How To Market Your E-Commerce Business Abroad

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Marla Elena

There’s no doubt that E-commerce has opened up trade all across the world. So, if your business is in any way successful, you may find that there are foreign markets interested in taking up your offer. But how do you take advantage of your new opportunities? In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how you can develop your foreign markets, expand your reach, and make the most of the service that you provide.

Look into domain names

First thing’s first, look at buying a domain name that includes the suffix of the country that you are generating interest from. Try and find one that fit’s your current name exactly, although you can choose a similar alternative if that is already taken. However, you must check out whether the company using your ideal domain name is successful in any way. If so, you may run into problems at a later date – particularly if you serve different markets. As ever in business, it’s best not to step on anyone’s toes. So if you feel you have to, then choosing a keyword that is is in line with your business is the best alternative.

Check local regulations

Every country has different rules and regulations for trade and commerce, and if you want to become a presence in foreign climes, you must find out what they are. You’ll need to know about their rules on advertising standards, copyrights, taxes and much more. It’s a lot to take in, so you might be better off finding an international business developer to give you a hand and point you in the right direction.

Investigate payment options

Another vital thing you have to think about is the way you take payment. Different countries use different payment systems – and some won’t trust your preferred method. With this in mind, make sure you look closely into your options for whichever country you are serving. You will also need to consider local exchange rates and pricing. It might not be as simple as charging the equivalent of your standard prices, and you may make more sales by dropping the price in real terms, as well as changing the currency. It’s murky waters, for sure, so it might be an idea to get an accountant with experience in the international market on board.

Set up an office

Finally, to really cement yourself in a foreign country, it is a good idea to establish a physical presence there. Now, if you fancy a move abroad, then you could go down this route. However, it is possible to find virtual offices for rent. It will give you an address and phone number in your host country, and you can even get a full-cover service that will answer phones for you. It will give you a professional edge that could make the difference between making a lot of sales and just doing OK. After all, most people trust businesses that are present in their own country, especially when they haven’t encountered them before.

With any luck, these ideas will have your E-commerce business up and running in a different country in no time at all. I’d love to hear how you got on, so let me know in the comments section below.

Employee Recognition: Learn Why It Pays To Reward Your Staff

Any business that employs people will know how it can sometimes be a challenge to manage those workers. The thing about us humans is that we often need other incentives to do a good job apart from getting paid well.

You might be reading this and thinking that I’m talking a load of nonsense! But, rewarding and praising your staff for putting in 110% can impact your business in many ways you might not even imagine! Let me explain:

Successful Business Meeting --- Image by © Corbis

Successful Business Meeting — Image by © Corbis

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People like to feel appreciated

One of the factors behind people quitting their jobs and working for other companies is appreciation. Or, should I say, the lack of it! Your workers likely perform various tasks throughout the day, some of which may go above and beyond the call of duty.

What happens if your employees don’t feel like you’re even noticing their efforts? They aren’t likely to do anything other than “work-to-rule”, so to speak. As you can imagine, such actions can have devastating consequences on your company’s productivity!

Yes, a salary consummate to the amount of work they do is only fair. But even a simple “thank you” for putting in extra time on a challenging project can go a long way to having a happy and productive workforce.

People like to get rewarded for their efforts occasionally

Maintaining good morale in your business is crucial to retaining staff and growing your enterprise. After all; a happy worker is a productive one. Sometimes, it pays to treat your top performing staff to some special rewards.

Many of today’s leading companies operate some form of employee recognition rewards on a regular basis. Examples of such rewards might be:

  • An all-expenses paid trip to a major sports game;
  • A cash bonus;
  • Vouchers or coupons that can get used at major retail stores;
  • And so on.

Your workers don’t want a reason to quit

For the most part, people that take on a new job assume that they are going to be working there for a considerable period. The last thing they want is the hassle of searching for new jobs, applying for them and attending interviews.

For obvious reasons, that’s not something you’d like to happen either! That’s why it is important you reward your staff for doing well and performing vital functions for your business. You already know how expensive it is to look for new employees; don’t turn that task into a habit!

Your customers will hear how great your company is

Believe it or not, word about how good an employer is will spread to that firm’s customers! Websites like Glassdoor give people an insight into what it’s like to work for particular companies.

Some potential customers might check such sites out before they give you lucrative contracts. That’s because they want to find out how good a job your workers will do when creating products or services for them.

By now, you will know how crucial it is to keep your staff happy and rewarded. If you’ve got morale issues at your workplace, I hope this article has given you some food for thought on the subject. Good luck!

How To Keep Your Business Accounts In Order

Keeping track of the money and commerce of a business can be tough. You have to monitor all outgoings and income. Not only that but you often need to double or triple check that the figures are correct. Being aware of how much capital a business has to use is vital when making changes or launching new products and services. So how you can you keep your business accounts in order?

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Delegation Of Duty

If you are not up to the task of keeping track of the finances, either hire someone in-house to do it or outsource the job to an accountants firm. Understanding of the economics of the business is vital when it comes to keeping the business accounts in order. You may not be trained in that. If you’re not, seek someone who is.

Software

Billing software that syncs payment transfers from Stripe to Xero database software can help you keep the accounts in order as well. It’ll keep track of the sales and then tally them up again in an easily readable format. From there you can add the figures into a larger accounts database. Software is advised to be used in any kind of business accounts. The numbers are just too big to be totalled accurately manually. So long as the initial input is correct, the figures should come out fine.

Account For Everything

All expenditure needs to be explained. Money cannot go missing from the company finances without an explanation. It could indicate there is negligence or fraud going on with the business if the accounts are full of these. All outgoing money needs to be accompanied with an explanation as to why. This can either be added to the accounts database or a broader accounts report issued at the end of every month.

