Chances that you've already pondered about using web design templates to build your small business website are high. Such option has gained popularity in recent years as one of the most smart and novel ways to launch an attractive and professional-looking online presence. 

Plus it cannot be denied that compared with custom-designed web presence which require hiring a web design professional or a web agency, web templates are affordable. But is it really all these good. Let's count the ways why website design templates has its own downsides too.

No. 1 – Customization

While it is true that you can tweak one or many features of your chosen website design template, it certainly comes with a limitation. Depending on the standard templates you purchased, the fact remains you can only change a little less based on what you need. Some features that are impossible to change include space available for text or images. So that's one of the few practical reasons why you should get away from web design templates.

No. 2 – Uniqueness Factor

It's impossible to achieve uniqueness and distinctive look and feel when what you thought to be an exclusive design for you is already shared by a bunch of businesses like you who all aspire and dreamed of saving money. In the end, it becomes difficult to ind one that is originally-looking and reflective of your brand personality and individuality.

The hefty price that comes when you purchase exclusive rights to a specific website template design is also limited. Because how sure are you that you are the only one who downloaded a particular exclusive website design template?  Hence, it would be advisable to invest and hire a company who can develop a custom website for you.

No. 3 – Image Optimization

When it comes to optimization of images and text for search engines, website design templates offer a few challenges for you. Those with no photo-editing skills or understaff will have to contend with a poorly-optimized image. Worst, you will need to call or hire an experienced web developer that will only increase the cost of your operational expenses.

No. 4 – Customisation Requirements

Website design templates offer simply customization and some software like Microsoft Frontpage are readily-available at the disposal of the developers. However, there are sometimes more intricate and complex requirements that advanced programs like Dreamweaver can be utilised to perform the task. As a result, you or your staff will need to get the right training to acquire the required skills to customise your template. Again, this will drag down your budget when such requirements call for you to hire a professional or expert in this aspect.

These are only but few limitations when using website design templates. Again, you must make a judicious and careful planning when deciding which web building approach to take.

Website design templates may seem like the practical and least expensive option for you. However, if all these means is too much complications and limitations that the amount you saved will then have to be allocated to training and time, software and all, then paying a little more for custom website design may actually be the best move in small business website.

Marketing using social media is a very hot topic nowadays for startups and even big branded corporations. With all the talks around social media marketing for small business, it's hard to stay in a state of denial that it's not going to help increase your impact and engagement with customers. 

Getting it right, social media marketing can pay off but the opposite will just turn disastrous, even turn your potential customers away just as easily.

Here are some common pitfalls to spot when social media marketing is adopted by your small business enterprise:

Being Overly Promotional.

It's one fatal mistake to commit when embarking with social media marketing for small business – being very promotional. Inasmuch as marketing through social media allows you to engage and converse with your customers in meaningful manner, but going over the top is not helpful either. 

The best approach is through your skillful way of balancing subtle with soft sell to enhance the positive perception of people toward your brand.

Deleting Negative Reviews

With your social media presence, you'll sooner or later attract both positive and negative comments, the appreciations and the harsh criticisms of your brands. 

Address both positive and negative comments as skillfully as you can. But never delete negative comments because such acts only create the impression of your being both guilty and too defensive. 

Address negative sentiments with your persuasive reply and you may be able to convince the customer to swing to your side eventually.

Don't Buy Likes and Followers

Even if it feels tempting to purchase likes and followers for paying a small fee, don't! There is no use of these likes or followers if none of them are people who are truly interested or buying your products or services. 

Also, how will you expect these people to comment on your blog posts or appreciate anything you are delivering if these are merely part of a scam? 

Even with few likes or followers if these people are engaged with your brand a positive social media marketing for small business will convince the same to share your posts and tell friends about your brand and soon you'll get potential customers.

Inconsistent Social Media Execution

No matter how well-planned or thought-out or budgeted your social media marketing for small business but if you will be inconsistent in your manner of implementation, you'll soon realize the fatal blow of your campaign. 

To solve this common mistake, outline your goals and objectives, including a list of optimal networks you're going to focus your eyes on. It will also help to allocate a specific amount of time per day for your social media engagement.

Not Proofreading

It sucks and it is a pain in the eyes to see typographical errors spotted on statuses or posts made by branded companies in their social media channels. 

Pay attention to proofreading and it doesn't have to take so much of your time. A well-written and composed tweets or status can bring the impression of professionalism and that will reflect on your brand.

So there you have it folks, our far too common social media marketing for small business mistakes to avoid and what you can do to avoid them.

