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Running your plan…

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Running Your Plan

Running a plan is like taking a night drive home, even though you can only see 50 feet in front of you at times, you know eventually you’ll get there. You may need to adjust your route several times depending on what becomes visible, but sticking fast to your objectives and watching the road you’ll find the quickest and safest route to your destination.

Likewise with a plan, unexpected events will happen along the way and you may need to update and deviate perhaps several times but by drawing back to your objectives and holding fast to your plan you will get there.

Stay Fuelled – Your Mindset

If you want to make the whole journey you need to keep your vehicle fuelled and with the right stuff, similarly if your mind isn’t balanced and focused on the task at hand you won’t complete the project.

Stay positive

With a positive mindset things naturally go smoother and weigh less on your mind.

  • Take a deep breath and smile
    Sounds almost too simple? Yet, smiling releases endorphins that make you feel good! So even if you don’t feel like smiling, take a moment and just hold that smile; see your smiling right now! :D
  • Don’t be anxious, relax
    Worry and anxiety can at times help spur us forward to complete things, but more often than not anxiousness raises our stress levels, deprives us of sleep and generally runs us in a circle. If you feel anxious consider the reasons why? Is there anything you can do about it right now? If not, stand still, put your hands on your hips and take a slow deep breath and hold it for 2 seconds, exhale slowly… Now grab a pen, a piece of paper and write out your worry list of things you need to do to address this anxiety. Take a second deep breath and work through your list one point at a time.
  • Surprise!
    Unexpected things are going to happen, try to stay balanced by accepting that such events will happen and you’ll be in a better state of mind to address them when they do.

Stay focused

“Help, I’m procrastinating!”, I’ve been there myself… sometimes you are thinking about so many different jobs you just start putting off the one you need to do right now and can’t focus. The key here is simple, prioritise. Simply pick up your work plan and establish the highest job priority. Once you know which job is the most important grab that job and do not let go until it’s completed.

Prioritising – Pay off versus time

There are many ways to prioritise your tasks; my method of choice is to weight each job by the time it takes to complete versus the amount of return the job would create upon completion. Once I’ve created this list I prioritise the greatest pay off jobs that take the shortest amount of time and work through each in turn.

Being SMART

It may feel like we’re going back to basics here but you need to be SMART, when you outline, review and update your goals ensure they are SMART.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Realistic

T – Timed

Regularly review your current jobs on the above points to ensure you are on target and not deviating from your end goal.

For example when it comes to measuring your budget if you find midway through your plan you are running over report the bad news to senior members immediately; it’s better to stop a project that is running over-budget than explaining why your department is at a huge loss in the next senior management meeting.

Top Tip:

  • Annotate!
    When things go good or bad annotate your plan accordingly detailing what the event was, the effect it had on the plan and how you resolved the issues. These annotations will prove invaluable when evaluating your plan at a later date and help build your future planning skills.

Frooition for the whole journey…

Whether you’re just starting out in online business or looking to grow to the next level we have something for you.

Our eBay applications are perfect to help new businesses get going or help existing businesses get more from eBay and Facebook, all the apps have a free trial and some are FREE for life!

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eBay Sellers ready to enhance their store, increase buyer confidence and increase their eBay sales can get very excited about Frooition’s world leading eBay designs; check out our fantastic design services below.

Proven to Increase sales and enhance you

If your business is ready for ecommerce or if you have an ecommerce website and want to be treated as a serious online brand then our ecommerce world-class designs are exactly what you need. Our designs position you as a major online brand whilst retaining the personal look and feel of your business. Check out our ecommerce design services below:

Check back next week for part 3 ‘Reviewing and closing your plan


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Social Media as a Marketing Opportunity

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

As an eBay seller it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday graft of just keeping your operation running. You might be drowning in brown tape and jiffy bags and making sure you make it to the post office in time, but remember there’s a whole world out there.

eBay is a walled garden. It’s busy and has millions of buyers out there for you. But there is more to the internet than eBay. You can boost your eBay sales by marketing online. One of the most talked about opportunities is social media. That means sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and other activities such as blogging.

