Affordable marketing for small businesses

Running a small business is a big task and so is creating its marketing campaigns. There are a lot of different responsibilities that fall on the entrepreneur running the small business. From creating a brand image to recruiting a small team, as well as creating content for the business. However, one of the most important aspects of running a small business is being able to market the product or service. There are many ways in which small businesses can market themselves. Marketing in the current world is mainly online which makes it more affordable. Moreover, online marketing can be customized according to each business. Whether the business is of consultancy or a small business, these methods can be used by any and all businesses. Here are a few affordable ways one can start marketing one’s small business.

  1. Influencer Marketing

Influencers are people who use themselves as a brand and create an influence over others. Influencers usually have a range of followers; there are micro-influencers that can have over 1000 followers or macro influencers who have over 100,000 followers. Even celebrities can serve as influencers. In influencer marketing, a brand provides their products to an influencer, usually along with a payment. Thereafter the influencer decides how to integrate the brand into their content and can choose how to portray the brand. While hiring an influencer, a lot of times micro influencers are the better choice for small businesses because they are more affordable. One of the main reasons for businesses to use influencer marketing is that it allows them to reach their target audience. Thus, creating an online presence for the consumers that will be willing and able to purchase the products and services the business has to offer.

  1. Paid Ads On Instagram / Facebook

A simple way for small businesses to market and advertise their products and services is through paid advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. The paid platform a business chooses to use for advertising depends on what the business is selling. However, Instagram is a common choice for many small businesses. There are several different forms of advertising through Instagram, such as stories, video and photo advertisements, as well as carousel advertisements that allow more than one picture or video in the same post. The pricing of Instagram Ads can start from as low as 5 USD, hence it is rather inexpensive. Understanding which ads work best for the business would require researching both competitors and analyzing the best results for one’s own business. Overall, Instagram paid ads are an affordable way for one to create an online presence for one’s small business.

Furthermore, ads on social media can become incredibly targeted and if one is running a windows and doors business, one would be able to target new home owners or those who have recently shown interest in home security, home improvement and the like. Another perk of targeted ads is that one can show the ads to those in the same area if the business is localized or globally, if it’s an online store which ships internationally.

  1. Other Methods of Gaining Exposure

Small businesses have several other ways to market their products and services affordably. For example, if a business is using a website, content and email marketing are a great way to create an online presence. Many times content marketing can even be free of charge, especially if one knows how to effectively identify one’s audience and utilize different strategies such as guest blogging and search engine optimization (SEO). Marketing for small businesses can also extend to word of mouth by showcasing the business to one’s own community and requesting that information to be shared amongst other networks. Marketing for small businesses, therefore, can be very affordable and if done right can create a huge success for the business.

Understanding the value of marketing automation

Marketing is one of those concepts that seems to demand constant attention. Marketing strategies are intended to make all aspects of business easier to figure out, but sometimes they can have quite the opposite effect, taking up important time and resources. For this reason, marketing automation is making waves with companies around the world. Having a guide to marketing automation is key to understanding where, when, and how to configure marketing aspects of the business to work for you, not against you. It is not at all easy to run a business, and having a guide that can flesh out some of the more difficult parts to establish and understand makes it all the easier.

There are three core keys to understanding how and why marketing automation is such a strong aspect of business, and why it is so valuable to all business models. Each of these concepts are designed to help you understand exactly why marketing automation has become such an integral part of marketing in many companies’ cores, and why they continue to prove their value. In some aspect, every company should have marketing automation ingrained into their business models and practices, and the reason is very simple: with more time to focus on the more important, integral aspects of the business, the company is automatically elevated by the attention to detail on matters that demand more attention.

Marketing automation is centred around efficiency

Realising the potential for technology in marketing has come hand in hand with the realisation that automating certain aspects of marketing is all about making things easier. While there are some aspects of running a business that demand attention and more effort, there are others that can be easily automated to make room for the other aspects of the business that need more structure and human handling. Automating works to make the business run smoother, and it does it well (when used correctly).

