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As a small business, you likely put a lot of time and effort into your marketing. Naturally, you need to generate revenue and increase your audience – and there’s no greater way to achieve this than marketing. 

In 2021, marketing is a complex avenue, to say the least. Businesses use many different marketing strategies (some more successfully than others), from posting on social media pages to promotional emails. However, consumer habits and behaviors are constantly changing, which ultimately means marketing strategies must evolve with them, too. This has created a volatile marketing industry – as strategies that were effective today might not be so effective tomorrow! 

It’s important to remember, though, that when marketing is done right, it will create instant success. 

Also, marketing in 2021 is low-cost in comparison to what it was in previous decades – which should be music to the ears of small business owners around the world. Yes, it’s true – you don’t need to spend big on your marketing!

So, here are some of the best low-cost, proven marketing tips that will help bolster your small business and drive it forward. 

 

 

  • Use SMS marketing

 

SMS marketing has solidified itself as one of the most effective forms of marketing over the past several years. These days, phones are glued to people’s hands (not literally, though). Because of this, they never miss a text message – which means SMS marketing is highly visible. Consumers are guaranteed to see it, whether it’s a promotion for a new product or an advertisement for an upcoming summer sale.  

Therefore, your small business needs to have fast sms marketing that will successfully appeal to your audience. When you have this, your brand engagement and sales will explode – what’s not to love about that? 

 

 

  • Offer referral incentives to customers

 

Customer referrals – although they won’t grow your audience into the millions – are a traditional yet still valuable way to market your business at a low cost. 

A common tactic deployed now is businesses offer referral incentives – meaning they offer existing customers money, vouchers, or discounts if they successfully refer a new customer to join them. However, your incentives must remain within your financial restraints. For example, if you have a reasonable budget, offer customers something like 40% off their next purchase for a successful referral – you get the idea. 

 

 

  • Have an aesthetically pleasing logo 

 

An excellent logo – like Burger King’s latest unveiling – is extremely important when it comes to marketing.  

They say never judge a book by its cover – but consumers certainly do when it comes to logos. 

Sure, it’s not the defining factor of successful marketing. However, it’s a key component that can’t afford to misfire. 

Therefore, you should hire an excellent web designer to create a modern, aesthetically pleasing logo that will appeal to modern consumers in 2021. 

Right now, many businesses are using minimalistic logos – which is something to consider. 

 

 

  • Make frequent social media posts 

 

Guess what? It doesn’t cost anything to post marketing content to your social media pages which, considering the global reach that platforms like Facebook and Instagram have, is pretty astounding. 

Whereas you need to pay for radio advertisement slots or billboards in your local city, one of the most proven methods – social media marketing – remains free (at least for now). Your small business should take advantage of this by regularly posting content to your pages – be it product updates or employee blogs. 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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May
19

How to Make Time for a Daily Prayer

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Life is crazy. Trying to fit any time in for yourself can be a struggle sometimes, but daily prayer is vital to every Christian’s walk.

But how do you find time to pray, and what does prayer even look like? To learn more about the power of prayer and how to make it part of your daily routine, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn hot to pray and the importance of prayer. 

Jesus Prayed: Be Like Jesus

When we read the gospels we see Jesus taking time throughout his day to go off and pray. Whether he was surrounded by disciples asking him questions, crowds asking for healing, or enemies trying to entrap him, he still made time to get away and be with his Father in prayer.

By doing this, Jesus models the necessity of pausing your schedule and going off to spend time with your heavenly Father. Making time for daily prayer may seem overwhelming, so let’s break down the basics of how to pray.

What Is Prayer?

We prioritize what is important to us. If we view praying as empty words flying off into space, then we aren’t going to make much effort to fit that into our daily routine.

We need to understand what prayer is to be motivated to spend time in daily prayer. Prayer means that not only are we coming before the throne of God but that the creator of the universe hears us because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Set Specific Prayer Times

According to the Old Testament, every morning and every evening the Israelites would quote the Shema, which is found in Deuteronomy 6:4. Listen, Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. This was what all of God’s people did for thousands of years, and we can learn from their pattern of daily prayer.

As soon as we wake up, we should have our own version of the Shema. This can be just a few seconds to acknowledge who God is, and why He’s worthy of worship.

Every night as we lay our head on our pillow there should be a time where we are reflecting on our day. It can be thinking about our successes, failures, what we need to thank God for, and for what we need to repent.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus provides the disciples with “The Lord’s Prayer” which models how He wants His people to pray.

