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The Technology Your Business Needs to Get Ahead

 

 

To succeed in the modern world of business, you’ll have to employ all of the advantages you have at your disposal. These advantages increasingly take the form of high-tech solutions to the various problems plaguing companies of all shapes and sizes. Small businesses lack the fiscal resources of larger corporations and therefore face harsher consequences for their missteps, but these tech tips can help your business stand the test of time and compete with the best.

Cloud Computing 

 

Easily one of the most impactful technologies to emerge in recent years, cloud computing does much to reshape not only business models, but also computing as you know it. Cloud computing is, on the surface, a style of networking. While it meets the brief in that respect, it has far more to offer than initially meets the eye. One of the signature features of cloud computing is that it specializes in connecting devices regardless of spatial constraints and hardware connections. The basis of cloud computing and cloud storage services is that they provide additional assets to users through the internet, rather than on-site hardware.

 

Cloud storage provides remote storage space to users, and this has a few advantages that make it a ubiquitous service for businesses and consumers alike. It provides additional storage space, and that space can be expanded further when and if the need arises for an additional cost. The ability to scale services and features to meet increasing demand is one of the defining aspects of cloud computing as a whole that make it a force to be reckoned with. Scalability also makes cloud cost management more flexible, which is important for smaller businesses in particular. Furthermore, this protects essential files from being lost due to hardware malfunctions, and cloud storage platforms offer essential cybersecurity features to keep your information out of the wrong hands.

 

Cloud computing is an important part of big data infrastructure, as well. By leveraging the full weight of the network against a single task, businesses can cut down on the time cost and memory usage otherwise involved in data processing. This essential task bridges the gap between data collection and data analysis, and the reduction in iteration time greatly strengthens a business’s output.

Smart Office Technology

 

Another essential tool for business spaces is internet of things (IoT) technology. IoT is not a monolithic technology but, rather, a wide array of devices and software that share some underlying properties. Namely, IoT devices are those that use a connection to a wi-fi network to provide users with additional functionality, including remote control and monitoring. These devices and apps can also be chained together, culminating in a smart home or smart office, and this has several major benefits associated with it.

 

First and foremost, the concept of the smart office has found a foothold in today’s businesses largely due to its uses for data management. Big data is an integral part of the modern commercial landscape, and IoT technology excels at collecting data and storing and sorting it automatically. This kind of automation helps businesses to achieve cleaner data that aids in producing more effective strategies from the ensuing processing and analysis of data.

 

The automation of data management is also integral to e-commerce, because it provides consumers with 24/7 access to a business’s services without the need for ‘round the clock labor. Even data management alone reduces the need for menial, clerical labor, and this can save businesses money otherwise spent on labor costs while improving the morale of workers transferred out of administrative positions into more engaging and active roles.

Conclusion

 

Today’s businesses have more and greater advantages available to them than ever before, and this allows even small businesses to guarantee a certain level of efficacy and commercial viability. While you can’t simply buy success in the form of the latest and greatest gadgets, these tips illustrate the tangible value of the most important business tech available.

Publish Date: August 5, 2021 4:41 AM


Want a Pool But Your Spouse Doesn't? Here's How to Change That

pink inflatable ring on swimming pool

When the weather heats up, are you wishing you had a pool just a few steps away? Do you wish your spouse had the same feelings? If you're finding yourselves at odds over making a pool part of your home's landscape, don't give up just yet. Here are some ideas for convincing your spouse that a pool is not only a good idea but a valuable addition to your home as well.

Present the Facts

One of the best ways to present your case for a pool will be to do your homework before bringing it up. Not only will having facts on paper prior give the discussion a realistic tone, but it will also ideally cut down any unknowns or questions your spouse has. To start, enter "Pool builders near me" into your search engine. Remember, once you connect with a professional, rest assured the process should be a smooth one. This will also give you a better understanding of different sizes and shapes, as well as an idea of pricing.

Paint a Beautiful Picture of What Could Be

Even though you already know how much more fun those hot days will be with a pool, making sure your spouse shares the same vision is a must. This might be tricky, especially if they're stuck on the financial or logistical aspects of it. However, it can still be done. For instance, maybe your spouse hasn't considered the opportunities that a swimming pool offers.

While pools are great for cooling off on a hot day, they're also the perfect environment for getting excellent exercise. If you have kids, focus on the fun and convenience a pool will offer. Gone will the days be of schlepping everyone to the community pool, because you'll have your own in your backyard. There won't be any more worrying about securing deck space, no more paying pool fees, or having to swim within a certain timeframe. They're also perfect for family or neighborhood gatherings, birthday parties, or weekends with the grandkids.

Put Everything Into Perspective 

It's no secret that a pool is a large investment. What's important here is to put things into perspective. Maybe this means suggesting swapping a vacation for a staycation, where your new pool is the shining star. Pools might also increase property value, which is never a bad thing. It's also a great way to keep your kids closer to home; to make your house the place for the kids to gather. You can also approach it from the idea that a family vehicle could run in the same ballpark pricing-wise, but chances are you'll have the car for far less time than you'll have your pool. Focus on situations that relate to your situation for the best impact. 

Have a Plan

In a perfect world, pools would simply take care of themselves. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. And when you have a spouse who isn't quite on board with purchasing a pool, chances are its maintenance is part of the uncertainty. This is why making sure you've got a maintenance plan is a must, even if it's just a collection of reasonable ideas to think about. Be sure you have a realistic idea of what it entails. Fortunately, pool maintenance has come a long way over the years, making it easier than ever to perform proper care.

Additionally, if you're able to budget it, consider contracting with a pool maintenance company to make things even easier. Having a pool built in your backyard will open up years of fun and healthy activity for everyone. And if your spouse isn't as sure of doing this as you are, just remember that the way you approach it can make all the difference in the outcome. 

Conclusion 

By being prepared with facts and painting a positive picture of what to expect, you can have a frank and productive discussion that will ideally end up with a pool in your backyard.

