Mistakes when Starting a New Business

Here are a few common mistakes when starting a new business

Mistakes when Starting a New Business | Business help & SupportStarting up a new business can often be hard work with things like creating a business plan, finding business premises, advertising, employees and of course raising finance.

Have a Clear Business Model

To help your business succeed it is important to have a clear business model and understand exactly what they are about and make sure you are very clear on how to go about operating. Having a vague operating model and thinking you can adapt as you go is often a mistake.

Researching & Market Testing

Don’t make assumptions about what you potential customers want. If you build a business on an unproven and understood market you may come have problems down the line. The key is to launch even if it’s not the final product or service so you can test the market and collect customer feedback.

Finance & Investors

If you take funding from people or companies who don’t share your values, it can be difficult to retain integrity and stick to your mission.
Being Afraid to Delegate

Being an entrepreneur is a really tough job, much more than being a manager. The ability to truly delegate when an organisation reaches a certain size is the toughest challenge for someone who has built a business from scratch, considering the emotional element often associated with it.

Failing to recruit the right people for the job

Businesses often compromise on their team. It sadly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as subsequently they will only be able to continue attracting mediocre people. The best people typically only want to work with the best people.

Don’t believe business success will happens overnight

You have to understand and acknowledge at the start of a business that it is a long-term thing. The businesses that we hear about making millions overnight in there first few months of trading are an exceptions to the rule.

Don’t let work take over

When running a business you should watch out for overloading yourself. Before you know it you will be working around the clock and this will affect your health whoever you think you are. Starting up and growing your own business comes with great responsibility and takes time, effort and commitment. You must remember there is more to life than just working.

Business Start Up

Business Start Up

Business Start Up GloucesterBeing your own boss can be satisfying and rewarding, however before you jump in with both feet you need to follow a few simple points

The Idea

You need to think of an idea for your business, something different and unique and you need to think about the economics of the idea and are other people pursuing the same concept. If so, you will need to make your business stand out of the crowd know if you are going to be legally protected.

Create a Business Plan

Having done a business plan helps you to gain a vision and direction as you begin your business journey. Your business plan is your blue print.

The Business Entity

This is where you decide how to legally structure. Some businesses can become very complicated. They each have their pros and cons.

Customer Appreciation

You need to think about who your target market is. Your target market is where you need a specific group of people that your company has created products or services for.

Creating a Website

Creating your business website is one of the most important things you need to do for your business. The website is essential, it tells people who you are, where you are and encourages the customers to buy off the website or make enquiries regarding your services and products. Please click here to read more about our website services

The Debut

You will need to understand how to get your products or services out in the market place and to show people they exist, get your name out there, gain custom. If people don’t know they exist, how will you sell your products or services?

Financing

You need to start thinking how you are going to be able to fund your business, and get to know how to do your tax benefits?

Research

Before creating your business remember to research, some businesses can be slowed down as the preparation is not done to high standards, unexpected effects are sure to come up, so make sure you check things out.

These points are a simple guide to help you make the successful leap to entrepreneurship and owning your own successful business.

Small Business Marketing Ideas

Small Business Marketing GloucesterHere are a few Small Business Marketing Ideas. As a small business owner you may not have the resources of a large brand. However you can still make a strong impact with targeted and creative ideas that will both help you to get your business in front of new potential clients / customers and engage the customers you already have.

Here are a few marketing ideas to help you re-think and open the potential power of your marketing efforts.

Optimize Your Online Presence

If you already have a website and start thinking about ways to optimize it. Your website should be more than a simple couple of pages displaying your telephone number and location. It has the potential and should be the most powerful of your marketing tools. The best websites are those that offer real content… Consider starting a regularly updated blog that offers both updates about your business and other interesting content, such as industry news, ideas observations. This will help you establish a unique point-of-view and further clarifying your brand. Additionally, invite readers to sign up for your email distribution / newsletter or to follow you on social media. Finally, be sure your site is mobile friendly as more and more people are accessing the web via mobile devices and Google has now made this a important requirement.

