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Carol Evenson - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog Page 4

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7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Business Technology

Technology helps define the business world. It shapes how teams work together and how they interact with their audiences. However, not every tool is completely plug-and-play. You need the right policies and strategies to truly harness the value of your technology.

1) Remember Security

Perhaps the most important element of making the most of your business technology is protecting it. While technology can fuel your organization’s success, it can also be a vulnerability. This is especially true as businesses move to the cloud.

With powerful security tools such as Next Gen Security Web Gateway (NG-SWG), however, you can protect your data and your systems. Don’t let your business fall victim to cybercriminals.

2) Measure Your Marketing (and Other Initiatives)

When you start a new initiative, it is immensely valuable to measure it properly. This is most commonly associated with marketing channels where businesses want to track their return on investment. However, it can be a valuable practice no matter what you are doing. Getting in the practice of tracking key performance indicators will help you ensure your business is always using the best strategies and tools possible.

3) Don’t Just Chase Trends

While staying up to date with the latest trends can be valuable, it is important to avoid chasing them. If you are always changing how you do business just to stay trendy, you will never build a stable business. Learn about and leverage new technology and trends. However, only make changes thoughtfully. The best operations balance innovation with consistency.

4) Remember That Content Comes Before Channel

Whatever you are doing, always remember that the value of your products, services and content is more important than its delivery. While it is helpful to be innovative and clever with your marketing and product delivery, the channel should support the content, not the other way around.

This is especially relevant for content marketing. Reaching people on the coolest social channels isn’t helpful if they aren’t interested in your message. Figure out how to get people excited first then find ways to reach them.

5) Consider Mobile Experiences

More people are using their mobile phones as their primary way of connecting to the internet than ever before. You can’t neglect the importance of your mobile experiences. Many brands have adopted a mobile-first approach to engaging consumers. Still more are taking a screen-agnostic strategy, meaning that they try to design for all screens.

Mobile experiences offer a lot of opportunities. Many people are more engaged when they are on smartphones. Leverage your mobile experiences to deliver greater value to your customers.

6) Get Social

Social media has helped define the last decade of online interaction. Frankly, if you aren’t engaging with your audience on social channels, you are missing out. Every organization can benefit from a well-planned social presence.

Whether you are sharing your latest updates on Twitter or posting product images on Instagram, social channels give your business a unique opportunity to engage with your audience. It is one of the few truly two-way methods of interacting with customers online.

7) Integrate

Technology can be even more powerful when multiple tools are integrated together. When you are choosing a system to add to your tech repertoire, consider what other functionality it can integrate with. For example, you may want your project management tool to be automatically updated whenever you commit new code to your software.

As another example, you may want your marketing pipeline to integrate your social channels with your blog smoothly. In short, the more you can tie your tools together, the less work you have to do to get them to play nicely together.

Get Started

Make the most of technology to set your business up to thrive this year. The business world is heavily impacted by the tools and tech at its disposal. If you want to stay at the cutting edge, you need to be thoughtful about your technology usage.

Publish Date: April 15, 2020 6:41 AM


How to Maintain Healthy Credit for Your Business

We all know that we have a personal credit score that affects our borrowing power, which is the amount of money creditors are willing to lend us. Your credit affects your ability to buy a home and take out a credit card.

 

What some people don't realize, is that if you have a business, your business entity will have a separate credit score if you take a few basic measures. The good thing about having a separate credit score for your business is that one does not affect the other, and a mistake or drop in your personal credit history will not affect your business and vice versa. However, it's equally important to monitor your business credit score as your personal score. 

 

Build Credit History

If you are beginning a business, one of the best things you can do is incorporate your business. This involves getting an EIN, or employer identification number so that you can pay taxes to the Internal Revenue System. Having an employer identification number separates your business from your personal identity and credit score and forms its own entity. Once this is established, you can begin to build credit for your business.  

 

When you set up a business, be sure to establish separate banking accounts that are business-related only. You don't want to use your personal accounts for business transactions. This can be very confusing and lead to errors in your accounting. It's also a good idea to utilize software that tracks your business expenses and income. This makes record keeping easy since you have everything in one place. It also eliminates many errors.

 

A good way to establish credit for your business is to foster a good relationship with several of your most frequently used suppliers and set up a line of credit with them. This will allow you to build your credit history and also makes business transactions much easier. You should also consider getting a credit card in the business's name. Another option is to establish a line of credit with your bank. This gives you access to cash when you need it without the hassle of applying for a loan for each expense or need you may come across.

 

Your business credit score will be calculated based on the number of accounts that you have, the history and length of time these accounts have been open, the balance you hold with your creditors, and your payment history. Start out strong by paying your accounts in full each month, or at least make the minimum payments on time each month. This will help you to build good credit fast.

 

Fix a Low Score

A business credit score is a number that is calculated based on your past credit history and shown as a number from zero to 100. The closer your business score is to 100, the better off your business is. If you find that you have a low business credit score, you can take measures to fix it.

 

If you find you need to fix credit score, there are steps you can take. The first thing that you should do is get a copy of your credit report. Once you have your report, check it thoroughly for any mistakes and identify any negative remarks. If there is an error, dispute it with the credit bureau and creditor to get it removed from your report. Next, you should make an effort to pay off any past due balances. After this, you can focus on making on-time payments each month to pay down your account balances and increase your credit limit. Over time, these actions will result in an increased credit score and give you access to higher credit limits.

