Three years ago, I organized a seminar in Lagos, Nigeria tagged “Passion to Profit” and little did I know that the event will impact more lives than I can ever keep track of.

My idea was simple. I had learned how to profit from my passion with little to no resources and it was time for me to teach others how to do the same.

Planning and hosting the event beyond the borders was tasking but the fruits outweigh the seed and the labor. Till this day, I am still in touch with many of the participants and I have watched them blossom in their respective fields.

Do you have a skill you are passionate about? Have you always wondered whether you can profit from your passion? Well, I have good news for you and that is, profiting from your passion is a real thing. You can be passionate about something and build a profitable it.

Why Passion is Important

A lot of people question why passion is important and I would like to address that before I share the steps of getting started. Passion is important because building a profitable brand or business is an arduous task such that without passion, throwing in the towel becomes inevitable.

I remember when I first started my business, it took me 15 months before I made the first sale. If I wasn’t passionate about my brand, there was no way I could have waited for that long.

Other than this reason, entrepreneurship is filled with a lot of rollercoaster moments such that if you are not rooted in passion, it is very easy to be thrown off the ride. For these reasons and many more, passion is important when it comes to entrepreneurship

[Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You are New to the Marketplace]

Getting Started

Now that you have decided to start profiting from your passion, it’s time to talk about how to get started. As with every great thing in life, you must be willing to follow the process and give it all it will take.

Profiting from your passion is not something that will happen overnight. It is something that will happen over time. Also, your goals will not be achieved on a platter of gold, it takes sweat, grit and determination. To get started, here are 10 steps you should take that will help you build a profitable brand.

  • Decide on a unique name: The name of your business is everything so you should take your time in picking a unique one. When picking a name, decide on a name that speaks to the essence of your brand and that will be memorable to anyone that “hears” it.
  • Create a business model: A business model is a document that details how your business will make a profit. Knowing how your business will make a profit is very important and you should not skip this process.
  • Register your business: A lot of entrepreneurs skip this stage but it’s important that you register your business as soon as possible. Registering your business makes it official and it also ensures that no other business is using the same name.
  • The last thing you want is building your brand and then when you are ready to register, the business name you chose has been registered by someone else.

[Read: Yet to Register Your Business? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should]

  • Set up your social media accounts for business: The moment you decide to start profiting from your passion, it’s time to start doing things like you mean it. Setting up your social media accounts sends a strong signal to your networkthat you are ready for business. In addition to this, having these accounts aresure ways of letting those who need your services easily find you.
  • Get professional looking pictures: A picture is worth more than a thousand words. The type of pictures you use on your business accounts sends a message to prospects about the type of brand you are about to do. As you are getting started, be sure to use professionally-looking pictures. My preference is that you organize a professional photo shoot with a photographer that understands branding. If money is a constraint, you can get stock photos from websites like Pixabay, Pexels and even Unsplash.
  • Create appealing graphics: As pictures are very important, so are graphics. Graphicsare not just about creating anything, the key is to create appealing graphics. In the past, I used to recommend getting a graphic designer. However, if you want to get things done fast and save money, there are many apps and web-based tools you can use in creating appealing graphics.

[Read:4 Graphic Design Tools That Will Help You Create Stunning Designs Like a Pro]

  • Create content that will last you for one month: The fastest way to undermine your efforts is to start a brand and run out of content in a short time. If you run out of content, you’ll lose a huge chunk of the target audience you are beginning to attract.
  • Announce your launch day: I see people starting a business without any announcement yet get upset that no one patronizes them. It does not work that way. To profit from your passion, you must get your brand into the sub-conscious minds of the people you seek to serve. Announcing a launch day is a great way to alert people in your network that something grand is coming.
  • Create a special offer: On launch day, you need to give your target audience a reason to tell others about your brand. One way to do this is by creating a special offer that can be passed along. From offering a certain percentage off to waiving fees or offering referral kickbacks, you can create offers that are too good to resist.
  • Launch your business: Once you announce your launch day, start working toward launching your business. You can choose to launch at a physical location or online depending on the type of business and what you are trying to achieve.

Once you follow these steps, you are ready to profit from your passion. Remember that these steps are just the beginning steps and things don’t stop there. You’ll need to continuously market your brand and come up with strategies to not only attract customers, but also to retain them.

All in all, building a profitable brand from your passion is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself.