Income also needs to be explained too. Spikes and dips in the income are common with a business. They still need to be properly explained, however. If the spikes and dips are extraordinary, then an investigation into the cause needs to begin.

Compile Data

Another way of keeping on top of business accounts would be to compile the data into a more readable format. It’s hard to grasp what the accounts say when just reading from a spreadsheet. Creating bar graphs or pie charts can make the information more absorbable. You may plan on presenting your earnings to investors or planning future business strategy. You need to offer information in a way that people can understand.

Don’t Micromanage

Micromanaging the finances is only going to drive you mad. Looking at the bigger picture of a business is a better way to get a full view of the accounts. If you are dealing in potentially millions, you can’t spend all your time counting the pennies. Everything needs be accounted for, but you need to still keep an eye on the broader picture rather than the minute details of the accounts.
Managing the money in a business environment was never going to be an easy job. The software can do a lot more for you than you think too. Just make sure you look at the bigger picture.

3 Business Marketing Techniques You Have To Use

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(Image from flickr https://flic.kr/p/f9WyyH)

Sometimes your business can struggle to find new customers, leaving you stuck in a rut. You’re running around trying to find ways to make things better, but nothing’s working for you. It’s time to stop worrying, and start winning. Use these killer marketing techniques to win over customers and get your business booming!

YouTube

YouTube is a fantastic platform to market your business on. You can upload promotional videos to a YouTube channel as a way to get customers interested. Promo videos are great because they give you a chance to tell people the best things about your company. But it doesn’t just stop there, you should start using YouTube to its full potential. Millions of people watch YouTube videos every day, so it’s a massive market for you to tap in to. Start filming little Vlogs around your office each day as a little look ‘behind the scenes’ of the company. This makes your business look down to earth, and people might find it cool. It’s an excellent way to try and gain customers, while building brand recognition.

SEO

If you’re marketing something then you’re going to need a website. If you have a website, you’re going to need people visiting it. And to get visitors, you’re going to need to use SEO techniques. SEO is the single best way to gain web traffic. The main aim of SEO is to get your site soaring up the rankings and as close to the top as possible. Have a read of Gotch SEO’s blog to find ways of improving your search ranking. It’s important you rank highly, or people are going to find it hard to find your site. If you’re languishing on page three of a search engine, then you need to start using SEO right this moment. You have to use both on-site and off-site SEO if you want to achieve maximum results here. Also, there’s local SEO to consider too; it depends on your business plan. If you’re looking for a mainly local audience, then you’ll need to use it. If not, then local SEO probably isn’t worth your time.

Events

Perhaps the reason your business is struggling is because you aren’t utilizing marketing methods out in the real world. Not everything can be done online, there are some techniques you have to do physically. Hosting a business event is a wonderful way to seek out new customers and establish yourself in the industry. An event allows you to gather your target audience all in one space. You’ll basically spend a few hours bigging up your business and entertaining the crowd. If all goes to plan, you’ll end up with more customers and an improved reputation. The key to a successful event is making sure you put on a good show. Keep the crowd entertained and lighten the mood with a few jokes here and there. You want to talk about your business, but don’t drone on about it. Use words everyone can understand and try to make a good impression. You want this to be an event people remember, and that other businesses try to replicate.
Try something different if you want to up your marketing campaign. Use these three techniques and see the customers come swarming through your doors.

Easy Ways to Make Your eCommerce Business Look More Professional

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People all over the world run eCommerce businesses of different scales and types. If you’re one of them, you might have begun your company as a side project. Perhaps you’re now looking to take it more seriously and turn it into a legitimate business to support yourself. If this is your plan, you need to make your enterprise looks professional and trustworthy. Customers will be more likely to order from you if they see that you’re a serious business and not just someone selling bits and pieces in their spare time. Try using some of these tips to improve your image.

Take a Look at Your Contact Details

Your customers will need to contact you sometimes, whether it’s to ask a question, make a complaint or send you a review. It will help you if your contact details look professional and business-like. Separating your business from your personal life is the first step, so make sure you’re not using your personal email or telephone number for customer service. You can still answer calls on your phone if you use a forwarding service. As well as a dedicated phone number, get a domain for your email and perhaps a virtual address or PO Box too.

Use a Call Answering Service

One of the cheap and easy ways to make your company look larger and better established is to use a virtual receptionist. You don’t need to be able to afford to hire someone full-time. Using a call answering service like the one provided by zintel.com.au, you can have someone answer your phone, pass calls onto you and take messages. You can use a personalized greeting and appear to be a business with a larger operation. Your company will immediately look more professional.

Professional Packaging

Sometimes the simple things can make a significant difference. Think about how you package your items to send to customers. By adding a few personal touches, you could make the delivery more memorable. Even just using a company logo on invoices could help your products stand out. You can include a thank you note in every package, print labels, wrap things, so they’re more presentable or even design your own packaging.

Create a Website

As an eCommerce business, you may already have a website you sell from. However, many people use several different channels to sell their things. For example, if you sell crafts, you might use Etsy, eBay, and similar sites. Creating one central website to act as a hub for information can help you to keep things more organized. You can also use a central shopping basket, so people can add orders from different stores and pay for everything in one order.

Improve Your Product Images and Descriptions

If there’s one thing that can let down an online store, it’s poor quality pictures and descriptions. If you take photos and write descriptions for your products, you should make them stand out. Take a photography course if you aren’t sure how to improve the images you use. Make sure you don’t just use product descriptions from distributors too. Write your own to make your store more unique.

If you’re ready for your business to be taken more seriously, start making some of these changes. You could see an increase in customers and satisfaction with just these few simple decisions.