Employers today are becoming more aware of the safety and security of the business equipment and trade secrets and how to keep the employees safe while at work. Safety in the workplace is dependent on many things, such as the type of work the employees do, the type of facilities and equipment used, and whether or not the employees interact with the public. Employees in every type of job deserve a safe working environment. Here are some of the most common areas to look at when creating a safe workplace for your employees.
Secure Employee's Personal Data
Employees provide a lot of personal information when hired, and that needs to be secured. Sometimes scammers and others not authorized try to gain personal information about employees. Never give out personal information over the phone. People who are phishing for information may call and ask about the employee's schedule, pretend to be a friend or family member, and want to know if the employee is in the office that day. These types of leaks can aid a stalker and cause domestic problems. Review your phone policies and know that a spoofing attack can seem quite innocent as it may come from the area code where you work. Someone who is not entitled to the information may try to exploit it. Have strict policies in place.
Secure the Facilities
Secure any non-public building entrances from unauthorized individuals. If your employees are in a warehouse or office building that does not deal with the public, secure the doors with a badge entry system. Not only does this protect the business from theft of property, but this also protects your employees from unwanted visitors disrupting the workplace.
If you operate a retail business, have strong security policies to ensure employees do not hold large amounts of cash. Train your employees on how to react in the event of a robbery. Work with a security expert to ensure you have cameras in the correct position and have ways employees can discreetly contact authorities. Work with the expert and investigate ways to remove the cash from the tills periodically. Disgruntled and former employees often leak information to others about the amount of cash on hand.
Prepare Employees for Emergency Evacuation
Every new employee and annually thereafter should receive training on safe evacuation in an emergency such as fire or another natural disaster. Make sure they know what exits to use and where to meet once outside the building.
Secure the Parking Area
If a parking area is provided, ensure it is well lit and clean. If employees go out in the evening to their cars, make sure they use a buddy system or consider offering a guard service to walk them to their cars. Keep the sidewalks shoveled in the winter and the parking lot plowed to avoid any slips or vehicles getting stuck.
Ensure Building Cleanliness
Have adequate janitorial service and keep the bathrooms and employee break rooms clean to avoid spreading germs. Have mandatory hand-washing policies and hand sanitizing stations located throughout the workplace. Follow manufacturer guidelines for changing filters in water dispensers. Clean drinking fountains daily. If the workplace is a shop where repairs or construction is being done, have policies on housekeeping. Clean up spills immediately and pick up items that fall to the floor. Think about the hazards in your specific workplace. Flour on the floor in a bakery can be just as slippery as an oil leak in a mechanics shop. Enforce your policies for employee safety.
Institute a Hostile Workplace Policy
Ensure you have a policy on workplace harassment and that employees have several avenues to report any problems. A hostile work environment can be a one-time serious incident or a festering series of events leading to major problems. Discuss the policy at least annually with all employees and take action promptly when something is reported or discovered.
Keeping employees safe is a joint responsibility. Owners must prepare the physical workplace and set safety policies. Employees must follow the policies. Safety ultimately is everyone’s responsibility.
Publish Date: September 15, 2021 10:42 PM
As a business owner, protecting your business is likely at the top of your list of concerns. How do you ensure your business is able to adapt to changing work environments and client expectations? It can seem overwhelming with all the technological changes recently. However, all of that innovation means that it's easier than ever to keep your business ready to respond to client needs. Here are four advanced technologies that you should consider adding to your team.
Learn Who is Calling With CNAM
Calling Name Delivery, or CNAM, is a system that provides the name of the person or business calling to the receiver of a phone call. This lets the person getting the call better decide if they wish to answer. For a business, this means that your customers will know right away that it's your team trying to reach them. This can lead to quicker and more efficient communication with customers. It can also help your employees filter out unwanted incoming calls, leaving them more available to respond to clients.
Hire an AI Assistant
If you have a customer-facing email address or phone number, chances are that you find yourself answering the same customer questions over and over again. Virtual assistants built using artificial intelligence can help automate answering those questions as well as assisting customers with basic tasks. AI assistants may also be able to integrate with your website and help guide visitors to the information that they're looking for, no matter when or from where they're asking. This could be how to find a product or pricing, how to place an order, how to check on the status of an order, and more. The assistant can also direct guests to your customer service email address or voice mailbox if their questions can't be answered by the pre-written scripts. This frees up your employees to focus on those more challenging questions, which increases efficiency and overall customer happiness.
Digitize Faster With Data Extraction
Businesses that rely on paper forms filled out or uploaded by customers may find themselves spending a lot of time copying that information over to their file-keeping system. If your business deals with protected information, such as financial or medical information, it can be even more important to get that data quickly and correctly entered into a safe and encrypted system. Automated data extraction programs have advanced enough to be able to read handwriting as well as parse digital files for information and automatically fill in records for you. Not only does this save your employees time and effort (especially when customers have less than stellar handwriting), but it can also reduce the number of eyes on protected or sensitive information.
Encourage Real-Time Collaboration
Even the smallest offices can benefit from real-time collaboration technology. These programs allow your employees to work together without having to be in the same space. Services that allow video teleconferencing along with interactive tools such as document review and whiteboards can help your team talk through challenges and find solutions no matter where they are physically located. This is especially helpful when you have teammates traveling for business and something goes wrong, or when you have employees who are working from home.
Protecting your business means making sure it and your employees are able to operate at peak efficiency. Using advanced technology to automate smaller or repetitive processes will save you time and money while reducing room for error or mishandling. CNAM technology helps build trust and quicker communication with your customers. AI assistants can help your customers get their most common questions answered at any time, even outside of office hours, while still feeling a personal touch. Data extraction programs will make record-keeping a breeze. Finally, real-time collaboration keeps your entire team on the same page even when you're apart. Keep your company at the top of its game by taking advantage of all that advanced technology can offer.
