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How to Drive Sales with Ecommerce and Social Media

How to Drive Sales with Ecommerce and Social Media

Social commerce involves the use of social media platforms to market and sell your goods and services. Statistics show that it is becoming increasingly popular, coinciding with the rapid rise in the amount of social media users. For any company that depends on eCommerce, an effective strategy for social commerce is essential. Here are some ideas on how you can use them to drive sales for your company.

Focus on Appropriate Platforms

The demographics of your target audience will determine the social media platforms that are consistent with your brand. Although there is overlap, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube each vary in the audiences they attract and have diverse features that can support your social commerce efforts. If your marketing budget is limited, study these audiences and features carefully before committing your resources.

Use a Personalized Approach

In the modern era of digital marketing, social media platforms possess detailed information about the consumers that use them. Your sales team can take advantage of this information to send personalized suggestions to prospective buyers.

Include User-Generated Content

Besides highlighting attractive images of your products, make your social media sites more relatable by including content created by consumers. User-generated content adds a degree of intimacy to your brand’s social commerce messages.

Provide a Seamless Experience for Shoppers

Streamline the social commerce experience for your customers so they can swiftly and easily proceed from their initial encounter with your message to checkout. Your calls to action should be clear, and there should be direct links to pages where your products can be purchased. To avoid confusion, make the entire process as simple as possible.

Maintain Consistency in Your Message

Be sure to integrate your social media marketing messages across the various platforms. The consistency of your brand profile will inspire loyalty and trust, and this will lead to more sales.

For more advice on using a social commerce strategy to drive sales, get in touch with Hedge Commercial Capital.

Should You Invest in New Website Design?

If your company doesn’t have a professional website design, you’re definitely missing out. These days, even brick-and-mortar stores need an attractive website to appeal to customers. Your website makes the shopping experience of your clients better and helps them find the products or services they need. In a way, a well-designed website is like having a salesperson online 24/7, delivering a great first impression for visitors.

What if you already have a website that you’ve used for many years? In that case, it may be time to think about a professional redesign. Why is keeping your web pages up to date important?

Why Would Businesses Need to Redesign a Website?

If your current website is performing well and meeting your expectations, then you have nothing to worry about. Refreshing your content should be sufficient. When page visits start to slow down, that’s a sign that it’s time to put a new coat of paint on your web pages.

Sometimes, redesigning a website is necessary because you’re just not getting the traffic you need. Perhaps your customer base has changed or your business focus has shifted. Any type of significantly change in your brand identity or the people you’re marketing to, a new website design is smart. Put simply, every aspect of your website needs to be built with your customers in mind.

Another reason to update the design of your website is when customers find the current site confusing. Perhaps you’ve noticed that people struggle to find the right products or pages. New innovations can improve the client experience and help your web pages flow better.

What Are the Benefits of Designing Your Website Again?

Keeping your online presence fresh provides many advantages for your company. The better the website is customized to your specific customers, the more attention it gets. Adding SEO features and attractive content goes a long way toward getting more page visits and potential clients.

A great website increases your online and local reputation. It shows people what your company stands for and why you’re the right choice. You obtain more leads from people that are interested in buying your products. Website design professionals can also help you determine the best ways to nudge visitors to take the next step, such as purchasing your products.

How Can You Decide What Type of Website Design You Need?

Redesigning a website means doing research on your customers and their purchasing habits. Make sure you’re appealing to their specific lifestyles and interests. There are options that provide a great return on investment according to your budget.

Stay Ahead of Your Competitors with these 5 steps

Stay Ahead of Your Competitors with these 5 steps

Competition can sometimes be painful, and businesspeople can moan about it, but one thing is sure. Competition is essential, even fundamental to a healthy economy. As ancient Roman poet Ovid humorously wrote, “A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.” But getting ahead of “the other horses” in business doesn’t happen by chance. No, it takes a well-developed competitive business strategy.

The Benefits of Competition

The benefits of healthy competition include:

  • Awareness and market expansion. The more competition that exists, the more aware potential consumers are of products and services and that increases market demand. 
  • Higher quality at lower prices. Competition pushes companies to increase quality, and competitive pressures keep prices lower than if there were no competitors. 
  • Consumption increases. Due to higher awareness, higher quality, and lower prices, consumption invariably increases. 
  • Differentiation. Because of trying to separate each brand from others, differentiation and uniqueness exist between brands, expanding consumers’ choices. 
  • Increased efficiency. As companies battle for consumers, their business efficiencies improve. 
  • Customer service and satisfaction. As companies implement their unique features and strive for greater numbers of customers than their competitors, their customer service and satisfaction generally increase.   

