Month: October 2016

Running a Small Business

Running a Small Business

Running a Small Business: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounting for 99.9 percent of all private-sector business in the UK according to the Federation for Small Business.

businessimageThe reasons for starting a small business vary from person to person; many people choose self-employment out of a desire to put skills acquired through years of traditional employment to work on their own terms, while other successful businesses form as the result of a job loss or other unexpected life event which necessitates getting back on one’s feet quickly and with as much flexibility as possible with regard to work-life balance.

If you are thinking about starting a SME, you will need to bear the following in mind no matter what type of business you wish to start and for whatever reason you wish to start it.

Starting a business

The obvious starting point is to have an idea and a business plan. Sample business plans of successful entrepreneurs are widely available on the Internet. One thing that holds back many potential entrepreneurs from starting their own business is the notion that their business must be unique. Nothing could be further from the truth! Anyone who regularly goes into a salon or has her car serviced is well aware of the choice she is making about this versus that hairdresser or auto repair shop. Competition is good for business because it proves that, in terms of supply and demand, there is room for one more. The entrepreneur’s goal upon starting the business, then, is to build it up by attracting clients through a successful marketing strategy.

Sole trader v. Ltd

A sole trader company, or sole proprietorship, is the simplest option for many home-based businesses, freelancers and other independent contractors. Although many sole traders work alone, one can still have employees and be considered a sole trader. The difference between a sole trader company and a limited company is that the sole trader is personally responsible to report profits and losses and to pay taxes accordingly as personal income. A limited company is a separate legal entity from any one person; however, the limited company’s director is responsible for following the company rules laid out in its articles of association and may be dismissed for failing to do so. Both entities are required to register for Self-Assessment and to file a Self-Assessment return each year. New entrepreneurs must register their business with the county clerk and also check with the county clerk about taxes and other reporting requirements.

Potential pitfalls

Among the many aspects of running a small business that entrepreneurs must consider are any factors which might cause it to fail. One of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make is not to have a backup plan for anything which might go wrong. All entrepreneurs need to bear in mind that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong” and consider worst-case scenarios before, for example, applying for a business loan using one’s home as collateral, so as to avoid a financial disaster. What if you plan for the business to turn a profit in two years’ time but it takes three or four years to happen? If you are renting office or shop space for your brick-and-mortar business, what if you run into problems with the building itself which may have a negative impact on your business (such as plumbing, climate control or mould growth) and the landlord isn’t willing to assist in remedying those problems? If you find yourself having to physically relocate your business and temporarily halt operations, you will also be faced with a loss of income. Plan, plan, plan for every contingency and insure the business against any material losses.

Another mistake that many entrepreneurs make in the early stages is spending too much time on the core business and devoting too little time to other aspects of business operations, particularly developing and implementing a marketing strategy. Without clients, there is no business. Thankfully for entrepreneurs with limited marketing resources, the Internet provides countless free and low-cost options for promoting a small business, including social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, professional networking opportunities through LinkedIn and online adverts through the likes of Google AdWords. The successful entrepreneur will exhaust such resources before investing in more traditional – and typically more costly – television and radio advertisements which may or may not be relevant.

Benefits of self-employment

While the realities of running a small business can be overwhelming – particularly in the start-up stage – many entrepreneurs are quick to point out the benefits of being one’s own boss. For most businesses run entirely online and via telephone, the work hours are a great deal more flexible than in any traditional employment situation, and any entrepreneur will find this agreeable if he is “not a morning person.” The home-based entrepreneur is also spared the obligations of professional attire and a regular commute as well as the pressure to conform to an office culture. And while a steep learning curve comes into play for many entrepreneurs where managing day-to-day operations, record keeping and finances are concerned, it can also be very satisfying from a professional standpoint to be entirely in control of these aspects of the business as opposed to being a traditional employee whose employment status depends largely on how successfully those operations are carried out by the organisation’s top management.

With SMEs accounting for so much of the UK’s economic viability, one certainly has a lot to gain from starting and running a small business. If you are ready to take the giant leap from traditional employment to entrepreneurship, thorough planning will prepare you well for the challenges – and triumphs, if all goes well – which lie ahead. Marketing your Business Online If you want your new business to be seen online and have the best possible start why not talk to one of the friendly and fully trained team at Direct Submit to find out how they could help your company’s website boost its online profile?  No matter what products or services you sell you can be certain that they will be able to offer your service and excellent service that generates real results, check out their great past customer testimonials to see how many people have been left satisfied with the service they provide.

