Tag: small business web design Sydney

How to Apply for Business Grants Online in Australia

Raising funds is one of the most important things to think about, whether you are a startup looking to develop a mobile app or an established business that wants to take it to the next level.

There are plenty of options available to do this these days, from finding investors, creating a crowdfunding campaign or even borrowing money from friends and family to raise funds.

One great way to do this is to apply for a business grant from the Australian Government. Business grants can provide you with funding anywhere from $500 to $2,000,000, depending on the nature of your business. Although it takes a considerable amount of effort to apply to one, it is well worth the time as the business grants are non-repayable, unlike investors who would typically demand partial ownership of your business (equity) or request repayments depending on their contract with you.

1. Access the grants website business.gov.au/Assistance

Depending on the nature of your business, you will want to apply to a different set of business grants available. On the Grants & Assistance page, there is a form that will help you search and list the most appropriate grants for your type of business.

2. Select the reason for your application

This is where you will choose the reason for applying to your business grant.

  • If you are a startup / business that has only an idea but is looking for a grant to research and develop your idea into an actual product, then click on “research and develop a novel idea”.
  • If you are a startup / business that wants to expand their existing business or to scale, then click on “expand my business”.
  • If you are startup / business that has an existing product developed, understands your market and has intellectual property rights to your product, you would want to “commercialise a product”.
  • Similarly, if your need for a grant relates to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Arts, Disaster Assistance, heritage projects, hiring more employees, training existing employees etc. then select the appropriate categories.

3. Choose your State, Industry, Annual Turnover and Years of Operation

Your selections here will also influence the type of business grants that the website will suggest you apply for.

Not all grants are necessary for you to apply for, especially if your startup / business is within a certain industry. Some grants are only offered to applicants who are within a specific industry or specific lifecycle / stage of their business.

Click on the “Show Assistance” button and the website will list the grants that are most relevant to you.

4. Go through the list of suggested business grants

Click into every business grant that is listed to you and have an in-depth read of the requirements for each grant.

Inside the business grant information, you can click on “Tell Me More”, which will give you information on:

  • The overview of the grant
  • Who the grant is targeted towards
  • Who can apply
  • The eligibility criteria
  • How to apply.

5. Commence applications on relevant business grants

Once you have read through the list of suggested business grants, decide which ones you may want to apply for. Choose the most relevant grants for your startup / business that you should apply for and don’t waste time on ones that aren’t, as it is time consuming to try apply for every grant and you will need solid detailed research and solid preparation to build your grant application.

Depending on the business grant, you may be able to apply directly on the website or you may have to contact an external government department to start your application.

6. Do enough research and preparation before submitting the application

Make sure you do enough research to back up why the government should provide you with the business grant. Your should:

  • Have prepared a professional, but unique application.
  • Have outlined a solid business strategy.
  • Understand all the necessary requirements and upkeep for the grant.
  • Make sure the grant is the right fit for your business.
  • Keep an eye on the grant deadlines.

Considering the high number of applications for Australian business grants, half-complete applications or ones that aren’t thoroughly researched enough will most likely be rejected.

 

How to Take Advantage of Referral Marketing

Referral marketing, the modern word-of-mouth advertising

Yes, people are purchasing your products based on what other people say about you. And there’s no other marketing strategy that can beat this practice. The simple reason why people trust referral marketing so much is because its principle is grounded on reviews written by people who have already interacted with your business.

It is so powerful that can either boost your business or even break it. The good news is that there are ways of turning it to your advantage. Even if you receive multiple negative reviews, research has shown that the majority of customers will return to your business if they see you take early action to fix their problems.

In today’s article we will show you how you can start your own referral strategy and improve your referrals

Find out what people are saying about you online
Before making any decision on referral marketing strategies, you need to find out what people are saying about your business on the internet. Many business owners don’t know that, even if you don’t have an online business profile, people are still talking about your business on social media, forums, or on their own websites.

Google Analytics has an entire segment that can help you find out how people review your business and on which websites your brand is mentioned.

Improve the buying experience & Review your team’s attitude toward customers
When people want to buy from your website, the process should be easy and fast. Sending an order should be just a few clicks away.

Tip: When you review your current buying procedures, put yourself in the shoes of the customer and see if you find yourself satisfied with the experience.

Bonus tip: It all starts with you. If you want to increase your revenue, you need people to trust in your business.

Customer service is a really important part in your business, therefore working with a team that is motivated to deliver the best service possible will bring you extra benefits. Thus, even if there is something wrong with your product/service, having excellent customer service will put your customers at ease. Instead of diminishing their trust in your brand, clients will like you even more for being there when they needed your help.

