In 13 Easy Steps, How to Start A Jewelry Business

In 13 Easy Steps, How to Start A Jewelry Business

Online jewelry sales are increasing by 5 to 6 percent each year . By 2025, the global jewelry industry will be worth $4480.5 billion.

These stats show that selling jewelry online and starting a home business are great ways to make extra money. There are low entry levels for getting a piece of this huge spending. You can make handmade jewelry at home, and your online shop will reach customers around the globe.

How do you start a online jewelry business

01. Your online store

Websites are essential for every business, including your soon-to-launch jewel store. Why? A website can open your small business to thousands of potential customers. Even if you live thousands of miles away, people can still find your jewelry and place orders. You can expand your customer base beyond the city or town you live in.

You don’t have to spend hours opening an online store at this stage. Wix is an eCommerce platform that will help you get your jewelry store online.

Next, you can start creating your store using an eCommerce template. These premade websites have been professionally designed to increase sales.

The templates are customizable, so don’t be alarmed. Edit page layouts, modify colors, add or remove features, pages and images, as well as upload custom imagery to the site. These are the features to be aware of when selecting the best eCommerce template .

  • A homepage featuring a large image of a hero that grabs the attention of visitors
  • A navigation bar that allows shoppers to browse different categories
  • Large product images zoom in when the visitor hovers over them
  • The purchase process is simplified with one-click add-to-cart buttons
  • There are prominent call to actions buttons (CTAs), that encourage shoppers to convert such as Shop Now and Add to Cart
  • Templates for information pages about your about section, shipping policies, returns policies, and payment methods
  • Take a look at Linkedge Jewelry’s homepage. The Wix template they use has a hero image that highlights their jewelry line and styles. The homepage also features a navigation bar with a call to action and a call to actions that direct people to the product catalog.

02. Source your materials

When you start an online jewelry shop, the next thing you should consider is what pieces you will be selling. Consider the materials that you will need to make each piece of jewelry. You can think of items such as:

  • Stud earrings
  • Pearls
  • Diamonds
  • Precious metals
  • Gemstones and beads

A plan of action will be needed to determine where your materials will come from. Small businesses can start with local craft shops and online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. You can also search the internet for other options. You’ll find good quality materials at a reasonable price almost all the time.

It’s important to estimate the cost of manufacturing your jewelry. To get an estimate of the total manufacturing cost, price each element individually. Then shop around to find the best deal. You have more profit margin if you have lower manufacturing costs.

03. Choose a business model

The online business model for your jewelry store describes how you source and sell products.

You have a lot of options in the jewelry industry.

  • Custom jewelry making company: Find materials and make your own handmade jewelry to sell online.
  • Sourcing fine jewellery: Find the styles that you like from different jewelry designers and suppliers. You can build a brand around the quality and style of jewelry you love, and then sell their products to your clients at a profit. Customers can visit your store to search for a particular type of jewelry or designer.
  • Start Dropshipping – Work with a wholesaler or jeweler who picks up, packs and delivers the item to customers whenever they place orders through your website.

Make a business plan that describes the model you will use. This document will outline how you plan to source, manufacture and sell your jewelry. It also includes information about the person to whom you are selling it.

Need assistance creating a business plan for your company? This template is free and can be used to help you plan how you will manage your new jewelry company.

04. Brainstorm a name for your jewelry business

A strong business name is essential for every business. It is how customers get to know you and will be prominent for all your business assets, including your website, invoices and bank statements.

When you are brainstorming your business name, there are two options. One option is to choose a name that’s not related to jewelry, and then create a separate brand that’s recognized in the jewelry market. Your business name could also imply that your jewelry is sold, as in Goldsmiths or The Diamond Shop.

If you are looking for the best place to begin, our jewelry business name generator can help. Enter the product type you want to sell, such as necklaces or earrings. There are many options for jewelry business names.

 

Brand names should be short and simple to remember. Avoid words that are hard to spell. It’s easier for customers to remember your brand name than it is for you. This will make it easier for them to find you online.

Also, it’s a good idea to verify that your chosen business name has the domain and any social media handles. This information is displayed by Wix along with other domain extensions beyond the “.com” format.

The consistency of your brand across platforms can help increase brand consistency. This has been proven to help businesses increase their revenue by up to 33%. Your domain name should match your business name. Customers will be more likely to visit your jewelry brand’s website if it is easy to remember.

05. Any issues that may arise should be resolved.

This stage will give you a brand name to use for your jewelry business. Before you sell your jewelry online, make sure you check with the trademark office that you aren’t infringing on any other business.

After you have received your all clear, register your jewelry business. You can register as an LLC and avoid being held responsible for any problems that arise as your jewelry business grows. A registered business can often offer tax benefits. This is especially important if your goal is to grow your jewelry business beyond a side-hustle to a full-time career.

It is also important to open a new bank account. This will allow you to keep track of business income and expenses without having it mixed in with personal transactions. Make sure you choose an accounting program that is compatible with your business bank account. When it comes time to pay taxes, knowing exactly what is coming in and out will be a huge help.

You should also consider the legal requirements for jewelry sales. To avoid getting in trouble, it is important to follow jewelry rules. To prove that your jewelry is authentic, some countries require that you obtain a certificate . To be able sell your jewelry at its highest value, others may require that it have a mark.

06. Understand your audience

You need to understand your customers, regardless of the products you sell online. These buyer personas will help you create products and pricing they will love, as well as a marketing plan to position them in front of your products.

Before starting your own business, do some market research to determine who would purchase the jewelry that you are selling. Do you sell low-cost fashion jewelry that teens will wear? For women over 30 years old, do you offer customized jewelry? Your target audience lives where?

This is best done by doing some competitive research. Look for jewelry stores that sell similar items to yours and take a look at who they are marketing to. Your potential customers are likely to be similar.

Show your jewelry to different people to see how they react. Do they want to buy it for themselves? What are the qualities of the person who will be receiving your jewelry?

Your goal at this stage is to learn as much information as possible about the people most likely buy your jewelry. Do not be afraid to interview family members and to organize focus groups for feedback. Focus groups can be facilitated by video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Google Meet, without the need to meet in person.

As you sell, you will collect more data. This is where you can get a better idea of your customers. At this point, it is important to identify your ideal customer. You can go backwards to fine-tune the business strategy, to create content, market your jewelry using their language, show photos of their target audience, and create a product that they will buy.

07. Your pricing

Knowing your target audience is key to knowing their price range for jewelry. It’s as easy as asking them what price they are willing to pay for this kind of jewelry while you research.

You can also check out what jewelry products are selling online for similar prices. You need to price your jewelry competitively. Too high will alienate people, too low will not make you enough money to sustain your new business.

No matter where you decide to set the price, be sure to include production and material costs. If a bracelet’s materials cost $15, and it’s being sold for $20, then you won’t make much profit if at all.

Begin by calculating your cost. This includes:

  • Manufacturing
  • Labor
  • Shipping
  • Website
  • Marketing

Add between 5-20% profit margin depending on your item’s overall price. This will ensure that you make a profit on every item, regardless of your overheads.

Keep in mind that the prices you set up for your jewelry business may not be the same ones you sell at months later. Research is key when you are just starting out. You might consider dropping prices if you discover that customers are reluctant to buy your jewelry due to feedback. Soon, you’ll find a price point that customers will pay for your jewelry.

08. Find the right place to sell your jewelry

As a small business owner, one of your most important decisions will be where to sell your products.

For jewelry sellers, marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy are a great way to reach a global audience. There are many benefits to opening your own online shop.

  • Do not pay fees to the marketplace for transactions.
  • You have complete control over the design and experience of your users.
  • Every marketing effort you make for your jewelry website will benefit your brand, not the marketplace.

You don’t have to do one or the other. Wix allows you to easily connect your store to marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. This allows you to list all your catalogs on these online marketplaces. Integrating with eBay allows you to manage all of your inventory through your website’s dashboard.

allows customers to shop your products via social media.

09. Create a logo and brand for jewelry

We mentioned earlier that the name of your jewelry company is the foundation of your brand. This is the stage where you will create other assets that help enforce brand consistency such as a logo.

This can be done by a professional designer, or you can do it yourself if you are just starting out. You can use tools such as the Wix Logo Maker to choose a color scheme. So that your customers can recognize you, it is important to maintain consistent branding at all touch points with your jewelry store.

This is why you should also make other brand assets during this stage.

  • Headers for social media
  • Letterheads
  • Business cards
  • Invoice templates
  • Email signatures

Your brand may take time to become ingrained in the minds of potential customers. But strong eCommerce branding has tenfold value: 60% millennials expect consistency across all channels. This loyalty is 10x greater than one purchase.

10. Photograph your jewelry in large, clear images

Did you know that 83% US smartphone users believe product photography has “very” or “extremely” influence on purchasing decisions?

High-quality photography is essential for taking pictures of your jewelry. High-quality cameras are essential to capture photos of your jewelry.

A variety of product photos is a smart idea for an online jewelry shop. It’s easier for potential customers see jewelry pieces clearly when they are photographed against a clean background. You might also consider taking photos and close-ups of the jewelry in action.

Flair Accessory shows, for instance, how their necklace looks on a model.

It’s important that shoppers are able to see the item with reference to something familiar. This will allow them to gauge the size, depth and color of the jewelry. This helps to reduce returns 22% because the product is different in person.

11. Optimize category and product pages on your website

A homepage should welcome visitors to your jewelry website. Bright, clear images that make it easy for customers to find the right jewelry are the keys to increasing the number of people who visit the homepage.

To make it even easier to shop, you can create category pages for each style or type of jewelry. You can categorize your jewelry by types such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and rings, or costume, antique, or fine jewelry. These categories can be linked from the main navigation bar of your site.

This is Reva Grey, who shows it in action.

These categories could be used in a variety of ways. Consider the conditions that people might be purchasing products. Do they want to buy a gift for their spouse? Are you looking for personalized jewelry Looking for a particular material? These categories make it easier to locate the product you are looking for.

You will be able to link to individual product webpages within your categories. These pages must contain a product description for each item in your jewelry collection. A product page that sells jewelry should include everything that a customer might need to know.

These are the essentials:

  • Price
  • Images of high quality
  • Product dimensions
  • Click on the Add to Cart button

These are other elements we recommend for product pages:

Include a guideline on how to measure the ring size if you feel it would be useful. Link your customers to a guide if they are unsure about the type of material they should buy. This is a method Medusa Label uses to inspire confidence in potential customers’ purchasing decisions.

12. Create a free marketing strategy

Now that you have created beautiful jewelry, it is time to find the right customers to sell your products. Make a plan for how you’ll drive customers to your online store, and get them to purchase your products.

The good news is: To get customers to your doors, you don’t need to spend money on a marketing strategy. These are some free marketing strategies that you can use to start a jewelry business.

Word of mouth

The overwhelming majority (92%%) of people trust recommendations from their friends and families more than advertisements. Ask your friends and family to share your website on their social media networks or in jewelry-related conversations. Even better, you could create a template that they can cut and paste.

Ask your customers to do the exact same thing. You could offer them incentives such as a discount on their next order.

It’s a win-win situation for all parties. This allows the customer to purchase another product at a lower price, while the jewelry store earns a repeat client and visibility through personal recommendations that could lead to more customers.

Social media

Pinterest and Instagram are great visual platforms for jewelry retailers as they allow customers to see the product in different settings. Facebook is also a must-have. People use brand pages to search for information such as reviews and website links.

To promote your online jewel store, you can create social media pages on these two sites. You can build a following by:

  • Regular posting
  • Interacting and learning from other jewelry-related profiles
  • Monitor influencers who work with other jewelry retailers. You could offer free products in exchange for a shoutout on the page.
  • Use relevant hashtags such as #jewelry and #handmadejewelry in your content to reach people that don’t already follow you.
  • Use the Shop features. Integrating your business with Facebook or Instagram will result in a Shop section on your page that highlights products from your product catalogue.
  • Encourage customers to post images of their jewelry on Facebook and tag your company. This is a great way to get free publicity and to get content to repost on your profile, as Brilliance In Diamonds does.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Although this takes longer to pay off, it is well worth it. Google will show you in the results page for terms that your audience is searching for, such as “women’s diamond jewelry” and “men’s wedding bands”.

Here are some ways to optimize your jewelry site for search.

  • Use keyword search to determine which terms your target customers are searching for when shopping to purchase jewelry
  • Avoid keyword stuffing. Sites that use keywords naturally are more likely to be rewarded by search engines than those who stuff them in every sentence.
  • For people who are part of the sales funnel, create blog articles. These articles could include tutorials on how you measure rings or “How to choose a jewelry gift to your mom” You can even jump on fashion trends such as this guide to fall jewelry from Brilliance In Diamonds.

Email marketing

To encourage site visitors to enter their email address, use a popup form to do this or add the form to your website’s footer. You might offer something in exchange for their email address such as a discount code, or access to exclusive content.

You can see how Linkedge Jewelry makes use of a pop-up and the promise to offer a discount in order to attract new subscribers via email:

Once you have a mailing list, then use email Marketing to promote holiday sales and new products as well as business updates.

13. Online advertising is a viable option

It’s clear that free marketing strategies can help customers find your site. It might take some time for organic marketing campaigns and to start driving significant amounts of traffic.

Facebook ads can be used to quickly increase awareness and sales. Facebook offers very precise targeting. With specific targeting settings, you can select the people most likely to purchase your jewelry. This is an example of how that might look:

  • Aged between 30-50
  • Female
  • Are you interested in jewelry?
  • An upcoming birthday

Budgets are important when you first start using Facebook Ads. Your campaigns should be optimized to make more than what you spend on them.

source https://www.wix.com/blog/ecommerce/2020/12/how-to-start-jewelry-business

How to turn your Wix website into a sales bomb

Online shops often have more potential to make sales than brick-and mortar locations when it comes down to selling. Online sales allow you to reach a larger audience and reduce costs.

Online shops are simple to set up. Wix’s eCommerce platform makes it easy to set up an online shop. Wix also offers a wide range of features and apps that will help you increase sales and profit.

A professional eCommerce website is essential if you want to sell like a pro. We have the tools to help you do that. This is the ultimate list of tasks to make your Wix website profitable.

01. Select an Effective Domain

Your website’s domain is the backbone of your business. Your website will not be able pick up if it doesn’t have a clear and intuitive domain name. It is important to choose a domain name you can easily type, understand, and speak out loud. Choose something simple, catchy and clever. The more concise, the better

You can buy your domain name right from your Wix account. You can even get the domain name as an offer if you purchase a yearly eCommerce Package. You just need to make sure that it is available.