Advances against competition don’t take place without a competitive business strategy. 

Why Is It Important to Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

Staying ahead of your competitors can result in more customers, greater sales, increased market share, and higher profits.

Stay Ahead of Your Competitors with These 5 Steps

Staying ahead of your competition requires a competitive business strategy using these five steps:

  • Know your competitors specifically and thoroughly. 
  • Define and know your own customers, their needs, and interests. 
  • Formulate a business and marketing strategy that will differentiate your business. 
  • Hire the best employees and create a strong culture. 
  • Make technology serve you well.   

Seek Expert Financial and Marketing Services Assistance

Contact Hedge Commercial Capital, based in Chicago, Il. We provide a wide variety of sophisticated financing solutions to meet your needs and professional marketing support to drive your success.

When Banks Let You Down, Consider Alternative Financing

When Banks Let You Down, Consider Alternative Financing

Obtaining a loan from a bank can be a difficult experience. First, there is a detailed and often-intrusive application process to wade through. Second, it may take some time for a funding decision to be rendered. And, finally, when all is said and done, you may be denied a loan.

Fortunately, there are other financial products besides loans from a bank available to small businesses. Furthermore, there are other types of institutions that provide these financial solitons.

Common Types of Alternative Financing

A whole spectrum of options is available to small business people today. Here are just a few of the common options that are available:

  • Invoice Factoring. Proceeds from the sale of your unpaid invoices to a funding agency.
  • Merchant Cash Advances. Immediate infusions of working capital into your business that are taken against your future credit card sales.
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending. Peer-to-peer lending, also known as social lending, enables individuals to obtain funding directly from other individuals, thereby eliminating the financial institution as the middleman.
  • Lines of Credit. This is a preset borrowing limit available to your business that can be tapped into at any time.  

Utilize Trusted Lenders

Whenever money is involved, sharks are swimming in the waters. It is important to utilize a funding agent that is viable, operating with integrity, and not promoting a scam. Fortunately, the vast majority are like that.

Be sure to evaluate the following:

  • Does the funding agent have a physical address?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Have they run afoul of the Better Business Bureau?
  • Can they provide a list of satisfied customers?  

Legitimate lenders know that their success hinges on maintaining a stellar reputation.  These firms take steps to safeguard their own business and that of their customers.

Hedge Commercial Capital Can Help

Hedge Commercial Capital stands ready to help small businesses of all sorts through financial difficulties. Connect with us to find out more about their portfolio of funding solutions.

What to consider when thinking about online lending

What to consider when thinking about online lending

If you are a business owner, you have come across online lending in your quest for funding. This is a form of financing that does not come from traditional banks. Online lending has successful models such as peer-to-peer lending, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, and factoring. This mode of financing gives borrowers plenty of options, unlike in the past. However, as expected, people have concerns about how legitimate online lending is. So before you take it, consider these things mentioned below.

Confirm Physical Address

As much as an online lender operates online, if they are legitimate, they need to have a physical location from where they work. This location needs to be listed on the website. Once you see the location, you can verify whether it is real through Google maps. If you cannot find it, proceed with caution as the business may not be legit.

Check Reviews From Other Entrepreneurs

Reviews from other business owners can give you more information about what an online lender is all about. However, be cautious when it comes to this. Reviews can be faked by either supporters or competitors. Do not solely rely on them to form an opinion.

Research Third-Party Verification of the Lender

Third-party verifications can give you some confidence that this is a legitimate lender. One institution that is quite popular is the Better Business Bureau. Through it, you can check how a business has been rated. An online company that seeks third-party verification shows that it is trustworthy, and you can depend on it for your online lending needs.

Confirm the Website’s Ownership

Running a WHOIS check will only take a few seconds but will give you the information you need. You will learn who owns the site and how long the site has been on. This can let you know if you are really dealing with an online lender or scammer. If you find any registration details questionable, ask the lender for clarification.

At Hedge Commercial Capital, we understand that online lending might not feel straightforward, especially if you are used to traditional forms of lending. That is why we make the process straightforward by giving you all the information you need. Contact us today for your business financing needs.

Alternative Financing Solutions for Minority Entrepreneurs

Alternative Financing Solutions for Minority Entrepreneurs

While almost every citizen can access financial aid for their business, the case is slightly different for minority entrepreneurs. As you work hard to improve your venture, accessing funds to maintain its operations as a minority is crucial. Besides the banks and credit unions, learning the alternative financing solutions is beneficial. This guide explains your options.