Established over a decade ago and operating from the North East of the UK, Direct Submit have become one of the leading SEO and Internet Marketing providers in the North East and the UK. Our client retention rate is exceptional, currently over 80%, which shows our commitment to working with the client to make a project a success.

To speak to one of our Internet Marketing Consultants for advice on making your Web Marketing project a success, call us now on 0845 272 2350, visit the Direct Submit SEO Services website or email us on mail@directsubmit.co.uk. We look forward to your call.

Generate Traffic with Google Adwords

Generate Traffic with Google Adwords

Generate Traffic to your Website with Google Adwords

Google Adwords is one of the most versatile ways to drive traffic to your website. Google get 3.5 billion searches per day, meaning that people are constantly searching the web for products and services. 40,000 Google search queries are processed per second. Some of these queries are informational, but many are related to products or services. Right now, hundreds of people are searching for a website like yours. Google AdWords helps you target these searchers, and puts your website in front of these potential customers.

adwords

Google have made it incredibly straightforward to advertise with them. You can advertise through the Google AdWords interface.

Why use Google AdWords? There are a variety of reasons. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the more important reasons.

1. Precisely Target Interested Customers

When you create a TV or newspaper advert, you are targeting masses of people. For example, if you advertise lawn mowers in a local newspaper, you will have a variety of people reading your ad, from teenagers to elderly people to businesspeople. Most of your audience probably don’t require a lawn mower at that point in time.

However, with Google AdWords, you can precisely target customers who are interested in lawn mowers only. When someone searches for “lawn mower shop Manchester”, you can place your ad directly on Google’s search results. Since this person is highly interested in purchasing a lawn mower, they are more likely to click your ad. As a result, they are more likely to convert, either by purchasing a lawn mower or through some other conversion. Instead of spending huge amounts on newspaper ads (directed at the masses), you can spend the same on interested customers, who are very likely to purchase.

This means that with a small amount of investment, you can get highly interested people coming to your website. These people have shown interest in your product by conducting a search into Google, and this means you’ll get more conversions and more purchases.

2. Instant Results

This is a no-brainer. With SEO, you have to wait up to six months to start seeing your website receive lots of traffic. While this may be a long-term investment, it does take time. While you are waiting for your website to rise in the SERPs, you can invest in some short-term PPC/Google AdWords advertising. With as little as £20, you can start receiving interested customers to your website. These customers will arrive at your site in as little as a few hours, and you can generate some quick business.

Since PPC is a relatively inexpensive method to gain customers, you can experiment with pricing and keywords. The results are quick; you don’t need to wait months. That said, SEO should definitely be a part of your long-term internet marketing strategy, but PPC can have quick results too.

3. Get Exact Predictions and Data

With Google AdWords, you can choose which keywords you’d like to target. Then, you can get predictions on how many clicks you’ll get.

This gives you exact data and it’ll help you forecast how much traffic you expect to receive. If we compare this to newspaper ads or radio ads, they don’t give any detailed metrics on what you can expect. They may highlight certain demographics or ages, but they aren’t measured with the accurate specificity of Google AdWords. With PPC, you can get accurate metrics on what to expect. Since so many businesses use Google AdWords each year, Google have amassed exponential amounts of data and research on what keywords convert best. All this data is neatly compiled into the AdWords Keyword Planner, and you can easily access it.

You can input the amount of money you’d like to spend per day, eg: £10. With that £10, the tool will state how many clicks you’ll get for that £10 for your chosen keywords. You can then toggle around with the keywords, and choose cheaper or more expensive keywords. This gives you unlimited freedom, because the keywords have been tried and tested, and Google’s long experience in PPC advertising helps you hone in on the most profitable keywords/search queries to target.

Final Thoughts

Google AdWords can be a versatile source of advertising for you. It will allow you to get exact predictions on your expected traffic, it’s easy to use, and it’ll quickly bring targeted customers to your website. If you feel that traditional advertising isn’t working for you, or you want an easy way to get targeted customers to your website, Google AdWords is the perfect choice for you.

Direct Submit Pay per Click & SEO Services

Direct Submit are an established Search Engine Marketing and Internet Marketing company. With over 95% of our business coming direct from client referral, we provide a cost effective and highly efficient service. We offer a client focussed service, and always speak to our clients in a language they understand, helping them understand the Internet and how a successful Internet Marketing Campaign can benefit their business. Established over a decade ago and operating from the North East of the UK, Direct Submit have become one of the leading SEO and Internet Marketing providers in the North East and the UK.

