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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

an office set up in someone's house

 

A concept many people are becoming more familiar with these days, working from home is something that is only recently becoming practical for many people.

 

In our industry, it is something that can be done easily and seamlessly thanks to the speed of current home internet connections, and the fact that most people do have computers in their homes now. Go back 20 years, and it was the vast minority who could work from home if needed. There are some careers, such as construction, which for obvious reasons will never be home jobs – however for those of us who can work from home, these can be some essential tips and tools for the tasks at hand.

 

Proper Setup

 

You are going to want to make sure you are lined up with all the gear you need before you sit down to begin. I would highly recommend that if you work on a monitor/monitors at the office, you get a peripheral to allow your laptop to connect to your home monitor/monitors as well. Clear your desk of any distractions you may have in your field of view, and try your best to make the surrounding environment quiet enough to work in. Having a good pair of headphones at home will really help, and if it also has a built-in mic, you are covered for your phone as well. Wireless is key here for home, as it will allow you to go to your kitchen and other areas of your home while on the phone. Having a USB hub will also help ensure you have all the connections you may need.

 

Mimic your Regular Schedule

 

Try your best to act like you are “going to work” for real. This means getting up at the same time as if you had to commute, doing your same morning ritual, and getting dressed as if you were going to go to the office. This part is important and the temptation is there to skip out on some of this as you do have the extra time and likely won’t be seeing anyone, but the mentality of getting ready for your workday will put you in “work mode” and help to wake up your brain, which may revert to “weekend mode” otherwise.

 

Try and take your breaks and your lunch at the same time you would at the office as well, as this will help keep your day on track. It is easier to work through lunch, or take excessive breaks if you are not self-monitoring more carefully.

 

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Sweet Cheat's website on a computer monitor

 

About

Tiny Toad Creations Inc. began as CEO Amanda Carroll's personal mission to provide her friends and family with tasty treats that did not contain sugar. Not being satisfied with the sugar substitute options available, she researched and discovered monk fruit, a tiny gourd appreciated for hundreds of years in the Philippines for its sweet taste. The sweetness comes from an antioxidant, Mogroside V, which does not impact blood sugar levels. Today Tiny Toad Creations is pleased to offer three Sweet Cheat Products: Spoonable Monk Fruit, Chocolate Milk, and Hot Chocolate, all of which contain minimal ingredients, are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened with monk fruit.

 

Sweet Cheat's Main Contact Person: Chrissy Vanderkooy, Director of Operations

 

No. of Employees: 3

 

Location: 92 King Street S, Waterloo, N2J 1P5

 

Established: 2017 after which Amanda spent over a year in Research and Development; we started actively selling in November 2018.

 

Visit Sweet Cheat's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

We chose REM Web Solutions because members of our team had worked with them before on previous projects and were very pleased with the results. Also, because you have a great reputation in the KW area for delivering quality work at an excellent price point.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

We had a wonderful experience working with REM. The initial discussion and intake form allowed us the opportunity to communicate exactly what we were looking for. The designers interpreted our needs and created something beautiful and beyond our expectations. We received excellent training and support and without exception everyone we have dealt with at REM has been friendly and service-oriented. Overall, a fantastic experience!

 

 

Without exception everyone we have dealt with at REM has been friendly and service-oriented. Overall, a fantastic experience!

 

- Chrissy Vanderkooy,
Director of Operations

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

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Automation tools empower a small business to share and curate content on social media, leaving you with time to authentically engage with customer questions and feedback. However, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution.

 

The increase of smartphones and mobile device use, and what Google calls micro-moments, has created the expectation that companies are connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Automation tools will give your prospects and customers the impression that someone is manning the store, even when your schedule has you out of the office.

 

  A man using a tablet with social media icon buttons on the screen

Moreover, effective social media marketing requires consistency. If you are posting on Facebook or Twitter, here and there, once or twice a month, you are not getting the attention you deserve. Statistic Brain reports there are 58 million tweets per day. Online users are bombarded with content all day long as companies try to get their attention. This means if your message is not seen by your target audience within about 15 minutes, the organic benefit disappears, and you will need to use paid social media promotion.

