5 Reasons Your Site Should Be HTTPS

5 Reasons Your Site Should Be HTTPS

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS may only be one letter, but that one letter can have a huge impact in your website’s performance. What is HTTPS and what does it mean for your small business.

What Is HTTPS?

HTTPS is a way to encrypt information that you send between a browser and a web server. This protects your website’s users from attacks intercepted by a middleman, where someone steals the information being sent to a website, like credit card information or logins.

Historically, HTTPS connections have primarily been used for sites that contain sensitive information, but recently, more sites are making the switch especially since Google prefer secure sites and are marking those with no SSL certificates as Not Secure.  As HTTPS has become easier to implement, secure connections are becoming the standard for all websites.

What Is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate is a set of data files that you can add to your server to achieve an encrypted connection between a browser and your server. When installed, a green padlock will be displayed when users visit your site to indicate that the site is secure.

What’s the Difference Between SSL and HTTPS?

You may have heard the terms “SSL” or “SSL Certificate” used interchangeably with HTTPS.  For the most part, these are the same. An SSL certificate is the product that you are actually purchasing and installing on your server, and HTTPS is the result of having that certificate on your server.

IF YOUR WEBSITE ISN’T SECURE YET, IT DEFINITELY SHOULD BE. HERE’S WHY:

  1. Increased Google Rankings

Google has confirmed that they favour HTTPS sites and not surprisingly, over 40% of the sites on the first page of Google are HTTPS.

Google wants to ensure the best user experience for their customers, so understandably they don’t want to send searchers to insecure sites. Because of that, their ranking algorithm favours HTTPS sites. If your site isn’t secure, it could be getting outranked by similar sites that are. 

  1. Improved Security

There’s a reason why Google favours HTTPS—they want to achieve the safest web experience for their users. HTTPS protects your users’ information and your information from hackers.

Keeping everything safer and more secure is simply a better option for everyone.

  1. Updated Browser Labels

As part of their push for a more secure web, Google is also updating their labelling for HTTP sites in Chrome’s URL bar. Currently, HTTP sites are marked with a grey information symbol and include a “Not Secure” label that is displayed in browser bar advising the user of the site security status. Eventually, Google is going to mark http sites with a red triangle with a “Not Secure” label written in red.

While this new label only means that your site is not HTTPS, users don’t fully understand that, and many will likely feel a sense of unease from seeing that label on a site they are browsing.

  1. Increased Conversions

While users may not have a complete technical understanding of secure connections, they do understand that they want a site to be HTTPS if they are providing personal information.

There is already a difference in conversion rates between HTTP and HTTPS sites and as Google rolls out their new HTTP labelling, we will likely see an even larger difference in conversion rates between the two.

When users see those red labels, something as simple as entering a name, email, and phone number into a basic lead generation form can cause them concern.

  1. Increased Customer Confidence

With all the discussion of Google search results placing importance on HTTPS sites going around, more users are looking for a secure connection when visiting a website. A secure connection gives your customers peace of mind that your website can be trusted and their information is safe.

HOW DO YOU SWITCH YOUR SITE TO HTTPS?

If you’re ready to make the switch the HTTPS, Your Business Helper can handle the migration process for you – Contact Us Now to get your site secured!

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GET YOUR SITE SECURE 

WITH HTTPS

Black Friday Special $150.00 (RRP $200.00)*

We will manage the complete HTTPS migration for you, including:

  • Installing and enabling the SSL certificate on your domain through your web host ** 
  • Setting up WordPress to use SSL and HTTPs protocols on your website
  • Setting up any required redirects from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Submit Your HTTPS Site to Google Search Console (Set up Google Search Console if you don’t already have this)
  • Verify newly submitted site
  • Re-submit XML Site Map to Search Console
  • Update Google Analytics

* Booking and payment in full to be made by 5pm Tuesday 27.11.2018 to qualify for the special price of $150

** (If your current host does not provide a free SSL certificate or you require a higher level of security any costs to purchase these will be in addition to the quoted price and payable by the client)

6 Time Management Tips for Business Owners

6 Time Management Tips for Business Owners

Time Management Tips 

How well you manage your time could shape the future of your business. As small business owners, we start out by doing everything ourselves. We get so busy with things like accounts and administration that we find there is no time left to build the business. There is no easy way to change this, other than you starting to use your time more effectively. Good work habits also support a healthy work-life balance. We all need to set aside time for our family, relaxing and creating precious memories.

