5 Business Expansion Strategies for Small Businesses

Start-ups and small businesses find survival challenging in the competitive market. For that instance, the company’s consistent and concrete growth is essential for survival in the competitive market. Bankruptcy is something no entrepreneur wants to experience for their venture. As 2021 unfolds, devising the perfect business proliferation strategy has never been more crucial. Last year distorted the financial projections and changed the ways businesses used to operate in the recent decade. The COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges for both small and large companies and increased the importance of business expansion. Be it the digital transition or better customer relationships, the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down for small businesses.

With the government authorities easing up the restrictions, there are still various business expansion options for small businesses. Business expansion might seem like a difficult task, but it is not impossible for small businesses. Only lucrative business practices and strategies can push the company to expand and generate sales and profits. However, this expansion depends on the business’s financial stability and the competition in the market. With that said, let’s discuss business expansion strategies for small businesses.

Market Penetration

Market penetration is the first and most basic approach to expand your small business for good in the market. This strategy functions with your small business right where it operates. This strategy works best for scenarios when there are no other markets to enter. It means your business will focus on the single market with current products. The strategy will involve advertisement, price competition, product improvement, and promotions to pitch to the competitors’ customers.

Since this strategy will take head-on with your competitors, implementing multiple strategies can deliver better results. You will need to focus on increasing your share price. One approach to do this is by reducing the selling price of the products. This process is tricky, but it will help you penetrate the competitive market and widen your reach. Moreover, advertisements can also boost your small business with a sound sales pitch. The latest pandemic has forced both small and large companies to shift their operations online and maintain an online presence. Small companies must benefit from the online tools to reach their audience and engage them with your business.

Undoubtedly, they must utilize social media and various content tools to deliver value to the audience. Small business owners can publish webinars for the products and services of the business to attract potential customers. They can also employ tools like the eBook maker or YouTube transcription tool to convert these webinars into engaging content.

Market Development

Apart from market penetration, small businesses can also create their market by promoting their existing products to new customers. The strategy entails promoting the products and services among a new audience or a geographical area. It is because most of the time, small businesses struggle to expand in the saturated market. Generating good sales and profits in a saturated market is extremely difficult, thus providing limited business growth. The key is to create content for the inbound marketing flywheel and leverage it to expand in the market.

However, pushing your business for market development can bring desirable results. One of the prominent examples is Nike, which expanded to the international market in the recent decades with its unique marketing strategies. Small businesses must find newer markets to promote their products and services to develop their market.

Product Development

Another lucrative strategy for small business proliferation is product development. As the name implies, a small business can create new products or lineup to attract potential customers and gain a fair market share. This scenario works if your company has no new market, but you can launch a new product. Moreover, this strategy works best for small businesses with industries that compete with other manufacturing companies introducing new products. They can also add new features to the existing products to grab the attention of the potential market.

However, small businesses must respond to changing customer behavior and market fluctuations. Failing to acknowledge these changes can risk your business falling out of the competition. All you need to do is to perform the audience research and understand their needs and expectations from your company. You can also conduct surveys to gather the data. Only this way can you devise the perfect strategy and avoid failures.

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is also a prime strategy to benefit your small business for expansion into a large market. This strategy involves running your business into smaller groups or segments. The market must base on the customer interests, location characteristics, and demands from your small businesses. Dividing the market will allow you to run the targeted campaigns, generating leads, increasing sales, and improving profits. As per the professional’s recommendations, this segmentation will occur on the market’s geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral factors.

This strategy is the best for those markets which are surrounded by big businesses. Moreover, the process of segmentation makes it easier to design marketing campaigns that meet customer demands. To get the most from the strategy, you will need to do your research for customer data to develop better customer relationships with your business.

Using Alternative Channels

Expanding the business products or market are some default strategies for surviving in the competitive market. However, going for multiple marketing channels as in this well-researched article can give your small business a competitive edge for sales and profits. You do not necessarily have to limit your business to brick-and-mortar style. Maintaining an online presence with the use of digital tools is essential to stay ahead in the competition. Professionals advise the use of social media to attract potential leads and convert them into prospective customers.

Social media is not only a platform to hang out with friends and family. It has become a platform for small and large businesses to promote their products and sell them to interested customers. Not just that, but your small business must also put email marketing to great use to retain the customers.

