I had to think hard about the number I put before ways to upgrade your business. It could have easily been 1001! But for the sake of rescuing my readers from information overload, I reduced it to 33.
(Maybe I am going to publish the 1001 ways in an eBook some when.)
To keep it readable and for easier reference, I am splitting the 33 ways to upgrade your business up into sections.
Everybody is on a different crossroad with their business. And what’s true and useful for you, doesn’t have to be for your neighbor.
So, here are the categories in which taking steps to upgrade your business makes the most sense. Scan through them and jump to where it draws you, and what you feel could be your next highest step.
33 Ways to Upgrade Your Business
Switch your WordPress theme
A new look reawakens interest in visitors to look around more carefully and discover new gems on your website (hint!).
Consider switching to a professional framework theme like Divi
A framework theme allows you to create beautiful, even stunning pages yourself. You don’t need to hire a designer, neither do you need to know the code. It’s drag and drop, and framework themes are an excellent way to get into learning mode. Divi is a pioneer theme, and one that I can recommend without a second thought. (P.S. affiliate link)
Check your website for responsiveness
Responsiveness means, your website looks good and adequate on all kind of mobile devices: smartphones, tablets, and all desktop versions. Use these tools and strategies to check back on your website.
Check your website for performance
It’s a pretty good idea to check whether your website is still in line with the recent guidelines by Google. After all, that’s important for your SEO score and reputation. Feed the Bot provides a set of very helpful tools that analyze your website for Google’s most recent standards and help you to remedy, should there something not looking too good.
Create website templates for regular tasks
Good example: Sales Pages.
If you regularly need to promote a product on your website, you’ll have to set up a sales page. In Divi, you don’t need a college decree for that. Create yourself a template for a sales page, that you can use again and again, and adjust where necessary. (P.S. affiliate link)
Check your website for broken links
Broken links are inevitable, but they somewhat damage your site’s reputation. You should check in regular intervals that your website is free of this disease.
Update your backup strategy
An online business takes place on the web. If you have no backups, one day your website may just be gone. Make sure you have backups whose intervals reflect the importance of your business.
Subscribe to a Website Monitoring Service to audit your website’s uptime
Install a security plugin or two, to prevent hacking attacks
Installing at least one security plugins is a must-do with WordPress. If you never did and don’t know how to do that, check out my free online course WordPress Security 101, where I am giving tips on moving forward on this issue.
Submit your sitemap to search engines
A sitemap lists all the web pages of your website. If you are continuously creating new pages, you need to update your sitemap and let search engines know about it.
Reach out to your happy clients, and ask for testimonials
What have your clients been most happy about the project with you? What were they most impressed about? — Even if you do not need all this feedback right now, it’s smart to have it at hand.
Back up your business files to an encrypted external hard drive
Of course, you are free to have copies on secured cloud storages. But it’s not smart to make this the only place where you store important data.
Get instant feedback from your Newsletter subscribers
With the Customer Thermometer you can get real-time, identifiable, actionable feedback in your MailChimp emails.
Setup online forms for common inquiries
Instead of visitors spamming your contact form with always the same requests, it’s a good move to set up some online forms that guide your visitor to provide all the relevant information. This, in turn, allows you to pinpoint the pain barometer and target your response. A free tool to use are Google Forms, and with a few tweaks you can add some helpful automation to them.
Get a new set of business cards that you can style individually
Business cards can be used for more than just ordinary contact detail distribution. You can use business cards also for promotions. The most innovative creator of business cards I have come across so far is MOO. This company has developed a technology that lets you design two-sided business cards individually, and prints them to very reasonable prices. Of course, they have way more to offer than just business cards. Check them out to see if there is something that helps you to upgrade your business.
Get real feedback on products or ideas from consumers or users
A genius service like PickFu brings you the wisdom of the crowd to your business, ideas, logos, designs, marketing copy and anything else that needs unbiased feedback.
Review and refine your business strategy/model
That’s a task that should be done regularly. It reflects the development and growth of your business. Find more information about that task and a good tool to get this done.