 

Regardless, there are some things a business should not do using automation.

  1. Private or Direct Messaging - Social media users interpret marketing messages through private or direct messaging as spam. This is the fastest way to get users to stop following you or block you out.

  2. Non-personalized Posts - Your social media content should focus on all consumers, at every stage of the customer life cycle. Social media is not just about attracting new business, but also maintaining customer relationships.

  3. Overlooking Analytics - You need to know what is working and what is not, and when are the best time to schedule posts. There is a lot of information available about the best times to post, but every company and industry are different.

  4. Not Reading Curated Content - Many social media automation tools empower you to share the content of others. Curated content is an effective way to enhance your own content. However, know what is getting posted under your name.

 

Ultimately, social media automation tools will free you from your computer. You can effectively manage your time, while still effectively engaging with prospects and customers.

 

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Banner with It’s time to adjust... We can help keep things business as usual headline with laptop, credit card and shopping bags to convey online transactions.

 

It’s time to adjust...

We can help keep things business as usual.

 

While your customers are taking a break from visiting your physical store, let us help keep your business thriving with online transactions through our easy, affordable eCommerce solution.

 

Call 519.884.4111 now for a free consultation. We can get you up and running in no time!

 

CONTACT US TODAY

 

 

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Well, the short answer is SEO is a widely used acronym in the marketing and tech worlds and it stands for Search Engine Optimization. Why is it important that YOUR company invest in it? That's a bit more complicated.

 

3D letters spelling out SEO  

How Do People Find My Website?

Before the internet became a global marketplace and an important part of the world economy, websites were simply spaces that existed online where a user could access information from a computer. Nowadays, the internet is its own universe and millions of people use it every day to perform complex tasks. From ordering Chinese food takeout to buying a car, the internet is a place where opportunity exists for your business to thrive, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a large component in making sure customers can find you.

 

Have you ever typed a search query into Google and been overwhelmed with the results that you receive? The answer is yes, and you probably ignored most of the results and clicked on a link at the top of your screen. These websites that you see listed at the top of your screen didn't magically appear, no, they invested in smart and solid SEO. As a matter of fact, they may have invested in other tactics also, such as PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising and even real-world marketing investments in print.

 

All marketing strategies can be valid when considering a campaign in driving users to your website, but today, the search engines are returning results to users based on how strong a website's Search Engine Optimization is. At its core, SEO is simply a way to tell an engine like Google what your site is about and when a user should see your site returned as a result; simple as it seems, the competition you will be dealing with online, requires you to invest in a good strategy so your site doesn't fall to the bottom of the search engine results, and that can take time and dedication.

 

The good news is, we are here to help! Contact us today to learn more about SEO and how it can help your website go to the next level.

 

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Sean M. and Todd working together

 

If you have just started a small business, you have probably gone through the traditional checklist of keys for your success such as having a great product, a great staff, procuring the necessary licenses, and of course having the financial means to operate the next year. If you are serious about your business taking off, you might have dug deeper and even took the time to develop a strategic plan for growth, a marketing plan, and launched your social media accounts.

 

Out of all those crucial markers, however, one of the most important to have in 2020 is a great website for your business. Local businesses often overlook a web site because they feel their customers already know them, but this is an extremely short-sighted view. The internet has expanded customer bases from those in towns like Kitchener, to those in cities across the world. The way people look for products is heavily reliant on internet searches so if you do not have a web presence, you are invisible to thousands of potential customers.

 

Another belief that people still think of when considering developing a web site is that web design is a timely and complicated process. This just simply is not the case anymore thanks to user-friendly web content management systems such as WebWiz@rd™ made by REM Web Solutions, a Kitchener-based Web Design & Development company. Many customers without any experience in web design have found that managing a website is a simple process that will not occupy as much of their time they thought it would.

