While many people welcomed 2021 as the year to start over fresh and recover from the difficulties of 2021, there are those who believe that the new year is just a continuation of the events of the previous year. 

To an extent these people are correct. We should anticipate a residual effect from the damage the lockdowns wrought on economies worldwide. It will take time for industries to recover and get back on track to profitability. 

And that’s the question you must ask yourself: 

“How long will it take for things to go back to normal so I can earn a regular income again?”

There’s no clear answer to that question because the new normal has made the business environment more uncertain and ambiguous. And for that reason, you should not wait and assume the new normal is just “normal”.

It’s business as usual in 2021!

Take control of your financial independence and make money this year by setting up a home-based business.

Step 1 – Come Up with a Business Idea

Here’s a question that always stirs debate – or an argument:

“Should you follow your passion or should you find a business that makes money?”

And here’s a diplomatic way to answer this question:

Find a business that makes you happy and motivated every day and has the POTENTIAL to make money in the future. 

Sometimes your passions can limit you. At the same time, becoming an entrepreneur isn’t like winning a lottery. You’re not guaranteed financial success. 

The guiding rule when starting a business is to find a product or service that creates value or gives benefits to a target market. 

Conduct preliminary research and identify products and services that are in high demand in your area. The product or service must be relevant, useful, and practical given today’s conditions. 

For example, according to Criteo, these products have been selling well since 2020:

  • Exercise Bands
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Pet Products
  • Gaming Equipment
  • Baking Items
  • Sleep/Lounge Wear
  • Shaving/Grooming Kit
  • Webcams

Should you sell these products as well? 

You could – or use the list as a basis for selling other products that are similar but cater to a specialized niche. A case in point would be to capitalize on the home gym trend and sell adjustable dumbbells or kettlebells instead of resistance bands.

Step 2 – Prepare a Business Plan

Once you’ve identified a product or service to sell, prepare a business plan. A standard business plan consists of 5 sections:

  1. The Executive Summary – Summarizes details about the ownership and the products and services to be offered.
  1. Business Overview – Discloses information about your company such as business type, office address, and contact details plus your mission statement.
  1. Products and Services – Discusses the types of products and services you’re selling and identifies factors that prove there’s market demand. 
  1. Market Analysis and Strategy – Presents an empirical, data-based analysis of market demand, a breakdown of market demographics, and outlines the strategy for attracting potential customers/end-users.
  1. Financial Projections – Includes sales projections, projected cash flow, and loss/income statements, and cash disbursement schedules.

Don’t put this off! A business plan acts as your blueprint for building your business. It keeps you on-course if you find yourself veering away because things aren’t going as planned. 

Step 3 – Register Your Business

Registering your business legitimizes your enterprise. Clients and customers prefer to deal with entities that are registered with the state and local government and have acquired the necessary permits to operate. 

Find out if your home-based business should be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a government agency such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

From there, you’ll have to acquire licenses to allow you to operate a business from home. There are 5 types of licenses that you might need for your home-based business:

  1. General Business License – Authorization to conduct business within your local jurisdiction.
  1. Professional License – Some states require certain types of home-based businesses such as a daycare center, hairstyling salon, and financial services to secure a professional license. Check with your local government office if the type of business you plan to set up at home needs a professional license. 
  1. Health and Safety Permits – If your business sells products that are flammable or if you receive clients and customers to your home, then you have to secure health and safety permits.
  1. Sign Permit – If you plan to advertise your home-based business by posting signs, you’ll first have to get the requirements from your local government. There will be guidelines on the size, location, and whether the use of lights will be allowed.
  1. Sales Tax License – The sales tax license may be part of your General Business License. If it’s not, you’ll have to secure one for your business from your local government.

Step 4 – Put up a Website

Now that your business is registered and authorized to operate – let’s get to work!

And the first order of the day is to put up a website. 

Your business license will state your residence as the address for your business. But your business address is the URL that potential clients and customers will click on when they run a search on the Internet. 

If the URL is the business address then your website is your office or retail store on the Internet. The website is where people go to:

  • Learn more about your business
  • Find out the products and services you sell
  • Read valuable content for personal information or research purposes. 
  • Field a question or address a concern
  • Buy products and services

According to a survey made by the National Retail Federation (NRF), while brick-and-mortar stores enjoyed a higher-than-expected 8.3% increase in holiday sales, online sales grew faster at 45.3% on a year-to-year basis.  

Research firm Digital Commerce 360 believes that the comparatively higher increase in sales for online retailers confirms the change in consumers’ buying behavior because of continued fears about contracting the virus. 

Therefore, to improve your chances of becoming successful, you must have a website for your home-based business.

We’ve helped many home-based businesses get started with their website. Give us a call and we’ll show you how Mountaintop Web Design can develop a website for your business that’s mobile-responsive, fast, functional, optimized for search, and very easy to use. 

Website.Protection.CustomersSafe

Step 5 – Organize Your Business

Even though your business runs from home, it still needs different departments to function properly.

Here are the 6 essential functions of a business:

  1. Accounting 
  2. Sales
  3. Marketing
  4. Human Resources
  5. Information Technology
  6. Customer Service

When you’re starting out, it might be possible to oversee these functions yourself. However, if the business starts to pick up, you’ll have less time handling these tasks in favor of running the core functions of the enterprise. 

You might want to consider outsourcing the functions to a qualified third party such as an outsourcing company, specialized freelancers, and virtual assistants. 

Outsourcing saves you money because you only pay for productive hours or actual hours worked. If you outsource to a remote location outside the United States, you can reduce costs further because the labor cost is much lower. 

Thus, by outsourcing services, you can reduce costs and increase productivity at the same time because you can allocate more hours to handling the tasks that add more dollars and cents to your business’ bank account. 

Step 6 – Build an Online Presence

To drive more traffic to your website, you have to build an online presence. Some home-based businesses open a Facebook business page plus another social media platform to widen their reach. 

A more effective way to build an online presence is to invest in Digital Marketing by hiring an experienced Digital Marketer or an agency.

Digital marketing is the process of using digital technology – Internet-based platforms and apps – to accomplish a specific goal such as to drive traffic to a website, build the brand, establish the reputation of the business as a valuable resource, or generate sales. 

The digital marketing toolbox consists of the following:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Paid Ads

An experienced Digital Marketer can send up a team to run the DM campaign. The team may consist of the following skills:

  • Digital Marketer (Project Manager)
  • Content Writer
  • Social Media Marketer
  • Graphic Designer/Artist

The Digital Marketing team can put together a campaign strategy that can help you meet your business goals. To run a successful campaign takes consistency. 

For example, you must post content on social media from Monday to Friday:

  • What type of content should you post? Will it be a blog, an infographic, curated content, or a video? 
  • Who will create the content? A 1,600-word, optimized, and well-researched blog will take approximately 4 hours to complete.
  • Who will engage with your followers?
  • Who will answer the inquiries posted on your chat support platform?

As you will see, managing a Digital Marketing campaign can take up a lot of time. We recommend outsourcing it to a qualified agency. At Mountaintop, we’ve done Digital Marketing for clients with great results. 

If you’re interested, give us a call, and let’s discuss how we can package web design services with digital marketing.

Step 7 – Set Up Your Home Office

While your website and Digital Marketing are being set up, let’s shift our focus to setting up your home office. 

Your home may be your castle – but it’s now your place of work. Similar to a castle, the home office must be fortified against distractions and enhanced for maximum productivity. 

  • Buy a new PC or laptop – Yes, you can always upgrade your computer but consider a new one an investment in your business. The PC or laptop must be dedicated to your business and not be used for anything else. 
  • Secure your Internet speed. Your bandwidth would depend on the type of business you plan to run. To give you an idea, it will take 2 minutes to download large files with 1.5mbps and only 10 seconds with 20mbps. 

If you’ll be downloading large files or regularly accessing videos, you need at least 3mbps. It would be great if you can strike a deal with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) where you can get 10-20mbps without added cost.

  • Download all the necessary software. To run a home-based business efficiently, you’ll have to download software to carry out different functions. For example, you can use Asana as a project management tool and Slack to communicate with your team. 
  • Buy ergonomic furniture. You’ll be spending most of your time in the office. You might as well make yourself comfortable. 

Ergonomic furniture is designed to reduce stress on your lower back, shoulders, neck, and joints. It can be considered an investment to keep you healthy so you can stay productive.

  • Remove all distractions. Put your mobile phone away while working. You can keep it inside a safe or locked drawer. Inform your family about your working hours so that they’ll know when they can’t disturb you. 

As much as possible, have everything you need in the office before you start working on the day’s agenda. That includes coffee, water, and healthy snacks.

You can always check up on your phone messages and your family’s needs during your intermittent breaks.

Step 8 – Network!

Regardless of the type of home-based business you’re running, networking should be a constant activity. 

Networking has many benefits that can grow your business:

  • Find clients
  • Establish connections with people who can help with different areas of your business
  • Build strategic partnerships
  • Generate important leads
  • Gain valuable knowledge from experts in various fields
  • Get first-hand information on trends, developments, and upcoming events
  • Be referred to other people or companies that need your products or services

Even if your home-based business has become successful, keep networking. You can network via social media channels such as LinkedIn and more industry-specific platforms or do it the old-fashioned way by attending trade shows, networking events, and business forums.

Step 9 – Track Your Business Performance

Last but not least, and perhaps most importantly, keep track of your performance. 

