Archives for February 2007

How Important Is Foreign Currency To A Small Business Website?

One of the main reasons I love living in Australia and working online is how weak the Aussie dollar is compared to the USA. The difference is not as “good” as it used to be, but there is still around an 15%-20% benefit on the dollar when I make a sale in USD.

I have some friends who sell online in USD and live in places like Malaysia where the dollar is significantly weaker than the USD. In some countries $500 USD is equivalent to a months salary for the average worker, and for Internet marketers they can make that in a day. If you can get to $1000 USD in profits online per month, which isn’t too hard with a little effort, in countries like Malaysia you can live like a king (thinking of moving to Asia?).

The online world is truly a global economy and while the USD is the main currency, there are reasons to consider offering other currencies, especially if you target a specific country that is likely to shun your services if they don’t see local prices.

I bring all this up because I’ve just been sent a sponsored review request from Dynamic Converter, a service that lets you display your web site product prices in your visitor’s currency and your business currency simultaneously.

Depending on the markets you target, a service like Dynamic Converter can be very helpful. Viewing their website homepage you can find examples of how the currencies are displayed, which are simple and clean. There is a free service you can try out to test on your site, and you will find paid upgrades which provide additional services like tax calculations and less restrictions (remove the button advertising the service).

What I like about this service is how simple and focused it is. The company offers one thing and I expect if they have sound business goals they hope to position themselves in the market as the default provider of currency conversion for websites. They face competition from shopping carts that provide currency conversions built-in, I’m never sure how accurate they are though, and other similar services you can plug into your site to perform conversions.

Dynamic Converter has a great testimonial in the Australian online shop dstore.com.au, which is a real blast from the past for me – I remember watching this company back in the dot com boom days when it was the focus of speculation and venture capital. I’m actually surprised to see it still running, but it does have a solid and well established brand online in Australia.

The Dynamic Converter website does an okay job of selling the service, it’s clean and simple and focuses on examples as the main sales tool. I think it could use some work on how the examples are displayed and perhaps a little more copy should be added both as a selling aid and to help with the site’s search engine optimization.

If you sell online and offering different currencies for overseas buyers might increase sales, the free service from Dynamic Converter could be the perfect system to run a test with. As always I recommend testing before deciding to purchase since the outcome could reduce sales, you want to be certain that you will actually benefit long term before committing funds to a program like this.

Yaro Starak
Loving Euros

The World Needs Dreamers: Have you got what it takes?

It’s said that vision is the ability to see with your mind what others miss with their eyes. And that the future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
~ Sir Winston Churchill

Every day countless numbers of intrepid souls step into the unknown and ultimately shape our world. Many are rewarded handsomely for it, and sometimes even hailed as heroes – but rarely before they have walked through fire.

If you’ve ever wanted to be attacked from all sides at once, having every conceivable social weapon known to humankind used on you (including, but not limited to, scare tactics, manipulation, intimidation, humiliation, and the good old-fashioned guilt trip), just come up with a new business concept and set about making it a reality. Voila!…a full-on assault ensues. An alternative to this is to stand in front of a firing squad, minus the blindfold. Sometimes I’m not sure what’s worse.

Am I kidding? I kid you not. [Read more…]

So, How Much? The Big Question

In my opinion, one of the most consistent hot-button issues when working with vendors is price. I’ve personally seen it more times than I care to think about in my life on both sides of the marketing communications table. I’ve asked the question to dozens of firms and I’ve answered the question from dozens of clients. So believe me, neither side has it easy.

As the client, you’re struggling between “good enough” which has an element of speed; and “best available” which is all about being seen as #1. Don’t forget your finance guy that’s happy with “the cheapest”.

You get this feeling deep in the pit of your stomach as you’re watching the agency go through their pitch. You know that they would work hard for you. You know they would bring all of their world-class expertise to bear on your project. You’re thinking, “they know the industry, they know my business, we get along and their work is top notch”. It’s exactly what you’re looking for. But you have a feeling they’re going to be outside of your budget or at least outside of your idea of what their services should cost. You hate to bring it up because you know that budget shouldn’t be the ultimate deciding factor on what solves your problem or need. Sure there are cheaper firms out there, but these guys have it all and they’re right here in front of you. [Read more…]

How Would You Brand Windsor, Ontario?

It’s a tough question, but Ed Roach of The Branding Experts is undertaking the noble project of branding his city – all via the blogosphere.

On his blog, Brand Corral, Ed is hoping that people will leave him some ‘unscientific data’ about his city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in the form of comments.

All he asks of you is, “How you view his city” and “Where you’re from”.

If this project gains enough momentum, I think it’d become viral – especially with all the Canadians out there, eh. After a quick visit to Wikipedia though, I think this city is well worth the free publicity.

So, spare a minute or two and let Ed know what you think about Windsor, Ontario.

PS. Don’t cheat by visiting Wikipedia first :).

Upgraded SBB to WordPress 2.1

I’ve been a bit wary of updating to the newest version of WordPress but after seeing it work flawlessly on my other site, I’ve decided to bring it on board at Small Business Branding.

So, after backing up the site/database and uploading WordPress 2.1, it’s safe to say that we can go back if we encounter any problems. You can notify me of any issues via this post or contacting my by email.

The new version looks great and the WordPress Team seems to be extremely devoted to their user base. From what they write on their site, you can look forward to seeing more updates and improvements coming out as they undertake their new development cycle.

Leading up until the next major release scheduled for April 23, they are encouraging users to vote for features here. I hope you continue to browse the website uninhibited – otherwise let me know and I’ll fix it.

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