02. Start an Online Ad Campaign

Advertising your online shop is one of the best ways to increase traffic to it. You can activate the “Get Traffic” app in your Wix Business Apps section. This allows you to target ad campaigns across large networks of locations. “Get Traffic” makes it easy to set up your ads online.

These are the questions to ask before you launch your first advertising campaign.

  • Targeting – Who are your target markets?
  • Keywords – What are the most effective key words to attract your audience to your website?
  • Call to Action: What can you do to encourage viewers click and shop?

03. Monitor Your Website’s Performance

Professional marketers will tell you that statistics and numbers are critical to your online success. Understanding your customers’ shopping habits is key to increasing sales. Your customers’ browsing habits on your website can give you valuable insight into your marketing strategy.

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools for measuring and tracking online performance. Google Analytics gives you amazing information about your visitors, their demographics, and how they arrived at your site. It also provides insight into what they like or don’t like. You can integrate Analytics with your Wix online store.

04. Optimize Your Shopping Experience

Your online shop must offer customers a simple and convenient shopping experience to ensure a steady stream of new purchases. This is why the Wix eCommerce platform was designed and built.

Shopping Cart is a great solution for both shop owners and shoppers. It turns any Wix website into an online shop. It’s easy to set-up and customize. You have full control over all important eCommerce elements such as product customization, inventory management, check out settings, and so on. ).

05. Increase brand awareness

Your online shop should be taken seriously. Brands are sought out by people who trust their service and quality. You can build a loyal customer base by increasing your brand awareness.

These are some ways to make people aware of your brand:

  • Favicon can be added to your website.
  • To ensure that your website title and logo are always visible to your customers, use the fixed feature.
  • You can post frequent updates to your website’s news feed, blog, Facebook page, Instagram account, or other platforms that work for you. This is a great way for followers to stay engaged.
  • Use consistent design layout for your website, packaging, advertising material, business cards, etc.
  • Optimize your online store for mobile browsing to ensure your branding and messaging work well on all devices.

source https://www.wix.com/blog/ecommerce/2014/01/get-more-sales-online

How to make a professional invoice: Expert tips and a step-by-step guide

How to make a professional invoice: Expert tips and a step-by-step guide

Now that you have sold a product or rendered a service through your online shop, it is time to get paid. This is great news! This is great news!

What is an invoice? How do you make one? And what information should you include? This step-by-step guide will help you create an invoice.

What’s an invoice?

An invoice (also known as a sales invoice) is a document that bills a customer for your services or products. An invoice is an account receivable, which obligates the buyer to pay. It is a written agreement between you, the seller, and your client or customer (the buyer).

Invoices can also be a great way for your business to track its earnings. Written invoices are a great way to keep your finances organized. They also simplify accounting for tax season.

What is the difference between a bill or an invoice?

Technically, nothing. Bill and invoice are both terms used to inform customers or clients how much they owe on a product or service. The main difference is in who refers to the document.

Let’s first define each word:

Invoice definition

An invoice will be issued by your business to the purchaser detailing the sale of products and services, as well as the amount owed. An invoice is used to:

  • Document a business transaction that involves payment from a customer
  • You must request payment from the customer within a specified time frame
  • Maintains a list of products and services sold to assist with bookkeeping

Bill definition

A document is sent to your customer by you that details the amount of money due in exchange for goods or services. A bill

  • Let a customer know how much they must pay.
  • Provide a detailed record of your customer’s expenses for use in bookkeeping

The document is often referred to by the business as an “invoice”, while buyers get “a bill” which details the amount they owe. This is how it works:

Step 1 – Your company sends an invoicing to your customer

Step 2 The bill is delivered to the customer

Step 3 The customer repays the amount owing

Step 4 – Your business will issue an invoice receipt to prove that payment has been made.

What are some of the most important legal requirements for invoicing?

If you want to create a professional invoice, there are many details that you should include. These are the essential details that your invoice should contain:

  • Your company name: This is your official business name and tax ID number. To make your business look more professional, include your logo.
  • Name of your customer: Identify your customers, including their name or business name and tax ID number.
  • Contact details Enter your address, phone number and customer contact information. This information is particularly useful in the event that either party needs to contact you.
  • Invoice number An invoicing number is a way to keep track of your invoices so they don’t get mixed up. Pro tip Track your invoices easily with an abbreviated version your customer’s name followed by a dash and the month/year. For example: Invoice WIX-0520)
  • A list of costs and services: Invoices generally include the items purchased, whether they are products or services. Prices and quantities can also be included. To avoid confusion, enter as much detail as you can. If you offer a service by the hour, describe the time it took to complete the task. If applicable, include a separate line to account for wire transfer fees or VAT.
  • Dates Your invoice should include all relevant dates such as the date the invoice was issued, when the sale or service occurred, and the time that the invoice covers (for periodic bills).
  • Total amount Draw a line showing all the amounts your customer owes to you. All products and services should be included in the total amount. Before you calculate your total, don’t forget about any additional fees.
  • Payment information Provide your bank information to help your customers pay you. Third-party payment processors like PayPal and Transferwise are also used by many customers. They only need an email address and not sensitive information such as your bank details.
  • Terms & Conditions: On every invoice, write the terms and conditions that you and your customer have agreed to. These could include your rates, return/refund policy, product warranties, shipping information, and privacy policies.
  • Due Date: Avoid confusion later by clearly stating when you expect payment. Write “May 31, 2021” and not “Due within 30 days.”

Tip: Set a time frame for all invoices so that you know when to expect your payment. Your customer should pay you within 30 business days of the invoice’s date. However, it is possible to make this shorter or longer depending upon the nature of your business and how much you owe.

5 tips to keep an invoice looking professional

An invoice is another aspect of your business. Invoices are a professional way of building brand trust and letting customers know that they must pay on time. These are 5 tips to keep in mind.

01. Include branding

To keep your branding consistent, add your logo to your invoice. You don’t yet have one? Use a Logo Maker to create a logo for your company.

02. Use an invoice template to create or modify

You can either create your own template, or you can use one already created. Keep your invoices consistent in appearance and structure so that your clients or customers can recognize them easily and find the information they need. An invoice generator can also achieve the same result.

03. Make sure to check spellings and find any mistakes

Although it may seem obvious, you’d be amazed at how many businesses fail to do this. Customers can see through your business if you have to correct or resend invoices. Before you send your invoices, double- and triple-check them for errors.

04. Multiple payment options available

It can be helpful to offer customers a range of secure payment options such as digital wallet, credit card, or wire transfer if you want to ensure that they pay promptly and on time.

05. Thank you

It is a good idea to say “Thanks for your business” at the end of your invoice. You can be genuine and let your customers know what you mean to them. This can increase the probability of payment by 5%.

How can I create an invoice?

Invoice generator

It’s now easier than ever to create an invoicing. You can actually create a professional invoice within minutes with a HTML3_ free invoice generator HTML3_. These are the steps to follow:

Step 1 – Add your information

Include key details that will benefit both you and your customer/client.

  • Name of the business
  • Website for businesses
  • Contact information, such as email or phone number
  • Mailing address

Step 2 – Describe the services or products you are charging

Invoice settings will include the invoice number, issue date and due date. Include a description and a line for each product. Then add:

  • Hourly rate or price
  • Quantity (or the number of hours worked)
  • Discount (if applicable).
  • Total
  • Additional terms or notes

Step 3 – Finalize and Send!

Wix’s Invoice Generator will calculate your total automatically. Make sure you have all of the necessary information before you send. You can either email it directly to your client, or download it.

Step 4 – Issue an invoice receipt

After your customer has paid, you can send an invoice receipt to follow up. This will help you keep track all payments received.

Invoice from Scratch

These steps will help you create an invoice directly from scratch if you don’t have a generator.

Step 1 – Open a blank sheet

Use a program such as Google SheetsMicrosoft Excel to open a blank spreadsheet.

Step 2 – Create a branded invoice head

Invoices should include a header with the brand details and billing information.

  • Your logo
  • Contact information for businesses
  • Invoice date
  • Invoice number

Step 3 – Add the information of your client

Include the contact information of your client, such as company name, address, phone number, and name of relevant contact. You can use this example:

The Bill To:

Name of the Company

Address Rd.

State 55555, City

Step 4 – Add the due date

At the top of your invoice, write the date, month, and year due.

Step 5 – Add an itemized sales list

You can then create a table by adding columns that detail the services and/or goods provided, date of order and the cost per unit. Be sure to indicate the currency. Example:

Step 6 – Calculate the total

To calculate the total amount due on the invoice, add a last column. Excel’s SUM function and many other spreadsheets can do the math. Remember to include any applicable discounts, fees, or tax rates in your total.

Step 7: Add payment details

Include relevant payment information such as your PayPal ID. Include your name, account number and SWIFT code, bank and address, as well as the bank wire transfer information. Add a personal note at the bottom such as “Thanks for doing business with me!”

source https://www.wix.com/blog/ecommerce/2020/08/what-is-an-invoice

Open-To-Buy Retail Planning: How to Plan Inventory Budgets Using the OTB Formula

An open-to-buy plan is a purchasing budget for future inventory orders that a retailer creates for a specific period. It helps a retailer stock the right amount of the right products at the right time by showing the difference between how much inventory is needed and how much is available.

Having a solid handle on your inventory is the best way to guarantee you’ll always have enough stock on hand to meet demand. Excess inventory, or too much of the wrong product, can slow your cash flow and reduce profits, especially if you’re forced to mark items down. It’s this supply and demand imbalance that causes retailers to lose out on an estimated $568.7 billion in out-of-stock items.

At the same time, underbuying a product can result in missed sales opportunities, hurt your profit, and damage the customer experience. When products are out of stock, just 27% of shoppers go to a retailer’s website or return to the store to purchase the item when it becomes available. The majority will look in another store or skip the purchase entirely.

Creating an open-to-buy plan can help retailers decide how much inventory to buy or manufacture while keeping cash flow positive. This guide shares how to create one for your retail store.

 

What is open-to-buy?

Open-to-buy (OTB) is an inventory management strategy that helps retailers calculate how many products they need to buy. This includes physical inventory on hand and in transit, as well as any outstanding orders.

An OTB can be calculated in units or dollars, but is usually calculated in terms of cash, as there are variations in costs between products. OTB plans are also incredibly flexible—apply one to a single product category, a department, or across your entire retail business.

When to use open-to-buy planning

OTB planning is an inventory management practice used by all types of businesses, though it’s especially useful for retailers selling large numbers of SKUs—like fashion and apparel brands. You can plan merchandising budgets for future items based on historical data of how well products in t-shirt, shoes, and purchase categories have sold.

Because of this, some retailers strategically spend only a part of their OTB budget so they can take advantage of special buys. Your manufacturer might give discounts on summer products when the season ends, for example. A higher OTB budget here means you can capitalize on low-cost items in preparation for next summer.

The Charming Bench Company sells garden furniture to customers year-round, yet partner Chris Campbell says the main advantage of an OTB merchandise planning process “is that we can plan on seasonal buying trends.”

“In September and October, we know that pricings for summer patio furniture drop and we can expect an influx of buyers taking advantage of these deals in preparation for when they’ll be enjoying time outside again. We therefore make sure, earlier during the year, that we will have enough stock to meet these demands.”

Now that you have a better grasp of the concept behind an OTB plan, here’s a look at how to calculate OTB, along with definitions of some of the terminology involved.

Read more :

The open-to-buy formula

The open-to-buy formula will help you create forecasts for your OTB plan. The values in your open-to-buy are projections, so they may not be perfectly accurate. But a sensible way to check your numbers is if your actual month-end inventory is within 5% of your prediction.

💡 PRO TIP: Ready to leave your spreadsheets behind? To see your ending inventory, view the Month-end inventory snapshot report in Shopify admin.

Here are definitions of terms used in the OTB formula:

  • Planned beginning of month inventory: How much retail inventory (in dollars) you expect to have at the beginning of the month.
  • Planned sales: How much retail sales (in dollars) you forecast during a given month.
  • Planned markdowns: A projection of product markdowns (in dollars).
  • Planned open-to-buy dollars: The dollar amount that you have available to buy more inventory at the end of the month.
  • Planned end-of-month inventory: A forecast of balance inventory (in dollars) at the end of the month. End-of-month inventory carries over to become the beginning-of-month inventory for the next month.

The OTB formula looks like this:

Planned sales
+ planned markdowns
+ planned end of month inventory
– planned beginning of month inventory
= open-to-buy (OTB)

Here’s an example of an open-to-buy plan for a single month:

$15,000 (planned sales)
+ $350 (planned markdowns)
+ $25,000 (planned end of month inventory, October 31)
– $30,000 (planned beginning of month inventory, October 1)
= $10,350 OTB 

How to calculate your open-to-buy at cost

Initial markup (IMU) is the calculation used to determine the retail price of an item in your store. For example, if you have a wallet that costs you $15 to make or to purchase at wholesale, then the IMU is the measurement of how much you mark up the wallet when you sell it to the customer.

If your IMU is 75%, you would use this calculation to determine your retail price: cost or wholesale price / (1 – IMU %) = retail price.

  1. Convert the markup percent into a decimal: 75% = 0.75.
  2. Subtract it from 1 (to get the inverse): 1 – .75 = 0.25.
  3. Divide the wholesale price by 0.25.
  4. The answer is your retail price.

For example: $15 (cost or wholesale price) / (1 – 0.75) = $60 (retail price)

While your initial retail price must cover the cost of the product and the selling expenses that are associated with the item, remember to factor less obvious costs into your retail price. Consider covering a portion of your business’s day-to-day overhead, such as the cost of your website each month and marketing. You want to be left with some profit, right?

To figure out your OTB at cost, multiply the OTB value by the initial markup. If your initial markup is 75%, for example, your open-to-buy at cost is $10,350 x 0.25 = $2,587.50.

Read more :

/connectpos-vs-oliverpos/

/4-examples-of-omnichannel-business-in-singapore/

/connectpos-vs-mokapos/

/top-7-woocommerce-plugins/

/top-4-technology-trends-for-retail-businesses/

The benefits of open-to-buy planning

Optimal stock levels

Managing inventory is one of the biggest challenges for retailers of all sizes. There’s a sweet spot between:

  1. Having too much inventory. With too much inventory, you lose money by keeping items in expensive storage or distribution centers—or worse, they become unsellable if they’re kept in storage too long. A food retailer that has unsold meat sitting in storage for two months is a recipe for disaster.
  2. Having too little inventory. “Sorry, this product is out of stock” is a phrase you never want your retail team to have to say to customers. But inventory shortages happen, with complete stockouts costing retailers $1 trillion every year.

