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2 Critical Things You Need to Know about Web Training for Your Online Business

In this third installment, they consider something most people never think about: the importance of training.

Brendon Williamson

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In the first two installments of this four-part guide to e-commerce for small businesses, Brendon Williamson of payment service provider PayGate and web designer Petrus Schoeman of Eye-D Solutions looked at the strategic decisions you need to make before starting to develop your site, and then at the importance of developing your own catalogue and other content.

Related: What’s E-Learning Got To Do With It?

1. A successful site is a living site

A successful e-commerce site is not built once and then left alone to fend for itself: You will need to put in ongoing effort to keep it fresh and relevant to entice customers to come back.  Popular retail site YuppieChef is a good example of this. They are constantly adding new products, creating specials and advertising special sales.

This kind of active marketing means that small changes need to be made to your site, all the time: You need to be able to add new products to your catalogue and remove old ones, change prices, create sales, change headlines and pictures on your home page and create your own blog posts or newsletters.

We can’t guarantee that if you do this marketing work your e-commerce site will succeed; but we know that if you don’t do it, your site will fail.

2. Take responsibility for your own maintenance

In theory, it’s quite possible to have a website that’s always evolving and changing, without ever having to touch it yourself – you could simply outsource it all to your web developer.

In practice, this is often a bad strategic decision. If you want a site that is nimble and fresh, the best thing you can do is invest time in learning how to manage it yourself. With modern content management systems it really is not all that hard – and the more you become familiar with the back end of your site, the more you will understand its possibilities and how to apply them to grow your business.

So, when you ask for a quote for your website, make sure you ask the developer to include the cost of training: It’s not a frill. The training should include how to log onto and understand your site’s admin dashboard, how to make simple changes — and importantly, what areas you should stay away from.

One session of a couple of hours, followed by a refresher a couple of weeks later, should be enough to set you on your way.

Related: Improve Your IQ

Brendon has been in the online payments industry for 11 years and specialised in online fraud management and product development. Before PayGate, Brendon spent time as a Risk Specialist for DataCash, a MasterCard owned company, consulted directly to ecommerce Merchants worldwide assisting them with the implementation of fraud management systems and processes as well as headed the global risk operations for Intercept Risk Services. Brendon has filled numerous speaking slots nationally and internationally. Brendon is also known for his online fraud training, specifically a workshop titled Unmasking the Fraudster. Part of Brendon’s portfolio at PayGate is ensuring that it offers solutions that assist small businesses when moving into the online realm and offering established online Merchants secure and reliable ways to receive payments. Tel: 0861 102 172/ Email: brendonw@paygate.co.za

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Ongoing Learning

15 Great TED Talks For Sparking Creativity (Infographic)

From graphic designers to painters to writers, these TED Talks are bound to give your creativity a boost.

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Need a creative booster? One of your best resources is just a click away. TED Talks provides a variety of inspirational and creative videos from some of today’s most successful people.

Whether you’re bursting with ideas or experiencing a creative block, these talks will help provide you with new approaches and perspectives on creativity. In author Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk, “Your Elusive Creative Genius,” she pushes people to find their own “creative genius” and to avoid getting discouraged from reaching their maximum potential. Internationally recognised sculptor Janet Echelman’s “Taking Imagination Seriously” TED Talk is about finding your true voice and letting your imagination do the work.

Through TED Talks, artists, business people, entrepreneurs, scientists and more share their different perspectives and experiences on various subjects. While there’s no one way of doing something, each seek to inspire and help cultivate the traits you need to be successful.

Related: 8 TED Talks To Help You Overcome Your Fear Of Failure

To get your creative juices flowing, here are 15 of the best TED Talks for sparking creativity, according to online auction site Invaluable.

1504278153_ted-talk-infographic

Related: 4 TED Talks To Help You Deal With Stress And Anxiety

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Improve Your Study Skills For Maximum Results

There are many reasons why you might have a need to improve your qualifications upgrade your skills.

Wits Plus

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There are many reasons why you might have a need to improve your qualifications upgrade your skills: You may want to qualify for promotion, consider making a career change, or maybe you just want to be sure that you stay abreast of new developments in your industry.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to improve your qualifications, part-time study will always be challenging. Developing efficient study skills, or learning strategies, become very important. ‘Study skills’ are the strategies and methods to manage learning efficiently and also make up an important set of transferable life skills.

Related: Employers Are Paying Freelancers Big Bucks For These 25 In-Demand Skills

Retrieving what you know

One of the often overlooked strategies is retrieval practice. This is a strategy in which calling information to mind subsequently enhances and boosts our learning. Deliberately recalling information forces us to pull knowledge “out” and examine what we already know.

We often think we’ve learned a piece of information, only to realise that we struggle when we try to recall the answer.

It’s precisely this “struggle” or challenge that improves our memory and learning – by trying to recall information, we exercise and strengthen our memory, and we can also identify gaps in our learning.

Most of us are probably already using retrieval practice. For example, you might ask questions aloud or use flashcards and complete quizzes and exams as a way to “practice” what was learned – these are all examples of retrieval practice. The difference, however, is that retrieval should be used as an active learning strategy, not just as an assessment tool.

How does it work?

When we think about learning, we typically focus on getting information into our heads. And it does feel like these methods work: if I cram, and reread, and study my notes, I feel fairly confident that I know the information.

The problem is that these methods only lead to short-term learning. Have you ever thought about material covered earlier in the semester, only to find that you’ve forgotten most everything? We assume that when information comes to mind easily we’ve learned successfully!

Related: 11 Skills That Will Make You Super Successful

However, memory researchers have demonstrated that the opposite is true: when information comes to mind easily and feels fluent, it’s easy to forget. In other words, just because we learn something quickly and easily does not guarantee we’ll remember it.

Challenging learning, on the other hand, leads to long-term learning. Retrieval practice makes learning effortful and challenging. Because retrieving information requires mental effort, we often think we are doing poorly if we cannot remember something. It feels like progress is slow, but that’s when our best learning takes place. The more difficult the retrieval practice, the better it is for long-term learning!

Are you ready to take on the challenge of combining work and study in 2018, and practice new learning strategies?

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Finance For Non-Financial Managers

Are you looking to demystify financial jargon, participate in financial discussions and play an active role in the achievement of your organisation’s financial objectives?

Wits Business School

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Logistical details:

  • Venue: Wits Business School, 2 St David’s Place, Parktown
  • Course dates: 13 – 16 November 2017
  • To Apply click here.

Wits Business School Executive Education presents a four day course on: Finance For Non-Financial Managers.

Who is it for?

Professionals such as lawyers, architects and quantity surveyors; and executives or senior managers with non-financial portfolios who seek exposure to financial analysis and decision making.

How will you benefit?

You will be exposed to the intricacies of the balance sheet and income statement, and how to assess an organisation’s financial health, which will enable you to perform efficient financial planning.

Read: 15 Free Online Courses That Are Actually Worth Your Time

How will your organisation benefit?

By having managers, executives and professionals able to discuss financial matters effectively with financial specialists will ensure that the organisation improves its returns.

What will you learn?

Beyond the analysis of financial statements and the assessment of financial risk you will learn about:

  • The impact of different methods of costing
  • The meanings of the various financial ratios
  • Evaluating investments
  • Assessing cash flow
  • Among many other exciting topics.

Read next: An MBA for Free?

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