Category Archives: Blog

Unlocking the Benefits of Facebook Groups

Ever found yourself using or participating in a Facebook group? Facebook groups serve as valuable hubs for connection, collaboration, and community building. For businesses, Facebook Groups can be a treasure trove of opportunities!

Unlocking the Benefits of Facebook Groups

Facebook groups can be a great asset to your business. Whether you are participating in Facebook groups or running your own, Facebook groups offer a variety of benefits for individuals and businesses alike:

Connect with your Target Audience

For businesses and organizations, Facebook groups can provide a platform to reach and engage with your specific target audience. You can create a group tailored to your audience, inviting current and potential customers to join. Inside the group, you can nurture your audience with valuable content and open engagement. Depending on how much engagement your Facebook group attracts, Facebook will be more included to suggest your group to users outside of your social circle, growing your audience.

Promote and Market your Business

While it’s important not to be overly promotional in groups, you can still share relevant content, offers, and announcements about your products or services in Facebook groups. You can promote your business in your own group to your tailored audience as well as promote your business in groups you are a member of if they allow it. Join relevant groups and promote your business authentically by sharing valuable insights and stories with other members.

Build Communities

Facebook groups are a great way to connect with like-minded individuals. Through the groups you are in and through your own personal group, you can share experiences and build relationships with potential customers. Ideally, your group members would not only interact with you, but also interact with each other, creating a community through your Facebook group. You can also network with fellow entrepreneurs in share groups and exchange valuable insights and advice with one another.

Find Opportunities through Engagement

With an engaged community, Facebook groups can offer opportunities to improve and grow your business. Through engaging with your audience via posts and replies, you can learn more about your target audience and what they want from your business. If you are in business groups, you can learn from other business owners and spot areas of opportunity. Sharing your own story and advice with others in a group can also lead to other members recommending your products and services to people in their personal social circles, expanding your audience.

Want to Learn More?

Interested in creating a Facebook Group, but feel like you don’t have the time? Listen to our recent eCommerce Made Easy podcast where Carrie shares not only the benefits of Facebook groups for businesses, but how to grow them and keep them manageable.

Navigating Sick Days: Strategies for Business Continuity

Ever fall behind on tasks due to sudden illness or personal emergencies? You and your employees can’t plan out all of your time off when it comes to the unexpected. However, there are strategies you can implement to keep your business running smoothly even when you or your employees are sick or need to take time off.

Navigating Sick Days: Strategies for Business Continuity

Keeping your business running smoothly when you or your employees are sick or need time off is crucial for maintaining productivity and meeting deadlines. Some strategies you can take to help manage unexpected absences are:

Document Processes & Procedures

To keep your business running when an employee is absent, essential tasks need to be documented and readily available to your team. Create detailed documentation for all important processes and procedures within your business. Think of them like step-by-step guides. This makes it easier for someone else in your team to follow the steps necessary to complete important tasks that are usually done by someone else.

Stay Connected with Technology

When it comes to tasks in progress and open tickets, having a way to keep track of everyone’s work will make it easier to keep tasks from falling through the cracks due to absent employees. If an employee is sick, can you access what work they were trying to complete? Using shared project management tools, communication apps, and cloud-based systems make it easier for your team to step in for an absent teammate and cover any time sensitive responsibilities.

Be Transparent with your Customers

When an employee needs sudden time off, there may be tasks and tickets that still need addressed. For open tasks that have a client waiting, reach out to the associated client to inform them of the situation. Keeping your clients informed about your employee’s absence will help clients understand the delay. It can also help identify projects that will need to be escalated to a different teammate in the meantime.

Want to learn more?

Here at BCSE, we have had to navigate unexpected absences many times. Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy podcast where Carrie shares her experiences with the unexpected and what systems you need to have in place to keep your business afloat.

Furry Coworkers: The Surprising Benefits of Pets in the Office

Do you have a furry co-worker at your office? Whether you work from home or in-person, office pets can be a great addition to your company. Introducing pets into the workplace can offer numerous benefits, both for employees and the company as a whole. Today, let’s talk about the benefits that furry co-workers can bring to your office!

