Should You Build Your Own Website?

Building a website can be a great way to save costs and take complete control over your site’s design, however there are various disadvantages that may make it more beneficial to hire a pro. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself before building your own site.

Do you know how to code?

If you’re fluent in JavaScript, you may be able to build your own website from scratch with no problems. If you don’t have any programming knowledge, you may have to rely on a drag-and-drop website builder.

There are lots of website builders out there – some are free, whilst others may require you to pay. WordPress is the most commonly used website builder and is one of the easiest to use, although some may find it limiting. Other website builders include Wix, Weebly, Joomla and Shopify all with their own pros and cons. It’s worth doing some background research into these platforms – you’ll find many sites providing information such as these WordPress facts that could help you to make the right choice. You could even try watching YouTube tutorials to see how easy each website builder is to use.

How complex does your website need to be?

If you’re only hoping to create a basic website, it should be no challenge to create it yourself. However, if you plan to add some complex design or animation, you may want to consider hiring professionals.

You’re unlikely to be able to create anything complex using a website builder – whilst there’s always the option of adding plug-ins, too many of these could slow your website down making it less user-friendly. Meanwhile, if you’re coding a website from scratch, you need to be certain that you have the know-how to pull off these complexities.

Do you have the time?

Creating a decent website takes time. Even if you’re creating a WordPress-based website, you’ll probably want to spend some time customising it so that it doesn’t look too much like a template. Meanwhile, coding a website from scratch is certain to take a while.

Web development companies often have teams of programmers dedicated to creating websites, allowing them to be produced at a faster rate. Whilst you will have to invest money into their services, the time saved could be worth it in certain cases (e.g. if you’re building a company website).

All in all, it comes back to the factor of complexity. A basic website may not take long to produce, however a complex website could take many days. Consider whether you have the time to build a website to your exact specs – you don’t want to be rushing it and making sacrifices to your original concept, just because you didn’t have the time.

The Technology That Pop-Up Businesses Need To Use

Pop-ups are the latest trend in the business world and they’re really taking off. It started out with restaurants that would appear for a few weeks before moving on to the next place but now, there are loads of other businesses doing it. They’re a great way to do business because you get a lot of customers off the back of the pop-up concept. People know that you’re only going to be there for a brief period so they won’t take their time weighing up whether to buy things, they’ll make a purchase before it’s too late and you disappear again. Pop-ups usually have far fewer overheads as well because you’re just renting a space temporarily and they’re usually quite small with only a couple of employees. However, there are some downsides to running a pop-up business. When you’re moving from place to place on a regular basis, you’ve got to take all of your stock and anything else you might need in the shop like tills, clothes rails, decoration for displays etc. That’s a lot of stuff and chances are, you’ll have to make some sacrifices. You won’t be able to carry all of the stuff that you’d have in a permanent shop which can sometimes be a problem.

The other major issue that you’re going to have is marketing. You need to make sure that people know you’re coming, when you’re going to be there and where the shop is going to be set up. You’ve only got a limited time to tap into that market which can work in your favour but only if enough people know about it. That’s why you’ve got to on top of your marketing every step of the way. The good news is, there is some great technology out there that can help you solve these issues and make sure that your pop-up business is a hit.

Credit Card Readers

Most people are going to pay on a card so if you only accept cash, you’ll lose a lot of customers. But if you’re using a traditional card reader, you’ll have to find some way of connecting it to the internet and somewhere to plug it in. You’ll also have to take it with you everywhere and even though they aren’t that big, it’s just more stuff to carry. But you can avoid all of that hassle by using a credit card reader for phone instead. You’ll already have your phone with you, you just need to carry a small attachment that will easily fit in your pocket and you can take all of your payments on that. You can set it up in seconds and start taking payments right away without having to worry.

