Sage Online Tools blog


  • Online consumer trends that can influence your startup marketing

    Online consumer trends that can influence your startup marketing

     

    A marketing plan is often a neglected area of  business for startups. Most people launching a new product or service are so focused on production and sales that they forget to take the time to map out a marketing plan to scale up their business from a fledgling  to a fully fledged status.

    Online tech is a boon for startup marketing because it provides several new, easy-to-use platforms  to spread the message about their product or service to a wider audience than  before. But on the flipside,  consumers are becoming increasingly picky about how they want to receive information and more specifically, how they allow themselves to be marketed to.

    Here are a few  trends influencing the startup marketing landscape that every business should consider when they establish a marketing strategy.

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  • Security measures to consider when starting your online store

    Security measures to consider when starting your online store

    The reality is online shoppers aren’t the only ones looking to score online. And just because you can’t physically see someone trying to pickpocket you doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Today, it’s easy to set up a website, but if it’s too easy and we haven’t considered the security of the domain, we’re setting ourselves up for trouble. Being online is a responsibility, one you shouldn't take lightly. Follow these tips to tighten up your security when starting your online store.

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  • Five easy-to-use social sharing platforms for small business marketing

    Five easy-to-use social sharing platforms for small business marketing

     

    When last did you pay serious attention to a banner ad, pop up or a pre-roll video advert? These days, the average online user just scrolls passed them, or shuts them down as quickly as they can. You see, digital technologies may have opened up a new world of opportunity for the small business owner wanting to reach their ideal customer base, but those on the receiving end of most of these unsolicited marketing messages find them to be quite disruptive and distracting. 

    The good news, though, is that there are many ways to get online advertising right, which brings us to the topic at hand: how can you use social media for effective small business marketing?

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  • Conversion assets: the magic wand to your online marketing strategy

    Conversion assets: the magic wand to your online marketing strategy

    The main goal of any online marketing strategy is to get more leads for your business. And as a small startup, you can greatly benefit from the brand visibility it affords you. A digital strategy consists of many different components that make it successful as a whole.

    First things first, you have to develop a great user-friendly (and preferably mobile-responsive) website that clearly defines all of your products and services. In the digital age, if you’re not online your target audience most likely won’t know you exist – and would be less likely to trust you. Once you have your website up, you need to utilise it to drive people to you. One of the most powerful tools in the digital marketing sphere is content, gated content to be more specific. Gated content consists of conversion assets that provide your potential customers with value in return for their details (which they give to you willingly).

    In this blog we look into the different types of conversion assets you can use and how they help you to drive more sales as part of your online marketing strategy.

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  • Startup marketing tips: why you should open up a Facebook store

    Startup marketing tips: why you should open up a Facebook store

    Facebook is a social-sharing powerhouse. According to Smart Insights, they have the most active users compared with any other social media platform. So, if you aren’t marketing to this ocean of potential buyers, you are seriously missing out. Businesses understand the power of leveraging e-commerce and social media, but have they thought of bringing these two aspects together? By having a Facebook store, you can create a more convenient shopping experience and grab a prospect’s attention while they are fully engaged. This blog provides reasons why including a Facebook store in your startup marketing strategy is a good idea.

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  • Why the Sage Summit Tour is a big deal for South African business builders

    Why the Sage Summit Tour is a big deal for South African business builders

    Entrepreneurs are the business builders of the future. “This community is the most powerful driver of economic prosperity in the African and Middle Eastern economy, creating more than two-thirds of all jobs,” says Anton van Heerden, Sage MD and executive vice president of Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, the Sage Summit aims to “support them with the technology of tomorrow and seek to give them a voice on the world stage”.

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  • Beginners guide to SEO content marketing

    Beginners guide to SEO content marketing

    Search Engine Optimisation, more commonly known as SEO, is the use of techniques to attract the attention of search engines so they can make it easier for searchers to find your website. Search engines crawl through every page to review the content’s relevance to the searcher. If the search engine deems the content extremely relevant to their query, then your website, or a particular page, will appear at a higher rank after a search. If you’re thinking about employing SEO techniques, but you’re not sure where to begin, then this beginner’s guide to SEO content marketing is for you.

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  • Start-up marketing tips to help your business soar

    Start-up marketing tips to help your business soar

    Marketing is all about understanding what your consumers want and then figuring out the best way to get it to them. While there’s no set formula for successfully marketing a start-up, there are basic business marketing ‘rules’, or principles, that you can follow to make your business promotion activities a success.

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  • Starting your own business: Tips for the 9-5 Joe

    Starting your own business: Tips for the 9-5 Joe

    If you’re starting a business, but don’t have the support of a venture capitalist (VC), or a  wealthy uncle waiting in the wings to take your company on, chances are you’ll need to work a 9-5 job, while growing your business on the side.  But how do you juggle a full- time job and your responsibilities at home while successfully incubating and growing a small business? What ‘superpowers’ might you need at your disposal to pull this off?  And can it be done?

