Going Online: How To Turn Your Offline Business Into An Internet Hit

The world of business has undergone an immense change in recent years. There is no doubt that the growth of online activities has been central to those evolutions. Jumping into this arena can be a daunting prospect, especially when the venture is performing well offline. However, the immense rewards on offer should be more than enough incentive to take the leap of faith.

You already have a winning business formula. As such, achieving online success should be a lot easier than the original challenge of building the company. With these tips, you’ll achieve it in next to no time.


Start With Your Website

Whatever type of business you operate, your website will be central to all online activities. It is your foundation for success, and failure to maximise your potential here will have a damning impact on the company.

Building an attractive website that navigates well may sound difficult. A winning team of professionals can build a bespoke site that’s aimed at inspiring excitement and trust. Visit lightboxdigital.co.uk for more information on those services. It could be the key to making those visions come true.

All customers will interact with the website. If it sets a winning tone, you will not go far wrong.

Get Social

A great website should be the focus of your endeavours. However, it will count for very little if you aren’t receiving traffic. Thankfully, this challenge has never been easier thanks to the growth of social media.

Gaining a strong presence on Twitter and Instagram won’t only increase your presence. It’ll also allow you to build greater connections with the audience. Incorporate videos with Periscope to provide your audience with fresh insight. They’ll become regular visitors before you know it.

Try to make the content carry shareability, and it could start going viral. If that doesn’t lead to increased interest, nothing will.

Drive Sales

Visibility is one thing, but you also need to gain the trust of your audience. Gaining a strong Google presence will instantly verify your reputation in the eyes of the customers. This in itself could be huge news.

Once people are visiting the site, you need to convert sales. Using email marketing to promote sales within a time frame can work wonders. Read this guide on the subject at shopify.co.uk to become an instant expert in the field.

Embracing testimonials and referrals can be another fantastic way to boost your overall sales. If you’re gaining more revenue, you must be doing something right. But you can still do more.

Provide A Winning Service

Gaining new customers is one thing, but loyalty is the key to continued online success. Therefore, the quality of your customer service should remain a priority throughout. Whether it’s using Live Chat facilities, social media, or telephone services doesn’t matter. Gaining their continued trust is key.

Moreover, you should ensure that all products are of the best standard. That also means investing in the right packaging and distribution sources. Losing out on profit and returned custom due to such simple outside elements would be nothing short of a nightmare.

Essentially, if you continue to treat the online customers as well as you would the offline ones, you’ll be just fine.

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Can You Trust Your Partner?

How much do you know about your partner? The person that you plan to spend the rest of your life with. Think carefully about that question. I would bet that they are nothing like the person you met on your first date. That’s because most people tend to pretend to be who they think other people want. For instance, you might tell a guy that you never miss the Sunday football match. Then, once you’re married, you can go back to ignoring football completely. That’s a small example so let’s think about something a little bigger. Do you have the same idea of what cheating is as your partner? You might think that cheating is talking to someone in a flirtatious manner. They might secretly think that it’s only cheating if there’s physical interaction. You see what I mean, and you can ask them. But can you trust the answer they give you? Here are my rules for knowing if you can trust your partner.

Phone Always On Them?

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I don’t want to make people paranoid here. But, I would be wary of someone who won’t let you see or have access to their mobile phone. It’s incredibly easy to cheat on someone or cover something up if they never see your phone. I saw a Facebook post not too long ago. It said that ninety percent of relationships would end if the couple switched phones for a day. If your partner isn’t willing to switch phones, I guarantee there’s something on it they don’t want you to see. They may not be cheating, but there is certainly something that you don’t know about. You just need to decide whether can handle that level of secrecy.

Fool Me Once, Shame On You, Fool Me Twice…

You should think very carefully about forgiving someone who has broken your trust once. Particularly, if you forgave them straight away. If you forgave them, you’re sending the message they can do it again. They may well do it again too because there is a psychological cause behind infidelity. Most men and women don’t do it due to fun and games. They might be looking for approval, and this doesn’t change without help. I wouldn’t go as far to say once a cheater, always a cheater. I would, however, consider hiring a private investigations specialist. They can make sure your partner is not cheating on you again. Now, I know the argument here. If you do this, are you trusting them? I would say, they’ve already broken your trust, so they have lost that privilege.

A Stranger Like You

I know people who have used this tactic. I wouldn’t recommend it because most people don’t like what they find. However, if you’re curious, you can pose as a stranger, adding them on Facebook or any social media. Interact with them and see how they respond. They might flirt with you or completely dismiss any advances that you make. Or, they may confirm your worst fears.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to test if you can trust your partner. Although, if you’re asking these questions that might say more about you rather than them. Unless, they have broken your trust before.


