9 Questions to Ask When Building a Mobile App

mobile phone users

“The next big thing” is a phrase that gets tossed around often. Entrepreneurs dream of creating it but often don’t know where to look, so they head down a long, bumpy road that sucks their wallet and their inspiration dry. Of course, failure nearly always precedes success, but it doesn’t hurt to avoid failure when you can.

If you’re embarking on a new mobile app idea, first consider whether you’re a results-oriented or a cause-oriented person. This will help you perfect your approach and, better yet, may prevent you from investing in an idea that’s likely to flop. The cause-method-results path tends to be best; profits are just a result — they may drive entrepreneurship but they’re not something to build off of, so consider your cause first and foremost. Whatever you create must have demand and whatever has demand serves a purpose for its customers.

So how do you identify the purpose of your next mobile app?

1. Is it a Need or a Want?

Imagine you’re an average smartphone user and someone tells you about this app. Would it excite you? Would you want it? Would other people want it? Ideally, they’ll need it, but the next best option is that they simply want it.

So how can you create a want? Look around you. This era is all about the translation of life into digitized form. It’s all about information that makes people’s lives easier. Urbanspoon, Foodspotting, and Yelp do just that. They speed up and simplify your life. How will your app make its users’ lives simpler and speedier?

2. Is it Offering Something that Doesn’t Already Exist?

That’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg asked the Winklevoss brothers when they told him about the idea of Harvard Connection, and they certainly had an answer. If your basic idea resembles something that’s already out there, you need to be confident your app will offer something its competitor doesn’t. Do you think your interface will blow it out of the water? Is the other app particularly vulnerable in a crucial department, like connectivity or functionality? Can you take advantage of that?

3. How Soon Can You Launch?

Say your app idea is amazing — it’s something people would absolutely love and it’s completely unique. Now what? The biggest mistake you can make is to sit on it. There’s one thing Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk would all agree on: you must rush to the market to launch your idea or someone else will. It’s a competitive world. Everyone’s trying to innovate. So the sooner you dream it, the sooner you must build it, because someone else is bound to dream and build the same thing tomorrow or the day after.

4. How Will You Build It?

That brings us to the question of complexity. Can you design and develop this app yourself? If not, can you get someone else to do it? And if you get someone else to do it for you, how much can you pay them? Would you look to a simple app creation platform that lets you build and host the app easily or go to a team of custom developers? And what’s the faster approach?

5. Is This the Best You Can Do?

If you’re going to sell something, better to sell it to a hundred people than to ten. How many platforms does your app cater to? An Android app is better than a Galaxy-specific app, so try to maximize your audience as much as possible; don’t make the classic mistake of approaching only a handful. Most of the time, increasing your potential users just takes one simple addition but makes a huge difference in the long run.

6. Can You Survive the Market?

It’s time to consider your competition and your marketing strategy. The idea is there. You can build and launch it soon. Now ask yourself if you have the money and the drive to compete. When you launch a product that hits your rivals where they’re vulnerable, the bigger companies you’re hurting will wage war, rapidly improving their product to maintain their top spot. That’s why it’s paramount to consider how soon you can make the name of your product echo in the market. Can you hire marketing agencies? If you don’t have the money, do you have investors who can do it for you?

7. People Love Your Product Today. Will They Love it Tomorrow?

Your app’s ability to inspire return visits is what will help it dominate the market. Does it hold long-term value for its users? It needs to. Does it encourage consumer loyalty? That’s a must. It should be habit-forming, engrained so much into the mobile lives of your users that they wouldn’t consider switching to a competitor.

8. How Will You Get Results?

Profits require commercialization — particularly ad-hosting. Businesses are biting at the bit to advertise in apps that overlap with their target market, and creating digital ads is far cheaper than print. Whether you use an ad service like Doubleclick or AdMob or go with a custom solution, make sure your ads don’t detract from the user experience. Of course, charging for downloads is another option, but if you’re aiming to mass-distribute it’s best to keep it free.

9. Does Anything Need to be Eliminated?

The secret to making highly usable apps isn’t adding more and more stuff but eliminating as much as possible. You’re probably focused on packing in features now, but your app likely contains some redundancy already. Superfluous features increase your file size and suck up device memory — not a great thing from the user’s perspective. So simplify it.

Conclusion

Approach your next idea with purpose and foresight. The next big thing in mobile is out there, but method and strategy are crucial to its success. Just make sure you get there first.

Phone Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-ndtv”]

9 Offers That Can Help You Boost Sales This Tax Season

040615 tax time

Tax season isn’t just about getting your return in time and all the commotion that goes with it; it’s also a great opportunity to boost sales. Tax-time promotions, offers and tie-ins can add some fun to this busy time of year and hopefully make you some money too!

Here are some ideas that you might want to use for your small business.

Use the Number “1040”

No one enjoys filling in Form 1040, but as a small business, the number has infinite promotional possibilities.

For example, if you own a restaurant or bar you could offer two dishes, meals, or drinks for $10.40. Retailers could mark down items to $10.40. Or online stores could offer a special promotion that starts at 10:40 or can only be redeemed with coupon code “1040.”

There are probably 1,040 other things small businesses could do along the same line.

Offer a Unique Product in Honor of Tax Day!

Whether it’s the “Tax Man Martini” or the “Uncle Sam Sandwich,” think of ways to offer unique, one-off items that have a tax day tie-in and charge $10.40 or $15 for it (as a nod to April 15).

Come Up With a “Taxing” Catchphrase

Last year, California Tortilla came up with the tagline “Queso Makes Life Less Taxing” and offered free chips and queso with any purchase on April 15.