OTB planning, however, helps retailers find the middle ground between bloated and sparse inventory levels. You’ll know exactly how much inventory you have and how much you’ll need for the upcoming period, giving you a clear budget to spend on purchase orders for new products.

If you have more inventory than you need, you are wasting money, space, and personnel dedicated to caring for that inventory. If you have variation, inventory can end up lost, damaged, or hidden, which can result in less stock and unsatisfied customers.

More flexible inventory

Unlike quarterly or yearly inventory replenishment, most retailers do their OTB planning on a monthly or weekly basis. Your budget will change accordingly, giving you the flexibility to order more (or less) inventory on any given week or month.

Let’s put that into practice and say you’re planning to do a last-minute pop-up shop in your local area next month. You’ve already done your quarterly inventory planning without factoring in the extra stock you hope to sell at the event. By doing an OTB plan the month prior, you know exactly how much inventory you need to order—both in terms of SKU quantities and the dollar amount you have to spend.

Identify trends

When managing inventory, it’s safe to assume that there’s always more than meets the eye. What seems like an obvious trend isn’t always as accurate as you might think.

We can see this in action with fashion retail stores. It’s obvious t-shirt sales would spike just before summer, right? But OTB planning research shows that trend starts to accelerate earlier than you’d expected—throughout April you see increased t-shirt sales.

Going without an OTB plan altogether means you’d get to April and not have enough inventory to cater to the shoppers buying t-shirts earlier than expected.

Not only that, but creating an OTB plan factors in sales and promotions. Retailers lose $40.2 billion when their marketing departments don’t communicate upcoming sales or promotions with their supply chain team. Inventory falls short; customer experiences are ruined. Shoppers don’t get the amazing deals they were promised if there’s no stock available to buy.

OTB planning takes all of those factors into account. You’ll see upcoming flash sales and year-round seasonal patterns, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when planning your inventory budget. The result? No stockouts during peak sales seasons.

Read more :

/5-types-of-discount-for-a-fashion-pos/

/4-types-of-cash-register-you-should-know/

/top-5-payment-methods-that-pos-should-support/

/top-5-gift-card-integrations-for-your-pos/

/top-ideas-to-maximize-pos-performance/

/marketing-tactics-to-boost-sales/

Prevent overspending

OTB not only helps you better plan inventory purchases, but it’s also a financial budget that can help you tighten your belt.

For example, you might have a total of $100,000 tied up currently in your retail inventory. Creating an OTB plan can help you carefully manage retail merchandise across your business for the year. As a result, this kind of planning can help you find “slack” in your inventory investment budget. Even a 10% cost-savings in this example means you’d have an extra $10,000 to invest elsewhere.

The limitations of open-to-buy

It’s not ideal for staple items

Staple items are products that customers rely on your store to stock. A grocery store’s staple items are bread, milk, and eggs. Staple items for a brick-and-mortar store selling home decor might be the plush throws you’re known for.

Regardless of what these staples are, it’s important to have them well-stocked at all times. OTB planning may not be the best method for staple items, since there’s a risk of losing order quantity discounts. Buying $300 worth of bestselling inventory every month won’t give you a volume discount. A $2,000 order every six months might.

The supply chain industry is also in limbo. Shipping containers are gridlocked and there’s a shortage of HGV drivers in some countries. Ordering your inventory one month in advance—using OTB planning—leaves you exposed to risk. Should something go wrong, you don’t have much time to fix it before shoppers visit your store for staple items and leave empty-handed.

Inventory budget should be set well in advance, as inventory purchasing should begin no later than one month prior to opening to account for potential shipping delays and merchandising needs adequately.

It needs to be supplemented with other metrics

An OTB retail plan takes only six metrics into consideration. However, inventory management and financial planning is like a machine with several cogs. You might run into problems if you’re not looking at the bigger picture.

Supplement your OTB plan with other metrics that could impact those you’re using in the OTB formula. That includes:

  • Order cycle time. Also known as lead time, this shows how long it takes for a product to be acquired, manufactured, shipped, and sold. OTB planning isn’t the best budgeting method for inventory with longer order cycles because of its short-term forecasts.
  • Inventory carrying costs. How much does it cost to keep your inventory in storage? If your planned end-of-month inventory is costing $3,000 to store but is only worth $3,500 in sales, consider cutting down your OTB budget.
  • Demand forecast accuracy. You have sales data to go off when predicting future sales. But unpredictable and unavoidable things happen (take COVID as the most extreme example). When OTB planning, look back over previous predictions to see how accurate your forecasts were.
  • Inventory shrinkage. Planned and predicted inventory are totally different from your actual inventory count. Stock can go missing for many reasons, including employee theft, return fraud, or admin errors. OTB planning doesn’t take shrinkage into consideration, meaning your predictions could be inaccurate.

How to create your own open-to-buy plan

Ready to create an OTB plan for upcoming stock replenishment? Here’s how to set an OTB budget that works for your retail store.

1. Know your inventory turnover

Part of creating an OTB budget involves planning inventory turnover—a calculation that measures how fast you sell through inventory and need to replace it. The quicker a retailer “turns” its inventory, the more it will need to buy or make in a year.

Calculate your inventory turnover using the following formula: Sales / inventory = turnover rate.

For example, if you sold $50,000 worth of product and had $25,000 worth of inventory, then your inventory turn would be $50,000 / $25,000 = 2. You turned over your inventory two times during the given time period.

Most retailers don’t set turns at the same level for every product or category, since it’s common for products to sell at different speeds. With the right open-to-buy plan, you can manage your product categories and stock levels by planning inventory turns for each.

Read more :

/connectpos-vs-heartland-pos/

/top-5-pos-systems-for-pet-shops/

/5-types-of-barcode-scanner-for-your-pos/

/shopify-omnichannel-ecosystem/

/6-best-free-shopify-apps/

/what-is-shopify/

2. Run the financials

OTB planning doesn’t have to be anything complex. Many small- to medium-sized retailers plan their OTB month-to-month, but for businesses with high spikes in seasonal sales, try creating a weekly OTB plan.

You can start by creating a six-month open-to-buy plan in a spreadsheet. For each product you’re forecasting inventory budgets for, add the following rows for each month or week:

  • Planned sales
  • Planned markdowns
  • Planned end of month inventory
  • Planned beginning of month inventory
  • OTB dollars

Take this financial planning off your plate with open-to-buy software like Inventory Planner. The app pulls your Shopify ecommerce and POS data to forecast inventory and create budgets for restocks.

3. Sense-check your predictions

Over time, you’ll learn and adapt your OTB plan each season or year based on your unique business’ sales and markdown history. But regardless of which method you chose, make sure you carefully review each number and ask yourself if it’s realistic before you put your retail OTB plan into operation.

Example open-to-buy plan

Unsure what an OTB plan looks like? Alexis Damen shares an example OTB plan a fashion retailer might use over the Christmas period.

Peak shopping months—December and January—have higher planned sales, hence why the OTB budget for those months is higher. February’s OTB budget is even higher to account for depleted inventory in the months prior.

Six month OTB plan

Using open-to-buy planning for your retail store

Each year, countless retailers have to close up shop due to mismanaged inventory.

Use an OTB plan to stop going under or over budget. Know your inventory turnover, run the formula, and sense-check any predictions by comparing them against previous sales data. It’s a great starting point to creating accurate retail merchandise budgets.

Article source: https://www.shopify.com/retail/open-to-buy-plans

How to set up local pickup in Shopify POS

Now that you know what local pickup is and how it helps unify your online and physical stores with click-and-collect order fulfillment, it’s time to set it up for your Shopify store. Read this Help Center article for a step-by-step walkthrough, or watch the tutorial video below.

 

 

How to fulfill local pickup orders

For a visual walkthrough of how to fulfill in-store pickup orders in Shopify POS, watch this tutorial video.

 

 

Use local pickup to deliver ultimate convenience to shoppers 

One of the main challenges retailers face is unifying their online and in-person channels and letting shoppers use whichever mix is most convenient to them—but merchants who deliver on that expectation of multichannel convenience stand to reap the benefits.

While delivery options like BOPIS and curbside pickup were popularized during the pandemic restrictions, they’re two fulfillment options that are expected to increase in popularity because of how convenient they are.

Local pickup helps your online and retail stores complement one another and leverage each other’s strengths, resulting in a unified shopping experience for your customers and a straightforward fulfillment process for your retail teams.

Article source : https://www.shopify.com/retail/local-pickup

French VAT Fraud Prevention Acts: How to Certify invoices with WooCommerce

If you are based in France, and have an online WooCommerce store, you may need all invoices and credit notes certified.

You are probably asking yourself these questions:

  • Why is it necessary to certificate invoices and credit notes?
  • These rules do they apply to me?
  • What can I do to ensure that I am in good standing?

We have the answers.

What is the purpose of having my invoices certified

French VAT Fraud Prevention Law – Article 88 of Finance Act ndeg2015-1785 – requires that certain merchants use a “secure cash register system” or software.

This law was created to stop people hiding their income and reduce VAT fraud which amounts to 17 billion Euros per year.

What is a “cash register software or system”? Here is the government definition:

A cash register software system is a computer program that stores and records payments in exchange for goods or services.

Simply put, it’s any software system that issues sales transaction documents such as invoices or credit notes or sales receipts.

These four rules are required for any payment register software or system to be certified and compliant.

  1. Inalterability : Payment operations data are recorded and stored but cannot be altered.
  2. Security Data is encrypted and returned to France’s Administrative Fiscale. Guaranteed to be in its original condition.
  3. Retention/Conservation: Data must be kept for six years with annual, monthly, and daily closures.
  4. Archiving Data is stored and classified by date and made easily readable by Administration personnel as part of a control.

Software certified by Infocert ( /NF525 certificate), LNE, Laboratoire national de metrologies et d’essais (a government agency) or self-certified systems can be used.

Sanctions and compliance control

certification is required to verify compliance with your cash register system. Your systems can be checked by the Administration Fiscale at any time, and without notice.

You’ll be penalized EUR7,500 for each software/system that you fail to provide a certificate or attestation. You have 60 days to comply. If you don’t, you will be penalized EUR7,500. You will be fined EUR7,500 and you will have to comply again within 60 days. This can make certification difficult.

Who is responsible for following the VAT Fraud Prevention Law

Let’s begin at the beginning. You need to understand how this law affects you.

If:

  • All prices are subject to VAT
  • You can sell products or services to customers that are not subject VAT, such private individuals.
  • A cash register system is used or software.
  • Register payment transactions
  • You can accept other payment methods than credit cards or transfer payments via a bank or credit institution.

This excludes self-entrepreneurs and professional as well as B2B businesses that only sell to professionals. You are affected if you have customers that are VAT-exempt and customers that aren’t.

To double-check that you are complying with the VAT fraud prevention laws you have the option to use an online test by the French government.

WooCommerce allows me to comply with the law.

This anti-fraud law is applicable to brick-and mortar stores as well as eCommerce websites. You will need to certify credit notes from orders placed on your WooCommerce website if you meet the conditions.

An extension for WooCommerce , which provides an external certification solution, simplifies things.

Kiwiz uses blockchain technology to authenticate invoicing documents. It is 100% compliant with the VAT antifraud law because it combines security, inalterability, and archiving.

Learn more:

Kiwiz is not a cash register software. It’s a certification brick that enables the payment software (in this instance, WooCommerce), to be secure and in compliance. It creates invoices from your eCommerce store.

How do you get started?

You will need to subscribe to one their plans to get started with Kiwiz certification Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to Kiwiz.io/prix to choose the plan that corresponds to your monthly transactions.
  2. Download the Kiwiz extension directly from WooCommerce.com Marketplace.
  3. After signing up for a Kiwiz plan, you will receive an email with the credentials to configure the extension.
  4. Start creating your invoices.

Kiwiz’s subscription plans are based on the number of transactions you make each month. Certification never ends. You will be charged more if you process more transactions than your monthly allowance. You will automatically be charged for a lower volume plan if you process fewer transactions than the monthly limit.

You have 30 days to test the service for free, and you can cancel anytime during that period.

How your Product Catalog is Key to Success in Social Commerce

Millions of people use Facebook every day to connect with their family and friends around the world. However, these social commerce platforms are now powerful sales channels.

The new social commerce is a way to increase sales and reach new customers. It allows them to buy directly from these channels. This allows consumers to move easily between channels, making it imperative that they have access to high-quality catalogs.

It not only helps to drive buyer interest and discovery but also makes it easier for them to consider your product. The first impression of your item is its title and description.

If the products in your Instagram Shops and Facebook pages are in stock, customers will feel more comfortable and have more trust in you. Merchants must have a quality product catalog in order to reach more customers and drive more sales.

If you don’t have a Facebook or Instagram account, this is how to connect.

What’s a product catalogue and why is it so important?

A catalog contains information about products that you sell on Facebook and Instagram. Your catalog data quality is key to creating positive shopping experiences in Shops and ads.

Customers will be able to find your products and make better purchasing decisions if your catalog quality is optimized.

Learn more: 

Magento Pos

Shopify Pos

Bigcommerce Pos

Woocommerce Pos

Netsuite pos

MSI

The benefits of a high quality catalog:

  • Increase your search engine results: The quality of your product directly affects the chances of it being found and allowing you to get more distribution.
  • Drive conversions It is essential that your website and catalog are consistent. Shoppers expect seamless experiences across channels. However, visuals and product information can be added to your catalog to ensure that buyers are able to find the right product information for their needs.

Best Practices

Merchants have a lot of opportunities through Facebook For BigCommerce. They need to be strategic in creating the best content that converts.

These are our top tips and best practices to make your brand stand out.

1. Use detailed product information.

Customers will be able to find your product by using category-specific attributes. They also enhance the customer experience and increase conversion rates. Different attributes serve different purposes:

  • Discovery These attributes are not directly displayed on your product detail page (PDP), but they help buyers find your product through search. These attributes include brand, gender and age group.
  • Variants – Provide variant attributes for products that have a variation. Color, size and material are just a few examples. Find out more about variants on page 2.
  • Consideration These attributes are listed on product detail pages as variant selectors. They help buyers to consider purchasing your product.