 

Healthy business credit is important because it will affect your business's borrowing power. If you are hoping to expand your business in any way, good credit is a necessity to secure the funding that you will need. Make sure that you pay close attention to your spending habits, monitor your credit reports, and pay your bills on time to keep your credit in good shape.

 

Publish Date: April 14, 2020 1:28 PM


 6 Ways To Increase Company Performance

Though taxing, a thriving company only experiences progression through continuous effort. Luckily, there are a number of tools to help business owners thrive. Here are 6 ways to increase the performance of your enterprise.

  1. Encourage Meaningful Employee Feedback

A company is only as good as its staff, and by offering opportunities for your employees to feel heard, you’ll be one of the rare businesses that takes feedback just as well as gives it. Indeed, by allowing your employees an outlet to praise and critique aspects of company culture, you’ll also be providing yourself with a bevy of quality information in which to better assess your company’s business practices. What’s more, workers who feel seen and heard by employers will be more likely to remain with the company as their value is evident in the way management reacts to their educated insight. This doesn’t have to be difficult. Crafting an employee questionnaire, one that can be filled out anonymously, or verbalizing your interest in feedback both individually and directly will provide your staff with the opportunities to be seen and heard. 

  1. Foster Inspiring Management 

It’s pretty easy to understand how excitement and engagement among management can be contagious, inspiring staff with genuine passion for the job. Indeed, by working side-by-side with your managers, staying open to hearing the ways in which their experiences have engaged or disengaged them, you can better understand how to positively influence your other employees. In fact, if you promote from within, chances are your managers have first-hand accounts of how it felt to be a regular employee. This crucial information can help you create a more inspiring work environment based on both current and past experiences within your company, not to mention foster a level of commitment to excellence among your managers. 

  1. Show Your Gratitude

If you want to stand out among the competition, showing appreciation for both employees and customers will get you far. Showing even the simplest forms of gratitude such as celebrating employee anniversaries and milestones, or providing discounts and special offers to loyal consumers,  can showcase your sincerity. 

  1. Continue Revising Your Business Plan

It’s safe to say whatever your original business plan entailed, your company has most likely expanded beyond initial projections and goals. If so, you’ll need to update your business plan to reflect your current aspirations. By making changes to your business plan where applicable, you won’t just be avoiding stagnation but will also be directing your company culture toward greater accomplishments and growth. 

  1. Encourage a Flexible Schedule

Whether it be an occasional half day, late start, or remote work opportunity, allowing some flexibility to your company schedule can better help your employees fulfill their work obligations. Though a manager’s presence and input can help employees stay on-task, so can a little freedom. By offering ways for your staff to get work done outside normal office hours and company environments, you’ll be showing your employees how much you trust them to effectively complete their duties without your presence. In the long run, your company will benefit in a culture that promotes freedom and autonomy among its staff. 

  1. Utilize SEO

In this day and age, it’s relatively impossible to have a top-performing business without an online presence. With SEO backlinks, you can increase your brand’s visibility by offering links to your site from content on another webpage. When visitors click on your well-placed link, they will be directed to information relating to your services and products. Utilizing this tool will help build traffic to your site, which in turn will lead to a greater number of sales. 

At the end of the day, your company thrives with the help of top-notch employees and programs as well as customer satisfaction. Whether it’s better utilizing certain online tools, revising your business plan, or promoting more flexibility, autonomy, and gratitude within the workplace, continuing to advance your business practices will keep your company on track. 

Publish Date: April 13, 2020 5:19 PM


How New Tech will Revolutionize 2020

There is no telling what future technology holds for the human race, but all indicators point to the fact that it would make life a lot easier. Global technology and internet giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and IBM, have already thrown the spanner to works and are rapidly coming up with incredible solutions to common life problems. While most have hinted to be working on some major and long-term projects like space travel and development of quantum computers, it would be interesting to learn how their current innovations will shape 2018’s technological space. Here are some new technologies and how they will influence the year.

 

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence has come of age, and 2018 might just be the year it jumps off labs into the corporate world. With companies like IBM already having released Watson, 2018 will be the year the rest of the industry delves into artificial intelligence and machine learning. Hospitals and institutions of higher learning especially stand to benefit from this technological shift as it not only allows for solving of complex mathematical calculations but also assists in finding a cure for illnesses. 

 

Software development

The current wave of cyber threats witnessed across the world can, to a large extent, be attributed to poor software coding. In most cases, hackers are only able to access company websites and servers by exploiting vulnerabilities in their root code. Going into 2018, coders will be under a lot of pressure to deliver safe and creative projects like the towing software built for companies actively involved in towing business to offer convenience in streamlining their operations. Another safe and reliable solution for businesses is to consider using a VPN for iPhone and computers at work.

 

Virtual reality 

You would be forgiven to have thought that virtual reality will forever remain within the confinements of the video gaming industry. The emphasis that such companies like Facebook with their Oculus and Google Cardboard have exerted on the virtual and augmented has set heads rolling on how to incorporate these features into the general economy. Going into 2018, expect more companies to start incorporating this technology in their day to day activities.

 

Virtual reality will especially prove instrumental in how businesses conduct meetings as it makes video conferencing affordable and at the reach of even the small and medium enterprises. It will also disrupt the corporate world in how institutions train new employees or even deliver pitches with its multi-dimensional visualization. 

 

Cloud computing

Currently, there is no mentioning of how to best protect a company’s online data without including cloud computing. While this technological feature may not be new to most businesses, institutions, big and small, have only been learning and warming up to its capabilities. However, with the current increase in cyber attacks, you can expect more businesses to embrace this informational storage technology as a protective measure against cybersecurity threats.

