Category Archives: business

How to Modernise Your Small Business

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Is your small business more than a decade old? Perhaps it’s a venture you inherited from your parents. If your small business is confined to a physical space, like a store, or still has computers running Windows XP, it’s time to modernise your business. Modernisation will make your business more desirable to contemporary customers. It will also increase efficiency, eliminate unnecessary costs, and improve your overall profit margin. Modernisation is actually a money-saving task to undertake, not a resource-spending one. Here are several ways you can consider for modernising your small business without taking out a huge loan:

Be Available Online

Online availability, via a website and social media, is crucial to attracting customers in the modern marketplace. Think seriously about creating a website as a marketing necessity rather than for the sake of having a website. Your company’s website must also be available on mobile phones as well. In addition, if your business is B2C oriented, you will need a social media strategy to stay in touch with loyal customers and to attract new ones. On top of all this, you will need to think about advertising online and promoting content.

Invest in an API

Application Program Interface (API) can interconnect your business with other businesses, and different departments or segments within your company. You may wonder why a small business needs API management. For increased efficiency and boosting business intelligence, of course. Start now to grow and scale your venture without waiting.

Switch to Cloud Storage

If your business still uses file storage or rents space to store physical information, then you are wasting money. You can make files and data immediately available to your employees if you switch from paper to cloud storage. Cloud software not only stores your company’s data, but it helps your employees make instant assessments too. The initial investment you make in cloud software will be repaid a dozen times over on the long haul.

Hire Millennial Marketers

Is your business lacking that necessary touch with younger, millennial customers? Then hire millennials, who will be able to tell you exactly where your company is going wrong. Having millennial employees in your marketing department will be essential to formulating an advertising strategy that can reach those under 35.

 

Buy Efficiency-Improving Software

Do not depend on old pen and paper tactics to save time. It’s the age of IT. If you are still doing everything by hand, then your company is wasting time and resources. There are a number of medial, cyclical, and time-consuming tasks around the office that can be easily handled by software. You can unburden your employees and increase overall productivity if you buy time-saving software for your business.

Promote an Open and Tolerant Workplace

The best way to bring your aging business back to the modern world is to make the workplace open and tolerant. By being open, you are allowing your employees to provide their feedback and share valuable ideas. You can use this data to improve your business in a number of ways. By being tolerant, you will create pleasant working conditions that naturally boost your employees’ motivation, loyalty, and productivity.

Overall, consider IT solutions to improve productivity and efficiency all around. Do not be an overtly conservative Luddite. Keep an open mind, and follow the above tips to bring your business to the 21st century.

Online Security Tips for Your Business Data

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In the modern business environment, companies now store and send vast amounts of data over online networks. Consequently, they have had to begin to respond to an increasing number of threats posed by those hoping to wreak havoc or financially gain from the destruction or theft of important data.

This effort to secure important financial and personal information is one that never ends, as criminal elements continue to adopt and evolve their methods in a sophisticated game of cat and mouse with security experts.

For this reason, businesses need to be constantly vigilant against potential threats and ensure that they have up to date security measures in place.

Safe in the cloud

One area in which businesses need to develop their approach to security is the increasingly important field of cloud technology. As a new means of storing and exchanging data, cloud technology is radicalizing the way in which many companies access and use information.

However, this also requires new security measures and an updated audit of possible security threats to a business. Security experts have begun to respond to possible threats and cloud email security has become a top priority, with Mimecast services for Office 365a popular option amongst the program’s security options.

Staying secure on the move

Businesses have also had to consider the different ways in which mobile technology is affecting their security. The increased use of mobile devices to carry out business, whether it’s smartphones, tablets or laptops, poses a number of problems for security-conscious companies.

For instance, the very nature of mobile devices means that they are likely to be used on public networks that can’t be monitored or protected in the same way that a network reserved exclusively for business use could. In this case, employers need to consider alternative means of protection for employees working on the move.

Preventing data loss

Finally, data loss has also become an increasingly important concern amongst businesses that understand the importance of securing data against all eventualities. While data theft may be the preoccupation for most security experts, data loss should be considered just as important.