Publish Date: September 15, 2021 10:40 PM
You can get foot traffic to your business with special events, discounts and a great marketing plan, but retaining customers requires something else. In their drive to attract more new customers, businesses often make the mistake of ignoring their existing ones. This is a serious misstep for a variety of reasons. Most businesses report that the vast majority of their sales can be attributed to existing customers. Reliable data shows that not only do return customers buy more things, more frequently, but they also purchase more expensive products. Creating customer relationships and loyalty should be paramount for any business. Here are a few ideas that might help do just that.
People gravitate to individuals and entities they can trust. Gaining your consumers' trust is one of the most important steps you can take to build loyalty. Be transparent with your customers whenever you can, even if what you have to share is not good. People intrinsically understand that a business that will be honest with bad news is one they can trust. Be willing to take responsibility when a customer is unhappy with something whether that be with an employee, a product or a price. Nothing destroys trust quite like getting the feeling that a business is trying to take advantage of you or is willing to sacrifice your satisfaction for their profit. Even small things can convey honesty or a lack thereof to a potential buyer. Don't ask your reps to use a canned script; instead, empower them to speak naturally and openly with customers. Don't try to be clever in the way you word your policies; make information accessible and clear. Even using a CNAM service so that prospects know that it's you when you call them shows a willingness to be forthright and honest.
Show Your Appreciation
Make sure that your greatest asset, your customer, knows how much you value them. Find ways to reward them for being loyal to you. Be certain that you are using a great customer satisfaction platform. The right program will help you keep track of existing customers which will then allow you to develop multiple customer appreciation programs. Create an active email communication strategy, customer blog or newsletter to keep in touch with customers. Offer them ongoing information and support for the products they have purchased and other topics that might be of interest to them. Acknowledge your loyal customers on special days like their birthdays. This is also a great time to offer them some kind of little gift such as a coupon, discount or even a small free item. Other ideas would be to start a customer appreciation program, hold a special sale for existing customers only or hold drawings that give them an opportunity to win products or to upgrade a product they already own.
Share Their Values
Hopefully, you've done the legwork to build a profile of your average customer. Make sure you understand what your customers see as important, and support and share their values. Avoid making all your communication with your customers a sales pitch. Through your newsletter, website or blog, share stories and news that will be of interest to them, even if the topics have little or nothing to do with your product. As a company, participate in supporting causes that speak to customers' values and share what you are doing through social media. Research has repeatedly shown that customers will remain loyal to a brand that shares their values even if that brand's products are more expensive than its competitors.
All businesses have something to sell, whether that is a product, a service or information. Of course, you are going to dedicate many resources to attracting new customers; however, never neglect the customers you already have. Deal with your customers with integrity, let them know they are valued and communicate with them about the things they hold most dear. A loyal customer is an asset whose value should never be underestimated.
Publish Date: September 15, 2021 10:40 PM
With time, hard work, and patience, you can eventually rise to a corporate position that pays very well. However, do not expect to land one of these jobs right out of college or even grad school. You typically have to start at an entry-level position first and then work your way up through hard work and diligence. If your ambition is to find one of the highest-paying jobs available, here are some good goals to work towards.
There is an exception to every rule, and this is the exception to the rule that you have to start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and work your way up to get a high-paying job. An entrepreneur is someone who starts his or her own business. This is still not a get-rich-quick position as most businesses take years to become really successful and about half of all new companies fail within the first five years. Nevertheless, if your company is successful, you may make more than $1 million a year. Plus, you get the freedom of being your own boss, which is priceless. On the other hand, you are responsible for all aspects of running the business, at least at first. Tools such as a paystub generator can help make this easier.
If you thrive on identifying problems and working out solutions, you may find success as a management analyst. This job involves finding ways to help an organization increase operations and decrease costs to maximize efficiency and remain competitive with similar companies.
There are financial laws at the local, state, and federal levels with which all businesses must comply. The job of a financial examiner is to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of financial records to be sure that the company is in compliance with all applicable laws. They accomplish this by performing audits, both externally and internally, and also provide managerial and supervisory support.
For insurance companies to be successful, they must accurately assess the risks of extending coverage to an individual, structure, vehicle, or whatever needs protection. An actuary is a highly trained individual who performs this assessment based on forecasting modeling systems. This is a highly responsible position that requires at least a bachelor's degree in business, finance, or mathematics, as well as an understanding of knowledge statistics.
Human Resource Manager
One of the most valuable resources in any organization is its employees. The job of a human resource manager is to attract new talent, keep the workforce motivated, resolve any conflicts or complaints, and improve morale throughout the organization. Human resource managers are in charge of employees' relationships with the company, which includes training and compensation.
Agents and Business Managers
Agents and business managers represent athletes and creatives, such as artists and performers. Their main job is acting as a liaison between their clients and potential employers. In this capacity, they negotiate new contracts. They also assist with their clients' financial planning and help them plan career goals strategically. This allows clients to concentrate more on perfecting their crafts.
Offering the best products or services in the world will not do a company any good if consumers do not know about it. That's where a marketing manager comes in. His or her responsibility is to determine the demand for the product or service among the populace and then find a way to connect the business to customers through public relations and advertising. The goal is to maximize a company's potential through increasing sales and profits.
Personal Financial Advisor
Most people have financial goals but few have any idea about how to reach them. With a degree in a field such as accounting, economics, law, or mathematics, personal financial advisors explain clients' tax obligations, assist with debt management, and help maximize financial objectives as it relates to retirement savings and investments.
These are some of the highest-paying corporate jobs available. At the higher ends of the pay range for each, people can earn a six-figure annual salary.
Publish Date: September 11, 2021 9:04 PM
The world is deep into the digital age, and the fact of the matter is that most businesses simply can't survive without having an online presence of some sort. These days, nearly all consumers use the internet to research businesses and keep in contact with their favorites via social media. Many consumers also rely on the internet to book appointments or purchase things they need. It isn't just about consumers, either. An increasing number of businesses are using the internet to allow employees to work remotely and much more. To keep up with the competition, your company simply has to be plugged into the digital world. However, it also needs to be legally protected.
