BBQ Beef and Beans

Serve these sweet, tangy, and savory BBQ Beef and Beans with rice and cheese for a simple and comforting weeknight dinner the whole family will love.

PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOK TIME: 25 mins

SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbsp cooking oil

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1/2 lb. ground beef

1 15oz. can kidney beans 

1 15oz. can black beans 

HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE*

8 oz. tomato sauce

2 Tbsp tomato paste 

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp brown sugar 

2 Tbsp molasses 

1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder 

1/4 tsp onion powder 

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 

freshly cracked pepper 

salt to taste 

FOR SERVING

4 cups cooked rice 

4 oz. shredded cheddar 

2 green onions, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

Add the oil and minced garlic to a large skillet. Sauté the garlic for one minute over medium heat. Add the ground beef and continue to sauté until cooked through. If using a higher fat content beef, drain the excess fat before moving on to the next step.

Rinse the two cans of beans, then drain them well. Add the beans to the skillet with the ground beef.

Add the ingredients for the Homemade BBQ Sauce to the skillet (tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and some freshly cracked pepper).

Stir and cook the mixture until the sauce ingredients have combined and created a thick sauce. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer and then simmer the beef and beans in the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring often. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste (I added 1/2 tsp).

To serve the BBQ Beef and Beans, place 1 cup cooked rice in each bowl, top with 1 cup of the BBQ Beef and Beans, then top with about 1/4 cup shredded cheddar and a sprinkle of sliced green onion.

NOTES

*To make this recipe faster and easier, substitute 1 cup of your favorite bottled BBQ sauce for the homemade BBQ sauce listed above.

Source: BudgetBytes

How To Set Up BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an all-in-one e-commerce platforms that offers a wide variety of tools and solutions for businesses of all sizes. It provides users with a large amount of scalability and has some of the best built-in features of an e-commerce platform. BigCommerce can seem quite intimidating as a first time user, but follow the steps in our tutorial and you will have your website up and running in no time!

Step 1: Set Up Your Account

When first starting to use BigCommerce, they give you a 15-day free trial to try the software. To access this trial, simply go to the homepage and click the “get started” button in the top right hand corner. 

After that, you must fill out some information to get started. They will ask you for an email, a password, and some general information about your business. This will help BigCommerce set up your demo website. It only takes a few minutes after you submit all of the info to have your initial website created.

Step 2: Follow the BigCommerce Dashboard Tour

When accessing your new site for the first time, the BigCommerce dashboard will prompt you with the option to take a tour of your new dashboard. We found this tour to be very beneficial and will cover the basic layout of the software. It will cover topics such as marketing, sales, and how to manage orders for your business. 

Step 3: Store Name & Address

If these details were not entered at the start, the set-up wizard will prompt you to add this information. You can access this information by clicking on “Update Your Store Settings.” Under this section you will be able to add a name, address, phone number, and other contact information. 

In this section you are able to mark your site as “Down for Maintenance”. This will allow for your site to display this message until you are ready to unveil it to the internet and all of your prospective customers!

Step 4: Choosing Your Theme & Logo

The templates that BigCommerce offers for its users are known as “themes.” You are provided with two free themes. These themes are modern and responsible, but have fairly basic features. If you are looking for more options, there are themes that you can pay for. The price for paid themes range from a one time payment of $150 – $300 per theme. Paid themes offer more layout and options compared to the free options. If you are unsure about a paid theme, you can view what it would look like on your individual website before you purchase.

It is important to note that when you change from one theme to another, any customization will be deleted. This means that you will need to keep track of what you have been adjusting to your current  website before you switch to a new theme. 

On the left-side menu, right below themes, there will be a tab called “Logo.” Click this and it will allow you to upload your company’s logo. 

Step 5: Add Products

Now that you have set up your store to make it visually stunning, it’s time to add some products to the shelves.

To start this process, the first thing you need to create are the product categories you would like reflected on your online store. To add categories, click on “Product Categories” under the “Product” page. Your demo store will have some pre-loaded categories based on the type of store you chose. You can delete the ones you don’t need, and add others. Under each new category, you need to add a name, URL, and description to the category. 