Be Social

Most businesses now have at the very least a Facebook or Twitter account, but why not expand to Instagram, Pinterest or Google+ to reach a new customer base and further show your creativity and vision? A Google+ page can be highly effective for your local business as it enables special local features on Google search. You can also use these profiles to become active in social communities that are relevant to your service or product.

Build Relationships

Think about what makes your business effective i.e. the opportunity to form close, meaningful relationships with your customers. Small businesses are not stuck behind the layers of professional firewalls. Create a voice for your marketing that is personable and unique, and use that presence to build your online relationships through an email newsletter and strong social media. Start a loyalty program that gives preference to repeat customers, and consider a referral program that honours customers who tell their friends about you.

Think Local

Mobilising your community is still one of the best ways to create buzz. Collaborate with other local non direct competitors to cross-promote or to pair your services as part of local packages. Once you get to know the rhythms of your neighborhood, you’ll be able to craft your brand to more directly meet the needs of the people you’re serving and be able to meet your customers with your marketing message. You will demonstrate a real commitment to making your business integral to the growth of your neighborhood.

Food for Thought

These are just a few small business marketing ideas and tools that can be simple, effective and will help you extend your reach. With a bit of creativity and hard work you can attain the same results as a big marketing firm even without the big resources.

Overcoming Doubt of Becoming a Creative Leader

Overcoming Doubt of Becoming a Creative Leader

Overcoming Doubt and Becoming a Creative LeaderPiera Gelardi, Refinery29 co-founder and Executive Creative Director spoke at the D&AD Festival in London this week and offered some advice for adapting to uncomfortable situations, overcoming creative block, and identifying the conditions that lead to great ideas.

“We all have moments when our idea of who we are and our sense of self gets challenged,” mused Piera Gelardi. “I had a moment like that when our company started to grow and develop. I felt really comfortable in my role as a creative person, heading up creative projects and expressing myself through creativity, but I started to feel really uncomfortable and almost like an alien in other parts of my role. The executive and creative director parts of my identity were really split – and the executive part just felt so foreign.”

The women’s media brand Refinery29 began in 2005 and focused on style with a guide to the best independent boutiques in New York.  In 2013 it was named the fastest growing media company in the US, and now encompasses everything from business and politics to fitness, has 500 million users across various platforms, and has teams in New York, Berlin, and London.

Gelardi said: “I was having to do lots of things that I didn’t necessarily have any background or training in. I had to start managing these big teams and thinking out business strategies and doing a lot of negotiations and I felt so uncomfortable in these new roles that I started to think maybe our company was scaling and I wasn’t the right person for the job any more. That was a really painful moment, because here I was – I had built this company from the ground up and all of a sudden, I didn’t feel at home.”

She went on to offer a few bits of wisdom that she’s gleaned over the years:

Use your strengths as a weapon:

In her case, that meant using her creativity and listening skills to develop her own unique style of negotiating.

Create the right conditions for creativity

Identify the conditions that lead you to great ideas, whether that’s going for a run or making a Pinterest board.

Collaboration

Once in a brainstorming session, don’t discuss the things that limit you like budgets or targets – focus on the creativity and how to bring about the results you want.

The importance of listening

As a Leader you don’t want your team to be afraid to bring up an idea or opinion.

Find other outlets for your creativity

It’s important not to expect to find complete fulfilment in your work.  Find other ways to channel your creativity outside of work, especially if you feel constrained in your day job.

Google announces the roll-out of its new “fact-checking” feature to combat fake news

Search Engine Optimization not simply Google optimisationA new label will come up if you search for a news story and a result is returned from a credible fact-checking organization.

For a story with this label, an excerpt will come up showing the claim, who has made it, and a fact check of the claim itself.

