7 Tips for Creating an Effective Website for Your Business

Your business website is a platform for reaching out to your customers and potential customers. You want to engage your customers with your site through offering them useful information while highlighting all that you offer.

Consider the following 7 tips for creating an effective website that serves your business well:

Look at Your Site from a Potential Customer’s Perspective

Try to look objectively at your website the way a visitor to your site looks upon it. Is the site too ‘busy’ looking with annoying pop-ups, graphics, grating sounds or music, and long blocks of uninterrupted text? Is it difficult to navigate your website? Is it difficult to find your contact information? Does your site truly represent what your business is all about, and represent properly the products and services you offer?

Have Quality Content on Your Website

Content is vital to your website. However, this content must be useful and current information that is relevant to your visitors’ needs, questions, concerns, and interests. Why would they bother to stay on your site if you only offer them fluff – content that’s focused on the hard sell? You must offer site visitors quality information, advice, tips, articles and resources that speaks to their reason for visiting your site in the first place.

Incorporate White Space

Make your web pages clean-looking and less crowded with ample white space. White space breaks up chunks of text, which makes reading easier. White space contributes to the organized, orderly look and feel of your website. White space enhances the elements of your site that it surrounds.

Keep Your Page Layout Conventional

A conventional page layout is less confusing and irksome. It promotes easy and efficient reading and viewing on your website. Conventional page layout presents an orderly structure for engaging with content on your site – whether text, video, audio, graphics, and photos. Too complicated of a page layout can confuse your visitors. It can make their perusing of your site an annoying exercise.

Search Bar Simplicity

People often like to search sites via a conveniently located search bar. They don’t want to go on a hunt to find that search bar. In their frustration to find it, wherever it’s buried, they may give up and exit your site. Therefore, make your search bar highly visible.

Test, Test, Test

On a regular basis, test your website. Make sure the search bar is functional; make sure all tabs on the navigation bar are functional and lead to the right pages. Check that all links you’ve embedded into your site are working. In addition, make sure that all video you offer for viewing is clear, and the same goes for any audio files. If e-commerce is part of your website, make sure that your shopping cart process is secure, addresses privacy concerns, is easy-to-use, and processes transactions efficiently.

Update Your Content

Keep your website fresh and current with updated content. Update on a regular basis, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on what your business focus is and what you offer in terms of products and services. If you have a blog on your website, do regular postings. In addition, keep your website updated with new and informative articles.

Follow the above 7 tips for creating an effective website. These tips will help make your website visually appealing and user-friendly. They will also make your site a go-to place for quality informative content – and with all this, you’re better promoting your products and services and taking your business to new levels.

Mobile Vending: Top Ten Keys To Success

The mobile vending business can be a rewarding and challenging career. There are keys to success that if followed can help almost anyone achieve their financial goals. I have taken what I have learned in the wholesale ice cream industry and condensed it into the ten habits that are necessary to prosper. I am sure there are other skills needed but In my opinion these are the ten most important. In the long run habits or routines can be added but this is a good beginning and will give you the base to build off of.

Responsible. I know this sounds obvious but there are a lot of people out there that think they know what being responsible means. Not everyone knows. I suggest you find a mentor, friend, or someone that is successful in business and ask them. Look it up if you have to. You, as a business owner, have many responsibilities to your family, employees, yourself… etc. It is a long list. Learn about it and live it. This is one of those things you have to be certain you know what it means.

Organized. It is crucial that you keep every aspect of your business organized. The only way to be sure of what works and what doesn’t is to stay organized. Do not try to remember everything. That may work at the start when you are small but as you grow it will become toomuch. Be organized from the beginning and it will be much easier to stay organized.

Flexibility. The ability to change course or plans and knowing when. I would include learning from your mistakes as part of being flexible. You realized you made a mistake and you have the wherewithal to realize it and make the needed changes without letting it become a bigger problem.

Resilient. In my opinion, being resilient can be the toughest to maintain. Staying resilient when others would have given up or when the taxman is making it increasingly painful or through whatever hardship you are facing can be challenging and rewarding.

Courteous. A courteous and polite business owner promotes repeat customers and referrals. It can be difficult to be courteous all of the time but it is a talent that can be cultivated. The way the owner acts will reflect on others and set the tone for how your employees treat your customers.