Here are six tips to help you remove some of the chaos and find the time to focus on what is really important in your business.

Get organised

Being disorganised not only frustrates you but makes for a lot of time wasting when you can’t locate what you need easily.

Get rid of clutter in your office. Throw out anything you no longer need and organise the rest so that the things you do need are easy to find. Keep only current projects on your desk and avoid storing anything in piles.

Clarify and Set Priorities

A to-do list – which is crucial, is not enough. Use the list to establish the most important things you want to accomplish. Unless you’re clear about your priorities you can’t be sure that you’re using your time effectively.

If you are managing your time well, and focusing on what’s important, you will soon discover that you have fewer urgent things to attend to. And the urgent items that do come up will be easier to handle because you’ve got everything else covered.

Use A Single Calendar

Consolidate all of your commitments, both work and personal into one calendar or diary system. Quite often we over-commit at work because we forget about things we have agreed to do outside the office.

Do more Delegating

As a small business owner, we tend to initially do everything and the step to outsource tasks is difficult. Many people feel they can’t afford to outsource those areas of business they don’t like or don’t have the skills for when in actual fact, you find that you can’t afford “NOT” to outsource when working on your own – Time is Money!

Set against all of these perceived disadvantages is one overwhelming benefit – the more you delegate/outsource, the more time you have to grow your business – this is the ultimate achievement of implementing time management strategies.

Take a fresh look at your to-do list and make an honest assessment of what you realistically could hand over to someone else.

Batch Routine Activities

Understand this: Every time you answer an unexpected phone call, every time you open your email, every time someone drops by your office unannounced, you are letting other people set your priorities.

Is that how you want to run your business? Or even your life?

Instead, implement some time management techniques and batch all your related, routine tasks several times a day. Check your email three times a day – once in the morning after you have handled your top priorities for the day, once right after lunch and once about an hour before close of business. And shut it off in between.

Let your voicemail pick up phone calls during your most productive time of the day and return those calls during one of your “batch” times.

Learn to say “NO”

This is a hard skill to learn, but so important. Constantly over committing yourself can leave you feeling angry and resentful, create high levels of stress and even lead to burnout. Anticipate these kinds of requests and be ready with a polite but firm refusal.

If you need help with time management to prioritise where best to spend time in your business, or it is at the point where you need to outsource some of your workload – Your Business Helper is here to help get your business to the next level.

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How to Charge What You are Worth?

How to Charge What You are Worth?

Working out how to charge what you are worth is a challenge many small business owners and freelancers face on a daily basis and is an essential part of your business planning. Whilst it’s tempting to leap ahead and focus on price or a salary figure as the starting point, what’s more important initially are the foundations upon which the dollar value you finally settle on are based.

To be paid what you’re worth you need three C’s:

Confidence

  • First and foremost, are you happy charging for the service/product you offer?
  • Can you deliver on your promises, genuinely add value and should you be financially rewarded for doing so?

If not, then no amount of price-setting will help. Having confidence in your ability to deliver is critical. Once you’re confident charging, the next step is being confident in the amount you charge.

Play around with different dollar amounts and work out which ‘sits’ most comfortably with you. Too little and you’ll feel undervalued. Too high and you’ll feel like a fraud. Test out what feels right for you whilst ensuring you include large quantities of both the second and third Cs – Credibility and Currency.

Credibility

What you say about yourself, and what other people say about you, will add hugely to your credibility.

