HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing http://blog.hostgator.com The Official HostGator Company blog Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:46:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Snappy Loves Puppies! http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/28/snappy-loves-puppies/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/28/snappy-loves-puppies/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:46:51 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=9069 The post Snappy Loves Puppies! appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Today, Snappy felt the need to speak out publicly about his love for pets of all shapes and sizes, but especially puppies. The mistreatment and abandonment of puppies is a heart-breaking situation, and Snappy wants to do something about it!
Austin Pets Alive is a no-kill animal shelter that saves more than 6,000 animals from euthanasia annually. As of this moment, we will donate $5 for every new hosting sign-up via coupon code PUPPYLOVE to Austin pets Alive, up to $5,000.
Not only will we be making this donation, but coupon code PUPPYLOVE also carries a 50% discount on all new hosting packages. Help us fight animal abuse and abandonment, while saving 50% off new hosting packages!
Get started right now by visiting http://gtrkb.com/puppylove
Thank you to everyone who participates in this donation, and thank you to Austin Pets Alive!
 

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puppylove_v01-01

Today, Snappy felt the need to speak out publicly about his love for pets of all shapes and sizes, but especially puppies. The mistreatment and abandonment of puppies is a heart-breaking situation, and Snappy wants to do something about it!

Austin Pets Alive is a no-kill animal shelter that saves more than 6,000 animals from euthanasia annually. As of this moment, we will donate $5 for every new hosting sign-up via coupon code PUPPYLOVE to Austin pets Alive, up to $5,000.

Not only will we be making this donation, but coupon code PUPPYLOVE also carries a 50% discount on all new hosting packages. Help us fight animal abuse and abandonment, while saving 50% off new hosting packages!

Get started right now by visiting http://gtrkb.com/puppylove

Thank you to everyone who participates in this donation, and thank you to Austin Pets Alive!

 

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Subscription Boxes: The Next Big Thing? http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/25/subscription-boxes-next-big-thing/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/25/subscription-boxes-next-big-thing/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:50:18 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=9045 The post Subscription Boxes: The Next Big Thing? appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Subscription boxes, if you’re not presently familiar with the concept, are boxes sent out monthly to individuals who’ve subscribed for the service. While this definition is accurate, it doesn’t exactly provide a lot of information on what the product is, or why a person is selling it to another person. A subscription box contains a random set of items that differs every month. There are different types of subscription box services, providing shaving accoutrements, beauty products, video game related items, baby items, geography lessons to children, and just about everything in between. If you can come up with an idea and there are enough products of that category to keep your subscription box going, that’s all you need. Prices for these subscription boxes generally range from $10 to $40; however, there are specialty boxes with much higher price tags as well.
 
What makes A Successful Subscription Box?
As with any business, the key to starting a successful subscription box service is a combination of the right products, high quality service, and prompt attention to customer feedback. If a customer complains that they don’t like your offerings, that’s fine, it may not be their thing, but if ten or twenty people complain about ...

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subscription_box

Subscription boxes, if you’re not presently familiar with the concept, are boxes sent out monthly to individuals who’ve subscribed for the service. While this definition is accurate, it doesn’t exactly provide a lot of information on what the product is, or why a person is selling it to another person. A subscription box contains a random set of items that differs every month. There are different types of subscription box services, providing shaving accoutrements, beauty products, video game related items, baby items, geography lessons to children, and just about everything in between. If you can come up with an idea and there are enough products of that category to keep your subscription box going, that’s all you need. Prices for these subscription boxes generally range from $10 to $40; however, there are specialty boxes with much higher price tags as well.

 

What makes A Successful Subscription Box?

As with any business, the key to starting a successful subscription box service is a combination of the right products, high quality service, and prompt attention to customer feedback. If a customer complains that they don’t like your offerings, that’s fine, it may not be their thing, but if ten or twenty people complain about the quality of the items you are providing, then maybe it’s time to look into what you’re doing. Offer higher quality items, offer a discount as an apology and don’t use that supplier anymore; do something. Make it right.

 

How To get Started

You’ll need to find a supplier (or several) for the products that you want your subscription box to contain, setup a method for you to purchase those items, and setup your website. You need storage space for all the inventory, and you need high quality customer service to deal with new subscriptions, cancellation requests, kudos and complaints.

You will need a storefront on your website, as the best subscription box services offer samples at a low cost and then sell full sized versions of their products in their store, or additional items associated with the goods in the subscription boxes in their store. And you will need a boxing service. You can either box these items yourself, or you may decide to hire people to do that for you. You can now purchase the standard subscription box sized boxes online by simply Googling “subscription box boxes.” You’ll also need an SSL (to make your site secure). Once you have that, you’re all set and ready to start accepting customers!