Last year, the tech giant launched a trial enabling publishers to use the fact check tag on news stories; thus identifying articles published by news agencies and other fact-checking organizations.

The feature is now being launched globally to combat misinformation and fake news, but will not be available for every search result.

Interestingly, the feature won’t increase the search ranking of fact-checking organizations and articles using the new label will not be ranked differently in the search results.

According to Google, only publishers who are “algorithmically determined to be an authoritative source of information will qualify for inclusion”, but gave no further details on how that determination will be made.

A Google blog was written by Product Manager Justin Kosslyn and Research Scientist Cong Yu saying:  “There may be search result pages where different publishers checked the same claim and reached different conclusions.”

“These fact checks are not Google’s and are presented so people can make more informed judgements.”

It was pointed out that “differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim” and that readers “have clear information on which sources agree”.

Looking forward, they added:  “As we make fact checks more visible in Search results, we believe people will have an easier time reviewing and assessing these fact checks, and making their own informed opinions.”

Great Images need Great Content

Great Images need Great ContentYour online presence is a hugely important marketing tool. You will need some awesome images to invite and inspire your audience, but what about the content? Words matter too. The right words all in the right order! Most Importantly, completely original words not content that has been cribbed from another website or online resource (unless used with permission and credited to the author).

Google Plagiarism Checker

Plagiarism – taking someone else’s words and using them as your own – is likely to see your site blacklisted. If you are looking for a high ranking then you need to make sure that your content is original. There are online plagiarism checkers such as Small Seo Tools and Plagiarism Checker App available on Google Play.

Professional Content Writing

Content writing for websites and blog sites has become big business. We found 1,245 vacancies online for content writers in one online search today alone! There are plenty of businesses out there offering to write original and expert copy for you. Prices can vary enormously as can quality. Ask for a quote up front, and also make sure that you read a few different samples of their work.

Freelance writers are likely to give you a more personal service as you are dealing directly with the writer, however, depending on how busy they are you may struggle to get a quick turn around. Dedicated content writing companies may well employ a large number of ‘expert’ freelance writers which on the plus side means that they may have a writer who will suit your type of business better.

Double-Check the Originality

You can ask the content writer to provide you with a report regarding the originality of the copy – which means that they will put it through some plagiarism software. You can also check this yourself – it is better to be doubly sure about this as it really is so important that you don’t use wording already ranked by the major search engines

Magpie Image can offer you an original content writing along with research. We have a team of writers with over 30 years combined experience within publishing and marketing. Contact us for a friendly and professional no obligation quote.

Get Some Top Notch Training

Can’t update your website?

WordPress editing course GoucesterYou probably already have a company website – but you may be unable to update it yourself which means that you have the potential for a hefty bill every-time you add a new product or service and need the services of a web developer to add these things to your existing site.

This is why small businesses are turning to WordPress to provide them with a website that they truly can ‘own’. With a minimal outlay on staff training this is well worth your investment as good training will allow you to update and maintain your site easily without incurring any extra charges. You can even give your site a regular makeover by changing the ‘theme’ once you or your staff have become confident WordPress users.

Get Some Top Notch Training

Good hands on training is key to this, along with good back up should you need it. At Magpie Image we have years of experience to share with you and our inexpensive WordPress courses will set you up confidently in a day and with further training available at a later stage you can be secure in the knowledge that you have a friendly professional WordPress user in your back pocket should you encounter any issues.

Courses are £220.00 inc VAT and can be tailored to suit your exact needs – you can even use your own site build to train on! But it doesn’t stop there, we can teach you WordPress editing skills, give you tips on writing good copy (or write it for you) and we also run courses in SEO digital marketing to help you get a digital handhold as quickly as possible.

No Time Like the Present!