  • How is your digital marketing campaign performing?
  • Has your website received significantly more traffic?
  • Are you generating a lot of leads?
  • What is your sales conversion rate?
  • Where is the bulk of your traffic coming from?
  • What types of content are generating the highest amount of engagement? 

The advantage of managing a home-based business in the age of digital is that you can easily track performance simply by accessing data analytics from your website and social media pages. 

With analytics, you can pinpoint which strategies and processes are working or yielding the highest ROI and which ones are not. Using these numbers, you can review your budget with more certainty and determine how you should allocate your resources. 

Conclusion

Why wait for things to go back to normal when it can be business as usual? You can start earning good money in 2021 by setting up a home-based business right now.

Not only will you do yourself a favor by creating new streams of revenue but you’ll be helping other people who cannot access your products and services. 

It’s never too late to start. All you have to do is take the first step. In time and with persistence, you can have a financially rewarding career as an online entrepreneur.

Before taking that all-important first step, let your fingers do the tapping and give us a call. We can help you set up a website for your home business and get your digital marketing campaign started.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

SEO for Your Business

For many entrepreneurs, 2020 was not a great year. It will be remembered as the year a virus caused a pandemic that shut down the world and changed the way we lived and worked. 

Since 2014 there has been a steady shift toward Internet-based businesses that accommodated mobile technology. The events of 2020 accelerated the shift from 0 to 60. 

Entrepreneurs that recognized this, have invested in strategies that will capitalize on opportunities on the Internet. And one of the investments that’s expected to pay big-time dividends in 2021 is SEO.

What Is SEO And Why Is It Important In 2021?

How did you find this article?

According to a study by BrightEdge, there’s a 53.3% chance that you found our blog after running a Google search. You probably ran the following search queries on Google:

  • Invest SEO 2021
  • SEO investment 2021
  • Why invest SEO 2021
  • SEO business investment 2021
  • Why invest SEO business 2021

In comparison, paid ads and social media only accounted for 14% and 5% of all website traffic respectively.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of developing strategies that utilize various techniques and tactics with the goal of giving a website a boost up the organic search rankings. 

“Optimization” in SEO means increasing the visibility of your content to the search engines. One technique that SEO practitioners use to optimize content is by embedding it with high-ranking keywords. By optimizing your content, web crawlers can find and index your pages. 

When an Internet user launches a search query with the keywords you used to optimize your content, the search engine can pull your web page and include it in the search results page. 

Over time and with consistency in your optimization strategies, your website may find itself in the top 3 spots on the first page of the search results page. 

How important is it to rank in the top 3 of the SERP?

According to a landmark study by Digital Ad Agency Chitika, the top 3 URLs in the SERP accounts for 61.5% of all search traffic for that particular topic search. 

The number one spot accounts for 32.5%!

You can read up more about SEO in our article “The Basics of SEO”.  

Take note that the study of BrightEdge was done in 2019 – a full year away from the 2020 pandemic. 

We’re sure that if BrightEdge updated their study to reflect consumer online behavior in 2020, the numbers would be much different. 

A study by Skyword showed that organic search traffic dramatically increased last March 2020 when the world entered into lockdown. 

In particular, the following industries experienced a massive surge in online traffic:

  • Healthcare – 358%
  • Consumer Goods and Services – 83%
  • Consumer Media – 61%
  • Business Services and Consulting – 47%

Does this mean that businesses that aren’t in these industries shouldn’t expect to reap dividends from their investments in SEO?

No, because overall Internet usage has increased by 70% since the lockdown. More consumers are going online to find products and services that address their needs. 

The ballgame has changed. The playing field is now on the Internet. Are you ready to play digital ball? For sure your competition is. 

SEO Vs. Paid Ads – Which One Is Better For Your Business In 2021?

Have you met with digital advertising agencies? For those who have, some of you may have noticed that when discussing a digital marketing strategy, the agency will tend to push for paid ads over SEO. 

This is because paid ads generate quick results. If you want to drive traffic to your website immediately, PPC or Pay-Per-Click ads will do the job for you. Once someone clicks on your ad, he will find himself on your landing page. 

In contrast, SEO strategies take time because it focuses on organic or natural growth. 

Think of your content as a seed that’s planted on various locations on the Internet – website, social media, newsletters, and guest blogs. Optimization strategies will help the content take root while your content branches out to people who will recognize and appreciate the fruits it bears. 

Meanwhile, there are many reasons why a person might click on your PPC ad:

  • Need
  • Curiosity
  • Attracted by the Design
  • Accident

Compared to a blog, a video, or an infographic, the information that can be fitted on a PPC ad is very limited. He might visit your website but eventually be disinterested and just opt to log out. 

Therefore, while paid ads may generate quick results these results may not be sustainable or represent your desired outcome. 

With SEO, you’re building relationships with your audience. As you become more consistent in creating and distributing optimized content, in time, you will develop a strong reputation and encourage more consumers to trust your brand. 

While the results take time, the results are sustainable and reflect your desired outcome. 

Research firm, Conductor, performed a study on how various digital channels drove traffic to websites. The results showed that when it comes to driving inbound traffic, SEO is king.

  • Organic Search – 64%
  • Referral Visits – 15%
  • Direct Visits – 12%
  • Paid Ads – 6%
  • Social Visits – 2%

Now, let’s factor in cost. 

Cost Variables in Paid Advertising

What does a paid ad campaign look like in the age of digital?

A typical digital ad campaign will include the following strategies and processes:

  • PPC ads
  • Guest posts 
  • Blogs and vlogs by micro-influencers
  • Endorsement arrangements with macro-influencers

The cost of the PPC ad will depend on the keywords you are bidding on. Although you pay only when someone clicks on the ad,  in order to generate better results, and improve positioning, you’ll have to pay more and run the campaign longer. 

Micro-influencers are individuals with social media platforms that have followers in the upper hundreds of thousands or millions. Macro-influencers are celebrities who are willing to endorse products or services.

Arrangements with influencers can be very expensive but if you land a deal with a reputable influencer and carry out an effective campaign, then you could end up with a windfall. 

The reported ROI on influencer marketing is US$5.20 for every US$1 invested.

Conversely, land a bad arrangement, and your business could be in big trouble! 

Likewise, your consumers could be sensitive to your influencers. For the reason that the arrangement is paid, the endorsement might not be perceived as sincere. The question for you is to figure out if the cost – and risk –  is worth it. 

The Cost Variables of SEO/Organic Search Campaign

The cost of running an organic search campaign is generally lower and more manageable. To streamline costs, you can write your own blogs and utilize free online channels such as social media and search directories to distribute content. 

The objective of content marketing is to drive traffic to your website so you can capture leads, and potentially convert interest into future sales. 

The generated leads will be used for your email marketing campaign. Every month, you’ll send at least one newsletter to your subscribers. The content of these newsletters should have great value to the recipient. 

You have to factor in the cost of the email marketing service provider and of course, the cost of your giveaways to get the website visitor to surrender his email address. 

The ROI for email marketing is even higher than influencer marketing at a reported US$44 for every US$1 spent

That’s 4,400% ROI! 

For your organic search strategies to succeed and deliver the targeted results, you must consistently create high-quality, well-researched, and properly optimized content. 

To achieve this, you may have to hire the services of experienced content creators. Even if you have the experience and required training for optimized content writing, we advise you to outsource the task so you can allocate more time to managing the core functions of your business.

If you consider that organic search strategies are more affordable and generate better results than the more expensive and less sustainable paid ads, then investing in SEO is the smarter move in 2021. 

Conclusion

If you’re willing to grind it out, SEO will be one of your best investments – if not the best digital marketing investment in 2021. 

Many businesses want short-term results and allocate more resources to paid advertising. They want an immediate return and hear the cash registers ringing. That’s to be expected and understood. 

However, the results might not be sustainable, and in the long-run, you’ll end up spending more while experiencing diminishing returns. 

As a business, you want your short-term goals to support your long-term objective. SEO can do this for you by building strong relationships with your audience and customers. 

Be patient. Remain persistent. Keep pushing! 

The results will soon come!

If you’re serious about growing your business organically, give us a call. The prestigious B2B website, UpCity has recognized some of our blogs as the best in Digital Marketing and small business marketing.

Let us do the same for you!

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community.

For sure you’ve read all the stories about the number of businesses around the world that have closed down because of the economic effects of the global pandemic. 

The media tends to report more “gloom and doom” because it sells. The truth is, there were a good number of businesses that made money – even generated record-setting profits during the lockdown.

What was the common denominator among these businesses? They all invested in building an online presence and the foundation of their Internet-based model is the website. 

How The Pandemic Highlighted The Need For A Website 

If there’s a lesson that can be learned from the global pandemic that put even the world’s most powerful economies on lockdown, it’s the importance of having a presence on the Internet for your business. 

While many brick and mortar businesses closed down, those that invested in e-commerce and simple business websites continued to ring in the cash registers. 

Think about it. When you needed food and supplies delivered to your home, all you had to do was place your orders at an e-commerce website or arrange for home delivery via a courier app. 

And when economies opened – it didn’t change anything. 

Many people still preferred to stay at home to work or run errands through the Internet. People discovered that working from home was not just more convenient – it was also more productive.

Of course, the threat of getting infected remains real. More so now that the virus has mutated into 2 strains as of this writing: the United Kingdom and South African variants.

