How to Live a Sustainable-Life in Modern Times

 

Lead a sustainable life to save earth
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels

Are our lives slowly losing their sheen?

Crazy weather patterns and environmental disasters come knocking at our doors frequently these days. Leading a  sustainable-life in modern times can help us heal the earth.

Awareness and cultivating a few habits. That’s all that it takes. And you’re a contributor to sustainable living!

With that said environmental degradation is an issue sitting smack bang at the centre of our lives. It has damning consequences. Burying our heads in the sand shows ignorance.

Thankfully, it’s a doer’s world! We can turn the tide. Know the facts. That’s half the battle won! And that’s exactly what this blog post is about….

Interested?

Let’s take a deep dive.

The pandemic blues…

And here we are now- dealing with this beastly pandemic. It’s held our life in an iron grip. Refusing to let go!

We’re tired. Some of us in a permanent state of funk. Days are a drag. We long for normal and carefree days. Aw, we want our lives back!

That said, this pandemic and the lockdown have shown us:

  • How fragile our so-called order is (we are in charge of this planet, no way…)

 

  •  How for granted we took our freedoms (a virus keeps us caged…)

 

  • And how little is needed for our daily lives (the basics- food, clothing and shelter)

Human beings are inherently selfish (barring some great souls…). We care about only those things we think will be of some use to us. By that logic, the earth is our home. It shall be home to our future generations as well. So, shan’t we do everything possible to protect it and conserve it?

Without further ado, let’s pull out some facts to know as to how we can live a sustainable-life in modern times.

                                            .       .       .

First and foremost:

What is Sustainable Living?

It’s a lifestyle choice in which we reduce/lessen our impact upon the earth. This is achieved by taking appropriate measures to save energy and reduce pollution.

Some of the examples of sustainable living are be: using cloth bags for shopping (such a simple one…yet very effective), choosing an alternate way of transportation, switching our food habits etc.

Why not get a better picture:

Why is Sustainable living so Important ?

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

These famous words by Mahatma Gandhi ring so true for our times.

Our daily life makes us consume energy at a blind pace. Connection with nature is zilch.

And the outcome is we:

  • Rip off the earth of its natural resources

 

  • Fill the skies with toxic clouds

 

  • Create mountains and mountains of waste

 

  • Pollute water

 

  • Drive animals homeless and even endanger their existence.

Holy smoke! We’re destroying the planet?

This reminds me of a story where the person- the protagonist (Kalidas) is believed to have sawn off the branch of the tree he was sitting on.

Sadly, that’s what we are doing to our planet.

Let’s see how:

The trap of greenhouse gases…

The greenhouse gases (GHGs) provide us with the necessary warmth to keep life alive on this planet. They allow the sunlight to pass through the atmosphere. So, nah! the natural greenhouse gases are not the culprits. 

But at the same time, they don’t let the heat or the warmth go away.

Now, we constantly burn fossil fuels when we consume energy. Electricity (bulbs, appliances, a/cs, heaters etc.) to run our homes and for commuting (cars, planes etc.).

Then un-planned deforestation! And many more such activities enormously increase the amount of greenhouse gases.

 

Photo by Eelco Bohtlingk on Unsplash  

 This changes the equation.

And they (GHGs) become killer gases. Amplifying global warming. Resulting in catastrophes: Droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, extinction of wildlife, floods etc.

Our bulging population only adds further stress to the stretched resources.

Read this stat: According to earthday.org, the worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030[1]. What’re we waiting for? Hell, to freeze over.

Living a sustainable-life in modern times is our only salvation. No rocket science. A few simple measures.

Ready to walk through a few of them!

                                                 .       .      .

How to lead a Sustainable Life?

Some set-screws we need to turn for our own good.

1. Cut on Transportation- the driver of pollution

Cars, trucks, buses etc. burn fossil fuels. These trap heat in the atmosphere.

This leads to climate change.

What’s the escape route?

Strike a BALANCE. Pivot to environment-friendly options like:

  • Use carpool whenever you can (sharing is cool)

 

  • Cycle for shorter distances (it’s fun)

 

  • Go walking (a super way of reaching very close destinations)

 

  • Use public transport (metros, buses are a great option)

 

  • Ditch planes for trains when travelling shorter distances

 

  • If you are a car owner ensure regular maintenance (that takes care of the carbon emission)

 

  • If you can’t do without a car then buy a smaller one or a second-hand one (high time to show some maturity…)

 

  • Switch to electric or hybrid cars if that is an option.

Go car-free ….

Now that every man and their dog own a car; consider yourself lucky if you haven’t bought one.

It spares you all the worries of maintaining a car. And bingo! your carbon footprint gets slashed.

Less carbon foot-print = Sustainability-life in modern times.

WFH is a boon. Just no pollution. It saves your buck as well.

2. Cut on Waste- The Toxic Jungle

 

Photo by Anita Lusina on Pexels

Our next challenge: Waste

According to the UN report- the world produces as much as 50 million tonnes of electronic and electric waste(e-waste) a year. Just 20 % of this is formally recycled[2].

The rest ends in landfills. Growth has a fillip side!

Some tips to reduce e-waste:

  • Stop dumping your fabulously working phones or laptops for some shiny newer model (remember the chase never ends…)

 

  • Extend the life of things around you by repairing them (our ancestors, elders did it all the time)

 

  • Buy less (buy those gadgets and appliances, you can’t do without, the rest lie idle in your home or pile up the landfills).

Another form of waste eating into our environment is food.

As per theworldcounts.com, about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year[3]. An irony! In a world where millions of people are suffering due to hunger.

Let’s get organized and be food-wise:

  • Buy food that you intend to eat

 

  • While ordering it from outside, be sure about the quantity

 

  • And in case you’re cooking your own meals, keep the no. of people eating it in your mind.

Food looks great on your plate, not in your dumpster!

These little considerations  will certainly contribute to  a sustainable-life in modern times. And they will be easy on your pocket as well.

3. Block those energy leaks at Home

Just look around your home. And reduce the consumption of energy:

  • Unplug your appliances and laptops when not in use (do it right away!)

 

  • Using energy-efficient bulbs like LED (switch now!)

 

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your face (reduces carbon footprint and BTW resources are not limitless)

 

  • Stop the usage of plastic bottles (they release toxic chemicals, instead stainless steel is a great option!)

 

  • Cut on the usage of air conditioning or the heaters (make yourself a little tougher J)

 

  • Order less to avoid packaging of the stuff. Go out and shop locally (remember to carry your eco-friendly shopping bags)

 

  • Buy things sensibly (stop getting gaslighted by marketing gimmicks)

 

  • Eat less meat and switch to plant food (meat produces greenhouse gases).

You can add more to the list. Just don’t forget to share them.

4. Be a responsible tourist

The tourism industry has been in the doghouse since the pandemic. Hopefully, the rough period won’t last. The pent-up demand must be on the cards.

That said, the international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030[4]. Expected to boom. Yeah! we love to travel, explore hidden gems and bump into new people.

Perhaps this could come with a caveat:

  • No littering please (collect your trash)

 

  • Do not throw waste in sea or sea-beds (it kills aquatic animals)

 

  • Do not use plastic (it piles the landfills, chokes our water bodies and takes ears and years to decompose)

 

  • Choose a smaller accommodation (it saves energy)

 Go camping…

Gotten used to staying in hotels! Give it a break. Camping is a super-duper way to enjoy your vacation. One: you’re closer to nature. Second: it adds an air of freedom to your holidays. Besides, it’s sustainably wise in modern times.

Just don’t forget to carry your reusable bottles and reusable bins. Leave no trail of muck.

