In this RAW episode, Ray and Matt chat to Ashley Hart from Green Chilli Design about his experience getting an Outsourcing Angel staff member. We chat about what tasks are best to outsource, what you need to know before choosing a new member of your team and how you should work with them to get the best […]
There are blogs, websites, videos, social media channels, and multiple media outlets for entertainment. One newer social media fad that is up and coming and becoming more popular are podcasts. Podcasts are taking over radio talk hosts, TV shows, talk shows, and other video streaming outlets, and becoming a top entertainment usage.
Podcasts are known as short episodic media files that provide information, or entertainment to the viewers. They are sometimes liaisons for audio, web, and portable media players. Podcasts are becoming more and more popular over the last two years. From 2008 it was at a 9% listening rate, and now in 2016 it has a 21% listening rate. Monthly memberships have now grown up to 75% since 2013, and are up to 57 million viewers annually. Companies are now also beginning to use short podcasts to grab the attention of consumers and it is helping with marketing while keeping costs down.
Viewers get all most any information they want with the podcasts and they can listen whenever and however they want. You can find any podcast for any part of the world online and download them, or stream them. An example is my podcast the Razor Sharp Show… One of Australias Best Podcast… I know I might be a little bias! Podcasting has allowed me to connect with come amazing business greats like Michael E. Gerber author of Beyond The E-Myth
A reason for podcasts being so popular these days is the fact that is is on demand. Consumers can take this on the go and listen whenever they want. You can listen in the car, in the gym, while you are running. These podcasts are about anything and all things. Consumers determine what they want to listen to and how much. They are taking it to them wherever they go, you can see people driving with them, waiting for the bus with them, and just about anything! You can blame podcasts for the reason we all have stopped talking to each other.
Podcasts are quickly turning into the new blogs and faster way to get the news and opinions for the viewers who want it. You get to choose what you listen to and you get to listen to it whenever you want and wherever you want. Blogs are currently declining in popularity and turning into podcasts, due to the flexibility and technological advances that the podcasts are giving to viewers and creators everywhere. We are seeing a new and upcoming way to get entertainment and news!
There are podcasts about everything so get browsing and start subscribing!
People have always responded best to visual stimulus and now that everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, this aspect of human nature has only become more exacerbated. Whether you are using Insta Stories, FB Live or Snapchat, there is no denying the importance of video in our daily lives.
As a result of this shift in how we consume media, more and more companies are incorporating video based marketing into their advertising campaigns. To some, this idea may seem optional, but for those who are truly in the know, video is now an essential plan of the marketing plan for any company that wishes to survive 2016 and thrive into 2017.
The exploding amount of video content online makes this reality almost impossible to ignore, even for those who consider themselves staunch believers in traditional forms of advertising. Companies that refuse to embrace this new reality and get with the times are risking getting left behind.
There’s a wide range of benefits that companies enjoy when they begin to use video in their marketing plans. For starters, the utilisation of video in your marketing efforts serves as a major boost to your search engine optimisation. When you add an intriguing or beneficial video to the front page, it is far more likely to end up on the front page of Google’s search results.
And after all, isn’t that what marketing is all about, making sure that your company is placed in front of the widest possible audience? Videos demand more attention from the consumer and since we are currently living in an era where attention spans have never been shorter, including video in your marketing plan has taken on a level of added importance.
Video content is not only more likely to be seen, but it is also more likely to be shared. Video based marketing plans can help every business, from the smallest to the largest, as there is no telling what content will go viral. A business can vault from virtual unknown to the talk of the town in one fell swoop and all it takes is one well-crafted video.
Did you know that a browser is far more likely to watch a video from start to finish than they are to finish your text-based content? When you have an important message to get across, the modern consumer is far more likely to watch your Insta Stories, FB Live sessions and your Snapchats than they are to read a massive wall of text or open your emails.
Companies that wish to survive into 2017 will either need to get with the times or risk getting left behind. Video content engenders a strong emotional connection, is more likely to be seen and shared and will ensure that your company remains on the cutting edge going forward.
