is no longer considered to be active in the eyes of the state.

    Related: What to consider before giving up on a business idea

    4. Reinstatement filing

    Sometimes a business accidentally falls into dissolution. This may happen if you forget to submit your annual report or have a check bounce on filing fees.

    We all make mistakes, and the good news is that an involuntarily dissolved small business doesn’t need to remain so.

    If you find that your business was involuntarily dissolved this year, you may file a reinstatement to reinstate the business before the year ends.

    Much like dissolving a business, reinstating a business comes with a few steps.

    1. Determine why the business fell out of good standing

    One of the examples listed above might be the reason. However, if you don’t know what happened, contact your local Secretary of State to find out why you were dissolved.

    2. File reinstatement forms with your respective state

    Depending on the reason why you fell into bad standing, a reinstatement application could be accompanied by another document such as a delinquent form. If you are unsure of which forms to file, reach out to your Secretary of State.

    In addition to providing more information about how your business fell out of compliance, they may provide a list of necessary forms to file to ensure you do not forget anything.

    3. Pay any outstanding fees associated with your business

    Generally, you’ll need to pay a reinstatement form filing fee. However, there may be other penalty fees associated with your business.

    Once these have all been paid and your application has been approved, you may successfully reinstate your small business.

    Head into the New Year knowing you have your small business back in good shape and the peace of mind of being back in compliance with the state once more.

    The above content should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

    The post 4 business filings to handle before the end of the year appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Impulse shopping is a phenomenon among digital consumers. It’s a common tale: Every now and then, people hop onto their laptops or smartphones, and perhaps get distracted by an ad. Next thing they know, they’re considering buying a fun new item — because why not?

    Another survey concluded similar results, estimating the impulse shopping industry reached nearly $40 billion this past year.

    Ecommerce businesses can increase revenue by designing and optimizing sites that cater to impulse shoppers, especially around the busy holiday season.

    Gummy Bears

    10 tactics to turn impulse shopping into stone-cold sales

    Use the following actionable strategies to make it easy for impulse shoppers to navigate and buy from your website.

    1. Keep it simple.
    2. Highlight your best-selling products.
    3. Plan for impulse shoppers on mobile.
    4. Use humor to engage shoppers.
    5. Make the checkout process a breeze.
    6. Offer different payment options.
    7. Secure your website.
    8. Consider targeted promotions.
    9. Test your site for ease of use.
    10. Offer free returns.

    Grab your favorite holiday beverage and let’s dive in!

    1. Keep it simple

    Here’s a popular web design tip, but all the truer when dealing with impulse shoppers — keep your site simple.

    Make your product pages easy to understand by getting rid of any unnecessary content.

     

    Keep the focus on the most valuable information for consumers, like robust product descriptions.

    Consider using a show/hide or accordion function so that site visitors can access further details should they want them. This will remove distractions and create a minimalist product page.

    Once a shopper lands on their potential purchase, make sure your call-to-action (CTA) is clear as day. People need to know how to complete a sale — try for almost too obvious. Your CTA should use unambiguous terms like “Add to Cart” or “Purchase.” This isn’t the time for humorous copy or trying to include clever phrases for a purchase button (we’ll touch more on humor later).

    Related: Quiz — Are you making these website design mistakes?

    2. Highlight your best-selling products

    When optimizing a site for impulse shoppers, you want to create an effortless experience, which is also a good practice to target really any shopper. For most established eCommerce retailers, you likely know which of your products are best sellers and why.

    Make it easy for those shoppers who are slightly distracted and highlight those products on your home page, hero image, landing pages, or even via gift guides.

    Remember, you want to close a sale, so stick with the hits.

    However a potential customer found your page, especially if they’re multitasking, they want to see what they came there for, not be confused by different options.

    For example, if you’re an organic candy retailer and impulse shoppers found you through a targeted Facebook ad, they want to see your flagship products, not the new vegan candles you’re testing out. Now is not the time to pitch unknown, unrelated or new products.

    Related: Best practices for using images on eCommerce product pages

    3. Plan for impulse shoppers on mobile

    We have all heard it before — everyone is shopping on their phones nowadays, so if your site isn’t mobile optimized, you’re losing out.

    Woman on Smartphone with CocktailRecent stats from Google show that 80% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile sites or apps that help them easily answer their questions.

    This is even more important when you think about potential shoppers waiting in the bathroom line at their local bar or browsing online stores in bed after a night out.

    To make sure your site is mobile friendly, use Google’s free testing tool or simply pull up your site on a smartphone. Make sure each page displays correctly (not distorted), loads quickly and that your mobile checkout is as seamless as the desktop version.

    Related: 5 things you must do now to prepare for the holiday shopping season

    4. Use humor to engage shoppers

    When done correctly, humor sells. Use this to your advantage and inject some humor into your eCommerce site to connect with shoppers, and potentially even nudge them to click that add to cart button.

    Creative content and copywriting can be powerful assets when trying to engage with your audience (especially a silly audience).

    If you feel like going for comedy is off brand or inappropriate, try to create relatable content in the voice of your target audience. Conversational copywriting can help you engage with impulse shoppers.

    Use conversational language to sell your products.

    Wristology Watch Description
    Look at how Wristology describes their watches as if they’re texting with a close friend. They use millennial-friendly lingo, abbreviations and phrases like “versatility for the win(!)” This speaks directly to their demographic.

