Monday, July 23, 2018

QuiGig Aims to Simplify Freelance Hiring Process for Those Both Buying and Selling Services

Why is the Founder of the QuiGig Freelancer Site Saying His Company is the Future of Freelancer Job Sites?

By some estimates, half of the American workforce will be working in the freelance gig economy by 2020. QuiGig is a new start up that’s bridging the gap more established freelance job sites have left open with a streamlined process that includes a feature to ensure non discriminatory practices.

What Makes the QuiGig Freelancer Site Different?

Small Business Trends spoke with QuiGig’s founder and CEO Dr. Emad Mousavi about his company’s aim to be the future of employment in this space in the Houston area.

A Muddled Process

Initial research told him that the path to buying products online had been clearly defined but finding online services involved a more muddled process. This was the initial spark for QuiGig.

“If I wanted to buy goods online it was easy. I could go to Amazon, Google Shopping or one of the other online stores,” he said, “but when it came to services, the process was more difficult.”

Shopping For Services

In fact, Mousavi found shopping for services involved being more creative, doing research, contacting and then sorting through all the prospects. When he looked at the existing freelance job websites he also found one of the obstacles for workers in the gig economy was high fees.

There was another core question.

“Then we started to ask: ‘How will it be 10 years from now when people want to find work or hire for services?’”

Fast and User Friendly

The answers helped him put QuiGig together, Mousavi decided the new job site would need to be fast and user friendly to fit the needs of those both buying and selling services. It was designed to help freelancers build their careers by providing simple access to a tool to help them get an overview of what’s available in their niche.

Bidding Tool

The bidding tool format looks after both customers and service providers in one location. For small business freelancers, they can offer their services and sign up to have them viewed in several different cities. Freelancers and other contractors can post relevant information like certifications on the site to put themselves ahead of the competition for specific projects.

Clients post the jobs they need on the site and the service providers bid. The fee for using the service generally works out to $1 dollar for the folks looking for work. You can start by getting free credits that allow you to access some services. These fill up at the end of the month but don’t give you full access to everything the site offers.

Non Discriminatory Practices

Beyond the low transaction fees one of the other things that separates QuiGig from other sites on the web are the features to help ensure non discriminatory practices. The site hides the race and gender of people looking for work so the focus is on their skill set and experience.

“This doesn’t just help the freelancers,” Mousavi says. “It also helps the clients, customers and small business owners who want to be sure they are hiring the best person to get the job done.”

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "QuiGig Aims to Simplify Freelance Hiring Process for Those Both Buying and Selling Services" was first published on Small Business Trends



QuiGig Aims to Simplify Freelance Hiring Process for Those Both Buying and Selling Services

Do You Need to Conduct a Content Audit for Your eCommerce Business?

How to Conduct an Ecommerce Content Audit

A content audit is a qualitative evaluation of every piece of content that exists on a website. It is different from a content inventory, since an inventory only takes into account the quantity of published written material without studying its results. This kind of website audit can be very time-consuming, but it’s worth it. It will help you determine if the content published on your eCommerce site is relevant to your customers and your business, which is key to driving quality results.

A well-executed content audit will help you discover what needs to be removed, what needs to be updated and find the strongest pages on your domain, among other things. This knowledge will lead you to create new and fresh content that generates more results and pays off the time you usually spend brainstorming, copywriting and editing before an article or blog post is finally published.

How to Conduct an Ecommerce Content Audit

Content audits should be done at least once a year; however, I recommend doing one every six months so your website is optimized. Here are the steps to perform a successful content audit. It will be worth it!

1. Create a Spreadsheet with all of your Content

Use a spreadsheet to keep the process neat and organized. I like to use Google Sheets because they can be easily shared with the whole team!

Include the following basic information:

  • Title of every publication
  • Type of publication: blog post, homepage content
  • Link URL to the content
  • Call to action

There are other columns that can be added. It depends on how in-depth of an analysis you’re planning to make and how much time are you willing to invest. Some of the other columns you can add are the following: Primary Keyword, Word Count, Average Time Spent on Page, Entries & Exits, Social Shares. See the sample template below to get an idea of the breakdown. More columns can be added as needed, but this is a good start.

