3 Software Programs for Your Business Finances

Bookkeeping for businesses can be tricky, but it does not have to be with some basic financial training and the proper software. But what is the best software? When you have dozens of programs competing for your attention, choosing just one may seem overwhelming. Here is a look at the top software programs that help keep your business finances straight.

 

  1. Intuit QuickBooks Online

 

This software program is ideal for small businesses; it is jam-packed with all sorts of features that benefit businesses from childcare providers, restaurants,image_449193727 and freelancers. Not only that, Intuit QuickBooks Online is affordable, and accountants and CPAs tend to use it as their default program.

 

The only drawback that might give you pause about using Intuit QuickBooks Online is if you prefer to do most or all of your bookkeeping for businesses on a tablet or smartphone; its mobile features are limited, particularly compared with what mobile apps from other accounting programs provide.

 

Now on to the advantages–and they really are tremendous.

.   Suppose your business uses an accountant or retains one later on. Chances are that this person uses Intuit QuickBooks Online. You should have no issues with a transition.

.   The company is great with providing support, whether you prefer online or phone chat. Resources on the QuickBooks website also give you the lowdown on using the software.

.   The ease of use is excellent. You will enjoy third-party integration capabilities with apps covering payment processing, time tracking, marketing and much more. Furthermore, work is done automatically; for example, data syncs to reconcile transactions and expenses, and you can use automation to develop financial reports.

.   The price is affordable; you can pay as little as $9.99 a month for one user (accountants do not count toward this limit).

  1. Xero

 

Perhaps the main negative of Xero is that some accountants tend not to use it, instead opting for Intuit QuickBooks Online. That said if accountants are not a concern or if you find one who can work with Xero (and many accountants do), this program offers worthwhile advantages over QuickBooks.

.   The ease of use is smooth, and Xero has a marked advantage when it comes to mobile devices.

.   Xero is not as costly as the already affordable QuickBooks, and you get more features for the money. For $9 monthly, you can have as many users as you like, 1099s and more, features that cost extra on QuickBooks. If you are searching for a payroll program, Xero’s costs $30, while it would be more like $75 elsewhere.

  1. Wave Accounting

 

If your software needs to be free, you might want to look no further than Wave Accounting, but do consider carefully if your business is really better off with it. If growth past 10 employees is likely, it is best to look elsewhere. Meanwhile, you will have to deal with advertisements and paid customer support. Now on to the advantages.

.   The automation is excellent and includes data syncing and billing.

.   The ease of use is there.

.   A free webinar helps you get started.

So, there you have three programs for three possible situations. Go with Xero if you plan to do much of your accounting from mobile devices. Ditto if you can find an accountant who works with Xero. Otherwise, Intuit QuickBooks Online is excellent.  www.companynews.biz

Guest Bloggers: Fresh Content Source or Search Rankings Killer?

By Ed Ackley

 

In the world of Web 2.0 there’s no denying the captivating power of blogs. A well-constructed blog with solid content is a fantastic venue for information sharing and connecting people around the world. Blog evolution includes many blogs serving as effective business platforms for more and more individuals. Blog proliferation across the Internet is nothing shy of pervasive, but the biggest challenge most bloggers still face is keeping a blog updated with fresh, unique content over long periods of time. The continual flow of unique content over time is still one of the biggest factors determining a high search ranking. Fresh, unique content is so important that many bloggers turn to guest blogging and hosting guest bloggers as a means of ensuring content flow. Unfortunately, for many blogs, the new content produced through guest blogging activities can often lead to harm rather than help. image_409468156

 

King Content

 

The growth of the Internet into the flourishing and dynamic electronic world of Web 2.0 has empowered bloggers and elevated the role blogs play in the everyday lives of Internet users. Blogs have become powerful platforms of connection with content serving as their lifeblood. This content lifeblood, as far as search engines are concerned, is not all created equal. Emphasis on updated content with originality and uniqueness is what search engine algorithms grade. There’s no denying the fact that updated blogs with fresh and unique content outclass stale and neglected blogs. Search ranking results and success is often primarily tied to unique content delivered over a long enough time that an accurate history can be established.

