Store Management Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

It’s obvious that running an online shop is a full-time job. However, taking the time to streamline your store management and develop systems can help you make more time, reduce stress and increase revenue. Amazingly, all this without endless to-do lists or sticky notes reminders on your desk.

These are some simple store management hacks and tools that will increase your efficiency and work to your benefit:

Before they ask, answer questions

It is important to not leave potential customers hanging. Instead of monitoring live chat and checking email constantly, you can be proactive and address frequently-asked questions before they are too late.

FAQ page can be your first line defense against unwanted phone calls and emails. It also creates a more user-friendly environment. For more complicated topics, informational blog posts can be a great idea. These could include product and service descriptions as well as software tutorials and return policies. When appropriate, you can link FAQ topics to your blog content.

This helps to keep buyers away from any questions. Customers are more likely to purchase if they can find the answers to their questions easily.

Your store dashboard allows you to manage payments and refunds

WooCommerce payments is an excellent time-saver because you can manage refunds and payments right from your WordPress dashboard. Instead of logging in and out of multiple accounts you can manage your business finances from the same place you handle products, analytics, and other things.

It’s also a great tool to improve your checkout experience. Instead of having to redirect customers to a third party payment gateway, customers can pay directly from your website. You can also accept multiple currencies.

Learn more:

Streamline your inventory management

Inventory management is a time-consuming task that can make running a business difficult. Automating the inventory update process is better than manually updating your warehouse or physical location inventory.

Scanventory or Square can help you organize your inventory management. It is possible to generate labels and print reports or update inventory in bulk, rather than one item at a given time.

Inventory management is the most important thing that can stop a store from growing. You can forget about those worries if you have the right tools.

One click to print shipping labels

Ever wonder how certain stores can charge such low shipping costs? They’re likely not paying full price.

WooCommerce Shipping allows you to print labels right from your dashboard, saving you tons of time and money. You can save up to 67% when you order domestic or international shipping at specially-negotiated rates with USPS and DHL.

Drop off your prepaid packages quickly without waiting in line at the postoffice. Or have them delivered right to your home by USPS.

Automate emails

Transactional emails can be used to notify customers that their order has been received, shipped or delayed. WooCommerce offers a set of default orders which automatically go to each customer. You can also include tracking information with an extension.

You can take things one step further and create additional automated emails. WooCommerce Order status Manager allows you to create new orders and then send emails as each step is completed. If you make wooden furniture by hand, you might add steps for “assembling” or “staining.” This will keep customers informed and allows them to send emails when each step is completed.

To customize transactional email messages to your brand specifications, you can use tools such as MailPoet and send marketing messages such as abandoned cart emails or newsletters.

Batch social media and blog content

It is amazing how your mind can go blank when you are asked to post on social networks. You can either quit posting or settle with a less-than-stellar plan.

Scheduling posts ahead of time helps you maintain a work-life balance, and lets you take advantage of the creative times. It’s OK if you have multiple ideas for the same thing, such as a customer review that uses a similar image. You can create as many as possible and then spread them over time.

Keep in mind that each post will only be seen by a small portion of your social media followers. If enough time has passed between posts, you can reshare them.

Repurposing content from different marketing channels might be an option. For example, let’s say you have a blog about a product or service you are promoting. You can modify something you have already written about the topic to suit your different channels. Your clever tweet was a hit with your followers. It can be shared on Facebook and turned into an Instagram image. You don’t have to create new content if you already have great content.

Comment spam must be eliminated

While enabling comments on your site can be a great way of building community engagement, it is likely to encourage spam. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to manually manage spam. With tools such as JetpackAnti-spam, you can stay two steps ahead.

It’s not only time-consuming, but it can also be risky. Spammers can be sneaky and you might not be able to identify a fake. Jetpack Antispam is a program that learns from millions and recognizes the signs of spam. It can eliminate comment spam before you have even seen it.

This will save you time and improve your customer experience.

The Founder’s Zodiac: Five Personality Traits for Successful Entrepreneurs

The Founder’s Zodiac: Five Personality Traits for Successful Entrepreneurs

Stargazers, as we approach the summer solstice which is a time for self-reflection. What is your vision of the future? What is your purpose How can you leverage your strengths to help you achieve your goals?

Let’s take a look outward. Recent events have changed the world forever. It is important to think about how we move forward. Is your vision of your future in alignment with this new reality? Let what you’ve learned help you make the right decisions if your dream is to open a business.

There are many routes to business ownership if that is what you want.

