15 Tips to Have a Successful Online Business

Written by admin on July 17, 2020. Posted in Home

It’s always a smart idea to look for sources of income wherever possible. Extra sources of income can help increase your earnings and help you pay for extra expenses such as college, loan or credit card debt, or even just help you save up for a new car you want. If you’re like most Americans, working a traditional job from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. can leave you with little time and energy to do much else. How, then, can you start making extra income?

Online Businesses

Running an online business is a great way to make extra income, or even support yourself financially full-time. An online business can consist of anything from an eBay account that you use to sell and trade items, an online book publisher such as Amazon, a boutique, and anything in between. Running an online business doesn’t have to be difficult, and if you’re transitioning into owning your own business, can be a great stepping stone.

It’s important when running an online business to understand simple business concepts, and also delve into the more detailed aspects of online businesses in general. After all, if you experience legal issues, you might have to hire a bail bondsmen to get you out of jail. Knowing where to start — and the legalities of running a business — are key. Here are 15 tips you can use to get your online business up and running and successful.

1. Stick with What You Know

Running an online business is the same as running a regular business, in that you need to stick with what you know. It wouldn’t make sense to begin selling, for instance, guitar parts online when you know nothing about music! Online businesses consist of online shops, blogging, drop-shipping, creating digital products, and also even online books such as Amazon. It’s important to stick to what you’re familiar to in order to more easily research and develop your online business. Consider writing, technical services you offer such as fixing computers or IT services, and anything in between.

2. Develop a Business Plan

Now that you’re aware of how vast and varied online businesses can be, it’s important to sit down and develop a smart business plan in order to organize your priorities. Business development consultants can help you have an idea of what your business can be, and eventually help you grow it as well. You must consider how much time you want to dedicate your business, the expenses and loans that you will require to open your online business and run it, and also if you will attempt to live solely off of this online business. Though running an online business can be a good financial source of income, asking for business consulting help can make you realize how feasible this goal really is.

3. Conduct Marketing Research

Marketing research is incredibly important for any business, either online or in-person. Marketing research consists of conducting surveys on future customers, product research, and overall getting a good idea on how to make your product or service successful. Consider what kind of brand your customers would like to buy from, also known as brand awareness. For instance, do your customers want a green product that’s environmentally friendly? When you deliver your product, is packaging important? What are your competitors charging for similar products and services? It’s important to research all these aspects first and foremost to know what strongpoints customers are looking for in an online business. You can do these surveys and research yourself, or get help with the assistance of marketing consultants as well.

4. Make a Stand-Out Product

It’s not just enough to conduct research on your product, but also to work hard to make it the best product available on the online market. Because running an online business is competing with huge markets such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target, a superior product is crucial if you want to make any sort of money and make a loyal customer following. Even if your product is, for instance, a weight loss book, having good reviews and knowing your customers are getting the very best work will help your product stand-out and sell quicker, even online. If need be, seek the help of a lawyer to help you with patents, copyright, and merchandising.

5. Make a Good Website

A good website is the difference between customers looking at your page, staying on your page, and ultimately buying your product or services online. It’s important to utilize modern website design methods, such as minimalism, clean modern lines, and bright colors, and even utilizing artistic concepts such as color theory. Running an online business will require you to make use of your website on a daily basis, so it’s important to make it as organized as possible. For instance, consider having a section where customers can schedule appointments, make their own accounts, and organize your products in an easy-to-read way.

6. Begin Hiring for Help

Whether you’re setting up your website, utilizing shipping and logistics, or any other part of your business, you might need to start hiring extra help to keep your online business running. If this is only your side business, and you work full-time, it might be a good idea to hire a part-time assistant or secretary to inventory, schedule meetings, send things in the mail, and other small duties. However, if you feel your business is getting too big to handle, it might be time to sit down with your family and discuss the possibility of making it a career. Not to worry, this is a great scenario and can be extremely rewarding and profitable.

7. Consider Extra Costs

As we mentioned above, sometimes it takes some extra employees to help you in running an online business. The extra costs of employees should be considered, along with extra costs of buying new products, legal fees, licensing fees, and the costs of running your business online. Consider getting a small loan that can help your business. Smaller banks might be able to provide a more personal ear, and listen to your concerns about running your online business. With a good credit score, a good product, and good customer reviews, a loan for extra expenses can help you keep your business afloat, gain profits, and put those profits back into your business to grow it.