 

Additionally, the entry of prominent global technology companies, Amazon and Microsoft, has raised awareness about the technology and 2018 should be the year these companies, especially the SMEs, migrate to the cloud.

 

Blockchain technology

While companies and governments may turn a blind eye to the revolution cryptocurrencies are making to the global economy, they can’t shy away from the benefits its associated blockchain technology offers. The complex and unbreakable security features of the blockchain technology adds to a company once integrated with the existing systems is immeasurable.

 

Numerous discussions have thus taken place and compatibility tests for the technology and its integration conducted. The legalization of Bitcoin in Japan and South Korea earlier in the year and the revelation that the United States government holds a Bitcoin reserve may serve as the go-ahead most companies were waiting to delve into the blockchain technology come 2018.

 

Bottom line

Since its global-scale adoption, technology has gradually grown to tremendous heights, but its disruptive nature still demands that scale even higher. What you might, therefore, consider advanced today might, therefore, turn out to be just a stepping stone to an even more sophisticated and comprehensive system. The 2018 technological revolutions may, therefore, turn to be just a door to something more advanced in the future.

 

Publish Date: April 9, 2020 10:33 AM


The Best Ways Businesses Can Control Their Debt

When someone is trying to start a small business, debt is going to be a part of the situation. It is important for a business to be able to take out loans. These loans can be used to purchase more items, expand inventory, hire employees, finance property, and give a business the capital it needs to get off the ground. At the same time, there is also a dark side to debt. If a business takes on more debt than it can actually handle, this can quickly overwhelm a company. In the end, it might even destroy the business. For this reason, it is important for every business owner to know how to control the debt the company is going to accrue.

Grow the Revenue of the Company

Of course, one of the best ways businesses can stay out of debt is to control their revenue. Revenue is used to pay off debt. When businesses have more revenue, this translates into more profit and less debt. In order for a business to have more money to stay out of debt, they need more revenue.

There are a few ways that a company can increase its revenue. First, think about creating promotions that can be used to generate interest from customers. This might be a special sale or a grand opening that can be used to generate interest. These promotions can be used to encourage people to buy more items from the company.

It is also a good idea to take a look at the company’s prices. Sometimes, the company might have margins that are too low. Think about increasing prices to increase margins. While some businesses might be worried about scaring off customers, people would be willing to pay a little bit more for quality products.

Ask Customers to Pay More Quickly

Sometimes, a business might have trouble paying off debt simply because it is waiting for customers to make their payments. For businesses that don’t operate in the retail sector, this is a common issue. If customers are given an invoice, they might wait a month or two before paying it. Because companies don’t want to irritate loyal customers, they might be hesitant to ask for this invoice to be paid quickly; however, if they lag, the company is going to lag on its debt payments.

It can be a good idea to shorten payment terms. Instead of giving customers three months to pay the bill, think about shortening this to 45 days for any purchases that are made in the future. The more time people are given to pay a bill, the more time they are going to take.

Negotiate for Better Terms on Loans

Finally, businesses can also control their debt by negotiating for better terms on the loan. The better the company’s credit score is, the better the terms of the loan are going to be. If the business needs to fix their credit score, they might consider a credit repair company. When companies pay off their debt on time, their credit scores go up. If the company has a better credit score, they will be in a position of power in future negotiations.

For example, a company with a good credit score might be able to negotiate for better interest rates. This might also include a lower origination fee, no points due at signing, and longer horizons on the loans. These are all factors that are going to impact not only how much debt the company has but also how quickly they can pay off their loans.

Control Business Debt

These are a few of the many ways in which a company can control the amount of debt it has. It is important for companies to control their debt because this is going to impact their free cash flow, which will ultimately impact how quickly the business can grow. Think about these issues ahead of time and put a plan in place that will keep the company’s debt at a manageable level.

Publish Date: April 7, 2020 5:52 PM


Education Requirements for the Real Estate Industry

Becoming a real estate agent has many advantages. Perhaps the biggest one is that your job is completely up to you. You decide which days you work, which hours you're available, and which areas within your state you want to work in. There is no limit to your earning potential since your earnings are based on commissions and not hourly wages. While states only require you to have a high school diploma or a GED to begin working toward your real estate license, many agencies prefer to hire college graduates. Check out these requirements to see which option is best for you.

Each State Has Different Requirements

Before you begin spending money on education, research your state's requirements for working in the real estate industry. Keep in mind there is no national license, so if you want to work in more than one state, you'll probably need to pass a licensing exam in each one. Typically, states have requirements related to age, education, exams and licensing, and criminal history. Some states require continuing education, and some have reciprocal licensing agreements. This means that you can get your license in one state and work in another.

Pre-Licensing Courses

Regardless of which state you want to work in, you'll need to take and pass a pre-licensing course. Each state decides how many hours you must be in class before you're eligible to take the exam. To obtain a real estate license NY, you need to take 75 course hours, but California requires significantly more at 135 hours. You usually have the option to take classes at a real estate school, at a community college, or online. Prices may vary for each option, but expect to spend at least $300 on classes and research first to ensure your instructor is reputable.

Bachelor's Degrees

Real estate agents aren't required to have a college degree, but having one is helpful if you hope to advance in the industry. Typically, real estate professionals who earn bachelor's degrees do so in business administration. Core classes include finance and economics, marketing, ethics and environmental issues, and many more. A bachelor's degree in business administration is an excellent stepping stone toward working in corporate real estate or real estate development.