    5. Make the checkout process a breeze

    If someone is impulse shopping, getting them to put an item in a cart is half the battle. After that, you want to make it an effortless process to finish the transaction.

    First things first, when it comes to checkout, do not force customers to sign in or create an account to complete a purchase. Research shows that 31% of cart abandonment is due to websites forcing users to create an account.

    Make the process quicker by including a guest checkout option.

     

    Crate and Barrel Guest Checkout
    Crate&Barrel has guest checkout as their first option on their purchase screen. Impulse shopping is fickle shopping, so remove all barriers to purchase.

    Another valuable tool to implement in your checkout process is a progress indicator.

    These interactive meters help shoppers understand where they are in the purchasing process. After all, distracted shoppers are liable to be interrupted any moment, so make sure they know they’re almost done.

    Drunk Shoppers Etsy Progress Indicator
    Etsy has a very simple progress indicator with just three steps, but it helps visualize how long it will take to complete the purchase.

    6. Offer different payment options

    Someone who is impulse shopping may not feel like pulling out their credit cards. Alternatively, if they’ve been buying several holiday gifts, they might be reluctant to enter their payment information for an impulse purchase.

    Remedy this potential hurdle by allowing additional payment options like PayPal or ApplePay.

    These are often saved on a shopper’s phone or browser, which offers them an easier route to buy the item.

    7. Secure your website

    Imagine the following scenario: you’re shopping at a site you’ve never been to before. All of a sudden, in a moment of clarity, while typing in your credit card number, you think; “Wait, this is a new site… is it even secure?” If you look up at the URL and see a little lock symbol, that thought can end right there, and you can continue on your merry way to more shopping.

    However, if you don’t see an HTTPS or another type of security indicator, you might reconsider.

    Even impulse shoppers are savvy shoppers. This isn’t their first rodeo — 84% of Americans are shopping online for something at any given time.

    To counteract security worries, purchase and install an SSL certificate and secure your checkout process.

     

    As an added bonus, Google uses security as a ranking factor, so not only will it bolster user trust, potentially convert more shoppers, but it will also help with your SEO. Refer to this guide for more info on choosing and installing an SSL certificate for your site.

    8. Consider targeted promotions

    Take a quick look at your analytics and see what days and times your site’s traffic is the highest. If you’re already seeing an uptick of visitors on times that might constitute impulse shopping (think late evenings or weekends), consider running targeted promotions during those times.

    If you see a fair amount of traffic but not a consistently corresponding number of conversions, promotions can make a big difference.

    Turn those shoppers into customers with a discount or deal specifically geared towards them. You could also set up free shipping for orders placed over the weekend.

    Of course, crunch the numbers to make sure any promotion is feasible within your pricing structure and profit margin.

    A recent survey found that 71% of Gen Z consumers would increase their purchase to qualify for free delivery. A small incentive might be the tipping point needed when it comes to either closing or increasing sales with individuals who are impulse shopping.

    Related: Product targeting on Amazon

    9. Test your site for ease of use

    A common website design mantra is to design your site like the user is distracted. (A UX designer even offered this service for a few years, after going viral with the idea of drunk website testing).

    While we don’t suggest opening a bottle of wine and A/B testing your site, you can test functionality and make sure it’s as simple and straightforward as possible.

    If you’d like to informally test your site yourself, here’s an exhaustive checklist of ecommerce elements and functionalities for high performance.

    For those who want to integrate tools into your testing process, here are 18 free options to assess your eCommerce website. Remember you want to go for the easiest possible UX so that they can still navigate (and buy) from your site.

    10. Offer free returns

    For retailers who still might feel apprehensive about targeting the impulse shopping experience, you may consider offering free returns. You will need to figure out the cost and see if it’s financially viable to offer depending on your product and price point.

    However, with that option in place, even if a shopper has morning-after buyer’s remorse , they can still return the product without more of an investment.

    You also want a happy customer, whether they purchased first thing in the morning over a cup of joe, or late in the evening after getting home from a night out. A recent survey found that 96% of consumers would shop with an online retailer again based on their return experience.

    What’s more, two-thirds of shoppers (69%) say they’re deterred from purchases by having to pay for return shipping.

    Related: Transforming retail returns into positive post-purchase experiences

    Get your site ready for impulse shopping

    Online shoppers love the ease of one-click-ship, finding products from the comfort of their home, and the convenience of buying with their smartphone. When you throw a little impetuousness into the mix, folks are all the more likely to hit that purchase button.

    Remember, as we approach the hectic holiday gift-giving season, more and more of your target audience will be shopping.

    Make your ecommerce site super easy to navigate and optimize pages for those visitors. If impulse shoppers represent a significant portion of the industry, that’s valuable business you don’t want to miss!

    The post 10 tactics to turn impulse shopping into stone-cold sales appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    GoDaddy and WooCommerce have teamed up to make building an online store with WordPress easier than ever.

    Our new WordPress Ecommerce Hosting plan comes with a pre-installed online store powered by WooCommerce, plus a variety of premium extensions including Advanced Notifications, Memberships, WooCommerce Brands and more.

    Why a WordPress Ecommerce Hosting plan?

    Building a successful online store can be a daunting task. You need to choose the right hosting plan, the right website builder tool, and the right eCommerce platform.

    It’s complicated and time-consuming, not only for aspiring entrepreneurs, but even for web designers and developers.

    Our new WordPress Ecommerce Hosting plan dramatically simplifies the process. We believe it’s the easiest way to build a powerful and highly-customized online store.