Get the word out a few days ahead of time on social media and to your email subscribers. Line up some memes, images, and product photos to accompany the catchphrase and let customers know what’s being offered.

Offer a Tax-Free Service

Offer a tax-free dining or shopping experience for one-day only on April 15.

Position Your Offer as a Refund

We’re all hoping for a tax refund, so why not offer your customers one. Instead of the traditional “BOGO” offer, give them a refund when they buy two items in a certain range.

Help Your Customers Relax After Tax Season

Preparing taxes is complicated and stressful. Could your business offer something that can help customers wind down and relax after tax season? B and Bs and hotels could offer a “Tax-Free, Stress-Free Weekend Special.” Spa owners could offer a “Tax Day De-Stress Package.”

Offer an in-room credit (aka refund) or a special service for soothing “taxed” nerves.

Set Up a Pop-up Shop

Get out there among your taxpaying customers and hand out free samples of your products or services. Throw in a free shoulder massage, just for fun.

Run an Early Bird Campaign for Early Filers

Run a promo or special the morning of tax day and position it as a special promotion for those who already have their refunds.

Offer Tax Tips for Next Year

If you’re in the financial services industry, now is the time to start marketing your services. Offer customers a free consultation or product trial and tout how you can help them do a better job of filing next year.

The opportunities are endless. For more inspiration, check out this roundup of Tax Day Freebies, Promotions, Deals and Specials from Forbes, which features a selection of the best promos offered by businesses last year.

Tax Calendar Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

9 Smart Widgets for a Better Customer Experience

online shop

Customer experience is the number one concern when creating your website.

You might not get it down the first time. Revisiting your design and features is a regular part of maintaining that site.

Here are 10 smart widgets (mostly WordPress-only) that will allow you to tweak your site functionality to offer your customers more options to play with your site.

1. Whatfix

Having a thorough, visual how-to tutorial that can lead a viewer through different steps is a great way to get through to visuals learners.

Whatfix lets you make those visual and interactive “instructables” within minutes, with intuitive and easy to follow features. All are fully customizable, and you can see examples on their website of just how creative you can get for your own.

They have a business edition for professional how-tos, but their free version will be fine for most users.

They also offer a “self-help” widget that will show your visual how-to as the badge on the page.

2. Rating-Widget: Star Review System

customer service widgets wordpress

Do you need a super simple rating star system to be implemented on your site? Visitors tend to enjoy rating a page or a product: They like the option to express their opinion. Whether it is used for rating products, videos, posts, or reviews for third parties, you can use Rating-Widget to get the job done.

It is totally customizable and easy to use. There is no limit on ratings, and it is free from any distracting branding. They have different levels for your needs, including business (highly supported).

3. Testimonial

customer service widgets wordpress

Create a single or multiple review testimonial slider to put on your website with the aptly named Testimonial. It shows potential customers what people already love about your product or service. The simple format and elegant font make this slider appropriate for any layout.

Choose between different layouts to make it even more flexible. Get their premium version for more control over how your testimonials are viewed.

Here’s an alternative one: Testimonials Widget

Choose between Carousel, fade, and slide transitions in this testimonials display widget. Mix and match content, so you can display text, images and videos seamlessly. This tool is compatible with shortcodes. It has a much more casual look than the above one. It is also a bit more functional.

4. Q2W3 Fixed Widget (Sticky Widget)

Sometimes some of the site widgets are really important and it’s a shame your user needs to scroll back to them all the time. Q2W3 Fixed Widget fixes that. Just install, select the widgets you need to stick, and it will scroll down when the user scrolled through the page. This will also keep your layout design from breaking or overlapping.

The fixed widget helps for monetization purposes because it helps you “pin” your most important call-to-action. Here are few more monetization tips and plugins that can help!

5. WP Video Lightbox

Embedded videos can be a problem in websites and blogs because there are other things catching the attention of the viewer. WP Video Lightbox eliminates distractions by creating a video overlay. It dims the background, so your viewer will be focused only on the video

It is compatible with both YouTube and Vimeo, so you won’t need to install separate plugins to use both of the most popular video sites. Using it is quick and painless. Just install the plugin, then use the regular embed codes at each site. It will do the rest for you automatically when the viewer clicks on the video preview.

6. Zendesk Web Widget

customer service widgets wordpress

Zendesk remains the number one customer service platform available on the web. The Zendesk Web Widget lets you take your own customer service efforts to the next level. You will be able to embed support options right into your website or Help section.

That include support search (articles), support contact forms, and even a live chat option that connects to online agents. This is only available for current versions of the Zendesk platform, so you will have to upgrade if you are using Classic.

I use Zendesk on a few websites of mine and I use Cyfe customer service dashboard to keep an eye on how my customer support is doing with each one.

customer service widgets wordpress

7. Opening Hours

customer service widgets wordpress

Need to display opening hours? Give Opening Hours a try.

You can customize per day, or for special events. List the hours that you are able to provide customer support or contact.

Give the opening and close times for venues where you will be holding gatherings. Or anything else that requires set times. You can add and remove periods of time or days in the weekly customizing view.

8. WordPress Feedback Form

customer service widgets wordpress

The best way to improve your site for customers is to find out what it is they want or need from you. WordPress Feedback Form is a quick way to do that, and to start gathering valuable information you can use for future changes. This is the ultimate feedback form, and probably the most popular.

You just fill in the blanks and choose your layout, and present it in the most attractive manner that matches your web design.

