The Pros and Cons of Buying a Franchise

Most would-be entrepreneurs consider buying a franchise as an interesting business opportunity.  This is mainly because you get a chance to be your own boss from the start and don’t need to start a business from scratch. Also, when you start a new business you are faced with a  lot of unknowns, whereas with a franchise you get a successful model that is already in motion.

Although franchising offers several advantages for most would-be business owners, there are some disadvantages you should be aware of, before deciding to buy an existing franchise.  It’s a decision that shouldn’t be made overnight and the key thing to remember is that the popular notion that franchises are less likely to fail than other businesses is just a myth. Running a franchise is also hard work and you need to be prepared to operate your new business based on someone else’s rules.

In this article, you find some basic pros and cons you should be aware of before embarking on a journey of buying a franchise.

The Pros

Startup stage skipping

Just like with most things in life the beginning of a new business is hard.  At the startup stage, you need to write a business plan, do market research, test your product, and if the testing goes well, scale it. When you buy an already established franchise you are able to skip these sections.  The whole system has already been tested and it has proven itself to work and so basically you need to apply an established system to your market.

Name recognition

In the beginning, it is always difficult to get your customers to recognize your brand.  With a well-known franchise, you already have a name that people know and trust. So, when you purchase a franchise most of the work is already done for you, and customers know what to expect.

Lower risk

Most established franchises have the backing and support from large and established corporations. Most of these corporations have already tested business models in different markets across the country and are without a doubt effective. Because of their history of success getting a loan for a buying a franchise is always easier than getting a loan for starting an independent business. Banks are always more eager to invest in an existing franchise than in a new business that hasn’t had an opportunity to prove itself in the market.

Training program

Every successful franchise has an easily replicable system. This includes employee training on how business is done at every location. New employees will get on-site training on opening procedures, daily procedures.

Marketing and advertising

Naturally, when you purchase a franchise, you will be required to invest your time and money in

Marketing and advertising. The big advantage is that the franchises themselves will promote your business through nation-wide campaigns that will be broadcasted on TV, radio, and online.

Be sure that you will have a dedicated input from your franchise on how to create and execute your own effective campaigns. What they may also provide is a marketing plan that will cover market analysis, sales forecast, and budget.

Gain increased purchasing

The main advantage every big business has over small businesses is their access to increased buying power. Franchises often purchase large amounts of inventory on behalf of their franchisees, which means you will acquire these major assets at a low cost. Also, you will benefit from your franchisor’s deep-rooted relationship with suppliers.

Access to financing

The biggest obstacle in buying a franchise is naturally the price.  Although the exact cost differs depending on the franchise,  there are franchise fees that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases, the whole investment can cost one million $. On the other hand, some cost tens of thousands of dollars but even that can be a big investment for most people. Not to mention the royalty fees and other startup expenses

Most business owners commonly seek financing whether they are starting a new business or buying a franchise. Getting secure financing is never easy.  The gold standard in financing is SBA loans and in order to get them, you need to satisfy stringent eligibility requirements.

Some of the SBA loans are specifically reserved for franchises but keep in mind that you can obtain a loan easier if you qualify for an SBA microloan for starting a business of your own.

Developed technologies, work methods, and deep-root relationship with suppliers

After you join the franchise network, you will quickly obtain knowledge and technologies created and fine-tuned by the former franchisor. This way you will be able to avoid mistakes that are common at the business start, you will have access to already proven suppliers and developed work methods.  This will essentially reduce the possibility of bankruptcy and potential damage which commonly happens due to business inexperience. Also, it will decrease the time needed for launching a business and achieving operational quality.

The benefit of economies of scale

When you join the franchise network, you will have the chance to use the advantages of economies of scale.  These include areas of goods and services supply, marketing, scientific research, technological development, and other crucial business processes.  When developing a non-franchised business, you don’t have the chance to receive the same cost and benefit ratio you would have by joining the franchise network.

You are your own boss

When you own a franchise, basically you are your own boss. You will be able to create a more flexible schedule for yourself and overall will have more autonomy over your career and even work from home.  

The cons

Working by the franchise’s rules

Every business owner loves to be his own boss, but with franchises, things are a little bit different. You will maybe have autonomy in how the business operates, but most of the time you will have to follow the rules. Which means system operations, regulations, and instructions of the franchise. Also, if you have discovered a more efficient way to do business, that might not mean anything if the company doesn’t approve of it.  You probably won’t get the resources for your idea also.

High initial investment

Of course, it always depends on what franchise you are going to invest in, but some initial investments can be very costly, especially for big-name franchises. However, there are always lots of franchises that can be afforded with any budget. Do your research, and watch out for the royalty fees some franchises charge their franchisees. Typically, the royalty fee is 4-6 % of your gross sales revenue and it shows depletion to your profit potential.

Limited creativity

Franchises always have a pre-established brand, therefore there are significant creative limitations for franchisees who are looking to explore, make changes, or add something new to the company’s business model or brand.  You will also have restrictions set on where you can operate, what you can sell, and also what suppliers you can use due to the pre-established business model.

Shared financial information

Most franchisors frequently gather financial information from their franchise as a way of improving their business model and analyzing royalty payments. Because of this, franchisees have very little privacy in their business finances. However, renowned franchise companies have a good habit of sharing most of the financial information back with their franchisees. This allows them to compare their performance with the rest of the franchise system. By doing this, franchisees are able to improve their performance and profitability.

 Franchising contracts aren’t irreversible

An important thing you should be aware of is that the contract you made with your franchisor isn’t permanent. When the contract finally reaches its end date, the franchisors have the right not to renew it. However, you also have the power not to renew it, if you are not satisfied with your franchise.

Marketing and advertising expenses

When you invest in a franchise, many contracts will oblige you to pay for the marketing and advertising expenses.  Because of this, you must always read your contract thoroughly in order to be aware of all the conditions you are accepting.

Reputation management issue

It doesn’t matter how good your franchise is positioned, it is still bound to the national franchise. This means that if the brand has any issues it will always affect your business outcome. Also if there is a scandal in the national office or another franchisee gets bad publicity, your business can also be affected.

