Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Press Release

Every successful company understands the importance of a well-written press release as it plays a huge role in any effective communication strategy. However, despite its relevance, many companies struggle to curate the perfect press release as it can be rather difficult to create one that captivates and engages the audience. A poorly written or untimely announcement can have detrimental repercussions, forcing your company to regroup and do damage control. Therefore, to help you write an informative yet newsworthy press release, here are the common mistakes you need to avoid. 

Having a Bland Headline 

Nowadays, journalists wade through a plethora of press releases, and many of them get overlooked because their titles do not generate enough interest. The more eye-catching your press release, the better. A bland headline will not spark interest and will most likely have your copy pushed to the side. To capture the attention of journalists, you’ll need to captivate them with a newsworthy title. You’ll want to come up with a direct and concise headline that communicates your message in an effective yet engaging manner. 

Not Including Visuals

Many press releases are blocks of plain text, which deters both journalists and readers alike. Without interesting and relevant visuals, your press release will just be a block of black and white text that journalists are unwilling to read.

If you want readers to stop and take notice, your PR needs to sizzle; this means you need to generate excitement and interest. The best way to ensure this is by including eye-catching visuals that can increase your chances of creating an engaging press release that your audience will want to read. Studies show that today’s market is all about visuals. With the fast pace of the media – specifically social media – we gravitate to visuals first, and that helps us determine whether or not the text included deserves our attention.

Rushing it 

If you’re a rookie, the mere idea of writing a press release can make you quite anxious. This can lead to 2 things: either you won’t give yourself enough time to write well-thought-out content, or you will become overwhelmed and cram too much information, which will lead you to lose the audiences’ interest as a result. Avoid rushing the writing process as this will affect your sentence structure and make you more likely to leave out relevant information. You also don’t want to ramble on and confuse your audience. The information has to be relevant to the reader, so give yourself enough time to devise an outline and identify the message you want to convey and the clearest way to do so. 

Press releases are the fundamental foundation of a successful PR strategy, which is why you ought to conduct quality research before writing it out. For this reason, experts recommend that you consider using a template to provide your readers with a perfectly-formatted press release. Taking a look at some samples will also give you a better idea of the optimal outline to follow to ensure success. 

One Dimensional Formatting

Many people tend to write their press releases in a formal manner similar to that of newspapers. This type of stiff writing has no flow. A lack of fluidity in your sentence structure won’t generate the engaging vibe you need to cultivate excitement. Take a look at some of the most captivating public speakers and pay attention to their rhythms and sentence structure to learn how to intrigue audiences. You want to avoid redundant sentences but, on the other hand, you don’t want your sentences to be short and stiff, either. 

Overuse of Links 

It’s easy to get carried away with embedded links and forget what the initial goal of this press release is. Follow this golden rule moving forward: stick to 2 links maximum for the best effect. In the meantime, don’t forget the importance of keywords and SEO practices to ensure your writing is not only compelling but that also aligns with your audiences’ online search habits. 

Lacking Resonance 

Of course, you will have goals you want to achieve and a vision you want to stick to, but a common mistake many people make is that they become so preoccupied with their vision that they create content that doesn’t resonate with the different audiences intend to target. It’s important to remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all case. You will need to alter your copy for various audiences to resonate with journalists, editors, media publishers, and all the other readers you hope to reach out to. This means customizing your headline and leads accordingly. Some information that may seem relevant to you may not be relevant to a select few of your target audience. 

Making it Too Promotional

As mentioned above, being preoccupied with your vision has its downsides. After all, a PR isn’t about patting yourself on the back; it is about resonating with your target audience, most notably, journalists. Avoid making your press release too promotional and instead, focus your attention on providing your readers with real value. Always ask yourself, “Is this news is relevant to readers?” “Does it coincide with what’s going on today?” Nothing that will put off journalists more and give you bad publicity than an untimely press release. 

Relying Solely on Distribution Platforms

Back in the day, all you needed to rely on was distribution platforms. However, now there are a plethora of other methods to make use of. You need to be active on social media and keep in mind that it has a huge impact on what is deemed newsworthy and clickable. Therefore, you’ll need to optimize your online content by being informed on trends and popular interests, as this generates better results than traditional news articles. As such, include graphics, visuals, and images to increase your chances of being featured in various publications. It’s also a good idea for up-and-coming brands to cultivate relationships with a circle of journalists to expand their outreach and get their name out there. 

Writing a press release may seem overwhelming, but once you understand what is relevant to your target audience, you’ll be able to create a press release that resonates with your readers. To generate and maintain the interest of your audience, you need to provide valuable content that’s suitable for today’s climate. Avoid making the aforementioned common mistakes, and use these tried-and-tested tips to write an engaging and captivating press release. 

Local SEO Hacks: Why Reviews Matter and How to Leverage Them for Businesses

Everything in SEO goes back to this golden tenet: Google provides users with the best experience possible. And every element that contributes to this lofty goal improves your ranking.

As such, reviews — no matter how peripheral they seem — matter. In a conventional white-hat SEO campaign, the strategies revolve around keywords and codes, and reviews may be brushed off. However, this customer-generated content helps advance your site to the top of the results page because it improves customer experience; reviews help them decide. 

Reviews accomplish two goals: compel your customers to take action and fortify your Local SEO services.

For SEO: Reviews Make for Rich Results Listings

Rich results are listings on the results page that go beyond the standard blue link. They have ratings, images, carousels, and more. These were borne out of the need to help users decide whether that listing is relevant to their search. 

The rule is, the more information on the listing, the easier the decision. 

This applies to sites that use markup language for social proof. When Google crawls your site, it recognizes the markup for reviews, which appear as golden stars under the listing. 

These golden stars instantly make your listing stand out from the results page. After all, 84 percent of shoppers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And it doesn’t take many reviews to convince them: 68 percent of shoppers form an opinion after reading between one and six online testimonies.

Using SEO software to management and analyze higher rating (the closer to five golden stars) leads to a higher click-through rate (CTR). This amplifies your SEO efforts — analysts observed a strong correlation between CTR and search rankings. If Google sees that a lot of people are clicking your site, then your site must be providing a great experience.

More importantly, a higher CTR generates a lot more traffic, which means more opportunities to convert and close a sale. 

For SEO: Customer Feedback as Fresh, Keyword-Rich Content

The more content you publish, the more Google’s crawlers will visit your site and reassess your ranking. Every time you make an update on your site, the search engine crawls it and evaluates your site. And thanks to the Freshness Algorithm, search engines prefer fresh content. 

High-quality content is prized because, going back to our golden tenet, it gives users an excellent experience. 

Although you did not generate the reviews, Google still sees these testimonials as fresh content. When users leave a review on your site, the search engine has something new to crawl and index. What’s more, these reviews likely contain keywords relevant to your product, service, or location, like:

  • “I bought these chocolate molds
  • “The best burger I’ve had in Queens
  • “The hotel has a spectacular view of the Thames

Though unintentional, these keywords help Google understand the nature of your business and consequently, create a better user intent match.

