5 Tips for the Newbie CityMax.com User

So, it’s my first week here at CityMax.com, and as a dedicated web coach one of my first assignments was to dive right into the easy business website builder. After getting used to making my way around the application and understanding how to take advantage of all the tools available, I’ve found five helpful tips for the newbie CityMax.com user!

1. The “Edit Site” tab will always be your go-to button.

When you sign up for your free 10 day trial, or if you’ve just made your website active, the “Edit Site” tab when you login on the top left beside the “Dashboard” tab is the most important tab for navigating your website. This tab will have five helpful sub-tabs: View Site, My Pages, Add Page, Design, and Domain & E-mail. You will be able to access all your pages here (under “My Pages”), as well as change and customize your template (Under “Design”). This is the best place to keep your website organized.

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How Your Small Business Can Make More Money Than Ever in 2010

It’s the end of January and looking back on last year, most small business website owners are glad that it’s over! The even better news is that if you survived, there are many ways that your business can come back bigger and better than ever.

Here’s how:

Review Your Product Offering
After a rough economic year, is your product/service still in high demand? If not, is there something you can do to make it so? Or, is there another opportunity that might work better for you?

Expand Your Reach
How far and wide are you spreading the word about your products/services? If your only form of advertising is in the yellow pages, start exploring more opportunities. With search engines and social media, there’s no reason more people shouldn’t be talking about you.

Streamline Expenses
When’s the last time you took a good look at where your money is being spent? Carefully go over your numbers and see where you can cut back. For example, try trading in your long distance phone package for Skype.

Build New Relationships
Sometimes talking to new contacts can really provide you with ideas for or insights to your business. Whether it’s chatting up a potential supplier or finding a business mentor, open up those channels to freshen your approach to your business.

Listen to Customers
You customers make your business, so if there’s something they’re piping up about, listen and let them know you’re doing so! If something’s not working for them, chances are that same something might be a roadblock for other potential customers.

To stay competitive, you and your business need to be dynamic and able to change with the market. By getting in the habit of reviewing and planning each year, you help ensure that you stay ahead of the game.

CityMax.com Community “We Care” Night

At this time of year, the nights are colder and most of us get a chance to spend time inside with family and friends, celebrating the joy of the season.

It only takes a quick look at Vancouver’s Downtown East Side to see that there are a lot of people that aren’t quite as lucky – it’s a strong reminder that we have a lot to be thankful for!

For the second year in a row, we partnered up with a local group to assemble and hand out bags of supplies to those in our community. Each bag held simple things, like snacks, a winter hat, socks, and gloves and although it’s not a lot, we hope that we helped make the night a little bit warmer.

Here are a few pics from the event, courtesy of Frank Lee.

2009 Homepreneur of the Year Finalists

2009-12-01-homepreneur_imagePresenting the finalists for 2009 Homepreneur of the Year! We were overwhelmed by the amount of amazing entries, and thank you all for your submissions. You have some truly incredible small business website success stories and made it hard to pick just eight finalists!

From the Pet Tag Prince to Grandma Cuddles, these finalists come in all shapes, sizes, and ages! Now it’s up to you. Check out their stories on the voting page and help us choose who should be the Homepreneur (home-based business owner) of the Year!

Best Companies to Work for in BC – CityMax.com takes #2!

Last night, BCBusiness Magazine hosted a gala dinner to announce their picks for the 2009 Best Companies to Work for in BC, and CityMax.com placed 2nd for companies with under 100 employees!

The criteria for the Best Companies to Work for in BC is an organizational-wide employee survey measuring satisfaction in key areas, including leadership, work culture, and employee engagement. The data is compiled by BCBusiness Magazine and MindField Group to determine the winner.

“We are very pleased to be named the second Best Company to Work for in BC,” said Dean Gagnon, our Chief Evangelist and President. “One of the goals in our Painted Picture is to make CityMax.com the best, most fun and healthiest workplace in the world. This extraordinary achievement is a direct result of the tremendous efforts from our entire team.”