Contractual agreements

When you decide to purchase a franchise, you will be obliged to sign a Franchise Disclosure Agreement, which states what you can and cannot do as a franchisee. If you break one of these requirements you can easily lose your business. Also, if you decide to leave the business, the process of shutting down your business will be much more difficult than if you didn’t sign a contract with the national franchise.

 How to find the right franchise?

If you’re having trouble finding a franchise that interests you, then maybe you should attend some annual franchising trade shows. There you will have the chance to many franchisors and experts in one location. From time to time, these shows educational seminars that can help future franchisees get a better insight on what to expect and what are the advantages and disadvantages of owning a franchise.

If you already have a clear idea of what franchise you would like to own, the best way to start is to contact the franchisor.  By doing this you will get all the information about the availability, cost, and other crucial details about the franchise.

Another way is to contact existing franchisees who are already looking to sell their franchise.  This way you will probably save some money because you may avoid some of the initial franchise fees.

Investigate the franchise

Before you do anything, it is best that you do a thorough investigation of the franchise you are interested in. The time you spend investigating the industry, market and the franchise itself will make you more confident in your decision on whether to buy or not to buy. If you rush things and make the wrong decision, it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and not to mention the loss of time and energy it will create.  So, try to be thorough and don’t rush this important step.

 Before you decide to buy, make sure that the franchise has an established reputation, quality products or services, adequate capital, and foremost satisfied franchisees.

Dangerous waters and detailed questions

Sometimes buying a less-known franchise that is not that expensive can be dangerous.  Just because a business is selling franchises, doesn’t mean that it will be successful. Remember, sometimes selling their franchises is their business and that’s all they are interested in. The success of individual franchises is quite irrelevant to them. This doesn’t mean that inexpensive less-known franchises are worthless, but a reminder that thorough investigation is necessary

If you decide to go this way, don’t be surprised if you are asked detailed questions about your finances. A franchisor will also want to know about your personal assets, and this is mainly because they want to make sure that you have a fall-back position to carry the business if it goes into financial difficulty. You will also be asked about your spouse’s financial situation, in order to make sure that you both are ready for the financial commitment that is necessary for running a successful franchise.

You will surely be asked about your background, experience, and aspirations. These questions are carefully designed to help the franchisers decide whether you are the right person to run the business successfully.

Final thoughts

Remember that franchises prosper from teamwork. Other than just you, there is your franchiser and every franchisee that works for your company.  The community should be supportive collaborative an that’s why before you decide to purchase, make sure in what kind of community you are getting yourself into. Do your research and if you pick the right franchise, you will be on your road to success.

How Did COVID 19 Affect People with Disabilities

COVID 19 presents a global threat, and the pandemic is particularly dangerous for many groups, including the elderly, people who already have a health condition, and people with disabilities. Everyone in the world is affected by this crisis in some way or another.

The risks are not just health-related. The global economy has suffered a lot thanks to the virus, and many people are endangered, as they can’t provide for themselves and their families. Some people are given opportunities to work from home and keep their income steady, while others don’t have the same luxury. Read on for a thorough breakdown of how COVID 19 affects people with disabilities.

1. Not All Disabled People Are Affected the Same Way

We shouldn’t bundle all people within a group together, because being disabled can be a lot of different things. What we’re getting at, is that some disabled persons live alone, and cope with it just fine, while others depend on help from others.

A lot of disabled people live in groups, such as nursing homes. People who live in such facilities are impossible to isolate. As everyone already knows, isolation is the best prevention against COVID 19. The people who can’t isolate themselves are at the highest risk of exposure to the virus.

Imagine living in close quarters with many other disabled people, with no chance of isolation. In those conditions, people with disabilities are at high risk of contracting COVID 19, because they aren’t just in contact with other invalids, they are also in contact with the helping staff. It’s not a single doctor or nurse who takes care of them, they’re a dozen.

The medical staff is very exposed to COVID 19, and they take the biggest risks. Furthermore, their patients are at risk too, meaning that medical facilities aren’t exactly the safest right now. Finally, we can conclude that people with disabilities aren’t affected equally, and their disability isn’t the biggest risk. On the contrary, the risk lies in their living arrangements and their possible exposure to COVID 19.

2. Economic Stability Is a Huge Factor Too

The harsh reality in any crisis is that well-situated people are generally safer than those with low or no income at all. The same goes for the disabled. Being rich or having some financial backing goes a long way for treating any medical condition, and preventing exposure to a virus as widespread as COVID 19.

Money is not a bulletproof shield, but it is a shield of sorts. In a state of emergency, it can help immensely because it can provide the necessary protection and coping mechanisms. Generally speaking, people with disabilities usually aren’t as financially stable as those with no medical conditions. People who live in countries with proper social care systems don’t have to worry as much as those in low-income countries.

Money can get you medical, hygiene, and food supplies to last in this difficult situation. If you have money to spare, you can pay for various delivery services, which are extremely popular these days. Most people, not just those with disabilities, don’t have big savings for dark days.

You can say we’re all experiencing those dark times right now. Social service programs that help the disabled financially aren’t exactly giving out enough money to provide savings. Those cheques are usually instantly spent on basic needs. If you’re disabled and manage to get a job, which is incredibly difficult right now, you can say goodbye to the social support cheques.

3. Is Working an Option?

People with disabilities have a much harder time finding a job at any time, let alone during a crisis. Some disabled people are lucky enough to have jobs that can be done from home. They are in the best position right now because they have a steady income and they can self-isolate.

On the other side are people with disabilities whose work involves human contact. They’re at risk, and there’s nothing to be done because they can’t just go and work from home. If they leave their job, they won’t have any income unless they manage to get some social security fast. What’s better, to be poor and “safe”, or to keep your job and stay exposed to COVID 19? There’s no right answer to that question since both options are far from perfect.

If you’d like to help people with disabilities in this time of crisis, it’s best to apply for the NDIS registration process at Provider Plus. It’s a very difficult process, so you shouldn’t do it without professional help. Provider Plus is an all-in-one service, which can help your business become an NDIS registered provider in no time. They have a 100% approval rate for all their clients, which speaks volumes about their success.

Conclusion

Even though maintaining physical health is important, we shouldn’t disregard mental health either. This global state of alert is not beneficial to the mental state of anyone. Isolation is more difficult for those with mental issues. They must be given some leeway, and the right to occasionally go outside and take a breather.

