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Finnegan Pierson - Blog Page 24

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6 Software Tools Every Business Needs

Technology plays a central role in how businesses operate today. New software helps even the smallest companies compete on the global stage. Additionally, software can help them run more smoothly. If you are considering starting your own business or have recently created one, you need to make sure you have the right tools to be successful.

1) Customer Relationship Management

Selling is at the heart of every successful business. If you want your company to grow and thrive, you need to keep bringing in new customers. Furthermore, you likely want to bring your existing customers back as repeat business. Therefore, you need a solid customer relationship management tool.

CRM helps you to manage all your leads and relationships with current customers. It will keep you (and your sales team if you have one) on top of the ball for bringing in new business. With the right tool, you will never miss a follow-up or let a lead go unanswered. A good CRM can make a huge difference in organizing your selling efforts.

2) Accounting

Every business needs to keep track of its money. As they say, accounting is the language of the business world. Of course, not every entrepreneur is an accounting wiz. It can be very helpful to have a user-friendly tool to help you with keeping track of your books.

Even if you plan to hire an accountant to help with taxes and other big-ticket concerns, it can be very helpful to have the right tools for keeping track as you go. After all, your accountant only knows about the expenses and revenue to tell him or her about.

3) Project Management

No matter what industry you are in, you have initiatives and projects that need to be tracked and managed. Even single-person operations can benefit from a good project management tool for staying on top of tasks. The benefits are even more significant if you have a team that needs to collaborate.

One of the keys to running a successful business is staying organized. Having a good toolset that makes it easy to track and manage projects will help significantly. Find the tool that can find neatly into your processes.

4) Network Security

Even when you have a small business, you need to think about security. You may be surprised how often relatively minor companies are victimized by cybercriminals. Fortunately, you can protect yourself with some basic tools and good practices.

If you are running your business on the cloud, you should consider a secure access service edge solution. With SASE security, you can use all of your cloud-based applications and data with strong security. As more and more businesses move away from significant on-premise hosting, getting the right cloud security is essential.

5) Communication

Every team needs to collaborate. Whether you have hundreds of employees or just chat with your sole business partner, having a good communication system can help significantly. This is especially relevant as you start to grow. Even if you are small now, consider finding a solution that will work as you get bigger.

Many businesses work with freelancers and temporary employees when they are first starting. The right collaboration tools have easy-to-manage permissions, so you can add and remove people at will.

6) Payment Processing

Your business needs to be able to accept payments. You also need to be able to pay your vendors. Getting the right payment solutions for these two directions is a must. Fortunately, there are some great choices on the market. Many small businesses like to use out-of-the-box payment processing. Others prefer to build out their own functionality using APIs.

Whatever your preference, make sure you invest in how you handle payments. After all, no business can thrive if it can’t get paid.

Learn More

Taking advantage of the right software tools can help you to build a successful business. From security to communication, learn more about the right tools for your needs.


Publish Date: March 31, 2020 2:49 AM

A Guide to Running Your Company's Operations

Running any type of business comes with a set of unique challenges and successes. No matter what type of business you own or operate, this article can serve as a guide to running your company's operation. Everything from starting your business to keeping it running smoothly will be discussed throughout the course of this short article. 

Have a Structured Business Plan

A business plan is not only structured to help the business owner and employees, but also so that investors know what they're paying for. Plus, even if you run a small business, having a structured business plan can help to organize the business's operations. 

One of the most important things to consider when making a business plan is your business's cash flow. According to the accounting website Fresh Books, it takes about two to three years, on average, for a business to turn a profit. For this reason, it is important to have a business plan put in place that can make up for the business's losses in the first couple of years. Make a plan for how you plan on spending the money once you begin making more than you are paying out in expenses.

Get a Working Capital Loan

If you are having trouble finding enough investors to cover your initial start-up costs, then you may want to consider getting a working capital loan. Working capital loans are great for businesses that are just starting out, as they can work to cover the costs of buying merchandise and hiring new employees.

Working capital loans work differently than an average business loan. These loans are meant for businesses that expect to earn money for a short period of time. As mentioned, these loans are perfect for covering start-up costs. They are also great for businesses that are going through a slump and need some extra cash to cover their expenses until the business is running as usual again. 

Invest in Marketing

Marketing, which ties in with advertising, is key for getting attention for your business. Without attention from clients, a business isn't likely to succeed. However, investing in marketing doesn't necessarily mean investing a lot of money in marketing, so long as you are okay with investing more time in it.

There are two basic ways to invest in marketing. One way is to invest your money, by paying for advertisements or hiring social media managers. The other way is to avoid spending money but doing all of the promoting, usually on social media, yourself. Of course, if you want to go with the free route, it is important that you are technologically savvy if you expect your social media campaign to be successful. 

When it comes to social media, it's best to post advertisements or content customers can connect with on a semi-regular basis. How often a person or business should post on social media varies based on what social media website you are using. Typically, posting at least once or twice a day is a good start. Posts should also be interactable. Try asking customers questions or announce sales with a prompt something like, "Which of our items would you buy if you used this 20% coupon?"

Connect with Clients and Customers

Along with marketing, social media is generally a great tool that businesses can use to connect with their clients and customers. Social media and a business's online reputation helps to make a business more transparent. If possible, allow customers to leave reviews on your business's website or social media page. When customers see positive reviews, they are more likely to trust and use that business being reviewed. 

Whether you are looking to start a business or to improve the organization and success of a business that is already in operation, follow these four tips to get started. Although these tips are simple and small, they can help to make a big difference when it comes to your business's success.