Start creating a referral program
More than anything, people like rewards. So you can reward the customers and visitors that are recommending your business to their friends and peers. You can give them bonus points for visiting the site, convert the money they spend on a product into points, and offer them extra points if they refer a friend and their friend becomes your client.

Make it impossible for customers and visitors not to refer your brand
You already have a number of people who refer your business, but things are constantly moving forward and you need more and more people to refer your company.

Why not place a “refer button” on your website? Somewhere in sight, so you can see it the minute you land on a page. You can also add social sharing widgets to every product page.

Whatever you choose to do make sure that it is almost impossible for visitors not to refer your business to their online communities.

Give a shareable product experience
You should always find new ways to impress your customers. For example, think about the packaging and unboxing experience. Instead of sending the product in just a regular box, you can add a little sparkle to it.

Find a unique way to box customers’ products. Make it look like a gift and add a thank you note. It’s cheap, but it makes an impact over your client. This way customers feel appreciated and, more importantly, they will want to share the experience with their peers.

Ask customers for reviews
Useful tip: No publicity is bad publicity!

People base their buying decision on online reviews. So you should always encourage your customers to review your business online. Having no reviews is the same as having bad reviews, because it indicates you are not willing to build a relationship with your customers and you are not willing to win the trust of your potential clients.

People do read your business online reviews. It has been shown that people read between 6-10 reviews before making a purchasing decision, this is why is important to make your customer review your brand: the more positive reviews you get, the more your target audience will trust your business!

Influencers: bring them on your side
As much as we trust reviews coming from 3rd parties, it’s always impressive when your brand is recommended by a public person. The practice is being applied by basically all BIG brands in the world. It is true, it may be a bit expensive for your budget right now, but you don’t have to hire the Queen of England to recommend your products. You can choose a famous Youtuber, a blogger, or instagrammer – people who have a large audience and numerous followers.

In a closing note, referral marketing is vital for every business, it is the foundation and the soul of every brand. Make sure to keep an eye on what people are saying about you and always try to find new ways to improve your products/services and eventually your business.

How to Attract Visitors to Your Website via Channels

Would you trust a brand you know nothing about? Would you give that brand your hard earned money in exchange for a product or service you are not sure will perform as expected?

For most people, it is quite hard to trust businesses they have never heard of specially in the online space. As a business owner, the good news is that it’s not impossible to win your target audience’s trust. It might take a while and you should always reconsider your marketing strategies, but in the end it is all worth it. The tricky part? You already have a massive competition who is also promoting their business online. So how do you convince people to visit your website and buy from your business?

In this week’s article, we have prepared a list of activity that you need to consider in order to attract more visitors to your website.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO refers to the visibility of a website in a search engine such as Google. It is a complex combination of strategies that are designed to make your website structure in a way that a search engine understands.

If done properly, SEO improves the number of visitors to your website through a simple process: getting high-ranking places in the search results. If your website is found within the first page of search result you have better chances of increasing your visitors.

Quick Tip: For a SEO complaint website, please contact EB Pearls.

AdWords

AdWords is an online advertising service from Google that brings your website into the ad part of Google. If you know how to properly choose the most relevant keywords for your business google adwords can bring substantial number of visitors.

Google Adwords is a pay-per-click type of advertising, meaning that you pay only when visitors click on your website or contact you.

Display Advertising

Display advertising can be done through Google ad network or any relevant website from your industry to display responsive banners. It is a great tool for remarketing, once a visitor lands on your website – your display banner ads will follow them whenever they are on display network website. This will help to increase your brand awareness which eventually builds trust among users.

Social

Social media platforms are everything nowadays. And as a business owner you should know the importance of having a social profile of your business.

With a social profile of your business you keep your visitors and customers engaged. And more importantly, you can create a variety of marketing strategies to attract visitors. Social media has revolutionised the way we see, understand and do online marketing.

Referral sites

Referral sites is an intelligent way for you to get more website visitors. These sites will refer your business on their website through a link that sends visitors to a sales page on your website. If visitors decide to purchase something from your website, the person referring you gets a percentage of the sale.

Of course, you should choose a trustworthy website owner to recommend your services, someone you know personally or through a business networking event.

Online Reputation

As the name suggests, online reputation is all about your businesses reputation in the online environment. Watch out! Your online reputation matters more than you think.

How is your online reputation built? It is created by the sum of online reviews you are getting from your customers. If you want to drive more visitors to your website, your business’ online reputation should be flawless.

People tend to read between 6-10 reviews before they make an opinion about your business. For your online reputation to be impeccable, you need to ensure those reviews are all 5stars reviews.

In conclusion, there are a lot of ways in which you can drive visitors to your website. However, it is a lengthy process. But if you take things one by one, you will soon notice an increased number of website visitors. You should always deliver the quality in everything you do, starting with the marketing strategies and ending with the quality of your products/services.