This is a type of business that is quick and easy to setup, but it moves fast, so be sure to have your site setup, your storage, your inventory, and be ready to go before you make your subscription service live. Waiting lists prior to the service being started tend to make people want to cancel. If, however, you have more sign ups than you do inventory your first month, you can waitlist those while you wait on a new shipment (this is a good sign). Don’t be surprised, however, if you don’t have a wait list until a few months in. This is normal. This is one of the easiest business models to setup, and quite frankly, people love them. It’s like getting a present in the mail every month, a random surprise.

If you’re still not convinced – I personally know someone who spends over $200 per month on subscription boxes, and I subscribe to $50 worth of subscription boxes on a monthly basis myself. Not all are gems, but I constantly try new ones. I’ve stayed with a box for months before I decide if I want to cancel it. Two of my current favorites are Birchbox and Escape Monthly – they’re very well setup if you’d like to check their sites to get ideas on how to setup yours. It’s a great way to try new things, things that you would never buy for yourself, and once you get hooked on a product, it’s easy to just keep going back to that company to buy the full sized items. Check it out! It’s an easy business model to jump right into, and it’s taking off fast!

 

Image Source: Salazar Packaging. (2014). Subscription Box Packaging. Retrieved from http://blog.salazarpackaging.com/wp-content/uploads/One-color-reverse-printed-on-white-die-cut-mailer.jpg

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Outsourcing is the process of contracting out certain aspects of a business to an alternative company as a means of working to reduce the overall costs incurred by the business.
A computer manufacturer may outsource the creation of certain components to another company because it is cheaper for that other company to make them, as opposed to making the components themselves. A government entity may find that it is cheaper to outsource their tech support to another organization as opposed to keeping IT professionals on staff, and a small business owner may decide that it makes the most sense to outsource their human resources department rather than to create one of their own for only a few employees.
Regardless of the type of outsourcing being completed or the type of company looking to outsource, there are several different factors that must be considered, outside of the cost, when looking into this decision.
 
Factors for Consideration
The first factor the company needs to look into is cost. The question of whether or not the company will save any money, in terms of their overhead or operating expenses is a key factor in business decisions. If the company will not save any money by outsourcing, then ...

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outsourcing

Outsourcing is the process of contracting out certain aspects of a business to an alternative company as a means of working to reduce the overall costs incurred by the business.

A computer manufacturer may outsource the creation of certain components to another company because it is cheaper for that other company to make them, as opposed to making the components themselves. A government entity may find that it is cheaper to outsource their tech support to another organization as opposed to keeping IT professionals on staff, and a small business owner may decide that it makes the most sense to outsource their human resources department rather than to create one of their own for only a few employees.

Regardless of the type of outsourcing being completed or the type of company looking to outsource, there are several different factors that must be considered, outside of the cost, when looking into this decision.

 

Factors for Consideration

The first factor the company needs to look into is cost. The question of whether or not the company will save any money, in terms of their overhead or operating expenses is a key factor in business decisions. If the company will not save any money by outsourcing, then there is really no point in proceeding. If the company will save money through using outsourcing options, the company must then look to factor two.

The second factor a company must consider is whether or not there is an available company willing to take on the outsourced role, and whether or not that company is reliable. Research must be completed regarding the validity of the company and, more importantly, the types of checks and balances that the organization has in place in order to ensure the safety of the data they will be handling.

Studies have shown that 63% of data breaches occur as a result of outsourcing, and most companies do not even know the breach has occurred, that is, until they are notified of the breach by a third party. (Guess who is responsible for the breach? Not the company being outsourced to, the company who was responsible for maintaining the data in the first place: YOU.)

If the company looks legitimate, and if the company does not have any past complaints for data breaches, and if your company can afford to outsource, then go for it. If none of these aspects meet your expectations, however, it’s best to nix the idea altogether.

 

You are Responsible

Always remember, you are the one responsible for the data, regardless of whether or not you outsource a role. If you can’t afford a data breach, chances are you can’t afford to outsource. This is not to say that all outsourced departments or companies are horrible, but rather that there is simply not enough oversight in order to properly regulate this type of transaction as of yet.

As the old saying goes: “you get what you pay for;” if you can’t afford the potential consequences of using a lower cost alternative, you can’t afford not to have the standard measures in place.

