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How could an international business reach a US audience?

As a business grows, it may look to expand its markets, and one of the largest markets to target is the US. Cracking the US market can be a daunting prospect, but for businesses, the opportunities are rich. In February 2015, exports to the US earned British businesses £3.2 billion. The US buys a wide range of products from the UK, including gluten-free foods and ancient Egyptian art. Some of the companies that have managed to crack the American market are Brompton Bikes and Topshop.   The US market is a notoriously difficult one to crack, and even some big British names such as Tesco have foundered when they tried. One way of reaching an American audience is to use the internet. The internet gives businesses the chance to reach out to customers across the world.   You can generate business in the US by using social media, blogs and apps. Before starting an online campaign, you need to be clear about what you are selling and which audience you want to target. Using social media successfully means more than just simply putting a few messages on an online website. Customers want to be engaged, and therefore you need to keep your social media content up to date. You should sign up for social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Facebook will allow you to create your own business page, while LinkedIn can be used to connect with other businesses in the same industry that may be able to help you with ideas. However, to be successful on social media, you need to invest time, and this can...

‘Swiss Army Knife’ travel jacket raises $9.19M instead of $20G

Published September 04, 2015 FoxNews.com Facebook268 Twitter225 livefyre0 Email Print This multi-functional jacket has 15 coveted features for people on the go. (BauBax) In July, we told you about a jacket that’s getting a lot of buzz in the travel world. Dubbed the “Swiss Army Knife” jacket, it was created by Hiral Sanghavi, a 29-year-old Kellogg School of Management MBA student. The jacket’s 15 features include things like a built-in inflatable neck pillow, eye mask and a special phone-charger pocket. Sanghavi said that he started a Kickstarer campaign with the goal of raising $20,000. This week, the funding period ended and he’s reaped a lot more than that–$9.19 million to be exact, making the jacket the site’s most funded clothing project to date. He told CNN that the idea for the jacket came from his wife, who is a designer living on the West Coast. Sanghavi was constantly traveling from Chicago to visit her and needed a way to keep track of all his gear. “It’s a long flight and I’d forget to take my neck pillow and buy a new one at the airport,” he told CNN. Sanghavi has now put his MBA on hold to concentrate on his San Francisco–based company Baubax that will soon start selling four different styles of the jacket. Nearly 45,000 backers have ordered 70,000 jackets priced between $89 and $120 that Sanghavi plans to ship in November. Interested?  Here’s what it’s got: – Neck pillow — Eye mask — Earphone holders — Drink pocket — Phone pocket — Zipper pocket with telescoping pen/stylus — Microfiber cloth — Passport pocket — Sunglasses pocket — Blanket...

MS Small Business Forum Tuesday, March 17 #smallbizMS

Next Tuesday, March 17, MSU Extension Service in partnership with Hinds Community College & Alcorn State University will be hosting the MS Small Business Forum at the Central Research and Extension Center in Raymond. For more information and to register you can visit our web site: techoutreach.msucares.com/business Or download our app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/msues-ms-small-business-forum/id967321150?mt=8 (available only in the Apple store) Our hashtag for this event is...

Mississippi Telehealth Association (MTHA) conference December 2

Join FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Chairman Bill Ray, and Executive Director Kristi Henderson on December 2 at the Jackson Convention Complex for the first Mississippi Telehealth Association (MTHA) conference. Presentations will be made on the FCC’s healthcare initiatives, integration of telehealth into the Mississippi health system, telecommunications infrastructure availability for telehealth, and future technologies in telehealth. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m., and the conference concludes at 5 p.m. Registration is available at http://conta.cc/1uri73X. Please contact Elizabeth Joseph at ejoseph@mbcc.ms or 601-985-4633 with any questions.  ...

Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition (MBCC) State Broadband Summit on December 2

Join Governor Phil Bryant, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, and Chairman Jim Barksdale on December 2 at the Jackson Convention Complex for the final State Broadband Summit hosted by the Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition (MBCC). Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the Summit concludes with lunchtime keynote speaker, Scott Woods, from the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Immediately following the MBCC conference, the U.S. Distance Learning Association will host an interest meeting at 1:30 p.m. in the Convention Complex about the possibility of forming a Mississippi chapter. Registration is available at http://conta.cc/1xZyCRL. Please contact Elizabeth Joseph at ejoseph@mbcc.ms or 601-985-4633 with any...

Google Analytics adds more e-commerce data and reporting tools

 BY ALLISON ENRIGHT Editor The new Enhanced Ecommerce reporting tool lets e-retailers see more metrics about shopping behavior and conversion. “Merchants will be able to understand how far along users get in the buying process and where they are dropping off,” Google says. Google Inc. is making it easier for e-retailers to collect more granular data about how consumers behave on their sites and to generate reports about that behavior. The company announced Wednesday Enhanced Ecommerce, a Google Analytics reporting tool designed specifically for e-retailers. Using the tool, e-retailers can run reports that measure how many visitors view individual products, add or remove them from their shopping cart and abandon or complete transactions. It can also show conversion rates by product and average order value as well as track refund activity. E-retailers can also run Enhanced Ecommerce reports by brand or product category, or create custom reporting, Google says. Enhanced Ecommerce is part of the free version of Google Analytics. It is currently in beta, or test, mode and will roll out in phases over the coming weeks and months, Google says. “Merchants will be able to understand how far along users get in the buying process and where they are dropping off,” according to a Google Analytics blog post. Google announced Enhanced Ecommerce, along with added features allowing users to import their own data and export customized tables with raw data, at the Google Analytics Summit 2014. Google says a free online training course will soon be available through Google’s Analytics Academy for e-retailers who want to learn how to run the new reports and analyze the data. RELATED ARTICLES WEB...

What Is PageRank and How Do I Use It?

PageRank Explained By Marziah Karch Ads: Google Rank Seo Rank Checker Google PPC Google Chromecast Google ADS Peter Cade/Photodisc/Getty Images Ads Web Site Firewallwww.barracuda.comComplete Website Protection from Barracuda. Request Eval Unit Today! Free Backlink Checkerseospyglass.comCheck all backlinks of any website. Find free high PR links. Try free. List Your Business Onlinewww.yext.com/GoogleList your business everywhere. Enter business address to start now Top Related Searches Larry Page And Sergey Brin Google Founders Sergey Brin Keyword Density Web Surfers Larry Page Ads Stronger Customer Appzoho.com/CRM-ApplicationRelationships w/ Zoho CRM. Start w/ 3 Users Free! Free Publicity for Youhelpareporter.comJournalists Need Your Story. Sign Up Today! PageRank is what Google uses to determine the importance of a web page. It’s one of many factors used to determine which pages appear in search results.  The History of PageRank PageRank was developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford. At the time that Page and Brin met, search engines typically linked to pages that had the highest keyword density, which meant people could game the system by repeating the same phrase over and over to attract higher search page results. PageRank is patented by Stanford, and the name PageRank likely comes from Larry Page.   What Does PageRank Measure? PageRank measure’s a web page’s importance. Page and Brin’s theory is that the most important pages on the Internet are the pages with the most links leading to them. PageRank thinks of links as votes, where a page linking to another page is casting a vote. This makes sense, because people do tend to link to relevant content, and pages with more links to them are usually better resources than pages...

