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Business Planning


Grow Your Social Media

Grow Your Social Media with these 5 Key Steps

Social media is enormous! So enormous in fact it accounts to 40% of all time spent online. Social media has created a new way for consumers to discover brands and for marketers to reach out further to potential customers. Incredibly 93% of marketers today say that they use social media for business growth. Last year (2013) saw a outpouring in popularity for platforms including Pinterest, Instagram and Vine. This year we’re expecting even more sites to pick up traction including Google’s own Google+ which is becoming an essential part of people’s daily lives.

However, to make the most of this incredible marketing channel, here are five essential steps you should adopt for successful social media marketing.

Plan your strategy
A clear digital strategy is essential for successfully driving sales and leads from social media. 25% of small businesses do not have any strategy in place for their social media marketing. Appreciate that each social network has its own audience demographic and that you should make your choice as to which platforms best suit your business based on their target customers.
Here are some demographic differences between some of the leading networks.

  • Facebook is the leading social media network, with 67% of people online using it.
  • 60% of these Facebook users are female.
  • A 28 years old female is the average user on Twitter.
  • 18–29 year olds tend to be the primary user of Instagram.
  • Pinterest is heavily used by the female gender, with 80% of users being female and those, which have higher education and higher earnings.

With these in mind, you need to take the time to research your customer. What is their personality type? What is their lifestyle? What value can you add for them online?

Having selected the appropriate channels, monitor what your competition is doing. What is working for them? Start creating a social content calendar, as this will help you to organize, plan ahead and remain consistent with a social content schedule.

Quality content is vital
There is no denying that audience engagement is vastly improved with quality content. This can make the difference between your content being shared across multiple platforms and helps to generate more interest in a brand. Quality content also makes a difference when it comes to your organic SEO.
So what exactly do we mean by quality content?

  • Informative
  • Sharable
  • Actionable
  • Relevance to your target audience

To write like a master you need to embrace humor but also promote authoritative knowledge of the subject, your industry and your audience. With content being so crucial to social success, you, as a social media marketer, should experiment to see what works best for you, even if they are successes or failures.

Visuals engage
A study by the University of Harvard shows that 70% of all Facebook activity revolves around the posting of images and that 44% of all users are more likely to interact with brands if they use pictures in their posts. On top of that 121% more shares were generated when using professional quality photos with an average of 90.64 shares per post.

Because of this love for visuals, social networks like Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram are becoming increasingly more popular. You need to think ahead and create your strategy incorporating images at every opportunity.

Don’t forget, when scrolling down a Facebook newsfeed, it is the images, which secure the most feed space, increasing brand visibility, and decreasing the chances it is missed. This is especially true on mobile devices, as images greatly increase the visibility of a post. Furthermore, studies have shown that people are more likely to remember the contents of a post when accompanied with a striking image.

Don’t forget to be active and responsive
When your customers flock to your business’ social platforms to post comments, don’t forget, they are going to expect you to be social as well. Microsoft and Xbox are two excellent examples (among many businesses), which openly embrace Twitter for customer relations and support.
Boasting an impressive 1.3 million tweets, the Xbox support profile is one of the most active and responsive brand feeds on Twitter. It even goes so far as to call itself “the most responsive brand on Twitter”.

With an average of just 42 minutes per response to feed mentions, the Microsoft Support Twitter feed is lightening fast when compared to traditional customer service outlets.

With this in mind you need to remember that simply responding is not enough. If you are too automated with your responses it could get you into trouble through inappropriate responses. Responding with a generic reply could inadvertently promote negative attention and you could be seen to be uncaring. Public perception is a big deal when it comes to social media, as customers want to feel that they’re interacting with a human instead of an automated response robot.

Get your ruler out and measure those metrics
Although there are hundreds of millions of social media interactions every day and the majority of businesses embrace the power of social media marketing, incredibly 25% have no strategy in place to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
I can bet that through the time and money you spend on social media marketing, you’ll want to see a return on your investment. Measuring metrics is one the best ways to measure activity and to see where it can be improved.
A few metrics which you should definitely keep track of are:

  • Click through rates from posts onto your business profile
  • The number of shares you receive across various networks
  • Conversion rates
  • Website traffic generated from social channels. (You may even find activity coming from platforms you don’t even use)

As with traditional marketing, one of the main goals of social media marketing is to increase sales. On the same hand maintaining brand awareness is just as important. By monitoring these key metrics you can adjust your social media tactics to increase efficiency and return on investment. Which let’s be honest, is the bottom line for determining whether any marketing strategy is effective.