Furry Coworkers: The Surprising Benefits of Pets in the Office

Some of us work from home alongside our pets or have a special office pet that resides in the company building. While pets come with a set of responsibilities, such as food, vet trips, and attention, office pets can positively impact the daily grind at work:

Stress Reduction

Having an office pet can make your office a more comfortable place to be in. When you find yourself stressing over a task and getting frustrated, interacting with your office pet can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. These pets can act as a shoulder to lean on and a positive presence for you and your team, creating a calm atmosphere in the workplace.

Improve Morale

Having a loyal furry companion at your workplace can foster a sense of camaraderie amongst your team. By relying on your office pet for companionship and emotional support, team members can build closer connections through their shared experiences with their furry co-workers. These shared experiences boost morale amongst the team.

Increase Productivity

Less stress means happier employees. Office pets support us emotionally and act as our constant companions, making us happier at work. Employees who are less stressed and happier tend to be more focused and motivated in their work, increasing company productivity.

Encourage Physical Activity

As mentioned before, pets are a responsibility. They need regular walks and playtime, but these responsibilities can help us take breaks and engage in physical activity. For many of us, sitting at a desk all day can decrease our energy levels and cause pain in our bodies. Having an office pet that encourages you to get up and move can improve your health and general well-being.

Positive Public Image

Having an office pet or allowing pets in the office can make your company an appealing place to work at and visit. They offer great icebreakers and conversation starters for both your employees and potential clients. They can also improve your company’s reputation, portraying the organization as progressive, inclusive, and employee centric, which can be appealing to customers, clients, and business partners.

Want to learn more?

At BCSE, we have our own furry co-workers: Mac & Brie. Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy podcast where Carrie shares the story of how BCSE took our two office cats and how they have reshaped the daily grind!

Future-Proof Your Business: Building for Scalability

Is your online business built to grow? Building an online business for scalability involves careful planning, strategic decision-making, and the implementation of systems and processes that can handle growth efficiently. Let’s talk about some of the steps you can take to prepare you and your business for the future.

Future-Proof Your Business: Building for Scalability

Business growth can happen at any time, so it’s important that your online business and business methods are scalable. Some steps that you can take to build a scalable business are:

Choose the Right Business Mode

Not all business models are created equal. Depending on what you’re selling and how you are creating and selling those products to customers, some business models are more scalable than others. Labor intensive products may be hard to ramp up production for. A service-based business with only a handful of employees may have to turn away customers due to the lack of manpower to fulfill requests. When possible, opt for business models that inherently allow for scalability. E-commerce, SaaS (Software as a Service), digital products, and subscription-based services are examples of business models that can scale well.

Invest in a Robust Infrastructure

Your online shop’s technical infrastructure plays a large role in your business’ ability to grow. When choosing your website, hosting provider, and other technical aspects of your business, you want to think about the well it can adapt to growth. Can your infrastructure handle an increase in traffic? Are you limited on the number of transactions your website can process? Ask your hosting provider about the scalability of their solutions to prepare for the possibility of future growth.

Automate Processes

Over time, you will also become more experienced with your business processes. To prevent overwhelm as your tasks change and grow, take the time to automate routine tasks. Identify repetitive tasks and processes within your business operations and automate them using software tools or outsourcing solutions. This could be tasks like sending emails to your clients or even processing orders from customers. This frees up time and resources to focus on more strategic aspects of your business.

Implement Scalable Marketing Strategies

Social media and email marketing can be a massive task and can take an incredible amount of time to do. Depending on your current marketing strategies, you may not be able to scale them up as your audience grows. Take time to invest in marketing channels and tactics that can scale efficiently. Content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media advertising, and email marketing are all tried and true marketing strategies that can grow with your business. Utilize these tools to build a strong brand presence and generate sustainable, organic growth.

Monitor Key Metrics

Catching growth before it is important. By tracking metrics such as traffic, website performance, customer acquisition, revenue growth, and so forth, you can identify opportunities for optimization and expansion. This allows you to catch growth before it happens, giving you time to prepare you online shop and establish strategies. Metrics also allow you to foster opportunities, letting you guide your business growth in the right direction.