8. Market on Social Media

A website is a great option for hosting your services, products, and allow your customers to get more information on your business. However, no tool is as important or beneficial to you as social media. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and especially Instagram are all great tools to not only utilize digital marketing but also to reach out to customers on a daily basis. Post pictures of your products, or projects, and even just what you, the owner, are doing throughout the day! The more followers and likes you get, the more people will flock to your page, go to your website, and grow your business. A social media editor can be beneficial in this case, but feel free to try one of these apps out on your own.

9. Consider an App

If you’re running an online business, consider utilizing the help of an app to help you run your business. PayPal is one example, but so are newer apps such as Square and Quickbooks that can help you track expenses. Evernote, Trello, Asana, and Basecamp can help you when it comes to project management and organization. There is a plethora of apps out there to help you in running an online business. All it takes is a simple Google Search to help you get organized, plan your projects, and ultimately make your online business successful.

10. Consider an Office Space

You don’t have to have a full office space to make use of the IRS’s tax write-off for an office space! It’s true, you can set-up an office space that is dedicated strictly to your work and write it off on your taxes. For example, if you have a den that you use to write free-lance articles, meet with clients to consult with them about online services, or any other business transactions, you can write-off this space using a square-footage formula the IRS uses. In addition, having an office space that has great home air conditioner service, relaxing furniture, is in a nice neighborhood, and other good qualities could also help you attract more customers that will think highly of your business and the services you offer.

11. Track Expenses

We mentioned that you can write-off your home office space when running an online business, but other expenses can also be written off. Internet services, computers, and laptops, even the cost of tax preparation service itself can all be written off. It’s important to keep a detailed log of your profits, losses, and other business expenses in order to maximize your tax return at the end of the year.

12. Network with Other Businesses

When you’re running an online business, it’s important to still network with other businesses in order to spread the word about your products and services. Book clubs, dieting clubs, even local printing and UPS shops are all great options. Networking with other businesses can also be beneficial, as your businesses can work together to be able to expand, share customer followings, and even split costs. Remember social media? How about following other pages of online or in-person businesses around you? A “shout-out,” where a business lets its customers know about another business, can go a long way on various platforms such as Youtube, Instagram, and even blogging websites.

13. Use SEO marketing

SEO marketing is essential when running an online business, as it can help people surfing the web to run into your business on the internet. Various SEO strategies can help, such as local SEO that lets your business be visible in local internet searches. SEO, known as search engine optimization, is the method of inserting keywords into your website to have it pop up in searches on websites such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. With the help of an SEO company, your business can be successful and attract the attention of customers. Consider incorporating helpful articles into your website to make SEO easier.

14. Be Efficient

running an online business

Everything, from your internet speed to your shipping methods, phone systems, and anything else need to be efficient in order to help you fulfill orders and get back to your customers on time. Without the help of efficient tools, your business might suffer and be unable to handle new growth, customers, and keep existing customers. It’s important to keep this in mind when preparing your online business. For instance, consider using a VOIP business phone system installation in order to make your calls more efficient and handle a large volume once your business grows. Or, get the best internet speed services in order to make your life, and your business, easier to run!

15. Have a Great Customer Service Team

A good product is nothing without a good customer service team. Even if it’s only you fulfilling orders, it’s still important to know how to handle customer service inquires in order to get back to your customers on time. Remember, it’s always best to hire good help for customer service rather than bankruptcy attorneys.

Keep Motivated

Whether your business involves simple goods, written books, digital services, or any other products, it’s important to run your online business how you would any other business- with dedication and adequate time devoted. With the help of consultants, research, and a little bit of tech savvyness, you can turn your online business from a tiny source of extra income to a full-on successful, thriving business! As long as you continue to keep up with trends, market, and network with other business, your online presence can continue to grow and attract more customers.

10 Safety Ideas for Office Workers

Written by admin on June 9, 2020. Posted in Articles

Most people who work a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are haunted by safety concerns as their offices return to a type of normality. Along with preventing the pandemic’s spread, there are important measures to stay safe at the office. Every company needs to comply with legal requirements to ensure that their workplace is safe for employees, visitors, customers, contractors, suppliers, or volunteers. But besides the legal requirements, safety ideas for office workers are critical to the long-term success of any business.

A safe workplace will help retain staff, minimize sick days, maximize productivity, reduce the cost of compensations, and improve the workplace atmosphere as it shows the company cares about everyone.