The combination of these factors has led to a surge in online spending. Here‘s a shortlist of countries that experienced an increase in e-commerce transactions at the time of the new normal:

  • United States – 18%
  • Russia – 45%
  • Brazil – 66%
  • Mexico – 79%

Analysts expect a significant increase in the volume of online traffic in the United States as the rate of infections continues to climb. 

If you don’t have a website, the good news is – it’s not too late to set up one for your business. Consumer behavior has changed. Your business has to accommodate changes in consumer behavior to survive the new normal.

10 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs A Website In 2021

A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management COVID-19 response revealed the following results on how the pandemic has changed the business environment:

  • 43% of respondents started to rethink their business strategies.
  • 32% of respondents focused on finding new ways to deliver products and services.
  • 22% of respondents have asked their employees to learn new skills that are transferable to the business.

Having a website ticks off all the boxes. 

It’s a new business strategy that gives you another avenue for delivering products and services to your customers and generate income. To maximize the benefits of having a website, you’ll have to learn new skills such as SEO, Social Media Marketing, email marketing, and content writing.

Sure, engaging in social media marketing is great for promoting your business. However, when it comes to running an online business, the website should be the cornerstone of your strategy.

Here are 10 reasons why your small business should have a website in 2021.

1. Hedge Your Business Versus Uncertainty

The threat of a lockdown is still there despite the availability of vaccines. The virus can still mutate and more study needs to be done on the effectiveness of the vaccines that are currently being used. 

If you don’t have a website, what will you do if another lockdown happens because COVID-19 mutated into a deadlier, more infectious strain? 

With a website, your business is protected versus uncertainty. If another lockdown is mandated by the government, you can get a good night’s sleep knowing that your business has another address on the Internet. 

2. Keep Your Business Open 24/7

The mall and commercial office spaces have closing hours. The Internet doesn’t. Long after you’ve locked up the doors of your establishment, your website remains open to attend to the needs of your customers. 

Your website can still accept and process orders for your merchandise. Are you a consultant or a service provider? Your potential customers can still book appointments on your website. 

Lockdowns, weekends, and holidays won’t matter either because your website will remain open 24/7. 

If customers place their orders on a Sunday, you’re already assured of business on Monday. All you have to do is to deliver the goods first thing Monday morning!

3. Accommodate the Needs of Your Customers

According to a study conducted by Omdia, Internet usage has increased by 70% since the pandemic. Omdia which is the research arm of Informa Tech believes that the surge in Internet usage is clear proof that consumer behavior has changed.

Consumers preferring to transact online is no longer a trend – it’s the current reality. 

And having a website is not only for people who want to buy. People have different reasons for clicking on a URL:

  • Request for customer assistance or support
  • Learn more about the company
  • Read your blogs
  • Research relevant information to address a specific need
  • Find out the products and services that you offer
  • Conduct competitor research
  • Find out the location of your store(s)
  • Find out your contact information

A website will make work and life easier for your customer. It will accommodate the changing behavior of consumers. 

4. Competition Has Gone Online

With so many businesses closing down, you might think there’s less competition. On the contrary, competition has become tighter. 

Customers have become more discerning about their choices in order to get more value out of their money. You’ll need to have every advantage over your competitor. And if you don’t have a website, your competitors have a big advantage over you!

Given the increased amount of time spent by consumers online, you can be assured that more small businesses are realigning their budgets to fund their websites. 

Your potential end-users are all searching for information on the Internet from their mobile devices. If you don’t have a URL, you’ll never be found. 

5. Level the Playing Field With the Big Boys

The Big Boys in Business – Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba – all made money during the pandemic. Likewise, other big companies that were in struggling industries such as Fender and Gibson guitars, earned record-setting revenues. 

They survived and made money because the Big Boys invested in e-commerce websites. Their customers were able to place orders safely and conveniently from their homes while on lockdown. 

A website will level the playing field with the Big Boys. If you’re a retailer of guitars but your products are priced competitively, you might drive customers away from Fender and toward your e-commerce website. 

If you’re a retailer of consumer goods and electronics of the same brands sold by Walmart or Amazon but have a wider selection of budget brands, more people may prefer to do business with you. 

Keep in mind that with the continued innovations in digital technology, more consumers will be dependent on their mobile devices to conduct research before purchasing. 

It’s no longer automatic for the Big Boys to generate a sale. In the end, consumers want more value for their money.

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6. Capitalize on Opportunities

Think about this scenario.

You’re in the business of making homemade jam, jellies, honey, and condiments that are sourced from local, indigenous materials. Someone comes across your website and sends you an inquiry – if you can export to the European market. 

These are opportunities that happen every day on the Internet because the businesses are discovered through their website. 

When you’re operating 24/7 in a market where close to 5 Billion people are constantly searching for information, engaging with businesses, and sharing opinions, opportunities will always exist. 

7. Find New Customers

If your business is located inside a mall or a commercial building, the bulk of your market will consist of consumers residing within a 5-mile radius. 

But if you’re on the Internet, there are no jurisdictions to worry about. Any consumer or business that has access to the Internet and has a need for your products and services can become your new customer.

On the  Internet, there are no barriers or walls or closing hours. Your marketing efforts will not be limited to a locality. Your digital marketing campaigns can reach a wider audience. 

You can reach customers who have not heard of your products. If they like what they’ve read or heard about your products, you have the potential of creating new customers in different markets. 

8. Professionalize Your Business

If you think having social media pages is enough to properly represent your business, the majority of your customers will disagree with you.

A survey by Verisign showed that 84% of consumers shared the opinion that a business with a website is more credible than a business with just social media. 

A website is a one-stop-shop for consumers who want to know more about your business and the products or services that you offer. The standard website has 5 web pages with each one having a specific function.

  • Home – Contains the Brand Value Proposition; “Why we offer the best solutions for your needs/concerns/problems”
  • About Us – Gives the visitor unique insights about the people behind the company; builds familiarity and confidence that there are real people running the business.
  • Products and Services – A virtual showroom of the products and services offered by the company. 
  • Blog – Provides the visitor with fresh, unique, and engaging content developed to highlight the expertise and value of the company.
  • Contact Us – Provides all the information needed to reach out and connect with the company. Your website will be fitted with buttons that can improve sales conversion and generate valuable leads you can use email marketing:
  • CTA Button – What do you want the visitor to do? “Buy Now – Click Here!”
  • Sign Up Button – Capture leads by enticing visitors to sign up for monthly newsletters in exchange for their email addresses. 
  • Social Sharing Buttons – Make it easier for site visitors to share your blogs on their social media pages.

9. Increase Customer Engagement

A website can also be used to increase customer engagement. Oftentimes, a customer might visit a website to address a particular issue. 

The customer will go to the “Contact Us” page which provides him with various means to get in touch with the company:

  • Phone Number
  • Fill-Out Form
  • Email Address
  • Chat Support

With a website, customers no longer have to be “put on hold”. They have different ways to relay their problem or concern.  If both phone and chat support have a queue, the customer can opt to send an email or fill out a form.

This is a great way of mollifying an irate customer! 

The next step is to address the concern within 24 to 48 hours. Even if you can’t arrive at a resolution, at the very least keep the customer informed and updated.

 10. Support Your Brick-and-Mortar Business

Another way to view the website is that it’s like having a second branch of your brick-and-mortar business. Only this time, it’s located on the Internet and not inside a commercial establishment. 

With a website, you have a second source of revenue. Customers who are located far from your business will have the option of buying online rather than be inconvenienced by the long drive. 

Your business website will remain open whether it’s snowing hard outside or if your city is experiencing inclement weather. 

In fact, if weather conditions are too risky to go out, you can keep your brick-and-mortar store closed and just direct customers to your website via multiple high traffic social media channels.

Conclusion

We can all agree on one thing.

Business today is more uncertain than ever. 

When faced with uncertainty, you need to have more options. A website will give your business multiple options that you can use to overcome the various challenges coming your way.

If there’s another lockdown or if people continue to prefer working from home, your website will give them the most convenient and easiest way to reach you. On your part, you continue to generate income for your business.

Promote your products via social media but give your followers a venue they can visit to learn more about your business – the website – where you can generate leads, build an audience, and potentially convert interest into sales. 

Assure your customers that you’re concerned about their satisfaction and value their opinions by creating multiple points of contact between you and them through your website. 

If 2020 was a disappointing year for you, let 2021 be the turnaround year. 

Get a website for your business right now!

Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll set up a mobile-responsive and optimized website for your business. We can do different types of websites to suit your business needs. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

Many people couldn’t wait for the year 2020 to be over. 2021 seemed like a breath of fresh air; as if everyone had woken up after the nightmare that was 2020. The reality is January 1, 2021, was just 24 hours removed from December 31, 2020. The situation has not changed. The world is still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic. And it’s for that reason, that 2021 is a good – no, great year – to start a business. 

From Pandemic To Endemic?

Toward the end of 2020, pharmaceutical companies were scrambling to have their proprietary vaccines available in the market. The vaccines represent some measure of hope that life could go back to normal once people are inoculated. 

However, early reports from scientists appear to hint that there’s no going back to the “Old Normal”. 

Even after you’ve been vaccinated, you still have to wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and observe good hygiene when in public places. Offices will not run in full capacity. The threat of lockdowns will always be there. 

Scientists from the UK believe the pandemic will eventually become endemic or a part of life much like the flu.  

If the new normal will just become “The Normal” – then there’s no reason to stop and not pursue your dream of starting a business. You will just have to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior. 

People will continue to have needs. And consumer needs will open up new markets of opportunity. 