9. Trendemon

Trendemon is the conversion optimization platform that I’ve seen highly recommended recently. While it doesn’t directly affect  customer experience, it helps you better understand your site users and adapt to their needs.

Trendemon automatically identifies effective conversion paths and provides personalized and real-time recommendations to encourage users to buy or convert. The widget integrates with popular CMSes like WordPress, as well as many other popular marketing platforms.

Conclusion

Your customers should be your primary focus when making changes for site usability. The above widgets will allow you to make those changes easier. Even a tiny shift can make all the difference in the world, and be the step that links a lead to a conversion.

Do you have any tips or tools? Do you use a specific widget that you think our readers would enjoy?

Mobile Shopping Site Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

9 Ways to Work Less and Make More Money in Your Handmade Business

cobbler

In almost any business, the goal is to “work less make more.” And if any type of entrepreneur truly needed to focus  on this principal, it’s handmade business owners who make the products they sell. You don’t have to be a handmade business owner to crave more cash, but for makers, the issues are compounded because so much time is spent making products that there is little left over for actually leading the business. Even small changes can produce big results.

Check out these nine ways to work less and make more money.

Automate as Much as Possible

Many handmade entrepreneurs avoid automating certain aspects of the customer service process because they think it will place a sterile barrier between them and their customers. But a little common sense automation need not compromise the personal touch, especially if it kills multiple birds with one stone. For example, many ecommerce hosting companies, including Big Commerce and Shopify, offer automated product review apps that allow you to send automated email requests to customers to review your products. The reviews are then automatically published at your website after you approve them.

Automated product review apps save lots of time manually requesting reviews. They also boost sales by allowing the buyer to see positive product reviews right next to the “buy” button. Since people are more likely to purchase a product that others say is a good buying decision, making this process seamless and easy for you and your customers is a no-brainer.

Eliminate Products that Don’t Sell Well

When you make the products you sell, a lot of your time is eaten up by the manufacturing process. An easy way to shorten your work week is to consistently eliminate products that don’t sell well. On at least a quarterly basis, schedule a review of your sales numbers for the specific purpose of eliminating products that people are not buying. Put them on sale to make room for the products your customers are actually buying. You’ll make more money and save the time and headache of trying to force the sales of products that customers are just not interested in.

Schedule Social Media Posts in Advance

Nothing eats up a workday like working your social media on the fly. Set up a daily calendar showing when and what you will post to your main social media outlets, and then schedule as much of it in advance as possible.

You can use a free service like Google Calendar to color code social media outlets and posts throughout the week, and cue them up all at one time using a service like HootSuite.

Newer services, like Edgar, have a built in library and calendar so you can recycle your most engaging posts without having to type them in fresh each time you want to share them. (And, yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to recycle your most popular social media posts!)

“Scheduling social media posts will shave hours off of your workweek,” says Dawn Fitch, author of The S Factor: How to Effectively Use Social Media to Grow Your Business and CEO of Pooka Pure and Simple in Orange New Jersey.

Says Fitch, “My four social media categories are events, sales/promotional, blog posts, and general marketing. My calendar pinpoints certain times during each day that I will share in each category. Each week, I invest two hours only on social media, by changing the entries for each time in each category. This saves me hours each week, and once I am done for the week, all I have to do is be responsive to people who are engaging with my brand.”

Stop Sending Traffic to Other Sites

Many handmade entrepreneurs sell their products at their own branded websites, and also at other sites like Etsy, Artfire, or Amazon. If you are just starting out in business, sales via third party sties can offer valuable confidence boosts in the beginning. They are easy to set up, require no up front investment, and you only pay when you sell something.

The proverbial (and unavoidable) elephant in the room, however, is that because you don’t own third party sites, you are at their mercy. Any one of them can force you to make unwanted changes to your business model overnight and without any advance notice. That’s no way to secure the long term future of your business.

If you want to build a brand that you can define, direct, and lead into the future, put your resources into a website of your own, where you call the shots and where your brand is not diluted by people selling everything from hairy coffee cups to Hello Kitty T-shirts.

Not only will consolidating traffic at your site build your customer list, it will also save you a ton of time because you won’t have to maintain different product listings at multiple websites. You won’t have to read emails about new seller policies. You won’t be at the mercy of their price hikes. You can change the customer experience when you want to, and not when someone else says you have to. This kind of entrepreneurial freedom will shave tons of time from your work week, and give you the peace of mind that you are in full control of your destiny.

By giving your customers a consistent experience, you will also increase sales and more naturally be able to expand your customer base as you grow.

Hire an Assistant (or Two)

You may not think you can afford to hire an assistant, but the truth is that you cannot afford not to. Sure, you may have to wear every single hat at the very start of your business, but once you get things moving, your first goal should be to hire someone who can take on some of the tasks that you don’t want to do, don’t know how to do, or don’t like to do. Doing everything yourself may save in the short term, but it will quickly burn you out, and a burned out entrepreneur cannot make money.

A key to success in business is learning the art of delegation. Doing it all yourself limits your ability to leverage new opportunities and eventually, ensures that you run out of time to accomplish your goals every single week.

Schedule Every Single Business Task

Start each morning with very specific goals for that particular day. Knowing what you want to achieve daily helps you stay focused and on task. It also prevents you from ending a work week with a bunch of unfinished projects.

Use time blocking to maximize results from this process. For example, block out 90 minutes in the morning to complete 15 sales calls, and block off the next 30 minutes for a walk or a chat with a friend. After that, block off a second 90-minute period for another specific task and so forth. At the end of the day, you will have completed three important tasks for your business, and you’ll have enjoyed some downtime to boot. This frees up your evenings to enjoy your family and hobbies.