    Here’s how it works.

    We started with WordPress

    WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder. It’s the top content management system (CMS) powering over a third of all websites worldwide. For comparison, the next largest CMS powers under 3%.

    WordPress dominates, and for good reason. It’s open-source software built by tens of thousands of developers around the world. That focus and community effort has resulted in the most flexible, feature-rich website platform available.

    As the world’s #1 web host, powering over 5 million WordPress sites around the globe, we see WordPress used every day by tech-savvy everyday entrepreneurs alongside web designers and developers.

    We partnered with WooCommerce

    WooCommerce is the #1 eCommerce solution for WordPress. It has unmatched functionality and usage, powering millions of online stores around the globe.

    On October 22, 2019, GoDaddy and Automattic (the parent company of WooCommerce) announced that we joined forces in a formal partnership.

    Together, we’re delivering an exciting new hosting plan that makes building a highly-customized online store easier than ever.

    WooCommerce is now featured on our WordPress Hosting page

    Now it’s easier to launch & manage an online store

    Start customizing in 70% fewer steps

    It takes 4 steps to set up a typical WordPress online store:

    1. Choose a hosting plan
    2. Install WordPress
    3. Install WooCommerce
    4. Install WooCommerce extensions (add-ons that enhance the functionality of your online store, such as the ability to auto-populate USPS shipping rates into your cart)

    We’ve combined these 4 steps into 1. It not only makes the process easier, but also lets you begin editing in 70% fewer steps than leading competitors.

    Guided to success

    The GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Ecommerce plan includes an “Action Center” that helps guide you to success. It will prompt you to complete key tasks as you build your site and set setup your online presence. Some of these tasks include activating your custom domain, optimizing SEO, utilizing Google marketing credits, or setting up a business email address.

    Free SSL, configured and automatically maintained

    The Ecommerce plan includes an SSL certificate that is 100% hassle-free. Once you assign a custom domain to your site, the SSL certificate will automatically deploy and from there the maintenance of the certification is 100% automated.

    WordPress updates done for you

    Ensuring that your site uses the latest version of WordPress helps keep your site secure and running its fastest.

    As part of the GoDaddy WordPress Hosting experience, we will automatically complete all WordPress software updates. No work is required by you.

    GoDaddy and WooCommerce bring unmatched value

    You can create an amazing online store without breaking the bank. With the GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Ecommerce plan, you’ll get free access to over a $1,000 of WooCommerce extensions.

    These extensions allow you to add unique functionality to your site such as the ability to sell memberships, sell personalized products, allow payment plans, and offer rewards.

    Is the new WordPress Ecommerce plan right for you?

    WordPress is the most-used website builder tool in the world. It offers an incredible amount of freedom and flexibility, making it the tool of choice for tech-savvy DIY entrepreneurs and website designers and developers.

    But with that flexibility comes complexity.

    If you’re already familiar with WordPress and WooCommerce, or are somewhat tech-savvy and willing to learn, our new WordPress Ecommerce plan will be a great fit.

    If you’re looking for a quicker, easier solution and don’t need the highest level of flexibility, GoDaddy Websites + Marketing might be a better option.

    Ready to launch your online store with WooCommerce?

    Start creating your online store today — plans start at $15.99 per month.

    The post WordPress Ecommerce Hosting, powered by WooCommerce appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Editor’s note: This article originally published by Dutch Hill on the Sucuri Blog.

    WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) out there. That’s why it is vital to prevent WordPress hacking.

    Statistically, over 33% of websites currently run on WordPress.

    This post is not a “one size fits all” overview, as there are many other ways to protect WordPress from hacking. Here at Sucuri, we certainly advocate researching and expanding core security values.

    Here are some tips on protecting your site against WordPress hacks.

    1 – Use strong passwords & management

    Many WordPress websites are hacked because hackers find a way to discover the website credentials, which is called brute force attacks. The risks of suffering from brute force attacks significantly decrease when you use strong passwords.

    Creating complex and difficult passwords is a great way to prevent this from occurring. Multiple services and applications require a username and password , for example, wp-admin logins, databases, FTP/sFTP, etc. It can be daunting to even think of how to remember dozens of passwords without either writing them down or using the same password across the board (neither of which is recommended).

    Fortunately, you can use a password manager to store and encrypt passwords safely. Though there are several, one password manager we recommend is LastPass.

    LastPass - Password Generator
    LastPass – Password Generator

    LastPass is an app/extension that both creates and remembers your passwords so you don’t have to. It will even alert you if some of your passwords are too weak.

    You can watch this short video on how to create a strong password:

    2 – Use the Principle of Least Privilege

    Don’t delegate access to users/developers you don’t 100% trust. If you absolutely have to give access, be sure to restrict it. Grant the lowest set of privileges allowable for each user’s tasks.  And once their task is complete, we highly recommended that you remove their access immediately. These are the actions behind the principle of least privilege.

    Here’s a simple quote that sums it up best:

    “There is only two people I can trust; you and me – and I’m not so sure about you”. ― Shon Harris, CISSP Boxed Set, Second Edition

    3 – Keep WordPress plugins secure & updated

    WordPress at its core is secure, with developers who constantly update the CMS, as well as a broad community who help further secure it by publishing plugins to assist in these efforts. Installing too many plugins without being certain they are secure can lead to WordPress vulnerabilities or your WordPress site being hacked.