Businesses around the world use cloud services to better provide information, products, and services to clients. This is called the public cloud. What you may not realize is that private clouds and hybrid clouds (a combination of the two) are also important for industries and government agencies around the world. You may be asking "What is private cloud?". The private cloud is a dedicated virtual environment that uses high-performance cryptography to ensure you have access to information you need when you need it, without allowing the public to access that same information. The private cloud relies on secure off-site infrastructure that only authorized users can get to, meaning you are less likely to see physical theft of equipment and files. Private clouds are also automated and scalable, must comply with security mandates, and are more cost-effective in the long run. They are useful for storing client information, business data, or employee information, as well as for providing necessary information to employees who are working remotely.
Your employees probably already know about security in terms of using their ID badges to enter the building or not providing people with sensitive information in person. However, far fewer people understand the importance of cyber security. They tend to believe everything they read in an email or see on the internet, which is why it's important to train your employees to be safer online. Start with passwords. Too often, people use the same password for everything, including business and personal information. Teach your employees to create long, unique passwords that are independent of each other. It should have uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, a strong password won't be used for any other accounts and is changed regularly to make it even harder for someone to crack it. Ensure your employees understand the importance of not opening email attachments that come unwarranted, either. Too often, an email from someone an employee doesn't know includes files that, when opened, can grab vital information. The same can be said for clicking random links on the internet or in social media messages. Finally, teach your employees to use two-factor authentication for all business and personal accounts to better protect them and your business alike.
Ensure that your own business websites, as well as any websites you interact with, use proper encryption techniques, especially if you are performing financial transactions. There are two things to look for on other websites to ensure they have proper encryption in place. First, on a page that asks for your credit card information, the website should not use "http" but "https'' at the beginning of the URL. This ensures it is a secure website. In addition, the right side of the address bar should have a lock symbol. If a website you're on (including your own) doesn't have these symbols, it means anyone who enters their name, address, phone number, or credit card information is putting themselves at risk for identity theft.
Whether your company is brand new or has been around for decades but is still working on making that jump to digital, it is important to legally protect your business, your employees, your clients, and yourself. Use these tips and consider consulting with security professionals to make the most of the online world.
Publish Date: September 11, 2021 9:03 PM
If you love both the technical and creative parts of filmmaking, you should consider becoming a movie editor. Editing is an essential part of the movie making process, and it can be the difference between a bad film and a good one.
While not all films are edited the same way, every good movie editor should follow the same basic principles. Here are five tips that should help you edit any type of film.
The longer you look at something, the less sharp your eye and mind become. You should thus invite someone to watch the rough cut with you. It could be a trusted person in the industry who will give you honest yet supportive feedback when necessary. Thanks to video collaboration software, asking others for assistance is easier than ever.
Even if you do not have any friends who are movie experts, you can still show the footage to an editing novice. He or she can at least tell you if parts of the film are jarring or confusing. You can also use this screening to determine if certain scenes are producing the desired emotional effect for your audience.
The development of the characters is an important part of any movie. Your editing should not make the main character appear happy at the start of the film when he is supposed to be miserable. To make sure the editing properly complements the story arc of each character, take all the edited scenes with that character and watch them in chronological order. This way, you can see if the character's development makes sense without having to watch the entire film.
You should also try looking at each scene from a character's point of view. Decide which character you want reflected in the edit and then adjust the scene accordingly.
Organization is particularly crucial when you edit. Group the images, music, sound effects, graphics and narration together based on the scenes in which they will appear. While this may sound time-consuming, it will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Organizing everything will also prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and making poor decisions.
Film editing is not just cutting and cropping footage. The audio is as important as the images are.
Without proper audio fades or dissolves, you could end up with a popping effect that distracts viewers. Luckily, most editing software lets you easily apply these techniques.
As you edit, use the audio to transition between different scenes. For instance, if a character in a movie is about to get on a plane to Rome, add audio of a plane landing before you cut to the next scene of the character in Italy.
Music and sound are also great for building tension and emotion. Just make sure any narration or dialogue is easy to hear over the background noise.
While the audio and the video need to complement each other, you should also try watching the film without sound and listening to it without images. This can help you focus on one aspect of the movie at a time.
When viewing the footage without sound, determine if there are any unnecessary conversations that you can remove. You should specifically focus on the pacing of the film. See if there are ways to make the footage more lively.
Once you turn off the images and solely listen to the audio, you can more clearly hear and address any stumbles in the dialogue. This strategy should also help you notice moments when the background music is too loud or soft.
Film editing is a difficult job. When you first load the footage into your computer and open up your editing software, it can be hard to know where to begin. If you find yourself stuck, just remember the above basic editing tips.
Publish Date: September 10, 2021 5:57 AM
Ecommerce is highly competitive. You need an outstanding website to make your business stand apart from its competitors. Here are some key web design strategies to help you win over customers.
Prioritize Fast Load Times
Every page on your site has to load quickly. If your customers have to wait too long for pages to load, many of them simply aren’t going to have the patience to wait it out. In fact, some may conclude that the site isn’t working correctly even if it’s just working slow. Lagging load times can cut your site traffic in half or even worse. Of course, a site’s homepage has to load very quickly because that's the first page that most people are going to go to. You need to strike a balance between what you need to include on a homepage to make it eye-catching and welcoming but also not pack it so full of data that it will take a really long time to load through most connections. In addition, you need to make sure that every page beyond just the most high-traffic pages load fairly quickly. The best way to optimize load times is in your initial planning phase when you’re developing your website. However, even if you already have a mostly complete site that you’re looking to enhance, it’s still possible to make the same pages work faster. You may need to rewrite some code, compress certain pieces of data, or upgrade your network’s infrastructure. Bear in mind that as your site grows in popularity, more traffic could impede functionality and affect speed. Regular speed tests can ensure that your web design facilitates fast load times. When you’re testing how quickly pages load, it is important to remember that not everyone will be accessing your site from a high-speed internet connection. Some visitors will be going on through relatively slow internet connections. Also, some will be using data through their wireless network, and low signal strength could slow down browsers dramatically. Nevertheless, a lot of customers are going to hold slow loading pages against you rather than their connectivity. Testing speeds with a range of different mbps connections will give you a sense of what users’ experience is like on different internet speeds.
