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Will Your Mobile App Development Project be Profitable?

Posted Wed, September 4, 2013 by Julie Short

Whether they express it directly or not, this is a question that is on the minds of a lot of business owners and executives when they come into our office to discuss mobile app development. Will they make money from the project, or will it be an expensive waste of time?

Obviously, there isn’t any single answer to that question – too much depends on your idea, the execution, and what kind of impression you make in the market. Plus, there is the harsh reality that developing a mobile app is the business equivalent to writing a novel or screenplay: Some go on to make big money, many generate solid sales, and more than a few are never noticed by potential customers.

So, how can you produce a big hit and avoid sinking money into a losing project? The first thing to do is realistically evaluate your app development idea. Here are three important questions to ask yourself from the outset:

1. How many other similar apps are already available on the market? There are really two important components to the answer. On the one hand, dozens of other existing apps might mean that it’s hard to gain attention and market share for your concept, especially if other apps are already entrenched as bestsellers.

On the other hand, though, having no other apps in your market isn't always a good thing, either. It could indicate that there just aren't enough potential buyers for the app you want to develop.

2. Does it do something different or better than other available apps? This is probably the biggest point that most would-be app developers overlook. In their rush to get a "great idea" out to the public, they don't stop to think about whether they have something that's truly new and interesting.

Unless your app offers something that other existing products don't, buyers are likely to stick with the ones they know and trust and ignore yours altogether.

3. Does it have value to your business beyond the sales it generates? Often, the key to a successful app launch is in figuring out exactly how you'll profit from it. In other words, some apps make money without ever being sold, because they bring customers back to your mobile website, encourage online sales, or reduce your customer service burden.

Before you invest money into app development, figure out how it can be distributed, and whether profits can be made in ways that don't involve selling it directly to customers.

Need answers to your questions about mobile app development? Contact WebRevelation today and let our team walk you through everything you need to know.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


5 Online Tools You Can Use to Manage Your Company More Effectively

Posted Wed, August 21, 2013 by Julie Short

It isn't uncommon, when we meet with new business web design and marketing clients, to find that they have dozens more software tools and applications than they really need… but at the same time are missing out on some of the "essentials." In other words, they have a lot of things that won't really help them run their company, but have missed out on some of the most convenient and powerful tools out there.

To help you get more from your business, and your schedule, here are five that we can recommend you check out and incorporate into your company right away:

1. Trello. This amazingly simple piece of software makes project management a snap. By helping you sort tasks and milestones, complete with icons, next-step reminders, and other simple features, it gives you a straightforward way to move through large, complex projects, even when lots of different people are involved.

2. HootSuite. We mentioned this piece of software in a recent post about social media marketing, because it can be a wonderful timesaver for almost any business. Not only does it bring all of your social profiles together in one place (so that you don't have to log into them individually multiple times a day), but it lets you schedule tweets and other social updates ahead of time. If you feel like you don't have enough time to keep up with your social accounts and connections, HootSuite could be the answer.

3. Dropbox. This application lets users share large files with one another, and then update them on an ongoing basis. That means you can transmit pieces of data that are far too large for email, without uploading them to a public part of your website, and then collaborate with other team members, vendors, or customers at remote locations.

4. Skype and/or GoToMeeting. We've lumped these two together for the simple reason that traveling to face-to-face meetings isn't always a viable option these days, for financial and scheduling reasons. But, by using either piece of software (or both in conjunction), you can communicate with others and show off intricate presentations in real time, and all for a small fraction of what you'd pay for a single airline ticket.

5. Evernote. Although Evernote has a few distinct functions, we love it because it's document management at its best. Save important emails, paperwork, etc., and then tag it by date, folder, and even keywords. The result is that you'll never find yourself looking for an important file or piece of paper again, because they've all been stored and backed up in one convenient place.

Need more great tips on running a successful business in the digital age? Visit our blog for future updates, or get in touch with a member of the WebRevelation team today to see we can do for you.