Check out these ideas for preventing accidents, maintaining health, and repairing issues when they arise.

Water:

Water is essential at this time. Think about the importance of plumbing to safety right now. Running water is vital to wash our hands and possibly items at the office. Because plumbing is essential, available plumbers are easy to find. Be sure everything is working, because problems such as sewer line backups are prone to happen in the summer. Plus, the last thing you want when you’re stuck at home is a dysfunctional toilet. Just be sure to follow social distancing protocols when the contractors come over. Check out this listicle for more safety ideas for office workers when it comes to renovations.

Another fact of water safety is the need for drinking water. What counts as drinking water? It must not have concentrations of any parasite or microorganism, any substance when mixed with another material that could result in potential danger, nor any part of non-living organisms such as leaves, insects, and many other more. It also considered safe drinking water if the level of nitrate divided by 50, plus the level of nitrite divided by three, is less than one.

The most common way to provide water to employees is jug water systems. These can be either stainless steel or an aluminum model. Floor-standing models are usually more expensive than the smaller ones placed on countertops. These can be heavy, of course, as they are gallons of water. However, the upside is these water systems usually offer natural spring water (read: safer). In some cases, however, distilled, fluoridated, or demineralized water is the type they serve. To keep this and/or sink water safe, you could invest in a water filtration system.

This will get rid of impurities like heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, and even bacteria. Or, if we’re considering more safety ideas for office workers one can look into providing bottled water at the office. However, these are not great for the environment. Regardless, water is important to consider when we talk about safety ideas for office workers because hydration at work leads to more energy, more production, and ultimately better health for everyone. Our brains are composed of around 70 percent water (and our bodies are about 50 to 75% water).

Therefore, dehydration can cause short-term memory loss, or interrupt one’s ability to interpret visual information. Dehydrated employees will take more time to focus and concentrate on their tasks. One experiment proved that water helps with stress, too. People in one experiment who were able to drink water during a presentation gave more creative ideas. Dehydration also causes headaches and can lower one’s mood. Safety ideas for office workers should consider that the Institute of Medicine recommends women consume 2.7 liters, or 91 ounces, of water each day, and that men consume 3.7 liters (125 ounces) daily.

Earth:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents. Can you imagine getting everyone back at the office – and then someone slips, causing a lawsuit in this recession? Consider speaking with some lawyers who are used to working with things like a slip and fall accident to learn how to avoid them.

They can teach you some helpful tips to learn about the myriad situations that may cause slips, trips, and falls as we weigh safety ideas for office workers. For example, wet floors are only one cause. Dry floors with dust or powder on them, or uneven walking surfaces, or loose carpeting, sloped walking surfaces, and even simple clutter can lead to an accident. Avoid leaving supplies or obstacles in aisles
and walkways.

Some things your eye might ignore which could be hazardous on the ground include boxes, newspapers, electrical cords, phone cords, coffee tables, magazine racks, and plant stands. Secure loose rugs with tape or remove them. Repair loose floorboards as soon as possible. Maintain bright, proper lighting. Also, look into wet area rubber mats for employee safety. These can absorb water and dirt in the kitchen or bathroom area. With the proper strategic placement, it can be a lifesaver.

Again, simply preventing a fall is the most direct way to ensure safety. There are other types of floor mats that can also make your workplace safer. Or, if you think you yourself are prone to falling, perhaps see your doctor. Think about what medications you’re taking, how often you fall, and look into eye or ear disorders that could be increasing your chance of falling.

Some safety ideas for office workers to prevent these health risks are to keep moving, wear good shoes, and remove hazards. Physical activity can do wonders toward fall prevention. Walking, water workouts, or classes for things like tai chi are some activities to reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility. Shoes should not be floppy slippers or high heels if this is a concern. Plus, comfortable shoes can also reduce joint pain.

Finally, if this is a huge concern, it could be worth it do install things, such as handrails at the office, or at least bring canes or support to work. Other installation safety ideas for office workers to prevent falls include nonslip treads for bare-wood steps, a raised toilet seat or one with armrests, and grab bars handicapped restroom stalls.

Air:

Yes, there are safety concerns for every element! The third consideration on our list is air conditioning and indoor air quality.