Enhance Visibility Online
In addition to speed, getting people onto your site needs to be a top priority in your overall approach to web design. People have to be able to find your site by doing more than just clicking a link to it or typing out its precise name into a search engine. Web traffic should be an integral element of your site design. One good way to accomplish this is with keywords. Strategic placement of keywords for commonly searched terms can boost your SEO rankings and bring more people onto your site. Putting in information about a physical location throughout different pages could raise local SEO rankings. This is particularly vital for businesses that need lead generation from a set geographic location. When prospective customers search for local businesses in your industry, your web design can help put you at or near the top of map-based search results.
Make it Easy for People to Find What They Want
Customers on your website need to be able to find the information or products that they’re interested in without having to hunt around for it. Your site’s layout should be intuitive for most people. The way that you group information should segment topics and themes in a way that makes sense. If you use categories to group items together, it may be wise to include subcategories that narrow things down with a bit more precision. People appreciate being able to avoid looking at a ton of stuff that isn’t pertinent to their objective. Subcategories are a good way to engage people. You want your layout to have built-in prompts that keep people on your site, but you don’t want them to have to spend their time on it searching for what they need.
Create Content That Is Easy for People to Absorb
The way that you write for a website may be very different from how you would write for a publication. Informative sections about a business and descriptions of products or services need to be clear and succinct. If you get too wordy or complex, people may miss out on the most important things that you’re trying to convey. In general, the majority of your content shouldn’t be geared towards people with a very advanced reading level. Keep in mind that some of your visitors speak English as a second language. Avoid overly flowery phrases and esoteric figures of speech. It’s also worth noting that some people will be looking at written sections with a translator add-on, so try to be conscientious about how things may translate. Not everything will translate perfectly, but the most fundamental parts of your content should be simple enough to translate fairly clearly even if they’re not entirely correct grammatically.
Craft a Visually Compelling Experience
The principal layout of a site should create a visually pleasing experience for people. Think of a website like a room. People won’t want to hang out in a room that isn’t aesthetically pleasing. Likewise, they won’t really enjoy looking at a website that isn’t pleasing to look at. Think about your color choices and the way that you size and break up written content. Pictures and graphics need to be well-positioned. These elements are going to be a big influence in how people move around on the different sections of your site. The way that you draw in attention with visual cues will chart the course for how people navigate your site.
Be Ready to Remedy Errors Quickly
Pages that don’t load or features that aren’t functional are going to tarnish or totally ruin people’s impression of your website. Thankfully, you can build in safeguards to alert you when something on your site isn’t working like it’s supposed to. For example, every time a page fails to load, it can record an event into a log. You search the log for events that register as errors, and you may be able to set up real time alerts so that you and your team can fix issues as soon as possible.
When you’ve drawn some good inspiration about what you can do to give customers a great website experience, you’ll need experienced help to make your vision a reality. Work with a design team that can give you good feedback and guidance about your ideas. An experienced web design team can help you set up your site in a way that works well on both desktop and mobile formats.
Publish Date: September 1, 2021 6:36 AM
Marketing, sales and customer service, even IT and human resources, at the end of the day, every department of your business is about your customers. Without customers, the best product in the world sits on the shelf. Business gurus will tell you that having a customer-centric business model is the key to finding and maintaining customers, but what does that actually look like? Here are three ways to implement a customer-centric practice that will keep your customers invested in your business.
Focus on Customer Retention
The first key to keeping customers invested in your business is understanding the value that existing customers bring. You want to always be working to bring in new customers with lead generation and prospecting but your existing customers are the bread and butter of your revenue. The "Harvard Business Review" notes that existing studies show acquiring a new customer can cost up to 25 times more than maintaining your relationship with an existing customer. New customers are more expensive and they don't buy as much on a first purchase. When you increase customer retention by as little as 5 percent you can increase your profits exponentially, by up to 95 percent. Existing customers shop more often and spend more with each purchase. When your business keeps these details in focus it is easier to build a customer-centric business culture.
Build Trust With Your Customers
Once you have your focus on customer retention, it's time to implement a strategy that makes retention a reality. Your business has to focus on building trust with your customers. Trust is ability, reliability, honesty and longevity. Trust takes time to build but can be broken in a single instant. You have to show your customers that your company is reliable and honest with every interaction. Start by making sure your marketing campaign aligns with the values that your company embodies. Your social media is a strong tool for building your branding and telling your business story. Share your core values. Put a face with a name by interviewing your employees. Let your customers get to know the people they are working with. You can also work with influencers that fit your brand image to spread the word about your products. Influencers have developed trust with their audiences and you can benefit from that existing trust; their recommendations are already trusted by their audience so you gain a measure of trust without selling a single thing.
Offer Great Customer Service
Of course, the first rule of being customer-centric is offering great customer service. The first step here is realigning the customer service team goals. Too many customer service departments create metrics that are all about getting off the call quickly instead of resolving the problem in a way that gives the customer a superb experience. You can't tell your team that the customer comes first and then create ratings based on the number of calls it can get through in a day. Instead, use metrics like customer satisfaction. Just as trust with your customers is important, it is just as important to build trust with your employees. When you trust your employees to do the right thing, they'll be able to provide the kind of customer service that gets talked about in the right way. Here are the basic customer service models for three companies known for their exceptional service:
Ask for Customer Feedback
Finally, actively look for customer feedback not only about your service but about the products you provide. When you find out customer pain points, you can develop the products and services that alleviate that pain. Become a company that embraces not only the customer but innovation by listening and responding to what your customer really wants. Set up an automatic way to get feedback by sending an email requesting a review within a few weeks of purchase. Keep your feedback short and sweet, taking no longer than two minutes total. When you're trying to build reviews on your website, offering incentives for feedback makes customers feel like they are getting a benefit for the time it takes to provide the review. Offer a percentage off the next purchase or include a code for a free item with their next purchases.
Take the time to actively focus on the customer and customers will respond with loyalty.
Publish Date: September 1, 2021 6:35 AM
While many may find running a business to be a rewarding experience, they may also find it difficult as well. This can be especially true for those that have gotten past the initial stages of launching and establishing a business, and that are trying to generate more long-term growth. In this stage, you may find that you need to change your approach in the face of new challenges. Even though this may seem like a difficult task, the good news is that there are things you can do to help build a stronger company and make sure that you are on the right path.