Our Fearless Forecast For 2021

“In the midst of every great crisis, lies great opportunity.”

  • Albert Einstein

The lockdowns that ensued after the COVID-19 spread was declared a global pandemic triggered recessions all over the world. Several businesses closed down and never recovered after the economy reopened. Billions of people around the world lost their jobs. 

As we discussed earlier, having the vaccines available will not significantly change how we live or work. Life, as we knew it in the New Normal, will continue. 

And so should your pursuit of your entrepreneurial dreams!

Rather than give up or wait for a more opportune time – we recommend integrating digital technology into your business model. 

The importance of a business having a digital component was highlighted by the pandemic. The businesses that survived and even thrived during the lockdown period were the ones that already had digital systems in place and an online presence. 

Businesses going digital is a phenomenon that won’t stop anytime soon – not in the next 4-5 years. The world was trending toward digital as far back as 2015, the pandemic just accelerated it. 

Digital is the way to go and it forms the backbone of our fearless forecasts for 2021:

1. Greater Demand for Mobile Responsive Websites

Mobile devices accounted for 60% of online traffic in 2014. Yet, as of 2019, only 36% of small businesses had a website. 

We believe there will be greater demand for mobile responsive websites because the pandemic has significantly changed the online behavior of consumers.

A report from Statista on the effects of the pandemic on online traffic revealed the following:

  • A month-to-month increase in online traffic of 7%.
  • An 8.3% increase in the number of online transactions.
  • A 1% increase in the number of sales conversions.

The numbers may not sound impressive – but take note – this is on a global scale. A 1% increase in sales conversions could mean billions of dollars for a country. 

The data was corroborated by the following tech companies that experienced increases in usage:

  • Verizon – 75%
  • T-Mobile – 45%
  • Facebook – 70%
  • Marqeta – 82%

The website is your business address on the Internet. That’s where people will go to find your products and services. The website becomes your one-stop destination for people who are looking for information and solutions. 

But it has to be mobile-responsive. If you don’t have one or if your current website is not mobile-responsive, give us a call and we’ll get you started.

2. Digital Marketing Will Be the Difference-Maker

A study by global advisory company FTI Consulting Incorporated estimated that U.S. e-commerce retail enjoyed a US$71 Billion windfall in 2020 as more consumers shifted toward Internet-based shopping. 

Of course, the shift in shopping behavior was greatly influenced by fears of contracting COVID-19. 

We expect the upward trend to continue as COVID-19 remains a health concern for consumers over the next few years. 

With more businesses expected to integrate Internet-based systems, the battle for market share may come down to which company has a more effective digital marketing strategy. 

The reason for the strong shift toward digital marketing is the process’s ability to target an audience. With targeted marketing, you’re able to maximize your budget by attracting segments with the highest probability of buying your products and services.

Digital marketing also provides you with analytics – real-time data that measures how your strategies are working. Through analytics, you can identify the strategies that are delivering consistent results so you can allocate more resources and maximize the return on investment. 

When COVID-19 hit, many businesses cut down budgets for paid advertising and traditional marketing strategies such as TV ads and print ads.  

As the economy slowly opens up to life under the new normal, businesses will prefer to utilize more cost-effective processes such as Digital Marketing. This viewpoint is echoed by the consulting agency, Kantar. 

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3. Demand for e-Commerce Services and Apps Will Increase

As we mentioned in the previous section, the U.S. e-commerce industry benefited from the lockdown measures. 

In our opinion, the availability of the vaccine will not significantly affect the upward trajectory of the e-commerce industry. There might be a slowdown but consumers have adapted to the home-based lifestyle. 

The continued increase in the number of mobile users, as well as patronage for mobile services, supports our contention that demand for e-commerce platforms and apps will grow over the next few years.

Sensor Tower, an app intelligence and data collection company forecast that global spending for apps will hit US$171 Billion in 2024 or more than twice the US$85 Billion spent on apps in 2019 – worldwide.

What this tells us is that businesses are evolving and adapting to COVID-19 by using digital technology as its new environment.

4. The Freelance Economy Will Boom

Offices and businesses are slowly opening for business and this has given people some semblance of normalcy. However, it’s still widely mandated for offices and businesses to observe social distancing by operating their physical locations at only 30% capacity.

Businesses cannot function properly with manpower down to only 30%. The best option has been for businesses to tap into the freelance economy – remote workers who are contracted to manage select tasks and functions. 

Freelancers are individuals who have decided to monetize their specific skill sets by offering their services to companies that prefer to hire talent on a contractual basis or those who are amenable to flexible scheduling. 

Under a contractual work or flexible scheduling arrangement, companies can reduce labor costs and increase productive hours. 

A report by the largest online freelance platform, UpWork, confirmed that many businesses have recognized the value of freelancers. 

According to UpWork, the freelancers contributed US$1.2 Trillion to the U.S. economy during the pandemic. The demand for freelancers has led to more young, qualified, and highly-skilled professionals changing careers from 9-to-5 office workers to remote workers. 

Hiring freelancers isn’t the only remote option for businesses. 

You can set up your own team of remote workers composed of your current employees. Instead of calling them freelancers, office employees who work from home are called telecommuters. 

The advantage of setting up a telecommuting arrangement in your company is that you don’t have to spend time and resources training them. 

As current employees, they know their job and have already been indoctrinated into your company culture. Generally, employees are happier working from home and are more productive. 

5. Products and Services That Improve Home Life Will Be in Demand

Now that many people work from home, they want to make sure the environment is conducive for productivity. Since they’re spending more time at home, they start to notice things that could affect work from home lifestyle. 

For example, pests. 

If the home is infested with pests such as cockroaches, ants, flies, and mosquitos it makes working from home very difficult. Of course, disinfection remains a top priority. If you frequently receive guests, you want to be sure your home is COVID-19 free when they leave. 

For these reasons, the pest control and disinfection industry have been booming since the lockdowns. More homes – and offices – are having their areas disinfected and sanitized by professional service providers. 

Delivery services will continue to thrive over the next few years as people remain wary of their safety. Expect more food retailers and supermarkets to invest heavily in arranging for home delivery services.

Conclusion – How To Approach Business Planning For 2021

Our fearless forecast for 2021 didn’t just give you a snapshot of what we believe are business trends this year. We presented business ideas where there might be opportunities for you to start an enterprise. 

The global pandemic changed life and work as we know it. To survive, you have to acknowledge that despite the promise of a vaccine, the future still remains uncertain. To thrive, you have to change your perspective about uncertainty. 

Instead of viewing uncertainty as risky, view it as an opportunity. After all, there’s no such business that carries no risk. 

How should you approach business planning for 2021?

  • Conduct Research. In addition to our inputs, conduct research and try to uncover other trends that are developing at the time of the new normal.
  • Learn To Work Past Your Comfort Zone. If the idea of running an online or Internet-based business makes you feel uncomfortable, you’re not alone. But you have to work past your comfort zone because digital is the current reality. Build up your knowledge about technology and test a number of apps that you can use for your business.
  • Measure Risk and Reward. Truthfully, there’s no difference between business planning for an online model and a brick-and-mortar model. You still have to measure the risks and the rewards to come up with courses of action and entry/exit strategies. 
  • Be Open to Outsourcing. As your business grows, you’ll have to scale up in order to accommodate increasing demand. The best option for online businesses is to outsource work to remote employees such as freelancers and virtual assistants. For sure, you’ll save more money but you have to take time when it comes to selecting and hiring remote talent. 

Let’s move past calling the time we live in as the “new normal” and just accept it as the normal. There will always be opportunities for you to capitalize on. Having a fresh perspective on the present will help you build a successful future. 

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For many, the New Year brings forth a clean slate and fresh hope that the next 365 days will bring more success and prosperity. People begin the year by cleaning their homes; removing clutter, throwing out useless “stuff”, and organizing the different areas. Likewise, your WordPress database needs to be cleaned up of clutter, useless stuff, and have its files organized so that it can perform optimally for the next 365 days.

Over the course of the previous year, your WordPress website has seen plenty of activity. It may have undergone site revisions, received spam comments, saved drafts, and stored data from old plugins, trackbacks, and pingbacks. Removing all of this clutter will free up space in your database and allow your website to run faster.

WordPress highly recommends that you frequently clean up your WordPress database to ensure top-level performance and user experience. And cleaning up your WP database might be easier than cleaning out your home!

What Should You Clean Up On Your WordPress Database?

Before we get into the specifics of how to clean up your database, we recommend that you first backup your website. Yes, cleaning up the WordPress database is easy but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You want to have peace of mind just in case anything goes wrong during the process.

If you’re thinking “Oh, no! I don’t know how to backup my website!” 

Don’t worry as we’ve got you covered!

There are many WordPress plug-ins that you can use to backup your website. Once installed, the plug-in will run the backup for you. 

Here are 5 plug-ins that we highly recommend:

If you want to learn more about how and why you should backup your WordPress website, you can read our article “How Often Should You Backup Your WordPress Website?”

Once you’ve successfully backed up your WordPress website, what items should be cleaned out of your databases? 