Publish Date: July 23, 2021 2:43 AM


3 Ways to Improve Your Online Gaming Experience

person sitting on gaming chair while playing video game

 

Online gaming is a great pastime for millions of people. Online games can provide a competitive arena to test your skills, a social medium to meet new people and hang out with friends, or a brand-new world in which to immerse yourself and accomplish goals. With so many reasons to hop into an online game, it makes sense to want the best experience possible. Here are three ways to improve your online gaming experience.

Keep Your Information Safe

It is in the very nature of online games to interact with other players. The vast majority of people you will meet online are strangers. While most of these strangers will be harmless, it is nonetheless important to protect your accounts from bad actors. First, make sure the information you want to keep private is truly private. Check your account's privacy settings to review what information is available to the public and what information is only known to you. Ensure that you have adequate network security to protect your IP address and connection with the game server. Finally, enable two-factor authentication on all your online accounts to increase your accounts' overall security. These simple tricks will help you always stay safe online.

Upgrade Your Internet

Lag can destroy your online gaming experience by making the game virtually unplayable. As such, a low-latency, high-bandwidth internet connection is essential to having a great online experience. Fiber internet offers some of the best speeds and reliability that you can buy, however it is only available in certain geographic areas that have upgraded their internet infrastructure. If a fiber connection is not available in your area, a cable connection will still be great. Keep in mind that faster speeds will always be better for your online gaming experience, however, there will be a point of diminishing returns. Finding that point for yourself depends on how many people are using your internet connection at the same time, and what they’re doing on the internet. In most cases, you won’t need to pay for gigabit internet because a 100 Mbps download speed will be plenty.

 

Having fast internet is only half of the battle. It is also important to have a good connection from your network router to your computer or gaming console. The best option is always to use a wired connection directly from your router into your gaming machine. A wired connection, using an ethernet cable, will provide you with the full speed of your internet without any losses. Wi-Fi can be perfectly sufficient, but this depends on a few factors, namely your router’s antenna, your gaming device’s Wi-Fi chip, and the distance between your router and your gaming device. The antenna and the Wi-Fi chip are two sides of the same coin. Your router must have a powerful antenna to send out as powerful of a Wi-Fi signal as possible. Your gaming device must have a good Wi-Fi chip in order to receive as much of that wireless signal as possible. Distance and obstacles play a huge role in receiving good Wi-Fi. It is important to be as close to the router as possible to ensure as little signal loss as possible. The more walls, furniture, and other objects that the Wi-Fi signal must pass through to reach your device, the weaker the signal will be. A weak signal will result in a poor online experience. If you must use Wi-Fi and be distant from your router, a network extender may be a good option to consider. A network extender will essentially amplify the Wi-Fi signal on its way to your device, making it stronger and more reliable in the process. To have the best online experience possible, it is important to have the best internet connection possible.

Improve Your System Performance

Improved system performance will help in many different online games. For fast-paced, competitive games, improving your system performance will result in higher FPS, which gives you an edge against your opponents. In slower games that might not be competitive, such as RPGs, improving your system’s performance will produce a higher degree of detail in your world, boosting your immersion and enjoyment of the game.

 

There are many ways to improve performance. The most obvious solution is to upgrade the components inside of your system. This generally isn’t an option for console gamers, but it can be a gamechanger for PC players. If you’re on PC, upgrading your storage to an SSD will result in blazing fast loading times. Upgrading your GPU will result in greater gains in raw FPS output. Upgrading your CPU can help to ensure your GPU isn’t wasting performance due to a bottleneck in processing capability. Upgrading your RAM will result in snappier system performance overall and will allow you to run more applications at the same time. Upgrading the parts inside of your PC is a great way to see massive improvements in your online experience if you have the money to spend, but not all performance upgrades require a cash investment.

 

For console players and PC gamers on a budget, simply tweaking the video settings inside of your games can provide huge FPS gains. Turning down excess visual effects like shadows, raytracing, anti-aliasing, and graphic quality presets can significantly boost online game performance all without affecting your overall resolution. For some competitive titles, lowering graphics settings can have the added benefit of removing certain objects in games like grass and bushes that other players can hide inside, letting you spot them very easily. Of course, lowering your graphics settings will make your games less beautiful. It will be up to you to decide how you want to balance performance and visualizations.

Conclusion 

 

From first-person shooters to massively multiplayer online role-playing games, there are online games that appeal to everyone. No matter what kind of game is being played, everyone wants to have the best experience possible while they play it. If you follow these three simple suggestions, you will be well on your way to owning noobs in no time.

Publish Date: June 2, 2021 9:13 PM


What To Watch When You Need A Good Cry

Sometimes life throws so many lemons your way, all you can do is sit and cry. When these moments hit you, don’t be afraid to let the tears fall. In fact, you may just need a little nudge in order to open up the damn. Here are some movies you can always count on to help you have a good, ugly cry.

Titanic 

Although it may seem like a movie you already know the ending to, there’s something about the Titanic that will call you to watch it over and over again. Watching the entire movie, knowing what’s coming…make sure you have the tissue box close by.

Bambi

It may be considered a child’s movie, but Bambi can make even the most grown-up man cry. Watching a child lose their parents and making them live seemingly on their own will rip the heart of anyone.

The Notebook

The Notebook is filled with steamy romance and shattering heartbreak. This movie tells the story of a never-ending love that fights to the end to survive, causing the watcher to think about his own life.

Up

You won’t be able to make it through the first ten minutes of the movie Up without sobbing. While the rest of the movie will begin to cheer you, you’ll never forget what happened at the beginning.

A Walk to Remember 

Whether you watch it on a big screen or a rugged laptop, make sure you’re ready for a good cry when you put on A Walk to Remember. Every time it looks like the road may get a little bit smoother in this movie, it's got a few more turns to take.

A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born is one of those movies that will give you hope before ripping your heart out. For a moment it looks like all is well, yet in one moment everything will change. You definitely won’t be expecting this ending.

Les Misérables 

Watching history unfold in the musical Les Misérables can’t help but be cried over. What happened is nothing short of misery, which only helps the tears fall faster.

Saving Private Ryan  

Saving Private Ryan tells of one family’s tragedies yet leaves room for them to have a little bit of hope. That hope will come at the expense of others though. The fact that this movie could hit home with so many war-torn families only causes one to cry a little more.