Create a schedule like this for every day of the week so you don’t spend any time wondering what to do on any given day. If this seems like too much organization for you, I challenge you to try it for just one day. I believe you’ll notice a significant difference in how productive you feel but also in how productive you actually are.

Minimize Multi-tasking

Who doesn’t want to get more done in less time? But while doing three or four things at once may save time on the front end, it ends up costing much more than it saves in the long run. Research, including this Stanford University Report, found that multitasking reduces efficiency and performance and may damage your brain, since it can really only focus on one mental task at a time. So, if you are simultaneously making a product and making a sales call, you may accomplish both tasks, but the chances that you did an excellent job on either are minimized because you performed them at the same time.

Follow Up on Everything

It’s amazing how many opportunities are missed by not following up on the ones right in front of you. Here’s an example of how powerful the follow up is. Stacia Guzzo of Handcrafted Honey Bee in Tehachapi, California recently pitched a story in response to a query from the popular PR service, Help a Reporter. The journalist included Stacia in the story which appeared earlier this week in the Huffington Post, and Stacia quickly sent an email thanking the reporter for including her. The reporter quickly responded by inviting Stacia to speak at an upcoming business conference. Who knows how many more sales Stacia will enjoy simply because she took the time to send a simple follow up note?

Use a Timer

Once you know how long a particular task should take, use a timer to stick as close as possible to that time going forward. This will help you stay on schedule (see number 6, above), and help you retain the good “flow” as you do the task. Using a timer also gives you a fun way to compete with yourself. Challenging yourself to stay on task and on schedule will help you do so. You can use a kitchen timer or a fancy app or browser extension for this, but I find it easy to use the timer installed on my smart phone. It’s quick and easy to set, and I don’t have one more tech thing taking up space on my phone or laptop.

I bet you can think of other ways to “work less make more” in your business. What works for you?

Cobbler Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

9 Questions Customers Have About Your Handmade Business

guitar maker

As a Maker and high touch entrepreneur, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get answers to questions that help them choose you as the best option for their product needs. The things they consider when buying a consumer product made in a factory may be similar to the things they consider when buying a handmade product. But because handmade products are made by a person like them, and not a factory drone, they may have slightly different concerns.

This article will help you prepare for and reply to some of the questions your customers may have about how their products are made and how you handle your business. Answers to most, if not all, of these questions should be at your website, either on your About page, your Policies page, or your Frequently Asked Questions page.

1. Where Are Your Products Made?

Always be prepared to tell people where you make your products. Do you create items in a studio? A commercial kitchen? An addition built onto your home? If you make hand knit scarves, you can create them just about anywhere so long as the products are not picking up dirt and dust. But if you are making facial cream or herbal tea, you’ll want to satisfy buyers’ concerns that the product is not only well made, but also properly preserved (if necessary) and crafted in a clean environment.

Be prepared to answer these types of questions with confidence, so you can continue to build the trust of the buying public.

2. Do You Have Product Liability Insurance?

Despite the fact that we hear about lawsuits all the time, only a very tiny percentage of consumer products actually result in injury to a user. Still, things happen, and you should carry product liability insurance, and should not be shy about answering customers’ questions in this regard.

3. Are Your Ingredients and/or Components Fresh and Safe?

No one wants an article of clothing made with fabric that’s been in storage for a year, right? And who wants a handmade necklace crafted with a metal that is not safe to wear against the skin? Always be prepared to answer questions about the source and nature of the ingredients used in the products you offer. Of course, you should never be expected to share confidential commercial information, such as the names of your suppliers, but other than that, you should be ready to answer everyone’s questions about the ingredients and components used to make your products.

4. Do You Comply With Regulations For Your Industry?

Every consumer product is regulated by at least one state and one federal regulatory agency. It’s fair for a buyer to inquire about whether you are complying with the rules that apply to your industry. Smaller handmade companies are sometimes excluded from some of the laws that apply to mass producing companies. Feel free to share this with your customers, but always be ready to back up assurances that your products are made in accordance with applicable laws, and that you are not cutting corners just because you are “small.”

5. What Is Your Return Policy?

Wise consumers never buy anything without first knowing the procedure for returning the item if they change their minds, discover that they don’t like their purchase, or if the item they bought is defective in any way. Your Policies page and/or FAQ page should contain information about your return policy. Is there a restocking fee? Are all sales final, with no returns accepted? Making it easy for your customers to clearly see your return policy in advance could save you and them a lot of time and energy, and make doing business together easier and more enjoyable.

6. How Do You Monitor and Control the Quality of Your Products?

Buyers like to know that you adhere to specific internal processes that allow you to produce quality products time after time. You should have in place systems and procedures that help you produce your products consistently and efficiently. It’s a fair question for people to ask, and you should be prepared to answer in ways that build confidence and trust in the mind of your customer.

7. If I Have a Question, What’s the Fastest Way to Get an Answer?

Nothing is worse than paying for a product, and then receiving radio silence when you follow up with a question. Your website should contain contact information to include a phone number and an email address, along with your estimated response times, so people can know generally how quickly they’ll receive answers to their questions.

8. How Do I Subscribe To Your Newsletter?

This is an easy one. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your newsletter so you can keep them posted on new product launches, limited editions, and sales. If you don’t have a pop up box, use the space in the upper right of your website, and also in the footer, to add newsletter subscription instructions.