Twitter has grown phenomenally in the past year or so and is now a mainstream website used by millions at home and abroad. If you’ve opened a newspaper in the past year you can’t have missed it. The same’s true of Facebook. Both Twitter and Facebook offer the best options to eBay sellers who want to have a go at social media.

Blogging is also a great opportunity. A blog is basically a website where you can write about anything you like and also publish other content such as videos and photos. Setting up a blog can be free and easy, depending on what service you choose. Open source software WordPress comes highly recommended and is free: you just need to pay for the hosting and design.

If social media seems scary, you’re right to be cautious: time is your most valuable commodity and wasting any of that or getting behind in the essential tasks of running your business would be a bad thing. But by approaching social media with discipline and a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can reap some benefits.

There are two key benefits of social media to an eBay seller: the first if traffic. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have a massive following with millions of visitors every day. It’s possible to get a little bit of that action and increase the number of people viewing your listings.

The second benefit, especially if you already have your own website, is a SEO (search engine optimization). Blogging, in particular, is a good way of building your site content and creating valuable inbound links to build the prominence of your site in web searches.

Here are a few ideas that you can try:

Build a Facebook fan page for your eBay sales. Even your granny is on Facebook these days so it’s a great audience to plug in to. Your easiest option is to build a Facebook fan page for your business including links to your shop and items you want to shift. One of the best ways to utilize Facebook is to offer discounts and deals exclusively to Facebook fans to tempt them.

Twitter and Tweets: Get started on Twitter and gradually build your network. Succeeding on Twitter can take time but the best way to attract attention is to provide links and information that other people find useful. That could be sharing news stories, your own content or making wry and amusing observations. You will also get a lot out of Twitter if you connect with people you admire and trust.

“And the good news is that Frooition can help as you take on social media!”

Blogging: Blogging is something that rewards you the more you do it. If you start a blog, write about things that really interest you. Establish yourself as an expert in your field and as someone who people turn to for insight and interesting comment If you’re not much of a writer, try a picture blog or video blog (vlog).

What you want to avoid, whether on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, when you’re or any other social network or blogging, is mistaking not working for networking. If you’re just jabbering away to your fellow sellers, friends or people who aren’t buying from you, it’s a total waste of time. You need to approach social media as a marketing channel. It should be fun but it does have a very serious purpose: promoting you, your sales and your business.

And the good news is that Frooition can help as you take on social media. It’s essential that your eBay brand is extended to your other online profiles. A consistent look and feel makes your buyers and customers feel reassured, makes you look good and inspires trust. Frooition can help you with bespoke design, expertise and plenty of past experience. Get in touch and we can help you extend your eBay brand so it includes social media.

Google Analytics v2.0 – more function, less hassle..

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

OK, so it looks like Google are to roll out some new features and functionality to their superb Google Analytics package (free of charge for all you folks that haven’t currently implemented this with your CA Stores or stand-alone Websites).

Over the next several weeks Google are set to migrate all accounts to the new interface, so worry not if your account looks no different.

OK, so onto the features..

Customizable Dashboard

so one of the major features – in my eyes anyway – is the option to customize your dashboard (with drag & drop functionality). Every time I use G.A, I find myself viewing the same key data reports, no matter what the site, and even though it’s not exactly difficult to navigate to these different areas, I did often ask why the reports couldn’t be customized and saved for future use (or even assigned to a particular user).

This minor update is a win for me, and will save time not only finding relevant data, but will also allow me to see correlation between the data more easily. *thumbs up

Trend and Date Slider

I quite like the new feature which allows you to visually highlight specific areas in your data to spot trends and key data areas.

Email Reports

A handy little feature here which allows you to automatically send detailed information in different formats (PDF, XML & CSV) from your new “personalised dashboard” *minor celebration*. Even though I haven’t yet tested this yet it will save a couple clicks a day that’s for sure.