Our client retention rate is exceptional, currently over 80%, which shows our commitment to working with the client to make a project a success. Unlike most other SEO companies, we do not do any marketing of note. We don’t employ sales people, not do we cold call or bombard business with sales materials. Virtually all of our client base comes directly from referrals.

To speak to one of our Internet Marketing Consultants for advice on making your Web Marketing project a success, call us now on 0845 272 2350 or email us on mail@directsubmit.co.uk. We look forward to your call.

Students Warned of ‘Phishing’ Scam

Students Warned of ‘Phishing’ Scam

Students Warned of ‘Phishing’ Scam
New students are being alerted to a scam where fraudsters claim to offer a “educational grant” in a bid to con them into divulging bank details. The personal finance site Money Saving Expert says it is aware of students at major universities being targeted in a new wave of “phishing emails”.

phishing

At Queen Mary University London, one student was tricked out of £300. University of Glasgow said it was also aware of the scam and had advised students to ignore the email.  The mother of the QMUL student said her daughter had received the scam email last week. It looked as if it had come from the university’s finance department, complete with the logo, and invited the young woman to claim a government bursary.

An online form asked her for personal and banking details and took her to a bank verification page, which was when she became suspicious. But, MSE says, the student found the fraudsters had already taken £300 from her bank account.

In a statement QMUL said: “We were made aware late last week that a number of QMUL students had received these phishing emails.

“QMUL proactively monitors its systems to prevent and detect breaches, and there is no evidence to suggest any system has been compromised in this instance. A message was sent to all students warning them about the scam and providing them with advice on how they can protect themselves online, including details of our cybersecurity training courses.”

The university said it did not believe the scam had affected many students and said it was confident its own systems had not been breached.

The University of Glasgow said it would never ask for banking information in this way. In an email to all students, the university said it had become aware of a scam email headed: “Educational Grant Information”.

“This is an email message that appears as if it has come from the University of Glasgow’s finance department. It has not,” the university said.

Earlier this year, the police site Action Fraud warned of a similar “phishing” campaign at universities.

The Student Loans Company said students were particularly vulnerable to “phishing” attempts around the main payment dates, in September, January and April. “Phishing emails are sent in batches so there will be more in circulation,” it said.

“We want to remind students to stay vigilant with the details they provide online,” said Paul Mason, the SLC director responsible for combating fraud. He advised students receiving unsolicited emails to be alert to poor spelling and grammar and to demands for a rapid response. They are also advised not to reply and not to click on any links.

Suspected attempts should be reported to phishing@slc.co.uk or to Action Fraud.

Long Tail Keywords – Important to any SEO Campaign

Long Tail Keywords – Important to any SEO Campaign

Why Long Tail Keywords can be Important to any SEO Campaign

Long tail keywords are more specific types of keywords, because they include more information than a normal keyword. For example, a broad keyword might be “tree surgeon”, but a long tail keyword would be “tree surgeon Tonbridge, Kent.” This keyword is much more specific than the broad keyword.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why you should focus on long tail keywords. The reasons may surprise you.

1. Interested Customers

Long tail keywords might include specific queries or locations, thus showing that the customer has a more specialized interest in the niche. Let’s go back to our tree surgery example from above. The broad keyword “tree surgery” is very vague and searchers who are searching that might only want a definition or they might want to learn about tree surgery in general. Since it’s so broad, that keyword doesn’t show much interest in the customer wanting to avail of tree surgery services.

In comparison, let’s look at “tree surgeon Tonbridge, Kent.” This keyword pinpoints with precision accuracy the customer’s intent. From looking at this keyword, we know that the customer wants to hire a tree surgeon in Tonbridge, preferably. While this keyword may get very few searches per month, those searches are precise and accurate, and are much more profitable than broad keywords. If you have a business ranking for those keywords, that person will be more likely to buy your services.

2. Competition

Long tail keywords might get less searches each month, because they are so specific, but these are the keywords which are easier to rank for. It is virtually impossible for a small business to start ranking for very broad keywords such as “tree surgery” or “confectionery” or “candles”, because these keywords are already dominated by big name websites such as Wikipedia, Amazon, and eBay. These websites have bulletproof SEO embedded within their online marketing, and so, it is impossible to get past them for such a broad keyword.