9. Do Your Products Vary From the Product Photos at Your Website?

One of the things that makes handmade products so unique and sought after is the fact that they can vary quite a bit from item to item and from batch to batch. Let your customers know this in advance, and give them an idea of where the variations will appear. Color? Texture? Size? Flavor? Sharing this type of information with people in advance of purchase can prevent disappointment if the product delivered does not look exactly like the one pictured at your website.

The relationship with the people who buy the products you make with your hands is very different from the relationship they have with big box stores. Answering questions like these, and yes, even welcoming them, can go a long way toward strengthening and solidifying relationships and helping them last long into the future.

What other consumer questions should Makers be prepared to answer about the products they make?

Guitar Maker Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

9 Things that Will Drive Your Web Designer Nuts

web design

Website development is not easy for the web designer or for the client, but there are things you can do to make things easier for your designer. There are also things that you can do that will make them very agitated and angry.

Because the web development process can be difficult and tedious I am going to tell you about some things to avoid doing so your working relationship with your developer will be better. (Side note: I am fully aware that there are web design companies that drop the ball; perhaps we will touch on that in a different article.)

1) Expecting A Designer to Be at Your Beck and Call

Anyone in the web design or developing business has to have a good number of clients at one time to make a living. Just think about this – you pay half up front and you don’t pay the other half until the site is completed (which could be 3-6 months depending on how long the process takes). The deposit you put down is not going to pay the bills for a web designer for months; they need other clients to pay the bills.

You are not the only client. Because of that, the designer and their team cannot be available every single time you want something. Please understand that they have responsibilities and obligations to many people, not just you. If it takes 24 hours to get a call or email back, that is a respectable time. In the mean time, take notes on all the issues you want to discuss so you can get everything out in one conversation.

Another important note: web designers may work all hours of the day, but that doesn’t mean they are available to talk after working hours or on the weekends just because that is when you are free. They deserve family time like everyone else.

2) Failing to Gather Materials Which Results in Slower Progress

As I mentioned earlier, web designers get a certain amount of money in the beginning. They need to make that money last for a period of time and also finish a website in a certain period of time to receive their final payment or they start to lose money.

Businesses, sometimes, are not in a big rush to finish a website and they are fine with it taking 6-12 months. This is not fair to a designer because they have to keep the job on the books and pay attention to it even if you are not. They are losing money and time and also paying for your site to be on development server. Plus, they deal with your emails consistently which takes a lot of time. The designer is losing time and money. You can’t expect them to be happy about a project if they are losing money.

It is really important to remember that designers have families and bills to pay. They need jobs to get done in a reasonable amount of time. Help them do that by sending them the requested documents, content and images they need so they can effectively develop your website. The website getting finished in a timely manner is good for you and the developer.

3) You Disappear for Three Months & Suddenly It Is Urgent That the Site Gets Finished

A web designer is depending on finishing a website to get the money that they need to make a living. Say a business owner disappears and does not respond to emails or phone calls. The web designer then must take on another job to offset the money they will possibly not be receiving. (How do they know if you are coming back?) Other clients are anxious to get the work done and are helping the designer consistently to finish the project(s), so the business owner that disappeared gets put on the back burner. This is logical.

However, the absent business owner suddenly realizes that they need their site, comes to the designer and complains that the site isn’t finished and demands it be finished quickly. Anyone that does this should know that they have essentially killed a good working relationship with the designer. The designer may be polite, but they were screwed financially by the disappearing act and on top of it they are now receiving demands. I highly recommend businesses avoid this.

If you have to disappear tell the designer why. Offer to pay a holding fee monthly to keep the project going or apologize for the disappearing act and ask them what you can do to get the project running again.

4) Giving Content on Paper and Expecting a Designer to Re-Type All Your Content

A developer or designer works very hard on coding and design. Trust me when I say that the coding and design take a lot of hours and require tedious work. When they add content to your website, they also have to format that content so it looks nice and this is also very time consuming work.

Typically copying and pasting content saves some time. When you expect a web designer to re-type your content, it is just rude. They are not being paid to type out content, but to make you something wonderful. Typically with a web design, a business pays for a certain number of hours of work and usually they want to stick to that number and not pay more. If someone insists on a designer re-typing, I can assure you that the designer will deduct some time from other work they needed to do to offset the cost.

Please send them documents where designers can copy and paste. Ask them how they would like the content sent so time and money is saved on both sides.

5) Sending Lots of Images with No Organization

Images are a ton of work. Every image that goes on a site is resized, named and uploaded. An image-intense website can double the cost of a website because the images alone are so much work.

When businesses send a disk or flash drive of images with no organization or names and they expect the web designer to figure out which images go where, they are adding a ton of time to the designer’s already long list of tasks. This drives designers insane. If you have images you want on a certain pages you could organize them into folders that name the page so they designer knows where they go.

You can also label images if you are emailing. No matter how you get images to your designer, I highly recommend you find a way to organize the images so things are easier for the designer. It will save you a ton of time answering questions and it will also save the designer a lot of time. Ask your designer how they would like to receive images from you.

6) Asking 19 Questions in 14 Emails

I already established that web designers have more than one client. So if every client emails many times (and they do), the designer has to spend a lot of time sifting through emails. They often have to go back to each one to make sure each question is addressed and readdressed.

It is wiser to sit and create a list of questions and send them all in one email so the designer only has to look at one email. Often designers have to go back to the email conversation when working because requests are in there. It is a lot easier to look at one email of conversations verses 14 emails with conversations.

Always keep in mind how much time an email or emails take. Do you want your designer spending hours answering emails or do you want those hours spent on your website?

