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by Robert Clough



Enterprise resource planning (ERP) doesn't come cheap.

For example, businesses can pay anywhere between $150,000 and $10 million for implementation alone! Then there the costs of database management, infrastructure updates and ongoing ERP-related expenses to cover as well.

Clearly, an ERP system is a major financial investment. On top of all the other essential business overheads, this expense might seem unfeasible. It can be tempting to try and run the business without ERP in place.

Before you settle on that decision though, it's worth running a costs-benefits analysis. Indeed, ERP systems offer a plethora of benefits to any company that utilizes one.

Interested in finding out more?

Keep reading to discover the top benefits of ERP for your business.

What is ERP?

Let's begin with a look at ERP itself.

An initial definition should help someone new to ERP better understand the benefits involved.

As we've already noted, ERP is an acronym for enterprise resource management.

The clue to its purpose is in the name. ERP systems are designed to facilitate the management of core business activities. Everything from accounting and finance to project management and compliance can be effectively controlled and supervised using the software.

These essential and diverse systems are brought together into one place. Processes are streamlined and access to up-to-date information is simplified.   

All told, ERPs offer a host of advantages to any company that utilizes them.

5 Top Benefits of ERP for Business

Time to move on to how ERP can support the running of your company.

If you're ever in need of advice and problem-solving, then an ERP consultant, such as Epicor Consultants, can help. For now, let's consider the benefits of using the systems themselves.

1. Access to Information

ERPs offer total visibility across the organisation.

All data and information are accessible by each department. As opposed to individual offices working in silo, one system integrates everything into a single location. This unification simplifies teamwork and facilitates decision-making across the company.

For example, someone from finance is able to identify how budgets are being spent by each separate department. If there are any problems, they can work to create a solution. With the ERP, that information would have been far harder to come by.

Such insight is invaluable for management purposes. They can be a fly on the wall, looking into the happenings of the entire company from a strategic vantage point. That enables sound decision making, accurate tracking of company matters, and greater efficiency all-round.

2. Reduced Costs

As we've seen, ERP systems are expensive to set up.

However, once they're in place they can provide numerous cost-savings elsewhere.

For example, all IT matters are brought into one centralised location. Multiple IT systems are no longer required to cater for varying needs. That means fewer technicians needed to maintain it, and less training for employees. After all, there's only one system in place to maintain and get trained on. This inevitably leads to financial savings.

It's also worth noting the cost benefits of an efficient system. Unifying complex business activities makes everyone's life easier. Complexity is a recipe of mistakes, and mistakes cost money. Furthermore, any problems that do occur are easy to identify.

Managers can see where exactly in the organisation an issue originates from. Rapid discovery of problems mitigates the potential financial fall-out from them.

3. Straightforward Product Tracking

ERP systems provide 'eyes-on' to the movement of products.

Inventory can be tracked in real-time. From start to finish it's possible to see where exactly a product is through the business. It's simply a matter of checking a dashboard on the screen. Every element can be observed and traced. From orders to inventory, and onto revenue, managers can keep an eye on it all.

That has a major impact on the delivery of a product or service. Delivery times are of the essence these days. The quicker the better. Imagine how much harder it would be to enhance delivery times without an ERP system (and the tracking abilities it provides) in place.

4. Ability to Follow the Rules

The ability to accurately track all aspects of a business has knock-on benefits.

For example, consider the numerous government regulations almost every business must abide by. It's essential to have near instant access to financial accounts, users' personal data and so on. ERP systems allow companies to generate reports at the push of a button.

Being able to track products makes it easier to identify where and when particular problems might have occurred too. They can then take active steps to stop any problems happening again. This is a particular help in abiding by quality control standards.

Non-compliance becomes a non-issue as ERP systems cover you from the outset.

5. Increased Data Security

ERP systems provide companies with far greater security over sensitive data.

That's good news for both the organisation and the customers that provide their personal information to them. ERPS simple provide greater protection from both internal and external threats versus unsecured services like Google Documents. For instance, user permissions can be set up to ensure there are no breaches from inside or outside the company.

Furthermore, ERP software companies generally offer ongoing support to rectify any problem that does occur. Likewise, ERP systems often have online forums and communities set up around them. These are another invaluable source of advice and support.

Time to Wrap Up

There you have it: 5 key potential benefits of ERP for your business.

It's true the ERP systems can be exorbitantly expensive. However, the costs of opting against the expense, and forgoing the advantages they provide, may have an even costlier overall impact.

As we've seen, the ability to unify and integrate all essential business activity has a wide range of advantages. Through accurate product tracking, the facilitation of communication between departments, and cost minimization, ERP often pays for itself over time.

Hopefully, this piece has highlighted the key business incentives for making this investment. Many companies simply couldn't operate without it.

Like this article? Want more business-related advice? Be sure to head on over to the 'small business' section of the blog.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



In today's digital world, traditional method advertising isn't always the most effective use of your budget. Smartphones are changing the entire landscape.

Nearly 50 percent of the global population uses the Internet. Even still, how can you guarantee your target audience is consuming your message? Imagine being able to pick and choose the locations where your mobile ads are served.

The benefits of using geofencing marketing is taking digital advertising to a whole new level. Many companies are benefiting from a significant return on investment by reaching intended customers. And they have the results to prove it.