For Customers: Higher Brand Trust

Trust is a huge factor in conversion. Without trust, customers won’t take that leap of faith and buy from your brand. Many elements influence brand trust: the age of the company, word of mouth recommendations, and brand reputation.

In the digital space, reviews play a huge role in strengthening brand trust, especially among first-time buyers. 

Looking at this 2019 Trustpilot research, we can observe that three out of the top ten factors that increase brand trust involves online reviews. About 93.7 percent of customers say they trust a brand more if they have positive customer reviews. So if people are saying good things about your products, proudly and prominently put them on your site.

Reviews are a double-edged sword, however. They can also lead to a decrease in trust when feedback puts your business in a bad light. About 88.8 percent of customers say their trust decreases if the company has negative customer reviews. 

Despite this, it still pays to post reviews because the absence of social proof deters picky customers. About 81.0 percent say their trust takes a hit if the company has no customer reviews.

But no matter how tempting it may be, do not delete negative comments and reviews. A staggering 95 percent of consumers say that their trust decreases if the negative reviews are deleted. Even if you have a couple of negative reviews, hiding them may do your brand more harm than good.

 

Here’s how far ratings could go in driving sales: a 2018 TurnTo study reveals that, if customers were comparing two similar products with a price difference of two dollars, 73 percent would choose the pricier product with a higher rating. 

 

For Customers: Creating Fresh Customer Interactions

So what do you do if you can’t delete negative comments? You respond to them.

Reviews are an important point of interaction between the customers and the brand. When you respond to reviews, customers feel heard, and their impression of the brand improves. There’s a good chance for you to restore their trust, even if the customer’s initial experience was negative. 

Here’s a quick guide to responding to negative reviews:

  1. Acknowledge the problem. Begin by acknowledging that a problem occurred and that it resulted in an unpleasant experience for the customer.
  2. Take the high road — apologize. Even if the customer was on the wrong, offer an apology.
  3. Offer an explanation, not an excuse. If possible, provide more information to clarify any misunderstanding. For instance, was there a huge technical issue that delayed shipping?
  4. Take the conversation online. Invite the customer to talk about the problem through messaging, instead of the review page.

Taken in stock with all other elements in your digital marketing, reviews are not as valuable as site structure, user experience, keyword research, and link building when it comes to SEO. These strategies are foundational. However, your competitors are doing all that. 

Once the “SEO basics” are taken care of, what will make your campaign stronger than the competition?

Your reviews offer a golden opportunity to amplify the effects of your SEO efforts — something your competitors may not realize. Reviews provide fresh, keyword-rich content for Google to crawl and enrich your site listing. More importantly, reviews convince people to choose you, which is what SEO is all about.

7 Things You Can Budget for Amidst the Coronavirus

Budgeting is an integral part of personal finance. It may very well be a crucial factor during these times given the current economic climate. 

Although businesses are slowly starting to reopen, no one is entirely certain of the future. What is certain, though, is the need for one to have a solid financial plan. It can help you manage your money better during the pandemic and keep you from getting deeper in debt. 

For simple ways on how to keep your finances in order, follow these recommendations below from the bankruptcy attorneys at Scura

Here are seven ways to budget amidst Coronavirus 

Say Goodbye to Unnecessary Habits

What Coronavirus has done is make us realize that we might not be able to indulge in some, if not most, of the activities we did pre-Corona. Staying indoors has kept us from socializing outside of our homes and frequenting to places that are happy to take our money. Whether these are bars during happy hour or just going to the mall to shop to our hearts content, these habits after Corona might have to take a backseat as most people’s salaries have taken a toll.

As life slowly crawls back to a normal pace, you need to ask yourself, what can you actually afford and what can you put on hold for the time being? Can you survive if you do not indulge in activity A or B? If yes, then you do not need it in your life at least until things come back to the way they were. If you cannot survive without them, these are the services or businesses you need to keep in your life and include in your budget. 

Enjoy Homemade Food More Often

While we are on the subject of leaving behind unnecessary habits, eating take out every day or even a couple of times a week is another thing you can consider placing on hold.

Staying home has probably opened your palette to home cooking and this is probably something you should do more often coming out of Corona to tighten up the load on the money you spend. Cooking homemade food can be drastically less expensive than eating out, and yes that includes take-out. 

The internet is full of fun and delicious recipes that you can easily cook up in no time to serve up a full course meal rather than spend money at a restaurant, say for example, that you could most likely hold off for the moment until your paycheck starts increasing again.

How Fat is Your Emergency Fund? 

While no one knows how life post-Coronavirus will be for sure, most are anticipating that the economy will not be so kind. The possibility of losing one’s job, having a pay cut or reduced hours at work is very high and has actually been happening to many already.

If you are still receiving your paycheck, this is the right time to fatten your emergency fund. Try to be as frugal as possible with your spending and put as much money as you can aside for the time being. This way if you are directly affected by the loss of a steady income, you will have something that you can rely on. 

Look to the Long-Term When Saving

Putting money away shouldn’t only be for short term emergencies that might come up. Think also long term. What will happen a couple of years down the line and the closer you get to retirement? What kind of lifestyle do you envision having and will you have enough money stowed away. 

While you put money away during Coronavirus to have some coins to spare, why not throw some of that money towards your retirement.  

If you already have a retirement account or a Roth IRA why not throw up a few more dollars for down the line. It can be as easy as increasing your contribution amount by a few percentage points. This way your future self can thank you.

Don’t forget alternate investments like cryptocurrencies. Some financial experts predict the price of Bitcoin to shoot up from the current prices to over $1 million in the next five years. You may not want to miss the boat on that one.

Pay off debts with Higher Interests

If you have some money to spare, pay off your debts with high interest like credit cards or personal loans. If you keep paying the minimum balance only, the debt will keep accumulating. 

You can try talking to your lenders to see if they can agree to lower your interest rates to make it easier on your pockets during these trialing times. If you manage to lower your interest rates, you will have some extra money to invest or pay off other low-interest debts. 

Personal Investment is Important 

Do you invest in yourself? Emergency fund and long-term savings aside, if you have some extra money in your account after budgeting, have a personal budget that helps improve your current self today. 

For example, you can take online classes for that course you always wanted to take or buy that book that can help you with your financial planning.

Consider Your Children’s Future in Education 

If you have children, open up a savings account for their future education expenses. College is not a cheap undertaking. A 529 college savings account will spare you the headache of having to pay taxes on it and the money saved can be used on any postsecondary accredited school.

Although Coronavirus has wracked havoc on the economy, proper budgeting will keep you afloat for times to come. With proper planning, you can survive the storm and still manage to save for your future.

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The Importance Of Email Marketing For Your Digital Marketing Efforts

When it comes to running a successful digital marketing campaign, there are many different elements that need to be incorporated. 

From the on-page and off-page SEO, any paid advertising, to help promote your product and brand, to the way you communicate with your audience. This you can complete through social media, content marketing, but also email marketing. 

A reliable and prominent figure within your digital marketing strategy, if you are unsure of the value of email marketing, then we can help.

Here to explain the true importance of email marketing, keep reading to discover whether email marketing is valuable for your business. But also, how you too can begin to incorporate this simple communication channel into your marketing.