However, if you narrow down your keyword by turning it into a long tail keyword, such as “candle shop Kent” or “confectionery for birthday parties Kent”, the competition will decrease hugely.

This is because less websites have the exact long tail keyword “confectionery for birthday parties” embedded within their text. They might serve confectionery across the globe, but don’t specialize for birthday party catering or for Kent. That’s where your business comes in.

How Do I Rank For Long Tail Keywords?

You don’t need to write blog posts for certain long tail keywords specifically, but you can use the Google Keyword Planner to find keywords which might be profitable for your business. Don’t let the amount of searches daze you, if they only get fifty searches a month. If you think about it, that’s fifty interested people each month looking for your business’s products or services. Even if you retain a few of them after the first purchase, that’s enough to really increase earnings.

You might be naturally ranking for certain long tail keywords without even knowing. If your website contains a lot of textual content such as paragraphs describing your services, location, and products, the Googlebot will automatically strat ranking you for certain keywords. You can build up your blog post numbers to start creating more textual content for the Googlebot to scan.

However, if you find that you’d like to rank for a certain long tail keyword, you can write a blog post specifically with that phrase embedded in the title and in the text.

In Conclusion

Many businesses ignore long tail keywords, because they think that these keywords won’t attract much searchers. However, the entire opposite will happen. By ranking for specific keywords, your website will attract highly interested customers who are much more likely to purchase your products or services.

Synergy Double Glazed Windows & Conservatories

Synergy Double Glazed Windows & Conservatories

Synergy Double Glazed Windows & Conservatories
If you are looking for a way to improve the appearance of your home, improve you quality of life and add value to your property you may want to consider having some new windows fitted or even have a completely new conservatory created to give your home an instant lift.

synergywindows

At Synergy Windows they have a great range of product available including windows, conservatories and doors in a wide range of choices so you are likely to find something that complements any property and fits any budget, so if you are based in the North Yorkshire you may want to take a look at some of the excellent services and top quality products they provide.

With products on offer that have been created using some of the latest technology available to ensure that you get great value for money you can be certain that having your windows, doors or conservatory supplied and fitted by Synergy Windows will be a really worthwhile investment. Not only will you add value to your home you will also save money on your energy bills as you will be able to maintain an even temperature within your property more easily regardless of the weather, with many products available using the Warmcore technology you can be certain that they are able to provide you with some of the most effective products on the market.

With an excellent delivery and fitting service you can be sure that no matter what products you may purchase from Synergy Windows you will always receive and excellent level of service, with the opportunity to have the whole project managed on your behalf from beginning to end, including any plumbing or electrical work that may be required, the whole process is made as easy as possible and you will have the job done with the minimum of disruption and inconvenience to you.

Synergy Windows are a Darlington based window and conservatory company who manufacture and install double glazed PVCU windows, doors and double glazed conservatories  throughout Darlington, Harrogate and North Yorkshire regions. They deal with both domestic and commercial customers, offering quality and value for money and are one of the few North Yorkshire companies who have BFRC accreditation and approval to mark their double glazed windows ‘A’ rated. All units are Argon filled as standard and can also include options such as triple glazing and Warm Edge Spacer bar should the customer require it.

Contact Synergy Windows
So if you are looking for ways to improve your home why not think about getting in touch with Synergy Windows to find out more about what they have to offer their customers in the North Yorkshire. Call today on 01325 527538 or visit the Synergy Windows website and check out the great range of double glazed windows, doors and conservatories they have on offer.

How Google AdWords Can Help Your Business

How Google AdWords Can Help Your Business

How Google AdWords Can Help Your Business
If you want to raise your company’s online profile and attract more internet based custom why not consider contacting Direct Submit to find out how they can help you create an internet marketing strategy that is completely suited to your company’s needs? With a great range of strategies on offer that really produce results including Pay per click, Google Adwords and SEO optimisation you may be surprised at how much Direct Submit can do to help your business succeed online.

seoimage1No matter what type of company or business you run at Direct Submit you can be sure that they will be able to help you choose the best course of action for your personal marketing campaign and will fully explain all the available options and how they could benefit your business.

By using methods such as Pay per Click, where your advert will be featured in the ads on search engine results pages but you will only have to pay each time someone actually clicks through to view your full website, they will make sure that your page gets noticed and that you received far more directed traffic.