7) Not Trusting the Web Designer

The thing that used to eat me alive the most was the fact that my partner and I would make recommendations based on usability principles, design, SEO and over-all knowledge based on experience and clients would not listen or trust the advice. We had absolutely no reason to offer advice that had no merit, but businesses wanted to ignore the advice and believed their way was better.

If you are given a recommendation don’t dismiss it outright. Ask why the recommendation is being made and really listen to the thoughts you are given. It is perfectly alright to disagree, but at least give the designer and their team the respect to listen to their thoughts.

8) Having a Bad Day and Taking it Out on the Designer by Sending Nasty Emails

We all have bad days and sometimes we take it out on others, but when you have someone killing themselves coding and constantly thinking about what is best for you and your business you want to avoid hurting feelings.

Often the nasty emails that come in are because someone is having a bad day. They are irritated already and they look at something about the website, write a crappy email and somehow forget that the person that receives that email is a human with feelings.

Please try to avoid this in all business dealings. Web designers sit all day and work on code and design. I can’t really explain in words how much that exhausts the brain, but it does. Nasty emails just don’t come across well to people that are mentally exhausted because they are creating something wonderful for you. Also keep in mind that emails don’t show the emotion on your face so the reader can’t tell if you are joking or attacking at times. Be careful how you word things.

9) Allowing Anyone in Your Business to Be Adversarial to the Web Design Team

Sometimes there is one person that just has to say negative things all the time or attack ideas. Some people have an ego problem and sometimes they even do things to slow down the project. This one person can destroy a good working relationship. This one person can make the designers life very un-enjoyable.

If you notice that one person is always being negative about the project or the designer you need to put a stop to it. Pull the negative person off the project or ask them what they problem is. The bottom line is: you need to finish the project and you need the designer to be on your side. There are always things that need to be addressed after a website launches, so you don’t want the designer to launch your website and walk away.

You will need a good working relationship with your designer in the future. Make sure respect is given on both sides.

Conclusion

As someone that has worked with many web design clients, I highly recommend you share this with anyone that is in the process of creating a new website. These 9 issues I have listed are so common, but they also cause a lot of problems for designers and working relationships.

The most important suggestion I have is to make sure everyone’s time and effort is respected. When there are issues, let go of anger and just ask what is going on. Most issues can be resolved if respect is there.

What issues have you seen with either web design clients or web designers?

[“source-ndtv”]

iPhone 2016 Pre-Orders Tipped to Begin on September 9

iPhone 2016 Pre-Orders Tipped to Begin on September 9

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple is expected to launch the new iPhone on September 5 or 6
  • Will it be called iPhone 7 or iPhone 6SE?
  • It may not be significantly different than the current iPhone

Noted tipster Evan Blass has been dropping information about release date of the upcoming iPhone every day this week, and after saying that the iPhone 2016 will hit the shelves on September 16, the tipster has now revealed the date when the smartphone is expected to go up for pre-order.

According to Blass, Apple will begin pre-orders of the new iPhone on September 9. Typically, the company begins pre-orders three days after the launch event. Therefore, if this new information from Blass is true, then the earlier speculated September 5 or 6 launch event date is rather likely. Apple’s media invites should begin to roll out mid-August revealing the official launch event date.

The new iPhone – which could be called the iPhone 7 or the iPhone 6SE, depending upon who you believe – has been making headlines for quite some time now, and very little is left to the imagination ahead of the launch.

The new iPhone should see a better camera, a shift in antenna bands, a faster A10 chipset, and a separate additional larger variant is expected to get visible hardware changes as well. Earlier leaks suggest that the Plus variant will just be larger, similar to the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. There were also suggestions that a ‘Pro’ variant with a dual camera setup and a Smart Connector at the back will also been launched. A new Space Black colour variant has also been tipped in various leaks.

The upcoming iPhone has been leaked in photos and videos revealing the smartphone from all angles. There’s also a tip that Apple may make minimal design changes to the iPhone this year, breaking the traditional tick-tock cycle.

Tags: Apple, Apple Launch Event, iPhone 2016, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7 Pro, iPhone 7 Release Date, Mobiles
[“Source-Gadgets”]

9 extraordinary Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz on your business

9 Amazing Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz For Your Business

so you want to create top notch pix, the type of pictures which you see on your favourite Instagrammoney owed.

you understand, those that leave you in awe and get hundreds and hundreds of likes.

How do they capture those shades? How do they create that stunning typography? What software do they use? and the way lengthy does it take to create such an image? What’s the method?

If this is what you’re wondering whilst scrolling through your Instagram feed, then preserve reading tolearn the way remarkable pictures are born on Instagram and how you too can create gorgeous quotepictures with some simple Instagram apps.

here is a sequence of steps and Instagram apps with a purpose to prettify your pictures in phrases oflights, colour, symmetry and perspective. And a few more to help you create specific charges with coollayout and typography.

Taking your image

1. VSCO

you can either use your telephone’s local digital camera app or VSCO. this is a powerful all-in-one app that helps you to take the shot and make all forms of DSLR-like modifications, from lighting fixtures,coloration, straightening, to filters and manual awareness.

picture: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/advancedcamera-controls-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine high-quality Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz for your business
image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/expert-grade-equipment-and-presets-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

9 terrific Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz on your commercial enterprise
photo: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/superiorcamera-controls-for-instagram-apps.jpg.jpg

you can use its fundamental features to really set your attention point and shoot, or use more superiorguide settings to alter the ISO, shutter velocity, white balance and manual consciousness, which givesyou extra creative manipulate.

enhancing your photograph

2. Snapseed

you could both edit the shot with VSCO or use Snapseed (Android & iPhone). The latter is a much betterenhancing tool that covers maximum of your enhancing needs, together with shades, contrast, highlights grain and mid tones.

