How To Make Your Business Computer Network Super-Fast!

May 14th, 2021 | Posted in Technology

If you run a business, chances are you’ll have a few computers in your office connected to a LAN or Local Area Network. The LAN, in turn, is connected to the Internet, so that you and your colleagues can surf the Web.

You might have a server attached to your network, responsible for sharing files amongst all the network users. That sounds like a good computer setup, right? The only downside to many computer networks these days is the speed. Or, should I say, the lack of speed!

Have you ever noticed that, when someone gets a large file, everyone’s network connections slow down? Especially if that transfer is taking place from a storage device attached to your network!

The good news is that you can turbocharge your organization’s network and computer systems. Want to know how? Keep reading to find out!

Workstation upgrade

Even if your network is super-fast, it won’t have much effect on a ten-year-old PC. It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses operate computers that got considered obsolete years ago.

Before you do anything with your network, you need to make sure your workstations are performing at their best.

Here are a few key upgrades you should perform in case they aren’t fast enough for today’s needs:

  • RAM – I recommend running at least 8GB of RAM if you’re using the latest version of Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X;
  • Processor – where possible, upgrade your CPU to the fastest one available for your budget. If you’re running an Intel Core i3 dual-core, consider an upgrade to a Core i5 quad-core;
  • Storage Drive – most systems won’t need a huge amount of storage space, especially if they keep their files on a server or in the cloud. With that in mind, upgrade each drive to a solid-state drive (SSD);
  • Network Port– computers usually have a built-in gigabit Ethernet port at the back of them. If your systems don’t, you can buy PCI cards that you slot into the motherboard that offer this functionality.

Server upgrades

If your workplace has a server attached to the network, you can apply the same upgrades to it as you would your workstations.

You might also be running a database on your server that your staff use on a daily basis. If your users are finding it slow to access or run queries on, you should consider migrating to an in-memory database.

Check out the FAQs over at Altibase.com to find out more about how they work. But, in a nutshell, they use your server’s RAM for data storage instead of a hard drive. Don’t worry; you can backup the data stored in RAM in case your server suffers from a power loss.

Network upgrades

The final thing you can do to speed up your network is to upgrade its technology! As mentioned earlier, gigabit Ethernet ensures faster data transmissions. You’ll need to change your routers and switches for models that support gigabit Ethernet.

Last, but not least, upgrade your Internet connection to a fiber-based one. Your network users will thank you for it!


10 Killer Secrets To Selling More Products Online

May 12th, 2021 | Posted in Marketing

Selling products online is a great way to support your business. There is a world of opportunity out there, and many bedroom entrepreneurs have gone on to make millions. Whether you’re a handy person selling crafts or a mechanic selling car parts, there are plenty of universal tips. As a small shop owner, you’re looking to extend your product’s reach and break into new markets.

If this sounds like you, then it’s essential that you keep looking for new ways to improve. You should always be searching for unique techniques to sell more products and get your name out there. In this post, we’ll show you ten effective methods that have worked for others in the past.

You’ll increase your community, make new loyal customers, and boost profit margins. It may just give you that boost to push your side project into a full-time reality. Let’s take a look at the most effective secrets.

  1. Great photos

In the fast-paced world of internet browsing, customer attention spans are short. You need something that will stop them in their tracks and make them take notice. Beautiful, stunning visual imagery is the best way to do that. If you haven’t already, invest in a DSLR camera and learn how to use it. Practise taking perfect photos of your products and then tweak them on photoshop or a free alternative. It’s all about capturing attention and making people fall in love with your product.

 

  1. Customer Reviews

As consumers, we like to see that other people approve of your product. It’s very difficult to make that first sale when you’re a new or small company. Reviews show that others have purchased and enjoyed your output. It’s a small seal of approval. You can do this by reaching out to previous buyers via email and asking for a quick rating. Studies show that nearly 90% of consumers trust online rating systems.

 

  1. Simple process

Take a step back from your website and ask yourself how simple it is to navigate. You need to make the experience as easy and intuitive as possible for your customers. Every additional step is another chance for them to leave before buying. Prioritise your products and make them stand out; avoid too many other distractions on the website. Give each product it’s own page, and craft the buying process to be as simple as possible. There’s no need to ask for their mother’s dog’s maiden name, just get the vital information and confirm the deal. There’s a reason Amazon has a one-click checkout system.

  1. Social community

There are two steps to marketing your products. The first is reaching out to brand new customers and forging new connections. This is where marketers spend a lot of time and money on adverts and new ideas. However, the second aspect is just as important, if not more so. It’s connecting with existing customers. Building up a social media community and engaging with them is the best way to do this. When it comes to selling products, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube have recently shown how powerful they can be. Spend some time building a presence here.