 

Image Source: Workhoppers.com. (2013). Outsourcing. Retrieved from https://workhoppers.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/outsourcing.jpg

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Keep It Simple http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/20/keep-simple/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/20/keep-simple/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:22:31 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=9019 The post Keep It Simple appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Recent studies have shown that the average reading level for the general population of the United States ranges somewhere between a fourth and a sixth grade reading level; studies from several years ago put most individuals graduating high school as reading at no better than a fifth grade reading level. Do you feel that the content being presented to you has been dumbed down in recent years? Are you surprised at the latest arguments regarding whether or not it is socially acceptable for adults to read young adult novels? There’s a reason.
The average reading level has decreased drastically throughout the years. When I was in intermediate school, (6th grade), I tested at reading at college level, the highest the test would go; most of my classmates capped out at the same rate, with only a few of them hitting eleventh or twelfth grade reading levels, nothing any lower. In today’s day and age, those who are graduating aren’t even close, nor do they really seem to care.
 
Why This Matters and How it Affects You
It matters for a lot of reasons, but this is neither the time nor the place for a soap box rant regarding the quality of education that ...

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simplicity

Recent studies have shown that the average reading level for the general population of the United States ranges somewhere between a fourth and a sixth grade reading level; studies from several years ago put most individuals graduating high school as reading at no better than a fifth grade reading level. Do you feel that the content being presented to you has been dumbed down in recent years? Are you surprised at the latest arguments regarding whether or not it is socially acceptable for adults to read young adult novels? There’s a reason.

The average reading level has decreased drastically throughout the years. When I was in intermediate school, (6th grade), I tested at reading at college level, the highest the test would go; most of my classmates capped out at the same rate, with only a few of them hitting eleventh or twelfth grade reading levels, nothing any lower. In today’s day and age, those who are graduating aren’t even close, nor do they really seem to care.

 

Why This Matters and How it Affects You

It matters for a lot of reasons, but this is neither the time nor the place for a soap box rant regarding the quality of education that students are receiving today. This matters because the majority of content presented on the Internet comes in one of three forms: lolcat, graphic representations, or text. That’s right; most of the information on the internet involves reading. How then can we expect the material that we find relevant, the topics that we find interesting, or the manner in which we convey information to be able to maintain interest, much less be comprehended by the new target markets and audiences that are coming into their best years of buying power? There’s only one thing to do….

 

How to Deal with It

You’ve got to Keep it simple. Don’t go for the thesaurus, don’t try to make your sentences sound more intelligent, and, much as I hate to say it – try to stay away from those compound sentences. Make your content as easy to understand as possible. Make it so that a sleep-deprived and un-caffeinated version of you would have no issue understanding what you are attempting to convey. It’s frustrating, it’s obnoxious, but unless you’re catering to a very specific crowd, like those who subscribe to Shakespeare Quarterly or only those who have received their Master’s degrees (and yes, this is an over exaggeration, but you get the idea), keep it basic. Remember, everything else aside, your goal is to market and sell your product; to do that effectively the average consumer must be able to understand what you are selling.

 

Image source: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/simplicity.jpg

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Helpful Tips For Putting A Pricetag On Your Customized Work http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/14/helpful-tips-putting-pricetag-customized-work/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/14/helpful-tips-putting-pricetag-customized-work/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 19:08:41 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=9008 The post Helpful Tips For Putting A Pricetag On Your Customized Work appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Being an entrepreneur requires a very diverse and calculated set of skills. First we conceptualize, then we create, followed by marketing, and if everything pans out we arrive at a sale, to put things simply of course. What very few people anticipate is how difficult it can be to put a price on an item once it’s ready to be sold.
What if I’m charging too much? What if I’m charging too little?
In either scenario, you probably aren’t making what you deserve. Only you, the creator, can know the amount of time, heart and resources that went into a project. Learning how to price your items fairly and effectively will serve to increase the frequency of your sales.
Here are some well tested ways in which you can develop a system for your price tags.
 
Calculate the cost of materials + 10%
This goes for work you already have in stock, and especially for that in which has yet to be created. When you’re approached by a potential client, the number one step is recovering the cost everything that went into the piece before you added time, skills and expertise. If we didn’t make back the cost of materials we’d be in a ...

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The post Helpful Tips For Putting A Pricetag On Your Customized Work appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

price tag
Being an entrepreneur requires a very diverse and calculated set of skills. First we conceptualize, then we create, followed by marketing, and if everything pans out we arrive at a sale, to put things simply of course. What very few people anticipate is how difficult it can be to put a price on an item once it’s ready to be sold.

What if I’m charging too much? What if I’m charging too little?

In either scenario, you probably aren’t making what you deserve. Only you, the creator, can know the amount of time, heart and resources that went into a project. Learning how to price your items fairly and effectively will serve to increase the frequency of your sales.

Here are some well tested ways in which you can develop a system for your price tags.

