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Week 1 of 52 – Getting your business mojo back!

Business MojoLoss of business mojo happens to all of us from time to time. As business owners, it can sometimes be hard to maintain enthusiasm and drive all the time towards our work. Sometimes it feels like we have lost our motivation and are just going through the motions in order to get things done. We feel no real urge to seek out and try new things (like marketing tactics). If this sounds familiar to you, then maybe your Business Mojo might just need a reboot!

This week’s blog post is not about website marketing at all however without the enthusiasm and internal drive for your business’ success, your marketing efforts will be “half-hearted” at best.

If you are looking for some help so get things going again, here five quick tips that I personally have found useful to get inspired and back on track.

1. Get out and Exercise!

This might seem a bit of a strange tip in a business and marketing blog, however I find my focus for the day is sharper after some form of morning exercise. A simple 30 minute walk or jog can do the trick and the best thing is you can kill two birds with one stone by exercising to some…

2. Podcasts!

There are literally thousands to choose from. The best way to find the podcasts bested suited to you is to have a look on iTunes (for the Apple fans) and BeyondPod (for the Androids among us). Apart from the (currently) sadly neglected Rusty Mango Design podcast, my favourite would have to be the Small Business Big Business Podcast from Tim Reid, who packs every episode with series marketing gold.

A great podcast can expose you to a world outside the business that you generally work in and, just by listening to some success stories and the experiences of others, you might just find that missing spark you are looking for.

3. Reading

Once again, for those seeking external motivation from the best in the business, there is an abundance of great books that can get you inspired. Several great books that I can whole-heartedly recommend include:

  • Pour your heart into it – The Starbucks Story by Howard Schultz
  • Like a Virgin by Richard Branson
  • Think Big and Kick Ass by Donald Trump
  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
  • Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

I must confess that I have read a couple of these more than once just to try and squeeze every possible gem out of them! They are all written by people who have created their own huge success stories and it help me to think – there’s nothing to stop me being one too!

4. Talk to other like-minded business people.

Seeking and talking biz with like-minded business owners can be a very powerful experience. But first you need to seek out an appropriate network. You could join your local Chamber of Commerce, start your own networking group or just talk to friends who work in similar industries (or maybe completely different). If you feel a little isolated and don’t know where to start, get online and join a forum.

Tim Reid, from the aforementioned Small Business Big Marketing podcast, has a premium forum just for small business owners. It is primarily focused on marketing issues but has a whole range of other topics being thrown around at any given time. Ranging from health and fitness right through to productivity software, I find this forum to be a gem. A good forum can help you connected and feeling that what you are doing is really worth pursuing.

5. Sit back and reflect

Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day of our businesses and we lose sight of what we have achieved and how far we have come. Take some time out and think about when you started your business. What were your goals? Why did you start?

Look at old photos and worksheets. I love to go back and look at sites that I created 10 years ago and see just how bad they are! Of course, they didn’t look too bad back then but the progress since has made all of them look positively antiquated.

Guaranteed, if you look at the progress and successes of your business from where you have come from, you will start to see a clearer way forward and gain some of the motivation you think you have lost. You haven’t lost it – it’s still there, just hidden from view!

Have you got any tips to help get your business mojo back on track? Anything that will help a fellow small business owner reboot their enthusiasm? Share your tips by leaving them in the comment section below. I personally find the five tips above seem to do the trick for me but I’m sure there are dozens more out there – little gems that can help reignite that entrepreneurial spark that hooked us in the first place!

52 Week Blog Challenge

Against all appearances, a blog is quite hard to maintain. It’s not really the content – every day a dozen ideas a day pop in-and-out of my head that would make great fodder for a blog post. No, that’s not the hard thing about a blog. It’s the time – finding the time to sit down and create a blog post that is polished and worthy of the attention of your target audience.

Blog Post IdeasI will be the first to admit that my blog posts are at the best intermittent, I think I am doing well if I can get a blog post out a month. In the world of online marketing and business in general, where search engines, social media and opportunities change day-by-day, a monthly blog post may not be enough.