  1. Keep your website strong

The reliability of your site is a major factor in sales. Website speed, in particular, is crucial. If your website takes more than three seconds to load, nearly half of your customers will leave. Amazon admitted it would lose $1.6 billion if their site slowed down by just one second. Your site needs strength and reliability. For that reason, you need Magento support that specialises in ecommerce and online shopping.

  1. Offers and discounts

It’s a technique as old as time, but it still works wonders. If you need to boost sales quickly, then consider marking down some of your prices. It will draw more customers in and bring previous consumers surging back. Send out discount codes to your email collection and offer exclusives to your Facebook followers. Despite lowering your prices, you’ll boost overall sales and bring in repeat customers.

  1. Customer Relations

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start collecting data about your customers’ purchasing habits. Use a customer relations management system (CRM) to note what people are buying. It should also record how often they purchase from you and what their favourite items are. Once you have this data, you can send them relevant deals and information. You can upsell them related products when they’re on your site. It gives a more personal user experience.

  1. Optimise third parties

You should certainly be hosting your products on your unique website. However, don’t neglect powerful third party sellers. The likes of Shopify, Etsy and eBay have a built-in audience looking for new products. Utilise their platforms and offer your products there too. In most cases, you can use an API plugin to use their mechanics on your website. Customers also trust these well-known sites, so it’s well worth hosting here.

  1. Use analytics

Make sure you’re diving into the analytics and number behind your sales and website traffic. These numbers will tell you how many people are visiting your store. From there you can figure out what your conversion rate is and how people are finding your website. Take note of the search terms that people use to find you. It could show customer demand and a gap in the market. Keep adapting to what your website and visitors are telling you.

  1. Adverts

It can be very difficult to attract those first few customers, so sometimes you just need that first nudge. Perhaps you’ve fallen into a lull in sales and need to pick things back up again. An advert campaign can be a great way to do that. You can start with Facebook ads that have a strong proven success rate. Google AdWords will also get your products out in front of Google searchers. Additionally, you can pay influential members of Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to post your products.

If your online store needs a little kick, try one of these great tricks. You’ll soon see that trickle of sales turn into a flood!


FMTC Rolls Out a Much-Needed Data Feed Cleanup Tool

May 10th, 2021 | Posted in Computers, Database

The number of educational resources available is amazing! These online tools are convenient, accessible and innovative – getting further help with your education has never been so easy. Transform and explore your educational pursuit with these options and more! From finding a tutor to grammar checker-upper, ShareASale Merchants have it all!

Data feed — a file (.CSV, .XML, .XLS or any other type) that lists a merchant’s
product information which merchants provide to affiliates enabling them to feature the merchant’s products right on affiliate-built websites [more here].

Cleanup — the act or process of cleaning up [source].

Unclean data feeds have been an ongoing problem. Once exported from merchants’ databases they would often have unnecessary data migrate through. From HTML code to special characters (like & ampersands and ” or ‘ quotation marks), and from whitespace to other things… they would frequently contain data that would make them difficult for affiliates to work with. The less savvy affiliates would consequently just skip merchants with poor data feeds and move on to working with the advertisers that provided clean ones instead.

Beforehand, to make unclean data feeds usable, good affiliate managers would work with coders (in-house or outsourced) to write scripts that would tidy up the problematic product feeds.

Yesterday, however, FMTC quietly rolled out an invaluable addition to their merchant/advertiser toolbox — a brand new Datafeed Cleanup tool.

The solution is available to Premium (read: paid) subscribers only, and the price of using the tool depends on whether you run your program on one or multiple affiliate networks.

Having just “test-driven it” personally, I can report that on a 7,000+ SKUs data feed it took me only 14 seconds to upload the CSV feed to FMTC and then 45 seconds for the tool to tidy it up and download the clean feed to my computer.


Looking for Customer Loyalty- Know Your Customer Better

May 8th, 2021 | Posted in Marketing
The keys of a marketing program that builds lasting relationships with customers and protecting profit margins.

Marketing one-to-one based on the idea of ​​establishing a learning relationship with each customer, starting with the most valuable. Although the principles of so-called “relationship marketing” are simple -Ask customers about their needs, interact with them and adapt the product or service to their demands, their implementation is complex. And too many companies, without proper preparation and with the excuse that they need to know their customers, overwhelmed with telemarketing campaigns and direct mail. In this note, Don Peppers offers useful to carry out a proper relationship marketing strategy tips and guidelines provides an exercise that allows to discover if a company is able to face her.

What are the advantages of using a marketing strategy one-on-one?

By creating a relationship with the customer, the company ensures their loyalty and protect their profit margins. When customers are not loyal, they are always looking for a competitor that offers lower prices. Therefore, companies embark on constant price reductions and, as a result, margins decrease.