Geofencing marketing could be a powerful addition to your business. Keep reading to learn more about five key benefits it provides.

Locate Your Audience

You may be familiar with zip code targeting for serving digital ads. Geofencing advertising fine tunes this concept by letting you hone in on specific addresses to serve your ads. For example, a personal injury lawyer could geofence doctor offices and hospitals to serve ads to potential clients.

Continue To Follow Them

The ads don't stop serving when people leave. Once a person is targeted in your geofenced location, the ad can follow them for up to 30 days. This isn't just limited to smartphones as users with social media and similar apps will also be served the ads when logged into the same accounts on desktop computers.

Customize Your Creative

One of the advantages of using geofencing marketing is the ability to tailor your ads to each location. 71% of consumers prefer personalized ads as opposed to mass produced generic messages. Take advantage of the unique tactic geofencing marketing offers by serving ads with subliminal reminders about where they visited.

Keep Up On the Competition

Targeting prospective consumers is not limited to any specific locations. When compiling a list of locations to geofence, why not include rival businesses? This strategy allows a company to inform its target audience why its products or services are better than the competition.

Real Results

The idea of serving your ads at all of these locations is great, but how do you know it's actually working? Another one of the benefits of using geofencing marketing is setting your location as a conversion fence. This lets you know not only when your ad is served, but when a consumer also visits your business as a result.

Understanding the Benefits of Using Geofencing Marketing

These advantages provide reassurance for any business looking to get the most out of an advertising budget. Be mindful though there are certain limitations with geofencing marketing, as with any form of advertising.

A consumer successfully being served an advertisement at your geofenced location is dependent on two factors. The smartphone must be used in some capacity that requires Internet connection and its location services must be turned on.

Fortunately, most smartphone users meet both of these criteria, especially in a world where information is a few finger taps away.

The benefits of using geofencing marketing go a long way in retaining customers, including for your competitors, too. Get out there and geofence them before they geofence you!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



Throughout the years, social media has quickly taken over the world. What once started out as a way to engage with friends and family has now become a way to build a business, Facebook being the main platform. This is due to a large number of people who use Facebook on a daily basis. 

Facebook is home to around 5 million advertisers. And they aren't leaving anytime soon. It's no secret that Facebook advertising is a successful way to reach a target audience. 

But how can you start using Facebook for your own advertising? Continue reading to learn more!

Create a Facebook Homepage

The first thing that you need to do is create a Facebook homepage for your business. You do this by setting up a business page on the platform. Once you've got this taken care of, you should then request a web address that is personalized for your business. 

After you create your new Facebook business oasis, you can then advertise it on other platforms and even print it on your business cards or t-shirts. 

Make People Aware of Your Brand

You'll need to grow your page's audience to get the most awareness. There are some easy tips that you can try to help grow your audience. The tips are as follows:

  1. Share your business page on your personal page. This way, all of your friends and family members that already follow you can see your business page and follow it as well. 
  2. Use the "Invite" tool to invite your friends and family to like your page.
  3. Ask friends and family members to post a link for your business page on their personal page. The more people who share it, the more people it reaches. 

The more people that you can get to interact with your page, the better. Eventually, it'll spread to tons of users.

Keep Your Page Active

Your page will need to stay active in order to generate the most activity from potential customers. By staying active, you're more likely to be seen.

To do so, you should do the following:

  1. Share content that is directly related to your business. 
  2. Comment in groups and on other posts.
  3. Communicate with your audience and customers through comments or through a private message.

Advertisers and administration should both be constantly active on the page, keeping it alive.  

Use Targeted Ad Campaigns 

Using Facebook, you're able to create all different types of ads that show up in messenger, Facebook, Instagram, and more. These ads can be created from your own Facebook page. There are a few ways to ensure successful ads. 

Use Native Ads

Native ads are viewed over 50% more than banner ads. As native ads become more popular, you'll need to make sure that yours stand out. Do so by using techniques such as the comment bots, which will send an automated message to a user who comments on your posts. 

Use Facebook Graph Search

This feature allows you to see what other pages your followers like or follow. Knowing your target audience is the best way to increase rankings in search engines as well as extend your online reach. Once you know what your target audience likes, you'll be lead to other large groups of like-minded individuals who may want to follow your business page too. 

Facebook Advertising Is the Way of the Present and the Future 

Using Facebook advertising to promote your business is not only the way of the present; it's the way of the future. Because of it's steadily increasing popularity, social media will remain one of the best ways to build an audience for quite some time. Follow these simple tips and your business will be on its way!

For more ways to increase your followers, be sure to check out our section on SEO tools!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



Boss life is your dream. However, you have to implement many sales strategies to see a revenue boost and gain the monetary successes you want.

One of the key strategies you need is marketing funnel automation. In short, the sales funnel is a visual representation of the buyer's journey.

The buyer starts out at the awareness level until they move down to the lowest level, which is a loyal customer.

Included in the sales funnel is a myriad of marketing strategies. Automating this funnel helps nurture and track these buyers without any work on your end.

67% of the buyer's journey happens before a sale. Even though you're automating the process, you'll also need to nurture your leads and entice them to reach that sale.

But this is easier said than done. Here are 5 lessons you'll need to learn.