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : online tools


4 Tools You Can Use to Make Social Media Marketing Easier

Posted Wed, August 14, 2013

Most of the business world has figured out social media marketing is powerful, but that the benefits and bottom-line improvements come at a cost: lots of your time. Unlike pay-per-click advertising or other Internet marketing solutions that run on budgets, social media profiles are largely run on available minutes. 

For some businesses, owners, and executives, it would actually be easier to just write a check. But, since social network marketing requires one-on-one interaction, creativity, and lots of regular content, there just isn't any way around it; if you want to succeed, you have to devote a little bit of time and energy.

With that in mind, here are four tools we recommend you start using immediately to help you manage your social media marketing workload:

1. An editorial calendar. One of the biggest time-wasters when it comes to social media is logging onto your accounts and having no idea what you want to say, or what you want to post about. Take a cue from professional publications and keep an editorial calendar of upcoming topics and themes. It will help you stay on topic, and on schedule, with your social networking accounts.

2. Update scheduling apps. There are a variety of these around, with HootSuite and TweetDeck being two of the more popular options. In a simple sense, these allow you to schedule your social media posts all at one time. Just be sure that you don't go too far into the future, or what you’re posting could be out of touch with current news or events.

3. Social sharing tools. There are any number of social sharing tools and apps you could use that make it easier for people to "like" your content, or send instant tweets and recommendations about it. These can be used in conjunction with all kinds of content, and especially blog posts or other material on your site. That's helpful because it lets you get more mileage out of every post, image, or video, while helping you to grow your social network at the same time.

4. Your website's analytics package. Social media marketing can take a lot of time and energy – so much so, that it's easy to forget that the real goal is to grow your business. By using in-depth analytics, you can see how people are reacting to your social content, and whether your profiles are generating new interest and sales opportunities.

Of course, but one way you can save time on social media marketing without sacrificing results is to have the right creative team working on your side. Get in touch with WebRevelation today and let us show you how we can put these tools to work for your business.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : social media


How to Find and Approach New Clients on LinkedIn

Posted Wed, August 7, 2013 by Julie Short

When it comes to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, most of us revert back to being like grade school children – first we seek out people we know, and then let things branch out naturally to make new friends and contacts. When it comes to LinkedIn, however, things can be a little tougher. 

For one thing, the site has a professional focus, which makes it feel more like a professional networking event than a cocktail party. And for another, the stakes can be higher. Although a lot of CEOs, executives, and other VIPs don't have time to use other social sites, most of them are on LinkedIn and involved in company or industry-related discussions.

So, how do you find and approach new prospects on LinkedIn? Here are a handful of steps to help you get started:

Begin with the familiar. As with most parts of social media, and your business life in general, it's a good idea to begin by thinking about who you already know that's on LinkedIn, and who they might know in return. In other words, see if you have contacts who can make introductions on your behalf.

Be visible in the right places. Your LinkedIn profile is important, but industry-related discussion groups can be your greatest sources of information. That's because you won't just be able to see who is posting and getting involved, but also what kinds of topics are on their minds.

Ask, listen, and learn. The more you ask questions and pay attention to others, the easier it will be to grow your network. Try not to dominate every discussion, or give endless sales pitches at every opportunity – others on LinkedIn will tune you out, or ban you from their groups altogether.

Introduce yourself carefully. When the time is right (which means you know who you want to approach, what company they are with, and how you can help them), try to add them to your connections and send a simple, benefit-centered note. Explain why you want to add them, and then what you hope to do for them or their company.

Take the next logical step. This could be a phone call, an online presentation, a face-to-face meeting, or something else altogether. The point is to take the relationship beyond LinkedIn if possible, so you can turn the contact into a genuine sales opportunity.

Networking and finding new prospects through LinkedIn isn't an instant process, but it's one that can be very important to you as a salesperson, executive, or business owner. Learn to make smart connections through the site and you just might be able to open accounts and create relationships that you wouldn't have been able to build anywhere else.

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : linkedin


Do You Know How to Find Prospects and Clients on Twitter?

