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An Overview of the Potential Risks and Benefits of Forex Trading

As the world’s largest market and one which sees a staggering $5.3 trillion dollars traded each day, Forex trading is a term which pricks the ear of anybody with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Forex trading involves the trading of one currency for another at an agreed rate; this rate fluctuates according to economics, geopolitics and many other factors. By speculating on whether a currency’s value will rise (appreciate) or fall (depreciate), Forex traders can earn profit on their investment. In Forex, leverage enables you to trade without putting up the full amount which can be both a risk and advantage.

There are both risks and rewards with Forex trading and it is important for anybody to understand these before starting.

Potential Risks

There is always risk when it comes to trading and Forex trading is no different. When trading on margin, traders can incur significant losses very quickly and particularly if no risk management strategy is employed. Whilst high leverage enables investors to earn large sums from small amounts, this is also a double-edge sword as you could make significant losses if the market moves against you.

Another risk is that news from around the world can shake up the market; this makes it somewhat unpredictable. This also means that if you are to succeed, you must be constantly up to date on global and daily affairs and the economy. This can be very time consuming and stressful.

Potential Rewards

As established, due to high leverage, it allows traders to large amounts off a small deposit as the rest is lent by a broker. With a thorough understanding of the market (there are endless resources and up-to-date news and advice online); you can mitigate risk by making intelligent decisions. When you do not invest more than you can afford to lose and have a great understanding of the market; Forex trading is a fantastic way to earn capital.

There is also no market risk as nobody can corner the market, you can profit when a currency is either appreciating or depreciating and there are far fewer choices than the stock market. Due to the market being extremely liquid, it also means that you can always trade throughout the day.

The market is also open 24 hours a day (the only market which is) and trading is made very simple thanks to clever trading platforms, such as OANDA. Through these platforms you can execute trades quickly and easily, plus get all the latest news and information.

These are the key risks and rewards with Forex trading. As with any trading, there is risk and the high leverage is a double-edged sword. However, with sound understanding of the market and making intelligent trades; it can also prove to be very profitable.



 
  


marketing-strategy

Marketing is an integral part of a business’s overall success. If you don’t utilize the proper channels to get the word out about your products or services, essentially your business will fall by the wayside. Marketing is how you develop your brand, build your following, and find your customers.  As an entrepreneur, knowing key marketing techniques can be both strategically and economically advantageous to your brand.

So Many Strategies, Which Ones are Right?

There are a lot of marketing techniques out there, and for someone new, it can seem overwhelming. From search engine optimization and content marketing to social media and pay per click techniques, knowing which is best suited for your brand will come down to one major influencer – your customers.

You will need to select a strategy that interests your target audience so that you can generate the right traffic that leads to sales. This may encompass more than one strategy, and some trial and error, but to give you an idea on some techniques to start with, check these out below:

  1. Pay Per Click

Pay per click or PPC, as it is often referred to, is a marketing strategy that helps businesses increase online traffic. Creating relevant keyword rich ads on popular websites and search engines, users who click on your advertisements are automatically sent to your page. You can work with a PPC management firm to assist you in setting up a campaign. They will work with you to create ads that are relevant to your brand and in accordance with your budget. The more traffic you generate to your company website, the higher chances you have of converting them to customers.

  1. Content Marketing

If there’s one thing you’ll need to know as an entrepreneur it is how to write decent content. In this digital era of business, content reigns king. Consumers are looking to be informed about the companies they do business with as well as the products and services they offer. From developing great content for your website to your social media pages, blogs, and more, you’ll need to hone in on your writing skills. Writing compelling pieces that inform, entertain, and persuade are of the utmost importance to drawing in your target audience and informing them on why you’re better than the competition.

  1. Social Media Marketing

Millions of users have social media accounts they access on a regular basis. That equates to millions of people daily that you have the potential to reach out to. What must be understood, however, is that it is not enough to simply create a social media account and hope that your followers will find you. You will need to create a page that represents your brand but that also creates a social environment for your target audience. From sharing photos and videos to content from your site, deals, and contests, you’ll need to really engage with your social media followers as a method for converting them to regular customers.

  1. Print Marketing

Though digital platforms should be a priority in your marketing efforts, one must not forget the importance of traditional forms of marketing. Print marketing, for instance, is still very relevant and can also work to help build brand awareness. Well-designed publications like brochures, flyers, business cards, and postcards are tangible marketing materials that customers can appreciate. Unlike a website that is typically viewed in 15 seconds and forgotten about, print materials provide customers with something they can view now, hold onto, and view again when necessary.

As an entrepreneur with a lot on your plate, chances are you’re going to need assistance in managing each of these marketing strategies. However, knowing the basics of how to get started and how to shape each technique to meet the needs of your brand and your target audience can set you apart from other startups in the area or within the same market. If you have not begun to develop your marketing strategies, work with an expert to develop a plan that will help build brand awareness and skyrocket your business’s success.


business-efficinecy

We all want our startup operations to run as smoothly as possible. Hiccups and lags cost time and money, two things no small business can spare. Efficiency is the holy grail for entrepreneurs in an increasingly internet-driven economy – and can appear about as elusive too. However, there are an array of ways in which shorter delays, faster responses, and all around more bang for the buck can be achieved.