 

Calculate the cost of materials + 10%

This goes for work you already have in stock, and especially for that in which has yet to be created. When you’re approached by a potential client, the number one step is recovering the cost everything that went into the piece before you added time, skills and expertise. If we didn’t make back the cost of materials we’d be in a serious deficit.

Adding 10% is a good way to account for all the time that went into acquiring the materials in the first place. Things like transport, gas, etc.

 

Become a master at tracking your time

One of the most common mistakes private contractors will make when starting a new project is thinking that it will be easy to remember how much time was spent going into the finished product. Whether you’ll be spending hours, or months on a paid job it can be very easy to under or over-charge a client. Depending on your personality, you may feel an innate urge to under charge for fear of surprising your client with a large bill. I’ve certainly been there, but one day I truly started valuing my time and expertise and that fear went away.

Tracking your time accurately will start to mold how you go about projects, and ultimately how much you’ll end up earning in the long run. For if you’re diligent with your time card, and feel like you’re still spending too much time, you’ll naturally work faster to get to the optimal price for the labor you’re charging.

Some great applications for storing your hours include:

  • Freckle- Track your time, send invoices and view colorful graphs broken down into how much time went where on a project.

  • Paymo- Project management, time tracking and online invoicing.

 

Determine what your time is worth

In the world of business people are always going to try and find the best quality at the lowest price. Your number one consideration should be how much quality you bring to the table, and from there try and find a number that is competitive in your respective profession.

Part of what your time is worth is what kind of tools, supplies and skills you bring to the table. If you own the only lawn mower in your neighborhood and the competition is working with scissors, chances are you’re going to be able to charge more solely on the premise you’re cut out to do the better job.

Over time you’ll get comfortable charging a certain rate and the ones who approach you for your service will be able to see you’re value and won’t question the price.

 

Quote your price before starting the project

Part of advertising yourself as a professional means when someone approaches you inquiring about cost, you’ll be able to price a quote based upon the items made in the request. To many this is known as the bid.

This will give your client an opportunity to review and break down everything you’ll be charging them so there isn’t any questioning of your integrity once the work is done. This is also a good opportunity to draw up a contract between both parties as an extra measure of insurance that you’ll receive what you were hired to do.

More often than not you’ll need additional clauses that leave room for revisions and changes to the original bid. This will cost you more time and resources so the client will have to pay additionally for any alterations.

 

Last minute considerations in cost

We live in a very different time of exchanging goods and services, primarily due to the way in which eCommerce has opened the door to selling items around the globe. Don’t be afraid to mark up your products online a little more when the third party you’re hosting through has already added their own mark up. And make sure to consider things like shipping, money you spent on advertising, and the overall demand people have for your specific brand.

Now that you understand a little more as to what your work is worth, it should be easy to start pricing for the future.

 

Image Source:
http://runrun.es/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/price-tag.jpg (Customized and cropped)

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How To Build An Effective Hashtag Campaign http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/12/build-effective-hashtag-campaign/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/12/build-effective-hashtag-campaign/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:40:25 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=8989 The post How To Build An Effective Hashtag Campaign appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Hashtags have slowly become a part of the popular culture, especially the digital culture. Over time they’ve grown to become a central part of an effective social media campaign. However, if you’re just getting started with using hashtags they can be overwhelming, and frankly a bit confusing.
Once you get the hang of using hashtags it will get much easier, but it’s important to know the basics so you have a better chance at running an effective campaign from the start.
 
What Is A Hashtag?
In a way, hashtags can be seen as keywords. They allow for the aggregation of information that’s all based around a certain topic. Originally, hashtags were used by Twitter as a way to categorize their messages. Since their inception hashtags have grown across other platforms as well, including Instagram, Flickr, Vine, and more recently Facebook.
For instance, if you’re posting a picture of a tasty cup of coffee on Instagram, you may tag that picture with the hashtag #coffeelove. Or, if you’re posting a picture of a beautiful sunset, you could use the hashtag #sunset. Of course, hashtags apply to more than just pictures.
In order to utilize the power of hashtags for your business it’s crucial you create your ...

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The post How To Build An Effective Hashtag Campaign appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Hashtag Campaign

Hashtags have slowly become a part of the popular culture, especially the digital culture. Over time they’ve grown to become a central part of an effective social media campaign. However, if you’re just getting started with using hashtags they can be overwhelming, and frankly a bit confusing.

Once you get the hang of using hashtags it will get much easier, but it’s important to know the basics so you have a better chance at running an effective campaign from the start.

 

What Is A Hashtag?

In a way, hashtags can be seen as keywords. They allow for the aggregation of information that’s all based around a certain topic. Originally, hashtags were used by Twitter as a way to categorize their messages. Since their inception hashtags have grown across other platforms as well, including Instagram, Flickr, Vine, and more recently Facebook.