 

Without unique content a blog stands no chance of gaining any traction in critical search engine rankings. Without a solid search ranking, there’s no chance in gaining the critical eyeballs necessary to build an audience and ensure blogging success. And when the need for unique content is coupled with the reality that the content stream must be continuous, many bloggers quickly find themselves in a content drought. Bloggers stranded in content droughts often turn to fellow bloggers for a quick content hit and thus enter the world of guest blogging.

 

Blog Voice

 

Developing a blog and continually producing content is a tough business. Too many bloggers become seduced by the idea of inviting guest bloggers to do a quick post or provide a content article. There’s nothing sweeter than the idea of taking a week off while still being able to produce and post viable content. That’s a proposition most bloggers find hard to pass on. It sounds so great that many bloggers end up doing it over and over.

 

The current blogosphere is littered with blogs utilizing guest blogger posts and articles as a primary means of content creation that many blog’s have lost their voice. The major consequence of using guest blogger provided content in a compacted time span is a loss of a blog’s originality. If an established blog with a solid audience starts to wander from its base content, losses in audience are just about guaranteed. Sacrificing a blog’s originality and losing audience is just one of the fatal blows guest blogging content can deliver.

 

Trust but Verify

 

Many bloggers accessing help from other bloggers would probably say that losing their blog’s originality isn’t in jeopardy since they utilize guest blogging sparingly. Is hosting the occasional guest blogger a bad idea? As with most things—it depends. Revisit the original reason for using a guest blogger. New, unique content is usually the root for inviting guest blogging activities. The primary responsibility of all bloggers that want to host and maintain quality blogs must be to ensure that all content being posted is unique. Problems start when a guest blogger is simply trusted and never vetted. All guest bloggers’ content must be evaluated with an eye to detail and attention to content originality and uniqueness. These days lots of bloggers make rounds as guest bloggers. Duplicate or poorly spun content is often what’s left in their wake. Nothing helps torpedo search rankings like duplicated content.

 

Poorly spun content is just as deadly. Google’s latest major search algorithm update, Panda and the subsequent tweak, Penguin now hold correct grammar usage and spelling in higher regard. Editing all blog posts with a critical eye on readability and clarity is essential. If Google’s Panda update wasn’t frustrating enough, Penguin is guaranteed to deliver.

 

Google’s Penguin update requires heightened editorial scrutiny particularly in the instances of authors delivering content outside of their native language. English as a second language posts may need revisions by a native English speaker to ensure proper content flow. Content should read smoothly and not appear stilted. Keyword stuffing must be guarded against. Natural speech and writing patterns are best. Content length is also critical under the latest Google algorithm updates. A blog hosting lots of minimum length content (300 words) will find itself in jeopardy of being penalized. Content should convey a coherent and relevant idea and be of appropriate length to do so.

 

At Least as Good

 

Backlinking and backlink quality is now more important than ever. Bloggers that have been backlink obsessed over the years and using guest blogging activities primarily for backlink sharing stand a good chance of taking a penalty hit. Guest blogging for backlinks can become punitive if a guest blogger’s content and blog isn’t of at least equal standards to the host’s blog. Verifying any and all backlinks in content is now essential with a critical eye to backlink quality. Backlink quality has been positively identified as a ranking signal of growing importance.

 

Developing and maintaining a high-quality blog that ranks well in order to garner an audience is more of a challenge today than it ever has been. There are many solid bloggers out there willing to share their perspectives and content. Guest blogging might be a fantastic way to source new content, but do your blog and your audience a favor by taking the time to edit and ensure the quality and uniqueness of your contributors’ content.  www.companynews.biz

Business Blogging: How to Grab Your Reader’s Attention

When you create a business blog, it’s important to understand that your blog is not just for gaining new customers. While reaching your clients and selling products or services is important, so is offering valuable information to your readers. There are a number of ways you can grab your reader’s attention right away. Taking the steps you need to excite and interest your readers will ensure that your customers return to your blog again and again.