Want to learn more?

Continuous iteration on your business helps you build an online business that is primed for scalability and poised for long-term success. For more tips on how to improve your online shops, listen to our eCommerce Made Easy podcast and explore our blogs!

Navigating the Web: Website Mistakes to Avoid

Feel like your online shop isn’t working as effectively as it should? When it comes to your website, there are mistakes that are easy to make and overlook. Let’s take a look at a handful of website missteps you should avoid!

Navigating the Web: Website Mistakes to Avoid

Common website mistakes can hinder user experience, impact search engine optimization (SEO), and affect overall performance. When it comes to your website, avoid making the following mistakes:

Slow Loading Speeds

For quality user experience, fast loading times it key. If a user arrives at your site and cannot quickly navigate through your offerings and pages, they may decide to leave, leading to high bounce rates. When it comes to the performance of your website, you should be checking on its speed routinely.This includes checking your site’s performance on different devices as well. Your site may work fine on desktop, for example, but may chug on mobile.

Poor Content structure

How you structure your content matters. Disorganized content, too much content, or too little content can all cause readers to stop reading your content.  Make sure to balance your content as much as you can. For example, when it comes to long form text, break up the text into paragraphs, add in some images, and bold important sentences. You want your content to be easy to consume for all readers. Another thing to keep in mind is using your headers correctly, such as your H1 tags and so forth. This not only helps readers understand the flow of content, but also helps search engines as well.

Neglecting Regular Updates

There are a variety of pieces that keep your site running. Your plugins, servers, applications, and so forth all need updated occasionally to continue to function. Not updating crucial parts of your site can lead to broken features, slower loading times, or worse: security risks or an unreachable site. Even your content can become outdated, causing customers confusion and frustration. Keep a list of all your website’s software, plugins, and content so you can keep them up to date!

No Call-to-Actions

Call-to-Actions (CTAs) are a must when you want your customers to progress through your site and funnels. Without CTAs, customers may not know what they should do next. Every page on your website should have a clear purpose and a corresponding CTA. Use your CTA to guide the user into what you want them to do next, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing. Whether it’s a button or a hyperlink, state clearly what you want the user to do. For example, you could say “subscribe to our newsletter” or “read our blog.”

Inconsistent Branding

Many of us juggle our websites, social media accounts, emails, and so forth to keep customers in our circles. Each of these different platforms represent your business, so it is very important that they all properly illustrate your brand. All parts of your business should have a consistent branding incorporated into them. Consistent branding builds trust and recognition. Ensure that your things like your logo, colors, and messaging are consistent across all pages and platforms.

Want to learn more?

Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy Podcast where Carrie shares the most common website mistakes she has seen in her 20+ years of eCommerce experience!

Boosting Your Work Efficiency: Practical Productivity Tips and Tricks

Feeling unproductive at work? Sometimes, building structure into your work routine with a variety of productivity techniques can help! There are many tried and true methods to help you boost your work efficiency!

Boosting Your Work Efficiency: Practical Productivity Tips and Tricks

We all face productivity challenges at times. From mitigating distractions to creating accountability, there are many techniques you can use to keep yourself productive and on track to reach your goals:

Effective Time management

Time management is essential to enhance your productivity at work. Effective time management involves the conscious and intentional allocation of time to tasks and activities in a way that maximizes productivity and achieves specific goals. Prioritizing tasks based on their importance or urgency is one way you can manage what you work on. You can also use time blocking to allocate blocks of time to different categories of tasks. When it comes to effective time management, the most important thing to keep in mind is your own personal habits and flow. You want to manage your time in a way that feels natural to you. There are many examples of how you can manage your time at work, but don’t be afraid to tweak those examples to fit your personal situation!


For business owners especially, it is important to consider delegating tasks to other members of your team. Delegation is the process of assigning tasks, responsibilities, and authority to other members of your team. When looking over all the tasks you must complete, ask yourself if these are tasks that only you can do. Is this your area of expertise? Are there other members of your team who are better suited? Entrust these tasks to others so you can focus on your more critical workday tasks.