The Fox and the Hound  

Nature has a funny way of existing sometimes, and The Fox and the Hound will make you cry about it. An honest friendship that’s forced to turn into a hated enemy will hit hard every time you watch it.

The Christmas Shoes 

Christmas is a time filled with joy and happiness, yet when you watch The Christmas Shoes, you’ll never look at a pair of odd-looking shoes the same again. Your eyes won’t be able to help but water, when those shoes are danced in one last time.

Gladiator 

It may never be proven whether or not the Gladiator is based on a true story or not, but the fact that things like this movie did happen in the past can cause one to sit down and lose it. Bad things happen to good people, but you’ll find that good people don’t always stay silent about those things.

Finding Neverland 

While the story of Peter Pan is commonly known around the world, not many know what it was that caused the tale to come to be. Finding Neverland takes you on a journey that will help you understand why Peter Pan was born and what made him decide to never grow up.

The Last of the Mohicans 

The shocking ride that The Last of the Mohicans will take you on is comparable to none. You’ll have to be made of steel if you want to make it to the end without shedding at least a few tears along the way.

Hamilton 

One of the most recent Broadway plays to hit the movie world was Hamilton. Although it may be named one of the greatest musicals ever made, one can’t help but cry when they watch Hamilton himself die at the end.

Sometimes all you can do is cry. If you’re struggling to do so though, consider pressing play on one of these movies.

Publish Date: February 23, 2021 4:37 AM


How Businesses Can Help the Environment

closeup photo of silver iMac

Making efforts to operate more sustainably can enable businesses to help the environment while also increasing profitability. A growing number of individual consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about the environment, and it’s informing their habits as consumers. People will be more likely to want to work with a company that accepts its responsibility to conduct its activities in a way that has a minimal negative impact on the environment. While a business’ focus on becoming more environmentally friendly may vary depending on the nature of its operations, there are several things that virtually every type of business can do to help address the climate crisis.

 

Use a Renewable Energy Source

Businesses can save on their monthly energy costs by incorporating a renewable energy source into their power supply. Many types of affordable solar panels for home use can also be used in a small-business setting at a small or medium sized facility. In addition to providing savings on energy, solar panel installation may also entitle you to a tax deduction or a rebate from a state energy incentive program. Solar panels are a great visual demonstration to customers or clients who visit your facility that you care about your environmental impact. You can create a solar paneled system to power some or even all of your business’ operations.

 

Switch to LED Lighting

Many businesses that have traditional incandescent or fluorescent lighting end up paying a lot more for it than they would for newer LED lighting. While LED bulbs may cost a little bit more than the old ones, they need to be replaced far less often. Moreover, LED bulbs use significantly less electricity and they can help you realize considerable savings on your monthly energy bills. In addition, LED bulbs typically don’t tend to emit any noise in contrast to the fluorescent ballasts used in commercial settings.

 

Embrace Green Transportation

If any element of your business requires that your workforce use a company vehicle, consider providing vehicles that don’t create unnecessary emissions or fuel waste. A compact gas-efficient or hybrid vehicle is the best choice for an eco friendly business. Electric trucks are not yet available on the consumer market, but they are expected to be launched by several manufacturers within the next few years. Consider leaving a little room in your upcoming annual operating budgets to transition to an electric vehicle.

 

Reduce Waste

Minimizing the volume of waste that your business produces can be achieved in a few different ways. First, decrease your usage of disposable supplies and opt for permanent reusable solutions. A few small and simple steps such as eliminating plastic utensils and Styrofoam cups in your breakroom can make a significant difference over time. In addition, making a concerted effort to go paperless more often can help you produce less paper waste while also saving you money on your monthly printer costs. Lastly, changing how you store the trash that is being collected for pickup can reduce your total volume of waste. A baler or compactor can shrink the size of your trash considerably, and it may result in fewer pickups being needed.

 

Install Programmable Thermostats

Being able to set your facility’s thermostat to a schedule can prevent unnecessary overuse. Rather than having to leave a system running when nobody is there to assure a comfortable temperature when people arrive, you can set a system to come on in advance of employees arriving for work. A set schedule will assure that you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn off a thermostat. You can also feel comfortable about restricting access to thermostats to locked access because they’ll be programmed to come on when they need to.

 

Ultimately, some small changes can be very effective in making a business’ operations more sustainable. These changes are good for the environment, and they can also lower overhead expenses and thereby increase a business’ profitability. Environmentally conscious operations reflect good management practices, social responsibility, and a keen eye for savings.




 

Publish Date: August 27, 2020 9:32 PM


6 Tips for Keeping Your Call Center Functional During a Pandemic

Like many call centers around the world, your operation was most likely damaged by the pandemic. When you rely on a significant number of workers to offer excellent customer support, it’s challenging to guarantee efficiency and safety during an ongoing crisis. Although your current outlook may seem grim, you can implement a series of safety measures to maintain a healthy workplace and remain productive.

1. Sanitize Your Workplace

The first step to providing a safe environment is to enact an extensive cleaning session that will eliminate the virus on all contact surfaces. Your office space, break room, conference areas and restrooms should be thoroughly sanitized. There are several things you and employees can do to improve conditions during a crisis, but cleaning your building should only be performed by professionals. Choose a trusted contractor for coronavirus disinfection services that follows CDC guidelines and employs effective, state of the art techniques. The best times to disinfect your business are after the employees leave and before they come to work.

2. Quarantine Infected Workers

Employees that test positive for the virus must be quarantined to avoid further infections. Mass infections have resulted in numerous shutdowns across the globe, and although a scaled-down workforce is less productive, a closed business nets zero profits. It’s essential to find out if the sick worker had close contact with any other employees, and if they did, further quarantines might be warranted. However, the only way to be sure that the other employees are unaffected is to have the entire staff tested for the virus.