It allows you to focus on more important aspects of the business

While every aspect of running a business is obviously important, there are some parts (like events, reminders, and even website updates) that take far more time to effectively carry out. There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours working on perfecting one section of a website when you could be (and likely should be) working on, such as ordering or communicating with clients. When the pressure of easily automated tasks is taken off your shoulders, you can dedicate more time and energy to the aspects of the business that require more attention.

It can make it easier to delegate and organise

Marketing automation is all about convenience and efficiency. Organising certain things, like aspects of web management, events, and even meetings is often a time-consuming process that requires more attention than many businesses have to give. The same can be said for delegation in the company. Automating takes the hard work out of many processes that otherwise can take up hours, sometimes even days or weeks, to execute accordingly.

How to Protect Your Wi-fi Connection

“Internet safety needs to be more widely known” (Richard Stallman the inventor of GNU/Linux open source OS). Computers and technology are advancing faster and faster, so we need to take a step back and evaluate how we should keep ourselves safe online. This is even especially true because everyone uses the internet – even people who don’t have any clue what they are doing. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to makes sure your wi-fi connection is safe and secure.

You should invest in a VPN for wi-fi because there is no excuse to not be using a VPN when you are online, especially when using public wi-fi. VPNs make your online safety increase exponentially. Hackers can easily access your information in a reletive cheap and simple technics.Like that they can get into your network when you are on pubic wi-fi without using a VPN. You may think that you aren’t a target or that hacking won’t happen to you, but it very easily can. Make sure to access important information when at home on a private network and with a VPN for maximum security.

The network name is also known as the SSID or a service identifier. It is one of the most basic wi-fi network settings. Using too common of a name can be dangerous to internet users. Common or obvious names to steer clear of are “wireless network” of the vendors default name. This makes it easier for hackers to figure out the personal mode of WPA or WPA2 security. This is a tip that is easy to change and can add an extra layer of protection to your wi-fi connection.

Naming the SSID a company name or last name isn’t a good idea either. This means the network is easily identifiable. Having your SSID as a name of the company in an office building or another shared area is especially a bad idea because it makes nearby networks also more hackable. Hackers also might look for addresses in a shared area because it’s easier to access many at once.

Most access points (APs) have a reset button that someone can press to restore factory default settings, removing the Wi-Fi security and allowing anyone to connect. Thus, the APs distributed throughout your facility need to be physically secured as well to prevent tampering. Ensure they are always mounted out of reach and consider using any locking mechanisms offered by the AP vendor to physically limit access to the AP buttons and ports.

Another physical security concern with Wi-Fi is when someone adds an unauthorized AP to the network. Some people do this because they want to add more Wi-Fi coverage, or for negative purposes by an employee or even an outsider who gains access. To prevent these rogue APs, ensure that you disable unused Ethernet ports.

The best way to ensure you are protecting your w-fi connection is by making sure you follow these steps. Another thing to do is make sure you are educating those around you who also use the internet.

The importance of dental health care

Dental hygiene and health are both extremely important to be taken care of. As kids, people are told to wash their teeth two times a day, to floss, and to use mouthwash. Moreover, most kids have bi-annual dental appointments that keep their teeth healthy. However, as people grow up the attention towards dental health care tends to decline. As adults, eating habits change as well, which a lot of times result in bad dental hygiene and health. Moreover, adults also face the high costs of dental health care, which is the reason why so many adults decide against dental health and check-ups. Overall, the reasons to refuse dental health are many, however, what many fail to realize is the importance of dental health. This is the reason why many dental clinics are now offering more services to patients. For example, there are clinics that offers many different cosmetic services to the patients, alongside consultations, for their dental health. Many other dental clinics are opening up services and trying to make dental care more comfortable as well as more accessible to patients. Dental health is important and dentists are constantly emphasizing on it, here are 2 reasons why.