With a flexible service on offer that aims to cater to your businesses individual needs at Direct Submit they will offer your business expert help and support for as long as you need it, once they have set up your initial internet marketing campaign they will also be happy to monitor how successful it has been and make any changes or updates that are required, leaving you more time to get on with running your business.

If you want to create a really successful internet marketing campaign get in touch with Direct Submit and find out more about how they can help you achieve real results and increase your sales and leads with the use of Pay per click, Google AdWords, SEO and other expert marketing techniques that are both affordable and effective. Google AdWords can be a versatile source of advertising for you. It will allow you to get exact predictions on your expected traffic, it’s easy to use, and it’ll quickly bring targeted customers to your website. If you feel that traditional advertising isn’t working for you, or you want an easy way to get targeted customers to your website, Google AdWords is the perfect choice for you.

Direct Submit Pay per Click & SEO Services
Direct Submit are an established Search Engine Marketing and Internet Marketing company. With over 95% of our business coming direct from client referral, we provide a cost effective and highly efficient service. We offer a client focussed service, and always speak to our clients in a language they understand, helping them understand the Internet and how a successful Internet Marketing Campaign can benefit their business. Established over a decade ago and operating from the North East of the UK, Direct Submit have become one of the leading SEO and Internet Marketing providers in the North East and the UK.

Our client retention rate is exceptional, currently over 80%, which shows our commitment to working with the client to make a project a success. Unlike most other SEO companies, we do not do any marketing of note. We don’t employ sales people, not do we cold call or bombard business with sales materials. Virtually all of our client base comes directly from referrals.

To speak to one of our Internet Marketing Consultants for advice on making your Web Marketing project a success, call us now on 0845 272 2350 or email us on mail@directsubmit.co.uk. We look forward to your call.

Insurance Broker to Help find the Right Insurance

Insurance Broker to Help find the Right Insurance

Insurance Broker to Help find the Right Insurance
Buying the correct insurance policy for your home or business can be a time consuming and complicated task if you want to be absolutely certain that you have got the correct level of cover for the best possible price. Whether you are looking to insure your premises, equipment, stock, vehicles or animals or other personal items considering approaching an insurance broker such as Weir Insurance might be a really sensible move, especially if you are based within the Newcastle and Northumberland areas.

insuranceimage

There are many different insurance companies on the market that all offer a wide range of policies so sometimes it can be difficult to work out which one is best for you, very often you will find that the cheapest advertised policy quickly becomes expensive if you wish to raise the level of cover to include additional items or have any other specifications that you may wish to make. You may also find that many of the cheaper providers have high excess fees and many clauses and terms within their conditions that make making a claim very difficult. All these factors can make finding the correct home or business insurance cover at the best possible price a frustrating and confusing experience.

At Weir Insurance they are able to fully discuss all your home or business insurance requirements with you, including what levels of cover you would like an insurance policy to provide, what items you would like to include within your policy and what type of payment methods you would like to use before they search the market for insurance policies that are completely suited to your needs at the reasonable prices. They will then be able to provide you with all the information you need to be sure that you have chosen the policy that is the best option for you or your business.

With over forty years experience as insurance brokers, at Weir Insurance they have all the knowledge and expertise required to guide you through the process and make sure that you get everything that you require from any insurance policy you may decide to buy, and even if you need a policy for an unusual or hard to insure item you can be certain that they will do everything they can to find a way to get you the insurance cover that you need.

As long established professionals within the industry at Weir Insurance they have excellent working relationships with many insurance providers and will often have all the latest information about the most up to date insurance offers, along with knowledge of lesser know policies that some companies have available or certain terms that they are able to offer that only experience can bring. This combination of experience and a commitment to providing customer satisfaction every time helps to make Weir Insurance a really good choice if you are looking for expert help finding the correct insurance policy for you.

So if you need home insurance, business insurance or insurance for any other reason you may want to get in touch with Weir Insurance, as one of the most respected insurance brokers within Newcastle and Northumberland you can be sure that they will be able to guide you through the process and help you find the insurance policy that is most suited to your needs and your budget. With a straight forward pricing policy, excellent customer service and a totally independent and impartial working practise you can be certain that they will always act in your best interests to find the correct insurance cover for you.

For further information please call one of our experienced insurance team today on 01670 365533 or visit the Weir Insurance brokers website. We have been helping our clients’ with their insurance needs since 1972. We talk to you about your requirements, work with you to figure out what cover you need (and what cover you don’t) and then use our relationship with dozens of insurers to find the best solution for you.