Final Words

Running a business is undoubtedly a rewarding yet challenging experience that involves special considerations, such as running construction leads services. The whole process of business expansion might sound overwhelming at the start. However, the creative strategies to penetrate the aggressive market are the only way to stake your profits claim. Since small businesses do not have enough resources, it is imperative to research the audience to achieve planned growth.

Tips on how Businesses Can Prepare for Cyberattacks and Data Breaches

Cybersecurity has evolved into an essential aspect for companies, as the data they collect, store, and manage has become one of the most valuable and vulnerable assets in today’s digital economy. Businesses collecting an increasing volume of data need to be prepared, as the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches increases at an alarming pace.

Companies need to take measures against external threats like malware or phishing attacks as well as against internal threats such as employees intentionally or unintentionally sharing data with unauthorized persons. Data is a key input for growth, differentiation, and maintaining your company’s competitive advantage. Thus, protecting it is necessary not only for legal or ethical reasons but also for safeguarding the reputation of your business and issues related to personal privacy. 

The sudden shift to work from home (WFH) due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has left many doors for cyberattacks and data breaches. In the absence of a controlled office environment, remote work can make your company data more vulnerable. Malicious outsiders can easily exploit the chaos, targeting sensitive infrastructures amid the pandemic. Employees, freed from the restrictive policies of company networks, might take security practices less seriously and endanger the data they take home with them. 

As cyberattacks and security breaches make headlines way too often, you need to ensure that sensitive information is protected adequately. Security measures should include policies, strategies, and tools in order to efficiently prevent data loss, data leakage, and data theft. Sensitive data that must be protected includes personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, credit card numbers, and email addresses of both customers and employees, as well as intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets of your company.

Let’s see the most efficient tips that can help to prevent cyberattacks and data breaches.

Train Employees on Security Awareness

Without security awareness, your employees present a major vulnerability and can be the weak link in the data security chain. In the age of WFH, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), employees can put sensitive data at risk easier than ever. They need to be trained on security best practices and the right behaviors in cybersecurity and data privacy, specific to your industry and company. They need to be aware of the importance of data security and the repercussions that a data breach can cause. Your employees should also have the know-how to detect different threats, avoid leakages, and be empowered to report potential incidents.

Access to sensitive information needs to be limited on a “need to know” basis and employees should be aware of their responsibilities and accountabilities when using a computer on a business network. As cyberattacks are continuously changing and evolving, you should update security policies regularly.

Invest in Security Technology

Besides traditional perimeter and network security such as firewalls and antivirus systems, companies need to include technology to identify and monitor internal security threats too. Encryption standards and a backup policy are crucial, as well as ensuring that security software is updated and patched regularly. Investing in cyber insurance can protect you and your business from unexpected data loss and hacking.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions such as Endpoint Protector can help your company to mitigate insider threats, reach compliance with data protection regulations and safeguard sensitive data such as PII and IP directly. In this way, the risk of a data breach is considerably reduced. With a DLP solution, you can restrict employees from sharing or transferring confidential information and control or block the use of unauthorized devices. 

Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

Vulnerability assessment is the process of identifying, classifying, and prioritizing security threats as well as determining the risks they pose to your organization. When performing one, you should take into account all aspects of data, including data storage, BYOD strategy, remote access, and ensure that policies and procedures are appropriate.

By detecting vulnerabilities on a regular basis and prioritizing their remediation, companies can provide a level of data protection that is required by many different regulations. 

Create a Data Breach Response Plan

A data breach response plan helps your business to better deal with cybersecurity incidents, limit damages and restore public and employee trust. The main aim when creating one is to establish roles and responsibilities for employees tasked with managing the breach. Besides, it is important to include a draft notification and to outline the process of investigation.

Response plans are highlighted by data protection regulation too. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, requires companies to respond to data breaches within 72 hours after detection, including gathering information, reporting the breach to the relevant authorities, and informing impacted individuals.

Ensure Compliance with Regulations

The number of data protection laws is increasing year by year, some of them impacting specific countries or territories, like the GDPR or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA),  while others like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) focusing on specific industries. Each of these is an indication that companies are accountable for how they manage data privacy.

If your organization prioritizes data protection to meet compliance requirements, it has a better chance of preventing data leakage, avoiding fines and reputational issues. Compliance can be easier reached by creating a security strategy that aims to keep data safe from both insider and outsider threats.