Digital & Physical Tools

Keeping track of all of your tasks and meetings in your head is difficult and unrealistic. Whether it be a digital tool or a physical planner, take some time to document your tasks. You could use digital tools such as Todoist or Google Calendar to document and schedule your tasks. This allows you to not only have a record of your tasks to remind you of what needs done, but also can help make your tasks more approachable. Depending on how you break down your tasks, you can use your digital or physical planner to focus on the tasks that need done today rather than looking at tasks that need completed in the future.

Regular Breaks

Productivity often isn’t achieved by working nonstop. Instead, incorporate breaks into your day. Taking a short, 5 minutes break to drink some water or stretch your legs can help prevent burnout and maintain your focus. Breaks can also improve your overall concentration and creativity!

Regular Reviews & Adjustments

As you and your company change, so does your workflow. Productivity methods that used to work for you may not suit your tasks and workflow in the future. When it comes to boosting your work efficiency, don’t be afraid to tweak your methods and try new techniques over time. Many of the productivity methods you read about don’t work perfectly straight out of the box. Adjust and optimize your time management methods or your tasks organization in a way that makes sense and feels easy for you. As your tasks and obligations change, review and update your workflow to maintain an efficient process that works for you.

Want to learn more?

Want to explore more productivity hacks? Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy Podcast where I share 4 different methods that I’ve used, what they are, and how you could use them in your business!

Complying with Google & Yahoo’s New 2024 Email Requirements

Have you recently been seeing notifications from your email management providers concerning new email requirements and a February 2024 deadline?  Starting in February, Google and Yahoo are implementing strong email security requirements that can impact your emails reaching your clients! Here’s what you need to know.

Complying with Google & Yahoo’s New 2024 Email Requirements

Why is this happening?

Both Google and Yahoo are requiring bulk email senders to up their email security with a brand-new set of requirements. These requirements will affect whether your bulk emails reach your clients or end up spam (or worse, be blocked entirely.) Why are these two major email services doing this?

The main reason why these requirements are being implemented is to fight against spam and malicious emails. In your own inbox, you may encounter spam every day, deleting unsolicited and uninteresting emails without even opening them. At the same time, users and businesses alike have to be on the lookout for email attacks. Emails pretending to be someone else, tailored to look safe and asking for sensitive information: spoofing and phishing attacks like these have become common place.

Google and Yahoo’s new requirements aim to authenticate that it is really your business sending emails to your clients.  Ideally, these requirements will bring down the amount of spam and dangerous emails that we receive in our inboxes, leaving us with the emails we want to see.

What are Google and Yahoo’s new email requirements?

Starting in February of 2024, Google and Yahoo will be start enforcing a set of new email requirements that will push bulk email senders, such as businesses, to make their emails more secure. These requirements vary depending on how many emails you send daily.

If you send under 5000 bulk emails a day, you need to:

  • Have email authentication with either SPF or DKIM.
  • Maintain low spam rates.

If you send over 5000 bulk emails a day, you need to:

  • Have both SPF and DKIM email authentication.
  • Implement a DMARC policy.
  • Create messages that pass DMARC alignment.
  • A one-click unsubscribe option in your messages.

What happens if I don’t fulfill the requirements?

Starting in February 2024, bulk email senders who do not fulfill Google & Yahoo’s requirements will see an impact on their overall visibility. Your emails to clients and subscribers may be marked as spam or worse, be completely blocked from their inboxes. Not complying with these requirements can be detrimental to your marketing and general business communications with your clients.

What do I need to do?

To ensure the deliverability of your business emails, take some time to do the following:

Check if you are compliant with current email requirements

For some of you, it’s possible that you already have implemented these requirements and have maintained a good email reputation. Check your email domain and see if you have SPF, DKIM, and DMARC set up already. Check your messages and see if you have a one click unsubscribe option and verify your current spam rate. Below are some tools to help see what your current email domain has:

  • – with the help of this tool, you can check if your email domain has SPF, DKIM, and DMARC running successfully by toggling through search options. You can also select “Blacklist” to see if your email domain is found on any major email blacklists.
  • out about your email domain’s general reputation as well as your email volume within the last month.
  • – Google’s Postmaster Tools can show you how Google sees your email domain! Delivery errors, spam reports, and more can be discovered with this tool.

