Small Business News and Articles

Article Topics
yoast seo

Leave your SEO to Yoast

On-page SEO – Why we use Yoast on all our client websites. From time to time we like to provide a peek behind the curtain in our web development shop by shining a light on the tools we use to build great websites for small businesses. We generally use WordPress for various reasons including how

Read More »
Google My Business

Google My Business

Google My Business is Here and it’s free ! Anyone in business selling products or services have probably tried many ways to attract traffic to their websites.  This includes via hits from the various search engines. ‘Page Rank’ particularly from the Google algorithm are impacted by various paid strategies.  These include Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns

Read More »
Brand Logo trends 2017

Brand Logo Ideas for 2017

Your logo is a key asset for your business. They may only take up a small piece of your online real estate but your logo plays a big role in your business. The team over at Wix.com have put together a great article that outlines the main considerations and goals for online branding. The main

Read More »
Website Annoyances

5 Things That Annoy Site Visitors

Website Annoyances Solved with the Right Booking Engine. Keeping visitors on your hotel website can be challenging, but it is an important part of your business. The more difficult it is to navigate your website, the less likely potential guests are to complete their bookings. – Jeff Hamilton from RoomKeyPMS RoomKeyPMS is cloud-powered software that

Read More »
Attractive Web Design

6 Elements of Attractive Web Design and Why it’s Important

Attractive Web Design Tips. A Digital Influence Index report from 2012 revealed that 89% of customers searched online ahead of making a purchasing decision (Digital Influence Index 2012). Fast-forward 5 years and you can expect that percentage to be even higher. How does your website stack up in the beauty stakes? Often your website is

Read More »
Integrate Reservations on Accommodation Websites

Motel Bookings 6 Website Must Haves

Motel and B&B Website Must Haves. Accommodation providers need an effective customer-facing site.  The overall look of the site needs to be professional and inviting by using modern fonts and top-quality images to encourage site visitors to stay on your page and make a reservation. While it’s tempting to start a blog, it is time-consuming for you and

Read More »
Shakespeare and SEO

SEO for Shakespeare

Wherefore art thou Romeo? If Shakespeare had a website and wanted people to find his works he, like all of us online business-people would have to understand Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). At the heart of being found online is ‘Keyword research’ which is a catchall term for the activities you undertake to create a good

Read More »
Video for your website

2 Options for Serving Video Content

It’s no surprise that video content is continuing to grow in popularity. The YouTube video platform is the second most used search engine after Google. Creating video content and publishing it on YouTube will assist your website to gain traction with your target audience.  Here are two ways to integrate video on your site so let’s

Read More »
Build authority via a blog

Every Website Should Have a Blog Right?

Should every website have a blog? Well maybe not if the time, effort and expense put into it fails to result in meeting your website goals.  The chances that your blog will stand out from the rest is unlikely but that alone doesn’t mean you should decide against blogging. Personal blogs are one thing but

Read More »
5 reasons to use a crm

5 Reasons to Use a CRM system

Finding it hard to track your leads? Here’s 5 reasons to use a CRM system. It’s a place to store all of your clients’ contact information in one place. Keeping track of customer and lead information is essential to growing your business and maintaining a healthy client base. Customer relationship management solutions, or CRM, are more than

Read More »
womens network

Women’s Online Network for Entrepreneurs

Launched in mid 2016 the Women’s Online Network (WON) is kicking goals for business-savvy ladies in NSW. It is a digital platform enabling female entrepreneurs to network and share resources at any stage of the business cycle. The platform features a suite of resources including business plan templates, business viability assessment tools, an event calendar, creative

Read More »
Need help at Christmas

Need New Staff for Christmas?