Good with People. This is different than being courteous. It is important to be friendly and likable. Customers who are comfortable will visit again. Also, being good with people opens up doors to networking which leads to better business opportunities.

Presentable. It is perfectly acceptable to dress in the latest fashion at the club or other social event but when it comes to dealing with the public it is best to dress conservatively. Keeping yourself and your clothes clean and presentable gives your customers confidence that the products you serve are clean and safe. There aren’t many quicker ways to lose a customer then handing them food with dirty nails.

Vehicle Maintenance. It will seem overwhelming with all of the other things to do but look at it like a cowboy looks at his horse. The cowboy, no matter how long and tough the day, always takes care of his horse before taking care of himself. The cowboy does that because without the horse he is out of business. If your vehicle breaks down because of lack of preventative maintenance then you are out of business.

Do your homework. As in know what you are getting into before you start. Do the research on what local permits are needed and what are the tax implications. You may find out it is not for you so it would be better to find that out before you make an investment in time and money. The research you do now will help you avoid the pitfalls that could ruin your business before getting it off the ground. Find the lawyer and accountant now so that you can take advantage of their knowledge and experience from the beginning.

Keep your mind and body clean. This could be the most important factor. If your mind is not clear then it is tough to make clear decisions. If your body is not right then it is tough to work the hours necessary. Let us be clear. No one is suggesting that you should live link a monk or be physically fit like an Army Ranger but keeping a clear mind and staying reasonable healthy will payoff in the long term. Taking time off to spend with your family and friends is part of keeping your mind clean. You will need to find the work and life balance.

There may be some other characteristics to add to this list but, in my humble opinion, this encompasses what is the most important. For the most part, anything else will stem from one of the above. My advice would be to take each of the factors above and research one at a time until you have a firm grasp on what it means. If you feel as if I have left something out then please feel free to print this out and add to it or share it and improve it. The goal here is to get you thinking about what it takes to run an ice cream truck or any mobile vending business and to make it profitable

Top 10 Best Ways To Market Your Business With Top 10 Lists

Basic top 10 lists can do a lot to market your business online, simply because they have ideas your market seeks. When you share the top ideas, especially when you’re part of the list, you show up on searches for other parts of the list. You’re ON the list, therefore they find you too.

When I started building my business there was a guy who did nothing but write Top 10 Lists of anything he could think of. His lists directed people to his favorite top ten of whatever he wrote about, and usually those were specifically things he was interested in. I may never forget my favorite of his lists. He had one that was called Top 10 Hotdog Stands in Denver. I remember driving home one afternoon from a meeting, hungry, tired, frustrated because the meeting didn’t go particularly well, and there it was hanging over the sidewalk, a sign that said, “Custer’s Hot Dogs”. I’d never been to the place, but I love hot dogs, so I had read the article. I remembered that Custer’s was number 3 on his list, so I pulled in and parked.

That was the best Hot Dog I remember ever having. I went back to my computer, looked up his website, and started looking for the other Hot Dog Stands he recommended. WOW! Those were some amazing Hot Dogs. And, I’ve been back to several of those hot dog stands since, even though his website has been totally gone for nearly five years. If I’m in the neighborhood, I still stop at those Hot Dog Stands. That’s good marketing!

If you’re looking for a great way to market your business, I’m telling you, “Top 10 Best Lists” are the WAY to go.

Ten Top 10 Best Lists You Could Write to Market Your Business

  1. Top 10 Biggest Competitors
  2. Top 10 Newest Concepts
  3. Top 10 Easiest Ways to Accomplish a Goal
  4. Top 10 Most Scenic Places to Do
  5. Top 10 Most Functional Habits of Leaders
  6. Top 10 Most Effective Ways to Get It Done
  7. Top 10 Busiest Days of the Year
  8. Top 10 Simplest Step-By-Step Programs
  9. Top 10 Phrases to Search in Your Industry
  10. Top 10 Marketing Ideas for Your Niche

Now just change the words that come after Top 10 and add your own thoughts, then write your top ten list to market your business online. Easy, peasy, right?

I can think of a million of these, how about you?