    The good news is that you aren’t alone in this challenge; there are many entrepreneurs across the globe trying to get their startups off the ground, while still supporting a family, making ends meet and honouring their other commitments. They’re also scratching their heads and searching online for things like, ‘tips for starting your own business for the full time employed’ or ‘how to juggle a full time career and a new business venture’.

    This blog takes a look at what ducks you’ll need to have in a row to ensure that your dream of running your own startup becomes a full-time reality. 

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  • Online marketing strategy to Keep your business busy over the Festive Season

    Online marketing strategy to Keep your business busy over the Festive Season

     

    As the holidays roll around, consumers switch off and relax, but the opposite is true for retailers. It becomes the busiest time of the year for everyone, but small businesses in particularly feel an extra burden as they have the same resources they had all year, but now need to keep up with a larger demand. We all need help from time to time and as a small business it’s impossible to be a able to handle everything yourself. Adapt a small business marketing strategy this festive season that helps everyone out – we’ll show you the ropes.

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  • How to start your own online store in time for the festive craze

    How to start your own online store in time for the festive craze

    ‘Tis the season for carols by candlelight, outdoor activities with gourmet meals, putting up Christmas trees, only dreaming of a white Christmas and of course shopping. What is it about the festive season that makes people want to buy everything in sight? Retailers aren’t going to complain, they love this time of the year because everyone is in the spirit of giving, even people who normally hate shopping. However, with each passing festive season, everyone seems to do the same thing every year: discounts, free delivery, a free gift with your purchase. So, how do you ensure your store stands out? Simple, by starting your own online store or amping up an already existing one. Stick around for great tips to drive revenue this festive season.

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  • Marketing automation software: it’s the closest you’ll get to having superpowers!

    Marketing automation software: it’s the closest you’ll get to having superpowers!

    Before you recoil with either terror or boredom at the thought of marketing automation software, please, read on. While you might have thought that your small business marketing would require a lot of work, a lot of money and a glossary of marketing jargon to hand, you’d be mistaken. Technology might have given us the iPhone, but it’s also given us something much more valuable – a tool to make your small business marketing all but run on autopilot. Yes, you guessed it – that tool is marketing automation software.

     

    Here are a pick of just some of the things marketing automation software can do, and why it’s so important for your business!

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  • Blogging advice to make web visitors sing your praises

    Blogging advice to make web visitors sing your praises

     

    If only online marketing was merely a matter of listing products and services, slapping a few pretty pictures on the page and viola your website was done and dusted until the next overhaul in 10-years’ time. Unfortunately though, the reality is that if you don’t put regular effort into your site you might as well not have spent money on it in the first place. To rank on Google (or other search engines) you need to feed the machine regularly with new and interesting content - in other words you need to commit to blogging weekly.

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  • Ecommerce trends to drive your online marketing strategy

    Ecommerce trends to drive your online marketing strategy

     

    Galvanise your online marketing strategy with these lesser-known ecommerce trends

     

    So you’ve registered your business, formulated a financial plan and gone through all the other key steps to starting a business . What now? Yes, selling your products or services is the obvious answer, but how do you manage to do this in a way that breaks through the noise and clutter of the marketplace you operate in? By formulating an online marketing strategy, of course! To create a strategy that’s one step ahead of your competitors, you need to be au fait with the latest ecommerce trends. Ecommerce trends are so important that we haven’t been able to stop blogging about them here and here.

    In this blog we’ll take a look at four other ecommerce trends that you can incorporate into your marketing strategy to make you absolutely irresistible to your customers.

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  • Getting your small business marketing ROI geared up for Christmas

    Getting your small business marketing ROI geared up for Christmas

    If you work in marketing, it’s pretty unlikely that you haven’t come across the acronym ROI before. But do you really understand what it means for your small business marketing efforts? And then there’s the question of Christmas marketing. Not so much a question but an imperative, as ROI and your festive campaigns go hand in hand. Read on for a run down about ROI and how it can be your little helper for your small business marketing during the busiest time of year.

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  • How to use hashtags for small business marketing

    How to use hashtags for small business marketing

     

    The very fact you’re reading this online makes it very likely you know what a hashtag is. If you’ve heard of the trending phenomenon but are still not sure how to wield hashtags to your small business marketing advantage, fear not. We know that the larger social media becomes, the more small business marketing tactics evolve. That’s why we’ve written this blog – to give you a crash course in hashtags so that you can go forth and market like a seasoned digital professional.