For instance, if you’re posting a picture of a tasty cup of coffee on Instagram, you may tag that picture with the hashtag #coffeelove. Or, if you’re posting a picture of a beautiful sunset, you could use the hashtag #sunset. Of course, hashtags apply to more than just pictures.

In order to utilize the power of hashtags for your business it’s crucial you create your own. You may be able to reach new followers by hopping on existing hashtags, but to truly create the buzz you’re looking for you’ll want to get creative.

A successful hashtag campaign will help to build awareness for your brand or business, or even promote certain contests or giveaways you might be running.

 

Rules For An Effective Hashtag Campaign

The most effective hashtags are short, sweet and inspire action. To get to that point it’s going to take a little work, but it’ll be well worth it.

 

1. Be Unique, But Not Too Unique

When you’re creating your own hashtag you’ll want to make sure it’s unique and memorable. If you already have a company hashtag you’ll want to improvise on this to show association, but still have enough difference so it stands out.

When it comes to length try not to overcomplicate things. Face it, no one will remember a hashtag that’s a sentence long, but it will also be hard to differentiate from other tags if it’s only a few letters long. Finding the right balance is crucial.

Your hashtag also needs to be relevant to the campaign you’re trying to run. For example, if you’re trying to create a hashtag around an event make sure the hashtag alludes to what the event is actually about.

Once you’ve come up with a unique, catchy, easy to remember, and slightly descriptive hashtag, then it’s time to move on.

 

2. Use It Across Multiple Channels

As was mentioned earlier, hashtags are useful across multiple social media platforms. When you’re executing your campaign you’ll want to have a presence on the social media platforms your audience hangs out at.

People use different social media platforms for different purposes, but your hashtag can help weave a thread back to your business throughout all these seemingly disparate networks.

This will help your hashtag get more exposure across more social channels, which will increase the likelihood of your campaign catching fire. Secondly, this will help people remember your hashtag, as they’ll be exposed to it in multiple settings.

 

3. Always Research First

You’d hate to tweet your super unique, extremely creative hashtag only to realize that another person has been using the hashtag for an entirely different purpose. This would not only be detrimental to the success of your campaign, but could also result in serious customer backlash.

It’s always worth it to spend time researching potential hashtags to see what comes up. Make sure you check across multiple platforms as well. By doing this beforehand you could avoid a seriously embarrassing incident for your company.
 
Overall, an effective hashtag campaign is all about using a memorable hashtag at the right time, all in service of your customers. The steps above will get you going in the right direction.

 

Photo Credit: quinn.anya via compfight

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Why Entrepreneurship Is So Important http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/07/entrepreneurship-important/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/07/entrepreneurship-important/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 10:58:42 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=8973 The post Why Entrepreneurship Is So Important appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Gallup has shown that the world’s countries will need to add 600 million new jobs within the next 15 years. These numbers may seem ridiculous, but the fact of the matter is that these 600 million jobs will only allow the world to maintain current employment rates. These numbers seem staggering and that’s the truth. How on earth are we to manage this?
 
Entrepreneurship is the Answer
According to this same Gallup report, 64% of new private sector reports are being created by small businesses. The individuals that open their own small businesses are deemed entrepreneurs. What does this mean for you? It means that now is the time to start that small business you have always dreamed of.
Now is the time for you to sit down and write that business plan in order to determine what you will need in order to get your small business off the ground. Studies have shown (for more information on this same Gallup study, please see the link at the bottom of the article) that there will be no shortage of workers, and the fact of the matter is that these workers will need your business in order to have a job. They will be ...

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kickstarter

Gallup has shown that the world’s countries will need to add 600 million new jobs within the next 15 years. These numbers may seem ridiculous, but the fact of the matter is that these 600 million jobs will only allow the world to maintain current employment rates. These numbers seem staggering and that’s the truth. How on earth are we to manage this?

 

Entrepreneurship is the Answer

According to this same Gallup report, 64% of new private sector reports are being created by small businesses. The individuals that open their own small businesses are deemed entrepreneurs. What does this mean for you? It means that now is the time to start that small business you have always dreamed of.

Now is the time for you to sit down and write that business plan in order to determine what you will need in order to get your small business off the ground. Studies have shown (for more information on this same Gallup study, please see the link at the bottom of the article) that there will be no shortage of workers, and the fact of the matter is that these workers will need your business in order to have a job. They will be relying on you, much as you are relying on the company you work for to provide you with an income (or as you are relying on yourself, if you have a start-up for which you are the current and sole employee).