Posted Wed, July 31, 2013 by Julie Short

At a time when business owners and executives seem to think that social media can cure just about any business problem, it's surprising how many companies aren't utilizing Twitter to its fullest. In particular, more companies and salespeople could be using their Twitter profiles to find, approach, and interest new prospects.

Here are five easy steps you can follow to find new prospects and clients using Twitter:

1. Create the right profile. Simply being "on" Twitter isn't going to do much for your business. You need to have a profile that stands out and establishes you as a key professional or vendor. That includes the right username, a professional photo, a custom background, and current contact information so prospects can reach out to you both on and off of Twitter.

2. Start using Twitter's search tool. You can search through users and messages by name, hashtag, or keyword. That should make it easy for you to start locating good targets. Once you have some good candidates for new sales opportunities, you can follow them, or even send a personal introduction. It's a good idea to do both, since you can learn a lot about a potential client from their Twitter feed.

3. Use each new contact as a starting point. The great thing about finding a good prospect on Twitter is that they are likely to know and follow other good prospects, too. By using this approach, you can quickly identify several (or maybe even dozens) of individuals and/or businesses that you might like to work with in the future.

4. Do Twitter marketing the right way. Although your initial efforts might be focused on personal introductions, you want your Twitter account to be a source of new information and insights. That way, your prospects have a reason to follow you. Also, a healthy Twitter marketing campaign can attract new prospects that you hadn't previously targeted all on its own.

5. Create a sales pipeline. If you're going to turn Twitter contacts into customers, you'll probably have to have a process that involves other social profiles, your business website, or even a phone call at some point. Twitter is great for making introductions and spreading information, but most businesses won’t want to rely on it when it comes to furthering opportunities or closing the deal.

Twitter can be a great tool for creating sales and beginning new business relationships, but you need to make the most of every contact and every tweet. So, get started with these tips, and when you need more help – or to take your social media marketing to the next level – get in touch with the WebRevelation team so we can create a plan just for you.

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : twitter


Why Customers Want ERP-Ready Manufacturers

Posted Mon, July 29, 2013 by Julie Short

Usually, when manufacturing clients come to us wanting to explore ERP packages, it's because they are interested in cutting costs, or want to keep a closer eye on supply chains and other details. But what about the other side of the bottom-line equation? Did you know that investing in the right ERP can help you gain more customers, too?

Although buyers might not ask your company for or about an ERP directly, that doesn't mean they don't want you to have one. That's because manufacturers that are taking advantage of enterprise resource planning can do more, do it more quickly, and at better prices. In other words, they become the kinds of businesses your best customers want to work with and order from.

To see why that might be, consider three important advantages from your customer’s point of view:

Speed is critical in choosing a manufacturer. In today's market, speed is every bit as important as price and quality. Margins might be tighter, but so are schedules. If you can reliably deliver products based on aggressive schedules, you become virtually priceless to buyers. That means they'll come back to you time and time again, and may even pay a premium to do so.

Cost competitiveness is changing everything. Of course, margins are getting tighter across every type of manufacturing market. By having more control over your supply chain, and real-time information about input prices, you can produce better, more accurate quotes for your customers. Staying competitive and profitable at the same time is always a winning strategy.

They want a manufacturer who can adjust to new conditions quickly. When delivery dates, quantities, and locations change, it's the manufacturer that is equipped with a strong ERP that's ready to step in and meet buyer needs. Your customers want a manufacturer they can count on… when you're taking advantage of the right ERP, it's easy to be the supplier of choice.

You already know that success in manufacturing is all about delivering the right product and service at the right price, and on the customer's schedule. A strong ERP platform helps you achieve all of those, which leads to increased customer loyalty and helps your profitability on every account.

To learn more about our ERP systems – and to see case studies that show how we have helped manufacturing companies just like yours – call or e-mail a member of our team and request a free consultation. It won't take long for us to show you why you shouldn't ignore this technology.

Posted in : ERP | 
Tags : erp , manufacturer


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