 

Don’t skimp on a layout

One of the most important things you can do is to invest in a strong layout. Never opt for a free or ordinary blog template. Instead, take your time finding a good graphic artist who can design or sell you a professional layout. The template you utilize should be clear and easy to navigate. Remember that a sloppy or poorly designed template will make reading difficult for your customers. As a result, they may not return to read your blog a second time.

 

 

Post regularly

Some new brands make the mistake of thinking they don’t need to regularly update their blog. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when you’re first getting new readers. You need to make sure you post several times each week. Posting regularly will help rank your blog in search engines, as well as help you keep new readers coming back for more. If readers know they can expect frequent posts, they’ll be more likely to return to your blog.

 

Start where the story starts

One mistake many new bloggers make is to create long-winded posts. When you begin writing a blog post, try to remember to start your post where your story starts. This means that instead of giving a lot of back story on a product, you simply start talking about the product. Instead of talking about what you did yesterday, talk about what you did today. The more current, exciting and engaging your post is, the more your readers will pay attention.

 

Use pictures

Consider including a picture with each blog post. This accomplishes a couple of things. First of all, it gives your readers something visual to look at. Yes, they’ll be reading, but a picture is aesthetically pleasing. Give your readers something to scroll back up to, to think about and to contemplate. Another benefit of using a picture is that your readers will be able to pin your picture on Pinterest. This is one of the best websites you can use to get new readers, so take advantage of it as much as possible.image_352153697

 

Share on social media

No matter how often you update your blog, always share your posts on your social media sites. Sometimes even sharing an old blog post on your social networking sites can boost traffic to that post. Many new readers may not have enjoyed all of your older posts, so you can reshare these to get new customers.

 

 

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, it’s never too late to get new readers and clients. Focusing on creating an engaging, energetic website can work wonders in keeping your readers interested and, more importantly, keeping them coming back for more. www.companynews.biz

Networking Dos and Don’ts: How to Use LinkedIn to Gain Connections and Job Opportunities

If you’ve been looking for a new job, chances are that you’ve heard about the importance of networking and making professional connections. In today’s tech-savvy world, who you know is just as important as what your skills are. If you connect with like-minded individuals who are in the same field as you, you’ll drastically improve your chances of finding a great job that you enjoy. Unfortunately, many new college graduates and even veteran job-seekers aren’t sure how to start networking with others. LinkedIn offers a powerful, effective way to meet other professionals in your field. You just have to know how to use it correctly.

First off, fill out your profile completely. Make sure you choose a professional head shot for your profile image. The picture should clearly show your face without looking like a “selfie.” Also, note any special skills that you have. Potential employers and recruiters will look at your profile, so demonstrating your skills is a “must.” With LinkedIn, you can easily display your achievements, awards, and publications, too. Always include links to your publications so that people can take a look at what you’ve done without having to do a lot of searching. Remember that the easier you make finding information your qualifications, the more likely you are to get a job.

After your profile is complete, you’ll start adding connections. Begin with people that you know. LinkedIn makes it easy to import contacts from your email account. Add everyone you know, even if you haven’t worked with them directly. Friends and family members are fine to add to your contact list. While it may take people a few days to respond to your request, you’ll see that your contact list quickly begins to grow. Once you have a few contacts you know, you’ll be ready to start expanding your network.

LinkedIn offers a number of interest and job-related groups. Join them! Pick a few groups that interest you and that are related to your field. Once you join, you’ll have the chance to take a look at what other people in the group are talking about and what topics are trending. Participate in discussions on a regular basis. Include meaningful links when appropriate. You can also add group members to your contact list. Remember that if someone accepts your request to connect, you should always send a short email to say “thank you.”