5 Ways to Identify Your Customers

Understanding your customer and providing them with what they need is the most important part of a successful business. For any service or product, customers are presented with multiple options. So convincing them to use your service or product is not easy. In this week’s article, we will outline a stepwise guide to strategically identify and understand your customer.

Competitor Analysis 
The first step is to create a list of 5 competitors who is doing well in your market. Then start analysing them on the basis of their marketing strategy, persona in the current market, sales process and market authority. Based on these detail, create a list of activity that may help you grow your market potential.

Analyse yourself
Based on competitor analysis, it is important to analyse your market positioning and understand your key strengths and weakness. Once you understand where you stand, there is some key recurring activity – review your google analytics weekly, review your moz reports weekly, review your marketing data weekly (use tools such as infusionsoft for marketing automation), review your sales report with source detail (use tools such as ZOHO Invoice) and analyse your goals and conversion in google analytics. From all these reports, one thing that you will be able to gather by doing all these activity is to understand the activities that are working. It is recommended you use Customer relationship management system such as Salesforce or infusionsoft to understand your funnelling.

Using these tools, you will have data such as demographics of the users(age, gender, location etc.), nature of purchase with user journey and an impact of marketing automation and remarketing. You should draw a workflow for each unique audience and create an attraction strategy for these customers.

Ineract with customer 

Survey may be boring these days but get answers for below question from your existing and future customer. You can use the below guide produced by hubspot.

Talk to a marketing guru

Now that you have enough data about yourself and your competitor, you should get engaged with a marketing guru and get them to analyse your data. Your marketing guru should provide you with an insight on activities that you may have overlooked. Its generally better to try upto 3 marketing gurus, one in house, one in your location and one overseas with similar business structure.

Benchmarking
You have enough data in your table to succeed. However, only half of the work is done. All the hard work that we are performed in analysing the business is worthless if we don’t set goals and create short-term and long-term benchmarks. Create benchmarking report based on your attraction strategy and link it to your CRM to forecast your progress. Remember, things will change quickly so never stop analysing your data. Use as less tools as possible – our recommendation is to use hubspot or infusionsoft.

Now back to you…

  • What strategies are you using to find out your target audience?
  • What is your biggest challenge when finding your target audience?

Clever eCommerce Web Design: A Review of Animal Box

If a brand is lucky, it manages to tap into consumer demand and pair what the customer wants with the method in which they’re mostly likely to interact or use the website. Hitting that sweet spot isn’t easily managed – but it would appear that Animal Box has managed to do just that, by delivering healthy meals and snacks for the kids of busy parents, ordered at the click of a button.

 

Here’s some insight into what makes Animal Box successful, and how you can apply the same principles to your business idea:

They fill a need. Family life is getting busier by the day, while at the same time the need for nutritious food is becoming more clear every time a new study comes out that denounces junk and convenience foods. This leaves busy parents even more put-upon and feeling as though they’re falling short. Animal Box provides the sort of nutritious food parents wish they themselves had the time to prepare.

They are convenient. By making the ordering process as simple as clicking a few items, then delivering straight to the customer’s door, Animal Box removes any extra work for the customer. The customer doesn’t even need to be home when the food is delivered – instead, food is placed in an esky in order to keep it fresh and left on the doorstep. This process removes any further barriers – there’s no inconvenience which might make a visitor think twice before ordering.

They keep the customer in mind at all times. Customers can arrange standing orders for regular delivery, rather than ordering every day. By eliminating the need to even remember to place an order by the cut-off time, Animal Box makes themselves nearly impossible to resist. Who hasn’t experienced a moment of panic when remembering an unfinished task at the end of the day, after all?

They maintain a strong brand. Another way of appealing to the target market, while maintaining a strong and environmentally conscious brand, is by enforcing the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. For example, a reusable esky is much easier on the environment than disposable alternatives – while still keeping food safe. Maintaining the brand from concept through execution encourages trust.

Animal Box is proving that when service to the customer is kept at the forefront, success follows. And pairing an excellent concept with the right presentation, via an app or website, creates an unbeatable combination.

Strategically Growing SME’s With a Digital Agency

Creative thinking can make a big difference in any size business, small, medium or large. SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs – do you want your dreams come true? As an SME or startup, you probably have limited resources, especially when it comes to people.

Technologies now are convergent, which facilitates the easy transfer of data and documents, on the other hand advance communication allows the provision of service at anytime and from anywhere. This has emerged a big question in the world of SMEs and startups, which is better onshore, offshore or onshore offshore.

What are the differences between these shores?

Offshoring is when the entire project is handled in a country with significantly lower cost base. With offshore companies, you cannot have the total control over the project or you cannot get the local reliability. The development process actually cost little but the demand is higher for communication and travel costs.

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