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One of the biggest kicks we get at MYOB is when we help business owners grow their companies. Today, we are featuring Turnbull Orchards, a family business that has been around since 1892 - a whopping 120 years. Turnbull Orchards has recently gone online to make sure their customers get the best pick of cherries this summer. MYOB CTO Simon Raik-Allen chats to Phillip Turnbull, a 3rd generation food grower on cherries and cloud software below. AUDIO: Century old Turnbull Orchards goes online
Is a domain name by any other name really as sweet? Do you remember the recent controversy around the name Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii? A New Zealand court ordered parents to change their daughter’s name because it risked making her the target of ridicule and giving her a social handicap. Would you believe that your website’s domain name could also cause your business to suffer similar consequences? What if your website was named www.atls-is-g8-4-ur-biz-4-realz.com.au? Does that name tell you anything about that business? Would your Mum approve of that name? The answer is probably not. Just as your name is your identity, so too is your domain name (or web address) your identity on the internet. Picking a domain name can be tricky, but we’ve got some tips on how to choose the perfect name for your business. Keep it short. Short domain names are easier to remember, and are also easier to fit on business cards and other marketing materials. We do love our nicknames, so even if you Shazza it up, make sure that whatever short nickname you give your business also complies with the rest of these tips. Keep it simple. Make it easy to type and easy to spell. A simple simplicity check is to see if the domain name is easy for you to tell somebody on the phone. Make it memorable. If it’s memorable, visitors are more likely to pass it on and remember it in the future. When in doubt, select a domain name that is the same as your business name.
A lot of businesses settle for just having an online presence. But it’s not enough to simply be in the race. A recent study at Carleton University in Ottawa revealed that users take less than 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website. ‘Their first impressions give way to a ‘halo effect’, so if they think the site looks good, they transfer that assessment to its functionality… we have only milliseconds to persuade customers that sites are trustworthy, efficient, and can do what we want them to do.’ Here’s a checklist of some quick and easy tips to really get your website moving. Looks matter! A beautiful website with a coordinated colour palette goes a long way. It sounds harsh, but people do judge a book by its cover. Make sure your cover looks professional. You can do this quickly by using a coordinated colour palette and high-quality pictures. These are the first things a user will notice and will instantly add a level of professionalism to your website that text just cannot do. Short and sweet. A user shouldn’t have to think to find what they are looking for. No need to use fancy language. Use short, easy-to-understand navigation terms, so they can quickly find what they’re after. What’s new? When you visit a website and they haven’t updated their news since March 2011, you start thinking that business isn’t really on top of things. Keep your news up to date and use images where possible – news articles with images are 90% more likely to get viewed than articles without images.
All of a sudden, people everywhere are talking about Pinterest. It’s apparently now rating third behind Facebook and Twitter as a social sharing site. I’m no expert, but my understanding is that it’s a virtual ‘inspiration board’ where you can compile images and share your likes with the world. So as a business owner, it seemed like a no-brainer to get on board and start using this to help promote my business. I began searching for information online and found plenty of articles about how using Pinterest could help with attracting new business. Then I found a whole other lot of articles that made me think twice.
"I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success” Jack Welch, legendary former CEO of General Electric Because social media represents a new way of doing business, it is inevitable that some companies will make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes will generate some negative publicity for the company concerned. If the mistakes are serious enough and generate enough online “heat”, there can be damage to the brand's reputation. Various case studies show that even the biggest, best resourced companies can get social media wrong, so it should not come as a surprise that small businesses can too. Five of the most common mistakes are: Expecting instant results Broadcasting, not listening and engaging Not going where the customers and prospects are Not committing resources Not being strategic With careful planning and sensible management, these mistakes can be avoided.
I am always hesitant to talk about cloud computing—after all, it's a term that seems to be saturating the business and technology news at present. But for business owners, cloud computing can prove to be a tremendous opportunity with access to technology infrastructure, software, and data in a pay-as-you-go format. But cloud computing is also a fascinating phenomenon, with many of us already using cloud computing resources without even knowing it. Just think about it—if you use Gmail then you are using the cloud. If you share or post your photos on Flickr, you are using the cloud. And YouTube ... well, you get my drift.
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