The festive season is now upon us and for some businesses that may mean a need to employ additional staff. The team at business.gov.au have released some great information and advice if it’s the first time you’ve employed short term staff, or if you haven’t had to hire staff since the last holiday period. Do an internal

Read More »
complex bookings

How to Handle Complex Bookings

A solution for businesses which need to handle complex bookings. All service business owners know that while appointment booking may simply be using a book at the front desk next to the phone, it’s not as simple as sticking a person’s name on a calendar. There are several factors that go into scheduling appointments. You can’t

Read More »
sms reminder

3 Reasons Appointment Text Reminders Work

Let’s limit the frustration from client no-shows. Okay so you have spent time, money and energy into achieving a client scheduling an appointment.  You don’t want to risk losing the booking but the reality is that people have to make changes to accommodate work, family or leisure activities which may mean they need to re-schedule their

Read More »
collaboration

7 Profitable Collaboration Steps

Ever thought about setting up a collaboration with another business? In a recent post written by Peta Di Palma for FlyingSolo.com.au this opportunity can “determine the business opportunities you receive, the contracts you win, new clients you get and word-of-mouth referrals you generate”. Peta is a master connector and strategic collaborator.  Based in Sydney her

Read More »
online-calendar

Common Concerns About Online Bookings

Will online booking lead to less time talking with clients and less sales as a result? Offering online booking does not have to replace phone call appointment setting. Fitness business websites can offer clients the choice of scheduling via the phone or online.  Some clients are going to prefer the phone and others to schedule

Read More »
Don't play email roulette

The First Deadly Round of Email Roulette

Running a business is tough enough without having to deal with email roulette and telephone ping pong. While most of us just grit our teeth and carry on, Gavin Zuchlinski, Founder and CEO of Acuity Scheduling decided to solve the problem that he saw with his Mother’s business.  Now all of us who rely on appointments

Read More »
photoshop tips

10 Photoshop Tips for Beginners

Most Photoshop users only use a fraction of the features available. Don’t let the apparent complexity of the tool put you off giving it try.  Everyone with a website or needing to use visuals for social media could benefit from some basic technical knowledge of how to use the great Adobe tool that now reached

Read More »
hiring customer service team

Hiring your Customer Service Team

Don’t just trust your gut when hiring. If you are like most managers you probably just trust your gut-feeling when interviewing candidates for positions with your company.  The quality of your customer service team is key to retaining clients, up-selling and managing your reputation so you really need to hire the best people. If you

Read More »
Acuity Scheduling now with Memberships

Acuity Scheduling Moves Into Memberships

Taking payments for memberships now integrated in Acuity Scheduling. News was released this week about a major feature enhancement from the Acuity Scheduling team. Why schedule one-off appointments when you can have a client commit to a monthly plan? Can you say hello, predictable, consistent, reliable revenue? Here’s how it works! Say you’re a coach. You

Read More »
tax basics webinar

Tax Basics Webinar

Avoid Unwanted Debt – understand tax basics All business operators need to understand how the tax system applies to their business in order to avoid financial ‘surprises/shocks’ down the track.  Unknown debt is unwanted debt so it’s key to make sure you have all the information you need. The Australian Tax Office ATO will be running

Read More »
gift voucher

More than Just Bookings – Sell Packages and Gift Vouchers

How do appointment packages and gift vouchers work? Acuity Scheduling is the weapon of choice for savvy business people who are looking for a competitive edge and a robust system to organise their busy operations.  The development team have extended the functionality of the scheduler to also include an e-Commerce facility. Now your clients can buy

Read More »
website content

Get Content for your Website

You don’t have to produce all your own content. Having recently completed a project for a group of Driving Schools in Melbourne it was clear that the majority of business owners struggled to find quality content for inclusion on their websites. Despite the best intentions of engaging their potential customers, attempts at written and visual content falls short

Read More »
business growth

Online Scheduling Aids Business Growth

Research indicates online scheduling aids business growth. Acuity Scheduling has helped millions of clients book appointments with tens of thousands of companies. In July 2014 they surveyed roughly 19,000 users to learn how they use online appointment scheduling.  They also analysed the times of appointments and when they were booked of a subset of around

Read More »
Riding the wave on online bookings

4 companies riding the Online Booking wave

More and more online companies are offering online bookings. Freeing up time to do more business is something all business owners want right?  One way many savvy small business owners are turning to is offering their customers the opportunity of booking appointments, services and facilities online and in their own time – 24/7. Swimming Lessons

