The Five Best iPhone Apps For Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

There are three things that business owners can use more of – time, money and sanity. If you are a business owner, and an iPhone enthusiast, you may be interested in the following five iPhone apps.

1. Calendar – for your sanity.

This one comes standard with every iPhone. For the busy entrepreneur, with meetings, deadlines, and calls, it is a life saver. Need to remember an appointment? Plug it in to your calendar and set a reminder. I like to set two – one five minutes before, and another that gives me enough time to prepare.

2. Safari “Add to Home Screen” – to save time.

This is not an actual app, but a function within Safari. If you have a website that you frequent, it can be a hassle to open Safari and type its address in the browser address bar – or even to search for the bookmark. Log on to the website and click on the plus sign on the bottom of the screen. Then, select “Add to Home Screen.” Safari will place a shortcut to your website on your phone. Next time you need to pull up the website, simply click on the “app” for it and you’re there.

3. 1Password if you’re a Mac user, RoboForm if you use a PC – another time saver.

1Password and RoboForm are applications that securely save passwords for you. They can also generate strong passwords. Both apps require you to install the program on your mac or PC, and both are well worth it. They keep your information safe, and keep you from spending ten minutes looking for that lost password.

4. CC Terminal – for more money.

Ever thought you landed a new client – only to find him backing out of the deal when you call and ask for payment? Close the deal, take the credit card, and THEN go back to your office. This app takes a little bit of setup, but is WELL worth it.

5. Relax – another one for your sanity.

Sometimes, the best way to get more done is to take five minutes to clear your mind. “Relax” helps you to meditate by giving a nice variety of relaxing scenes, sounds included. My personal favorites are “Breezy Meadow” and “Under the Sea.” Take five minutes – or even just one minute before making an important decision to breathe and relax using this fantastic app.

The lure of the iPhone is the number of apps that are available to it. Often, it’s the simple application that can help you move forward, save time, save your sanity, and make more money.

Why Is It Vital Today for Small Business Owners to Have Their Own App?

If you own a small business today and you do not have an app to promote your business, you should address this now. Apps for smartphone’s have become a way of life. 86% of the time cell phone users spend on their phone is in apps. A Gallup study indicates almost 3/4 of cell users check their phone at least once per hour. I believe this a low percentage based on my experience watch people and particularly 35-40 year olds. Phones are visible everywhere.

Therefore, cell phone apps have become useful as a marketing tool. You can engage with your customers, promote good feeling, build your brand, and show your customers that you are willing to build a relationship with them.

Where is your phone now? In your pocket or your hand? Does your phone like mine, have many different apps that you use for various reasons? If you want to prepare for the future, you should definitely get your company an app.

So, why do I say you should do this? It is my thinking that you must be progressive. You must find new ways to provide more value to your customers. There are so many valuable ways that an app promotes your business – loyalty programs and discounts, messages (Push Notifications) on special offers, building your brand, sell online, accept payments etc.

Starbucks currently uses and app to reward customers with the app. Domino’s created an app for delivery and store pickup of orders. I have a friend who liked Domino’s but hated the annoyance of calling them. Now that they have an app, she told me she has brand loyalty. 52% of online orders are created through and app. Domino’s has experienced a rise of 28% in six months pre-tax profits in the UK alone. This is impressive.

You can use your app to do research. Ask your clients – they are your friends. What do they really want from you in the future? This will help with product development and customer retention. You can collect feedback on your customers.

Find an app developer you trust. Once that accepts a deposit, then works with you to design what you want on your app. Make sure you have a contract indicating the deposit, full price, and time. The time issue must be very clear. Included in the contract should be an over view of the site being created – number of pages, specific pages, how many changes you will receive. If you don’t give your developer the required information, they can’t produce your app in a timely manner. Set dates. Then move forward.

Why Business Owners Need A Web Design Agency

Going online is one of the best options business owners make to gain better opportunities for their business. But, in order to ensure that online strategies can be effective, it is imperative that you work with trusted web design agencies. Below are some of the reasons why business owners hire such experts.

To improve user experience

One of the main reasons why business owners need a web design agency is to allow to properly improve user experience. In order to make target audience into clients, it is essential that you can effectively communicate with them using your website. And, the best way to communicate using your website is by helping them to navigate easily on your website. Because of this, viewers can gain better insights about your products and services online.