At some point in the lifespan of any business, serious thought will have to be given to scaling up. The task presents a number of significant obstacles for ecommerce business owners, who traditionally employ only a limited number of employees. With such businesses, one of the biggest challenges is scaling up without necessarily having to devote more personal time–or personal resources–to the business.
There are many ways to scale up a business, and the appropriate approach varies on a number of factors. Something that remains constant however is the need to employ the proper systems, technologies, and personnel resources. It is also important to be acutely aware of the appropriate time to scale up, as timing is an especially important factor when it comes to taking an ecommerce business to the next level.
Identify problems that need to be solved
Research is an indispensable part of scaling up, as it will help you identify problem areas and the steps necessary to address them. You should pay particular attention to how you will address issues related to a spike in traffic. After all, the effectiveness of an ecommerce website hinges in large part on its ability to deal with peak traffic. Determining the proper platform will help address your needs now, as well as when you eventually scale up your ecommerce business.
Explore all your options and don’t neglect seemingly simple solutions. This could very well apply to ecommerce, where the simplest solutions often produce the best results.
“It is always the simple that produces the marvellous” – Amelia Barr
Invest in appropriate technology
Investing involves more than just throwing money at your business, hoping that the problems will go away. As with any other aspect of running a business, making an investment with an eye toward upscaling should be done in order to address a specific operational weak point. This is especially important when you apply for financing for your small business, as you will have to ensure that the money you borrow is put to good use.
It is equally important to ensure that any investment you make continues to pay off in the long-term. By making wise investment and targeting areas that will be benefited the most, you can increase your business’s chances of making it to the next stage.
“Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality” – Malala Yousafzai
Utilise a content delivery network
Consider automating key processes
Automation has long been considered an essential business tool, and ecommerce sites stand to gain many advantages from using them. Automation systems typically use computer software for controlling repetitive tasks that are done on a frequent basis. Such systems are usually employed in order to enhance efficiency and reliability, particularly with tasks in which accuracy is a top priority. Automating key processes will also help reduce human error and save you more time for other equally important tasks, as you are able to carry out the less human-intensive processes of running your business automatically.
Prioritize the fulfilment aspect
Fulfilment is one of the most important aspects of running an ecommerce business, and yet it is one of the areas that are so often neglected when upscaling. Far too many businesses scale up their production and operations only to realise that they are unable to address their customer’s needs. The sudden increase in volume of sales could have a severely detrimental effect on any business that fails to deliver, as unsatisfied customers may opt to take their business elsewhere.
It is important to note that upscaling fulfilment capabilities often involves investing in the proper technology–such as more efficient barcoding and inventory management systems, for example–as well as hiring more employees. As your scope widens and the demand for your products increases, you could consider using online fulfilment systems.
Scale outwards as well as upwards
The changing needs of an ecommerce business so often involves scaling outwards as well as upwards. There are many instances wherein increasing your website’s capacity will prove to be advantageous, but don’t neglect the importance of investing in more database servers as well. For instance, you could continue with your current system as your master database, and employ a number of other public database servers exclusively for taking orders and providing your customers with shopping cart functionality. It may entail additional setup and maintenance on your part, but the enhanced efficiency will prove to be worth it.
Scaling up an ecommerce business requires a thorough assessment of your business needs and a determination of the tools and processes necessary to achieve your goals. Not every business is the same, and there is no single set of solutions that will be the most appropriate for every business. By identifying the areas of your operations that need improvement and being prepared for any eventuality, you may just be able to cope with the increasing challenges of a growing business, while at the same time ensuring a consistently high level of service.
About the Author
Charles writes for Authorflair.com about small business and recruitment. A serial entrepreneur and avid writer; connect with Charles at Authorflair for ore insights into the Australian start-up scene.
They say that a journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step. But what if your first step is wrong? How will you get to your desired destination then? How will you make an endless chain of falling dominoes if the first domino piece falls at the wrong direction?