 

REM Web Solutions has made web design simple and quite fun once you allow yourself to get creative. If you are ever in Kitchener, you should stop by and meet the team yourself to learn more.

 

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So, you've got a great new website with striking imagery and a lot of new information. That should put you ahead of your competitors, right? Most people assume that a new or redesigned website will bring them a lot of traffic. But as time goes on, they may find that their website is receiving the same number of visitors as before. Things really don't seem to be picking up at all. Why is this? And what can you do about it?

 

  Tablet on a table with online marketing text on it

 

Remember that just setting up a website isn't enough. The newness of your website will no doubt bring you a few more visitors. However, once your website has been around for a few weeks, it's not new anymore. Thurs, search engines like Google will tend to give greater priority to information that has been added to the internet after your website was set up.

 

The Novelty of New Things

The answer is to introduce the element of novelty to your website, week after week. This can be done efficiently with a blog. Not only does a blog increase the number of keywords in your website, thus ensuring that you show up in a number of different searches but it also adds the element of newness. Therefore, when Google is crawling the web looking for new content, your website will show up.

 

Update Your Blog and Social Media Pages

Another way to promote your new or redesigned website is via social media. If you already have an established social media presence with a number of friends or followers, that's great. If not, now's the time to set one up and start updating it on a regular basis.

 

When it comes to both, the blog and the social media pages, constant updates are needed. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. And your business empire, including your online presence cannot be built up in a day either. It will take many months of constant updating before your website will generate the kind of traffic you would like it to. Remember to keep at it!

 

Contact us for more great tips on promoting your new or redesigned website.

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Illustration depicting people collecting assets and promoting a website

 

If you owned a store, you would probably do regular maintenance on its interior and exterior. Failing to do this would reflect poorly on your business. The same goes for a vehicle or even your own home. Maintenance is an ongoing expense because things wear down. This is why most people don't question the need for it. On the other hand, a website doesn't have a physical existence. It is software that's rendered on the browsers of viewing devices. This means it isn't subject to wear and tear and is why so many business owners see web design as a one-off expense.

 

If the world never changed, then you could treat web design as a set and forget process. Of course, that isn't true. The Internet and the people using it are constantly changing. These changes include:

 

Search Engine Optimization

Google changes its algorithm every day. Sometimes these changes are related to website design. If your website doesn't render well in the viewing devices of Google's users, Google will send little if any traffic your way. If you have any broken links or images on your site, this is a major red flag for most search engines, and they will basically mark your site as not being maintained/up-to-date.

 

Search engines now take many things into consideration when showing potential viewers your site. These things include everything from the location of your business, the reviews you have on social media, and your SEO keywords/description, right down to the descriptions and titles that you give your images and links on your site. It is important to keep these things up to date, and contantly be aware of the analytics of your site.

 

Update Your Website’s Technology and Tools

iPads and iPhones don't support flash, and neither does Google Chrome. If your site uses flash, then a good percentage of Internet users can't use your website. Many viewing devices today have small screens. People using these devices have no desire to deal with websites that aren't mobile friendly. If you want to utilize video, it is best to embed these files directly from YouTube. This not only will help with the compatibility of viewing these files for your users, but will help your video get more coverage/views by being posted in various locations (i.e. your website, directly on YouTube, perhaps shared via other social media sites/forums).

 

Update Your Website’s Design

Not staying current with design trends and modern layouts will date your website and affects the viewer's perception of your business. As a customer, if you went to a website looking for a product or service and were greeted by a website that looked like it was made in the 90's, you would most likely get the impression that this company couldn't be bothered to update its site, so you may be suspicious that the products/services on the site were also out of date. Keeping your site looking slick and cutting-edge will give the impression that you put work into keeping things updated, and by that logic that your products and services are also updated.

 

Revamp Based on Necessity and Market

As a good rule, you should at least consider revamping your website design from the ground up once every 5 years or so. This can be stretched if your site caters to an older clientele, but may need to be done even more often if you have a strong focus on young users or have a national/global presence.