People with disabilities are usually bundled together, under the same banner, but they are not the same. Their disabilities differ, some have physical disabilities, while others have mental health conditions. Each of these conditions should be addressed specifically, and these people should be given appropriate help, especially in these dire circumstances.

Is Drug Testing at Workplace a Good Idea?

Here we have a slightly controversial topic on our hands. Objectively looking drug testing at the workplace has its benefits and of course, it has its drawbacks.

Many companies consider drug testing at the workplace a fair policy and safety precaution – they are not only protecting their business but their employees as well. There are even laws and regulations regarding workplace drug abuse.

Let’s start with all the types of drug testing methods available for workplace testing and work towards whether or not it’s a good idea.

Types of drug testing methods

A drug test determines whether or not an employee is using any illegal substances. Currently, many employers, as well as employees, are starting to realize the importance of this policy. This is also why both employees and employers should be aware of all the possible types of drug testing methods.

The most important thing to know is that you have options as there are at least five types of methods available for workplace drug testing.

The first option is the most common option used for drug testing and that’s a urine drug test. If someone has been using drugs recently, the traces of it will most definitely be detected in the urine.

While urine drug testing is the most common type of drug testing, a saliva drug test is the most popular one. This type of test is pretty self-explanatory and the reason for being so popular is due to its less invasive nature. Besides this method is not as expensive as all others.

The hair testing method is another good way of seeing whether a person has been using drugs. However, many people claim that this method is no good because it doesn’t measure current drug use but it can detect if someone used months before – which is not the point when it comes to workplace drug testing.

Another method includes blood testing. This method is the most invasive one and at the same time the most expensive out of all. And even if this method is often avoided because of its cost and invasiveness, it’s the best way to detect the presence of substances as well as the exact amount of substances used.

The fifth method includes perspiration testing. This method is fairly new and it requires wearing a sweat path on the skin for a couple of days. This patch will detect the presence of drugs through perspiration.

Benefits of drug testing at the workplace

Safety of the employees

The number one reason why drug testing at the workplace is a good idea is safety. Every employer should provide a healthy and safe work environment. One of the ways to do this is to implement the drug testing policy.

Workplace injuries and hazardous situations are often related to substance use. People who use drugs are less aware and they also tend to be less concerned about their own safety and the safety of others. Additionally, drugs tend to slow reaction time which means that those who use drugs are at risk and pose a risk to their coworkers as well.

Drug testing at the workplace will ensure that all employees are safe and healthy and it will prevent a dangerous situation, especially in high-risk jobs.

Avoiding legal problems

The drug-testing program can save you a lot of troubles, especially those of a legal kind. Just imagine how many legal problems can an employee who uses drugs cause. They can endanger not only their own lives but the lives of their coworkers as well as your own company.

Workplace drug testing program ensures that all your employees are safe, that the environment that they work in is also safe and that no one poses any risk.

Avoiding problems and maintaining good company image

Employees who use drugs can’t perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Drug intoxication causes many problems, and one of those includes making mistakes and giving poor results at work. Consequently, this affects the image of your company.

The best way to ensure that your employees are giving the best possible results and thus maintaining a good public image of your company is to implement a drug testing policy into your company.

Drawbacks of drug testing at the workplace

Invasion of privacy

Drug testing at the workplace is often seen as an invasion of privacy. Many employees feel like drug testing is a violation of their privacy, their freedom and also a lack of trust from their employer.

This is especially true in cases of random drug testing when a random employee is chosen to do the test. That individual may feel resentful and insulted.

Expensive drug tests

As mentioned above, there are several different types of drug tests and some of them can be pretty costly. This is the main reason why so many employers tend to stay away from implementing drug testing programs.

Bottom line is that in many cases the benefits of workplace drug testing outweigh the drawbacks. Nothing beats the safety of your employees and the safety of the work environment.

There are different methods of drug testing that don’t have to be all that expensive and yet they do the work. Ultimately, the decision about whether drug testing at the workplace is a good idea or not is on the employer.

How To Recover From A Sudden Fall In Traffic

We are living in the digital age so it is quite understandable that traffic on your website has a direct relation to your company’s success. The data you can collect and analyze via Google Analytics is used as a tool for the best marketing strategies for several years now. It is the direct feedback on your visitors and the conversion rate, so you can keep track of what is working for you, and what you need to improve. Leading a business is a game of strategy, so if you notice that your website has a significant decline in traffic, the first thing to remember is not to panic. There are various reasons why this can happen, so you ought to find out the answers before any further steps.

Make sure the data is correct

This may seem quite obvious, but mistakes can happen, and it is a real possibility that the correct results were simply not fully uploaded. Nowadays, we rely on the Internet, perhaps even too much, but there are so many factors in the connection and servers which can lead to faulty data. This is why your first step of action after you’ve calmed down, is to visit your analytics and log into your admin account. You’ll have an option to check the tracking code, under the tracking info section. This option will allow you to see if all the data has been reported for the previous two days.

The most common reason for any missing data is some update on the website which has altered the code. Now visit your website and open the code to inspect, then type “analytics” in the search box. To open the search box, press the command/control plus f, and at this point, you’ll gain valuable input on your code. Hopefully, you will find the missing piece and an inappropriately installed code, which would mean you don’t have a problem, and you’ll have the easy fix. If your code is working perfectly fine, the search continues.

Thorough inspection

Understanding exactly what happened is the key to the appropriate solution. You should compare the results with several previous weeks and find the discrepancies. Check out the difference between the decline in both the organic and non-organic traffic, in order to draw any conclusions. Ranking on Google and SEO listings, in general, is a highly competitive field, so bear in mind that this may be a consequence of your competitors having a more aggressive approach to it. Optimization is the leading trend in digital marketing for years, and companies all over the world are investing more and more on a daily basis.

Investigate and pinpoint the exact problems in terms of keywords and pages when it comes to the decline. This can help you understand the reason behind it, and find several solutions. If you have a list of certain keywords that turned out to be problematic, you can simply alter them, or completely change. A lot of things can influence the context within the keywords, so regular inspection and modification is highly recommended. However, if you can’t find any specific problem, it may be time to check for issued penalties.