Thank you for reading. What other step will you take to profit from your passion? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

One of the things I love about the 21st century is the opportunity it presents for people to do business beyond the borders. My brand might still be an idea on paper if the internet is inexistent but because of the internet, I have been privileged to build a brand beyond the borders. I have a client base in three (3) continents, four (4) countries and in more than twenty (20) cities across the world and counting.

Would you like to do business beyond the borders as well? It’s possible as long as you put your heart to it and you are ready to do the needful.

One question that I get a lot is, what type of business can do business beyond the border? My answer to that is, most businesses can do business beyond the border. Whether you are a service-based business or you sell physical goods, you can do business beyond the borders as long as you have access to the internet.

[Read: From Idea to Innovation Launching Your Own Business]

To help you get started with doing business beyond the borders, I have listed seven (7) steps below. Following these steps will help you make your dreams of doing business beyond the borders come true.

Put Your House in Order: What do I mean by “put your house in order?” This simply means preparing your business to attract customers from all parts of the world.

How do you prepare your business?

You prepare your business by making sure that the view of your business online looks more like a business than a “joke.” In your online profile, fill out every pertinent information like your mission, email, location, contact information and phone number. Also, be sure to include professional cover photos and maintain active accounts that show that there is a real person behind the brand. Doing this will give people beyond the borders that your business is legitimate.

Get Out of Your Nest: Once your house is in order, the next step is to get out of your nest and start interacting with people who match the description of your target audience. If you want to do business beyond the borders, you must learn how to identify and engage with prospects online. One way to identify prospects is with the use of hashtags on Instagram. Search for hashtags used by people who need your goods/services and start interacting with those accounts.  

Collect email addresses: Now that you are out of your nest and engaging your target audience, it’s time to start collecting their email addresses using email marketing. This way you can ensure that you have their contact info and you can start adding value.

[Read: Follow These 7 Steps and Watch Your Christmas Sales Soar]

Add value: The phrase “add value” cannot be over-emphasized. Adding value simply means you are sharing information with your target audience that they might have otherwise paid for. Adding value is a great way to earn the trust of your target audience and also position yourself as an expert in that field.

Sell: Doing business beyond the borders involve selling. If you don’t sell, then there’s no way your business can grow. However, selling should be done with integrity. You should always “under promise and over deliver” during the sales process so that your customers will not only continue to come, but they will also refer their friends.

Ask for a testimonial:Nothing compares to a testimonial given by a satisfied customer. Suchtestimonial is usually authentic and will help you attract even more peoplebeyond the borders.

Focus on marketing: No matter how great your product is, if no one knows about it, your business will be impacted. If you truly want to do business beyond the border, you must focus on marketing. The type of marketing you’ll adopt will depend on your type of business. The goal is to use a holistic approach that will help you maximize your resources

[Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You’re New to Marketplace]

Doing business beyond the borders is a possibility if you put your heart to it. Keep learning and keep evolving and with time, you’ll reap therewards of building a business beyond the borders.

Thanks for reading. Would you like to do business beyond the border? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

The idea of generating passive income was sown in my heart back in 2010 when I read the 4-hour work week by Tim Ferris

At that time, I attended seminars thinking about the direction in which I wanted to go so I didn’t quite grasp the concept fully. In my head erroneously of generating that passive income was not for me. I felt like I needed a sound structure and a business with a huge sum of money to invest before the passive income can kick off.

In 2014, I attended a seminar where I learned about building systems in business for a passive-income generation. After the seminar, I began to take the idea of generating passive income more seriously. I research, read books, attend seminars and events so I could come up with ways to generate passive income in my business.

[Read: Practical Ways of Reducing Your Overhead Costs and Increasing Your Profit Margin]

Monetize your blog

If you do not have a blog, you are giving up your right to generate passive income. If you have a blog and you do not monetize it, then you are working hard while also leaving money on the table. I understand that everyone’s goal is different but there’s nothing like having money consistently flowing into your business.

The easiest way you can monetize your blog is by signing up for Google ad sense. Google AdSense is a program run by Google that allows publishers in the Google network of content sites to serve automatic text, image, video, or interactive media advertisements, that are targeted to site content and audience. These advertisements are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google. They can generate revenue on either a per-click or per-impression basis. 

Write a book

If your goal is to generate passive income, then write a book. I wrote and published my book in March 2018 and every month I get a check from the sales of my book. I only had to write my book once but it has consistently paid me for 9 months now and it will continue to pay me.

