Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Technologies That Have Changed Business

What time is it for your business to adopt new ways? Now. 

Small business is feeling the stress from a market place that is not responding the way it once did. But putting a finger on what's different is not so easy.  In a recent blog on the subject David Markus gives us six examples of innovations that have been part of this change. These are innovations that have changed the way that business is conducted and we are never going to see the old ways back again. 

The six technologies are:
  1. Social media
  2. Cloud solutions that put corporate tools into our hands
  3. Mobile devices that let us work from anywhere
  4. Virtualisation of server infrastructure
  5. Online shopping
  6. Availability of broadband

While we can list these as items, in truth each of these has a lot involved and the application of each innovation can help business to sell more to make you money, streamline processes, make your business more efficient and save you money. 

Are you taking advantage of these innovations in your business? 

If you're not sure or not sure how you could add this kind of innovation to you local business, pick up the phone and let's chat. 

Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855

Read more:

Businesses increase local sales with internet presence 
Better sales with an online presence
What Newcastle or Hunter business has a great story to tell with social media?
Managing your online reputation

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Optimize G+ for Local Search

Here's a handy slideshow on G+ Local for hotels or pubs. Of course this is the case for other local businesses too.

 Claiming your G+ Local page is the first step. If you're a bit confused and need some help call Lindy Asimus  on 0403 365 855 for help.

Honest Reviews Important Online For Business
How Do I Start Blogging For Business?

Monday, August 13, 2012

ACCC Says Business Responsible For Truth Of Facebook Comments

New rulings from the ACCC mean businesses are responsible for comments made to their wall to be factual.

This means that you may be liable if you don't act on problem posts.  You need to act on them within a certain time frame - but importantly, you need to be monitoring your Facebook Page so that you know what's being put on your wall at any time so it can be dealt with in an appropriate manner. The ruling relates to big business but small business should follow this example too.

ACCC commissioner, Sarah Court, told SmartCompany "if there are misleading representations on the Facebook page which stay for a while then the business is responsible for the publication or promotion of those comments."

ACCC gives big business 24 hours to fix Facebook comments, but SMEs get more time

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Honest Reviews Important Online For Business

Online reviews are becoming even more important when people are making decisions about where to stay, where to eat or just where to purchase goods in an easy and safe way.

TripAdvisor has been called out for fake reviews and action taken against them by one B&B in Scotland. You can read about it here where they deny they are subject to Scottish law.

So how do you deal with reviews of your business? Are you even monitoring what is being said about your business? Do you know how to monitor your business mentions online?

In planning a trip overseas, I am very aware of the attraction of finding good quality reviews to use to support the decisions that I am making when choosing places to stay. But I am also conscious that there are so many people gaming the system and paying for fake reviews that it does make it hard to sort the real reviews from the fake ones.

Some ways to build credibility online:

  • Make your website, blog and Facebook consistent with your identity
  • Make it easy to contact you.
  • Have a physical address where possible 
  • Respond to enquiries quickly
  • Make it transparent when people are paying you money
  • Ensure your emails (and service) is always in a friendly tone
  •  Respond to negative comments and take the follow-up offline
  • Thank people who comment on your website or blog or social media page.
  • Use widgets on your website that show other local people who have Liked your page. This allows for "social proof" to work for you.
  • Make sure that you have updated your Google+ Local entry online.
  • Manage your reputation online at all times.
  • Ask happy customers to recommend you online and make it easy to do.
All in all the best strategy for business is to provide as many ways as possible for customers who don't know us to get good insight into who we are, our good reputation and our stability in terms of being around to sort out any problems, and put would-be customers at peace that we are legitimate and real people who can be found  and trusted to deliver what we promise.

Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855

Businesses increase local sales with internet presence 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Better Local Sales With Online Presence

New Australian statistics show that we DO

 Good news for local businesses wondering what the real deal is with using internet for generating local sales.

A recent Sensis report shows:
  •  small Aussie businesses do better with local buyers,
  • increased internet and social media use with +65's and 
  • jump in tablet devices, smartphone and wireless use
Report details here.

Of interest in the report:

Australian small and medium businesses (SMEs) are struggling to capitalise on the internet's global nature and are still far more likely to make an online sale to a customer located just around the corner than to someone interstate or overseas.

What this means for your local business
 Local businesses can be doing more to develop this additional sales channel to get more customers, more often,  buying from the business.  It must be understood by local business owners that the internet is not just for strangers we don't know who live overseas. It is also used every day by the people we know and our neighbours who live just down the street. These are also the people most likely to spend in your business. Or your competitor's business if you have not made the necessary effort for them to find you.

