How to Manage Your Business While Traveling

Whether it’s following up on work, assigning tasks, checking on your business mail, or just replying to customers, it can all be done from your phone. As a matter of fact, almost anything can get done online, through your phone today.

Yes, it’s that simple. But don’t go running home or rushing off to your next vacation destination just yet! We need to establish how you can get all this done and more without being at the office. Keep reading to find out the key factors you need to consider when managing your business while traveling or being away.

Key Factors to remotely managing your business:

Conduct Regular Meetings:

Everyone doesn’t need to be huddled up in the conference room to conduct a good meeting; you can get remote employees, freelancers, and employees at the office all in the same meeting with just an internet connection.

Now meeting on a daily or even weekly basis can be difficult while you’re traveling because you’re mostly busy and have other things to address. However, meeting with the managers weekly or bi-weekly will reassure your presence in the office and confirm your supervision on all business matters.

You can easily conduct meetings through Skype or Google Hangouts where everyone can see each other and even share files if needed. You can also use Google Slides for presentations or Team Viewer to share your computer screen with everyone for demonstration.

Be sure to regularly interact with your employees no matter where you are and build close relations with them that can evolve into trust. If this is accomplished, you’ll never need to worry about business when you’re away.

Follow-up on Work Progress & Hours:

You being away from the office should never mean work doesn’t get done or is on pause. Technology created a solution for slacking or lazy employees, time tracking software. This type of software allows you to track employees working hours so you will always be updated with who came late or who worked overtime.

Employees will be able to track their shifts, breaks, and leave notes on their work progress.

There are many types of time tracking software, some are essentially focused on tracking working hours like ClockIn Portal that generate timesheets and can be integrated with payroll systems.

Others include a project management feature like Zoho Projects where you can share projects, assign tasks, and follow-up on tasks.

You can also use essential project management software like Basecamp or Asana that mainly focus on getting work done efficiently. Project management software allows you to assign tasks, update them with comments, set deadlines, add attachments, and eventually mark them as complete. With a straightforward tracking method of working hours and work progress, employees will feel obligated to stay focused and get things done faster.

Handle Business Mail Instantly:

While traveling, your mail is something you mustn’t forget about. Neglecting your mail for even a few days can lead to problems. Unattended mail can be important contracts from clients, documents from partners or investors, or feedback from your customers.

With a virtual mailbox, you can take your mail with you wherever you go.

A virtual mailbox is a mailbox that you can access online and handle your mail. The options vary from shredding any document or forwarding packages to opening, archiving, or downloading mail in just a few minutes. Your mail is delivered to secure mail facilities where the envelope is scanned and uploaded to your cloud-based mailbox for you to control.

So not only is it remote access to your important mail, but it eliminates the need for a mailroom! This means lesser paper storage, no mail operators, and faster mail operations, a win-win for you and your pocket.

Now, you’re ready to go!

With your business essentials all in check, you can easily travel whenever needed without worrying about work falling behind or inefficiently managing your business. By following these three factors, you can manage your tasks and still have time to enjoy your vacation!

PostScan Mail guarantees that a future change of address or being away for frequent traveling will not pose any problem. They receive your mail, scan the outside, and alert you online. You can then view your scans and manage your mail and packages remotely through any device connected to the internet. Upon your request, they can scan the content of your letters, shred or recycle the junk mail, forward your items to the address you pick or store your mail at their facility for as long as you wish, all with just a click.

How to Find Your Customers on Instagram

So how do YOU find customers on Instagram? Here’s how:

YOUR BIO: Take a good look at your business and what YOU offer, then make sure your Bio is relevant to your business. And be specific. For example if you’re a Real Estate Agent, tell people WHAT you do and WHERE you do it! Many Instagram Bio’s miss this point. Some Bio’s may say; ABC Realtor selling multi million dollar homes. That’s pretty broad don’t you think? Where exactly does this realtor sell these multi million dollar homes? A better Bio would read like this; John Smith – Realtor in Miami Florida broker of Multi Million dollar properties. Now a prospective new follower will read this and know What this person does and Where he or she does it. Now your one step closer to finding a new targeted follower.

YOUR IMAGES: Instagram is all about the images or pictures right? So make each one count! So once you have decide what YOU are offering, post what it is your offering. We sometimes get caught up posting all sorts of things based on what we “think” our audience wants only to find we get lost posting all sorts of random stuff and nothing that really relates to your business. So if your intention is to give your followers a look behind the scenes then focus on posting images of your office, staff, projects, etc. But if your business is product based, you might focus on images of your product. You may even post pictures of your product being made, used or sold? Now you are giving the audience what they want from YOU and not what you think they WANT.