Once you have your categories set, it’s time to add your products. First you need to click on the “Add” tab under the products drop-down menu. Once you click on this, you will see multiple different fields to add your product information. The most important aspects to add when first entering product information is:

Product Name 

Sku number 

Price

Product Image(s)

Item Weight

Item Variations

Product descriptions

After you enter a few products into your store, you can view them all in a list by “view” under the products drop down menu. Under this list you will also see the demo products that BigCommerce added, you can delete these the same way that you delete the preloaded categories. If you need any extra help loading products into BigCommerce, you can find more information here.

Step 6: Shipping Rates & Methods

It’s almost time to start selling products online, but you first need to figure out how you’re going to ship products to customers. To set this up, head over to “Store Setup” and then click on “Shipping.” 

The first set of information you are asked to enter is the businesses address. After that it’s time to set up what you would like to charge for shipping. Some business offer free shipping on all orders, or none at all. If you decide you want to charge for shipping, the easiest way to do it is by offering a flat rate shipping price. To set this up, you click on the “Flat Rate” shipping option, you can decide what you would like to charge for each order that you are shipping. 

While setting shipping up, you should also set up your payment options. BigCommerce offers its own payment processing service, or if you already have one set up, you can use that too. To find the payment options, click on “Accept Credit Cards & Paypal”. From here, if you would like to use BigCommerce’s payment service, you can set it up. If you already use Square, Paypal, or another merchant account, you can set it up below. 

Step 7: Store Information Pages

You are almost able to launch your website using BigCommerce! One of the last things you need to do is to fill out your store information pages. Having these pages will allow you to communicate your brand to customers and to help answer common questions. BigCommerce makes this process easy by providing a web pages section where you can customize information pages. A few of the most common store info pages are:

About Us

Contact Us

Shipping & Returns

Careers

Shipping

Returns

Order Status

Step 8: Launch Your Site

It’s finally here, the moment you’ve been waiting for! After following all the steps listed above, you’ve added enough information to launch your e-commerce website. Click on the orange button that says “Launch Your Store.” After you press this, your store will be live and you can start selling products! 

Choosing Your Plan:

Once you’ve decided that you want to host your website through BigCommerce, it will be time to decide what plan is right for you. Three different monthly plans are offered, standard, plus, and pro. BigCommerce also has an enterprise option, this is a custom option for larger businesses that are looking to take their growth to a new level. All of the plans have different features to help suit small startups all the way up to large corporations. You can find out more about the BigCommerce plans, here.

Additional:

BigCommerce offers helpful resources for consumers on their website. They send out a weekly newsletter that is filled with helpful tips, strategies, and news happening in the ecommerce world. If you are looking for more specific information, BigCommerce offers helpful guides that you can download, and free webinars to watch. All of these resources can be used to help better understand the software and how it can be used to benefit your business. To find out more about this additional information, click here. 

Wrapping Up

BigCommerce is a strong tool that can be used to take your business to the next level. It provides features that all businesses can use, at a top-tier price. The steps we have listed out above, will help you set up your website quickly and effectively. But these steps only scratch the surface of what BigCommerce is able to do. If you have any questions about setting up your new website with BigCommerce, feel free to reach out to our team.

The Magic of Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a methodology that helps to draw customers into your business instead of you reaching out to them. When focusing on inbound marketing, you create helpful content that will attract qualified customers to your website. This content is usually in the form of a blog post, social media, or SEO. The idea of inbound is to present your business in a helpful way compared to the traditional outbound methodology of marketing. Inbound marketing forgoes the ways of the pushy selling techniques that consumers are all too familiar with. The content that you create will help to solve a customers problem or provide them with additional information that they are looking for.

The term inbound marketing was first coined by, Hubspot, and they have continued to help expand the understanding and methodology of inbound marketing. They have created the process of inbound marketing as attracting, converting, closing, and then delighting customers. Hubspot offers a lot of online courses to help learn inbound, this article is actually a form of inbound in itself. You can see some of their courses and offerings by clicking here.