 

Now is the Time

Now is the time to work to develop your small business idea or work to further your start up. Now is the time to determine what you need in order to make your business grow, and now is the time to get started on that idea.

In order to be successful, your business will need to grow. You are just one person, you can’t do it all yourself (much as you may want to). You need a support staff, working to assist you in bringing your vision to life. With the right foundation, the right setup, and the right product or service, you will be able to manifest your dream. Why? Because you are getting in at the beginning.

You have the foresight to know that now is when you will need to develop your business, so when the time does come, you will not only know what to capitalize on, you will be ready to capitalize on it. Your business will have been developed enough to need those additional employees, and your organization will be poised for growth. All you have to do is get started. Entrepreneurship is showing itself to be the wave of the future. Catch the wave before it crests.

 
For More Information: http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/179531/talent-entrepreneurship.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=syndication
 

Image Source: Dells.com. (2014). The Wave. Retrieved from http://www.dells.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/thewave.png

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New Funding Methods For A New Age In Business http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/05/new-funding-methods-new-age-business/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/05/new-funding-methods-new-age-business/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:12:30 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=8963 The post New Funding Methods For A New Age In Business appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Starting a Small Business
So you’ve decided you want to start a small business of your own; you’re ready to stop working for others and start working for yourself. This is great! Yes, you get to set your own hours, and yes, you get to do what you would like to do; however, when starting up a business of your own, you need to have the available capital to do so, and the time it takes to get it done. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
 
Ways to Accomplish This
You’ve decided to start your business online. There are lower associated startup costs, and you don’t have to wear pants to go to work, both of which are decided bonuses! The problem is that it still costs money. You need a hosting plan, and you need up front capital to be able to get your inventory started, regardless of whether you are making something yourself or whether you are selling pre-made, manufactured products. How would you go about doing this if you don’t have the money saved up yourself? Well, there are several ways. You could find an angel investor, a set of investors, get a loan from the bank, or you ...

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The post New Funding Methods For A New Age In Business appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

kickstarter

Starting a Small Business

So you’ve decided you want to start a small business of your own; you’re ready to stop working for others and start working for yourself. This is great! Yes, you get to set your own hours, and yes, you get to do what you would like to do; however, when starting up a business of your own, you need to have the available capital to do so, and the time it takes to get it done. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

 

Ways to Accomplish This

You’ve decided to start your business online. There are lower associated startup costs, and you don’t have to wear pants to go to work, both of which are decided bonuses! The problem is that it still costs money. You need a hosting plan, and you need up front capital to be able to get your inventory started, regardless of whether you are making something yourself or whether you are selling pre-made, manufactured products. How would you go about doing this if you don’t have the money saved up yourself? Well, there are several ways. You could find an angel investor, a set of investors, get a loan from the bank, or you could turn to the latest in funding – investment sites like Kickstarter.

 

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a site that people may go to in order to present their ideas to the general population. Individuals read through the proposals, some of which include bonuses to those who donate x amount to their cause, and then donate. Yes, that’s right, people just give you money because they like your idea and want to see it come into existence.

Now keep in mind that your idea must be a good one, as defined by the population at large, and that not all Kickstarters work. If the proposal is not written well, the likelihood of gaining funding decreases dramatically. Included below is a link to a very helpful article that discusses the progress of one small business; how they took their idea from just an idea and turned it into a successful business using funding gained through Kickstarter. That’s right, someone is being helpful just for the sake of being helpful. This increasing amount of transparency in companies serves to benefit you in that it teaches you one possible path to walk, providing you with the information necessary for your business to potentially succeed in the same manner.

 

Getting Going

While not all Kickstarters are a success, as we have mentioned, there are those that have the potential to become quite successful (such as Amanda Palmer’s ground-breaking Kickstarter campaign). While it is true that you must obtain the knowledge yourself instead of building on top of the knowledge of others, you are able to take information, such as this, and use it as a means of working to increase your knowledge base, providing you with insight on how to succeed, and the different pitfalls to avoid. So, what are you waiting for? Get going! Start your own business, and start reaping the success of your own hard work.

For more information: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/angeliatrinidad/passion-planner-the-one-place-for-all-your-thought/posts/1067424

 

Image Source: Kickstarter.com. (2014). Start your project — Kickstarter. Retrieved 26 December 2014, from https://www.kickstarter.com/learn?ref=hero

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How Small Business Can Benefit From Marketing Automation http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/02/small-business-can-benefit-marketing-automation/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2015/01/02/small-business-can-benefit-marketing-automation/#comments Fri, 02 Jan 2015 18:35:49 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=8916 The post How Small Business Can Benefit From Marketing Automation appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Running a small business can be compared to a very delicate and complex form of art. Our time has become increasingly more valuable, and maintaining a successful company requires implementing diverse and complicated marketing strategies.
While it’s beneficial having access to an array of varying platforms to reach our audiences, it can also be time consumptive and difficult to keep up. It’s no wonder the largest demographic seeking the benefits of marketing automation are small to mid sized businesses.
Can your company use some extra time? Let’s find out.
 
