The COVID pandemic has caused major disruption for business owners all over Australia, with many companies having to rethink how their business operates completely. Small businesses all over Australia have struggled throughout the pandemic, with some finding it difficult to stay afloat. In these difficult and uncertain times, it’s more important than ever that you keep your business organised and manage your finances properly.
Just because the pandemic has impacted your business, you will still need to communicate with your customers, manage your team, process payroll, meet your tax reporting obligations to the ATO, and ensure that your business has enough cash flow available to cover your operational costs day-to-day. As a small business owner, this can be a lot to manage. However, with the right tools in place, you can ensure that your business stays on track through the pandemic.
Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to help you to keep your business afloat throughout the Coronavirus crisis.
Make Cash Flow A Priority
Managing your cash flow is essential in keeping your business organised and being able to serve your customers. During the pandemic, you need to make sure that you focus on having enough cash flow available for the day-to-day operations of your business. While the focus for most business owners is a long-term sustainable success, during these challenging times, you need to focus on survival.
Try cutting down your expenses by moving some of your operations online or using business software to automate particular tasks. For example, accounting software can help you to manage your finances more efficiently, your team could benefit from rostering software, or you could automate some of your marketing tasks using various online social media management platforms. Reducing unnecessary expenses will help you to manage your cash flow more effectively through the pandemic.
Consider Your Expenses
To manage your finances effectively, you need to know exactly what your current financial situation is. Taking some time to evaluate your expenses can help you to reduce your costs and save more money each month. COVID has added to many business owners expenses with staff requiring additional training, the necessary PPE equipment and adapting business premises to be COVID safe. Making a list of these new expenses along with your regular monthly outgoings will help you to identify areas where you can reduce your costs going forward.
Seek Government Support
If your business is struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to keep everything going, and you may be entitled to some help from the government. The Australian government has put a range of different programs in place to help small businesses to navigate and survive the pandemic. These support programs are available through both State and Federal agencies. Even if your business is doing okay, you may be eligible to apply for some of these programs. Take some time to look at your options and take advantage of any help that is available to you.
Seek Professional Advice
For business owners that are struggling to get their finances organised because of COVID, it can pay to seek the advice of a professional financial advisor. Having a new set of eyes on your finances can help you gain a fresh perspective and make the changes necessary to get your business finances under control. It might cost you upfront to hire an advisor; however, in the long run, it could end up saving you a lot of money and potentially your business, too, especially during these chaotic times.
Plan For The Future And Ensure You Are Ready To Bounce Back Post-COVID
With an uncertain road ahead, now is the time to start planning for the future of your company. To stay organised and on track towards your goals, it’s important that you have a plan in place to help you navigate the current situation while keeping one eye on the future. While you need to survive the current pandemic, you also need to give your business every chance of bouncing back successfully when the world returns to normal. With a carefully considered plan in place, you can be confident that your business will survive the pandemic and be ready to thrive post-COVID.
Most Common Unethical Business Practices
Running a business is one of the most challenging activities one can undertake. The pressure that the job exerts, combined with the tremendous consequences that failure can bring, is one of the reasons why businesses look for shortcuts. Unfortunately, this leads the management to engage in unethical practices to avoid sinking the company. Let us look at some of the most common unethical business practices conducted by businesses today.
Including Hidden Terms in User Agreements
This is a practice that is very rife in the tech world. Whenever you choose to download any app, you will be required to click on the agree button in the terms and agreement section so you can be allowed to download the applications. Software companies go as far as declining to permit you to download the app if you do not agree to these terms and conditions.
While this is not malpractice or unethical behavior, these companies make a point to make these terms and conditions section so long that they discourage the end-user from going through all the pages therein. It is at this juncture that they get the opportunity to include undesirable requirements.
For instance, a software company can slip in a condition that gives them the right to access your data and use it for their benefit. While some might argue that the blame falls on the user for not going through the whole terms and conditions document, the fact that the companies make these documents as long as possible to dissuade the user from doing so is what construes as unethical behavior.
Even though tech companies might be engaging in some sneaky, unethical, but legal behavior to maximize their profits, these companies have created products that have revolutionized life as we know. A good example is the invention of the internet.