This is largely due to the effect data loss can have on both a business’ reputation and ability to provide a service or product to its clients. Consequently, backing up data is absolutely essential to any well-considered security plan and necessary in order to ensure complete data protection.

Using Technology to Grow Your Publishing Business

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These days, a publishing company cannot survive without some sort of technology to back it up. Gone are the days when you could simply rely on printed materials to spread your intended message. With the virtual world around us, it is necessary for your business to integrate a number of software packages into its setup. Done correctly, you can expand your publishing abilities and make it easier to create informative, accurate and beautifully laid out articles all through your computer.

Content Creation

This technology covers all aspects of the publishing process. When it comes to creating articles, reports, etc. that look well-structured and are easy to read, you need some kind of desktop publishing software. This should focus on web-based media too so you can produce content that your readers can interact with on the net. Of course, this can also include printed media as well since this entails many of the same aspects. The best desktop publishing software offers many benefits including the ability to design page layouts, collect images & video, and format content. It is also important to remember that these programs should offer an intuitive interface that your staff can utilise without much difficulty. After all, you have content to create so you shouldn’t waste time with software training.

Management Platforms

Since the average media campaign involves a great many facets these days, it is only natural that you need some software that can help you manage your content over all of these and more. From websites to social media to mobile devices, you will need to publish your articles and reports in a number of places. When choosing an appropriate management system, make sure that it:

• Arranges data through a drag-and-drop interface

• Quickly exports your content to a variety of places

• Has simple editing capabilities for quick amendments

• Offers remote accessibility for staff members worldwide

Again, these platforms should be easy to use, offering your publishers the ability to compile, create and correct any documents that you wish to send out to the public. With a content management system like this, you and your staff can then take control of your online and printed media. Whether you are formatting a report for a tablet device or changing some incorrect information, these programs will make the world of publishing a whole lot easier.

Delivery Systems

Finally, you’ll also need some way for your readers to browse the content you’ve created. In today’s modern world, you’ll have to work with some software that offers a number of capabilities. This includes:

• Webpage content management

• Automatic social media updates

• Apps for mobiles & tablet devices

• Analytic abilities for reader statistics

In this way, you can deliver your content to a number of different virtual sources, including your own blog, social media websites and smartphone applications. Just be careful about which technology you end up choosing though. While you can find some pre-made delivery systems, you’ll have to pick one which suits your publishing needs. Likewise, if you decide to create your own platforms, make sure they function properly. A significant amount of publishing apps suffer from malfunctions in this day and age. This is because this technology is new, but it is something that you should certainly consider. Test your software on different mobile devices with several operating systems and eliminate any bugs before the app goes public. In this way, your readers won’t have an unpleasant experience when browsing your content.

Integrated Platforms

If you are lucky, you can find a complete software package that covers all these abilities and many more. Just be careful to double check its features and find out whether they suit your needs. For example, if a significant proportion of your readers use iPhones, the publishing system you pick will need to be compatible with iOS and its major reader apps. Likewise, if you have a WordPress website, your content system will need to be easily integrated within the existing programming. Whatever your current setup, it is imperative that your new publishing platform fits in with that. This will make it easier to implement this technology and gain the advantages that you desire. After this, you can then reap the rewards from your high tech additions.

Your Quick Guide To Going Viral In 2015

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Viral-Stuff

Though a variety of Internet marketing terms have gained significance and widespread in the last few years, the phrase “going viral” has become particularly popular. Although broadly used, the phrase generally refers to a piece of Internet content (blog post, web article, video, infographic, etc.) that spreads across an array of social networks so that it becomes substantially popular throughout the online world.

If a business owner’s Internet content goes viral, the likelihood that the firm will experience a boost in conversion rates increases significantly. If you’re a business owner who wants to go viral this year, keep the following strategies in mind.

1. Generate stellar content

This precept may seem pretty obvious and therefore hardly worth mentioning, but it must always be remembered.

Why? Because many business owners are still creating poor or mediocre content that’s not effective in catching and keeping the attention of potential clients.

There are several factors that go into making content great, including the omission of fluff, avoidance of tangential rants, and elimination of grammatical errors. And as noted in Nielsen Norman Group’s essential article, “How Users Read on the Web,” most “readers” don’t actually read when they go online to find information.