Scheduling Apps

Another issue that you might have with a pop-up business is staff schedules. The trading hours are going to be irregular and you’ll be moving around so some employees might not be able to get to certain locations etc. It’s a lot more complicated organizing an employee schedule for a pop-up than it is for a traditional business. But you can use scheduling apps to make things a lot simpler. When I Work is a great one that you can get for free. It allows you to build a schedule that everybody can easily access online and employees can request shift changes from the app. It’ll make it so much easier for employees to let you know if there are certain shifts that aren’t practical for them and they can swap them with others at the click of a button. Using a scheduling app is the only way to keep your employee’s rota organized properly, which is essential if your pop-up is going to be a success.

Accounting Software

Regardless of what the business is, everybody needs to keep on top of their finances. But when you’re running a pop-up business, keeping your overheads down is one of the main priorities. You might have weeks where you’re just not getting that many sales in a certain place and so you can’t afford to be spending loads of money every month. Hiring an accountant is expensive but there’s no need to do that anymore. There are some great pieces of software on the market that can help you with everything from pricing products to paying staff and keeping track of all of your money. They’ll cost you a fraction of the price of hiring an accountant and once you learn how to use them properly, they’ll perform the exact same function.

Make sure that you take full advantage of this tech and your pop-up business will be a hit in no time.  

What Is The Value Of An Heirloom?

As people in the modern world, we can often divorce ourselves from the vast amount of incredible history that has come before us, at least perceptually. People these days seem less interested in preserving their family lines, or names, or keeping up with the traditions of the past. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing or something to criticize, it’s just different. However, sometimes passing down your knowledge and wisdom can feel tempting as a parent, and we begin to think of our family line. If this happens to you, it only makes sense to look in the opposite direction and try to consider what life was like for those before us, or to consider those standing artifacts and stories that may have passed down your family line – even adding to this story yourself.

Perhaps the most visceral and exciting elements we can often see is that of heirlooms. But what is the real definition of an heirloom? What is the value of an heirloom? In this article, we hope to explore and answer those questions:

History

One of the main purposes of an heirloom is to transmit history. The funny thing is that this might not have even been the main intention to begin with, but heirlooms are historical no matter what. Even being passed down only one generation can mean plenty for the person receiving it, as it’s an artifact from a previous life, something that was owned, cherished and thought worthy of survival. An heirloom can teach us many things about the history of our family, especially the person who passed it down, or the person from which its meaning sprang. For example, an old watch picked up in Germany during one of the world wars could become a real item of true historical importance, as the significance of its surroundings are hard to question.

Heirlooms will often come coupled with their own stories. These stories can be passed down from generation to generation detailing the reason for the heirloom’s significance, the context behind it, and the story told to them as they received it. This might not be a long story, it might not be detailed, and it might become somewhat exaggerated or slightly muddled over time. However, the heirloom will always be present and always true in its existence, so you may enjoy a real sense of comfort knowing it’s in your possession. You may not be able to speak to your great Grandfather any long, but owning and caring for his watch may help you preserve him in spirit.

Pride

People who pass on an heirloom will often enjoy that item and think it worth preserving. One of the main reasons for this will be pride. Heirlooms are not often things that the owner wishes to be rid of. Let’s continue with the World War example. It might be that the watch, bible, dog tags your relative was in possession of made the list, but another artifact they were in possession of were not.


This is because heirlooms give us the chance to show who we are, what we thought about ourselves, how we identified, and what we wish our family to know about us. This means that most often, pride is the largest motivator, not in a negative light, but in an inspirational and thankful manner. This means that if you hope to curate your own heirloom to pass down, you might think of crafting things that mean something to you. For example, ChallengeCoins4Less offer a wide range of crafted regiment coins to honor your service to share among your division, but it also serves as a durable and long-standing item you may one day want to pass down, along with the stories of your service.

People often make a deep issue of pride, but it’s no sin to feel satisfied with your achievements. Who knows, passing these stories down could inspire many of your future generations to come. With an heirloom you’re proud of, you may start that ball rolling now.