  1. Data from old plug-ins – One of the key procedures to protect your website from cyber-attacks is to remove unused plug-ins. However, after you’ve removed them, some data might be left over. Make sure your database is 100% cleaned of the plug-in files and data. 
  1. Data from old posts – You’ll have data leftover from posts you made in the past. These can be found at the wp_postmeta table.
  1. Spam comments – When your website is popular and has elicited a high-level of engagement, there are some people who will use the comments section to put links to other websites. This is an unethical practice that Google frowns upon. Likewise, visitors will be turned off by spam comments that take them to spurious websites. 
  1. Unapproved comments – Unapproved comments are types of content posted by commenters that may be deemed inappropriate. For web pages where comments don’t require approval, having these comments visible to everyone might affect your reputation. Likewise, unapproved comments can invite spammy links to your website and compromise your SEO strategy. 
  1. Unused tags – We discussed the value of attaching tags to your content. Over the course of publishing content, there may have been instances where you changed your mind and replaced the tag. There will be leftover data that could be removed.
  1. Transients – WordPress, as well as some apps, have a feature that allows you to temporarily store cached data in your website’s database for a specified time frame and under a filename. This type of data is called a transient and takes up a lot of storage space. Once transients have accumulated, they will significantly slow down your website. 

What Plug-Ins Can You Use To Clean Up Your WordPress Database?

Similar to backing up your website, there are plug-ins that you can install to make it easier for you to clean up its database.

Here are 3 of the WordPress plug-ins we recommend for cleaning up the database of your website. These plug-ins are free. We’ve used them on our clients’ websites and can attest to their effectiveness.

1. WP-Rocket

WP-Rocket is one of the most popular cache plug-ins in the market. We use WP-Rocket extensively with our clients because it’s also a terrific optimization tool. 

It’s a no-fuss, plug-in with many amazing features that are designed to help your website perform better. 

WP-Rocket sets up easily on your website. No need to configure. All you have to do is to activate the plug-in so it can go to work right away. 

Its interface is very intuitive that beginners will easily see the sections they need to cleanout. WP-Rocket also allows you to schedule database cleanups. Choose your preferred frequency – daily, weekly, or monthly – and WP-Rocket will clean up your databases automatically.

2. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize has been downloaded more than 600,000 times for one reason: it does the job of cleaning up your WordPress website perfectly! WP-Optimize also enables you to compress images to free up memory and improve website speed. 

Another wonderful feature of WP-Optimize that gives your website’s speed a boost is the ability to cache your web pages. Caching stores memory-heavy data in a temporary file that your site visitors can access anytime. 

You can read more about caching in our article “What Is Caching And Why It’s Important For Your Website”.

WP-Optimize makes it easy for you to clean up your database. Its Table Information section shows you all the databases and their respective sizes. There are plenty of cleaning options to choose from. To activate, simply click “Run Optimization”.

Similar to WP-Rocket, you can schedule the automatic clean up of your databases with WP-Optimize.

3. WP-Sweep

WP-Sweep is a plug-in that is fast gaining users largely because it was created by Lester Chan, a highly respected WordPress developer. 

And Mr. Chan’s plug-in delivers the goods!

Like WP-Rocket and WP-Optimize, WP-Sweep is very easy to use. It only uses a single button “Sweep All”  to clean out the following items:

  • Transients
  • Post revisions
  • Spam comments
  • Unapproved comments
  • Auto-drafts
  • Unused terms
  • Duplicate metadata

Of course, you can be more selective and click “Sweep” beside the item you want to be removed.

Conclusion

How often should you clean up your WordPress website?

The schedule of cleaning would depend on the size of your website and its level of activity. 

If you are consistently uploading content, updating features, and if your website is enjoying plenty of traffic plus high engagement, you should clean up your databases more frequently. 

A good rule of thumb for busy websites would be to run cleanup activities once-a-month.

The key takeaway is that websites over time accumulate clutter and must be cleaned up to maintain speed, improve performance, and ensure functionality.

Your best option to keep your website healthy and running at optimal levels is to sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress Care Plans and allow us to do everything for you! 

With Extreme WordPress Care Plans, you can sleep soundly knowing that your website is being watched by a team of experts. 

We’ll run the updates, initiate backup and cleanup activities for you as well as keep your website protected from hackers. If you want to learn more about our Extreme WordPress Care Plans give us a call. 

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community.

Once you’ve set up a website, the next step is to drive traffic through digital marketing. We can assure you with 100% certainty that a strategic, well-thought-out digital marketing campaign WILL bring people to your website. The bigger problem is when people land on your website, what would you want them to do?

Entrepreneurs are often so focused on blogs, videos, and images as the primary forms of content that they overlook one essential element of web copy – a button that can deliver the desired results. 

This button is called the Call-to-Action (CTA) button; a key feature of your website that tells the visitor what you want them to do upon landing on the page. 

The CTA button is small in size and does not occupy a lot of real estate on your website. But when properly designed and located, the CTA button can yield big results for your business.

Call-To-Action: What Is It Really?

A Call-to-Action is a command, instruction, or a specific course of action that you want the audience to take. On a website, the CTA is typically presented as a button, usually on the home page which is the landing page when someone clicks on its URL. 

In website design, all the elements of a webpage must work together. For a home page, the Header carries the business’ Brand Value Proposition (BVP). 

As we discussed in our article “One Simple Hack to Get More Website Engagement”, a Header that captures the interest of the visitor within 6 to 8 seconds is critical to cause the visitor to explore your website.

He may scroll down and find your CTA button. The next few seconds will determine if the visitor will move further down the sales funnel – or abandon the search and click out of your website.

The CTA button must answer this question:

“What do you want the visitor to do NOW?”

Why You Need A Clear-Cut CTA On Your Website

Let’s assume you’re really hungry and badly craving a burger and fries. You enter a restaurant with a slogan (think of it as the website Header) of serving the biggest, juiciest burgers in the world. 

When you enter the restaurant, you have no clue where to sit and how to order. No one’s attending to you and there are no signs on the entrance detailing the next steps. 

With your stomach grumbling, chances are, you’ll forego the biggest and juiciest burgers in the world and just opt for the regular, fast-food burger next door – perhaps 2 or 3 orders this time!

A vague, lackluster, and drab CTA will have the same effect on a potential customer who lands on your home page.

We defined CTA as a form of command or instruction and these descriptions might seem too forceful or aggressive. But an effective CTA is one that is crystal clear; there’s no second-guessing on the action you want the website visitor to take. 

With a consumer needing only a few seconds to make a decision, you can’t afford to be cute with your CTA. It has to grab the visitor by the collar, get in his face, and tell him with absolute certainty what he needs to do next. 

If your CTA is unclear and leaves the website visitor wondering what he’s supposed to do next, he will leave and you will end up leaving money on the home page. 

Examples Of Good And Bad CTAs

Let’s start out this section by giving you examples of CTAs that won’t get the job done for your website:

  • Learn More
  • Get Started
  • Ask Me How
  • Take Part in the Journey
  • Click to Believe

These CTAs will fail to deliver because they’re ambiguous to the visitor. It’s not clear how taking the action will help the visitor find the solution to his concern. The CTA does not convince the visitor that you’re the answer. 

A CTA might as well be called Compel to Action because that’s what you want the button to do – act or move according to your command.

Why? Because by following the instruction of the CTA, the visitor will find what he’s looking for. Whether it’s solutions, answers, or information – by clicking on your CTA button, he will get it.

Here are 10 examples of effective CTAs that will compel the visitor to act:

  • Buy Now
  • Book an Appointment
  • Sign Up For Free
  • Get 1 Month Free NOW
  • Click for FREE Access
  • Click for FREE Consultation
  • Get Free Estimate Now
  • Download Free Copy
  • Claim Your Free Gift
  • Click For BIG Discounts

When you go over these examples, the CTAs are crystal clear on what they want you to do.

How do these CTAs work or deliver results for your website?

Example 1: A Pharmaceutical Company that sells insecticides and disinfectant products engineered to kill mosquitos, cockroaches, other insects, and green chemicals proven to destroy a wide spectrum of bacteria and viruses.

Header: Keeping Homes and Offices Safe From Diseases, Bacteria, and Viruses For Over 50 Years.

CTA: Buy Now

Example 2: A roof repair company with extensive experience fixing leaks and other forms of damage.

Header: One-Stop Shop For All Your Roofing Needs

CTA: Book An Appointment

As you can see, the CTA is aligned with the Header and the company’s overall value proposition. It answers the question:

“What can we do for you?”

Answer – Click our CTA!

6 Rules For Creating A Good CTA For Your Website

Creating a CTA that works wonders for your website is not as hard as you might think. Here are 6 rules you need to keep in mind when coming up with a good CTA for your website.

1. Support the Header

Yes, we’ve mentioned this quite a few times in this article. But it’s worth stating again the importance of having a CTA that clearly aligns with your Header. The CTA must help push the visitor further down the sales funnel.

2. Be Bold and Clear

A General isn’t vague when he gives the Private an order to “drop 10”. The Private has to drop down right away and knock out a set of 10 push-ups. 

With the CTA you have to be bold and tell the visitor what you want him to do. Buy, sign up, try, subscribe, claim, or download – be clear in telling the visitor what he needs to do next.

3. Make it Emphatic

Assume that the visitor who landed on your page wants a solution NOW. He clicked on the right URL, it’s up to your CTA to push him to act by creating a sense of urgency. 

4. Keep it Short

If you noticed from our examples of good CTAs, the maximum word count is 4. Can you go over? Sure, but it should not compromise the effectiveness of the 3 previously discussed tips for a good CTA. Too many words and the message can get lost. 

5. Visually Appealing Design

The CTA should stand out on the webpage. Ideally, it must be brightly-colored and creates a wonderful contrast with the background. 