In one of my blogs, I told you about the importance of enjoying the journey towards your goal. Today, I will tell you about another importance of the journey when it comes to reaching your dreams and achieving success.
Of course, as a businessman, it is important that we look at the future, we have a goal that we want to reach. We want to be someone or something someday. We imagine who we want to be ten years or five years from now, and that inspires us to continue moving. But how do we move? This is where “back from the future” thinking comes in.
Back from the future is more of a hypothetical way of planning and rationalizing the things that we need to do in order to reach our goal. By visualizing our ideal future, we set a standard of the endpoint that we want to reach. Then, we start asking ourselves, “what do I need to do or what needs to happen in order for the ideal future to materialize?” The answers to these questions will then be our guide towards our game plan. In order for us to do the right things so we can be successful IN the future, we have to hypothesize and imagine things as if we’re looking back FROM the future.
Let’s have an example. Imagine you are a writer and your biggest dream is to be world-renowned. Now, what do you have to do in order to be popular in the whole world? You need to start networking. How do you do that? You need to expand your circles. How do you do that? Maybe you can attend a seminar. How will you do it? You can check online if there are any upcoming seminars that you can enlist yourself into.
See the pattern? Instead of just daydreaming about the big picture, we used it as a guide and we broke it down into smaller pieces until we get to something achievable. By looking back from the future, we trace a potential path that we can do from today in order to get to that desired future. Rather than just looking at what you have now and do things without a clear path, doing it the other way around is a more efficient approach.
If you know where you want to go but you don’t know how to get there, take your mind there first and then go back to the now. This way, it will be easier for you to set your plans and act accordingly in such a way that they will reach the ideal end point that you desire. If you look back from the future, from where your domino chain ends, you will know how to perfectly set the first domino, the second, and all all the other succeeding dominoes.
Until next time Keep Learning and Stay Razor Sharp
Today I chat about my meditation progress, not to let perfection get in the way of success and again a podcast update! I have episodes in edit! yay! http://ift.tt/1SlRpQQ
I want you to stop what you’re doing and think about a particular goal that you are aiming to reach in your life right now. It could be anything, whether it’s a job promotion, a new car, or maybe a few inches off of your waist. Think about what you will feel when you finally reach that goal? Let me guess, you’ll be happy and ecstatic, right?
Most people are programmed to think that way. We are trained to have specific goals that will make us feel good about ourselves. It’s normal for us to think about the future with the mindset that we will be happy once we get there.
Although there is nothing really wrong with that, the problem lies when we become too focused with our goal that we ignore an integral part of the equation… the journey. Sometimes, we are very much brainwashed with the idea that the goal is the only thing that will make us happy to the extent that we overlook the small successes that we have to go through along the way in order to reach that goal. More than the destination, it is the journey that should make you happy, and that’s what we tend to forget.We become too focused with our goal that we ignore an integral part of the equation… the journey! Click To Tweet
I am guilty of having this mindset. I always set goals and make game plans towards reaching them, delaying happiness until I succeed. Once I get it, though, I see myself asking for more. So I set a new goal and make new game plans towards reaching them, delaying happiness again until I succeed. The simple desire of attaining happiness becomes a never-ending cycle that goes on and on and on. Then I realized… why do I only focus my happiness on a big goal when there are a lot of things that could make me happy along the way?
Happiness can also come from the little improvements that we do each day. Instead of having just a future goal to inspire us, our day-to-day achievements should drive us in a positive state. The happiest thing about setting a goal is becoming the person you need to be and developing the skills you need to have in order to reach that goal.
The journey is as important as the destination, so make sure that it is also something that you will enjoy. Surround yourself with the right people, take your time, observe and enjoy the changes that takes place, make a conscious effort to enjoy the now. It will make the experience more rewarding and it will make your story more inspiring once you share it with others. After all, what makes a movie great is not the ending credits — it’s the scenes during the whole movie. As Denis Waitley once said, “It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.”