Finally, participate in conversations that appear on your news feed. Even if you aren’t actively applying for jobs, responding to links, articles, and comments that your connections share can get you noticed on LinkedIn. Many companies and individuals alike choose to use LinkedIn as a way to meet new people and to explore new ideas, so participating in trending conversations can be an effective way to start promoting yourself as a potential employee. You can also start your own conversations as frequently as you like. Just remember to always post something of value so that your connections don’t view you as a spammer. www.companynews.bizimage_183899609

Customer Commitment: How to Boost Sales by Developing Friendship

One of the hardest things to do in business is to get someone to commit to a purchase. The person must take out their wallet and hand over their hard-earned cash, with the expectation that whatever they will receive in return is more valuable than their money. Nowadays, with the proliferation of scam artists and snake-oil salesmen, making a sale has gotten even tougher for the aspiring entrepreneur. Customers are more suspicious and cynical than ever before, which does not bode well for honest business owners.

 

The steps to forging a commitment

 

Prospects are people and so are entrepreneurs. Therefore, the ability to form a personal relationship already exists. However, many business owners mistake professionalism for aloofness. They often see themselves in an authoritarian position, detached from general society. This is apparent in the robotic manner that voice-over telephone messages instruct customers, and in the frustrating way that client complaints are often passed around from one department to another without much regard for the time and well-being of the complainant.

 

Most large corporations can get away with this for a while, but there often comes a day of reckoning when all their prospects abandon ship and swim towards a smaller competitor who treats them better. It’s much more preferable to start things off on the right foot with your clientele.

 

Grab their attention

 

In order to establish a connection, you first need to grab a customer’s attention. This is the step that every entrepreneur, whether beginner or expert, should be familiar with. You need a product or service that stands out from the rest. Of course, most business owners already have a product or service that they are confident with, otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered to set up shop in the first place. Grabbing the customer’s attention, therefore, is a relatively common practice. However, what isn’t so common is the ability to form a connection.

 

Form a connection

 

Most entrepreneurs just lay their products out on a table, whether online or in the physical world, and ask customers to purchase what they like. This may be appropriate for a garage sale, but once you expand your business outside the vicinity of your neighborhood, you will need something extra to draw people in. A connection is what you need.

 

A connection is nothing more than a shared lived experience. It is a commonality that unites two or more people. Instead of just displaying your products and services, a savvier marketing strategy would be to attach a personal experience. This makes sure that the customers visiting your shop or website feel as though you are more than just an acquaintance. For example, if you are selling back pain medication, detailing your own or a family member’s suffering with back pain will strike a chord with the potential clients. They will feel as if you are on the same page, rather than at arm’s length. This human component attaches a face to the seller, and it will no longer appear as if you’re living in a different sphere of reality to the buyer.  image_481105555

 

Make a commitment

 

The last part of the process is to make a commitment. Once the customer decides to purchase a product, there needs to be a personal follow-up message. This can be an email or a phone call. The operative word is “friend”. If close friends decided to buy one of your items, how would you approach the situation? Naturally, you would contact them and ask whether the product met their standards, whether there is something you can do to make the experience richer, and whether they have any complaints that you can solve. This must be the prevailing attitude when dealing with clients, even if they aren’t really close friends. Once the buyers know that you have decided to pursue a continuing relationship, they will reciprocate in kind.

 

Commitment leads to profits

 

At the end of a day, a fully committed customer stays loyal through turbulent times. If your company makes a mistake, your client base is likely to forgive and forget rather than rail and whine. They now treat you as a friend, since you treated them as one, and friends support one another.

 

Developing customer commitment might seem like a burden at first. It is not easy to handle prospects on an individual basis and set up systems that will facilitate this process, but the end result is worth the extra effort. A working relationship is a worthwhile goal in itself. The money is just an added bonus. www.companynews.biz

Five Tips for Setting Up Your Own Business

Every day, people set off to work resentful and reluctant, wishing they were their own boss, making their own decisions, and controlling their own business. Most will do one of two things: either they will be too reckless, setting up a business without adequate preparation, or too cautious, deciding to play it safe and stick it out in a job they loathe.image_481992994

 

If you are considering setting up a business, bear the following in mind:

 

  1. Sell what people wish to buy. No matter how complex your business, no matter whether you are dealing in goods or services, you are always selling something. And if you wish to make money, it must be something people wish to buy. Time and again businesses fail because those who set them up wished to turn their hobby into a career. But just because you love making pretty little cakes or elegant furniture, that doesn’t mean people are going to buy them. Where are you going to sell your product or service? Is there a demand for such things? Are there already lots of people selling what you wish to sell?