6. Location Must Be Visible

The CTA usually comes after the Header. It must be clearly seen and easily identifiable to the reader. The font size must be large enough to be visible with enough spacing between the words to make it highly-readable.

Conclusion

If your website isn’t delivering results, the CTA could be the problem. We recommend to our clients that they run A/B testing among possible CTAs to have an idea which one has the best chance of generating the desired outcome. 

The CTA accentuates your sales pitch to the visitor. Take your time in coming up with one for your website. 

Better yet, give us a call and we’ll create a CTA that will meet your business goals. We’ll run the A/B tests so we can assure you that our CTA is the right choice for your website.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

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WordPress plugins allow you to improve the performance and functionality of your website. As digital technology continues to evolve and as more people rely on the Internet to access information, your website has to keep pace with demand and higher online activity. 

This is especially true in the time of the New Normal where businesses have migrated their operations online and people prefer to work from home. 

Why You Have To Update Your WordPress Plugins

WordPress has become the most popular website platform and Content Management System not only because of its ease of use but also because it has thousands of plugins to choose from. 

The plugins have different functions and are frequently updated and improved upon to assure your website of better performance. 

However, you have to make sure that your website’s plugins are always updated not just to maintain top-level functionality but also to ensure site security. Outdated plugins are among the favorite points of entry of malicious software.  

How To Update Your WordPress Plugins

Before anything else, make sure you have a recent backup of your website. Having a backup of your website acts as insurance in case something breaks during an update. When a break occurs, your web page won’t load.

If this happens, all you have to do is restore the backup without the need to inactivate the individual one.

Also, check the website for issues. It’s best to know if there is an issue BEFORE you update, rather than thinking the issue was caused by your update. Run a quick website audit and look for anything that’s broken or not functioning properly. 

In fact, before even updating your plugins, find out if the latest version of your WordPress website is available. Once you’ve updated the WordPress website version, clear the website cache. 

Now, let’s find out how to update the plugins on your WordPress website.

WordPress makes it easy for you to update your plugins. In the first place, WordPress has a built-in system that automatically checks your website for plugins that need to be updated. 

Once WordPress has identified the outdated plugins, the system will send you notifications. In addition to the plugins, WordPress will also inform you if the themes and core software need to be updated.

However, if the plugin is not available at WordPress.org, WordPress will not be able to automatically update your website’s plugins. Thus, it might be better to use WordPress’s “One-Click Method” for updating plugins. 

This is quite easy to do! Simply follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Open the Administration Panel.
  2. Click “Updates”.
  3. You will see the plugins that have updates available.
  4. Select the plugins that you want to update.
  5. Click “Update Plugins”.

For bulk updates, click “Select All” then click “Update Plugins”. Likewise, you can update the themes on this page. 

Mountaintop Tip #1: Although the bulk update option is available, we recommend updating each plugin one at a time.

You also have the option to manually update your WordPress plugins:

  1. Go to your Dashboard.
  2. Click “Updates”.
  3. If there are updates available, the WordPress admin bar will present the notifications on the plugins menu.
  4. Click “Plugins” to head over to the “Plugins” page.
  5. Select the plugins that you want to update. 
  6. Click “Update Now”.

Mountaintop Tip #2:  Make sure there are no prompts to finish updating plugins. Also, clean up spam comments and optimize the database. Finally, if the feature is available, clear the website cache.

What happens if the updated plugin causes functionality problems or has defective features?

If you’re not happy with how the plugin is performing, you can deactivate it:

  1. Go to your Dashboard.
  2. Click “Plugins”.
  3. Choose the defective plugin.
  4. Click “Deactivate”.

With the possibility of having to deal with defective plugins, you might want to download the WP-Rollback plugin on your website. 

The WP-Rollback plugin will allow you to revert to the previous version of the plugin that you just deactivated. 

After deactivating the plugin, go back to the “Plugins” page and find the plugin you deactivated. When WP-Rollback is available, you will see “Rollback” as one of the options underneath the deactivated plugin. 

Click on “Rollback” to activate the previous version of the deactivated plugin. 

Mountaintop Tip #3: Check the front end of the website one final time for any issues.

Conclusion

There you have it! Now, you can update your WordPress plugins like a professional! By following the simple steps that we discussed, you can be more assured of your website’s performance and security. 

As you have just read, updating the plugins on your WordPress website is easy enough. WordPress regularly updates its plugins. So if you don’t get frequent notifications on available updates, run a manual check on your website. 

For better results, perform a website check, and if available, update your WordPress website to its latest version before updating the WordPress plugins. Keep the “Mountaintop Tips” in mind to assure you of a safe and successful update of your plugins. 

To be sure, allow us to do an audit on your website. Give us a call or an email and we’ll attend to you right away!

Better still – sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress Care Plans. We can perform all the updates for you and keep your website protected from cyber-attacks while you sleep.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community. 

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One reason why WordPress has become the most popular website development and content management platform is the sheer number of plug-ins available for you to choose from. 

More than 55,000 plug-ins! 

With so much to choose from, how would you know which plug-ins will work best for your website and help you achieve your business goals?

What Is A Plug-In?

A plug-in is a software program that is designed and developed to carry out specific functions, improve the performance of your website, or add features to your website’s current program. 

Plug-ins are written using the PHP language and are easily integrated into WordPress. 

You don’t need an IT professional to install a plug-in. The good people at WordPress saw to it that those without knowledge of coding can add plug-ins on their own. 

The reason for this is that most WordPress plug-ins are for free and are not covered by Tech Support. As long as you are the administrator of your website, you can install a plug-in.

Plug-ins are important because they allow you to improve the functionality and performance of your website. As we like to tell our clients at Mountaintop, “Whatever your business needs, there is a WordPress plug-in for it.”

Do you want to add contact forms? Are you looking to speed up your website? Is an e-commerce portal something you’re considering for your business? 

There is a WordPress plug-in for that!

What Are The Best WordPress Plug-Ins For Your Business?

1. Yoast SEO

You can have the most beautiful website on the Internet with content written by award-winning writers but unless your website is optimized for search, no one will find it. 

Yoast SEO is perhaps the most popular plug-in for optimizing your website. What can Yoast SEO do to help give your search ranking a boost? 

  • Enhance your brand building strategies by providing you with the best templates for title and meta descriptions.
  • Take advantage of Yoast SEO’s innovative Schema implementation which helps search engines understand your website and improve your chances to contend for the high volume search results.
  • Access to tools that improve the searchability of your content such as SEO analysis and Readability analysis.
  • Use Yoast SEO’s Snippet Preview to get a peek into how your page will appear in the search results.

And much more!

Yoast SEO is like a do-it-all plug-in for your website. In addition to optimization, Yoast SEO has features that allow you to manage your website and ensure it can perform at its best all the time.

2. Ninja Forms

The great thing about having a website is that it can do everything for your business. 

If a prospective customer wants to find out more about your products and services, he can simply fill out an inquiry form.

If someone wants to attend a seminar you are hosting, he can sign up via your website’s event registration form.

These are the advantages of having forms on your website. And one of the best plug-ins to use is Ninja Forms. 

How good is Ninja Forms? It has been downloaded more than 11,000,000 times!

3. WooCommerce

So you started out with a standard business website but have decided to sell some products. Should you pay for a new e-commerce website?

No need! All you have to do is download the WooCommerce plug-in!

WooCommerce is an e-commerce plug-in that has been designed and developed for WordPress. This amazing plug-in is fully customizable to fit the needs of your business. 

WooCommerce is fast and easy to set up. Within minutes, you can have an e-commerce feature with payment and shipping options that are 100% safe and easy to use.

If you plan to use WooCommerce on your website, you will be in good company! WooCommerce is used by Google, PayPal, MailChimp, and Facebook among other big-name companies. 

4. OptinMonster

Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for converting interest into paying customers. According to a study by eMarketer, the average ROI on email marketing is 122%.

With these in mind, you should have email marketing as part of your digital marketing toolbox. One of the best plug-ins to optimize your email marketing strategy is OptinMonster. 

OptinMonster will provide your site with high-performing and easily customizable opt-in forms that allow you to target specific segments of your audience. 

Are potential customers abandoning their shopping carts at your e-commerce site? Don’t worry! OptinMonster can convert the visitors who abandoned their carts into email subscribers.

5. Updraft Plus

Part of your website’s security and protection protocols should be an automatic backup of your assets. Without backup, if your website gets hijacked by cyber-criminals, your assets will be hard to retrieve. 

Updraft Plus is one of the most popularly downloaded plug-ins for WordPress because it triggers an automatic backup of your system. You can keep your assets safe in secured sites such as DropBox, Google Drive, or Rackspace.

If your website goes down, you can easily get it back on the Internet because your assets have been held safe and secure. 

WordPress Security 

The next 2 plug-ins – WordFence and iThemes Security – are some of the best security plug-ins you can install on your website. 

We have written about WordFence in our article “Why You Need WordFence For Your WordPress Website.” 

For its part, iThemes Security has a lot of security features that can protect your website from different forms of cyber-attacks.

6. WordFence

We cannot understate the importance of security for your website. It’s estimated cyber-criminals launch 30,000 attacks every day. Because WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Internet, it’s a safe bet these attacks are centered on WordPress websites.

One of the best security plug-ins for WordPress is WordFence which functions as a malware scanner and firewall. The app is designed by Defiant.