Publish Date: March 27, 2020 9:20 PM

10 Software Tools That Will Help You Jumpstart Your Business

Starting a new business can be an immensely rewarding experience. It is a chance to create something that is truly your own. It is also a chance to set your own career path and exert more control over your work experience. Nonetheless, it is a very challenging path to walk. The following list of types of tools will help you to find the right solutions to give your business the jumpstart it needs.

1) Social Media Management Suite

Social media is an essential part of how brands communicate with consumers today. It is a unique opportunity to have two-way interactions with your audience. If you want to effectively reach your audience, you will need a toolset that can help you engage people on the most popular social networks.

There are numerous free and paid suites of tools that will let you broadcast messages to multiple networks, schedule posts, research engagement and more. Social media marketing takes practice and time. With the right suites of tools, you can more efficiently learn the ropes and apply new lessons in experiments.

2) Content Management System

Websites back in the 1990s and early 2000s had static pages that were updated directly through HTML and other languages. This was very inefficient and prevented brands from being able to effectively update their pages and content. Today, there are much better solutions: content management systems.

These tools provide a database and dashboard that you can manage your web pages from. Options such as WordPress are available for free and easy to use. This can make it easier for you to make the most of your online presence. For example, you could start a blog that you update regularly with relevant information about your business and products.

3) Accounting Software

Running a successful business isn’t just about reaching your customers online. You also need to keep your internal operations organized. One of the most significant parts of that is keeping the books. After all, money is the lifeblood of every business. Even if you started your business for non-financial reasons, you need to have well-maintained books for everything from buying supplies to raising money.

Accounting software can help significantly with this. Even if you are hiring an outside accountant, it is a good idea to keep track of your books internally as you go. This will help keep everything organized and probably save you some significant money with your accountant.

4) Automation Tools

You may be surprised how much you can achieve using automation tools. These let you link together different software to perform tasks automatically for you. For example, if you work in software, you could set up your website to automatically publish your changelog whenever you distribute a new build. Alternatively, you could send out a social media post whenever you publish a new blog on your site,

Many of these tools do not require any programming skills. Even those that do typically have simple markup languages that anyone can learn. If you can write a conditional sentence (if this happens, do that), you can use an automation tool. This can save you significant time but cutting out a lot of the humdrum minutia you have to do every week.

5) Data Toolset

Data is at the heart of running a successful business today. The right data tools can help you make better-informed decisions and fuel your marketing efforts. For example, data scraping can enable you to quickly gather competitive research for a new product. You could also use analytics to help you measure the success of your marketing efforts.

Of course, data isn’t much use if it isn’t organized. Furthermore, most entrepreneurs are not data scientists. Consider taking a basic introductory course online about data. You could learn the answers to questions like “how can I collect data?” “What is data wrangling?” “How can I leverage data?” With a basic introduction and the right toolset, you can begin to take advantage of all the data at your fingertips.

6) Payment Processor

If you can’t accept payments from your customers, your business is going to struggle. A payment processor is a must-have software for your company. There are numerous options to choose from physical point of sale systems to purely software solutions. Having the right one for your business can help you to bring in money and keep organized.

Many point of sale systems let you track inventory as you make sales. This means that you don’t need to do as much work to ensure that you always have supplies on hand. They can also often integrate with your accounting software. That means less work keeping the books.

7) Project Management Tool

For more internal organization, consider a project management tool. There are all sorts of options available ranging from Kanban boards to in-depth agile tools to simple task-trackers. Finding the right solution for your team and situation can help you to ensure that you are always organized and effective with your work.

One of the greatest challenges to effectively using a project management tool is that you need to actively use it. This may seem like a silly problem, but poor adoption is one of the most common reasons that project management tools fail. In short, people don’t keep up with racking their work and get disorganized. Finding the right tool that can fit seamlessly into your processes is the key to success.

8) Team Communication Tools

Team communication is at the heart of every successful business. To run smoothly, your team needs to talk and share information with each other. Tools like instant messaging and VoIP can enable people to interact from anywhere. The right communication can help to ensure that everyone is always on the same page.

One of the key advantages of digital communication is the opportunity for remote work. Never before in history has it been so possible to have a global team without any offices. This is especially valuable for small businesses that are just starting out.

9) Survey Platform

As mentioned above, data can be very helpful for helping you make better decisions. One of the best ways to gather data is with a good survey tool. As a small business owner, you need to validate your assumptions about the market. You also need to get feedback from your customers.

The right survey platform can help you to gather input from your customers and audience easily. Many of these platforms are free to get started and include powerful built-in analytics tools. Some of the more advanced tools come at a price but are well worth it.

10) Email Marketing Toolset

Email continues to be an essential part of the marketing mix. Even if it seems old-fashioned in comparison to some of the mobile and social marketing channels, email has one of the highest conversion rats of any form of outreach. Taking advantage of the power of email is a must-do for any business owner.

You can use email to sell your products, to keep people informed about updates or to reengage your existing customers. There are so many uses for messaging your audience directly. With the right toolset, you can easily publish newsletters, promotional emails and more to a large list of recipients. Many tools include options like scheduling, merging personalized details and more.

Learn More

The above types of tools can help you to jumpstart your business. Growing a new startup into a successful brand isn’t easy. However, it is easier when you have the right tools to power your journey. Explore the above suggestions today.

Publish Date: March 26, 2020 12:33 AM

Helpful Technology That Your Company Needs

During the past few decades, there have been significant advances in business technology. New developments in this industry have provided ways for companies to gain significant advantages in an era of global competition. If you are looking for ways to position your business for success in the future, then you need to invest in technologies that will provide your organization with an opportunity to grow. There are a few key examples that you need to note.

Customer Intelligence Technology

One of the most important technologies your business must employ is a customer relationship management system (CRM). Too many businesses underestimate the power of a quality CRM system. While some companies look at a CRM system as a digital Rolodex, a CRM system is so much more than that. 