8 Golden Success Secrets for Small Businesses

Running a small business is as challenging as trekking to Mt. Everest without having oxygen cylinder, prior practice, and a valid map guide. The challenges are only because there are no authentic rules that can lead a small business towards success while other major obstacles comprise: low budget, limited manpower, and lack of efficient resources. But as a small business owner, you must delve into the passcodes that help you decode the secret patterns of operating a successful startup or small business. It not only helps you to sustain your current growth but also excel your business planning’s to achieve higher objectives. There are a few suggestions based on real-world experiences, which can assist you to hit the bull’s eye.

1- Utilize the power of social media:

Nowadays, the entire world revolves around social media and if you are able to use its full potential, it can immediately help you increase your sales and brand reputation with very minimum resource and effort. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, help you connect with a large scale of users, where you can directly interact with them, thereby allowing you to convert them into your potential clients. It forms a two-way channel that not only allows you to put your message across but also, listen to what your targeted audience want, which eventually goes a long way in improving and growing your business.

2- Research and analyze your competition:

A business turns to be successful only if it runs on some finely grinned facts and figures. And competition analysis is one of the most important elements of the process. Competition analysis tells you the strength you will require to establish your brand in the market as well as it helps to prepare your business planning adequately so that you could avoid the chances of business failure. An additional benefit of competition research is it allows for designing and developing more feasible and user-oriented products that eventually help you attain a competitive edge over the current market.

3- Work as per your plan but be flexible too:

Efficient planning is a roadmap that drives your business to the top in the long run with predefined routes. It is always advised to stick with our planning even if we face a few hurdles while running our business given that the strategies are designed after in-depth analysis. And day-to-day challenges should not incline you to alter with whatever you planned. The winners always back their business plannings regardless of the stiff challenges, but on the other side, a successful business requires the owner to be flexible enough to embrace new changes. Adapting the new ideas and concepts not only makes a business owner take smart decisions but also, keeps their core planning intact and fresh.

4- Use informative materials to build trust and loyalty:

The Internet is the best medium to reach out to the huge audience with less effort, but you should keep the fact in mind that there is already a heavy flow of advertisements and endorsements all over the web. So, what can be an efficient way to create our presence with a significant impact?

There are definitely some better ways to do it like using informative online materials such as well-written blogs, well-designed infographics, animated videos demonstrating some set of skills, and presentation sheets, etc. Following such practices will attract a huge mass to our platform to learn and engage with us, which gives a sense of trust and ultimately convert them into our long-term clients.

5- Hire your weaknesses:

A small business consists of a team of limited dedicated professionals, having different skill sets of all the corners to tackle most of the business requirements. Small businesses, sometimes, compromise in some crucial areas since they can’t hire specific individuals due to the lack of budget. To get your business positioned to the top, please don’t bear with your inefficient area. Rush into hiring experienced professional(s) so that all parts of your business fire with the same intensity.

6- Be ready for mergers and acquisitions:

Even after working with your full potential, you may not generate enough force to compete with the leading competitors. Other small businesses with the same concept may face the same situations. Just find them and join in the talks to check the possibilities of the merger to form a combined force, which can provide the required pace and power to achieve the common business goals. Mergers have a long, rich history of producing successful businesses, so don’t shy away with it. Similarly, business acquisitions are a noble idea to inject more strength to our business if budget allows us to do so.

7- Keep the quality service always on:

Quality service is the most important source that keeps your client for a longer period of time and it spreads huge positive feedbacks in the mass, driving in a large number of new clients. There have been more than just a few businesses reaching to the top just on the base of excellent service and even without spending a bomb on advertisements and business promotions. While there are other businesses which have failed miserably because of giving no importance to the quality of the services they provided. All in all, having the sound quality of the products/services is the key to succeeding in today’s cut throat competition.

8- Don’t give up:

Running a successful business is not a child’s play since it requires a lot of guts, courage, and risk-taking capabilities. It, sometimes, shakes your ambitions when going through some rough patches, and you need to have the burning desires within you to keep it alive. Keeping patience is also an important character that the small business owner must have, as the formation of a business and climb the ladder of success, demands to wait for long period of time. So, as a business owner, you need to instill never give up attitude to see your dreams come true!!

Summing it up, though the above-mentioned points are not entirely foolproof but yes, following these points will definitely help you to become a smart small business owner who can defy all the challenges and get on the top of the competition. Of Course, the chances of success or failure of your business completely depends on your planning and execution.