Optimize ergonomics

Workers perform better when they are reasonably comfortable. It’s a pretty straightforward, common sense observation, but too often gets put on the back burner during the launch of a startup. The easy to find discount desks, chairs, keyboards, and so forth are rarely optimized for human comfort. Instead, do your research to compile a list of work space necessary products with a reputation for ergonomic design. Narrow down options at or near your price range, then proceed with deal hunting to make a final choice. Your staff will thank you, and you’ll thank yourself when productivity exceeds expectations.

Streamline communications and data entry

There is nothing worse for employees than being bombarded by work-related communications from all sides. When workers are expected to reply to texts, emails, calls, and so forth from a variety of sources, they tend to drag their feet. The same goes for entering in numbers, documenting expenses, and all the other work needed to keep track of the actual work. The simple solution is opting for a service like Kore, which integrates intelligent bots with its enterprise messaging solution. This allows for more efficient and productive communication and workflows.

Track employee productivity

Entrepreneurs are often the managers of a startup, at least at the beginning. The importance of monitoring employee progress is frequently undervalued, as entrepreneurs are focused on building connections rather than incubating productivity improvements. Again, the solution may be opting for software. Such services watch over the staff for you. This way, when an entrepreneur wishes to try out techniques for keeping employees productive, there is a measured way of determining whether it is working or not.

Set weekly goals

Goals are good, but difficult to assemble accurately. We tend to aspire to accomplish too much or too later. Minimize the pressure placed on a specific series of work goals by sticking to a weekly breakdown. Attack these objectives as chunks on a five days at a time basis, with an overall strategy in mind. This outlined plan must be as flexible as it is motivating, so center goals on general growth and success rather than specific deals and sales points.

Forget about the trouble customers and/or clients

The following is taboo among most entrepreneurial circles, but it doesn’t mean it’s not true: prickly, seemingly never satisfied clients and customers are not worth the trouble they cause. What constitutes as trouble depends on the breakdown of cost/benefit. Audit the transactions and plug in the overhead to decide whether the work required to keep someone coming back is worth the revenue. More times than not the answer is no.

All entrepreneurs desire efficiency. Achieving optimal productivity and performance is not easy to do – or so it seems. In truth, the methods for making a small startup launch more efficiently and therefore more effectively are relatively easy to incorporate into your business plan. Go for it, and watch as things begin to run more smoothly than ever before.


5 Tips to Ensure Your Emails Get Opened (and Read)

It’s getting harder and harder to get your subscribers to open your emails…

Let alone read and act on them!

email open rates

As a result, business owners are seeing plummeting open rates for their email newsletters (ezines) … some email open rates are being reported as low as 8.6%.

With the sheer volume of other information avenues we’re constantly subjected to these days, it’s not surprising that email open rates are taking a hit. In addition to email there’s:

  • Social media – Facebook & Twitter
  • Mobile marketing via SMS messaging/text messages
  • Constant bombardment of emails coming into our inboxes
  • Radio
  • Television

Is it any wonder business owners are beginning to question the value of email marketing?

However, email marketing is still a really strong marketing strategy for your business; you just have to ensure that you’re doing it right to get the maximum return.

There are some simple strategies you can put in place to ensure that your emails are opened and read.

And I’m going to share my top five with you today:

1. Do what you say you’re going to do. Not only does this build credibility, but it also shows you as being reliable and trustworthy — going back to the like, know, and trust factor. That means if you say you’re going to publish a weekly newsletter, you better make sure that you do. Because of all the different information avenues mentioned above, unless you’re top of mind for your subscriber, you’re quickly going to get lost in the masses. Sticking to a regular publication schedule means that your subscriber will come to expect your communications on time, and they’ll be looking out for it!

2. Provide valuable and useful content. Make sure your communication content is information-rich and on-topic for your subscriber. If you’re going to reuse old articles ensure that the content is still relevant and correct. Stick to the 80/20 rule —80% content; 20% pitch.

3. Keep it clear and easy to read. Don’t let your newsletter become a glob of links and “click here”s. Keep the content really clear with lots of white space and only include one or two calls to action in each publication.

4. Plan a solo mailing campaign. If you’ve got something that you really want your readers to read, then plan a series of solo emailings to draw their attention to it. This is especially great for new product and program launches and other “special announcements”. But a word of warning… don’t go overboard with your solo mailing campaign otherwise your subscribers will likely assume all you do is sell, and will very quickly unsubscribe.

It’s about maintaining a balance between useful, relevant content, and asking your subscriber to buy – which you do need to do as you’re running a business. And running a business is all about making a profit.