    The community built around WordPress is entirely open source, meaning anyone and everyone has access to the code/content of plugins and themes. If you are interested in plugin security, we have hosted a webinar on how to know for sure if a WordPress plugin is secure.

    Think of each plugin you install as an extra door into your WordPress site. If you have the best security methods only deployed on the front and back door but forget about securing the ‘side entrances’, you are essentially inviting hackers to exploit these areas too.

    Though installing certain plugins can help alleviate the load of some tasks and even add cool and snazzy functionality to your WordPress site, ultimately these plugins can be used against you. Here’s a recent exploit we found within a WordPress Live Chat Plugin.

    In this video, we explain the importance of keeping everything in your website updated:

    4 – Use a WordPress hardening method

    You can use hardening methods to prevent WordPress from hacking, such as:

    • Adding additional allow/deny rules via your .htaccess file,
    • Restricting login URLs to specific IP range(s),
    • Protecting your wp-config file,
    • Blocking includes,
    • Preventing image hotlinking, as well as preventing directory browsing,
    • Not logging in on public WiFi or not using VPN on public WiFi,
    • Deleting unused WordPress plugins and files,
    • Keeping your server clean.

    Most website firewalls apply these methods for you by default.

    5 – Prevent a WordPress hack with a website firewall

    In 2018, among all hacked websites that Sucuri worked with, WordPress accounted for over 90% of all CMSs hacked.

    Infected Websites Platform Distribution
    Infected Websites Platform Distribution

    A common issue we stumble upon often, is that users sometimes cannot update their WordPress version due to incapabilities with plugins or themes. This can leave a WordPress site vulnerable to hacks.

    In these instances, we recommend enabling a WordPress firewall to virtually patch the site for you.

    A great option to prevent your WordPress website from hacks is enabling a Web Application Firewall (WAF).

    A WAF is essentially a pass through for traffic that visits your site, filtering out bad requests (hack attempts, exploits, DoS, etc.) and allowing the good ones to go through.

    How a WAF Works
    How a Website Application Firewall (WAF) Works

    A WordPress firewall:

    • Prevents a future hack by detecting and stopping known hacking methods and behaviors to keep your WordPress site protected against infection in the first place.
    • Adds a virtual security update. Hackers quickly exploit vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins and themes. A good website firewall will patch holes in your WordPress website software even without security updates.
    • Blocks brute force attacks. A WordPress firewall should stop any unwanted visitors from accessing your wp-admin or wp-login page and using brute force automation to guess your password.
    • Mitigates Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks which attempt to overload a server or an application resources. By detecting and blocking DDoS attacks, a WAF makes sure the WordPress site is available even if attacked with a high volume of fake visits.
    • Optimizes WordPress performance. Most website firewalls will offer to cache for faster global page speed in order to keep your visitors happy and to lower bounce rates while improving website engagement, conversions, and search engine rankings.

    The WordPress firewall Sucuri offers is a cloud-based WAF that both stops and prevents website hacks and attacks. Simultaneously, it speeds up your site by using our Content Delivery Network (CDN). No installation is needed—with a simple switch of your DNS A Record, it is enabled.

    In the video below, we explain how to protect your website with a website firewall.

    Conclusion

    Implementing these 5 ways listed above will not perfectly secure and make an impenetrable system from hacks—nothing can. Consider them useful tips on risk reduction/elimination.

    Remembering these basic concepts when creating or working on your WordPress website can help you prevent WordPress hacks from occurring. If you are looking for peace of mind and professional help, sign up for our website security platform and let us take care of your website security for you.

    The post WordPress hacks: 5 ways to protect WordPress from hacking appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    If you’re a small business owner, you already know that money rarely stays in one place. Cash comes in through sales and goes out when you pay expenses. There’s a flow to it, and whether or not the term is part of your daily vocabulary, cash flow is king.

    In an ideal scenario, your business would have more cash coming in than going out.

     

    That would be considered a positive cash flow. In reality, though, bills tend to recur every month, employees continually need to be paid, and unexpected expenses crop up.

    This is when having cash flow goes from a theoretical nice-to-have to a critical piece of your business’s financial jigsaw puzzle.

    Related: Resources for Funding a Business

    Overcoming cash flow challenges

    Woman on Mountain Peak Symbolizes Overcoming Cash Flow Challenges

    In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Kabbage, 30% of small business owners cited cash flow as their biggest challenge in the first year. A lot of that is due to a lack of experience.

    When you’re just starting out, it takes time to figure out how to manage your cash.

    Unfortunately, poor cash management is one of the biggest reasons small businesses fail.

    Cash flow affects every small business, but it can be especially tricky for labor-intensive industries like restaurants and construction. To be successful in those industries, the more in tune with your daily inflow and outflow, the better.

    If you’re on top of what’s coming in and out, you put yourself in a better position to strategically find ways to minimize volatility.

    Fewer than 50% of small business owners consider themselves generally knowledgeable about accounting and finance. If finance is not your area of expertise, finding innovative strategies to manage cash flow can involve a fair amount of trial and error.

    For the small business owners who don’t feel comfortable with running their business finances, it’s not uncommon for those owners to rely heavily on outside accountants to handle their books. Many providers that work with small businesses have started offering cash flow consulting as a service.

    Devising homegrown strategies like developing vendor relationships to gain more flexibility can also be helpful.

    There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to professionals for a step up.

    Related: Small business funding options

    Pivoting for growth

    Once small business owners master their cash flow, their attention usually turns to growth. This often means gaining access to additional capital.

