Three Easy Ways for Small Business to Embrace Technology and Increase Their Customer Base

There was once a time where the world of online shopping was dominated by large companies. The cause of this was largely due to the costs of setting up an online presence when online shopping began to take off.

However, with the trend well and truly taking over the world, the barriers to entering the market have reduced significantly, allowing even small business owners to compete in the space.

If you are a small business owner interested in taking on new clients but aren’t sure how to do it, below are some great ways that technology can help.

Online Ads

Have you ever noticed that when you search for something on Google, the first few results are ads for the very service you just searched for? While you might be thinking that it’s either luck or an expensive website that puts those ads there, it’s actually simply a matter of purchasing keywords.

For example, if you provide a carpet cleaning service in a certain area, you could purchase the keywords ‘carpet cleaning in AREA’, where AREA would be the towns you service. During this purchase you would choose how many times you want your ad to appear along with the budget that you have and away it goes.

These ads are simple to use for any business owner and can be a powerful tool for attracting new clients, given that the ads are targeted to their specific search query.


While you may be thinking of the days where you cut out coupons from a magazine or newspaper and then handed it to the cashier, the world of coupons has come a long way. Stores like the Groupon Coupons page for Nine West offer their coupons in a digital format, allowing their customer to use them at either their online store or to simply wave at a scanner while shopping in-store. One of the biggest reasons for Coupons working so well is due to the shift in consumer search behavior. While once a customer’s search for a product would begin at their favorite online store, more and more customers are starting their search on the website of their favorite coupons page.

Social Media

There is a good reason why it feels like every business, big or small, has an online presence, and it’s because they do! And if you don’t have one then you are already behind the pack.

Whether you own a small corner store, you provide lawn and garden care, or you and your friends offer removalist services, you need to have a social media presence. While you aren’t likely to be spending your time using the account to post cat pictures, it is a great way for your clients to remain engaged with you along with having quick and easy access to contact you. Many companies manage their entire customer service departments online, allowing them to stay in touch with their customers long after they have left the store. A simple weekly sale or daily deals are all it takes to see a rise in your customer engagement and an increase in your foot traffic.

As you can see, just because you aren’t running a big business doesn’t mean that you can’t compete with them!

How to Find a Reliable Small Business Web Hosting Company

Thinking about having a website for your existing business? Or do you want to start a new project and looking for a web host? Or let me guess, your existing web hosting company is the reason you are reading this article because you just can’t hear that – server is down due to DoS (denial of service) attack, we are going through an upgrade process, we are experiencing a hardware failure or (my personal favorite) your IP was blocked on our server, excuses one more time. Believe me! The customer support staff of these bad quality hosting companies is highly skilled in excuses.

Your hosting provider plays a great role in your online ventures. You do not want your website to be down when a customer is looking for it. You also won’t find it very pleasant when you recently updated your website with new contents and a few hours later your host had to install the backup created yesterday in order to fix some problem and all your new contents and changes are now gone. These are quite common problems among small business web hosting providers but you can avoid them by signing up with a reliable host.

So the question is, what should you look for in a small business web hosting company? There are many technical things that you want to look for and we will discuss them later but first things first, make sure they have a top notch customer service. Yes you need the space and reliability and all that, but trust me if the customer service is not good, the company is most likely to let you down on everything else, especially reliability. The best way to find that out is through searching for reviews of your prospective small business web hosting company.

Uptime is one of the most important things that you should look at, make sure your small business web hosting comes with a guaranteed 99.5% or higher uptime. Bandwidth is also very important. It is the amount of bytes transferred when a visitor browses through your site. How much bandwidth you would need, totally depends on the nature of your website. If you are anticipating a large amount of traffic you should probably look for higher bandwidth. But don’t fall for “unlimited bandwidth” trap. The host that promises “unlimited” bandwidth is not being completely honest with you because it’s never unlimited, they pay for bandwidth consumption and simply cannot provide unlimited bandwidth for no extra cost. Some other important feature that you should get with your small business web hosting includes FTP access, email, autoresponder, mail forwarding, control panel etc.

But remember, before you proceed to buy a small business web hosting service, you should always look for reviews from trusted sources. Do not worry about the cost too much, because it probably will be the lowest cost your business has to bear.

How To Choose A Business Web Hosting Company

So you are finally opening your own home business, congratulations! Having an online presence is important to any home business, and finding the right company to host your online business website can mean the difference between success and failure.