5.  Minimalism- the way to be

Photo by Kaboompics.com on Pexels 

Happiness is a state of mind.

Who believes it?

Boatloads of money, more stuff, bigger cars, more houses…yes, we get suckered into this dream of happiness. In this mad scramble of overconsumption and vanity, we oft lose time, lose the meaning of life and happiness eludes us.

Amidst this noise, there is a small section of people (but growing in numbers…) who think and live differently. Meet the minimalists.

They refuse to get handcuffed to the pre-conceived notions of success and happiness. Some Millennials are Gen Z are nailing the minimalist idea.

  • They keep stuff which they actually require (tossing out the clutter….)

 

  • They don’t indulge in overconsumption (outgrown materialism)

 

  • They invest in emotions which help them evolve (gratitude, compassion…)

 

This freedom and fewer things to bother about…. they feel freer and lighter. Exploring life.

  • Aware of the fact that time is a precious resource…. They focus on their passions zealously (without getting obsessed with mindless growth…)

Happiness and contentment are the consequences of their actions. Their carbon footprint is tiny. They are a classic example of  sustainable-life in modern times.                                                                                       

                                               .      .      .

 Conclusion

Scratching the itch but ignoring the rash. Doesn’t washFresh air and freshwater are fast becoming a luxury.

Living a sustainable-life in modern times shows our love for the earth. Tweak your lives in whatever way you can. It’s not big of an ask.

Just a quick recap:

1.  Bye-bye to Use and Throw Culture

Reuse, rehash, rent and repair- are the golden mantras. Live by them.

2.  Holler, Message and Connect- to build a Network

Foster online communities. Talk is cheap. If we can talk the talk, then we can walk the walk.

3.  Ignore people who are tone-deaf

People will be shackled to their views. Disconnect with reality makes you a Luddite.

4. Keep an eye on Cleaner Energy

Yeah! That’s the future. We’ll have to leave fossil fuels at some point. The churn has begun. Renewable energy is making waves.

Every drop and every bit counts. If these thoughts resonate with you, then we’re on the cusp of a beautiful change.

Healthy future = Sustainable-life. Become woke and stay safe.

 

[1] https://www.earthday.org/5-terrifying-climate-change-facts-scare-halloween/

[2] https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/un-report-time-seize-opportunity-tackle-challenge-e-waste

[3] https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/foods-and-beverages/food-waste-facts/story

[4] https://www.unwto.org/archive/global/press-release/2011-10-11/international-tourists-hit-18-billion-2030

 

Why is Marketing-Automation Important? December 29, 2020

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 We live in a super digitally charged world, where businesses have to work on so many fronts to stay alive and kicking.

 

So much to do ………. so little time! Take a breather.

 

Marketing automation is here! This technology redefines marketing as we know it.

 

We all know that your marketing strategy holds the key to success.

 

Using marketing automation increases efficiency, boosts productivity, makes you run a tight ship and most of all helps you sell more.

 

Automation equals SIMPLIFYING and SCALING.

A few things you need to know:

 

  • What is marketing automation? 

 

  • Why marketing automation?

 

  • Uses of marketing automation

 

 Let’s dig in right away!

 

What is Marketing Automation?
 

It entails using software that automates and manages our marketing processes.

 

It does so, by automatically sending messages via emails, texts, social posts targeted at customers. It also involves studying customer behaviour, to devise a way to capture leads and close them faster. 

                                   

51% businesses use marketing automation

 

 

A whopping 51% of companies on an average have adopted marketing automation[1]. And the others are following suit by allocating budgets, to start at the earliest. 

 

They are not revamping their marketing just for the heck of it!

Marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing segments of the software industry. 

 

But not all companies and marketers have exactly started using this tool.

 

Lack of awareness or fearing technology as some dark art can be possible reasons for keeping them away from using these tools.

 

Whatever the reason, if you’re damn serious about growth, you can’t afford to say no to modernization.

 

Automating the repetitive tasks of your business by giving a set of instructions is no rocket science.

 

It’s a skill that your staff needs to be trained for. I’m sure once they get the hang of it, they’ll thank you, for acquiring a new marketing skill.

 

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Why Marketing Automation?
 

You go where your customers are. They are spending their max time in the internet space which is evolving at a fast pace.

     

via gifer

 

                                                                          

You need to keep up with this pace and get in front of a bigger and a wider audience. 

 

You need to connect to more and more relevant people to scale. This is where marketing automation comes into play: to make your task easier.  

 

Let me give you an example. 

 

Imagine this …….

There’s a fashion designer whose designs are simply WOW! But his/her marketing sucks.

 

All he/she manages to find the time to do is some odd social media posting coupled with spray and pray emailing. 

 

The result. Very few orders.

 

On the other hand, if the designer uses an automation tool to take care of the marketing messages; these would go out consistently, to a targeted audience in an organized fashion.

 

Data-driven marketing campaigns would increase the designer’s fan-base.

 

And, constant engagement from the designer’s end could pique the customer’s interest in knowing MORE about the product. It could be posting the latest trends, tips and discounts etc. 

 

The result: quality traffic and leads resulting in conversions. Likes and shares by your customers would further spread the word.

 

This can turn them into super-fans and loyal customers!

 

The outcome?

A business turned around with the use of marketing technology. Like-wise, create your own growth story.

 

I know you are trying everything possible to push your brand.

 

Shooting emails, trying to post regularly in social media, arranging campaigns, building a client base and catching up on the latest trends in the digital space.

 

Oh, boy! You’re very busy and have no time. 

 

But, at the end of the day, aren’t you getting pulled in a million directions! And, are you satisfied with the results?

 

Time is limited, tasks plentiful. 

 

You’ve got to find a way to get out of this rut and FOCUS on other marketing tasks to be able to jump to the upper tiers.

 

                                                                                .    .    .

 

 Uses of Marketing Automation Tool
 

  • Automating Messages 

 

Identify repetitive tasks. For example: sending emails and alerts on mobile phones as well as scheduling social media posts and so on, can all be part of this.

 

These can be handled by automation tools once the instructions are given.

  •  Pulling in more in Leads

 

Lead generation is one of the most sought-after things in marketing automation. 

 

Tracking website visits, which emails are being opened and studying other such similar behaviour, gives you interesting insights into the customer’s profile.

 

With this slicing and dicing of data, you can expect better leads to flow in, which convert.

 

According to sources, an overwhelming majority of companies benefit with an increase in leads through marketing automation. 

 

  • Better Marketing Campaigns

 

Marketing campaigns become easier and target-oriented with the data analysis in front of you.

 

Know the pain points and improve upon them.

 

  • Meaningful Engagement

 

We are all animals of the digital world. But we don’t want to be treated like assembly-line robots. We’re humans and want to stay that way. 

 

As customers, we like to receive emails and other forms of communication personalized. It’s that emotional connect!

 

With the incredible insights provided by automation tools, you can customize communication according to the needs and interests of your prospects. And thus, strike a chord with them.  

 

Make your content compelling to drive engagement. Use of charts, images, stickers, hacks etc. should be done to make it warm and lively.

 

via gifer

 

                                                   

Refresh it, every now and then to keep your customer’s interest alive in your brand. 

                      

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As you start using automation technology by integrating it into your marketing systems, you will discover a whole lot of  other benefits. Fewer overheads, upselling and lead nurturing are some of them. 

 

Once, you decide to automate, don’t go just by the hype. Select the tool, which is a best-fit for your requirements.

 

Final Thoughts 

 

Data and technology are making waves. They’ve touched almost all the modern businesses. 

 

Old school marketing won’t help you nail it. As they say, convention is for yesterday…

 

Innovators are the movers and shakers of the modern world.