3. Reorganize Your Workspace 

Your call center cannot operate effectively in the same office layout that existed before the pandemic. Desks or cubicles must be spaced at least six feet apart in all directions, and conferences or employee meetings should only take place online. Most call center owners had minimal problems with socialization among employees before the crisis, but it’s wise to reiterate the seriousness of the current situation and forbid your workers from socializing in the office or break room. Persuade your people to use video chats or phone calls to chat during the breaks and downtime and mandate a strict mask policy around the office. Most states and municipalities have mask mandates for public areas, and you’re not asking too much of your workers to follow the same guidelines at work.

4. Eliminate Sharing

To avoid any potential for contamination, you can eliminate all of the shared items in your office and break room. If you use silverware or plates in your break area, you can replace them with disposable, single-serving items. Your refrigerator can no longer accommodate employee’s personal food, but you can suggest that each employee brings a small cooler for their perishable lunches. You can also discourage large groups from forming during lunchtime by staggering the lunch periods and limiting the number of people in a single room or cafeteria.

5. Offer Remote Work Options

Furloughs and layoffs are an unfortunate result of the pandemic’s economic effects, but you may be able to retain more workers by developing a remote work option. Remote workers can maintain your center’s productivity and reduce the number of workers in the office. When you determine how many workers can safely work in the office, you can estimate how many additional online employees you’ll need. Most call center employees can adapt well to online work if they have the necessary equipment, but it may take you a few days to become comfortable managing remote employees.

6. Use Chatbots

If your center is unable to handle a surge of calls with a reduced staff, you can temporarily use AI chatbots to assist callers. Several large firms have recently employed chatbots to accommodate simple requests from customers, and AI has drastically improved compared to the robot callers of five years ago. With increased demand, companies like IBM and Google have developed intelligent chatbots to help companies during the crisis. Although it’s challenging, you can continue to provide excellent support to your customers, provide a safe working environment and maintain employee productivity during trying times.

 

Publish Date: August 26, 2020 1:00 AM


7 Tips for Creating a Successful Online Business

Today’s consumer and business owner are connected like never before. While the internet has been around for decades, faster speeds and more connective devices have changed the way business is conducted. The prevalence of smartphones and shopping apps have customers sitting at home ordering their favorite products, and the use of social media has replaced word-of-mouth referrals and traditional advertising challenges. If you want your online business to succeed, here are seven things you should include in your operating strategy.

Have Your Web Assets Organized

 

Every business has assets, but when operating online, these assets include things like your website, your web host and your social media channels. Don’t think for a minute that these items can’t be controlled and organized. You do have some power of the content, design and delivery of your product and online presence. Everything should be optimized for promoting your brand. For those that don’t have the technical skills to make this happen, you should definitely turn to the experts at https://www.onthemapmarketing.com/locations/miami-fl/website-design/ for help. Website designers and social media managers should have a strong understanding of SEO content, and they should integrate relevant keywords into your content. At the very least, always keep your company’s information current.

Prioritize Customer Safety

 

Online traffic and transactions are fraught with risk. Many consumers are worried about their private information and the potential of having it hacked. Not only do you have a moral obligation to protect your customer’s records, but you have a legal obligation as well. All information should be stored on separate devices, with secure backups stored in separate locations. Very few people should have access to the controls and systems that both collect and store information. Use secure transaction software and destroy credit card information securely once it is no longer needed.

Watch the Competition

 

Even though you are operating online, you need to know your prime competitive threats. It may be another website or a product that compares well when valued against yours. You can start by looking at the marketing channels your competition is using successfully. Check out there social media campaigns and interactions with consumers. How engaging and diverse is their content when compared to yours? Carefully inspect their keywords. Google has a number of resources that let you track keywords and trending word searches.

Guard Your Online Reputation

 

There is saying that it takes a lifetime to build a good reputation and one mistake to ruin it. In the online business world, your reputation is crucial to your success. One mistake could destroy all faith in your brand forever. There are tools that keep you informed of when your brand is mentioned, allowing you to take immediate action to correct misinformation or thank a customer for a good review. Be sure to establish interaction guidelines on your social media page. All visitors and those who comment or interact should know what you expect, and you need to quickly handle any complaints or negative expressions that are posted.

Have a Strong Internet Connection

 

Nothing is more frustrating than logging in to your computer only to find your internet is down. Don’t sacrifice speed and consistency for a cheaper bill. You can’t address customers, fill orders or buy new products without a fast internet connection.

Watch the Trends

 

The online world is constantly changing, but so is consumer behavior. Social media is a prime example of how quickly things evolve. You need to stay on top of what is going on if your business is going to implement change effectively.

Stay Patient

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your online business. Patience and persistence is the key to a successful company, no matter where you are operating. Consistently making smart choices and being flexible improves your chances in the online environment. Be prepared for years of hard work.

Know When Enough Is Enough

 

Even though you may try your best, you may not experience the success you want or need to make money. Your idea might be better suited for a different sales approach or it may be ahead of its time. Don’t push on if there is no hope of success. Sometimes it is best to cut your losses and move on to something else.

An online business carries a lot of responsibility, but there is a lot of potential for success. Memorize these tips to give your business a better foundation.

Publish Date: August 21, 2020 6:26 PM


3 Ways to Make Your Business More Productive

Employee morale has been a common talking point in recent years, as it can have a profound effect on productivity in the workplace, for better or for worse. This means that the well being of employees should be a priority in any company, but it can be difficult to ascertain what changes may need to be made in order to achieve higher morale around the office and higher productivity as a result. Here are some recommendations on how to approach employee well being.

Health Consciousness

A healthier body is a happier body, and that means that physical well being is an important component of workplace morale. However, it’s simply not feasible for an employer to be able to guarantee that their employees are taking care of themselves. That being said, promoting physical wellness is certainly within the realm of possibility. For starters, you can install an on site gym or give employees access to gym memberships at no cost or a reduced cost in order to give them more affordable access to the means with which to take care of themselves effectively. Likewise, you can supply your employees with health and wellness oriented gifts periodically to encourage better life choices. High impact whey protein ingredients can help your employees make better use of that gym membership, or even to simply pursue fitness on their own time, and the same can be true of weight loss.

