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6 Essentials You Need to Consider Before Starting an Online Business

6 Essentials You Need to Consider Before Starting an Online Business

We live in the Internet age so, sooner or later, you will need to make yourself present in the online world with a business or a store. To do this, you will need a domain name and a web-hosting service, as well as a website theme and a CMS to manage and publish content. There are many online strategies that entrepreneurs are using to take their business to a new level.

There are tools that will promise you a lot of wonderful things, but beyond all the technical stuff, there is still an informed decision you need to make. So, here are six essential tips you need to consider before launching an online business:

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Find profitable products or services to sell

This is the most important step. It is the key and the starting point of everything. What are you going to offer/sell? Whatever you choose (a product or a service), you must look for any competitors that are offering something similar to your idea so you will know how to improve the idea or learn about what your additional value is. Choose something that will help you earn money. You can know this by conducting market studies, surveys, and statistical proof.

Choose a segment

Find a necessity and fulfill it by choosing the right products to target and meet those market needs with. To have a better chance of success, start with a specific market. The trick is to look for a group of people that are looking for a solution to a specific problem. You can find a lot of information on the Web that will make your research easier, like your competitor’s strategies, statistics, etc.

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Register a web domain and create a website

One of the first things you will have to do is register a web domain and that will depend on many aspects of your site’s main goal or purpose. It can be a personal blog, or a business blog that acts as a resource for your intended audience, an online store or a market.

You must take your time while planning this step, but if you have already decided a name or have a good idea, don’t take too long on introducing it to the world.[1] You have probably heard about the most common websites for this task, like GoDaddy or WordPress, but there are many other alternatives that will help and guide you while creating and designing your new website easily.

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Choose the best hosting service

You will probably find numerous service providers offering hosting services at different prices and offering multiple benefits. Most people tend to choose a cheap but qualified web hosting plan from a reputable hosting company. Others, who demand the highest possible security and best server performance, opt for choosing an SSD cloud server. That’s why you should conduct some research first (read comments, reviews, ask experts forums, etc.) and find a trusted hosting provider that can deliver the quality of service you require. There are a bunch of scripts out there that will let you administrate your whole web page, its content, images, user registration, etc. Some of the most popular ones are WordPress, Joomla, and Drumla, among others.

Keep in touch with your clients and subscribers

Use the power of email marketing and convert your visitors into customers. When you build an opt-in list, you are making one of the most valuable business decisions on the internet. Your clients and subscribers are giving you permission to send them emails with information, updates, offers, etc. and this marketing strategy is cheaper and more useful than TV or radio ads because it is more specific. But don’t rush, you can get this service after your business is well established and has some months of operation.

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Another good and easy way to get in touch with your audience is through your social networks. It is recommended for your business’s organic traffic and visibility that you know the current social media trends. Remember that people (users) consume actual and relevant content, and they love getting it from their social media accounts every day.

Make use of search engines to bring traffic to your site

For this, you have two options: free organic traffic (which is more difficult to get) and advertisement alternatives that offer “Pay for Click” traffic (one of the easiest and fastest way to gain traffic for your new website). Organic traffic is free and can be sent to your site from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, in case they like the content of your site. On the other hand, Pay for Click is a method where you pay for each advertising banner where people can click. Here, advertisers have to target specific keywords so their publicity appears in first place.

So, now you have some important tips to help you begin your online business. If you follow these steps, you can be sure that it will be a success because you will have a connection with your clients and subscribers and that will make them want to come back and buy your product or service. Don’t think about it too much and start your online business now!

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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