The right CRM system will streamline your customer interactions. This allows you to shape the experience of your customers while also collecting feedback from clients. Then, you can adjust the approach of your business to help you better serve your loyal customers.

Financial Intelligence Technology

Your business needs to be able to track its financial health through the use of advanced financial systems such as bankonyourself. Too many businesses still calculate their financials using a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet sits and collects dust on someone’s computer. This obsolete method takes too long, wasting valuable hours that could be spent growing the company.

When you invest in financial technology, it will help you think strategically about your company’s overhead costs, revenue, and profit margin. Some software programs can even provide you with actionable information with the click of a button, allowing you to make faster decisions. This gives you an edge on your competition.

Business Intelligence Technology

There has been a lot of discussion regarding business intelligence technology. This system focuses on taking data from every department and transforming it into actionable intelligence. This means that you need to know where the information is coming from. It is important for you to select a technology that your IT department can manage appropriately. This system is about more than producing fancy bar graphs and pie charts. In order to apply these systems reliably, everyone in your company from marketing to sales needs to use this technology to work toward a common goal.

Systems Intelligence Technology 

Every system in your company is exceedingly complex. This includes your cloud computing services, mobile devices, laptop computers, and desktop computers. All of them connect to a network on which your entire organization relies. Think about what would happen if your network went down.

The goal of systems intelligence is to protect your network from harm while allowing you to use your resources wisely. With advanced systems technologies, you will be able to monitor, understand, and apply data from your network. This is essential for the security of not only your business but the sensitive personal and financial information that resides on it.

Employee Intelligence Technology

Finally, the people who work for your company are your most important resource. You need to make sure that you use their time wisely. There are numerous employee intelligence platforms that make their jobs easier; however, it is crucial to remember that less is more. You can install employee intelligence systems that make it easier for them to interact with each other, making collaboration easier; however, these applications should not be too distracting. Think about what your employees need and find the platform that best meets those needs.

Position Your Business For Success in the Future

A healthy, growing business needs to have a set of systems in place that will work together, collect data, interpret trends, and provide actionable information. While there isn’t a single route to success, business technology can provide your company with major advantages. When you invest in business technologies, you position your company for success. For this reason, you need to prioritize technologies that will help you track information, understand your customers, and help you develop a cohesive plan for the future.

Publish Date: March 25, 2020 2:53 AM

Best Tips for Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming undertaking. Most new homeowners end up making decisions out of emotions. If you are about to buy your first home, it is essential to be careful and seek professional help to ensure you choose the right house. Here are the best options for buying your first home.

Pay off All Debts

Consider paying off all debts before buying a home. It is expensive to own a house because you will be responsible for the renovation and upkeep. Therefore, you need to be free from debts and have enough to renovate and maintain your home.

Save Enough Money

It is essential to save enough money before buying a house, even if you are going to take a mortgage. This is because you will typically need a down payment to get a home loan. The down payment can range from 5% to 20% of the total cost of the home. Moreover, saving money helps you maintain or renovate your new house after sealing the deal. It is advisable to have enough money to take care of regular expenses for three to six months after you have moved in.

It is unwise to buy a new home without an emergency fund. Huge expenses might hit you at first because moving in needs money. You need cash for relocation, shopping, decorations, and home improvements. Also, you need to start paying your mortgage. Most first time homeowners face financial constraints that they end up moving out after two months because they could not maintain the home. You can avoid this problem by saving enough money to keep you going for about six months.

Buy a Cheap Home and Upgrade It

Most people buying homes for the first time make the mistake of choosing the most expensive home. They also try to upgrade it from their pockets. This is stressful, especially if you had not saved enough. Fortunately, you can take a loan to update the floor, ceiling, kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor space. Pool loan companies have significantly helped homeowners build a beautiful swimming pool at their backyards. You can buy a cheap house and choose this financing option to improve it.

Compare Mortgage Rates

Since you are looking for an affordable home, it is important to compare mortgage rates. Many lenders offer mortgage loans, and you need to choose one that has favorable terms. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, analyzing mortgage rates of at least three lenders can help you save more than $3,500 over the first five years of your mortgage. When comparing, ask the lenders if they would allow you to buy discount points, which means you pay interest immediately to secure a lower interest on your mortgage. Before you settle for a particular lender, you need to conduct thorough research and evaluate your options.

Choose a House You Can Afford

First time homeowners often make unrealistic decisions based on emotions. This means that you may end up choosing a house you cannot afford because it has all the features you are looking for in a home. The house should not be more than 25% of your income. Also, evaluate the mortgage payment and interest rates to ensure you can manage the monthly charges. Don't forget that property taxes and home insurance are significant factors that determine the amount you pay monthly. With the help of your real estate agent, find a house that matches your level of income.

Get a Pre-approval Letter

Getting a pre-approval letter from your lender is essential. The letter allows the lender to examine your finances and confirm that they will lend you money under specific terms. An approval letter shows a home seller that you are serious. It guarantees that the lender is ready and willing to approve your mortgage. The letter is vital if other potential buyers are competing for the same home.

It feels good to own a home for the first time. However, you need to evaluate your options first to ensure you purchase a home that matches your financial capability.

