Most business owners have heard the old saw: Marketing is the gas that makes your business go.
If consumers don’t know who you are and what you do, they can’t do business with you. Simple enough, right? But let me ask a follow-up question: What kind of gas mileage are you getting from your marketing? Don’t take a guess; speculation won’t do. Unless you want to risk a lot of wasted money, you need the hard numbers. […]
The proliferation of small, inexpensive video cameras, coupled with the ease of online video sharing, has made wildly gyrating, poorly composed videography with garbled sound commonplace in the public eye. But just because people have seen a lot of poor video doesn’t mean they like it. Bad video is often good for a laugh, but it’s not going to sell much of anything. […]
In a previous post, I pointed out that E-commerce is real business. If you’re an aspiring E-commerce owner, that means you need to do many of the same things as a “bricks and mortar” startup. Write (and execute) a business plan, secure your suppliers, budget your cash and prepare for customers. […]
Search engines love good text content, so why do so many website owners and their web designers devote so little effort to creating the words that will represent them on the Internet? Creating text content that works for your website takes some time, and even more thought. A few elemental mistakes can negatively impact the quality of your text, both in the search engines and in the eyes of your customers. […]
It’s one of those silly myths of cooking. Throw a pasta noodle at the wall; if it sticks, it’s done.
You don’t even have to be addicted to the Food Network or the Cooking Channel to know that just isn’t true. If a noodle sticks, it usually means nothing more than you just threw a wet noodle at the wall. Since pasta gets gummier the more it cooks, it might even mean your pasta is over-cooked. […]
If you’re new to the universe of E-commerce, there’s a Big Secret that you need to know. The night before you launch your E-commerce website, a squad of specially trained gremlins will break into your office and steal your Easy Button. It doesn’t matter where you hide it, how much you paid for it or what time you plan to launch the new site. You’ll start looking for the Easy Button that first day, and It. Will. Be. Gone. […]
When a website represents your business online, you can’t really afford for it to have bad photos running around scaring away your customers. Hiring a professional photographer for your business images is the best solution, but it’s not always practical for everybody. So a lot of website owners resort to taking their own photos, or having somebody on their staff with a decent camera do the job for them. […]
You’ve decided that this year, finally, your business deserves a new website. Maybe you want to get rid of the current website, which was built on that free hosting service by your nephew. Or maybe your business has never had a website before at all. Either way, creating a website can be a daunting project. You want to read something scary? Hit the search engines and look for “website project management.” You can lose your mind trying to sort through all of that stuff. […]
Are the walls of your business overgrown with mildew and crusted with old paint? Does the receptionist’s desk proudly display an “Employee of the Year” photo of somebody who retired in 1997? Do you keep inventory space in the warehouse reserved for products you haven’t carried for the last five years?
I hope not.
Your place of business needs to make a good first impression when a potential customer walks in the door — that’s just business basics. Your company’s website should also make a good first impression. Even more importantly, it needs to accurately reflect what your company does and how you do it. […]
One of the most common problems that trips up aspiring e-commerce store owners is the issue of shipping. When I’m helping a client plan their e-commerce project, one of the first questions I like to ask is: “How do you plan on getting your products into the hands of your customers?”
About half the time, I discover that they haven’t given the subject any thought at all. It doesn’t surprise me. There are so many things to consider and so many issues to address with the start-up of a new online store, that I can’t really blame folks for not going into too much detail in planning for something that may initially appear “automatic” to them. […]
So you’ve got yourself a brand-new website for your business. It looks great, delivers your business message quickly, and visitors are raving about how easy it is to find the information they need. The website even has a content management system (CMS) that lets you make changes to information and images on the site without so much as a phone call to your developer.
Depending on the type of content management tools your site uses and how they’ve been programmed to work, you can add, delete, modify and move around almost any piece of information on your website. Content management can be an extremely powerful tool — you might even say that it’s “dynamite”.
Just make sure you don’t use the dynamite to blow yourself up. […]
Depending on the sources you read or the people you listen to, the humble PCs that help power your business are either the handiest tools invented since the crescent wrench or a sinister cluster of ticking time bombs waiting for just the right moment to blast all of your important business data to smithereens.
While the “smithereens” proponents may have gotten a boost from McAfee’s recent flub of an anti-virus update, the truth of the matter lies closer to the “handiest tools” end of the spectrum. For many businesses, computers are indispensible. Period. So the trick becomes figuring out how to integrate computers into your business without putting your most important information at risk of getting blown to Kingdom Come. […]