Google penalties

If the fall was very sudden, you may have been issued a Google penalty. There are several reasons for this to happen, and you need to check for manual penalties first. If this kind of a penalty has been issued, you were supposed to receive a message from Google. Go on the “security and manual actions” option, and choose “manual actions” field. You will either receive the message that no issues were detected, or the details about the issue, as well as a way to resolve it. Google reserves the right to do this, and it can happen due to some broken links or duplicate content.

Conduct a meticulous inspection of your on-site and technical optimization. Check the speed and any reported algorithm changes, along with the optimization for various devices. Maybe it’s time to update your website. Any loss of internal links, broken images or links, failed implementations of redirect can be a cause of your problems.

Damaging content

If there are no penalties and you can’t find any other issues we’ve mentioned, it is a possibility that someone has been posting damaging reviews. This kind of publicity can heavily damage the reputation of a company, reduce the loyalty of consumers, and negatively affect your brand awareness. In order to fight it, you’ll need to develop a campaign to help you get back on the right track. You should invest in the help of marketing experts in doing so, as it can be a challenging task. When you’ve found the source, you’ve found the reason. We suggest investments in paid ads, better optimization and the most engaging form – videos.

Over the past several years video has become the most attractive form of reaching people and engaging them, which results in higher loyalty and conversion rates. If you’re dealing with the misleading and damaging content, you should book a consultation and have them guide you to the best solution. There are many quality companies dealing with video production in Sydney, as we believe is the case with all the major cities. Ask for recommendations, or find a campaign which you’ve liked to find out who was working on it. This is the best way to do damage control. Additionally, reach to people who wrote said reviews and ask for feedback on your service. You can offer to correct the mistake, and they might change or remove their reviews, which would significantly help for future reference.

Conclusion

Whatever the reason behind the decline in traffic is, the only thing that matters is that you work on fixing it as soon as it happens. For this, and many other reasons, it is essential to constantly monitor, analyze and adapt your website, as well as your approaches in digital marketing. Optimization is a major part of it, especially now in 2020, and the future of it. Furthermore, it provides you with long-term results, unlike paid ads for example. Just remember, go one step at a time! And that there is always room for improvement. True leaders should always search for a way to make their business better, and turn it into a legacy.

The Impact of COVID-19 On SEO

All across the globe, the pandemic of COVID-19 has changed people’s lives and not for the better. However, hard as these measures may be on the lives of individuals, the impact on society as a whole can be just as terrifying. People are losing their jobs, enterprises are getting shut down and even those that are still running are worried about their future. Even industries that exist in the digital environment are affected by all that is going on.

A perfect example of this is the industry of digital marketing, specifically the field of search engine optimization (SEO). This impact, nonetheless, is not so easy to analyze, mostly due to the fact that it has so many contextual factors to take into consideration. So, in order to further examine the effects of COVID-19 on SEO, we need to cover the impact on the technical aspect of SEO and the state of the industry as a whole. Here’s what you need to know!

1. Essential vs. non-essential employees

While it may be true that a lot of people are getting jobless due to the fact that their workplace is getting shut down, when it comes to those working in the digital environment, things are not so clear-cut. In fact, the majority of digital marketing agencies already employ telecommuters and allow their employees to work from home (if only a day or two every week). This means that the structure of the workforce in the industry shouldn’t change that much. With adequate tools like web conferencing software, collaboration software and employee management software, the majority of SEO agencies will be able to efficiently transfer all of their work into the digital environment.

2. The clients

Other than the employment status of their staff, SEO agencies are mostly concerned by the willingness of their clients to invest. First of all, a lot of businesses are seeing a massive fall in workload and revenue. Now, due to the fact that their marketing budget is usually a percentage of their average annual revenue, a lot of enterprises might start pulling their investment. On the other hand, online businesses are currently seeing an increase in workload, seeing as how people are spending more time at home and, therefore, have more time for online services. They also consume far more content. Also, due to the fact that the majority of them are looking to avoid crowded malls, e-commerce is also more popular than ever before.

Keep in mind that online businesses are probably the ones that were the most eager to invest in SEO, to begin with, seeing as how their SERPs directly affect their traffic and their revenue. Since now the competitiveness is even higher, the majority of these enterprises realize that scaling down on their marketing spending is definitely not a wise idea. After all, after every recession, those who managed to maintain continuity are the ones who get back on track the fastest.

Finally, we need to try and figure out which industries are marking the biggest growth amidst all of this. First of all, you have the retail industry which is marking a 34 percent spike in March. The gaming industry is also huge, seeing as how even the most adventurous people are now forced to commit themselves to indoor activities. For this very reason, social media is also marking a substantial increase (about 29 percent). However, industries like travel and tourism, as well as the event industry, are on an expected decline. For how long will this trend last… well, it’s hard to tell at the moment.

3. The content

Content marketing is pivotal to any successful off-site SEO project. Now, when it comes to the content itself, it’s more than clear that people nowadays are mostly concerned with the epidemic, which is why content dealing with this sensitive topic has the greatest CTR. Nonetheless, seeing as how we’re talking about something that people are genuinely interest and affectionate about, it’s vital that content creators realize that it’s their moral duty to do these things right. This is why you need to ask yourself is your use of keywords related to coronavirus relevant to your topic, as well as – is it ethical? This is especially true if the topic is more opinion than fact-based.

Naturally, due to the fact that they’re bored senseless, people are also looking for content that will provide them with fun indoor activities. Therefore, DIY projects are far more popular than ever before. Another major boost in popularity can be seen in the field of microlearning. More and more people are exploiting this chance to take online courses but also to work on things they always wanted to try out but never had the time or energy to pursue. For instance, those with more athletic aptitude are more likely to look up calisthenics workout routines and tips.

4. Professional assistance

There are a lot of guides and tools out there that promise small business owners an opportunity to handle their own digital marketing campaign. The thing is, however, that the end result is never quite the same. Sure, a DIY SEO project can help you somewhat improve your rank, however, in a world where 33 percent of all searches end with the No.1 result, can you really afford to settle for being on the first page? The truth is that those who plan to stay competitive want to invest in professional SEO services. This way, they can get an end-to-end SEO project with guaranteed results and continuity in terms of ranking.