2. You can manage product variants in the catalog.

Variants are variations on the same product that you have in your catalog. For example, a T-shirt with the same size and color in different sizes. Customers will have a better experience shopping for your products when you properly set up variants in your catalog.

You can add variants to:

  • Help customers to find more colors and sizes of a product.
  • Give people more options by showing one version of each product in your shop. People can view the variants of the product they are interested in when they select it to learn more.

3. Keep your catalog current.

To use product tags on Instagram you will need a product catalogue. A robust catalog can make it easier to be successful. Consider the viewpoint of the customer. They will see your post and want to know more. They will see the product tag, and then move to the product detail page.

When updating your catalog, here are some important points to remember:

  • Inventory – Only products that have inventory can be sold. You can sell products by updating your catalog with exact inventory counts. This will allow you to know when items sell and what product categories codes are required for taxes.
  • Product names – Keep product names short and consistent with your Instagram website so that shoppers can easily find out how to use a product.
  • Product descriptions – Include the item description. This includes length, material, and size considerations. Don’t forget to include conversions for sizes that are not available in the US.
  • Sizing – For products that require sizing consideration, ensure details are accurate. Make sure you have enough inventory to cover all sizes of a product. For more information, see here.
  • Pricing – Make sure your price is correct and in line with your website.
  • Shipping Fees You can set different shipping fees, including minimum shipping charges at different service levels. In your Commerce Manager settings, you can set your shipping options.

Pro Tip: If there are not enough images or videos on a product page, shoppers will be unable to make a decision. Make sure you have at least two photographs of the product.

4. Be sure to use product tags often.

130,000,000 people click on product tags every month to find out more about brands they’re following on Instagram. Product tags allow you to highlight products from BigCommerce and provide information for customers.

Product tags are essential to give shoppers an easy way not only to find your brand but also to make it easy for them to purchase. You should make product tags a part your Instagram strategy and use them when you post images of products.

Facebook data shows that merchants who tag more than 5 days per month in their feeds see an average of:

  • Visitors to product pages have increased by 278%
  • Purchases up 231%
  • Sales increase by 216%

Because people spend so much time on Instagram, they use product tags in different formats, such as stories, reels, IGTV and captions, the most successful shopping businesses use product tags often across all formats.

To increase shoppable posts, you can use product tags frequently to reach more shoppers and make your shop stand out.

How to use AliExpress for dropshipping

Once you’ve got your dropshipping store set up, what should you do when you receive your first order?

Dropshipping with AliExpress works in the same way as regular dropshippers. Once you have received an order, click on AliExpress to purchase the item and then enter the name and shipping address of your customer. Rest is handled by AliExpress sellers.

It’s possible to dropship from AliExpress by hand. A spreadsheet with a list all products, their price, AliExpress cost, and a link will help you keep track of the AliExpress listing is a great idea. It will make it easier to track price changes and find the supplier when you receive an order.

 

Oberlo can also be used to handle this. This makes it much easier to place orders on AliExpress, and monitor price changes. This is a much more efficient way to save time, which can be your most valuable resource. This allows you to grow quickly without having to order manually dozens (or even more) of AliExpress products.

 

It works like this: It is as easy as installing the Oberlo app in your Shopify shop, checking your orders in Oberlo and clicking on Order Product next each pending order. Oberlo takes care of the rest. Oberlo will purchase the AliExpress product for you and enter your customer details.

Oberlo can even notify you if a supplier on AliExpress has increased their price or gone out of stock, and will suggest other dropshipping suppliers.

Oberlo can also be used as a dashboard to dropship through AliExpress. It allows you to track all orders and monitor delivery status.

Dropshipping via AliExpress is possible if you let the seller know what your plans are. The supplier will not include invoices or promotional materials in the shipment that is sent to you. You can leave a message to the seller at checkout. It is best to leave a message like “We are dropshipping.” Oberlo will do this for your AliExpress purchase.

Learn more: 

Magento pos

Shopify pos

Bigcommerce pos

Woocommerce pos

Netsuite pos

MSI

If the supplier is located in China, you can choose ePacket shipping. Many suppliers offer it free of charge. Oberlo makes it easy to choose ePacket shipping at checkout for AliExpress orders.

You will receive an email soon letting you know that your order is shipped, depending on the processing time of your seller.

To view your order, click the link in the email. This will let you see the tracking number.

 

Go to Shopify admin to complete your order. Make sure you enter the tracking number.

 

Oberlo can be used to dropship with AliExpress. Your order will be fulfilled automatically. If you are using Oberlo, skip this step.

That’s all! It’s now time to wait for your customers. AliExpress will email you to confirm that your order has been received. If there are any problems with the product, delivery or shipping, please allow some time for the customer to contact you. You can then contact AliExpress to raise the issue with your supplier, encouraging them in the corrective action and hopefully solving any future problems.

What about returns and refunds?

Many dropshipping suppliers, such as AliExpress and Alibaba, don’t offer returns. You will need to deal with returns and refunds in one way or another. If a customer places an order on your website and it doesn’t arrive or they are unhappy with the purchase, this is usually a sign that there are problems.

If your order is not received, the first case will be dealt with by AliExpress. If this happens, you can contact your supplier to resolve the problem or take advantage of AliExpress’ Buyer Protect.

It’s often a matter of expectations. The customer may not be satisfied with the product they received. If the customer is unhappy with the product, I recommend that they get a refund. Also, you can ask them to review your marketing and see if you can make any adjustments to their order. In many cases, customers may not have understood what they ordered. Ask your customer to take pictures of the damaged product and then send them to AliExpress.

Growing your AliExpress dropshipping company

After you have made your first sales, you can start to look at AliExpress and dropshipping as ways to grow.

You’ll eventually be able to identify reliable suppliers and those who don’t. The best dropshipping tip is to build relationships with reliable suppliers. This will enable you to obtain better prices and faster processing of your orders.

Dropshipping via AliExpress is easy if you use WhatsApp. To establish a business relationship, ask for the seller’s Skype username if you find yourself ordering from them often. After you have proven that you can generate recurring sales, sellers may allow you to put your logo on products and include custom invoices or branded inserts in shipping packages.

Oberlo makes it easy to start a dropshipping business.

Dropshipping on AliExpress has the best advantage: it allows store owners quickly validate business ideas as well as products. Are you unsure if your product is a good fit for sale? You can add it to your shop and start testing it! If it fails, you can easily remove it and test another item.

There’s very little risk in setting up this business because you don’t have to manage any inventory or carry it around. Oberlo is free to begin, as I said.

How to start a cleaning business: The complete guide

A wide variety of cleaning services are offered by cleaning businesses, such as vacuuming, dusting and floor mopping. Cleaning businesses have been focusing on the CDC-recommended procedures to eradicate the COVID-19 virus. This guide will discuss low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started on a tight budget. In seven easy steps, we will show you how to start your cleaning business.

1. Select the type of cleaning business you want

First, you must decide if you want to start a commercial or residential cleaning company. This decision will impact everything else, from financing to equipment to marketing.

Many cleaning companies do not offer services to commercial and residential customers. Each cleaning company offers different services and requires unique equipment. This is why specialization is important. It is also important to decide whether you are starting your business from scratch or buying a franchise that specializes in cleaning.

Commercial vs. Residential Cleaning Businesses

A residential cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning homes, while a commercial cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning businesses. It gets more complicated. The residential cleaning business is typically more affordable to start. However, adding on services like window washing and floor waxing can make it very profitable.

You also want to consider that residential is done during the day, and commercial is during the night. Also, residential cleaning is more detail oriented because the homeowner is more likely to inspect your work, and be particular about how you do certain tasks such as arranging pillows and blankets. Commercial covers more square feet, so you’ll have to work faster and less detail oriented than residential.

You’ll have more customers in residential areas, which means less competition for your business. Your budget and your lifestyle will determine which option you choose between residential or commercial.

Do You Need to Buy a Cleaning Franchise?

Franchises in cleaning are very popular. You can choose from more than 15 brands. Cleaning franchises are attractive because they are generally affordable to start. Many franchises offer the option of starting from home or part time. As low as $3500 for a Stratus Building Solutions franchise

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cleaning franchises will be affordable. Some franchises require a $200,000 investment. These franchises require vehicles, advanced equipment, and a physical location.

Learn more:

Magento pos

Shopify pos

Bigcommerce pos

Woocommerce pos

Netsuite pos

MSI

 

A franchise offers industry and business training, which is why many new business owners opt to purchase it. The Maids, for example, offers seven-weeks of business training. It also provides two days of culture and admin training at headquarters. You can also get four days on-site training at your place. This is a boot camp for cleaning businesses!

Research top cleaning franchises

Franchise Type Initial investment
Stratus Construction Solutions Commercial $4,000 to $73,000
JanPro Commercial $4,000 – $54,700
Vanguard Cleaning Systems Commercial $6,000 – $37,000
Anago Cleaning Systems Commercial $11,000 to $68,000
Maid Pro Residential $58,000 to $222,000
The Maids Residential $63,000 to $141,000
Merry Maids Residential $125,000 – $90,000.
Molly Maid Residential $112,000 to $156,000

2. 2.

Next, you need to create a business plan. Get your ideas down on paper. Also, research startup costs and project how much the cleaning business will make over the next two-years (referred to as financial projections).

traditional business planning is required if you are looking for large amounts of funding from a bank, investor or other financial institution. To help with financial projections, most people will use a business plan software. Software is required to help you understand what an income statement or balance sheet are.

A one-page business plan is possible

The one-page business plan should take you less than fifteen minutes to complete. It’s easy: Simply write one to two sentences for each of the questions provided in the template.

Download template: PDF

Create a budget

You will need to calculate the financials of your cleaning company along with the business plan. Three figures are required: estimated startup costs, estimated monthly expenses, monthly income and estimated startup costs.

These are the most common expenses associated with a low-cost cleaning company:

  • Permits and Licenses: $50 to $500 to Register as a Limited Liability Company
  • Insurance: $500 – $3,500 per year, depending on how many employees. You can expect to pay only a few hundred dollars a month.
  • Cleaning products and equipment: $300-$600 depending on the model of tools. Vacuums of high quality can be purchased for $200 to $300. There are $10 off for several all-purpose cleaning products, $10 off for a broom and $20 on a mop. You also get $20 off for dusting supplies.
  • Advertising:$100 – $200 for print or online marketing
  • Labor: About $12 per hour.

Once you have estimated your expenses, it is time to calculate your rates and the monthly income you will make.

Get your Cleaning Rates Set

Rates will be determined by factors such as location, competition, clientele and interior condition. Upgrades such as wall washings, appliance cleanings and window cleaning can help you earn more revenue.

These options are important when setting your rates

  • Hourly rate: $30-$90 per hour. The most popular billing method is the hourly rate. Call your competitors to get an estimate of your hourly rate and inquire about the cost of service.
  • Flat rate: $120-$150 for a single family home. This rate can be determined by estimating the time it will take to clean a house. This rate may be preferred by customers because they know exactly how much to pay each month.
  • Square Foot Feet Rate: Commercial cleaning companies charge per square foot. An office building will typically be charged between $.05 and $.20 per square feet.

Add up the income and expenses

Once you know your startup costs and monthly expenses and your potential income, the next step will be to calculate your net income (income after expenses) and the time it will take to make your initial investment back. This is also known as breakeven.

Let’s take, for example, startup costs of $4,000. You calculate that your monthly expenses will be $1,000, which includes your quarterly tax withdrawal, or about 20% of your income.

If you clean 20 houses per month, earning $120 per house, that’s $2,400 in income. You will have $1,400 in net income each month after you subtract the $1,000 monthly expenses.

This scenario will require you to breakeven in four months and earn your $4,000 investment back. It’s unlikely that you will have 20 homes within your first month of business. This client base and your return on investment may take more than four months.

/pos-review-connectpos-vs-yith-pos/

/essential-tips-for-halloween-inventory-management/

/shopify-pos-reviews-is-it-best/

/what-is-bigcommerce/

/top-6-valuable-bigcommerce-retail-apps/

/top-5-pos-swipe-machine-you-should-integrate/

/create-halloween-customer-experience/

3. 3. Get the necessary funds

You did it! Now you know the amount of money it will take to open the cleaning business and keep it running for at least six more months. Now, you have to raise the money. How do you go about it?

In order to begin your business, it is a good idea to use personal money. Avoid debt whenever possible. If you have vehicles or a physical address, this may not be possible. No matter what type of business you are opening, you will still need to repay the debt if it fails.

To start your cleaning business (bullets), you might consider the following funding options:

  • Personal money: Before you use any personal funds to launch your business, make sure that the money is transferred into a bank account for the business (described below).
  • Crowdfunding – This funding option is often overlooked by new cleaning business owners. Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds from family and friends before you open your business. The funds can be used to buy equipment, and then for prepaid services.
  • Credit Cards: We don’t recommend that you take on large amounts of debt in order to start your business. A credit card can be an option if you are willing to take on debt. You can get a 0% APR for 12-18 months if you have excellent credit.
  • Personal loan – We recommend that you do not take out a personal loan in order to start a cleaning company. Because the loan isn’t secured by collateral, the interest rate is high (12%)
  • Home equity loans: You can get a loan to fund your startup if you have equity in your house. The interest rate on this loan will be very low because it is secured by your home.
  • Rollover to business startups (ROBS).: This is only for franchise openings. ROBS refers to when you use your 401(k), money to open a new business.

You can’t apply for traditional bank loans or SBA loans until you have a minimum of three years worth of income and expenses or paid off any equipment. Banks don’t usually lend to startups.

A bank loan or franchise financing may be available if you are franchising. A bank may be able to arrange funding through the franchise. If the franchise’s overall failure rate is low, a bank might be willing to finance it.

4. 4.

Now that you have enough money to start your cleaning company, it is time to organize your legal documents. To open a bank account for your business, you will need an employment ID number.

Register for an Employment Identification Number

To identify small businesses, the federal government provides the employment identification number (EIN). This number is used to file taxes, open a bank account or get a loan. The IRS offers a free EIN. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the entire process.

Register the Legal Entity

All owners of cleaning businesses need to register their business as an entity. If a lawsuit is ever filed against your business, you can protect your personal assets by registering as a legal entity. The cost of registering a business depends on the state. It can range from $40 to $500.