What are you waiting for?! Contact Magpie Image today for advice on rebuilding your website in WordPress or learn how to build yourself a fully responsive smart new site with top search engine ranking and find out how to keep it updated and properly maintained from the people who have been using WordPress successfully for years…

For more information on our courses please click here >

Video Marketing for the Small Business

Video Marketing for the Small BusinessAlready identified as the major marketing tool of the future, short videos are fast becoming the must have item in order to acquire new customers and generate massive interest in your product and company.

Don’t make the mistake that a lot of older marketing managers though, this is not a TV commercial requiring a fortune to be spent on recording equipment lighting and editing software, your smart-phone is really all the equipment that you need to make a short clip for posting.

Do I really Need To?

According to Cisco By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.  So, yes you should aim to have something for consumers to easily digest in video format – with the hope that this will be shared and re shared quickly across the net.

Target Audience

You need to think about  your target audience, making sure that what you produce is right for them. You could try the clip out on the correct demographic in house before you publish. Check out the Vine App on Twitter – only 6 seconds but great for a quick expose of a key product or service.  Putting together something that simply gets your brand out there is a huge opportunity to acquire more customers and with the potential views you will struggle to find anything with similar impact. According to Statistic Brain You Tube has 900,000 000 unique visits every month! According to a recent post by Mashable, Snapchat users are watching 10 billion videos a day

Promoting Your Clip

Maximise your use of social media and make sure that your clip is perfect to view on a smart phone mobile friendly as according to Wired people spend ‘insane amounts of time’ watching video on their phones.

So, make yourself an engaging marketing video today!

 

Setting Up Your Own WordPress Site

Setting Up Your Own WordPress websiteSetting Up Your Own WordPress Site

Setting up a free WordPress blog website couldn’t be easier – or could it?

Sure there are plenty of online WordPress tutorials and advice regarding how to set up and start using your website. However, if you are after a professional looking site with superb functionality you should seriously look at getting some hands on tuition from people who use WordPress on a daily basis – and have been doing so for some time.

Control Your Online Presence

WordPress can be very user friendly and it is generally straightforward but has thousands of Plug In options and can be very powerful. This can be quite daunting for the inexperienced user. Individual or small group learning can be invaluable if you are looking to bring your website in-house. You will need to be confident in your own skills, or those of your staff so setting about WordPress training the right way will not only save you time and money but will give you complete control of your online presence.

Choose a Trainer Who Will Give You Back-up

There are plenty of online courses available, but choosing a trainer who will also be able to give you back up should you need it is a better choice. Take a look around some of the trainers own WordPress installations to get an idea of their skill level.

Smart Thinking

An experienced web developer will also be able to take your existing website and teach you how to transfer it into a WordPress theme – saving you a lot work (and money…! ) So if you are a small business with limited resources, investing in a little WordPress staff training could provide you with quite a dividend. A smart web presence, and smart staff able to keep it up to date and looking good.

Most used WordPress Plugins

Top Plugins for WordPress

Most used WordPress Plugins, Top Plugin for WordPressBelow is a list of the current most popular WordPress plugins (to date). If you are building your own WordPress website then these are all worth installing and seeing if the benefits suit your site and your needs…

Advanced Custom Fields

Customise WordPress with powerful, professional and intuitive fields
By: elliotcondon.
1+ million active installs
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TinyMCE Advanced

Enables the advanced features of TinyMCE, the WordPress WYSIWYG editor.
By: Andrew Ozz.
1+ million active installs
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Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.
By: Arne Brachhold.
1+ million active installs
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Duplicate Post

Clone posts and pages.
By: Lopo.
1+ million active installs
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WordPress Importer

Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from a WordPress export file.
By: WordPress.org.
1+ million active installs
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WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a powerful, extendable eCommerce plugin that helps you sell anything. Beautifully.
By: Automattic, Mike Jolley, jameskoster, Claudio Sanches, royho, and WooThemes.
1+ million active installs
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NextGEN Gallery

The most popular WordPress gallery plugin and one of the most popular plugins of all time with over 14 million downloads.
By: photocrati and imagely.
1+ million active installs
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Contact Form 7

Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.
By: Takayuki Miyoshi.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

Jetpack by WordPress.com

Increase your traffic, view your stats, speed up your site, and protect yourself from hackers with Jetpack.
By: Automattic, Adam Heckler, Andrew Duthie, Alex Kirk, allendav, alternatekev, and others.
1+ million active installs
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Really Simple CAPTCHA

Really Simple CAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA module intended to be called from other plugins. It is originally created for my Contact Form 7 plugin.
By: Takayuki Miyoshi.
1+ million active installs
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Wordfence Security

The Wordfence WordPress security plugin provides free enterprise-class WordPress security, protecting your website from hacks and malware.
By: Wordfence.
1+ million active installs
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Yoast SEO

Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using Yoast SEO plugin.
By: Joost de Valk.
1 week ago 1+ million active installs
Read More >

All in One SEO Pack

he most downloaded plugin for WordPress (almost 30 million downloads). Use All in One SEO Pack to automatically optimize your site for Search Engines
By: Michael Torbert, Steve Mortiboy, Dougal Campbell, Peter Baylies, and others.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

Regenerate Thumbnails

Allows you to regenerate your thumbnails after changing the thumbnail sizes.
By: Alex Mills (Viper007Bond).
1+ million active installs
Read More >

W3 Total Cache

Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
By: Frederick Townes.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

WP Super Cache

A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files.
By: Donncha O Caoimh, Automattic, and Brandon Kraft.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

Google Analytics by Yoast

Track your WordPress site easily with the latest tracking codes and lots added data for search result pages and error pages.
By: Joost de Valk.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

WP-PageNavi

Adds a more advanced paging navigation interface.
By: Lester Chan and scribu.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

Hello Dolly

This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong.
By: Matt Mullenweg.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

Akismet

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not.
By: Matt Mullenweg, Ryan Boren, Andy Skelton, Michael Adams (mdawaffe), and others.
1+ million active installs
Read More >

Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Build responsive page layouts using the widgets you know and love using this simple drag and drop page builder.
By: Greg Priday and braam-genis.
800,000+ active installs
Read More >

Disable Comments

Allows administrators to globally disable comments on their site. Comments can be disabled according to post type. Multisite friendly.
By: Samir Shah.
800,000+ active installs
Read More >

WP Multibyte Patch

Multibyte functionality enhancement for the WordPress Japanese package.
By: Seisuke Kuraishi (tenpura).
800,000+ active installs
Read More >

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

The visual editor widget for WordPress.
By: Marco Chiesi and Francesco Canovi.
800,000+ active installs
Read More >

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Displays Google Analytics reports in your WordPress Dashboard. Inserts the latest Google Analytics tracking code in your pages.
By: Alin Marcu.
700,000+ active installs
Read More >

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)

Protect your WordPress site by hiding vital areas of your site, protecting access to important files, preventing brute-force login attempts, detecting
By: iThemes, Chris Jean, Aaron D. Campbell, gerroald, and Matt Danner.
700,000+ active installs
Read More >

Clef Two-Factor Authentication

Modern two-factor that people love to use: strong authentication without passwords or tokens; single sign on/off; magical user experience.
By: Dave Ross, Jesse Pollak, Andrew Russell, and Laurence.
700,000+ active installs
Read More >

UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration

Backup and restoration made easy. Complete backups; manual or scheduled (backup to S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email + others).
By: Backup with UpdraftPlus, David Anderson, and DNutbourne.
700,000+ active installs
Read More >

Duplicator

Duplicate, clone, backup, move and transfer an entire site from one location to another.
By: corylamleorg and Bob Riley.
700,000+ active installs
Read More >

Meta Slider

Easy to use WordPress slider plugin. Create SEO optimised responsive slideshows with Nivo Slider, Flex Slider, Coin Slider and Responsive Slides.
By: Matcha Labs.
600,000+ active installs
Read More >

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