In the words of BCBusiness Magazine:

“There’s a fine line between work and play at CityMax.com, and staff and management wouldn’t have it any other way. The decade-old website builder’s bright and airy Gastown office is filled with whimsical touches motivating the mostly 20- and 30-somethings clicking away in casual open-concept pods. For added incentive, there’s the six-foot MVP trophy, the Wheel of Fortune laden with possible prizes and the candy jar stuffed with lottery-style tickets…”

Read more: http://www.bcbusinessonline.ca/bcb/sponsored/best-companies-2009/2009/12/03/citymaxcom#ixzz0Xzf5G2i4

Here are a few photos from the event!

Huge congrats to all the other Best Companies, both in the under 100 and over 100 employee categories! Keep up the good work!

Black Friday: How to Boost Holiday Sales for Small Business

2009-11-20-blkfribagIt’s coming, and fast. Black Friday is one of the biggest days for retailers, particularly in the United States. It’s the Friday after US Thanksgiving and is recognized as the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season – this year it falls on November 27.

We recently polled our CityMax.com customers, and 61% expressed that Christmas is an important sales period for them. So, as an online shopkeeper, are you ready to take advantage of the upcoming sales rush? Here are a few suggestions for making the most out of the holiday season:

1.    Create a Sense of Urgency
The great thing about the festive season is that there is a finite date where things need to be purchased and sent by. A gentle reminder of that will encourage your customers to get their orders in, instead of waiting to do it later. You can even make your own website countdown timer to remind your customers when items need to be shipped by – we like the free one at Widgetbox (http://www.widgetbox.com).

2.    Suggest Additional Products
Bigger orders mean more money, and a great way to get bigger orders is by suggesting additional products to the customers that are already shopping on your site. Try showcasing and linking to additional complimentary products on each of your catalog pages.
TIP: The CityMax.com website builder includes the “Recommend Product” feature – find it under ‘Edit Store’ > ‘Products’ > ‘Recommend Products’.

3.    Offer Free Shipping
One thing that still makes a lot of people hesitate to buy online is the cost of shipping. So, if it’s feasible for your business and isn’t going to eat into your bottom line too much, try offering your customers free shipping for a limited time. Not only will it help reduce their hesitation to buy online, but the limited time offer will also give them a sense of urgency and persuade them to buy now.

4.    Send a Holiday Newsletter
Do you already have a mailing list of existing customers? Reach out to them! Send them an email newsletter telling them about any sales or new products. You may even want to offer a special discount that’s only available to newsletter recipients, inviting them to come shop at your store.
TIP: A great way to provide a special offer to your newsletter customers is by giving them a special discount code that they can enter into the shopping cart on your website. If you’re using CityMax.com, you can make your own website discount codes through the website builder. Just go to ‘Edit Store’ > ‘Discount Codes’.

Do you have more great ideas for boosting your sales over the holidays? Let us know on Twitter! @CityMaxhttp://www.twitter.com/CityMax

BREAKING NEWS: Congratulations to the 2009 Global Student Entrepreneur Award Winner Milun Tesovic

We just received exciting news from CityMax.com Chief Evangelist and President Dean Gagnon that Milun Tesovic, 24-year old founder of metroLeap Media, was named the winner of the 2009 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) in Kansas City, Missouri capping Global Entrepreneurship Week!

Dean Gagnon, CityMax.com Chief Evangelist and President made the trip down and was one of the awards judges who selected Tesovic as the winner. He explained how Milun blew away the field: “From his initial concept to becoming a real player in the business, Milun’s small business has skyrocketed in just 3 years to become a global leader. His website company reminds me of our own efforts at CityMax.com – a maturity and vision that left us awestruck and showed that entrepreneurs can succeed at any age.”

Tesovic defeated 32 contestants from around the world to take the premier award for students that own and run a business while attending a college or university. His online property, metroLyrics, is currently the 3rd largest music website in the world. He continues to evolve the company’s flagship product, MetroLyrics with innovative lyrics applications and services that appeal to the sites 35 million unique monthly visitors, maintaining its position as the 3rd largest music website worldwide.

GSEA, an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) program, has attracted top entrepreneurs from universities around the world since 1998. Hosted by the Kauffman Foundation, applicants are selected to compete against their peers by presenting their businesses to a panel of judges comprised of EO members, business luminaries and renowned national business journalists. As the 2009 winner, Tesovic will receive $150,000 in cash and prizes, including access to EO’s global network and thousands of dollars in donated business resources and services. Congratulations Milun on all your amazing work!