 

  1. Find a mentor. The advice of someone who has set up their own business would be invaluable. And someone who has set up a business similar to yours is worth their weight in gold. Ask their advice and listen to every word they have to say. Do not be ashamed to take a notepad and pen along with you. If you do not know anyone, ask around. Perhaps your friends or work colleagues do. If so, ask them to put in a word for you. Don’t be shy. Explain to them that you are considering setting up, let’s say, a shop selling rare, antique books and that you have heard their uncle or cousin once tried this. If necessary, offer to pay them for their advice.

 

  1. Make sure you are psychologically prepared.Setbacks can be lonely and painful. And when money, possibly even your life savings, are involved, it can place huge pressure on your relationship. Setting up a business isn’t easy. Suppliers don’t always keep their word, or they go bust, customers file unreasonable complaints, gas prices fluctuate, and of course recessions can strike. To begin with, you will have to work very hard, probably for little return. Are you prepared to dedicate yourself? Do you realize what you are undertaking?

 

4) Identify your weak points. Are you a poor organiser? Do you find it difficult to interact with people? Are you a poor money manager? Many people, especially when they set up a family business, put the wrong people in the wrong positions. If your brother is surly, rude, and short-tempered, do not put him in a sales role, or on the front desk. If your son has no head for figures, do not put him in charge of the accounts. This may seem obvious, but people often allow family loyalty, or friendship, to dictate such decisions. In business, you must be honest with your co-workers. Frankly, you need to be ruthless!

 

  1. Come up with an original idea.People are not fools, especially not when it comes to money. If there are big bucks to be made selling laptops, or bicycles, or baseball hats, or anything else, the market will soon be flooded. Strive always to be original. Come up with something no one else has thought of. Of course, that does not mean it will sell!

 

Giving advice is easy. And businesses rise and fall for all sorts of reasons. Many people have grown super rich not because they were hard-working, or smart, or able to run an efficient organisation, but because they were in the right place at the right time. And numerous businesses have folded even though the owners did everything correctly. But follow the advice offered here and you will at least improve your chances of success.    www.companynews.biz

Cash Flow Problems? Use Invoice Factoring to Improve Liquidity

The long wait between invoicing and collection of payments is a common problem for B2B businesses. Customers, especially large companies and government agencies, expect liberal payment terms. Although the risk of bad debts is low, your money could be locked up for months. If you have many such slow paying customers, this can create serious cash flow problems. Invoice factoring can give you the much-needed liquidity at a small cost.

 

Invoice factoring – how it works

Invoice factoring or invoice discounting is a short-term financing method that allows you to borrow funds against your outstanding invoices. Invoice factoring companies (factors) will pay a large portion of your outstanding invoices as long as your customers have a track record of paying on time.image_381285433

 

Factors normally lend only to B2B companies. Your customers must be businesses or government entities. Before you use the service, you have to go through an approval process and sign a financing agreement with the factor. Once your business is approved, you can present your invoices and the factor will make an upfront payment of up to 90% of the invoice value. This is usually subject to a maximum credit limit.

 

The approval process is quick and simple. Once the factor has determined that your business is eligible for the service, it will check the track record of your customers to see if they are good candidates for factoring. The factor will then offer its services according to the terms and conditions of a financing agreement. The agreement will specify your credit limit, the advance percentage, the list of customers whose invoices you can factor, the fee structure and the other terms and conditions.

 

When you present an invoice, the factor will pay you the advance according to the financing agreement. Depending on its method of operation, the factor may inform your customer by sending a notice of assignment and ask them to pay the invoice to the factor. When payment is received, the factor pays the balance amount after deducting its fee. The fee varies from 2% to 6% of the invoice value. It depends on the agreed rate and the number of days it takes to collect payment from your customer.