After working like a slave for more than ten years now you are decided about what you want to do with your life – to be your own boss. With little savings in your bank account, you thought you are ready and your chosen career path is to become an entrepreneur and owner of a web studio. With this article, get your free ticket in to an absolutely low-budget way how to start web design firm.

Be A Master of Your Skills

Learning your stuff and web design skillsets are the first things you'll ever need to be sure of in this trade. By now you should already know how to purchase and select an effective domain name, be familiar with hosting and have a full grasp of database, and content management system and more. It takes more than these of course around how to start a web design firm, but at least for someone starting a low-budget enterprise, these are website building skills that you need to master in a couple of months. Did you know that with a couple of Google search, you can learn and find the right resources and tutorials to study the trade? Don't let these opportunities by pass you, be determined.

Starting out

Now it's at this juncture of your startup that you need to keep your initial investments pay off around how to start a web design firm. It is important that you set a target of ten (10) clients in a span of 2-3 months which you can then use to amass portfolio to show your next clients. Initially you will discover that you are not making profits but that is normal. Remember that an additional goal for you is to make sure that you have your expenses covered to break even. Initially you can go with small businesses with low-budget projects for you. Grab it because they are easy to complete.

Billing Clients for Projects

Usually the price of a website building project really depends upon the features, specifications and staff that will be allocated to work for your project. A custom website is more expensive than a website template project because the required labour are much fewer with templates than with a custom-designed site. Consider asking as well the other requirements of the project like photography, software development, content management and more.

Just remember that a potential client who asks for a custom-designed web presence that is unique to their sector will have to pay for an amount that is higher compared with website templates. Usually, the pricing at this point can dwell between mid to high-budget projects and if you have the skills and human resources, you can go for it.

End Notes

An important and final note on this guide how to start a web design firm, start only with a project once you receive the downpayment of at least 20% of the total cost. Some clients would just change their minds mid-way and leave you. As a business owner, this is painful when you already paid your designer and developers the full sum of their contract fee for working for you. With a downpayment, you can purchase what you will need for the initial phase of design and development, including downpayment for your designers. Just tell your clients that downpayment is non-refundable. 

With the high labour costs associated with operating a high technology company, business development function often takes a backseat. Not anymore! Consider outsourced call center as a smart move to take your business to greater heights. In fact, one among the many known call center outsourcing advantages is letting your business development seize the bigger opportunities available for small businesss.

Gaining new prospects for your business entails more than telephone skillsets from your sales staff. By outsourcing with a third party your call center operation, internal tech professionals can now focus on conversions with pre-qualified leads in contrast with making cold calls. The ability to expand and grow your business is also just one of the many call center outsourcing advantages.

Call Center Outsourcing Benefits

Hiring a call center company, whether offshore or remote, has its own call center professionals who are knowledgeable and skilled in securing appointments, pre-qualifying potential clients for services, and handling a complete telesales program. In addition to the call center outsourcing advantages, your high tech company's sales representatives can take a step ahead onto the next level in the sales cycle.

Additionally, one of the advantages that can be derived out of call center outsourcing include massive savings associated with setting up and maintaining your own internal call center operations. The expenditures involved in running your own call center division are evidently expensive and outsourcing such aspect of business can bring edge to you company.

When high tech companies outsource at first with saving money as primary reason later find few more extended benefits with these services. Call center outsourcing advantages not only include lowering costs and risks, but also more flexible hours, increased productivity and better handling of peak traffic.

Coupled with the worsening economic conditions, scarce resources are pushing some companies to consider outsourcing and relocating their call center operations overseas. Then these business realize that call center outsourcing advantages are better seized if they outsource their services to Philippine-based facilities. The big reason is lower cost than creating their own internal center.

What Makes Outsourced Call Center Capable 

In the Philippines, top-tier call centers are already well-established since their solid investment in world-class and state-of-the-art technological infrastructure and customer relationship management systems are already paying off for them. This makes call enter outsourcing advantages all the more achieved because high technology companies avoid the costs of opening up their own.

All these are ensured because third party call center vendors know for sure that they need to maintain their attractiveness to keep their clients. To do so, these providers keep up with new technologies and trends, hire call center agents with great verbal skills and best practices in operating call centers. 

Final Words on Call Center Outsourcing

Selecting the right outsourcing partner for your call center operation require much more than research of their qualifications and capabilities. When engaging a highly-specialized call center with the appropriate experience, make sure that your contract will lead to increased leads, appointments, sales, profits, market share and finally decreasing your overhead expenses. 

As the ultimate of the many call center outsourcing advantages, improved return on investment must result from your selection of the right call center vendor.