We asked ourselves “What makes an entrepreneur?” Two traits emerged when we looked at the definition: they have dreams and they follow them. What makes someone an expert at managing a business? Are there positive entrepreneurial traits that make them successful?

It depends. Although risk tolerance is a key trait for many business owners (we see you Firestarter), it is possible to still achieve success even if risk is not your forte. Perhaps you are the meticulous Cartographer who runs through every scenario and has a plan for each one. There are many routes to business ownership. The fastest route might not be the best. You should choose the path that suits your strengths.

This month’s Founders Zodiac will focus on five traits that make successful entrepreneurs, and the Founder Sign that embodies them. We will also discuss how to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. We’ll share inspiring stories of entrepreneurs who have this trait in each case.

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Jump toYour type:

Firestarter: Feature Sign

Illustration of The Founder's Zodiac sign, The Firestarter Top Entrepreneur characteristic:Acceptance of risk

Other strengthsPerseverance and competitiveness are key to persuasiveness.

Develop your skillsPlan

The Firestarter, which has been, in ancient rituals, celebrated as a festival for fire, is our sign-of-honor this month.

Firestarters are open to taking risks and stand out from your peers and competitors. You may be more agile because you can jump on an idea quickly and not worry about its outcome.

Entrepreneurial journeys are full of risk.

There are many points in an entrepreneur’s journey where risk can manifest itself: leaving a stable paycheck, investing your savings, signing a lease or hiring and delegating. These are the points where risk-averse colleagues may get stuck. Firestarter, you are not at risk. They’ll either crash and burn, or you’ll leave them in their dust. Either way, you’d choose stagnancy over it.

Risk management is your job

You are likely to be bold and daring if you think of yourself that way. You likely have a high tolerance for risk, which is a plus when it comes to attracting investors, growing your audience, and hiring new employees. You can build trust by taking small risks and accumulating the wins. If you have a history of failure, this is where risk can come back to bite you. You may lose your reputation, even if you are able to get up and try again–which we know you can, Firestarter. You can take risks, but if you continue to sink, reconsider your strategy and partner with someone who is complementary.

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Note: Firestarter

Edwin Broni Mensah was on the right track to a successful career in investment banking, while finishing his PhD . He also pursued aggressive fitness goals. The problem was that it was difficult for him to keep his water bottle full while working out. Edwin decided to fix the problem in Firestarter style and quit his dream job. He decided to take a chance and pursue an idea instead of his career path.

Edwin took a risk to launch his business—and it paid off. GiveMeTap

Recommendation:Edwin’s company GiveMeTap produces reusable water bottles and an app that shows you where to refill them. A portion of the profits goes to clean water projects. The company has supplied clean water to more than 50,000 people in Africa.Read Edwin’s story.

The Trailblazer

Illustration of The Founder's Zodiac sign, The Trailblazer

The top entrepreneur trait:Passion

Other strengthsYou are a versatile, determined, and creative person.

Develop your skillsDiscipline

Trailblazer – You lead with your heart. Your authenticity is often the key to your success in business. People will rally behind your cause and buy your products because they believe in what it is. Your business is an extension of yourself. You follow ideas that make you smile, and that helps you stay motivated even when things get tough.

Passion is your best asset

Your story is important! Many people don’t choose the same lipstick, white shirt, or candle, but they do so because it isn’t random. They are making a conscious decision to support the brand. Although it may be due to price or availability it is often the brand’s values, mission and story that makes it stand out.

People support you because they don’t just buy your product. They also support what you do and why you do it.

Trailblazer supporters aren’t just buying your product; they’re also buying what you do and why. You can use storytelling to your advantage on your About Us page, product packaging, and social media. Your voice should be incorporated into the copy. This will allow you to place your brand’s face front and center. When your authentic self shines, you’re an influencer.

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Recommendation:Partner in business and in life, Katie Bartlett was accompanied by Kyle Wilson. They traveled the globe, tasting the sights and smells of each destination. Their passion for chocolate made them appreciate the art of making it. Soul Chocolate became their business.Learn their story.

The Mountaineer

Illustration of The Founder's Zodiac sign, The Mountaineer

The top entrepreneur trait:Vision

Other strengthsMotivation, optimism, and people skills

Develop your skillsFlexibility

Mountaineer is a clairvoyant. Your future and goals are so clear that you can almost see them in your hands. As a business owner, vision is a valuable asset. You are skilled at anticipating trends and implementing these predictions. Your vision is what keeps your business on the right track to your ultimate goal.