Continue To Do New Research
Some may think that because their business is now established, they can relax and let their business run itself a little. The reality is that this is untrue, and that now more than ever you need to keep your business's future on your mind.
While you may have done lots of research in the beginning while you were creating your business, that doesn't mean that you can just stop. Because consumer trends tend to change quickly, so do marketing strategies. The more that you keep researching what appeals to your customers, the easier it will be to ensure the strength of your business.
Protect Yourself and Your Customers
Another thing that is key to having a strong business is making sure that you are protecting yourself and your customers online. There can be many ways to go about it, from trying something like zero trust to looking into other forms of online security. In the online age businesses are more susceptible than ever to cyber attacks and instances of hacking. For this reason, it is necessary to make sure that you are looking after both yourself and your customers. This can not only safeguard your information, but it can also help give customers more confidence about shopping with you.
Get the Most Out of Social Media
Something else that's key when it comes to developing lasting strength for your business is making sure that you're using social media properly. Even though it may seem like social media is just a way to spread the word about your business, the truth is that it can be much more, and that it can be an integral part of further developing your company. Every time that you make a social media post, you are shaping your brand and image. By being conscious of your image, and how your posts shape it, you can get more out of your social media pages. The more that you work to keep your tone consistent, the more that your image will solidify, and the easier it will be for customers to identify and recognize your business. Ultimately, the easier it is for your audience to recognize your brand, the more likely they will be to think of it first when they are looking to make a purchase.
Rework Your Business Plans
Another way to help ensure that your business is as strong as it can be is to take time to rework your business plans every once in a while. Even if you felt that your plans were great initially, it can be beneficial to revisit them. As your business grows, its needs may change. Being willing to adapt your original plans can open up new avenues for you, and allow you to take advantage of new opportunities that you might not be able to if you decided to be strict about sticking with your initial plans exactly.
Take Steps To Improve Communication
When working to strengthen their business, many focus on the technical and financial aspects of their business, and neglect one of the most important components of any company, the people that work there. Not only do many not focus enough on their employees, but they also let communication with them go by the wayside. While this may not seem like a big deal, the truth is that it can be highly damaging in the long run. By teaching and practicing better ways of communicating, you can help build stronger bonds with your employees, as well as help ensure that your business is being run more effectively.
Some Last Words
Starting and running a business can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. Some may think that after they have gotten past the initial stages of starting a business, things should become simpler. However, this is the stage where many new challenges will often come into play. The good news is that while it may not always feel easy, there are plenty of ways to develop lasting strength for your business.
Publish Date: September 1, 2021 6:34 AM
The digital age has come with its fair share of advantages, and then some. Modern life is a far cry from what it was merely a couple of decades ago, and those changes are by and large mostly positive. However, the benefits of high technology come at a small cost. Hackers will stop at nothing to use technology against the average user or businesses to get their hands on illicit data that they can use to commit identity fraud. Likewise, trade secrets and other market data makes businesses and medical facilities targets for bad actors. Here’s what you need to know about cybersecurity in the modern era.
One of the most essential ways to protect your information from hackers is to prioritize the best practices and tools that can secure the login process for various devices and accounts. Passwords have been a particularly troubling aspect of cybersecurity in years past, because hackers can easily crack a password in seconds using highly advanced software that “brute forces” a password by trying millions of character combinations per second. Businesses have attempted to tackle this problem using the Zero Trust model. This model of network security seeks to give network operators a greater capacity to respond to unauthorized access during a cyber attack by throwing more obstacles in the way of hackers. Simply put, a password would need to be entered not just once, but a separate time for each separate task involved in a given operation. Another important method of combating the password problem that’s catching on for consumers is multi-factor authentication. MFA can either strengthen or replace a password, because it represents an alternative to the password. Typically, MFA services send a one time use, randomly generated code to the authorized user of a given account for each unique login attempt. Because these codes are random and set to expire quickly, the success rate for MFA is fairly high.
The other major area of cybersecurity is that of software that can help you handle cyberattacks when and if they occur. Because cyberattacks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, cybersecurity software also entails a wide array of different tools to combat different threats. At the most basic level are firewalls and antimalware software. Firewalls simply act as a barrier to accessing certain content or downloads that don’t have verified, safe sources attached to them. Antimalware serves the purpose of protecting you from such files in the event that they somehow get through your firewall and onto your system. While malware is often easy to avoid, it remains a common tactic among hackers because of their “set it and forget it” nature. Simply put, malware is lurking on many unsecure websites waiting for unsuspecting users to stumble upon them. Businesses find themselves beset on all sides by hackers looking to take advantage of the wealth of data an average company has at its disposal, and that means that the cybersecurity needs of a business far exceed those of consumers. For example, network security goes far beyond the login process. Intrusion prevention and detection are necessary pieces of software that can disrupt a cyberattack in progress, for example. Likewise, DDoS attacks can be incredibly damaging to a business, and they are notoriously difficult to stop. Therefore, DDoS prevention software is the only reliable way to combat this threat. Network traffic monitoring is important for anticipating attacks before they happen, and this requires not only monitoring software, but also the keen eye of a trained professional. E-commerce introduces some new cybersecurity problems, as well. A company’s website will need to be fortified with encryption and decryption protocols that can obscure any data that happens to fall into the wrong hands.
Meanwhile, the APIs used to develop e-commerce apps on the cheap and in a timely fashion may carry with them security weaknesses that transfer to the final product. This gives hackers the means to find a backdoor into your system if you don’t invest in API security.
Publish Date: August 29, 2021 10:21 PM
Your business’ marketing activities need to be effective yet affordable. Cultivating good marketing tactics can help you grow your revenue significantly. The more revenue you generate, the more you can allocate towards promoting your business. Here are some ways that you can bring in more clientele with strategic outreach.