If you are still on the sidelines of writing a book, this is the time to get in the game. However, I will admit that book writing is a painful process and also that writing a book does not necessarily mean you’ll sell lots of copies. Despite this, writing a book is an excellent way to generate passive income for a lifetime

[Read:Writing a Book? Here are 9 Steps to Follow to Publish Successfully]

Start a dropshipping business

A dropshipping business is a great way to generate passive income. Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product.

The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders. 

Thank you for reading. What other way do you generate passive income in your business? Leave a comment and remember to share this post with a friend.

As a small business owner who wants to build a profitable brand, you need to constantly recharge yourself, so you can come up with fresh ideas to grow your business.

Recharging, however, can become a luxury you think you can’t afford especially when you are pressed for time. I am in those shoes myself and many times, I joke that I wish one day totals up to 48 hours.

While I am pressed for time, I also know the importance of recharging myself, so I can come up with new ideas that will help me grow a profitable brand.

Why You Need to Recharge Yourself

I remember growing up, there were brands I never thought would be extinct anytime soon. On the outside, these brands looked formidable but, on the inside, they failed to come up with fresh ideas that could keep them relevant. As a small business owner, if you fail to recharge yourself, you’ll sooner or later become irrelevant.

[Read:4 Reasons WhyYou Should Write a Books and 6 Steps to Take Before Writing One]

Steps to Recharging Yourself

There is no one way to recharging yourself and coming up with fresh ideas to grow your business. As a business owner, you must be willing to do a combination of things. The steps below are my suggestions, however, feel free to add more or pick the one(s) that suits you. The most important thing is for you to take a step.

  • Develop the Culture of Reading
  • Have a Mastermind Group 
  • Attend Industry Events
  • Hire a Brand Strategist

Develop the culture of reading

If I’m told to name one thing that’s instrumental in helping me to constantly stay relevant in my line of business, it is that I developed a culture of reading. 

Reading is important because it not only develops our minds, but it gives us endless knowledge and lessons while keeping our minds active. I have an innate passion for sales and marketing. That’s why I make it a point of duty to recharge myself through reading relevant content daily.

Have a mastermind group

If you find it difficult to recharge yourself and come up with new ideas, try joining a mastermind group. The first time I heard about a mastermind was from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich program. However, it was from being a student of John Maxwell that I learned how to find and also start my mastermind group. 

Mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group helps you and your members achieve success. Participants challenge each other to set powerful goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them.

[Read: 4 Steps to Becoming a Brand in Demand]

Attend industry events

A lot of people think attending industry events is an expense instead of viewing such programs as an investment. When you attend an industry event, it gives you the opportunity to see firsthand how others in your industry are conducting business.

From operations to sales to customer service, you’ll learn a lot from attending these events from time to time. In addition to this, it’s a great way to network and also build partnerships that become profitable.

Hire a Brand Strategist

Sometimes, you need fresh eyes to come up with fresh ideas. Why? This is because we all have blind spots no matter how hard we try.

Hiring a brand strategist will bring a different perspective to your business and can help you get stagnant waters flowing again.

Seun Akinlotan

Do not be afraid of hiring a brand strategist who can see things clearly and give you suggestions that can catapult you from barely surviving to greatly thriving.

As you continue to run your business, always remember that a business that fails to grow will become stunted. And when a business becomes stunted, death is inevitable. Keep your business alive by recharging yourself and constantly coming up with fresh ideas.

Thank you for reading. What other ways can an entrepreneur come up with fresh ideas to grow a profitable brand.

Let’s take a good look in the mirror. Running a business is right in front of you. You wear all the hats as a business owner and yet YOU are not the most important person! That was hard to hear right? You are the one who is responsible for the everyday running of the whole show… administration, inventory, email, billing and janitor! Just you. Your role as a leader is hard enough but I am here to give you another role in the whole circus – a magician hat.

I have spent 18 years wearing a magician hat. I have successfully built and more importantly, retained my clients for all those years. I have a 96% retention rate of clients and haven’t had the ability to take on a new client for several years. Clients only go when they move away, have scheduling issues or pass on.

Looking back now at how I have managed to do that, I must admit I rely on the power of mirroring. I’ll share with you exactly what I do for my strong retention game!

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

You must have the ability to magically transform with each new client you face. You must shift fast, quickly assess the client’s energy and mirror them. I usually see five to six clients per day. With each new client that enters my salon, I have 0.27 seconds to observe and adjust to them. I am a pro at energy reading and with practice, you can be too.