How to pick a profitable domain name for your online store

There is a lot to consider when choosing a domain name for your store. Domain names should be fairly short, relevant to what you sell, easy to remember and easy to say. Customers must be able to easily find your store and pass it along by word of mouth. In addition to coming up with the name itself, you need to think about things like the top-level domain and whether a potential typo will hurt your business. So we’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts to help you commit to the right name. A warning before we begin: if you’ve had a certain domain for awhile, think twice before changing it. It’s already got a lot of search engine mojo going for it, and even with redirects you’ll lose some authority. If you’re starting from scratch, make sure you pick a name you can stick with for a decent amount of time so you can build and keep your authority. Domain name dos 1. If you are building a brand, use the name of your business or product. For example, Pet Paint is the name of a business and a product plus petpaint.com is a shareable and memorable domain. But if that name isn’t available, or if your goal is to rank on a specific search term, you might have to get a little more creative. 2. If search is your priority, build a domain name off keywords. These days it’s nearly impossible to get a general domain name, like cars.com. But customers who are planning to buy something will usually search with more specific terms. A domain that specifies what you are...

Facebook, Google users threatened by new security flaw

By Jill Scharr Published May 05, 2014 Facebook1054 Twitter354 Gplus56 A serious flaw in two widely used security standards could give anyone access to your account information at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and many other online services. The flaw, dubbed “Covert Redirect” by its discoverer, exists in two open-source session-authorization protocols, OAuth 2.0 and OpenID. Both standards are employed across the Internet to let users log into websites using their credentials from other sites, such as by logging into a Web forum using a Facebook or Twitter username and password instead of creating a new account just for that forum. MORE: 7 Scariest Security Threats Headed Your Way Attackers could exploit the flaw to disguise and launch phishing attempts from legitimate websites, said the flaw’s finder, Ph.D. student Wang Jing of the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Wang believes it’s unlikely that this flaw will be patched any time soon. He says neither the authentication companies (those with which users have an account, such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, among others) nor the client companies (sites or apps whose users log in via an account from an authentication company) are taking responsibility for fixing the issue. “The vulnerability is usually due to the existing weakness in the third-party websites,” Wang writes on his own blog. “However, they have little incentive to fix the problem.” The biggest danger of Covert Redirect is that it could be used to conduct phishing attacks, in which cybercriminals seize login credentials, by using email messages containing links to malicious websites disguised as something their targets might want to visit. Normal phishing attempts can be easy to spot,...

What you need to know about the Heartbleed bug

Published April 10, 2014 FoxNews.com Facebook158 Twitter53 Gplus0 Millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information may be at risk as a result of a major breakdown in Internet security revealed earlier this week, called the “Heartbleed” bug. The damage caused by the bug is currently unknown. But the security hole exists on a vast number of the Internet’s Web servers and went undetected for more than two years. While it’s conceivable that the flaw was never discovered by hackers, it’s nearly impossible to tell. There isn’t much that people can do to protect themselves until the affected websites implement a fix. Here are answers to some common questions about Heartbleed and how you can protect yourself: Q: What is Heartbleed and why is it a big deal? A: Heartbleed affects the encryption technology designed to protect online accounts for email, instant messaging and e-commerce. It was discovered by a team of researchers from the Finnish security firm Codenomicon, along with a Google Inc. researcher who was working separately. It’s unclear whether any information has been stolen as a result of Heartbleed, but security experts are particularly worried about the bug because it went undetected for more than two years. Q: How does it work? A: Heartbleed creates an opening in SSL/TLS, an encryption technology marked by the small, closed padlock and “https:” on Web browsers to show that traffic is secure. The flaw makes it possible to snoop on Internet traffic even if the padlock is closed. Interlopers can also grab the keys for deciphering encrypted data without the website owners knowing the theft occurred. The problem affects...

