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Other eCommerce Mistakes to Avoid: Part 2 of 2

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

Choosing the Wrong Metrics of Success

Consider the industry and market. Many businesses are seasonal, especially in the eCommerce field. Short-term measurements may hold limited relevance for long-term success. In addition to sales revenue, important considerations may include customer satisfaction, customer turnover, customer engagement, and the cost of acquiring new clients. Feedback from customers may prove just as useful for long-term growth as raw numbers reflecting factors such as sales revenue.

Remember the bottom line. Metrics such as site views are a good sign, but don’t let your head puff up until you’ve seen the end rewards. Beyond tactics such as “search engine optimization,” businesses should flesh out their intelligence with a multidimensional approach that provides multiple perspectives and can better develop strategies for the future.

Plan for a Reasonable Balance Between Supply and Demand

In the initial excitement of contract negotiation, business owners might overestimate demand for their projects. Wise entrepreneurs take baby steps while wading through the planning phase. The time for a deeper plunge is after a realistic assessment of product demand. Only after meeting demand becomes a challenge in itself should a new business expand its initial investment.

Too much product at the outset complicates a website, adds to maintenance costs, and wastes the original investment.

Work Out Sales Promotion Strategies in the Early Stages

New business owners can also go overboard with their initial advertising. Remember to carefully ponder sales promotions, and tailor them to your company’s goals. Some business managers can dump money into advertising that can misfire, even harming brand image or simply wasting resources.

A tasteless, spammy, or annoying sales promotion does no one favors. Neither do wasteful practices such as carelessly executed free sample campaigns. Remember that ads should take advantage of the right time, place, and style to effectively influence potential clientele.

Prioritize Wise Contract Negotiation

Irrational optimism can doom new companies. Small business owners need to put together contracts with the worst possible outcomes in mind. Human nature tends to assume everything will go smoothly, but the inevitable snags often pop up unexpectedly. Veteran business owners should pour over contracts with a fine-tooth comb with an eye toward the life of a contract rather than the bare minimums and the foreseeable future.

Careless Choice of Advertising Partners

Remember that you have as much of a right to choose your advertisers as they to choose you. Advertisers need to stay relevant, ethical, and lucrative. Advertisements should stay interesting and tasteful. In other words, new business owners should maintain self-respect and not get carried away in the excitement of finally receiving sponsorship.

Consider Effective Customer Contact Strategies

Email lists can provide a free method to reach prospects on demand. Remember to form these lists quickly, efficiently, and ethically. When soliciting contact information, make sure to obtain a full profile of the customer’s interests, goals, and potential. Effective customer contact lists can save a fortune in advertising later.

Conclusion

Ecommerce presents its own set of risks. Without careful contemplation, Veteran Business Owners can go overboard in the wrong direction at the outset, in ways that can quickly deplete resources. The remote nature of the online customer relationship amplifies these. Careful, realistic, and multidimensional feedback and planning can effectively prepare for success in the modern, largely internet-based economy.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

Strategies for an Exceptional Business Website

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

Remember the Importance of Standing Out from the Crowd

A distinctive online presence can attract new prospects. A flashy website should never occupy too much time or too many resources. However, always remember that first impressions are very important and matter. The sloppy online presentation does not do Veteran Business Owners any favors.

White Backgrounds are a Cross-Industry Staple for a Reason.

White backgrounds lend clarity, elegance, and professionalism. For this reason, eCommerce sites rarely deviate from this standard. Such a background creates the perfect backdrop for memorable, distinctive content. 

Web designers should take full advantage of the “blank slate” provided by a white background. In other words, remember to keep plenty of white space around any content you choose to highlight. Plenty of white space prevents clutter and draws attention to the important parts of your presentation.

The Layout Should Spark “Friendships” with Possible Customers.

Websites should introduce your customers to the enterprise’s personality. Angles may include the company’s values, the company’s history, and the company’s inspiration.

Strategies may include photos, biographies, and videos. Essentially, business owners should make their brand relatable. The personality of your business should be the first thing prospective customers think of when considering their buying needs.  The idea is to tell your story and keep your audience and customers engaged.

Finally, badges and awards signaling special recognition should be prominently displayed.

Make those Photos Top-Notch or even Professional.

Photos can provide a link between a prospect’s world and that of your company. Owners should place great care in making them not only good but spellbinding if possible.

Due to legal restrictions, beware of stock photos or unlicensed material. Good websites keep the pictorial content original. For example, some businesses produce their own pictures, and others hire professional photographers. The investment can really pay off.

Keep Your Website Dynamic: Add a Blog Section.

A blog section can make a site more interesting by providing information relevant to your industry. Frequent updates can hold the interest of regular customers. Thusly, Veteran Business Owners can show off their expertise and qualifications. In this way, a business owner can impress readers with their ability to meet customers’ needs.