 

Step out of your comfort zone and zoom ahead.

 

Just a quick recap: Leverage marketing automation to:

 

  • Streamline and automate your work

 

  • Maximize productivity and be discovered by the right people

 

  • Attract genuine prospects, increase engagement and sales

 

  • Strategize for your future growth.

 

Join the growing club of marketing automation users!  

   

  [1] https://aritic.com/blog/aritic-pinpoint/b2b-ecommerce-automation-guide/

 

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Is Dropshipping Worth It?

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eCommerce a Way of Life. The unprecedented times we are experiencing have us all cooped up inside our homes, going about the business of life in the best way that we can. Normal activities like education, work, business and shopping are now being carried out from our homes. The online world has come good and proven to be our lifeline. The world of today is riding a new wave where Digital First is the hot mantra. For instance, business enthusiasts are searching for viable and profitable eCommerce models to grow and expand.
Dropshipping is one such lucrative, online retail business worthy of one’s attention.

Why?

 

It’s been around for years and years, bringing profits to serious entrepreneurs.

[1]eCommerce sales in India are growing at an annual rate of 51%, which makes it the biggest opportunity for online retailers.

The old ways of doing business are getting disrupted the world over!

This pandemic has become a big inflexion point for digital businesses not just in India but globally as well. On the one hand, the retail footfall is seeing alarming lows while on the other, eCommerce is on a new roll.


In this scenario, dropshipping becomes all the more attractive for those, seeking new ways of monetization.


Let’s understand its basic concepts and relevance in today’s world….

                                                       

                                                    Customer Receiving an Online Delivery

 

Dropshipping is essentially an online retail store where customers book their orders. The details of the order are passed on to the supplier who ships the order directly to the customer.

Some of the key takeaways of this business are that as a drop shipper you don’t have to:

  • Physically store goods or
  • Manage a warehouse or
  • Handle shipments

This certainly gives you AMPLE time to focus on other critical aspects of the business.

 

What do you need to start this business?

Two things:

  • An internet connection
  •  A  laptop

Furthermore, to execute the business you will need the following support:

  •     Supplier
  •     Website
  •    Niche
  •     Marketing Strategy
  •     Customer Support

And you are good to go!

The flexibility of this business lies in the fact that it can be run as a parallel hustle to generate a PASSIVE income or can be run independently.

Let’s quickly understand how to generate a passive income from dropshipping.


Dropshipping a parallel hustle….

The easiest way to make revenue from drop shipping is to run it as a parallel business to your already existing eCommerce business.

This way you don’t need to start from zero user base. Your existing traffic can be used to drive and push your dropshipping business. Money lies in traffic!

Later on, when your dropshipping business picks up, you can scale it.

The sky is the limit!

If you run a dropshipping business alone, you will have to search and build a new client base.

Not that it can’t be done, but it can become quite a TASK in the initial stages of your business.

Pick your battles!

Delving into the different aspects of drop shipping will make it easy for you to understand its functionality and USE in today’s world.


Dropshipping journey

To start with, think of a niche which sells!


Niche

How does one pick the right niche?

One can’t have an answer right off the bat, as this depends on a few factors:

  • trends
  •  competitors
  •  target audience
  • ease of shipping


Trends

Pop-culture (unique) products like coffee-mugs, funky jewelry, T-shirts etc. are the ideal dropshipping products.

Due to the ongoing pandemic shoppers have become cautious with their spending. Health, fitness and home happen to be their prime focus.

This explains the reason for the sudden surge in demand for the following products:

  • Blue Light Glasses          – to reduce eye strain from screens
  •  Resistance Band             – for gym enthusiasts
  •  Smart Watches                – for fitness
  •  LED Strip Lights               – to decorate homes
  • Paint By Numbers Kit    – to pursue a hobby

Trimmers, Juicers and Vacuum cleaners are other popular products.

Pandemic or no pandemic, you can’t forget the special days (birthdays and anniversaries) of your friends and well-wishers! Worry not, however, if you are unable to visit them due to social distancing, you can have them sent a personalized item like an Initial Pendant Necklace.

Sniffing out trends is the first step in selecting a niche. A bunch of other things which could help you in zeroing in on the niche are:


Target Audience

Sales is a result of demand and supply. Research and find out what your audience is looking for. Pitch accordingly!


Competition

You will have to take a call to either compete directly with the biggies like Amazon or you could pick a niche with low competition and potential buyers. There is no template as such, to follow. No size fits all!

You need to check the local competition, demographics and the geographics.

You’ll need to know the prices your competitors are offering. Maybe you will have to undercut them to stay competitive. Brainstorming at this stage can’t be ruled out. Hitting the sweet spot does take time and a whole lot of research.


Ease of Shipping

Selecting a niche which requires light shipping can make your job easy as you can offer free shipping. This SERIES of calculated steps will help you select a proper niche.

Getting a reliable supplier on board is the next step.


Supplier

Suppliers are the backbone of your dropshipping business.

They do a lot of heavy lifting as far as this business is concerned. From storing goods and maintaining inventory to handling shipments.

Hence, it becomes important to make all the necessary inquires before selecting one. Do thorough research on the internet. Check your supplier’s reviews and testimonials.

Once you are satisfied with the credentials, place a test order. This way you can have a first-hand experience about, as to how the supplier operates. Once you are through with selecting the supplier and the niche, it’s time to create your virtual store.


Website

Today’s users’ attention span is extremely low with a zillion things vying for their attention. Thus, it becomes important to have a super cool website which looks good, funky and is super-fast too.

You have a choice between the self-hosted or the hosted platforms.

If you are technically fine and have money to spare, go for a self-hosted one. This gives you more freedom.

Otherwise, if you are not sure and don’t want to spend in the early stages of your business, then hosted platform is the place to be.

Big Commerce, Woo Commerce, Magento are some of the examples of hosted platforms. They all come with their own sets of positives.

Choose the one which best fits your bill. Now, your dropshipping business is ready for the BIG leap.

Reaching your customers!

They are the ones who shall play a huge part in making your business count. So, leave no stone unturned to woo them.

Marketing Strategy. There are no two thoughts about the fact that the Marketing landscape has evolved tremendously, especially due to the rise in digital consumption.

Marketing penetrates and operates at different levels of the dropshipping business. Let’s dive deep and explore all the levels and ways of CONNECTING with your potential buyers. The Devil lies in the details!


Deliveries

Instant gratification has become our second nature. We want deliveries and returns to be handled faster. So, talk to your supplier right in the beginning about making your business efficient and CUSTOMER ORIENTED.

All deliveries, returns or complaints if any have to be handled within a time-frame, as promised to the customer.

This will go a long way in bolstering your brand.


Free shipping

                                                                     

                                                                     Free Delivery a Huge Hit

As many as[2]90% of customers choose free shipping as the number one incentive for online buying.

 

Do your best to offer free shipping or maybe discounted shipping.

 

In case you can’t, be transparent about it right from the word go.

 

Never resort to hiding tactics; they show your brand in poor light.

 

Marketing is all about creating POSITIVE vibes. It’s better to stay away from practices where your customer feels shocked or shortchanged.

 

Mobile-Friendly

Nowadays, people of all age groups are glued to their smartphones. [3]In Indiaonline buying via smartphones ranges from 42% to 60%. 

Smartphones are known to trigger impulse buying. So, ensure your virtual store is mobile-friendly to net this segment.

  

 Getting traffic and sales requires you to be nimble.

 

Try the paid advertising space and at the same time work consistently towards getting the organic traffic.

 

You can start your targeted marketing campaigns by putting out:

  • Facebook ads
  • Google Ad words and Bing Ads
 
Other than that, you can adopt these digital tools to attract organic traffic:
  • SEO
  • Content
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
 

Optimizing your website is necessary to get ORGANIC traffic.