Key things to be aware of:

  • Energy: How do they enter the room or space? Do they open the door softly and close it gently behind them? Do they bound in and rush to great you, not bothering with closing the door?
  • Confidence: How are they interacting with you? Are they looking directly at you? In the eyes? Are they looking down?
  • Body Language: What is their body saying? How do their shoulders look? Up and stressed? Down and arms free and swinging? Are they dressed up? Are they in legging and a tee shirt?

This quick assessment gets easier over time and even helps in your relationships and personal life.

[Read: How to Earn Loyalty from your Current Customers and Turn Them into Raving Fans]

The power of mirroring allows me to shift not only my mindset, but my energy and emotions. If I see a client that is introverted, then I speak to them calmly and slower than my “high energy” self. I will match their voice level and soften my body language. In contrast, if I have an extroverted client, I pull all the energy I can muster and join them laughing, talking fast and using big gestures.

This is exactly why my clients feel comfortable in my environment and keep coming back.

Even though I make it a daily goal to focus on adjusting myself this doesn’t mean I am fake. I am exactly who I am, just adjusting my energy level. It can be draining at the end of the day, but if I don’t have retention, then I’m hustling too hard to find new clients. I strongly believe that it is easier to retain a loyal client than to be on the hunt for a new client.

At the end of the day, I really love getting to know my clients on an intimate level. I am grateful for them and their loyalty to me. By the act of mirroring, I have created a family. You too can!

Thank you for reading. What other ways would you recommend for customer-retention? Kindly leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

There is no way you can reach your business goals without learning how to manage your time properly and that’s why as a business owner, you must be committed to learning time-management skills that will put you on the path of progress. When it comes to being able to manage one’s time effectively, I wasn’t always on top. There was a time in my life when I simply could not account for how I spent my time let alone reach my goals and instead of finding ways to learn how to manage my time effectively, I resorted into a blame game and convinced myself that I simply needed more time.

Over time, I noticed that year after year, I kept falling farther away from my goals and then decided to research about time management. During my research, I came across powerful teachings by the great American Business Philosopher, Jim Rohn who opined in many of his messages that everyone had the same 24 hours daily and the difference in the results was about how we spent our time. From listening to Jim Rohn speak about the importance of being accountable for time spent, I began to experience a new level of time consciousness that helped me to begin to reach my business goals.

As a business owner, if you truly want to reach or exceed your goals, you must learn how to manage your time effectively. Here are 6 time-management tips you can immediately implement and start getting results.

[Read: Starting a New Business? Here are 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid]

1. Listen to something inspirational after you wake up: One of the ways you can learn how to manage your time effectively, get more things done and reach your business goals is by listening to something inspirational daily. Inspirational teachings have a way of charging up one’s spirit which in turn sets you in the right mood for getting things done.

When you listen to something inspirational, you begin to see possibilities instead of impossibilities.

You feel empowered to take on tasks you’d normally avoid or that would have taken you longer to accomplish. Inspirational messages breed creativity, sparks your passion and give you a drive toward spending your time on things that matter.

2. Start your day with goals: If there’s one “time-management” tip I readily offer to anyone who solicits for my opinion on the subject matter, it is that you should start your day with goals. Many years ago, my family moved close to one of my favorite shopping malls. Many times, I visited the mall out of impulse instead of having a real goal. The result? Going back home with shopping bags containing items I don’t need and the more mind-boggling thing is the time wasted on activities that drew me farther from my goals.

If you truly want to grow your business, you must learn to start your day with specific goals in mind.

This will help you prevent distraction or getting involved in activities that are not already in your schedule. The result? You’ll start managing your time better, get more things done and get better results than the average person you know.

[Read: How to Get Started with Content Marketing]

3. Work during your optimal performance time range: In order to manage your time effectively and grow your brand, you must learn to work when you know that your optimal performance is guaranteed. What is optimal performance, in this context?

Optimal performance is when your performance is at its peak.

I believe everyone including you and I have times during a given 24-hour period when we perform optimally. For example, if you are someone whose brain performs optimally at night, you may want to schedule your activities during that time and vice versa. Trying to work at a time for which you are not built for not only waste times, but also it’s a perfect recipe for not getting things done.