4 Smart Tips For Choosing a Good Domain Name

By Chad Brooks, BusinessNewsDaily contributor Published April 11, 2014 FOXBusiness Picking the right domain name is an important step in developing a new business. Choose the right one and you could end up a household name. Choose the wrong one and your business could end up fizzling fast. With more than 250 million registered domain names, it more important than ever to choose one that stands out from the crowd, said Kellie Peterson, chief strategy officer for domain services, hosting and support provider Directnic. “For businesses of all sizes, choosing the right domain name can feel as challenging as coming up with a company name, but it doesn’t have to be [so difficult],” Peterson said. To help you in the process, she offers four tips for picking the perfect domain name: Use correct spelling: This might come as a surprise when you think of the immense success companies like Flickr and Tumblr have enjoyed, but those are exceptions. After seeing Flickr’s success, many startups followed suit by rushing to register domain names with dropped letters. But it’s no coincidence that you haven’t heard from any of those companies. Going the trendy route makes it difficult to convey the true spelling of your domain orally, and people tend to go directly to the correctly spelled site by habit. What if the correctly spelled version of the name you want is unavailable? You can use a new top-level domain (TLD), the part of the website after the “dot,” and still have the domain you wanted. Choose something like .guru or .photography instead of .com. Shorter is better: There’s a reason why three-...

Ecommerce Basics: 10 questions to ask when creating an online store

  BY KIM LACHANCE SHANDROW | Yesterday| Post Comment |   Image credit: alleywatch.com If your company sells goods in a brick-and-mortar store but not online, you could be missing out on an incredible revenue-generating opportunity. U.S. online retail sales grew 12.6 percent to $176.2 billion in 2010, and they’re expected to reach $278.9 billion by 2015, according to Cambridge, Mass.-based technology and market research company Forrester Research. Is your business ready to reap some of those online sales? Launching an online store can be challenging for small businesses, which are often short on time, budget and staff. But ecommerce vendors can help you make designing and maintaining an online store relatively simple and affordable. Here are 10 important questions to ask when creating your company’s first online store: 1. How do I start building my online store?  If you can’t afford to hire someone to build a custom online store, don’t worry. There are plenty of ecommerce vendors that can help you create one quickly. “They can take the hassle and headache of hard coding, hosting and doing maintenance on a server of your own out of the online store equation,” says Julian Barkat, director of ecommerce and online marketing at Eggs to Apples, a Philadelphia digital marketing agency. Such companies as Bigcommerce, Shopify, Goodsie, Jumpseller and Volusion let you design the overall look, feel and functionality of your online store. They also let you do things such as upload your product catalog, set up customer shopping carts, securely accept payments and handle order fulfillment. These services securely host your online store on their own servers. You can link to your online store from your company’s main website. Ecommerce services such as...

Tips for spotting a fraud transaction

by Ralph Smith Many years ago, before I was a technologist, I worked for a bank in their credit card division. Yes it was all the fun you can imagine, but it was educational. In fact the first year I was an online merchant that experience saved me over $5,000 on a fraudulent transaction. I was selling some high end pool cues for an associate of mine and had a buyer in Japan who wanted all of them. After the payment came through via Paypal there were a few warning signs that made me uncomfortable. I called Paypal and after they approved the release of the shipment I sent it. As it turned out it was fraud and because Paypal had authorized shipping, they paid the charge. So rule number 1 is if the transaction makes you nervous, don’t do it, even if the money is tempting. In addition to rule number 1 each selling venue has it’s particular quirks. The following is a short overview by selling channel of tips and warning signs. Amazon – fraud is not really a problem for the merchant on Amazon because if they authorize the shipment then they are guaranteeing the payment. However, here are a few tips to avoid losing a chargeback or A to Z claim. Always make sure you have a tracking number with delivery confirmation for each shipment Be sure that you complete the listing description and that it is thorough and accurate If you are brave enough to sell used merchandise, make sure the condition note is thorough and accurate (buyers do not always read them thoroughly). Amazon buyers tend...