Publish Date: March 23, 2020 9:30 PM

6 Key Ways of Reaching Your Customers Through Digital Marketing

People spend more time in front of screens today than ever before. Therefore, digital marketing has quickly become the most valuable tool to reach prospective customers in an efficient manner. Digital marketing uses a variety of electronic devices ranging from smartphones to computers. In order for a business to have a strong online presence, it needs to take a well-rounded approach to digital marketing. There are a few key ways that businesses can reach potential customers through this channel.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, often shortened to SEO, is the backbone of digital marketing. The online presence of any business is left at the mercy of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search engine optimization is the practice of making a company’s online presence attractive to these search engines. The goal of SEO is to make a business’s website show up on the first page of the search engine results page, preferably at the top. There are a few ways businesses can do this. This includes using both inbound and outbound links, posting quality content on a regular basis, and taking advantage of graphics. A strong SEO strategy is essential for staying competitive in today’s market.

Search Engine Marketing

Along with SEO, search engine marketing (SEM) is another powerful form of digital marketing. This involves paying a search engine to place the company’s information above the top results. This advertisement is going to look similar to the other results on the page; however, there will be a small “Ad” next to the company’s URL. Some of the most common forms of search engine marketing include Bing Ads and Google AdWords. Businesses can tailor their ads based on target keywords, viewer demographics, and more.

Location-Based Marketing

Another powerful form of digital marketing is called location-based marketing. One of the most popular forms of location-based ads is called geofencing marketing. A user’s location is recorded through the internet. Then, advertisements are shown to potential customers within a certain geographic radius. Geofencing ad campaigns target consumers based on their location and provide geographically-relevant messages and advertisements.

Email Marketing

This form of digital marketing is a bit more personal. Instead of trying to reach the masses through the digital world, email marketing is going to connect with customers through their own mailboxes. Even though this form of digital marketing has been around for a long time, it is still relevant today. Some of the most popular forms of email marketing include confirmation emails, notifications, and thank-you notes.

Landing Page Marketing

Landing pages are a powerful form of digital marketing. They have the potential to convert leads into sales when used properly. The landing page is the first page that someone sees when they arrive at the website. Online advertisements often contain links that drive traffic to a landing page. Then, this landing page has been tailored for a specific marketing campaign to drive conversions. It is a good idea to use a mobile-friendly design with attractive headlines that accompany a strong call-to-action.

Affiliate Marketing

Finally, affiliate marketing can reduce a company’s digital marketing workload by outsourcing it to others. Influencers who have a lot of followers are given a small commission to advertise products and services on their own platforms. Then, if someone purchases a product or service through an affiliate marketer, he or she will receive a small commission. There is no upfront cost with affiliate marketing and the company can decide the rates at which the affiliate will be paid. This makes affiliate marketing a popular form of digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Is the Centerpiece of Modern Advertising Strategies

These are six key ways that companies can reach their customers through digital marketing. It is critical for every business to take a well-rounded approach to marketing in the online world. When used correctly, digital marketing can increase a company’s visibility, uncover leads, and boost sales.

Publish Date: March 21, 2020 1:43 PM

Understanding IoT Solutions and What They Can Do

You have probably heard about the internet of things. In fact, the vernacular and terminology that has grown out of this specialty tech industry can be confusing and overwhelming to the uninitiated. Because of that confusion, it is increasingly important to learn about what IoT solutions are and how they can help streamline processes in your business and personal life.

What Are IoT Solutions?

The internet of things is a web of systems that utilize software and hardware to integrate processes and increase efficiency. An IoT tech solution is an integrated technology bundle that utilizes numerous sensors to seamlessly solve a problem or offer increased value. It should be available for purchase or use as a whole since each piece needs the other to work in a seamless fashion. It may be easier to understand what an IoT solution is by looking at what they can do. 

How Do They Work?

As their name suggests, IoT technology solutions help solve problems. They do this by integrating and analyzing data from multiple input points into coherent and usable information. These are generally automated sensors that detect things such as temperature, moisture, or movement. 

The sensors themselves only provide the information to the solution framework. From there, it must be transformed into something that has a real-world application. 

Data is analyzed by computers throughout the entire process. These will operate within the framework and limit you set. However, there is plenty of room to utilize AI and machine learning to help systems grow and develop over time. That allows for your solution to adapt as the situation or problem it is designed to address changes. 

The internet of things offers a tremendous advantage over older tracking and monitoring applications because data readings are done remotely and continuously. As a result, the information at your disposal is in real-time instead of collected at pre-determined reading times. It also offers an interconnected solution instead of individual piecemeal ones that need to be cobbled together. 

Consider this example:

You have a refrigerated trucking fleet and want to ensure that all trucks are kept at the proper temperature for their cargo. If you want to use the internet of things to track refrigeration within that fleet, you would have remote, battery-powered sensors installed throughout each refrigeration container. These would then send real-time information over a network to a monitoring console. That would automatically detect changes within temperatures, alerting you to any discrepancies or patterns that may be a sign of trouble. This means that you can detect issues early before the cargo you are hired to move is damaged or spoiled.  

What Can They Do?

IoT solutions aren't just for businesses. They have many applications that go far beyond trucking and warehousing. In fact, you probably use IoT solutions like these every day without even realizing it:

  • Smart home devices, such as doorbell cameras, remote thermostats, and geolocating lights that automatically turn on when you pull in the driveway
  • Drive through toll sensors that scan your vehicle and collect your fee
  • Inventory tracking systems that let you know exactly where each item is within a store

What's Next for IoT Solutions?

The future looks wide open for the field of IoT. People are embracing the use of technology to make their daily tasks easier, boost productivity, and help climate conservation efforts. The possibilities are virtually endless. 

Experts in the field are studying how IoT can be used to improve patient care in medical offices and hospitals. Smart homes are being designed to integrate IoT tech solutions into everyday life with refrigerators that alert you to low or spoiled food items, lights that detect your location and automatically turn on, and sensors to adjust temperatures according to your most commonly used settings. 

Caution should be exercised with the expansion of data collection. Along with increased automation and remote sensing, there are growing concerns about invasion of privacy and the misuse of data collected from them. These concerns must be addressed in order for the field to continue and thrive.  