Master's Degrees

Real estate professionals who want to take their education even further can go on to earn a Master of Business Administration. When you earn an MBA, you further your knowledge about the legal complexities and financial requirements surrounding corporate real estate, real estate development, and large real estate transactions. The advanced educational credentials help you hone your business skills and can be obtained online around your current work schedule.

Licensing Exams

Whether you only take real estate licensing courses or you decide to earn a bachelor's or master degree, you'll need to pass your state's licensing exam before you can work in real estate. Toward the end of your classes, your instructor will tell you how to register for your exam and schedule a day to take it. The two-part, computerized test is multiple choice and features both a national portion of general information and a state-specific section. Each section receives its own score, and you must pass both to earn your license. Upon passing, you'll submit an application for your licenses along with the proper documents and your payment. When approved, you'll receive your license in the mail. Keep in mind that if you fail the test, you may have a waiting period before you can re-test. Each state has its own rules regarding how many times you can test for your real estate license. Expect to pay at least $325 for the exam.

Whether you want to sell small homes to first-time buyers in your local neighborhood or you aspire to become a real estate mogul to the rich and famous, your education must begin with reputable instructors. Research local community colleges and real estate schools before signing up to ensure you are attending high-quality, affordable classes.

Publish Date: April 4, 2020 8:05 AM


Some Of The Best Business Tools of 2020

Technology is a necessary component of today’s business world, offering an improved experience with every step of integration. Determining the best tools for your business should be considered carefully and with caution. While there is an abundance of options for every business need, each tool should be assessed comprehensively for your organization.

 

Inexpensive Technology On The Go

These days, technologies must meet a vast list of requirements to meet our needs, optimizing productivity and efficiency without breaking the bank. However, inexpensive technology can leave both employer and employee frustrated with the inability to complete the necessary work. This is easily fixed with products like the NexDock 2 which offers the look and feel of a normal laptop, easily replacing our old, cheap laptops. This can offer phone and laptop mirroring, providing the added benefit of easy integration at a significantly lower price point than other laptops. The less expensive price point with key features, both company and staff members can feel content with the product.

 

Business Planning Software

Creating a business plan is a complicated and often intimidating process that has been vastly improved with the creation of business plan software and tools. These tools often will walk you through each step of the process and provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your business to establish your plan. Each software platform ranges in its capabilities, cost and services. These factors make some better suited for small businesses versus large scale companies, such as Business Plan Pro, BizPlanBuilder and LivePlan.

 

Social Media

Most companies realize the power of social media today, however, not all realize the power of using this for business. By targeting your marketing to best attract the attention of your clients, you can improve your messaging and marketing by understanding the nuances of social media. By reaching consumers on Instagram, a particularly popular platform for young clientele through the creation of interactive, targeted, and timely content, you can establish rapport and build trust with this group of young consumers. While the tactics for social media have changed over time and continue to do so, by mastering trendy social media platforms, you can be sure to communicate with your customers wherever they are.

 

Financial Pricing Tools

Managing a business where you build relationships that involve products and services requires fine-tuned record keeping. Managing pricing and keeping track can be a nightmare, and if you are looking for an easier way to manage this, CPQ software may be the right fix. You may be asking, what is cpq or CPQ? Configure, price, quote software provides you with a management system for all areas of your pricing, including designated prices per client, discounts, quick quotes and much more at the tips of your fingers. If you are looking for a more efficient system, this may be the right answer for you.

 

Video Conferencing

In a time where we need to be mobile, video conferencing software is changing the business game. By offering us the opportunity to work remotely with digital advances and potentially reducing the price of in-person staffing costs, both company and employee can be satisfied. In programs like Zoom, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, or Google Hangouts, there are options for every price point and every business need. Consider how you can open doors, build flexibility and save money on integrating video conferencing into your business.

 

Security Risks

While there are numerous systems and tools available to improve your business, it is important to understand that not all are created the same. Within any business, knowing that there are potential security implications for software and tools is critical. These tools present wondrous benefits and opportunities, but before choosing anything it is important to know the key security implications and risks.

 

Today, businesses can choose from a massive selection of tools options to improve their relationships with customers, increase productivity and efficiency and engage more effectively. Each tool presents a unique opportunity and benefit, but before inundating your organization with too many technological choices, consider which meets the needs of your business most effectively without costing you any risk.

Publish Date: April 3, 2020 3:22 AM


How Software Programs Detect Security Threats

Despite decades of research and thousands of easily available security products that are just one click away to download. It seems to become clear that the internet has steadily become more dangerous. Everyday, dozens of these security applications oath to protect your device and your privacy. Millions like us rely on these apps to save our data from being stolen. Whether it is your phone, desktop or any other personal devices it is best to keep your data protected. 

But, out of which of these security software programs are the best at protecting our devices. How to find the most suitable security software program for our desktops, smartphones and other various portable devices? The core key in every program is to identify threats that alerts the user and provides prompt response to the actions and tasks assigned by the users.

Software Programs

With managed detection and response to a threat, you can use a software program. There are three kinds of malware that are known as potential threats to the device, specific detection, generic detection, and heuristic detection. In the event of specific detection the antivirus software looks for the known set of malware with the specific set of characteristics. The antivirus software programs start to look for proper code-base malware when they are detecting threats that cause generic detection. In the case of heuristic detection most programs scans for previously unknown viruses by looking for known suspicious behavior or file structures.

