Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

4 Reasons Why Your Online Store Isn’t Making Sales

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After setting yourself up online through your own website or any of the ecommerce sites available to you, it’s time to sit back and wait for those orders to start flooding in. You will sell your products, your customers will be happy, and you can benefit from the profit you are making.

Maybe.

On the other hand, if those orders aren’t coming in, then you have to ask yourself why. Rather than give up and assume your business has failed, it’s time to consider why those sales aren’t taking place.

Here are some of the possible reasons why your customers aren’t buying from you.

  1. Your customers don’t know your store exists

In short, you need to market yourself. Using all of the means available to you online and off, let people know you exist. Promote yourself on social media to all of your social networks. Advertise your business using Facebook Ads. Talk about your business on popular forums. Take out an ad in the classifieds, both online and through traditional media. And stay up to date with SEO, ensuring your online store features prominently within search engine rankings. Your business will never survive without marketing, so push the word out there.  When you start to generate possible customers, concentrate on the next point.

  1. You aren’t following through on your marketing

After marketing your business, you then need to turn any leads you find into customers. Within your website, you can do this through call-to-action buttons, encouraging visitors to ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’ before they scroll away from your website. And with the people you meet online and off, you can further encourage a sale by perfecting your sales pitch. You can improve your prospects with the following solution, dedicated software to help you better understand your customers, finding out about their behaviour and interests, and hopefully, closing that sale. Remember not to rest on your laurels, either. Continue to market your business, even after making sales, to ensure your customers don’t forget about you.

  1. Your website is not doing you any favours

If you have used an ecommerce site such as Shopify, then a lot of the hard work around website design is done for you. On the other hand, if you are selling your product from a website you have created yourself, then you may have more problems. If this is the case, check out this site for further advice on improving your site. You see, simply uploading your store online, on whatever format your store is based on, is not enough. You need to work hard to improve the customer experience, ensuring your site is fun and easy to use.

  1. You are pricing your products too highly (or too low)

Okay, so you want to make a profit, but you shouldn’t price your products too high. If your customers can find something of a similar quality elsewhere, and at a lower price, they are going to choose the cheaper option. On the other hand, if you price your product too low, your customers are going to ask themselves why. They may think your product is defective in some way, and of lower quality. It’s a balancing act we know, but you can alleviate your stress by checking out your competitors and pricing your product to counter what they are offering.

So, if your store is short on sales, don’t despair just yet. Consider the possible reasons why and then make every effort to improve your prospects by following the advice given to you above.

We wish you every success.

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Data Compliance For Businesses The Non-Facebook Way

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Leading corporations should lead the way in the industry. Instead, they set terrible examples for the little people underneath. From Facebook to Uber, dozens of massive corporations have been found guilty of immorally using personal data. By storing it and selling, or leaking it and not telling the public, they have benefited immensely.

SMEs can’t do the same thing because a data audit will happen before you can say Cambridge Analytica. Unfortunately, it’s one rule of them and another for us. The little fish have to make sure they comply, which isn’t easy when the rules are complicated. The good news is this post has a handful of tips for your information.

Outsource With Care

The easiest way to comply is to hire a specialist to take care of your needs. Whether it’s medical or technical, the right company can bear the burden of the responsibility. Take a look at https://www.nahs.co/services/managed-hipaa-compliance/ for more. However, telling a select panel that your outsourcer was to blame isn’t an excuse, which is why you need to keep in constant communication. Ask them what they are doing to combat this and how they secure personal info in the first place. Talk to your peers and get recommendations, and never judge solely based on price.

Understand Your Data

One reason businesses are blasé about data is that they don’t understand its importance. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. When there is a lack of understanding, the info isn’t secured as tightly as it should be and a leak occurs. The easiest way to avoid this scenario is to learn about sensitive info. What constitutes safeguarding and what is widely available? Obviously, credit card info needs encrypting, and addresses and phone numbers may fall into this category too. It depends on the settings a user decides on when they land on the site. Always consider their wishes.