Character & Lessons

An heirloom can also teach a lesson. For example, letters and diaries depicting the struggles of a relative can hold emotional weight to them long after they pass. A preserved journal of ideas and thoughts on life could do the same thing. A loving message to future generations you will never meet might be a good idea. An inscription on a piece of jewelry with an intended message at the other end could be considered quite a wonderful thing to pass down. It might be a coat of arms for your family can help you establish your name and give your future relatives a unifying idea to band behind.

Heirlooms aren’t only reminders, they can be lovingly instructive for our later family line. The emotional depth of something received long after your passing is hard to ignore for the recipient, so be sure you craft your message with care. Who knows, a positive word might just hit someone at the right time, helping your goodwill long outlive you.

Fun

All of this has proved quite serious so far. Talk of intense pride, important emotions and long-standing history can be quite tiring if spoken of for some time. Remember, heirlooms can also be fun, kind, loving and positive. You might pass down a silly joke book that you always cherished in your childhood, or a piece of jewelry you owned in childhood. You might pass on a book of your drawings, or a binding of your first paintings before moving onto your professional artistic life. A little fun hurt no one, and a small heirloom can be a message of joy and positive thinking, putting a smile on the face of generations to come. It’s not always essential to be so-self serious about the heirlooms you send. Sometimes, you simply want to be remembered for the levity in your life.

Heirlooms can serve many functions. You’ll only know how to project your most desired meaning after some careful forethought. With this humble article, we hope to hae helped the ball start rolling.

Five Signs Your Website Needs an Overhaul

When  you are trying to promote your website and offers online, you should consider your pages as your shop window. If they are not attractive and inviting, chances are that you are just throwing money at your site without getting it to do what it is supposed to. There are some telltale signs that your website needs an overhaul, and the sooner you spot them the better chance you have fixing the issues. Below you will find a few to help you get started.

Your Bounce Rate Is High

Not many website owners know about bounce rates. It is a figure that shows the percentage of your website visitors landing on your site. There might be several reasons why your bounce rate is high, such as lack of security, slow loading times, or even a bad design. If you look at this Google statistic, you can easily find out how to make improvements to your website and attract customers better.

Your Fonts Don’t Work on Mobile Devices

In some cases, you feel like you don’t want to change, especially if you have paid a lot of money for your web design. However, it is important that you regularly test your pages on mobile devices, so you can find out what your visitors who are using smartphones and tablets can see. If your fonts are not working, or you don’t have a responsive web design, you are more likely to lose visitors and have a higher bounce rate.

You Have Sales But No Conversions

One of the most common problems website owners face is that they have loads of traffic coming to their site, but they don’t see any sales. If you find that you are struggling with online conversions, you might need to look into the site’s infrastructure, the software, the offers, and the different sales pages. Ask yourself whether or not you are giving your visitors a strong enough reason to take action.

You Don’t Have a Sales Funnel

Of course, you will need to make sure that every element of your website and marketing strategy is working well together. If you haven’t yet created a sales funnel or conversion funnel. It might be time to look into it to find out how you can improve customer experience and your click through rates. You can learn more here about the latest user technology that will make it easier to personalize content and communication.

You Have Old Irrelevant Content

Every now and then you will need to go through your website with a fine toothed comb to find out whether or not your blog posts are giving out the right message. If they are not, you will need to make sure that you are deleting old content and refreshing the site in a way that it aims at your target audience.

Keeping on top of your website makes financial and business sense. Check out the statistics and make sure that you implement changes that will improve your conversions and user experience.

Software To Make Your Business Easier

If you are looking to run your own successful empire from your sofa this year, you are certainly not alone. There are lots of people around the world who make it their aim to create a business for themselves and their family. The question is how do you beat the competition and stay ahead of the game?

Technology is a massive part of our lives and it is something we use every single day. For business, there are lots of amazing pieces of software and technology which can make those business tasks much easier and here they are.

Grammar checker

One tool which you may not immediately think you need for your business is a good spell checker and grammar checker. When you are writing contracts, professional documents or emails, grammar checkers such as Grammarly can ensure that what you say translates directly on the screen. You  I’ll look so much more professional as a result of this.

