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How to Set Up a Good E-commerce Website in No Time

How to Set Up a Good E-commerce Website in No Time

We live in a world that is changing by the minute and, in order to keep track of everything, we live fast. We strive to keep up the pace; we strive to do our jobs as best as we can and at the end of the day, we can only hope that it was enough to get by. When it comes to business, one must always be up and running. Each and every workday has to be well organized. Furthermore, in the 21st century, you have to run a business on two fronts – offline and online.

The offline world is tricky. A lot of variables are included in the equation. Where will your office be? How will you treat your customers? How will you organize your staff? – As you can see, a there are tons of things to consider. Unfortunately, the online world is no walk in the park either.  Giving the fact that there are tons upon tons of websites out there, chances are that not many people will get to even find your site, unless you are maintaining and promoting it right.

If you already have a website and it is not bringing you much profit, you should give some of these articles a shot:

Some of the articles above have a long comment section below the article itself. You should go through these comments, as they are also chock full of useful advice, tips and strategies to have a successful e-commerce website.

Considering you don’t have a website, you are most probably at a loss. If you have been reading about E-commerce websites, the one thing that must have caught your eye is the fact that creating, launching, moderating and bringing one site to its functional state takes time. But you don’t have the time – you need a fast and effective solution, as mentioned above. Thankfully, there is a way. If you go through the text below, you will get acquainted with some steps you can take in order to build your site from scratch.

Preparation

It is possible to build an online presence prior to creating a site – furthermore, it is advisory. You should create a page or an account on some of the many social media websites. For an example, we’ll take Facebook, since it is probably the most popular social media forum (but Google+ is on the rise and you should keep that in mind). You create a group or a like page and you invite people to join/like. You already have an existing clientele with which you are in contact (at least I hope you do) and you should indulge them to visit your page, like, click and comment.

If you supply your subscribers with interesting content on a regular basis, then you can use the reach you gained to promote your site before it is up and running. That way, when you do launch your site, it will have an instant audience, which is very important.

There are ways to boost your reach on social media networks. Some of them cost money and others are free. You should go through at least some of the following articles in order to gain a bit of knowledge related to the matter:

Design and development

These are the first two things every online project needs. However, creating an entire website takes a team of programmers to work around the clock for a month and then, when everything is finished, it still takes time to work out all the bugs and the whole venture can turn into a bit of a drag. If you want a fast way out, you should consider creating a site on WordPress – the biggest CMS (content management system) around. If you are new to WordPress, get acquainted with it by following some of the links below:

One of the best advantages of this CMS is the fact that you don’t have to be a programming wiz if you want to find your way around it. The process of creating a site like this is:

  • You find yourself a nice WordPress theme;

  • You upload your content (texts, logos, images, videos);

  • You place your content on the adequate positions;

  • You test it a couple of times and make a few modifications;

  • That’s it!

You might be thinking that it cannot be as easy as it sounds and you are probably right. There are problems that can occur while you are doing the job, but you should keep your hopes up. Whatever happens, you can always ask Google for a solution and one will surely present itself. The WordPress community is constantly striving to improve and people have posted all sorts of useful tips online.

    The most popular market for WordPress themes is the Envato market. Check out themeforest.net, if you wish to purchase one. If not, you can most certainly find a free one here. However, if you chose to purchase, you will also get customer service – if you get stuck, the team that developed the theme you purchased will surely tend to your needs via email.

    Keep in mind that not every theme comes packed everything you need. For instance, you might need an image slider and the theme you got doesn’t have one. This is where WordPress plug-ins come into play. A lot of enthusiastic developers have shared their work online and it won’t be hard to find just the plug-in you need. The Envato market covers these grounds as well and you can start searching for them on codecanyon.net.

    The main thing you should keep in mind when working on your website is coherence. Everything has to be logical – meaning, everything has to be user-friendly and not at all confusing. People are searching for stuff on the go, and if your site is not comprehensible, or if it has problems, the viewer will not be patient – he or she will move to another site.