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  • Tips to start a business: your how to guide for spectacular  social media

    Tips to start a business: your how to guide for spectacular social media

     

    Ten odd years ago social media was a place where people gathered to gossip, talk about themselves and share photos. Even Facebook had a less than noble beginning – you’ve only to watch The Social Network to see what we’re talking about. Today, however, it’s very different. True, the gossiping and picture sharing are still there, but social media has become a lot more powerful and, not to mention, professional. One of the most important tips to start a business is to develop a strong social media strategy. We’re going to talk about how to incorporate this pervasive tool into your small business marketing strategy.

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  • How to build a website that is Google friendly

    How to build a website that is Google friendly

    Google has become one of the richest sources of information and an essential tool to everyday life. Yet, while this vast expanse of knowledge seems somewhat esoteric and unexplained to the untrained eye, there are countless algorithms and calculations behind a simple Google search. When the first page of search results pops up, it doesn’t contain just any websites, it contains the most relevant search results based on keywords and how optimised the websites in question are. This means that if you have a website of your own and you want more relevant traffic, you’ll need a website that is search engine optimised.

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  • Small business marketing: social media platforms to consider when starting your own online store part 2

    Small business marketing: social media platforms to consider when starting your own online store part 2

    Avoid relying on a social networks based solely on their user size, because it won’t guarantee you a wider reach. As user’s interests shift, it could be risky to place all your effort into single social network. Being on more than one means you won’t have to fight for attention on an overcrowded platform. Here are the most important social media platform businesses should at least be considering to implement in line with their small business marketing.

     

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  • Small business marketing: social media platforms to consider when starting your own online store: Part 1

    Small business marketing: social media platforms to consider when starting your own online store: Part 1

    Social media platforms are ever-changing, and user behaviour even more so. What was popular today could change drastically overnight. Take the Pokémon Go augmented reality app for example, no one could have predicted its popularity. But many fast thinking businesses have embraced this low-key strategy into their small business marketing and are snaring customers while players catch Pokémon.

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  • How to use Google Analytics to track the success of your startup marketing

    How to use Google Analytics to track the success of your startup marketing

    It’s hard to believe, but some business owners don’t include Google Analytics in their startup marketing – and it’s a scary thought. It’s the equivalent of a student slogging through their learning material, but never taking a test and getting graded. It’s imperative to measure how well your site is performing and if it’s not performing adequately you need to know what you can do to fix it immediately. If you don’t it could mean a loss in revenue. This blog will teach you how to use Google Analytics to your business’ advantage.

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  • Women’s month: Influential business women that make us proud

    Women’s month: Influential business women that make us proud

    What would we do without influential women? The world would be a much bleaker place for sure. We wouldn’t have windshield wipers invented by Mary Anderson in 1903, or Kevlar to protect us from bullets, there would be no Anne Frank, Rosa Parks or Malala Yousafzai. The fact of the matter is women have contributed significantly to making a difference, with their actions and words, and helped us shape our world for the better. Here is our list of the top South African business women who deserve recognition in celebration of this Women’s Month.

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  • How SMS marketing can improve your business' customer service

    How SMS marketing can improve your business' customer service

    As a small business owner you should never feel intimidated by larger corporations and their big budgets. They may be able to pull off high-spend marketing initiatives, but their enormous client bases mean they can’t offer the personalised service a small business can. Many people prefer dealing with small business because of the personal attention they receive, so use it to your advantage one way is by using SMS marketing  to improve your customer service.

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  • How to start an online store the right way according to the top dogs in the business

    How to start an online store the right way according to the top dogs in the business

    Are you tired of relying on your store’s four walls to attract your clientele? Do you want to open your digital doors to a wider potential customer base? If your answer to both these questions is yes, then you’re ready to put your store online, where it’ll always be open to help customers 24/7. Building an online retail store requires diligence, a level-head and the right tools to help you stand out. After reading this blog, you’ll be equipped with the right skills on how to start an online store according to others who’re clearly doing it right.

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  • How to use Google Adwords and Facebook successfully for your small business marketing

    How to use Google Adwords and Facebook successfully for your small business marketing

     

    A small business marketing manager knows all too well that you need to employ the best tactics to drive customers to your website and to drive sales. There’re a lot of free online small business marketing  tools at your disposal: basic blogging and social posting, for example, are standard tactics to establish an online presence. However, paid advertising can give you that boost to help your business reach new potential customers.

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  • Looking for affordable website hosting? Consider our site builder!

    Looking for affordable website hosting? Consider our site builder!

    You’ve put together a business plan and a streamlined marketing strategy, you have also designed a beautiful ecommerce website, all that’s left to kick start your new business venture is to choose a reliable web hosting service.