Mental Health

There is a notable relationship between physical health and mental health, and that’s a relationship that goes both ways. Taking care of one’s body helps to improve one’s mental health, as well, so even simple exercise can drastically improve an individual’s mood. However, poor mental health can cause bodily repercussions, as well, so it’s important to tackle well being from both angles. For example, a couple of known symptoms of depression are fatigue and random aches, so it’s important for your employees to be mentally stable in addition to physically fit. One way that this can direct changes within the workplace is simply taking mental health emergencies seriously

 

Panic attacks and dissociation are mental in nature, but it’s not all in your employees’ heads. Panic attacks have physical symptoms not dissimilar to those of a heart attack, hence the similar nomenclature, and dissociation can prevent the victim from accomplishing basic tasks. Work itself can play into mental illness, as well, as it can often seem fruitless to work 40 hours a week without some kind of personal attachment to the work you do, so it can also be helpful to make the work itself more meaningful to employees by sharing the positive effects that their efforts are having.

Incentives

As mentioned above, incentives can be used to bolster the morale around the office, but it can also be in a less targeted form. For example, one great way to incentivize workers is to offer bonuses. This tactic is common around the winter holidays in many businesses, but it can be applied more liberally in smaller, more frequent doses to bolster the effect. However, it can also be used as an incentive specifically for meeting certain performance thresholds, motivating workers to give the job their all. Another potential incentive is paid vacation time. While this is again something that some businesses already utilize, it can be discouraging for many workers to not have vacation time as a result of not being able to take time off of work in which to enjoy such a thing. Paid vacation time can alleviate this problem, giving employees much needed time away without the need for them to sacrifice their much needed income.

 

Creating a productive environment can be difficult, at least conceptually. However, there are proven strategies that can help you do just that by improving the working experience of your workers in small ways here and there. Using these recommendations, you can improve employee morale immensely and cultivate a more motivated workforce in the process.

 

Publish Date: August 20, 2020 7:39 AM


Tips for Business Success That You Wouldn’t Expect

Running a business rarely feels easy. For some, even if their business is relatively successful, it may still feel as if there is room for improvement. In this situation, it can sometimes be helpful to look outside the box for new and different ways to help improve overall business function. Also, some of the things that can actually help put your business ahead may surprise you, and they may also be easier to do than you think. 

Perform Regular Maintenance

One basic thing that can have a huge impact on a business overall, yet that is often overlooked is doing basic maintenance. How well a business is maintained can have a lot to do with the overall comfort level of the building, and by extension your employee's ability to do their work well. Performing regular maintenance can take many forms, for example if you live in California make sure that you call a water heater company in Chatsworth if your water heater has issues with putting out enough hot water . Also make sure your furnace and AC are both in good working order. Keeping bathrooms and plumbing in good working order are also important for maintaining employee comfort, and ultimately their ability to work. 

Keep Spaces Clean

Along with performing basic maintenance, keeping your building clean can have a major impact on your business in a couple of different ways. One of them is that similarly to keeping your building maintained, a clean space can help create a better and more comfortable working environment for employees. The less clutter there is, the easier it is for them to not only do their job, but to be safe while doing it. Another way that keeping your business clean can benefit your bottom line is that it helps make a better impression on customers and clients. A building that is unkempt could lead a potential customer to view you as being unprofessional, and it could even cause them to take their business elsewhere. With a clean building, you can help ensure that you're making a positive impression. 

Learn To Be a Good Listener

Keeping your place of business well maintained and clean is important, but having a well functioning business isn't just about the state of the physical building, itself. A big part of taking your business to the next level has to do with how you treat your employees and what you do to maintain positive relationships within your company. One of the most effective ways that you can nurture healthy relationships with your staff is to improve your listening skills, and to promote active listening and respect as part of your company's values.

Much of the time, interpersonal discord is due to a lack of healthy communication. Additionally, many breakdowns in communication are not due to the fact that people aren't communicating enough with each other, but rather that one side or the other isn't feeling heard. By setting an example for the rest of your company and making active listening a priority, you can help boost your company's communication and ultimately its success. 

Support Your Employee's Learning and Growth

Another unexpected way to help your company reach its goals is to look after your employees and their goals, especially when it comes to education. While some may think that offering things like tuition reimbursement may be too expensive, the reality is that it can be a smart move for your company in the long run. This can be particularly true if you offer reimbursement for programs and degrees that are directly related to your field. When you invest in your employees and promote from within, you can help ensure that you're investing in your company's future. 

Some Last Notes

There can be a lot that goes into running a successful business. While it may not always feel easy, though, the good news is that there are things you can do like staying on top of building maintenance and looking after your employees that can help you ensure a successful path for your business. 



Publish Date: August 1, 2020 6:05 AM


Tips for Accurately Measuring Business Success

Running a small business is a difficult undertaking. However, with the right tools and data, you can make it a little easier for yourself. Even the smallest operations can benefit from using data and effectively measuring their own success. It is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that the decisions you are making are the right ones.

Identify Your Measurement Goals

Before you start collecting any business metrics, it is valuable to determine what your goals are. Figuring out what you want to achieve by measuring. Perhaps your goal is to increase your revenue or to improve customer satisfaction. Knowing these intentions will help you measure more effectively.

There is an almost infinite number of possible metrics and combinations of metrics that you could track. So, you need to be thoughtful about what you look at. Starting with goals is the best way to achieve this.

Explore Your Metrics Options

Check out some of the sources you can use to get data. For example, you could use your customer relationship management tool to keep track of sales performance data. You can use your website analytics to get information about your digital marketing performance. Additionally, you can always gather information from your financial records.

With your goals in mind, you can begin to pick out the data sources and metrics that will be most helpful. For example, you may decide that your cost per customer acquisition, sales conversion rate and gross margin are the most important for evaluating your current performance.

Create a Scorecard

Developing a metrics scorecard is a good way to make your measurement efforts more useful. Rather than having a diverse set of metrics that you try to keep track of, you pick a few that are most representative of your current measurement goals.

You can combine these into a report or dashboard to make tracking them easy. Ideally, you should also be able to manipulate your data so you can examine performance over time and other similar analyses. Good data organization can help you get better insights.