 

Today’s businesses are all about experiences. Be it the website experience or the delivery experience. Give them the best experiences.

 

ROX (return on experience) shall help you in scaling your business. USER EXPERIENCE is the new SEO.

 

Deliver curated content so that it builds traction and engagement. The effect feels fresh if you keep updating it.

Social Media on our Smartphone

 

 

 

Social Media is all the rage. We can’t agree more!

 

You will find people of all age groups active on these platforms. The Gen Z and Millennials are hooked to it.

 

Social media influencers have become stars of the digital world. They carry clout.

 

You can use these influencers to highlight your products by making videos of 25-30 secs. and thus, gain access to LOCAL customers.

 

Show off your brand and share its story on the different social media channels. Keep posting regularly to make a strong presence.

 

People, usually are scouting for freebies and discounts over these channels.

 

Put out a sale notice on Twitter or Instagram. You can add an element of urgency by attaching a deadline to it. This can have a knock-on effect!

 

Besides generating a sale, you could get likes and shares. That surely spreads the good word!

 

These are some cool ways of GRABBING traffic.

 

There is yet another way of reaching your customers in a focused manner: the email marketing route.

 

It is an old marketing tool, quite popular even with new-age businesses. It works.

 

As such, we all get a good number of emails every day. We do end up reading quite a few of them!

 

Start making emails preferably with a catchy hook line to draw attention. Well written and personalized emails do get noticed.

 

Talk about your product, share videos and highlight discounts (in case you are offering them).

 

Emails carry your message directly to the people in a subtler way without making much noise.

 

Be CONSISTENT with sending emails, they will fetch results.

 

Be innovative and bring fresh ideas to the table. You never know which idea of yours can catch fire!

 

Pricing

There is no doubt about the fact that every sale that happens has a good amount of hard work behind it.

 

If possible, choose a product with a higher value. This is to pocket a good profit with every item you sell.

 



Competition research


EvaluationCustomer Support
[4]

 

Dropshipping is worth your time and attention for these very simple reasons:

  • Low-risk business
  •    Easy entry
  •  Almost no overheads required
  •  Flexibility, can work beautifully as a parallel hustle or can be run independently
  • Can be scaled exponentially
  •  Ecommerce an accepted reality
  • Pandemic has acted as an accelerant to digital growth.
 

[5]As per the Morgan Stanley report, India’s eCommerce market is expected to hit $200 billion by 2026.

 

Online buying has become the norm and is here to stay. It’s practically unstoppable. Take advantage of this growing trend to expand your business.

 

Research, Experiment and Test: 

These are the three levers of the dropshipping business. They will help you survive and soar!

 

Set the ball rolling as this is the BEST TIME to get into dropshipping.

 

Stay Safe and Happy Dropshipping! ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

[1] https://www.oberlo.com/dropship-international/india

[2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/320733

[3] https://surejob.in/dropshipping-business.html

[4] https://ecommerceguide.com/ecommerce-statistics/#:~:text=According%20to%2099Firms’%20Ecommerce%20Statistics,conducted%20via%20ecommerce%20by%202040.&text=It%20is%20expected%20th

[5] https://www.livemint.com/Industry/9iUxlQZ4iHwPiXRKscx3LK/Indias-ecommerce-market-to-grow-30-to-200-billion-by-202.html

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Some Effective Tips on How to Reopen Economy Post Lockdown

 

An Open Business Establishment

COVID-19 has changed the world as we knew it. Every stratum of our society has been hit hard by its ferocity. A looming health emergency on the one hand and a shuttered economy on the other make it a two-pronged attack upon us. Re-opening of a stalled economy is not exactly a walk in the park. It’s tough! But the economy has to be revved up to re-generate it. Let’s dive right in and see for ourselves what the different ways and possibilities of reviving our economy are.

Since the lockdown is being lifted in phases, we can see some industries gearing up to re-open. The government on its part is offering a massive stimulus by way of loans and packages. But, the more they do the less it seems. Such is the magnitude of the disaster caused by the pandemic.

Given the enormity of the health crisis and the extreme measures taken by the government to contain it, we cannot expect the economy to come back to its original shape anytime soon.

Come out of the situation we have to, but first, we have to make a beginning of sorts.

Let’s look at a few steps for the re-opening of the economy-

  • Killing the Confusion

The cloud of gloom hovering on the business horizon can clutter our minds with despair.

We scramble for solutions, options and alternatives and with no rule book to follow that is easier said than done.

So, what do we do?

Become your own teacher. Contemplate. Yes!

Take advantage of this quiet time to re-assess your life. This way you can prioritize things concerning the changed scenario. Chalk out a plan.

  • Planning

With high costs, dwindling demand and the challenges of maintaining hygiene and social distancing to deal with, companies will need to re-model their businesses to keep them alive.

This requires planning and you would do well to keep a few things in mind-

  1. Hygiene and Social Distancing
  2. WFH and Digitization
  3. Diversifying and Cost Cutting
  1. Hygiene and Social Distancing

 

 

With the opening of establishments/offices, the highest level of hygiene protocols has to be maintained.

The same goes for social distancing which is to be practiced in totality. Offices can call to work those employees who are required for the functioning of the office. Social distancing can also be practiced by calling people to work in shifts if it is a viable option.

A lot of emphasis needs to be laid on hygiene and social distancing. An occurrence of a single infection can lead to your office being shuttered. That too for weeks, possibly! So, take care of these two things and make them your top priority.

If these two things are taken care of, you can move forward with the operations part of your business.

  1. WFH and Digitization
  • WFH

Work from home (WFH) is becoming increasingly popular because it’s your savior in these uncertain times. It delivers!

Frankly, what better option do we have in these times of lockdown and social distancing? WFH is just what the doctor ordered for coronavirus situation and the pun is intended!

On the one hand, the employees don’t have to worry about the commute and the traffic issues and on the other, the employers don’t have to be concerned about sanitizing the workplace and put in place the necessary hygiene protocols. Talking of social distancing, WFH is social distancing at its best.

So, WFH becomes a cool option!

The companies with no WFH in place can seek help from professionals and find ways of enforcing it. It can help you revive your business in these times.

  • Digitization

The internet ecosystem is tested and proven, hands down!

Smart businesses have thrived in the digital world. People who had dismissed digitization as a fad are at a disadvantage now.

Having said that, there is no room for resistance to digitization in the times of everything remote. These uncertain times call for digitization in a big way.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said that 2 years worth of digital transformation has taken place in 2 months.[1]

People are quickly pivoting to digitization.

Depending on the needs of your product/service one can visualize-

  1. i)Complete digitization of the supply chain
  2. ii)Adoption of cloud-based systems

iii)             Leveraging data, IoT, AI to develop new business models

As Digitization, WFH takes the center stage, Engagement has become the new buzzword.

Why?

With the increased use of video-conferencing (Zoom and Microsoft Teams), things are becoming easier and manageable. From morning huddles to meetings with bosses and clients, a new way of doing business has come into play. Since all this is happening online, interconnectivity amongst the different layers in an organization becomes a necessity. This gap requires some form of engagement.

                      Video Conferencing is Quite the Rage

Now that more and more people prefer to work from home, the need for engagement management is on the rise.

Companies are using social media as an engagement platform more than ever before.

With digitization and WFH, we can expect some changes in the way companies conduct themselves.

All these changes shall lead to a crisper, more efficient and secure workflow.

Two Circles, a London-based sports marketing agency has estimated that the sports industry may lose the US $61.6 billion of revenue this year[2].

These are mind-boggling figures!