Read More »
melbourne-driving-schools

Melbourne Driving School Website Report [Infographic]

The results are in following the review of 61 Melbourne Driving School Websites. As reference points, the site visitor avatar was a learner driver (or their parent) and the site conversion goal was to achieve a booking. The analysis was limited to the websites of the 61 driving schools and their Facebook pages if applicable.  The findings

Read More »

Open 24 Hours 7 Days

How to have your Biz Open 24 Hours 7 Days a Week. For businesses that have an established website, offering online booking should boost appointments up to 25%.  There’s no comprehensive and independent study on the impact of integrating online scheduling but there are case-studies that point to evidence of benefits. According to research 35% of people prefer to book

Read More »
Out of Order

13 Signs That Indicate You Need Help

Need help maximising your productive time? Sometimes earning more income is less important than reducing your cost overheads.  One of the major time-sucks in business is in getting clients in the front door.  There are plenty of them phoning you, sending you emails and filling in web enquiry forms which is great for business but

Read More »
don't be late

Late payers: the silent killer of small businesses

Come on people – pay your bills promptly   Large companies that treat small suppliers “with contempt” by delaying payment times are under the spotlight, with Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell saying the problem has become so critical that her office is seriously considering an inquiry.  Carnell says any inquiry would target the huge lags in payment times from some

Read More »
Why Stand Out?

Why Don’t Businesses Try to Stand Out?

Business is a competition so why don’t more of them try to stand out from their competitors? Running a business of any size places a range of demands on everyone from the CEO down to the employees managing customer delivery every day. It’s crucial that systems and processes are in place and working efficiently to ensure

Read More »
use online bookings

Clients Want Online Scheduling

People are busy – they want online scheduling for all sorts of things. Medical professionals have been offering clients the facility to make online reservations for some time. The cost for the integration is now so affordable there’s nothing stopping any business from getting in on the act. Studies have shown that 90% of customers

Read More »
social media channels

Social media channels for small business

Love or hate social media a lot of time is used browsing various social media channels. Overall we spend more than 4 hours a day online and about 3 hours is spent browsing social media. Traditional entertainment like TV gets only 2 hours of our attention today. So if you are running a small business and social

Read More »
Google on the rise

Online Scheduling on the Rise in Google

Interesting development in Online Scheduling Visibility Since the middle of 2015 Google have been testing Knowledge Panel feature and Place Actions Forms to allow scheduling via Intuit’s Demand Force with appointment based businesses.  This sees Google integrating online “Make an appointment” software into local businesses’ knowledge graphs more often than it used to. The logical conclusion

Read More »
Give your calendar a workout

Small Biz Trend Towards Online Scheduling

Can your business afford to NOT join the trend towards online scheduling? Scheduling online. Nearly all small business operators concede their customers are asking to be able to make online bookings. However, there is still a low percentage take-up.  What is holding them back? The cost to have online scheduling integrated into an existing site

Read More »
bookings-part3

How To – Online Bookings Part 3

Online Bookings Part 3 – Getting Information from your clients. Setting Up an Intake Form Intake forms are a great way to have any questions relevant to the appointment answered before the client comes in (insurance information, allergies, etc). To create a custom form, go into the Intake Forms section and click Add Form. First, type

Read More »
bookings-part2

How To – Online Bookings Part 2

Online Bookings Part 2 – Setting Up Your Availability. To set up hours of availability, go into the Availability section and under Regular Weekly Hours input your set schedule. For example, let’s say you have a fixed schedule of 9:00am-5:30pm (including a one hour lunch break) on all business days. When typing in hours, be sure

Read More »
brand recognition

Brand Recognition

Social media has the potential to help build brand recognition. It also amplifies word-of-mouth advertising for your business. Both important pieces that can help sales, especially in a local environment. Sue Cockburn wrote recently about this on SocialMediaToday.com “Reaching your target audience requires more than setting up your business profile on a few choice social networks.