A good software program keeps the user aware of the hiding spyware present in the system that only a user can take the actions to remove them. Including the sampling of new malwares that might corrupt a file. The quicker the detection of the specific file makes the more innocent files seem less suspicious when going through a system scan. It is best known that your software program can compare generic files from the originals as it helps the device to save its memory space from unknown files. 

One key feature that a user needs to be aware of is the background running of these software programs. As these software programs are continuously scanning at the background they are checking for the files which are board and could become a potential threat to malicious viruses. The problem with the board in depth scanning is that it drains a lot of battery life for laptops and smartphones, and slows their speed of processing. Thus having software programs with background scanning is not always beneficial for the users.

Threats

Threats are always available in all of our devices, whether they are malwares or corrupt files. To design a perfectly balanced software program that detects threats in all of our devices is a vivacious task and cyber security teams deserve all the credits. Every security software program needs to have specific detection to look up corrupt files, generic detection to compare the file structure to those files which are unrecognizable by the computer system. And most importantly to broaden the search of unknown files or potential malwares without being an exceptional burden on rechargeable devices. These three detections should be in the knowledge of a user when deciding the best software programs to download which could detect threats. Nowadays, the majority of software has multiple compatibility, that makes the customers life so much easier when purchasing these types of software programs. A good software program will detect threats in our devices and call it for its action to remove without alerting or bothering the user, and that is the ideal software that everyone should have installed into their system.

Publish Date: March 23, 2020 9:40 PM


4 Ways to Improve Your Website's Performance

You just launched a website for your business and you really admire the way it turned out. But just because your site occupies space on the web doesn't mean it's ready for visitors or is efficient in driving conversions. What if its performance isn't the way it should be? What if visitors are so frustrated with their experience that they click away? 

Offering a bad user experience can negatively impact your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). As a result, your website won't get much visibility and ultimately, won't receive a lot of traffic. To fix your site's performance, there are a few steps you should take.

  1. Get Better Hosting

If you have cheap hosting, your website is probably not performing at its best. This is because with cheaper hosting plans, you're sharing your webspace with other websites. While you may have your own website, other websites in the network can still take up space and affect your uptime. Think of it like renting an apartment. You have your own space, but you're sharing the amenities of the apartment complex with other residents. When you go to the pool, laundry facility or gym, you must share that space with others. The same goes for websites that use cheaper hosting. Your site may load slowly and have errors, as a result. Cheap hosting also increases the risk of your website going offline and unavailable to visitors.

  1. Complete a Site Audit

Performing a full site audit will allow you to see any issues your site may be having. If your website is having issues and you're finding that your bounce rate is high, it might be time to conduct a site audit. To do this, you can use a site audit tool or you can work with a website development agency. Think of a site audit like a checkup you get when you go to a doctor. Just as your doctor would check your eyes, nose, mouth, lungs, stomach and other major organs, a website audit checks the major components of your website to make sure they're working properly. For example, it'll look for technical SEO issues, broken links, duplicate content, slow page speed or anything else that may be hindering your website's traffic and conversion potential.

You can also do a site audit to analyze your website's design and overall user-friendliness. It'll show whether your site is easy to use and navigate to help you offer the best user experience possible.

  1. Remove Faulty Plugins

Not all plugins are created equal. In fact, there are some that aren't well-designed. Other plugins may not be compatible with other plugins you're using and may even be incompatible with your site's theme. If you find that your site is loading too slowly and doesn't perform optimally, your plugins may be to blame. To see if there's a culprit, disable all of your plugins. Then, slowly re-enable your plugins one by one and check how your site is performing. If you enable one particular plugin and notice that your site is performing differently than before re-enabling it, then that plugin may be to blame for your site's bad performance.

Also, keep in mind that you want to have a minimal number of plugins activated on your site. This is to ensure your website runs optimally and isn't bogged down by multiple plugins.

  1. Try a CDN

For a better website performance, you might consider using a content delivery network (CDN). This is a system that allows your site to deliver content in the fastest and most optimal way possible regardless of a visitor's location and the size of your website. A CDN takes a website's static files like CSS, images and Javascript and delivers them to web servers that are closer to a user's physical location. This leads to faster load times.

Sometimes, websites can malfunction and can really frustrate visitors. Luckily, many of these problems can be fixed with the right techniques.

 

Publish Date: March 21, 2020 9:28 PM


Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Business Model

Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Business Model 

The strategy you devise for operating your business will either make or break your chances of success. In order to create ongoing value for your consumers, you need to figure out which products and services you should spend your time and resources on. While your initial ideas might be good enough to get your company off the ground, they may not be strong enough to sustain the ups and downs of the market or the constant changes of consumer mindsets. These are some of the best ways to strengthen your business model and secure consumer interest for the long-term.

Address Your Target Audience

If you have a blanket and generic marketing strategy that addresses a wide audience, you won’t be able to find the customers who really want or need your products or services. When you first craft your business model, you need to identify the specific audience that will be interested in what you are selling. Narrow the field to two or three specific types of individuals, including things like demographics, common needs or challenges and the different ways your company can provide a solution. You don’t want to be a Walmart, carrying a little bit of everything for everyone. Though Walmart is a sales leader and billion-dollar company, you aren’t going to climb that success ladder overnight. Become the go-to company for a specific audience.