Business Lines of Credit

You can access funds for your business as a minority entrepreneur by applying for a line of credit. With a line of credit, you get funds as needed, depending on your industry and line of work. Using lines of credit, minority entrepreneurs avoid the hectic application process that comes with backs and other financing solutions.

Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance can serve a minority entrepreneur in several ways. This financing option allows the entrepreneur to process credit card transactions and get the needed funds for future sales. As a borrower, you agree to forgo part of your credit card receipt until you make the repayments as agreed with the lender. This quick and easy financing option will serve your business efficiently.

SBA Microloans

The availability of SBA microloans should be helpful to minority entrepreneurs looking to fund their businesses. The low-interest rates and flexible repayment terms should encourage any minority entrepreneur to consider this financing solution. Note that the funding depends on the industry and the financing needs of the business. You benefit from this alternative financing option as you have the government’s backing, making it suitable for your business needs.

Invoice Factoring

You can conveniently access the funds needed for your business as a minority entrepreneur by using the unpaid account receivables in exchange for cash. Unlike other financing options, factoring in your invoices is easy. You need a reputable factoring company to meet your expectations as a minority entrepreneur.

Angel Investors

Sometimes it can be hard to access funds needed for your venture from the mainstream lenders. For this reason, looking for angel investors to fund your business and help you grow is an option. Note that minority entrepreneurs working with angel investors can get a platform to learn more about the industry through training and guidance besides the funding.

It is easy for minority entrepreneurs to run and manage their businesses by understanding the alternative financing solutions available. Proper guidance remains vital in this case. Contact Hedge Commercial Capital today for directions.

How To Improve Your Digital Marketing

Every business owner knows that investing in advertising is vital for building a large customer base. That said, moving into today’s digital marketing isn’t always easy for longtime businesses. How can you reach your goals no matter the size of your advertising budget? Follow these tips for success with digital advertising.

Focus on the Avenues That Work

If you’re a small business owner, you don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend on marketing. Even huge national brands have to carefully consider marketing strategies to make sure they’re getting the most bang for their buck. This concept is known as return-on-investment. Put simply, you want to get the best results possible with the advertising package your company can afford.

An excellent way to maximize your ROI is to narrow down your advertising focus. Instead of having 15 different types of online marketing for your business at the same time, spend your money on two or three avenues but do them right.

How can you pick the right methods? That depends on your customers. If the majority of your customers are active on social media, make social media marketing a priority. If you sell primarily to business owners, invest in email marketing or search engine optimization, two methods that bring in the most leads.

Get Help Instead of Doing It on Your Own

When it comes to content such as social media and blog posts, you have to be careful not to overextend yourself. It’s better to work with content marketing professionals to manage these advertising types. Blogs and social media can give your business a huge advantage because modern customers love them. To reap the benefits, though, you need to be posting at least once a week, if not several times a week.

What can happen is you start off wanting to write this content yourself, but slowly you leave off because you’re busy running your business. When social media feeds and blog content stops flowing, people stop paying attention. Avoid this problem completely by having digital marketing pros take care of this content for you.

Market to the Customers You Already Have — Not Just New Clients

A common mistake in digital advertising is spending so much money attracting customers only to forget about them once they make a purchase. That’s like catching a fish and cutting your line before you finish hauling it in. Email marketing is an effective way to keep in touch with loyal customers and show them why your business is still the best choice.

Follow These Steps to Manage Your Small Business’s Inventory

Follow These Steps to Manage Your Small Business’s Inventory

As you start your small business‘s inventory system, ensure you provide effective management to achieve your objectives. Exercising your management skills in your inventory is one way to guide your business to success. For effective inventory management, learning the related tips is vital. This guide explains the steps to effectively manage your inventory as a small business.

Prioritize Your Business Needs

Prioritizing your business needs should be the first step to effective inventory management. As you go through the different management techniques, ensure your efforts address a specific need in your business. Note that the management technique depends on the type of inventory you have in your business. Ensure your business needs are compatible with the type of inventory to make the management effective.

Analyze Supplier Performance

Understand that an unreliable supplier can cause problems with your inventory. Frequent late delivery and shorts on orders from the supplier’s side can lead to inventory issues that you might find hard to handle. It is important to analyze the supplier’s performance and ensure you can work together to make your management efforts fruitful. The supplier’s information should also reflect your inventory to make the process easier.

