Using an IT Helpdesk to Boost Your Business

When computer problems occur in this day and age, they have the potential to bring entire operations grinding to a halt.

Productivity Costs

Imagine how much productivity is lost during a 30 minute Internet outage, then add up the outages that have occurred in a business throughout the year and there are bound to be major gaps in output. Simply put, it’s better for business when an IT department is efficiently run.

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Why you need business insurance?

At present, many companies are provided with business insurance policies to safeguard their businesses. It can be defined as a risk management option to nullify the loss of a business firm.

As said earlier, any company owner in need to protect his or her businesses from risk factors like theft, natural disaster and automobile accidents can make use of business insurance. Apart from the above specified factors, you can also claim for insurance for factors like death or disability of key employees and legal liability. Today, both small and large companies are making use of business insurances to safeguard their businesses.

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What Marketers Do Better than Machines

Automation is a scary idea for many industries, because it seems to signal that many jobs will vanish. Especially in marketing, a business of largely analytical tasks for a high payout. Experienced marketers rely on automated reports, culling data that is automatically tracked. But automation can’t do everything, and it’s not a single solution to every problem your campaign faces. Anyone who uses Google AdWords knows that you can typically outperform the ad optimizer if you know even a little bit about display advertising. As your skills grow, you’ll find automation can’t keep up with you. There are some things that humans do better.

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Optimizing Banner Advertising

Optimization means different things to different campaigns. A real estate agent, for instance, might want to optimize their name as a brand. Amazon wants to optimize its product pages to draw in more sales. Here are some tips to optimize for your display advertising campaigns.

Goals

Before we dive into advice, it’s important to establish goals. We’re not talking about goals in analytics. Understanding the aims of your campaign will guide everything you do. Branding will require retargeting, for instance. Establish your aims first, then look at the tools you’ll use to achieve those goals.

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How to Target Specific Segments of a Market

When you purchase traffic from a buy-side platform, you have to segment your audience in order to get the maximum benefit. These platforms buy traffic from all over the Web, offering several categories to work with. If you don’t segment that traffic you will spend profusely for visits that don’t actually help your conversion rate.

Targeting is one of the best benefits a buy-side platform offers to you, and you can bring out a campaign’s true earning potential. However, getting to that point requires a diligent study of your audience. Read on for tips to accumulate meaningful data you can use to segment your target market.

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Is frozen yogurt healthier than ice cream?

Written by Gelato Products

Frozen yogurt shops have become popular treat among adults and kids alike. This could be due to its taste or the fact that people believe it is a healthier choice compared to ice cream. Here are a few facts that will help you decide.

Serving Size – Usually self-serve yogurt in white paper cups hold about 16-24 oz. On average frozen yogurt has about 100 calories per ½ cup. Therefore a full yogurt serve of 24oz will offer 500 calories or more.

Calories per oz – Since frozen yogurt has fewer calories from fat than ice cream, you will consume less fat. For example, a ½ cup of vanilla ice cream will have 100 calories and 2g of fat, while a ½ cup of frozen yogurt will have 100 calories and 0g of fat.

Probiotics – Probiotics is a beneficial bacteria that frozen yogurt supplies advertise. This form of bacteria is beneficial for your gut and will aid in digestion. To ensure your frozen yogurt has probiotics, look for the National Yogurt Association Live & Active Cultures seal.

The facts above suggests that frozen yogurt is healthier than ice cream. But it is important to keep your serving sizes to ½ a cup and to load up on fresh fruit instead of candy, like chocolate sprinkles, crushed cookies or brownies. Some of these candies have a hefty 50 calories per serve.

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Gelato Products specializes in ice cream shop supplies for various occasions. Some of their products offerings include gelato cups and spoons along with coffee cups and lids.

5 Ways to create a marketing strategy for your small business

Marketing strategies can take a small firm time, funds and focus away from sales. However, a successful marketing strategy can help to reach your target market and increase your sales in a very short period of time. Here are a few ways to create a marketing strategy for small businesses.

Determine your objective – It is important that you document every expectation that needs to be met for a project to succeeds. For example, if you are spending X amount on social media this month, you should know how the money is translating into your business’s growth. If you are not making more than you spent, you should seriously consider changing your approach.

Who is my target audience? – Know your target market, what their likes, hobbies, lifestyle and interests are. This will give you an idea of what content, products, and services will best interest them.

Create and document your strategy – Once conditions of satisfaction have been outlined you should outline a plan and filter the details to the rest of your team. One document shared amongst the team will let each employee know what role they play in the overall plan.

Get personal – Personalizing your message will keep you loyal customers engaged. Do this my sending messages by name and remembering important dates like birthdays, anniversaries and offering special discounts.