I will leave you with that. Happy thinking.
Till next time, #staySharp.
#RazorSharp – Ray Milidoni
I kinda wanna start singing, ” You say it best, when you say nothing at ALL” but I won’t…
Have you ever had that time when you cannot concentrate at work during the whole day, but you wake up in the middle of the night and, all of a sudden, you come up with a groundbreaking marketing strategy? How about that time when a bright business idea comes to your mind while you’re taking a shower?
Ever wondered why the best ideas come to mind during those times? It is because of silence. We think the most and get the best clarity when it is silent because we are away from things that could distract our train of thoughts – you know like our mobile phones, the television, our social media accounts, our email, etc.
Meditation is very important when it comes to bringing out the best of us. Everyday, we get preoccupied with our daily responsibilities. We are too busy to stop and meditate because we have deadlines to meet and tasks to complete, so we force ourselves to create and think. When it is silent, however, it is just us and our thoughts alone, so we get to discover and see how far and wide our mind can actually explore. When we meditate, it is actually when we can think.
On my bucket list is The Vipassana Meditation Camp which is a great avenue for you to understand the power of silence and use it to your advantage. It is learned by attending a 10-day residential course with a qualified teacher where the student is free from distractions so that the reality within can be observed. This ancient technique of meditation focuses on the connection between the mind and the body, helping you dissolve mental impurities and realize how you, as a person, are connected to your environment. Vipassana Meditation develops a person’s awareness, self-observation, clarity, self-control, and thought organization. Learn more about this amazing technique and enlist yourself for a life-changing camp by visiting their website.
So when you are cramped up and pressured to think… sit down, relax, go into silence, and breathe. You’ll be surprised with what pops out of your mind. After all, the answer is already in your head… you just have to listen to it.
Till next time, #staySharp.
#RazorSharp – Ray
In my first “Who am I Following?” post, I introduced you to Simon Sinek, one of the best TED Talk creators in my opinion. Today, I will tell you a little bit more about this amazing guy so, like me, you too can be inspired and motivated with his ideals and philosophies about leadership and management.
Simon O. Sonek is an English motivational speaker and author of the best-selling books Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2009) and Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (2014). He popularized the concept of “The Golden Circle” which states that in everything we do, we must first identify “why” we are doing it instead of focusing on the “what” and the “how.” In his famous TED Talk, he mentions that innovative leaders and industry game changers like Apple Inc., Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright Brothers apply this concept of focusing on why they do the things they do. This inspires more people because they align everything they do in the “why” and people, honestly speaking, support a company or an organization not because of what they do but because of why they do it.
After i read his Start With Why book, I totally understood how the golden circle works in my everyday life. Now, everything that I do, I make sure that it related to my “why” instead of my “what” or “how.” This really changed my life because it’s now easier for me to motivate myself and to live my daily life, as long as I am fully aware as to why I do the things I do.
I strongly advise that you watch his TED Talks at least once a month. You may also visit his website and be inspired everyday, whether it’s for your business, your studies, or your everyday living.
Till next time, #staySharp.
#RazorSharp – Ray
Everybody will agree that a good leader is someone who knows their strengths and their assets. That is true, indeed. But for me, what separates a great leader from a pool of just good leaders is knowing their weakness, their areas for improvement, their Achilles’ heel.
It takes a lot of courage to know and accept where you are weak at. After all, it is difficult to admit to yourself that there is something you don’t know or something you are not good at. This becomes a game of ego and self-confidence, and how well you are willing to be “vulnerable” when it comes to business and leadership. But a great leader is not afraid of their weakness, and even uses it to their advantages.
We are humans, after all. We are not expected to be perfect, and we can never be. It’s okay to have a weak point, everyone has some. But it is something that you should not deny to yourself. In fact, you MUST find a way to know where you are weak at because this is, believe it or not, a key factor towards achieving success.