Consider Bringing in Reinforcements
Outsourcing some marketing functions may be a good idea for business owners. A reputable marketing services provider may be able to devote more time and develop better materials than you could on your own, and they may be able to do it for less than it would cost you to do yourself. Ideally, you should work with a company that has experience serving clients in your particular industry. It will probably have some good insight into creating materials that have a proven history of success.
Create Referral Programs
Your existing customers can be a big help with lead generation. In general, people may be more receptive to forming a relationship with a company when they personally know someone who has already had a positive experience with it. Get more referrals by creating a rewards program for customers who refer people to you. Examples of good bonus incentives are a percentage savings on their next purchase or a credit towards an invoice for a set amount.
Offer an Email Signup Promotion
Email is a highly cost-effective way of reaching out to people who are interested in your business’ products or services. Think about what you could provide as a special offer when people sign up to receive your emails. A special offer for an email signup doesn’t necessarily have to be a sale price or percentage discount. For example, you could give people something that they would value for informational purposes such as an ebook. Staying in people’s inbox could be a good way to keep them as a regular client. If you don’t keep the channels of communication open, your relationship may be limited to just a one-time transaction.
Put Some Time and Effort into Social Media Account Management
Establishing a strong presence on multiple social media platforms is a good way to cast a wide net. Being accessible to prospective clients on their preferred media will help them find you. When you have a well-crafted and well-maintained account page, it shows people that you have the resources to handle their business with ease and you’re likely to be capable of selling your products or services at a competitive price. Also, the way that you depict your company on your accounts can help you project a successful image.
Use Email to Stay Connected to Existing Customers
Letting your current clientele know about what’s happening with sales or company news may be a good way to get them to generate more referrals. They can easily forward an email to some of their professional or personal contacts.
Be Careful About Who You’re Following on Social Media
When linking your social media accounts to those of other individuals or businesses, be careful to steer clear of any accounts that receive negative attention. For example, don't demonstrate support for controversial interest groups on social media with a business account. Getting the wrong type of attention on Twitter or Facebook could be very damaging to your marketing efforts.
Solicit Followers Strategically
Social media influencers can help you get the attention of desirable clientele. However, just as you need to be selective about who you follow, you need to choose your paid followers discerningly. Try to avoid followers who have a track record of promoting unpopular businesses or products, and avoid anyone who has recently had negative publicity. You want followers that have a fair amount of credibility.
You can see a big boost in your clientele when you enhance your marketing initiatives. In addition to just improving visibility, you need to improve the quality of what you’re showing prospective clients about your company.
Publish Date: August 29, 2021 10:20 PM
The idea of creating a startup can be super exciting and invigorating. You might be thinking about how innovative and creative your business could be. But the vast majority of startups fail before they really get up and running. If you're starting with little to no capital, it'll be especially difficult to start a successful tech company from nothing. Here are a few tips to make the process a little easier and help you decide if this is the right move for you.
Many business experts agree that the "Lean Startup" approach is best for business owners who don't have much expertise or capital initially. The idea is to get your business to start making money before you run out of cash. This means focusing on the bare minimum essentials of your business before getting bogged down by employing new workers or creating an LLC. At the end of the day, what makes your business successful is your product. It makes sense to focus all your attention and money on making your tech as amazing as possible when you're first starting. If you're the one creating the tech, all the business will cost you is time in the beginning. You can even start your business while working elsewhere as long as you have the time to spare. But a non-tech founder is going to need a CTO (chief technology officer) to handle all the code and syntax tree, so ensure you have a good pitch for your partner if that's the route you want to take.
The best way to approach developing products for your startup is to be extremely observant about possible problems you could be solving for your target customers. Tons of startups fail because they were unable to create products that were actually needed. Sure, they might have had a super sleek design or state-of-the-art functionality. But if your idea doesn't click with the consumer, they won't be interested enough to look into your product, let alone purchase it. Hopefully, you decided to start a business because you saw a gap in the market and figured out how to fill it. Starting a business for its own sake is rarely a successful motivation and can land you in hot water when it comes time to start justifying your reason for selling your products in the first place.
It's possible that your products will appeal to a wide variety of people and you won't have to look far to find your audience. But it's more likely that you'll need to get super specific, at least in the beginning. You need to find out where your customers spend their time and advertise to them in those spaces. Are there online communities or publications where your target audience spends time reading and learning about new products? If you or your co-founders are active in such spaces, it's easy to start community-driven marketing by simply beginning conversations about your product or website. Some tech startups have had enormous success by offering free on-site installation and troubleshooting of their own products, making an offer that was tough for their customers to turn down.
Once you've made some successful sales and generated traffic to your business website, you'll have some valuable data in your possession. Now it's time to make use of that data - what can it tell you about what's working and what isn't? If your product is an app, for example, you'll be able to see who your most active users are and see what they spend their time doing on the app. Making little changes here and there can often make a big difference in how many users you have and how long they stick around.
Starting your own business is intimidating, but it doesn't always have to be expensive. Use these tips to begin planning your startup today.
Publish Date: August 29, 2021 10:18 PM
The business world is digitalized, the internet of things is expanding and the pace of these irresistible developments is increasing exponentially. These truths confront the entrepreneur with a real quandary: how do you run a company that is your priority, your passion and your bread and butter while at the same time keeping up with the dramatically, continuously shifting business world? While the only certainty in the seemingly chaotic transformation of the business universe is that it is changing, there are other apparent truths that can serve as beacons for you as an entrepreneur. Since these issues are a result of the rapid digitalization of the business world, it is clear that many of the key solutions must also come from those who are implementing the internet of everything. Fortunately, you can rely upon two notions—the “law of supply and demand” and the concept of the “survival of the fittest”—to be the impetus for the development of solutions to the very problems the digital world is presenting. This article discusses the challenges you will be facing, the new tech you must expect and one business principle that will rule in the totally digital age.