Practice Consistency

It serves your business’s interest when you practice consistency in receiving stock, storage, and delivery to your customers after selling. You avoid mistakes that might compromise your inventory management efforts by remaining consistent. Note that the small mistakes and discrepancies in your stock can, in the long run, affect your inventory. Have a routine with how you receive stock, store them and accurately count the goods for effective management.

Track Sales

While this is a no-brainer, it is easy to overlook sales and end up with an inventory that is hard to manage. Ensure you track sales daily and reconcile with your staff to easily update the inventory. Ensure you analyze the data after receiving the stock and immediately after selling the goods to keep your inventory under control.

Embrace Inventory Management Technology

As you put effort into managing your inventory, note that mistakes are possible. You or your staff can get confused with numbers and get unexpected results. The case differs when you embrace technology in inventory management. Invest in inventory technology and systems to make the process easy and effective.

Any small business that manages its inventory successfully is a step closer to success. By learning the steps and ways to effective inventory management, you avoid mistakes that might compromise your business. Reach out to Hedge Commercial Capital today to learn more.

How to Choose the Right Supplier for Your Business

How to Choose the Right Supplier for Your Business

Choosing a business supplier is one of the most important decisions a company can make: A good supplier can take your business to the next level, while a bad one may cause huge setbacks. In this article, you’ll learn what traits to look for when looking for a supplier.

Know Your Requirements

To find a business supplier who fits your requirements, it’s important to know your requirements in the first place. Figure out what you’re looking for in areas like delivery times, quality control, security, payment terms, and return policies.

Research Suppliers

Next, you can begin looking at different business suppliers. This is a good time to tap into your network to find references and read online reviews. They may allow you to eliminate options or reveal a supplier you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

Invite and Evaluate Bids

From here, you can invite bids from suppliers you’ve identified as potential fits. In your requests for proposals, be as detailed as you can about what you need, when you need it, and what you expect from suppliers regarding security and quality control.

After each business supplier has responded with a bid, you can evaluate them. Once you’ve identified the best bid, reach out to that supplier to discuss the contract.

The bidding invitation and evaluation process is a great opportunity to evaluate their communication skills: If the other party is unprofessional or slow in responding, then perhaps a different bid is worth another look. But if you find one that communicates well and matches your other requirements, that’s a great sign you should select that supplier and move forward.

Watch How Your Supplier Performs

Hopefully, everything goes well with your new supplier. However, it’s important to continually keep tabs on their performance and communicate about how things are going. That will help you build a good relationship — or figure out if perhaps a different supplier is needed down the road.

Need Funding?

In the market for financial backing for your business? Contact Hedge Commercial Capital to review your options.

Grow Your Business by Focusing on Your People

Grow Your Business by Focusing on Your People

Building a successful company in today’s economic climate seems more challenging than ever. But despite the rapid changes in the world today, the keys to business growth haven’t really changed. Focusing on your people is still the best way to push your organization forward.

Fair Pay and Competitive Benefits Plan

Focusing on your employees to grow your business starts with the basics. And at the top of the list is your employee salary and benefits package.

You can show your employees all the love in the world and try all kinds of ways to express your appreciation for them and their contribution to your company. But at the end of the day, nobody feels valued if they feel they are not being paid what they are worth.

So before you move on to the rest of this list, first commit to providing the best financial compensation you can for your team.

Communication, Resources, and Teamwork

Your people are the key to business growth. They are the ones who make it happen. So treating each of your employees with dignity and respect goes a long way.

Be sure to keep the lines of communication open at all times and encourage input from each team member. Also, be sure to encourage each team member to communicate their needs and their ideas with the rest of the team to keep everyone working together effectively toward company objectives.

Next, be sure to provide all the resources and training necessary to empower each employee to be successful in their work. The only thing more frustrating than not knowing what your boss expects of you is knowing what is expected but not having the time, training, and resources to get it done. So investing in your staff is very important for growing a successful company.

Opportunities for Growth and Promotion

Lastly, make sure that you provide a clear path to advancement for employees who want to build a career at your company. When you are loyal to them and offer long-term opportunities, they will be more loyal to you and want to contribute more to the business’s success.

Always be on the lookout for those who show leadership potential and interest in promotion. Having a formal path with clear expectations can bring out the best in your future business leaders.

If you are committed to growing your team and expanding your reach, contact Hedge Commercial Capital today to explore more ways that you can make that business growth happen in a predictable and profitable manner.