The objective of Defiant in developing WordFence was to address cyber-attacks that were coursed through flaws in the website’s Cross-Site Scripting program or XSS. 

If a visitor landed on a compromised home page, he would be redirected to a malicious website.

According to Defiant, WordFence has been downloaded more than 150 million times. 

7. iThemes Security 

Your WordPress website can become vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to faulty plug-ins, weak passwords, and the lack of adequate security. Unless your website is covered by round-the-clock security, you could become a cyber-security statistic while you’re sleeping. 

iThemes Security is a high-level security plug-in that does not fall asleep on the job. It will give you more than 30 ways to protect your website from various threats. 

Some of the plug-in’s security features include:

  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Scheduling of Website Malware Scanning
  • Assistance in Creating Stronger Passwords
  • Integrate Google CAPTCHA
  • Immediate Scanning of Your Website to Identify Vulnerabilities

When it comes to your website’s security, it’s a good idea to have more than one plug-in. 

Website Speed And Performance

To move up the search rankings, your website has to ensure top-level user experience all the time. For this reason, website speed should be a priority. 

According to Google, 53% of mobile users will abandon the search if the page fails to load within 3 seconds. 

Your website has to be user-friendly. This is very important if you have an e-commerce website. Similar to shopping at a high-end mall, you want to make sure the shopper is having a great time inside your store. 

8. JetPack

If you must have only one WordPress plug-in for your website – surely, JetPack should be on the shortlist. 

JetPack is an all-in-one plug-in that can provide multiple amazing features for your website:

  • 24/7 Security for your website
  • Use built-in tools that can improve your website speed, optimize images for search, and reduce bandwidth usage so you can save more money.
  • Thinking of selling merchandise? Add PayPal buttons to your website.
  • Use JetPack’s SEO tools to optimize your content in your various social media sites.

9. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is an important plug-in to have for your WordPress website because it will help speed up download time. 

How? WP-Optimize offers you 3 benefits that focus on improving site speed and performance:

  • Removes unnecessary data to clean up your database and retrieves space that was lost due to fragmentation.
  • Compresses large image files that slow down your website.
  • Caches data and stores it in a temporary storage space for quick retrieval.

WP-Optimize also has a unique “minification” feature that minimizes the size of your assets. This results in fewer requests to your server which improves performance and the loading time of your website. 

10. WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a plug-in that helps improve the performance of your website and speed up its loading time through a host of features:

  • Caching the web pages for faster viewing
  • Caching for logged-in subscribers and for mobile users.
  • Reduces the volume of http requests.
  • Incorporates a GZIP Compression system that reduces the amount of bandwidth usage.
  • Concatenation and minification of CSS and JS files.

And many more!

WP Rocket is compatible with WooCommerce which is a big plus because many performance-optimization plug-ins aren’t. 

Conclusion

The great thing about having a website for your business is that you can introduce improvements any time you wish without shutting down, unlike a brick-and-mortar location. 

There are free versions of these plug-ins that give you access to the basic features. For a small fee, you can acquire the more advanced versions with upgraded features and more tools to improve your website. 

The fees are reasonable and if you think about it, are justifiable if the additional features will significantly contribute to the protection and performance of your website and eventual success of your business. 

What about you? Do you have a favorite plug-ins? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

And if you want to improve your website’s performance and security, please feel free to give us a call or an email. 

We all know that digital marketing has many advantages over traditional marketing. Digital marketing is more efficient; online-based marketing strategies have a wider reach and scope compared to traditional marketing strategies. Online content can be reused and repurposed making it more sustainable than flyers, newspaper ads, and streamers. Perhaps the biggest advantage of digital over old school traditional methods is that having a website as the centerpiece of your marketing strategy allows you to track performance in real-time via Google Analytics. 

Yes, we understand if the word “Analytics” can get some of you sweating or scratching your head. “Analytics” sounds like a technical term that is best reserved for experts such as web designers and IT professionals. 

The truth is, you don’t have to be an IT wizard to learn and appreciate the value of analytics. And when it comes to analytics, look no further than Google Analytics brought to you by the world’s biggest search engine.

What Is Google Analytics?

For those readers who worked in Marketing in the 90s and the early part of the millennium, it must have been a challenge to get the company to invest in a marketing campaign.

The company’s key decision-maker would always pose this question:

“What is the estimated ROI on your proposed marketing strategy?”

While traditional marketing methods have a way of tracking performance such as through the use of codes and a numbering system or by identifying any significant changes in sales, these processes are largely inefficient, time-consuming, and costly.

This question, as well as other nagging ones, was answered in November 2005 when Google Analytics was officially launched.

By definition:

Google Analytics is a service provided by Google that enables businesses to track, collate, and organize data about their website such as traffic volume, amount of time spent per page, conversion rate, and visitor demographics. 

With Google Analytics, you have access to data that will help you monitor and evaluate the real-time performance of your current marketing strategy. You can pinpoint weaknesses in your marketing strategy, create alternative courses of action, and implement improvements in the campaign. 

What Can Google Analytics Do For My Business?

A lot! 

Google Analytics removes guesswork. It helps you find the answers to the nagging questions that may have given you a few sleepless nights. 

If business numbers are not good, Google Analytics gives you a fighting chance because you can identify the problems right away and work on developing immediate solutions.

Here are 5 benefits that your business can derive from using Google Analytics.

1. Develop a Keen Understanding Of Your Target Market

Your website is a data-gathering tool. It will pick up important information about your visitors that will help you understand their online behavioral patterns and collect data on their demographics. 

Armed with these types of information, you can create a more accurate Buyer’s Profile. With a solid Buyer’s Profile, you can proceed to divide your market into segments and publish content that targets the right audience like a guided laser.

2. Strengthen Your Brand-Building Strategies

Knowing the types of content that your audience likes to read, the online platform they use to read your content, and the preferred device for accessing the Internet are valuable inputs you can use to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy that will build your brand. 

Google Analytics gives you data-backed evidence so you can get the “pulse” of your audience. You’ll get a “feel” of who they are and have a better perspective of how to position your brand so they can get a “feel” of who you are.

3. Keep Track of Your Search Rankings

How important are the search rankings? 

The first five URLs that appear on the first page of the SERP account for 67.6% of all online traffic.

And hardly anyone goes to page 2 of the SERP. 

If you’re wondering why your current SEO strategy isn’t pushing your website up the search rankings, you can find the clues via Google Analytics.

4. Establish Realistic Goals

What is the goal of your digital marketing campaign? 

  • Do you want to build your brand?
  • Are you looking to add to your number of followers?
  • Are you focused on increasing the conversion rate?

Setting goals is an important step in growing a successful business. Google Analytics has a feature called Goals Overview that will allow you to keep track of your goals.

Staying on top of where you are in the pursuit of your goals will go a long way in improving your team’s level of productivity while sticking to the parameters of your budget.

5. Gain Valuable Insights On the Competition

Are you wondering about what your competitors are doing? Why are their websites ranking higher than yours? Why do they have followers and more engagements? 

Wonder no more. Google Analytics has a feature that gives you valuable insights into what your competitors are doing. You have a virtual bird’s eye view of the strategies your competitors are implementing to stay ahead of you.

How To Use Google Analytics – A Guide For Intermediates

Google has always been big on User Experience or UX. The search engine giant’s algorithm frequently undergoes changes to include ranking factors designed to motivate website owners to improve UX. 

Thus, it is only fair for Google to give website owners an assist by making Google Analytics easy enough for non-IT professionals – beginners and intermediates – to understand.

The key is to not be overwhelmed by the sheer number of tools made available by Google Analytics. Stick to the basics about Google Analytics then slowly increase your knowledge of its more detailed applications. 

As someone who has Intermediate-level knowledge of Google Analytics, we assume that you have already set up a Google Analytics account. You must be familiar with the following actions required of Google Analytics and a few of its basic features:

  • Installing the Tracking Code – A program that collects data on your website’s activity
  • Setting Goals – A feature that allows you to set targets or goals for your website and informs Google if such goals were achieved.
  • Site Search – A feature that enables Google to track all searches done on your website and collect important information about your visitors.

At an intermediate level, learning your way around the Audience Report will give you the keys to unlocking valuable information about your website visitors. 

Whenever you open Google Analytics, you will see your Audience Overview report which is just one of 50 reports that you will have access to. 

One of the first things that will catch your eye in the Audience Overview report is a graph depicting the number of sessions your visitors have undertaken. Below the graph, you will find key information about your visitors’ behavior such as:

  • Number of Sessions
  • Number of Users
  • Pageviews
  • Pages per Session
  • Average Duration per Session
  • Bounce Rate
  • Percentage of New Sessions

By using figures provided by these data, you will be able to assess the performance of your digital marketing campaign thus far.

  • Are your strategies generating more visits?
  • Which types of content are your audience spending more time on?
  • How many new/unique visitors are you attracting every month?
  • How much time does a visitor spend on your website?

In addition to the Audience Overview, the Audience Report will give you valuable information on six factors that are crucial for developing strategies to improve your website’s performance:

  1. Demographics – Find out which gender and age group are primarily patronizing your website and will most likely contribute to your goal of increasing conversion rate.
  2. Interests – Pinpoint the topics that your audience is most interested in so you can fine-tune your content marketing strategy. If you’re thinking about investing in Pay-Per-Click advertising, the data can be helpful in targeting the groups where will you have the highest probability of converting interest into sales.
  3. Geo – Where are your visitors coming from and what language do they speak? These types of information will give you insights to develop more effective content writing, local SEO, and advertising strategies.
  4. Behavior – Data on behavior is very important because tastes and preferences are constantly changing thanks to the influence of the Internet. In this overview, you get information about the frequency of visits, time spent per visit, and the pages they frequent every time they land on your website.
  5. Technology – If you’re developing online tools for your business, data on technology will let you know if you should focus on Mac or Chrome-based software programs.
  6. Mobile – Sure, we know that 65% of online traffic comes from mobile – but can the same be said about your visitors? 