Types of invoice factoring

Although the basic method of factoring is the same, there are some important variations. Understanding these variations helps you select the right factoring company.

 

1.Notification and non-notification factoring

 

Most factors operate on a notification basis. This means that once you have discounted an invoice, they will notify your customer and give them new payment instructions. Besides the discomfort of customers coming to know about your financial arrangement, you may also be concerned about the factor pestering them for payment. The solution is non-notification factoring.

 

Factors that work on non-notification basis often present themselves to your customer as your billing or accounts receivables department. Some factors may not even insist on contacting your customers directly. Instead, they will ask you to open a bank account that they control. You then notify customers to make payment to that account or deposit their checks in that account.

 

 

  1. Contract factoring and spot factoring

 

In contract factoring, the factoring company expects a minimum volume commitment from you. You may be required to factor all the invoices of certain customers or the factor may insist that you discount a minimum number or amount of invoices in a certain period. This can be a disadvantage if you are unsure about your sales volumes. It is also a problem if you want to minimize your use of factoring services.

In spot factoring, there is no minimum commitment. You can choose which invoices to factor. You have the flexibility to use the service only when you really need the liquidity. Spot factoring allows you to keep your factoring costs to a minimum.

 

 

  1. Recourse and non-recourse factoring

This aspect of factoring determines what happens when your customer defaults. In recourse factoring, the factor can collect the outstanding amount from you as well as the customer. Most factors use this mode of operation and will expect you to pay up in case of a default. If you have already used the funds, this can be a problem both in terms of liquidity and fees. Fees will continue to accumulate until the factor receives the payment. With recourse factoring, you should only discount the invoices of customers who pay on time.

In non-recourse factoring, the factor assumes the risk of the invoice not being paid. Once an invoice is factored, the factor can only recover the amount from your customer. Due to the additional risk, recourse factoring usually costs more than non-recourse factoring. The factor will also scrutinize your customers and invoices more rigorously before discounting them.

 

Advantages and disadvantages of invoice factoring

 

Invoice factoring gives you quicker access to funds than traditional options like bank loans. Unlike other forms of financing, the approval process is quick and easy. The factor pays more attention to the quality of your customers than the health of your finances.

The main disadvantage of factoring is the cost, which is higher than the cost of a loan or a line of credit from a bank. Some people will not be comfortable with the factor contacting their customers or following up with customers for payment. In non-recourse factoring, there is also the risk of the factor becoming a sort of collection agency, which can have an adverse impact on your business.

 

Invoice factoring allows you to put funds locked in receivables to more productive uses. It’s a short-term method of financing and costs more than a loan from the bank. As long as you select the right factoring company and use the service wisely, it will help you tide over temporary cash flow problems caused by slow paying customers. www.companynews.biz

 

10 Characteristics of Great Content

Web content has become the lifeblood of any modern business. Without content, you don’t have an online presence, and without an online presence, your brand may as well not exist at all. However, actually creating enough material to satisfy increasingly content-hungry consumers is only half of the battle. What also matters is that your content is of an excellent standard to the point that it provides a genuine value proposition to its target audience and truly complements your brand’s image.image_467439443

#1. Focussed

One of the fundamental differences between great content and spam is that the latter is written more for the purpose of manipulating search engine algorithms rather than for human readers to enjoy. By contrast, great content has a clearly defined target audience. In other words, someone should be able to deduce from the title alone whether or not the content applies to them. Without a focussed audience, the best you can hope for is becoming nothing more than a passing distraction.

#2. In-Depth

There’s no shortage of short blog posts online, and while short-form content has its place as fodder for social media, it’s more in-depth content that really sells. After all, you cannot provide much useful information in a 300-word article, particularly if it’s not backed up with excellent imagery. There are good reasons why content formats like in-depth anchor articles and whitepapers are becoming more popular. Simply put, they’re more useful to people, and they give your business someone to promote.