How to Conduct an Ecommerce Content Audit

This task can be easily delegated to a team member or a freelancer to save time.

2. Content Analysis

At this point, you must have filled out the entire spreadsheet with data from your eCommerce site. Now it’s time to analyze the content. To do so, it’s important to answer the following list of questions:

  • What’s the focus topic of the content at hand?
  • Is the content accurate and organized?
  • Is it relevant to customers, their goals and motivations?
  • Is the content up-to-date?
  • Is it written in an appropriate language according to the field it belongs to?
  • Is the voice consistent?
  • Is there anything missing that is relevant to your business?

Google Analytics will help you answer some of these questions, such as average time users spent on a determined page.

How to Conduct an Ecommerce Content Audit

This step is key to making the audit successful. After filling out this data, take some time to grade each publication. Yes, grade them with either an A, B or C–or even an F, if necessary. This step will come in handy later.

3. Fill in the Call to Action Tab with either Keep, Update or Remove

Publications that got either an A or B should fall into the A category, which means that there is nothing to be done. This content is perfect as it is in terms of visits, customer satisfaction, grammar, SEO, etc. Content that fell into the C category should be refreshed. It might be outdated or poorly written; however, the topic is relevant so you need to fix it in order to get the most out of it!

Now, the content that got a D or an F in the grading process needs a lot of work. Find out ways to refresh the content to deliver better results. Some of the most common optimizations I do for my content include:

  • Add calls to action with links. Does the content have a call to action that is visible and stands out? Try to add call to action buttons whenever possible to make them stand out.
  • Add a focus keyword. Does your content have a focus keyword? Make sure your focus keyword is spread throughout your content to help with organic rankings.
  • Add images or video whenever possible. Does your content look too heavy on words? Add images or video to make the content more engaging, decrease the bounce rate and encourage visitors to take action.

Once the audit is completed, start by focusing on promoting on social media the content that was highly rated. This can be done while optimizing the rest of the content and come up with new ideas to write about based on your research. You can start by creating four posts that are similar in style to those with the most visits and average time of stay.

Doing a content audit will provide you with a clear view of what clients want and what works and what doesn’t, which can translate into a fresh start. Setting up deadlines or creating a content calendar is a great way to start new. You know what you need to publish. Now, publish it! Make the effort to post once a week, for example, and write content that is unique, fresh and strong. Use the right keywords, catchy titles and add attractive images. If you took the time to conduct a content audit, it is now time to make use of this effort.

You will see new results! Good luck and comment below how it goes!

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Do You Need to Conduct a Content Audit for Your eCommerce Business?" was first published on Small Business Trends



Do You Need to Conduct a Content Audit for Your eCommerce Business?

11 Examples Of Small Business Documents to Keep in Printed Form

11 Business Documents You Should Always Print and Have on Hand

Thanks to modern technology, plenty of offices are now almost completely paperless. Important documents are created, signed and sent exclusively online, and stored for easy access by all parties. While it’s convenient to have all your business paperwork in digital form, you might not want to get rid of your printer just yet. We asked a panel of experts from Young Entrepreneur Council the following:

“Plenty of business gets done online now, and many documents are never printed out at all. Still, there are some situations where a hard copy is necessary. What’s one document you should always have a physical copy of, and why?”

Business Documents You Should Always Print

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Your Company Values

“Having items printed on paper always make them a bit more real. The ability to touch and feel, comment on or even throw away makes them all more real. I personally like having your company values printed and sitting on your desk or hung on a wall, to serve as a constant reminder of what you are (and aren’t).” ~ Corey EulasFactorial Digital

2. Contracts

“The one type of document that I think you should always have printed out and stored online is any contract. These are important negotiations and legal documents, and you never know when you have to go back and refer to it.” ~ Jacqueline Marrano, Marrano Solutions, LLC.