4. Spend more time on activities that produce a profit: As a business owner, you are in business to acquire customers and make a profit. Anything outside of that is called a filler. Many business owners waste time, become overwhelmed and do not produce results because they do not focus their energy on profit-producing activities. What do you focus your time on?

Activities like posting on social media that gets you plenty of likes but no customers is an example of an activity that yields no profit.

Responding to customer inquiries in a timely fashion, submitting a proposal to a prospect/customer and giving a sale presentation are examples of activities that produce a profit in a business. Take a look at your business and decide which of your activities produce profit and start spending more time on those activities so you can move closer to reaching your business goals.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

5. Shut down your phone: I wish there was a way I could imprint this in the heart of every business owner I know.

If you want to become a better manager of your time and reach your business goals, you must learn to shut down your phone.

My phone used to be a source of huge distraction for me with the never-ending beeps and notifications that lure me away from doing the things that truly matter. When I noticed how much time I waste pressing my phone endlessly and wandering the internet like a lost child, I decided to start turning off my phone when I am in the middle of completing my most important tasks. For my less important tasks, I leave my phone on but place it on mute (in fact, my phone has been on permanent mute for the last 3 years) and place it face down. With this practice, I have not only been able to better manage my time and reach my business goals, but I have also experienced sanity (for a lack of better word) than ever before.

6. Delegate: There’s nothing that waste time as much as spending time on tasks that could easily be delegated to someone else or even to technology. As a business owner, there’s always a tendency not to want to delegate because of the other person’s ability to get the job done. In the process of trying to do everything yourself, can lead to burnout, ineffectiveness and ultimately, having little to no results to show for the time spent.

 

Thank you for reading. What other time-management tips would you like to share? Kindly leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

 

Christmas is that time of the year where most people have no choice than to spend, spend and spend some more. This makes December, the second month after November when business sales soar. However, if you are not strategic about how to make your sales soar, it might also turn out to be a period of dismal sales performance. I am always amused when I see business owners who always blames the economy for low sales while they fold arms and watch their competitors’ cash in (big). Every business owner, including you, have the opportunity to make Christmas sales soar but nothing will happen if you do not take the necessary steps. If you are ready to watch your Christmas Sales soar, follow these seven proven steps and be on your way to making your dreams come true.

1. Set a concrete sales goal: This is one crucial part a lot of business owners leave out of their strategy yet having a sales goal is the only way you can know how to plan on reaching the goal and more importantly, it’s the only way you’ll know once you reach or exceed that goal. Often times, I have found out that the lack of a concrete goal is the number one reason why many people are not making significant progress when it comes to sales.

This is December, if you want your Christmas sales to soar, it’s time to get to work and set a concrete sales goal.

How do you do this? Take a look at your average monthly sales trend in 2018 and double the average for the month of December. Even if you do not end up doubling your sales, you will exceed your average monthly sales if you follow these steps to the dot.

2. Create a SIMPLE yet compelling deal: Once you set a goal, the next step is to create a simple yet compelling deal. What does this mean? It means that your deal must be easily comprehensible, devoid of complex words/steps and is easily accessible. Why is this important? As much as the Christmas season is the period where lots of consumers spend, it’s also a time of stress.

People are stressed from having to shop for gifts for the special people in their life and if you, as a business owner, can step in and reduce the mental and physical stress of your target audience by creating a simple yet compelling deal, you will win your way into their pockets.

Do not try to promote too many products at a time for it is better to have few products that people will buy in multiples than have many products that make it hard for people to choose and therefore they turn away from your brand. Creating a simple yet compelling deal is the way to go if you want your Christmas sales to soar!

[Read: How to Earn Loyalty from Your Current Customers and Turn them into Raving Fans]

3. Set a pocket-friendly price: Pricing is highly important, and you should put some thought into how much you price your deal if you want your Christmas sales to soar.

Consumers are already overwhelmed but if your deal is pocket-friendly, valuable and convenient, they will buy from you and your Christmas sales will soar.

Also, in setting your price, consider using numbers that are not rounded. For example, it is better to price a $10 gift as $9, $9.99, $9.1 etc. This pricing system has a way f making consumers feel they are not paying full price. and Set a price for your deal such that it’s pocket-friendly and it gives value in exchange for money.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

4. Create catchy graphics: There is high competition on social media so if you truly want people to stop in their tracks and view what you have to offer, the graphic designs you create to promote your deal must be clean and catchy. Avoid putting too many words on your graphics because social media platforms will reduce the reach of such designs. Also, designing graphics with too many words is a fast way for your message to get lost in the sea of words.