To create compelling and unique sites

Business owners also need to work with web development and design agencies to help them create compelling and unique sites. Surely, copying other web designs can be the easiest option to gain effective solutions for your business. However, being unique will allow owners to increase their opportunities. This is possible since agencies can provide professional designs that can complement your brand.

To help them boost site speed

Working with web development and design agencies is important to help company owners to help them boost their site speed. One of the main issues viewers can experience when visiting sites is speed. Due to slow loading pages, individuals tend to immediately leave. As a result, owners can lose potential clients. With the help of web design specialists, they can make site faster by eliminating unnecessary plugins, themes and codes.

To reduce web development expenses

Hiring agencies can also help business owners reduce their web development expenses. Surely, most business owners wish to create their own web development team. However, owners need to invest in substantial finances in the team for training seminars, research and projects. Plus, business owners may also experience risks that can affect their site. Luckily, all of these overhead expenses can be avoided by hiring web design agencies.

To gain better site opportunities

Finally, working with web design experts can help owners gain better site opportunities. Apart from web designs, agencies can also help business owners in creating content. Plus, reliable agencies can also provide other online marketing strategies that can benefit your business effectively.

These are only some of the benefits company owners can obtain with the help of reliable web design agencies.

Online Business Opportunities For Website Owners

Online business opportunities are available to website owners. These prospects are something that they should capitalize on to make the business more attractive to potential clients. One of these well-hyped opportunities is called pay per click advertising. It is popularly known as PPC, an online advertising strategy wherein you can buy ads to enhance traffic on search engines. This is also an integral component that could pave the way for search engine positioning. Looking at the benefits can give the website owner an idea of what to expect from this opportunity.

It gives quicker results in so far as persuading visitors to go to a website compared to search engine optimization. The advertisement becomes evident instantaneously on the search result page as soon as the campaign goes live. One distinct advantage of this method is the cost management aspect. The website owner can control the budget for a specific campaign. This is an assurance that the marketing agenda for certain goods or services attain desired objectives. In the same manner, through PPC, entrepreneurs have the option to seek out their audiences by location. This is a sure approach to reaching highly qualified visitors to your website. The strategy is a seasonal marketing methodology which denotes that you can craft a campaign during the period that it is needed. It is a solution to penetrate the online audience without delays. Entrepreneurs, especially those with relatively limited understanding of search engine optimization and internet marketing, should not be overawed by the terminology and details about these online business opportunities. It is not convoluted as some people think. It is described as an online tactic in advertising and promotions. Advertisements are categorized on web pages right within search engines. For those who are not familiar with the layouts, it comes out on the topmost portion of the basic search results. This strategy is said to be a prompt solution where you can garner fast results in generating visits to the website as against search engine optimization.

This does not say that SEO is substandard. Both are effective and have separate advantages. However, with PPC, the effects come as soon as the ad is clicked and the search engines go live. The key benefit of this procedure is the ads can persuade the audience to visit without the need to set up an outlet in that specific area. The only need is to pinpoint that place as the target to allow the website owner to identify qualified visitors.

If you want to try these online business opportunities, it is important to pay attention to details regarding PPC such as setting a ceiling of cost for every click to control budgets especially if resources are limited. You can even indicate the instances when target customers are online. It is important to remember the major factors that will guarantee pay for click advertising as effective for the website owner. These are selection of keyword phrases, quality of the landing page, ad content and website usage.

10 Effective Small Home Based Business Ideas for Startup Small Business Owners

It is always desirable by many of us to establish a home-based business where we can work from the comfort of our home and can earn a handsome residual income. Therefore, we have listed here ten effective home based business ideas for starting up a home-based small business. Why do we say these “effective small home based business ideas”? Because these are all ideas which are tested and we actually made money through these ideas at one time or another.

1- Develop a Niche Affiliate Site

A niche website is a small website that only focuses a single segment of market. There are hundreds of thousands of niche-websites on the web. You can search for a segment of your interest or expertise and then build a catchy website with high-quality content. Choose the products based on high turnover and handsome commissions for affiliate sales on your website. Promote your site for targeted traffic and then track results.

2 – Get paid by Online Paid Surveys

Online paid surveys are a popular and easy way of generating a residual income stream for you and your family. Every global company is spending a lot on the market research and consumer behavior patterns. They hire survey firms to conduct market research for their existing and upcoming products and services and pay generously for views of the people. So it is easy to sort down reliable survey companies and filling out surveys to get a comfortable way of earning from home.