Vision can make your life easier

It is important to set your goals at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. This will keep you focused. You must be flexible in your approach. Your plan will be carried out, even if it changes. Vision is your friend when you’re growing your business.

Vision is what keeps your team united and focused on the company’s mission, priorities, and goals.

It is the glue that binds your team and keeps them focused on the company’s mission, priorities, and goals. Your vision must be more than just your own. Make sure it is clear and polished so your team can execute.

Recommendation:Melissa Butler had a vision of her future: Wall Street. Melissa found fulfillment in a side hustle after she reached that goal, but the job of her dreams did not live up to her expectations. Before she quit finance to pursue her side business, she began making lipsticks from her kitchen. Melissa’s goals might have changed but she kept the same focus on her new goals. Her vision was clear for her business. Melissa says, “It’s more than having a wider range of colors.” It’s about understanding what it means for inclusion to be inclusive.Melissa’s story is available here.

The Cartographer

Illustration of The Founder's Zodiac sign, The Cartographer

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The top entrepreneur trait:Discipline

Other strengthsPlanning, self motivation, and critical thinking

Develop your skillsTolerance for risk

Cartographer is not someone who would abandon a job to follow their dream. Perhaps you are working slowly on your dream, whether it be in the evenings or weekends. You’re a master at this discipline. Because you are self-motivated and organized, you can make the most of every minute of your day as a side hustler.

Discipline is a virtue

You can be disciplined to devote time to your business while avoiding distractions. The same goes for self-care. You are trustworthy and reliable, which makes others feel confident in your ability.

If you are stretched too thin for too many years, you are doing your dream disservice.

You may be slower at building your business than others and have to balance it with other commitments or a day job for longer. You’re doing yourself a disservice by not making enough time to pursue your dreams.

Recommendation:Sali Christeson did not launch ARGENT, her workwear brand, on a whim. Before going back to school, she worked for many years in the corporate world. She credits that decision with giving her the tools she needed to be a successful entrepreneur. Sali says that the key to my success is having a complete understanding of what it is I am trying to accomplish or solve. Then, I love to get all the details.Listen to the episode on Shopify Masters Podcast..

The Outsider

Illustration of The Founder's Zodiac sign, The Outsider

The top entrepreneur trait:Self-reliance

Other strengthsAttention to detail, resilience and a strong work ethic are key components of a successful business.

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Develop your skillsCollaboration

Outsider – “delegate” is a dirty term, we know. It’s better to work 80 hours a week than to trust your livelihood to others. It works for you, even though you are a solo artist. Your strength is self-reliance. You’ve worked hard at understanding every aspect of your business so you don’t have to look for outside help.

Self-reliance is a way to make yourself more independent

After mastering your craft, the next step is to figure out the rest. This could be handling your finances, managing a customer service team or driving local deliveries. Outsiders are driven by financial security. Self-reliance allows you to save on overhead. Remember that time is also worth a dollar. You can start small by outsourcing the less important tasks that consume most of your time while still maintaining control over what is most important to you. Outsiders, time is money.

10 Google Tools and Resources for Entrepreneurs

This summer Google launched Google My Business, a platform for companies to handle their existence across Google applications, including search and Google+. The new platform is just yet another example of Google’s drive to adopt entrepreneurs and emerging companies.

Here’s a list of Google tools and resources to help entrepreneurs establish and grow their companies. There are tools for startup ventures, small businesses, and solo entrepreneurs.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a platform for companies to handle their online presence with Google. Firms can synchronize their data, monitor engagements with insights, build clients with a Google+ page, track AdWords campaigns, and much more. Businesses with physical places can enter local research, browse and respond to reviews, and get advice on how clients searched for a small business.

Google for Entrepreneurs

Google for Entrepreneurs.

Google for entrepreneurs partners with startup communities and builds”campuses” where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and make companies. It features many different tools and resources to enable entrepreneurs develop innovative startups.

