Common Financial Emergencies That Could Impact Your Life

Most Americans are only a single paycheck away from financial ruin. It’s a shocking statistic from a report that should concern the vast majority of of households that have no emergency savings whatsoever

We’ve been through the importance of having an emergency fund before on this blog. But there are some common incidents that could happen to anyone, and have a major, negative impact on your financial security in more ways than one. Let’s see what you need to consider – and perhaps we can persuade you to start putting some money away in an emergency fund this time.

Illness

It costs a lot of money to access healthcare, which we all pay for through insurance over the course of our lives. When you’re young, fit and healthy, the chances are that you won’t even consider major illness as a problem – and your career will progress normally. But people can get sick at any time, and it is highly unlikely you and your household will never be affected by someone getting ill at some point.

When you bear in mind that something like 90% of Americans are on the wrong Medicare plan, it’s clearly a massive problem. Some of the most comprehensive insurance won’t actually cover you for all those expenses – which can run into tens of thousands – maybe more – for prolonged periods of illness. So, the choices are stark – either put aside some money in the event of an illness, or take your chances – which is a huge risk.

Accidents

Accidents happen all the time, at a rather alarming rate, and the reality for all of us is that it only takes a second for your life to change for the worse. If you have suffered injury because of someone else’s negligence, you have a chance of getting compensation thorough personal injury or car accident lawyers,  but there is other issues you need to understand. And, there is a possibility that you will have to front up a lot of cash unless your case is water tight.

Complicated cases can take an awfully long time to settle – and there is no guarantee the court will find in your favor. Also, your family will be under a lot more pressure as they will have to care for you in your injured state, and there is a chance you might slip into depression or suffer psychologically as well.

Economic disaster

Sometimes things can go terribly wrong, everyone’s finances are affected, and there is nothing you can do about it. Take the financial crisis of 2008 as the perfect example – the effect on poor people all around the world was disastrous, and we’re still feeling some of them today.

So, even when the going seems good, you can never be sure the rug won’t be pulled out from underneath you for reasons beyond your control. It’s best to start putting money away in an emergency fund straight away – and give yourself the right level of protection and financial buffer that every household needs.

Easy Ways to Make your Ecommerce Start-Up Stand Out

More and more customers are now buying online. For this reason, you have to make sure that you are available and that you also provide the finest products so that you can stand out from the crowd. Of course, if you are already doing this then there are other methods that you can use to try and give yourself an edge.

Automate your Marketing

Sure, you might have a great catalogue of products, but as an Ecommerce start-up, you can’t expect your customers to turn up and buy from you. It’s so important that you are able to combine your strong products with great marketing efforts. The best way for you to do this would be for you to automate as much of your process as you can. You need to send out customised offers and you also need to send out newsletters as well. Push notifications are also worth investing in, and they can even be used to target customers based on their previous behaviour. This is a fantastic way for you to stand out from the crowd, and as if that wasn’t enough, it can also help to remind your customers who you are.  It keeps you fresh in their minds, and this can go a long way when you have so many people to compete with on the internet.

Advanced Analytics

Tracking how long a customer spends on your site is no longer enough. You now need to determine the journey that they are taking as well. Trackers can help you to determine the traffic sources and they can also help you to gather data on every single click that is made as well. This data can then be used to work out what your customers are doing, which products are more popular and even how your site is performing. Analytical tools can be used to sync your data pages together as well, not to mention that they can also be used to know how quickly your orders are being fulfilled. Little things like this can help you to find out where your business is falling short, not to mention that it could also show you what you need to do in order to enhance your customer experience.

Personalisation

Customers love it when they receive a personalised experience. You can do this by giving your customers the chance to put your site into their own language. This is very simple to do, but it could also increase your international sales by a significant amount. You might also want to have a currency setting as well.  If you want to step things up to that next level then you can even base your site on the geological location of the person who is visiting. Sure, this sounds complicated, but it isn’t at all and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to really show your customers what you can do. As mentioned above, it is so important that you are able to use your customer data to try and enhance their experience and personalisation can be integrated here as well. You can show them products based on what they have recently viewed and this could increase your sales by up to 35%. This combination gives you the chance to send out targeted messages and even actions based on what your customers are doing, and this is a fantastic way for you to show them that you are investing in your service to benefit them.

Chatbots

Chatbots are most certainly a very exciting development. Facebook are constantly investing in their own messaging app and this will help them to form even more partnerships as a result. It is certainly something that you should invest in, and the sooner you do this, the better. The main reason for this is because not many companies are doing it right now, so you could be seen as being revolutionary if you are able to integrate this into your own Ecommerce service. This is especially the case if you are able to do this with a unique edge, so don’t be afraid to hit the drawing board and jot some ideas down.