Achieving efficiency in running a business is a dream come true for many business owners. One way to achieve this is through outsourcing employees. By doing so, there are serious benefits to consider when thinking about outsourcing a staff or a team of professionals for your start up. 

You not only save money because it is cheaper to pay for an employee that is based in low-cost countries like the Philippines. Taxes that are supposed to be another burden for you by hiring a local talent will be eased off from your books.

What is Employee Outsourcing?

First let's define what outsourcing employees mean. It is a practice of outsourcing from a low-cost nation a staff who will handle a specific task that is traditionally performed internally or within a company. 

In other words, this is a human resource management practice that helps in filling in some vacant positions if you suddenly need a temporary staff for a certain period of time.

Why Outsourcing Employees is Smart?

You can find great use for employee outsourcing when your firm is experiencing peak seasons and staff shortage. It is a strategy that you can utilize to improve the quality and flexibility of your workplace. 

Companies nowadays have opt outsourcing their employees to fill a talent or worker shortage, but the benefits are far more than addressing these limitations. Other helpful benefits of outsourcing employees include cost savings, technology and processes that can lead to a whole lot sustainable business competencies.

By outsourcing, your company also get to benefit from budget flexibility and control. The reason why this is achieved is because you only pay the output the outsourcing company deliver. Not only affordable, outsourcing employees offers many advantages than hiring a full-time local employee which can command high salaries and benefits.

Instead of your internal HR department recruiting and then hiring a staff, your outsourcing partner will now do that job for you. From posting of ad on newspapers or online job bulletin boards to the interview process through to the selection of the most qualified, which are not only time consuming but also costly, your outsourcing partner do these aspects of business while you focus on the core functions of your business.

Other pertinent costs include high cost of recruitment, training, and human resources but they would instantly be lowered by outsourcing staff.

Tips When Outsourcing Employees

Before outsourcing, here are some important tips that we would like to offer you before making a  decision:

·         Carefully assess the provider's qualifications and trust-worthiness.

·         There is no limit to the types and kinds of business processes and responsibilities that you can outsource.

·         Consult your accountant or lawyers when conducting your research about which particular benefits in your home country and the country your offshore staff are from.

·         Consider your remote staff as part of the key members of your team. Not simply because you pay a cheaper price for them would you not give them equal treatment.

That's all for now. Just hoping here that you learn these few tips from us about outsourcing employees. Remember to not simply outsource, be smart. 

Don't you find it unbelievable that some small businesses remain hesitant of outsourcing to an offshore vendor to manage their complicated payroll system? These days, it's no longer an absolute must that the payroll management should be performed internally. So you too, should find it very logical and rational to take steps to employ some third party outsourcing payroll services.

It is never too late to get a specialist in carrying out the complex and intricate payroll systems properly. For the interest of some who are still unaware about payroll, this function includes the following management tasks: wage, taxation, annual leave, superannuation, and many of the likes. The more you think about it, the more evident it becomes a necessity for small businesses to make the right decision when outsourcing payroll services.

Reasons Why it Pays Outsourcing Payroll Services

Whether large or SMEs, you can learn a thing or two about the reasons why outsourcing payroll services is important.

1. Getting a dedicated staff to perform payroll tasks will be eliminated by outsourcing payroll services, in addition to some really impressive payroll processing softwares that are available for sale in the market. This is especially helpful when your full-time staff members are on leave or away for vacation.

2. As a risk management plan, some firms find outsourcing payroll services helpful. The reason is pretty simple: providers would ensure that they meet their clients' requirements at all cost, especially governance and compliance matters.

3. With a professional outsourcing provider, there is a clear delineation of duties, which in effect provide transparent processing of payroll. Audit trail can also be provided when needed.

4. The need to rush and frequently check system and software updates will be minimised. There is also no more pressing need to retain staff if and and when laws and regulations are changed.

5. Outsourcing payroll services with a professional payroll company can provide you timely solutions. This is made possible with the need for them to adjust to meet the frequently evolving demands of business. Often the changes in processing payroll include integration, downsizing, expansion binges are carried out properly because these providers are flexible.


We will not discount to recognise that getting your payroll system outsourced will have some cost impact. But successful businesses acknowledge the fact that outsourcing payroll services deliver peace of mind and the opportunity for you to refocus to your core functions instead to profit from increased profitability.

web development company
It crossed your mind that getting a web developer that is part of web development company might just be the answer to your budget constraints. It's not off-putting since there are many good testimonials about outsourcing to a developer at a cheaper cost but delivering a non-compromised quality web development project. 