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  • Startup marketing ideas to turn your landing pages into high-conversion machines

    Startup marketing ideas to turn your landing pages into high-conversion machines

    In our previous blog we looked at how call to actions (CTAs) are an integral part of your online marketing strategy. But all CTA’s need to be able to lead somewhere, so today we discuss the importance of landing pages.

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  • How to use call to actions in your online marketing strategy

    How to use call to actions in your online marketing strategy

    As a business owner you want to ensure that the content marketing you include on your website like blogs, eBooks and infographics will help you convert your visitors into actual leads. To do this, you’re going to need call to actions (CTAs) and landing pages as part of you online marketing strategy.

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  • Best practises to use in conjunction with your email marketing software

    Best practises to use in conjunction with your email marketing software

     

    If you think email marketing software  is as outdated as video tapes, floppy disks or cassettes, you’re severely mistaken. According to Hubspot, “91% of consumers check their email daily.”

     

    Using email marketing software is a reliable means of reaching your audience where they are. Your email recipients can click on emails when it is most convenient for them, as long as you have a readily available list of contacts, you obey spam rules and provide interesting and relevant content that your customers will want to indulge in. You can leverage email marketing to help your business attract new customers. Take a look at our email marketing best practices to increase your email click rate.

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  • Be where your customers are by investing in a proper online marketing strategy

    Be where your customers are by investing in a proper online marketing strategy

     

    For a startup the initial workload is daunting, even for the best of us. It’s a small wonder most of us have little time to get our marketing strategy in order. Marketing is an important aspect of the business that is often overlooked or underutilised, however, in a world with an abundance of online marketing tools readily available for any business, you can no longer afford to ignore your online marketing strategy.

     

    “Almost overnight, the internet’s gone from a technical wonder to a business must,” says businessman Bill Schrader. Meanwhile, Lewis Howes, a contributor at Entrepreneur, explains that attention is currency online, it can be hard to attract the right attention, but it is not impossible. Follow these tips to help improve your online marketing strategy.

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  • The impact the CPA has on your online marketing strategy

    The impact the CPA has on your online marketing strategy

     

    The Consumer Protection Act (Act 68 of 2008), or CPA in short, is the legal framework that protects consumers from being exploited by corporations. All businesses that supply goods and services need to take note of this Act and ensure they meet all the requirements. The CPA will affect how you go about implementing your online marketing strategy therefore, keep it in mind when drafting your plan.

     

    Businesses need to think beyond the actual person who is purchasing their product or service. The CPA protects both the consumer who the product or service is delivered to, as well as the actual user of the product or beneficiary of your service. If a mother buys a television set for her child, both the mother and child will be protected by the CPA.

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  • Five plans to include in your startup marketing strategy

    Five plans to include in your startup marketing strategy

    Today brands are fighting for the attention of their respective markets. With your potential client being inundated with a lot of information, it’s important to attract their attention in a way that doesn’t leave them irritated with your brand, rather than willing to engage. To do this you need a sound startup marketing strategy that targets the right audience.

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  • Quick cheats to creating a professional yet affordable website design

    Quick cheats to creating a professional yet affordable website design

    As businesses become increasingly international it is imperative for companies to be able to communicate with clients after hours. But you and your staff aren’t robots and can’t be expected to be available beyond business hours. That’s where your company’s website comes in. A website offers information 24/7 and is always available to your customers. Customers can view your website at any time they please and receive information regarding your business as well as your products and services.

     

    But simply having a website is not enough, it needs to look good, be user-friendly and rank well within search engines. Stick around to get the inside scoop on how to get your hands on an affordable website design

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  • Tips to improve your SMS marketing game for your small business

    Tips to improve your SMS marketing game for your small business

    Digital marketing is a buzzword most businesses have heard of and one that is taking firm root in their marketing environments.

    The problem though, is that with online marketing so on trend, we sometimes forget about the offline world. You might be thinking SMS marketing has reached a dearth, but, in this instance, you’re mistaken.

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  • Five plans to include in your startup marketing strategy   

    Five plans to include in your startup marketing strategy  

    Today brands are fighting for the attention of their respective markets. With your potential client being inundated with a lot of information, it’s important to attract their attention in a way that doesn’t leave them irritated with your brand, rather than willing to engage. To do this you need a sound startup marketing strategy that targets the right audience.

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  • Useful tips for starting your own business

    Useful tips for starting your own business

    When thinking of starting your own business one of your first steps is likely to be to scan the web to find great tips to guide you in the right direction. You could get lost in the online universe, as there is an abundance of information available, but here we break it down for you and discuss which tips are most relevant for startups.

