Snappy, The HostGator Mascot

Gator Crossing

The Official HostGator Company Blog!

Dragonfly
AirPlane

Time Management For Entrepreneurs

Written by Kevin Wood

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Time Management For Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur your time is sacred. You may marvel at those who seem to accomplish marvelous feats in the same 24 hours each day with which you both have to work. You might even start to believe that by some miracle they’ve been given an extra hour or two a day. There is no secret, it just requires taking an active approach to managing your time and seeing what needs to be changed.

In this post we’re going to explore a simple process that will help you get more from your time, so you can do more every single day.

 

1. Understand How You Spend Your Time
One of the most important elements of managing your time is understanding how your spend your time. Your time seems to either expand or contact based upon how you spend it, and chances are you waste a lot of your time with aimless activities you aren’t aware that you’re doing.

For a week bring around a notebook, or piece of paper and record how you spent the last hour of your time. Over a week this will help to give you a realistic picture of how your time is spent.

 

2. Know The Most Important Activities For Your Business
Once you have an understanding of how you’ve been spending or wasting your time you need to be equipped with an understanding of what activities are important for your business. There’s an old adage that essentially states 20 percent of your activities will be responsible for 80 percent of your results.

It’s your job to uncover what these 20 percent activities are. Here’s a hint, usually they’re the ones you avoid the most. They’re the ones you could put off all day if you had to. Look where you have the most resistance and you’ll very often find the important activities.

 

3. Let Your Schedule Be Your Friend
Your schedule and your to-do lists will now become your best friend. Your schedule will be your holy grail of how you’re spending your time. If you’re not used to using a schedule, then your time estimates for certain activities might be off. But, never let anything cross your mind without scheduling it, or adding it to your to-do list.

To-do lists are effective in that they help clear your mind of precious mental space. This helps you to focus when you’re actually immersed in an activity, instead of trying to remember that thing you forgot to do.

Another way to schedule is to schedule based on certain activities and actions, instead of hours on a clock. This can be helpful if your work is more creatively based, or artistic and less dependent on the clock.

 

4. Focus Will Extend The Time You Have To Work With
As I’m sure you’re aware time seems to pass at different speeds depending on where we’re at and what we’re doing. If we’re waiting in line time seems to drag on forever, but if we’re focused and immersed in what we’re doing then time seems to stretch out a little.

The key to having this occur more often than not is mastering your ability to focus. This means you’ll need to take extra care in cutting out any distractions, and making sure you have everything you need for the task at hand. This means no more multitasking.

When you distract yourself from the task at hand you actually end up losing time, as it takes longer for your mind to get back to the task you were just doing.

 

5. Take Care Of Yourself
Lastly, you need to make sure you’re in peak condition. If your mind and body are healthy it’s going to be much easier to focus. You know what works for you, but make sure you’re exercising regularly and giving yourself time to unwind.

When you’re healthy and stress-free your mind works more efficiently, so you’ll be using less time for the same tasks. As the master of your time you’re going to be much more efficient getting things done if you actually feel good.

Managing your time properly doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, once you stick with it for a little bit, it’ll become second nature. What are your best tips for maximizing your time? Let us know in the comments!

How To Create Engaging Content For Your Small Business

Written by Kevin Wood

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

How To Create Engaging Content For Your Small Business

As a small business owner you might already know about the importance of creating content for your online strategy. You may have tried to blog for a while, or post via social media and saw little to no growth in traffic. There are a variety of reasons this could have occurred, but one of the biggest problems business owners face is having little to no engagement with their content.

Creating engaging content is an art in and of itself. I hope that in this post I can illuminate some of the finer points for you to implement today. Engaging content begins with understanding your customer and creating content that excites, educates, and encourages them to come back for more.

 

Don’t Think Viral For The Sake Of Going Viral

Going viral has its benefits, but a lot of business owners think that going viral will solve all of their traffic problems for the rest of their lives. Sadly, writing an article about the top 50 cat GIFs won’t bring the right kind of traffic to your website.