  • Campuses. Google for Entrepreneurs has two campuses: Campus London and Campus Tel Aviv. Three more campuses are coming soon: Campus Warsaw, Campus São Paulo, and Campus Seoul. Each campus offers its programs, like a”hack area” to test new ideas, a bootcamp for early stage startups, a community of parent entrepreneurs, and on-campus residence.
  • Startup Communities. Google for entrepreneurs partners with organizations that build community and teach entrepreneurs how to turn ideas into thriving startups. Partners include Startup Grind, UP Global, Blackbox Connect, American Underground, and Capital Factory.
  • Tools for entrepreneurs. Google for entrepreneurs and General Assembly (the online class company) have partnered to offer weekly courses for entrepreneurs of all sorts. Take your skills to another level with business, marketing, and technical courses taught by leading entrepreneurs, professors, and specialists. Recent presentations include Designing Persuasive Presentations, Finding Product Market Fit, and Your First Email Marketing Campaign.
  • Believe with Google. Believe with Google is an internet magazine to place Google research and insight behind your business plan. The website is an information resource on the information and trends that Google is monitoring, together with behind-the-scenes looks at digital campaigns across sectors, platforms and audiences. The website also includes excellent tools for entrepreneurs, such as Brand Impressions, Consumer Barometer, Mobile Calculator, Screen Benchmarks, and much more.
  • Google Business Groups. Google Business Groups are independent community-led groups formed by enthusiastic individuals. All events are free and open to business professionals that want to learn and become more effective in using the web for their business. Search the map to discover a group near you.
  • Startup Launch. Startup Launch helps startups design, develop, and distribute over the Google Developers’ platform. Apply for access to this pilot program. Get mentorship from Google programmers and experts, attend exclusive media events, access free training, and get featured by Google.

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Google Helpouts

Google Helpouts

Helpouts is Google’s platform for professionals to connect with clients and supply services over live video. Offer your expertise in exchange for payment, or for free to lure new clients. Provide sessions at times that fit your schedule. Use free online tools to spread the word on your Helpouts.

Google Small Business Community

Google Small Business Community.

Google Small Business Community is a group created by Google+ Your Company so that small companies can find the help they need to succeed online. The team hosts Hangouts and Q&As with experts and business leaders, like the current Hangout with the leader of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the voice of small business in President Obama’s Cabinet, Maria Contreras-Sweet. Members also enjoy features like #FeedbackFridays and #Bizdom topic-specific training sessions.

Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work.

Google Apps for Work is a suite of apps to help companies be more productive from anywhere. Schedule and conduct meetings with Calendar, Gmail, and Hangouts. Draft content in Docs that’s automatically saved in Drive, so that everyone on your team has the current version. Google Apps offer entrepreneurs a package of those tools they need to help achieve their objectives. Plans begin at $5 per user per month.

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The 30 Best Business Blogs for Entrepreneurs to Follow in 2020

Are you looking to increase your business, boost sales or change your strategies in advertising? Would you like to find inspiration to improve yourself as an entrepreneur?

Blogs have become the modern-day go-to for advice and insight into different industries. Company owners are moving away from printed material and relying on online sources to guide and assist them.

What is a business blog?

Websites devote a section which has articles on topics concerning the industry. The information engages entrepreneurs while providing invaluable information to help them succeed. Business blogs are a kind of media but on a grander scale which emphasizes business enrichment. ConnectPOS.com even offers a POS blog with hints, guides and articles relating to POS systems, but this list is devoted to the top business blogs for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The Significance Of Blogs

Websites provide consumers and professionals a source of information. To be competitive in e-commerce, it is vital for a company to have a site.

The Advantages Of A Business Blog

  • Strong Internet Marketing tool
  • Raises online positions
  • Brings in traffic
  • Provides a source to peers within the industry

Our recommendations below are based on reviews for the most influential sites offering the best advice and services related to the business market.

The List of the Best Business Blogs for Entrepreneurs

1. Mashable

Platform: An influential combination of topics and news around the globe as it pertains to several regions of life, business, and businesses.

  • News/Trends
  • Entertainment
  • Tech
  • Science
  • Lifestyle

2. Business Insider

Platform: An aggregated source of business news from around the globe.

  • News/Trends In Business and Finance
  • Politics
  • Revenue Marketing and Strategy
  • Lifestyle

3. ConvertKit (Tradecraft)

Platform: A supply of tools/tips and tips for business online presence and advancement.

  • Tools/Tips/Strategy on building online branding
  • Online Promoting
  • E-commerce
  • Media Tips
  • Network Marketing
  • Blogging
  • SEO

4. CorpNet

Platform: A site with tools/tips for new business owners.

  • Covers every aspect of owning and running a small business.
  • Focus is on business startup for new entrepreneurs.

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5. Duct Tape Marketing

Platform: High-powered posts for small business branding and internet presence.

  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Media
  • SEO
  • Finances
  • Plans, Tips/Tools
  • Media

6. Entrepreneur

Platform: A source of company industry news/trends across the world.

  • News/Trends From The Business-Related Industry

7. Entrepreneur On Fire

Platform: A site that highlights capitalizing on podcasting for companies.