Content is important – Quality content is always important since your customers will know that you have taken the time and effort to offer them something that is worth reading.

 

3 Things small businesses should outsource

Outsourcing certain vital services will help startups to reduce overheads and move revenue to grow your operations, while freeing time for your staff to look into more pressing issues. The 3 areas explained below are vital to managing and growing a healthy business.

Content marketing – Content marketing provides information to your target audience and helps to nurture a relationship. The best way to make the most of content marketing is not to push sales, but earn trust and respect of those who may buy your products or services. Most large companies will have people responsible to generate content, but small businesses will not have the resources for this purpose. Therefore outsourcing your content marketing is a good way to create a strong relationship and a lasting impression about your company.

Bookkeeping – Small businesses are known to have employees that wear multiple hats. But this should not be the case for your finances. Making mistakes on your finances can really set a business back. Therefore outsource your bookkeeping to an experienced team, that is reliable and will provide you with the information you need to build your business.

Payroll – With a number of requirements and regulations on payroll, the calculations can take hours and the payouts are important. Mistakes on this end can trigger audits and cost your business in fines. Therefore it is a good idea to outsource your payroll to a reliable service that will provide your employees with the right salaries and benefits.

 

How to Save Big on Everyday Shopping

Today’s ever-increasing prices force consumers to look for the best shopping deals. Here are some ways to find the least expensive products:

Save on Groceries

While it may seem counter-intuitive to shop for groceries online, it is becoming the new norm. You can often find the best online shopping deals when you shop around and compare prices. This is made easy with a variety of shopping apps and websites which can help you find coupons and discounts right when you need them.

Save on Clothing

There are many ways to save on clothing. Discount shopping online is one of the best methods to find the best prices on the items you desire. Better yet, you can sign up with various websites to receive advanced notice of their sales. Making several purchases from an online retailer often entitles you to premier service which translates into great deals.

Save on Gifts

When it is time to go shopping for holidays or birthdays, you don’t have to break the bank. First of all, if you plan ahead and shop early, you are likely to find items on sale. Next, it often only takes a few mouse clicks to find coupon deals that can be stacked with a sale to make the best deals. Finally, an online shopping portal is offered by many major credit cards and allows you to earn bonus points for your purchases. Not only do you get the item you purchased, but you can purchase others with the bonus points you collect. It’s a win-win situation.


Costbuys is a new online shopping portal for monthly recurring orders on the household products you use everyday. To learn more, and save big, visit Costbuys today.

 

9 Tips for first time entrepreneurs

First-time entrepreneurs can sometimes be paralyzed with starting and running a new business. Here are some valuable tips that will help entrepreneurs through their rewarding, yet stressful journey.

Take risks. – It is important that entrepreneurs moving into business know that it is a good thing to take risks. Apart from the thrill and excitement, risk-taking will help your business grow.

Cold email everyone – Cold emails are great to get your product or service to different markets.

Keep an idea journal – Idea journals are a good way to jot down great ideas that come to you in the middle of the night or while you are at a meeting.

Network up – Use mentorship opportunities to help to strengthen your knowledge.

Network horizontally – It is important that your peers are there to help you through your journey. Meet them regularly.

Network down – You will have more knowledge and experience than others. Give back and help other upcoming entrepreneurs with what you have learned so far.

Be open to advice – Business advice can really push your business to where you want it to go. Always appreciate and take on advice from others.

And don’t listen – Learn to trust your gut and sift through advice.

Work with people you like – It will be a miserable journey to the top if you are forced to work with people who are difficult to work with.

 

What You Need to Know about EMV as a Merchant

Merchant services have begun utilizing credit card machines that have small inserts at the base for new credit cards. Customers in the US are familiar with the magnetic strip, but a new kind of security standard called “Europay, Mastercard, Visa” (or EMV) is here to stay. Compliance isn’t a requirement for every business, but it certainly helps to get on board now while it’s optional.

What Makes EMV Secure

When a merchant account processes payments, it reads the payment data from the customer’s card. In the past, this data came from a magnetic strip that was easy to hack. EMV creates a special transaction number to authorize the payment, so when thieves try to steal that information they end up with a unique identifier that won’t function outside of that transaction.

Experts hope this will help customers and retailers avoid fraud.

Using EMV

There are two steps to small business credit card processing with EMV cards. The customer will insert his or her EMV card into the terminal, where a brief processing period authorizes the transaction. Data flows from the card to the merchant processor, which helps to verify the transaction and payment details. These transactions do take a bit more time to process, but the safety is worth the wait.

Final Thoughts

There is no way to completely stop fraud in its tracks, but we can take steps to dramatically reduce instances of it occurring. A user’s card may still be used if his wallet is stolen, for instance, but cutting instances where fraud can occur is important to everyone.