What is Email Marketing

If you are new to the ever evolving world that is digital marketing and are about to take your first baby steps within email marketing. Let us first acquaint you with this valuable form of communication popular for its ability to communicate with receptive audiences.

As you may be somewhat aware, email marketing involves marketing and targeting consumers with commercial material with a particular goal in mind. Whether to improve customer loyalty, increase sales or share important information, email marketing is an important way to directly market to a targeted group of people.

With a commercial message in mind, this communication with customers is followed after the recipient consents to receive marketing messages in their inbox. This often follows the completion of a sale or a sign up to a business newsletter. 

This remarketing of material to be truly successful should be separated into different segments. These segments of different characteristics of the email database and added audience insights can allow the business to focus and send material best suited to the participants’ interest.

What can Email Marketing achieve

If you are attempting to determine whether email marketing is beneficial for your business, regardless of how big or small your company is, email marketing is an essential addition. 

With our lives becoming more and more digital, even more so following the COVID-19 outbreak, making sure that your digital marketing strategy is tidy and in pristine condition is more important than ever before. One way that you can do this and be confident that all efforts will not be wasted and that is by incorporating and optimising your use of email marketing. 

As our lives are moving more online and with over 3.5 billion smartphones users in the world, so is the amount of time that we are spending on our devices. With a mobile phone continually in our possession, targeting your audience through this reliable channel should be paramount in this digital age. 

Why should email marketing be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy? A method to contact and reach out to customers while they are out and about, while creating personalised messages that are in line with your marketing strategy. 

Advantages of Email Marketing for businesses

When it comes to the importance of email marketing for your businesses and deciding whether to incorporate this form of communication into your marketing strategy, first you must look at the advantages. What are the advantages of email marketing? And why should you incorporate it into your business? 

From looking at the results conducted and experienced by companies that incorporate email marketing into their strategy, there is one common outcome. That is the unbeatable ROI experienced

When compared to other marketing channels, the Return Of Investment experienced from email marketing came in up at the top in second to the results experienced through the social media channel, Facebook.

Research also conducted has discovered that emails are 40 times more effective when it comes to acquiring and converting consumers. An important feature during these turbulent times.

Along with a higher ROI, what are the other advantages of email marketing? 

Ties together your entire marketing strategy

What should be a foundation within your marketing strategy, when successfully promoting your brand of message, never use one channel alone. Instead, by incorporating all channels together, you can expect to receive maximum success. This point can be seen with the addition of email marketing and its ability to blend with your marketing strategy. While also working to benefit and give them the extra push that they deserve. 

If you are planning on organising a social media contest. Don’t just promote it across social media. Instead promote it to your email subscribers to drive the activity and allow them to promote and share the contest with their friends and family. 

ALSO READ: Press Release Mistakes To Avoid

Connects with larger number of customers

If you are launching a new service or product and are looking to connect and communicate with customers, email marketing should be considered. This it can do through its ability to be received and read by subscribers anywhere, at any time of the day.

With more people with an active email account than those that use social media, email marketing already looks to be a reliable addition. 

Add in a higher conversion rate and ROI. There really is no excuse for not incorporating email marketing into your marketing strategy. 

Longer lifespan

Social media is an important marketing platform for businesses to connect with customers. This fact has been highlighted in recent research that found 91% of marketers claimed social media increased their brand recognition. But, what makes email marketing more valuable than social media? 

When comparing the two, email marketing can embody a longer lifespan. This lifespan can be seen through the permanent placement that the email creates when sitting within the inbox.

While a Tweet on the other hand has a lifespan of 18 minutes, proof that an email has a longer lifespan.

Offers a more personalised message

As previously touched upon, if you are looking to market and communicate with consumers on a personal level, personalising your message is recommended. This is where email marketing can be used to help assist with this task.

Email automation has never been more advanced than it is now. Along with personalising the subscriber names and the subject line, through the creation and segments of email lists, businesses can ensure that their message is going to the most receptive audience.

The email automation software that you choose to use can even filter emails by job titles and locations.

How to begin an email marketing campaign

We have covered the benefits of email marketing to a business and why it should be incorporated into your marketing strategy. From the longer lifespan to its ability to connect with a larger audience while offering a more personalized message. 

Not to be used alone, email marketing is a superb pillar to support and propel your present marketing strategy. But how do you begin to create an email marketing campaign?

We have put together some top tips for beginners looking to take their first steps and grasp the benefits of this effective marketing channel.

When it comes to the importance of email marketing, making sure that you have created a strong foundation can ensure maximum success as you begin to harness and incorporate email marketing into your campaign. 

Here are some the basic foundations that you must cover before starting to send out mass emails.

Choose an Email Automation software

Before you start to incorporate email marketing into your digital marketing plan, first you must review and choose an email automation software for your needs. With many platforms available, you won’t be short of choices. It is recommended that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the different softwares and their functions. Your email marketing campaign is only as good as your software that you choose to use. From Mailchimp, GetReponse to ConvertKit, there are a number of superb email automation softwares to review. 

Email Database

You have chosen your email automation software of choice and have created an effective content marketing strategy that you are confident will be a huge success. But how are you going to get your message out there to your audience? Before you can press send, first you need to build an email database. There are a number of ways that you can begin to grow and invite customers to sign up to receive your emails.

From a signup form that you place on your website to receive the latest news, or the gift of an exclusive discount for signing up to the newsletter. Some websites choose to create gated content that becomes visible once the reader signs up to their newsletter and agrees to be contacted with relevant marketing material. How you choose to build your email database is up to you and should be in line whether to help drive sales or increase visibility of content. 

Create relevant content and segment accordingly

Before you are able to start harvesting the fruits of your labour, first you must create relevant and engaging content. From the subject line, personalisation of emails, while catchy and easy to read emails all paramount for maximum effectiveness.

From making sure that your email is punchy, it is also recommended that you take the time to make sure that you are targeting the right group within your audience. 

Segmenting and sending targeted emails to a particular group within your audience can ensure that is openly received. The more relevant the content, the higher the conversion rate.

Summary

A powerful and important addition to your digital marketing strategy, for those looking to propel their marketing efforts, email marketing is recommended. By ignoring the rumours that email marketing is dead, instead you can create an effective and powerful marketing strategy that can get your brand and message seen and heard by a receptive audience. 

Coming in second to Facebook for high ROI results, within this blog we have covered the importance of email marketing and its many benefits.

With a little bit of investment and time put aside, you too can begin to see the benefits of this more personalised communication with interested audiences. 

If you have yet to try your hand at email marketing and witness the benefits for yourself, by reviewing our 3 top tips for incorporating email marketing into your strategy, you too can put your best foot forward.

Have you embraced email marketing and witnessed any instant noticeable results? We would love to hear from you and discover your first hand experience of email marketing. Comment below and share your experience of email marketing with us today.

Featured Bridges For April 2020

For more than ten years, BridgeURL users have been using our service to create interesting and useful bridges to share with their family and friends. We have had PR agencies use BridgeURL to share their latest campaigns with their clients. We have had airplane staff use BridgeURL as a bookmark for all their internal login pages.