/everything-you-need-to-know-about-order-management-system/

/connectpos-loyaltylion-partnership-announcement/

omnichannel-strategy-for-holiday-season/

thanksgiving-omnichannel-sales-strategy/

/holiday-marketing-tips/

/5-tips-to-choose-the-best-woocommerce-pos/

Tip Do not try to save money and skip this step. Cleaning business comes with a risk because you use chemicals in the homes and homes of your customers. You could be sued by customers if you cause damage to their homes, or if you accidentally destroy something. Your personal assets could be used to pay damages if you don’t have a legal entity.

 

  • Sole proprietorship – This is the default structure for your business if you do not register it as a legal entity. A sole proprietorship does not provide legal protections.
  • Limited Liability Company : This is the legal entity that you will most likely choose to run your cleaning business. It is easy to set up and requires little maintenance each year.
  • C corp – The C-corp is another legal entity. It’s easier to set up than the LLC. Many business owners hire an attorney for assistance in setting up the LLC. C-corps are typically used for larger businesses that have many investors.
  • S corporation – Technically the S-corp (small company corp) is not an entity legal. It’s a tax designation. The S-corp was created by Congress to give small businesses similar tax benefits as large corporations. To determine if your LLC can be designated as an S-corp, you can use the custom calculator.

Visit your state’s official website for business registration. You can use an online legal service if you find the site difficult to navigate. IncFile can register your company for free (plus any applicable state fees).

Register for a Business Bank Account

Get a bank account before you incur any expenses or take on any new clients. You want to make sure your personal and business finances are separate as a business owner.

Separate bank accounts are useful for keeping track of income and expenses in order to file taxes. This separation of finances makes it easier to handle any IRS audits.

You can open a business check if you already have a banking relationship. Novo is a great option if you are looking for a bank. Novo is an online bank that caters to small businesses. Novo does not require a minimum balance to open a checking account. Big banks may require $1,500.

5. Get Proper Licenses & Insurance

A license is required for a cleaning business to operate in the locality. All cleaning companies will require insurance. This insurance covers any damage to a customer’s house. Workers’ compensation insurance is required if you hire employees.

Business License

Your state may not require you to obtain a license to operate a cleaning business. Check your state’s website for information about licensing requirements.

A General Business License is required for your city. A record of the businesses that are in operation is all that’s required by most cities. Visit the official website of your city to obtain a General Business License.

Atlanta, for example, requires that all businesses obtain a General Business License. This applies to both online and home-based businesses. The license costs $75. A $500 fine can be imposed if you fail to get a license.

General Liability Insurance

You should at least purchase general insurance (GL). This insurance will protect you from property and bodily injury. A small cleaning business will need GL insurance. It costs around $300 per annum.

Customers may ask for proof that your company is covered by general liability insurance before they hire you as a cleaning service. Customers want to be able to collect for any damage your cleaning might cause in their house or business.

Janitorial Bond

Although you will do your best to find the best people for your cleaning company, there is no guarantee that they won’t steal on the job. In the event of theft, a janitorial bond ( certainty bond ) protects the homeowner.

Here’s how it works. If an employee takes an item from a customer’s house, the bond company will pay for replacement. The bond company places your business on a payment schedule so that you can repay them over time. This is better than a lawsuit or large payment to the client.

A bond is required for new cleaning companies to ensure that thefts don’t cause financial ruin. An annual janitorial bond costs around $200

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required if you have employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees who are injured while on the job and pays for their medical bills, rehabilitation costs, as well as lost wages. Workers’ compensation will cost approximately $450 per employee annually.

what-you-should-know-about-a-pos-swipe-machine/

/top-5-native-pos-apps-for-ipad/

how-can-pos-software-with-inventory-control-upgrade-your-business/

/what-you-need-to-know-about-shopify-pos-pro/

/everything-you-need-to-know-about-stocktake/

/everything-you-need-to-know-about-online-cash-register/

6. Buy Cleaning Equipment

Your first customer is almost accepted! First, you will need to buy the equipment necessary to do the job. Below is a list of affordable items that will help you get your cleaning business off to a good start.

These are the basics you’ll need:

  • Clean uniform or apron
  • Use paper towels
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Latex gloves
  • Use scrubbers
  • Toilet brush
  • Grout brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Wood cleaner
  • Grout and tile cleaner
  • Extendable duster
  • Sponge
  • Disinfectants
  • Vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Mop

 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cleaning products and brands available if you are starting from a tight budget. When you first start out, make sure to only purchase the items that are necessary. Do not spend more or get into more debt than you need.

Write down your cleaning wish list items. It’s tempting to want a premium vacuum right now. But resist the urge.

In your business plan, list your wishlist items. Indicate the net income level at which you will make each purchase. There will be milestones in your business that you can look forward to!

7. 7.Market Your Cleaning Business

Let’s discuss low-cost, free ways to get your cleaning company noticed. All online marketing, including Google My Business and social media, is free. Although physical marketing materials may have a price, you can make an impact on customers with creativity.

Material for Physical Marketing

There are many options available for physical marketing materials such as flyers, business cards and postcards. We’re talking about marketing on a budget so I will only discuss one low-cost strategy to market a cleaning company.

Leave a note on a card after each cleaning. Thank the homeowner for their service and ask them to forward your card to anyone who is interested in having their home cleaned.

If you are promoting your business using marketing materials, leave a small gift like chocolates or something that the homeowner would appreciate, such as a hand sanitizer. This is called reciprocity. This personal marketing creates an emotional connection between the homeowner and their customer, which makes them more likely than others to reciprocate.

Online Marketing

These are free online marketing strategies that will help you get your cleaning business noticed online.

  • Google My Business: All local businesses can use the GMB, a free listing provided by Google. Your GMB will be displayed first to potential customers who search for residential cleaning businesses.
  • Google My Business: After you have created your GMB listing, Google will also provide a one-page website for free. Although this is not a permanent website, it is a great option for cleaning businesses on a tight budget.
  • Social media profiles – The best advice for social media success? Choose one platform and use it well. You can choose the social platform that you like best (for cleaning, either Instagram) and build your following there.
  • Local business directory: A cleaning company should be listed at least on Yelp or Yellow Pages. You can find other directories that you should be listed on by doing a Google search for your service and seeing what results are returned.

Network in Your Community

Networking in person is an effective and memorable way to promote your business to potential customers. Try attending small business groups in your area such as the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary clubs. Volunteer to serve as a leader in order to make a lasting impression on the organization.

/5-tips-to-manage-purchase-orders-for-warehouse-management/

/top-7-pos-systems-for-small-business/

/inventory-management-problems-and-how-to-solve-them/

/top-5-retail-pos-systems/

/6-tips-to-build-an-omnichannel-strategy-for-the-holiday-season/

Bottom line

We have discussed the steps required and low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started. A franchise is a great option for a new business owner who needs the support and training they need. After you have your first customers, it is important to put in great work. A clean house or office is the best way to market your business.

How to become a real estate agent

A real estate agent can be someone who is legally licensed to represent sellers and buyers in property transactions. Although the licensing requirements vary by state, all agents must comply with state requirements. You will need to pass the exam, take prelicensing classes and find a sponsoring agent before you can submit an application to the state’s real estate board.

These are the steps you need to take in order to become a real-estate agent.

1. Review Real Estate Requirements for Your State1. Review Real Estate Requirements for Your State

Before you register for classes or take the licensing exam, make sure to check your state’s requirements regarding real estate licensure. You can do this by visiting the website of your state’s realty commission and researching your state’s minimum licensing requirements. The following state-specific guides can help you navigate the licensing process:

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington Wisconsin Wyoming  

To be eligible to transact real estate within their states, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have US citizenship, complete coursework and pass a licensing exam. Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow you to do business with other states without the need for a secondary license.

Reciprocity laws permit licensed agents from one state to legally practice real estate in another without needing to satisfy additional licensing requirements. Our complete guide on real estate reciprocity.

2. Complete Real Estate Prelicensing Coursework

Once you’ve determined your state’s licensing requirements, you can visit the website of your state’s real estate commission to find out which prelicensing courses you need and whether you can take them online. Although not all states allow you to take your prelicensing courses online, most do. This makes it an attractive option for people who prefer the convenience of internet-based learning and the flexibility that comes with self-paced instruction.

Find out more about the top online real estate schools, and how they compare to each other. Once you have found the right online school for your needs, sign up through their website to complete the course requirements and exams. Each school will give you proof of your coursework completion that you can attach to your license application.

To find the best school for you, take our quiz:

Which Real Estate School is Right for You?

We’ll match you with the right product for your business by asking you some questions.

Question 1

Which is your main reason for pursuing a real estate course?

Question 1 of 3

1 minute approx

  

Question 2

Question 3

 

3. Register for & Pass Your State Real Estate Licensing Exam

Register to take your real estate exam via your state’s website. A proof of completion of prelicensing coursework may be required. You will also need to pay a $50-100 registration fee.

To fully prepare for the licensing exam, you might consider taking a exam prep course. A course can provide valuable study tools such as flashcards or practice tests. You can take the exam once you are confident in your knowledge of licensing topics.

4. Locate & Join a Sponsoring Agent

After passing your exam, you will need to find a sponsoring brokerage before the state issues you a license. Mentoring, training and work experience can all be provided by a sponsoring broker. To discuss sponsorship, find brokers in your local area. Prepare a list with questions for the broker to be asked during the interview.

Next, compare the pros and cons of each brokerage. Consider benefits such as mentorship, training, and team support. After you have made your choice, contact them to ask if they are willing to sponsor you. Find out how to select a realty company you want to work for.

5. Submit Your Real Estate License Application

Once you have successfully completed the courses and passed the exam, you can submit your license application. You can go back to the website of your state’s realty commission and fill out an application to obtain a license.

Some states require you to submit fingerprints and a criminal background check in order to complete your application. You will be required to pay $125 for a background check. Also, your fingerprints must be submitted for review.

You will need to wait for up to six weeks after submitting your completed application to be notified that the application has been approved. Some states will send you an email notification of approval for your license so that you can notify your broker quickly, but most states will only send official notification by mail.

 

You can find more information about these five steps in our step-by–step guide How to Get a Real Estate License.

How to Market Your Real Estate Business

Although a realty license will allow you to be identified as a salesperson or agent, it is not enough to become a successful agent. Still, you will need to develop and implement a marketing strategy that is focused on building trust and relationships. This will allow you to find your first client and increase the number of leads that are sent your way.

Networking is the key

As a new agent, networking is the most important thing. You can introduce yourself to people in casual settings as an agent. You will build relationships with local people and become a respected agent. People will find it easier to reach you for help with property issues.

There are many opportunities to network, whether you’re online, in person, or at events. The National Association of Realtors is the largest professional association for real estate professionals in the country. You will also receive the title of Realtor. This is a mark of professionalism and trustworthiness that many clients consider to be a sign of expertise.

To join, go to the NAR website and fill out the application. You will also need to pay the $150 annual fee. This fee covers your admission to networking events at local and national levels, continuing education classes that will help you improve your marketing and sales skills, and the designation of real estate agent.

Select a farm area

Your license as a real estate agent allows you to assist clients in buying and selling properties within your state. It will take too much time and effort to reach all potential clients in your state.

Your marketing efforts should begin with identifying the geographic area you wish to target. This is your farm region. You can build strong relationships and a strong reputation by focusing your marketing efforts on a single location.

Utilize Real Estate Lead Generation Tools

Although organic outreach and networking within your farm are the best ways to generate leads, there are many other lead generation tools that you can use to bring potential clients to your door. One such tool is a real estate website.

You can select from many high-quality lead generator website builders specifically designed for real estate agents. Many of these site builders can be integrated with a CRM tool to manage customer relationships. Your website builder can help with follow up and client communication. Some examples of the best website builders include:

Real Estate Lead Generation Software Best for
Real Geeks (Best Overall) Agents looking for an easy-to use website with CRM and managed marketing
Zillow Premier Agency Agents who need an IDX website with a CRM to manage Zillow leads
BoomTown Teams looking for IDX websites that offer lead assignment and follow up tools, as well as a live client concierge
Zurple Agents looking for a customized IDX website to suit their needs
  Agents looking for IDX websites that have intuitive CRM and enhanced search filters
  Agents in real estate are looking for an easy, affordable IDX website to generate leads.

You can also refer to our guide on top methods to generate real estate leads for more ideas about how to expand your influence and gain more clients.

Tools & Resources for a New Real Estate Agent

Although networking and organic outreach are the best ways to generate leads, there are many companies that offer tools that can help you save time and money. Ask your coworkers about their preferred CRM, lead generation tools, and marketing platforms.

Here are some best lead generation companies to help you get started.

ProspectsPLUS ProspectsPLUS! ProspectsPLUS is an online direct mailing service that offers a variety of templates and mailing options. Brochures and postcards ProspectsPLUS allows you to quickly get printed materials at a fraction of the cost.Contact ProspectPLUS!

Real Geeks Real Geeks is our top pick for a lead generation tool because it includes a website builder and CRM. This provides everything agents need to start selling. Pricing is customizable, but prices start at $250 per month. Real Geeks also offers managed services starting at $300 per month. Prices will vary depending on whether you have a budget for Facebook advertising or pay per click marketing (PPC).Visit Real Geeks

Zurple Zurple is real-estate lead generation software that brokers and agents love to work with data. It allows you to create a website for real estate that targets a particular farm area. However, it also offers lead capture. For $399 per month, the software will automatically create a search profile that gives you additional insight into when leads are most likely to be engaged.Visit Zurple.

BoldLeads BoldLeads provides buyer and seller leads for only $399 per month. This is an excellent option for brokers and agents who want to be in a position to test their marketing strategies using A/B test pages.BoldLeads

Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA). Agents looking to advertise on Zillow.com can use ZPA’s IDX website and CRM. Leads range from $20 to $60 depending on where you are located and how competitive the market is.Zillow Premier Agent

Zoho CRM Although Zoho CRM is not a real estate-specific software, it offers a free CRM plan that allows up to three users, a real estate management add-in and workflow builder. This makes it an excellent choice for new agents. This can also be integrated with social media tools so agents have the ability to track and monitor their interactions with potential clients via LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.Visit Zoho CRM

CINC CINC is a powerful tool to generate leads for real estate agents who are more comfortable in front of clients on their phones than behind a desk. Its fully integrated mobile app, digital concierge service and monitoring and qualification of leads for you allows you to be faster than your competitors. You can also get marketing assistance for $500 per month, plus the cost to advertise.Go to CINC

ProspectsPLUS ProspectsPLUS! ProspectsPLUS is an online direct mailing service that offers a variety of templates and mailing options. Brochures and postcards ProspectsPLUS allows you to quickly get printed materials at a fraction of the cost.Contact ProspectPLUS!