Read More »
bookings-part1

How To – Online Bookings Part1

Online Bookings Part 1 – Setting Up Appointment Types For the purpose of this series, we’ll use a business owner who works independently. She needs to set up her Acuity Scheduling page with her hours of availability, appointment types, forms, packages, payment, the whole box-and-dice. We’ll walk through how all of this is accomplished using screenshots

Read More »
ecommerce 2106

e-Commerce Outlook

With more than 1.2 billion digital buyers worldwide in 2015, online shopping is a growing trend no business should ignore.  Matt Duo has written a comprehensive article on codeable.io that outlines a range on considerations, options and advice about what you need to consider before deciding to jump into e-commerce on your site. A summary

Read More »
website images

Ensure Your Images Suit your Purpose

Ensure Your Images Suit your Purpose The use or imagery adds information along with interest and should convey to the site visitor an overall feeling that they are in the right place for what they are seeking to achieve.  You have no doubt spent a considerable amount of effort, time and perhaps money to attract

Read More »
towards mobility

Towards Mobility

The Internet is abuzz with facts and figures purporting that the world is moving inexorably towards mobility.  So what is the real story? Well if you believe Google’s mobile path to purchase report which surveyed 950 consumers in the USA across 9 different verticals then the statement is true. The study included Apparel & Beauty, Restaurants, Food &

Read More »
Call to Action

7 Call To Action Goals

A call to action (CTA) on a webpage is intended to coax a click.   Common examples of CTA are: buttons banners text Once clicked, the code behind the element starts moving the clicker down a (hopefully) carefully constructed conversion funnel so that it results in the completion of the intended action.   The premise of

Read More »
testimonial tactics

Testimonial Tactics

Social proof helps build business and real testimonial feedbackis a great way to go. Ever landed on a page and been presented with comments from random people about how good the website products or services are?  Sure you have – ‘testimonials’ are as ubiquitous today as search boxes and pop-ups but can they be trusted? Some claims

Read More »
freshen your content

Freshen Your Content

5 Tips to Freshen Your Content Using the ‘set-and-forget’ method for your homepage is a recipe for poor performance. Enticing visitors back to your site should be a key conversion goal so make sure you keep your content fresh. Tips for keeping it fresh on your homepage: Showcase your latest blog post or even better

Read More »
distraction

8 Things that Distract Your Site Visitors

Are elements on the page distracting from your conversion goal? 8 things that distract site visitors Auto-playing videos or audio. Don’t make your site visitor’s first action to mute or worse still hit the back arrow. Let them be in control of what plays and when. Pop-ups done wrong – timing is everything so don’t

Read More »
watch your text limits

Watch Your Text Limits

Question – Am I asking my site visitors to churn through too much text? There are two key considerations that need to be balanced when finalising the textual content on your webpage. The first is to provide appropriate information for your site visitor and the second is to ensure that the search engines are kept

Read More »
colour palette

Top 10 Website Colour Selection Tips

Have you thought about how to use colour on your site? Before you decide on the visual style for your website take some time to review how some of the most popular sites are currently using imagery and the other key visual element of colour. Big companies spend a load of cash on market research

Read More »
Navigation No No's

Navigation ‘No-No’s’

Navigation ‘No-No’s’ – Presenting site visitors with an effective navigation menu instantly provides them with a guide to the type of content they can expect. Generally they see a Blog, Shop or Products page, About Us, Contact mechanism, perhaps a Search facility and others depending on the type of site. These are all standard navigation

Read More »
Just Pack What You Need

8 Questions to Ask about your Website

Imagine it’s vacation time and you are off on a family road-trip. There’s 3 of you with stuff to pack and limited space in the trunk of the car. It won’t all fit so something’s gotta give. It might end up being a compromise with the family but with a business website prioritisation is essential. How

Read More »
accessibility

How is Accessibility Testing calculated?

Accessibility refers to how accessible a website is to people, particularly those with disabilities or non-standard browsers (such as mobile phones). This includes people with visual impairment such as colour blindness, long sightedness or blindness), learning difficulties and an inability to use a mouse or keyboard. As an example of what testing engines use to assess

Read More »