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Everything you Need to Know about Estate Agents

Have you ever wondered what estate agents do, or considered a career as an Estate Agent? Well, estate agents take up the role of marketing and selling property on behalf of property owners. That is, they monitor the chain of buyers and sellers, liaise with the solicitor, negotiate with sellers and buyers as well as deal with all the paperwork.

Estate agents may also recommend to solicitors, surveyors as well as mortgage brokers to quick house buyers and sellers. Thus, you may talk to them even if you will not use their services. Unlike a popular misconception that estate agents double up as property valuers, this is not true. While some estate agents may give you a valuation of your property, the only valuation that is admissible by financial institutions is that done by professional surveyors.

Estate agents have a way of adding a positive spin on the description of properties, the same way a marketing expert may spin a title tag, or description of a website for seo purposes. This is a great way of selling property without offending clients. However, you need to be cautious because there is a degree of opinion involved in the description of the property.

Estate Agent Regulation

The definition of estate agents is solely the mandate of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Further, the Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 and the Estate Agents Act 1979 regulate the operations and conduct of estate agents.
Additionally, estate agents may also subscribe to certain bodies like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This is the principal body for UK property professionals dealing with commercial, residential as well as agricultural property. In fact, estate agents are legally required to belong to a redress scheme to trade as an agent. Consequently, agents who do not belong to any redress scheme as this governs agents.

Estate Agent Fees

When buying property, you are not required to pay estate agent fee. However, property sellers will pay between 0.75% and 3.5% of their property’s selling price in estate agent fees unless you are selling with a fast house sale agency. This can significantly have an impact on the amount that is due to you at the end of the transaction hence the need to consider negotiating for better rates. It is advisable that you check if the fee is inclusive of VAT, otherwise you may end up adding another 20% of the fee.

Overall, estate agents are an important link between property buyers and sellers. However, you need to understand that they may not always have your interests as heart as they are in business. Therefore, you will do well to research widely and understand the process so that you do not become a victim of estate agent traps.

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Working From Home: How To Improve Your Office and Working Space

A lot of people start out with a business right from their front room. The ideas and the brand are all thought up in the comfort of their own home. Then the business begins, and they will quite often, be working from themselves at home. This is great for a while, but is it the best thing? It can make costs of the business relatively low when there isn’t another mortgage or rent on an office to pay for each month. As the business develops, though, there might be need to expand. Again; it does all come down to money. So for a while, continuing work from home might be the most viable option. You could definitely put in some plans to improve your home, to make the workspace more fit for purpose.

First of all, you could just revamp the office space that you have. The colour that the office is can greatly impact productivity. For example, a room that is painted in yellow hues is meant to promote productivity and alertness. A room that is in blue tones could help creativity. Colours like red and pink should be avoided, though. These can give off feelings of irritation and anger. Not always the things that you want when you are trying to get a business off the ground! You could revamp a room that you already have with some of the decor and accessories. Having a room with high ceilings and mirrors on the wall can help to create a large and airy space. This can make for a perfect office environment.

If you are thinking about extending, then you need to check the plans with your local council first. As it is for a business, there are some permissions and planning permissions that you will need to get. So once that it all sorted, you can get planning and get started. An extension will quite often need aluminum scaffolding tower hire as well as things like skips. So it all needs to be factored into the cost and budget. There are plenty of ways that you can change things up, though. You want to be most productive when working, but also most cost effective. So I hope these tips will be helpful if you aren’t quite at the stage of moving to an office building just yet.

If the space feels too small, it can hinder how effectively you work. So extending might be an option. If you are able to, then knocking down a wall, through to a bedroom in the home would be a good idea. If the bedroom is not being used, then creating a larger working space would be great. However, this isn’t always a possible thing. If that is the case, then it might be better to extend outwards. Building an extension, even if it was just one floor, could make the world of difference when it comes to working and living in the same space. One or two extra rooms or just larger rooms will create better storage space. It will also create room for more staff if needed, as well as allow you to set up stations for different things. If your work is spread out more, you can be more organised and productive.

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The Essentials Of Business Success

It’s hard to be successful in business. There are customers to engage, suppliers to track, and staff to care for. It’s a lot of work to take on. And the pace never relents. But there are a few essentials that can ensure you’ve got all you need to succeed. You might call them the ingredients of a successful business. Without them, you may struggle. With them, you might just have the recipe for success.