Real Geeks Real Geeks is our top pick for a lead generation tool because it includes a website builder and CRM. This provides everything agents need to start selling. Pricing is customizable, but prices start at $250 per month. Real Geeks also offers managed services starting at $300 per month. Prices will vary depending on whether you have a budget for Facebook advertising or pay per click marketing (PPC).Visit Real Geeks

Zurple Zurple is real-estate lead generation software that brokers and agents love to work with data. It allows you to create a website for real estate that targets a particular farm area. However, it also offers lead capture. For $399 per month, the software will automatically create a search profile that gives you additional insight into when leads are most likely to be engaged.Visit Zurple.

BoldLeads BoldLeads provides buyer and seller leads for only $399 per month. This is an excellent option for brokers and agents who want to be in a position to test their marketing strategies using A/B test pages.BoldLeads

Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA). Agents looking to advertise on Zillow.com can use ZPA’s IDX website and CRM. Leads range from $20 to $60 depending on where you are located and how competitive the market is.Zillow Premier Agent

Zoho CRM Although Zoho CRM is not a real estate-specific software, it offers a free CRM plan that allows up to three users, a real estate management add-in and workflow builder. This makes it an excellent choice for new agents. This can also be integrated with social media tools so agents have the ability to track and monitor their interactions with potential clients via LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.Visit Zoho CRM

CINC CINC is a powerful tool to generate leads for real estate agents who are more comfortable in front of clients on their phones than behind a desk. Its fully integrated mobile app, digital concierge service and monitoring and qualification of leads for you allows you to be faster than your competitors. You can also get marketing assistance for $500 per month, plus the cost to advertise.Go to CINC

ProspectsPLUS ProspectsPLUS! ProspectsPLUS is an online direct mailing service that offers a variety of templates and mailing options. Brochures and postcards ProspectsPLUS allows you to quickly get printed materials at a fraction of the cost.Contact ProspectPLUS!

What Characteristics Make a Real Estate Agent Successful?

The education and legal aspects of representing sellers or buyers in property transactions is all that you need to learn before becoming a real estate agent. Agents who are successful must also be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, organize, and engage their clients. To be successful in real estate, you need to look beyond the professional aspects of real estate agents.

These are the top characteristics of a great real estate agent.

  • Selling skills: The ability to present a compelling case for a purchase is the backbone of any career in real estate.
  • Sales and marketing knowledge: To succeed in real estate, you should be familiar with the basics of real estate advertising, copywriting, public relations, and marketing.
  • Time management expert: To manage their busy schedules, real estate agents must have great time management skills.
  • Outgoing and extrovert: Assess your social and listening skills. If you are able to pick up small details and have people confide in, you may be a good agent for real estate.
  • Learn There are many states that require a lot of education after licensure to maintain and renew your real estate license.

It is more than just education that makes a successful career in real estate. Trustworthiness and approachability are essential for building relationships with potential buyers and sellers. Ask for help from other agents if you have any problems. Ask fellow agents and brokers for their advice on managing agent-client relationships.

 

Learn more about How to Be Successful in Real Estate.

How to Become an Agent in Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

What is the cost of real estate school?

Prelicensing courses in real estate are typically $200-$1,000 depending on the state. Some states, like Texas, require 180 hours of coursework. This can vary depending on the package you choose and the real estate school. Others, such as Florida, only require 63 hours of coursework and cost $99-$435 depending on the study aids.

Are there any online classes in real estate?

It all depends on your state’s requirements. Many states allow real estate agents to take classes online through an accredited school such as Real Estate Express. Click here to find out if your state permits you to take classes online.

How much does it cost for a real estate license application to be submitted?

The fee for a real estate license is $300 to $400. It should be sent directly to the state real estate commission. Additional $125 is available for states that require fingerprints or a background check in order to approve a real-estate license.

What is the average salary of real estate agents?

Based on experience and whereabouts, a full-time agent in real estate can earn between $40,000 to $75,000 per year. The health of the local housing market, the amount of time that an agent invests in the business and the average home sale price in the area all impact these estimates. Learn more about real estate agent salaries.

What is the difference between prelicensing and exam prep courses?

Your state will require you to complete prelicensing coursework in order to schedule your licensure examination. Exam prep classes, which are not required by your state, help you to master exam materials.

Bottom line

The first step in becoming a real-estate agent is to research your state’s licensing requirements. This will lead to obtaining a real license. But that’s just the beginning of your real-estate career. We’re always generating new content. For more information on how to improve your career as an agent, you can subscribe to our free newsletter.

How to start a blog in 7 easy steps

How to start a blog in 7 easy steps

How to make money with a blog is as easy as seven steps. Although you can launch a blog within a day, it will take three to six months for your blog to gain traction on Google and become profitable. These steps can help you accelerate the success of your blog.

You will need to select a platform for blogging and a hosting provider. Bluehost is a great place to host your WordPress blog. It costs only $2.95 per month.

Visit Bluehost

To start a blog that makes money, you only need to follow seven steps:

1. 1. Decide what type of blog you want to start

First, decide what topic you want to blog about. Perhaps you already know what your blog will be about. You need to be aware of the basics to make sure you choose a niche with real earnings potential.

You need to narrow down a niche you are able to serve well. This will allow you to significantly reduce your competition. It is better to provide content that caters to your specific needs than a generalized piece of content at any given time. Nerdfitness, for example, was a blog that became very popular quickly despite the fact that there were many fitness blogs. It appealed to nerds who wanted to be fit.

— Ted Chong, Blogger, Digital Senior

Types of blogs

There are many different types of blogs that you can create and each one appeals to a specific niche audience. A blog where you are already proficient in the topic or have deep knowledge and experience is the best.

These are some of the most popular blogs:

  • Food blogs If you are passionate about cooking and creating new recipes, you might consider starting a food blog. This niche is very popular on the internet.
  • Wellness and health blogs: If your passion is for fitness and health, you might want to start a blog about it.
  • Business blogs These blogs are focused on a specific set of business interests and needs, such as leadership or entrepreneurship.
  • Start a Travel Blog if you are passionate about adventure and travel.
  • Lifestyle blogs A popular niche in blogging, lifestyle blogs discuss a set of lifestyle choices, interests and unique tastes from the blogger’s perspective.
  • Craft blogs If you find the idea of sharing your craft knowledge appealing and there is a large demand for DIY craft ideas, then you might consider starting a blog.
  • Finance blogs: These blogs discuss how to save money, invest your money, live within a budget, as well as other topics related to personal and business finances.
  • Blogs about sports: If your passion is for the game of football, you might want to create a blog about it.
  • Mommy blogs These blogs are focused on parenting, homemaking and personal challenges that mothers face.
  • Entertainment blogs You may blog about movies, television and music as well as theater and celebrities.
  • Beauty and fashion blogs: These blogs usually discuss fashion trends, hair, makeup, and other beauty products.
  • Hobby blogs You have the option to blog about any hobby you choose, including model trains and gardening.

It is entirely up to you what type of blog you want. You can make money blogging by choosing a niche you are comfortable with.

Lifestyle blogger Joanna Goddard talks about a variety of topics on her popular blog

Keyword Research

Because people are searching for these topics most often, you want to write about them. This will help your blog get more traffic. If people don’t find you blog, you won’t make any money.

It is important to research keywords if you want your blog posts to rank on the first page in search engine results. You can also research keywords to find out how competitive the terms you are targeting.

Google’s Keyword Planner is the best tool to do keyword research. Although it is simple to use, you will need to create a Google AdWords Account to access the Keyword Planner tool.

Blog posts that are focused on high traffic terms and low competition terms can improve the likelihood of your posts ranking highly in Google’s search results. is our guide to the best ways to rank highly on Google.

Google’s Keyword Planner helps you discover volume and competition levels for keywords

2. How to make money with your blog

Many new bloggers make the biggest mistake of not deciding how to monetize their blogs. Before you launch your blog, you need to plan how you will generate income.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most successful ways to make money blogging. You can add advertisements to your website, sell products or services, or get paid sponsorships to promote your blog posts.

You don’t have to sell anything on your blog if you are not selling products or services. If you want to monetize your blog in six months, however, you should have something to sell within six months.

Alexis Mathews - how to start a blog Bloggers don’t necessarily need to have a product to market in the beginning. However, it is a good idea to have a product or service you can launch within six months to avoid making a hobby out of blogging. From the beginning, a clear revenue stream is essential. It is very competitive in the blogging world so it is important to do your homework early on to ensure that you are successful.

— Alexis Mathews, Marketing Strategist & SEO Specialist, Premier Executive Media

You can read our popular article How bloggers make to learn more about how you can generate income blogging. These ideas will help you get started with your money-making blogging endeavors.

3. Choose Your Blogging Platform

There are two main types of blog platforms. You can have your blog hosted on a different website. Although this is often free, there are significant restrictions in blog design, monetization and visibility in search engines. You can also create a self-hosted website with a content management software (CMS), and a hosting company for as low as $2.95 using BlueHost. The best way to make money online is to create your own blog.

Create Your Blog on another Website

Many free blogging platforms are available, including WordPress.com and Blogger. These websites connect you to other bloggers.

Hosting your blog on another site has its downsides.

  • No custom domain: Since you don’t get your own custom domain name (ex: yourbusiness.com vs yourwebsite.wordpress.com). This could lower your authority as an authoritative blogger.
  • Monetization issues: Your blog won’t be fully monetized. There are strict guidelines for making money on free blogging sites.
  • You have limited control. You don’t have complete control over your website. Your personal blog will also disappear if the website hosting it is shut down.
  • Lower search rankings: SEO may not be as easy to control, which can negatively affect your page rankings on Google.
  • Design limitations for blogs: These sites have design and HTMLcoding restrictions. You won’t be in a position to design your blog exactly the way you want it to look.

If you’re not serious about building a blog, or just want to have fun sharing your thoughts and experiences with others, then consider creating a blog on another website. You can open a blog account free of charge on WordPress.com. This site also has many upgrade options that will help you grow your blog.

The WordPress.com dashboard lets you customize the look of your blog

Create Your Own Blog

Self-hosted blogs offer great flexibility in site design and monetization. A self-hosted blog is the best way to make money from your blog. Remember that every company needs a website. A blog should be part of your business plan.

These are the most popular self-hosted blogging sites:

  • Bluehost and WordPress: WordPress has become the most widely used blogging platform. Bluehost is a low-cost option for hosting a WordPress site. It costs only $2.95 per monthly. Bluehost is quick and easy to set up your blog.
  • Squarespace is an all-in one website platform that includes hosting. Squarespace’s easy-to use website-building interface makes it possible to create beautiful blogs. Prices start at $12 per month.
  • Wix This all-in-one website creator is well-known for making it easy to create a blog. Wix sites can be started for just $13 per month. Compare Wix and WordPress .
  • DreamHost and WordPress: DreamHost is another hosting provider you can use with WordPress. Plans start at $2.59 per month and don’t require a year commitment.

You can also consider other blogging platforms. These options will help you get your blog up and running quickly.

4. 4.

You will need to choose a domain if you decide to host your own blog. Bluehost offers a free domain during the first year of hosting.

Your hosting vendor can also sell your domain separately at sites such as Namecheap and Hover, where the average annual domain cost is $8 to $15. Domain renewal rates tend to be lower with domain-registration sites than with hosting providers.

These are the essential elements of a domain name:

  • Description for your blog: People will be able to identify what you’re writing about by simply looking at the name of your site. minimalistbaker.com, for example, is a food blog that features recipes with less than 10 ingredients.
  • Keywords You want people searching Google for information related to your expertise to find your blog. People who search on Google will see your primary keyword in the domain.
  • A domain that is easy to spell and pronounce If your website is difficult to spell or pronounce, it will make it more difficult for people to remember. When choosing your domain, be clear and use standard spellings.

It may take some time to find a domain name with millions of blogs online. You have a better chance of acquiring the domain name you desire if your blog name is unique.

You should immediately purchase a domain that you find. Domain registration websites are well-known for monitoring domain search queries and increasing the price for those that were not purchased.

5. 5.

After you have completed steps 1 through 4, it is time to design your blog. This will depend on which platform you use. Squarespace and Wix offer standard themes that you can customize your website.

You will need to install WordPress if you decide to use a WordPress website. Bluehost makes it easy. Navigate to the BlueHost dashboard and scroll down to the website section. Click “Install WordPress” to follow the instructions.

Bluehost makes it easy to install WordPress from its dashboard

Personalize your blog with design and personalization

You can choose from the many templates available through SquareSpace and Wix. These templates take care of key design elements for you so you don’t need to be a designer to launch your blog.

Because of its stunning modern templates, Squarespace is a popular choice for bloggers. Squarespace is an excellent choice for bloggers with minimal design skills who want to create a beautiful blog. SquareSpace has 21 templates families, which means that there are 92 designs available. This is a list of top free Squarespace templates.

When creating a blog on SquareSpace, simply choose a template and start designing your blog

The Wix ADI will assist you in designing a website based on the answers to a few questions. Wix also offers a variety of templates. Wix offers more than 300 templates. Be careful, however, because you can’t change templates once your blog is live.

Wix is one of the most user-friendly blog platforms. Wix is a great platform for people with little technical knowledge.

Wix offers more than 300 different blog templates

You will need to choose a theme to your website if you opt for a WordPress blog hosted on your own server (WordPress.org). This is the best option for bloggers looking to make a profit. A WordPress theme is a template or design framework that allows you to customize your website. There are many WordPress themes, many of them free. Premium themes offer more design options and flexibility than free themes.

Bluehost allows you to access a variety of premium and free themes when you host your blog. It’s quick and easy to install and you don’t have to stick with one theme. You can also change your theme at any time.

Example of a responsive WordPress theme available through Bluehost

Divi is a premium theme that offers more customization options to your blog’s design. It comes from Elegant Themes. Divi is not only a theme but also offers a page builder that’s easier than WordPress’s default post editor. Divi’s page-builder tool makes it easy to create beautiful pages that are customized. This is why Divi is so popular among non-technical bloggers. Divi is $89/year for annual access.

You can also hire a web developer or designer to design your blog. Fiverr makes it easy to find the right freelancer to help build your blog. Fiverr freelancers can be found for almost any budget.

Example of a website design freelancer on Fiverr

6. Develop Blog Content

After your website is built, you can start to add content to your blog. This is the most important step in starting a blog. Content marketing allows you to give your audience something valuable, build trust and convert customers into readers.