3. Licenses, Permits and ‘Raised Seal’ Documents

“You should keep paper copies of business licenses and permits, because often regulations require you to do so. Also, physical documents of anything with an original signature or a raised seal should be kept and placed somewhere safe. The reproduction of items with seals will not properly display in digital form and would not be considered original documents by many entities.” ~ Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

4. Emergency Plans

“It’s important to maintain a physical copy of any information or procedure that will be needed if an emergency renders computer access impossible. This could include emergency contact information, fire safety procedures, office evacuation procedures and business continuity plans.” ~ Roger LeeHuman Interest

5. Your Goals

“I don’t use pen and paper anymore. Everything is stored on my computer or my mobile device. I also believe in being green and cutting back on paper. But if I were to print out any piece of paper, it would be my goals. I have a list of quarterly, yearly, three-year and 10-year goals that I review every month to make sure I am on track.” ~ Jean Ginzburg, Ginball Digital Marketing

6. Your Resume

“The one document you should always have a physical copy of is your resume. It’s always good to have your resume with you as a reference in an interview. It also shows you are prepared and take the opportunity seriously.” ~ Vladimir GendelmanCompany Folders, Inc

7. Passwords

“Keep a physical copy of all relevant passwords that you use throughout the day. That information probably shouldn’t be stored anywhere online at all, to prevent the chance of hacking or identity theft.” ~ Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

8. Stock Certificates

“When issuing out stock to business partners or employees, it’s important to keep a hard copy as well as a digital copy, in case the hard copy gets lost. Typically employees will get a hard copy once they have exercised their option to purchase the stock.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

9. Any Files Crucial to Your Operations

“There are several types of documents we find handy keeping in print. These include signed client contracts, staff HR files and semi-annual reviews, our company policy handbooks (one per employee), our company core values (hung with pride), visual dashboards for sales, key quarterly goal progress, and the required corporate, insurance and state-mandated HR postings.” ~ Joe BeccaloriInteract Marketing

10. Payment Receipts

“While digital receipts are great, it’s still good to have the ability to print receipts when necessary for tax reasons or for other documentation.” ~ Serenity GibbonsNAACP

11. Your Business Card

“I always keep business cards handy. You never know where or when you’ll meet someone while out and about who will want to connect with you later. I keep 10 or so in various locations, such as my bag, jacket, car, wallet, passport holder, desk and home. Also, ensure your cards are as memorable as you. It’s easy to lose them, so do what you can to design something that reflects your uniqueness.” ~ Karlo TanjuakioGoLeanSixSigma.com

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "11 Examples Of Small Business Documents to Keep in Printed Form" was first published on Small Business Trends



11 Examples Of Small Business Documents to Keep in Printed Form

What Everyone Ought to Know About Marketing to a New Niche

Marketing to a New Niche: Can You Find Another Niche for Your Products or Services?

The riches are in the niches, or so they say. If you’re thinking of pivoting your business and exploring an entirely new niche, it may make you feel a little uneasy.

Entrepreneurship itself can be very shaky at times and isn’t guaranteed. When you find a comfortable spot, it’s understandable to want to cling to that security.

Marketing to a New Niche

However, it can start to feel very routine and eventually hold you back from reaching your larger business goals. If you’re looking to successfully break into a fresh new market, here are some key steps to take.

Continue to Reach Out to Your Existing Contacts

Just because you’re going into a new niche doesn’t mean you have to leave your existing contacts and old clients in the dust. They may or may not continue to desire to work with you but that still doesn’t erase who they know and what their reach is.

The best type of marketing is still referral marketing. If you can get connected with someone to serve in your new desired niche, half of the work will already be done and you’ll just need to close the sale.

I’ve had tons of contacts reach out to me after they’ve pivoted their business and changed niches to see if I had any contacts, referrals, or leads they could connect with. It’s worth a try as you never know who knows who.

Find Out Where Your New Target Market Hangs Out

Do some research just like you did in the beginning stages of your business to find out where your new target market hangs out whether it be online or offline.

My favorite place to start looking for people to serve in my niche is in Facebook groups. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform so odds are you’ll find your target market on there one way or another.