The Sports industry is already experimenting with holding big-ticket events remotely.

It can work like this- the broadcasters can work from their homes, while the sporting event takes place outdoors. There shall be no live spectators watching the proceedings. They can instead enjoy the game in the comfort of their home.

All this is quite challenging! I hope they pull it off!

Digitization is already a thing! It’s our future so invest in it.

  1. Diversifying and Cost Cutting
  • Diversifying

E-tailers, healthcare and life-science professionals are working overtime. The demand for their products and services has seen a major upsurge in recent times. These sectors are contributing enormously towards the economy.

What about other sectors?

While some sectors have partially opened others will require more time to start again. For instance, travel & tourism, entertainment and other such sectors shall have to wait for some semblance of normalcy to return, before they can pitch for business again.

This waiting for normal times can take a toll on us for sure!

One of the solutions could be innovation and diversifying.

Since the re-opening of the economy is in the interest of everybody, people can surely find ways of staying productive.

You must think out of the box to keep your business afloat. Innovation in these times can be your savior!

Smart entrepreneurs have already diversified into products and services which are witnessing huge demand. For example, companies who have no track record of manufacturing masks, sanitizers, PPE’s, face shields, ventilators are eying their share in the new market.

Some brick and mortar establishments can start taking orders online by investing in an app.

People are coming up with unique business ideas to contribute positively to people’s needs.

Since the demand for WFH and virtualization is an all-time high, some people are busy catering to that. They are for example providing background screens for video-conferencing calls and meetings and renting out laptops and furniture.

The demand for such products can only grow in these times!

One can take a cue from these smart business ideas and start something of their own.

Investing time and resources in some niches promising high growth can be a gamechanger for you! Look around and see what the consumers of today are looking for.

Our economy needs innovators and thinkers.

  • Cost-Cutting

                                                             

A by-product of digitization can be cost-cutting.

How?

With more and more meetings happening online, there will be less business travel happening.

With uncertainty around us, business houses shall certainly be cutting corners in whatever way they can. This is no time for frills and superfluous spending. These are the times of maintaining caution and restraint.

If all these measures are taken up, they can surely help in giving our economy the required boost.

Wrapping Up

Different economic sectors have their own stories of fear and insecurity. With the supply chains having gone for a complete toss and layoffs and furloughs coming in force, there is a kind of hush descended on them.

Then there are some industries whose survival depends on normalcy. Take for example the entertainment, travel and tourism and construction sectors. These are all waiting for some good news to help them pick up where they left off.

They will surely start whenever the time is right but they will have to maintain those strict protocols.

There is no escaping the fact that a new-normal has set in, in our lives and we will have to live with that.

People want oodles and oodles of positive signs and assurances to gear up and participate in the re-opening of the economy.

All these fears and scares have to vanish!

Till then we can contribute to the economy by opening some sectors with caution.

Tenacity and resilience will make us stand tall amidst these chaotic times.

In short, there are no quick fixes in the offing, no ready answers for every sector. The crisis has impacted all of us differently.

It is a process which shall require all of us to contribute in whatever way one can by

  • Staying Safe
  • Opening some sectors
  • Adopting Digital Solutions and WFH
  • Innovation and Diversifying

Stay healthy! Stay productive!

[1] https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/satya-nadella-we-saw-2-years-of-digital-transformation-in-2-months-11588219678520.html

[2] https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/remote-production-the-new-normal-for-post-covid-19-sports-events-6407438/

WORK-FROM-HOME IN THE TIMES OF CORONAVIRUS

 

Covid-19 the new strain of coronavirus has caught us all unawares. Nobody knew of it until it surfaced recently in Wuhan, China, Dec’2019. The uncertainty that this infectious disease has caused, leaves us all bonkers! The question on everybody’s mind is how to stay productive in these times of immense upheaval. We live in the age of automation where work-from-home is a viable option and companies are pushing for it.
Nobody had any inkling that coronavirus would hit us so hard. Sadly, the whole world is in the grip of this virus outbreak now. Experts fear that it could spread exponentially and indeed it has in some countries.  It’s already done a lot of damage.
Health advisories are advising us to maintain social distancing. This way we can minimize our chances of getting infected.
Now, that the threat of coronavirus looms large, no amount of stress, panic and other negative emotions will get us anywhere. Let’s us be calm and focus on what really needs to be done.
Some companies are already encouraging their employees to work from home.
Social media giant “Twitter” has made it compulsory for all the employees worldwide to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic[1]. Amazon has told its employees worldwide to work from home if they can[2]. Alphabet, the parent company of Google has requested its workers in 11 offices in US and Canada to work from home.[3]
All these tech giants are taking the threat seriously. It is likely that more and more companies ask their employees to start working from home. That’s how social distancing can be implemented in full force. We are certainly witnessing extraordinary times. Caution at all levels has to be maintained.
Employers and employees have to be united in this fight . The resolve has to be there.
Challenges for employers…
Employers need to provide a conducive atmosphere for their workers to work from home. This requires a lot of strategizing, necessitating the companies to take steps like
·       Upgrading their networks
·       Ensuring adequate home connections
·       Pressing on internet service providers to relax band-width (in case there is any) at employee’s homes.
·       Bearing the cost of computers and the required furniture to run a work station at home.
·       Addressing security issues
·       Providing the necessary tools for remote-work
·       Keeping employees motivated and happy by providing virtual coffee-breaks etc;

Though some IT companies have already prepared or are preparing for this new setup, it is not hunky-dory everywhere.

Companies have their reservations and insecurities. Some companies are facing issues because they are not used to too many connections over virtual private networks (VPNs). Then there are companies who are already frowning upon the whole scenario as an increase in overhead costs.

 

Companies can seek professional help to upgrade and work upon their systems.
Re-orienting the way we work is certainly not a small issue. If road-blocks are there, I am sure solutions are also there for those who seek them.
It is in the interest of everybody that productivity does not take a hit.
Work-from-Home made easier….
 
There are some tools and freebies being offered by some companies to help
people work smoothly from their homes.
 

·       Slack, which makes business chat software are holding free consultations for companies who want to shift to remote working.

·       Allowing conversations to exceed 40 minutes on its own free tier is a gesture by Zoom, the videoconferencing service.

·       Microsoft has offered a service plan cloud “Productivity Suite” free for 6 months to small businesses.[5]

There are other tools available for remote working that you can check.
How may employees view this …
Work-from-home or Remote-work can be viewed differently by employees. Some of them might actually like it for the following reasons:

·       No long commutes

·       Work flexibility hours

·       No nosy colleague to waste your time

·       A much-needed break from the office scenario

Believe me, all this can result in increased productivity!
Work-from-home is a new concept for most of us.
It requires utmost discipline to get your work done in homes.
 
Why?
 
You can take it easy because you know it’s just your home not an office. Distractions are too many. You can get carried away and then your work can take a hit. Since you are not used to working from home, you may not know what went wrong.
That’s why it’s good to follow some rules. Abide by them in totality and you are good!
 
·       Workstation
First and fore-most get your workstation set up in a separate room. In fact, choose a room which is a little away from the living room. This is to cut noise which comes from the household.
Working on a sofa or lying down and working at the same time means you are not serious.
You are most working for some company/brand, so work with full seriousness.
·       Sticky Notes
Yes, the famous post-it notes, which you use commonly in your offices must be used. Stick them in front of your desk so that they are easily visible. You can prioritize your work according to the points mentioned in the notes.
·       Dress Code
Ensure you are dressed properly in your working hours. See, your boss can make that video-conferencing call anytime during your working hours. Leave a good impression as a thorough professional.
·       Bar Entry
This is one area where you have to maintain complete discipline. Remember this is not your office. You are operating from your home and your family members are also there. There can be a million distractions, especially if you have kids around. Leave strict instructions for everybody in the family to not disturb you in the working hours.
·       Working hours
Never relax or compromise on your working hours, otherwise your work will pile up and it will take a toll on you later.
·       Refreshment break.
Yes, this is what everybody wants after working incessantly for a few hours. So have your tea/coffee/snacks so that you get stimulated and refreshed. Its important to keep yourself motivated and happy.
Remember your targets, deadlines and work pressure are going to be more or less the same ; it’s just that the work environment has changed. So, being organised from day one, will relieve you of any unnecessary stress later.
 