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  • Starting a website doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg

    Starting a website doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg

     

    In a world where sell-sell-sell is the only thing on web hosters minds, you can’t allow yourself to be backed  into a corner with the promise of fancy resources that at the end of the day never materialise and going for the cheapest one isn’t the best option either. Here we give you important considerations to keep in mind when starting a website so that you are able to make a more informed decision

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  • How your business can benefit from Sage Online Tools’ startup marketing packages

    How your business can benefit from Sage Online Tools’ startup marketing packages

    Online marketing is one of the biggest trends of the 21st century. A recent study conducted by market research company Ipsos revealed that 61% of global internet users research products online and 44% of shoppers start with an online search. That’s why businesses today must  embrace online marketing.

     

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  • Starting your own business: how to find a treasure chest of images for your website

    Starting your own business: how to find a treasure chest of images for your website

    Important tips when starting your own business website will center on the effort to not appear clumsy or amateurish. The online world asks of businesses to constantly keep their websites in tip-top shape to meet the demands of today’s audience and to stay within the top ranks of a Google search. Your website images say everything about your business, which is why you need to invest in quality images.

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  • Why a surefire internet security plan is vital when starting an online store

    Why a surefire internet security plan is vital when starting an online store

    Starting an online store is an exciting endeavour, no doubt about it, but there are some people out there that will love to steal your thunder. The internet is littered with hackers and scammers, eagerly waiting to corrupt your online store. Here is why you should ensure that you have a secure site before starting an online store

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  • Why automation should be a part of your marketing strategy

    Why automation should be a part of your marketing strategy

    Your marketing strategy gets your products to the people who are most likely to buy them – the people that need or want them. A great marketing strategy not only does this but also turns customers into loyal customers. Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be something that takes second priority to everything else. After all, without customers there is no business. Marketing automation software  helps you manage these all-important relationships with your clients and customers, giving you more time and energy to focus on the creative aspect of your marketing strategy.

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  • What you can learn from Starbucks when planning your startup marketing strategy

    What you can learn from Starbucks when planning your startup marketing strategy

    Starbucks is set to make waves in South Africa in the upmarket city of Rosebank, where eager coffee lovers will be eagerly awaiting to try a cup of coffee, seen across the globe thanks to popular movies showing off the brand time and again. After scanning the buzz on social media it seems many people are excited about them coming, but there are also those that feel this will threaten the local coffee industry.

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  • Small business marketing 101: Getting to know your web audience

    Small business marketing 101: Getting to know your web audience

    Any blog post or book you read to gain insight on selling your products or services online will advise you to get into your buyer’s headspace. Gone are the days of selling to the masses, small businesses need to sell to a niche clientéle and cater to their needs. To do this, you need to understand what they want from you.

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  • Why your online store should integrate with your accounting system

    Why your online store should integrate with your accounting system

    We all wish we had more time in the day, especially small business owners who never seem to have enough of it. As the Sicilian proverb goes, ''Time is precious."

    Utilising an e-commerce store has many benefits. Your customers will appreciate the immediate service they receive and the time they save because they don’t have to wait in an endless queue. And another aspect that seems endless is the range of goods on offer. The internet doesn't need to store goods in a warehouse, there is plenty of space available.  And using the internet, your customers can always see what you have available, even if it's not currently in stock.

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  • Affordable website design to help grow your business

    Affordable website design to help grow your business

    A potential customer has clicked on to your website and bounce, they leave instantly – what happened? You might have a quality product to offer the world, but it seems all your cries for customer attention online are falling on deaf ears. How do you ensure that your company website turns visitors into customers, instead of chasing them away? Before you design your own website, consider these tips to help keep visitors on your site long enough to result in valuable interactions:

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  • Starting an online store is easy with Sage Online Tools — ask our customers!

    Starting an online store is easy with Sage Online Tools — ask our customers!

    Starting an online store is more a question of when rather than if – regardless of the type of business you run. Even if you make the majority of your sales from offline customers, starting an online store can reap huge benefits for your business. Think of it as your online product catalogue. It’s easier to maintain and update, and you don’t have to worry about those high printing costs.

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  • How to work retail trends into your marketing strategy this Valentine’s Day.

    How to work retail trends into your marketing strategy this Valentine’s Day.

    Valentine’s day much like any other holiday offers businesses the opportunity to gain great ROI on their marketing, as people will be scouring the internet for Valentine’s Day ideas. This presents an opportunity for you to draw your potential customers straight to your website. “For any business, regardless of industry, integrating themes from relevant holidays into your marketing efforts provides a unique opportunity to reach your target audience in a creative way,” says Gabriel Shaoolian the Vice President at Blue Fountain Media.