1. Draw Buyers in With Enticing Content

The modern consumer is more educated than any consumer in the past.

The best way to draw them in is with compelling content. Creating high-quality content establishes your brand as an influencer in your niche and your brand will become a trusted source for information.

Content ties into the awareness funnel. Use a myriad of different types of content, including video, written, and visual content.

2. Nurture Leads With Emails

Think email marketing is dead? Think again. Once you gain enough website visitors, you'll need real data and numbers to analyze your leads.

Not only do emails help your customers but they also help you. You can send email newsletters with sales notifications and even inform contacts when you post a new blog.

Should you wait for customers to sign up for your newsletter? As you gain more leads, you'll notice they will diversify their data. They may not sign up for your email newsletter but they may use their email to sign up for your app.

A system such as PieSync helps you streamline customer contacts so you can use this data on a myriad of different platforms.

3. Win Them Over With Freebies

Who doesn't love free stuff? If you offer your leads with a "no-strings-attached offer," they likely won't refuse. Examples of this strategy include offering a free product demo and a free trial.

Can't risk the funding and potential profit loss this may pose?

You can still offer a freebie that doesn't have to tie in with your products. Examples include free webinars. This is the perfect time to offer a new customer discount or a free consultation (if you offer a service as opposed to a product).

Use Marketing Funnel Automation to Convert Your Leads

Every business owner wants their leads to finally make a purchase. But attracting buyers is the most difficult strategy for any business.

Using marketing funnel automation will help accomplish your sales funnel marketing goals while you don't lift a finger. However, you need a method to ensure success.

Follow these three lessons and let the sales pour in!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



An excellent marketing plan can get you to the moon in the business world. It seems easy, but it isn't. 

Marketing is a very involved process, especially in the digital age. The old marketing avenues aren't as beneficial, and new ones have to be paid attention to. With that said, you can move mountains if you stick to simple formulas. 

We're going to cover a few moves you can make to achieve a high level of marketing optimization. In other words, your efforts won't be in vain, you'll know what needs to be done, and you'll see great results. 

Let's get started.

Steps for Marketing Optimization

Just like anything else, the term "business" can rarely cover what it intends to. So, if our marketing strategy doesn't hit the nail on the head for you and your business, we hope that there's at least something you can take from our guide. 

Generally, though, most of the things we'll be talking about today can apply to your business. All businesses share common threads, and when you're marketing online, you're going to cover some of the same ground as most businesses out there. 

We'll discuss some of the preparatory things to consider before you implement your marketing plan. It's important to have a clear idea of your goals and strategies before you begin so as to not waste time or money. 

Take some notes, brainstorm our ideas in relation to yours, and get moving on your marketing optimization!

1. Determine Your Goal

This one can be broken down a little bit as well. Sure, your goal is to be successful. To make money and pay your employees.

What is the action that a customer has to take to get into your store, make a download on your site, or get attracted to a product that you're pushing? Where do they need to end up, and what do you have to do to get them there.

If your goal is to sell t-shirts, you should be thinking about the thing the user does right before they make a purchase. The customer in that position is theoretically your goal. Sure, everyone wants to get sales, but the idea of "selling the product" can often distract from what needs to happen in order for sales to occur. 2

2. How Much Do You Expect to Grow?

The growth you want to achieve is extremely important to the entire process of marketing. You need to know your growth goals before you hire someone to work on your marketing, make moves to market yourself, or anything else that involves the scale of your marketing efforts. 

If you want to grow a great deal, you have to account for that in your budget and planning. This fact will affect the people you hire and the attitude that you have going into any marketing project. 

Optimizing your marketing process requires that you do this thinking early on. If you have an extravagant expectation of your marketing team, you will be very disappointed when they don't meet it. The goal is to have a healthy expectation of how much growth you will see.

Doing this will help you with the budget, staffing, and the scale of each piece of the marketing process.

3. Find Your Target Audience

Pushing a marketing campaign that's based around your own interests and preferences will get you nowhere. You might think that your eye for advertising or sales is supreme, but you have to remember who will be buying your product. 

Identify a specific demographic and take time to understand them. Who are the people that already buy your product, and who are the people you want to buy your product? These things will determine huge portions of your marketing campaign. 

Doing demographic research allows you to see where you can most effectively place your dollar. You can look at your demographic and see where they're spending the most time online, for example.

Whether they're using Facebook or Instagram is important. What time of day they're most often using these sites is important as well. Honing in on your audience will definitely improve the results you see. 

4. Don't Forget Your Day Ones

In many cases, the bulk of your sales are going to come from a small group of people in the long run. These are people that have been buying your product for a while and are supporting your company. 

A marketing campaign could open you up to a huge demographic, one that would diminish your current customers to a small margin. With that said, that sort of growth is unlikely. 

The point is, you don't want to sell out your old customers in search of entirely new ones. Doing this could have an extremely negative effect on your business and you'll be scrambling to make up for the losses. 

Don't change your brand identity to fly in the faces of your current customers. To be honest, it would be very difficult to do that. If your product has a passionate, sensitive customer base, you should be on your toes a little bit. 

For example, your Christian company should not start selling satan dolls because there might be money in it. That would offend nearly all of your customers. 