#3. Scannable

No one can argue that reading on the screen is quite a different experience to reading printed media, and it’s this fact that largely defines the difference between writing for print and writing for the Web. Most significantly, online audiences tend to skim through most content until they find the points that interest them the most. Relatively few visitors will read everything from beginning to end, and this is precisely why list-type articles are so popular online.

#4. Error-Free

Although no one is immune from making the odd typo, grammar or spelling error, it’s pretty easy to tell when content is written by someone who doesn’t have an impeccable command of written English. Not only does poor writing make content harder to read – it also destroys any semblance of credibility for your brand. Content riddled with errors is commonly associated with spam as well, hence it can make a business look lazy, unprofessional and even downright suspicious.

#5. Researched

One of the most common goals of any content marketing strategy is to build credibility, so it makes sense that your content should be well-researched. For example, if you make a statement of fact, backing it up will make it far more credible. After all, there’s no shortage of junk online, such as fake news stories with clickbait headlines. One of the key differentiators between this kind of spam and quality content is that the latter is research and verified.

#6. Visual

Although some industries are inherently more visual than others, no content marketing strategy can be called complete without extensive visual content, such as photographs, infographics, and other illustrations. Studies have consistently shown that visual content increases comprehension and retention while also being more effective than text alone at influencing promotions and attitudes. Just be sure to avoid the clichéd stock images that many novices use.

#7. Intent-Driven

Search engine optimisation remains at the forefront of the digital marketer’s mind, but it doesn’t work like it did a few years ago. Nonetheless, many content marketers are still trapped in the old ways, which involve creating keyword-focussed content, often at the expense of user experience. However, recent Google algorithm updates have changed the way the search engine works to the extent that it focusses on user intent rather than simply matching keywords in queries to those in articles.

#8. Branded

Keeping your target audience engaged through content requires extensive branding of the type that builds loyalty and recognition. Every brand has its distinct voice and style as well as its unique influencers and inspirational sources. It’s the uniqueness of your brand that ultimately sets it apart from the rest. As such, you’ll want to establish strict guidelines for your content creators. You can also further improve the effectiveness of your branding by interviewing leading influencers.

#9. Conversational

When you’re creating content for the Web, you’ll be thinking about things like social media shares and on-site feedback by way of blog post comments. Although it’s constantly said that content is king, it’s actually conversation that matters most, hence the need to take a conversational approach with your content. There are many difference ways to encourage conversation, such as by asking questions, raising controversy or simply inviting others to leave their opinions.

#10. Original

Original content is vital to your business, since it helps to emphasise your unique value proposition. It also helps to establish your business as an authority and improve your visibility in the search engine results, since Google does not index duplicated pages. While duplicate content is not always a bad thing, the most effective content is that which is completely original and written specifically for your brand. Obviously, scraping and plagiarising are completely out of the question.

Key Takeaways

It’s not always easy to craft outstanding content that really gets people talking, particularly if you’re not willing to pay for excellence and would rather take the cheap and cheerful route. Good content is both costly and time-consuming to create, but it will have a positive long-term effect on your brand like no other. After all, it’s better to have nothing more than a handful of well-written articles than hundreds of low-quality, spammy blog posts.   www.companynews.biz

 

How to Market Yourself Without Spending a Dime

Getting a job, finding new clients, promoting yourself and building a professional reputation isn’t easy. Even if you have a strong business background, you may find that you don’t know what it takes to market yourself successfully. Whether you want to land a job with a law firm or start your own business, it’s important that you take the time to consider the image you’re presenting to potential employers and clients.image_366694724

 

Unfortunately, people often judge others based on appearances. In the business world, first impressions really are everything. If you give someone a poor impression of yourself or your product, even if you have a valid excuse, they might not give you the opportunity to impress them again. Because of this, it’s very important that you market yourself immediately when you meet a potential employer or client.

 

One of the biggest challenges to self-promoting and self-marketing is cost. It can be expensive to present a professional image. Fortunately, even if your budget is limited, there are several things you can do to market yourself without spending a dime.