  • Podcasting Strategies and Tips/Tools

8. Foundr

Platform: Success stories from business owners around the globe. Tools/tips to growing a small business.

9. Gary Vaynerchuk

Platform: High-powered strategy for business owners to overcome obstacles while attaining success.

  • Popular Business Strategist
  • Tips/Tools In All Aspects of Being A Business Owner
  • Lifestyle

10. Groove

Platform: A supply of articles on creating superior customer service while being the best that you can be a leader and business owner.

  • Customer Service Tools/Tips
  • E-commerce
  • Leadership/Growth
  • Content Advertising Tools/Tips

11. Harvard Business Review

Platform: An aggregated source of info on company news/trends across the world.

  • News/Trends
  • Plans in Business World

12. Hub Position

Platform: A source of inspiration and ideas to tap into full advertising potential while enhancing sales and support.

  • Marketing
  • Revenue
  • Service
  • News/Trends

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13. HuffingtonPost

Platform: A favorite source of aggregated stories and topics relating not just to the business industry but other pursuits.

  • World News
  • Business topics
  • Politics
  • Entertainment
  • Lifestyle

14. Insightly

Platform: Topics relating to developing and maintaining customer service in a business enterprise.

15. Insureon

Platform: Various topics on keeping security in your company in addition to advice on attaining a positive presence on the internet and inside the business enterprise.

  • Risk Management
  • Tools/Tips on Having a Successful Business
  • Cybersecurity
  • Marketing
  • Employee Relations

16. Kabbage

Platform: Resources with information, tools, and suggestions in the financial aspects of running a business.

  • Cash-flow
  • Bookkeeping
  • Sales Tax
  • Purchasing

17. Connected In

Platform: An online network of specialists from all types of industry backgrounds sharing information, advice, and strategy.

  • Professional Networking
  • Tools/Tips For Integrating Linkedin

18. Manta

Platform: A supply of articles relating to creating a strong online presence through SEO.

  • SEO
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Website Content
  • Tools/Tips

19. Wordstream

Platform: Articles covering advertising/marketing inside the e-commerce market.

  • Social Media
  • Marketing
  • E-commerce
  • Advertising
  • Revenue tips/strategy

20. Neil Patel

Platform: A favorite network marketing strategist and public speaker which helps entrepreneurs develop the powerful skills required to be successful.

  • Tools/Tips
  • Revenue Strategy
  • Direction
  • Network Marketing

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21. Problogger

Platform: A source for bloggers to attain their full potential while creating content that’s powerful and valuable.

  • Tips/Tools On Blogging

22. Richard Branson

Platform: A well-known multi-billionaire who shares his secrets to success through posts that are related to business and way of life.

  • Tips/Tools In Creating Successful Business
  • Direction and Self-Improvement
  • Lifestyle
  • Culture

23. Revenue Gravy

Platform: Influential top small business experts share information via podcasts, videos, and articles.

  • Network Marketing
  • Sales Strategies

24. Revenue Hacker

Platform: B2B industry experts sharing tips/tools and approaches.

  • Revenue tips/tools
  • B2B Plan
  • Sales Techniques designed for B2B

25. Score

Platform: Every part of business (large and small) is coated and is tailored for entrepreneurs of all ages, sex, and experience level.

  • Wide assortment of subjects with tools/tips on business growth and management.

26. SEMRush

Platform: A wealth of information with an emphasis on content marketing/strategy, SEO, and media.

  • Content Plan
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO
  • Media

27. Small Business Admin

Platform: A conglomerate of resources for existing and new small companies to tap into.

28. Social Triggers

Platform: A blend of information about advertising to bring in traffic with increased earnings.

  • Online Marketing

29. theselfemployed

Platform: A one-stop-shop where self-employed entrepreneurs find information concerning all aspects of becoming your own boss.

  • Finance
  • Business Law
  • Funding
  • Marketing

30. Australian Small Company

Platform: A site of Australian entrepreneurs exchanging ideas, tips, and advice.

  • Revenue Strategies
  • Business Management
  • Trends
  • Marketing

Take Advantage Of Business Blogs

All business owners, established and new, greatly benefit from the wealth of information that business blogs supply. No more are the days of speaking to books, or bureaus to provide you advice or pointers in conducting a company. It is all at your fingertips online!

They say the”sky’s the limit” with everything possible. But when it comes to business industry sites, there’s absolutely not any limit! It is all out there for the taking, so catch it and apply it to be the ideal entrepreneur you can be.

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