You can win the loyalty of its customers, however, will not necessarily be obliged to propose cuts to match each competition.

What are the best customers to establish a one-to-one?

There are two types of value: the actual value, which is what is expected from the customer over a period of several years; and strategic value, which is what could be obtained from a client with growth potential uncovered, if a strategy to lure applied. In this context, the ideal customers for a one-on-one are those who are willing to work with the company to create the product or service they need; those who can help, because the company can do things better than themselves; and finally, those who have a strategic value for growth potential.

What are the steps to implement a relationship marketing program?

Identify customers; differentiate by value, actual and potential, which have for the company; interact with them and adapt their products or services to meet the individual needs of customers.

To know and differentiate customers have to have a large base of information.

How do you get it without feeling invaded?

In principle, we must never try to obtain information from a client without knowing previously what you are being used. Each of the data to be searched must have a clear purpose.

Another aspect worth considering is that no one likes to answer long Customer Loyalty questionnaires.

The companies that subject their clients to countless questions, all they do is irritate them and away. I suggest, instead, what I have called “dialogue of drip irrigation.” That is, every time the company interacts with a client must obtain a drop of information to complete your profile tastes, demands and requirements, instead of trying to put the puzzle input, using a single questionnaire and when not yet established a relationship of trust.

Because the more you know the customer’s business better adjust their behavior to what you need, that person will be willing to provide information whenever prompted.

And it affirms loyalty …

Yes, but it is a process that takes time. Literally, every time the customer gives you some information to a company, wants to see tangible results. The company wants to use that information to their advantage.

If a travel agency, and the client tells him not to smoke, that person expects that you reserve a non-smoking area in the hotel. If told that his favorite newspaper is the Wall Street Journal, you do not want the hotel people asked what their favorite newspaper; aims already know what it is.

So the more questions you answer, the more benefits expected; and only if you get them, you will find value in having provided information to the company.

Why do you say that in marketing one-to-one technology that is used plays a major role?

When I speak of technology I do not mean simply, which will automatically dial a phone number. The caller to a client must be able to read on the screen of your computer, what to ask. The conversation must have a predetermined script; you can not leave it to chance, or ask any questions.

Something similar happens with an automated sales force. The seller talks to the client after having checked his profile, and once you are able to follow a series of sales patterns. But the structure of the conversation that will keep is based on what the marketing department considered previously, would be the appropriate type for each customer or group of customers in particular message.

So, thanks to technology, the interaction process is almost automatic. It is also essential, of course, to organize information that is collected from customers. If the company has several thousand customers, you must seriously consider the need to acquire a tool of “data warehouse” (data storage) class. But if the company is small and has only a few hundred customers, you may find enough to buy a contact management software in a business computer. Many can be synchronized so that two or more vendors enter the information. If your process is more complicated, but not required to use data warehousing architecture, you can appeal to a system of sales force automation mid-range, or a marketing automation software.

There are many vendors who sell these applications, and not about investing multimillion amounts, but just a few thousand dollars.

When a company hires him to implement a marketing one-to-one, what are the stages of that process?

The initial stage is evaluated.

I have to determine exactly what the situation is regarding identification and differentiation of its customers. I should know if it has properly classified by value and your needs, whether you interact with them efficiently in terms of cost, and if you are able to adapt their products and services to customer needs.

So the first question I ask is: “Do you know the identity of their customers?”. Because maybe that company sells through dealers or retailers, and know their identities, but not the end-user. The second question is:

“You want to create a relationship with end users or resellers?”. Because you can do both, but the company is the one to make the decision. If the company is a retailer only you know the identity of a fraction of their customers because they sell a lot but do not know who bought it two weeks ago, so I advise is a marketing program often. Essentially, it is to give customers a card, and make a discount each time they buy. That way, the company can identify their frequent customers, and to emphasize them when you want to know more deeply.

Once identified, how the difference in order to adapt the product or service to your demands?

We split. To find out how it differs from the other client to take, in the database, those items that will build a statistical model. Then you have to find out what that path is point each client and represents how many potential business. But most important is to determine what their needs; because if I can differentiate according to them, I tell you with a mechanism to adapt the product or service, guided by the objective of meeting them. Now, what happens in the case of a telephone company?

Because the service provided is a kind of “commodity,” something undifferentiated. And all customers want the same thing: a quick, efficient and inexpensive connection to another phone.