Use Digital Tools to Keep You Updated
Before focusing on the specific business issues you will encounter, it is important to discuss as a priority the need to maintain an up-to-date, secure system capable of handling all your current communication, data storage and processing needs. Security cannot be overstressed, as both public and private sector organizations are targets of ransomware, malware and information hackers. Conventional anti-virus software, the training of your IT workers and the assurances of your operating platform are simply inadequate to deal with these concerns. While no type of internet security can guarantee against malicious attacks, you should focus on the sort of coding analysis platform that takes into consideration performance, virus risks, security and documentation for your whole system. Logically this implies the need for Python static analysis. Proper analysis, ideally, will include an auto-repair function within the system as well as the ability to monitor the code quality continually in real-time. The best time to institute such a code analysis tool is before your system is running, though it is never too late to take this step.
Know the Biggest Challenges You Will Face
Given the possibility, of course, that some totally unforeseen business obstacles can develop at any moment, there are some issues that forecasters have focused upon as being the probable problems companies will face in the near future. Here are the most likely culprits you will encounter:
Expect Changes in Hardware and Software
One of the great fallacies about IT hardware in the totally digital age is that it will not evolve much. Conventional wisdom says changes will mostly involve the software programs the computers are running. The analogy is that hardware is the highway and software is the vehicle. While you have to fix the potholes in the road occasionally, the real evolution is in the vehicle. On the surface, this seems to be born out by the latest generation of programs you purchased. You did not need a CD/DVD drive because you downloaded programs off the net. You did not buy apps; you subscribed to them. This meant the regular updates would automatically install themselves and also that you would never be finished paying for them. The reality, however, is that the software itself will be requiring new hardware modifications. When was the last time you downloaded a program that did not begin by checking out the capabilities of your system? Of course, this is the easy part. Broadband changes will require additional functionality in every aspect of your system. One thing you cannot do in this age is ignore these looming tech changes because your competition is not.
Anticipate Legal Challenges as Well
Governments have a love-hate relationship with the burgeoning digital age. Constabularies from traffic courts to the US Congress have discovered that they can conduct their business distantly thanks to the internet. Sometimes laws have opened doors for digital business activities and paved the way for expansive online development, as demonstrated in the internet tax moratorium in the early years of the net. Still, legal obstacles do abound for online businesses. An underlying aspect of the issue is that the web really is worldwide. No one government can regulate it, although lots of governments—from sovereign nations to county commissioners—keep trying. It does not help that political leaders tend not to be IT savants and often have difficulty grasping many of the finer points of technical material, especially when it comes to understanding the potential implications of digital advances. Of course, political figures are subject to the pressure of lobbyists, many of whom are one-sided in pursuing regulations that provide a financial advantage to one digital industry or even a single internet company. Legal impacts on digital enterprise will continue to be a mixed blessing.
Maintain the Key Principle of All Digital Entrepreneurs
Just as it is essential to understand all the factors that will impact your ability to keep your business continuously updated, it is equally necessary to maintain an understanding of certain key business principles that have emerged. These ideas are of prime importance to the entrepreneur of an online business concern. A Forbes article about digital values went so far as to state that these ideals should be “ignored at one’s own risk.” Among these principles there is, in particular, one essential notion: while becoming a fully digital company is inevitable for survival, the true nature of your business is the same as it always was—giving your customer personal service. Continually keeping your business up to date gives you the ability to serve your customer.
Publish Date: August 29, 2021 10:17 PM
Today’s commercial landscape is heavily invested in the latest and greatest technology, because modern tech is capable of revolutionizing the business models and operations of companies. Where business tech is concerned, all roads lead back to data, because big data provides businesses mathematical proof of better business and marketing strategies. Taking full advantage of data requires you to not only implement the right technology, but also address the elephant in the room known as hackers. The big data economy makes businesses sitting ducks that hackers can exploit for profit. Here’s what you need to know to implement big data into your business.
The purpose of data in business is fairly straightforward. By understanding the company’s earnings and spendings, you can get a better idea of where changes need to be made in the business model to produce better results. Monetary transactions also entail a different kind of data, namely the personal and financial information of customers in cases such as e-commerce. Market research also provides data that businesses can use to get a feel for the customer base to whom they are selling a product or service. With all of this information coming in in large quantities from disparate sources, things can get messy in a hurry. One of the most important ways to keep data organized is to invest in network infrastructure. Your network will be the central hub for incoming and outgoing data, so it needs to be arranged with data organization in mind.
An essential part of the big data economy is the internet of things design philosophy. IoT devices are capable of connecting to wi-fi, as well as to each other and IoT apps. This allows businesses to create smart offices, and one of the greatest strengths of a smart office is the automation of administrative labor. For example, a smart cash register can automatically store records of monetary transactions, and that information can then be sorted into the appropriate dataset. By taking human effort out of the equation, you can minimize human error, keeping the data in question clean. The “cleanliness” of data is important when it comes time to process and eventually analyze that data, after all. Small mistakes can skew the final results of this process heavily, and that ripples out into strategies developed with that data in mind. Automating the data pipeline has another benefit for your company in the form of time saved and labor costs reduced.
Data processing and analysis are the final stretch of the data pipeline, but they can also be refined for better results. Data processing is handled by computers automatically, but thanks to the vast quantities of data that need to be processed, this is a time consuming and resource intensive task for even top-of-the-line computers. Enter: cloud computing. Essentially a type of networking, cloud computing has numerous additional benefits that can strengthen a business’s network immensely. One such characteristic of cloud computing is that it allows users to “borrow” processing power itself from a pool of computing resources made up of those of the overall network, and cloud computing service providers for private clouds throw some of their own resources into the pile. This allows a business network to effectively cooperate on a singular task, data processing in this case, to minimize the time cost and memory usage involved. This expedites data processing, decreasing the overall turnaround time of the data pipeline significantly.
Because hackers target businesses for their data, cybersecurity is also a major component of healthy data infrastructure. This is a problem on multiple fronts that each need their own protective measures. For starters, securing your network is a major priority, and there are many cybersecurity tools to help you do so, from multi-factor authentication to DDoS prevention software. On the other hand, your website and e-commerce app will need to be addressed on their own turf. The primary concern regarding company websites is encryption. Without encryption and decryption, intercepted data is effectively stolen, while encrypted data will be meaningless if it falls into the wrong hands. E-commerce apps often inherit the security flaws of the APIs used to create them, meaning that API security is a necessary means of identifying and fixing any problems.
