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EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! You must collect internet sales tax in all 50 states…

On Thursday June 21st, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state of South Dakota vs. Quill Corporation that states have the right to collect taxes on internet sales regardless of whether or not you have a physical presence in the state. This means that as an ecommerce company selling through your website, you are now responsible for collecting the bewildering array of taxes levied at the city, county, and state level everywhere in the United States. And you thought the GDPR privacy issues in the European Union were a mess! This ruling is going to be a game changer, and is a serious concern, especially for small businesses selling online.

The case allowed that South Dakota has the right to collect sales tax on retailers with more than $100,000 in sales or 200 transactions. That is a pretty small amount, meaning that almost anyone selling online is required to collect and report sales tax regardless of where they are located. We’ve probably all been expecting this for some time, as physical retailers have complained about an unlevel playing field as they’ve lost sales to online etailers, but that doesn’t change the impact for small businesses who now have to comply with individual laws in the 45 states that collect sales taxes.

Is this really effective immediately? According to an article USA Today, it will […]

Why Do Websites Break?

If you have ever had a website, you know that they are never finished. Nor are they supposed to be. As your business changes and you get new products and services to sell, or you get new information and prices changes for current products and services, your website needs to reflect those changes. But these changes only represent a small piece of what is happening to a website on a daily basis. A website is a complex entity with lots of moving parts, not unlike an automobile.

Imagine you own a car. Obviously you must maintain the car: putting gas in the engine, changing the oil, checking the fluids, checking the tire pressure, rotating the tires, replacing brake pads when they become worn, changing the wiper blades, and servicing parts as they become worn. The good thing with a car is that you usually know what to expect. But what would happen if that car manufacturer decided to update a part, like the oil filter, and the new oil filter didn’t fit your old car? Now you would have to buy an adapter to get the new oil filter to fit the old car. Then, the gas companies decide that the fuel they’ve been selling you needs some new additives to make it more efficient or to meet current EPA guidelines for clean air, but the additives corrupt the seals and your car has to be modified to accommodate the new gas additives. And to top it all off, your car is being driven by thousands of different drivers, all with different driving habits, some of whom break things just because they don’t understand.

That’s pretty much what happens with a website. Hackers, security concerns, new laws and regulations, and advances in technology all put pressures on your website. Nothing is static. Your website is […]

Getting More Referrals Into Your Business

This is a guest post by Doren Aldana, who I will be doing a webinar with next week. Register for the webinar on June 12th at 11am Mountain Time now.  I highly recommend listening to what he has to say…

No amount of advertising, tweeting, posting on social media, or direct mail can impact customers the way a review can. We are living in an era where it’s not what you say about your business that matters, it’s what others say about you that counts.

But you must remember, getting reviews from your customers is a delicate task. The biggest obstacle isn’t overcoming negative reviews, it’s getting them to begin with.
Here are 5 tips to help you get reviews, without annoying your customers…

  • Make writing a review easy. Ask your customers to give you a review without requiring an account. If it’s positive, ask them to share it on review sites (i.e. Google, Yelp, etc.).
  • Be present on multiple review sites. Ask your customers to review you on their favorite review site (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.). Don’t expect or ask them to review you on all of them.
  • Be candid with your customers. Keep your request simple and honest. For example, it might be something like “we know you read customer reviews, and we do too. That’s why we would love it if you would review us…”
  • Be careful when you offer incentives. Some argue that offering incentives can corrupt the process and defeat the purpose of getting truthful reviews. However offering a small incentive (i.e. “surprise gift”), is a way to show your appreciation to them for leaving a review. Just make sure to clarify your offer is for writing a review, not just a good one.
  • Consider your demographics. If your customers are Millenials, they are already used to sharing experiences online. So less handholding is required. However, if you have an older and less tech-savy group of customers, they may need more prompting and detailed step-by-step instructions.

The Testimonial Engine helps you automate each of these steps, and makes getting reviews from your customers quick and easy. Our goal is to get – and publish – your reviews for you, without annoying your customers! Sign up for the webinar here.

You will not want to miss this webinar. […]

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