    In their study, Kabbage found that 20% of small business owners felt they would need more money to reach their long-term growth goals.

    In the early years, traditional funding through banks can be hard to come by. Some turn to relatives or credit cards to get the cash they need.

    In recent years, though, mobile lending platforms have gained popularity among small businesses in search of fast, flexible funding solutions.

    After gaining access to additional working capital, the conversation shifts to figuring out the best way to spend it.

    The most common uses that small business owners cite are purchasing new inventory, expanding their operations and hiring additional staff.

    How funds are utilized varies greatly depending, but successful small business owners say that the ability to invest money back into their enterprise was a major factor in their success.

    Learn more about managing cash flow for small businesses

    If you’re ready to go deeper, read Kabbage’s Guide to Cash Flow Management for tips and insights on handling cash in, cash out and cash at rest.

    The post Why thinking about cash flow matters to small businesses appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    For those unfamiliar with the world of internet domains, purchasing your first one can sometimes seem overly complicated. Not only do you have to choose a name that reflects your business and is easy to remember, but you’ll also come across numerous terms that perhaps you’re not familiar with. A domain glossary can help you make sense of it all.

    Whether you’re looking to invest in one domain name or several, by the time you’ve finished reading this comprehensive domain glossary you’ll have familiarized yourself with many of the fundamental terms. This should boost the confidence you need to become a domain investor yourself.

    It’s easier than you think to start investing in domains. Get started here.

     

    Related: What is a domain name?

    Domain terms glossary

    Get familiar with these key terms before you start your journey into domain investing.

    ACPA

    Legislation introduced in the United States to prevent the practice of cybersquatting. The unabbreviated name is the Anti-cybersquatting Protection Act.

    Related: What is domain squatting and what can you do about it?

    Administrative contact

    This person will oversee any maintenance related to a domain name, such as keeping the WHOIS directory updated.

    Aftermarket

    Often, your ideal domain name will already have been snapped up. If this is the case, you can turn to the aftermarket, where interested buyers can either bid or negotiate a price for an existing domain name.

    Backorder

    A service that registers a domain name on behalf of its clients as soon as the domain expires.

    Backordering is not an automated process, meaning it’s a practice that doesn’t have to rely on the use of robots or computer systems.

     

    These services are often available through auctions or your domain name registrar. Backordering is sometimes available free of charge via a registrar.

    Bidding

    Vying for a name, usually done via auction. Although, sometimes domain names will come up through a domain name sale or backordering.

    Billing contact

    This person will be invoiced for any registration costs connected with the domain name and for any ongoing fees, such as web hosting.

    Cybersquatting

    When someone purchases and registers a domain name that is trademarked. Often, the domain name registered will be that of a high-profile brand.

    There are multiple reasons why someone might engage in cybersquatting. The first is purely for financial gain.

    For example, they will attempt to sell the domain name for a profit or sell it for more than it’s worth.

    Other reasons for cybersquatting can be to cause reputational damage to a brand or individual.

    There is anti-cybersquatting legislation in place in the United States, but legal protection against the practice in the UK is limited.

    Deleted domain

    A domain that had a previous registrar, but has been canceled. A registrar might delete a domain for multiple reasons. Sometimes it can be due to legal issues regarding the domain name itself, or a business/organization might change its name.

    Domain appraisal

    A tool for finding out the value of your domains.

    Domain appraisal tools analyze data such as the keywords used and the site’s ranking.

     

    There are several tools available, and GoDaddy has its own free appraisal tool.

    Domain broker

    Internet domains are treated by brokers in the same way as any other commodity. A broker buys and sells domains. If a domain name is already in use, a broker can act on the buyer’s behalf to negotiate with the owner to purchase the domain at the best price possible.

    Professional Man With Laptop

    Domain contact

    Domain name registrants are obliged to provide their contact details. The details will then be listed in the WHOIS directory.

    Domainer

    A person who invests in or buys and sells multiple domain names is sometimes referred to as a domainer.

    Domain extensions

    The last section of a domain name is known as the top-level domain (TLD). This part of the domain name is sometimes called the domain extension. It is meant to communicate the purpose or location of a website.

    As detailed below, there are multiple domain extensions:

    gTLD

    Generic top-level domains. All readers will be familiar with gTLDs as these extensions are the most widely used on the internet, including .com, .biz and .info.

    A new wave of gTLDs was launched in 2014, allowing a much greater range of extensions. These are often generic terms, however, they also can be customized to indicate the nature of the business.

    ccTLD

    Country code top-level domains are extensions that indicate the country where the website is based. For instance, .au for Australia, .ca for Canada, .es for Spain and .fr for France. These are commonly used, although there are sometimes restrictions placed on them.

    sTLD

    Sponsored top-level domains (sTLDs) are controlled by an agency. For example, .edu is reserved for post-secondary institutions accredited by an agency on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies.

    Domain flipping

    Selling domain names for profit. Methods of investment include buying on established platforms, buying a domain name that the buyer hopes will be profitable sometime in the future, or setting up a domain, making it profitable and then selling it later on.

    Related: 5 tried-and-true tips for buying and selling domain names for profit

    Domaining

    The act of people or organizations seeking to profit from speculating in the domain aftermarket.

    Domain kiting

    Kite Represents Domain KitingDescribes when an individual continually registers and deletes a domain name in quick succession while avoiding making payment for it. Domain kiting was possible due to the Add Grace Period (AGP) that allowed domain registrars to cancel within a five-day registration period.

