Important Tips for Choosing the Right Bank

There are numerous considerations that need to be made when you are looking for the right bank. It is important that you take the time to explore your options so that you can select the right one in particular. The more time you spend researching your banking options, the easier it will be to choose the right place.

In this article you will get some helpful tips for when you are trying to find a bank that will meet your needs. The last thing you want to do is rush into this kind of decision.

Find Out About the Fees Each Bank Charges

When you are gathering information on the various banks in your area, you should find out what kinds of fees each one charges. You will want to make a point of selecting a bank that won’t charge you a lot of unnecessary fees, as so many of them do these days. This is especially important if you don’t want to pay a monthly or yearly fee just to have a checking account. There are quite a few banks that offer free checking accounts, so you will need to keep that in mind.

Overdraft Fees

It’s also a good idea for you to find out what each bank’s policy is on overdraft fees, and how much they charge. You will find that most banks offer overdraft protection, but it can cost quite a bit. Some banks charge more than others for overdraft fees, so this is definitely something that you will need to look into before making a final decision.

Accessibility

You will want to think about just how accessible each bank that you look into is. While most banks do offer online services, there might not be a physical branch near you. If it’s important that you have a brick-and-mortar building that you can visit for your banking needs, you will need to make sure you choose the right one.

Use the Internet to Your Advantage

With the internet it is possible to gather all kinds of information on the best banks in America. Take as much time as you need to look through reviews written by customers of different banks before you choose one in particular. This information can be very valuable when you are trying make the best possible decision on a certain bank.

Technology

The technology that each bank uses is going to be something else to think about. Some banks use state-of-the-art technology while others use equipment that is more outdated. If you want a bank that offers a mobile app, for example, you will need to look for one that is in the tech loop.

Choosing the right bank is important for a number of reasons, so you will need to spend a decent amount of time looking into the options you have while considering your own needs. Each bank is very different in a lot of ways, so you don’t want to make a hasty decision.

Image: Nattanan

Does Your Business Website Need a Makeover? Trends in Web Design for 2018

Is your website beginning to feel a little dated? Have you analysed its performance recently? Is it really contributing to your business as it should be? Would you like some tips to make your website more successful this year?

We asked an expert web design consultancy offering web design in Bristol, Clevedon, Portishead, and Weston-super-Mare what they believe will be the web design trends which will dominate, so without further delay, here are the most significant trends for web design in 2018.

Emphasis on usability

With respect to web design, it seems that the skeleton design will continue to be strong, allowing a website to be loaded in stages, from the simplest to the most complex. This means an improvement in the usability of the website thanks mainly to the fact that the loading speed is reduced significantly. In the first instance, visitors see the structure of the site and little by little the rest of the content is then loaded.

Modular designs (think Pinterest) will also dominate; the website works through modules that act independently, providing a greater capacity to adapt to the dimensions of each device it is viewed on.

Clever use of colour

With regard to colour, it seems that the tendency will be to create own content with respect to illustrations and infographics, with very interactive designs triumphing above all. The use of bright colours, gradients and very geometric shapes using textures of life itself will be popular. Backgrounds will continue the minimalist and clean design (not only on the site, but also in logos and brand names) and personalization of shapes and buttons.

Even bigger images and video

If we talk about images and videos, these will tend to occupy the entire page, as a presentation of the brand. As long as developers are careful with loading times, this should not be a problem.

Differentiating details

Micro-interactions (small actions that cause a change when the user interacts with them) will also be important. For example, different types of hover effects (activated when the user places the mouse on the image and it changes) or parallax (movements in different speeds of web elements that are activated when scrolling) and of course, virtual reality and 360°.

Distinctive Typography

And last but not least, one of the important trends in web design will be typography, the “hand-made” or vintage styles will still be present to achieve greater differentiation and distinction from the usual. However, circular typefaces and Sans Serif will also occupy a large place among the preferred ones. And one of the trends is to combine texts or horizontal and vertical titles to attract the attention of users.

So, if you feel your website could benefit from being updated, why not seek input from a professional web designer and see if some of these dominant website design trends could work for your site.

Four business trends to watch in 2018

We’re a couple of weeks into the new year and (I hope!) back into work after that first week of intense goal setting, so let’s take a look at the trends to look out for this year.

The growth of social media communities and live video

Our use of technology has increased dramatically in recent years, but we still want to connect with human beings. Patience with businesses who did little but broadcast content on social media dropped significantly in 2017. At the same time, live video became quick, easy and accessible to anyone with a smartphone. These trends coming together in 2018 mean we can connect using technology but on a more human level than ever before.  Smart brands will be tapping into live video within online communities to build relationships. Then when those people meet for real, they already know one another.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence will increasingly be used to perform mundane, repetitive task that have been done by humans up until now. If that sounds daunting, then it needn’t be.  According to economic consultant Andrew Charlton, there’s no need to fear AI because it will make businesses more efficient and free up us humans to do more interesting work.

You can find examples of how you could tap into AI in your small business in this article on the Internet of Things.