 

  1. Dress to impress

You don’t have to go buy new clothing to impress other people, but you should wear your clothing appropriately. If you have a fantastic business dress that’s a bit too big, add a belt or sash to tighten the waist. If you have a nice pantsuit that tends to be a bit wrinkly, iron it before you leave the house. You can also add accessories, such as a watch or necklace, to complement your clothing. Remember that being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to look shabby. A few minor changes can go a long way in improving your appearance and making you look appealing to clients and employers.

 

  1. Stand up straight

Your posture says a lot about you. If you slump in chairs or stand with your head hanging, your body language tells other people that you lack self-confidence. Being self-assured is an essential part of presenting a professional image. When you believe in yourself, other people will believe in you, too. While you might feel positive on the inside, you need to look positive on the outside, too. Correct posture will help with this.

 

  1. Make eye contact

When you’re meeting with a potential client or employer, you should always make good eye contact. When you’re listening to something important, maintaining eye contact demonstrates that you’re paying attention to the other person. When you’re the one speaking, good eye contact shows you believe in what you’re saying. Remember that people want to work with others who are self-assured and who believe wholly in their product or service. Eye contact is just one way to communicate your confidence.

 

  1. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is free to use, yet it’s often underutilized by businessmen and women. If you want to promote yourself, you absolutely must be on this site. Once you register, you’ll need to upload a head shot or company logo. You’ll then be able to list your work history, company information, career goals and business experience. You can also join groups and post messages letting other people know about your services.

 

No matter what type of service or product you’re marketing, remember that good companies are built over time. While it might take awhile to see true success from your endeavors, you can start promoting yourself right away with these marketing techniques. www.companynews.biz

Business Relations: How to Deal with Difficult Customers

In any customer-focused business environment, you’ll have to deal with some difficult clients. The nature of interacting with a varied public means you won’t usually have much control over customers’ temperaments. Now and then, you’ll have to deal with downright rude and irrational behavior. Dealing with angry demands in a measured and professional way can mean the difference between success and failure at work. Here are some tips on dealing with difficult customers when they appear.image_111840734

 

Realize It’s Often Not To Do With You or Your Business

 

Whether you’re the boss or employee of the store or business dealing with a difficult customer, often the source of your client’s anger will have little to do with you or your company. Of course, everyone makes occasional mistakes at work. It’s definitely necessary to rectify these errors appropriately when that happens. Yet, often your work may be perfect and something still isn’t quite right with the customer. Perhaps they expect something to be completed much faster than possible. Or, they blame you for external complications like bad weather blocking deliveries. Sometimes, they just need to vent and you happen to be in the firing line.

 

Turning the Tables

 

Realize that many people find it difficult to deal with their emotions, but as a representative of your business, you’ll need to control yours. Sometimes being too defensive will only fuel their anger. It may be necessary to use your wits to turn the situation around. Let them finish what they need to say. Then, doing your best to remain neutral in tone and body language, let them know what you can do to rectify the situation.

 

Apologize if necessary, but don’t grovel or over-complicate your answer. Instead, give a solution that lets the customer know what can be done from this point. If possible, giving a choice, perhaps with two different options, can give their ego enough of a nudge to calm them down. For example, “I’m sorry about that, ma’am. I can either let you know when we have another one in stock or give you a full refund on that right now.”

 

Often, you may have to deal with someone who won’t take no for an answer. Do follow any reasonable requests to speak to management. But, if they still won’t calm down or listen to reason, just repeating what you can do is often an amazingly effective way of making them see reason. It’s tempting to mirror their irritation when they’re not listening to sense. But, it’s surprisingly easy to just keep repeating the possible solutions. “Ah, yes, I do understand, but what I can do is either…” They’ll be sure to run out of steam and accept your solution. Before you know it, they’ll be out of your hair.

 

It’s important to realize that there may be any number of things going on in their life. While it’s easy to assume they’re just a difficult jerk, you just don’t know what makes people so irrationally angry a lot of the time. By taking a measured and logical approach to your response, you can defuse and move on from the situation as quickly as possible. Doing so will improve your professional image and help you succeed in challenging situations such as these at work. www.companynews.biz