Identify Your Key Resources

Your company will need a variety of resources to operate each day, and you need to identify each of these if your business is going to be profitable. It’s not just about the money, as you will need to determine what will be used to reach your business goals and to find or attract new business. You may need a website, a social media profile, data management software with a sales dashboard for lead or account tracking, customer lists, cash reserves or a warehouse. A realistic understanding of the resources will make it easier to adapt your budget or alter your price range to accommodate the daily needs your company will have.

Craft Your Value Proposition

Unless you have developed a niche service or product, your competition could hit you hard. You will need a way for your brand and your company to stand out and create an interest that outranks that of the competition. Look at your product or services from a unique point of view. Do you solve any community or lifestyle problems? Have you taken a unique perspective or approach to an old issue? Highlight what your company does better than the competition as you outline exactly what your business can and will do for consumers. This establishes your value proposition, which attracts customers to your doors over that of your competitors.

Create Your Demand Strategy

After you figure out what will create value for your company, you need to create a strategy for increasing demand. If your product or service is a radical alternative to the competition, increased demand might come easily. If not, you are going to have to work for consumer interest and loyalty. This comes down to your marketing plan and your innovation over time. Proactively document a customer’s journey, and address the areas where your strategy might be weak. This blueprint will guide you as you make decisions for new products or advertising plans.  

Plan on Innovation

Once your company gets underway, you will need to have a plan for innovation. Customers may want to be loyal to your brand, but if you don’t offer anything or try new service methods, you may lose people for a lack of need. Though you may not have the resources to develop a new line of products or expand to another location, including these goals in your business model keeps the hunger alive and the door open for new possibilities. Have the finanical information included in your strategy, so you can decide how to accumulate the resources needed to move forward.

Don’t let your business fail before you even get started. Craft a strong business model that can adapt to consumer needs and turn a profit.

Publish Date: March 20, 2020 10:29 PM


Preparing Your Land For Development

Savvy land developers know that buying land decades before any major development in the area offers the maximum return on investment. Of course choosing an area that will eventually see major development is not a guarantee, but particularly when it comes to suburban development there will likely be government long-term development plans to review when making the selection. It is common in these future suburban development areas for land to be used for various purposes over time, including industrial or construction uses, which can necessitate major clean-up and clearing projects down the road before future development can take place. Planning for these needs ahead of time will help to ensure that your development project can start on time.

Address Environmental Cleanup Needs

For sites that had a past including industrial use or other uses which could have led to environmental contamination, it's a good idea to look into land revitalization programs offered by various government agencies to see if part or all of the cost can be covered through a program. Chemical contamination is the most common in these situations, and the cost of cleanup can be extremely high if large amounts of soil need to be removed, or if bodies of water are involved. Particularly for activities that took place several decades ago, it is likely that the environmental regulations in place at the time were much more lax than today, making it common for contamination to have occurred. Depending on the plan for new development on the site, an appropriate level of cleanup will need to be addresses, with the strictest and most complex cleanup being required for residential land development. If the land is going to be used for commercial or industrial purposes, it may be feasible to do less complex cleanup. Regardless, you'll want to make sure any potential environmental issues are addressed well ahead of time since they can often be strung out for long periods of time by government environmental agencies.

Remove Large Structures and Equipment

If your land is littered with old construction or industrial equipment, you'll need to work on a plan to remove that equipment ahead of the development project. Seeking a local provider to remove the equipment is not difficult in most areas, such as looking for crane rental Los Angeles. The biggest challenge is normally where the equipment can be moved, with a primary determining factor being the viability of recycling the equipment. Depending on the size of the equipment, and whether the equipment is going to be scrapped, it may be feasible to at least partially disassemble it prior to removal. Look for a local equipment scrap business to assist in evaluating what you have and determining the best path forward.

Consider Holding an Auction

For land with easily removable structures or other large equipment with a current viable use, it may be feasible to look at an auction to sell the items and clear them away from the property. For structures such as mobile office units, there is normally a strong market for resale and auctioning those types of items off will be the most cost-effective solution for removing them to make way for further development. There are many resources available online for locating auctioneering services in your area, and finding a quality auction company who specializes in the types of items you wish to sell will go a long way to assuring the success of your action.

Whether you've owned your speculation land for a decade or five decades, you'll want to have a plan in place for clearing the land for development when the time comes. Making a good assessment of the site and having a plan in place for clearing the site specifically based upon what exists there now should be done well ahead of any development project starting. Using the resources available to you online to ensure that your plan is solid will give you a great chance of starting your development project off on the right foot.

 

 

Publish Date: March 17, 2020 11:14 PM


How to Get the Most Out of Your Company's Website

It is crucial to have a company's website because it increases your rate of customer acquisition and engagement. Creating a website is a vital part of building your company's profile. It is essential to learn how to use your site to promote your business. Here are the best practices to get the most out of your company's website.

Define the Purpose of Your Website

It is essential to set the goal of your site and work towards it diligently. Failure to define the purpose of the site might make you adopt the wrong design or publish the wrong content. If you are using the website to get more clients, ensure you provide enough information about how your products can solve their problems. Sticking to the goal of your website will significantly help you make the most out of it.

Update Your Website

It is crucial to update your website regularly, both content and design. Every time you have a new product or service in your company, it is best to update the information on the website. Make sure your site visitors know all your new products or services. Use your social media platforms to share new content and attract new prospects. Another way to update your website is by staying up to date with web designs. Readers love sites that have been developed using impressive designs. Identify a website design and development company that understands your needs and those of your target visitors.