By Beata Berecki, Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys

Top 5 Logistics Management Apps in 2021

The supply chain is a critical component of any economy. Only organized companies and logistics businesses can make it through seasons of high demand. You can achieve convenience and efficiency by using logistics management apps that help in your job. The apps ensure that information flows freely, is where it is needed, and there are no delays or complications with logistics.

Useful logistics management apps possess features that are hard to find in other kinds of apps. For starters, they have to process data on time and have notifications to keep everyone informed. It should also feature backups to avoid loss of data, and cloud storage makes this a possibility.

When shopping for logistics management apps, several features set them apart. It would help if you were keen on the features provided by each app to ensure that you only go for what will enhance your logistics work. Another essential feature to look out for is logistics customer services which should be able to handle high volumes of transactions with ease.

Best Logistics Management Apps

1. Logistics

The app ensures that all your warehousing and logistics needs are taken care of, and it is free. You can easily keep track of shipments, drivers, and clients in this app. Whenever you need assistance with your operations, this is the tool to connect all your supply chain connections.

Stay updated and plan better with this application, which also collects actionable insights and analytic information. Logistics companies can use the information to make improvements and upgrades to your strategy and deliver at scale. Geo-location features in the application ensure that essential tasks are completed on time with less effort. The app ensures that you are on track with everything delivery.

2. Scandit

Scanning barcodes is one of the everyday operations in logistics management. Older scanners tend not to perform as well as you might expect. The Scandit application turns your phone into a barcode scanner and even works in low light. Anyone can access the scanned data as it works across platforms. You can link the app to your information systems for increased efficiency.

While at the warehouse, keeping track of supplies and deliveries is made simpler by using the Scandit application to scan multiple barcodes at once. Its text recognition feature makes it useful for reading text items on ID cards, passports, VIN codes, and other labels.

3. Evernote

Although this app wasn’t designed with logistics in mind, its features suited the function. It is free and straightforward, with features that other apps can’t even come close to. It is a virtual notebook to create lists and take notes on the move.

The Evernote app also lets you save your notes and refer to them later on. This makes logistics management more organized. You will not forget a single thing in your operations. This is an application that companies need to keep everything on track and attend to all their customer’s requirements.

The app is available as a free app though users can pay for the app’s professional version, which comes at a subscription cost. The professional version features better utilities and can even keep backups of your notes in the cloud. Organized logistics management can take advantage of and benefit from this app in its operations.

4. CoPilot Truck

A navigation system for your track drivers is something to be proud of. It will positively improve your logistics operations’ effectiveness. It provides drivers with turn-by-turn navigation and makes use of information to create effective routes. This is the best app to get your supplies from one point to another in the most efficient way in a connected world.

Your drivers get safe and accurate navigation information while planning routes better to maximize your returns. Post-trip analysis of the routes taken also ensure that you improve gradually and achieve better results with your drivers. The CoPilot Truck app makes it possible for you to improve customer service on-time deliveries and precise ETAs depending on road and weather conditions.

The navigation is still operational even while offline and useful for long cargo hauls. Its design doesn’t distract you while driving. It uses real-time traffic data to avoid delays and reroute when the road conditions are not conducive. The app is affordable and can be used for an entire fleet.

5. GasBuddy

When transporting goods for thousands of miles, you will likely burn a lot of fuel. Saving a few cents on the way is essential in reducing your expenditure. The free application makes the experience of refueling easier and more cost-effective. Using it, you can find a gas station with the lowest prices nearby. This application generates data from an extensive user base to analyze prices within the defined area.

The benefit of this app is saving on fuel, and it helps to plan your routes better so that you get the most significant savings in the process. With the app, you never have to pay full price again. You also earn cash backs and other special offers provided with the app. The application gets you the best fuel spots along the way and has very reliable data.

Conclusion

Logistics management keeps the economy on its toes with deliveries determining customer satisfaction and a company’s reputation. With logistics management apps, your company uses the information to plan better, deliver better and keep customers satisfied with your services. The apps ensure that everything goes according to plan. Nothing is ever forgotten when it is the client involved.

The applications are designed to assist with logistics management, such as navigation for trucks and route planning. Others are assigned the task of scanning barcodes and keeping the warehouse organized. Others save you fuel costs by choosing the best stations to refill. Some of the apps keep you organized with notes and voice dictation. These are useful apps that everyone needs for better, more successful logistics management.