It is not possible to conceive a telephone service tailored to each client. But what the company should do is analyze the use that each client gives the phone, find out what support services you use and try to differentiate it according to your needs are. Some will use it a lot because you work at home, and another person that travels frequently; both are heavy users of the service, but for different reasons, and the phone company must consider both needs.
If you target your database in large, medium and small customers, and corporate and individual clients in each segment will detect the shape of phone use. And each of these types of customers demand different services. For example: a person who travels a lot will need a special card, or maybe you want an account with code to charge calls to its customers; the person who works at home want your phone number and your fax line are elmismo, and perhaps some additional services for your computer. When you link those needs with the products offered, the company may suggest to its various customers other services that would solve their problems and their life easier.

In the continuing quest to differentiate customers, there can be no danger of saturation?

It is probable. Especially today, when people are exposed to thousands of stimuli per day, it is not uncommon for someone to say, “I do not want to bother me more.” If more and more companies interact with their customers individually, people do not want to set too many relationships. It will choose one that will manage your financial affairs, one that will give health-related issues, and one that addresses your travel and vacation, for example.

They aspire to have deep relationships with those few companies; and relationships to be more durable and identify those that best meet their demands.

And those that do first …

Of course. The first established a one-on-one with clients, everything is easier, beyond other companies to come to them and be more competitive in terms of price, for example. For those customers they have already told him what they want and whenever you use that information well, he will be loyal. In short, the work of re-tell other companies what they want are saved.

You can always happen that someone, to conquer market, decide to give away your product for a certain period. But, ultimately, this strategy is too expensive.

Is the condition for confronting the marketing one-to-one is having a base of well-armed and differentiated data?

It is not always necessary to arm the outset, a large database.

Consider a real example: a car dealership in San Antonio, Texas, charging patent numbers of cars clients in a database that costs $ 69. As the booking office has a service shifts large window overlooking the parking lot, whenever he sees a car approaching, the employee enters the patent number into the computer and, as soon as the driver then parked it, go to the office, calling him by the name salutes and says, “I know what you need your car.” It’s an easy idea to implement, but gives excellent results. Over time, people will demand the same treatment to all companies which it operates.

Is it possible to monitor in real time the effectiveness of marketing activities one-on-one?

Yes, pushing a control group made up of customers who are serving with the conventional marketing, but statistically equal to the group in which the program one-on-one was applied. It is sufficient to note the differences that occur in the two groups to determine the effectiveness of the new program.


Here’s Why YouTube Should Be A Key Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

May 6th, 2021 | Posted in Marketing

You’ve all heard of YouTube. You’ve probably watched a video there already today. Perhaps you used it to listen to music or used a tutorial to learn a new skill. In all likelihood, you’ve probably watched a funny cat video in the last few days. YouTube is ubiquitous and a vital part of any marketing strategy. Unfortunately, few businesses are capitalising on the immense power of video. If you don’t yet have a YouTube content strategy, here’s why you should.

It’s the second biggest search engine on the planet

Yes, after Google, the next big search engine isn’t Bing or Yahoo, it’s YouTube. Millions of people use its search function every day. Many of them will be searching for services like yours. They’re looking for advice, tutorials and entertainment. Why wouldn’t you want to appear here? More importantly, Google indexes videos and displays them on their regular search page. It’s a vital part of your SEO strategy.

Video is the most consumed form of content on the web

Forget blogs, infographics, photos, and think-pieces, it’s video content that is most loved online. Videos are streamed and shared more than any other content on the web. It’s easier to digest and provides a much better way of communicating with people. If you’re looking to implement an effective content strategy, video should be at the heart.

There’s an entire community of people there

There are millions of people who call YouTube home. For many it’s their default social media site, with communities full of people exchanging comments and videos. In particular, the younger generation gather here. Remember, they are your thought-leaders and taste-makers. Gaining a reputation among this crucial demographic will do wonders for your brand.

It’s the first place we turn for… music, tutorials, entertainment

YouTube has become our instinctive first response for many services. Did you know that it’s the biggest music streaming platform on the planet? Without thinking, YouTube has become our default online friend. Millions use it to learn new skills or find entertainment every day. It’s also slowly making its way into our home through TVs, cars and tablets. It will become an even bigger presence in the future.

Viral and shareability

In the online world, content is king. We share it with our friends and family and use it to create an online persona. Nowhere is this more powerful than video content. Many businesses tell us that their industry doesn’t lend itself to video content. This isn’t true! Every business can create compelling content, you just need to find the right angle. Sometimes it helps to work with creatives like Irving Video Production too. Experts can help you create something viral and shareable.

Humanize your business

One of the trickiest aspects of the online world is putting on a human face. It’s easy to hide behind websites and dense copy. But, the best companies allow their emotion and human side to show through. A video is the perfect way to do this.

YouTube should be a strong component of your marketing strategy. Don’t take our word for it, just look at the self-made YouTube millionaires. There is huge potential out there and you’re missing it!