  1. Reduces the risk of disease

Not taking care of one’s teeth has repercussions, the main one being the risks of diseases. There are many diseases that can be caused due to reduced dental care, including gum diseases and even heart diseases among others. A regular dental check-up assures that the patient is not suffering from any such diseases. Moreover, a lot of time gum problems are ignored resulting in long-term infections. It is important to note that at times one’s teeth might look healthy, however, that does not always mean that the teeth are healthy. Overall, it is necessary to take care of one’s teeth both at home and outside by visiting the dental clinic.

  1. Reduces the risk of cancer

Other than gum and heart diseases there are other risks that can be caused due to declined dental health. One of such is cancer, especially for women. It has been noted that patients with a history of gum diseases have 14% more chances of getting cancer. Therefore, it is necessary to check with the dental clinic to make sure that one is not suffering from any dental health problems.

Dental hygiene also plays a big role in other health conditions – just ask any sleep apnea clinic to find the consequences that poor dental hygiene can cause. It has been noted that millennials do not have the best dental hygiene. Therefore, it is important for one to take on the added effort in order to keep their teeth healthy and strong.

The options through which one can take care of one’s teeth are several. Moreover, with all the technological innovations, people have even more dental care products at their support. A lot of people, for example, are switching towards probiotic toothpaste which is beneficial both to the teeth and the gut. Also, according to Scottish research, dental health check-ups do not have to be expensive because they do not have to be that regular. Therefore, one can visit the dental clinic once every two years and continue with a positive dental health. Overall, it is important to take care of one’s dental health and people are advised to hence take responsibility for their dental care.

Customizing an inbox for better workflow and productivity

Email is one of the most commonly used communication mediums across the world because of its instantaneous speed and widespread availability, but it’s also one of the most frequently disorganized. Despite all the tools and safeguards in place, people have a tendency to misplace emails, fail to prioritize important emails, and communicate inefficiently.

But with Gmail, there’s a convenient set of features lurking right underneath the surface that can help you get organized—and stay that way.

These features are heavily interlinked with one another, and they all start with a custom search. At the top of the desktop app, you have the ability to perform a “normal” search, or use a combination of Gmail search operators to modify your search, narrowing it down based on criteria like these:

  • Just like an online search, you can use a handful of key words and phrases to find the email you’re looking for—assuming those keywords are present in the body or subject line of the message.
  • Senders and recipients. You can also use modifiers to filter in certain senders or recipients of the message (including those on CC or BCC lines).
  • If you know approximately when the message was sent, it can help you narrow down the message even further.
  • Labels, marks, and stars. Search operators can help you find a specific message if it was marked a certain way, with labels, importance markers, stars, or the read/unread status.
  • You can even track down messages based on the type, size, or name of the attachment included with them.

There are dozens of search operators to draw from, so as long as you remember a handful of pieces of information about your email, you should be able to find it.

Custom searches are powerful ways to track down the precise email you’re looking for, but what if you’re looking to better organize these types of messages in the future?

One of your best options is also one of your most convenient. After issuing a search, you’ll have the option to create a filter from that search—just click the Create filter button at the bottom-right corner of your search box.

With a filter established, Gmail will automatically apply a certain action to any incoming emails in the future that match the criteria you described, including:

  • Some people prefer archiving messages to deleting them, though they’ll still count toward your total inbox storage. This option will automatically archive any incoming emails that match your specified parameters.
  • You can also automatically mark those emails in any way you see fit. For example, you can mark them as read if you don’t need them to catch your attention, or mark them as important if you’ll need to review them as soon as possible. You can even assign a different color star to them (as long as you turn on those star options in the Settings menu).
  • Applying labels. You can also apply certain labels. This is especially important if you’re dealing with specific senders who all belong in the same category; for example, you could have a label specifically for emails from professors, or one from work-related contacts.
  • If you need some of your emails to be seen by other people, you can set them up to be automatically forwarded. For example, you can automatically forward your utility bill to each of your roommates to simplify the process.
  • If you’re tired of a certain type of email, you can also automatically delete it. Though you can recover deleted emails for a limited period of time, it’s best to leave this option as a last resort.

