Plenty of things can change in a week and I find it easy to forget I need to do things besides work when deadlines are looming, but I made sure to take time out for some important events last week. Thanks to some great events that carried celebration through the weekend, I hit the ground running on Monday.
Last year, we had the opportunity to work with one of our clients to put together a site that did a great job explaining financial planning in plain English. I stress those last few words because most of the financial advisors I've met in my life think that throwing out big words is better than a client who understands what's going on and the strategy involved. While creating that site, we created some prototype financial calculators (with plans to put some more together over time). On February 19th, we released the refined version of those calculators, easily installed into any Joomla Web site.
Getting an ecommerce site up and running is anything but a small feat. There's products information, descriptions and photos, pricing considerations, not to mention the typical stuff you need for a Web site (policies, company profile, awesome landing page). It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of launching and forget to plan for the things that come after.
When it comes to email marketing, there's plenty of good information from a lot of sources about how to your email should indulge the customer to get a click. I recently came across a great article that was a bit different. I wanted to share that could change how you go about your email marketing.
It seems like there's a data breach at some large company nearly every day. I'd rather my readers be informed, but I don't want to dwell on the events themselves. In our third series to launch in the new year, we'll be summarizing some of the events and let you know about fixes that may apply to you. You may already be aware, but it's important to stay on top of fixes for both your home and work computers to prevent problems. So, last month in security news...
I'm a music nut. I love all genres and I'm often slow to answer my phone because I need to mute the music streaming out of my tablet station behind me in my home office. This may not have much to do with business, but does everything have to? This is a new monthly blog segment in which I'll be talking about non-business things and how they link to your business.
It's no surprise that technology is on everyone's mind, particularly small businesses who face a unique challenge. In order to stay relevant, they need to update their technology, but often that means bootstrapping a solution better suited to large enterprises or costly custom development. Neither is appealing to small businesses who often have small technology budgets. The solution lies in MVP.
This week, we'll be holding our first training workshop to help small business owners entrepreneurs with their email marketing. During the rise of social media, you may have heard "email marketing is dead". Well, I assure you it's not - and many experts agree with me.
This is the final week to sign up for our first training workshop. We'll be teaching small business owners and entrepreneurs how to build or increase their email marketing list without adding more tasks to their plate. Interested in email marketing in 2016? We'll help you get started and build your list or grow your existing list doing the same things you're already doing - networking with other business owners.
You can register online at www.tektalk.co.
Many small businesses get overwhelmed when faced with all the components necessary for a successful marketing plan. They hear about SEO and social media and email marketing, but it's daunting (and expensive) to implement a complete marketing solution or to break it up into manageable pieces. To help our fellow entrepreneurs out, we are now offering hands-on workshops which break up the marketing into something less daunting.
Beginning with our first session in January, we will begin hosting hands-on training workshops which help small business owners and entrepreneurs leverage technology to help their business without adding to their to-do list. The format is simple: 60-90 minutes of hands-on training and everyone walks out with the automation taught by the class in place so they can build their business.
In my previous blog, I talked about how we updated our client's technology platform and increased their site's visibility and conversion. Marketing was just one aspect of that project and it all tied together with necessary upgrades to address new regulations and reporting in the mortgage industry. We needed to meet a specific deadline to update the forms their platform generates.
I don't often blog about our accomplishments, but I wanted to this time. We recently rolled out an update for one of our clients, coordinating major upgrades to their technology platform (the application itself that drives their business), deployment process (how we get that application to their servers), and an entirely new marketing site. Needless to say, it was big deal and we've learned something about marketing and technology.
At one of my events this week, there was an great discussion on ways to keep "filling the funnel" during the busy season. We all have those times when we forget about nurturing prospects and business development because we're heads-down working in our business. That doesn't mean marketing has to stop. As a business owner, you're always marketing anyway - why not let your conversations lead right into your online efforts.
Well, maybe not literally, but I started to really focus on getting things done after a great presentation by Nicole Spracale, a management consultant and executive coach I met during my involvement at the Tempe Chamber. The presentation was about time management and productivity and, at the time, I was struggling to get everything done because so much was happening at once. After the presentation, I started looking for a to-do list manager that worked for me.
When you embark on the journey of creating something, it's important to remember your audience. Whether it's coming up with a great blog or presentation, a re-designed or completely new Web site, or a brand new product or service, it's important to keep in mind that, without an audience, you're really just talking to yourself.
It's becoming just as important to be able to connect with your customers directly through their mobile devices as it is to have a company Web site. That's great, but it's not for everyone and building a mobile app isn't as simple as converting your existing Web site or application into a mobile app. Planning, methods for the app to obtain and share data, and the mobile app itself all need to be created.
When it comes to a Web site, there are many avenues to choosing the right design. We specialize in custom designs unique to each client. In some cases, either due to budgetary constraints or simply because custom design doesn't make sense, we get involved in a project where a pre-made template is purchased and used for the Web site. Each project is handled differently and there is often some confusion on what it means when purchasing a template versus a custom design.
We've all seen it: sites that offer a complete Web site, ecommerce store with zero coding! Sounds pretty great, right? Cut out the middle man, build and maintain your own site - who wouldn't want to do just that. Ignoring the technical facts that there is still quite a bit of coding happening behind the scenes and ultimately the same kind of code is generated, you often give away your intellectual property rights and waste your valuable time maintaining the site instead of doing things that will help your business grow.
Every business owner knows a Web presence is a necessity and getting it done right is paramount (though what "right" is will vary depending on who you talk to, but that's another article). Just as important as getting it done, however, is long-term maintenance. Just like a new house built from the ground up, Web projects require maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
I, as founder, owner, and CTO of Sol Minion Development, was recently elected to a seat on the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. This is a great honor and it made me think about the impact joining the Chamber has had on my business. To be perfectly honest, without the Chamber, I wouldn't have a business.