Now that you are through with your work commitments for the day; the rest of the time is all yours.
Hey! You could me missing your office, your way of life! Well, here’s a few things you can do to lift your mood!

 

  • Just sit back and relax.
  • Read a book.
  • Chat with your friends on social media.
  • Catch up on some movie that you always wanted to watch.
  • Pursue some hobby-maybe you can draw, paint or anything else.
  • Practice Yoga and Meditation.

You can always try working on an online gig. Maybe you will end up making an app or acquire some new online skills.

Do whatever catches your fancy to unwind!
Well, I know some of you out there, are really no big fans of the work-from-home model.
You feel it will lead to isolation and loneliness. The biggest argument is that not everything about human beings cannot be automated and regimented. They need to interact physically with people as well.
We are social creatures, we need to meet and discuss business, have our lunch and coffee breaks together. It is this bonding that helps us to be creative and get great ideas.
 
We view success as a balance between productivity and happiness quotient.
 
 
Agreed!
 
But these are not normal times. Desperate times, desperate measures!
 
We have to make these lifestyle changes now for a better tomorrow.
 
 
Remember not everyone is fortunate enough to get their work done from their homes in this pandemic. Malls, theatres, restaurants, school and colleges are all closed. Daily wagers have been hit hard by coronavirus outbreak.
CONCLUSON
 
As a responsible citizen of the world, pay heed to all the health advisories. We don’t know how long this virus outbreak shall last. Countries are locking down.
 
Social-distancing helps in the slowing down of the spread of coronavirus.
 
Working-from-home is an efficient way to stay productive in these trying times.
 
Maintain social distance! Stay Safe!

 

WHY MY BUSINESS NEEDS SEO IN 2020

 

The idea behind writing this blog of mine is to give you a fair idea of SEO from a business perspective. The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. As a business person, you must know what to expect from SEO in 2020. The idea, here is to nudge you towards implementing SEO for the immense traffic and credibility it brings along.
 
If your business is already into SEO, great!
 
But, as you climb up the SEO ladder, you will discover newer insights. So, this blog shall help you discover and understand what these might be. Adding fresh ideas and perspectives helps a business keep moving.
 
You may be surprised to know that there are still those who dismiss SEO as a fad or a gimmick. That’s so not true. How, can you dismiss something without giving it a chance?
 
Well, a vast majority of people manage to make a website and then somewhere forget about it. What an opportunity wasted! The argument that the business is doing fine, and they shall do SEO sometime later when they need it is absolutely the wrong one! The paucity of time is often cited as a reason and they keep postponing it indefinitely.
 
My take is that if you can’t invest your time in a fundamental marketing technique that has the potential to expand your reach globally, boost your brand and generate traffic then whose loss is it anyway?
 
The fact that the online world has taken over our lives is no exaggeration. People are connecting and communicating like never before. Businesses today have a global reach. They are making the most of it and increasing their profits. Isolation can only harm your business.
 
So, get out of the comfort zone!
 
Take advantage of the digital boom!
 
I sincerely want all of you to give SEO your best shot, otherwise, you won’t know what you are missing!
See, nothing good comes easy. No marketing tool can be implemented without dedicating time to it, and going through its share of hassles and yes, plenty of hard work too. SEO, like any other marketing tool, comes with its own challenges.
 
 
I hope that you have created a website for your business.
 
What next?  Customers, right? As a smart businessperson, think of SEO as a wonderful marketing opportunity.
 
Before we discuss the various facets of SEO vis-à-vis your business, let’s get a quick understanding of the very basics of SEO.  

What is SEO?

 
SEO as a process is an evolving digital science which optimizes your website in order to push traffic to it through un-paid(organic) means.

Understanding SEO

 
Now let me explain and elaborate on that. We are living in a digital world, where information is just a search away. With smartphones in their hands and laptops on their desks, people are conducting billions of searches a day. Imagine the traffic that generates!
 
People don’t make these searches without intent. A search can be done to gather information about a restaurant, a holiday destination or just with the intention of buying. The list is endless!
89% of consumers end up purchasing on account of a web search, as per Business 2 Community.[1] 
 
That is the Power of Search!
 
Here’s an example to simplify it further.
 
Suppose I want to buy a phone. I won’t head to the market straightway to do the purchase. I am a smart consumer and I live in the digital era. I’ll do my complete research on Google. I’ll make comparisons of prices, latest models, features and so on. Only then will I take a final decision. As a businessman, wouldn’t you want your business to figure in these searches? This is achieved by SEO.
 
It’s quite obvious for you to ponder, as to how does all this information reach us?
 
It’s through search engines.
Let’s Get A Basic Understanding of Search Engines               

 

 
A Search Engine is a type of software which enables us to find information in the web world. The function of search engines is three-fold:
 
i)  Crawling – Scanning the net to find information.
 
ii)  Indexing – Storing and organizing the information in an index.
 
iii) Ranking –  Providing the most relevant or the best matching information, when a query is                    made.
 
You must remember that users trust search engines. Google is their topmost choice because it receives the maximum traffic and has the largest market share.
 
Bing and Yahoo are other well-known search engines. They have a reasonable following and hence cannot be ignored.
 
Now that we have some basic knowledge of SEO and the search engines, we can dig further to get an insight into how SEO functions.
 
SEO is Not Static …..
 
SEO is not a one- time formula to be applied to get the desired traffic. It is quite complex and is guided by various factors. These factors evolve/change with changes in technology. So, SEO becomes an ever-evolving process to be updated, applied and checked /analyzed until it gives us the desired outcome.
 
The fact is that one has to experiment with a combination of different factors until results are achieved. In the process, we may have to leave some tactics, adopt others and experiment again and again till one gets it right.
 
As a businessperson, you can expect a lot from SEO, provided it’s done properly.  There are some business people who are not sure about the importance of SEO. They are not sure what to expect from it.
 
Here are a few points which will make it easy for you to understand SEO from your business point of view.

IMPORTANCE OF SEO

1.   TRAFFIC

When it comes to online business, everybody wants traffic. This traffic has the potential to get converted into revenue.
 
The question is how does one ensure a good flow of traffic? The answer is SEO. Getting traffic is the responsibility of SEO.
 
In fact, it is responsible for getting traffic which is 20x more than PPC (pay per click). [2]You can imagine the reach of your product/service if SEO is done the right way.
 
Remember, it’s this traffic which can eventually lead you to sales.

2.   BRANDING

SEO exposes your brand to the users over a long period of time because it’s done organically. Your brand gets global exposure. Isn’t that great?!
 
Once people start doing business with you, they can recommend your brand to their friends. They can share information about it on social media as well. They can even leave a nice comment on your website. It becomes a sort of a chain reaction, where one thing leads to another. In this process, your brand gets a terrific boost.
This eventually helps in generating traffic.

3.   LONG-TERM BENEFITS

Advertisements run for some duration and then dry up once the campaign is over.
 
SEO, on the other hand, if done right, keeps giving you dividends for a long time. You will keep showing up in organic searches. These searches can be your potential customers.
 