5. On-site optimization and updates

A lot of things have changed due to coronavirus and its consequences. Having proper metadata is as vital as it ever was, nevertheless, there are other factors in play, as well. For example, you might have been forced to close your brick and mortar office, which is why you need to update the info on your website. If you were forced to downsize your team and therefore operate on a smaller capacity, you need to let your audience know this in advance.

For instance, companies in the e-commerce industry are receiving an unprecedented number of orders on a daily basis, which causes a lot of logistical delays. It is, therefore, a great move to address your audience about this issue either immediately upon entering your site or via email outreach. You can even promise them special rewards after the crisis is over, nevertheless, this is a more of a PR issue than it is an SEO one.

6. Watch up for Google updates

While it is true that google updates are a fairly regular occurrence, you need to understand that the situation at the moment might facilitate these things a bit. Why? Well, first of all, we’ve mentioned the fact that there’s much more content being both published and consumed than is usual. Second, it’s important to mention that there’s a lot of false information circling around, which can potentially damage the reputation of the search engine as a whole. Therefore, it’s logical to expect that the staff behind the algorithm will be much more alert and active in the following weeks.

7. Survey your audience more regularly

Like Google, businesses and digital marketers need to be quicker to change and adapt, as well. As we’ve mentioned before, the behavior patterns of your audience have changed overnight and marketers can no longer stick to pre-COVID-19 numbers. The amount of time that people spend on social media, blogs and YouTube, the quality of content and many other factors have their own metrics that need to be adjusted. Therefore, it is pivotal for every serious digital marketer to start new surveys and see what the numbers show.

In conclusion

As you can see, even amidst the crisis, there’s no rest for those who want to lead their business towards a brighter future. Businesses that aim to survive the incoming crisis need to find a way to stay competitive. Seeing as how the majority of people in self-isolation turn to the internet for answers and pastime, SEO might just be the most effective way of achieving this.

Ways Businesses Can Use SEO to Combat Coronavirus Impact

While it is true that some businesses and industries are suffering due to the effects of COVID-19 on the industry and society, not all businesses are doing as badly in these conditions. You see, while people are being locked in their homes, which means that they’re either forced to work as telecommuters or are losing their jobs, for some businesses, there are also those who can see past the crisis. Naturally, even those businesses that get shut down will look towards rising again, after the dust has settled. Speaking of which, why would you have to start from scratch? With the help of SEO (and digital marketing, in general), you can successfully combat the effects of Coronavirus. Here are several tips to help you do so.

1. People use online services to overcome this situation

If your business is providing an online service or a door-to-door delivery like the majority of e-commerce businesses, chances are that your services are now more in demand than they ever were before. You see, people are turning their backs on traditional retail in favor of e-commerce, seeing as how this approach allows them to keep up with their social distancing practices. In other words, while some industries are not doing so great, your own revenue might go up.

Now, rule of thumb is that you should use about 10 percent of your average annual revenue, however, if the industry is particularly competitive, setting aside anywhere between 20 and 50 percent may be acceptable. If your revenue is growing, so should your marketing spending. Just keep in mind that you’re not the only one with this idea. Since about 33 percent of all online searches end with the No.1 result, chances are that your position on the SERPs will determine your audience and your revenue. This means that when it comes to your Google position, now’s not the time to start being skimpy.

2. People consume more content

The next thing you need to understand about coronavirus and its consequences is the fact that they’re keeping people indoors consuming more digital content and craving more entertainment. This is why, despite the fact that some industries are currently doing quite poorly (manufacturing, energy, etc.), online businesses are on a steady rise. More apps are getting downloaded than ever before, more shows binged and more video games played. Other than this, people are watching more YouTube, spending more time on social media and, overall, consuming all sorts of content from traditional text-based posts all the way to podcasts. Ensuring a better position for your content, through SEO, is, therefore, a great idea.

3. A campaign to counter the effects

In order to protect your business, you need to know exactly what you’re up against. This means getting the right assessment of your current situation and the effects that this situation may have on your business, as a whole. The first step in getting this done lies in hiring the right team. In order to get the maximum effect out of your digital marketing campaign, you can’t leave anything to chance. Ideally, you would find a trusted SEO reseller that specializes in white label SEO. This should provide you with an end-to-end SEO service. DIY SEO methods can be quite effective but without a bigger picture, they’ll never give you what you truly desire.

4. Cutting less leads to bigger returns

Saving money is a good idea, in general, however, saving money at any cost is never a smart move. Why? In the past, we had several financial disasters and crises and all of them showed one thing. By cutting less during downtime, you’re gaining more in better times. Why is that so? Well, first of all, you’re not disrupting your business, which means that you need to take a smaller leap in order to get back to your full capacity. Second, due to the fact that you’re demonstrating resilience, you’re creating a stronger case in the eyes of your audience and potential investors.

5. A chance to overcome your competitors

Even though we’ve listed many reasons why keeping up with your marketing is such a good idea, there are a lot of your competitors that are going to ignore this advice entirely. Some of these competitors even had bigger marketing budgets than your own enterprise, which means that, in regular conditions, you had a tough time overcoming them. This is where your SEO plays huge in days to come. By providing your business with higher Google rank and better SERPs, you’re demonstrating a clear superiority of your brand over theirs. Due to the fact that these companies were industry top-dogs in the pre-COVID-19 days, your feat will seem even more impressive in the eyes of your audience. In other words, you’re using the strength of their own brand to your own advantage.

6. Checking the customer sentiment

It goes without saying that a lot of customers are changing their shopping habits in isolation. Why? Well, first of all, the fact that they may soon be in a much worse financial state makes them reconsider their priorities. In other words, they’re more reluctant to spend money on luxury goods and services. Also, due to the fact that they’re not going out so much, they’re less likely to spend money on clothing and jewelry items. The same goes for all sorts of cosmetic goods. Still, all of this is situational and depends on the region and the service in question. A great SEO analytics effort can help you figure this one out quite effortlessly.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, combating the Coronavirus impact will require a lot of PR and sometimes, exploiting the rising organic traffic might be the best way to do so. Inbound marketing is quite effective at subtly making a great impression on your audience, which is just what you need, at the moment. However, this requires a lot of technical knowledge and strategy development, which is why you definitely need some professional help. Needless to say, moments of crisis are the time for you to display your entrepreneurial prowess.