Social media must be employed if you want to be successful in business. By failing to plan and measure results, you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Listen to what your audience is saying and engage at every opportunity.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and gained some insights into making the most out of your social presence.





Why are social networks working so well?

That's an easy one!

The answer is that we are all still CAVEMEN and are longing for a TRIBE!

I explain why in about 2 minutes using a couple of cartoons.
Cavemen do have some very basic needs.

Our needs have evolved with time but are still basically the same!

Humans found out that life is difficult (extremely sometimes!).

Being member of a tribe makes life easier!

Being member of a tribe learns you new stuff!

You can also find your mate!

That's why social networks are working so well!

After all ... we are still the same ...

CAVEMEN, and we love belonging to a TRIBE!
Hope you liked this post.




5 Tips for writing a newsletter

I recently researched email newsletter for a client, and I came across some interesting tips, which I would be sharing here today. Email newsletters are a great way to build trust and relationships and they include promotional content, they’ll also grow revenue. The key is to make your subscribers actually read them.

Keep it short
If you learn nothing else, remember this, keep your newsletter shot. Include three articles at most, all of which should be short, or else you are wasting your time writing stuff that no one will read. You need to forces on publishing information that your readers will find useful and interesting.

Create relevant subject lines
Most people go through their inbox at least once a day to remove irrelevant email. There's just too much email and too little time so it's critical for your emails have a subject line that makes people want to read more. People are looking for an excuse to delete your newsletter - don't give them one! Don't use a subject line like "Our October Newsletter." Instead, use something that grabs attention like an interesting topic or headline from the newsletter, such as "Venture Capitalists Explain How to Get Funded"

If you'd like to encourage people to forward you emails, try this: The Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) always adds "Pls. Forward" to the end of their newsletter subject lines. Supposedly it has more than doubled their circulation! With Campaigner, you can run two separate campaigns to send one newsletter, changing only the subject line. Campaigner's reporting feature will allow you to compare open rates and optimize your subject lines.

Don’t make your subject lines too long, and don’t use acronyms in an effort to make them shorter, this is a sure-fire way to get your email deleted!

Include images
Readers are always drawn to images—especially of people—which you can see by looking at the heat map. Include high-quality images that relate to what you are writing about, and not for the sake of visual interest alone.

Keep the best information on top
Put your most interesting or useful article at the top of the newsletter so people will be more likely to read it. If you want your readers to take action on something, like sign up for a webinar, put that information at the beginning. Keep more general industry news at the bottom.

Skip the intro
Intros to newsletters are basically little previews of the newsletter, right? Well, if your newsletter is short, your readers don’t need you to tell them what to expect. As the above statistics show, they’re going to skim the headlines anyway. It’s far better to focus on the headlines and content.



Concierge – Reliable Business Backup

Concierge – Reliable Business Backup

What is it?
An application of optimized implementations with OSGi R3 framework.

How does it work?
Concierge is file footprint of approximately 80 KB, which makes it ideal for embedded and mobile devices. These devices are typically less optimized and more focused on compactness, for their use of VMs. For example, purely interpreting VMs is often observed to damage the performance of any existing OSGi framework implementations. When designing Concierge these factors have been kept in mind. It uses resources in a careful way for providing considerably better performance in resource-constraint environments.

What is the benefit to my business?
Inter- operability and compatibility of framework implementations with existing OSGi have been a vital aspect at the time of designing and testing Concierge. To be able to enable easy testing and migration process, Concierge supports both Oscar style and Knopflerfish system. One just needs to place the JAR framework in his working directory to test Concierge. It is expected that it will be able to function without any extra adaptations. Only one might have to adjust some of the startup properties. Concierge does not otherwise feature the service tracker service as part of framework. If one’s existing set up has the use of service tracker, one only need to add the Concierge service tracker to his configuration. Normally, Concierge runs without shell. But to have a shell, one needs to add shell-X.jar to the initial bundles. Profiles can be defined and used for restart. The idea of profile is to have different bundles, which can be restarted at any point of time

How much does it cost?
One needs to incur an annual expense of about $240 to enjoy the benefits of this software.