A new generation is coming of age

There’s no doubt you’ve heard a lot about millennials over the last few years! Their buying habits, their work ethic and much more. In fact, the oldest millennials are now thirty-five and Generation Z (born from 1998) are starting to join the workforce, which means they have money to spend. Generation Z is the first one to have grown up with hand-held devices as the norm rather than a cool new gadget. How will they change the world? Only time will tell.

Sophisticated consumers

Today’s buyers are sophisticated consumers who already know all about your product’s features and benefits before they come to buy it. That means the buyer’s journey is no longer linear and businesses now need to meet their consumers where they are. Businesses need to be thinking in terms of developing communities (yes, communities again!) where there are a mix of buyers, experts and people who are just learning about what you do. The aim is to serve your community whether they are ready to buy or not.

Following on from this, businesses also need to think beyond selling benefits and features, and towards customer experience. Customers are looking for shared values and experiences, so think about using  storytelling and gathering your community together at events.

So there you have it, some business trends to look out for in 2018.

Image: nastya_gepp

Four Areas You Should Grow Your Business In 2018

January is always going to be a month filled with promise and motivation. So many people feel the need to move forward, not only in their personal goals, but also with careers and business. A lot of people start businesses this month, or at least a draw a line in the sand in regards to previous growth and results and look at ways to expand and move a business forward. So what areas should you be looking at if you are serious about moving your business forward? I thought it was an ideal time to share with you four of them that could prove successful for business growth this year.

Image: Startupstock

Social media channels

Social media is always going to be a powerhouse of advertising for your business, but are you really making the most of the platforms available to you? Facebook by far is one of the best ways to market a business with over 1.3 billion people using it each day. A quick focus on your  Facebook marketing strategies could highlight some of the areas you may not be focusing on enough, or even try and pinpoint the type of content shared on this social media platform that works for you. Instagram may mean that you want to improve photography. Even trying out new methods of sharing such as live video, edited videos on YouTube, or even other platforms like Snapchat, could help you reach a wider audience of potential customers.

Expanding locally

It is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. The need to shop small or stay local can really work in your favour, if your market it correctly. This could mean seeking out opportunities of advertising with local events. Joining forces in the way of sponsorship with local charities, and making your company known while helping out the local community or charity of your choice. It can be a great way to become the expert in your field locally, and could open up a whole new customer base.

Improving your ecommerce site

Shopping online is the way forward for some, and there isn’t any hiding from the fact that so much is done by a click and a swipe of the smartphone. So you may really need to consider focusing some time and energy into your ecommerce site. Is it easy to use? Does it have easy payment methods and the fintech needed to support it? Could you extend further from this and have your own app? These are all valid things to consider.

Working on repeat business or referrals

Finally, you may already have a great advertising opportunity sat in your current customer base. How often do you explore the opportunity for repeat business? Or if your product and service is a one time thing, then what about bonuses for referring new customers and clients? Exploring your current customer base could create new opportunities for your business.

I hope that these options give you something to consider to grow your business this year.

Can You Really Do It Yourself In The Business World?

One of the most exciting things for a lot of people is the fact that, thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier for individuals to set up their own businesses without large teams or huge amounts of capital. All you really need to get started is a computer with an internet connection, a great idea, and the drive to turn that idea into something real. However, while you might be able to create a business that way, is it possible to create a successful business that way? The reality is that making any business into a genuine success is something that takes so much knowledge and effort than doing it on your own can be incredibly difficult. With that in mind, here are some ways that your business can succeed with the help of outside organisations and individuals.

Developing and growing your business

image: lukas

The reality of any business is that there are few things more important than being able to help it grow and expand. Of course, being able to do this is most certainly easier said than done. Not only can it be a challenge to grow your business at all but doing so in a sustainable and manageable way can be a serious challenge. That’s where working alongside companies that offer business development services can come in incredibly useful. That way you can be sure that your business never stagnates and is always moving in the right direction.

Managing your accounts

Accounting is one of the most important aspects of just about any business, but it’s also something that ends up being neglected by a lot of small business owners. The problem there should be obvious. Ignoring your accounts can potentially get you into some serious financial and legal hot water. By hiring an accountant to take care of your accounts for you, you’re going to be able to focus your energy on other things while being sure that your business is financially secure.

 

Maintaining your online presence

Image – fancycrave

Considering how many modern businesses are specifically constructed around the internet, if you don’t have a carefully curated and maintained online presence then your business is going to suffer for it pretty heavily. It might seem like keeping on top of things like your website, your blog, and your various social media pages shouldn’t be that much of a challenge but in reality that can be enough to take up pretty much all of your time. Because of that, working alongside a company that can help to maintain your online presence is key to being able to reach and connect with as many customers as possible.

The idea of handing over aspects of your business to other people can be pretty scary for a lot of people since part of the reason that they set up their own business was to be able to exclusively do things on their own terms without having to worry about other people giving their opinions. However, to assume that you’re the only person who knows what’s best for your business is pretty misguided and the truth is that getting an outside perspective really can be the best thing for your business as a whole.