By waking up praying Deuteronomy 6:4 and then going to sleep praying Matthew 5:9-14 will provide you with great structured Biblical prayers.

Specific Prayer

Prayer is not just about structure, it is also about the freedom to pray whenever and where ever you need to.

Many of Jesus’s prayers were in preparation for hard trials. Before he was tempted by Satan, he went into the wilderness and spent 40 days fasting and praying. The night before Jesus went to the cross, he spent time praying for strength. He even told the disciples, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation”.

When we see a difficult situation coming up, that should be an automatic trigger in our mind that we need to take a few minutes and pray.

Guided Prayer

One of the biggest obstacles in prayer is not only learning when to pray but also how to pray. There are many great short prayers in the Bible, and as you desire to go deeper in prayer but don’t know how, you should turn to the Psalms.

Read a few lines of a Psalm, and then pray what that Psalm says. With 150 Psalms to choose from, you will have no shortage of topics to pray through.

If you are still struggling with prayer, it’s important to be involved in a good church (like Parkway Fellowship). There you can find more one-on-one guidance and accountability.

Daily Prayer Amid the Chaos

Chances are, if you have time to check social media, you have time to pray. Now that you understand the importance of daily prayer, you can make it a priority to your normal routine.

For more encouragement and advice, check out the pieces in the “Balance My Life” section.

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Mar
25

4 Tips For Growing Your Business This Year

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No matter how big or small your business might currently be, it is likely that growth is a key part of your long-term plan. This guide is here to help you actualize your business growth goals. The list below offers four useful tips to help business owners grow their business this year.

  1. Stay in Contact With Customers

To begin growing your business, you need capital, and what is one of the best ways to secure this capital you need? It is staying in contact with existing customers. There are a few reasons why businesses looking to grow should focus on retaining existing customers rather than gaining new customers. Firstly, it is cheaper and requires fewer intensive resources to retain an existing customer than it is to convert a new customer. Secondly, existing customers are likely to spend more per purchase than first-time customers. Thirdly, existing customers are more likely to be responsive to your marketing efforts. So how do you stay in contact with those customers that will offer you these benefits?

As Tatango.com explains, businesses that are looking to establish a better relationship with existing customers should do so via messages. Whether it is SMS or email, messaging your customers is a quick, cheap, and effective method of communication. You should send customers personalized emails with promotions or discounts to motivate purchases and increase customer loyalty.

 

  1. Work on Your Branding

Branding is an essential practice that can have a huge impact on business growth. Before you begin growing your business, you need to consider how your branding supports your aims. Are you extending your product range? Are you trying to grow your customer base internationally? Are you increasing your prices? Any tactic that you are using to grow your business should be supported by a branding strategy. The right branding will help you to form a deeper connection with customers and bring your business credibility. You must consider your current branding before implementing any business growth practices.

 

  1. Support Your Staff

Growing your business requires your staff to be working together, aligned in one common goal. Business owners need to support their staff to ensure the best chance of success with their business growth. There are many ways that business owners can better support their staff. You could begin by paying closer attention to employee engagement. This will show you how your employees feel about their work and your business. Engaged employees will go above and beyond to further the interests of the company they are working for. You should start monitoring employee engagement to ensure your staff can best support your business growth.

Read More→

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Mar
25

Best Ways to Secure a Website

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When you create a website for any reason, you also need to consider the ways in which you are going to be able to keep it secure. Otherwise, the data of your end users is at risk, and this can seriously put a dampener on your business reputation as a whole. There are several different factors involved in securing a website. Let’s look at some of these in closer detail. 

Conduct a Security Review

Before you do anything else, it is certainly worth conducting a comprehensive security review. This way, you can find out where your weak spots are. Not only this, but you can also take steps to ensure that these are closed off. There are plenty of companies such as Veracode that can help out in this task. Once the recommendations are made, it is then worth taking steps to put them into action for yourself.

Keep Your Website Updated 

While it may seem like updates are being constantly requested on the various elements of your site, you should understand and appreciate that these are happening for a reason. Using software that is out of date is like leaving the back door open. It is often much easier for hackers to crack. Security updates occur based on ever-changing information and criminal methodologies, and you can give your site a helping hand by ensuring that you make the necessary updates at the right time. 

Use Smart Passwords 

Unfortunately, too many of us are still in the habit of making passwords that are easily guessable, as well as using the same one to log into everything. Not only this, but we also do not update them as often as we should. While it may seem like a small and simple thing, being a little bit smarter with your passwords can seriously help when it comes to slamming the door shut on hackers, so it is certainly worth doing.