Instead of thinking about massive traffic numbers you’ll want to think about relevant traffic numbers. This means that creating a unique and fresh piece of content for the right group of people has much more value than a random piece of content that gets shared around the web.

1. Go Beyond The Boundaries
When you think about your business see if you can think about its content strategy the same way a publisher would. Spend some time examining the content that surrounds your niche and see if you can create content on similar topics.

Of course, you don’t want to copy word for word, or just re-hash what everyone else has to say, but if you can put a unique spin or offer a unique take on the same topics you’ll start to set yourself apart.

When people see you as the person in your niche who’s not afraid to be honest, or take a slightly separate viewpoint you’ll start to stand out and actually craft engaging content.

2. Think Inside Your Customer’s Head
Instead of thinking from inside your business, or your own mind it’s time to think as if you were your customer. Identify certain types of content that they would love to share, read, and comment on.

This might cause you to come up with topics that are a little different, but at least they’re topics your ideal customer is going to be interested in. After all, the more you can cater to your customer’s needs the more you’re going to build trust and the more likely they’re going to help spread your message.

3. Try Something Crazy
Have you ever had a weird idea for your content, but were too afraid to run with it? I know it’s happened on multiple occasions for me. However, with all of the content being created and shared every single day, something a little strange might actually stand out.

See if you can relate it back to your business. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and be unique, after all this is what attracts people in the first place. Too much of the content online is simply a regurgitation of what someone else said. Being different works.

Infographic: Small Business Attitudes On Taxes

Written by Sean Valant

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

HostGator’s parent company, The Endurance International Group, recently surveyed over 800 small businesses and found that a vast majority are in favor of tax reform. The infographic below contains the results of this survey, some of which are quite interesting. To read the entire related press release, please click here:

2015 Small Business and Taxes

Are Distributors Employees Or Customers?

Written by Brandi Bennett

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

distributors

Distributors are the companies or individuals that you use in order to get your inventory to your clients. They are designed specifically around the logistics of getting your materials to the people who have ordered your products or services. Your suppliers may even be distributors for other companies. These people and companies have a responsibility to you to make sure that your customers get what they have ordered within the agreed upon time frame. The question becomes how exactly should you treat these companies and individuals.

 

Employees Or Customers

Distributors may seem like they are your employees, in a sense, as you are paying them to provide a service for your company. On the other hand, your distributors, like your customers, have their own lists of demands. These demands must be met in order for these distributors to do anything for you.

If you are a small business, your distributor may simply be the post office, yet even the post office has its own set of demands regarding what and how you must ship certain objects. If you’re shipping lotions, for example, you must declare the lotions and follow specific protocols in order to ensure that they are shipped properly. Any liquid must be declared, as must anything flammable. The list goes on and on.

Are they working for you? Yes, they are delivering your goods to your clients. Are they your customers? Yes, they have demands that you must meet. Are you their customer? Yes again, without their services, you would have a difficult time getting your product distributed, and as such you have certain demands that they must meet as well.

 

If The Answer Is Yes To All, How Do I Act?

The answer is of course quite simple. Treat them as you would like to be treated. Explain your situation, explain what you are looking for, and determine if your distributor can meet your expectations. If not, thank them and move on to a different distributor.

The important thing is working to ensure that all needs are met, and the only way to do so is to act like a thinking, rational, and respectful adult. If all the relationships do not work smoothly, they will not work. You wouldn’t yell at your customer for asking something to be shipped next day when you offer next day shipping, nor should you yell at the person or company you are attempting to use to get that done.

Treat all distributors like both customers and employees. If you need something done within X amount of time, state this, like an employer would, but do so respectfully, in the same manner that you would use when you would talk to a customer. In return you will be treated like you want to be treated in a customer capacity. Supplier chains work the best when all aspects of the relationship are addressed and all are taken into account.

 

Image Source: Powered Play. (2014). Distributors. Retrieved from http://poweredplay.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/distributors.jpg