Twitter and Facebook are available to push out links to other professional blogs but for my customers, I really want to provide a service where I personally keep them to date with marketing goodies.

This is where my 52 Week Blog challenge comes in – every week, for the next 52 weeks, I will get a new blog post published to the Rusty Mango Design site.

As you can see from my ideas wall to the right, I already have a heap of ideas for these posts and this number is growing day-by-day. Most are related to marketing your website but some are simply related to running an effective business.

To check out my latest and greatest, visit the Rusty Mango Design page each Monday for some of this website marketing goodness or simply follow Rusty Mango on Facebook or Twitter and you will receive a post or a tweet as soon as the new blogs are online.

And no, if you were wondering, this is not post number #1 – Tune in every Monday!

What on earth is Responsive Web Design? (and why should I care?)

Responsive Website DesignIn the ever-changing world of the internet, there is always a lot of jargon. Some of it is clear-cut, easy to understand and some doesn’t make sense to the regular site owner at all. One of the most talked about points in the last couple of years is the topic of “responsive website design”. Just a quick Google search will show that it has been the topic of many blogs and arguments over that time but with the release of some recent statistics into internet usage, it is something that needs to be addressed by all website owners and managers.

So what is it?

Put simply, Responsive website design is the ability of a website to change itself to suit whatever viewing platform it is being accessed from whether it is viewed from a desktop computer, tablet or smart phone. The goal is to provide the best viewing experience for the site visitor. Dependent on the device, all images should resize (or be removed), content should expand/contract and menu buttons must change from clicking with a mouse to touching with a finger. A site that can do this is known as being “mobile friendly”.

It’s important to note here that this is not just about creating a site that resizes. It’s about buttons, images, text size and content. Site visitors are less likely to spend as much time on a mobile site as they are on a desktop site and the amount of content needs to reflect this too.

How do I know if my site is mobile-friendly?

Simply open your webpage on any tablet or smart phone. If the site displays exactly the same as it would on a desktop computer, your site needs to be converted. Keep in mind, some sites will display the same on a tablet depending on whether you hold the tablet in portrait or landscape modes.

My site is not currently mobile friendly (non-responsive) – should I be concerned?

Yes, you should. According to online business analytics experts, comScore, statistics released early in 2014 show that for the first time ever, mobile internet access surpassed desktop access. Mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage in the United States with apps making up 47% of Internet traffic and 8% from mobile browsers. It is estimated that by 2015, the number of mobile devices in use will equal the population of the planet.

Count on these statistics to keep leaning further and further in favour of mobile devices. This means, that if your site is not responsive and mobile friendly, you could potentially miss out on a lot of conversions (sales) through your business site.

Alright, you’ve convinced me. I need my site to become “mobile friendly”. Is it expensive to do?

A change to a responsive website design does not need to cost the earth. In addition, if your site has already been built with a mobile friendly framework, it can be quite easy to achieve.
With WordPress-based sites, such as those created by the team here at Rusty Mango Design, there are a couple of options.

  • Your site can be “re-themed” with an alternative mobile friendly design allowing all the content to remain exactly the same (you don’t have re-do the lot!). This option, although not quite as expensive as the creation of a new site, can involve a fair amount of work if you require a custom theme to be created.
  • Alternatively, you can install a plug-in that automatically converts your current site according to the device on which it is being viewed. This is probably the cheapest alternative, taking only a couple of hours to install and adapt.

If your site has not been created with a Content Management System (CMS) framework like Joomla or WordPress, your web designer “should” still be able to give you advice on the most appropriate (and cost effective) way to get your site “mobile friendly.

Who can help to get my site mobile friendly?

If your site is not currently mobile-friendly and you would like more information about your options, get in touch with us at Rusty Mango Design. We can take a look at your framework (free of charge) and let you know what the best course of action and the costs involved.

 

Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design