Apart from making instant communication affordable and universal, the internet has disrupted the education system as we know it. It has made it elementary for students to source reading material and access revolutionary tools that help them study better. On the other hand, the World Wide Web has become a refuge for struggling students. It enables them to quickly hire an expert essay writer to assist them when essay writing becomes a challenge.
Top online essay drafting companies such as Grademiners have revolutionized the game by offering much more than assignment writing help to students. The company’s website avails students worldwide of a whole host of top-notch informative blogs that provide intuitive data that helps supplement their study material.
Misleading Product Information
Marketing is the primary way through which companies get to inform the target about their product and the kind of benefits it provides. Since it is the tool that drives up sales, unscrupulous businesses go a step further and run false advertisements that exaggerate the type of benefits their product avails the consumer. This is not only illegal; it is also unethical.
Where misleading advertisements are run through TV and print media, the government can hold the said company accountable for the deceptive behavior. However, in this era of digital advertising, this can be very difficult as anyone can run a misleading advertisement online in an attempt to make a particular company look bad with minimal oversight.
Competitor defamation is the provision of information that makes a company look bad in the consumer’s eyes. It is essential to point out that simply using a competitor’s name in an advertisement does not amount to competitor defamation. However, if the content of the ad paints an ugly picture of the competitor, then it amounts to defamation which is unethical business behavior.
A good example is when a Coca-Cola advertisement claimed that Coca-Cola’s Powerade was better than Gatorade (a product by PepsiCo), claiming that it had more electrolytes. PepsiCo sued Coca-cola on defamation grounds claiming that there no scientific research supported the extra electrolytes claim.
This mostly happens in public-owned companies. The purpose that any publicly owned company exists is to make profits for the investors. However, sometimes you will find the management stealing from the company and cooking the books of account to make themselves rich. These executives forget that they work for the shareholders and instead think about enriching themselves, which constitutes unethical behavior.
This is where money (or something else of value) is given out for a business to get favors regarding a business decision. For instance, instead of the most qualified organization getting a particular tender, it is given to another company that had bribed the tenderer. This unethical and illegal behavior leads to disasters as the task in question is not performed by the most qualified person.
It is essential to point out that even though all illegal business practices are considered ethical, not all unethical business behaviors are unlawful. However, all play the same destructive role, which is misleading and scamming consumers and or shareholders.
Top 5 Tools to Integrate to Your Magento 2 Web Store
It takes much effort to start an online web store, but it takes even more effort to succeed. Unfortunately, over 70% of startup companies fail approximately ten years after their launch. And even if they are successful, there is always room for improvement. Alongside other mistakes, lack of necessary tools is one of the reasons for failure. The availability of a website is huge progress, but your business should have relevant tools to achieve better results. For example, how can you store and use customer data without a CRM system or manage the inventory without ERP? Here are five must-have solutions that should be integrated with your Magento 2 web store with the help of a Magento development company.
1. CRM Systems
The role of CRM solutions for eCommerce businesses shouldn’t be underestimated. They store lots of customer data – contact information, purchase history, products of interest, and interaction history. This information can be used by the marketing and sales teams of the company. They can plan targeted promotional campaigns, send marketing emails, and provide exceptional support.
2. ERP Systems
The second must-have tool is ERP software. Companies have different departments such as production, accounting, and human resources. Each of them uses its particular system because of which duplications often happen. ERP software eliminates these duplicates and the likelihood of mistakes by connecting all these systems used by different teams. As a result, businesses can monitor customer databases, stock, orders, and accounts payable in one place. It boosts productivity, eliminates mistakes, and automates the work.
However, it should be mentioned that ERP – Magento 2 integration isn’t an easy task. Make sure to contact a Magento development agency to connect your website to the system smoothly.
3. Inventory Management for Magento 2
Running an eCommerce web store is meaningless without the possibility of managing your inventory. It would help if you had a tool that handles order delivery, shipping methods, and returns. If you have warehouses in different locations, the system allows choosing the ones nearest to the delivery point. As a result, your business saves delivery costs and time. Moreover, the Magento 2 – inventory management tool integration can provide you with reports on best-selling products and most shipped destinations. It would help if you used this insight to improve your marketing campaigns.