First things first. What is Marketing Automation?
Considered one of the fastest growing solutions for sales and marketing professionals, marketing automation refers to technologies and certain software platforms designed for businesses to more effectively market online through multiple channels and automate recurring posts.
These services seek to optimize visitor/customer retention, improve conversions, cut marketing costs and perhaps most importantly revamp sales operations.
Marketing processes that would have otherwise been done manually, can now be streamlined to make new processes possible and make old task more efficient.
 
Taking a look at common product features
Marketing automation is still a relatively new tactic to most businesses, and for that reason it’s important to know which features will best serve your immediate ...

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The post How Small Business Can Benefit From Marketing Automation appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Running a small business can be compared to a very delicate and complex form of art. Our time has become increasingly more valuable, and maintaining a successful company requires implementing diverse and complicated marketing strategies.

While it’s beneficial having access to an array of varying platforms to reach our audiences, it can also be time consumptive and difficult to keep up. It’s no wonder the largest demographic seeking the benefits of marketing automation are small to mid sized businesses.

Can your company use some extra time? Let’s find out.

 

First things first. What is Marketing Automation?

Considered one of the fastest growing solutions for sales and marketing professionals, marketing automation refers to technologies and certain software platforms designed for businesses to more effectively market online through multiple channels and automate recurring posts.

These services seek to optimize visitor/customer retention, improve conversions, cut marketing costs and perhaps most importantly revamp sales operations.

Marketing processes that would have otherwise been done manually, can now be streamlined to make new processes possible and make old task more efficient.

 

Taking a look at common product features

Marketing automation is still a relatively new tactic to most businesses, and for that reason it’s important to know which features will best serve your immediate and long-terms sales problems. Below are the most common found in the leading software:

 

  • Lead Management – Leads are the lifeblood of a business; therefore, it’s easy to see why this is considered the greatest challenge and number one goal of marketing pros.
    • Lead Nurturing- Increases the upsell-rate by retaining customer engagement, while also automating the qualifying leads process.
    • Lead Scoring - Applying metrics to leads and prospects
  • Web Analytics - Using quality analytic data will allow you to pursue leads based on their web browsing tendencies.

  • Email Marketing – This is all about sending the right e-mail at the right time through the use of email scheduling. Schedule email blasts to disperse at the optimal time and save time by setting up autoresponder emails.

  • CRM Integration - Otherwise known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), this feature is an application that is designed to assist you and your business by organizing all the data that you have on your customers. CRM Integration then is building your website to function seamlessly with your CRM.

 

The Benefits

As a small business, this is probably the section you were waiting for. When used correctly, marketing automation allows a staff with limited resources the ability to run successful marketing campaigns in a highly personalized fashion that may have otherwise been difficult to do manually. The major benefits include:

  • Huge Time Saver – We all have days with less going on and marketing automation allows you to make use of that extra time to create an entire month’s social media posts in one day, so when deadlines are approaching you won’t need to worry about posting content manually.
  • Maintain Consistency – Chances are you’re trying to maintain multiple platforms for social media posting, and for good reasons. The spread of our customer demographics have different preferences for social media use and if you’re forgetting to maintain one of them it may be a sign to your followers that your business cannot manage its customer communication or doesn’t care to.
  • Easy For Everyone – A large concern for anyone looking to adopt a new technology is, “will it be user friendly?” And the answer is yes. Marketing automation is simple even for those who aren’t technically inclined. Most applications are equipped with easy to use editors, templates, and helpful guiding interfaces.
  • Detailed Reports – Automated solutions will keep track of every social media post. Text, email and provide detailed graphs, statistics and other useful data to help you optimize future campaigns.

 

Selecting A Marketing Automation Platform

Before selecting a provider, here are several questions to consider:

  • How Long is the minimum license period?
    – Many ask that you sign up for 1 year, though you may want to look into monthly installments.
  • What is offered in the minimum license fee?
    – Certain platforms cap once you reach a certain amount of contacts in your database, this detail is very important as you expand networks.
  • Is there a training manual and customer support?
    – Nowadays the number one do not in licensing subscriptions is getting involved with a company/platform that doesn’t offer customer guidance.

 

There is no software or automation tool that can replace good planning and strategy; however, once you learn how to define goals marketing automation can take on the repetive and analytical taks for you in order to achieve a sustainable marketing plan.