Now, each month, BridgeURL will feature the most interesting and popular bridges created using our service. We will of course not be highlighting the NSFW ones and those that are meant to be confidential. If you are the owner of one of these bridges and want this to be removed from the list, please feel free to get in touch with us.

List of experts/studies/analyses challenging Covid-10 panic – http://bridgeurl.com/list-of-experts-studies-analyses-challenging-covid-19-panic-3

Coronavirus Fall 2020http://bridgeurl.com/corona-virus-fall-2020/all

Coronavirus Come Aiutare (Italian – Coronavirus – how to help) – http://bridgeurl.com/coronavirus-come-aiutare/all and http://bridgeurl.com/coronavirus-come-aiutare-1/all

Stay home and readhttp://bridgeurl.com/stay-home-and-read/all

Arteries for anatomy presentation – http://bridgeurl.com/arteries-for-anatomy-presentation/all

The Vegan diet and the environmnet – http://bridgeurl.com/the-vegan-diet-and-the-environment/all

Telling time to the nearest half hourhttp://bridgeurl.com/telling-time-to-the-nearest-half-hour/all

David M Kessler Fine Art on Abstract Painting – http://bridgeurl.com/david-m-kessler-fine-art-on-abstract-painting/all

Rope access training linkshttp://bridgeurl.com/rope-access-training-perth/all and http://bridgeurl.com/rope-access-training-brisbane/all

 

Best Coming Soon Plugins for WordPress

Site maintenance can be tricky, but with the right tools, you can do pretty much anything. WordPress plugins are useful tools for web developers when it comes to site maintenance. Over 55,000 WordPress plugins are at your disposal. However, to save you some time, down below is a list of useful and powerful WordPress plugins for site maintenance and increasing traffic.

If you are upgrading or resetting your WordPress site or doing maintenance, WordPress plugins that display visual notifications can come in handy. These plugins are used to separate the maintenance part of your site and the content that your users see. Use these plugins to create “maintenance” pages or “coming soon” pages and improve your site’s looks by notifying your users of the site’s progress. 

Doing this will improve your SER, SEO, and user experience. No matter the type of business, these are very important aspects that you should look after. 

Site maintenance can be time-consuming and/or even expensive. If you do not maintain your site, users will have a bad experience and things will get worse sooner than later. Keep in mind that it can take you several days or even months to redesign a site, so it is best to let search engines and the users know what is going on by putting the site “under construction”.

Businesses cannot afford these basic mistakes, as mistakes cost money. If you do not notify your users and search engines about your work, all of it will become worthless. 

Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode

Create simple and fully customizable “Coming Soon” or “Maintenance Mode” This plugin packs many useful features and it won’t waste your time, instead, it will save it. It is very easy to use and you can choose from many different themes, which will surely fit your business perfectly. No need to look any further, as this plugin excels at helping you build pages faster. 

Features

1 Million+ Free Images – free HD images + Instagram filters

120+ Remarkable Themes – fully customizable designer themes 

Get Things Done Faster – easy to use 

Best-in-class SEO Setup – rank higher in search results with built-in tests  

Easy Access for Clients – Secret Access Link feature lets clients see their site while the work is still in progress.

SEO Snippet Preview – access a real-time preview of how the site will look in search results

SEO Analysis – 20+ tests on different aspects of SEO 

Google Analytics Tracking ID –see your site’s stats and track the site through Google Analytics

Themes

Preview and activate themes from the plugin’s settings, no need for any additional downloads.

List of themes

Design – Layout

The drag & drop builder features 10 fully customizable modules and is easier to use than other WordPress builders. Content Overlay adds a transparent background to the content section. You can choose from 47 introductory animations.

Design – Background

Use a static image background or an animated video background from 400,000+ images gallery, or, upload your own. Background Image Size is displayed in the original size, so resize images to cover the entire screen. There are 27 filters and 9 predefined positions for your background images. Set any background color instead of images if you like. Add YouTube videos and they will be played muted and looped, without any additional effort.

Design – Logo

Your logo reflects your product, so position it wisely. Select logos from the Media Library, or upload your own. Maximum height and width are calculated automatically, making it easy to resize them. You can use the Logo Title for SEO purposes.

UnderConstructionPage Plugin

UCP is a WordPress plugin, which will help you create and configure “Under Construction Pages”, “Maintenance Mode Pages”, “Coming Soon Pages”, and “Landing Pages”. Thanks to its efficiency and simple interface, the plugin comes highly rated and is used by many web developers.

The paid- PRO version has more than 50 additional features. They include the drag & drop builder, and over a million HD images. Also, there are more than 200 available templates, and it even supports affiliate & traffic tracking that comes included with advanced access control. If you got money to spend, you can go for the “Agency” version, which offers more features and you will definitely get your money’s worth.

This neat WordPress plugin comes in handy when your site is under maintenance, as it can hide the site behind the “Under Construction Page”, notifying your users of your work in progress.

With this WordPress plugin, you can collect leads and subscribers via opt-in boxes and popups. MailOptin plugin comes integrated for of charge, and it “plugs in” to MailChimp, or other autoresponder services, allowing you to easily collect emails.

Features

Under construction mode – on / off

Automatic End date & time – automatically disable “Under Construction Mode” on a pre-set date

Google Analytics Tracking ID – enables Google Analytics tracking 

Themes –200+ available themes 

Custom CSS – customize any page aspect

Opt-in box, opt-in popup – collect emails and synchronize with MailChimp or other autoresponder services

Login Button – displays links to the login form, and or WP admin if logged in

Social icons – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Skype, WhatsApp

Whitelisted User Roles – user roles who see the actual site, and who won’t see the “UCP”

Whitelisted Users – users who see the actual site, instead of the “UCP”

UCP WordPress plugin is compatible with the following caching plugins: 

W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, Endurance Page Cache, WP Fastest Cache, Swift Performance Cache, SiteGround SuperCacher, and Hummingbird cache.

Maintenance – By WP Maintenance

This WordPress plugin grants the site’s administrator access to site maintenance. The administrator can close the site for maintenance by enabling the “503 Service temporarily unavailable” page, and/or by creating a (temporary) page with authorization, which of course, can be edited in the plugin settings. You can customize your appearance on all devices by adding a logo, background images, or using a color for the background.

WP Maintenance supports collecting leads and subscribers through opt-in boxes and popups in content. MailOptin plugin is integrated into Maintenance (for free) and it can connect to various autoresponder services.

Amelia – free events & appointments booking calendar, adding events and bookings calendar to your maintenance page made easy. Start taking appointments and improve your work.

Features

Fully supported and retina ready HTML/CSS layout

Full-screen background 

Blur effect for backgrounds

Add your logo

Customizable titles, colors, fonts, icons, backgrounds, and headlines

User login (frontend)

503 Error on/off

Google Analytics support

Exclusions for selected pages (Maintenance mode)

WP Maintenance

The WP Maintenance plugin allows you to put your website on the waiting time for you to do maintenance or launch your website. Personalize pages, pictures, and countdowns, etc. The plugin is open-source, which means that it is completely free! Of course, you don’t get all the pro features, but this is good enough to create simple coming soon pages in WordPress. You can find the ‘WP Maintenance’ menu in the WordPress admin panel.