5. Do a countdown: A countdown is designed to create anticipation. I am always taken aback when I see business owners sleep and wake up to announce a new deal without “preparing” the minds of their audience.

If you do not do a countdown to your deal, chances are it won’t be known by as many people as you would if you had created some form of anticipation using countdowns.

People love anticipation because it creates an excitement in them and because Christmas is 25 days away, I will suggest that your countdown is set for three to five days. During that time, use the principles of content marketing to draw in your audience and make them long for your deal. On the D-day, if you follow the due process for your countdown, you might be sold out!

6. Promote, promote, promote: It doesn’t matter how great of a deal you have if you don’t promote it, people will pass by your great deal for a deal that’s not even at par with yours and they’d be happy. One thing I have found out with many business owners is that they are full of excuses. Even the bible says, “no man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

I would like to modify that and say that no business owner who starts the process of creating a deal and then fails to promote the deal is fit for profit. If you’ve done the hard work of creating a deal but drop the ball at the last minute or come up with excuses, then it’s impossible for your Christmas sales to soar.

Promotion creates visibility and it is only when your deal is visible that people can buy.

Promote your deal across many social media platforms to enhance your visibility. If you need to spend some money on ads, go ahead and do it as long as you have followed the steps I described above. In spending money on ads, remember to follow the steps of writing an effective ad copy.

[Read: 7 Things That Hinder Success]

7. Ask for cross-posting from your inner circle: One can chase a thousand but two can chase ten thousand. That’s a powerful and relevant statement to what cross-posting can do for your brand.

If you are a business owner and you rely only on your efforts to reach your sales goals, you are simply walking on a tightrope.

If you truly want to see your Christmas sales soar, you must leverage on the strength of your inner circle. I am assuming that you already belong to a community of supportive entrepreneurs who go all out to support your dreams by cross-posting on their platforms when you request for it. Cross-posting is an effective way for your efforts to be multiplied especially because there’s a limit to the number of people you can reach by yourself. Cross-posting is a powerful way to reach new and relevant audiences, maximize visibility and make your Christmas sales soar!

Overall, building a business takes courage and for your Christmas sales to soar, you must have the courage to follow all these steps to the dot.

Did you find this useful? What deal will you be creating? Kindly leave a comment, share this post with a friend and then get to work. Time is of the essence!

 

 

 

As a retailer, the best way to create an amazing shopping experience for your customers is to have an e-commerce store. However, setting up an e-commerce store might be the last thing on your mind when you are still trying to get your business off the ground. What then should you do? Throw your hands up in the air and give up. Wish or hope for a “better” tomorrow. Or follow Onpoint Success’s recommendation and build a free e-commerce platform that will make your customers keep coming back. I bet you will choose the later!

Building a free e-commerce platform is now easier than ever as lots of platforms are springing up and are offering business owners the opportunity to look “professional” as much as possible.

Today, I will like to share three of such platforms that allow you to create a free e-commerce site, so you can grow your business.

[Read: How to Earn Loyalty from Current Customers and Turn them into Raving Fans]

 

Weebly

This is a platform for e-commerce, websites and integrated marketing for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and currently has more than 50 million customers around the world.

Weebly has a free online website creator which uses a simple widget-based site builder that operates in the web browser. All the site elements are drag-and-drop and the good thing is it automatically generates a mobile version of each website. This platform offers you unlimited storage, plus you have the option to have any url ending in .weebly.com, .com, .net, .org, .co, .info, or .us. (example.weebly.com)

Weebly has Android and iPhone apps that will allow you to monitor traffic to your website, update blog posts, respond to comments, and add or update products if you have an e-commerce online store. Another great thing is that the basic features of blogging and e-Commerce are supported. You can set up your e-commerce store and even integrate payment portals like PayPal, Stripe or Authorize.net.

[Read: 7 Ways to Monetize Your Skills]

 

Wix

This is an Israeli cloud-based web development platform. With Wix, you can create websites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools. It allows you to add functionality such as social plug-ins, e-commerce, online marketing, contact forms, e-mail marketing, and community forums to your website using a variety of Wix-developed and third-party applications for FREE.

This is what I used in creating my first e-commerce website and it was beautiful. However, because it’s free, you’ll need to deal with a long domain name and lots of advertisement from Wix on your website. Despite this, it’s worth checking out.