But you want to be sure of your decision, who do you call? These are common issues that continue boggle and confound business owners during their decision-making process. Perhaps it will help talking about the benefits so you can decide about pushing through with your gut feeling.

Quick Turnaround

It is surprising how many companies would want websites delivered fast, like it's urgent to be quick. Getting a website developed quickly is near impossible unless you can find a really good developer. The chief reason why so many badly-developed sites are available on the web is this urgency that planning is often left out behind the need to execute a proper design. It is not remote to expect web development companies to claim they can deliver your website really fast.

But remember that you cannot simply hire a freelancer to work for you even if they claim super fast delivery of your web development project. As is the case with most freelancers, they often have plenty of works that their hands look small to handle everything. It is also hard to convince them to drop everything even after you promise to pay big bucks so they can focus on your project. 

A web designer who work with a web development company may only work certain number of hours on a daily basis, but at least you get a fail-safe backup when the developer absent himself or herself from work some time in their lives.

Guaranteed Delivery on Time and on Budget

Since reputation is an important currency among web designers and developers, the goal is to strive to finish assigned tasks and projects on time and on budget. An established web development company will agree to sign a contract stating their allegiance to your agreement that details the amount of work to be done and the costs. It is your guarantee in case things go awry. In this respect, you can bank on web development companies than freelancers.

Access to Multiple Skill-sets

Even how competent and talented a freelancer may be, he or she cannot provide an all-encompassing service. You can rely on your freelancer to help build your website but not in the aspect of marketing or optimising your web pages for the search engines. In short, the option that your web designer can offer in terms of web development is limited.

A web development company can bring forth much more than you asked from it. It has  more web designers and web developers working with it, which means, at its disposal, it has more muscles and capabilities to offer, more edge in other words. The web design company can offer services aptly customised to your expansive needs.

Bottom line

For small and less demanding projects, hire freelance web designers and web developers because it's cheaper and they can offer appropriate benefits to meet your business objectives.

Detailed and complex projects are better sourced to a reliable web development company. Your site may be medium-sized or large that will cater to more than one type of user or your site's functionality will be used to measure the success of your site. 

A web development company, with more people and resources at it disposal, can help you build your complex and sophisticated website. 

In the real nature of it, a company secretary is a senior position maintained in both private and public sector organisation. Normally a managerial post, large public companies name such role as corporate secretary or just secretary. The attached responsibilities include ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements, including tasks related to ensuring that decisions of the Board of Directors are implemented. So why do we think you should get corporate secretarial services from a third party? Continue reading then.

The name may seem similar to other kinds of secretarial jobs, but a corporate secretary is not some clerical or secretarial service that involve encoding, setting of appointments, and all related to that tasks. A corporate secretary does much more than that and their role requires them to be the person-in-charge of an organisation's compliance with relevant legislation and regulation, including the role of keeping board members informed of their legal responsibilities. As representatives, corporate secretaries sign legal documents and ensure that their company and directors operate within the prefects of the law.

If a corporate secretarial service will be involved, they will mimic the other responsibilities of a company secretary including registration and communication with shareholders. The purpose is to ensure that dividends are paid and that company records are maintained. 

Small and Medium-Sized Companies Can Outsource Secretarial Services

Start-up and mid-level enterprises, which may not have the funds to hire a full-time internal secretary can now rejoice. Outsourcing secretarial services to a third-party provider can be the best alternative and such consultants can act as company secretary. These secretaries have high-level responsibilities like governance structures and mechanism, as well as corporate conduct within an organisation's regulatory environment, board, shareholder and trustee meetings, compliance with legal, regulatory and listing requirements, and more. The role also include employee benefits such as pensions and employee share schemes, insurance administration and organisation, etc.

For advice on the business conduct – from legal advice on conflicts of interest through accounting advice on financial reports to development of strategy an corporate planning – company secretarial services can be counted for. Public companies in Australia are aware about corporate governance matters that are important to board and company performance. Corporate secretarial services are thought of as the most capable in handling these roles.

It is necessary that corporate secretarial services can perform corporate governance reviews and that they are capable of providing written statements of corporate governance principles. They are usually tapped as executive to assist directors in these efforts to provide the information necessary in the practice of these companies. Boards, on the other hand, can tailor-fit principles related to corporate governance and practices to the needs and expectations of boards and investors alike.

What Are Required of Secretarial Services

Large companies require that their corporate secretarial service is capable and suitably trained. Experience is also a big factor for secretaries to handle these complex responsibilities. Distance is no longer a factor for small and medium-sized companies to benefit from the offshore services that company secretaries can provide from company formation up to the achievement of growth curve.