4. Online Visibility Management Platform
You cannot ignore the need to optimize the Magento 2 web store for search engines on the Internet. All your financial investments and effort will go in vain if your website doesn’t appear in top results when someone searches for an item on Google. The optimization is an ongoing process. Online visibility management and analytical tools such as Google Analytics or SEMrush help businesses monitor the website performance. You can conduct a website audit, reveal its weaknesses and eliminate them. This way, your eCommerce website will stay on top of search results.
5. BI Tools
Customer data is a valuable resource that businesses possess. However, it’s useless if you don’t know how to utilize it. BI tools allow creating dashboards and reports to visualize the data. For example, if you provide coupons for the first purchase, you’ll see how many people claimed it and how many used it. In addition, you’ll be able to track which month or season is the most profitable one. Then, you can leverage these valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.
The mentioned tools are must-haves for running a successful Magento 2 webs store. The technology market offers different CRM and ERP solutions, BI tools, and inventory management systems. So, regardless of your business’s peculiarities, you can find a tool that suits you best.
Why Digital Marketing Is Important in the Gaming Industry
Digital marketing is hugely influential in helping users to get the most out of their gaming sessions
Nowadays it is common knowledge that a brand’s livelihood often depends on how well it is marketed to its consumers. And in the tech-savvy world in which we live, most of that promotional activity happens in the online environment, thus creating digital marketing. Although it may not be the first industry to come to mind when speaking about the need for this type of marketing, the business of gaming also relies on successful marketing tools to grow and reap continuous revenue.
These virtual efforts to spread the word about a gaming brand are done in many different forms, but in this article we will outline a few specific ways in which digital marketing presents itself in the industry, examining the benefits of these strategies and why gaming brands should keep employing them.
Stories Really Do Sell
Storytelling is a very powerful asset in the toolbox of marketing strategies. A brand’s ability to make a campaign come to life through the help of a compelling narration will never go out of style. In the gaming industry this has been done countless times and has garnered real monetary results. For example, in a successful marketing campaign entitled “Believe” for the release of Halo 3, the franchise took the fiction of a video game and made it real by telling a story about a historical hero in their commercial. In this way, consumers were even more inspired to go to the shelves and purchase the first-person shooter title to see the game with their own eyes. Plastered all over YouTube as well as many other websites and blogs, the commercial became a digital marketing sensation in just a few days.
Promotions Help to Retain Customers
Raising a brand’s awareness through interesting and creative stories isn’t the only way digital marketing presents itself in the gaming industry. Promotions are also used strategically to retain customers as well as attract new ones. One strong instance of this can be seen through the casino gaming websites of today. Here, virtual users can choose from a selection of classic table games like roulette and blackjack or spin the reels on a variety of different themed slot games. With slot titles, for example, many providers will offer their online customers the chance to obtain free spins as a reward or part of a promotion. This tactic has been proven to retain the number of participating online users and also spread the word to others who may be interested in the online casino gaming scene.
Marketing Creates Conversations
One of the biggest goals in marketing is to get people talking. You have done your job well if someone can’t stop chatting about your products, services or brand as a whole. Both of the above tactics are great conversation starters, but even going above and beyond videos and promotions can help to build authentic and fluid traffic straight to the thing that needs to be sold. In the gaming industry, this looks a lot like making use of gaming influencers to further promote a next generation console or new release. With this strategy, the flow of conversation amongst the target audience is natural and organic, leading to an increase in sales and entertaining, often budget-friendly campaigns.
Fresh and new marketing strategies are always welcome when approaching a new project or goal
SEO Strategies Dramatically Improve Visibility
Last but not least, every gaming brand in the industry should make use of SEO strategies in their digital marketing plan. Because search engines like Google and Yahoo! play such an important role in gaming, different brands must make sure that their SEO is varied and strong enough to improve their visibility in the massive pool of sites on the World Wide Web. Of course, SEO requires much time, preparation and keyword research to be effective.
All in all, there are many things involved with starting your own business, but if that business happens to be a gaming one, these successful marketing techniques should not be overlooked.
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