How can we help?
Online businesses can customize their suitable version of concierge and recognize special customers who add value to the products and services associated with the business. An online store owner can have a 24/7 access to PC and electronics experts via phone and live chat to set up proactive maintenance and data backup. In this way, he can get his business going smoothly, without ant hassle.



Wufoo - Online Forms


Today we are sharing about Wufoo. Wufoo is a great online form building tool. If you need a form for your webiste - have a look at Wufoo.

Wufoo is a fast-developing online form builder with an easy to use, remarkably user friendly interface, which enables anyone to create contact forms with data confirmation, online surveys, and event registrations. All of this can be done even without a particular knowledge of HTML. Wuffo forms are succinct and well-consolidated which mkaes them well liked by ecommerce entrepreneurs. When you lay-out a form through Wufoo, it accordingly frames the database and scripts needed to make data gathering quick and straightforward.

Wufoo administers easy copy and paste code for those who want to have forms embedded into their own web site. Wufoo forms can confirm your data as it is entered and present the person filling out the form with a message right away. It also includes key analytics with graphics so you can see the progress of your data. Moreover, you can get into your data within the system and have Wufoo email you fresh entries while giving you the capability to plan your own reports.

Wufoo’s regular plans varies from FREE to $199.95 per month and the charges are established on the total forms you ought to have, the total entries you can submit per month, and several other aspects. Furthermore, all paid plans have different benefits and features which are not accessible to free accounts. WuFoo accepts American Express, Visa, Discover, and MasterCard.

Wufoo was constructed by three guys who believed they could create an enhanced form builder. They certainly like the Wu-Tang Clan hip hop group as well as Foo Fighters rock band, that’s why they named it Wufoo.  It is a good tool for anyone who wants an easy-to-manage form on their Website. Wufoo makes the challenging, burdensome task of handling a form less nerve-wracking, making it fast and easy to capture registration information or customer feedback.



Google Alerts

Google Alerts is quite possibly one of the most accessible and effective marketing tools online presented by Google. Google Alerts, which is completely free, is a tool that lets users receive email notifications of the latest noteworthy results such as news, groups, videos, blogs, or articles for a search term. It's an impressive means to keep an eye of the latest trends, interesting topics, or anything that’s new on the internet.

Establishing Google Alerts can provide you an understanding of trendy online content. Creating interesting content on your site means that Google will find your site satisfactorily newsworthy helping with SEO and may even include your site in its Alerts. You have to sign up at in order to make use of Google Alerts. Upon having a Google account, you can now log-in and organize your search terms, the types of web content you want to search, the attribute of the results, where you want the email-notifications sent, and how often you want to get notified by Google Alerts.

Signing up to Google alerts is convenient if you want to increase value and develop your business through writing about current trends on your industry.

You can use Google Alerts for your business by entering your company name and ascertain what’s being mentioned about you and your product. This is a good chance to show excellent customer service by acknowledging your audience. Using search terms referring to your services and products, you can give attention to customer opinions about the latest trends and help you make clever decisions in your business planning. Google Alerts can also help you watch how the market responds to your industry peers.

In this competitive world, Google Alerts can be an efficient way to track what's going on thru the internet and allows you to devote more time on the things important to your business.



Warrior Forum

Warrior Forum is one of the largest and most popular communities online where Internet marketers, often called warriors, new and veterans, meet to discuss internet marketing tactics, make money, exchange ideas, and programs. The forum is established for accessibility of anyone looking to get into internet marketing discussions and offers available.

The Warrior Special Offers section allows every Internet marketer of Warrior Forum to sell his/her products to associate members at a discounted price compared to what they charge outside the forum. By using the Warrior Special Offers section at the Warrior Forum, you can immediately start making or saving money and profiting at large.

Opening a basic Warrior account is free. With your free account, you can ask questions in forums and provide answers, as well as get freebies and enjoy Warrior Special Offers. Nevertheless, acquiring a free membership limits you to various sections of the forum, and restricts your money-making potential at the site.  At $37 which offers certain benefits and privileges, serious marketers can become a War Room member. In the War Room section, only items of value are added for free to War Room members.