3 – Selling on Craigslist & eBay:

Craigslist is an online garage sale site. It is free to place your sale offers on the craigslist, and sometimes you don’t even need to be worried about shipping and packaging; people come to your home and pick up the items they bought from you. You can sell anything at craigslist or eBay from the old garage items to your small handmade unique items. You can find a clientele for almost anything on these sites and can earn money for you and your family.

4 – Design a website:

If you are running your own website or blog, then you will be familiar with the WordPress and can learn how to create websites by using readily available WordPress themes and how to fix them. You can offer these services to other peoples by learning some customizations like changing color schemes, designing simple logs and banners, make small changes in the layout, etc. In this way, you can easily create and sell unique websites for others and can earn residual income.

5 – Earn Money as a Virtual Worker

You can sign up websites like MicroWorkers.com to offer your services to the individuals and small businesses. MicroWorkers.com has different categories like content writing and social media. You can earn money by completing small tasks like writing a review of a product, posting comments to the blog posts and being fan of a Facebook page, etc.

6 – Earn through Ads on Your Website or Blog:

If you are running a website or blog which has a reasonable amount of daily visitors, then you can earn through placing ads on your websites. Quality content and high-traffic site can give you a handsome stream of advertisement earnings through CPC and CPM campaigns. In these ads, you will be paid for click or impression of the ad placed on your website. You can place any good ad network like Google AdSense for ad campaigns can enjoy extra money through advertisements.

7 – Domain Name Speculation:

Speculating and registering domain is a popular and easy way to earn money online. It involves creativity and thoughtfulness of the person. People find and register domain names, which appear valuable and wait for the time when someone approaches them to sell that domain name in the future. Such domains are parked on pages, which clearly indicate that these domains are for sale and also mention the contact details of the owner. Meanwhile, these owners place catchy advertisements on parking pages and earn advertisement money.

8 – Be a Freelancer:

If you have some expertise in graphics design, programming, writing, marketing research, data entry or any other simple administrative work, then you can offer your services through freelancing websites like guru.com and elance.com. These sites offer a fantastic platform for the people who want to work online. Simply join any of the reputable freelancing website, offer your services in any given category and start earning without spending a penny from your own pocket.

9 – Offer Transcription Services:

Transcription service is the procedure of creating text form of data from recorded voice and conference calls. If you have extra ordinary listening and writing skills, then you can offer your transcription services on the web and can earn a handsome amount based upon your work.

10 – CPA Marketing:

Cost per Action marketing means getting paid when a specific action is performed through your referral link. The referring money can be from $1 to $25 depending upon the type of action performed. This is a quick way to generate cash by referring people. It is highly recommended to use trust worth websites after proper research.

3 Ways Technology Has Changed the World For Home Based Business Owners

I love that I have been born in this day and age and I don’t know how I could have lived at any other time in history. New technological advances have made my life much easier as a home based business owner. I am excited by the possibilities available with technology today and excited by the thoughts of the technology that will be available very soon.

The purpose of this article is to share with you, as a fellow home based business owner, some thoughts on how current technological advances are improving the way we can run our businesses. If you are living in the past it is time to change your way of thinking and utilise technology to your own advantage.

Here are three things to think about as a work from home entrepreneur:

Social media and Web 2.0 has changed marketing- The old rules of advertising made it hard for a home based business to compete with bigger companies. The internet, through search engines, web 2.0 and social media has changed everything to the advantage of the smaller operators. Yes, large companies can use the internet but if you target your market right you can still be very successful.

Smart phones have improved people’s lives- I was very late to the idea of a smart phone- even though I have worked in the industry for numerous years. But now, I don’t know how I ever lived without one. I started with a BlackBerry, went to a HTC and now I could never live without my iPhone. It’s just so damn convenient. I can send and receive emails, make calls, send and receive texts and there are numerous other applications that improve my life. It gives me so much time back. I can respond to a lot of emails and do work during my down time during the day. For example, I often write articles on my iPhone during the day if I am waiting at a cafe or something like that. I generally save about an hour a day.

You can run a home based business but sell to the world- The Internet, in my opinion, has had the greatest influence on mankind of all inventions. Now, with an Internet connection, I can sell my products from home to anywhere in the world. Previously as a home based business owner my target audience would most probably be limited to my surrounding suburbs.