Document all of the applications that current send emails for your business

Now more than ever, you need to have a list of all the applications you use to send bulk emails to your clients. This includes:

  • Email service provider, like Aweber, ConvertKit, MailChimp, Flowdesk, etc
  • CRMs
  • Ecommerce and Web applications such as Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, Kajabi, WordPress, etc.
  • Etc.

Look through each of your applications and see how to comply with the new requirements

Many of us have received notifications from our applications about these upcoming email requirements. For each application you are using to send emails, read their documentation on how to make sure you are compliant with their software tools. Each application will be different, so each may have a different process.

For some of you, this may be easy if you only have a handful of applications sending emails for you. For others, it may be harder the more applications you have, or if you are juggling multiple domains. Have your tech provider help you through this process or, if you don’t have someone competent in email services, feel free to contact us for support.

Need help?

Still confused on how to meet these new requirements and want help? Contact us and we can help you through it!

5 Steps to Maximize your Social Media Marketing

Do you feel like your social media marketing is going nowhere? Unsure of what more you can do to make the most out of your social media platforms? Today, let’s explore some tips to maximize your social media marketing strategy.

5 Steps to Maximize your Social Media Marketing

Successful social media marketing is an ongoing process that requires patience, consistency, and a good understanding of the platforms you are using. To maximize your social media reach, you need to:

Choose the right platform

To maximize our social media marketing, you need to prioritize the platforms that will work best for you. While using multiple platforms is great to reach different audiences, identify which platforms your target audience is most active on. Those are the platforms that you will want to put the most work into understanding. Take time to research what your platforms want to see and how to use their features to reach your audience effectively.

Optimize your profiles

One section that may be under utilized in your social media platforms is your profile. Make sure that you complete your profile with quality image assets, good descriptions, and relevant links and resources for your audience to explore. It is also important to make sure that your social media platforms maintain the language and visuals of your brand. Your social media platforms are an extension of your business and should be consistent with other user-facing content.

Create compelling content

To keep your audience engaged, you need to be posting valuable content on your social media profiles. To keep your social media walls interesting, use a variety of content types, such as images, videos, reels, info-graphics, and text posts. The content you share should provide value to your audience. Share expert advice, inspirational quotes, and entertaining, relatable stories that keep your audience coming back!

Engage with your audience

Beyond just posting content, social media is all about creating engagement. On your social media platforms, you want to encourage your audience to interact with your posts. Whether it be through likes, comments, shares, or so forth, encouraging an open dialogue between you and your customers can help you better understand their needs and wants and create a closer community. Ask questions in your posts and reply to those who answer!

Be consistent

Like any marketing effort, the key to success is being consistent. Even if your posts aren’t getting the kind of engagement you want, don’t give up! Continue posting content regularly and test out new content to see what your audience wants to see. Developing an audience that is engaged takes time, so give your content ideas time to reach your audience before assuming that it just won’t work.

Want to learn more?

Want to push your social media marketing and email list growth efforts to the max? Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy podcast where we welcome back Tracy Beavers, award winning business and sales coach, as she shares the hidden and often overlooked opportunities that we should be capitalizing on in our social media marketing!

Crushing Procrastination: Strategies for Business Success

Sometimes, setting goals or establishing deadlines for tasks at work just isn’t enough: procrastination still creeps in. Overcoming procrastination is a common challenge for many business owners. Today, we will go over some strategies to help you stay on task!

Crushing Procrastination: Strategies for Business Success

Having set goals, prioritizing your tasks, and maintaining a schedule are all essential steps to getting a task done, but there are other techniques we can use to push ourselves to complete our business tasks on time.

Eliminate distractions

Your workspace can be full of distractions that stop you from staying on task. To start, your workspace should be cleaned of clutter. This includes both your physical and digital work spaces. On your desk, you should have the items you for your current task in reach so that you don’t have to get up and down. Your computer desktop should be similar, your tools, applications, and files quickly accessibly and easy to find. Another common distraction we should avoid is irrelevant notifications. Silence unrelated notifications and alarms on both your computer and mobile device so that you aren’t getting pulled away from your task for unnecessary messages.