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  • Tips for starting a business and how to keep it afloat

    Tips for starting a business and how to keep it afloat

    What do you think is the most exhilarating and exciting part of starting a business?  Is it the brainstorming, the idea generation and the creative problem solving? Is it being able to be your own boss or practically implement an innovative concept? Maybe you have a love of delighting people with a product you’re passionate about. Whatever your reasons for starting a business, keeping it afloat is the tricky part. You could be the smartest person, the best salesman and have a faultless product, but should you forget a few vital ingredients, your business could be a distant memory within a year or two. We are no contender to the entrepreneurial empires of Google or Apple, but we’ve picked up a thing or two along the way — read on for our insight on starting a business

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  • Why your marketing strategy is nothing without great after-sales service

    Why your marketing strategy is nothing without great after-sales service

    Not having kick-ass after-sales service is a bit like going on a date with someone and then never calling them back again. Why call them back if you’ve got everything you wanted from them? We’ve all done this, or know someone who has – in the dating world and the business world – but that doesn’t make it desirable or right. If you choose this approach, you risk word spreading that you’re cold and heartless. While this might not have a major impact on your ability to score another date in future, your brand is at much greater risk if you treat your customers with the same nonchalance. This is why developing an incredible after-sales service is just as important as closing deals, as far as your marketing strategy is concerned.

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  • Learn what’s trending in ecommerce at the 2016 eCommerce Africa Confex

    Learn what’s trending in ecommerce at the 2016 eCommerce Africa Confex

    As we’ve emphasised in countless blogs, not having an eCommerce store in the 21st century is like not having a stall at the market back in the Medieval times — without one, customers won’t know about your brand or your products. Unfortunately for those of the modern era, setting up an online store isn’t as simple as organising a table and strategically placing it in the market square. Getting online trade right and keeping on top of emerging eCommerce trends is a challenge. That’s why events like eCommerce Africa Confex exist. All the latest developments in eCommerce, all the people who know most about it — in one place. Read on to find out more about it, and why your business can’t afford for you not to be there.

     

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  • Affordable startup marketing ideas for small business inspired by beards

    Affordable startup marketing ideas for small business inspired by beards

    What do beards have to do with startup marketing ideas for small business, you might be thinking. If you’re reading this you either have a beard or know someone with a beard — they’re all the rage at the moment, whether you like them or not. What hasn’t been so common are decent facial hair grooming products to keep said beards and moustaches looking glossy and attractive. That’s until a female entrepreneur from Jo’burg started a small business to cater for this market. We’re going to take a look at her startup marketing ideas for small business, as well as some other affordable ideas that you can use to get your business revving.

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  • The long and short of starting an online store

    The long and short of starting an online store

     

    There are two types of businesses in this day and age — those who have an online store and those who are thinking about starting an online store . If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the latter camp. Perhaps this is your first business venture, or perhaps you’re a seasoned entrepreneur who’s dipping their feet into the world of ecommerce. Wherever you are in your entrepreneurial journey, knowing how to tick all the boxes when starting an online store is a must. There’s not only design to think about, but financials, linking the ecommerce store to an accounting system, website hosting, legalities and marketing to consider as well. Read on to find out what you need to know to get up and running.

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  • Why building an online presence is so important for your small business marketing

    Why building an online presence is so important for your small business marketing

    Growing an online presence for small business marketing can be a daunting task, particularly if you don’t have the right tools or knowledge to get you started. The good news is though, that with just a little effort, your clients will come looking for you if you give them a reason to follow your website through a good online presence. Making your small business marketing easier to maintain, track and reap the rewards.

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  • How to get your marketing strategy ready for the festive season

    How to get your marketing strategy ready for the festive season

    Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year. The end of October heralds the arrival of Christmas candy, pudding and sweets in festive packaging in Woolworths, while Pick n Pay also rolls out their extensive Christmas campaign. For some, this is the happiest time of the year – others sit tight and wait for the sixth of January when Christmas decorations are torn down and stowed away in their boxes until 11 months later. However you feel about Christmas, it needs to feature in your store’s marketing strategy . We’re going to take a look at why you need to do this and how to do it in a way that’ll entice even the Grinchiest of people.

     

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  • When brands use online marketing tools right

    When brands use online marketing tools right

     

    Remember the good old days when all online marketing entailed was having a single page website with a few images, colourful text and an email address? Or perhaps you’re too young to remember the digital landscape of the early 2000s. These days, there’s a whole arsenal of online marketing tools you need to use to make sure your piece of cyberspace is not only beautiful, but  also attracts the right audience and generates sales for your business. Navigating the plethora of online marketing tools can be daunting, but it needn’t be. We’ll take a look at businesses who are using online marketing tools right, and how you can too.

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  • Sage Online Tools top tips to start a business

    Sage Online Tools top tips to start a business

     

    Top tips to start a business

     

    You’ve been thinking of starting a business for some time now, but given the tough economic climate you’re understandably hesitant about getting started.. Still, that brilliant product or service isn’t going to get out into the great big world by itself. There’s no better time than the present to bite the bullet and get going. Here are some helpful tips to start a business.