 

Image Source: http://www.justaminutellc.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/5-13-marketing-automation.jpg

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Are Your Website And Business Actually In Alignment? http://blog.hostgator.com/2014/12/19/website-business-actually-alignment/ http://blog.hostgator.com/2014/12/19/website-business-actually-alignment/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:20:09 +0000 http://blog.hostgator.com/?p=8900 The post Are Your Website And Business Actually In Alignment? appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

If you’ve ever landed on a website only to feel overwhelmed and confused, then there’s a good chance that website wasn’t in alignment with their business. Often we have expectations when we visit a website, and if those expectations aren’t met then we’re probably hitting the back button.

If your business and website aren’t speaking the same language, or if your website is undefined and ambiguous you could be missing out on potential subscribers, business leads, and sales. We’re going to dive into the power of alignment, what it means for your business, and a few steps to get you going in the right direction.
 
To Whom Is Your Website Calling Out?
Whether you’re building your own website, or working with a web designer, it can be easy to build a website that’s catered to your needs. After all, building a website is an incredibly fun process and it can be easy to get caught up in the beauty of it, as opposed to focusing on making it functional and efficient.

It’s not the most beautiful website’s that are the most successful, but the website that serves its customer’s needs the best. Throughout the design process it’s easy to get wrapped up in adding ...

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The post Are Your Website And Business Actually In Alignment? appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.

Are Your Website And Business In Alignment

If you’ve ever landed on a website only to feel overwhelmed and confused, then there’s a good chance that website wasn’t in alignment with their business. Often we have expectations when we visit a website, and if those expectations aren’t met then we’re probably hitting the back button.

If your business and website aren’t speaking the same language, or if your website is undefined and ambiguous you could be missing out on potential subscribers, business leads, and sales. We’re going to dive into the power of alignment, what it means for your business, and a few steps to get you going in the right direction.

 

To Whom Is Your Website Calling Out?

Whether you’re building your own website, or working with a web designer, it can be easy to build a website that’s catered to your needs. After all, building a website is an incredibly fun process and it can be easy to get caught up in the beauty of it, as opposed to focusing on making it functional and efficient.

It’s not the most beautiful website’s that are the most successful, but the website that serves its customer’s needs the best. Throughout the design process it’s easy to get wrapped up in adding all kinds of widgets, interactive elements, and fun features. But, if these elements exist solely for your own entertainment, then you’re just contributing to the noise that already exists on the web and are distracting your users.

Your website needs to be aimed at a single person. This single person will be your ideal customer. Although, no single customer will have all of these traits, there will be enough overlap so your website speaks to your core group of customers. When designing, or even writing for that matter it can be useful to hone in on a single person, as opposed to an entire group of people.

Know this person from the inside out, and create the perfect website for this single soul.

 

Time To Run A Compatibility Check

Are your business and website one in the same? You see this a lot with small businesses who have storefronts and are just beginning to dive into the online space. Often, you’ll find their website online, browse around for a bit, and finally make the decision to visit their storefront.

When you get to their store the vibe is entirely different and their branding doesn’t match up. Usually, you won’t turn around and run out of the store, but it might leave you feeling a little confused.

On the other hand, let’s look at Apple. Their website and storefront are virtual matches of each other, and they both perfectly embody the principles of their brand. You can go from one to the other and the brand is very consistent. You may even experience the same feelings on their website that you do when visiting their storefront.

Your website needs to be seen as an extension of your brand. If you do business solely in the online space this is important as well. As the way you conduct business, what you’re selling, and what makes you unique will influence how your website and business reflect each other.

 

How To Align Your Business And Website

If your website is confusing and doesn’t align with what your selling, or doesn’t feel like an extension of your storefront (if applicable), then it’s time to tweak and adjust what you currently have up:

 
1. Define and Refine
Once again, you need to know to whom you’re selling. If you just randomly created your website last time without this person in mind, then it’s time to go back and define. Once you can imagine what this person looks like and how they act, then you’re ready to move forward.
 
2. Upgrade Your Existing Site
Once you’ve taken the time to “get to know” your ideal customer it’s time to build them a website. This can either be implementing simple website tweaks, or building a new site from the group up. Also, make sure you upgrade your existing copy to suit the needs of your ideal buyer.
 
3. Seek Wise Counsel
Once you’ve updated your site so it’s better in alignment it can be very helpful get a second pair of eyes on your site. This can help to buff out anything confusing or unclear that remains. Obviously, the closer this person is to your ideal customer the better.
 

Making sure your website and business are on the same page can be a little time consuming, but it will have a positive impact on your relationship with your customers, as you’ll be providing them with a better experience. In the end, it’s all about service.

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