Analyze Your Data

Now that you have planned your data collection and gotten several data points, you can begin to analyze it. The process for this will depend significantly based on what your goals are and which metrics you chose to track.

However, you can expect to need to map your performance against time. It may be smart to track key events such as product launches or new marketing campaigns against your data as well. If you need abnormalities or trends, you can begin to assign possible explanations.

Plan Possible Changes

Once you have analyzed your data, you may begin to see some possible strategic changes that could help your business. You may realize that one of your marketing campaigns is not returning sufficient value and decide to drop it. Alternatively, you may find that a certain product category is especially successful and plan an extension of it.

Examine these possible changes and determine which ones you can enact, and which ones will require more data. Now that you have a usable system for gathering and analyzing your data, you have the system you need to make well-informed choices.

Evaluate Continuously

Don’t look at your performance measurements once and leave them be. Instead, you should be continuously measuring and evaluating your performance.

You could use some simple A/B or small-scale tests to determine whether your planned changes are good ones or not. For example, if you think your marketing messaging needs an update, run a couple of versions of your ads and compare them against your baseline data. This is one of the best ways to turn your metrics into actionable and useful insights.

Learn More

Discover more about how to measure the success of your business. With the right tools and a good process, you can make informed choices about how you change your strategy for the better.

Publish Date: July 30, 2020 2:30 AM


What You Need To Do To Support Your New Business

Launching a new business is rarely an easy task. There are often many things to think about, and staying on top of everything can feel like a daunting task. Not only that, but the task of not just launching a business, but launching a successful one, can create even more pressure. The upside is, though, that you don't always have to feel overwhelmed, and that there are ways to help support your business that can not only make things easier for you, but increase your likelihood of success, too. 

Research, Research, Research

One piece of good news is that you can save yourself a lot of stress before you even get started launching your business simply by making sure that you do enough research. Many small businesses struggle or fail because their owner did not have a firm enough grasp of basic business principles, or because they did not research their plans well enough. To ensure that you're starting your business off the right way you should not only research your product or service, but also the market for it in your area, as well as who your customers are and how to market to them. Also, the more you can research details like laws in your region and who the best Utah patent attorney is the better prepared you will be for whatever comes your way as you begin to build your business.

Plan as Much as Possible

Along with doing ample amounts of research, you also need to do plenty of planning. Some might think it's fine to have a loose idea of what they want to do, and then wing it from there, but the reality is that your business has a much better chance of success if you plan out your first year carefully. Even though it may not always be possible to follow your plans to the letter, and in some cases you may even need to make drastic changes to them, having a plan as a blueprint is always beneficial. Even if it has to change, having a clear plan allows you to see where your business is headed and where you want it to go. Not only that, but it can be a great way to measure your goals and the progress that you're making towards them. 

Connect With Other Local Businesses

Even if you're running your business primarily online, connecting with other local businesses can be important, and can help you stabilize your growing company. One benefit of forming bonds with others in your area is that you can help each other out when it comes to things like cross-promotion and advertising. Not only that, but others in your area that are already more established will often have knowledge and advice that they can share that will make it easier for you to deal with any challenges that are specific to doing business in your region. 

Hire Motivated People

Although many may be aware that the employees they hire can make a difference, they often don't realize how significant of an impact having motivated employees who are as excited about your business's growth as they are can make. A motivated employee will not only be able to do the tasks that you ask them to do, but they will also be looking for other ways to help your business grow, too. This can be great for you, because your employees see your company from a different angle than you do, and will be able to bring new ideas to the table that may not have occurred to you. 

Work On a Tight Budget

One mistake that many budding businesses make is operating on a budget that is too lax. If you want a truly effective budget, you should come up with a budget that you think is strict, and then cut it in half. Even though this may seem like it's nearly impossible to some, it is one of the best ways for you to save money for your business. Not only that, but what many business owners realize after budgeting this way is that they can actually function without many things they truly believed that they needed. Beyond that, working on a tight budget will also often require you to look for more creative solutions to your problems, which is something else that is important when trying to run a successful business. 

Market the Smart Way

Along with working on a tight budget, marketing the smart way can make a big difference for your small business. Some may think that good advertising costs a lot of money, but the truth is you can develop a strong marketing strategy without having to break the bank. One key to an effective and affordable marketing plan is taking advantage of social media. Social media platforms can be a great, and free, resource for spreading the word about your business. All you have to do is put in some effort and time to make sure that you're creating quality content, and marketing to the right people.

Additionally, having a strong email marketing strategy can also be a cost effective way to generate more business. With email marketing, just as with social media, providing quality content is key. Also, with email marketing, it's important to send out emails on a regular but also limited basis. You need to keep your business on a potential customer's mind, however, if you overload them with emails it could lead to them unsubscribing, rather than becoming more interested in your business. 

Learning To Look After Your Customers Is Key

Businesses wouldn't exist without customers to support them, so if you don't look out for your customers, your business could be in trouble. This can be particularly true in situations where they experience a service issue. By taking the time to develop a strong and caring customer service team, you can help ensure that your customers feel listened to and valued. A customer that feels important to your business is not only more likely to be loyal, but they are also more likely to spread good word of mouth, which can be another effective and free form of marketing for your small business. 

Take Advantage of New Technologies

Just because your business is small or new doesn't mean that you shouldn't be taking advantage of what technology has to offer. By doing things like using software programs that streamline business processes or using a fingerprint activated time clock, you can not only help to ensure that tasks are getting performed more efficiently at your business, but you could also more accurately as well. Being able to accomplish basic tasks more quickly and accurately can not only make things run more smoothly at your company, but it could also save you money and stress in the long run, as well. 

Some Final Things To Consider

Launching and running a new business is rarely easy. There are a lot of things to think about, and it can become stressful quickly. That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't things you can do to reduce stress or make the process a little easier for yourself. By doing things in the beginning like taking your time to research everything properly, and doing things later on like looking after your customers, you can help ensure the stability and success of your growing business.

