Another learning experience. I decided to learn how to format eBooks, and am working for another company. Challenging? In many ways, but I welcome each new experience as a way to stay refreshed and offer quality work. Problem is, I kind of hurt my right wrist. I tend to overdo sometimes. I knew the pain originated from my computer mouse, and I figured there had to be a different kind of mouse that would force me to hold my hand/wrist differently. Yep. Vertical mouse. Evoluent. I'm using it now, but my gosh, my brain is putting up a fuss. Nevertheless, I'm going forward. When I saw my chiropractor yesterday, he nicely adjusted my wrist, and suggested that when I begin feeling "normal," I combine the use of the two mouses/mice/meese. I can do that. He also recommended another great exercise for the brain: once a month, try switching the use of the left and right hands. I will try.
For decades, business owners typically needed a few key things in order to be successful: a great product or service, friendly and knowledgeable employees, and affordable prices. Nowadays, business owners may want to add one more piece to the successful business pie: a mobile application. As an InternetProviders blog explains, businesses that typically have a lot of customers should definitely consider getting a mobile app for their company. More than half the adults in the United States own a smartphone which they use to access the Internet, and a variety of apps.
From a local mom and pop bakery that offers the best bagels in town and realtors who want to stay in touch with their clients, to much larger companies such as car dealerships and department stores, there is a plethora of businesses that would definitely benefit from getting a mobile phone application.
For example, as InternetProviders noted, if a business owner accepts credit cards, getting an app to handle these transactions is pretty much a no-brainer. Officially known as a “mobile swipe app,” anyone (from the guy who mows lawns and trims trees, to the owner of a chic clothing boutique) can accept credit card payments quickly and easily.
The mobile app can also be set up to help improve business. For instance, in addition to scheduling tasks and reminding clients about their appointments, salon owners can use a mobile business app that easily lets customers tell their friends and family about the business. Apps can also help improve customer service. Instead of answering questions about a product over the phone, a customer can engage in an in-app chat.
Apps can also help a company with sales, promotions and deals in order to reach its intended audience. While businesses that send out massive emails announcing a great sale typically find that most of their messages end up in spam folders, push notifications through apps have a better chance of reaching the customer.
Another reason business owners should consider getting a mobile app is because, quite honestly, people expect it, as Forbes points out. Mobile devices make it so easy to access information. We have become spoiled, as we can find out what we want, when we want it. An effective app that looks good and performs well allows business owners to easily offer their products as a ready answer to their customers’ needs.
PC World notes how mobile apps also help to make business sites easier to access on a smartphone, since mobile users won’t have to type in your web address on their tiny screens. While it’s certainly possible to have the business stored as a bookmark on the phone, accessing it means launching a browser and finding the correct link. Apps, on the other hand, are omnipresent, always there and ready to go. For business owners who want to attract as much business as possible, having an easy-to-use and accessible app for a smartphone can make all the difference.Guest Post by Albert Lester Al teaches economics and business at his local high school. He blogs about business, finance, teaching and the economy in his spare time.
By Sara Collins
Social media offers an amazing platform to engage with your customers and really get to know who they are and what they need from your brand. Whether you’re just getting started with your strategy or looking to refine your current one, it’s important to use your social platforms to find effective ways to connect with your customers.Try these five tips to connect with your audience and turn them into loyal followers: • Add Value: You won’t build a lasting follower base by clogging their feeds with product promotions. Of course it’s alright, and even encouraged, to post content about your sales, promotions, new products, events, etc., but don’t make that your only social content. Show your customers that you’re interested in them by starting conversations. For example, on Mondays, ask how their weekends were. Also, find relevant news stories, pictures, and even promotions from other (non-competitors) businesses that might interest them. If your social accounts add value to your customers’ lives, they’ll keep reading what you have to say. • Provide Customer Service: Social media marks the beginning of an era when people don’t want to call your customer service line or email you with problems, : they want them resolved instantly. Do your best to meet this need by offering customer service on your social media sites. Assign an employee to keep a constant eye on your social sites, so they will be able to see and respond to customer posts quickly. People are constantly connected with social media sites, so they expect a quick reply. Waiting an entire day, or even a few hours, to address an issue could make a customer believe you’re not interested and don’t appreciate their business. • Poll Them: Use your social sites for market research. Find out what types of products your customers would like to see from your company in the future. When you come up with a new product idea, post it on social media and allow your customers to give feedback. This can be very helpful, as it’s a quick and easy way to gauge customer interest in new products. It also shows loyal customers how much you value their opinion and want to please them. People love it when their favorite brands make them feel included. • Offer Incentives: Show appreciation to your loyal followers by providing giveaways, coupons, and exclusive invites to events at your business. For example, if you run a restaurant, choose a Twitter follower at random each week to win a coupon for a free appetizer. Or if you own a boutique, extend invitations to your Facebook followers each season to an event showcasing your new arrivals. This makes your followers feel like they’re part of something special and shows them how much you appreciate their support. • Listen: Take the time to learn about your customers by checking out their social media profiles, reading content they post, and seeing what other businesses they’re following. You can really learn a lot about your customer base this way. For example, if you’re a personal trainer and you see a lot of your clients posting things about their upcoming weddings, creating a bridal boot camp might be a good business venture. Or if you run a bakery and notice the majority of your clientele posting comments about your local football team, it might be a lucrative idea to make baked goods with the team logo on them for next week’s game. Social media sites are an invaluable tool for brands to get to know their customers on a deeper level. Create a social media strategy that engages your audience and shows them that you’re interested in what they have to say. Sara Collins is a writer for NerdWallet, a site dedicated to helping users find the best online brokers.
I recently learned of a WordPress website tutorial, and finally sat down to watch the entire program, which was around an hour. Very, very good. Informal, very organized, and it puts everything together in a nice way. It even has closed captioning, which is always a good thing. If you've been wondering whether you can do it, and are motivated, you might want to use this video as a springboard for your online adventures. But do remember: I said "MOTIVATED." Creating any website only works if you are a person who never gives up. Following are a link and the video itself. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAPGp61XY6c