For six years running, Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. has been voted the most affordable and simple merchant account online.

Ways to market a small business for less than $100

For small businesses, making sure your marketing investments pay off is vital. Here are some marketing strategies that will cost you $100 or less while providing you with a good return on investment.

Research your market (cost: $0) – If you identify who your ideal buyer is, you will be more likely to understand how best to market to them. Understand gaps in the marketplace and how best you can advertise in them. This will also involve analyzing your competitors and how they target their consumers.

Turn email into your heavy hitter (Cost: From $20 to 50 per month – up to 5,000 contacts) – Email marketing works well for businesses and startups. It is the preferred communication method for many consumers as they are given the time to understand what product or service which is being sold.

Faster hosting for your website (Cost: $9 per month) – Since most consumers do research on what they intend to buy online; you should ensure that your audiences are engaged and intrigued for longer on your website. Do this by providing quick and easy access to visitors to your website. Your website should also be able to automatically detect what type of device your consumers are using and amend the format automatically.

Be strategically social (Cost: $41-71 per month) – For example, a sponsored post on Facebook or LinkedIn will only cost you $41. These forms of advertising will help to target consumers who will be more likely to buy your product or service.

 

Dos and Don’ts for small business finance

As a small business owner, you will have to learn the basics of funding, bookkeeping, and building relationships with lenders and investors. Here are practical do’s and dont’s that will help small business finance themselves.

Focus on the meaning and not money – Speak to your investors about your company and what you are passionate about. It is important that your product or service fulfills an important need, that is unique.

Your team defines your business – Investors like to invest in people that they feel can build a business. Gather a team of people who have experience in your industry and can bring different viewpoints to the table.

Choose investors that care – Your investor is going to be an ambassador of your business and they are going to represent you. Therefore, your investor should share your values and motivation to grow your business.

Use technology to reduce high startup costs – Today businesses can start up with a minimal budget, due to many online services, marketing and management tools available. Try your best to automate your business using social media and use services like Freshbooks, Paypal and Stripe.

Stay Hands-On with your Finances – Spend time understanding your business’s finances and pay close attention to numbers. It is important that you monitor financial reports and cash flows regularly.

Budget every dollar – Use budgets and realistic sales projections to plan and run your business. Make sure budgeting is included in hiring, travel and all expenses incurred for running the business.

Crafty Subject Lines Can Improve Your Lead Generation

When working on your email marketing tactics, consider optimizing your subject lines.

Emails that have been segmented tend to garner a higher performance versus ones that aren’t. One can expect to see a higher open rate and click through rate with the use of personalization. According to various studies, segmented and targeted emails generate more than half of all revenue for the marketers that were surveyed, and over 30% of revenues were driven by the personalized emails sent. Now, this isn’t surprising due to the face that segmented emails provide a subject line that is catered to the consumer – meaning they feel like a person rather than a number in an email.

Clear, Concise, and Catchy…

When writing a subject line, you should always prioritize clarity. Furthermore, you should also consider the catchiness of your content. However, never sacrifice clarity for the entertainment value. Not only can this harm your marketing campaign, but it can also put you in a bind where you lose subscriptions.

When you’re crafting your subject line, you’re going to want to create something that essentially will stand out to your consumer base. This could be something that is both eye-popping but informative at the same time. You want to let your reader know that what they’re about to open is worth their time – even if it’s just enough for them to simply open the email. By focusing on mastering this technique, you will be able to create subject lines that help your clickthrough and open rates.


eTargetMedia can help you with all your email marketing needs. If you are in need of a premiere email list, visit eTargetmedia online today and inquire about their elite services.

6 Sources of business financing

Baker in Shop Doorway

Baker in Shop Doorway

The way you finance your business, can have a substantial impact on your business’s success or failure. It is a good idea to have a number of different financial sources to gather capital because financing this way can save you money and prevent bankruptcy. Here are 6 sources of business financing that will help you get the funds you need to start your business.

Angel equity – If you are looking to get your company started it is a good idea to look for an industry executive who is interested in investing. On top of the capital investment, you can benefit from the advice and networking opportunities that an investor can bring.

Smart leases – Leasing a fixed asset is a good way save your cash for working capital.

Bank loans – Banks will provide provide short-, mid- or long-term financing. They can also finance different business needs from capital, equipment or real estate.

Local and state economic development organizations – These institutions provide low interest rates, compared with a bank. In some cases development organizations will provide extended terms to assist payment.

Customers – Advance payments from customers, can assit you to keep your business growing. This is possible when you have a strong relationship with your customers and when they truly believe in your product or service.

Friends and family members – Your loved ones will be the most willing to offer you business support. Just remember to be clear on the terms of interest and the repayment period.