Find out the breakdown of mobile, tablet, and PC users and the percentage of iOS and Android users among your followers.

For intermediate-level Google Analysts, another important feature to learn is Email Notifications. 

This is a feature that allows you to receive updates on specific Google Analytics reports via scheduled emails. 

Setting up Email Notifications is easy!

  1. Select the report that you want to be emailed to you on a scheduled basis.
  2. Above the report title click “email”.
  3. In the field titled “From”, you will find the email address that you use to log in to Google Analytics.
  4. Go to the “To” field, enter the email addresses you have designated to receive the data. Make sure the email addresses are separated by a comma.
  5. Type in the subject then select the frequency of transmission and the format to be used.
  6. To set the duration Google Analytics sends the report, go to “Advanced Options”.
  7. To work on the body of the email, go to the field “Text” and press Enter.

Then, click “Send”.

The wonderful thing about the Email Notifications feature is that you don’t have to log in to Google Analytics to get your reports. You can set the frequency that these reports are sent to you based on your convenience. 

At the intermediate level, you might prefer the feature Advanced Segments to Custom Reports because you may want to be more specific and detailed in your segmentation. 

With the Advanced Segments feature, you can group the data into categories so you will have a clearer picture of who your website visitors are. Once you have gotten more comfortable with Custom Reports, the Advanced Segments feature will be easier to use and understand.

Earlier in this article, we briefly discussed the importance of having data on mobile usage. The world is becoming increasingly more dependent on mobile technology. In the United States alone, 58% of all searches are done on a mobile device.

You can get in-depth data on the mobile experience your visitors are having on your website; data that can help you find the answers to the following questions:

  • What keywords are my visitors using to land on my website?
  • Is my website downloading fast enough for mobile device users?
  • Is my website navigable on a mobile device?
  • How does online behavior differ between mobile and desktop users?
  • Should I optimize content based on mobile keywords?

The last feature of Google Analytics that would benefit intermediate-level users would be Profile Filters.

The Profile Filters feature adds a different dimension to segmentation. You may have some nagging questions such as “Why does mobile account for a very small percentage of our email subscriptions?”

Applying specific filters allow you to run tests on the traffic coming to your website. Profile Filters lets you customize the type of reports that Google Analytics is generating on your website so you can find possible answers to the nagging questions. 

Conclusion

Be patient during the transition from beginner to intermediate level Google Analytics user. We all have different competencies and it might take some longer than others to be proficient with the more advanced features of Google Analytics.

What’s important is to use Google Analytics to pinpoint the weaknesses and flaws of your website and in your digital marketing strategies. 

Google Analytics puts an end to guesswork. You have access to real-time data to help you formulate the best decisions that could change the game for your business. 

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

And if you are thinking of building a mobile responsive website for your business, give us a call or drop an email. We will have a high-performance, fully-optimized, and responsive website up and running for you in no time!

Good people are hard to come by. In a competitive industry, once you find top talent, you must do what you can to retain them. Otherwise, they will leave and potentially end up with your competitor. 

Retaining top talent not only helps you consistently deliver results and maintain the quality of output but it also lowers the cost of employee turnover which is estimated at 2.5 times the cost of an employee’s salary. 

So how do you manage top talent and keep them in your company? Is it just a matter of paying them a higher salary? 

You might be surprised to learn that money is not the primary motivating factor that keeps top talent from transferring jobs. 

Here are 5 ways to manage – and retain – the top talent in your company.

1. Present Top Talent With Frequent Challenges

Perception is what separates top talent from those in the lower rung. When presented with challenges, those at the top-end view them as opportunities to prove their abilities. 

In contrast, the ones who lag behind do so because they perceive challenges as threats. They believe they are put in tough situations to expose their weaknesses and shortcomings. 

Top talent lives for the challenges because it gives their work meaning and purpose. For example, if the company chooses them to manage a project, they perceive it as a sign of trust and confidence. 

However, you have to be judicious when presenting top talent with challenges. If the task falls too far off from their competencies, they might fail and blame you for having expectations they could not meet. 

The purpose of challenging top talent is to help them grow. You see potential but the skills are still raw. Instead, take them on a journey and be their guide. 

Present top talent with challenges that will help them achieve the next level of personal and professional growth.

To be faced with challenges creates pressure. But just like applying heat and pressure turns graphite to diamonds, challenges turn potential into future leaders of your organization.

2. Approach Them As Individuals

A person is recognized as a top talent because he stands out from the others. 

He could be working with a team but the performance data and keen observation have confirmed that his individual contribution was primarily successful for the success of the company.

If you took him out of the team, succeeding performances would fall below the standard he set and would be underwhelming. 

For this reason, you must treat him as a unique individual. 

To clarify, top talent is a team player. His motivation to perform at the highest level is the success of the team. 

A good example is an athlete who always wins all the individual awards and records the most impressive statistics but his team keeps losing. The individual accolades mean nothing unless the team wins.

However, top talent wants you to recognize his efforts and contributions. That without him, the team goes from “special” to “average”. 

The best way to go about this is to take a proactive approach. Don’t wait for the evaluations to come in or for top talent to come to you and ask for special considerations such as approval for his vacation leave. 

Reach out and take the initiative to show you care and appreciate his efforts. 

For example, if you know he has filed for vacation leave or paternity leave, approve it right away. Then,  give him the good news – personally.

“I just want to be the person to tell you that your vacation leave was approved. You deserve it! In fact, if you want to extend your vacation by a bit, let me know. I’ll see if I can work something out with HR. It’s the least I can do to show you how much I appreciate your talent.”

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3. Be Sincere When You Show Appreciation

One of the biggest mistakes made by supervisors and managers is taking an arms-length approach to handling their people. They associate indifference with strength and authority – that people have to do more to earn their praise. 

Thus, when someone makes an incredible accomplishment, they withhold appreciation and rationalize the achievement as just “part of the job.”

“That’s what the company pays you for.”

But here’s the thing: Top talent does care about being acknowledged. 

Not everyone can do what they do and that’s what makes top talent stand out. They’re special and without them, your company would not be where it is today. Chances are, they won’t show how they feel. The best managers are intuitive – they can sense it. 

So you must show appreciation and acknowledge the work the most talented people in your company have done. 

But do so sincerely. And it’s not as hard as you think.

You don’t have to pull out the red carpet every time someone in your organization hits a target or achieves a milestone. 

A simple pat on the back and a verbal acknowledgment will suffice. Don’t follow the formulaic “Good job!” but have a sincere conversation.

“The work you put in to close the deal with XYZ Company was amazing and timely. On behalf of the company, I thank you for that. I want to assure you that your talent and contributions to the company do not go unnoticed. Keep up what you’re doing and you will have a bright future with us. If there’s anything you need or want to be addressed, you can come and see me.”

4. Introduce a Career Path/Succession Planning Program

Career pathing and succession planning are key elements in developing talent in your organization. Many companies overlook the importance of both programs and believe that you can have one without the other. 

Also, some managers think the terms are interchangeable. No, they are not.

Career pathing is a mechanism that enables talent to chart their path within the organization. You can say that career pathing is viewed from the perspective of the employee. 

Basically, he undergoes an assessment test designed to measure his skills, abilities, interests, and aspirations so he can find out the best role within the organization that can help him fulfill his potential.

Succession planning is a process that helps HR identify and nurture talent to fill out key positions in the organization.

HR develops criteria for identifying, evaluating, testing, and selecting the best people in the organization for specific positions. The experiences and accomplishments of these individuals are also included in the process. 

Once the people – the top talent – are identified, they can be scheduled for training to improve specific skill sets and to develop key attributes. 

Both career pathing and succession planning provide an integral component in managing talent in your company – direction. Without the availability of these programs, your employees – even the most talented ones – will begin to feel they are in a dead-end career. 

5. Encourage Greater Involvement

Encouraging your top talent to be more involved in the organization is another effective way of treating them as individuals.

By asking for their advice on matters that are not related to their specific duties and responsibilities, you are letting them know their skills and abilities are not limited or confined – and that you recognize this. 

Imagine if you were assigned to Finance then the boss comes over to you and asks for your opinion on how to expand the business in another location or region of the world. 

Initially, you might think this is a head-scratching moment but then you’ll realize the boss has noticed your other abilities and talents. This is an opportunity for you to prove your boss is correct – that he approached the right person.

Wouldn’t this make you feel more assured that you are working for the right organization?

Getting your top talent to be more involved with the business accomplishes 2 things. 

First, it will motivate them to work harder because they feel valued. Second, you get to see how they perform in a different setting – where the risks, as well as the stakes, are higher. 

Conclusion

It will be heartbreaking to find out how you could have retained one of your best people during the exit interview. 

Don’t be the last to know. As the business owner or the manager, you have to take a proactive approach. It’s never too late to implement processes and programs designed to keep your people happy and motivated to work for your company.

By doing so, they may not only work for your company but in the future, they may end up working with you in your company.

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