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Purge The Server

Not every piece of data is worth keeping. Some of it is old and of no use to the company. Or, it may have nothing to do with what you are trying to accomplish. Still, businesses store them on their servers just in case. Before the storm, that was fine but now it’s a bad move. The last thing you want to do is get into trouble over stats which are useless, so purge them from the servers. Because you understand your stores, it shouldn’t be tricky to figure out what is pointless.

Stay Updated

Things happen, and they do so in different locations around the world. Take the General Data Protection Regulation policies in Europe. In a bid to tighten up how companies handle personal information, the EU has outlined new regulations. American businesses may think this has nothing to do with them, but they’d be wrong. Anyone from Europe who lands on your website has a right to privacy under the GDPR Act. Https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/25/ has more on the impacts. Keep your finger on the pulse by staying updated and adapting to new laws.

Do you think you can navigate these choppy waters without sinking?

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Sink Your Teeth Into A New Industry

Are you looking for a new business opportunity? Perhaps, you’re just eager to explore a fresh career? You might want to consider diving into the food industry. This world is filled to the brim with delicious, delightful possibilities that are sure to tantalize your taste buds and perhaps provide the joy that has been missing from your life. Not to mention a boatload of profits! So, let’s explore some of the possibilities and discover whether any could be the right decision for you.

Baking From Home

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We’ll start small. Do you love baking? Perhaps you have been known to create the perfect birthday cake for your kids or even for complete strangers. It might be time to consider turning this into a full career and opening a little bakery company. You won’t have to immediately buy a shop. Instead, you can prepare these and sell them from home, perhaps setting up a small delivery system. You might also want to think about appearing at local events such as bake sales and fairs or fetes. Once you start to find a demand, you can begin to consider growing your business in different directions. You might start with one type of bake good such as birthday cakes and slowly grow, perhaps even hiring employees. It could even be a family business with the kids helping out at the weekend. You can read more about family businesses on https:///reports/future-family-business.

Food Production

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Certainly, this is a much larger enterprise, but it could be an interesting adventure to go on. To do this, you’re going to need to invest in a factory or a production location. As such, you will almost certainly be looking at taking out a business loan.

When you run a factory, any factory, cost cutting and keeping processes efficient must be a top priority. If this isn’t kept as a number one concern, then the costs will quickly balloon out of control, and you don’t want. It’s a recipe for disaster. Luckily, this is all about the setup and the systems you put in place. Sites like https://iscsales.com/liquid-filtration/, provide liquid filtration systems that can be used to filter liquid chocolate leading to a reduction in the waste of liquid products and downtime. This is just one example.

The Restaurant Dream

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Finally, you might consider setting up your own restaurant. Believe it or not, the most important part of this business possibility is definitely the real estate. You need to make sure that you are buying in a place where people want to go. It has to be somewhere with demand because it’s far more difficult to grow and build interest from scratch. In other words, don’t set up in the middle of nowhere unless you see great potential. Once you have bought the property, kit it out and make it look fantastic. There are companies that will do this for you and ensure that your restaurant does look absolutely incredible.

Once you have handled the presentation, consider content and for restaurants that means the food. Look on the job market, hiring some great chefs to lead food preparation in your kitchen. We’ve missed out some technical details such as getting your restaurant approved and rated but this is just to give you a taster of a great business opportunity.

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Don’t Let The Line Go Dead With This Advice

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“Hello, sir. I was just wondering… hello. Is there anyone there?”

All you can hear is the sound of a dead phone line and it’s because of a missed deadline. As soon as the business makes a promise and doesn’t deliver, the clients bounce quicker than you can blink. They aren’t prepared to put their reputation on the line; plus, there are dozens of businesses that will provide a similar service.

They can afford a mistake, but you can’t which is why you should never let your aim err. If you find this a difficult target to hit, then below are a handful of tips which will help.

Create Alerts

It sounds simple, and it is in the grand scheme of things. But, nothing is straightforward when the human ego is involved. Believe it or not, some bosses don’t create alerts or write things down because they trust their memory implicitly. It’s a source of pride, yet it costs them thousands in revenue when it fails. If this sounds familiar, take the ego out of the situation with a Google apps integration system. An experienced hand such as ClearFuze Networks will install the service and keep you up to date. Set them a couple of days in advance to keep your finger on the pulse.