Backup Your Files 

Here is another piece of advice that seems simple, but it is also one that many people simply forget to do: back up your files. Many are using cloud-based servers these days in order to do this. This way, even if hackers are able to get onto your website and cause some damage, you are properly prepared and can get access to your important documents all over again.  Read More→

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Feb
18

5 Ways to Stand Out While Working from Home

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We would all like our work to stand out and exemplify our high standards, but how can you achieve this when working from home?

It can take people some time to adapt to working from home, but once you get the hang of it, there are plenty of opportunities to do some outstanding work. Here are some tips to help you stand out while working from home. 

 

The Little Things Still Matter

All the small things that matter in the physical world still matter when you are working virtually. People don’t have as much contact with you as they normally would, so in many ways, you’re going to be judged even more on things like punctuality and presentation. 

The little things are completely within your control, so make sure you are taking care of them every time. 

 

Technology is Important 

It is difficult to do your best work from home if you do not have the right technology. If you are going to get the most out of your working arrangement, you need to have a good internet connection and the right software to get the job done. 

If you are not completely familiar with the technology you need to work from home, then it is worthwhile taking a little extra time and even a course to make sure you know how everything works. When you are comfortable in your environment, you will work a lot better, and part of this is being familiar with your tech. 

 

Keep Things Personal 

You may have less face-to-face interaction with people when you work from home, but that does not mean you cannot still make things personal. 

For example, nothing is stopping you from checking in with someone after a zoom call and keeping up the relationship as you might in the office. Standing out while working from home is not just about doing good work, but it is also about being a team player as well, and you can do this by keeping things personal. 

Even if it is just a personalized email signature from rocketseed.com, it can make a difference. 

 

Communication is Key 

When you’re working as part of a remote team, it’s more important than ever to focus on your communication. 

Even if you are doing great work, if you are not communicating properly with your team, it is going to appear like you are not putting in the hard yards. However, this is easy to overcome by making yourself easy to contact and focusing on clear communication. 

When people are spread out all over the place, collaboration is key, and you cannot achieve this without good communication. 

 

Go the Extra Mile 

Going the extra mile is a great way to stand out from the crowd no matter what you are doing. Even though you are working from home, nothing is stopping you from seeking extra responsibilities and putting yourself forward to do more. 

You never know what opportunities might arise from volunteering to do something new, so do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Feb
01

8 Benefits of Working from Home

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Working from home has become much more common over the last year due to the current global COVID-19 pandemic. However, safety is not the only reason to work from home – in fact, there are plenty of advantages to doing so! Here we will look at eight reasons why home working could be great for you.

You can control your working environment to suit you

Different people work most effectively in different environments. While some people thrive in a busy office, many of us prefer a space of our own choosing. Do you work best in dim light, with specific music on? You can set up the perfect workspace for you in your own home instead of having to go with what your boss has chosen.

There are fewer distractions from co-workers

Although people can still contact you via phone, email, instant messaging, and other communication tools if you work from home, you are far less likely to be distracted by the conversation of the two co-workers who just won’t stop talking loudly across the office.

You can wear whatever you choose

Don’t feel like putting on your smart shirt and trousers? No worries! When working from home, you can wear whatever you want (or even nothing at all if you live alone!). If you want to type out a report while sitting in your nightgown, nobody can stop you.

You can carry out household and garden chores

Of course, you still need to get plenty of work done. However, those few-minute gaps that you spend waiting to receive emails or waiting for pages to load can be spent doing the dishes or watering plants, saving you having to do it outside of working hours.

You don’t need to commute

When working from home, the only distance that you need to travel is from your bed to your desk. There is no need to spend time and money every day traveling to work and back via car or public transport.

You can be flexible with your schedule

While some working-from-home jobs still require you to clock in and out and be available for meetings at certain times, plenty of jobs allow you to be more flexible, particularly if you are self-employed. If you prefer to work at night rather than during office hours, you may be able to arrange this.

You can respond to home emergencies more quickly

Nothing is worse than returning from the office to find your house flooded from a bathroom leak that has been going for hours. If you work from home, you will notice much more quickly and be able to promptly grab tools, plastic welding kits, or anything else you may need to quickly deal with the emergency before it does too much damage.

You can spend more time with your children

If you have young children, working from home can be extremely convenient in allowing you to supervise them and spend more of your day with them. When they are not at school, you can save money on childcare, and when they are at school, you may be able to schedule the school run into your daily routine more easily!