It all starts with you. As a business owner, you must have the energy, tenacity and drive to keep going. Sometimes it’s quiet and at other times it’s hectic. Making the most of your time is essential if your business is to survive. Always keep your eye on the cash flow, and look out for opportunities that will drive your business forward. Most importantly, keep yourself up to date and in a great mood!

Your business needs a functional premises. But it’s worth keeping in mind how that office could attract business partners, suppliers or customers. It needs to look professional, but it should also reflect your personality. Companies like Fusion Office Design could give you some ideas for a contemporary style that works for you. As you expand, you need to have the room to grow. Even if you’re operating out of your home office now, it’s worth planning ahead for that corporate headquarters your business deserves.

Pic from Flickr

Communication is so important. In fact, it’s more important now than it has ever been. It could set your company apart, and even be the reasons customers keep coming back. Think about how you communicate with your customers. What is your tone of voice? How often do you engage them? It’s not just about confirming an order or delivery date. You need to help them remember you next time they need to order something.

Social media and websites are essential for every business. You should use your website to inform customers about your business, your products, and your services. Social media should engage customers and provide information that is useful to them. It should be used to help reward customers who have ordered goods and services from you. And it should offer a customer the opportunity to engage you directly too.

Understanding cash flow is a skill that every entrepreneur should have. Knowing where your cash is going and how quickly you can bring it in is important. Working out your break-even point, profit margins and operating costs should come easily to you. Without this vital data, you could quickly face financial problems and risk losing your business. Most importantly, you should know how much you can invest and what your expected return should be.

It’s not easy setting up, running, and building a business. More businesses fail than succeed. But if you’ve got the essentials covered, you could have a good chance of making your business thrive. Look to the future with positivity, but take care with the present. Where will you take your business in the next twelve months?

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Shipping Options: Which One Should Your Business Use?

If your business deals with the manufacturing or sale of goods and products, you’ll need a good shipping system. There are many options for transportation and delivery, and sometimes it’s worth using more than one. You should consider what best suits your needs to pick the most suitable option.

Offering the best delivery options will attract more customers. Companies who need to transport large amounts of goods will need a service which can handle heavy loads. Here are some of the options to look into and what situations they’re most apt for.

Postal Services


Postal services offer basic delivery functions, usually operated by the government. Examples of these include Royal Mail and USPS. These are best for delivering small packages, but can sometimes take parcels of around 20-30kg, depending on the service.

These kinds of services usually offer options for regular, expedited and international delivery. You’ll have to pay more to send items overseas or by one-day delivery, and cost can also depend on weight.

Although options are somewhat limited, using a government postal service is good for small businesses. If you sell small items through an online shop, such as on eBay or Etsy, this might be your best choice. You can take deliveries down to a local post office and get them sent out quickly. They are usually reliable and being official services makes them more accountable.

Independent Couriers

As an alternative to using government postal services, there are privately-run courier companies who can deliver items for you. The best independent courier services offer a range of delivery options, so you can make customers happy.

Courier services can pick items up from you and take them to where they need to be. They can also manage heavier loads than postal services, and offer a range of delivery times. Many offer business services for you to get discounted prices on bulk deliveries.

These can be especially useful for delivering products to customers. If you need to transport small volumes of goods you can also make use of a courier service.

Freight Transport Companies



If your business is a manufacturer or wholesaler, then postal services and couriers won’t fulfill your needs. If you’re transporting heavy loads of cargo, you’ll need to make use of a freight transportation service.

These services can deliver a much higher volume of goods for long hauls. Freight services use large trucks to transport goods by road, but can also transport loads by air. You could even use a service like EON Logistics sea freight forwarder to send cargo overseas. This gives you options both for domestic and international shipping.

If you transport large amounts of cargo to other companies and organizations, freight services are the ideal choice.

In-House Shipping Options

You don’t necessarily have to use external services. You could hire employees to handle transportation and delivery for you.

This will require more investment. You may have to buy a lorry or van, as well as paying for any servicing and repairs they may need down the line. You’d also have to find a qualified and reliable driver.

Weight up the costs before making any rash decisions. If you’re a small business only serving a few clients, a company courier might be cost efficient. If you send out a lot of cargo, buying the trucks and drivers to handle your transportation may be too expensive.

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Eating And Drinking Right To Cope With A Busy Work Life

A working day is usually long, often tiring and always challenging. When you pile one day on top of another, getting to the weekend always feels like a victory of sorts. Some days, just getting to home time seems like a battle won. One thing for certain is that if you want to make it through the day, you need all the help you can get. I don’t mean from your co-workers, although that’s nice. I mean from eating and drinking.

