Launching an online shop can prove to be a very enjoyable and financially rewarding decision, but it is a big commitment, especially if it’s your first attempt at running a business. There are lots of factors to bear in mind, such as the time and effort it may take to get your business off the ground. You’ll also have to pay close attention to your company’s finances, ensuring you retain a steady cash flow. Additionally if you’re looking to grow your business, you’ll have to pay close considerations as to how many staff you will need to employ and other issues such as whether you need office space to begin with or to hot-desk. It is also important to be cautious of expanding too quickly early on as it could place a burden on your short term finances.
All in all there’s a lot to consider, and a number of difficult decisions to make if you wish to make your startup a long-term success. Luckily though, there are plenty of tools on the market that new businesses can utilize to ensure you can both win in business, manage clients, pay staff and allow customers to buy your products.
Have you ever found yourself bored by a monotonous presentation? Well chances are, it wasn’t delivered with Prezi.
Prezi is a cloud-based presentation piece of software used to present ideas and concepts. Because they know visual storytelling is a great way to get your message across, it can deliver strong visuals alongside the text. All your presentations can be saved to the cloud and delivered on smartphones and computers, so anywhere you go you can deliver a brilliant presentation. No longer do you have to struggle with your memory stick being formatted to Windows instead of Mac as this tool finally brings the quality of your presentations in line with the standard expected of your online company.
Hootsuite is a social media management system which allows you to deal with multiple social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter. Social feedback is excellent for new businesses because it is a cost-effective way of not only reaching new customers, but also improving your product or service through market research. Hootsuite can be used to establish and execute a social media strategy that could significantly increase your revenue.
123 Contact Form
The 123 Contact Form tool has a super slick visual builder for creating HTML forms, contact forms, event registration forms and email forms. The form builder automates your processes by combining well with systems like Salesforce, MailChimp and Google Drive. The payment processors include Stripe, Authorize.net and PayPal. Analytics are included for checking in on how well the forms are doing, and the drag and drop builder is super smooth.
Online invoicing software is crucial for a business, as ensuring your finances are well managed is an essential part of maintaining a successful and sustainable business.
Sage One can be used to manage cash flow, which is crucial for any business. The software can help you anticipate any bottle necking problems which may arise and help you to best manage them. The importance of maintaining a steady cash flow cannot be undervalued, as spotting issues in advance my prove essential to the overall success of your business. The best businesses are proactive rather than reactive, and tools such as Sage One allow a proper analysis of cash flow that is unrivaled by anyone else.
Microsoft Office is one of the most widely used pieces of computer software, and with good reason. Excel, PowerPoint and Word are all staples for homes and offices around the world and they are also three of the most user-friendly systems of their kind, meaning you won’t be wasting precious hours trying to get to grips with them. Other programmers to utilize include Outlook for emails and OneNote which connects your devices and helps you capture any business ideas you may have while away from the office.
Kickstarter has proven to be extremely popular among new businesses. It is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform where you set the total amount of money you need to raise by a certain deadline, and people decide whether or not they want to back your idea. In exchange for financially backing the idea, it is typical for the business owner to give rewards, such as products. There are many positives to Kickstarter, the biggest being that you get to retain control of the business. It also gives you an opportunity to get to understand both your product and the market better. However, it’s important make sure you completely understand the crowdfunding process.
An ecommerce platform is the safest way to sell your goods online, primarily because Shopify is both one of the cheapest and easiest ways to sell. It is a dedicated e-commerce tool that is extremely flexible and can be as in depth as you need it to be. The pro plan – which is recommended – allows you to install a fully functional online store on your site with unlimited products, file storage and bandwidth all included within the plan. The fantastic thing about Shopify is that it also allows you to interlink your e-commerce platform with your business’s offline offerings, creating a fantastic online and offline link for your customers. In addition to this, it interlinks with your social media and other platforms, for example allowing customers to buy straight off your Facebook page. Finally, Shopify have just released an abandoned cart saver. This amazing bit of kit allows you to look at what your customers have nearly bought, and re-target them via email.
When starting your online business it is essential to get all of your financial, staffing, lead generation and sales offerings in order before showcasing your company to the public. There is an old saying how ‘one hand washes the other’ and in no practice is this more visible than in a business start-up. Without leads you cannot make sales, and if your finances aren’t in order you cannot hire staff. So when you do decide to finally open your business, make sure your house is in order!
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