Add Liability

People are productive when they know they will get blamed for a failure. Because no one wants to be the reason the company suffers, they’ll work extra hard. Yes, it’s a little exploitative yet it’s basic psychology anyone can use to their advantage. You can do this by including a tracker in the team’s everyday work, and Teamweek has five of the best. Not only does this tell everyone the time frames, but it shows them their job. So, if there is a break in the chain, you and the whole office can apportion blame. Leaders prefer the carrot but the stick works too.

Have A Contingency Plan

The truth is that things will happen and they will set you back but the clock will keep ticking. In these scenarios, it’s essential to have a plan B, C, D and E all the way through to Z to give yourself some breathing space. Then, you can limit the damage and still produce a quality product or service on time. There are lots of options, but the easiest one is not to promise the world. If you can complete a job in two days, say it takes three. The client will be impressed when you deliver early.

Define Definitions

A specific date isn’t a clear enough definition. You should also set out what you expect from your employees on a daily basis from an output perspective. By doing this, nothing will get lost in translation when there is an important deadline to hit. Put it in writing and post the document on the website so that they can refer back to it. Also, check in with them to make sure they’re not getting behind. Asking them to reply to an email is a simple yet effective to know they have read the T’s & C’s.

Can you use this advice to deal with one deadline at a time?

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Relaxing Retirement: Putting Your Feet Up

Most people dread getting old because they think they’ll stop living and start waiting for what’s coming to all of us. So after all of your life working hard and finding it difficult to really find some spare time for yourself, now is the time you decide to sulk? It should be a great experience and thoroughly rewarding to not only be financially secure and set for the rest of your life, but no longer have any professional obligations. There’s no boss texting you to get that report done, there’s no angry client that is blaming you for something someone else did and you don’t have to wake up early in the morning every day. Retirement should be about relaxation, taking care of yourself, pampering and putting your feet up. However, two things seem to take hold that ruins the experience and they both go hand in hand. On the one side, you have to stay in shape or remain healthy at least, but you also want to have a someone do things you are no longer willing to do or can do. So how can your everyday routine life become a little easier now that you’re in your armchair taking things slow?

Nurse with senior woman in wheelchair at home.

Image by Command Care

A personal nurse

The older you get the more precious your own health becomes. No doubt that you want to stay independent for as long as you are physically able to remain. But you must be willing to accept that eventually, age will catch up with you are you can’t do the things you were doing as part of a normal day. Your children are off doing their own thing as they should be, so that leaves the option of either selling the home and moving to a smaller property, perhaps a bungalow to keep the layout simple, or getting a personal nurse that can help you around the home. Take a look at the features of the https://spectrumhealthcare.com/senior-care. The nurse will come directly to the home, and perform tasks such as bathing, washing up dishes, doing the laundry and ironing, as well as cooking you meals and generally just taking care of things you can’t. You get to put your feet up while the nurse not only works in your home but becomes a friend.

Designed for wellness

We buy generic sofas and chairs for our homes because they cost less than an intricate designer item. This means that although they are generally comfortable, they’re not really suited for your health concerns. However, furniture that is orthopedic will be for soothing your back pain away. That’s what we’ll be doing when we get old; a lot of sitting down. As start to get progressively less and less active, the worse thing we can do is buy furniture for our homes that isn’t designed for us. With this concept and aim in mind, you can sit and lie down for extended periods of time without worrying about pressure building up in your joints.

Retirement always brings up questions about your health. It’s only natural as you get older and less active. Doing the chores around the house sure would be quicker with a companion to help out. Since you will be lounging more often, buy furniture that doesn’t become painful after a while.

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Awareness Is The Greatest Weapon Against Cancer

Cancer is on the rise. That’s scary news, but the good news is that people are catching it earlier and doctors are treating it better, so more people are surviving a diagnosis than ever before. Here, we’re going to look at how staying aware can help you not only get an earlier diagnosis and improve your chances but can also reduce your risks of getting the diagnosis in the first place.