In The Morning: Energy And Awakeness


You’ll see no shortage of articles around which talk about “How To Be A Morning Person“. They are aimed at the kind of person who wakes up feeling like they need at least two more hours’ sleep, the night owl. Truth is, if you’re not a morning person, you’re just not. However, that’s when work starts, so make the best of it. Good, strong coffee and a breakfast with protein will get you somewhere close to conscious. Plaster on a smile and head out the door!

Mid-Morning: Still Hanging In There?

Fruit and Nutrition - Eating Healthy - Nutrition Label

After a few hours, the familiar feeling descends as you remember you are as far away from lunch as you are from breakfast. You’re supposed to be working, but your mind is inventing sandwiches you’d really like. This is the correct time to deploy the banana! Or any other healthy snack, the point is to keep your blood sugar up. Pair it with a herbal tea at this point. Too much caffeine will make you jittery.

Lunchtime: Get Yourself Ready For The Second Half

Having had a protein-based breakfast, lunch is the meal that needs to be more of an all-rounder. Some protein isn’t a bad idea, certainly, but what you need is balance. Get some iron in the mix too, as you’ll need this to avoid a crash in the afternoon.



A tortilla or salad, with an iron-rich leaf like swiss chard and filled with roast beef (for carnivores) or lentil dahl for veggies. Try to avoid anything fizzy to drink here – water or fruit juice is best. And although there is still a fashion to have wine, beer or cocktails with lunch, forget it. You’ll feel like death by home time.

Mid-Afternoon: Rounding The Final Bend



Pretty much everybody is a clock-watcher in the last few hours of the working day. There’s no getting away from it, we are all mentally in the car on the way home, or at least trying to beat the traffic. Your mind wanders. You need coffee. It’s a good idea to have access to some espresso gear right about now, for a perk-up. Allow yourself some dark chocolate, or some nuts, at this point as they are good for concentration. You’re nearly there!

The general working day is busy, can be rushed and makes you change plans on a regular basis. Coming prepared and being able to roll with the changes is important. The more you stick to a smart eating plan, the more natural it will become to you. It’s amazing how much difference it makes to your day, and your week, when you’re equipping yourself for the battle.

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Workplace Fun: A Short Guide to Office Productivity


There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a room filled with a dreary atmosphere. The mind finds it harder to concentrate and more effort has to be made to make the creative juices flow.

According to research, employees find that being surrounded by dullness decreases their productivity. It’s a common problem that often gets overlooked. After all, most business are more concerned about making money rather than making their workers happy.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a professional office. Injecting a little excitement into a space however, will not affect that in any way.

One of the most common mistakes that employers make, is not giving the layout of their office enough thought.

Sometimes all it takes is a little rearranging to create a space your employees will be happy to inhabit.

Creating a productive space



When thinking of productive spaces, we often think of things that are rather dull and boring. This is due to the fact that we are used to seeing those things constantly.

Just because something’s popular, doesn’t make it the right option. Sure, a clean and tidy space is always good, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun and exciting.

Playing around with colours can be a fantastic way of transforming a space. White walls can get a little boring to look at. Bold colours, such as orange or blue, can stimulate the brain a little more.

Productivity can be improved by creating an office that makes your employees excited. After all, it’s much better to be happy rather than dread every minute of your day.

Fun with Furniture



Furniture doesn’t have to be uniform. Not every office on the planet needs to feature the same old chairs.

Due to the fact that we have been exposed to that image for years, it’s harder for us to envision a space that is different.

When designing your office, try to think outside the box. Does the chair really need to be black? Are you really that impressed with a white desk? Sometimes adding a little splash of colour can make all the difference in the world.
When it comes to decorating the space – be creative. Hanging an old painting that has nothing to do with the business, is a common mistake. Just because it’s “art” doesn’t mean it has a place in your office.

Again, try thinking outside the box and make it fun and imaginative. Why not get you logo made in the form of a neon sign. Companies like A1 Designs specialise in that. If you’d rather be less flashy, get some stickers with your logo printed off and put them on your walls. There many companies, like Discount Sticker Printing, that specialise in such items. It’s all about being creative and finding the right resources.

Don’t let your office drag you down. There’s no reason why a space can’t be professional yet fun at the same time. All it takes is a little imagination, some effort and a solid plan. Help your employees get better results by ensuring they are happy.

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Ways to Moneysave, and Save Up

money saving tips

Collaboration with Poppy J.


It is becoming increasingly difficult to squirrel away a few extra pounds, or to save towards a bigger essential buy – let alone long term and for the future. With a bit of extra diligence, it is possible to start – and starting is the hardest. We look at small changes you can make to make it happen.