Features

Choose from various texts colors and fonts

Upload logo picture

Upload background picture or pattern

Slider

Countdown

Google Analytics ready

Social Networks ready

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Conclusion

If you are running a business that solely depends on your site’s performance, you cannot afford to skip maintenance. With the help of various plugins, you can easily create “Coming Soon” pages, which will transform your whole site, and boost your SEO & SER. If you skip the maintenance part, search engines (Google, Yahoo) won’t be able to do their job, and your site will rank lower than its competition.

These plugins offer you endless designs to choose from and surely, they will suit your needs. A well-designed page makes your site look confident and worth paying attention to. As these plugins are easy to use, they are web developer’s first choice when it comes to web development and maintenance in general.

How To Choose A Free POS System For Your Small Business

A frее POS fоr ѕmаll business саn help you ѕаvе tіmе, provide better ѕеrvісе to your customers аnd give you vаluаblе іnѕіghtѕ іntо your buѕіnеѕѕ. Aѕ a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ owner, you hаvе a never-ending list оf tasks: managing employees, lіаіѕіng with suppliers, fіndіngnеw рrоduсtѕ, rеѕtосkіng inventory, еvаluаtіng pricing ѕtruсturеѕ, marketing your services and bаlаnсіng bооkѕ. POS and rеtаіl mаnаgеmеnt systems аrе роwеrful tооlѕ thаt can hеlр уоu ѕіmрlіfу all of these tаѕkѕ аnd hеlр уоu make іntеllіgеnt business decisions. Thеrе are a lоt of frее POS for ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеmѕ on thе market. Yоu need to fіnd а rеlіаblе system thаt wіll help уоu іmрrоvе your workflow and аllоw уоu tо іnсrеаѕе your profits. How dо you choose thе rіght system fоr уоur operation?

Evaluate уоur Needs

Stаrt wіth whаt уоu have. If уоu hаvе bееn ореrаtіng fоr a whіlе, evaluate the ѕуѕtеm уоu currently hаvе іn place. Whаt fеаturеѕ аrе missing? Whаt are thе tооlѕ уоu wish уоu had? Are уоur customers аѕkіng to split thеіr рауmеntѕ? Dо уоur ѕtаff bеlіеvе the оrdеr entry ѕуѕtеm is tоо slow? Arе customers complaining about long lіnеѕ аt thе сhесkоut? Are the ѕhеlvеѕ ѕtосkеd аррrорrіаtеlу? Arе you are having trouble judging whеn tо order іnvеntоrу аnd how muсh to оrdеr? Arе уоu hаvіng trouble managing еmрlоуее wоrk hours?

A frее POS for a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm саn rеѕроnd tо аll оf these соnсеrnѕ. It’s a ѕорhіѕtісаtеd, ѕіmрlе tо use аnd аffоrdаblе tool thаt саn оffеr іnѕіghtѕ іntо уоur buѕіnеѕѕ аnd ѕtrеаmlіnе уоur рrосеѕѕеѕ, but nоt аll POS ѕуѕtеmѕ аrе buіlt thе same аnd finding the rіght tооl for the buѕіnеѕѕ rеԛuіrеѕ knоwіng whаt you need аnd fіndіng the system thаt wіll fulfіll your nееdѕ.

Thе Right Fit for Yоur Induѕtrу

Nоt all frее POS fоr ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ systems are сrеаtеd еԛuаllу. Lооk fоr a ѕуѕtеm that is dеdісаtеd tо small buѕіnеѕѕеѕ. A ѕуѕtеm thаt is designed to meet the сhаllеngеѕ small buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ fасе wіll better rеѕроnd tо уоur nееdѕ thаn a ѕуѕtеm dеѕіgnеd fоr a multіnаtіоnаl bіg box ореrаtіоn. Yоu need a system that caters tо уоur industry аnd thе ѕіzе оf уоur operation. Thе POS nееdѕ оf a hаrdwаrе ѕtоrе аrе very dіffеrеnt thаn the nееdѕ of a соffее ѕhор. A system that іѕ dеѕіgnеd for уоur іnduѕtrу wіll bе easier tо ѕеtuр аnd еmрlоуееѕ should hаvе nо trouble lеаrnіng tо uѕе thе ѕуѕtеm thаt is dеѕіgnеd fоr thеіr wоrk еnvіrоnmеnt.

Like anything else, there really is nothing absolutely free.  Most of the “free” point of sale systems on the market want your merchant services in exchange to use the software.  Hardware is usually an additional cost.  Here’s a few examples of “free” POS systems on the market now:

  1. Harbortouch – The software and hardware is free with no upfront cost, however there is a monthly service fee and requires a 3 year commitment.  Works for many business types large or small..
  2. Square POS – Free to sign up and use, however there is hardware costs if you want to use the square register.  You must use Square’s merchant services to accept credit card payments.  It’s one of the best options for small businesses that have small average tickets with low monthly volume.
  3. Loyverse – Loyverse is a good mobile POS software application for restaurants you can use for free.  You can transform you iPad or smartphone into a mobile POS.  Use your own merchant provider or use the preferred provider integrated called Vantiv. 
  4. Vend – Vend is a great solution for small retail shops.  The free version supports 1 cash register, 10 products, an up to 1,000 customers every month.  The more advanced paid version will cost you $69 per month.
  5. eHopper – Limited to 1 register on the free version or there is a paid version if you want integrated merchant services. There are costs associated with add-ons like eCommerce at $99.99 per month. 

Features to Lооk Fоr

Lооk fоr a frее POS for a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеmthаt hаѕ аn іntuіtіvе оrdеr mаnаgеmеnt іntеrfасе. If уоu саn store сuѕtоmеr information as you take оrdеrѕ аnd mаnаgе and track оrdеrѕ, thіѕ will speed uр уоur wоrkflоw аnd customer ѕеrvісе. Thе ѕуѕtеm should hаvе аn іnvеntоrу mаnаgеmеnt tool thаt lets уоu trасk every item уоu hаvе іn ѕtоrе, as well аѕ еxсhаngеѕ аnd returns. You ѕhоuld bе аblе to ѕеt lеvеlѕ and reminders for reordering.

Wіth роwеrful іnvеntоrу mаnаgеmеnt tools, you саn еnѕurе you аlwауѕ have your best ѕеllіng рrоduсtѕ аvаіlаblе so you can ѕеrvісе your lоуаl сuѕtоmеrѕ аnd іnсrеаѕе уоur profits. Lоуаl сuѕtоmеrѕ are уоur number оnе аѕѕеt. Look for a ѕуѕtеm that keeps track оf уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ аnd іdеntіfіеѕ their рrеfеrеnсеѕ thrоugh lоуаltу programs. Marketing саmраіgnѕ аrе mоrе successful whеn you саn оffеr уоur customers еxасtlу whаt they are ѕеаrсhіng fоr.