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  • Starting an online store is easy with Sage Online Tools

    Starting an online store is easy with Sage Online Tools

     

    For traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses the prospect of starting an online store and joining the brave new world of e-commerce can seem enormously daunting. There’s the website that needs to be built, designed and branded, the images and videos that need to be uploaded, the years of contacts and data that need to be transferred, not to mention having to learn how to use and manage the whole back-end system.

    It’s enough to make anyone balk at the anticipated workload, but if you don’t get your business online, it’s a given that you’re going to fall far behind your competitors.

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  • How to choose the best online marketing tools for your marketing requirements

    How to choose the best online marketing tools for your marketing requirements

     

    Online marketing is an aggressive and ever-evolving industry but one that, as a small business owner, you can’t choose to ignore. On the plus side, by building an effective presence and getting your brand known online you stand a much higher chance of closing a deal than you might from other forms of marketing, such as cold calling or handing out pamphlets. This is because, people are already researching a product or service when they go online, so if you place yours correctly you’re almost guaranteed a sale.

    However, as with any business process, an important first step is to figure out your online marketing strategy and to build a framework to help achieve those goals. You’ll need to identify who your clients are, as well as any potential clients you’d like to attract, and then develop your marketing strategy around them.

    Here are a few of the online marketing tools you can use to achieve your goals:

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  • E-commerce trends to take your bricks-and-mortar business to the next level

    E-commerce trends to take your bricks-and-mortar business to the next level

    If you were born just before the age of high-speed internet, odds are you’re a bit apprehensive about taking the bricks-and-mortar business you’ve built from the ground up, into the ethereal regions of “the cloud”. And so, chances are, you haven’t exactly been studying the latest e-commerce trends. But, let’s face it, the internet isn’t going anywhere and if you don’t get your small business online, you’ll be left choking in the dust of your competitors as they leave you far, far behind.

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  • Need to know: how to start a business

    Need to know: how to start a business

     

    To start a business is the dream of many. They’re fuelled by the desire to be their own boss and aren’t afraid of hard work or taking risks. Creativity is an essential aspect of entrepreneurship, but it must be supported by left-brained reasoning and planning. Getting seen and heard above the noise of competitive marketplaces, having enough money to get started, navigating the sea of social media and keeping up with industry news are all fierce challenges that can put off even the most tenacious person. While there may be no end to the various tips to start a business, we’ve compiled the essentials.

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  • Four hot ecommerce trends that’ll make you want to sell online

    Four hot ecommerce trends that’ll make you want to sell online

     

    Entrepreneurship is becoming a more and more challenging game: competition is rife, market places are crowded and consumers are becoming ever more difficult to impress. You, the business owner, need to keep on top of trends and ahead of the store down the road. Ecommerce has changed the way stores sell and consumers spend. Nowadays, it’s not a question of whether you should incorporate ecommerce trends into your business, it’s how you’re going to make sure the latest ecommerce trends form part of your business. Here are four trends in ecommerce news you need to consider.

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  • Startup marketing package and nine other steps to starting your own business

    Startup marketing package and nine other steps to starting your own business

    Starting a new business requires creativity, passion, inspiration and a massive amount  of hard work. Whether you are going at it alone, with one other trusted partner or in a small team, a startup marketing package is a useful companion to have along the way. Combined with these ten steps, you’ll be well on the road to success.

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  • SEO and Paid Search: two crucial ingredients for a winning emarketing campaign

    SEO and Paid Search: two crucial ingredients for a winning emarketing campaign

    Traditional advertising may have been a mainstay for businesses over the last few centuries, but the decades following the year 2000 have seen the birth of emarketing. Not only does it operate differently to traditional marketing, it’s based on an entirely different paradigm. Whereas print ads, TV ads and billboards push customers to buy their products, emarketing strives to pull customers in. It’s subtler and far less annoying. Emarketing is also all about making it as easy as possible for people searching the internet for a solution to their problems to find you. This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search come in.

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  • Five steps to becoming a master of ecommerce web design

    Five steps to becoming a master of ecommerce web design

    It’s a battlefield out there in the business world. To survive and thrive you need to surpass not only what your competitors offer, but the expectations of your potential buyers, too. Having an online store isn’t a luxury anymore: it’s a necessity. Yet, getting into ecommerce web design might seem like a huge – not to mention, expensive – hurdle to overcome. Not anymore. With these five steps, you’ll be on your way to becoming an ecommerce web design pro in no time.

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  • How Sage Online Tools has made professional website design affordable and simple

    How Sage Online Tools has made professional website design affordable and simple

     

    These days, your website acts as your business card. You need to consider the fact that whoever sees your online presence, will judge you if your website doesn’t look professional.  Your website should be your online sales representative and serve as the face of your company. If you are looking to build a new website or re-design your old website, Sage Online Tools provides you with very user-friendly website design software.