Shift Down A Brand

When grocery shopping, think of the price range of your favourite consumer brands and the next time you go for supplies, look a level lower on the shelf. Supermarkets place the premium brands at eye level and the bargains towards the bottom of the shelf, so try out alternative brands. Words like ‘luxury’ on more copious packaging lure us into shelling out more for the premium range, whereas ‘basics’ offers more no frills packaging and can still even be hiding a better quality product underneath. We are tricked into thinking pricier equals better quality, but it doesn’t always. If you buy brand names (Kellogg’s, McVities, etc.) opt for supermarket own brands next time and see if you can taste any difference in quality.

Put a Money Away for Each Day of the Year

This might take a little effort to remember and you can always tick it off on the calendar, but if you remember the 365 Day Challenge craze, it could come in handy for you. Imagine January 1st is day 1, and December 31st is day 365, then putting the number in pence into a box can save you a total of around £670 a year. There are free downloadable charts to keep you on track. If towards the end of the challenge you are putting away £3. 63, then £3.64, then £3.65 the next day and this proves change you just can’t spare, commit to putting a set affordable amount away each day, for example a pound a day will still save you £365 a year. Of course, day one can be August 31st and day 365 August 30th the following year so you can begin any time.

Spread The Cost Out For a Bigger Purchase

If you just can’t save up for an item you need now, such as a bed, make it affordable in the interim by spreading out payments, so that you are able to budget for other essentials and save more easily. In some cases, like with cars, it can mean paying more long term for an item, but not always. The resources that opting for purchasing goods on finance saves can also help you to end up actually saving money elsewhere in the long run.

Take Advantage Of Online Price Codes

For groceries, make use of the introductory offers from every supermarket offering home delivery. Sainsbury’s off £10 discount for the first five shops and Morrison’s and Ocado off £10 or £20 a first order. Try each supermarket out for each shop, to make the most of these introductory offers. On top of this, periodically, individual products can be added to the basket for free, some several at once. Very often companies have promotional codes can that be used concurrently with other codes, a practise known as code stacking.

For clothes and electricals, keep an eye out for price glitches, where you end up with heavily discounted or even free entire orders. If you spot it early enough, very often providers end up honouring these, and shoppers have ended up in the past with pricey new TV’s for a fraction of the price, or in season fashion buys for pennies.

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Reaching Out: Attracting More Customers To Your Business In 4 Easy Steps

Every business experiences a unique journey, and some aspect will be specific to the individual venture. But there are a number of elements that link all companies, and the need for customers sits at the very top of the pile.

If you let it, this can become a very complex subject. However, the truth is that most companies can achieve fantastic success with some very simple methods. Follow the four tips outlined below, and yours can be one of them.

What are you waiting for,? Let’s get to work.


Let Them Interact

First and foremost, there’s no point in people finding your company if their visit doesn’t lead to the desired outcome. For most companies, that means acquiring a sale. Do not forget it.

Potential clients won’t be willing to complete a transaction if they cannot trust the business. Therefore, you need to make it easier for them to contact you. This guide will help you make the most of those opportunities both internally and externally. In turn, this can only boost your chances of gaining the trust required for sales.

Furthermore, it should allow you to provide a far better service to the customers too.

Utilise Google

While sales are the statistic that you need to monitor most, there are various steps needed to achieve it. Getting people to actively visit your site is one of the most important. Unfortunately, you cannot just leave this to chance.

Understanding the habits of the online audience is crucial. For the vast majority of them, search engines are the key to finding whatever product or service they’re after. Given that over 90% of users will click a link on the first page of results, boosting your visibility here is vital.

There are various methods to help you achieve this. Quite frankly, it could be the most important step you take.



Create Engaging Content

Online marketing does carry a unique set of parameters. However, the basic principles are the same. Most importantly, you need to capture the attention of your key demographic.

To do this online, you need to build engaging campaigns that encourage user interaction. Meanwhile, those adverts need to appear in the right places. A pay per click agency can help you master this challenge with minimal fuss, and it will lead to more interest from the most likely customers.

Of course, you can aid your cause further by using video marketing and other cool features. Essentially, the more effort you put in, the greater interest you should receive.

Use The Customers

It’s safe to assume that the customer is already fond of your business. So why not let them attract their friends and family too? Sharing is caring, and it could be great news for everyone.

By rewarding the existing client’s loyalty, you’re outsourcing part of your marketing plan with no risk. If they bring in new clients, then you’re only paying them a percentage of the additional profit. If they fail to recruit new ones, you haven’t paid for their efforts.

Potential customers will be far more likely to complete their transactions once they’ve had a nudge from someone they trust. It could be your secret weapon for increased success. Ignore it at your peril.

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