Google overhauls the way its search engine ranks websites with biggest update in 3 years

Published September 27, 2013   Associated Press Sept. 26, 2013: Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search at Google, introduces the new ‘Hummingbird’ search algorithm at the garage where the company was founded on Google’s 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California. (REWUTERS / STEPHEN LAM) Sept. 26, 2013: A Google-themed birthday cake is seen at the house where Google was founded on the company’s 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California. (REUTERS / STEPHEN LAM) Next SlidePrevious Slide MENLO PARK, CALIF. –  Google has quietly retooled the closely guarded formula running its Internet search engine to give better answers to the increasingly complex questions posed by Web surfers. The overhaul came as part of an update called “Hummingbird” that Google Inc. has gradually rolled out in the past month without disclosing the modifications. The changes could have a major impact on traffic to websites. Hummingbird represents the most dramatic alteration to Google’s search engine since it revised the way it indexes websites three years ago as part of a redesign called “Caffeine,” according to Amit Singhal, a senior vice president for the company. He estimates that the redesign will affect the analysis of about 90 percent of the search requests that Google gets.   ‘We want to keep getting better at helping you make the most of your life.’ – Amit Singhal, a senior vice president at Google   Any reshuffling of Google’s search rankings can have sweeping ramifications because they steer so much of the Internet’s traffic. Google fields about two of out every three search requests in the U.S. and handles an even larger volume in some parts of Europe....

Shopify Predicts Three Major Retail Shifts in 2014

  By Natalia Angulo Growing Your Business Published December 13, 2013 FOXBusiness SHOPIFY A revolution is playing out in the retail industry and small businesses have the upper hand, according to one industry insider. According to Shopify Chief Platform Officer Harley Finkelstein, the future of retail belongs to the entrepreneur and the creator, rather than the big-box stores. Finkelstein calls this shift the “democratization of retail.” Shopify is a commerce platform used by more than 80,000 businesses — digital and brick-and-mortar — in over 100 countries. Some of the companies Shopify helps power range from Tesla Motors (TSLA), Gatorade and CrossFit, to StartupThreads, DODOCase and Tattly. The Ottawa, Canada-based startup received $100 million in Series C funding this week, which it plans to put toward offline-selling platforms. “Consumers want to buy from the makers,” Finklestein says. “[The] people that are passionate about their product and the brand and the great community behind it.” Buying from the little guy online And he may be onto something. While Amazon (AMZN) topped the Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic charts with 2.6 million visitors, according to a DeepField Blog report, Shopify wasn’t far behind. The commerce site came in third (behind eBay, and ahead of big retailers Walmart (WMT), Best Buy and Target) with nearly 1.5 million visitors. In 2012, Shopify stores sold $23 million during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, compared to $63 million during the same period in 2013. Finklestein predicts all this marks the shift toward small business preference that will dominate 2014. Shopify markets itself as an easy way for merchants to sell products online, or at retail and pop-up locations. Some of...

5 E-Commerce Trends to Look for in 2014

By Nicole Fallon Published January 08, 2014 BusinessNewsDaily As new online sales platforms and Web design tools continue to emerge, becoming an e-commerce entrepreneur is an increasingly attainable dream for many aspiring business owners. While just about anyone can launch an online business, it takes a dedicated salesperson to actually succeed, and that means staying on top of current marketplace trends. If you’re ready to take your e-commerce business to the next level in 2014, Matt Winn, marketing communications manager for e-commerce platform provider Volusion, advised watching these five current trends in online sales: The importance of multichannel selling. As customer shopping behaviors become more fragmented, so must the presence of small online businesses owners. Simply having an e-commerce site is no longer enough. Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) should begin looking for efficient ways to expand their presence, including integrations with various shopping feeds and other outlets that can reach more consumers. [12 Online Business Ideas] Increased dependence on data. As smaller online businesses continue to expand their presence across channels, the need to turn to performance data from both a channel-specific and holistic standpoint becomes even more important. Google Analytics is a good tool for this, because business owners can measure their site traffic from multiple devices and referral sites. Access through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Volusion has seen major gains in e-commerce usage of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, especially during the holiday season. The company expects this trend to accelerate as mobile adoption continues to increase and more mobile technologies become available. Small businesses should have a mobile version of their website, with mobile-optimized checkout to...
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