How to Plan a Year of Great Content on a Small Budget

In today’s marketing climate, content is everything. People want to consume content that interests them and it’s something that influences their buying decisions significantly. This is why Australian businesses are making strides to improve their content marketing strategies at all costs.

The problem is that content is expensive to make. At least, this is true of quality content. When you want to consistently pump out tons of articles, videos, or webinars, you need to be able to finance it well. However, there are some creative options that allow businesses to improve their content without spending too much. It makes the process a lot simpler.

Use what you already have

If your website has been running for any amount of time, it’s likely that you already have quite a bit of content featured on it. While you should be looking towards producing fresh, new content, it would be wise to take a look at the content that is already present.

Obviously, you shouldn’t re-use the content in a way that resembles plagiarism but rather restructures it. If you have a bunch of articles that deal with a certain topic, why not combine them into a comprehensive super-guide that encompasses the whole topic?

It’s a great way to get more bang out of your buck for the content and to provide a very good learning resource for website visitors. Plus, current SEO trends recommend creating more comprehensive pieces of content, so this would provide you with double the benefit.

Branch out into new fields

You can make countless iterations of any form of content. However, focusing on just one will still limit your business. Not to mention, you need to spend more and more to create innovative and interesting content on a regular basis, especially if you only stick to one form of media.

This is somewhat easier to manage when you branch out into other types of media. It’s a key part of business personalization. If your marketing team deals primarily in written articles and text posts, it might be time to try something different. In today’s marketing climate, videos are all the rage. They can dramatically increase viewer engagement and keep them occupied for quite a while. The only issue is that they tend to be expensive the longer they are.

You don’t have to go all out with your marketing content. Even short videos and other forms of visual content will keep viewers engaged to an extent. Infographics are another very effective form of content, and they’re ridiculously shareable. You’ll get lots of backlinks with a quality visual content plan, so keep that in mind.

Invite contributors

After a while, writing from the same standpoint is going to seem a little stale. For your content to stay fresh and engaging, you might need to bring in some new perspectives. Find someone to create some engaging content for your website and have them on as a guest. There are probably many local Australian individuals or experts that would contribute in the same field. You could also look abroad or check other websites that deal with similar topics. These individuals could add their experiences or expertise and make your content more diverse.

The only issue is that you have to compensate them for their work, and it’s likely going to be more costly than your own content. Nobody is going to contribute to your website unless they have a strong incentive.

Financial compensation is fine, but a more budget-friendly option would be to offer them promotion. If your website is big enough, this won’t be much of a problem. They would gladly take the offer for exposure to their target demographic. Alternatively, you could also offer social media promotion and products or services from your business. If your website isn’t too big, it’s worth a try.

Optimize your website

There are countless businesses in Australia that provide high-quality content to their users, but don’t see adequate results for their efforts. This is because factors like marketing and search engine optimization play a big part in the effectiveness of your content.

If you present a video on your website and it plays poorly, lags behind, or doesn’t work on mobile, it’s likely that it won’t draw in as many users. This is something that a lot of Australian website owners don’t realize, and it hurts their chances of spreading content. Increasing the effectiveness of your website’s content is crucial. There are countless experts in quality web design in Sydney that can help businesses set up their website content in a more efficient way. With expert help, you can make your existing content more effective, while also being able to improve your future posts.

Invite users to contribute

As much as people like listening to the opinions and advice of experts, what they like even more is hearing the perspectives of their peers. Opinion pieces and personal experiences make for great content in a lot of fields. The great thing about them is that they don’t necessarily require expertise in any form.

If you wanted, you could invite your website’s users to contribute content of their own. It’s a tried-and-tested method that gives your website more quality content, while also creating a more open and inclusive environment for people to enjoy. Users will gladly contribute their content to a website that they like, even if there’s no compensation or if it’s minimal.

Conclusion

Content is something you can’t do without in online marketing. To create better content on a budget, you’ll need to get a bit creating. With the above ideas, you should be able to handle the task and reach successful numbers.

Best Free Conference Call Services for Businesses

Having the right conference call service on your side can help improve your business in so many different ways. First of all, it provides you with a chance to contact members of your team who are far away on a moment’s notice. It also allows you to skip the necessity to go across the globe in order to attend a meeting in person. Sure, a lot of people prefer a face-to-face meeting, however, organizing one in order to resolve an issue in several minutes is a waste of everyone’s time and resources. Fortunately, a conference call service can help you avoid this but which platforms are the best for your business? Here are several worth considering.

  1. Skype

It would be simply unfair not to mention skype at the very top of this list. Why? Well, the first reason is the fact that even today, skype boasts with as many as 1 billion downloads and about 300 million monthly active users. One more thing that sets skype apart is the fact that it’s at the very top of the industry for years now. Keep in mind that this tool is completely free and that it provides you with a simple and efficient conference call service that you can use for both international and local meetings alike.

  1. Google Hangouts

If there’s one thing that we can notice about Google nowadays it’s the fact that it tries to be competitive in virtually every field out there. This ranges from becoming competitive with MS Office, with tools like Google Docs and Google Sheets. One incredible Google tool that you can use for conference call services is the so-called Google Hangouts. The best thing about this tool is that it’s completely browser-based and that, all you need to access it is a Google Account. In other words, it’s a tool that you can always default to.

  1. Zoom

Another amazing tool for conference calls, especially if you have a particularly large team, is Zoom. The only downside of this tool lies in the fact that your calls are limited to 40 minutes, however, seeing as how the majority of meetings don’t actually exceed 20 minutes, this is more than enough. Other than this, by having a limited time for the meeting, you’ll have extra motivation to keep it short and to the point. It is estimated that we spend about 31 hours in unnecessary meetings each month, either way, so avoiding this might be especially important. Needless to say, you have both free and premium accounts.

  1. Redback Connect

When it comes to hosting a conference with a particularly large audience, what you might need is a tool that’s closer to a life event streaming service than an IM software. Redback Connect is a perfect example. As is expected, this is something that can completely erase all geographical boundaries, which makes it ideal even for major industry-relevant conventions. The fact that you can also provide your audience with an on-demand content makes for another major selling point of this tool.