Instead, they skim through content to find the precise data they want. With this in mind, be sure that you’ve made your text scannable through textual components such as numbered lists and bullets.

2. Be interactive and informative

Engaging your audience and providing them with meaningful information are two of the best ways that your business can gain stature online. Unfortunately, however, many business owners are either interactive or informative … but not both.

If you really want to maximize your conversion rates, you need to improve your ability to build meaningful relationships with your prospective clients while simultaneously offering them significant information about your products and services.

In “14 Ways To Make Your Blog Get Real Attention,” Jacquelyn Smith highlights two strategies that will help you interact with your target market: speaking your audience’s language and leveraging social media. And to make your content as informative as possible, include statistics and facts that give substance to your article as opposed to overwhelming readers with mere opinions.

3. Keep SEO constant

As Supple Solutions points out in “Internet Marketing: Web design, SEO, Social Media Marketing,” statistics indicate that 85% of Internet users employ search engines to locate information. Since this is the case, implementing proven SEO strategies should remain an integral part of your online marketing campaign.

SEO strategies you’ll want to use include creating great content, guest posting, using internal and external links, and keyword analysis. Also remember that continually analyzing and subsequently modifying your SEO strategies based on emerging trends and your unique objectives will help you optimize your strategic marketing plan.

The information above hardly constitutes an exhaustive list of strategies you can employ to go viral in 2014. Another tactic you should consider implementing is mobile optimization.

By employing all of these strategies synergistically, you’ll increase the odds that something your company generates online will go viral.

Risk Management is Vital for a Growing Business

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Being involved in a business requires the capability of facing different types of risks. Only when the risks are tackled can the business grow. Managing risks in business should therefore be given more importance. To be able to face the risks you have to know the different risks involved,  their effects and relationship with each other, as well as how to counter them.

Business and financial risks are the two most crucial risks faced by an entrepreneur. In addition to these major risk factors, the business risks are further subdivided as systematic and unsystematic risks.

Business Risk

Business risk relates to the risk involved when the finance level is not sufficient to manage the operating costs like the expenses of the product sale, the rent involved, the employee wages, prospective partnership and the marketing costs. The internal competence and the production allotment are usually gauged to know the amount of business risk involved in a venture.

Financial Risk

Financial risk relates to the situation, where the financial position of a business is not sufficient enough to take care of the creditors and various other finance concerned issues. The financial risk is mainly focused on the shareholders, and the people who buy or own stocks of the company. The business operations are not involved here. The magnitude of debt a business experiences, in order to finance its operations actually comprises the financial risk. So an increase in the debt level will also increase the financial risk of a business.

Systematic and Unsystematic Risks

Systematic risk is where the whole economy is facing a downturn. Recession, natural disasters, wars and economic meltdown are some common causes of systematic risk. Unsystematic risk denotes the failure or downturn of a particular business. This type of risk depends on the type of business, and the causes are usually the management, strategic and investment choices a business faces on daily basis. A diversified portfolio and ownership in different branches will reduce the unsystematic risks markedly.

Implication of Risks on Business

Financial and business risks are linked with each other. Critical business stature may compel an organization to incur credits for business growth. But conversely, a financial risk of large scale may also affect the growth of a business. The business risk that involves a fall in demand can be controlled by a long term prediction of the costs involved. To be successful in a business, effective management of the risks is vital.

A Reflection on the Risks Involved

The presence of high operating costs may favor a business in a strong economy, but the risks involved are large. A business that expands in relation to the size of its products may have an adverse effect when there is a fall in demand in a recessive situation. Large scale units cannot suddenly be downsized. Meanwhile taking a financial risk by increasing the credit level will affect the business even more, especially in inflation, where the escalating interest rates far outweigh the assets of the company.

Other Risks

A well prepared business is the best thing that can lessen the effects of any risk that tastes the sense of realism. There are other kinds of risks related to location, environment, employees or human labor, technology etc.

To manage any risk effectively, the first step is to identify and prioritize them keeping the degree of loss your business can incur into consideration. Risks with more chance to occur should be taken care of first followed by those that favored by less chance. Prevention, calibration and maintenance actually go a long way in granting you a safe journey, as you munch miles in your business expansion.