The Holidays are coming… is your website ready?

It may seem a bit early, but if you are in retail, you are well into your preparations for the holidays.  While some of the to-dos are obvious one item that tends to get left out of the planning process is your website.

The hectic pace of shopping and crazy schedules means many of your clients and potential clients will be looking to their mobile devices and your website for answers.  Here are a few things to check on your site before the mad rush:

1.  Pictures & Descriptions – Many products and services will change over a year. Make sure you have the most up-to-date photos and buying criteria loaded for all your online listings.

2.  Check Mobile Performance – It’s a safe bet you have added content and updated the look of your site since last year.  Check to be sure those changes are displaying properly on mobile devices. If you site isn’t mobile friendly, you will suffer significant traffic declines.

3.  Buy Something – Be the customer and buy a few items through your store.  Make sure the cart works and is user friendly. Follow the transaction through to fulfillment and make sure the buying experience is a good one and everything works as it should.
This is by no means a comprehensive list but it is enough to get you started. If you are still unclear about what to do, give us a call or drop us an email and we will be happy to give you a few pointers.
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Entrepreneurship is hard – Learn to de-stress

Many of us have quit our jobs or left careers because they were stressing us out.  Entrepreneurship seemed so peaceful, controllable and rewarding that it had to be a better alternative. Well, unless you found a mentor early in your path to business ownership, you are finding out the hard way just how stressful it can be to hold down the position of captain, cook, and crew.  Here are a few simple things you can do to ease the stress of day-to-day operations:
  • Exercise – Good for many reasons, this gives your body the attention it needs to free your mind to be more effective.
  • Prepare – Take time on Fridays to prepare for the upcoming weeks’ schedule then, review the next day’s schedule just before leaving each evening.
  • Sleep – Your mind gets tired and less effective the more you push yourself to squeeze every minute out of every day.  Rest will help reset your creativity.
  • Disconnect – The world will continue to spin if you turn off your phone, go for a walk or, dare we say, take a day off!  If the business cannot survive with you being absent for a period of time, there are bigger problems lurking about.
  • Set Goals Outside of Work – Reward yourself with little incentives or pick a passion you want to pursue like playing guitar or planting a garden.
  • Spend time with Family – Reset your priorities by staying grounded in what truly matters. The stress created by everything else will be put into perspective.
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TED Talks – A great exercise in marketing

TED talks are quite common. It is pretty safe to say that nearly everyone reading this article has heard of, watched or participated in a TED or TEDx event. Many of us have our favorite TED talks and pass them on to others. But have you ever considered how TED talks might improve your marketing abilities?
While TED talks themselves are meant to be eye-opening or gut-wrenching, you might consider the story behind the stories. How do speakers prepare? What makes a great topic? What causes millions to view one TED talk and others to just fade away?  Speakers get 18 minutes to change our world. Most of us take that long to describe last night’s dinner in a Yelp post.
Could you present the purpose of your business in a meaningful way in 18 minutes? Would it be inspiring? Is there a standing ovation or a yawn at the end of your presentation? Take a moment and put yourself in the position of a TED speaker. Challenge yourself to craft a meaningful, inspiring story about your business. It could be the most powerful marketing tool you have.  Need help? Check out the book, “TED Talks” by Chris Anderson, Head of TED.
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