 

In addition to the Internet and its users, the businesses that use websites also change. Products and services can change. Market changes and the need to stay competitive force businesses to change their marketing and sales processes, which in turn should be reflected in their web design. For example, making your products and services available for purchase online at this point in web history is almost mandatory, and expands your customer base immensely. The only way this may not be the case is if you offered a product/service for which the price was highly subjective, but even in this scenario you would want to provide a way for your potential customers to acquire a quote or speak with a sales representative.

 

What the above arguments point to is that you can't treat your website as a one-time expense. Although it doesn't suffer from wear and tear, the world around it doesn't stand still, and your website shouldn't either.

 

If you feel like it is time for your site to have some new life breathed into it, let us know and we would be happy to make it happen.

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Illustration depicting a concept of people updating a website

 

Your website is your calling card in today's day and age, so it should reflect who you are as a company. It should also be up-to-date, as consumers have become pretty savvy nowadays. They've learned to distinguish between old-fashioned websites which looked a little more like magazine pages, with alternate arrangements of images and text and contemporary websites which play a little more with form, using eye-catching images and content that has been specifically written for a web-based audience.

 

Given that people are going to judge your business based on how your website looks, it's a good idea to keep updating it regularly, in terms of content as well as design.

 

Content

In terms of content, it's easy to see why a website would need to be updated. Things are constantly going on within your company, so your website and blog should reflect that. If you have new products, new colors, new features, new services, new people on your payroll etc., you should put that on your website by altering the content.

 

Design

What about the design itself? In what circumstances should you alter the design of your website? As web design progresses, it becomes more and more visually appealing - so you need to look back at your website and think about how visually appealing it is. You can judge it based on the other websites that you're currently exposed to. Or you can compare it with the websites of your competitors. If you feel that it's not up to par, then it is time to redesign it.

 

And More

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Earlier websites weren't necessarily mobile-friendly but as time goes on, smartphones and mobile devices are becoming more and more technologically advanced and people are using them to look up all types of things on the go. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, then it's definitely time for a redesign.

 

Contact us for more great tips on redesigning your website!

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Businesses often focus on ways to grow their business, promote their brand and increase profits, but providing excellent customer service can help accomplish all these goals with little to no extra cost or training.

 

Build loyalty with great experience for your customers.

 

People don't pick businesses based on product or price alone. The experience they have at your company can be the difference between loyal repeat fans and ambivalent customers. Ambivalent customers are quick to jump onto promotions and discounts offered by competitors. But loyal customers stick with your brand because they know they can expect high-quality service.

 

Building your reputation is key to your business's long-term sustainability. Done very effectively, customers will spread the word about your company and bring in new customers without any additional marketing from your end.

 

Customer service pays off

 

Building loyal customers who continue to patronize your business and bring in new customers only helps your company grow. Businesses rely on repeat customers to stay competitive. Customer service is one of the best ways to engage customers in your brand and encourage them to come back.

 

  a woman shaking a man's hand

 

Exceptional customer service is a simple but highly effective way to help your business stand out. While competitors might rely on flashier products or dramatic promotions, your company can steadily build a business with consistent customer service.

 

Customer service is especially important for small businesses.

 

Large corporations or big box stores can afford to offer the lowest prices with their high-profit margins and cheap manufacturing practices, but friendly customer service can eliminate customer reservations about slightly higher prices. Many consumers are willing to pay a little extra for products or services from a local business, especially when they provide a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.

 

While researchers haven't quite proved that excellent customer service boosts employee morale, the two are related. Positive feedback from customers results in better morale, which leads to more - or even better - customer service. Psychologists name motivation and performance (including customer service) as a sort of chicken and egg conundrum. We may not be sure which came first, but the presence of one usually draws in the other.

 

For more information on how to keep your business competitive, including customer support, web design, and marketing strategies, contact us at REM Web Solutions.

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Brad Anderson
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