    Domain kiting can be used to profit from any advertising or affiliate products that are sold on the site.

    Domain name

    The name given to the internet address. This is the name people will usually look for if they want to search for a business/organization online.

    Related: How to buy a domain name

    Domain name hack

    Sometimes simply known as a domain hack, the term was first used by Matthew Doucette in 2004. According to Doucette, a domain hack is “an unconventional domain name that uses parts other than the SLD (second-level domain) or third-level domain to create the title of the domain name.” In other words, it’s using the domain’s extension to create a readable word or phrase.

    Domain portfolio

    A list of domain names that have been purchased as an investment. These can be managed by one of the many domain portfolio services available.

    Domain resellers

    Resellers provide domain name registrations to individuals, businesses and organizations.

    Domain tasting

    A similar practice to kiting, domain tasting allowed individuals to test out the profitability of a domain name during the AGP, without investing any money. Tasting was a method that was often favored by spammers. ICANN has successfully put measures in place to prevent domain tasting and the practice rarely occurs now.

    DNS or Domain name server

    It might also be called a domain name service or system. The purpose of a DNS is to decode domain names and translate them into IP addresses.

    Related: DNS records — A beginner’s guide

    Drop catching

    Kingfisher Catching Fish

    A practice that occurs once a domain name has expired, that you might also hear referred to as “drop sniping.”

    A domain name will be snapped up and registered the moment it becomes available.

    Drop catching is an automated practice and there a number of drop catching services around. Some of the registrars will be ICANN registered, while others aren’t.

    Drop listing

    Detailed lists of domains that are about to be deleted by a registry. Domainers will make use of such lists so they can register a domain name once it gets deleted.

    Dropped domain

    When a domain name expires without being renewed. Domain registrars will usually give a short grace period once a domain name expires to allow the registrant to re-purchase it. If the domain name is still not renewed, it will become available for another person to register.

    Escrow

    A way of protecting both the buyer and the seller during a domain transaction. The escrow company will act as a third party to ensure that both parties live up to their side of the agreement. When the agreed amount is paid into escrow, the domain name will be released to the buyer. The seller will then receive the funds once the domain has been signed over to the buyer.

    Evaluator

    Domain evaluators are assigned by ICANN. The three elements — Initial Evaluation, Extended Evaluation and Community Priority Evaluation — are all overseen by the organization.

    Expired domain

    A domain becomes expired when the existing holder fails to renew it.

    Related: Auctions, backorders and more — how to secure expired domains

    ICANN

    An abbreviation for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It’s a nonprofit organization that was established in the late 1990s and is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    ICANN states that it’s “dedicated to keeping the internet secure, stable and interoperable.”

    ICANN plays a crucial role in the expansion and infrastructure of the internet and is also responsible for managing root servers and allocating IP addresses.

    Parking

    Parking Sign On Beach

    A way of reserving a domain name. Sometimes a domain name is bought before a website is built and the domain name is ready for use. The parked domain will not hold any content. However, some will carry advertising to earn revenues. Some parked domains will also be offered for sale.

    Pending transfer

    A term that applies to when a domain is awaiting transfer from one registrar to a new registrar.

    Premium domain

    A domain name that has a greater value than an ordinary domain and typically attracts more traffic. They do this partly by placing sought-after keywords or phrases in their domain name.

    Related: What are premium domain names and how can they turbocharge your online identity?

    Privacy

    Privacy services are most often provided by your registrar. This means that you don’t need to have your personal information registered in the WHOIS database. Instead, the details of a forwarding service will be listed. This is sometimes provided free with your web hosting provider and protects against domain hacking. Domain privacy and protection is something that is offered by GoDaddy.

    Registrant

    The individual, business or other organization that owns the domain name. When a person or business buys a domain name, they then become the registrant.

    Related: How to tell who is the owner of a domain name and why you’d need to know

    Registrar

    The company you bought the domain name from is the registrar who manages it for you. Registrars will also offer domain hosting. If you’re not clear who owns a domain name, you can use WHOIS to look it up.

    Registry

    The organization responsible for managing top-level domains. A registry also will create domain names and work in conjunction with registrars to make them available to buy. There are different registry domain bodies, including VeriSign and Nominet.

    Renewal

    Domain registrants need to renew a domain name before its expiration date, which is commonly set on an annual basis, but they can also be extended for much longer periods. Generally, there is a limited grace period where registrants can renew the domain after expiration. However, after the grace period has elapsed, the domain name will be available for registration by another party.

    Parking Meter With Expired Message

    Technical contact

    The person in charge of managing the technical side of the domain name.

    Transfer

    A domain name transfer will change the ownership of a specific domain name, which occurs when a domain is sold or moved.

    Typosquatting

    A type of cybersquatting, typosquatting depends on internet searchers making basic typos when they input a URL or domain name into a search engine. Typosquatting will take the searcher to any URL, including those that can contain malicious content.

    WHOIS

    A database that provides information on the owner of a specific domain name. Information that can be looked up includes contact info, ownership and length of ownership. The database can also be used to discover domain availability. There are several WHOIS lookup tools available online. GoDaddy has one here.

    Conclusion

    Domain investment doesn’t have to be nearly as complicated as it might sometimes sound. The above domain glossary will have defined the terms you’re likely to hear most frequently. Now that you’ve read the detailed glossary, you’ll be familiar with many of the most common terms used in the world of domain investing and you should feel ready to invest in your first domain name.

