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Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Best Way to Grow your Business in 2014

The South African market is going to be in a competitive space as larger players and international retailers and service providers continue to penetrate the market and seek to absorb sectors currently dominated by SMEs. How can the average business ensure sustainable growth in 2014? One word: Online. Everything, and I mean everything, is moving online. Plumbers see the need to promote themselves online and so do seedling growers, vehicle manufacturers and paper mills. Accounts, orders, communication, storage and recruiting are more efficient online and the list goes on and on. Every year, a percentage of the established markets of both offline advertising and traditional retail are siphoned off by the internet. This is what is growing global e-Commerce at over 20% per annum. While the e-market is growing organically, it’s mainly hijacking existing offline revenues. Despite this, it might seem “safer” to adopt a “wait and see” approach to investments, but it is clear that those pursuing disruptive innovation through leveraging customer relations and efficiencies online are reaping the results. (Just check out some of the market share and brand equity FNB acquired by being a first mover in innovative online consumer engagement.) 2013 is the year to prepare one’s online partners (retail, strategy and media) and draft a serious online investment strategy. I’m not talking about putting up GoogleAds, but seriously considering ways to undercut the competition and offer more value to your clients in 2014 through online efficiencies, portals, information and retail channels. If you’re not, someone else will be. Taking the Pain While some have been burned by over-investing in a limited online market, the majority of innovative internet-launched initiatives are reaping a great ROI. But to avoid painful expenditures and misdirection of online marketing, the business should keep in mind: 1. The Internet = NOT Magic. What doesn’t work, sell or attract offline, probably won’t work, sell or attract online. 2. Is it needed? Is the facility of service being offered online really needed? a. How much time does it same the client? b. How easy is it for the client to do? (If it takes more than 5 seconds for them to figure out the flow, dump the idea.) c. How many current clients do you have that would benefit from this? Don’t expect to triple market-share just because of an online gadget. 3. Is there a way to Test the Market with your approach, [...]

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8 Reasons Consumers Like To Shop Online – Cater To Them For Online Retail Success

Because of the numerous advantages and benefits, more and more people say they prefer online shopping over conventional shopping these days. It’s important to understand the psyche of the online shopper. Cater to this and you’ll have them flocking to your… er, online store. Here’s what they say are important to them — and here’s how you can get a leg up by catering to these desires and fantasies. Know what the consumer wants and play to it — plug into your thinking all the ways that you can meet these desires, through your competitive intelligence, competitive pricing, customer service, and more. From shopping in their pajamas to convenience for elderly and disabled, the consumer comments below highlight what’s positive about online shopping for them. Also because of wider choice, not subject to upselling or impulse buying, better prices, good for the environment, and more. There are many reasons for online retailers to be sanguine about the future of online retail. Here are some consumers’ reasons for buying online, in their own words: 1) Convenience: Where else can you do shopping, even at midnight, wearing your jammies? You don’t have to wait in a line or wait till the shop assistant helps you with your purchases. You can do your shopping in minutes even if you are busy, apart from saving time and avoiding crowds. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24 x 7 and also reward us with ‘no pollution’ shopping. 2) Better Prices: I get cheap deals and better prices from online stores because products come to you directly from the manufacturer or seller without middlemen involved. Many online shops offer discount coupons and rebates. 3) Variety: One can get several brands and products from different sellers at one place. You can get in on the latest international trends without spending money on travel; you can shop from retailers in other parts of the country or even the world without being limited by geographic area… These stores offer a far greater selection of colors and sizes than you will find locally. If you find that the product you need is out of stock online, you can take your business to another online store where the product is available. 4) Fewer Expenses: Many times when we opt for conventional shopping we tend to spend a lot more than the required shopping expenses, on things like eating out, traveling, impulsive shopping etc. 5) [...]

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FREE Online Store Competition

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Win a FREE Online Store

Win one of 3 FREE Online Store Setups worth R 7995.- each between now and 30th of May.  Win a FREE Online Store   Follow our LinkedIn Company Profile Terms: Must be a registered SA business for 3 years Must have product range or service ready to retail online immediately. Winner will be announced on the 15th of May

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Costs of Starting an Online Retail Business

Online retail businesses are a popular option for entrepreneurs with minimal capital to invest up front. What’s more, online retail is a great business to run as a home-based, solo, parent or part-time entrepreneur. It can also be a fantastic outlet for your creative talent or hobby.   So you’re asking yourself—what does it actually cost to start an online retail business? We’ve got a real-life example for you: Amy Weaver, corporate refugee and owner of a new online greeting card company. Amy took her creative ideas about a tried-and-true product—greeting cards—and launched her own online retail business. “Your words, not ours” is the humble tag line that sums up the unique niche of Amy’s Whoopzie Daizie Cardz. “I’m a card addict,” Amy explains. “But for me, greeting cards always seemed a little over the top—the glitter and the butterflies and everything else. I just want them to be simple. Maybe start a thought or give a good impression of what the card will be about on the front, and then let me fill in the words.”   Amy, a 32-year-old Dallas resident, began thinking about starting her own business more than a year and a half before she taxied down the runway. Her career as an airline property manager left her feeling confined. “Both my parents had their own companies, and I always felt claustrophobic working for someone else,” Amy admits. “So I’ve been attracted to the entrepreneurial lifestyle through experience.”   “I was drawn to the card industry because it’s a low-risk industry,” she continues. “Other than printing cards and the other basics, it’s pretty low cost—it’s not like I’m building superconductors.”   To finance her startup venture, Amy secured a $30,000 line of credit from a Texas bank and tapped into personal savings to keep up with her regular living expenses. While securing a line of credit is not typical for a startup that has been in business less than two years, many entrepreneurs are able to leverage personal savings, credit cards, friends and family or home equity loans to get started.   Amy then mapped out three critical areas on which to focus her financial resources in the initial startup phase:   designing a dynamic website creating a top-quality product implementing a strategic marketing program. Let’s take a look at these priorities one by one.   Designing a dynamic website “First, I had to have a wonderful website because essentially [...]

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