Benefits of Inbound Marketing:

Increase Trust – This is one of the biggest benefits of inbound marketing. When customers view your content they gain valuable information, whether they knew they needed it or not. This helps consumers view your brand as a place where they can find useful content and not just spend money, ensuring they will return to your site over others.

Higher Quality Traffic – By creating specific content, you can draw in a more specific consumer demographic to your website. This will help turn your traffic into potential sales and revenue for your customers by bringing in less consumers that aren’t interested in your products/services.

It’s Inexpensive – That’s right, it’s cheap, at least for the most part. It doesn’t cost your company any extra overhead to produce videos, blogs, and social media content. Usually someone on the marketing team can take care of this, another option would be to bring on an unpaid intern to help create and manage this type of content.

Lasting Impact – Inbound marketing can help to create a lasting impact on your consumers. If a video or blog post stood out to them, they might bring it up in conversation or share it on social media. This again will help to bring more consumers to your website. It will also leave the customer thinking about your brand, and hopefully bring them back to your website.

It is important to note that success with inbound marketing campaigns will not come overnight, it will take some time. Make sure to keep creating content even if there is not a significant change in website traffic. After you have started to produce inbound marketing campaigns, it is important to analyze the results. This will help you better understand what types of content your consumers are most interested in, and what you can tailor future content to be about.

How Inbound Marketing May Be Used:

Since inbound marketing is so broad, there are a number of ways that it can be used in a business setting. Below are some examples of how to use Inbound Marketing.

An online kitchen store has been seeing a drop in customers that are visiting their site. They would like to draw more qualified customers to their website. Their marketing director created a few options to attempt to attract more qualified visitors. They suggested:

Write blogs on their favorite items in the store

Produce videos of new recipes

Send out a weekly newsletter with cooking tips

 

A small marketing firm is trying to consider new ways to inform its customers on the benefits and services that they offer. The firm decides to:

Post customer testimonials on social media

Write blog posts about current marketing trends

Create downloadable ebooks

Bi-weekly web seminars

 

Takeaways

Inbound marketing has grown to become an important aspect of the marketing mix for an e-commerce business. It helps to attract high quality visitors to your site and creates a better relationship with these visitors. This in turn will help to increase sales and revenue for your business, all being done at an affordable price. Not sure where to start? Reach out to our team and we would love to help you out.

Greek Salad Tacos with Cucumber Dill Dressing

We’re not sure if this is more of a salad or taco but either way it’s delicious. They’re a nice light dinner or lunch option that’ll leave you feeling like you’re on the Mediterranean coast.

Greek Salad Tacos with a Cucumber Dill Dressing and Grilled Chicken. {The Creativity Exchange}

Recipe Serves 4 (8 tacos)

Ingredients

2 Cups Grilled Chicken
4 Cups Cut/shredded Romaine Lettuce
1 Cup Diced Tomatoes
3/4th Cup Diced Cucumbers
1/4th Cup Diced Cilantro
1 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbled
1/2 Cup Sliced Black Olives
1/2 Cup Ken’s Greek Dressing
1 Cup Dannon Oikos Dips Cucumber and Dill (sold in the refrigerated section with the party dips)
8 Flour Tortilla’s

Instructions

Toss all of the ingredients together for the salad except leave the feta and the cucumber dill dip/dressing until you get the salad into the tacos.  The cucumber dill dip is made by Dannon and is an Oikos dip that has become a favorite of mine.  If you’ve never tried it before, it’s sold in the refrigerated section with the other party dips but its a Greek yogurt dip.  If for some reason you cannot find it, you can mix together dill weed, plain greek yogurt and little hint of salt for a similar dip.

If you’ve never tried a refrigerated tortilla before that has to be cooked, let me tell you that it’s life changing.  All you have to do is heat them up for about a minute on each side and they are unbelievable good and light.  It’s all I will use now.

After you toss the salad, fill your tortillas with the salad to make each taco and top with the feta and drizzle of the dip and you are good to go.  If you want to make these for dinner and grill your own chicken, the Ken’s Greek Dressing is the best marinade for chicken!

Source: The Creativity Exchange