Aѕ a small business оwnеr, you nееd tо dеvеlор аn оvеrаll picture оf thе hеаlth of уоur ореrаtіоn. While you’re searching for a frее POS for small buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm lооk fоr роwеrful rероrtіng fеаturеѕ thаt рrоvіdе іn-dерth аnаlуѕіѕ оf еvеrу aspect of уоur buѕіnеѕѕ. Sаlеѕ аnd рrоfіt rероrtѕ аnd visuals оf kеу реrfоrmаnсе іndісаtоrѕ kеер уоu on trасk, ѕhоwіng you whісh аѕресtѕ оf уоur business аrе most рrоfіtаblе and whісh are suffering.

A feature-rich frее POS fоr a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm ѕhоuld hаvе аn integrated еmрlоуее mаnаgеmеnt system. Yоu should be аblе tо ѕеt roles and реrmіѕѕіоnѕ tо kеер dаtа and еmрlоуее іnfоrmаtіоn ѕесurе. You саn аlѕо uѕе thіѕ tool tо budgеt tіmе аnd staff ассоrdіnglу. Whеn you еvаluаtе the рауmеnt рrосеѕѕіng ѕуѕtеm оf a free POS, make ѕurе thаt thе interface is іntuіtіvе and quick to uѕе. Lооk for ѕуѕtеmѕ thаt рrоvіdе fеаturеѕ that аllоw you to ѕрlіt а tab іf a сuѕtоmеr wishes to рау via саѕh аnd сrеdіt.

Sуѕtеmѕ ѕhоuld аlѕо рrоvіdе thе орtіоn оf printing or еmаіlіng rесеірtѕ. With a сlоud-bаѕеd POS ѕуѕtеm, уоu саn access уоur dаtа and reports аt аnу tіmе from аnуwhеrе frоm аnу mоbіlе-соmраtіblе dеvісе. Yоur software is аlwауѕ uр tо dаtе аnd уоur dаtа is never lost. But a сlоud-bаѕеd POS system dоеѕ nоt hаvе tо bе dереndеnt оn the internet. Yоu ѕhоuld bе аblе tо рrосеѕѕ ѕаlеѕ even if the internet connection is down. Pауmеnt ѕhоuld аutоmаtісаllу bе рrосеѕѕеd when your соnnесtіоn rеturnѕ.

Sеаrсh fоr Rеvіеwѕ оf Various frее Smаll Business POS Systems

Your grеаtеѕt rеѕоurсе іn judging thе ԛuаlіtу оf a POS ѕуѕtеm is tо аѕk other ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ hоw thеу rаtе their frее POS ѕуѕtеm. Ask thеm whаt they lіkе аbоut their ѕуѕtеm, аrе they happy wіth thе funсtіоnаlіtу? Ask thеm аbоut the рrосеѕѕ of іmрlеmеntіng thе ѕуѕtеm. A fеаturе-rісh system іѕ not very useful іf іt’ѕ nоt well implemented. Tаlk tо other rеtаіlеrѕ аbоut the service thе POS соmраnу рrоvіdеѕ. Hоw ԛuісklу саn thеу соntасt someone for support? Hоw ԛuісklу does thе company fіx issues? Hоw оftеn do they nееd to соntасt tесhnісаl ѕuрроrt? Thе frеԛuеnсу оf support іѕѕuеѕ mау іndісаtе thе оvеrаll reliability оf the ѕуѕtеm.

Aѕk оthеr ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ іf thеіr ѕуѕtеm еvеr сrаѕhеѕ durіng a trаnѕасtіоn. You can аlѕо find answers to thеѕе ԛuеѕtіоnѕ in сhаtrооmѕ аnd blоgѕ. While mаnу frее POS fоr ѕmаll business ѕуѕtеmѕ mау оffеr thе same funсtіоnаlіtу, they mау nоt оffеr thе same level оf ѕеrvісе, tесhnісаl ѕuрроrt or upgrades thаt уоu wіll need іn thе future. Othеr uѕеrѕ wіll rаtе a ѕуѕtеm’ѕ ԛuаlіtу оf ѕеrvісе. Aѕ a small business оwnеr, уоu knоw thаt service іѕ the most іmроrtаnt factor іn ѕurvіvіng іn thе competitive mаrkеtрlасе, уоu ѕhоuld аѕk fоr nо less frоm your POS provider. Thе ԛuаlіtу of ѕеrvісе іѕ thе еlеmеnt thаt wіll mоѕt lіkеlу affect уоur decision in сhооѕіng a free POS for a small buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm.

Anоthеr key fасtоr іn сhооѕіng a frее POS fоr a ѕmаll business ѕуѕtеm іѕ thе partnerships the соmраnу hаѕ dеvеlореd wіth hardware suppliers and mеrсhаnt companies. Yоur POS system won’t function оn its own, it must соmmunісаtе wіth рrіntеrѕ, ѕсаnnеrѕ аnd соnnесt to merchant services. Yоu nееd уоur POS system to wоrk ѕеаmlеѕѕlу wіth оthеr devices and services. The соmраnу wеbѕіtе ѕhоuld lіѕt hаrdwаrе dеvісеѕ that аrе соmраtіblе wіth thе ѕоftwаrе. Ask the company whісh mеrсhаnt ѕеrvісеѕ аrе іntеgrаtеd wіth thеіr system.

Dаtа Security

Whеn сhооѕіng a free POS ѕуѕtеm, аѕk thе ѕоftwаrе соmраnу about thеіr ѕесurіtу ѕуѕtеmѕ іn рlасе. Yоu wаnt tо mаkе sure уоur dаtа аnd financial information іѕ ѕесurе. A reputable software соmраnу will warranty thе security оf thеіr ѕуѕtеm.

Cоmраnу Innovation

Lооk fоr a іnnоvаtіvе соmраnу. Read news articles аbоut thе соmраnу. If rесеnt аrtісlеѕ dеѕсrіbе рrоduсt аnd ѕеrvісе іnnоvаtіоnѕ,thеn the соmраnу wіll lіkеlу соntіnuе to рuѕh for іnnоvаtіоn and your POS wіll еvоlvе time. Whеn уоu dесіdе on a POS соmраnу уоu аrе mаkіng a long-term соmmіtmеnt. Yоu can’t predict thе futurе, but a ѕоlіd start in іnnоvаtіоn рrоvіdеѕ a gооd bаѕе fоr соntіnuеd future partnerships. A free POS for a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ ѕуѕtеm іѕ a viable option fоr entrepreneurs lооkіng fоr a powerful ѕуѕtеm. Thе ѕtаrtuр costs are very low, as thе ѕоftwаrе is frее. Yоu dоn’t nееd tо соmmіt tо a ѕуѕtеm before tеѕtіng it out. With сlоud-bаѕеd POS systems, уоu саn dоwnlоаd thе system to a mobile device аnd get a feel for thе system’s functionality.