 

Free Web Store

This is my absolute favorite of all three and you’ll see why in a minute. Free Web Store has lots of amazing features that make it the number place to recommend for retailers who cannot afford to pay huge sums of money for their e-commerce store. With the Free Web Store, you have all the tools needed to list your product online and have customers shop with ease and peace of mind. Some of the features include a simple yet powerful eCommerce solution, designs that are mobile and tablet ready and will work on any device, free SSL certificate, graphics that are automatically added to new, sale or popular products to increase product visibility, Instagram integration for that extra wow factor and lots more.

[Read: 10 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website]

Once you build your free e-commerce store, remember that no matter how good anything free is, there’s always a type of limitation placed on it. That’s why once you build your free website, you should start looking into saving toward transitioning to a paid eCommerce site, so you can unlock all the possibilities.

 

Thanks for reading. Are you a retailer? Which of these platforms will you check out? Leave a feedback below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

 

If you truly want to grow your business, you should focus on turning your customers into repeat customers.

Repeat customers are the ones who truly keep you in business because you can always bank on their patronage, referrals and loyalty.

They are also easier to sell to, more inclined to become raving fans and are instrumental in helping you pass your brand’s message to those you may not be able to otherwise reach by yourself. That’s why, as a business owner, it’s important to do all you can to have as many repeat customers as you would love.

When I started my building my brand, I knew that the only way I could grow to the level I dreamed of was directly tied to my ability to retain my customers. I made up my mind to do everything that was within my power to not only meet my customers’ expectations but also to exceed them. With this in mind, I went to work so my dream could come true. Today, over 50% of my customers are repeat customers who keep coming back and also bringing their friends with them.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

 

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Repeat Customers

As a brand strategist, I have had the opportunity to work with several entrepreneurs, business owners and startups in the last 5 years. During this time, I have learned many things about how to build successful businesses from working with other businesses. I have also learned among many things that most businesses do not have repeat customers because of 3 reasons. Many times, business owners find it hard to see what they are doing wrong but with my professional help, I point out the reasons out to them. Overall, there are 3 main reasons why you don’t have repeat customers. Let’s explore them below.

 

You overpromise and under-deliver

Each time you make a promise to prospects and customers alike and your delivery falls short of your promise, you are basically saying to the customer that your business is not worthy of doing business with. If you want repeat customers, you must learn to change your promise and more importantly, action.

Do not promise a customer something you know you have no capacity to fulfill. Always be open and transparent in your dealings and watch how customers will respect you for it.

 

You are a generalist instead of a specialist

People mostly come back to businesses that “catch their fancy.” If you want your business to catch the fancy of its customers, then become a specialist instead of being a generalist. Every customer wants to know that they are getting the best each time they patronize your business.

If you offer specialist services for a general skill, then you are sending a message to your customers that you do not deserve their money.

As a business owner, you must constantly update yourself and be sure that you are on top of industry news and trends. If you want to increase your repeat customers, then you need to become a specialist. Commit to knowing as much as you can in your industry so that your brand can become irresistible.

[Read: 3 Reasons Why You Need an Effective Marketing Strategy]

 

Your customer service is nothing to write home about

 If I am asked what alienates customers the most, it’s that many business owners treat their customers as inconsequential. Inconsequential is when you treat the other person as though they have no significant value. If this has been your attitude toward your customers, it’s time to press the “pause” button. Press the “pause” button so you can start treating your customers like the most important people in your life. If you start treating your customers like the most important people in your life, you’ll notice how they will buy, keeping buying and referring customers to you until they get tired.

 

Thank you for reading. What other reasons do you think there are for not getting repeat customers? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

Starting a blog can give instant credibility to your brand no matter the industry you are but if you don’t know the options you have or how to go about it, it is very easy to get lost in the blogosphere world. That’s why I decided to let you know what your options are in terms of blogging so you can make an informed choice.

Let me quickly digress.

Few weeks ago, I wrote about “5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog” and since then seven people have reached out to me that they used to think that starting a blog was out of reach but now are on board. I’m not sure how many more people have silently started their blogs as well but I feel blessed that my write-ups have awakened the giant in my readers. That’s what the Onpoint Success movement is all about. It’s about raising the next generation of women who will not only succeed in business but also prosper in life.

When you have a message to share with the world, a blog is always a great place to start and depending on your budget, there are two main options to choose from. You can either choose to start with a FREE blog or a PAID blog.