Set realistic deadlines

Setting deadlines is important, but you should set them mindfully. Some tasks will be routine enough that you have a good understanding of how long it will take you to do. New tasks, however, can be harder to assign a timeline to. Realistic deadlines should set aside the time you need to complete a task with a little wiggle room for the unexpected. When setting a deadline for a task, take time to determine whether or not the tasks can be broken down into smaller bites. Bigger projects can be overwhelming to get started due to their complexities. By breaking up a big project into smaller tasks and assigning them clear deadlines, completing the project can feel more approachable.

Reward yourself

While it may sound silly to reward yourself for completed tasks, having a reward routine when working on tasks can positively reinforce productive behavior. It can be as simple as letting yourself eat a cookie, or as exciting as celebrating your success with your co-workers. Either way, giving yourself a reward for finishing small and big tasks can encourage you to stay on track to complete future tasks.

Accountability partner

Having someone else to hold you accountable for the completion of work can help push you to stay on time. You can share your goals with an accountability buddy. An accountability buddy should be someone you trust, such as a friend, mentor, or business partner. Together, you can share your current goals and check in on each other’s progress, encouraging productivity.

Use time Management techniques

When you find yourself at a loss on how to stay focused at work, you may want to consider looking into known time management techniques. Techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique (working for a set amount of time, then taking a short break) can help maintain focus and prevent procrastination. There are a variety of time management techniques out there to explore! When trying a new technique, make sure to try it for a decent amount of time before deciding if it’s working. After some time, compare your task completion, general focus, and mood to how you were doing before you started a specific time management technique. You may need to tweak current techniques to fit you and your business better!

Want to learn more?

Looking for a time management technique to keep you on task and completing your goals? Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy podcast where we dive into effectiveness of The 12 Week Year!

Building Tomorrow: Setting your Business for Success in the New Year

Reviewing and reflecting on your business progress is essential to improving it over time. With the new year coming up, now is a great time to go over your business wins and struggles and prepare a game plan for the future!

Building Tomorrow: Setting your Business for Success in the New Year

While the new year isn’t the only time you should review and reflect on your business, it is a common time to do it. When thinking back on your business, check where your business stands now:

Look back on your goals

Whether you have yearly reviews incorporated into your business year, or you have finally got some downtime to look over your business, the first step to reflecting on your business is taking a look at your goals. What did you want to accomplish? How many goals did you reach or even go beyond your expectations? How many goals fell off somewhere along the way? Creating goals to look back on is an effective way to measure your online shop’s success as well as establish next steps.

Read through customer feedback

When measuring how well your business did this year and what areas it struggled in, reviewing customer feedback from the year can help. Let’s say you released a new product this past year, how did customers react to it? You can also look back on any campaigns you ran, such as holiday sales. Did your campaign planning and marketing successfully engage your customers? Did they enjoy your event? Note any areas where customer feedback was extremely positive or extremely negative and analyze what really worked or didn’t work in those cases.

Give your website a checkup

It is always a good idea to check up on how well your site is performing. Changes may have been made to your site during the year, or perhaps an update or two are overdue. Overall, you want to take note of any maintenance that needs done to your site so you can plan it out effectively. While looking over your site, also take a moment to come up with any ideas that can improve your site. Are there pages where the user interface could be better? How is mobile looking? Is your site feeling slow? Plan out your renovations and set solid goals for how many of them you want to see done in the new year.

Research your Industry

As the year draws to a close, it’s important not only to look back on your business, but other businesses in your circle as well. Have any of them undergone major changes? Have your competitors shifted over the year? Also dig into your industry as a whole. From technological advancements to regulatory updates, research any potential hurtles that your company may have to compete with, as well as any emerging opportunities.

Want to learn more?

Need help reflecting on your business? Listen to our latest eCommerce Made Easy Podcast for a guided reflection on your business with Carrie! In this episode, Carrie shares her own process of reflecting on her business wins and struggles.