Want to make sure your business succeeds online? Of course you do! And, thanks to a wide-variety of online tools and software, the streamlining process for your business has never been more effective and easy-to-accomplish. In fact, here are 15 ways you can use these online resources to streamline success for your business.
1. Day-to-Day Tasks
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As you’re already well-aware, being a business owner requires you to wear multiple hats. Thanks to a number of online tools, however, you can simplify your day-to-day operations. For example, there’s Zapier. It’s a tool used to connect your most commonly used apps so you can move data and automate tasks.
2. Project Management
Trying to schedule meetings, keeping your entire team on the same page, and collaborating with others can be a major hassle. There are now more than enough tools to help handle these otherwise daunting tasks. Here are a couple of recommended project management tools.
- Asana: Communicate with your team without email.
- Wrike: Collaborate and share files in real-time.
- Basecmap: Popular project management tool that helps you complete projects.
- Evernote: Take notes and share with your team.
- Sunrise Calendar: Free calendar so you can never miss an appointment.
If you use a tool like Google Analytics, you can keep an eye on the health of your company’s website. The information Google Analytics provides lets you know where your site visitors are coming from and what they’re doing on your website.
4. Email Marketing
Embarking on an email marketing campaign can be a lengthy process. However, a service like MailChimp helps you send targeted emails to your audience on a regular basis through automation. You can even use MailChimp to discover subscriber profiles and when is the best time to send out an email.
5. Social Media Management
Keeping tabs on all of your social media accounts is another task business owners don’t always have time for. But, it’s a necessity if you want to successfully grow your business. Hootsuite and Buffer are both trusted apps to manage and monitor social media platforms. Sujan Patel also has some other recommendations on Entrepreneur like BuzzSumo, Mention, and Oktopost.
6. Digital Marketing
Your marketing efforts are ever growing and ever changing. So, why not take a load off and use tools like Surveymonkey, Unbounce, and Constant Contact to help you with customer feedback so that you can discover exactly what customers are expecting from your business.
Accounting is absolutely essential, but it’s another task that most business owners dread. With software like Wave, you can handle all of your accounting needs online. Whether it’s general bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, and personal finance. Due.com can track the time your spend on a project, as well as send out recurring online invoices.
8. Customer Relation Management
Top-notch customer support is one of the best ways to get customers talking about your business, which in turn leads to more referrals. Platforms like Salesforce have proven to be a great assist for businesses in the past. You can also try these tools like Insightly, Pipedrive, and Sprout Social to help you engage with customers.
Running a business is hard work. But, the ones that succeed are the ones who have figured out how to be more efficient. With Productivity tools like Producteev, Wunderlist, RescueTime, and Pocket you can manage your time more wisely and stay on track so you can focus on tasks that matter.
10. Website Creation/Management
Your website is often going to be the first contact a potential customer has with your company. You can easily create landing page with LeadPages. If you already have a killer website, you can enhance it with:
- LiveEngage: A powerful customer engagement tool that goes right on your website.
- Optimizely: Test your website to improve customer experience.
- Wufoo: Create online forms for your site.
11. Human Resources
No matter how awesome your product or service is, you need a stellar team to help deliver a great customer experience. With online tools like The Resumator, Effortless HR, and TribeHR, you can find and train the best employees possible.
Selling your products online has never been easier. Thanks to platforms like Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce, Miva Merchant, and the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress, you can create and manage an online shop in just a couple of minutes.
13. Brand Reputation Management
Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Nowadays you don’t have to put as much time into tracing your online reputation. You can search for what other are saying about you by using IceRocket or Social Mention. Trackur also allows you to monitor what’s being said about your brand. And, Google’s handy Me on the Web can be used to track employee mentions. Managing what others say about you online has never been so easy.
No matter where you are in the world, you can now have a global workforce or chat with clients whenever you need to. Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Speek, and HipChat are all great resources to help you conveniently communicate with team members, host a conference call, or speak with customers.
Because of everything else you’re worried about when running a business, it’s completely understandable to forget about the security of your website. Hosting is one tool that can ensure that you important information is safely stored online. Lookout is a great security tool for mobile devices. And, you can put your customers fears to ease with a TRUSTe Verified Seal.
As technology solutions continue to grow, owning and running your business has become much easier. Use these tools to help you work smarter, not harder.
Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?
Some people love attention.
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I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.
I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.
If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:
- small talk
- general BS
people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.
100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.
How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries
Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.
I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.
If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.
You Are Walking into a Word Office
Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.
What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?
I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.
I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.
I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.
People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.
Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
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