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Business Tips

Is Your Small Business A Zombie?

Zombie busi­nesses are out there, and whilst they aren’t exactly coming to eat your brains, it takes brains to avoid sharing their fate. Your small business may even already be a zombie business — or slowly becoming one, without you even knowing it! If that doesn’t sound healthy, that’s because it isn’t.

What Is A Zombie Business?

A zombie company is a business entity that barely manages to stay oper­a­tional. It may earn just enough to keep running or may rely heavily on lenders to stay afloat, but isn’t earning enough to pay for its own growth, or to reduce its debts. That often puts it just one unlucky event away from col­lapse — making it a high-risk pro­pos­ition for investors.

To be fair, most busi­nesses start like that.… Read the rest 

How To Start A Small Business Website: The Essentials

If you have a small business, or are thinking of starting one, you need a website. There’s a lot to con­sider though — and many small busi­nesses fail because they’ve over­looked one or more of the essen­tials. So here’s how to start a small business website.

Ready? Let’s begin!

What Every Small Business Needs

First, there are a few things every business needs. Hopefully you’ve con­sidered these already, but let’s cover them briefly, just in case.

A Good Offer And A Realistic Target Market

The key words here are “good”, “real­istic” and “target”.

Startups often hope to sell some­thing they like to “everyone”. That rarely works — espe­cially if no-one else sells any­thing similar. If there’s no com­pet­ition, the market may not exist, or may not be sus­tainable.… Read the rest 

Affordable Websites: How To Set A Website Budget

Affordable Website BudgetSmall busi­nesses and startups often seek affordable web­sites — but what makes a website “affordable”? How do you set a website budget?

In fact, it mainly depends on whether it’s a per­sonal site, or a business site.

Why? Because whilst per­sonal web­sites often cost money, suc­cessful business web­sites do not. In fact, con­trary to the hype of DIY plat­forms and cut-price cowboys, a cheap business website can easily cost you more than a pro­fes­sional one.

How To Budget For A Personal Website

Personal web­sites aren’t built to make money. So traffic isn’t their pri­ority, and even if mon­etised with ads or affiliate income, that isn’t their key goal. They aren’t expected to pay for them­selves. They also often depend on “boot­strapping” — per­sonal funding from savings, friends and family.

Read the rest 

How Procrastination Kills Projects

I was going to write about how pro­cras­tin­ation kills pro­jects seven months ago. That article wasn’t going to be so personal.

Then life got in the way. As it always will, if you let it. So what happened?

Out of the blue, my partner of over 25 years got a dia­gnosis so ter­ri­fying that we had an emer­gency wedding. “Emergency” as in, we woke up that morning not knowing we’d be married by teatime.

Eternal thanks to the Newport Registry Office, the Royal Gwent Hospital, and the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff for facil­it­ating that. Even more so for making her con­dition more man­ageable for now.

Yeah, writing a blog post pales into insig­ni­ficance in the face of that, doesn’t it?… Read the rest 

Why Small Businesses Need Professional Websites

Professional web­sites can seem like big invest­ments to small business owners. Online mar­keting is such a huge topic that it can be hard to work out where to begin.

So why do small busi­nesses need pro­fes­sionally designed web­sites? Here’s an analogy that may help.

Professional Websites Are Marketing Vehicles

Your website is your main mar­keting vehicle in the non-stop race for sales. To extend that analogy, hosting is the garage you rent for it, and your domain is the address of that garage. Site vis­itors are pas­sengers that you pick up briefly, and some of them convert into customers.

However, your vehicle won’t get far without regular main­tenance (support and updates) and good driving (active mar­keting). Leaving it in the garage achieves nothing, no matter how pretty it is or how much work you put into it.… Read the rest