Many office jobs, like your typical accounting job where you’re stuffed into a small space, will require that you breathe the same indoor air all day. If the company doesn’t have a good air filtration system, airborne pollutants could float into your system. Especially when the nation is dealing with a pandemic that affects the lungs, now is not the time to skip things like an air purifier.

Air filtration can’t fix every indoor air quality problem though. Biological pollutants such as bacteria or viruses can require things like UV air purifiers or dehumidifiers. When you want to improve indoor air quality, you’ll have to invest in the best ductwork, HVAC systems, and air filtration systems.

Finding the best replacement windows can also be a huge help, especially if you don’t have window screens or are coping with older window models. Bring in some fresh air so that office employees aren’t breathing the same germs constantly.

Fire:

Any commercial property could be targeted with fires right now, or at least susceptible to accidental fires. One tip in this regard is to make sure there is accessible equipment. Make sure all of your fire extinguishers and control panels are readily accessible. Don’t block the fire sprinklers, either.

Another safety idea would be to have rules in place about proper disposal. All hazardous waste should be discarded into a metal container with a lid. Hazardous waste includes oils, chemicals, paints, and more. If the office has hazardous materials that are not trash, these should be safely stored. Keep these items in a dry, secure place with ventilation. Both the disposal area and any area keeping dangerous materials should be clearly marked with signs that can inform all employees to be careful. There are legal, regulatory signs to warn about actions and measurements. They are subdivided as prohibition signs, mandatory signs, restriction signs, or general hazard signs (which likewise are subdivided as danger signs, warning signs, or emergency information signs).

That’s not to say you can leave other items just laying around! Keep the building clear of flammable materials and clutter. Avoid running electrical cords under the carpet or through doorways and windows. Definitely don’t fasten them with unapproved devices, like staples. Also, consider investing in building security if arson is a concern. This tags along with the fact that you should have an emergency plan in place.

Finally, designate a specific area for smoking. It should be a safe distance away from the building. You can provide ashtrays too for people to properly dispose of cigarettes. Just in case there ever is an emergency, it may be helpful to have some health care equipment supplies handy at the office.

More:

These may be the most important safety ideas for office workers, but there’s a lot more to think about. You can hire the best business coach for more tips.

For example, have you considered safety in the company parking lot? Having resources such as a vehicle lock out service handy can save your coworkers if they’re leaving work late and got themselves into a pinch.

Also, consider talking with the company about safety ideas for office workers. Perhaps having some policies in place can help everyone. One rule could be to make sure desks are ergonomic. Ergonomic means relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment. A neutral and safe posture can prevent back injury, spinal stenosis, or carpal tunnel syndrome.

The correct position allows for one’s head to be centered over the neck and shoulders, with wrists flat and elbows resting at one’s side. If the desk won’t allow a seated employee’s feet to touch the ground unless they lean forward, they should use a footrest. But remember, one size does not fit all in an office workstation. More safety ideas for office workers sitting at a desk should include options of adjustability. This includes hairs, work surfaces, and monitor stands.

Allow yourself, or your employees, a variety of options. These can be great investments. “A good keyboard tray may retail around $300; a good chair may retail around $500 to $700,” said Sonia Paquette, professional ergonomist and doctor of occupational therapy. She points out that the cost of the health claims that stem from not having these devices is much higher than the cost of investing in them. “Some of these hard claims cost many tens of thousands of dollars just of medical treatment, let alone the cost of the replacement, absenteeism, loss of work production, etc.”

She recommends you also consider where your mouse is, and look into buying a document holder if you want to provide many safety ideas for office workers. One may suffer from neck strain if you are forced to repeatedly look up and down to the desk and back to the computer screen. You can provide document holders to reduce this strain. They’re cheap and eliminate excessive cervical motion and help to prevent muscle imbalances. Document holders also are great for your eyes, according to the St. Louis-based American Optometric Association. And, keep reference materials close to the monitor to reduce the way your eyes have to refocus as you glance from the document to the monitor.

Along with this, more safety ideas for office workers should include encouraging regular breaks to move around and reduce one’s risk for heart health problems. The company can post a warm-up and stretching guide for easy exercises to do at work.

Along with healthy physical activity comes hand in hand healthy eating. The company should have rules around the kitchen. For example, clean your eating spaces before and after eating. Keep foods stored securely. Heat up food when possible to burn off germs, and wash fruits or vegetables before chowing down. It’s not always a bad idea to wear gloves when your hands are near your face.