YOUR CAPTIONS; When writing your captions take a moment to think about what your writing, check spelling and say it in your voice. So for example; if your business is a Hair Salon, and your are posting the latest trend in a particular hair style your caption may read something like this: New hairstyle from the runways of Milan now available to you from us! OR your caption could read, This new style is now available in our salon. See how the caption is relevant to the image.

YOUR HASHTAGS: Hashtags are sometimes misused. People sometimes get caught up in the “popular” hashtags such as “love”, “selfie” and others and think if they use these they will gain more likes and followers. Sure, on the odd occasion this might work, however if someone searching for YOUR business is using the #hashtag tool the chances are they are searching for words related to your business. So when you use #hashtags use them correctly. If your business is a florist, use hashtags that relate to your picture first, then your business. An example of hashtags for a picture of red roses might be; #redroses #roses #longstemroses #florist #freshflowers #yourbusinessname – we always like to include our business name in the hashtags So that’s it. Pretty easy isn’t it. A little thought and focus and your Instagram account will explode with targeted followers that you can share YOUR business with.

12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

How To Grow Your Small Business Using Instagram

Small Business marketing using Instagram

Instagram is an online mobile application that is used for sharing photos and videos. Instagram is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter and has fast become a very popular social media tool. Instagram was originally developed so that people could apply different filters to photographs that they had taken on their mobile phones and would allow them to easily upload and share these photos with friends (or account followers) using the Instagram application. More recently video was introduced to Instagram it can now be uploaded, but Instagram video clips are limited to between 3 to 15 seconds long.

Why are businesses turning to Instagram?

*There are more than 300 million Instagram users worldwide.
*Approximately 70 million photos are uploaded per day.
*The account is ‘free’ to set up so there are low barriers to entry.
*It is a medium that allows for easy sharing of content 24 hours a day.
*What sort of success have businesses achieved using Instagram?
*Businesses such as Levis, L’oreal and hundreds of others have been able to use the tool to:
*To increase awareness of their products and services.
*To increase brand recognition.
*To showcase their community and pro bono work to inspire and attract prospective customers to engage with their product, service or brand.
*Run successful promotions, competitions and giveaways.

Small Business marketing success with Instagram

Instagram appears to be particularly popular with product based businesses due to its visual nature. Many businesses that are product based such as clothing, jewellery, make up or even food based business have achieved success using Instagram. This is because the application allows for photos to be posted and shared of people either wearing or using these products. For instance, a food manufacturer might post photos of someone cooking with, sharing a meal, or entertaining friends using their food products. This success is not exclusive to big brands as many small businesses have been able to leverage the power of Instagram to engage their clients. For instance, Melbourne based café The Kettle Black had over 45,800 followers in March 2016 they have achieved this through the use of attractive photographs of their food and images of cafe meals that Instagram users would be attracted to, as well as using hashtags that foodies, food bloggers and other Instagram users would be interested in or search for.

Influencer marketing

Bloggers, social media stars and media personalities have amassed a loyal following online with hundreds and sometimes thousands of people following their Instagram accounts. This ‘influencer’ group means that there are several eyeballs there ready to see your product or service. The audience has already been built for you. The engagement has already been formed and tapping into this by getting your product uploaded onto their Instagram feed or featured by a blogger or popular Instagram account holder will help you to grow your audience more quickly. Therefore taking the time to identify key ‘influencers’ in your industry and how you can tap into this is important.

Hashtags – What are they?

How can they be used to increase business exposure?

I suggest that if you are interested in getting onto Instagram you spend some time up front doing your Hashtag research. Hashtags are tags that you can add in a caption of a photo that you upload. To create a hashtag you need to use the # symbol at the front of the tag and then add a keyword or several keywords without spaces after the hash symbol. For example, you might post a product image of pair of jeans. Your hashtags could be: #fashion #style #jeans #lovethatstyle. You may already be familiar with hashtags as they are also popular on Twitter but if you are not take a look online to see some examples of how they are being used. The purpose of the hashtag is to tag your photo to a subject or topic category that is ‘searchable’ or ‘popular’ on Instagram.

Remember:

*No spaces in your hashtags
*No special characters can be used in your hashtags [email protected]$&

Instagram includes a powerful search feature so if posts are set to ‘public’ you can use hashtags to tag your photos and videos so that the content becomes easier to search and becomes more accessible to the public. That means when someone runs a search and is exploring that ‘search term’ your content may be discovered which leads to more people finding out about your business or brand.

Some hashtags are very popular so it’s important to identify the ones that are most relevant to your industry. The aim of the game is really to get people talking, liking, following and sharing your content. Hashtags help to get the word out if used effectively so take some time to find out how to use these to get the best out of your content.