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  • The boundaries of SMS marketing: When are you crossing the line?

    The boundaries of SMS marketing: When are you crossing the line?

     

    ‘Mobile’ is definitely essential in a list of words that sums up our society today. It allows us to do what is needed from virtually anywhere. It has also given rise to SMS marketing, an ingenious way to connect with consumers. Think about it: when are people not on their mobile phones? You are now able to reach your consumer in the most instantaneous way, thanks to SMS marketing.

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  • How email marketing software can help you close more deals

    How email marketing software can help you close more deals

    Email marketing can be one of the most effective marketing channels available to both small and large businesses – as long as it’s implemented correctly. To get the most out of email marketing, you need email marketing software that enables you to run targeted campaigns that reach the right people, at the right time, with the right messaging.

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  • Five affordable marketing ideas for small businesses

    Five affordable marketing ideas for small businesses

    Small business owners often tell me that they don’t have the resources to roll out a full-scale online marketing strategy. That’s understandable: digital marketing’s expensive, right? Not necessarily. While you might think that effective and affordable marketing ideas for small businesses are few and far between, the truth is that there are a number of ways to implement small business marketing strategies that get results.

     

    So, without further ado, here are five marketing ideas for small businesses that won’t cost you an arm and a leg:

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  • Five ways web design companies keep visitors on your site

    Five ways web design companies keep visitors on your site

    Generating a healthy amount of traffic to your website is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. If you can’t keep visitors on your website long enough to convert them into customers, there’s not much point in luring them there in the first place.

     

     

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  • Why e-commerce is essential for doing business today

    Why e-commerce is essential for doing business today

    If you ask me, online shopping is one of the great conveniences of modern life. These days, you can find, order and pay for almost anything online; from designer clothing, to your weekly groceries, to car spares, to electronics and much, much more. A few clicks of the mouse and the product appears on your doorstep the next day. What a pleasure!

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  • Mobile website design: what’s with all the hype?

    Mobile website design: what’s with all the hype?

    Lately, the words ‘mobile website design’ and ‘responsive web design’ have been on everyone’s lips. You’re probably wondering what all the hype is about. As it turns out, there’s a very good reason why business owners who don’t have responsive websites should be worried. Here’s what you need to know:

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  • How search engine optimization and paid search improve your Google rankings

    How search engine optimization and paid search improve your Google rankings

     

    Creating a high quality, branded website is the first step towards building a powerful online presence for your business. It goes without saying, however, that if no one ever sees your website, it’s going to be useless. Ensuring that potential customers are able to find your website quickly and easily is fundamental to implementing a successful eMarketing strategy.

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  • The power of eMarketing: why your business needs an online presence

    The power of eMarketing: why your business needs an online presence

    First things first: what exactly is eMarketing? The term is short for ‘electronic marketing’, and it means marketing your brand, products and services via electronic channels – most significantly, the internet. eMarketing is synonymous with web marketing and digital marketing, and it’s an essential ingredient of any competitive marketing strategy today.

     

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  • Consider this before building your website

    Consider this before building your website

    “If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my axe”, Abraham Lincoln.

    Planning is a key to building your website. There are a number of elements you need to coordinate in order to be able to quickly and effectively build a good looking, well structured and search engine compliant site.

    Do the planning before you start to build your website in order to ensure that you take everything into consideration.

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  • A responsive website - what does it mean

    A responsive website - what does it mean

    Wikipedia's definition of a responsive website design is;

    “Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).”

    Mobile internet usage has been growing dramatically and there is no end in sight for it. At this point it approximately matches desktop usage.

    Read more about what responsive web design is and why you need it.

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  • 10 things to look for in your website builder

    10 things to look for in your website builder

    Choosing which website builder technology and service to use to create your Internet presence is a difficult task. There are literally hundreds of options, some are free, some cost you, some pretend to be free but as soon as you want to do something slightly different you need to pay. Others are free as long as their name and branding appears on your website.

    Below are 10 things to look for in your hosted website builder.

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  • How to sell products online

    How to sell products online

    When last did you look up a business in a telephone directory? When last did you try to find out details about a product without researching on the internet?

    Ecommerce is exploding internationally and in South Africa. This means it is the perfect time to sell products online, in a managed and integrated manner to ensure ongoing success.

    There are a number of crucial items to consider when selling products online.

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  • Your website redesign

    Your website redesign

    You are about to redesign or have your website redesigned, how do you go about this?
    There are so many aspects to designing your website, some are visible but many are invisible but do need to be built into your website redesign.

    These are the things you need to think about and include in your website redesign.

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