5. Be smart with subject lines. Make sure your subject line is relevant to your content; don’t try gimmicky subject lines that are 1) likely to be marked as spam; and 2) turn your readers off because they sound too salesy/sleazy. You want to create subject lines that relate to the content of your email, but — and this is the most important part — also piques your reader’s curiosity and makes them want to open your mailing.

Next time you put together your ezine or solo mailing keep these points in mind. Play around; experiment; and watch your stats closely to see what works and what doesn’t. And if you are using a service that provides you with Ad Trackers (such as 1ShoppingCart) set these up to track exactly who and how many people click through from the links in your email communications. And cross-reference these to your subject lines.

If you really are interested in what the publisher is sending to you, you’ll happily open their emails. There are several newsletters that land in my inbox each week that I ALWAYS open and look forward to receiving.

Finally, don’t get too hung up on open rates. They’re only intended as a ball park figure after all!

Tracey Lawton

About Our GE Network Expert - Tracey Lawton

Tracey Lawton is an expert in online business management, office administration, and developing administrative systems. Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant, Tracey Lawton, supports professional speakers, coaches, and authors to operate an efficient, organized, and profitable business. Learn how to create an efficient and organized office in 7 EASY steps, and receive free tips at http://OfficeOrganizationSuccess.com.


apps-content-marketing

Applications represent a true game changer, attracting numerous enterprises to the booming digital market. They are still gaining momentum and this trend is rooted in the fact that users spend more and more time on apps, around 30 hours per month on average. These solutions are the cornerstone of the strong mobile presence, and every company selling products and services over the internet can capitalize on their popularity.

On the go— on the roll

The encounter of apps and content marketing is by no means a random occurrence. Content is a favorite tool of 21st-century marketers, with the power to educate, drive loyalty, spread brand awareness and boost internet traffic.  Users are used to consuming branded content on social channels and consider them to be excellent sources of information. Yet, even the corporate giants fail to integrate popular content into their apps, missing out great sales opportunities.

This is surprising since the desktop internet usage has fallen behind the mobile one, marking a dawn of the new digital age. However, not everything is rosy: Conversion rates tied to the mobile devices are lower, as smaller screens and poorly-optimized pages put off consumers.  So, what you need is an SEO-friendly website with striking headlines, strategically deployed keywords, compelling imagery and of course, high-quality content.

What is more, apps serve as channels for engaging customers and delivery of the branded content. Bear in mind that people’s attention spans of today are shortened, and producing edible chunks of content seems like the best approach. However, experienced marketers argue that there is a place for both short and long-term content on mobile platforms. It is advisable to strike a fine balance between form and function, while assembling an appealing and intuitive user interface.

Content creation and delivery

To set up a solid content marketing strategy, you need to use social media accounts, blog and a website simultaneously. There are numerous ways to lay the foundations for this empowering framework.  For example, a Facebook login option can be built into the app, which has a positive impact on user engagement. Furthermore, you should be able to approach blogs and ask them to review your app and include a link to your app page.

So, one of the first tasks is to identify the places where potential clients hang out and conduct a customer research. There is not much time to waste, as companies realize the content has a big role to play, and flock to the app frontier. The competition today is stiff, and the amount of noise you need to cut through huge. The good news is that content marketing is a perfect tool for this task.

As for the content assets, muse on videos, images, articles, infographics, press clippings and interactive media. Establish a profile of typical app users, and then make a game plan to cater content which appeals to them.  Ideally, the app-related content that you craft should be planned months in advance, as this gives you sharp focus in your campaigns. You want to bring out the human side of an app, but also ensure that search engines stop by.

Channeling the power

A lot can be learned from the most prominent apps in the market, Facebook and Twitter. They are both vast oceans of content, with the strong social community. Word-of-mouth promotion induces higher app usage, but the only way to enjoy this benefit is to provide an impeccable user experience. It needs to be encompassed with the brand building process and it goes without saying that the benefits of using your app must be in the spotlight.

Crafting a killer app should be considered one of the primary content goals, due to the fact that they are a buzz-creating machines. The choice of platform is paramount, be it iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, etc. Now, evaluating the pros and cons of each one can be overwhelming, especially for newcomers. A seasoned app maker could be of great help in grasping the technical detail, reducing the time and resources needed to develop a product.

Web-based apps are not to be overlooked either.  One can optimize them for mobile phones and target a specific market such as Chrome web store. Another possibility is to host the app on your corporate website and let users perform functions there. Take the example of an insurance company which builds an online tax calculator. It is usually when an everyday, practical problem is solved that the app achieves stellar success.

Quality matters

Smartphones are modern tools of choice for accessing the internet, while the apps generate the most hype and profit. You could say that content marketing and apps is a match made in heaven, although stairways to it may be steeper than most people would like. The only way to prosper in the crowded playing field is to provide a seamless mobile experience and add real value to the cyber realm. Marketers must always aspire to interact with customers on various channels and continuously treat them with the high-quality content.



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GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.