Whether you are a seasoned tech professional or someone looking to transition to a smart home device, a basic understanding of IoT solutions can be useful. As it becomes ubiquitous within society, you will need that information to navigate the various systems you encounter.  


Publish Date: March 18, 2020 3:13 PM

3 Ways to Increase Business Program Efficiency

The quality of a business program is of the utmost importance to both clients and the business itself. Included in this quality is an efficiency of service. If a business is not efficient in its processes, it risks not meeting deadlines that clients need met in order to justify paying the businesses for its services. Examining how to ensure that the quality of a business is maintained at a high level includes evaluating its efficiency. Here are three ways to increase business program efficiency to ensure a positive experience for all parties involved with a business.

Perform a Sentiment Analysis

A sentiment analysis essentially presents you with the facts and figures of a business program from the side of customers, clients or stakeholders. While it's easy to gauge how well you think your business is performing, conducting a sentiment analysis helps you gain perspective as to how your performance looks from the outlook of a client. After all, your clients' opinions of your business are the most important for your bottom line. If a business is not performing to the standards that customers see as necessary to warrant using it, the business's services could be dropped.

Through understanding the needs of a client through a sentiment analysis, a business can identify gaps in service and areas of the company that can be more efficient moving forward for a better overall customer experience. For example, a help desk chat tool is a great resource for customers having trouble with a particular business offering. However, if this chat tool is not providing a robust service experience that answers all of a customer's questions, a sentiment analysis can identify where the tool needs the most help. Identifying these areas is crucial to providing the best possible customer experience.

Employ Digital Tools

There are all kinds of digital tools available for businesses looking to increase their efficiency. Task management software can improve your business's efficiency through the delegation of projects, creation of detailed plans, and increasing transparency among teams. With task management tools, an employee is able to see who in the company is working on what and how far along they are in the process. Under each task card, a project manager can customize the individual components needed to be checked off to warrant completion of that particular task. These detailed plans help business efficiency through making it clear-cut what needs to be done and in what timeframe.

Build Out Company Training and Resources

So many business inefficiencies are due to employees not being trained in a robust and complete manner. When employees are given an incomplete picture of how to perform their jobs to a certain standard of excellence, they will not know how to work efficiently. In building out company training and resources, on-boarding teams put thought into the most important elements of a job that new employees need to learn as well as how to relay that information clearly and concisely. Another key characteristic of good training resources is that they are easy to find and readily available when an employee is performing their day-to-day job.

Think about employing the use of a wiki or an online database that contains the information employees need to perform their job well, such as login information for digital tools, step-by-step guides for using different systems, and profiles of coworkers that highlight what each employee specializes in. When all of this information is accessible, employees can keep questions of others to a minimum and your whole team can work more efficiently.

Performing a sentiment analysis, employing the use of digital tools and building out company training and resources all contribute to increasing business program efficiency. Before making a move on one of them, consider which strategy can work best for your company and the individual personalities that work together on your team. What will make them click and work more efficiently? Then, create an action plan for efficient work and watch your business create an even more quality experience for customers and clients.

Publish Date: March 16, 2020 5:55 PM

The Basics of PaaS Software

There have been tremendous advances made in the world of business technology over the past few years. One of the biggest changes has been the growth of cloud computing. This is a virtual world where companies can purchase a subscription to services they used to have to purchase hardware to complete. This has allowed companies to outsource many of the services that used to be conducted in-house. One of the biggest areas of cloud computing is called platform as a service, which is usually shortened to PaaS. Along with infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS), PaaS has changed the way that many companies look at their technology departments. There are a few basics of PaaS that every business leader should know.


What is PaaS?

For those wondering, “what is PaaS,” PaaS provides companies with access to a platform upon which they can design their own applications. While IaaS provides access to data storage and secure servers and SaaS provides businesses with access to finished applications, the goal of PaaS is to provide users and clients with the ability to build their own applications.

When a business purchases a subscription to a PaaS provider, it will be given access to a range of operating systems, development tools, systems, and servers that can be used to create applications that have been tailored to meet their own needs. The flexibility, customizability, and scalability of PaaS are what make it so attractive to businesses everywhere. There are a handful of benefits that come with PaaS that everyone should keep in mind.

What are The Benefits of PaaS?

When you invest in PaaS, you are going to have access to infrastructure, middleware, development tools, and other advantages. For example, with PaaS, you will be able to reduce the amount of time you spend coding new applications. You will have access to pre-coded frameworks that you can use to cut down on the amount of time you spend making apps.

You will also have access to added development capabilities thanks to expert assistance. In the past, you used to have to hire these professionals for your own business. Now, you can access them remotely through PaaS without having to pay additional salaries.

With PaaS, you can also develop apps that are going to work on multiple platforms including mobile devices. You will be able to build applications that can cross multiple devices, allowing your employees to work from almost anywhere.

Thanks to the remote nature of PaaS, you will also be able to support teams with members that might not have members in close proximity to one another. Because PaaS is accessed through the internet, your teams can work on projects even when they aren’t in the same location.

How Can I Maximize the Benefits of PaaS?

If you are looking to maximize the benefits that PaaS provides, you need to take a look at what your company does and what its current needs might be. Then, you need to brainstorm additional applications that can make the daily lives of your employees easier. Finally, you can talk with professionals about applications that can be developed through PaaS that can solve these issues. As your business grows, you can scale up your PaaS subscription to meet the needs of your company.