Online web hosting basically boils down to two categories personal use, and business web hosting. Each category then can be broken down into smaller sub categories, such as paid or free personal sites, and different levels of business Web hosting where different options are offered depending on the monthly cost. The key difference between the two of these hosting packages besides features is that many Web companies will not let you conduct business using a personal web hosting account. This is both for your benefit, and the web hosting company’s benefit. Personal websites generally are not stored on the same servers, and thus do not have the same levels of data security, backup, and redundancy. Personal use website hosts also generally cap the amount of data throughput that can be used in any given month.

Because companies that offer business web hosting put your data on special servers it usually costs a little bit more depending on the amount of data you plan on storing, and the amount of traffic you anticipate generating. Business web hosting packages also offer a larger feature set then available with personal web hosting packages. Most business web packages offer more database tables, enhanced CGI support, and even more specialized tasks such as running Cron jobs.

Depending on your host when you use a business package will also be assured some level of customer support. Website service providers are notoriously bad at customer service; often times customers are left waiting for days at a time before a customer service representative gets back to them. With a business to web host the company usually spells out in exacting detail what level of customer service the client can expect. This can include anything from guaranteed live phone support, to technical support available through chat dialogue using their online help messaging system. Even if support is only available through e-mail it is generally quicker than what someone would otherwise experience using a personal web hosting plan.

When choosing a business web hosting service consult the Internet for customer reviews of the various companies and the packages that they offer. It is often easy to see trends of customer satisfaction, and thus find a package that fits your needs. Not all companies live up to their advertisement claims so it is definitely importance to do your research ahead of time.

Because this is a web host for your business cost cannot be your sole point of analysis. You will end up paying more for increased feature sets, however these features are important for maintaining a reliable presence online. Try to find the right balance between cost, customer satisfaction, and necessary features such as database tables in CGI scripts. Once you find this balance, and you have spoken to their representatives asking any questions you may have sign up and enjoy your new business web host.

Moving to a Business Web Hosting Company – 5 Essential Steps

So you finally decided to change web hosts and kick that cheap
web hosting company to the curb. Maybe you just got fed up with
their mediocre service, slow connection times and shoddy customer
service. Maybe you just felt invisible, or worse yet, like a needle in
a haystack. Perhaps you need a web hosting company with
Internet marketing expertise to help your online business grow.
Whatever the reason, you decided it was time to switch to a real
business class web hosting company!

So, now that you have decided to make the switch to a business
web hosting company, what exactly do you need to do? Well,
there are 3 steps that you need to follow if you’ve decided to make
the move away from the cheap web hosting company.

1. Do your research: This time around, make absolutely sure that
the new web hosting company you choose has everything that
your online business needs to succeed. This includes personalized
customer service, adequate expansion capabilities, and Internet
Marketing expertise. Make sure that the business web hosting
company that you choose really does value your business and they
have the latest technology. You don’t want to find out that your
new web hosting company is still conducting business as if it is
1970. Internet Business moves much too fast for that.

2. Back up your files: Do Not let your current web hosting company
get wind of your intention to move to the business web hosting
company before backing up all your files. You should have done
backups as a matter of course anyway, not just for this occasion.
In any case, you need to have copies of your content, database,
scripts and any other files. If you let your old web hosting
company know that you intend to move before you do this, you run
the risk of having them “accidentally” lose your data or parking and
locking your domain, all of this meaning extra headaches for you.

3. Use Both Hosts: have your site run on the two hosts for a short
while. You need to do this to make sure that everything is running
properly. Of course, if you are moving to a business web hosting
company that really values you as a customer, you won’t need to
do this, as they will walk you through the process.

4. Notify the cheap web hosting company: Yep, let them know that
you are unhappy and leaving. Maybe if enough customers
complain, the cheap web hosting companies will get the message.
At this point, they’ll probably try to convince you to stay. Don’t
give in to their last ditch efforts to retain your business. Ask
yourself: why did they let it come to this point in the first place?

5. Move your DNS servers (nameservers): At this point, you’ll
need to change your nameservers from the cheap web hosting
company to the business web hosting company’s servers.
Normally, DNS server changes take 24-48 to propagate (take

If you’ve chosen your business web hosting company well, you can
be assured that they are reliable, knowledgeable and will be able
to assist you in growing your business. Better yet, you will know
that they are primarily interested in helping your business succeed
and will give you the advice that you need when you don’t have
the answers yourself.