    The post Domain glossary —Terms to know for starter domain investors appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.


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    Keeping your project pipeline filled can prove to be a daunting task for many web designers, given that it requires you to prospect, qualify and close deals — all while partaking in the balancing act of business ownership. That’s why advertising web design services consistently is a must.

    A sure way to keep your list of clients growing is to keep prospecting potential customers with the help of an effective advertising campaign.

     

    There are various methods you can use to promote your web design services, and this article will cover a handful of them that you can start using right away to get more clients for your business.

    Related: How to get web design clients, fast

    Try these ideas for advertising your web design & development business

    These methods can work for various types of businesses, but today we will focus on web design advertising ideas to help you get more web design clients.

    The more efficient you can get at advertising, the more clients you will get, and the better your business can run.

    It’s important to keep in mind who your target audience is and the type of projects you are trying to capture through advertising.

    Here’s what we’re going to cover:

    Each business is different, and not all of these tactics will work for everyone. Try a combination of each of these web design promotion ideas and with time, you will find the ones that provide the most value for your business.

    Tap into a larger network on social media

    Instagram on Mobile Phone Represents Web Design Advertising Ideas

    Social media is great for connecting with friends and family, but it’s also a great way to get the word out about your web design services.

    Sites like Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn are all great channels you can use to your benefit and to find new prospects for your business, and stay in touch with them even after your
    projects are finished.

    A great way to get people asking about your services is to share your completed or current works with your social media network.

     

    Providing a brief description of your role and involvement in a project can show new potential clients that you’re authentic and it gives them an opportunity to learn more about your business and skills.

    Best of all, posting on social media is a relatively low-cost method to reach people. Learn more about boosting your posts every once in a while to reach your targeted audience.

    Another great way to get more eyes on your work through social media is to ask your immediate friends and family to share your posts on their social pages. Potential clients are more likely to contact you for services if someone else is recommending you, even if it’s online!

    Related: Beginner’s social media guide

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    Laser-target your customers with paid advertising

    Did you know that small business owners say that they earn $3 for every $1.60 that they spend on Google Ads?

    Paid digital advertising is another great way to advertise your web design services to new clients.

     

    Advertising platforms from Google and Facebook allow you to designate a budget and even choose who you want to show your ads to. The accurate targeting methods of these large platforms allow you to reach your exact potential customer with a few clicks.

    You can use Facebook and Google’s advertising platforms to your advantage, as Facebook’s ad platform is a great way to target groups of people who are interested in specific categories and topics, while Google’s platform is intent-based.

    An intent-based ad platform is beneficial because it means that someone is actively searching for a service or business like yours, and has an active intent to find more information.

    On the other hand, people that see ads on Facebook’s ad network may not be searching for your services, but are very likely to be in the market for them.

    For example, someone on Facebook may own a business in your local area, or they could be a new business owner who is interested in business services, so they may also be interested in your web design services.

    On Google, you can directly target keywords like “web design services in [local city].”

    Knowing this information (intent-based vs. interest-based) can help you successfully advertise your web design services online and make the best use of your advertising budget.

    If in doubt, you can read a quick primer on how to start using intent-based keywords in paid advertising.

    Related: What is hypertargeting?

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    Be everywhere with online local business directory listings

    Is your business listed on an online business directory? Chances are, it could be listed in many more online listing sites.

    Think of sites like Yelp, Google My Business, CitySearch, Foursquare, and YP. These are all online directory services that allow you to advertise your web design business by submitting your business information — like name, phone number and address — at no cost. This makes it easier for new potential customers to find your web design services.

    Advertising Web Design Google Business

    There are a handful of online business directory listings that you could potentially list your business on. A recommended way to approach this advertising method is to first list your business on the major sites (Google, Yelp, YP, etc.) and then hand-pick a few more that are relevant to web design.

    Editor’s note: Want an easy way to manage all your online business listings? Check out GoDaddy Local Business Listings, a service that enables you to manage all your listings from one convenient dashboard.

    Other sites worth listing your web design business are Thumbtack and Angie’s List, as they provide an excellent directory listing platform that allows you to be found by customers that are directly looking for a business like yours online.

    You can also send a proposal right from the site. This makes it easy to organize all of your online leads and proposals, and even collect feedback and reviews once projects are completed.

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    Diversify your clientele by advertising on websites for freelance projects

    Want to expand your services beyond just local projects?

    Websites for freelance projects are a great opportunity to expand your services nationally and even globally by bidding on web design projects from around the world.

    There are a variety of websites where clients can post the scope of their web design projects and allow a number of freelancers to bid on the project based on the cost, timeline, scope and reputation of the freelancer.

    Advertising Web Design Fiverr Search

    A great benefit of these sites is that they allow you to browse through hundreds of web design projects and see details about the scope and requirements of a project before you decide to take them on.

    Depending on the site you decide to use, you can also check a client’s reviews to decide if they are someone you’d want to work with.

    However, one downside of this method is sites like Upwork often take a small percentage of your overall project cost.

    Here are a few web design freelance websites to look into:

    One thing to keep in mind about projects from freelance websites is that this can be an inconsistent stream of projects, as the needs of every client highly vary, as do their budgets and expectations.

    It is a good idea to use freelance websites as a supplement to other advertising strategies.