It’s a good practice to keep introducing fresh content so that the users keep coming back to your website.
 
Let them have expectations of useful and updated content from your site. Raise the bar of your content for your users’/customers’ sake. This is a good way of having them drawn to your site.
 
All this can result in making your users’ loyal followers/fans of your brand. You will have a long association with them.

4.   MARKETING

 

SEO in 2020 has become bigger and better. It has evolved into a wholesome marketing tool.
 
A lot of successful business houses are already reaping its benefits.
 
Why should you shy away from it?
 
You are a forward-thinking businessperson. You must realize the full potential of SEO. In so doing, SEO will become an integral part of your marketing strategy. You will benefit from it like no other marketing tool.
 
SEO gives you a wonderful platform for marketing.
 
Here’s a bird’s eye view of what all you can expect from SEO-
          
  •           Appear in search engine results.

 

  •         Try and get a top ranking in search engine rankings.

  •         Write blogs on other websites to publicize your brand.

  •         Write on other blogging platforms where users can find you.

  •          Email outreach to your audience.

  •          Offline business activities to be pushed to the online world for boosting your brand.

  •         Give users the best experience when they visit your site in terms of content, loading speed and so on to get them interested in your product/service.

  •      Give customer satisfaction your top priority by having tailor-made content answer customer queries.

  •        Provide appropriate content as part of sales support.

The idea is to get traffic, customers and repeat customers
.

 

If you have a little knowledge of SEO under your belt, you can leverage it on your own. Alternatively, you can hire an SEO professional to meet your needs.
 
As a businessperson, nobody knows your business better than you. So, put on your thinking cap and be totally involved in the SEO process. SEO is not just a few links and keywords here and there, it’s much more than that.
 
Since your inputs/ideas are extremely important for your business, you should get familiar with the different types of SEO which have been summarized for you below:
         Technical SEO
         On-site SEO
         Off-site SEO
                    
Technical SEO-    It caters to the crawling and indexing of your website by search engines as mentioned earlier.
 
On-site SEO-       It deals with the structure of your website, title headings, metadata, internal links and other techniques which provide relevant information to search engines so that they know what your page is all about.
 
Off-site SEO-      It’s about ranking your website by search engines. Here the backlinks play an important role.

5.   AHEAD OF COMPETITION

SEO must be tweaked all the time to keep pace with the ever-changing algorithms. There is not a single surefire method of perfecting SEO. Things are changing/evolving fast. It makes sense to keep yourself abreast of the latest trends to secure your present and future.
 
Some points need to be emphasized here so that you take them seriously. I have touched upon a few things so that you are aware of them and include them in your SEO plan as per your need.
 
i)                User Intent
 
Today, everybody who knows about SEO is talking about it.
 
See, your business needs customers and these customers make queries/searches. So, these queries are really important to you.
 
What are these queries? How are they searching? This is exactly what you must work upon.
 
Search engines are adapting to natural language, so long-tail queries/keywords can be one solution.
 
Another solution is to reach out organically by talking to your target audience and asking them how they carry out a search. This would give you an insight into the user’s intent.
 
Accord the power of search your top priority.
 
Optimize your content for it, by keeping users’ queries in mind. Let your content provide the most accurate answer for these. That way you can capture their attention.
ii)              Optimizing for Speed
 
We are living in a super-connected world. People want everything this instant.
 
In this scenario, if a user searches for your site and your site fails to load instantly, the user will return to search results. 
 
Oops! That’s bad news for your business.
 
This is the reason why you have to ensure to optimize for speed. You must make site loading super-quick by removing all the obstacles. Talk to your SEO guy or maybe your developer for this. They will certainly find a solution.
 
Once your site loads fast, users won’t leave just like that. They will likely spend some time on your site. In this process, they might like your product/service. This can result in conversions.
 
It’s all about revenue at the end of the day.
 
So, make sure your site loads fast, maybe in 2 seconds or even less.
 
iii)            Mobile-SEO
If you worry about the fact, as you should that mobile traffic has superseded traditional desktop traffic, you will make your site mobile friendly.
 
Be a smart business person and join ranks with the forward-thinking SEO tribe. Mobile search is already huge. Get your mobile SEO done to capture this immense traffic.
 
Let me explain this more…
What is mobile SEO?
 
Optimizing your website for users on smartphones is mobile SEO.
 
Now the question on your mind is…
 
Why do I need mobile SEO?
Google cares for the immense traffic that comes from its users. 58% of all searches on mobile devices are done by Google users. Google cannot ignore this. [3]
 
In fact, Google has already announced that mobile-first indexing shall be applied to all websites in the next 6 to 12 months. [4]This means the sites will be crawled by Google from the mobile browser’s point of view for indexing and crawling purposes.
 
So, in case your website is up and running and it is not mobile-friendly, it’s time for you to move to mobile-first indexing.
 
Well, if you are one of those whose websites have just come up or are in the construction stage, then get it optimized for mobiles first. It makes sense because then you won’t have issues concerning the loading speed of sites on mobiles, cropping up later.
 
How to get mobile SEO done?
 
  • Mobile users have their devices in their hands and they want everything in real-time. So, make sure your site gets loaded quickly by getting rid of any impediments.

 

 
  • Customize your mobile content for your users. The content should be easy (i.e., not small- in -size) to read. Don’t expect users to adjust to your font size because if they find it difficult to read, they won’t spend a second more engaging with it.

 

 
  • Video content is quite popular amongst mobile users. If your video is working good on the desktop, there is no guarantee that it will run fine on your mobile. Check for this, and take the necessary action if required.

 

 
  • Since mobile devices are also used outdoors; so be sure that there is a significant amount of contrast between the text and the background. This will ensure a good reading experience.

 

Be sure about the fact that users will look for your website more on mobiles and less on desktop computers.
 
In short, optimize your content for your mobile visitor, pay attention to speed and other issues. The idea is to give your users a fantastic experience. So, make your site mobile friendly.
 
 
iv)            Voice Search
Another thing that is catching on with users is Voice Search.
What is Voice Search?
 
It is a speech-technology which allows users to search by a voice command.
Why is it gaining popularity?
 
It’s gaining in popularity because of two simple reasons:
 
.  Convenience: Users are falling for voice search because they find it so convenient and easy. Well, it is easier to speak than type.
 
    . Results: The results of voice-search are faster.
 
In fact, in the US alone 55% of teens and 41% of adults use Voice search as per Northstar Research.[5]
How to carry out Voice Search SEO?
 
. First and foremost, ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
 
According to Google, more than 20% of all mobile searches are voice searches.[6]
. Use natural-language phrases with user intent in mind. Optimizing your content with long-tail keywords around customers questions needs to be done.
 
Be an early adapter so that you get the chance of tapping into this traffic.
 
v)              User/Customer Satisfaction
Google is evolving its algorithm all the time to give users the best experience. It’s time for you to turn your attention to this.
 
Shoppers when visiting regular shops or malls, check the product/service, their terms and conditions thoroughly before making the purchase. Customers expect a similar kind of assurance when buying anything online.
 
Today’s users are well acquainted with the digital world. They expect a few things from your brand before they take a final decision.
 
.   They will go through the reviews/feedback of previous customers.
 
.  They would expect solid content as part of the after-sales support to give them much-needed assurance and confidence. Anyway, keeping them in the loop shall keep them happy.
 
.   Up to date and quick responses from your end.
 
Ensure providing your customers with amazing experiences. This will translate into nice feedback, social shares and above all trust. That follows an increase in traffic.
vi)            Think Big
Being short-sighted doesn’t pay
 
 If your focus is just on making quick bucks or if you are playing for short-term gains and ignoring your customers, then, I am afraid all this can translate into bad customer experiences. The result will be…
         
        They will never give you another chance
         
        They can leave a bad review
 
That surely is not good news for your brand. Your competitors will definitely love it!
 
