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5 Useful Ways To Improve Your Online Business

5 Useful Ways To Improve Your Online Business

We all know that is not easy to start a business, but nowadays, people are taking their entrepreneurial spirits to the web and creating online stores and yes, online businesses. Technology is going further and the reality is that we can become entrepreneurs and start our small online business right from our home.

There are many tips and advice on the web about what we need to know or do before taking the decision to have an online business, but the reality is that with all this useful information and marketing tools, it is getting easier to open an online market or platform and start selling what you love to do.

There are millions of products and services you can buy online, and let’s be honest, there will be many competitors and sellers who are offering the same product or service as you, but the difference between your business and the competitor’s business will determine which one gets more customers, sales and popularity.

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If you want to start an online business and be better than your competitors you should take note of these useful tips and advice:

1. Think about what do you like to do and how good you are

We’ve heard about numerous successful entrepreneurs who had built empires and they have something in common: they love and enjoy what they do. They just followed their passions and created something that other people loved too.

If you enjoy doing something and you think that product or service could be something that our society would need or like, try it! You can start your own blog, website or even get an account on a marketplace and start doing your own business. Remember that this might not be the best business of the year but we need to start taking risks and decisions and learn from our failures. What if your idea works out and gives you the opportunity to grow?

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2. Identify local needs

This is essential. You cannot start your business without previously exploring what’s already on the market and considering the local needs. You need to know what people are looking for or what would be useful for them. Remember that everybody is trying to find life hacks and tips to make their lives easier. You also need to be specific and find something new (regardless of whether it is a product or a service) or something that people mostly need but that nobody (or not many others) are offering.

You can easily start internet research on forums, websites or news articles and identify people’s problems, likes or needs.

3. Create a good marketing plan and resources

Remember that whether you plan to build a product-oriented or service-oriented company, you need resources for marketing and development.

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There are multiple marketing plans, tools and strategies to choose from. You can start creating and managing your business’s social networks including posting some useful information and articles, great product photography, and interacting with your audience.

If you want to take the next step you can start looking for SEO strategies or creating some email marketing campaigns.

4. Work hard and surround yourself with trustworthy people

Starting a new business is not easy and you definitely won’t be able to do the entire process and work alone. Besides the fact that you need experts on each area of your business (like a marketer, an accountant or a lawyer), you will also have to divide the tasks and divide the workload. For this, it is necessary that you find the right coworkers, partners or investors. Certainly, there are people who think that mixing business with family or friends could be harmful, but the truth is that it is better to surround yourself with people you know you can work with instead of creating business with someone you don’t even know.

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5. Enjoy and have fun!

You might think that with all those new responsibilities, stress and projects the last thing you will be doing is having fun isn’t it? But of course you can have fun at the beginning and through the project. That’s exactly the first point in this article, the fact of enjoying what you are doing, and as that famous quote says: “if you love what you do you will never have to work.” 

Remember that what is worthy will never be easy, but at the end it will have its own reward in life.

 

Featured photo credit: cdn.kreaciomedia.com via cdn.kreaciomedia.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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