PaaS Can Help You Grow Your Business

When you use PaaS properly, you have the potential to grow your business. You can purchase a subscription to a PaaS provider and create applications that have been tailored to meet the needs of your employees. Then, if you need to scale up or down your subscription, you can do this at any time. PaaS can help you shift many of your company’s overhead costs, allowing you to only pay for what you need. Then, you can take this extra capital and use it to grow your company through cloud computing. PaaS has the potential to change the way countless businesses operate.


Publish Date: March 13, 2020 8:29 PM

What You Need To Know About IoT Platforms, Solutions and Companies

The Internet of Things, IoT, is a growing field where providers help you integrate systems for better automation, data gathering and much more. You can find platforms dedicated to your industry with customizable features or you can enter the field as a hobbyist and find development kits or DIY solutions. Either way, understanding some basics about IoT platform, companies and solutions can help make your search for those things easier.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is a series of connected computing devices given their own unique identifications and capable of transferring data without needing a human-to-computer or human-to-human interface. It is used in multiple different ways including automated buildings, like Smart Homes, and integrated communications for transportation companies. There is even an Internet of Medical Things designed to gather data, monitor conditions and provide analysis of health-related devices and information. IoT companies, platforms and solutions help you effectively use this technology in your home or company.


Since a lot of information about IoT platforms can contradict or overlap in confusing ways, researching them can be difficult. These platforms are basically the middleware that connects everything together. These software solutions connect the edge hardware, data networks and access points to the rest of the value chain to bring both the company and customer the best experience possible. Since there are already hundreds of platforms, with more emerging as the technology advances, it is a good idea to treat them like strategic partnerships instead of assets.


Internet of Things solutions are the system that you purchase for a specific problem. These systems involve IoT components and usually require a network of partners including sensors and applications. You can purchase solutions from big companies or from startups depending on your needs and the functions offered. These platforms and solutions help fill the gap between data networks and sensors, you can fill this gap yourself, but partnering with an IoT company can help do it more quickly, efficiently and effectively because they already have everything ready to go.


When you are researching IoT companies and platforms, you may find that the terms can be used interchangeably through articles and across the industry. Generally speaking, you purchase the platforms from the companies, so forming a partnership with one is forming a partnership with both. Since a lot of development and resources go into designing and maintaining these platforms, companies will usually not offer more than one. This can make it easier to understand some of the research you find because you can usually treat the company and platform as one entity. It also means that since there are hundreds of platforms, there are hundreds of companies to choose from to form the right partnership and meet your needs.


Choosing the right platform for your IoT needs means looking at key criteria for the solution you have chosen. You will want a network coverage that fits your company’s projects as well as the right method of connectivity. Finding companies with a solid history and which offer the type of service that you need will make the partnership more beneficial to your business. It is also a good idea to look at things like the security systems, data plans and device management before building the business partnership. You should also see what types of collaboration and troubleshooting each company offers to see how much help you can expect during the initial setup and the ongoing maintenance of the platform.

You can do a lot of research into IoT platforms, companies and solutions and just end up more confused. This is because some informational posts will use the terms interchangeably or offer incomplete definitions. But, once you can iron those things out, you can see how this form of device integration can help streamline your company’s value chain and offer better service to your customers whether you are a startup or a large corporation.


Publish Date: March 13, 2020 7:51 PM

6 Accessories Every Work Phone Should Have

Few people think about their work phones; however, they come in many shapes and forms. Therefore, it is important for people to take steps to make their lives with work phones easier This means thinking about ways to upgrade them. For those who are interested in upgrading their work phones, there are a few accessories that everyone should consider. It is a good idea to think about these accessories because they could make work phones easier to use.

1. Invest in a Portable Battery

It’s no secret today that most people’s work phones double as cell phones. One of the critical accessories that every work phone should have is a portable battery. These batteries are fantastic because they allow someone to keep doing their job without being tethered to a wall. There are outstanding portable batteries that even double as a charging case. Think about investing in a portable battery for work phones.

2. Look at a Water-Resistant Case

There is no telling when disaster is going to strike so it is important to protect work phones. One of the ways to do this is to invest in a water-resistant case. Most people know someone who has dropped a phone in water only to have that moment of panic later. Sure, someone could put the phone in rice for a few days; however, there is no guarantee this will revive the phone. Protect this phone from harm with a water-resistant case.

3. Protection Against Radiation

Another step that people need to take for their work phones is an anti radiation case. Radiation is a serious issue that comes with using phones. Radiation has the potential to damage DNA, causing health consequences down the line. Right now, these work phones haven’t been around that long to research is still taking place; however, the early signs are that radiation coming from these work phones could be harmful to health. Therefore, take steps to seek additional protection in the form of this protective case for work phones.

4. Think About the Camera

There are improvements happening all the time for cell phones and one of the biggest improvements comes in the form of an improved camera. Those who are interested in upgrading their work phones need to think about how to improve the camera. This might come in the form of an improved lens or some added protection. There are even lenses that will attach directly to the lens of the camera and make it look like a professional photography device!

5. Consider a Car Mount

Next, think about how work phones are used when someone gets in the car. There is a good chance that work phones are going to be used here as well. There are car mounts that people can purchase that will make these work phones easier to use. These car mounts can help someone see the screen easier while also making them safer by taking the eyes away from someone’s lap. Car mounts are everywhere, easy to install, and durable. This is a great way for people to make their work phones safer.

6. Look at Security Devices

Finally, think about ways to make work phones more secure. When it comes to a work phone, there is a lot of sensitive information on the phone. This might include personal information, financial information, and even information about the company. Protect this information with some added security. This is going to make a tremendous difference in the utility of the phone.

Accessories for Work Phones Matter

These are only a few of the many ways that someone can invest in upgrades for work phones. These work phones are only going to become more important in the years to come. People use these work phones for nearly everything, so try to make them easier to use. Upgrade them with some fantastic accessories that will instantly make life easier and more efficient.