  1. Viber

Another tool that you need to take into consideration is the use of Viber for the purpose of conference-calling. The problem with this idea lies in the fact that Viber’s biggest advantage also tends to be its major downside. Namely, a Viber is a tool that virtually everyone nowadays has installed on their phone. On top of this, it also has a desktop version. The fact that it has a wide personal use makes people available 24/7, however, this also means that they might get distracted by other (personal) messages that they receive while working.

  1. FreeConferenceCall.com

The next tool that’s worth your consideration is the FreeConferenceCall.com. This is a reliable and simple tool with a more than self-explanatory name. The tool itself can be registered for free in a matter of minutes but you also have an option to continue with your Facebook account, thus facilitating this already short process even further. The use of this tool is also quite simple, seeing as how you can set up an online conference in a simple three-steps-long move. You get a free account, you invite participants and you start an audio conference. It really is that simple.

  1. WebEx

One more amazing tool that you should consider using is WebEx. The benefits of using this tool are numerous, the biggest one being the fact that you get to the conference call, screen share and file share within the same platform. Due to the fact that the tool also has a simple and effective whiteboard for quick and efficient messaging, it is more than clear that this is an end-to-end conference tool like no other. This is particularly effective when you’re sharing visual ideas. For instance, in a scenario where you’re trying to design a custom sign for your business. A brainstorming session in WebEx can be quite a sight. Now, the tool itself is not free, however, you do get a trial period. This means that you can always use it as a one-time solution.

  1. UberConference

One of the tools that a lot of people probably expected to see earlier on this list is the popular UberConference tool. What you get is a free conference call tool that specializes in voice calls. Sure, conference call services in 2020 usually imply video support, however, the truth is that audio always comes first. This is especially important to allow various parties to participate in conference calls while driving.

  1. FreeConference.com

Finally, we have one more tool with a self-explanatory name that can provide you with a highly-efficient online meeting room for your staff. The platform has support for any device, which gives you an additional layer of versatility that you need. Add to this the fact that you get support for international dial-in numbers and what you’ve got yourself is an ultimate tool for going global with your business. 

In conclusion

At the end of the day, there are several factors that all of these tools share. First, the registering process is always free and simple and the tool itself has a simple and intuitive interface. In fact, one could even get out of the way to claim that it makes little to no difference when it comes to which of the tools you decide to use. Now, while differences may not be exactly astronomical, they’re definitely present. Also, seeing as how no tool is so clearly superior or inferior to others, you can just pick the one that fits your own personal preference without the fear of making the wrong choice.

The Importance of a Good Coffee Machine in the Working Place

Having a good workplace goes beyond working in a clean and sterile environment. In today’s world, it’s simply not enough to have a stack of cubicles in a room and call it an office. The modern employer knows that the key to productivity and success is keeping their employee happy and treating them like human beings, not just closing them off from each other and expecting results.

This is the main reason modern offices have such elaborate designs and often look very quirky. You don’t need to be eccentric to make your employees happy, though. A few key components are enough to make them love going to work and look forward to each new day in the office. One of those components is the coffee machine.

Though it seems simple enough, a good coffee machine has the power to transform the entire office attitude and make your employees much brighter. Such a common piece of equipment will be the light in your workers’ days as it will give them an energy and motivation boost when they most need it.

1. It keeps things moving

Things at work seem to be running smoothly, and then everything just stops. People run into a problem they can’t solve only to spend the rest of the day trying to figure it out. The more they rack their brain, the further away the answer seems to be. When working on something complex and important, it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut and lose yourself in your own brain. The path to a solution seems doesn’t seem like it exists.

In some cases, it’s enough to get a fresh pair of eyes on the issue and find the solution together. What do you do in the cases where the whole office is exhausted and looking for the same way out as you? This is especially an issue when we’re talking about team projects. When the whole team is down, the whole project will be too.

Sometimes the project or assignment can be so complex that it takes days to figure it out. Though, most times it takes days just because people are reluctant to give up. They don’t realize that taking a rest would help them reach the solution, as they feel useless and unproductive when they’re not working towards a solution.

This is where the coffee machine comes in. It could very well be the thing that saves your team from countless unproductive hours in the office. Coffee has the power to reset our brains and make them start working again. When you’re too exhausted to think, you need something to do it for you. A fresh cup of coffee will be exactly what you need.

Making someone do a coffee run just feels like wasting more time, but the office coffee machine will provide what everyone needs in heartbeat. If you opt for the models which can serve more people at once, the whole team can have their favourite cup of coffee in front of them at the same time. They’ll be able to get straight back to work with a rewired brain and find a solution much more quickly.

2. It gives them something in common

Offices, especially big ones, are full of very different people. This is something very normal, as not all the same personalities will ever work in the same office. It’s also a good thing because it’s ground for more creativity and productivity. People solve problems more easily and they finish projects more quickly when they look at all the different perspectives of one issue. That’s only possible with a diverse and competent team.

Though that all may sound fine and dandy, it can create a very cold and professional office. No one will know how to connect to and talk to someone else when it seems like they’ve got nothing in common. Instead of a community, your office becomes just a place where people can’t wait to get out of.

This can also contribute to feelings of isolation and make individuals feel uncomfortable while at work. In the long run, all this does is put a damper on productivity and make employees miserable. To avoid such an outcome, you’ll need to give them something in common.

With all those different personalities present, it can be very hard figuring out what exactly they all have in common. That is, it’s very hard until you realize that our society basically runs on coffee. There are virtually no people who don’t drink coffee on a daily basis, meaning everyone will have something in common.

By adding a coffee machine, you’re giving people a conversation opener. The coffee machine chats will replace the old-timey water cooler chats and encourage communication and socialization in the workplace. The conversation may start by one employee asking another how they take their coffee, only to transform into something more meaningful and friendly. The coffee machine truly is the first step to making life-long friends.

3. It gives them an energy boost

Flickering levels of energy are always the biggest danger in the workplace. When someone is physically exhausted, it gets a lot harder to think and focus on work. Whether the employee didn’t have a good night’s sleep or they’re missing their afternoon nap- the effects are the same. To make your employees more alert, you need to give them an energy source.