Types of blog posts

To engage your readers and make money, there are many types of blog posts that you can add to your site. For maximum appeal to new and returning visitors, the most successful bloggers mix their content.

These are some popular formats for blog posts that you can add to your site.

  • How to posts: Show people how to do something. These are the most common how-to posts.
  • Expert roundup post: Get input from experts on a particular topic or about a particular theme. Post all the expert responses in one post and add your own perspective.
  • Reviews:Choose one product or service to review and provide an objective assessment. Compare features, options, price, etc. Next, tell blog readers whether you recommend the product or service and why.
  • Success stories: Everyone enjoys a success story. Please share a story about a successful experience and the factors that led to it. This is a great way for blog readers to be inspired.
  • Interview postsInterview other people on a topic that interests you. Interview experts in your field, or anyone who has an opinion about what you are writing and wants to share their views.

You’ll quickly discover which posts are most popular and which convert visitors into buyers by experimenting with different types. Take what you have learned and use it to improve your posts.

Example of a roundup post on Fit Small Business

Other types of blog content

Your blog will not only contain blog posts. A page about you, strong calls for action (CTAs), as well as some lead magnets-based email capture devices will be important. You may need to add more content depending on what type of blog you have. The best blogging tips are not just about content creation.

Your “About Me Page”

Your blog needs a strong About Me page (or About Us). Your About page will likely be the most popular on your site. Make sure to include compelling content to show visitors why they should stay on your blog.

Your About Me page is likely to be the most popular on your website. You want it to greet your visitors and confirm that they have found the right blog. Keep it conversational and original. Your visitors should know why you created your blog and what it can do for them. Give your visitors a glimpse into your past and experiences to increase your credibility.

Strong CTAs

Strong CTAs should be included in all of your pages and blog posts. CTAs tell your visitors what they should do next. You might send your visitors to a “pillar” post. This is a post that best describes the purpose of your blog.

A second step you might want site visitors to take is downloading a resource or tool you offer. These resources and tools are known as lead magnets and can be a great way to build your email list.

Lead magnets

It doesn’t suffice to bring new visitors to your website. You need to retain them once they are there. Although email marketing is a great method, you must have an email list in order to effectively do so.

Bluehost offers a free business email account. You will need to set this up. This is an important step, since getting an email from [email protected] will look more professional than getting an email from [email protected].

Here are some ways to get email addresses from your business once you have it set up.

  • Create an electronic book or PDF: Make an ebook or a PDF that contains information not found on your website. Before sharing the information and resources, ask people to enter their email address.
  • Send out a weekly newsletter to people. To get people to sign up for your newsletter, you can either have a pop-up on your site or a box at your top asking them to subscribe to your weekly tips.

You are motivating people to visit your site by sending them regular emails about the latest updates on your blog.

Example of an email capture form featuring a lead magnet from the Minimalist Baker blog

Other site content

Your site’s other content will contain any additional information you wish your visitors to see. Images and links to products or services that you wish to promote, ads, and affiliate promotions are all examples. You can also include videos, infographics, links to related social media channels, testimonials and other content. It is a good idea to have content that helps site visitors and leads to sales.

Bri Seeley - how to start a blog “The best advice that I can give new bloggers is consistency, consistent, consistency. As a blogger, I’ve seen bloggers who desire immediate results. After posting several blogs, but not reaching a million views, many bloggers quit. You can set a posting schedule, plan your strategy, and then batch your content. Share it with everyone, more than anything, and keep going!

— Bri Seeley, Entrepreneur Coach

7. Get more traffic to your blog

In Step 6, we mentioned that creating an email list can be a great way of generating high-quality traffic to your blog. A great way to make money is to learn search engine optimization (SEO), and then implement SEO strategies on your site.

SEO strategies can be used to optimize your blog so search engines like Google recognize your pages and rank them high in search engine results. Your blog will get more traffic if you rank higher on Google’s search engine pages rankings.

Yoast SEO, a powerful plugin for WordPress that integrates with your site, is highly recommended by top bloggers. Yoast offers both a premium and free option.

A popular way to increase blog traffic is to post on social media, directing people to your blog. Facebook and Twitter are the top platforms for driving blog traffic.

Make sure you are targeting the right visitors to your blog with all traffic-generating methods . This means that you are only attracting people who are interested and qualified to use them. A website that attracts traffic to your blog from people not interested in it will increase its bounce rate. This is the number of visitors who leave your site immediately after they have finished reading. Google page rankings suffer from high bounce rates.

How to start a blog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

What is the cost of starting a blog?

You can start blogging free of charge on many sites like Medium and WordPress.com. Self-hosted websites are popular for people who want to make money with their blogs. With Bluehost, you can create a self-hosted website for as low as $2.95 per month.

How can you make money from a blog?

Sites like Squarespace and Wix are great options for starting a blog. Affiliate marketing, selling products and creating sponsored posts are some of the most popular ways to make a living blogging. You can make the most of your blog by choosing a profitable niche that has enough demand over time.

How much money do bloggers make?

Bloggers make an average of $100 per month, but this is only because they don’t have sites that are optimized for making money. Smart blog monetization strategies can help even new bloggers earn between $500 and $3,000 per month. Bloggers who are successful earn anywhere from $10,000 to six figures per month. Some blogging statistics indicate that marketers who concentrate on blogging are 13x more likely to see positive returns on their investment (ROI).

Can I create a blog without paying anything?

WordPress.com Medium, Blogger, Wix, and Wix are the top places to start a blog for free. Although you can create a blog without paying for hosting, the best bloggers make their sites through WordPress.org or DreamHost.

Bottom line

A blog can be a great way for you to share your passions with other people who are interested in the same topic. If you are passionate about the topic, your blog could become more than a hobby. It can even be a source of income.

How to Make Money blogging: The Ultimate Guide

You’ll find lots of information on the internet if you search for “how to make a living blogging”. Unfortunately, most of the advice you will get from well-intentioned gurus won’t be accurate or complete and will only guide you to mediocrity. Worst case, you could end up with dismal results.

You must treat your blog as a business to make it profitable. Choose the most effective monetization strategies and market your business effectively. It is important to monitor and analyze your results and make adjustments when necessary.

This is the Ultimate Guide to Making Money from Blogging

Since nearly a decade, I have been a blogger and a business growth consultant for bloggers. My marketing experience spans over two decades. This ultimate guide to blogging success will show you how to make money. The real drivers behind blogging success will be revealed to you. This guide will show you how to make a living from blogging and even generate millions of dollars through blogging (as Fit Small Business did).

How to Make Money Blogging Please Share This Image on Your Site

Your blog should be treated as a business.

Bloggers who are successful don’t “wing it” but create a business plan that will guide them to success. The top bloggers know the importance of choosing a profitable niche and investing in the right resources. They research their niche and the competition. They then provide the best solutions for their audience’s problems.

The Learning Herbs blog generates about $20,000 per month. Source: CreateAndGo.com

Invest in the Right Resources

Although you don’t have to spend a lot to start a blog, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to make a lot of money from it. Investing in time-saving and profitability-boosting blogging resources is one of the best ways to set yourself up for blogging success.

Create your blog on a reliable, flexible platform

It is important that you choose a reliable and capable blogging platform to set up your blog. Bluehost is a great hosting platform for self-hosted WordPress blogs.

WordPress powers more websites than any other website builder. The builder has a wide range of themes and flexible plugins for WordPress so it is easy to create any type blog, even if you have limited technical knowledge.

Bluehost is a trusted WordPress hosting solution. Bluehost is trusted by millions of users for its reliable and secure hosting services.

Visit Bluehost

Make time and money by using the Time-&-Money-Saving Blogging Tool

What if you had a hammer, a saw and all the tools necessary to build a house? You wouldn’t. Don’t attempt to create a blog using a limited set of tools.

These are some resources and tools that you can add to your blog toolbox.

  • Writing Tools Use grammar improvement tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid or WhiteSmoke to ensure that your blog content is error-free.
  • Ecommerce tools: If you want to monetize your website with physical or digital products you will need an eCommerce tool such as Shopify, Ecwid or WooCommerce.
  • Editorial and Project Management Tools: Use tools such as Trello and the Co-Schedule blog calendar to manage your blogging projects.
  • Payment Processing Tools Accept payments on your blog via Square Payments, PayPal or Stripe
  • Image Editing Tools: You’ll need to create images and edit them for your blog. PicMonkey, Canva or Placeit are some options.
  • Building your email database is crucial to blogging success. Use popular name-capture software like OptinMonster and Smart Bar by SumoMe.
  • Email Marketing Tools Contact your blog audience by email using email marketing software such as Constant Contact, Drip or Converkit.
  • Social sharing tools: Let your readers share your content with tools like Sumo and Social Warfare.

There are many tools that can be used to help you blog. There are many tools that can help you with running your blog. You’ll often find the best solutions when you ask other bloggers in blogging Facebook Groups and online blogger forums.

Do not hesitate to outsource

Many business owners don’t have the necessary skills to build their businesses. Bloggers aren’t experts in writing, graphic design and editing. Bloggers who are interested in business building should do the same thing as smart business owners: Focus on what you know best and outsource all the rest.

These are some outsourcing and freelancer websites that you can use to complete a variety of blogging tasks:

  • Fiverr –This marketplace offers affordable solutions to all kinds of blogging tasks including logo design and blog article writing.
  • Upwork All types of freelancers are available on Upwork, starting from the beginner to the advanced.
  • Freelancer.com Hire freelancers for your blog projects on Freelancer.com.
  • Problogger Job Board Search for freelancers who specialize in blogging projects via the Problogger Job Board.

Many successful bloggers have a list of freelancers that they can call on for different blogging projects. virtual assistant (VA) can also be hired by many bloggers. This is a great way for you to do simple tasks on an ongoing basis. You don’t even need to assign projects to your VA.

Analyze Your Market and Your Competition

Selecting a profitable niche is an important step to creating a blog that makes money. You need to be familiar with the market you are operating in, the audience you serve, and the competition in your niche. You will be more likely to create unique content that will impress your readers and keep them coming back.

Give the Best Solution to Your Audience’s Problems

If you give generic advice that isn’t helpful to your audience, or that they can find elsewhere, blogging won’t be able to make a living. You must stand out from other bloggers who are trying to grab your attention. Your ideal audience will find better solutions and more value elsewhere.

Remember that the visitors coming to your blog are there for a reason. They have a question they need answered. They have problems that they need to solve. The better you are at moving your audience from where they are to where they want to be, the more successful your blog will be.

A blog content strategy is essential to ensure that you are providing your audience with the best content. This will help you create blog posts that are relevant to your audience. You will be able to avoid creating irrelevant, unprofitable content that doesn’t add value to your blog.

While great content is the most important aspect of creating a user-friendly blog, there are many other things you can do. Your blog should load quickly. Make it easy to understand your blog’s purpose and use intuitive navigation to make it easy for visitors to find what you’re looking.

Make sure you create an exceptional experience for your blog visitors; it’s key to growing blog profits. Source: Podia.com

The Right Blog Monetization Techniques

A blog built without a monetization plan, is a bad idea. This is why most new bloggers fail. You already know that your blog is a business and you need to think about how your blog will generate consistent income. There are many ways you can make a living blogging, and some are more lucrative than others.

While some monetization methods require you to put in a lot of work, such as creating custom products or online courses, the potential profits can be tremendous. Some monetization techniques are quick and easy, such as joining an advertising network. However, you will typically only earn modest returns if your blog traffic is less than 25,000 pages per month.

It’s possible to monetize your website even if you have low traffic. Multi-monetization is a key strategy for bloggers who are highly successful.

Tap into the Money-Making Power of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows bloggers to make money by promoting other products and services. Every time your blog readers make an action, you receive a commission. This is typically making a purchase. However, depending on the agreement, it could also be filling out forms or simply clicking over to the third-party’s website.

Affiliate marketing is easy to start. Affiliate marketing is a major source of income for top bloggers. It can bring in 40% to 60% of their revenues. Even if you are a beginner blogger, affiliate marketing is possible.

Affiliate programs can make bloggers a few dollars per month, while others can earn hundreds or even thousands. Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make a living, especially if your products and services are well-received.

These are the top affiliate networks and programs you should be looking into:

  • Rakuten Marketing (Formerly Linkshare).
  • ClickBank
  • CJ Affiliate
  • Flex Offers
  • ShareASale
  • Amazon Associates
  • eBay Partner Network
  • Affiliate Window (AWIN).
  • JVZoo
  • Target Affiliates (perfect if you love Target)

This list is only a small selection of the most popular programs, but there are many companies that offer affiliate programs. Look into whether the product owner has an affiliate program if you find a product that is perfect for your blog audience.

You can also join programs such as Viglink and Skimlinks if you aren’t interested in working directly with merchants and affiliate networks. These programs allow you to tap into the power and potential of affiliate marketing. However, rather than joining just one merchant program, Skimlinks or Viglink scan your blog content, and create links to affiliate programs for product owners. If you have a lot to mention on your blog, this batch-style process can help you save a lot time.

Lifestyle blogger Blair Staky made over $9,000 in February 2020, and over $5,000 of that came from affiliate marketing. Source: blairstaky.com

You can sell digital and physical products on your blog

Your blog can be monetized by selling physical or digital products . These products can be created by you or acquired through a third party.

These are just a few of the products that you can sell through your blog.

  • This is a very popular and simple way to create and publish e-books.
  • Branded products such as planners and mugs
  • Original art including paintings, drawings and prints.
  • Software and apps
  • Meal-prep plans
  • Plans for fitness
  • T-shirts
  • Guides, checklists and planners that you can download
  • Templates for social media or graphics
  • Subscription boxes
  • Recipes
  • Private label products
  • Audio recordings, such as meditations and original music, are available
  • Stock photos
  • Handmade products

You can create an online store on your blog to get selling quickly. Make sure the products you sell are relevant to your blog audience. Otherwise, you will only see minimal returns.

Selling products through your blog can make you a few hundred dollars to several thousand each month. It all depends on what products you sell and how well you market them.

Blogger Sarah Titus earns more than seven figures a year selling printable downloads on her blog and Shopify store. Source: sarahtitus.com

Advertise to make money from your blog

Many bloggers who are just starting out see bloggers with experience incorporating ads to their blogs and conclude that this is a great way for them to make money blogging. Advertising is a great way to make money online, but it won’t make you rich.