Publish Date: March 13, 2020 7:28 PM

Staying Energized and Motivated as a Salesman

There’s no way around the fact that sales can be a tough grind. Even for sales reps that are savvy and seasoned, it can be difficult to reach goals and stay motivated in the process. It can also be hard to maintain the attitude needed to thrive. The information below offers practical tips for staying energized so that you can achieve and exceed your sales targets.


Find Your Spark

There are no two people on earth that are exactly the same. That means what motivates you won’t necessarily motivate others. This is why it’s important to figure out what causes you to get excited about the work you do on a daily basis. For some people, it’s being able to provide customers with solutions to their problems. In many ways, this is exactly what a salesman does. If you’re selling a home that you believe in, it’s important to focus on the fact that you are simply sharing your knowledge in a way that can help customers make a sound decision. If your spark is linked to making money, that’s perfectly fine. For some people, that is sufficient enough to succeed because they will do anything not to fail.


List Your Goals

Listing your goals can provide greater focus and something tangible to target. For instance, if you look at your paystub and you want to double or triple that amount, it’s important to be specific about exactly what you want to accomplish. Instead of just saying “I want to increase my income,” write down the amount that you want to earn and the timeframe in which you want to achieve this goal. After you have clarified your goal, post it in a place where you can see it everyday. Keep in mind that it’s important to have daily, weekly and monthly goals.


Personalize Your Process

What is your process for staying on target? What's the roadmap for achieving your goals? If you can't answer these questions, you’ll need to personalize your process so that you’re clear about what must happen for you to succeed. When you know what to do, there’s a much greater chance of staying motivated along the way. Sometimes people get discouraged because they lack clarity. When you have a clear vision concerning your process, you’re more likely to stay on track.


Have a Positive Attitude

What exactly does it mean to maintain a positive attitude? It’s something that many people say, but they don’t always provide clarity on what it actually means. To stay positive essentially means to examine a situation and choose to focus on the good aspects of what’s happening instead of the bad. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything bad about what’s happening. In fact, the need to stay positive means there is probably something negative occurring. As an representative, you cannot be driven by your emotions. Staying positive must be a decision that you make every single day.


Maintain Balance

While you might think working around the clock is the fastest way to achieve your goals, that’s not actually the case. Your body and mind can only handle so much and you will eventually experience burnout. In fact, a common reason for discouragement is not getting the proper amount of rest. If you want to stay motivated and rejuvenated as a sales rep, consider increasing the amount of sleep you get, taking a look at your diet and planning a vacation. When it’s all said and done, you’ll feel inspired and energized.


These tips for staying motivated can change the game. If you incorporate these ideas into your life, make sure you do everything within your power to stick with the plan. Consistency is critical when it comes to achieving any goal in life.  

Publish Date: March 10, 2020 10:01 PM

What a Trademark Can Do for Your Call Center

For businesses getting bogged down with some of the more mundane but important tasks, outsourcing jobs is a cost-effective measure to secure customer satisfaction without diverting in-house personnel and resources. Opening a call center business is one way to tap into the market of outsourcing, but the competition is steep. In order to set yourself above the rest, it is important to establish your brand and identity. In addition to earning recognition through your employee performance and the services you provide, having a trademark can go a long way in setting the stage for future account acquisition.

What’s In a Name

A trademark is simply another method of identifying a brand. They represent more than just an icon or symbol, as many purchasing decisions are influenced by a reputation that a brand or trademark holds. With technology making it easier to promote your company but giving everyone else equal access to the consumer market, you need a symbol that speaks louder than a name. There may be only one call center in your location, but there could be others across the nation that have a similar sounding name. A trademark that is patented can keep others from using your name, symbol or product title. A location-specific operation may not be in jeopardy of having the competition steal a name, but it would be hard to branch out into national or international markets without a patented trademark. A patent lawyer in Idaho can help call centers operating on the West coast, while a patent attorney in D.C. can help Eastern companies register their trademark.

Important Reasons for Establishing a Trademark

  1. Communication. With a trademark, you can reduce a long slogan or mission statement into an icon. They are effective at communicating both intellectual and emotional messages or attributes associated with your company’s products, reputation and services. You can boil down several words into an image that can move past language barriers. Consider the golden arches of McDonald's or the Nike ‘Swoosh’. Both of these images are recognized around the globe regardless of what a person’s native language may be. With call centers often outsourcing their services overseas, a trademark can establish your brand with new clients and potential hires.

  2. Location. Searching the internet for a product presents thousands of options, and a crowded market makes it difficult to stand out from your competitors. By having an easily recognized trademark, it is easier for you to get customer attention, market your services, and stand out with those who are communicating with you. When a customer sees a trademark, there is instant recognition of the type of service they will receive. In a call center environment, those who you are speaking with assume they are communicating with a noted retailer or service provider. However, your brand speaks on behalf of those clients. It is important that your trademark is recognized as high quality.

  3. Marketing. The Internet and social media have become the prime sources of contact with potential new customers. Those looking to contract a call center often turn to recommendations and brands that stand out on platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Well-recognized brands turn into higher traffic, which increases your company’s rankings in search engines. Trademarks that are associated with memorable online content will get the most attention, further enhancing your brand recognition.

  4. Employment. When it comes to hiring the right people for your call center, a trademark can have a huge impact. Brands that have a positive association are more desirable to candidates, making it easier to attract quality employees. Though your services may be the same as your competition, the initial reaction to your company’s reputation (as perceived through a brand) can give you an advantage with recruiting and retention.

Trademarks aren’t that expensive to obtain, costing only a few hundred dollars for your business. However, the return on investment could be significantly greater when you establish an easily recognized brand and voice for your call center operations.