5 Tips For Choosing a Business Web Hosting Company

Confused about how to choose a business web hosting company? It can be hard to know which hosting company to trust with your business website. After all, your website is your calling card online and it’s important that you choose a reliable, high quality web hosting company to make sure that your site runs smoothly. Here are 5 tips that can help you choose a quality hosting company for your website:

1. Don’t use free hosting services – You might be tempted to try out a free hosting service and save some money but remember the old adage “you get what you pay for”. That is definitely true when it comes to web hosting! That doesn’t mean that you need to rush out and get the most expensive hosting plant that you can find but don’t bother with the free hosting services, they will do more harm than good in the long run. Free services also often have a lot of add ons that you need to pay for like stats and website tracking info so even though the hosting is free the services that you need are not.

2. Check out how long the average help desk wait is – Somewhere on the site they will tell you how long it usually takes their help desk personnel to answer a trouble ticket submitted by a customer. The average help desk wait is 24 – 48 hours. If they say that the average wait is longer than that you should find another web hosting company.

3. See if they have live help available – These days most business web hosting companies offer live help through chat applications or instant messages during normal business hours. Live help isn’t always terribly helpful but at least you can talk with someone right away when you have a problem. If you can find a hosting company in your preferred price range that offers live help you should choose that company so that you’ll be able to get a hold of someone if you need to.

4. Check to see how many email addresses you get with your website – Any hosting company should offer you free POP3 email addresses with your website. Find out how many the company offers before you sign up and make sure that they offer more than you think you’ll need so that you can change email addresses or add and subtract email addresses as employees come and go.

5. Ask about their security protocols – This is important when you’re buying hosting services. It’s important for any business but it’s especially important if you’re going to be doing any ecommerce or asking clients or customers for personal information or financial information. Find out if the company allows you to install additional security and what security they offer as a standard part of their services.

Your Web Hosting Company – Are You Just a Number?

By now I’m sure you know how important your choice of web
hosting company is to your business. But just in case you don’t,
let’s review. At first glance, cheap web hosting may seem like a
pretty good deal. Who doesn’t want to save money? However,
there are some areas in which you, as an online business owner,
just can’t afford to cut corners. Would you put water in the gas
tank of your car just to save money? Choose a cheap web hosting
company and you are doing exactly that. While you can cut
corners in other areas of your business, your web hosting
company is not where you want to do this, if only for one simple
reason: with free or cheap web hosting companies, you are little
more than a number, just another website.

Let’s take a look at how cheap or free web hosting companies
make their money and how they do business. First, how can they
offer such cheap prices? Or even free web hosting? There is only
one answer: volume. They host thousands of websites, some
smaller, some larger than yours. Do you think that in hosting
thousands of websites, they can give you the personalized service
that you deserve? Let me answer that one for you: they simply
cannot. Why? Because the number of sites hosted, coupled with
the low pricing simply makes it an infeasible business practice.
Practically speaking, from a business standpoint, they cannot do
this. It would not make sense to their bottom line. Second, large
web hosting companies generally run lean and mean. That is, in
business 101, they do more with less. They are not going to
provide more people to service more customers when they can do
the same job with less. Granted, customer service will suffer. But
to them, this is a tradeoff that they make up for with volume.

Now let’s look at things from your point of view (an online business
owner). You already know that time is money. You have probably
already figured out that, sadly, time is not on your side. Thus,
every time your site is down you are losing money. Even 5
minutes is too long for your site to be inaccessible to visitors
(potential customers). Online business runs 24/7. Does your web
hosting company understand that? More importantly, when you
have a problem, is your business “just another website” to them?
Or will they take personal ownership of the problem and solve it as
soon as possible? What about follow up? Are you just another
website in the heap? Or will they follow up with you to make sure
that you are a satisfied customer and your site is running
smoothly? Better yet, will they follow up personally, via phone
call? Or will they just send an email – an automated one at that?

Many Internet business owners make the mistake of choosing a
cheap web hosting company, thinking that it will help save them
money. Often, it costs them more in the long run in the form of
downtime, time spent waiting for answers from the hosting
company and lost customers. Below are 6 tips that should tell you
if you are “just another website” to your web hosting company:

* Time – Does your web hosting company have an “open door
policy”? If you have a question, Will they have the answer or will
they refer you to their Help Page URL? As an online business
owner, there is nothing more frustrating than calling the web
hosting company for help and then being told to go to a URL for
help. If your web hosting company does this to you, then you are
just a number to them.