Publish Date: July 23, 2020 8:56 PM


How to Strengthen Your Business Appeal to Younger People

If you are able to secure a new customer when they are young, with any luck and loyalty, they will become a client forever. Think of some of the most revered brands across all ages and look at how they capture a young demographic. Perhaps the most well-known example would be McDonalds and their famous Happy Meals. To stay in business for the long haul, you need to find a way to make your brand appealing and well-recognized with young people.

Start With a Brand Personality

Your company may deliver exceptional service and top-quality products, but the younger generations like Millennials are looking for a brand with a personality. Think of how popular memes and GIFs are on social media and texting apps. Youngsters like a bit of humor but with a touch of professionalism. While you could gain an older audience through traditional messages of benefits and quality, you will need to evoke strong emotions through your communication channels and set yourself up as a fun and creative personality.

Develop a Unique Design

Young customers are growing up in a media-saturated culture, where pictures and digital images speak volumes and attract attention. Your brand should have a unique logo, but you need to have your work environment stand out visually. If your business is located in fabulous Las Vegas, you can keep up with appearances by hiring a lawn maintenance Las Vegas company, but go the extra mile to incorporate unique features outside your building. Contemporary art is a start, but follow through on your commitment to a unique design with high-quality graphics on your signage and marketing campaigns. Remember, these shoppers are watching television in 4k and use virtual reality headsets for their entertainment. You have got to be good if you want to attract their attention.

Address the PR Interest

Youngsters are all about trying whatever is trending on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and all the other social networking sites. Use this interest and motivation to start a PR campaign that engages consumers with your product. The Tide Pod challenge took YouTube by storm, but in the midst of all the fun people were having, Tide was able to captivate an audience to the effectiveness of their product.  Young people like advertising campaigns that add value to their life not detract from it.

Continually Innovate

The Millennial generation is used to getting upgrades with their phones, video games, electronic devices and much more. They are a generation that works to improve the processes and products of the past, and they will be looking for a company that does the same. Not only do they want innovation in products, but they are also looking for marketing and advertising campaigns that are new and creative. Younger people prefer short videos or images that are anything but traditional. Find out how younger people are using your product or services and create a campaign that takes these ideas and makes them better. Take full advantage of social media platforms, as this is where you will find the young people Facebook continues to be a leading platform, but Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Vine, and TikTok also get a fair amount of a young person’s attention. Many young people spend as many as four hours on these platforms, so you have ample opportunity to present them with a message they want to hear.

Expand Your Focus

So many companies are looking at the Millennials to build their consumer base, but these individuals aren’t the only young people out there. The Millennials will continue to grow older and leave another younger generation in its place. You need to expand your focus to young people of all ages. Your product may not be helpful to an eight-year-old, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t know your name or recognize your brand. Sponsoring a local youth team with new jerseys or purchasing an advertisement banner at the local high school during football and basketball season will get your name out. You also reach the child’s family, making it a win-win.

Your business will grow as long as you are able to continue attracting new business. One of the easiest ways to do this is to increase your appeal to a younger generation and establish lifelong loyalty.

Publish Date: July 1, 2020 2:23 AM


3 Ways Business Is Trending Toward Automation

Automation and industry go hand in hand. This is both a hotly contested sentiment and an inevitable truth. Just as the industrial revolution drastically improved the production of various industries using machinery, modern automation has a number of advantages to provide. While it may mean taking work away from human beings, it’s ultimately the better choice when possible. Here are just a few examples of ways in which modern technology can transform industry.

Automated Customer Service 

Automated customer service is really nothing new. Currently, automated customer service is used for the purpose of screening calls in order to match customers with the departments that can meet their needs without the need for transfers, though some transfers are still necessary. This kind of automatic has become mundane, but it remains woefully insufficient. However, thanks to advances in natural language processing, further automation of customer service roles can potentially be achieved. NLP is a field of science that seeks to allow computers to understand human speech in a more holistic way. In essence, NLP advancements mean that machines will be more capable of parsing meaning from speech, rather than operating on the call and response model that tends to leave something to be desired. Using more advanced speech recognition and understanding, customer service roles can be updated to provide more automated services without losing nearly as much of the flexibility of a human worker and further reducing the workload on human workers.

IoT Devices

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a design philosophy in which various devices are imbued with additional functionality as a result of added internet connectivity. IoT has had a major impact on the way society runs already, and that trend is likely to continue indefinitely. IoT doesn’t offer automation in the traditional sense, but it does nonetheless make certain tasks and potentially whole jobs obsolete. The main draw of IoT in an industrial or commercial setting is that it provides remote access to devices that can allow instructions to be given and coding to be done on the fly and from a remote location, and this additional flexibility means that supervisors have less need of someone to do the legwork of operating machines to spec. Instead, supervisors can instruct devices directly and connect to multiple devices simultaneously from one remote location. Likewise, IoT devices can have the ability to monitor their inner workings and report back on various potential hardware and software issues, meaning that repairs will be able to be performed preemptively, which in turn means that repairs will be less severe and may be able to be performed on site by regular employees much more often. This work can allow that employees work from home and come in only for certain repairs and will be able to stay on top of their work easier.

Cloud Computing

Like IoT, cloud computing would not historically be considered automation, but it has a number of the same qualities. Like IoT devices, cloud computing is all about connectivity. Cloud computing is the process of connecting multiple devices over a cloud “network,” and this has a few key advantages. The most notable advantage of cloud computing is that it enables several machines to cooperate on the same task simultaneously and automatically. In essence, cloud computing is the sharing of assets, and while this refers in part to the sharing of data via cloud storage, it also refers to the sharing of processing power. This shared computational power means that more complex tasks can be performed much more easily and much more quickly, and the use of cloud computing likewise reduces the risk that the failure of any one machine in the cloud poses to the overall operation. However, cloud storage isn’t to be taken for granted either, as it outright eliminates the need for the sharing of data via email among a group of colleagues. Instead, cloud storage is the storage of files in a single remote location to which any number of people could be granted access.

While automation provides many benefits to individuals and businesses alike, it also presents concerns of employment. However, using the examples above, it’s easy to see how the principles of automation are ultimately neutral, if not benign. Along those lines, there will likely be many cases in which automation merely aids human workers, rather than outright replacing them.