Top 10 Advantages of Microsoft Exchange Online

Some basic challenges with your current email service, consist of:

  • Ineffective communication abilities hampering productivity.
  • Issues about downtime and drains on IT time and funds.
  • Problems with compliance and data security. 

A trustful and robust official business email is a requirement for companies of all sizes. When our clients turn to us for help and support, we suggest Microsoft Exchange Online. 

Microsoft Exchange Online assists you to secure your data and keeps your employees connected with protected, reliable access to email, contacts, and calendars from any virtual device. 

Here are the top 10 advantages of Microsoft Exchange Online: 

1. Secure Your Sensitive Data and Notify the Users of Internal Compliance Policies with DLP (Data Loss Prevention) Abilities: 

Keep your organization secure from users sending sensitive information to unauthorized people by mistake. The new DLP feature in Exchange identifies, monitors, and protects sensitive data by carrying out in-depth content analysis. Exchange Online offers built-in DLP policies based on standards such as PCI and PII which are regulatory. It is also extendable to support other policies essential for your business. Apart from that, the new policy tips in Outlook notify users about policy violations before sensitive data is sent. 

2. Provide compliance officers to run In-Place eDiscovery over Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint – from a single interface: 

The ability to immutably maintain and explore data across your business is crucial to assuring internal and regulatory compliance. Allow your compliance officers to make use of the new eDiscovery Center to identify, analyze and hold your business data from Exchange, Lync, SharePoint. And, the data always stays in place, so you never have to maintain a different store of data. With the eDiscovery Center, you can decrease the expense of managing complex compliance requirements, while assuring you are prepared for the unexpected. 

3. Keep all of your essential data in one place with Exchange archiving, retention policies, large mailboxes: 

This allows your users with an in-place archive and large mailbox to provide them the flexibility to maintain email in their primary mailbox, or to archive items. With flexible and strong retention policies, you can handle your storage and compliance requirements – while preserving your user’s productivity. 

4. Allow your users to collaborate on projects, increase speed and communication quickly on teams they join, and share information easily: 

This makes it simpler for your users to maintain team and project communications. Enable users to see old chats and emails on a project as soon as they join, have access to the recent versions of their team documents, and access that data right from within Outlook. Your users will have compelling new tools such as Microsoft Teams to be efficient on their teams and you will be able to handle information in the locations that this information was supposed to be stored. Co-authoring, document storage, and versioning are given by SharePoint while messaging is managed by Exchange with a whole user experience within Outlook. 

5. Block email threats before they arrive in your network: 

Exchange actively guards your communications with built-in defenses against email threats. Multi-layered anti-spam filtering is provided with regular updates to facilitate protection against increasingly complex spam and breaching threats, while multiple anti-malware engines operate to secure your email data from any kind of viruses. 

6. Give your users an instinctive, touch-enabled inbox experience on any device:

This allows your users to get more work done from anywhere with an inbox that provides a straightforward and uncluttered experience, where the important and relevant information is optimized for various form-factors. The same friendly design in the Outlook desktop interface has been given to the browser as well as mobile interfaces. 

7. Move to the cloud on your conditions with easy options including Exchange hybrid deployment:

Exchange gives you tools to move to the cloud on your conditions – either that is onboarding to the cloud overnight or managing a hybrid deployment with mailboxes on-premises and online to satisfy your business requirements. Allow your end-users a great user-friendly experience including scheduling meetings and sharing calendars between on-premises and online users and restrict user disruption when user mailboxes are easily moved across environments. Stay in charge of the cloud by testing out upcoming improvements with support for upgraded previews. 

8. Reduce the time spent on managing your messaging systems while keeping control: 

Manage powerful capabilities including Apps for Outlook, DLP, and site mailboxes in the Exchange Administration Center – an easy-to-use, web-based administration interface. Role-based access authority enables your helpdesk and specialist users to execute specific tasks that are surfaced properly in the Exchange Administration Center – without needing full administrative permissions. This instinctive and amazing experience benefits you to manage Exchange efficiently, delegate tasks, and focus on improving your business ahead. 

