Saturday, 30 August 2014

How To Raise Money Online

If you are looking for venture capital, what can you do to find that capital online? Fortunately, there are many resources available for those who are looking to get the money that they need to start a business or take their business to the next level. If you know where to look, raising capital can be easier than you think.

Talk to a Business Consultant to Find Out Where to Go

A business consultant may be able to steer you toward the venture capital sites that are willing to provide money to those who are just starting out. While you may not be able to attract the attention of a large venture firm, you may be able to attract a wealthy investor who is interested in working as a private citizen to help you build your company. Alternatively, you may be able to find crowdsourcing sites through your consultant that make it possible to find several smaller investors that are willing to pitch in to build your idea.

Start Your Own Fundraising Site

Adding a fundraising tool to your blog or website can make it easy to attract donations to help your company grow. The good news is that many online tools do not require that you know how to code before you add it. All you need to do is copy code from another source and drop it into your site. From there, the fundraising application will do the work for you. You can get money from people in your local area, throughout the country or throughout the entire world.

Offer Rewards to Encourage Donations

You can offer rewards to your donors to make it more likely that they will donate. For example, you can offer a company t-shirt to those who donate $5 or a finished version of the product that your company is making in exchange for $50. Those who donate $100 or more could be eligible to tour your facilities or have dinner with you. Depending on what you are making or how popular your company already is, you may be able to capitalize on your fame to encourage those donations.

Play up the Tax Deduction People Get

If your company is a nonprofit group, it may be possible for those who donate to your cause to tax a deduction on their taxes. This means that they get to help a worthy cause and get to lower their tax burden at the same time. Making others aware of this fact can significantly increase donations to your group. However, do not tell people of this possibility unless you know for sure that donors can get that deduction as this could be against the law.

Raising capital is easier to do thanks to the Internet. You can cozy up to venture firms or ask regular people to donate to your cause of allowing your company to grow and thrive. Over time, you may be able to offer equity to those investors, which will allow them to earn a return on their capital.

Author - This post comes from Naked Business Consulting, the experts at venture capital, raising capital and franchise consulting. Check out their news section for heaps of info applicable to digital start ups.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

4 Mini-Site Masters

With data costing virtually nothing, more and more companies are turning to mini-sites to promote both their products and any promotions they might have running. From free kitchen design software to beer, these sites are meant to display information that would be otherwise impossible to fit on the regular site. They allow a strong focus on a specific item as opposed to the entire list of possibilities.

Digital Decorator

Perfect for anyone looking to remodel or redesign a room with décor, color and other objects, the Digital Decorator is a free mini-site that allows you to design your own room for a chance to win great prizes. From the façade to the bathroom, this online app gives you the ability to redo rooms with well over 200 colors of paint, 300 floor finishes, 350 countertop styles and 92 room styles. Aside from acting as free kitchen design software, users receive 25% off any of their purchases at participating stores. The mini-site is as easy to use as registering.

Time for Kids

Complete with a play on words, Time’s site dedicated to children is one of the more extensive mini-sties around. Almost an exact replica of their main site but loaded with book reviews, an entire portion dedicated to Antarctica and summer video game guides, Time has gone above and beyond what could be considered a mini-site. No matter the expansiveness of the information, it is still an incredible marketing tool that aims at younger kids, getting them to associate helpful information with the Time logo.

Le Louvre

Museums are even jumping on the bandwagon by exciting and tantalizing guests through the creation of mini-sites that complement their special exhibitions. Le Louvre, for instance, is currently running 15 separate sites all decorated to fit the time period as well as the art style of the tour. Each one comes with its own level of interactivity and pieces of information regarding the exhibit, visitor information, education and credits for the sponsors. This gives newer history buffs a chance to catch up on their Babylonian or Alexandrian info before heading out, allowing them to enjoy the art more.


If we are discussing mini-sites, we cannot forget the king of integration: Disney. Each section of their website is a mini-site if only because of the vast swathes of information they provide to guests. If you are on and want to check out their parks, the click takes you to a mini-site in a completely different fashion that links you to not only the parks but the cruise line and resorts. Clicking on the cruises brings you to yet another mini-site. This gives Disney the ability to alter and change different sections without worrying about its effect on everything else. They can also put up and take down pages as they see fit. While some mini-sites are used just for promotions, Disney displays how they can be used to not only tactfully feed users a lot of information but to expand without a complete design overhaul.

Author - This post comes from Digital Decorator, a mini site that allows people to do big things if they’re planning to design their kitchen online for free or even design their home completely using the tool. Test it out for yourself.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

How To Take An Offline Business And Streamline It Online

It is harder for offline businesses to take their ventures completely online. In order for an offline business to do well online, the processes and platforms must be in place. Here is how to take an offline business and streamline it online.

Start with the customer experience. One of the easiest ways to take a business online is to focus on the customer service experience. In the beginning stages, a company should be able to field inquiries and accept payments online. This starts with having a website that is highly functional for the consumer. It is very important that a company be capable of delivering a quality customer service experience. According to one survey, 88 percent of people felt like their purchasing decision were influenced by a customer service review they saw online. DIY options for customers for customers can also reduce the amount of time dedicated to handling specific inquiries.

Next, you should be able to create opportunities to communicate with prospects online. The company should be able to efficiently handle inquiries online. In addition to fielding basic inquiries, a business should also be able to cultivate leads and engage them using email communications. And this means having a strong strategy to build a mailing list. This may be accomplished through landing pages, customer purchases, inquiries and subscription options directly on the website.

Next, a business should be able to engage mobile consumers completely online. One of the most important considerations is how well the website is designed to accommodate mobile customers. Customers are more likely than ever to user their mobile devices to access information about a website. According to research conducted by Google, 74 percent of consumers indicated that having a mobile website is very important to them. Additionally, two-thirds of mobile device users say that they are more likely to make a purchase from a company with a mobile website.

It’s important to have any brick and mortar business listed online in the various directories. Taking advantage of online directories is important because it is one of the most affordable ways to advertise a business. Doing this increases your relevancy in a niche and can improve your performance where search engines are concerned. The online directory is a very inexpensive way to generate traffic for your brick and mortar’s site. Some directories allow a business to handle quotes and transactions directly from their sites.

Take an inventory of processes regularly. This may require reviewing processes in place and identifying ways to optimize them to benefit customers. This can also mean surveying customers directly, asking them for insight on how to better improve processes. Creating metrics to assess and evaluate performance regularly will give you the insight needed to adapt processes to better meet the needs of your customer base.

After determining whether or not your business and services fit into an online environment, consider laying the foundation to support the business in an online environment. In following these steps, most offline businesses will be able to better capitalize off of opportunities available online. The best approach is to start small and gradually increase the number of processes offered online, incorporating DIY options for customers wherever appropriate while measuring performance in multiple areas.

Author - This post comes from Urban Outsource, a business that is leveraging the power of being online to get cleaners around Sydney into more houses to clean. By pooling the workforce, and attracting more customers through online channels, more houses are getting cleaned in Sydney than ever.

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