Ensure Your Website Is User-Friendly

Usability includes readability, navigation, display, quality of content, and link recognition, among others. Ensure that your content is easy to read; use friendly language, decent font size and theme, and avoid distracting backgrounds. Your article should provide sufficient information such that customers can learn about your products when they visit your website. However, don’t use huge chunks of info. Instead, give your readers time to breathe. Break the information into short paragraphs. The most important information should be first.

Navigation is also vital when working on the usability of your site. It is important to note that not everyone gets to your site via the home page. Make sure your site has intuitive navigation features. You can use slideshows and other approaches to your website fun. Link recognition is also vital when you want to make good use of your website. Ensure that the links to your online stores are visible and enticing. Your hyperlinks should stand out. Using different colors, fonts, and other formatting features could encourage clients to stay longer and take action. All these tips make your website user-friendly, which will eventually increase lead generation.

Use Quality Images

If you want to increase your online presence and promote your business, you should use quality images. Invest in a quality camera to take pictures of your products. Clients gravitate towards products that look flawless. Also, use a plain background when taking photographs. It is also essential to optimize the pictures properly to avoid increasing the load time.

Interact with Customers

After going through your website, clients are going to have questions or suggestions about your products and services. You should always go through your comment section to answer all the questions. Clients love receiving personalized responses, and this tip can help you gain more customers over time. Include a toll-free number on your website that clients can use to contact you. 

Create a Mobile-Friendly Site

You can make the most out of your website if it is mobile-responsive. Adopting a responsive design increases the number of site visitors. Your clients can visit your company website using computers, tablets, or smartphones.

Analyze Performance

Install different tools and plugins on your website to analyze activities on your website. The tools should provide information such as the period spent by visitors on your site, what they are reading, and the device or browser used to access the site. This information can help you to provide content that satisfies a high percentage of your site visitors.

It is essential to ensure your company website attracts the target clients and promotes sales. If you want to get the most out of your site, implement these tips.

Publish Date: March 6, 2020 5:02 PM


Detecting Phishing Emails Before They Harm Your Call Center Business

Do you know the signs that indicate someone is trying to scam your employees? Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t, which has resulted in countless attacks and hacks in businesses of all sizes and types. Also, just like the influx of Doritos and Oreo flavors in recent years, the options and types of phishing emails have expanded significantly.

Photo of Person Typing on Computer Keyboard

An email requesting password resets for online banking and social media accounts, fake shipping confirmation, and more are making the rounds. As a result, now is the time to put time and effort to learn about the latest phishing scams like pony malware, ransomware, and more.

 

Here are some of the most common signs that you have been the victim of a phishing email.

 

Look at the Spelling

One of the easiest to spot signs that you have received a phishing email is if there is a spelling mistake in the subject line or in the body of the message. Misspellings are particularly significant if the mail seems to come from a bigger company, such as Facebook or T-Mobile. You can feel confident that these multibillion-dollar companies have the needed resources to ensure everything is spelled properly in their customer-facing communications – even the automated ones.

 

There are some experts who have even made the claim that misspellings are used purposefully to increase the possibility that a less observant individual will fall for the trick.

 

Hover First Then Click

If you see highlighted blue text that indicates a hyperlink in an email you were not expected, this should be an automatic red flag. There are many phishers who may try to hide URLs that lead to malware in this manner. What this means is that you need to hover over the hyperlinks in an email before you actually click them. This will let you see the real destination of the URL, regardless of what the linked text says.

 

If you are using a mobile device, you can use a long press on a suspicious hyperlink to reveal the destination of the linked text, along with several other options.

 

Phishers are also going to try to hide a nefarious URL as a legitimate one by including part of or all of a real brand name. Don’t fall for this – as it’s going to result in serious consequences in most cases.

 

Be Weary of Generic Greetings

Any type of message that is addressed in a generic manner, particularly the ones that relate to any type of financial transaction, is suspicious and should be treated as such. The majority of companies that are dealing with data in any manner have enough information on each of their customers that they can contact them using their real name during email communication. While this may seem a bit creepy to some, personalization is a key way to separate real and fake emails.

 

One of the most common phishing tactics is blasting out a generic email to thousands or even millions of different email addresses, which are often gathered from stolen or compromised databases. All it takes is a single user to click on one of these emails for the cycle to continue.

 

Be Cautious of Attachments

The use of malware-carrying file attachments is still considered a common tactic used by phishers. In fact, according to the 2019 DBIR reports, the top causes f malware delivery during 2018 were attachments. There are some email systems that can block these, but it’s still necessary to know how to spot the problems.

 

Avoiding Dangerous Emails

The fact is that phishing emails are still a serious threat. As a result, you have to ensure that you are taking the proper steps to protect your business. This means proper employee training and ensuring that everyone knows the risk factors that are present is the best way to ensure that you can reduce the likelihood that your business is going to be a victim of one of the millions of attacks that occur each year.

 

 

Publish Date: March 6, 2020 1:58 AM


4 Ways to Boost Sales

If you're having a hard time making sales for your product or service, you may be a little discouraged. However, if you've made a quality product that you know people will enjoy using, it's likely an issue with your technique. This can be easily fixed if you adopt the right strategies. In this guide, you'll learn the importance of focusing on customers' needs, which will ultimately drive more sales.

1. Write More About the Benefits of Your Product/Service

When you list the features of your product or service, you may be piquing your audience's interest. However, generating interest is not what's going to drive sales. You need customers to care about your product and desire it. To do this, you should list the benefits of your product. In other words, when reading about your product, customers should know how it will benefit them or improve their lives in some way.