Compare POS systems

When researching, you can also utilize a free service like POSUSA’s POS system finder, where you can easily compare the top POS companies.  While all POS providers might not offer free software and hardware; you will have the option to compare features and prices on the best POS solutions available for your business type.  You саn also сhооѕе to uѕе your own hаrdwаrе уоu mау аlrеаdу hаvе оr rеnt оr buy competitively priced hardware. If уоu are lооkіng fоr a fеаturе-rісh ѕуѕtеm аnd even if you need help wіth implementation or trаіnіng, thіѕ ѕеrvісе іѕ соmрlеtеlу frее. Addіtіоnаl ѕеrvісеѕ, ѕuсh аѕ email ѕuрроrt, 7-dау a wееk phone and сhаt ѕuрроrt, implementation and trаіning аnd merchant ѕеrvісеѕ integration аrе аvаіlаblе with multiple suppliers. Utilizing a POS comparison tool allows you to find a fеаturе-rісh frее POS fоr a ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ system thаt іѕ designed fоr ѕmаll buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеrѕ.

How to Create a Custom Site UX

Websites are designed for the visitors. But all visitors aren’t equal. There are UX best practices that make sure your website is user-friendly. But best practices also have their limits. No matter how you design your website, half the people will have a different opinion regarding the details.

Do you have a sleek and beautiful dark theme on your website? Someone will find that it’s too dark for their eyes. You have created a sign in option so that your customer can save their preferences? Wait till you meet the ones, who will refuse to buy from you simply because they don’t want to remember another username and password.

You might settle for what 80% your potential viewers would like. But there are several problems with that. First of all, how would you know what they like? Running an A/B testing for every element of a site would be an overkill. Also, why would you want to annoy the rest 20%?

It may seem like there’s no way out of it. Actually, there is. At least to some extent.

What about you let the visitors customize your site according to their preferences? It that possible?

We all know your visitors are not web designers. And (even if some of them are) they have neither the time nor the inclination. We are not talking about customization in a broader sense.

There are some elements of a website that you can safely leave to the hands of your visitors. In other words, you can let them customize some features of the UX.

Let’s see how.

Themes

Many people find light themes tiring and stressful on the eye. If your site has a lot of content that you want your visitors to read then it’s best to have two colour themes for your site. One light and one dark.

Now, you may think it’s almost like designing two different looking sites. But it’s not. If you begin with the double theme idea from the start, the design process won’t be that difficult. If planned in a proper way, some simple CSS rules would suffice to change the theme of your site in just one click.

Privacy

If you have an eCommerce site you definitely want your customers to create an account. That way you can store their preferences, send them customized offers, gather data about product popularity and what not. But some of your customers may not like it.

For them, you should add the option of checking out as guest buyers. It’s good if your customers sign up but don’t push them if they don’t want to.

In general, if your site requires creating profiles, let your users decide whether their profiles will be public or private. The more privacy customization you offer to your users the more they will trust you and feel comfortable on your website.

Fonts

The size and type of fonts matter a lot in terms of usability. So letting the user change those can be a good customization feature for your site. It’ll be especially helpful for blogs.

You don’t need to give the users too many options regarding font type. Font size is more important. One serif font and another sans-serif font with about 3 / 4 size options should be enough. A small floating toolbar is a great way to show these options to the users.

Language

Not all sites need to have multi-language. But if your site has more than one language, let your users chose the language they want. In other words, don’t predict. Many multilingual sites determine the language to display by the location of the users. This is no longer a good UX practice. What if your visitor is using a VPN? Or what if someone is visiting your site from France but wants to see it in English?

One way to get around this issue is to the ask the users to select a language when they visit your site for the first time. Another way is to place the language options at a prominent place on the site. So that, if someone wants a separate language than what is displayed by default, they can change it easily.

Arrangement

It wouldn’t be practical to let the users change the way your site places different elements. But there are some things that you can let them arrange in their own ways.

We are talking about the presentation of information here. For example: In an eCommerce site, you should let the visitors arrange the products according to item type, release date or any other criteria. Similar customized sorting options can be provided for other information on your site.

Making a website customized requires you to plan early. If you design your websites keeping customization in mind from the beginning, it won’t cause that much extra effort. But it will definitely improve the UX of your website.

This article is a guest post by Amio Galib Chowdhury. Amio is a content writer for WebAlive, a team of Melbourne web designers and developers. You can follow us on Twitter @webalive

How To Use Dropshipping To Quick-Launch Your Business

The decision to launch a business should never be taken overnight. It is important for an entrepreneurs to weigh all the pros and cons and assess the potential risks before taking the plunge. While proper planning is without doubt essential for launching a successful business, it is also true that one of the key differences between “wantrapreneurs” and “entrepreneurs” is the latter’s ability to take the plunge without wasting too much time in deliberation.

That however can be tricky because it is not always easy to set up the various systems and processes required to start your business. If you are an eCommerce retailer, you may be required to establish partnerships to source your products, find distributors and work out your logistics well before you sell your first product online. That can be several months of work. For a bootstrapped entrepreneur, this can be a huge barrier to entry.

Dropshipping is a fantastic model that helps entrepreneurs do away with all the red tape and launch a business quickly and efficiently. This is essentially the use of third party businesses to make and sell your products. In other words, your job, is to merely promote your dropshipping business and get the sales going. The responsibility of making the products and fulfilling these orders lies with the dropshipper.

How To Start A Dropshipping Business

The biggest challenge in launching a dropshipping-based eCommerce business is finding a good and reliable dropshipper. This is because the reliability and trustworthiness of your dropshipper can directly make or break your brand. You could start by searching Google for dropshippers for your industry. Alternately, you may also look up for suppliers on websites like Alibaba and ThomasNet and call them up to know if they can dropship your product. It’s a long, boring process, but can be done.

Alternately, you may also make use of third party tools to look up dropshippers for your industry. Shopify recently announced the acquisition of an app called Oberlo that makes it extremely easy to click and add dropshipped products to your eCommerce store. This can bring down the time spent in researching dropshippers from several hours (or days) into a matter of minutes.

Once you have identified the right products to dropship, it is merely a matter of aggregating these products on to your eCommerce store. You are ready to promote your business from here.

Promoting A Dropshipping Business

Promoting a dropshipping store is not very different from marketing any other type of business. But there are a few caveats to keep note of. Firstly, your brand equity hinges a lot on the dropshipper you work with. If you are sourcing products from a Chinese supplier, you must be aware of the lengthy shipping times from China to your customer in the US, UK or any other part of the world. It is important to keep your customers in the loop about the shipping time in order to protect yourself from high number of chargebacks.

If you see a steady number of orders from your customers, a good idea is to hire a domestic freight forwarding company to hold the inventory from your dropshipper and fulfil orders from this domestic warehouse. This can increase your costs and in a dropshipping model where your margins are already thin, this strategy is however not recommended to all dropshipping businesses.

A lot of eCommerce entrepreneurs look at dropshipping as a stop-gap measure before they procure and fulfill orders themselves. But it needs to be pointed out that eCommerce can be a logistical nightmare that can suck in a lot of working capital and bring down your profits significantly. Dropshipping can keep your overheads low and help you scale your business seamlessly. As an entrepreneur, you must however keep an eye on your contracts and make sure that you get a price that is commensurate to the order volume. This is the only way to scale up a dropshipping business while increasing your margins at the same time.