Finance aid

Budgeting for a business is hard. When you first start running your business it can feel like a massive task and you will soon realise that keeping a record of finances is harder than you first thought. Apps like Quickbooks are ideal for small businesses because they allow you to store and organise your finance in one place.

Scheduling software

Scheduling for your meetings, work, social media and online content are all things which can make a big different to your business this year for the better. When it comes to online scheduling, there are so many great applications and software or there to suit almost anything you need. Take a look and you will be able to find a few great options.

Instagram planner

Speaking of social media, there are applications such as Hootsuite and Buffer which will deal with the scheduling of your Facebook and twitter accounts, but if you have an Instagram account you’ll need something else. Later is an app which allows you to schedule instagram posts, and you can use this alongside an app called UNUM which allows you to see what your feed would look like and to plan out your content.

Mailing service

Email marketing is still a massive part of business and you can end up spending hours trying to send lots of emails to people in your subscribed list. However, software such as Mailchimp will make creating and sending out great newsletter so much easier, and it is definitely something you should try this year.

Project Management

When you have a team of people working on the same project and trying to hit the same goal, it can be hard to track where everyone is up to and see how they are progressing with the work. Luckily, software such as Basecamp is ideal for this because it allows you to see what everyone is up to, how they are getting along and whether they need anything from you. It is an effective way to run a project and it makes life so much easier.

Top Tips when Organising a Business Event

Organising a business event is not easy to say the least and this is especially the case when you have so much to think about. After all, you have to consider the cost of running the event, how your employees are going to get there and even whether or not it is worth the effort. When you are able to consider all of this information then you can easily plan out everything you need and the whole event will be much easier for you to stay on top of as well.

Choose your Venue

The first thing that you need to do is choose your surroundings well. This will have a huge impact on your guests and it will also send out a very strong message as well. You have to make sure that the venue is intimate enough so that you don’t have too much empty space but it needs to be big enough so that everything is squeezed in. You also need to think about parking and if your disabled employees are going to be able to access the venue. If you know that you have a lot of staff that you need to get to the venue then you may want to consider a coach service. If you have too many people for this or if you want to be more luxurious then one thing that you can do is consider an air charter service.

AtmosphereWhen you have considered the space, you then need to consider the atmosphere. It really does help to hire furniture so that you don’t have to put up with the standard office furniture that you have access to and this is especially the case if you are hosting some kind of conference. If you are going to include dining for your business event then consider going for a style. This could include contemporary, formal or even informal as well. At the end of the day, you do want your guests to be able to relax so make sure that you hire some accessories and take into account the finer details. When you do this, you can easily get into the minds of the people who are going to be coming to your event as well, so that you can create the best possible atmosphere.

Plan your Event Meticulously

Planning really is everything when you are trying to organise a big event. You have to set yourself plenty of objectives so that you can find out what you want to get out of the day. You also have to make sure that you know your budget and that you have a complete breakdown of the costs that you are going to experience. Of course, you also need to have a list of the tasks that you have to do as well. You will probably have some tasks that need to be done before you go to the event and some to do when you are there, so split them up and make sure that you have everything in place so that you can get each one done to the highest level of efficiency.

Make Everything Interesting

Conferences don’t have to be boring, so try and be different and don’t be afraid to change up the pace now and again. You are far more likely to grab and even hold the attention of your guests this way. You want to give them an experience that they are going to look back on and you also want to stand out from any other business out there. The event is not over until you close the doors for the last guest and if you know that things are starting to get quiet or if you know that things are taking a turn for the worst then consider really trying to turn it around. Have some resources in place that give you the chance to do this, such as serving champagne and macaroons halfway through a meeting or even by changing the music if you are having a celebration. Things like this can really lift the mood and it also gives you the chance to lift the spirits of the people who are in attendance as well.

All in all, there are many things that you have to think about when the time does come for you to plan out your event and when you are able to really take the time to understand your guests, you can then plan your event around them. If your guests are your employees, then remember that the same rules apply.