5. Find What Your Customers Want

Not only is it important to find out who your customers are and where they spend their time, but it's also crucial to find out what they're looking for. Unless you're in a foundational product niche, your customers are going to change how they feel about the things they sell. 

Groups don't change drastically in a moment, though, they change slowly over time. So, you can keep up with consumer preferences if you take the time to research what they're looking for online, purchasing in stores, and why they're doing these things. 

Stay up on your customers' values and preferences and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. It's essential that you do this, especially in a time where values are shifting a little more rapidly and one event can tarnish specific word use or references.

When something drastic happens on national news, you want to make sure that the language you use is in no way related to a horrible event, for example. 

6. Find Your Draw

What makes you special? This is something you've probably harbored over a million times with your business partners. 

Use the answer you get in your marketing and make it clear that you know your worth. Additionally, in the context of the marketing campaign, create smaller draws that might bring value to your efforts.

For example, offer discounts for future purchases or "one time only" offers, or something similar. Just try and make an attractive quality that's connected to the offer but separate from the product. 

7. Use Search Engine Optimization

Digital marketing is dependent on it, and you should be using it. Search engine optimization is the way to get your site to a point where people are actually aware of it.

No one's going to see what your business is doing if your name doesn't come up in search engine results pages. Search engine optimization is the method of making your site look good for search engine algorithms. 

It's a process that's extremely involved and very important. The folks at Falcon Digital Marketing (https://falcondigitalmarketing.com/) have some valuable input when it comes to optimization.

There is a lot you can do to optimize your site on your own, and it's important that you understand the value and process of SEO.

8. Use Social Media

We understand the frustration that social media can cause on a personal level. People are more distracted by their cell phones and less engaged in the real world. Additionally, the web is not a familiar place for many business owners. 

Keep in mind, however, that people are using social media when their heads are in their phones. Those sites give you the opportunity to market your product in user feeds.

9. Pay Per Click Marketing

PPC marketing is a form of marketing used in social media and search engines. Because these platforms collect so much demographic data, they're able to pinpoint certain users and demographics to place your ads in front of. 

Ads then become useful, as the platforms understand which products users will actually want to buy. Instead of an annoying commercial, your advertisement becomes a welcome piece of a user's social media experience.

10. Make Clear Plans

The final piece to remember is that your process should not be carried out from the hip. You should know when you're going to implement each of your plans, how much they will cost, and why you're doing them.

You should also have expectations on how much work each step in your marketing plan will do for you. Keep up with your plan, watch your metrics, and have faith in yourself to bring your business the growth it deserves.

New to Digital Marketing?

Marketing optimization is a process that requires a decent amount of web and search engine knowledge to carry out. We get that not everyone has time to learn up on social media marketing and search engine optimization. 

Explore our site for more information on those subjects, though. Browse around and get a feel for what marketing entails in 2019.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



The basic shipper operates under a few assumptions. Out of all them, one of them is that freight shipping costs are at a constant price.

Any business of any size can level the playing field in shipping and delivery. With careful planning, you can get more money through cheap freight shipping.

When you ship freight, how do you do it? How to ship freight at reduced costs?

In this guide, we'll teach you how to ship something at a lower cost. There are many ways to lower your shipping expenses. All you need is to know how to do them.

Here they are.

1. Opt For LTL Freight Shipping

The first thing you need to consider is to operate using LTL Freight. Less than truckload or LTL is a great service for people with small business. If you have more shipments than a parcel but not enough to fill a truck, this is the option for you.

How LTL shipping works is not very complicated. They take your freight, ship them with others, and delivery them together as a full truckload. When it comes to freight shipping, this is one of the best options for small business.

Here's why:

For one, LTL freights cost less since you are not occupying the entire truck. LTL shippers pay for the entire truckload as a group, known as pooling or consolidation. This cheap freight shipping is a fraction of the cost compared to a whole trailer.

Many shipments from a variety of shippers means cheaper freight ship as well. Consolidation can save you as much as 25% compared to non-pooling freight loads.

2. Research How To Ship Freight

It's crucial for you to learn and research about shippers. You need to compare and contrast shipping offers and deals. Experience can be a difference maker, but new shippers and startups may charge less to prove their mettle.

Understanding how to ship something and the policies involved are essential as well. The market provides different possible options for freight shipping. All you need to do is check on what is best for your situation.

Good knowledge of how to ship freight gives you a chance to take advantage of deals and discounts. Be wary of companies who offer deals but start from a higher price, to begin with.

You want to try and compare shipping companies. Price canvassing during research is vital to get the best freight ship pricing. Proper research can save you a good amount of money in the long run.

3. Get A Steady Lane Volume Contract

Steady lane volume helps maintain consistency. This contract entails you providing consistent freight during a specific time interval. This provides a number of benefits for people who want cheap freight shipping.

How?

Steady lane volume assures a freight carrier that they will have consistent business with you. In exchange for this steady influx of freight ship, carriers will give you a certain discount. Some even provide extra priority for those who work with this contract.

In this type of freight shipping, you also create a business relationship with your carrier. This is great as you can contact your carrier if there is extra work with extra priority.

4. Build Strong Business Relationships for Cheaper Freight Shipping

Even if you don't take steady lane contracts, building a strong relationship with your carrier can lead to cheap freight shipping. Serial rate shopping can work for you once or twice, but this lends to a problem. Severing ties with a carrier you know for pennies on the dollar is bad.