* Accessibility – Is your web hosting company answering the phone
promptly? When they do, who is it? Sales? This is a big tip-off. A
web hosting company that really knows you and cares about your
business won’t automatically try to sell you something and they
won’t hide behind an answering machine or salesperson. A cheap
web hosting company definitely won’t know you by name; they will
know you by the domain that you have with them.

* Business Knowledge – Does your web hosting company know
what your needs are as a website owner? Do they care? Are they
hiring teenagers from the local high school to answer the phones
(who can’t really help you)? Does your web hosting company have
Internet Marketing experience? If you are with a cheap web
hosting company, the answer is no, because they do their
business by volume and can’t be focused on those kinds of issues.
Kind of ironic, don’t you think, given the fact that you have a
website in the first place due to the Internet?

* Advertising/Sales Tactics – As your business grows, how many
services is your web hosting company trying to sell you? How
many emails do they send you trying to get you to upgrade, pay
upfront, etc, etc.? Better yet, how do they make their sales? I’ll
tell you how: aggressive advertising and sales tactics. For a cheap
web hosting company, it’s the only way, because it is all about the
numbers. And you are one of them.

* Relationship-Driven – Does your web hosting company want a
relationship with you or with your money? I bet by now you can
guess the answer. The fact is, cheap web hosting companies
make profits by increasing sales. If one customer leaves, so be it,
because they have the volume to make that up. They really don’t
have the time, resources or the inclination to really make sure they
have a satisfied, long-term client in you.

* Patience – Lots of Internet business owners don’t know the ins
and outs of web hosting. That’s understandable. When you talk
to the sales department of your web hosting company do they use
Plain English or “technospeak” that you don’t understand? Do
they have the patience to explain everything to you? Or do they
automatically assume that you should know and become more
impatient the more questions you ask? To put is bluntly, do they
make you feel stupid or dumb? If you are trying to give the web
hosting company your business and they are making you feel
stupid for asking questions, they may as well be saying “Next!”
Why would they do this? Because your business is just another
website to them.

Generally, a business web hosting company that gives you
personalized service, has answers to your questions (or ways of
getting those answers) will serve your online business better.
Having tons of options is fine, but even better is the peace of mind
that comes with knowing that to your web hosting company, your
business and its success is priority one.

Do Your Homework Before Choosing a Business Web Hosting Company

Business web hosting is the type of package you need if you want your business to be up and running on the World Wide Web. Indeed, a lot of businesses have already gone online. If you don’t want to be left behind, then you must get yours out there, too.

There is actually a variety of web hosting solutions available, and your choice of package ultimately depends on your website’s requirements. Naturally, if you are operating a business or a big company, then you must go for a package that is able to handle your site’s needs and preferences, and the most appropriate of course is web hosting for business.

Business web hosts, or web hosting companies that specifically cater to companies and business owners, abound on the internet. Thus, it is always necessary to do a bit of research first before zeroing in on a particular web host to manage your site. Choosing carefully is essential, as you would not want to go into the trouble of changing web hosts when you realize that your service provider is not able to meet your demands and expectations at all.

Although the price is a big factor when looking for web hosting service provider for business, there are far more important things to consider. For instance, you definitely need your web host to be reliable, which means, it should be able to offer you a high uptime percentage of at least 99%. At the same time, it must also be readily accessible. Whatever time of day it is, your service provider should be able to respond to your queries; thus it should provide you with more than one way of communication.

The availability of a good support system is a requirement for any business web hosting company to succeed. After all, you can never tell if something goes terribly wrong with your site that you have no control over. It therefore helps a lot to be under the safe and capable hands of a good service provider.

There are several sources of good information worth checking into before engaging the services of any web hosting firm. Among these are review sites. Review sites provide a comparison of the various features of the web hosting company. This way, you can immediately see the advantages of one over the other.

Forum sites, specifically technological forum sites, are also good sources of information. By participating in forum sites, you can meet the experts of the field and other people also in search of a good web hosting company. You can get expert advice, tips, and strategies that are not commonly covered in reviews and web hosting articles.

You can also make a search of customer reviews to find out which among the web hosting companies are able to provide the most satisfaction to more people.