Customer Support

The digital age has unfortunately taken away the human element of doing business. For this reason, it is very important that you have a system that gives you the chance to connect your merchants with your customers. You can have chat widgets that will connect your customer to an expert or you can even have an email or messaging system installed right onto your site. If you like the idea of having a live chat over the option of having a chatbot then try and make sure that you have a picture of the customer representative who they are going to be talking with. When you do this, you can add a human element to the support and it will make your customer feel as though they are really talking to someone from your team. If you want to step things up to that next level, look into custom t shirt design so that you can appear as a team. The problem with things like this is that it can take a while, and it can also be hard to keep your team online constantly. If you want to get around this then you can make it so your live chat option only comes up when a customer abandons their cart, or even when they try and cancel an outstanding order. When you do things like this, you can then integrate it across the board slowly and you can also give your customers a fantastic experience regardless.

Fraud Protection

A ton of online merchants are really concerned about fraud, and quite rightly so. Targets often try and hit eCommerce stores so that they can launder money by using stolen credit cards. Unfortunately, you are going to be the one dealing with the loss here and if you are just starting up then this can be devastating to your business. Site security will go a long way for you and even the customers who you work with, so it is vital that you take this into account.

How To Really Grow, Market and Promote Your Business

So, your business is going well, everything’s ticking along nicely, you’re feeling comfortable, you know what you’re doing, and your customers are happy with you…so what now? Now it’s really time to grow your business, market it, promote it, raise awareness, spread the word, whatever you want to call it, it’s time to rechallenge yourself and get to the next level. Like most businesses, you’ll probably have a limited marketing budget, but don’t let that deter you, here are a few ideas to get your mind whirling and get you excited…

Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is a great way to get noticed and get people talking. While business owners often want to see the direct conversion from marketing activity to sales, sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture, have some fun and use your creativity, imagination and originality – it doesn’t have to be expensive. Creating some eye-catching artwork on your office building, organise a flash mob or create a Youtube video. There are loads of great ideas online so do some research and get creative.

Make the Most of Social Media

Whether you use it in your personal life, like it, or don’t like it. Social media is fantastic for business, and yours needs to be on there. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google Plus or Snapchat, each of these social media platforms are unique in their own right and require novel ways of engagement. Rather than try to master it all at once, choose a few you like and try to learn those first.

Meet People

Networking is key, and customers love a personal touch and love to see the faces behind a company. Get out to exhibitions and events, get yourself a 10×10 exhibit booth, get some promotional materials and have a chat with people. You’ll be surprised how many people you meet and the opportunities and learnings that come from being at an exhibition or networking event.

Make the Most of the Media

It’s free marketing, so all you need is a good story, a reason for the press to want to feature you. Try creating a publicity stunt, or do something for the community, and send out a press release before the event. For example, some innovative hairdressers have offered free haircuts to the homeless. You could also sponsor an event by donating your products or services as giveaways or prizes or host a contest or nominate yourself for a business contest or award. If you win, even better! Introduce yourself to the media and offer yourself as the expert in your field. If they ever need someone to interview or quote, make sure it’s you who they come to. There are ways you can seek out opportunities like this by signing up to an email list like Help A Reporter Out.

Content, Content, Content

Potential customers love great content and even better, so does Google. There are many ways to share information — blogging, creating videos, hosting podcasts, designing infographics or submitting articles to online authority sites. If you create great content for your business, you will gain authority as an expert and as well as that you’ll get free traffic. You don’t have to produce the content yourself as there are plenty of options for hiring freelance writers, graphic designers and personal assistants through websites like Upwork.

Competitions and Prizes

Everyone loves a free gift, so if you can give away desirable or fun items, it will get you noticed, it will get your posts and links shared, it will build brand awareness and enable you to connect with potential customers as well as gathering data. They don’t need to be expensive prizes, online ebooks, white papers and checklists don’t cost you anything but your time. You could also promote your products through Facebook groups where members agree to try your product for free or a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. Physical gifts with your advertising on it such as balloons, smartphone wipes, key chains, fridge magnets, pens and notepads are always a favourite too.

Make sure that all of your marketing should is of some use to your audience. Make sure you provide them with useful information, assistance by being available to answer questions posted on forums and websites like Quora and direct your audience to your site for more information; then finally entertain your audience. Make them laugh or cry. Think of the funny and touching ads that you see and how quickly they are shared