Sure, you're saving a few dollars but you're not making proper business bonds, which is not the best approach. If you can create a long-term strategic business relationship, your carrier will help you on with shipping.

Strategic partnership leads to managerial advantages. These can be anything from better freight ship priorities to better rates.

Shipper-carrier relationships can lead to as much as 10% savings in freight markups.

5. Add More Shipping Lead Time in Freight Shipping

Add some shipping lead time to it. Adding lead times gives you a good array of choices for the shipping method you want for your freight.

Many cheap freight shipping options trade speed for the price. The lower the price for the shipping method, the lesser the priority is. This can lead to delays if you do it on the last minute.

Last minute shipping costs money. Time-sensitive, expedited shipping is expensive. Having good lead time in freight shipping removes the disadvantages of cheap shipping.

You would also want to make the best on all the stages of your freight ship. From pick up, staging to live-loading, you want to plan everything. Have enough time to assess if you have everything ready.

Longer lead times means cheap freight shipping as the carrier prepares everything.

6. Optimize Packaging, Handling and Loading

Improvements in packaging, handling, and loading will save you a lot of money. As you learn how to ship freight with more efficiency, optimize these aspects.

Proper packaging and handling can lessen the space you take in the truck. This gives you a chance to add more to your freight. Optimizing loading can allow you to prevent assessorial charges - as great load times for carriers mean better par time.

Take Advantage of the Many Ways To Ship Freight For Less

When you ship freight, there are ways to reduce costs and save some money. Many of these solutions entail optimizing your business shipping process and building good relationships.

If you try to be vigilant with your freight shipping, you can get more beyond "business as usual" rates. Check if the tips above will work with your current business strategy. Be observant of the trends and keep asking.

If you're not sure how to proceed with an aspect of your business, check out the other guides we have for you.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



When Cyclone Yasi, a category five system hit the Australian mainland, 175,000 homes were left without electricity. On a separate occasion, 200,000 people in Victoria were affected by widespread power outages after bushfires destroyed connections on the national grid.

Investing in a power generator for home use is a great idea more so if you live in an area that's prone to frequent blackouts. You don't have to wait until you're in an emergency situation to start wishing you were better prepared.

We've put together 10 reasons why you need to invest in a home generator today. Read on.

1. A Power Generator for Home Use Keeps Your Critical Gadgets and Appliances Running

When there's a power outage having an emergency generator keeps the most important appliances in your home running. That way you don't miss a beat when the power eventually comes back on.

So if you were in the middle of baking a soufflé, catching the latest episode of Game of Thrones or even doing a load of laundry you don't have to worry about a power outage ruining your evening.

2. Keeps Your Food from Going Bad

Power outages are notorious for their horrendous timing. Picture this. You just got home from your weekly grocery run.

You've stocked up your fridge with all sorts of meats, fresh vegetables, and dairy products. Just as you were about to settle in for the evening, poof! The power goes out.

You're hopeful that in a couple of minutes power will be restored. However, after a couple of hours, your hope begins to dwindle.

You start to worry because the turkey you bought for the weekend lunch you're hosting tomorrow might just go bad. If you had a power generator, that wouldn't be in your list of worries.

3. You've Got a Sump Pump in Your Basement

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are never a good sign when the basement of your home is prone to flooding. Lucky for you, you've got an electric sump pump to combat any flooding issues that might arise. The keyword here is "electric".

Do you know what else is synonymous with heavy rain and thunderstorms? You guessed it - Power outages.

So how on earth will you keep the flood waters out of your basement during a heavy downpour when the power's out? Better get yourself a home generator.

4. Keeps Your Family from Pulling Their Hair Out

Let's face it. In the modern era, technology brings with it lots of distractions.

We often take for granted just how much we need technology to survive. Quality-time now paints a bleak picture of a loving family gathered around a dinner table with their heads buried in their smartphones.

Heaven forbid they should actually speak to each other! If there's a power blackout that lasts longer than the battery life of most mobile devices in your home, having a generator for power outage will maintain the status quo.

5. Gives You Peace of Mind During an Emergency

Power outages often last hours, days or even weeks during emergency situations brought on by Mother Nature's wrath. Without a generator, you're left feeling isolated, helpless and at the mercy of the local electric company to restore power supply.

You don't have to resign yourself to this fate. Getting an emergency home generator restores the balance of power. You can sleep easy knowing that you're in control of your own electricity supply.

6. Generators Make the Best Dad Gifts

Father's day is right around the corner. You need to figure out what your kids should get your husband this year.

He wasn't exactly thrilled about the T-shirt you and the kids got him last year. It read: "Best Dad in the World" and he looked a little confused as to why you all felt the need to state the obvious much less have it printed on a T-shirt.

You need to do better this year. Here's what you should do. If you come across a portable generator for sale, buy it!

Don't think twice about it. Good gifts for dad are gifts that keep on giving.

He'll take the generator with him on his fishing trips when he goes camping with the kids and most of all, it'll come in handy when there's a power outage at home. It's a win-win for everyone!

7. Keeps the Heating and Cooling Systems Functioning

Heating and cooling systems in the home do more than just keep the members of your household comfortable. We know just how hot Aussie summers can get.