The report found most online sales by Australian small businesses were made to customers in the same city or town, and the likelihood of a sale diminished as the distance between a business and potential customers increased.

What this means for your local business

Your competition is not "overseas internet sites that don't have to pay GST". It is any business that sells what you sell and makes it easier to:

  1.  Find 
  2.  Have stock customers want and 
  3.  Make it easy to buy.

According to the annual Sensis e-Business Report released today, the opportunity to reach international markets with e-commerce is failing to translate to overseas sales for Australian small businesses

What this means for your local business
 If you are selling a product that you would like to sell to overseas clients too then you need a strategy to attract that business and handle the distribution issues that may exist or are perceived by overseas customers. 
Eighty-seven per cent of SMEs with an online presence successfully sold goods and services to local customers, a figure unchanged from the previous year. Two thirds (66 per cent) of businesses selling online said the bulk of their online sales came from local customers, an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year.

What this means for your local business
 Being online is essential for the success of a  business.  Note that the survey mentions "an online presence" - this could mean that the customer found the business online and engaged them as a result of that initial contact even though the site may not be one that has shopping cart or sells physical stock.

Although 62 per cent of SMEs have a website for their business, and 27 per cent use social media for business purposes, only 15 per cent have an actual digital business strategy, according to the report. This is despite 55 per cent of SMEs reporting that they had recovered their initial investment in e-commerce, with a further 17 per cent saying they expect to recover their investment in the next year.

There is nothing to be gained by having a poor or no online strategy. If you don't understand how your sales are coming from online visitors then you need to find out and pronto!

Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855

Hunter Social Media Marketing
Business Coaching
Personal or Life Coaching.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Add An Online Marketing Channel For Business Growth

Some interesting news on new statistics out for local business showing the value of having your business online and developing the internet as an additional channel.

In an article by Michelle Hammond over on Startupsmart

Early eCommerce adopters see results while others stumble: Report

New research commissioned by PayPal shows business growth increased by an average of 5% in the last year for those who sell online, while those who don’t sell online saw business decline.

The study, conducted by Roy Morgan, shows that in the last year, business growth increased by an average of 5% for those have sold online for at least 12 months.

However, business fell by 4% for those who don’t sell online or haven’t sold online for at least a year.
Jeff Clementz, managing director of PayPal Australia, says local retailers are “an important fixture” in Australia’s communities, but they must engage and embrace technology.

 Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, says the results confirm the transition to online retail has been a “significant challenge” for local businesses.  Zimmerman says establishing an internet presence is a “critical first step” for any business to take.
“[The internet] at the very least provides a significant opportunity to supplement [your] business with an additional sales and marketing channel,” he says.

The news comes on the back of the NAB Online Retail Sales Index for June, which shows Australia’s total online spending was around $11.5 billion in the year ended June 2012.

According to NAB, this level is equivalent to 5.3% of traditional bricks and mortar retail spending – excluding caf├ęs, restaurants and takeaway food – for the year ended May 2012.

Read the article here

The numbers show the value for bricks and mortar businesses to add online sales to their operations. There is a lot to learn about working in this space and this is not even including the additional sales to a business that can be gained from social media marketing which can be building in-store sales too.

Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Promote Any Product Online With Social Media Even A Frankfurt

This is a great example straight off Facebook on how social media can work for business.

What do you notice about this?

It is not an advertisement.
It is a real moment with real people engaging with people they know.
It has a picture and a good description.
It has raised interest in someone from their network.
They have asked for more information,
They have had a fast response.
They have all the information they need, with a recommendation from someone they trust and are now able to go and get some too.
They can get it because the business will  have it delivered to them.
Anyone seeing this can buy this too, no matter where in Australia they live.

This is commerce in 2012. This is how the marketplace works.

Make sure it can work for your business.

Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855

Related social media marketing articles by Lindy Asimus

Honest Reviews Important Online For Business

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Which Hunter Business Tells The Best Story?

Over on my Actionbites blog I posted a great video of a 220 year old flour company that has a great story to tell about their business.

It got me thinking about how well our local businesses are telling their story.  Honestly I can't think of any recent media that I've seen that really showcases a business and shares their story but perhaps you can.

Meanwhile here's an old commercial that really did have a story to it from way back. I am sure anyone who ever saw this will remember it. And that's a key. It goes into our consciousness and we never forget it.

If you have a favourite story from a local business do share it and I'll add them to a post to showcase them.
Lindy Asimus
0403 365 855