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Archive for the ‘What You Need To Know About Small Business’ Category

Data Protection – What It Means To The Small Business Owner

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on February 19, 2018 at 9:08 am

Every business stores personal data, no matter how large or small. You will very quickly acquire a database of customer details, employee details, as well as contacts and supplier details. All this information needs to be protected in order to meet data protection laws and regulations. Personal data can often be of a sensitive nature and has the potential to be used in a discriminatory way. As a small business it is your responsibility to be vigilant in adhering to data protection laws. If a data breach occurs, it can be extremely damaging to the future viability of your business. A huge amount of trust could also be potentially lost by your target market.

What is data protection?

Data that is protected includes names, addresses, contact information, health records, credit history and criminal records. Data protection is the legal control of access to and use of personal data stored on a computer. Data protection also includes the storage of information in the more traditional way of files and paperwork. As a business owner it is imperative to follow data protection procedures if your business stores information in any of these ways. The laws vary, depending on where in the world you live, so ensure your knowledge is current and up to date in your locality. The laws apply whether you are a sole trader or large ltd company.

How do i apply the laws as a small business owner?

When collecting data from individuals you must communicate to them what your nature of business is, how the information will be used and allow the individual to correct any mistakes in the information you gather from them. The information you store must be accurate. The information you have acquired must then be stored in a safe and secure manner. If the information is going to be shared with other business owners, the person must be informed.

It is important not to gather irrelevant information and it should be suitable for the purpose intended. Extra security measures should be taken if the information is of a sensitive nature such as health care records, ethnicity, sexual orientation and criminal records.

All data must be stored securely and it is essential to have current and up to date cyber security installed on IT systems. Installing high tech software may be costly, however a security breach could cause a huge amount of damage to your business. If funding is an issue consider applying for a business loan to cover the cost such as a same day business loan. This will allow you to ensure your data is stored as securely as possible.

Ensure data is only stored for a specified timescale, following which, all information should be deleted or shredded in a secure manner.

To prove how your business adheres to data protection laws, consider writing policies that state how the information is protected and stored. Policies will be useful for employees to refer to as well as yourself.

To avoid a breach in data protection it is important to ensure all systems relating to data protection are up to date, staff are trained on protecting data, information is disposed of correctly and the gathering of information is carried out informatively and is relevant to the purpose intended..

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How to Keep Your Customers Happy: Communicate Well

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on February 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

Communication is at the heart of every relationship and your relationship with your customers is no different. In our modern world, people expect to be able to contact companies quickly and easily, so making sure that you are there to take a message if nothing is will only improve your business.

Of course, you can’t be expected to answer your phone every single time it rings, so what sort of solutions could you put in place to ensure that you are reachable to your customers? How can you assure them you are listening? Well, for a start, you need to make your business more accessible, then be diligent and do exactly what you say you will.

Social Media

People are increasingly expecting social interaction on platforms including Facebook and Twitter, so don’t be surprised if you find that many customer contact you here. You can use automated messages on Twitter to help you to respond quickly and assure your customers that you have received their message and on Facebook you can send instant replies to anyone who messages your page.

Both of these tools are ideal for showing your customers that you have received their message and will get back to them soon. This offers reassurance, but also give you a chance to direct them to any FAQ or explanation pages already available on your website that could solve their issue.

While you are around, make sure that you have a social media manager who can keep on top of messages as they come in and provide interesting links and posts for your followers. Social engagement is key to keeping your company in the limelight and building positive relationships with your customers.

Phones

While social media is popular, there are lots of people who would much rather pick up the phone and talk to someone directly. As a small company, you should set up an answerphone system for when the office is empty and then make it clear that you will respond as soon as the office opens in the morning.

You can also use landline texting for companies to send automated responses by text to anyone who rings. This is another way to assure them that you are dealing with their issue and that there could be helpful sources online.

Email

If there is one way that businesses should be communicating it is by email. Emails are fast, cheap and efficient for sending out lots of information and marketing campaigns. How often you email depends on the type of business you are and the services you provide, but the main aim is to keep in touch with your client base and keep them informed about your latest endeavors and offers.

Communicating with your customers is about ensuring that they know they can talk to you and get a good response every time. They need to know what you are doing, where you are up to and what is in it for them. Essentially, keeping track of your customers is as simple as talking to them.

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Seven Steps Towards Launching Your E-Commerce

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on February 19, 2018 at 8:59 am

Years ago, launching a business would take months of planning and hard work, but these days you can launch your own business in less than a week. Thanks to the power of the internet, it’s now easier and cheaper than ever to launch a business, but don’t be fooled into thinking that launching a successful e-commerce is a walk in the park. You still need to plan and know what you’re doing, or your new venture will be over before it’s even begun. Here are seven steps that you have to take to ensure success.

Find Your Product

If you want a successful business, you need to find a product that is high in demand. The first place that you should start is the best seller pages on eBay and Amazon. The earlier you spot a trend, the higher your chances are of success.

Get A Manufacturer

Finding the perfect product and customers to buy it is essential, but this is completely useless if you don’t have a manufacturer who can keep up with the demand. You’ll want to find a company that is cost efficient and fits in your budget, but don’t make decisions on cost alone; You’ll also want a company that is honest and communicates well with you.

Create A Brand

Choosing a brand name isn’t as easy as it’s often thought to be. You need it to appeal to your target market, be catchy, and be available, and finding something that hits all three marks can be tricky. Make sure you check that your name is available as a domain name and social media handles, before making a decision.