Advertising is great, especially if it’s done through a third party advertising network. You can simply add the code to your website and forget about it. After the code has been installed, you can simply sit back and enjoy passive income month after month from these ads. It’s simple money.

Advertising has a downside. You need to have a lot traffic to make money. Some ad networks won’t accept you until your monthly page views average between 25,000 and 30,000. You may still only make a few hundred dollars a month from advertising. Bloggers who use advertising to monetize their websites also use other monetization methods.

These are the top advertising networks that you should check out:

  • Google AdSense
  • Mediavine
  • Monumetric
  • AdThrive
  • Infolinks
  • RevenueHits from Intango

To negotiate advertising agreements for your blog, you can also contact product and service providers directly. Although this is more time-consuming, it often leads to a higher level of advertising income.

Add information to your blog about how you can contact you for advertising information. This information is usually located in the footer. ratecard for advertising or a media kit could be created for your blog.

The Endless Meal Blog has over 430,000 pages views per month and makes about $5,800 or 83% of its income from advertising on the AdThrive network. Source: theendlessmeal.com

Sponsored posts

Bloggers can make a living by posting sponsored posts on their blogs and social media. You could make as much as several hundred dollars per sponsored post depending on how popular your blog is. For top bloggers, with large followings, you can charge thousands of dollars per post.

Joining influencer networks is one of the best ways to find sponsorship opportunities. These networks allow bloggers to connect with brands and handle all details of the project and payment.

These are some popular influencer marketing platforms that you should explore:

Reaching out directly to business owners and brands can help you secure sponsored posts. Be sure to show the value that you can bring to the table by being a blogger influencer to a dedicated audience.

The Savvy Couple blog has grown its average income to as high as $43,547 per month; Sponsorships account for 61% of the blog’s income.
Source: thesavvycouple.com

Earn Money by Taking Online Courses

Online courses can be a great way to make a living as a blogger. Popular courses make it possible for top bloggers to earn six- or seven-figures per year. Although you might not be able to make these kinds of income right away, if you’re good at building an audience on your blog and creating relevant online courses, this monetization method could provide a steady stream of income.

Blogger Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the founder of the Making Sense of Cents blog, has earned more than a half-million dollars from her popular courses.
Source: makingsenseofcents.com

Use your blog to promote professional services

You can also make money blogging by offering consulting, coaching, and other professional services. Your blog can be used to increase your credibility and position you as an expert in your field. You can then offer your services to others who are interested in your extensive knowledge and experience.

Selling services can make you a lot of money. It all depends on the type of service you provide, your experience and how much you value your services. A freelance copywriter might make $50-$95 an hour while executive coaches who are highly paid can charge $250-$750 per hour.

The Club Thrifty blog earned more than $400,00 in 2019 from freelance writing income alone. Source: clubthrifty.com

Events and Paid Speaking Opportunities

You can make a living blogging if you are a showman or a motivational speaker. Hosting your own events, such as webinars, seminars and retreats, can help you make a lot of money.

You can make a lot of money as a speaker. You could make even more as an event facilitator, speaker, or promoter.

If you have the right topic, the right audience size, and a compelling line-up for speakers, live events can bring in six figures. The cost of producing a large-scale, in-person event can easily run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This means that this monetization strategy is not feasible for all bloggers.

If you don’t have the financial resources or desire to attend a large conference, there are alternatives. You can host an online event for free or a low fee and invite other people in your field to take part. The event can be monetized by offering follow-up services or selling recordings.

Hosting online retreats has the advantage that experts who participate in them will share the promotion with their audience. This can help you gain a lot of exposure for your blog.

The Bestseller Online Summit is an example of the type of online event you can create to monetize your blog. Source: bestsellersummitonline.com

How to Supercharge Your PPC Performance Using LinkedIn Audiences

As we leave a year like no other behind us and transition into 2021, the goal for paid search advertisers remains the same: to reach the right audience at the right time and turn that click into a lead or sale. One of the best ways to do that is to start integrating the unique LinkedIn targeting audiences that Microsoft Advertising offers.

linkedin targeting for microsoft ads

These advanced ways to collect data and target customers allow you to dive deeper into the company, industry, and even job title of the person clicking on your ads.

So that’s what I’ll be focusing on in this post. We’ll talk about: In this post, I’ll cover:

  • The different types of LinkedIn audiences and what they entail.
  • How to set them up for targeting in Microsoft Ads.
  • How to optimize your ads once you’ve collected data.

I’ll also provide some real-life examples and data from my own experiences in PPC consulting. LinkedIn targeting will be one of your most important strategies moving forward and you will continue to see Microsoft Ads deliver you even greater performance.

LinkedIn audience types

Before I get into setting up your audiences for Microsoft Ads, let’s go over the three different LinkedIn audience types you can target.

1. Company

  • Target users in specific companies.
  • Good for if you have a list of prospect names or high-converting organizations
  • Use to collect data and adjust.

With this first audience, advertisers can select from thousands of different companies. Operating off a search function, you’re able to type in a prospective client or business name and then add them into your data observation strategy.

The most important thing to note about this company audience, as well as the others, is that they are operating entirely under the assumption that people have their LinkedIn profiles up to date. So, for the company audience, Microsoft Ads would look for people who worked most recently at the companies you select and have that set under their LinkedIn profile. This particular audience type can be helpful if you have a list of prospective client names or if you know that your customers will likely come from whatever organization(s) you select.

linkedin audiences in microsoft ads—target by company

If you’re not 100% sure what companies you need to target, it can also just be a great way to start collecting data and observing the click traffic for a time before you make any adjustments.

My advice would be to start with businesses that you currently have on your prospect list, businesses in the target work sector you’re gearing your ads towards, or purely to collect data to utilize in the future.

2. Industry

  • Target people in highly specific industries
  • Can help collect the most valuable clicks
  • Start with higher-level industries

Our second LinkedIn audience comes in the form of industry data. The industries you can select from are in the form of a pre-set list that Microsoft has in the campaign settings, but they can get extremely specific depending on how deep you dig into them.

I’ve personally found the industry audiences to be some of the most helpful for advertisers to take advantage of because knowing your target audience and industry is at the foundation of not just PPC marketing, but your entire marketing strategy as a whole.

For example, I work with an ecommerce client who sells school & office supplies. They understand that one of their biggest target audiences is the education sector. Through the industry audience section, we were able to first observe the Higher Education, Research, eLearning, Education Management, and Primary/Secondary Education audiences they offer and then optimize with bid adjustments after we recognized which was driving the most value and best return.

With a wide array of different industries to select from that include Energy & Mining all the way to Wellness & Fitness, these audiences can really help drill down into the most valuable clicks out there on the Microsoft search network.

With industry audiences, I would recommend first identifying which higher-level industries will be your targets and then dive deeper into the more specific sub-categories under those to make your first selections.

3. Job function

  • Target users of specific roles within their organization.
  • Helpful if you know who the decision-makers are in your target market.
  • Start with a broad range of roles, then refine accordingly.

The final type of audience that we can utilize is the job function. Bing describes this audience as a way to target people who perform certain job functions as defined by their LinkedIn profile. This particular audience is extremely helpful if you know what roles the decision-makers at your target companies tend to have.

For example, if when signing on a new customer, you tend to work with people in their finance department, then finance, accounting, and purchasing may be the more ideal audiences for you to select. Or let’s say you tend to work with customers that are more regularly in administrative-type roles. In that case, the administrative, human resources, and operations audiences would be the perfect ones for you.

linkedin audiences in microsoft ads—target by job function

At the end of the day, because you are solely collecting data in the beginning, I would recommend selecting as many as you feel are relevant and then optimizing once you have a solid one to two months’ worth of information to go off of. This could also be a great way for you to dive deeper into the demographic make-up of your ideal customer and collect data for job function audiences you may have not thought would normally be relevant.

On consulting calls, I generally advise people to use any combination of the following: program/project management, purchasing, operations, administrative, human resources, marketing, sales, and finance. Of course, if you identify any others that are even more entrenched in your specific industry, then be sure to add them in. It really is the more the merrier type of situation when adding these audiences because it will only allow you to collect and utilize more data and continue to get the best results from your Microsoft ads.

When starting out, I generally advise people to target any combination of the following: program/project management, purchasing, operations, administrative, human resources, marketing, sales, and finance. 

How to set up LinkedIn audiences in Microsoft Ads

In this next section, I’m going to cover how to set up the LinkedIn audiences in your Microsoft Ads account (on both the campaign and ad group level). There are also several specific rules when setting up the audiences that I will cover to make the process for you as easy as possible, but let’s first start with the steps:

  1. Log into your Microsoft Ads account
  2. Click on the first campaign you’re adding LinkedIn audiences to
  3. Click into the campaign’s settings
  4. Scroll down to the Campaign targets section
  5. Click Edit target categories and then select the ones you want to use (any combo of Company, Industry, or Job Function)
  6. Scroll down to the very bottom of the Settings page
  7. Under each category click Edit target and select from the different options available in each
  8. Once you’ve selected them all click Done
  9. After you’ve finished each category you’re going to use, click Save
  10. Once saved, scroll back down into the settings to the new category sections and manually change all bid adjustments to 0%.

Selecting Your Audiences

We’ll first go through the basic steps, and then I’ll provide some best practices and important considerations.

Select your campaign and level of application

When you first log into your account, the first thing you will need to decide is which campaign(s) you would like to start using them in and whether you want to add them on the campaign level or more granularly at the ad group level.

Unless you do have very specific ad groups set up that you anticipate would be more ideal to have set on that level, my suggestion would be just to add it at the campaign level. This will allow you to collect data much quicker and will also prevent you from running into any issues using these down the line.

You can only select one level: campaign or ad group. My suggestion would be to go with campaign level. This will allow you to collect data quicker and also prevent you from running into any issues down the line.

The one specific rule you need to be careful of is that you can only select one level: campaign or ad group. If you try to add audiences to the campaign level and then also to the ad group level, it will block you. In the reverse scenario, if you set some up for specific ad groups and then try to for the entire campaign, you will receive an error message. Campaign level allows you to collect information on a much bigger scale.

Select your campaign targets

Next, after you’ve selected your first campaign to add them to, you’ll want to click into the campaign’s settings. Once in the settings, you’ll want to scroll down to the section titled ‘Campaign targets’ and this is where you will select which of the three you’d like to use.

linkedin audiences in microsoft ads—campaign-targeting-options

Select your categories

Under campaign targets, you will then click “edit target categories.” You have the ability to utilize any combination of the three, but the two I see used more often are usually Industry and Job Function. I would suggest using as many as you feel are relevant to your business.

After you select your audience types, you’ll scroll down all the way to the bottom of the settings screen and will see the categories you’re going to use. Next to each, there will be a blue font button ‘Edit target’ that will then allow you to go in and select from the different options.

Notes on selecting your audiences

A few important notes on selecting your audiences:

  • The process for adding the three different types of audiences is exactly the same. You’ll click “edit target,” scroll through and select the ones you want to use, and then hit the ‘Done’ blue button when finished. 
  • One other important thing to also look out for is that when you click Done after selecting your audiences, you’ll need to hit the big blue ‘Save’ button. Unfortunately, if you don’t hit that final Save button and click away from the Settings screen, you will lose all your selected audiences and will have to repeat the process.
  • The final change to also be aware of is that once your audience categories are selected and you’ve successfully Saved them, there will automatically be a +15% bid adjustment applied to them. In the final section, we’ll discuss optimizing these audiences with bid adjustments, but for now, I would manually change that back to 0% so that it does not increase our bids just yet.

Optimizing your audiences with bid adjustments

Once you’ve set up your campaign with the selected audience, here’s what you can do to access its important data and apply it to further improve performance.

Allow time for data collection

Now that you have your LinkedIn audiences selected and collecting data, the next step is to wait and give it time. Generally, with optimizing audiences, I would say that waiting at least two to four weeks minimum is important, but there are other factors that could affect that timeline.

Waiting at least two to four weeks minimum is important, so you can really see which audiences are driving the most value.

 

If you usually get a high number of clicks in that particular campaign, then you may be able to analyze the data even sooner. I use four weeks as a rule of thumb because after a month, you can really see which ones are driving the most value. Of course, as you move forward advertising and using these audiences, more data makes it easier to make changes.

Access and organize your data

Ok, you have your first month of data collected—now what? To access the data, you’ll first want to click into the campaign using the audiences and then click on the Demographics tab. You’ll notice that at the top of the page, it will have all the different demographic types listed out and you will then select whichever one you want to view first.

You may only see a few columns in regards to the type of data (clicks, impressions, etc.) so my suggestion would be to modify your columns and make sure you have all of the most important metrics selected, such as clicks, impressions, cost, CPC, conversions, CPA, and any other conversion-related ones that are relevant.

Modify your columns and make sure you have all of the most important metrics selected, such as clicks, impressions, cost, CPC, and more.

 

linkedin audiences in microsoft ads—reporting columns example

In the industry section, for example, you’ll see each of the different industries you selected and the data they’ve collected. This optimization may vary depending on what metrics you hold to be most valuable and what your business’s goals are, but most likely you’ll want to use conversions, CPA, and conversion rate as your main three. You’re going to be looking to see:

  • Which industry drives the most conversions
  • Which has the lowest CPA, and
  • Which converts at the highest rate

Add bid adjustments

Your next move will be to add bid adjustments to the audiences performing the best, based on those three metrics. By adding in a bid adjustment, you’re targeting your ads more towards those audiences in the hopes to drive more traffic and more value from them.

 

linkedin audiences in microsoft ads—bid adjustments

On the flip side, if you notice there are certain audiences performing poorly and not converting well, then you can also decrease your bid adjustment. This lessens the likelihood that your ads show to people in those audiences. As more time goes by and your data continues to grow, you can continue to add adjustments where you see fit and really drive the most value from your LinkedIn audiences and Microsoft Ads as possible.

Drive high-value traffic with LinkedIn audience targeting

Identifying business leads and opportunities can almost feel like a needle in a haystack situation. With the need to drive as much value from the traffic you’re getting, you must take advantage of all tools available, and now you know how to use one of the best ones out there: LinkedIn audiences! Some key things to remember are:

  • The targeting technology is operating entirely under the assumption that people have their LinkedIn profiles up to date.
  • Always start broad with targeting options and then refine as you collect data.
  • Give plenty of time for your campaigns to give enough data to make meaningful decisions.

 

Magento 2 pos

Bigcommerce pos plugin

Woocommerce pos plugin

Netsuite pos software

Shopify pos app