Just be careful when setting up a new filter; based on your parameters, you may accidentally include some emails you didn’t intend to be grouped together. Double check your parameters and monitor your folders carefully for the first few weeks following their creation, just to be sure they’re working as you intended.

If you’re looking for a new, permanent home for emails that meet certain parameters, you have a few options. You can create a new label, which you can use to group similar emails together, or use custom markings so you can find those emails faster. You can also use an Advanced Setting (available as a sub-category in the Settings menu) to create Multiple Inboxes. The idea here is to create a set list of parameters for which emails are shown in each of several custom inbox variants.

All of these strategies have the power to dramatically improve your ability to organize your emails (and your efficiency at communicating). Make sure to take advantage of them if you’re using Gmail on a regular basis. And be sure to check out these Gmail hacks, Gmail plugins, and Gmail extensions.

Breaking the mold of student debts with technological advancements

Diligent parents often make their children save a portion of everything they earn. You may remember your parents putting 10 cents of your dollar into a savings account and allowing you to spend the rest. At the time, it was probably frustrating. However, as you grew older, you soon learned the value of savings.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. citizens have nothing in their savings accounts. People always say that they can simply save later when they’re more financially secure. However, greater financial security rarely comes. Even if you make more money, your spending-rather-than-saving habits will continue, and you’ll be left with nothing in savings.

If you want to defy the odds and set yourself up for success in the future, you’ll take the time to save money now. Here are a few things any college student can do to pad their savings accounts.

Why pay full price when you can get a discount? More and more retailers are offering discounts for products, food, and experiences. Make a habit of searching for coupon codes before you make a purchase. Try not to buy anything unless you can apply a discount.

This will not only teach you to be frugal while shopping, but it will also encourage you to shop less. You’ll spend less time shopping and more time saving when you’re required to have a coupon to make a purchase.

Many college students have the ability to save, but they don’t think about it. Taking the thought out of the process of saving makes it much easier, and automatic transfers can be set up to do just that.

Most online banking systems offer you the ability to automatically transfer a certain dollar amount into your savings account each month. You can set that amount based on your current budget, but try to make it at least $50 per month. With that small amount being transferred into your savings monthly, you’ll have a savings of nearly $2500 after four years of college.

If you don’t keep a written, monthly budget, you should. Budgeting tells you how much money comes in each month and how you plan to spend it. It can help you identify categories of overspending so that you can live a more frugal lifestyle.

Most college students can tighten their budget in a few areas, including skipping the student meal plan, eating out less frequently, making your own coffee, biking instead of driving, shopping smarter with your groceries, nixing the credit card, canceling the gym membership, dropping your Netflix subscription, and purchasing used instead of new items.

Each dollar you save after setting and keeping a budget can be put aside for your future. To stay motivated, imagine a world after graduation where you don’t have to worry about your finances after you graduate and look for a job.

You’re pretty far from thinking about retiring while you’re in college, but consider saving for that happy occasion now. Retirement funds grow based on contributions and compound interest. The sooner you begin a fund, the larger it will grow when you retire.

To put this in perspective, consider this: A college student who contributes $25 per month starting at 20 years old will have $59,890.53 saved by the time they’re 60. Your personal contribution will be a little less than $20,000, so the rest of your earnings will be purely based on interest.

On the flipside, if you waited for ten years until you were in a stable job to start saving, your monthly contribution would have to more than double if you wanted to achieve the same result. That’s the power of compound interest in action, and you should use it to your advantage.

You can save using robotic advisors, employer-sponsored plans, apps like Acorns, or by starting an IRA. Just remember that the sooner you save, the more money you’ll have at retirement.

It may be tough to find extra money to save, but this is something you’ll never regret. It will help you get started with your life after leaving college and teach you a highly valuable life skill that you can use over and over again.

Break the mold of the traditional, broke college student and start saving now.