The advanced capabilities include Histogram, deciding on editing points (you can get simply creativewith those settings), HDR and greater.

you may additionally use Snapseed to take away unwanted objects which could seem inside thepicture – birds, marks, branches, etc. whatever that you don’t want within the body.

advocated for You
Webcast: The 7 marketing personality sortsrealize Thyself, recognise Your group
photograph: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/advanced-and-new-equipment-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine remarkable Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz to your enterprise
image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/adjustable-practical-lens-blur-for-instagram-apps-1.jpg-300×300.jpg

9 fantastic Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz to your business
photo: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/progressed-and-new-tools-for-instagram-apps.jpg.jpg

three. Afterlight

another cool app for adding textures, frames & filters is Afterlight. you may get some amazing results byincluding precise frames, filters, textures and light leaks, cropping presets and greater. Afterlight also hasediting functions, so it comes down to your personal desire for which Instagram app you use formodifying.

photograph: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/afterlight-128-frames-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

9 wonderful Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz in your commercial enterprise
photograph: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/afterlight-seventy fiveunique-filters-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine wonderful Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz in your enterprise
picture: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/afterlight-128-frames-for-instagram-apps.jpg.jpg

four. SKRWT

every other effective modifying app is SKRWT. It’s mainly beneficial for attitude corrections and adjusting distorted lines due to the wide angles lens.

photo: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/skrwt-excessive-precision-crop-tool-for-instagram-apps.png-300×300.png

9 exceptional Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz in your enterprise
picture: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/skrwt-perspective-correction-for-instagram-apps.png-300×300.png

9 super Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz on your enterprise
image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/skrwt-high-precision-crop-device-for-instagram-apps.png.png

growing designs from scratch

that is wherein blending unique apps to reap a groovy layout receives interesting. Regardless the area of interest you’re in, adding a few quote photos in your Instagram feed usually seem to paintings like magic. humans love quotes, they’re shareable and they’re very clean to create.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/quote-images-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine extremely good Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz for your business
photograph: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/quote-images-2-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine wonderful Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz on your commercial enterprise
image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/quote-pix-for-instagram-apps.jpg.jpg

right here are a few easy apps to help you create first-rate looking quote snap shots with out needusing to apply complex layout software program. you can use those tools even when you have norevel in with image layout. And you can placed on your own watermark, as well.

5. Typorama

Typorama is the first one. It’s for the iPhone however I’ll show you the same app that works for Android, aswell. First, you choose a historical past from their massive gallery. Load the picture into the app and double faucet to add your textual content.

preferably you should prepare your content in a notepad file or Evernote, so it’s smooth to tug out. you may pick what fonts you need and you may preserve tapping at the textual content till you find theversion you like quality.

once you’re completed, store the picture to the gallery to your smartphone. You don’t need to share theimage just yet, there are a few extra tweaks you could do.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/typorama-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

9 exquisite Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz on your enterprise
photo: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/typorama-uniquetextual contentstyles-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine top notch Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz to your business
picture: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/typorama-addvery owninnovativetouch-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine tremendous Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz for your enterprise
picture: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/typorama-for-instagram-apps.jpg.jpg

6. Wordswag

the next app will assist you to upload the call of the author who’s quote you simply used. you could try this with Typorama as properly, however Wordswag gives you an additional kick. This app helps you totake any sort of textual content (e.g. tip, quote, question, etc.) and positioned it over one in all their cool templates to create a amazing searching quote photograph.

photograph: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/wordswag-for-instagram-apps.png.png

wordswag for instagram apps

you furthermore may have the choice to apply photographs out of your personal gallery and just use their typography. whatever suits you high-quality.

So for example, you may take the photograph you simply created in Typorama and open it in Wordswag tocredit the writer the use of a one of a kind font. clickdone” and subsequent you can use Wordswag to add a brand or watermark to your snap shots. put your branding in the quote and also you’re completed.

7. Phonto

For Android users there’s Phonto (as opposed to Typorama). without a doubt take your textual contentand paste it within the app (choose from hundreds of fonts). Then, pass returned to Wordswag andupload your brand or watermark.

photo: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/phonto-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine exceptional Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz on your business
photo: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/phonto-create-colorsample-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

9 amazing Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz in your business
photo: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/phonto-endlesspatterns-for-instagram-apps.jpg-300×300.jpg

nine terrific Instagram Apps To Generate Buzz on your enterprise
photo: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/phonto-for-instagram-apps.jpg.jpg

coping with your workflow

eight. Later

The ultimate step is locating an app that allows you to streamline the whole technique. There’s an appyou may use to agenda your posts, referred to as Later (previously called Latergramme).

The reason you need that is because Instagram best permits you to submit out of your smartphone. Later helps you to agenda the entirety earlier, and you could installation the app in your tool. ensureto choose the correct time zone while you sign up.

after you pick the pix you want to percentage, upload the tags, the caption and also you’re done. you may get a popup to your cellphone from the app and just press “put up”.

picture: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/later-scheduled-posts-for-instagram-apps.png.png

later scheduled posts for instagram apps

you can start with a unfastened account but in case you want to take full gain of the app, you ought toupgrade to their paid plans (beginning from $19).

nine. Crowdfire

another very effective device for coping with your audience is Crowdfire. It lets you unfollow non-followers, add your competitionfans and more.

photo: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content material/uploads/2016/06/crowdfire-audiencemanagement-for-instagram-apps.png.png

crowdfire target audience management for instagram apps

photo source: i’m twine

Summing up

optimistically you could see the massive assist you could get from the usage of these Instagram apps and growing a gadget for your Instagram advertising and marketing sports. The greater you test withevery of them, the easier it’ll be to get things done faster and sooner or later delegate the content material advent system to a person on your team.

once your steps are set in region, you may outsource the implementation technique so that you canrecognition on boom strategies to your commercial enterprise.