Publish Date: June 23, 2020 5:59 PM


The Process of Building an Office Space

Business owners have many concerns to address in order to make their businesses successful. One of these concerns is that of space, and many businesses require buildings to be erected in order to house employees and operations. Erecting such a structure is an undertaking in its own right, and it takes a lot of resources and time. Here is a breakdown of the construction process in order to give you an idea of what the process entails.

Materials and Tools

Building a business’s office space requires materials, and those materials will vary in type and amount from project to project. Skyscrapers, for instance, are typically built using steel girders or concrete for support and typically feature a much higher percentage of window space than other types of building. On the other hand, smaller office buildings are often made in a method and using materials that are more in line with building a house. Brick and wood structures are more common for these purposes. Most buildings also require a sturdy foundation, which is usually made from concrete. However, a skyscraper will require an even sturdier foundation, in which case bedrock is used.

 

As you might imagine, building a large structure often requires similarly large tools that are more powerful than usual. While smaller tasks that can be performed with smaller, handheld tools have a place in erecting a structure, larger projects like this often require the use of tools like cranes. Cranes can be used to piece together the skeletal structure of a building more easily and safely than human hands. Tools like these are often rented instead of purchased, unless the company in question is a construction company. To find such a rental agreement, consider searching “crane rental Lafayette, Indiana,” for example, in order to find local options. The operation of cranes and similarly large tools requires additional training in order to use safely, both because of their size and the fact that they are often merged with a vehicle.

Safety Requirements

Construction is an infamously treacherous task, and safety is constantly top of mind as a result. Construction projects typically involve a variety of tools that can be as destructive as they are productive, and they need to be handled with care in order to avoid injuries. Likewise, there are often large teams working in tandem on construction sites, and that means that every member of the team needs to be aware of each other in order to avoid accidents. Construction site safety is legally mandated and enforced, but it also depends heavily on the training of the workers. Therefore, an ample training program is a crucial part of the construction process, especially for contract workers who may not ordinarily work within a larger team.

 

Commercial buildings need to meet certain safety requirements in order to house employees, and those requirements are an essential part of the process from the ground up. The aforementioned foundation needs to be solid and sturdy, for example, as a faulty foundation can result in the collapsing of a building. Likewise, a faulty roof can result in leaking, and water damage can wear down the building’s structural integrity over time; plumbing needs to be free of leaks for similar reasons. These safety requirements will need to be met in order for the building to pass an inspection before the building can be used commercially.

Time Frame

Building a structure can often take a staggering amount of time. Building a meager house can take many months, while skyscrapers can take multiple years to build. The amount of time it takes to build a structure can be estimated along multiple guidelines, such as the size of the building and the skill of the workers involved, for example, and that estimate can be used to plan the construction project in advance. The goal of this step is to ensure that the building is finished well before it is needed.

 

Erecting an office building, or any other kind of structure, inevitably requires the investment of time, resources, and money. Knowing the steps involved can give a greater appreciation for the work being done, and it can give you a more informed perspective of the costs of construction.

Publish Date: June 18, 2020 7:10 PM


4 Ways to Maintain an Office Space

Owning a business can be a challenge in many ways. One such challenge that faces business owners is the maintenance of the workspace itself. There are many factors that can render a workspace insufficient, and it is a priority for business owners to keep their place of business in tip top shape. Here are just a few factors you need to keep in mind in order to maintain your office space.

Pest Control

As much as humans are loath to admit it, there is no fool proof way to separate oneself or one’s space from the natural world. There are a number of ways in which this may have the occasional negative impact upon your office space, one of which is pests. Pests like mice, rats, termites, and more can take up residence in your office space under the wrong conditions, and they can create a chaotic and potentially unsafe environment. Therefore, pests need to be evacuated from your building if the problem arises, and this must be done professionally in order to ensure the process itself is safe for employees. If you're in Raleigh, NC for example, a business needs pest control, a quick Google search can provide you with local solutions to your pest problems.

Water Damage

Water damage is consistently a major problem as a result of a minor occurrence. Minor faults in buildings can allow rain to leak into the structure when it rains, and that can cause major structural damage over time if not taken care of. Repairing water damage can be costly, but leaks can often be spotted well before water damage takes effect. Therefore, one can easily prevent water damage by having the leak repaired once it makes itself apparent and spend less money on this minor repair. Water damage can also result from faulty plumbing, which can be harder to detect. However, the problem is no less serious. If anything seems out of sorts with your office’s plumbing, have it investigated by a plumber as soon as possible. While one may be hesitant to call a plumber on a hunch alone, the price pales in comparison to that of repairing water damage.

Dust and Mold

Dust is a fact of life, in a sense, as it continually builds up in any interior. However, dust must be cleaned. Not only is it preferable to work in a clean environment, but it is also necessary in order to avoid health and mechanical problems that dust can cause. The unregulated buildup of dust can clog up machinery, which is why air conditioners, for example, have removable filters. These filters protect the machine itself from this buildup by allowing it to be removed easily. Likewise, a lot of dust circulating a space can trigger existing respiratory problems and may even contribute to lung problems in the long run.

 

Mold, on the other hand, can technically be avoided entirely. However, mold is the result of mismanaged moisture, and as stated above water can surprise you. Mold is predominantly a problem in restrooms and other places in which running water is a feature. This is because water can splash unpredictably, meaning that is often not dried. Mold spores are essentially everywhere, but usually in quantities that are going to cause any problems. With excess moisture, however, mold can take root and grow to the point of producing enough spores to have an impact. Like dust, excess mold spores can be problematic to the respiratory system. However, as with water damage, extensive mold growth can be difficult to remove, so it is imperative that an effort is made to avoid the problem in the first place.

 

Maintaining an office space requires a lot of attention, because there are many forces of nature that oppose human structures, in a sense. Therefore, vigilance and know-how are required in order to keep a building in working order over a long period of time, and it takes frequent action to accomplish this feat. With this guide, you have a better idea of the problems you may face and how to reduce your risks.

Publish Date: June 16, 2020 1:54 AM

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