Use the Website to Spread the Word. Promotions and Special Deals Matter.

One strategy is to “wow” potential customers with special deals. Consider any bonus inventory in your lot that may supply a catchy new sales campaign. A prominent display on your home page can distinguish you from other merchants.

Similarly, remember that small things count. A small gift or even a “thank you” at the end can go a long way in establishing goodwill between yourself and the customer. 

Conclusion

From the smallest gestures to the most outrageous deals, the content of your website should take center stage. The aesthetics should primarily function to highlight that content. 

Obviously, your operations should come first even for a web-based business. Simplicity is key, but a wisely put-together site can complement effective operations and draw new customers into your spell. 

Veteran Business Owners should always keep their priorities straight. A website should integrate with your everyday activities. No one needs distracting bells and whistles, but customers can sense your competence with a first impression that effectively and professionally displays what you have to offer. 

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

Common Mistakes of New Internet-Based Entrepreneurs

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

Choosing the Wrong Metrics of Success

Consider the industry and market. Many businesses are seasonal, especially in the eCommerce field. Short-term measurements may hold limited relevance for long-term success. In addition to sales revenue, important considerations may include customer satisfaction, customer turnover, customer engagement, as well as the cost of acquiring new clients. Feedback from customers may prove just as useful and important input for long-term growth as raw numbers reflecting factors such as sales revenue.

Remember the bottom line. Metrics such as site views are a good sign, but don’t let your head puff up until you’ve seen the end rewards. Beyond tactics such as “search engine optimization,” businesses should flesh out their intelligence with a multidimensional approach that provides multiple perspectives and can better develop strategies for the future.

Plan for a Reasonable Balance Between Supply and Demand

In the initial excitement of contract negotiation, business owners might overestimate demand for their projects. Wise entrepreneurs take baby steps while wading through the planning phase. The time for a deeper plunge is after a realistic assessment of product demand. Only after meeting demand becomes a challenge in itself should a new business expand its initial investment.

Too much product at the outset complicates a website, adds to maintenance costs, and wastes the original investment.  There is something to be said for keeping it simple.

Work Out Sales Promotion Strategies in the Early Stages

New business owners can also go overboard with their initial advertising. Remember to carefully ponder sales promotions, and tailor them to your company’s goals. Some business managers can dump money into advertising that can misfire, even harming brand image or simply wasting resources.

A tasteless, spammy, or annoying sales promotion does no one favors. Neither do wasteful practices such as carelessly executed free sample campaigns. Remember that ads should take advantage of the right time, place, and style to effectively influence potential clientele.

Prioritize Wise Contract Negotiation

Irrational optimism can doom new companies. Small business owners need to put together contracts with the worst possible outcomes in mind. Human nature tends to assume everything will go smoothly, but the inevitable snags often pop up unexpectedly. Veteran business owners should pour over contracts with a fine-tooth comb with an eye toward the life of a contract rather than the bare minimums and the foreseeable future.

Careless Choice of Advertising Partners

Remember that you have as much of a right to choose your advertisers as they do to choose you. Advertisers need to stay relevant, ethical, and lucrative. Advertisements should stay interesting and tasteful. In other words, new business owners should maintain self-respect and not get carried away in the excitement of finally receiving sponsorship.

Consider Effective Customer Contact Strategies

Email lists can provide a free method to reach prospects on demand. Remember to form these lists quickly, efficiently, and ethically. When soliciting contact information, make sure to obtain a full profile of the customer’s interests, goals, and potential. Effective customer contact lists can save a fortune in advertising later.

Conclusion

Ecommerce presents its own set of risks. Without careful contemplation, Veteran Business Owners can go overboard in the wrong direction at the outset, in ways that can quickly deplete resources. The remote nature of the online customer relationship amplifies these. Careful, realistic, and multidimensional feedback and planning can effectively prepare for success in the modern, largely internet-based economy.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

Can Same-Day Pay Help a Labor Shortage?

By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

“Same-day pay” saw a redefinition in recent years. The past stigma associated with same-day pay has worn down in the face of current needs. In the past, observers have associated same-day pay schemes with agencies and employers that sometimes exploit those desperate for money. However, despite the stigma, economic developments and technological advances could make these relationships more workable.

  1. Same Day Pay in the Past Historically Has been Associated with Exploitation

Some temporary agencies have always used “same-day pay” to fill labor shortages. Often, these agencies use people who may need the money more than the companies need labor. Sometimes, the agencies and their clients “fudged” the labor factor to compensate. In other words, the workers have ended up doing harder work than they bargained for. 

Developments in technology and in the economy might sand out some of the inefficiencies that prevent more streamlined processes. Remember, the “same-day work economy” keeps many workers active. Such workers may include college students, caregivers, retired people, those in difficult straits, and any number of other people who just plain have labor to provide.