    A very important thing you need to worry about is responsiveness. Every website has to be accessible via a variety of devices – desktops, laptops, Android and Apple phones and tablets and so on. Make sure you do your research related to this issue. Here is something to start with:

    Domain name and hosting

    When all the content is secure, you have to register for a domain name. The fact that the net is flooded with websites can be an issue here – your preferred domain name is likely to be taken. In such an event, you should explore your possibilities. If there is a way, alter your initial idea a bit. For instance, if yourprefereddomainname.com is taken, explore the option for .net, .org or something else. Also, you can try adding the word “website” or “online” so that your domain looks something like this: yourprefereddomainnameonline.com. You can also try adding an underscore so that your domain looks like this: your_prefered_domain_name.com. As I said, explore your option. The key here is not to change what you wanted a lot. Your website’s homepage link has to correspond with the name of your business. If it doesn’t, tons of problems can occur, so be sure that you take this into account.

    Here are some sources for further reading, related to this issue:

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    When it comes to hosting, you should know that without proper hosting, everything you did on your site will be for nothing. Your web host is the one that launches your site on the web. I will try and explain some things related to this.

    When launching a site, each and every piece of information is uploaded to a server computer, which is used to store this information and then share it with the web. It is important that this machine is stable and that it gets the job done. Hosting companies do this job in two ways – they use one server to host numerous websites or they use a separate machine for each site.

      The former is known as shared hosting. These kinds of servers are extremely strong machines that can handle a lot. The latter is known as dedicated hosting. These kinds of machines are not as strong as the previous ones, but they don’t need to be.

      As you may have deduced, you should go for the latter option. Shared hosting servers tend to get overloaded with info and then, they start to slack. The result of this might be some temporary malfunctions, or, in the worst case scenario, the system falls along with all the websites that were hosted on it. With dedicated hosting, the chances for such a thing happening are very, very low, since each and every server is strong enough to endure one website and its content. This is a fact.

      Here are some useful articles that will explain the story further:

      Optimization

      When all the above is moved to the checklist, there are only a couple of things left to do. At this point your site is just one of the many that are trying to get noticed. Even assuming your social media campaign went as planned, the job is not done yet. You have to let search engines know that your site is there when people are looking for it. Here is where you should look into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), although these two things are pretty interrelated. You see, there are tons of communities on the web and each one has a set of blogs where people constantly go to and check for updates related to a certain niche. It is your job to find these blogs, contact their editors and request to post some interesting articles related to what you are doing on them. Somewhere in these articles, you should mention that you are also a businessman who has a website and you should leave a link that will lead the reader to a page on your site. This will bring you traffic and, consequently, a lot of satisfied customers.

      Marketing related to the online world is tricky business. You should go through some of the articles below in order to see what I mean:

      That’s it for now. With the text above, you can get a clear picture about what one should do in order to create an online presence. This is (probably) the fastest solution. You might think that it is not that fast, but any other option will take even more. A WordPress theme, some content, hosting and promotion – these are the four essential steps. If you are lucky, within a month you will start to notice that sales are going up. When this happens, do not stop doing what you are doing – go for more. Add more people to your online circles and build a community of satisfied customers.

      If you are unlucky – if your site is just sitting there and doing nothing, you should consider outsourcing this part of your business to someone skilled and experienced.

      All in all, I hope that this article gave you what you were looking for. I advise you not to stop here – you should indulge in even further reading. There is tons of useful information just waiting to be found. Explore the possibilities for your business growth and – good luck!

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

      In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

      5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

      Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

      2. Keep Them Realistic

      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

      3. Account for Inflation

      Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

      Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

      4. Short Term vs Long Term

      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

      More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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      5. To Each to His Own

      The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

      It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

      By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

      11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

      • Ensuring healthy savings
      • Making smart investments

      You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

      Ensuring Healthy Savings

      Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

      1. Track Expenses

      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

      Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

      2. Pay Yourself First

      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

      The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

      Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

      Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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      Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

      4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

      Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

      If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

      Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

      All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

      5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

      Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

      Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

      If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

      If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

      So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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      6. Talk About It

      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

      Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

      7. Maintain a Journal

      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

      So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

      Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

      At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

      Making Smart Investments

      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

      8. Consult a Financial Advisor

      Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

      9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

      Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

      Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

      It is here where that classification will help.

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      So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

      10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

      Einstein once remarked about compounding,

      Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

      So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

      Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

      11. Measure, Measure, Measure

      All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

      If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

      If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

      Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

      The Bottom Line

      This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

      As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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