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Maintain a healthy lifestyle

It seems like easy advice, but one of the reasons that rates of cancer are on the rise is because of changes in lifestyle habits. From how we treat our body to what we put in it and what we surround it with. There are several steps to reduce your risk of cancer worth taking. Obesity is a risk factor in many types of cancer, including breast, colon, kidney, and pancreatic cancer, so maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet are all key. Alcohol, cigarettes, and exposure to the sun are as highly risky as they have always been, so avoiding them (or at least exercising some moderation) is crucial, too.

Keep an eye out

One of the biggest concerns of all cancer awareness campaigns is encouraging people to practice self-screening more often. Men and women alike are at risk of breast cancer, for instance, so you should check yourself for new lumps regularly. Similarly, men should check themselves for testicular cancer after a warm shower, feeling for any changes when the body is relaxed. If you have new lumps anywhere, not just in these key areas, you should see the doctor. Subcutaneous tumors (lumps under the skin) are not always cancerous or dangerous. They may very well be harmless lipomas. But it’s worth having the risk addressed rather than making any assumptions. If you catch it sooner, your chances of battling it successfully rise drastically.

Don’t neglect the checks

Other forms of cancer may require an expert to properly screen you. For men, the prostate exam is often considered an embarrassing health issue, but it gets much more common as we get older and it is essential. Having a family history of colon cancer or being at a higher risk because of genetic disorders or other health factors may require you to get screened at a younger age. If you have a history of smoking, an annual low-dose CT scan is highly recommended too. This includes not only if you’re smoking currently, but you have quit within the last 15 years or you have ever smoked more than one pack a day for 30 years or two-packs a day for 15 years.

Though there are still highly dangerous and aggressive cancer diagnoses that we should always be aware of, it is no longer as much of a death sentence as it once was. Stay aware, maintain healthy habits, and don’t neglect to get yourself checked out. These three steps will drastically help you fight cancer, whatever form it may or may not take in your life.

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Getting to Grips with Digital Advertising

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Traditionally, advertising has been relatively tangible, with companies investing money into marketing campaigns focused around billboards, posters, leaflets, and other similar advertising methods. However, we are now living in the digital age and increasing numbers of small businesses are focusing their ads where the majority of people’s attention is placed – online. So, in order to get the most out of your campaigns, it’s time to start considering digital advertising. Here are a couple of areas to familiarise yourself with!

Header Bidding

Now, relatively few people tend to have heard of header bidding, but it is something that any savvy small business owner should be aware of and understand. Header bidding (otherwise known as advance bidding or pre-bidding) is a method that ad publishers are making more revenue out of their ad inventory. It is a programmatic technique that allows ad publishers to offer their inventory out to multiple ad exchanges at once. People who want to use their ad space will then bid on it, with the individual or company who make the highest bid taking the ad space. As you can imagine, different ad spaces are worth different sums of cash. Ad spaces that will be seen by higher numbers of people (ads on high traffic websites or blogs, ads on popular Youtube videos, and ads on television) are going to come with a much higher price tag than ads that will be seen by more niche audiences. However, header bidding can see you grab a bargain. If others aren’t paying attention, you could get a decent bid in before the deadline and bag a prime spot for a low price. You just have to be vigilant! You can learn more about header bidding at https://www.mopub.com/2018/02/05/header-bidding-insights-sega.

Crafting a Presence on Social Media

Chances are that you are familiar with social media. Now, while we may automatically associate social media with the younger generations and think of it as a mere pastime, the truth is that nowadays social media is proving popular with older generations too. Just take a look at how many people are active on different platforms at any given time – most people you know will have a Facebook profile, an Instagram account, and a Twitter account. Well, in order to make profit, you should pay attention to the platforms that the masses are engaging with. Social media could provide you with significant exposure. It’s a place where you can showcase what you have to offer and make a name for yourself. What’s more? It’s free!

These are just two different aspects of digital advertising that you should focus on as a small business owner! It really is time to take to digital platforms in order to benefit your brand as much as possible.

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