Never put your brand’s reputation at stake for small gains. Remember it takes a lot to build trust in the online world. 
 
Don’t look for short-cuts
 
.
Don’t get too cozy, too soon!
 
The online world is a dynamic one.
        
       Having made some money too soon doesn’t mean you have the magic formula.
      User’s intent, algorithms and technology are not constant. So never be too sure of your techniques or methods.
     Your competitors might have already prepared a better answer or provided a better solution for the user’s problem/query than yours. See, if you are keeping a watch on their ways of business, so are they!
     Always leave room for evolving, learning and understanding. That’s how SEO works. This is the only trick that will make you a long-term player and eventually a big player.
 
vii)          Build Trust
You can do even more by building trust! The more trust you garner online, the better it is for your brand.  
 
As a businessperson, you surely must be attending events like seminars, award functions and so on. Now, make it a point to show that online. This shall increase your visibility and reputation online.
 
Ultimately, Google and your users want to know you more. Your users want to do business with you. So, build a strong image of yours online to look convincing and earn trust.
 
 
CONCLUSION
 
  • In the SEO world, the URL’s, Titles, Metadata, backlinks etc. are all important. BUT, that’s not all!

 

 
  • Remember Users/Customers get a top spot.

 

 
       – Their search
       – Their trends
       – Their satisfaction
 
All this is important for Google, so integrate it fully in your SEO plan.
 
  •  Keep a good watch on your competition’s style of doing business. You can get inspired to do something better to increase your reach.

 

 
  • You might have the greatest idea/product/service in the world but what good is it, if it’s not made visible to the people. Implement SEO.

 

 
  • There are no hard and fast rules here. See and analyze, what works best for your industry, your product, your service. All websites are unique. They have their own challenges, demands and needs. So, make your SEO plan accordingly.

 

 
  • Attract traffic by doing SEO through various channels.

 

 
  • If your content is cool, your product/service is good, your site is delivering (no speed issues) you can very well get traffic.

 

 
In 2020, all businesses should be SEO-smart to for them to be players who matter.
 
So, Think Traffic, Think Conversions, Think Business! 
                                                                                                                                                     


[1] https://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/what-a-digital-marketing-persona-really-is-and-how-to-create-them-02252618
[2] https://sparktoro.com/blog/seo-opportunity-growing-shrinking/

 

10 Simple Reasons Why It Is Important to Have a Website in 2020

Hey! We are in 2020. The digital universe is expanding like never before. All the successful businesses have websites because they want to be under the digital umbrella. The businesses of today cannot survive without a strong online presence. If your business is still not online, it’s high time you start with the first simple step of creating a website. I shall give you a few basic reasons why you should give website creation your topmost priority.
Internet Boom

1.  Myth Buster

All kinds of myths are doing the rounds when it comes to the digital world. Some people say that only online businesses need a website, while others think that if their business is doing pretty good why should they need a website. There is no end to the reasons given by people to not have a website. But all these people are wrong. The truth is that all forms of businesses whether small, medium, large, local consultancies or anything else cannot remain unaffected by this digital revolution. Stop putting blinkers on your eyes. Be a part of this online world and reap the benefits.

2.  Power of the Internet

If you are happy running your business traditionally with old-school-tactics, it’s fine. But look around-people all over the world are hooked to their smartphones or laptops round-the-clock. According to a study done by Nielsen, 85% of consumers use the internet to find a local business today[1]. All the smart people use the internet for their business decisions. You will be doing your business a disservice by not reaching out this massive market.

3.  Today’s Customer

Our business revolves around our customers. So, it becomes very important for any successful business to gauge the mood of the customers. Today customers carry out thorough research on the net before buying any product/service. This includes making comparisons of different websites, checking the credibility of the product/service by reading the comments of the existing customers etc. It is only after doing this that they take a final decision. Now if your product/service doesn’t show up in these results then you are certainly losing business. If somebody asks me if I would do business with a company that does not have a website, the answer is no. Because I would not trust a company that does not have a website. That is the psyche of today’s customers. Now that’s bad news for your business! But you can certainly plug this hole by creating a website.

4.  Communication in the 21stCentury

Communication has made our world one big village. Distances no longer deter people from carrying out business from one corner of the world to another. With smartphones in their hands, people expect instant gratification. Desktop web traffic has been left behind by smartphone mobile traffic. Smart businesses are already online, having a global reach, very much visible to their customers. If you have a website your next customer could be from another country, which is not possible with your current marketing vehicles. Why restrain yourself and not take advantage of the communication boom? I see no reason upon the face of the earth for your business not to be online.

Smart Phone and Instant Gratification

5.   Low-Cost Advertising

As such you must be paying your employees, printing brochures and doing other marketing activities to run your business, a website is another marketing tool but with a difference. It is an advertisement which runs 24×7 throughout the year requiring only a one-time investment. Isn’t that amazing? Believe you me, you won’t get this reach with any other marketing activity. Your ads and marketing campaigns dry up over some time but a website once made properly remains there for good. The cost of creating a website is very low when compared to the returns generated by it. Anyway, the moment you have a few sales in your kitty after your website is up and running and you recover the costs!

6.   Business becomes Efficient

It is true that when any business has a smart website, then you can keep on getting leads even while you are busy with your operations or even when you are sleeping. Because a website runs 24/7. This saves you time. You can utilize this time on other aspects of the business which otherwise got ignored. You can also cut down costs by hiring fewer people since your website runs like a permanent salesperson.

7.   Brand Awareness

Websites don’t just give your business a boost by giving you prospects, but with time they enhance the credibility and goodwill of your product. Your brand may go on to have a global market. With a good website in place, you can include forums where customers can post any questions or feedback about your product/service. Now with this information handy, you can improve your product/service. This shall make your brand better and more competitive.

8.   Business doing Well

If you are satisfied with the way your business is currently, good for you! But the question is- how long can you keep this rhythm alive?  The simple fact of the matter is that people are increasingly getting used to the ways and comforts of the internet world. There is every chance they will carry out their purchase/shopping with modern methods. They want to be trendy and sound cool! So, they will give the digital world a try and believe me if they like it, you will never hear from them again. Besides, if you have a brick and mortar business location which closes after a few hours, your prospects can still find you online if you have a website. So, build a website now!

9.  Technological Ignorance

A very huge number of people shy away from building a website because they think they are not technologically smart. They think that it’s too much of a hassle. Now, this is a misconception. Because a web designer does everything for you. All you have to do is to explain your model of business to him or her. A good web designer can be found locally or you can do some research on the net and find one. Ensure you get a good, tailor-made website designed for you.

10.  Smart Competition

If you are not online yet and your competitors are, then surely, they are having a ball.
It’s time you take your share of the pie. So, build a website and be a smart competitor.
Are you ready to take the plunge now? It’s never too late. Understand that a website is going to be the face of your business online, so make it crisp to make it count. If you are aware of the nuances of the online world then you can yourself design your website with the help of Wix or Squarespace. It can be a lot of fun and a learning experience for you as well. But if you don’t have time or you are not at all tech-savvy, then contact a professional web designer. Not only will they design a website for your business, but they will also be able to optimize it for web searches as well as the various social media channels. Make it a point to update your website regularly with new offers, fresh content and deals to make it alive and kicking. Do not forget to check your competitors’ websites as these will certainly will give you some useful tips. Again, no matter where you are from, what your business is, how big or small it is, a good website will go a long way. Go ahead and showcase your business online. It surely is your time now.