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Jan
15

How to Start Your Own Business in 2021

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Are you toying with the idea of starting your own business in 2021? Well, don’t let COVID-19 or the state of the global economy put you off! If you work hard enough, there’s no reason why you can’t attain a great deal of success from this venture.

Don’t you want 2021 to be the year you finally embraced your inner entrepreneur? If so, be sure to put the business startup advice laid out below into practice.

 

Dealing with COVID

If you want this to be the year you finally embark on your entrepreneurial endeavor, it’s crucial that you know what you’re letting yourself in for. COVID restrictions are continuing to have a massive impact on the state of play in the world of business, and it’s essential that you come to terms with this. 

Starting your company isn’t going be a walk in the park in 2021, that much cannot be denied, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. If you want to provide your business with the best possible start to life, you’re going to need to learn to deal with the ‘new normal.’ Here are five things you must do to ensure that your organization circumvents the trouble caused by COVID-19:

  • Implement a number of COVID-secure control measures (invest in personal protective equipment (PPE), create space in your working environment, introduce additional hygiene measures to your communal areas, etc.)
  • Perform a COVID risk assessment on a weekly basis
  • Make sure your employees abide by social distancing rules
  • Embrace remote working and only bring essential employees back to the workspace
  • Follow any industry-specific advice that is made available to you

 

Get to grips with today’s top tech

You aren’t going to get very far with your business venture if you fail to get to grips with today’s top tech. With the right tools and solutions by your side, you will stand a much better chance at being able to provide an optimized level of service on a daily basis.

Don’t worry, getting to grips with modern technology doesn’t necessarily have to entail you investing your earnings into cutting-edge robotics or artificial intelligence. There are a number of simple yet effective tech tools out there that will be sure to help you lay a solid foundation for your startup, one of which being Microsoft Excel. Here are just a few of the standout benefits that you will be sure to reap once you embrace this spreadsheet solution:

  • Enhanced data storage
  • Quicker calculations
  • Improved data analysis capabilities
  • Easier data visualization
  • Report printing optimization

Want to take full advantage of your Excel solution? If so, you should enroll yourself on a Computergaga course right away. Once you take part in this type of educational program, you will be sure to learn all about the intricacies and nuances of Excel. Come the end of the course, you will be in a better position to optimize your Microsoft usage.

If you’re serious about starting a business in 2021, be sure to heed all of the advice and guidance listed above.

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Jan
14

5 Pieces of Tech Your Home Business Need

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If you have recently moved your business to your home, or are looking to start one from your house, you may be asking yourself what kind of tech you will need in order to make sure that it is a roaring success. Thankfully, you have come to the right place as this article will outline the different bits of software and hardware we recommend that you should install in order to have the smoothest running home business possible. Read on for five key recommendations to get you up and running. 

 

Security Operating System 

Whether you are working just by yourself, or are responsible for several remote colleagues, it is very important to make sure that the system you are running is completely safe and secure. That’s why is it recommend to install a security operating system that encrypts all your data and protects it from malicious hackers. One option is sonicos 7, courtesy of the company SonicWall. This is their most sophisticated security operating system yet, with an easy-to-use interface, strong firewall protection, and a great encrypted program. 

 

A Great Webcam and Microphone 

Just because you are working from home by yourself, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be in contact with a lot of people. In business the small things matter, therefore when you are engaged in a video call, it is a brilliant idea to have a great webcam — so people can see you clearly — and microphone to ensure that you are communicating better. Often you can buy these two things as a package, so be on the lookout for great deals on the internet. 

 

High Speed Internet Connection

The worst thing that can happen to your business is not being able to get online and make decisions quickly. This is why it is probably a worthwhile idea to invest in a high speed router that makes sure that you can work at your peak ability. While the top-end stuff is likely to be far more expensive, this is worth it in the long run as bad internet could be potentially deadly for your business. 

 

A Highly Functional Keyboard 

Just like a high-speed internet connection, it’s recommended to install a separate keyboard that is both highly responsive and comfortable for your hands. Even if you have a laptop with an in-built keyboard, they can be cumbersome after a while, making it a great idea to buy a separate one. 

 

A 3D Printer

2D printers are a thing of the past, with 3D printers now rising massively in popularity. They are a really useful tool if you want to print replacement parts for any machinery, or create models that can quickly visualize the kind of projects you want to make. While their futuristic feel does suggest that they are an expensive investment, you will find that a low-end 3D printer can be purchased for the reasonable price of around $200, making it a smart choice for your business. Don’t worry: they can print paper too! 