9. Customize Exchange by integrating appropriate, web-based Apps for your business in Outlook and Outlook Web App: 

Encourage your users to waste less time switching between apps and make their communications experience stronger with an extension model that allows you to allow easy plugin access across both the big client and web-based Outlook experiences. You can decrease complexity with single sign-on to multiple applications and protectively give access designed to assure only authorized users can use each approved application. 

10. Bring All Your Contacts Together:

People’s professional networks span many different areas. You will have the capability to allow users to bring their contacts in from different networks so that they have all their information in one single place. The exchange will even find the same person throughout all the networks and extend their information into one contact card, avoiding multiple contact cards with different information and duplication.

You can get the best affordable Azure Windows Virtual Desktop Pricing and migration services for exchange mailbox migration to office 365 and Microsoft SharePoint Cloud Migration at Apps4Rent.

Optima Tax Relief investigates Eligible Expenses that are now Deductible through the Paycheck Protection Program

The COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 was enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 amended the CARES Act to specify that no deduction would be denied, no tax attribute would be reduced, and no basis increase would be denied by reason of the exclusion from gross income of the forgiveness of an eligible recipient’s covered loan. The change applies for tax years ending after March 27, 2020.

Both the Treasury Department and IRS have provided guidance towards allowing deductions for payments of eligible expenses. These payments are expected to result in the forgiveness of a loan that is under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Optima Tax Relief provides guidance on the Revenue Ruling 2021-02 which dictates that eligible taxpayers may not deduct certain expenses to the extent that the payment of the expense in question is expected to result in the forgiveness of a loan guaranteed under the Paycheck Protection Program. This new guidance reflects changes to the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 which was signed into law on December 27, 2020.

Revenue Ruling 2021-02 obsoletes Notice 2020-32 and Revenue Ruling 2020-27. This obsoleted guidance disallowed deductions for the payment of eligible expenses when the payments resulted (or could be expected to result) in the forgiveness of a covered loan.

The new COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 has amended the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and details that any amount that would otherwise would be included in an eligible recipient’s gross income by reason of such forgiveness would be excluded from gross income.

For more information about this, the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, and other tax changes, visit IRS.gov.

How to get Small Business Credit

When you’re a first-time business owner, there’s already a lot that’s on your mind. Establishing and building business credit is probably not a top priority. In the future when you’re planning to grow your business, having business credit will become very important. That’s why setting yourself up with a strong business credit profile early on is helpful. 

What is Business Credit?

You’re probably already familiar with personal credit scores and how lenders use them to make decisions about whether to loan you money and at what interest rate. Business credit works in a similar fashion, except it qualifies businesses for financing. Yes, that means credit reports and credit scores are for businesses too.

Business credit bureaus create credit reports for businesses . The three major business credit reporting agencies are Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Small Business. Experian and Equifax also manage consumer credit reporting, but those are held separately from your business credit files. 

Business credit reports aren’t legally required to be accessible to businesses by the bureaus like personal credit reports are. You can request access to your business credit report for a fee. Another difference between business credit reports and personal credit reports is that as a business you have no right to privacy. That means that a business credit bureau is legally able to sell your information to whomever will pay for it. 

Information that’s gathered by these business credit bureaus include:

  • Print Directories such as the Yellow Pages
  • Data Furnishers including suppliers, creditors, etc.
  • Public Records sources like liens, judgements, bankruptcies, incorporations
  • Self-Reported Data 
  • Internet Web Mining
  • Press Releases and News/Media stories
  • Corporate Financial Repots
  • UCC filings
  • State, City, and County Business Registrations
  • Federal Government contracts, grants, loans, and debarments

Business credit scores are similarly much like personal credit scores. You can have more than one credit score including from places like FICO LiquidCredit Small Business Scoring Service, Intelliscore PlusSM, and PayDEX Score. 

The scoring models that are used to create business credit scores are different than what’s used in consumer credit scoring models. So you can have a great personal credit score, but that doesn’t mean you get an excellent business credit score doing the same things. 

Why is it Important to Build Business Credit?

It takes time to build credit score, so starting to work on it when you first open your business is ideal. Business credit may give you access to more capital that you will need to grow your business in the future.

 Similar to your personal credit, having a strong business credit profit will improve your chances of being approved for a loan and eligibility for lower interest rates.

Low insurance premiums, approval for a lease, better terms from vendors and approval for a business line of credit are among the other benefits. 