I will explain the difference in a bit but I wanted to first emphasize that before you commit to blogging you must be ready to be CONSISTENT. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort and if you are not consistent with it, you will continually get frustrated. I built my brand with blogging and through my consistent efforts, I’ve gotten speaking engagement, consulting offers and even started my own quarterly training for power women who want to build a profitable brand online. All these, however, wouldn’t have been made possible if I threw my hands up in the air at the slightest form of obstacle. Now, let me explain the difference between a FREE blog and a PAID blog.

FREE BLOG

This is exactly what it is. It is absolutely free! However, using a free blog implies that you do not get full access to a whole range of features that the blogging platform has to offer. That is expected, right? If you are getting something for free, you should not expect the full juice. When you start with a free blog, it means that you cannot have your own full domain name. The hosting platform’s name will be included in your domain name. Domain name is the web address people need to type in their browser to get access to your blog. Why are these hosting platforms doing this? It’s a form of advertisement for them and also they understand that there’s a high chance of you becoming their customers.

Why You Should Consider Starting With a Free Blog

Like I stated earlier, it depends on your budget. However, other than budget, I encourage power women to start with a free blog because it gives you room to make lots of mistakes without feeling like you are throwing money down the drain. Also, starting with a free blog helps you to refine your message and gain your footing in the blogging world. Many hosting platforms like Wix, WordPress, Blogger etc. offers great themes that are just right for starters. In case you are wondering, I’ve used all three platforms in my journey as an entrepreneur and WordPress is my recommended platform.

 

PAID BLOG

A paid blog is when you pay for hosting and you can have your own “online home” without having to use the hosting platform’s name in your domain name. When you opt for a paid blog, you need three things.

  1. Domain name: this is what you’ll name blog and you’ll need to pay for it month after month. Think of it as a lease instead of a one-time payment. If you default in payment, your website/blog will cease functioning
  2. Hosting platform: this is where your domain name is hosted and that’s why they are called hosting platforms. You also need to pay for hosting and there are two types of hosting namely shared-hosting and managed-hosting. Shared hosting is cheaper than managed hosting and there pros and cons for both depending on how much traffic (amount of people who visit your blog) you get on your blog. My blog is hosted on WordPress through Blue host.
  3. Theme: this is how you want your blog to look and feel. Themes are usually one-time payment and most themes average $50. Once you purchase your theme, you can either set it up yourself or have someone set it up for you.

Why You Should Consider Using a Paid Blog

When you use a paid blog, it automatically signifies commitment. It shows that you are ready to give it what it takes to work else you’ll be throwing money down the drain month after month. A paid blog also validates your brand because it tells people you mean business. Using a paid blog will give you access to more options which can help you customize the look and feel of your blog. So it’s something you should definitely consider. If you are ready to start your blog, here’s a step-by-step tutorial that can help you set up your blog in 30 minutes or less!

In terms of setting up your blog either free or paid, you have three options.

  1. Learn it by yourself. It’s one of the reasons I encourage people to start with free. You can learn by trial and error. Starting with a free blog gives you plenty of opportunity for that.
  2. Have someone teach you: it has been said: “if you want to get somewhere faster, have someone who’s been there before show you the way”. I’m known for asking people to teach me. Why waste time trying to figure things out by myself? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you want to learn how to build a blog, have someone who can teach you in a language you’ll understand. Even if your plan is to eventually hire someone, it’s important that you know what blogging entails so that web developers won’t cheat you by using their confusing techno jargons.
  3. Hire someone to do it for you: this is ideal if you know blogging is not your area of strength. While I encourage learning how to do things by yourself, it all comes down to putting your efforts where it counts. I’ve spent countless hours trying to build my blog myself and at the end of the day, it was not worth it. Why waste 6 months trying to build something someone else can do in one week?

Whichever option you choose, it’s totally up to you and what you are trying to achieve with your message. It’s best when you know how the backend of your blog works so you can create your blog post yourself without having to run to the web developer each time you need to make a change. And if you are wondering or asking, “is blogging a right option for me?”, I’ll say as long as you have a brand, you need a blog. The best part? You do not need to be a writer to own a blog. If you are more comfortable with pictures, you could make your blog more about pictures or if the video is your thing, go for it. No entrepreneur should own a brand without a blog.

Thanks for reading! Do you own a free blog or a self-hosted one or are you planning to start a blog? Leave a comment below and share this post with a friend.

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