Bigg Boss 9: Prince Narula desires to ‘Make pals’ within the house

Prince Narula

“I COME FROM A enterprise family AND MY dad and mom HAVE visible MANY u.s.AND DOWNS of theirLIVES. THEIR struggle will be AN notion FOR ME to face every situation inside the house. it’ll assistME to pay attention at the show,” said PRINCE
model Prince Narula stated that he wants to be referred to as the ‘reality king’ of Indian tv.

The Chandigarh primarily based model, who shot to repute after showcasing his difficult guy picture in Roadies X2 and Splitsvilla 8, said that he opted for Bigg Boss as it will convey him in the limelight. (alsoexamine: Bigg Boss nine: Being Salman Khan’s might not help Me Win, Says Vikas Bhalla)

i’m on Bigg Boss predominantly for Salman Khan. i am a massive fan of the star. furthermore, it’s far my fourth reality display in a 12 months‘s time and that i want to be called the ‘truth king’ of the tv,” Princeadvised PTI.

“I come from a business family and my mother and father have seen many u.s.a.and downs of their lives. Their warfare may be an suggestion for me to stand every situation within the house. it will assist meto pay attention at the show,” introduced Prince.

Prince also stated that he has no approach in thoughts and that he desires to make pals within the Bigg Boss residence.

i’ve no longer found out any approach yet. i’m able to simplest look at people and will react in line with the instant. As i am not from showbiz, i am searching forward to make a few top friends at theshow,” he stated.

Prince stated that he’s going to now not take part in reality shows anymore and will try his luck next in fiction.

“Bigg Boss might be my ultimate reality display. i will do fiction subsequent after coming out of thehouse,” stated Prince.

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 launched for Rs 9,999

In a bid to take the lion’s share in the mid-pricedsmartphone segment, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomion Thursday launched

Xiaomi

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM

— the world’s first device equipped with Snapdragon 650 processor in India.

Read more from our special coverage on “XIAOMI”

  • Xiaomi says 75% of phones sold in India made locally

Available in two variants – 2GB RAM, 16 GB ROM for Rs 9,999 and 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM for Rs 11,999 – the smartphones will be initially available on official Mi website and e-portal Amazon.com from March 9.

“We are extremely excited to launch Redmi Note 3 in India, which is the start of many firsts for us in 2016 and more than meets the demands of our hardcore Mi fans,” Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra said in a statement.

“With Redmi Note 3 we are redefining what you can get in the category of ‘phablets’ below Rs 10,000 in India. 2016 is a significant year for us and we are looking forward to introduce even more amazing products in India in the year to come,” he added.

Two of the many features of Redmi Note 3 are its metal body and a huge 4,050mAh battery that can last a full day on a single charge. The device supports 5V/2A Qualcomm Quick Chargetechnology, charging up to 50% in one hour and taking only three hours for a full charge.

Xiaomi’s first-ever smartphone with a fingerprint sensor, Redmi Note 3 uses capacitive scanning technology for accurate, secure and fast performance, unlocking the device in just 0.3 seconds.

Due to its impressive MIUI 7, the scanner can be used for unlocking apps, accessing hidden folders, and even taking a front or rear camera selfie.

The 5.5-inch display phone weighs only 164 grams and measures only 8.65mm at its thickest point.

The device also incorporates “Reading Mode” that cuts down blue light emitted by the display, which reduces eye fatigue.

The new Wallpaper Carousel feature in MIUI 7 delivers stunning wallpaper images daily, so your lockscreen looks refreshingly different every day.

Powered by Snapdragon 650 processor, the first Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset equipped with ARM’s two Cortex-A72 performance cores and four A53 CPUs makes it exceptionally fast.

It features the latest Qualcomm Adreno 510 GPU, which provides impressive graphics performance for an unparalleled gaming experience without heating problems.

“Qualcomm Technologies is very pleased to work with Xiaomi on their latest smartphone Redmi Note 3, featuring the Snapdragon 650 processor designed to deliver amazing performance, thanks to its powerful 64-bit capable hexa-core CPUs and super-fast 4G LTE connectivity,” said Qualcomm India president Sunil Lalvani.

The phone comes with 16MP rear camera, which has dual ISPs for more powerful post-processing of photos.

It also comes equipped with Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) for faster focusing, as well as “Local Tone Mapping”, which adjusts contrast at a pixel level to deliver images with much better contrast levels.

Redmi Note 3 has been designed for full compatibility with India’s cellular networks and supports all Indian LTE bands allowing the users to fully utilise the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology.

The smartphone will also be available on Flipkart, Snapdeal and offline partners soon.

The company also announced the launch of its colourful range of powerful bluetooth speakers in the last week of March – around Holi in India.

The speaker has a 1,500mAh battery and gives a eight-hour playback, while aluminium body speakers, which measure less than a pencil case, are available for Rs 1,999.

The company also announced that their Mi5 smartphone, which was recently launched in China, would be launched in India next month.

[“source-Business-standard”]