On the management front, managers often struggle to find the right labor at the right moment. Companies make do with what they have, and sometimes lack the flexibility to adapt to sudden changes in the market. 

“Same day pay” can provide an incentive to bring workers on board with short notice. Sometimes companies need labor now, and in exchange can tap into any supply of people who need money today. However, small companies may have trouble developing an equitable synergy between management and worker in these circumstances.

  1. Finding People and Keeping People

The “neglected labor pool” is diverse. Often, those outside the traditional labor market need short-term gigs. In addition, many competent people have idled for years, due to the prejudice against “gaps in employment.”  

Simultaneously, many smaller businesses need good help. As these companies and these people “find each other,” the businesses and the people can grow together. The employment role can grow as the relationship grows, and the business can grow as a result.

In other words, short-term labor and same-day pay can be a blessing for workers and managers. The right strategies and processes can separate the most exploitative practices from that synergy.

  1. Payroll Service Providers Have Advanced Technologically. Fees Are No Longer as Burdensome to Business Owners or Workers.

In the past, payroll service companies charged larger fees for the processing of quick paychecks. For example, cutting a check for a same-day worker may have cost a pretty penny. Smaller businesses sometimes paid in cash, which may have prevented the best possible record-keeping.

These days, technological advances have facilitated these short-term employment relationships. Expenses for cutting a same-day check, direct deposit, or even cold, hard, cash, have relaxed. Veteran Business Owners can thank technological advances for a decreased burden in the recordkeeping department, and increased efficiency in processing their workforce payroll issues.

  1. Bottom Line

The recent labor shortage has caused burdens throughout different sectors of the economy. However, advances in the “short-term economy” could facilitate a new synergy between small business owners and even some parts of the neglected workforce. Many companies have adopted a novel practice of providing half the pay on the same day, and the balance during the payroll period. 

In general, same-day pay has become more workable with technological advances, which can help both workers and employers with their record-keeping and avoid fees. Veteran Business Owners should always consider the exploitation factor, but also consider the benefits to all parties when determining employment relationships.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

Community Engagement for Small Businesses

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

A visible presence in the community can do wonders to raise the profile of a small Veteran Owned Business. Engagement in community activities can imprint your brand into the minds of those around you and entrench your products or services into the hearts and minds of the most active citizens. Four strategies can help businesses integrate into the public sphere and make your brand synonymous with responsible public engagement.

First, consider the special contributions your business can make available. The best value comes from the optimal use of existing resources. Surplus goods can go to work as donations fundraisers, and these contributions can increase goodwill toward the company. Even special expertise can go to building new campaigns or initiatives. Redeployment of existing resources can not only ensure the maximum outcome for all parties but can effectively advertise the quality of the business for anyone involved in the charitable cause.

Along the same lines, businesses can solicit relationships with organizations that involve themselves in your business’s field in the economy. Never undervalue your expertise. The relevance of your business provides huge value to nonprofits in your sector.

Perhaps you have a restaurant. Your restaurant can provide excess food to the homeless or even for catering events, assuming (importantly) the food is well-kept. As for non-perishables, items such as clothing can be embroidered into relevant t-shirts or even donated. The possibilities are endless for high-quality excess goods and services.

Second, consider input from employees. Each employee may have their own interests in the nonprofit sphere. Engagement with nonprofits can encourage engagement with employees as well. Every idea from an employee can bring your brand into a new sphere. Oftentimes, the employees’ interests in the community can pose an educational opportunity that can even expand your brand.

Third, business owners should keep a strong gauge of customers’ nonprofit concerns. Customers themselves might provide ideas and insights into community engagement. Entrepreneurs can strengthen goodwill among customers by chiming into their concerns. For this reason, business owners should always value customer feedback.

Fourth, remember your values and stick with them. Some companies might provide ethically made clothing brands, free from sweatshops or forced labor. Others might provide vegan or vegetarian food. Still, others may oppose religious persecution abroad. These companies have their nonprofit work cut out for them.

Still, other entrepreneurs have their own causes that energize them, outside of their own scope of business. Still, good karma follows from maintaining a presence year-long with favorite nonprofit initiatives. Just remember the above precepts and the resulting opportunities for associating your brand with your passions about the direction of your community.

In conclusion, business owners with community concerns can profit immensely from engagement with their favorite causes. Even placing excess inventory into the hands of community workers or charity recipients can serve an advertising purpose. Still, beyond that simple measure, the simple presence of your company’s logo in a fundraising drive can serve a marketing function beyond warming your heart or the hearts of others. Wise engagement with community causes rarely has a downside. Veteran Business Owners should always remember the nonprofit sector no matter how successful their own ventures are.

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

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