One secret towards a successful venture is working with other people. But how will you choose the perfect pool of talents who will work with you. Instead of hiring people who has the same skills as you because you “clicked”, a better approach is to actually hire people who are good at the things that you are not. Imagine, for example, that you are not good at creating sales presentations. Having another person who is also not good at sales presentation will not push your sales up, no matter how great your products is. A successful leader will rather hire someone who is talented at selling and marketing in order to complement each other. This way, they are working better as a team because one person fills up the weakness of the other. Aside from saving time and effort, this ensures that all areas needed in order to succeed are covered and handled well.
The best partnership is one with complementing skills. Set ego aside and admit that there are things that you are not good at, because this will be your starting point in finding the best person who can help you in achieving success. By knowing your weak points, you will have a better understanding of what you need to look for in order to reach the results that you desire.Know what you are not good at, because this will be your starting point in finding the best person… Click To Tweet
Always, Always, Always pick to work with someone that compliments your skills, that my friends is how you will be#RazorSharp
Till next time, #staySharp.
So have you ever thought if your trade would be lost in years to come. Will AI and VR take over what you do. Have you ever thought that maybe we won’t have websites in the future but Virtual Reality Stores, what does that mean for you as a programer or web designer? Will chief’s be replaced with 3D food printers… Who will know…
Last month, I talked about a blog that will be a monthly regular feature for my blog. I introduced you to three amazing people that I think everyone (including you!) must follow online. I am sure many of you have already learned a lot of great things from these people. (If you have no idea what I am talking about, you better go ahead and read my blog about them.)
For this month,
Number One – Dan Norris
Dan is crazy!! His passion for entrepreneurship and content marketing is truly remarkable. He loves creating shitloads of content (from books, to blogs, up to videos and snaps!) about everything he loves and he loves sharing it to the world. Dan is currently managing not one, but three companies, all of which are doing great in their fields. Dan is also the author of two Amazon bestseller books about 7 Day Start Up and Content Machine.
I can totally relate with how Dan maximizes his passion in achieving incredible results. What I love about him is that he is not afraid to do the things he wants and he makes money doing it. Heck, he even launched a company and a book about beers. Why? Just because he loves it! And it seems like there is no stopping him from doing anything. In fact, he would love to hear ideas from and help anyone! Go ahead and shoot him a message or join his 7 Day Startup Challenge!
Number Two – John Lee Dumas
John is a podcast superman! He talks to entrepreneurs EVERY. SINGLE. DAY and features them on his EOFire Podcast which, by the way, is awarded Best of iTunes! He created a 9-step strategy to help people gain entrepreneurial supremacy online and his website has loads of recommended resources for online entrepreneurs.
His dedication to help people in launching their own online businesses is very inspiring. Aside from his bestselling books about online marketing and podcasting, John also hosts a webinar and podcast community and offers (okay… I know I might lose you after this part…) FREE webinar and podcast courses!
Number Three – Merry Maker Sisters
I hope you are still with me as I am ecstatic to finally feature not one, but two female podcasters! Emma and Carla are real life sisters and health and happiness advocates. These totally energetic girls caught my attention when their podcast smashed download charts. After I checked their website, I understood why these girls are such a big hit. Its all about ENERGY!
Emma and Carla are on a mission to merrymake over the world, and oh boy they are really doing it! It seems that they are born to inspire people to eat healthy and live happy. These girls are taking action in their passion and it is really paying off! I am not a foodie but after following them, I cannot stop myself from either smiling or feeling hungry… or both!
Dan, John, Emma and Carla are great examples of how important passion is. It’s not just a hobby or a recreation for them. Passion is their life. They eat, breathe, and live it. And look at who they are now… happy people who are successful in their chosen fields!
My search for the best people to follow online doesn’t stop. Learning different things from different people is truly an exceptional experience and a powerful tool towards success.
MASSIVE ACTION TASK — In the comments below, please share what qualities you are looking for in a person for you to follow them online. Feel free to talk about people you currently follow and why. I will be giving away books to people who comment, so make sure your comments are good.
Till next time #staySharp