Technology has changed the world and, as you can see from the above, there are three technological advances that have had a most dramatic effect on home based businesses.

No More Excuses for Small Business Owners for Not Growing Their Businesses

When talking about business related issues, solutions, and technologies, you will almost always group businesses as small and large. While the separation is there, it won’t be wrong to say that in a modern where digital technologies prevail, it should not be a problem for small businesses to compete with large ones. The large corporations have the advantage of having more resources without a doubt. However, there was not a time in the past when growing and expanding was as easy for small businesses as it is today.

Digital Marketing for Everyone

Digital marketing starts with a website today. When it comes to website designs, more money does not always mean a better design. If you are working with the right people and are clear about your requirements, your website can be just as impressive as the website of a large business. In fact, internet users today are more in favor of simplistic websites with a focus on the information they are looking for rather than the glitter and sparkle.

As for social media marketing, there is no difference in the size of the market that small and large businesses have to target. They are both targeting global audiences and how good they are at it is not defined by how much money they put in their marketing efforts. Social media marketing is free marketing, so there is no excuse as to who has more resources.

And if you believe that the large corporations make it to the top of the search engine results, you always have a better and more effective niche to compete within – local. With local search engine optimization, small businesses can compete with the medium and large businesses head to head. In simple words, regardless of the size of the business, everyone has access to the same market and same people today. What matters is who does it better.

Digital Solutions Are Available Specifically for Small Businesses

When it comes to software solutions for businesses, the focus is not on large corporations anymore. Today, all types of software solutions have their versions built specifically for small businesses. These digital solutions allow small businesses to cut down their costs and make use of the same technologies that large companies are using.

Take the example of CRMs. At one point, there was a notion that customer relationship management software are only for large businesses, but the things have changed quite a bit today. Web-based CRM are a revelation for small businesses. First, these CRMs provide great marketing, database, customer service and sales solutions to the businesses. Second, they are unbelievably affordable. If you own a small business, you don’t even have to worry about software integration, hardware compatibility, updates, and upgrades, etc. Keep in mind that with in-house solutions, these are the costs that make it difficult for small businesses to grow financially.

With web-based solutions designed for small businesses, you can now have access to a world-class CRM at a fractional monthly or yearly cost. Other affordable digital solutions available include invoicing software, bookkeeping software, payroll software, etc.

Customers Have the Power in Hands

The Internet has empowered customers like never before. You can’t say that just because a business is in multiple countries, it will be impressive enough for people to buy its products. The amazing thing about today’s economy is the power that customers have in their hands. Online reviewing websites, YouTube videos, blogs, etc. are among many platforms that allow customers to know more about businesses. In fact, even Google now puts business ratings and customer reviews right within its search results.

What this means is that when a customer searches for a business today, he/she is already able to see the reputation of the product they are going to buy. Furthermore, negative reviews from customers can greatly affect the sales of business, giving other businesses a chance to make their name.

Furthermore, it’s not just the quality of products that matters today. In the modern world, businesses are competing for better customer experience. If your business can give customers the experience they are looking for, your growth is inevitable despite the small size of your business.

Funding Is No Issue for Startups

It is always the starting days that matter the most for business. When you are a startup, you are looking for ways to fund your business so you can materialize your idea and polish your product/service according to the requirements of the customers. Finding a platform where you could connect with investors was a challenge in the past. This is not an issue anymore.

With like our websites, it is easier than ever for small businesses to get in touch with investors and get the right amount of investment that sets them on the path of growth. These are websites that act as a bridge between investors from all around the world and startups. With traditional banks and lenders, you are only limited to a local audience of investors. When you can’t find an investor in your local market, your hopes are almost dead.

With online funding websites, all you have to do is create a convincing pitch that explains the viability of your startup to the investors and its scope. Your pitch along with all the necessary information that you think investors should see goes on the website where it is visible to hundreds and thousands of investors. If you have done your homework and have a team of right professionals on board, getting the right investment is just a matter of hours or days.

Final Words

You can see that a small business can overcome almost all of their challenges much more efficiently today. Starting a business has become so easy that even students can be entrepreneurs today. They can lay the foundation for a business using just their pocket money. From connecting with the right investors to cutting down operational costs, all can be done from the comfort of a person’s home. The only thing that makes the difference today is if you are confident enough to take the first step.

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