One of the best ways to reach your niche is by presenting them with targeted Facebook ads. Facebook has already done all the hard work of learning about your target market and what their interests and habits are. All you need to do is create an ad directed toward that niche.

Create Your New Offer

Before you even think about ads, you want to create some type of offer. If you’re changing niches, all your old offers aren’t really going to apply to your new audience.

Get on the phone with a new people in your target market to learn more about what their needs are and how they think. Then, come up with an offer to solve their biggest pain point right now.

It’d probably be best to start by creating a smaller free offer to help drive people to join your email list. Once you know the people who signed up are in your target niche, you can start marketing to them using emails.

Summary

Changing directions in business can be scary. What’s even worse is not feeling confident in your ability to start all over and market to a new niche. When you think about it, it’s not much different from the marketing tactics you may have used initially.

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

Image via Due.com

This article, "What Everyone Ought to Know About Marketing to a New Niche" was first published on Small Business Trends



What Everyone Ought to Know About Marketing to a New Niche

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What is JOBS Act 3.0 and How Could It Help Your Small Business?

What is JOBS Act 3.0 and How Can It Help Your Small Business?

A new bill will allow small businesses to raise capital like larger businesses. Proponents say it will help small buinesses start a new venture and grow their company in a robust economy. A bipartisan vote in the U.S. House created the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act, also known as JOBS Act 3.0 reform.

Passing with a vote of 406 to 4, the bill is also being touted by President Trump for its inclusion of additional regulatory reforms.

For small businesses, the increased access to capital and elimination of some regulations are both positives.

According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, more than 500 new economically significant regulations have been imposed since 2010.

In a release commenting on the new legislation, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council president and CEO Karen Kerrigan, said, “Capital is the fuel that drives entrepreneurship and sustainable economic growth. Small businesses and startups need a continuous flow of capital to launch, compete and grow, and JOBS Act 3.0 addresses an array of regulatory barriers and costs – from launching a firm to exit — that impede opportunity and growth.”

The bill is moving back to the Senate for approval and then on to Trump for his signature.

So What is JOBS Act 3.0?

The House Amendment to S. 488, also known as JOBS Act 3.0, is part of a provision with 32 individual bills. Together, they seek to encourage entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship by supporting businesses more vigorously.

Changes in the legislation ease banking regulations under Dodd-Frank to helping startups, stimulate venture capital and make initial public offerings more affordable and manageable.

You can take a look at the entire bill here.

Regarding the issue of access to capital, U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness Executive Vice President Tom Quaadman, said:

“Lawmakers acted to pursue pro-growth policies that help new businesses get started and grow into bigger businesses as well as to create new opportunities for American entrepreneurs. This bipartisan legislation will help small and mid-size businesses raise the capital they need to expand, innovate, and hire new employees. It is a win for entrepreneurs, businesses, and job creators across the country.”

Why is This Bill so Important?

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, around three-fourths of financing for businesses in the United States comes from capital markets. But the amount of regulation makes it hard to keep up with demand.

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), writes in the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. startups approached a 40-year low in 2016, and the number of domestic IPOs, though making a comeback, is half what it was 20 years ago.” According to Hensarling, China produced more than one-third of the world’s IPOs last year compared with the U.S.’s 11%.

Supporters say removing the barriers to raising capital while eliminating regulations will help startups and small businesses grow.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "What is JOBS Act 3.0 and How Could It Help Your Small Business?" was first published on Small Business Trends



What is JOBS Act 3.0 and How Could It Help Your Small Business?

Say What? Small Businesses Racked Up More Than $1 Billion in Sales During Amazon Prime Day

Prime Day 2018 Results: $1 Billion in Sales for Small Business on Day 1

Saying Prime Day 2018 started with a bang is an understatement. Small and medium-sized businesses were able to generate more than $1 billion in sales on the first day.

Prime Day 2018 Results

Small businesses who took part in the 36-hour event experienced great numbers. In some cases, small business sales were 10 to 100 times higher than their average day. In an Amazon press release, a few small businesses shared their thoughts as the day was just beginning.