Publish Date: March 6, 2020 5:11 PM

How to Both Work and Excel Within a Call Center


Working in a call center poses quite a few challenges. The rewards can be fantastic as well. After all, it's a thriving industry for good reason. But it might seem like there's no real way to maximize the benefits while neutralizing threats. But in fact there are some solid methods which have proven themselves time and time again. One simply needs to focus on a few aspects of the job in order to start increasing one's results.

Man With Headphones Facing Computer Monitor

Considering the Nature of One's Product


Ask anyone working at a call center what the core of their business is and the answers will vary. Some people might bring up conversion rates with callers. Others might talk about products. These products might be physical or support oriented. But in the end they're referring to the exchange of money for goods and services. But there's something behind all of these ideas. And that's the concept of raw data. Ultimately data itself is the main focus of any call center. Of course it might not seem that way from the perspective of any one person within the system. This is somewhat like not being able to see the forest for the trees. But it's also why methods exist to structure data in a useful way.


How to Work With Data


When people think of data they tend to imagine it as a neat and tidy spreadsheet. But that's really just the end of one branch along a larger tree. In the metaphor of a tree, data as a whole is more like the dirt a tree grows in. Data is messy, unorganized and more potential than thing unto itself. However, when tended in the right way data can grow into something wonderful.


The methods one uses to turn raw data into something useful is called data wrangling. In the context of a call center one can imagine just how much information is passed around in an average month. This could provide a huge amount of predictive information. One could notice trends, compare strategies which work against those which fail, and it goes on and on. But one can't compare data of different types with each other. And unorganized data is just that. It's a giant mess of different and incompatible data types. By wrangling the data one essentially groups it together in a useful form.


What to Do With Compatible Data


Once data is in the proper format one can use it for a number of different applications related to a call center. One of the most important is to simply examine examples of success and failure. Of course every type of call center will have different metrics related to this issue. But consider an example of a call center which sells physical objects.


Properly cleaned data can be easily matched against several variables. One would first examine successful sales of the company inventory. The next step would involve looking for shared variables. What are some variables shared by the majority of successful calls? Likewise, what shared variables occur in failed calls? Now one can bring it together by considering which variables are absent in one and present in the other.


Bringing It Together to Form a Useful Strategy


When taken together all of this information can form a valuable script to use in the call center. Basically, one simply needs to chart out the common variables within the now perfectly curated data. A solid database program is obviously useful in this process as well. But no matter how one handles it, a script using these variables will help every employee do their job better. The results should show up fairly quickly.


But what makes this such a powerful technique is that one can repeat the process indefinitely. Once the new scripts are in place one can take in new data and once again go through the variables. This can show even more room for improvement. Eventually this can be refined to a point where all employees have a script which will maximize overall success rate. 


Publish Date: March 5, 2020 2:10 AM

Tips to Make Running a Business Easier

Running a business can be demanding and stressful. Most business owners find it hard to manage their companies and end closing them down. It is essential to learn how to keep your business going even during hard times. Here are time-tested tips to make running a business easier.

Hire Competent People

Nothing will make your work easier than hiring competent employees. The workers you hire should be skilled in the tasks on the table. Do background checks. Take time to go through resumes and call referees to ensure you are hiring the right people. If you are not in a good position to hire yet, it is crucial to work with recruitment agencies. The agencies can help you identify skilled and disciplined individuals for the job. Competent employees will make running a business easier because they know what to do, and you don’t have to keep an eye on them all the time.

Stay Organized

It is essential to stay organized when running a business. Keep every file in the right place in your office. Your employees should have organized desks to increase their work performance. Your stationery and necessities such as paper shredders, printer ink, and staples should be in the right place so that you can easily spot them. Being organized extends to payments. You need to have a reliable payment system to track down the records. For example, you can use a pay stub template to organize the paycheck records for your employees. The model includes the employee’s information, payments, deduction, dates, and many other vital details. This means that it is easy to calculate the amount of money used on salaries and also identify any employee who has not been paid.  

Be Focused

It is essential to stay focused on one thing until it is finished. If you are ordering inventory, focus on that, and then you can pick up another task later. Trying to do all jobs at once makes most business owners feel overwhelmed. Concentrating on one thing at a time makes a difference in the business world. If you have a tight schedule, however, assign each task to your employees, and handle what you can manage.

Plan Everything

Failure to plan is the first ingredient to making running a business harsh and unbearable. If you want to run a business like a pro, you need to be a good planner. Effective planning can help you run your day to day activities smoothly and avoid delays and inconveniences. It is crucial to note that emergencies are inevitable in the business world. In such a case, you need to adjust your plan to suit the situation. It is not wise to stick to a program that is not working.

Consider Outsourcing

The chances are you don’t have all the skills in your company yet. Before you can hire employees who can meet all the needs of your firm, it is advisable to outsource essential services. Outsourcing services can reduce the work on your plate and enhance business performance. For example, you can work with a website management company to ensure that your website is updated and running effectively.

Use Technology

The advancement of technology has made work easier for business owners. You can now use apps to track the activities in your company in your absence. Also, you can use technology to analyze sales and introduce new strategies to increase sales. Technology can help you work smarter and efficiently.

Plan a Time to Answer Emails Daily

Stacking up emails to answer at the end of the week makes your work hard. It is vital to create time to reply to emails. It can be in the morning after you get to the office or in the evening before you leave. This helps you respond to the needs of stakeholders on time. If you accumulate them, you might have hundreds of emails at the end of the week, and you may end up ignoring important ones.

Running a business is fun when you apply the right management approaches. These tips can help you make your work easier and avoid burnout.

Publish Date: March 2, 2020 8:13 PM

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