WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Don’t neglect your LinkedIn company page

Plenty of entrepreneurs would be using LinkedIn for their own professional lives, but fewer companies would be taking advantage of the social network’s company pages – but they should.

The company updated its company pages layout earlier this week, giving more prominence to pictures, status updates and engagement with followers. It’s a good time for businesses that haven’t used these features before to get started.

Even if you don’t have many followers, it’s still good to make sure your company has a presence on LinkedIn with as much detail as possible. You won’t be far behind, either. But put some effort into making a page, throw up some original content fairly regularly, and you’ll be well on your way.

Apple users are more likely to spend more

A few months ago, American online travel booking site Orbitz created some controversy when it started detecting whether its users connected via Mac or Windows machines, and then started offering Apple users higher prices. This was based on the idea that Mac users spend more.

It turns out they may be right. New research from Roy Morgan has found that Mac users, on average, spend up to 19% more than Windows users.

What does this mean for entrepreneurs? While not every business may have the capability to start charging Apple users more money, it raises a good point about how companies need to target their users when they have the information to do so.

If most of your users are Apple users, there’s a chance they’re going to be geared towards not only mobile shopping, but spending more online as well.

Figure out where your users are coming from and then do some research into that demographic. If you’re operating online, you should be able to collect that data pretty easily – and there really isn’t an excuse for not doing so.

Be careful about choosing website hosting

Website outages aren’t really news these days given the sheer amount of hacking attacks making the rounds. But millions of sites went down earlier this week when hosting giant GoDaddy suffered some major faults.

It’s not known at this point whether the outage was caused by issues at GoDaddy, or due to a hack from Anonymous, which the activist group has claimed.

Nevertheless, it serves as an important reminder for SMEs about how they need to go about organising the hosting of their website.

Hosting with a giant cloud provider like GoDaddy is a good option, as they rarely go down – this outage has been one of very few. The downside is that you can be affected even when the problem isn’t on your end.

On the other hand, hosting yourself gives you more flexibility and control. But it does mean that whenever you get attacked – if you do get attacked – you have to deal with the problem yourself and it can take days to get back up and running.

Only you can make that choice. But an outage like this represents just how important that choice can be.

Don’t neglect a small but growing market

JB Hi-Fi has been in the telco market for a while now, offering services to individuals. But now it’s moving into the B2B space, providing telco services to small businesses.

It’s a good move. They’ve been working with Telstra for years now, and they’re in a good position to sell off telco services to small, independent operators who wouldn’t choose some of the bigger SME providers.

It’s also a good lesson for SMEs.

When you have a small, but growing part of your business, it’s good to recognise when that can be spun off into new opportunities. Perhaps you’re selling a product online that could turn into a particular specialisation of your company, or prompt you into moving into a new market altogether.

JB Hi-Fi is in a tough market, but it recognises its strengths. Savvy small businesses should do so as well.


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