If there's a power outage, the heat can be unbearable if the air conditioner goes off as well. On the other hand, during winter, heating systems prevent water pipes from freezing over.

Frozen pipes could end up bursting which would cause flooding in the affected homes. A power generator can prevent the potential damage that would arise from the influx of water if this were to happen.

8. There's Someone in Your Home That Relies on an Electrically Powered Medical Device

If there's someone in your home who relies on an oxygen concentrator, wheelchair lift, ventilator machine, home dialysis machine, or any other medical equipment that needs power to function, having a home generator isn't a choice. It's an obligation.

9. Keeps Your Security System Armed

Here's the thing. Home security systems usually rely on battery power when there's a blackout. However, this only lasts for a little less than 24 hours before the batteries drain and your home is left vulnerable to burglars.

This is especially a problem if the power outage lasts for days or weeks. A home generator keeps the power on and your security system armed at all times.

10. You Have a Hybrid / Electric Car

If you have a hybrid / electric car, a portable generator can come in handy when your car runs out of juice and there's no power in your home to charge it back up again. What's more, if you happened to be driving down a winding road and somehow found yourself in the middle of the Great Victoria Desert, your trusted portable generator will save the day.

The Bottom Line

A power generator for home use goes a long way in keeping the day-to-day conveniences of life available as the utility crews work on restoring power. If you're not sure about how to use a generator at home the installation team that sets it up for you will also show you how to operate it and carry out maintenance on it. It is a worthwhile investment for your home.

Are you just starting out in the world of business? Check out our blog for more marketing ideas that will work for any business.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



What's in a face? It holds what may be the next person good for the job. It may hold the next successful entrepreneur of the year.

Whichever it may be, a professional photo with your face on it can make or break your career.

A face also puts personality to a name, especially on social media. In fact, job recruiters turn to social media when searching for candidates. A whopping 94% turn to LinkedIn first!

Not convinced yet? Here are seven reasons why your business needs professional headshots:

1. It Makes You Look Like a Professional

One reason behind having a good headshot is to make a good first impression. With a professional headshot, you have a photo that makes you appear competent with the field you hold expertise in. A good professional headshot makes you look the part.

2. It Helps You Take Yourself Seriously

By investing in professional headshots, you make a conscious action to take yourself and your business seriously. This can prove to be an advantage when trying to land a professional contract. It also improves your mindset and view of yourself.

3. It Gives Your Business a Personal Touch

Personal headshots give your business a personal touch to it. Whether this is in your brochure or on the About Us section of your website, it gives the business a sense of ownership.

This also adds a human element to your business, helping people trust you and your services.

4. It Enhances the Biography Page

Did you know that the biography or About Us page often gets the most web traffic compared to the other sections of your website? With this in mind, having professional headshots of yourself and your staff enhances the page and makes your business friendlier.

5. It Makes You Stand Out

If you are applying for a job, a professional headshot can give you a better chance of landing one. Having a high-resolution photo of yourself on your application form stands out more than the poor quality photos taken from a mobile phone. With it, you can please recruiters, important contacts, and potential employers.

6. It Works With Marketing and Branding

A professional headshot can also impact marketing and branding.Your face is part of your marketing collateral and acts as your company brand. Having a professional take your photo instead of an amateurish shot can make a difference in making you approachable to customers.

7. It Puts a Face to a Name

Your face is also associated with your business. By providing a good headshot, you allow customers to have a more personal experience with you and your services.

You create a sense of trust because of it. If you want to have a professional headshot for your business, check out Mike Sansone Photography today.

Use Professional Headshots

Professional headshots hold but a small amount to invest on. Despite this, it can still provide a lot of impact on your business. Consider investing a bit on this and bring your best foot forward today.

Did you find this useful? We have a variety of guides covering various topics. Check them out on our site today

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



You're being followed.

In fact, we all are.

With a smartphone in hand, we're being tracked by one organization or another at all times of the day. How else do you think the ads we get on our phones match so precisely to where we are and what we're doing?

This process has a name: geo-targeting (sometimes 'country targeting'). And marketers are expected to spend almost $40 billion on such mobile advertisements by 2022.

Clearly, knowing who, what and where their potential customers are is a major boon for business. What else would explain such hefty expenditure?

But what's going on?

What exactly is geo-targeting and why are businesses willing to spend so much money on it?

Keep reading to find out.

What is Country Targeting?

You're a bar manager in town and start receiving ads from drinks suppliers in the area.

Or, you own a local gym and find an array of ads for gym equipment available nearby. Or, you start seeing ads about your favorite band that's playing in the stadium in your city next week...

These are all examples of how the country targeted (aka geo-targeted) ads work.

Most of us allow our devices to track our location. It's just useful for GPS services and so on. Likewise, we might tell social media where we're based, and update it with our exact whereabouts ('Joe Blogs is currently feeling happy at X'...).

Essentially, marketers leverage this data at their disposal to hone in on the locations that make sense to advertise their product or service.

Indeed, adverts aimed at a wide, generic audience don't do well. As a rule of thumb, the narrower your audience, the more chance of getting a return on the ad investment.