Implement a CRM or upgrade to a more powerful CRM
CRM’s are constantly evolving and offering more powerful features every year. It does make sense to check back what’s available on the market and see if it could help you with one or the other black hole that swallows your time …
Organize your internal business structure more professionally
Let’s be honest here, we all had those times where we created a mess with our files and folders. I have given a few smart instructions, how to make order and structure a lifetime habit, but there’s also a tool you can use to consistently set up files and folder templates for your projects. PostHaste is a free project management tool for Windows and Mac and is great for quickly getting a default project folder set up.
Prepare your business documents for automated signing via electronic signatures
I have laid out the benefits of eSignatures and 13 outstanding tools for electronically signing documents in a previous article.
Automatically collect data from several locations and populate a new document with them
A tool called WebMerge provides you with flexible document types, dynamic content and delivery options that fit your business needs – no matter what stage your business is in.
Turn manual file conversion tasks into automated processes
CloudConvert is one of those jewels in the cloud landscape, that has the potential to transform your business – if you figure out, how. It safely converts files in the cloud and supports already up to 215 formats.
Secure your website shop with an SSL certificate
SSL establishes a “private” connection when, for instance, a purchase in your shop is being made. This is a must have, when you receive, process or store confidential data like passwords or credit card credentials.
Run a free website scan
for known malware, website errors, out-of-date software and blacklisting status on Sucuri.
Recheck and refresh the basic security settings for your WordPress website
If you are not very familiar with that, check out my free online course WordPress Security 101. These are the very basics, and you should not miss any of them.
Implement a long-term password strategy with secure but easy to remember passwords
Do you think that’s not possible? It is! Read my article where I am sharing a strategy on creating secure passwords that you can actually remember – forever.
Use a CDN to protect your website from hacking attacks
If your website gets regularly attacked, you may want to think about using a CDN (like CloudFlare) to absorb most of these attempts. Here’s my story how I discovered and learned to value what a CDN could do for me.
Switch to a new hosting type
Shared Hosting is a valuable option at a business’ beginning stage. But it has its limitations. When traffic takes off and visitors moan about slow loading times, it’s probably time to upgrade your hosting. A Virtual Private Server has a higher performance, a Dedicated Server has the best customization and performance features.
Change your website host
There can be many reasons why you need to change your website host: performance, support, reliability or price are just a few of them. That’s not an easy task, so be sure you prepare this endeavor well.
In my online course WEBSITE FOUNDATIONS, I teach everything you need to know about hosting and domains. You’ll learn the essentials of what hosting is and how to choose a web host, and which hosting plan works for you. Domains can be a tricky issue, but I am going to show you the concept behind domains and domain endings, and teach you a few techniques to find the one, that is perfect for you.
Setup a subdomain for a test application
On a subdomain of your website’s domain, you can set up all kinds of parallel applications. This is particularly useful when you want to check whether your backups are actually working. Or, you can install a test application to test new website features before they go live on your main website.
Get one of the new TLD’s for marketing purposes
Did you know that there are a lot of fancy TLD’s [Top Level Domains] out there, that you can use to scale your business activities? Let’s say you live in London and run already a website “newcomers.com”. If you purchase the domain “newcomers.london”, you would create an eye catcher, that if smartly used within a marketing campaign, can open the door to a whole new business experience. Use this TLD and re-direct it to your main domain.
– Of course, you can also use a TLD such as .expert, .best, .online for those, who are on a trial-and-error web search, too.
Maybe you are already aware of the pressing need to streamline some of your business processes. Every growing business goes through this phase of struggle and missing critical pieces. Sometimes, when you hear people talking about their software and what they use to automate their businesses, you wonder what's best for you. There are so many tools becoming available all the time. And it is difficult to evaluate whether the software you are using is really serving your business.
I am now offering a custom designed program called the Silver Tech Package. It is a service that is designed for the specific needs of growing online businesses. If you need someone who not only understands the struggle of small online businesses and the technology they need but who is also able to implement and execute the work, drop me a line.