Publish Date: August 29, 2021 10:16 PM
Owning a business comes with a wide array of task lists and to-dos. It is important that you and your team can efficiently implement strategies for different areas of your company. You are tasked with managing a team, distributing workload, managing potential stock and inventory, among a long list of other essential details. The key factor when it comes to running a business is revenue. This is the money coming into your company. Revenue does not mean profit, as there are expenses that come with running a company. Profit is your revenue minus your expenses. Therefore, revenue is an extremely important part of any business, and without it, a business model crumbles. Fear not, however. Here are 12 tips to help you create a solid revenue.
There is nothing worse for a company than a flawed production system or an un-unified team. The seamlessness of operations is ideal for revenue production. If you run a clothing company, it is imperative that a customer who orders clothing, receives their order as ordered, and on time. Your production assembly line needs to be running efficiently to produce quality merchandise, and your packaging and shipping team needs to be getting that package out on time. If you find that your packaging team is frequently shorthanded, you may need to hire more team members. If you find that your production machinery is performing poorly, it may be time to invest in more efficient equipment. This example is for merchandise, but this model could serve any business.
Ultimately customer satisfaction will drive revenue. Happy customers leave great reviews, and great reviews drive exposure and revenue. You and your team want to go above and beyond for each customer. This will keep the customer returning and increase the chances that they will recommend your services or products to friends.
If you aren’t planning to scale and grow your company, then you may be planning to fail. This technological age has created a competitive business world. It is now easier than ever to advertise and network for your business. Planning to scale means networking with other companies, and professionals in your field. A great way to scale your business is through enterprise sales. This is when you partner with large companies to build credibility and gain exposure through their clientele. This is an excellent way to scale your business.
Having a healthy work environment starts with fostering good relationships throughout your team and maintaining a positive mission. Make sure that you back your company’s mission statement by action. If you claim to be a company focused on the health and safety of all, then be sure to live out that message in all environments. It can be detrimental to claim one work culture, and not uphold those claimed standards. Keep the workplace a warm and welcoming one and be sure to be attentive to the needs of both your team and clients.
Revisit your business model for a revenue refresh. Look at things like your target market, operations, communications, and overall goals of the company. Going back to the drawing board is a simple, but effective way to maintain a successful business.
The key to individual employee revenue is a management team that they feel both encouraged and supported by. Be sure that your management positions are filled by genuine people with a yearning to help. It can be devastating to your sales if your employees feel lost and depressed under their management team. Train your managers to know how to recognize when an employee needs help, and how to assist them.
A price adjustment, up or down, can help your company’s revenue. If your prices are too high, clients may be hesitant to spend money on your services. If your prices are too low, you may not be making enough revenue to support your business model. Spend some time analyzing your business and determine whether a price adjustment may be beneficial.
Expanding your company’s values may allow you to reach a broader target audience. For example, if you add sustainability to your company values, you target consumers that only source from sustainability-focused brands. This method can work for a variety of things, including donating to a charity, partnering with a humanities campaign, and/or committing to climate change initiatives.
Divestment is removing an aspect of revenue or cost from your business model. Analyzing your revenue on an individual customer basis can allow you to see which clients are not worth investing in. This method can allow you to focus on customers who provide revenue to your company and expand to higher-paying and more ideal clientele. You can also assess customer value by noting their potential for growth with your services. If a customer has no potential for growth and is bringing in a small percentage of revenue, it may be time to recommend another business’s services. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it is a strategic move for long-term revenue generation.
Being unprepared can seriously harm a company. You can implement tools like scenario planning to build a course of action in the event of a disaster. An unorganized, and communication-less business will crumble in an unexpected event. It is always a smart idea to note operational steps when your business experiences a crisis. This can prepare team members for similar situations in the future. It is always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, especially on a business level.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with your team members. It can be a very useful tool for you to assess current employees and potentially change their roles. If you notice a salesman is consistently failing to meet their quotas, you may find that they function better as a leader or planner. Also, don’t be afraid to move a manager to sales. If an individual has very strong skills in sales, they may serve as an incredible asset to you, and you could even offer a monetary incentive for the change.
This applies to both internal operations and sales. Offering incentives to keep your team members motivated is a great business move. They will work harder and more efficiently for the end goal, and you will generate revenue. Offering incentives to customers is also a way to motivate them to spend money and invest in your services. This is also a great way to foster a competitive workplace, as well as a competitive company.
Maintain a solid focus on why you started your business in the first place. Was it to help others? Was it to change the field you are in? Find your “why” and put it at the center of all that you do. Often, business owners focus too intently on revenue, profits, sales, and everything other than why they embarked on their entrepreneurship in the first place. Re-aligning yourself with your own values, and your company values can change the way you interact with your team and clients and refresh your strategies. This may look like drawing a diagram on a blank sheet of paper, taking some time away from the office, spending time introspecting, and/or looking over old business plans.
A money-hungry business owner can be detected by many consumers. Lead your company down the path of authenticity. Be genuine with your interactions. Hold the customer’s satisfaction to a high standard. Be a face that your clients know, even if they never work directly with you. Making clients feel welcome in your business is a great way to establish lasting connections and branch out via recommendations. This method also serves the workplace. Make sure to greet each new employee, no matter their role. Foster a friendly work environment. Studies have shown that employees that like their work environment perform significantly better in their job roles. Live your company values in your daily life. If one of your values is sustainability, take the time to recycle and participate in events held by the organizations that you support. When people see you being genuine, and a well-rounded individual, they will feel more inclined to utilize your services. This approach is an easy way to naturally improve the quality of your business model and your life.
Running a business has its challenges but maintaining a steady revenue does not have to be one of them. There are an abundance of ways to build, maintain and increase your company’s revenue. Overall, creating solid revenue means paying attention to detail, and valuing the relationships that you have in business. Relationships with employees, clients, and other business professionals will give you a solid foundation for your business. If you lead your company as an authentic person and align your values with your company's, you will leave a lasting positive impact on your clients, and your revenue.
Publish Date: August 27, 2021 10:13 PM