Imagine you run a tattoo parlor in New York. It just wouldn't make sense to advertise your service to the massive group of people who like tattoos in America. Geo-targeting means you can hone in on tattoo-lovers in New York, and even your specific area of the city.

5 Reasons Country Targeting is Essential for Business

Country-targeting has a host of positive ramifications for your business. Here are a few of them.

1. Improved User Experience

User experience (UX) is central to improved performance in search engines (especially Google).

Essentially, the better the experience of using your site, the more favor you'll be showing in rankings. After all, Google wants its users to have a positive experience. That's what ensures they keep using their service!

Country targeting for international sites is crucial. For example, content can automatically adapt to the language of the country from which it's being accessed. That ease of access improves usability.

This relates to the subject of international SEO, which also plays into the UX. Essentially, you help Google (or other search engines) to quickly determine the country you're targeting and the language used there. Only with international SEO will your website/content show up in local listings.

2. Create Personalized Content

The aforementioned language adaptation is an example of personalized content.

Personalization is a buzz word in digital marketing nowadays. Essentially, generic, mass-scale advertisements don't have the same ROI that they once did. Instead, users and consumers respond to content, suggestions and offers that pertain directly to them.

Think YouTube and Netflix suggesting videos and shows based on your preferences and history.

Enter geo-targeting.

It goes hand in hand with personalization. After all, ads and content hone in on a consumer's precise location. They see ads that pertain to their own precise interests and whereabouts.  

3. Greater Return on Investment

Targeting by location is a sure-fire way to improve the effectiveness of an ad.

We've already noted how ads to wide audience bases don't work well. It's like searching for a needle in a haystack. Geo-targeting removes the hay. Businesses focus on the places that make sense for their product/service.

Ads become far more relevant to would-be customers. After all, it's personalized to them. A student doesn't want to see retirement advice. A vegan doesn't want to see the latest meat deals at the supermarket. And so on...They'll never respond to ads that are related to them.

Businesses can ensure that their ads pertain to their target audiences' needs. The return on investment will increase as a result.

4. Increased Relevance at Local Level

Relevance is a key-word.

If your product or service is relevant, then your ad is likely to be clicked.

Think about politicians trying to gain votes in a certain area. With geo-targeting, they can direct a message straight to people in the place from which they need votes. Think about restaurants. They can advertise their new menu to foodies right in the local neighborhood.

It's normal to take an interest in things happening in your area. Your target audience is simply more likely to click on something when it has its location in the ad.

These are examples of industries where local relevance is crucial to success.  

5. Push Your Promos

Got a particular promotion running at the moment?

Well, geo-targeting can help you spread the message and increase its effectiveness.

For instance, someone wants to go shopping and is searching online for the particular item they require. Suddenly, they get a notification/alert telling them where to purchase it (based on their location). They get shown the particular promo at the same time.

Geo-targeted promo ads benefit from the same personalization and relevance as any other. Those extra clicks mean more sales.

Time to Wrap Up

There you have it: exactly why country targeting is so important for your business.

In today's world, modern technology makes it hard to hide. Our mobile phones make it possible to track our whereabouts at whatever time of day, and wherever we might be. Likewise, we often input our personal information into social media platforms and other online forms.

That data is a goldmine for marketers. Geo-targeting has risen in popularity as a result. Suddenly, there's the ability to target ads and alter the content in accordance with a potential consumer's location.

And that's good for business.

Hopefully, this piece has highlighted the main ways a business stands to benefit for the practice!

Enjoy this article? Want more advertising-related advice? Click here to learn how to minimize your Google Ads expenditure.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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by Robert Clough



During the 2017-2018 year, 84% of advertisers claimed they received success with PPC marketing. If your organization is debating about your next advertising strategy, investing in PPC marketing is a smart move.

PPC, or pay-per-click, uses a combination of search terms and visual ads to promote your brand. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

If you're researching different PPC markets, you probably came across Google AdWords and AdSense. These are both Google advertising products but execute a different advertising strategy. But what's the difference?

Read this AdWords vs AdSense guide and know which platform you should use.

AdWords vs AdSense: The Definitions

Before we go into the individual differences, let's define each advertising platform to get a better idea of the strategies each one utilizes.

AdWords

AdWords is an advertising platform that utilizes Google's unique interface to gain more clients.

AdWords offers two approaches to this: investing your brand in Google's search network and/or through Google's display network on different websites.

Here's a breakdown of each. When you search terms in Google, at the top of the results, you'll see results with "ad" next to the name.

Those websites are at the top of the results because advertisers bid on the keyword you typed. You only pay when someone clicks on your website.

You can also increase brand awareness with display ads. Google will place your visual ads on different websites. Like the keyword strategy, you bid on your visual ads and only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, but it's recommended brands utilize both strategies to reach a wider market and retarget their existing customers.

AdSense

Google AdSense is the opposite -- AdSense helps you make money from your website. AdSense is a platform that optimizes your website for ads. Remember when we discussed display ads from AdWords?

The reason your ads appear on websites is that those websites utilize AdSense.

But random ads won't appear on your website. Google tries to match your website with the right ads based on your website content.

Google's bots will crawl your website, picking up on search terms. From here, Google will match your website with ads based on your niche and relevant search terms.

