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7 Ways To Successfully Run A Business Off The Internet

7 Ways To Successfully Run A Business Off The Internet
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Every day, brand new online businesses start up, but many times they fail just as swiftly, leaving only a small percentage that succeed. How can you ensure that you are one of the select few that will see success? Follow these tips and watch your online business flourish.

1. Respond to Visitors Quickly and Engage with Them

Don’t let potential customers have the time to slip through your fingers through a lack of contact, get back to all inquiries as soon as possible. Even if you are away for an extended period of time, make sure that there is someone available to answer inquiries, even if it is just to say that a clearer response will be given soon.

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Social media platforms are the best way to engage with customers. Not only can you quickly post any type of information, you can also comment back just as swiftly.

2. Outsourcing

Outsourcing some of your tasks allows for you to reach customers with compelling tactics and strategies more quickly and more effectively than your competitor can. When you spend less time on a multitude of small tasks to focus on the larger tasks, you will be able to spend your energy working on the things that will grow your business. Outsourcing for marketing will allow your brand to approach a problem with a fresh and new perspective, and will be able to go forward with an innovative campaign.

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3. Maintain Your Mailing List

Take the leap and ask your visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Provide an incentive such as a free online course or e-book that is related to your brand. You will need to respect these individuals that sign up for the mailing list by sending out a newsletter consistently, but not too often. The newsletter should only contain quality content that is relevant to readers, while providing an easy way for them to opt out if they need to. Always include sales, specials, and discounts to those on your mailing list ‒ this will ensure that they feel like they should stay on the mailing list to receive the exclusive offers.

4. Try Not to Over Optimize Your Website

Search engine optimization is how a webmaster manipulates a website to rank better in search engines. Some websites go way too far with this and will end up banned from the search results. Over-optimization will make a brand less likable and harder to read. Aim to be straightforward and direct, without a lot of fluff. Potential customers can see right through that and it will even make your brand appear less trustworthy when you over-optimize.

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5. Keep Your Website Simple and Organized

Often times, in an effort to make their website stand out, businesses will over-design it ‒ which is a huge mistake. Too many flashy elements or loud music will hurt a website’s traffic. The text should be easy to read, and the website as a whole should be easily navigated. The safest choice is dark text backed by a lighter color background.

6. Social Media Marketing

Marketing through social media has the ability to reduce a brand’s overall marketing cost, it will create a voice for the brand, allow for better customer service, and build trust between the customer and the brand. It is a lot easier for a customer to visualize a person behind a brand when they are being communicated to in a casual manner. This will humanize your online business and make it easier for visitors to connect with you, and then develop loyalty.

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7. Discover Your Specialty

Find out what it is about your brand that sets you apart from other businesses that are similar. Is it the type of product that you offer, or the quality of service that you provide? Whatever it is, nurture it and let your customers know that you care about it just as much as they do.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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