The Warrior Forum is a well-built community where sections are accommodated to events, news and announcements. Moreover, sections for off-topic threads are also available wherein warriors can discuss any topic, within the forum rules. Joint venture section, support section, plug-in-profit section, and articles section can also be found in the Warrior Forum.

Warrior Forum is a great and informative place to learn about internet marketing. You’ll surely learn a lot from forum friendly members and it is recommended for everyone who wants to market their business online.



Want to start a business? Then do something you love

Do you want to start a business? Then do something you are passionate about.

Most people want to know what the most lucrative target market is. Doesn’t everyone? Some might answer by saying that the big money is in corporate. Others might tell you to open up an exclusive boutique-type company. Everyone has a different opinion on this… start small, start big, target VIP’s, target groups… the list goes on and on and on.
At boutique business consulting we believe you will make the most money doing something you are really good at. The reason why one person makes a lot of money in a particular niche while another does not? Its mostly because that person absolutely loves what they do and they’re naturally good at it. They have a passion for it that comes from deep inside of them. They are persistent and determined and never ever give up their dream. No matter what.

You will know you have found your niche when you love what you do so much that you would do it for free. It doesn’t feel like work because you enjoy it so much. Plus you find the work really easy. Of course it’s easy to you, it’s your gift. You were born to do it.

So do what you know. What industry are you coming out of? Can you offer your new company services back to that industry? When you first thought of opening up a business, where did your thoughts instinctively go? Go there now. Trust your instincts as they are usually right. Don’t let your brain talk you out of something your heart is telling you to do. Do some market research and find out what the needs are in your area.

Then be willing to change. Go where your intuition takes you. Your business may start out as one thing but it may evolve into another as you learn or you face inevitable challenges. I ran a clothing label that started out as cornflowerblue organic and then changed to little armourie. We made the changes based on feedback and sale results. Don’t just pack up and go home when things get a little tough. Look at your operation and keep what is working and toss the rest. Sometimes you need to change our name, redesign your services, and try again (and again and again, but that’s another story). Never give up.

If you need help deciding whether your passion and your niche can be successful and profitable contact us for an assessment.

Source: Based on an article at Moxie Entrepreneurs –



What should go into your business plan?

At the very core – your business plan should answer the following questions. The questions help frame your business idea. They will help you work through what your business will do, how it will do it and if it will make money. You can then show these answers to your business mentor, family and friends. Over time these questions can form the basis of a detailed plan which will be required if you are seeking external funding.

Have a go at answering these questions. If you would like us to review your answers and mentor you through this process then drop us an email.

Business profile

  • What is our business?
  • What are our products and/or services?
  • Who are our target customers?
  • Who are our major suppliers?

Customer profile

  • What is the scope of our customer base?
  • What is our competition?


  • What is our strategy to gain our target customers?
  • What is our strategy to retain our target customers?


  • What is our initial marketing strategy?
  • What is our ongoing marketing strategy?


  • What is our method to establish our production?
  • What is our method to continue our production?


  • Where will our business be conducted?
  • What is the tenure of the premises?
  • What is the medium- and long-term suitability of the premises for our business?

Plant, equipment and vehicles

  • What are our requirements for plant, equipment and vehicles to operate the business?

Computer system

  • Which computer system is appropriate to cover customers, sales, production and financial recording and reporting?

Registrations and permits

  • What permits are required for premises, product storage and plant operation and business operations?
  • What patents should be registered to protect the proprietary products of the business?
  • What trademark registrations are required to protect the business name, logo or product names?
  • What registrations are required in relation to the business?


  • How will the business operations commence?


  • What is the proposed management structure?
  • What is the availability of the proposed management for commencement of the business?


  • What is the proposed staffing structure and remuneration packages?
  • What is the availability of the proposed staff for commencement of the business?

Internal funding

  • What is the source and timing of the internal funding proposed to establish and fund the ongoing operations of the business as detailed in the budget and cashflow?

External funding

  • What is the requirement and indication of availability of external funding necessary to establish and fund the ongoing operations of the business as detailed in the budget and cashflow?


  • What is the proposed ownership and operating structure of the business, whether a company, trust, partnership or a sole trader?


  • A time-frame relevant to each section should be developed and linked to the overall plan to meet the proposed start date and the ongoing operations of the business.

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