“Prime Day is just getting started for us, but we’re already seeing 10 times our average day sales,” said Kelly Fedio of One Savvy Life,

“We’re having our biggest day ever! So far this Prime Day, we’ve sold 102 times more units than an average day.” said Victor Chang of Furbo.

Jurgen Nebelung of Tea Forté said during the event, customers were purchasing one of the company’s products once every two seconds.

Prime Day Started With a Glitch

Even though Prime Day did great for Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the event started with a technical glitch, which led the company to post this tweet.

An Amazon Web Services spokesperson told CRN on Tuesday, the problem was not related to the company’s cloud service.

Problems started four minutes after Prime Day started at about 3:04 PM Eastern. And according to CRN, it continued throughout the day, cutting 6 hours from the extended 36-hour event. This brought the event back to 2017’s 30 hours, but there were nevertheless some record-breaking numbers.

As to the reason for the technical problems, Amazon has yet to provide an explanation.

The Continued Growth of Prime Day

The inaugural event of Prime Day in 2015 generated $900 million in sales followed by $1.52 billion in 2016 and $2.14 billion in 2017.

The growth parallels the increasing number of Prime members. from 18 million in 2013 to an impressive 107 million around the world today.

When you take into account Prime members spend almost five times more than non-Prime customers, you can start appreciating the impact.

With 2018’s Prime Day slated to generate $3.4 billion in global sales, the event could see a 40% increase over last year,  Coresight Research reports.

Should Your Small Business Take Part in Prime Day?

The answer is almost certainly yes.

More than anything, Prime Day gives your small business exposure — before a global audience. This exposure will serve your company well throughout the year. And by spending $750 for a Prime Day Lightning Deal, you can increase your visibility even more.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Say What? Small Businesses Racked Up More Than $1 Billion in Sales During Amazon Prime Day" was first published on Small Business Trends



Say What? Small Businesses Racked Up More Than $1 Billion in Sales During Amazon Prime Day

HubSpot Launches Small Business Marketing Tool for Beginners

HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter is a Small Business Marketing Tool for Beginners

Small business marketing is not as simple as used to be, and the constantly shifting technological landscape may be partly to blame.

HubSpot’s new Marketing Hub Starter has been created to simplify the process for small business owners.

According to HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS), the Marketing Hub Starter platform was specifically designed with small businesses in mind. With this new solution, businesses will have access to all of their marketing tools in one platform. At the same time, HubSpot is going to be offering comprehensive marketing solutions that are more affordable.

Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot, explained the challenges small businesses face when it comes to deploying their marketing strategy.

In a recent release, Bodnar said, “Historically, small businesses looking for an economical way to get started with marketing have had to cobble together disparate point solutions to perform tasks like sending emails and targeting ads. Unfortunately, what they save in dollars they often lose in time spent trying to connect and manage all of those systems.”

HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter Features

Powered by HubSpot’s free CRM, Marketing Hub Starter removes the need to manage disconnected tools and data on different platforms. This means you will have more time to actually market your business.

You can now convert traffic into leads with ads and forms while engaging with your audience with personalized email marketing.

The email marketing includes drag-and-drop email editor and post-send analytics. And according to HubSpot, the reporting goes beyond email opens and clicks. It tracks returning contacts, top personas, engagement over time, ad performance, and more.

The integrated tools include forms, lead ads, email marketing, list segmentation, HubSpot CRM, and reports.

Marketing Hub Starter comes with all these tools and it is now available starting at $50 per month for 1,000 contacts. There are additional tiers for companies with more contacts.

What is HubSpot?

HubSpot offers inbound marketing and sales software to help organizations attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. HubSpot provides a comprehensive marketing solution for today’s digital and ecommerce businesses.

In addition to tools for email, websites, SEO, marketing automation, landing pages, analytics, social media and blogging, it also provides free education in its academy.

You can take the new academy lesson for Marketing Hub Starter here.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "HubSpot Launches Small Business Marketing Tool for Beginners" was first published on Small Business Trends



HubSpot Launches Small Business Marketing Tool for Beginners