Design A Website

Now is the time to find the best e-commerce platform for your business. There are lots available out there, so do plenty of research before settling for one. Most even have website templates available, in case you don’t have the time, budget, or know-how to design your own website from scratch.

Figure Out Fulfillment

You need to decide if you’re going to handle processing and shipping yourself, or if you’re going to pay another company to do it for you. This will mostly be down to the type of product you’re selling and the demand.

Generate A Buzz

If you think that you’re going to be successful without marketing, you are very wrong; You need to make yourself known. Since your website is based online, your advertising should be too, so Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns are a great place to start.

Launch Your Store

Once you’ve started to see interest in your products, it’s time to launch your online store. Don’t worry if you don’t think that everything is perfect, because it never will be, and you will constantly be having to make changes. Don’t allow fear to control you, and instead launch your business as soon as you get your first lot of products.

Like with anything else, launching an e-commerce can be risky, and sometimes you are going to fail. However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up. In fact, some of the most successful business people failed many times before succeeding, so brush yourself off, try something new, and never give up.

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Amazing Tips For Using Instagram for SEO

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on February 15, 2018 at 10:56 am

Instagram’s immense popularity as a social media platform has compelled several businesses to include it in their effective social media marketing stratagem. Using Instagram could be of great help for boosting your overall SEO endeavors. Even though Google has maintained that social media efforts are not used as an SEO ranking factor, you must be aware that when you simply have a profile on a social networking site, it would be boosting your SERP ranking. As you explore this article, you could fully understand what impact social media has on your rankings. Here are a few useful tips for making the most of Instagram.

Keep Changing Your URL As Often As You Can

As you are not allowed by Instagram to share links in every post of yours, you are restricted to the one and only link that is present in your profile. This obviously implies that you would like to keep changing this link in tune with the current campaigns or for boosting the volume of traffic to specific pages. You must take the fullest advantage of the available space. Send individuals to diverse product pages and landing pages. When you consider the link as actually a CTA or actually the bridge between ROI and engagement, you would be getting a clear perspective as to when you are thinking of changing the link, what you are looking to actually change it into, and how frequently, you desire to make the change.

Research Hashtags & Use Them

You must devote quite a lot of time to doing research. You need to find out everything about the precise hashtags you are thinking of using. When you perform a meticulous research you could rest assured that you would be choosing the hashtags with maximum traffic volume which seem to be pretty relevant to your specific post. All you need to do is just incorporate the precise list of hashtags simply where the post ends, instead of getting worked up about inserting them in a natural manner in the description. You could be using effective tools such as Keyhole, Hashtagify, and Websta for researching hashtags. This way there could be a boost in Instagram followers.

Domain Authority Can Be Increased by Developing a Brand on Instagram

When there is widespread brand awareness and everyone is talking about the specific brand both offline and online, the search volume is bound to go up. Once the search volume is boosted, you would automatically be getting more and more traffic to your online site that would be improving your actual domain authority. Once you find that the domain authority has improved, your overall ranking would go up or improve too, as it is a ranking factor.

Conclusion

Social engagement leads to a boost in links and increased volume of traffic. Once you witness more and more people are engaging with you on Instagram, your popularity on the platform would be shooting up phenomenally.  When individuals start sharing your content generously with their audiences, it would be driving more traffic to your site.

Author Bio: Walter Moore Hart is an experienced social media marketing agent who has written extensively on digital marketing strategies on many blogs and websites. With his articles, he shares essential tips for business branding with real Instagram followers.

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3 Reasons Why Health And Safety Is So Important

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on February 15, 2018 at 10:14 am

Health and safety is important to any business for so many reasons. It might feel like a time sink that is pulling you away from other more important issues, but it is a necessary part of any business. With that in mind, here are three reasons why health and safety is so important.

Financial Reasons

There are plenty of financial reasons to have decent health and safety in your business. A good example is, if you do not have good health and safety and have fire risks in your office, this could cause a fire. This might end up burning down your offices or at least meaning that you need to pay for repairs. This might be able to be avoided if you had decent fire procedures, risk assessments and better health and safety on the premises. There are other things that can happen that a risk and whether or not somebody gets hurt, it can end up damaging your bottom line. This is something that any business will want to avoid. You should be able to get on with your work and not have to payout for accidents or damages. This means that you need to ensure that you have decent health and safety.

Legal Reasons

If something bad happens and you as a company have done everything in your power to prevent it and done everything the way you should have, then you are going to be on sound legal ground if somebody files a claim against you. However, if you haven’t and you get sued, then you are going to be in serious legal trouble. This might mean a substantial payment or at the very least bad press. In order to avoid this, you will want to ensure that everything is above board and that you have policies and procedures in place that mean that you won’t be liable for legal ramifications if something does go wrong. Places like MFASCO can ensure that you have things like first aid kits and other health and safety items.

Employee Reasons

Above mentions that if you end up injuring an employee at work, then you can be liable for a legal claim and this could cost the company a lot of money. However, that is no the only employee related reason to have good health and safety. Health and safety also looks at the smaller things such as cleanliness and overall health of your staff. This means that if you have poor quality, dirty workplace, then your employees are far more likely to need to take sick leave and this will reduce the productivity of your company. This will, in turn, end up costing your company money. If your employees are getting ill and sick, then they aren’t going to be as productive. Equally, if they feel that their work environment is unsafe or not nice to work in, then they are going to be far less motivated and not as loyal to your company. This means that it is important to ensure that you have good health and safety policies and that you enforce them to ensure that everything is running as it should and that staff aren’t getting ill due to their work environment.

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