  • Do you have the credentials required?
  • Are clients, colleagues and others willing to put their reputation on the line and lend you their support by way of testimonials and references?
  • Do you have specialist skills or expertise, or are you considered the ‘go-to’ person in your field?

Providing evidence of your abilities that are relevant and meaningful to those you’re aiming to influence will enhance your personal sense of credibility and self-confidence and make it easier for others to make informed decisions about you.

Currency

Being able to articulate why you, and why now, is extremely powerful.

  • Work out what your customers return on investment (ROI) is likely to be if they engage you and then clearly articulate it
  • Facts and figures, supported by actual examples of your previous work will help you stand out from the crowd and boost your confidence in your willingness and ability to charge
  • Amongst the body of evidence supporting your credibility make sure you include current, relevant material and references that demonstrate you’re in touch with what’s wanted and needed now, not years ago
  • Getting paid what you’re worth is more about confidence, credibility and currency than actual dollars and cents
  • When you’re able to clearly articulate why you deserve what you’re worth you’ll be in the strongest position possible to negotiate effectively.

HOW MUCH TO CHARGE?

You can charge for your services in a variety of ways, such as a fixed amount for an entire project, an hourly fee, or a sales commission. No matter how you bill clients, you first need to figure out how much to charge — even if you charge a fixed fee for the whole project.

You can’t determine how much your fixed fee should be unless you know roughly how many hours the job will take and what you need to earn per hour to make it worth your while.

No idea what you can or should charge?

If you’re in this boat, try using a two-step approach to determine your hourly rate:

  1. Calculate what your rate should be, based on all your expenses to complete the job
  2. Investigate the marketplace to see if you should adjust your rate up or down to fit within competitors price ranges (you don’t need to be the cheapest, people know your worth and don’t always trust those who are too cheap!)

Calculate Your Hourly Rate

Price per Service

  • Add up your labour and overhead costs
  • Add the profit you want to earn, then
  • Divide the total by your hours worked.

This is the minimum you must charge to pay your expenses, pay yourself a salary, and earn a profit.

Depending on market conditions, you may be able to charge more for your services, or you might have to reduce your rate a little to be considered if it is a very competitive space.

OR Determine your Ideal Annual Salary

  • Pick a figure for your required annual salary (what you want/need to earn)
  • Compute annual overheads

 Include all of the costs you incur to do business. For example: business registrations, website costs, phone plans, office equipment, travel expenses, business insurance etc

  • Determine billable hours

How many hours will you work and get paid for during the year.

– Allow for at least 25% to 35% of your time on tasks that you can’t bill to clients, such as bookkeeping, marketing, admin and upgrading your skills

– Deduct the number of weeks holiday per year you will take

Hourly Rate Charge

– Total of (Ideal Salary + Overheads) DIVIDED by the number of actual hours you can work = hourly charge rate

Investigate the Marketplace

  • Determine whether your calculated hourly rate is realistic
  • Investigate your industry and competition

– Contact a professional organization or trade association for your field

– Ask competitors, or check their rates on websites

  • Talk to potential clients and customers – for example, attend trade shows and business conventions.
  • You may discover that your ideal hourly rate is way off the market rate in either direction – it’s OK to be different so long as you know your true worth!

However, if you’re highly skilled and performing work of unusually high quality, don’t be afraid to ask for more than others. Many potential clients believe that they get what they pay for and are willing to pay more for quality!

So are you charging what you worth?

If you need any help with your business strategic planning, or have the need to outsource some tasks to allow you to focus on what brings in the money for your business – Your Business Helper is here to support you, call now 0414210979

Happy planning!

Julie

Networking Tips for Christmas Functions

Networking Tips for Christmas Functions

Networking at Christmas Functions

Networking at Christmas Functions

10 Tips for Christmas Function Networking

Networking is at a peak in the festive season, as this brings with it a busy schedule of events for us to attend as we celebrate with our clients, colleagues, business partners, friends and family the close of yet another year. Whilst we should attend these business related events and allow ourselves to relax a little and enjoy the celebration as we wind down ready for the Christmas break, we should also not miss out on the opportunity to continue developing and maintaining our networks. These events offer a more relaxed environment where some of the best relationships can form if we really take the time to be interested in the shared conversations and LISTEN.