Graphic designers everywhere always feel intimidated by their big shot role models. They will look for tips and advice from these revered masters and follow by heart every tips and nuanced wordings given them. So for the purpose of rekindling that inspiration and passion, let us start this article in a sort of an open letter to a promising, new creative designer wishing to breakout in an industry that is highly-competitive and very tough. Here goes:

Dear You:

At your young age, the creative output you just submitted shows a lot of promise. I am seeing in you not only creative flair but you are obviously gifted with natural artistic ability. Did you know that for us graphic designers, such ability is vital to make it in an industry that is competitive and tough? From reading books or exposing yourself to the works of really good designers, you can only learn much. But you must remember that among other abilities, you must have a grasp of what visually appeals and works for the look you are trying to achieve. 

I am happy that your work have shown a unique way of combining creativity and natural artistic ability with the business side of being a graphic designer. I mean from the heart, and it's good and will serve you for as long as you wish to stay as a designer. Remember, you will also be playing a large role as a marketing professional so you must know when to apply your art and design skills to the corporate world. Let's be honest, you will not live by art or design alone, you also must make a living out of your talent. So live with that. I am glad you are not like the rest of graphic designers who may be very creative yet their lack of business and advertising ken subtract from their otherwise impeccable credentials.

Remember that among us, graphic designers, we agree on a very sensible business purpose: graphic design is not only about artistic or creative expression of passion, we also communicate a message and graphic design allows us to powerfully and memorably evoke the brand message. So if you already worked with a client, you will already have noticed that they emphasise the need for you to use your skills in designing to present the message of their brand through your work in the most effective way possible. Unless you will work for your own, designing for businesses mean you will help your customers with design that work and make money.

Finally, remember what Steve Jobs said? “Stay hungry! Stay Foolish!” That's not just an advice to innovators. You can apply that message to you so always continue learning and expanding upon your skill sets. Don't settle for your stock knowledge at this point. Strive and you will reach far greater heights. Study the financial aspects of your trade, expose yourself to good website and graphic design works, join competitions. These are a few of the the things you can do to improve your currency as a graphic designer.

Sincerely, Your Favourite Graphic Designer

With that, you are on your way to join the big league who also started like you – fresh and promising. Graphic designers must start from zero, and always and must remain humble to stay in an otherwise very competitive sector. 

Some say that it is no longer difficult to find a suitable web design firm because there are now a plenty of them offering service catering to the different needs of businesses belonging to a particular market or industry. 

However when faced with all these options, you must find the task tedious and challenging even if it feels like window shopping. To find and review the best ones, we'll focus on a few important questions to ask your prospective agency and see if they'll pass the test of truly good ones. 

1. What type of clients have they served?

Sometimes the website of your prospective firm already provide you the clues with whom they have worked for in the past and what connections they already established.  To get a sense of their clientele, look for their portfolio. 

If there are case studies, review how they provide solutions to client problems with their former websites and brand in general. Find also data supporting claims that their design has been successful in driving traffic and converting page visits to actual transactions completed. 

2. Are you impressed with their creativity?

Judging creativity is subjective but not all agencies are created equal. Some may be great in coding but not in design and vice-versa.  But the true test here is to see how well they have designed and still delivered a web page that is neither clunky nor non-functional. 

If they exhibit the latter, then it's an exercise in futility. The competition on the web is too tight that to accept anything less than an elegantly-designed web design page with functional navigation and features is risky on the profitability side of your business and the reputation of your brand in general. 

Even if you some really good content but if they'll read it in an unaesthetically-designed page, chances of losing them is high.

3. Are they marketing savvy with expertise in research, planning and branding?

Designing for the web must be matched by marketing savvy and understanding that their priority must be about pleasing the audience. To evaluate if your prospective web design firm meets the criteria, ask them if they understand calls to action. 

What is their branding experience? Have they developed new brands or have they worked to improve brands of other companies? Do they offer additional services like copy writing and illustration?

4. Are you philosophically aligned?

The weight of entering into a working relationship with a web design firm cannot be downplayed as unimportant. There must be a fit, even not perfect, between your business philosophy and ethos with your selected agency. In other words, you must be compatible as if a match made in the high heavens to work on a higher purpose. To test your compatibility, carefully analyse your design agency's manifesto or statement of purpose that they include on their site. 

Remember, these are just a sample of questions you need to ask yourself when deciding a design agency to develop a website for your business. So feel free to be guided and our wish is always for your best. May you find the right web design firm.