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    Pair your website with SEO for a strong advertising strategy

    In a highly competitive industry like web design and development, your business website is one of the most important tools you can leverage when it comes to advertising. Thus, it’s important to make sure that your website is well-rounded in terms of having an in-depth project portfolio that shows your work and past projects.

    Your business website should also show potential clients what your skills are and accurately portray the quality of work they can expect to get by working with you.

    After you’ve taken the time to build your business website, it’s time to optimize it using SEO (search engine optimization) best practices.

    SEO is a great way to advertise your web design services without needing to spend too much money.

     

    The more time you take to boost your website’s SEO value, the more search engines like Google and Bing will show your website in relevant search results for your business.

    There are many guides and tools that can help you make your SEO better, but generally, it all starts with making sure your website is regularly updated with fresh new content and updates.

    Regular blog posts and updates will signal sites like Google that your website is actively maintained and will show your website higher on relevant search results. Once you’ve published your blogs on your website, you can share them on social media to get even more people to your website.

    To get the ball rolling, start by writing blog posts that recap recent projects you completed. Include photos and screenshots of the completed work, and talk about some of the challenges and creative process. This will make your blog posts interesting and will position you as a subject matter expert in your field.

    Make sure to share the completed posts with your clients and ask that they share it on their own social media pages for an extra traffic boost.

    Related: Roundup of SEO resources

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    Generate offline leads by advertising through business relationships

    Who says that the internet is the only place where you can advertise your business? Sometimes, it’s a good idea to supplement your advertising strategy with strong business relationships that can lead to more clients from word of mouth.

    There are many ways to build business relationships that could lead to increased business, and most of them don’t take much except some well worth the time and effort.

    In fact, the power of word of mouth advertising is so strong that according to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than they do advertising.

    One way to build business relationships is by meeting local business owners that might need your business and introducing your services to them.

    Remember, business owners are busy, so try to stay away from pitching services. Instead, make yourself available as a resource for anything they might need related to your services.

    A good method is to offer to meet with them for a free consultation to cover recommended improvements on their business website. Most owners will be open to the advice and could end up wanting to hire you to implement the suggested changes. At worst, they’ll keep your business card and possibly give you a referral down the road.

    Related: How to market a local business through strategic collaboration

    Advertising Web Design People Shaking Hands

    Trade shows and industry events can also be a great source of clients, as long as you have the time and money to invest in it. While these events can sometimes be expensive, the return on your investment could pay off if you walk away even with one client secured.

    Here are some things to consider before you decide to take your business to a trade show or industry event:

    Check for roaming exhibitor passes

    Booths and tables can be expensive. Check to see if the event offers a roaming exhibitor pass so that you can freely hand out your business card and talk about your services without paying the full price of a booth.

    Do your research

    What kind of people will be at this event? Are they in the same category as the type of clients you’re looking for? Will decision-makers be there or managers? You will want to make sure your target clientele will be there before you spend the money.

    Collect as many business cards as you can

    You can later create a contact list and send your newly found contacts a monthly newsletter talking about your services and recently completed projects.

    Consider a geo-fence ad instead

    This is a trick that not many people know but is highly effective. Consider creating a Facebook ad for your services targeted to an area that’s within five miles of the conference center on the date(s) of the event to get awareness for your business. More on this strategy can be found here.

    Related: WordCamps and the WordPress community

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    Go old school with referrals and print advertisements

    Speaking of referrals, this is a tactic that you can implement immediately to start advertising your web design business.

    Your existing customers are a large network of business connections just waiting to be tapped into.

     

    Think of an incentive you could offer your existing clients for their referrals, and before you know it you’ll have them doing most of the work for you. Remember, word of mouth is a highly effective advertising tool, so referrals could easily become one of your strongest advertising methods for your web design services.

    Another business relationship building idea that is often overlooked is the tried-and-true method of printing out business cards or flyers to hang up (with permission) and pass around your local neighborhood businesses.

    As I’ve mentioned already, business owners are busy and don’t have much time, especially when it comes to making improvements to their business website. If a business owner conveniently finds your flyer or business card at a local coffee shop, it is more convenient to call you about your services then it is to go searching online through thousands of other web design services.

    It may sound old school and outdated, but very few people are doing this to advertise their web design services nowadays and it’s truly a missed opportunity!

    Related: How to ask for referrals as a web designer

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    Start advertising your web design & development business

    A strong advertising campaign does not need to be complicated, fancy or expensive. It should work for your business in a way that can sustainably bring you a steady stream of new projects and clients that match the skills and services your web agency provides.

    To recap, here are the web design promotion ideas we’ve covered:

    • Tap into a larger network on social media.
    • Laser-target your customers with paid advertising.
    • Be everywhere with online local business directory listings.
    • Diversify your clientele by advertising on websites for freelance projects.
    • Pair your website with SEO for a strong advertising strategy.
    • Generate leads offline by advertising through business relationships.

    It can take some time to find the right mix of tactics, so take your time and be patient. Keep your mind open to new strategies and remember to always keep trying new ways to advertise your web agency.

    I recommend starting by ensuring that your social media presence is active and getting a solid business website with an in-depth portfolio up and running, as these are core elements of any successful advertising campaign.

    After you’ve implemented some of these promotion strategies and those new clients start piling up, you’ll need better tools to keep track of it all. Save time with free tools and resources built just for web designers & developers. Join GoDaddy Pro for free.

    The post Advertising web design & development businesses — How to get started appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.