As we all know, there is a lot more to successful networking than just collecting business cards! Here are 10 networking tips to consider before your next Christmas function:

  1. Elevator speech – Describe yourself concisely and impressively and then ask what others are involved in – LISTENING is an important skill!
  2. Be different – Differentiate yourself and aim high. What do you offer that makes you different/better?
  3. Help others – Give without the intent to receive in return. This shows others your worth and expertise.
  4. Personal integrity – Integrity, trust and reputation are vital for networking.
  5. Relevant targeting – Seek out groups and contacts relevant to your aims and capabilities.
  6. Plans and aims – Plan your networking – and know what you want to achieve from each event.
  7. Follow up – Following up meetings and referrals makes things happen and always do what you say you will.
  8. Be positive – Be a positive influence on everyone and everything.
  9. Sustained focused effort – Be focused and keep your goals at the core of every event you attend so you make valuable connections,
  10. Life balance – Being balanced and grounded builds assurance which translates to all you have contact with.

If you keep these tips in mind and take the time to truly get to know and understand the people and businesses in your network – you will be surprised at the rewards this brings. If you need any business support over the festive season, Your Business Helper offer a range of services to help your business – see a list of our services here.

Enjoy the festive season and happy networking!

Julie Warner

Your Business Helper

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Small Business Spring Cleaning Tips

Small Business Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring cleaning your small business is so important as small organisational issues can become                                                                        theSmall Business Spring Clean difference between a floundering business and a thriving one.

Whether you need to regain control of your inbox, organise your work space or master some time management skills, here are some tips to give your business a spring-clean.

Email Management

Send less emails: It has been said that for every five emails you send, three come back, taking more of your time engaging in an on-line conversation.

– Simplify email folders: Less is more. Many people have dozens of email folders, which can make for endless time spent searching. Try having about six main folders and then break these down with sub-folders.

– Turn off pop-up notifications: Adjust settings so notifications are not flashing at the bottom of your screen every time there’s an email. These real-time updates can interrupt your work flow. Instead, check at set times during the day, every half an hour or four times a day – whatever works best for your business.

Company Document Organisation

– Create branded documents: Develop company documents listing policies, process and pricing in pdf format so they can be opened no matter what system customers use. When prospective clients make contact, you can reply immediately with the documents attached, rather than repeatedly type out the same information.

Calendar

– Have one master calendar: Choose your preferred medium, either mobile device, email calendar or paper planner – and make sure every commitment is recorded there. If you do plan digitally, you can sync your calendar with others. Schedule everything that needs to get done, whether it’s blocking off time for administrative tasks or a reminder to take a lunch break!

To Do Lists

– Keep two to-do lists: Have one master list that includes everything that needs doing, then each day pull out the four most important tasks to accomplish that day and put them on another list (block time out in your calendar to complete these tasks).

Work Space

– Design a workspace that works for your small business: You may colour co-ordinate in a style that inspires you with storage, noticeboards and stationery, perhaps have on display your annual goals. It is key to organisation, to ensure  you have: a shallow tray for everything needing action: bills, mail and to-do lists; a desktop caddy that’s only big enough to hold the office supplies you use on a daily basis. Other items, store them away, out of site to free us desk space for working.

– Have two to four filing systems: one for client information, one for business reference information (permits, zoning, lease agreements) and at least one more for tax documents. Keep this system simple and easy to follow, otherwise people will just not use it.

Taking action on a few of these simple spring cleaning tips could save you hours each week giving your small business the advantage on your competitors.

Happy spring cleaning!

Need help Spring Cleaning your business, take a look at the services we offer or  contact Your Business Helper – Julie now 0414 210 979, julie@yourbusinesshelper.com.au

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