online marketing

Effective Productivity Apps for Savvy Entrepreneurs

Creating a startup is a goal for many business people. Sadly, scores of dreamers never pursue this ambition, partially because they have no idea how to find the tools they need. In all fairness, technology experts have estimated that there will be 184 billion apps in existence by 2024. Sifting through what’s available can be intimidating. Here’s a helpful guide to some of the most useful business-related apps that can set you on the path to owning a lucrative venture.

Communication

Staying on the same page with everyone under your command is vital. Thankfully, technology helps employees stay in constant contact even when they are in far-flung locations. Chanty offers a variety of connection methods, including text, voice message, and video calling. Additionally, Chanty facilitates project management by letting you assign tasks, and its low price makes this app especially worthy of note.

Another option worth trying is Slack. An extremely popular program, notable features include private messaging, shared channels, and simplified file sharing.

Inventory

Unless you’re in a service industry, you have merchandise or raw materials that need constant monitoring. Numerous inventory tracking apps can provide assistance with this essential aspect of your venture. Critical benefits include automation, reduction in pricing errors, and streamlining of management. If you’re interested in increasing efficiency with wholesale purchases, look for ERP software for wholesale distribution.

Accounting

Keeping business costs organized is important. Expensify allows you to scan receipts and record purchases as soon as they happen, no matter where they take place. It works with both Android and iOS, plus it integrates smoothly with a variety of other business apps. There’s also FreshBooks, which includes time tracking, invoice creation, and budgetary insights. It even interfaces nicely with more than 200 third-party programs and includes customer service at no additional cost. Wave is totally free; if you like it enough, consider paying for their payroll add-on. 

Networking

Exchanging contact information with others has always been a fundamental entrepreneurial strategy. Because we’re living in a digital world, physical business cards are becoming outdated. Use a card scanner app to take away the drudgery of data entry and reduce human error. When arriving home from a business trip or conference, you’ll be thankful for card scanning apps such as ABBYY Business Card Reader, DigiCard, BizConnect and ScanBizCards.

Customers

Now that you’ve got a host of programs working in your favor, it’s time to consider developing one for your customers. Providing them with a mobile app that serves their needs is bound to make your life simpler by automating essential corporate functions. You’ll probably want to build yours so it complements your website, which typically requires significant technical expertise. Unless you are a programming wizard, hire a specialist to build a portal that blends nicely. There are more than 7,000 mobile app developers in America alone. With that much choice, you should be able to find one that is equally affordable and highly capable without much trouble.

These are only a few of the apps that can assist with the operation of ambitious startups and expand their growth. Indeed, there’s a universe of software solutions designed to improve the lives of modern business owners. Take advantage of every benefit that present-day technology has to offer.

4 Online Business Models for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

You have considered starting an online business for some time now. Schedule permits you some free time and you’re keen to generate a steady cash flow within a reasonable time frame.

One advantage of going down the online business route is that it requires little capital. It fits your circumstances – an individual with limited resources.

While the thought of getting started motivates you, you are not sure where to start. Ideas run through your head but you cannot seem to choose.

If anything, you understand that building an online business helps you obtain and share knowledge. But the picture in your head is not clear and you need, at the very least, some guidelines.

The good news is that, given how much the Internet has evolved over the years, your opportunities are almost endless. Your biggest challenge, however, is to choose a venture that works.

Common Types of Online Business

If you are not sure what kind of online business to pursue, below are three common entry points to help you arrive at an informed decision:

1. Affiliate Marketing

Becoming an affiliate marketer is not as complicated as many online gurus make it out to be. Simply put, affiliate marketing is about re-selling or promoting the products or services of other entrepreneurs and companies. Affiliate marketers earn a specific commission rate for every product or service sold.

The biggest challenge for this kind of online venture is building a stable and large enough audience who can support your brand or product recommendations. Some marketers go the extra mile to build their credibility until they gain a following. They review products on their blog or create a reseller business website, oftentimes evolving into real influencers.

2. E-Commerce Store

This online business model is perfect for retailers or wholesalers who have no capital but plan to build an actual store in the future. With an e-commerce store, sellers can showcase pictures of their goods and encourage visitors to make a purchase.

One of the best ways to succeed in this online business is to direct your energy into creating a user-friendly website. Your website should not only display your products in an appealing way, but it should be easy to navigate and have features that enhance users’ browsing experience.

All successful e-commerce stores come with a shopping cart, which enables users to purchase multiple products at the same time. They also have a built-in payment terminal where buyers can choose from a variety of online payment options.

3. Gigs

Online gigs are mostly means to an end. Any service individuals or companies are willing to pay for online is essentially considered an online gig. This may be in the form of data entry, surveys, email marketing, writing articles, telemarketing or virtual assistance.

Gigs run for a specific duration. Once they end, you will have to apply for and complete another project. The good thing is that you can stow away your earnings to fund a future project or business undertaking.

While considered by many as mere stepping stones to the real world of online money-making, an accumulation of gigs may turn into some kind of online business. That is if you are willing to stick it out and create an effective business model out of it.

Be discerning when it comes to choosing online gigs. The Internet is rife with scammers and frauds. They often populate classified ads, freelancing platforms and content mills to trick freelancers into working without pay.

Always do your research. Obtain as much information as you can about websites offering gigs. Read reviews and forum discussions.

4. Monetise Your Blog

If you do not have a blog, it’s about time you start one. With the right formula in place, blogging can be a lucrative source of income for just about anyone. In fact, some of the most successful bloggers earn around $50,000 a month – even more.

And the good thing about today’s blogging industry is that it’s no longer as troublesome or as time-consuming as it used to be. Platforms such as WordPress and Google’s Blogger have changed for the better. They now accommodate the accessibility needs of various users.

Be forewarned, however, that starting a blog is a work in progress. The money will not roll in overnight. With patience, consistent quality content and a lot of effort, blogs can generate a sustainable passive income in the long run.

Moreover, mind your target readers. What do they want to read? Can you offer something that will benefit them? What you put out on your blog must be useful to your readers, so that the time they spend browsing your blog would be worth it.

New Business Models

online business models that work

As digital technology evolves, so do online businesses. And “information” sits at the core of this evolution.

Experts from various fields can now bank on their knowledge by creating their own e-learning site, offering paid online classes, launching podcasts and releasing training modules to name a few.

Online marketplaces have also spurred the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS) – online tools specifically developed to solve or troubleshoot business issues. These programs automate company systems and help raise profit.

Moreover, web designers now have plenty of opportunities to sell their self-designed themes and templates. Writers, on one hand, can make money from content mills. On the whole, today’s online business models have been a great source of creative freedom.

If the four avenues listed above fail to give you the advantage you seek, you’re free to explore other alternatives.

Selecting the Ideal Online Business

The ideal business model is subjective. You have to understand different business models will not have the same effects on different entrepreneurs or companies. What may work for your business may not work on another. That is why it is important to select an online business that falls in line with your personal preferences and immediate business needs.

To fast track the selection process, ask basic questions. For how long will you operate your business? How soon do you plan to launch it? How much are you willing to invest on a quarterly or yearly basis? Answering these will help you adopt the most viable business model.