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Jan
04

The Biggest Challenges of Working from Home

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2020 has been the year of working from home, with more people working remotely than ever before. Many businesses have seen the benefits of remote working, with big companies like Facebook and Amazon choosing to continue offering work from home opportunities in the long term. While there are many benefits to working remotely, it comes with a unique set of challenges. This guide identifies the biggest challenges of remote work and offers possible solutions to these problems.

 

Staying Organized 

Going into the office sets up a clear expectation for the day: “I am going to work”. Such a clear expectation is not established when you roll out of bed, sit on the sofa, and turn on your work computer. To maintain a sense of order and structure in your working day, try to create a designated working area. Ideally, this working area would be separate from spaces you associate with your leisure time, such as the living room. Within your working area, you should have a set ‘work desk’, which could be a corner of your kitchen table. Try and keep your desk and as tidy and organized as possible. Try and only use your working area during working hours to create set boundaries between your work and personal time. Creating a physical representation of work time will help you to maintain a healthier work-life balance.

 

Time Management

When you are working from home, your day is not scheduled for you. You need to be contactable during the working day but, within that, the specific times you work are up to you. This lack of structure can give a false sense of security that you have plenty of time. To combat all-too-common issues with time management, try to start every day by organizing your tasks. Set a schedule and give yourself deadlines for every task you intend to do each day. If you struggle to stay on track, you could try using a project management app.

 

Computer Support and Security 

Working from home presents a range of cybersecurity risks that are not a threat in the office environment. There are many reasons why remote workers are less cyber-secure than office workers. For example, most homes do not have the same security protections that an office system has, such as firewalls or blacklisted IP addresses. If you are concerned about the security of your online computers, consult an IT security company that specializes in remote working, like Online Computers. It is also useful to educate yourself on avoidable security threats such as phishing emails.

 

Communication

Many individuals who have recently started working from home have realized just how valuable office life’s social aspect was. Working in an office makes it very easy for employees to consult with each other, collaborate, and give feedback. Communication is vital increasing productivity and quality of work. The social aspect of work is also very important for worker well-being. Maintaining high communication levels is not impossible for those working from home; it simply has to take another form. Business communication software enables workers to connect in a range of different formats, such as group meetings, video calls, and instant messaging. 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Dec
24

How to Secure Your First Business Deal

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If you have just started a business, you will likely be looking for ways to secure your first business deal. After all, the main purpose of starting any business is to make money, and striking a good business deal can help you accomplish that. It can help you get new financial resources, vital skills, and new connections. In this comprehensive article, we have outlined some of the essential things you need to do to secure your first business deal.

 

  • Be transparent and communicate respectfully
  • Create a mutually beneficial partnership
  • Make life easier for the other party
  • Mark the occasion properly


Be Transparent and Communicate Respectfully


A business deal is a partnership between two or more parties, and as such you need to be transparent from the start. You have to make it clear to your potential business partners that you are there to help them and that you’ll fulfill your promises. Nobody wants to go into business with an untrustworthy person, so you need to make sure that you are truthful and straightforward. If there is anything they need to know that may impact them, let them know.


Apart from being transparent with your potential partners, you also need to communicate with them regularly and respectfully. Keep them in the loop so they’ll know that you cherish the partnership. You can also use a virtual deal room to store and share essential documents with your prospective business partners. You must create an environment where everyone can speak their mind freely. We recommend that you introduce a communication plan from the outset that details how any information will be shared.


Create a mutually beneficial partnership


Every good business partnership should be mutually beneficial. While you are thinking of how you’ll benefit from a business deal, you should also have something worthwhile to bring to the table. Otherwise, your potential business partner will see no reason to enter a deal with you. While it’s important not to overcommit, it is also essential that you are proactive. Remember that expectations may differ, so you want to make sure that you’re on the same page before entering into a business deal.


If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to point it out. You should always do a thorough investigation of your potential business partner to determine if they are credible and capable of delivering on the terms of the deal. 

To secure your first business deal, you need to check your ego while maintaining confidence. You don’t want to appear either weak or proud. This way, your prospective business partners will find it easier to trust you and will feel more comfortable entering a business deal with you.


Summary and Conclusion


Throughout this guide, we’ve highlighted some useful tips that can help you secure your first business deal. Remember that transparency is vital in every business relationship, so you should let your potential business partner know what you have to offer. Aside from that, you should communicate with them respectfully and show them that you are bringing something worthwhile to the table. Always remember to research your potential partner to learn how credible they are.

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