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The business Selfie: Getting that Perfect Headshot for Your Website

As a service business, you don’t usually need product photographs for a catalogue or online shop, but what you will need is a great photo of yourself. Images on your website help make you more approachable and real, and if you’re going to do anything online, you need a decent headshot to accompany your profile. From your website about page to your social media profiles and any article ever written about you by any publication, ever, you’re going to need a decent picture to use … and a selfie taken with your camera phone just isn’t going to cut it.

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5 Ways to Optimise your Business for Local Search

Before we consider the ways to optimise your website for local search, let's see what local search really is, and why it is important for your business: If you ever used the Google now feature on an Android phone, have you noticed how Google is able to return the results for places to eat around you, or popular shopping destinations in the vicinity? Similarly, have you ever wondered how Siri on the iPhone is able to tell you how many good Italian restaurants are in your neighbourhood? Another example is a set of listings you see on Google desktop search.

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5 easy ways to convert leads into sales

Cash flow is a hot topic for any small business. We caught up with the people over at Fundbox, who know a thing or two about the importance of having cash on hand. Anna Eschenburg offered to give us the rundown on how to get better at lead conversion.

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Why your niche business could be the next global brand

“Everything that can be invented has been invented,” said the Director of the US Patent Office in 1899. It was a breathtakingly naive thing to say even then. But many business owners today still make a similar mistake. They look at the market around them and assume it’s fixed. Having marked out their territory they believe nothing will change.

Reach your business goals with one simple trick

Business owners have so many distractions that it’s easy to… where was I? Oh yes, to lose focus. But there’s a way you can keep yourself on track.

No doubt you started your business for a good reason. It might have been to get rich, to escape the rat race or to challenge yourself. It might have been to change the world for the better. It might have simply been to generate a regular income while being your own boss instead of having other people tell you what to do.

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9 Tips for Writing Irresistible Service Descriptions for Your Website

A potential customer has landed on your website, and your home page has so far convinced them enough that they like the vibe of your company. But your site’s job is not done yet. Before they decide if you’re the right business for the job, your customer will click through to your service descriptions to make sure that what you offer fits with what they’re looking for.

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Graham McGregor on marketing tips for busy people

Most of us today have very busy lives in our businesses.
So I like marketing tips that I can get quickly and put into action fast.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience Strategy

Customer expectations have changed rapidly for retailers, and the pressure to provide great shopping and checkout experiences is more critical than ever. In the last 5 years, it’s become clearer that you’re not just competing with the shops in your community – you’re competing on a global level with every online business. There’s even a new app that will send competitors’ coupons to your customers when they walk into your store.

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Graham McGregor on the value of focussing on a niche in your marketing

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The power of thank you

I’m a big fan of simple marketing strategies that are easy to use and produce a noticeable impact on your sales results when you use them consistently.
And that’s why I love thank you cards
Thank you cards are easy to use, very affordable and work like magic.

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Does gender matter in marketing?

“Female customers? Make it pink.”
I once heard this sage advice in a product marketing meeting. It was said partly in jest – but only partly. Does that make it insulting, offensive, and sexist? Or was it a helpful insight into gender biases amongs consumers?

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5 Questions Every Retailer Should Ask When Opening Additional Locations

Opening additional retail stores is always an exciting endeavor. When implemented correctly, expanding to new locations enables you to tap into new communities, create more jobs, increase revenues, and more.

In other words, opening additional stores can catapult your business to higher levels of retail success. But in order to achieve that success, you need to plan your expansion thoroughly. Rapidly sprouting up new stores can do more harm than good if you don’t think things through.

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5 tips to grow sales in your small business

Sales drive a small business forward, but too often they’re a sideline rather than a focus.

From owning and selling a small business to being CEO of a billion dollar company, I’ve seen sales from every angle. Here are my suggestions to grow sales by creating a small business where sales are a focus and customers keep coming through your door.

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Big Name Retailer Moving into Town? 5 Things You Should Do ASAP

Having a big name retailer move in on your turf can be quite daunting. Retail giants not only carry the name recognition that draws huge crowds, but they also have resources and connections to drive down prices and offer tremendous deals.

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Graham McGregor on three valuable marketing lessons

I've learned a number of valuable marketing lessons over the last few weeks and I thought I'd share three of these with you.

How to understand your customers

In more than 20 years of writing for and about a wide variety of companies, I’ve noticed something important. The businesses that flourish are the ones that truly understand their customers – who they are and what they want.

Maximise your profit with upsells and cross sells

As a merchant or a person acquainted with ecommerce, you might have heard such terms as “cross selling” and “upselling”. But if you think these are some sort of sophisticated novelties – they are not. These techniques have been used by many generations of traditional retailers and are still considered to be the keys to profit generation.

Retail Sales Tips: How to Read Customers and Sell to Them Like a Pro

Are you a retailer (or retail sales associate) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you?

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Secret Tips for Agencies to Improve Client Relationships

The beginning of a relationship is always the best. You laugh at each other’s jokes, you look forward to every phone call, and you truly enjoy getting to know one another.

Six good reasons to start a business

This guest blog is by Tim Campbell, the first winner of BBC TV’s The Apprentice and co-founder of the Bright Ideas Trust, a charity that helps people start their own businesses.