Now, though the idea of nap quarters in the office sounds appealing, it’s very inconvenient and inconceivable. Thankfully, there’s another energy source you can provide for your employees: the coffee machine. 

Whether they use it on their lunch break, when they first get in, or anywhere in between, you’ll be sure it’s doing its job exceptionally well. Coffee is like a reset switch for the body. As soon as we drink coffee, we feel more refreshed and ready to get back to work.

We don’t feel physically tired anymore but are instead eager to get on with our days. The body is once again able to follow the ambitiousness of the brain and help us reach success. So, by pushing the body forward, it actually contributes to the increase in productivity employers are always after.

For some, the cup or two of coffee that they have in the office is enough to get them to the end of the day. That cup is the reason they make their deadlines and are able to go home not feeling exhausted. The coffee allows them to power through another hard day and come out a winner.

4. It gives them something to look forward to

Being stuck in the office all day isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of fun. Most people lose motivation in the middle of the day because they’re simply overwhelmed by the amount of work they need to do and have already done. The only thing they have to look forward to is their breaks at this point. When there’s nothing to do in the break room, the employee will sit mindlessly for their lunch over of five-minute break and sink into tiredness even more.

This isn’t a very nice way to relax your brain. You’ve been staring at the screen for the whole day and now you’re just wallowing in exhaustion. All you want at that moment is to rest your head either by watching something stupid on TV or going directly to bed. That’s the exact opposite attitude of what you want in the workplace and is a sure way of creating zombies.

To avoid this, you have to give your people something to look forward to. Having a coffee machine changes the game entirely. This gives your employees something nice to look forward to on their breaks. It’s crucial to have a coffee machine which can support the needs of your staff, though. You want to provide good service for each member of the team and keep them all on their toes throughout the day.

That’s why it’s not a bad idea to look at high-shelf firms for quality espresso coffee machine, as these firms offer exactly what you need- good service and fine-tasting coffee with a press of a button. A healthy break for your employee suddenly isn’t so far away. They get to take 10 minutes to just collect their thoughts and get their brain running again. Zombie apocalypse- successfully avoided!

5. It spices up the break room

The design of the break room can always use an update. Let’s face it, most break rooms aren’t very pretty or nice. They’re packed with seating furniture or only have one table and a few chairs. The kitchen equipment is mediocre at best, and the fridge always makes that weird sound. This isn’t really an environment you want to spend all of your breaks in.

You don’t have to change the entire design and spend a lot of dough on a makeover, though. Start adding new things to spice up the place one by one. The first item on the agenda will be the coffee machine.

Professional coffee machines for offices are usually designed in such a way that they don’t take up a lot of counter space, making them perfect for every break room. As well as that, they usually have an interesting and colourful design that can light up the whole area.

Your break room suddenly won’t seem so drab and boring when it’s got one hell of a coffee machine as its centrepiece.

Conclusion

The human race takes a lot of things for granted and the coffee machine is one of them. Coffee is the centre of our culture, regardless of where you come from. It’s an excuse to see the people you love or ask someone out, an opportunity to meet new people, and a way to remind yourself that you’re not alone in this world.

On a more personal level, coffee wakes up all our senses, makes us more awake, and gives us the confidence and motivation to tackle every challenge laid in front of us. Once you put in the coffee machine, you won’t be able to recognize your staff. It really will be the thing to tie the whole place together and give it meaning.

How can I get free Internet at home without paying anything?

Person using tablet

Everyone wants to get free internet at home without paying any money. But it may not be difficult because the internet providers are updating their feature at low cost. However, there is some free application which may help you get free Wi-Fi but their service provided by them may not be effective according to your need. You just need to get free internet and also know ways on how to get free internet at home without paying.

Freedom Pop for Free Internet

Freedom Pop for Free internet is best for you if you want to go at free of cost. You will get a wireless router where you can access the internet without paying any money. Another good benefit of this router is it is portable that makes sure you can carry it anyplace and it is also workable at any place. It is also possible to get a free data plan from FreedomPop and at a time you are getting up to 500 MB without paying any money. In case you need more data you may go and visit their plan.

NetZero for Free Internet

In the name of the Internet, NetZero is one of the familiar names because this internet service provider has been providing service since 1988. Unlike Freedom Pop, you are not going to use a router but you have to install a software to avail internet from NetZero. If you don’t need enough data or you are not regular to use the internet, this plan is best suited for you. This service provider offers 10 hours per month. They also have different plans that you may be interested in a fee.

Wi-Fi Free Spot for Free Internet

Wi-Fi Free Spot for Free internet can be one of the best ways to get free internet without paying any money. This can help you identify regional and national enterprises in your location. This site preserves directory that can be reached by clicking. This can also be so helpful if you move from one place to another. However, you have to be a member of the library that offers free internet service.

Check with your service provider for free internet

In your location, the service providers for internet have plans and service for their clients. Part of this fact, their open internet service is hidden at most of the cases, additionally you may not know that your internet service provider has discounted data plans and higher browsing speed. More importantly, there are different free service that you don’t know. If you want to get an internet connection, you have to make sure the answer to these queries. You will get benefit indeed.

Search for Municipal Wireless Network in your Area

Surely there are some areas in the world with Free Wi-Fi. It is also called citywide network which setups Wi-Fi connections from the different internet service provider. In the large metropolitan areas, this network is available.

Ask a neighbor for free internet

Most of the families who use the internet connection from the internet service provider and they intentionally want to shave this internet by partial payment. Luckily if you have a good relationship with this neighbor, you ask for this internet connection. More importantly, this can be done by sharing service with your neighbor that will cost no money.

InstaBridge For Free Internet

InstaBridge is a free internet application which is applicable for smartphones with Wi-Fi passwords and spots on the go. This can be helpful to use because this can help you to identify the nearest place in which you have free access. Additionally, InstaBridge makes sure to list your home Wi-Fi to share with the rest of the family members and your friends as well. This can remove any trouble to get access in relation to password connection.

Final Verdict

Everyone may go for free intent and they also try hard but there is no way. Surely there are a lot of ways to get it done and we have discussed above. You may also avail some high-speed intent if you want to go with plans of the internet service provider. But free internet at home without paying money is really an excellent way to use the internet as you don’t have to pay any money.