Author Bio: Andrew Morris is the founder of Flicmedia, a UK based business marketing agency that helps small and medium businesses improve online reputation and grow their business.

How to Run an Effective Startup on the Road

With a world full of opportunity and beauty, it can be difficult to not want to hit the road indefinitely. Unfortunately, the priorities of life tend to weigh us down and keep us in our place our entire lives. However, with technology making many of these aspects of our lives far easier, the prospect of full-time travel whilst pursuing a career is finally attainable.

Despite telework making the average employee’s traveling dreams possible, many young entrepreneurs still worry about how consistent they can be when running their own startups, starting a company from nothing, and traveling full-time. Although it isn’t impossible, it is highly important that these young individuals are aware of what it means to be a traveling startup company owner so that they can not only run their businesses but actually make them successful and profitable.

With this said, although there are many things to consider, five of the most important aspects of travel and business are:

  • How connected you are
  • Whether you can communicate with clients
  • How you can deliver and receive items
  • The reliability of your mode of transportation
  • What exactly makes digital nomadism an ideal and viable choice

Once you have analyzed these aspects thoroughly, you can begin to prepare for your life of adventure and excitement knowing that you are fully prepared and braced for the many changes needed to succeed.

Internet: How to Stay Connected, Even in “the Dead Zone”

For any startup, the internet is the golden ticket to gaining traffic, creating a fan base, and receiving payment. When it comes to internet on the road, there are three main ways to ensure you don’t ever find yourself facing a dead zone during a crucial business engagement. The first one is satellite, which is typically the most effective choice. The reason for this is that it allows you to camp in national parks and other areas where other internet options simply can’t be utilized. Furthermore, although a satellite setup is the most expensive ($700 to $1500) in comparison to the other two options, it is also the most reliable by far.

The second option is to open your settings so it will connect to any open Wi-Fi hotspots in the area. The issue with this is that it significantly reduces the amount of places you can actually visit due to the fact that most national parks, tourist attractions, and rural locations have very few spots with reliable hotspot access. Furthermore, this also means that you are opening yourself up to various types of cyberattacks, including malicious hotspots, snooping techniques, and other compromised devices. This is why it is important to consider fraud prevention techniques if you do intend to use this option before hitting the road.

Lastly, it is also possible to connect to your phone’s hotspot as well, depending on the phone service you have. Some service providers have very reliable mobile hotspots that can help you get internet without a satellite. The only big issue with this is that there will still be certain places that will not be available, and if you intend on traveling through national parks and other areas that tend to lack Wi-Fi service, this option is once again not as viable as a satellite would be. On a related note, the next thing to consider when looking to hit the road is your phone service and what provider can be trusted in what places. 

Phone Service: Coverage Maps and Reliable Providers

The ability to talk to clients at the drop of a hat is highly important when starting a new business. Personal connection and charisma are the backbone of any successful new company, and a lack of communication is exactly the kind of thing that could significantly alter the perception clients have of you and your business in a highly negative manner.

Therefore, it is important that you weigh the odds and choose a reliable network before hitting the road. Keep in mind that most service providers have coverage maps which will help you to see firsthand what providers are reliable and which are not for comparison. Currently, one of the most reliable networks is T-Mobile due to the fact that John Legere, CEO of the company, recently invested over $8 billion to make their network even more reliable than those of their various competitors.

On top of this, they not only have a super impressive coverage map but also have various incentives, such as gas discounts and free food provided by T-Mobile Tuesdays that could prove to be very valuable when on the road. Finally, T-Mobile also provides its users with ways to call via Wi-Fi which enable its users to make phone calls virtually anywhere. This means that the fear of not having service or missing important phone calls on the road is a thing of the past — and that your company will not be affected by a lack of service ever again.

However, if T-Mobile is not your first choice, as long as the phone service provider has Wi-Fi calling opportunities and provides you with a mobile hotspot, you should be fine. Another viable source is MetroPCS as they are both reliable and affordable. Their coverage map is also extremely reliable but does show signs of a few weaker spots in the northwest, however. Despite this, they are still fairly reliable for the price and also have many cheap phone options likewise which make them an affordable alternative to some of the more widely recognized carriers out there.

Once you have chosen a quality carrier, the next step is to figure out how to receive more than just calls and texts. For this, it is vital to consider what you intend on receiving and how you intend on receiving it.

Mail Delivery: A Vital Part of a Startup Made Easy

One of the most common problems entrepreneurs have when on the road is how to send and receive mail. Although many companies have online options for payments and shipping processes, younger companies tend to not have fully fleshed out sites, which means that a lot of the processes happen in the mail. Therefore, it is vital that you know how to receive and deliver mail even when you have no set address.

Despite there being many options out there, the most reliable and simple option is to use online postal services. The reason for this is that they will receive all of your mail for you at a set location (your new address according to clients) and then ask you where they can actually send it to for you to receive it. The best part is that these services allow you to go anywhere as they can be delivered anywhere in the world for varying fees. You can also track them online, which means that you will never wonder when mail will arrive either.

With all of these issues addressed, it is now time to move on to the first and most crucial step needed to begin your new life on the road — transportation. After all, if you intend on traveling via RV or any other form of vehicular travel, the quality of your vehicle will directly determine not only where you can go but also how far you get before you find yourself stranded or unable to move without paying to repair the issues.

Transportation: Getting Stranded Isn’t an Option

It’s not enough to simply want to travel. The form of transportation you take must be reliable and efficient when on the road. For instance, when looking at various different RV options, you may want to first look at whether or not you want a Class A, B, or C motorhome as well as whether or not the gas mileage is fair, the motorhome can be easily repaired when on the road, and can carry all you want to bring with you likewise.

For many young individuals, motorhomes simply are not as effective as other options such as travel trailers and truck setups. The reason for this is that most motorhomes truly are hard to work on, you are literally left with nothing to live in if they break down, and they tend to be far less spacious than the average travel trailer likewise.

Furthermore, because you can choose what truck you want to get, you can also save money on gas mileage and have a more eco-friendly vehicle likewise, which looks good from a business angle. On top of this, you can also carry more, which means merchandise can be packed in the trailer likewise allowing you to attend conventions and even deliver certain items yourself. However, it is important that you calculate how much weight your vehicle can pull before packing everything up, as a flipped trailer could lead to the end of your startup and adventures in no time at all.

Now that you have ensured communication on the road is taken care of and your vehicle is efficient and reliable as well, it’s time that you reflect on why this is a great decision and how it can not only help your company but your own well-being as well. 

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Endless Opportunity: An Adventurous Life with A Job To Match

The truth is that travel is the key to happy employees, and, as a startup owner, your happiness is an integral aspect regarding the success of your business as a whole. When you finally hit the road, you will be able to actually live a life free from the drudgery of normal everyday life. This exciting new world also encourages creativity and makes you want to learn and push forward to bigger and better things each and every day.

As new experiences occur and new lessons are learned, you and your business will continue to grow, and your clients will be able to see just how effective making the world your office can be. In the end, life is one giant adventure, and your career path is a journey worth trekking — so why not put both hand in hand and live your life to the fullest?