Geo Targeting

If you’re running location specific campaigns the new visual functionality will again help to find out what works and what doesn’t per location. Giving you both information on who, how, where, when and the value for each visitor too.

There are more features, and you can find these using the links below.

Personally I think G.A should introduce some ‘best practice’ reports, which help the basic user find the vitals and put them to use, as this is something I’m asked for advice on quite often. A tutorials / open workshop area would be a great move.

Anyhoo, overall some great new features which i’m itching to get my hands on.. roll on the roll out!

More Info:

Google Analytics – Video Overview

Google Analytics – New Features

Also be sure to subscribe to the Google Analytics blog, for all things analytics.. http://analytics.blogspot.com/2007/05/new-version-of-google-analytics.html

Google Analytics to increase your e-commerce performance..

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Matt Cutts, A Google employee currently heading up Google’s WebSpam team, has recently posted a good article on Google Analytics, giving you a sample of the depth of information you can access using this free web based service from Google.

This data is interesting to look at for sure, but for those of you who run an e-commerce business, knowing your statistics (top keywords, referring URLs, traffic trends, etc) can help you to save time and money. For example, Google Adwords is implemented within Google Analytics, so finding what your top keywords based on your site data, and implementing these into your Google Adwords campaigns in order to increase performance is a much more straight forward process.

You could also use the information to assist making business decisions like choosing products, targeting customers & increasing the performance of your marketing campaigns – all based on real life accurate data from you own site(s).

Google Analytics is also integrated into ChannelAdvisor Merchant, a well known and widely used multi-marketplace e-commerce platform, allowing businesses to sell product to marketplaces like eBay, amazon, yahoo, as well as a whole host of Shopping Comparison Sites like Kelkoo, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com & Google Base to name but a few.

This powerful web based application, along side Google Base & their Web Developer Tools suggests a hint at Google’s direction for 2007, and baring in mind the last three or four Google Acquisitions (which include Jotspot {A wiki with a number of collaborative tools for business users, and includes applications such as spreadsheets, calendars, and forms}, writely {Web-based word processing that allows online document collaboration}, and of course YouTube {A community driven social networking site, allowing users to upload, share & broadcast videos, which is now one of the busiest destinations on the web}), I’m very excited to see how these platforms, ideas and technologies will interact with each other as future development rolls out.

What other areas would you like to see Google tackle, and what other kinds of application could they offer to assist e-commerce traders?

Mic Burns
Frooition Support

Will Google Take Over the World?

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Recently Google has made a number of acquisitions that have made headline news. The most obvious recent purchase was the high profile takeover of YouTube for $1.65 Billion in stock. However this merger is just one in a long line of Google purchases.

Google’s latest procurement includes the purchase of the WIKI based site JotSpot. JotSpot was founded by the co founders of the former search engine site Excite; one of the first search engine home pages to feature customizable home pages which Google users have come to know and love.

The current trend to move towards new web 2.0 technology (such as WIKI technology AJAX and my space type sites) is being vastly adopted by many big players in the web technology world. Big players using web 2.0 and JotSpot include: eBay, Google, Intel and Symantec (Owners of Norton Anti-Virus).

Some of Google’s previous acquisitions have enabled the implementation of some of their well known services. Below shows some of those services and the acquisitions that made the technology possible:

Google has also purchased a large number of other software companies; some of the most exciting technologies include biometric identification systems, You Tube video on demand, and other BLOGGGER/WIKI technologies. Combine this with Google’s future plan to move over to selling lo-cost Linux based hardware for a fraction of the typical personal computer costs; it is not that difficult to imagine a world where all your computing needs are served online without the need to purchase software.

For a glimpse into the future head on over to Google Docs and check out their on demand office solution. It doesn’t quite knock Microsoft Office out of the water just yet but watch this space!!

Please feel free to add any comments to this post. Please check back regularly to see reviews and descriptions of new Google technologies and tips/tricks for getting the best out of Google.

Written by Andrew Pinner