AdSense is most popular with blogs, news websites, online magazines, and any website where popular websites use content as their primary purpose, as opposed to paid products.

Which Should You Use?

The main reason you should use AdWords is if you're advertising a product or service and you should use AdSense if you're a blogger or content creator and want to generate advertising revenue.

But these differences are vague. If you believe you can benefit from both but still want to know about the differences, continue reading where we highlight specific differences.

Flexibility

AdWords advertisers have the most flexibility. They design their ads, choose their search terms, and bid on the ads they choose. AdWords advertisers can use a combination of templates, fonts, and even their logo to convey their brand.

AdSense website has some flexibility. But not as much as AdWords advertisers.

For example, they can't change an ad displayed on their website. If they utilize specific search terms for their content, they can't remove the ads that also utilize their same search terms.

This doesn't mean AdSense advertisers don't have any say in ads. They can choose which ad medium they prefer on their website; for example, they can opt for text and image ads over video and flash ads.

Setting Up an Account

If you have a Google account, you can create an AdWords or AdSense account. However, AdWords is a bit easier.

To sign up, you just enter your Google details and set your currency preferences. From here, you can start bidding.

AdSense is a little stricter. That's because Google needs to see you have an updated website that receives lots of traffic. Advertisers are paying for their ads and Google needs to ensure they're getting their money's worth.

Here's what you need to qualify for an AdSense account:

  • Website URL
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Business type

In addition, AdSense will also ask you questions such as your language.

  • AdSense also has strict rules you need to follow. This includes:
  • No pornographic content (or optimizing ads that feature pornographic content)
  • Don't include any content promoting to the ads or telling readers to click on them
  • Not clicking on the ads yourself to receive more revenue
  • Certifying you're an adult (you must be 18 or older)
  • You can't have multiple AdSense accounts
  • You have to use the name that matches your bank account

Before you can start displaying ads on your website, you should read the rules carefully and agree to all terms and conditions Google requires.

Click Options and Revenue

AdWords have another advantage -- they can choose their click options.

They can choose either a cost-per-click model (meaning you only pay when someone clicks your ad) or a cost-per-impression platform, which is when you only pay if a web page receives a specific number of website visitors.

The latter is commonly called "cost-per-thousand" because most advertisers pay when a web page receives a thousand visitors.

However, AdSense websites have no say in how they're paid. It all depends on the advertising preferences the advertisers selected.

Content creators either get paid if they receive a thousand or more website visitors or if their readers click the ads.

Ad Limits

AdSense websites do have an edge over AdWords advertisers -- they can choose ad limits. This depends on which ads are displayed on their website, the limit of ad content, and a specific number of ads displayed on their website.

Google reduces a single web page to three link ads, three content ads, and two search boxes.

Websites can also choose the ad medium and which ones they want to utilize more -- for example, a website can choose more content ads rather than text link ads.

AdWords advertisers also have another drawback -- they can only display one type of ad per webpage and search result.

Payments

AdWords advertisers have more flexibility in payment. They bid a specific amount and can bid as little or as much as they want. This helps them control their advertising budget better.

Unfortunately, AdSense websites don't have this option. They earn what they earn.

The best way to ensure websites make money off of AdSense is if they focus on creating quality content that generates high traffic and engaged viewers.

SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, encompasses different strategies to boost your search results organically. In other words, you don't pay for SEO. You use Google's algorithms to optimize your website for search results.

Even though SEO is organic and PPC is inorganic, both use similar strategies.

Keywords are a great example. Advertisers optimize web pages for SEO so they can boost organic search results. They may even use those terms toward a PPC campaign in order to boost a landing page.

If you own a website that utilizes AdSense, SEO strategies are integral.

That's because boosting organic traffic will help you perform better in Google searches, bringing even more traffic to your website. You'll also represent yourself as an influencer, opening the door to backlinks directed to your website.

All of these strategies mean even more traffic, which opens up the doors to a revenue increase.

Have you tried optimizing your website for SEO but aren't receiving the benefits or traffic increase? You may need an SEO expert to help drive more traffic to your website.

Misconceptions About Both

While Adwords and AdSense offer many benefits to both businesses and publishers, there are many misconceptions about both. Here are some examples.

Adwords Misconceptions

Here are some common misconceptions about AdWords:

  • AdWords isn't free. You don't pay to display your ads and search terms, but you pay if your advertising efforts are successful.
  • Your ads don't show up on your own website
AdSense Misconceptions

Like AdWords, publishers have some misconceptions about AdSense. Here are a few to know.

  • Unlike Adwords, AdSense doesn't cost you money. It's designed to make you money and increase sales for advertisers and businesses.
  • AdSense isn't spammy. Google allows publishers to control what ads are displayed on their website, which ads are displayed, and how many ads are on a single web page.
  • But publishers should take efforts to avoid too many ads and ensure the ads on their website are targeted to their audience.
Need More Information About AdWords and AdSense?

Understanding AdWords vs AdSense is difficult for a beginner. Here's an easy way to look at it -- AdWords is for businesses who want more sales and AdSense is for publishers who want to generate revenue from their content.

There are smaller differences between the two that will help both advertisers and publishers. As you use either strategy, you will learn more tactics to boost success.

Still confused? We have an AdWords section and an AdSense section. Visit either one to improve your strategy.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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