Features are great, but it's also important to focus on creating that connection between potential customers and your product or service.

2. Ask for Feedback

Asking customers if they recommend any improvements your product can benefit from is another great way to increase sales. By taking this feedback into account and applying it to improving your product or service, you could be helping lots of customers who were experiencing the same problem. For example,  you might own a printing company that does a great job of printing promotional material for clients to generate business. However, you may have a client who wants to automate the process by having the envelopes already printing and addressed for them. Providing a broader range of services for your clients is a great way to become even more essential to their business. This translates to more sales and a stronger relationship with your clients.

By using salesforce chicago, you'll gain useful tips about how to meet customers' needs through better products and services.

3. Understand the Psychology of Buying

To boost your sales, it's important to know about the process people go through before they decide to make a purchase. This is important because it can help you meet their needs through every stage of the buyer's journey and understanding the challenges they may go through before taking the plunge. For example, when prospects get to the awareness stage, it's important to nurture them by giving them additional information about the solution you're offering. However, at this early stage, it's important to not be too pushy as it could cause leads to lose interest. Instead, provide actionable tips and answer questions about key topics. From there, prospects can decide on whether they want to go forward or not.

In the beginning, leads are likely going to have lots of doubts about whether or not a solution is right for them. It's your job to remove these doubts and guide them down the funnel. Even when they reach the consideration stage where they've gathered a good amount of information, they'll still be weighing the pros and cons of making the final purchase. They may even be considering other options, like your competitors, for example. This is why you have to stand out by giving the best and most useful information and letting leads know that you understand their problems.

4. Create Content for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey

As you gain a better understanding of the psychology of buying, you'll able to create content that's tailored to each stage of the buying cycle. For example, at the awareness stage where leads realize they have a problem, it's important to inform them about how to solve that problem. From there, you can gradually include your solution into your content.

Making more sales may seem impossible, especially if you haven't been great at it. You just have to know how to connect with leads and make them feel comfortable choosing your brand.

Publish Date: March 4, 2020 1:31 AM


How to Give Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is everything when it comes to running and growing a business. Give bad customer service, and you can lose customers, whereas good customer service can help you keep and even get new customers. That's why you need to make customer service a priority in your business, regardless of your industry or ideal customer. If you don't focus enough on customer service, your business could lose out on the perfect client or customer, and that can stunt your business's growth.

  1. Personalize Your Customer Service

When giving customer service, you need to focus on the customer you are helping. Especially if you have a large company, not all your customers will have the same questions or needs. Personalized customer service allows you to focus on the specific customer you are speaking to or communicating with so that you can understand their needs and resolve their problems. Instead of saying addressing customers by sir or madam, an easy way to personalize the interaction is to use the customer's name. That will make them feel important and that you care about them and helping them.

  1. Give Customers Options

Your business should always have at least two methods for customers to contact the customer service department. While a phone call can be an easy way to resolve problems, it's not always realistic for customers. If a customer is at work or in a noisy environment, they won't want to call. At the very least, offer a phone number and an email address for customers to contact with questions or concerns. If possible, consider offering a live chat service where representatives can answer questions over the computer. Think of different ways that your company can provide customer service, and utilize as many options as you can.

  1. Be Present with the Customer

Whether you're providing customer service in person or over the phone, focus on the customer and avoid multitasking. If you're in the same room as a customer, maintain eye contact with them. That will show interest, and it can help you keep your attention on them and not your surroundings. On the phone, make sure that you give verbal cues to the customer that you're still on the line. If you have to pause for a second to look up their account, tell them that so that they know what you're doing and why.

  1. Be Nice and Personable

It can be easy for customers to forget that customer service representatives are people, too, especially when representatives tend to use the same language over and over. While you want to answer questions and concerns professionally, you or your representatives should be personable. That doesn't necessarily mean having a full conversation, but sticking to a list of canned responses can sound robotic. It's important to maintain a human element when giving customer service as that can remind customers that your business is made up of humans that care.

  1. Bring the Manager Up to Speed

If a customer service representative can't solve the problem, it's important to bring in the help of a manager. Managers can answer more questions or give more details, but the manager needs to understand the situation. There's almost nothing more frustrating for a customer than having to repeat their concern or question multiple times. If you have to ask for help from a manager, make sure you tell them what has happened so that they can help the customer without having to ask the customer to repeat themselves.

  1. Provide a Customer Satisfaction Survey

While this won't help improve the specific customer service interaction, it can help your business provide great customer service in the future. At the end of a phone call, you can set up a short survey asking the customer what they liked or didn't like about the call and how your business can improve. For emails or in-person interactions, you can send a follow-up email with the same questions. You can then use those responses to determine what areas are doing well and where you can make changes to give better customer service.

  1. Keep Improving

Even if you've given consistently fantastic customer service, there's always room for improvement. If you're the one providing customer service, keep asking yourself what you can do better. Use customer surveys to see what your weaknesses are. If you have a customer service team, make sure they receive ongoing training and updates on how to interact with customers. It's especially important to send updates if you have a lot of customer service representatives so that everyone can be on the same page and give the same level of service. A regular email reminder to your customer service staff could be enough to keep everyone motivated to help customers.

Great customer service is one of the factors that can make a good business great, and not having it can cause your business to fail. After all, a business wouldn't exist without customers, so they need to be the center of everything you do to run and grow your company.

Publish Date: February 27, 2020

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