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Smart Business Advice - Improving Sales

What ‘simple things’ can you do to improve sales?
Regardless of what is going on in the economy there are always simple things many businesses can use to improve their sales and profits.
Sometimes making more sales is as simple as talking to more potential customers about what you sell.

Writing a blog & why your customers will love it

You offer a valuable service, a skill set or a must-have product. Whatever your business, your customers obviously turn to you for a reason. And when it comes to sharing a little knowledge, your customers will be ready and waiting to read something from you, in your own voice.

Customer Acquisition Techniques Every Retailer Should Know

Congrats! You just finished setting up your online store. You’ve created winning product pages, put up some killer product photos, and you’re ready to start selling to the world.

How social commerce could be the game changer

We live in a social world. As much as some of us hate to admit it, social media plays a significant role in our everyday lives – from news updates to obscure selfies – the world is documented through social feeds.

Make the use of 1-click sales in your emails

Ever get that one product in that you just know will sell if people just get a chance to buy it quickly and easily?

Understanding ‘word of mouth'...

One of the marketing e-zines I find particularly helpful is called ‘The Likeable Expert’. It is written by Michael Katz the owner of Blue Penguin Development.

Where is the ‘hidden market’ for what you sell?

One of the big opportunities for many businesses is the huge ‘hidden market’ for what they offer.

How to write SEO Friendly Product Descriptions

We understand that SEO can be a bit of a mysterious beast. So we reached out to our friends from Alpha Digital, to share some of their best practice tips to help you make your product descriptions SEO friendly.

The Importance of Using Professional Photography for Products

Human beings are overwhelmingly visual. How could I say that? 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Why are high-quality photos important for online retail?

Using Creative Thinking to Increase your Sales

There a simple creative thinking system that you might like to use to increase your sales fast. It’s called the 20 idea method.

How to Get in Front of Customers Who Are at the Research Stage of the Shopping Journey

It’s very rare for consumers to make purchase decisions without doing any research. Save for impulse buys, people generally take their time and consult several sources when they’re trying to decide what to buy and who to buy from.

What is your Unfair Marketing Advantage strategy for the next 12 months?

What is your ‘Unfair Marketing Advantage Strategy’ going to be for the next 12 months?
In other words, what will you change (or do differently) so you get much better business results in the next 12 months with a lot less effort?

3 Time Management Tips For Agency Pros

Agency-life can be a whirlwind. With client requests, impromptu projects, and ever-looming deadlines, simply retaining your sanity can be tough. But all hope is not lost.

5 Trends that could affect your ecommerce store in 2015

When Heraclitus said “the only thing constant is change” in the 5th century BC, he probably didn’t have the internet in mind, but his words couldn’t apply more closely to any other field than to this one.

Don’t Get Left Behind: 6 Ways Retailers Can Adapt and Evolve along with Customers

Change. Whether you’re someone who welcomes it with open arms, or you’re the type who tries to maintain the status quo as long as possible, change is inescapable. As the cliché goes, change the only constant thing in the world. And in retail, this statement couldn’t be more true, especially in the last few years!

Got a Blog? These 10 Blogging Trends Could Impact You in 2015

Over the last five years, blogging for business has become an industry unto itself. With numerous companies all over the world vying for the top talent and the most pageviews, it’s no surprise that the top business blogs are those which can adapt and respond to the changing landscape of the digital world.

Tips For Attracting New Customers To Your Business

I’m sure we all remember using acrostic poems growing up. This week we’ve chosen to discuss the topic of customers in acrostic form!

Marketing Trends in 2015 Your Agency Needs to Know About

As an agency working with brands to create engaging marketing and digital content campaigns, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the trends in the market.

50 Online Tools That Small Business Owners Can't Blog Without

Is THIS the year that you are going to concentrate on your inbound marketing and commit to creating a blog that generates results for your business? Great news!

7 Reasons Why You Might Be Losing Customers

Take a moment to imagine you’ve been given the task of being a mystery shopper for one night. Your job is to go in and assess multiple aspects of a venue: its employees, its food and beverage, the decor, the atmosphere – the works.

Deducing Your Customers: The How & Why of Conducting Market Research

“Data, data, data. I cannot make bricks without clay.” So said the irrepressible Sherlock Holmes in one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories, and so echoes thousands of business analysts and statisticians the world over.

Genuine Conversation is the Best Social Media Strategy

Imagine you ran a coffee shop with great coffee, a cool vibe, comfortable seating… and no customers. Not an uncommon problem, and the classic solution promoted by social media experts would be something like:

“Create a Twitter handle and offer discounts to customers who follow. Broadcast weekly events and promotions via Twitter and engage with your audience to encourage them to come and bring their friends. More discounts to people who get their friends to follow. Create a mailing list; Tumblr; Facebook page; etc, etc.”

Innovative Concept Development: the Life Cycle Series video

With the spotlight on agribusiness and food technology sectors, we're leading the conversation about the life cycle of innovative ideas.

Presented by Senior Associate Jonathan Lucas and Catalyst Ltd Director, Janes Lancaster, this video highlights how to develop products and services with a long term vision, ensuring sustainable success.

Streamline Sales and Invoicing with Cloud Accounting Software

A successful, solid sales process is crucial for small businesses. But seeing your cashflow through to completion is just as important. To achieve this, it’s vital that you have a strong invoicing process and an accounting system that’s intuitive, easy to use and complements your sales process.