It’s possible that you have encountered why business credit is so important during the process of starting your business. When taking out a business loan or opening a business credit card, it is often required that you sign a personal guarantee. A personal guarantee will hold you personally liable for the debt in the event that the business can’t repay it. After establishing business credit, you could qualify for a business loan or credit card without it being necessary to put your personal finances at risk. 

How do you Establish Business Credit?

There are many ways to start establishing business credit for your company. Here’s some steps you can follow as a roadmap to your goal below. 

1. Get your Business Recognized as a Business

Opening up your business doesn’t necessarily equal having an established business. Have your business set up as a LLC (limited liability company) or incorporate your business. Get a federal employer identification number. You can apply for an EIN on the IRS’s website. 

Set up a business phone number and make sure that it’s listed. Be sure to open up a business bank account that has your legal business name and used regularly for operating your business. 

To start establishing business credit, you also need to open a business credit file with Dun & Bradstreet. You can apply for a free D-U-N-S number or check on Dun & Bradstreet’s website to see if your business has one. For Experian and Equifax, you simply need to open a business credit account to establish a business credit file. 

2. Have Good Credit Relationships

Your vendors and suppliers are very important relationships in the business arena. Great relationships lead to better terms such as not having to pay for goods or services up-front. Securing a line of credit or payment terms (net-30, net-60, etc.) with a couple of vendors and suppliers that report payments to the business credit reporting agencies will help you maintain a great history of business credit credit. 

3. Pay all your Bills on Time

This principle is the most important factor in every credit scenario because it shows that you can be counted on to pay and manage your debt. Lenders look at your payment history as an indicator of how likely it is that you will repay your loan with them. A history of late payments can lower your business credit rating and business credit profile, making it very difficult to find lenders willing to work with you. 

4. Apply for a Business Credit Card

A great way to start establishing business credit is to open a business credit card. Ideally the creditor will report to the three major business credit reporting agencies. Start by opening up at least one business card and managing it effectively. Having more than one business card can be helpful, but only after you have been using the one responsibly. 

Building Business Credit

After establishing business credit, its time to start building upon that foundation so that you have strong business credit. If you’re following the guidance above, you’ll be in a great place to building that strong credit profile. But let’s take it a step further.

There’s three things that you should focus on once you’ve established business credit. First, start paying your bills early. You may be able to score some “extra points” with some business credit scores by doing this. Another step you  should take is to find out if your accounts are reporting to the business credit agency. Not every vendor does this so you might consider adding other credit references that do. Last, try to keep your credit utilization under 30% of your total available credit. This is particularly important if you’re seeking more financing.

How To Keep Business Data Accessible for Employees

Data is a driving force of most business decisions in a company. The information that you store should be treated as crown jewels. You should put an effort to make it accessible for all the employees if you want to establish an efficient communication channel among all team members in your company and increase productivity,

Data management strategy is the key to success. Firstly, you must undertake a few steps to make your employees know how to access the data they need for work. Secondly, you must pay attention to cybersecurity and prevention measures to avoid data breaches and teach your employees about your company’s cybersecurity culture.

Make It Accessible for Everyone

There is a vast part of the society that suffers from various sorts of disabilities. It can be both your employees and customers who visit your website. In order to make the company’s data available for them, you need to be sure that your website is compliant with The Americans with Disabilities Act.

ADA Website Compliance regulates the rules of making the content you share or store available for those who have issues with screen reading. What’s more, it’s an official regulation. That’s why,  if you want to avoid legal complaints, you need to make sure that regardless of their disabilities, each of your employees can easily reach the information necessary for their work.

Choose the Right Tools

You need to find the right tools to make the company data as accessible as possible. It’s vital so that each company member can easily open and analyze them before making a decision.

Search for the tools like plug-ins for Google Analytics that can easily give you reports from the websites you host. The right tools can make the data available for each department. Your employees responsible for marketing might use them to the same extent as analytics in your company. Standardize the tools you use so that each employee has the same technique and your business is not fragmented.

Additionally, you need to choose the right software. One of the great options to make the data shareable is deciding on cloud computing technology. Plenty of companies store the data in cloud-based systems so that each employee has access to the information through various devices, such as computers, tablets, or mobile phones. It’s an extremely convenient solution, especially in the era of remote work.

Train Your Employees on Cybersecurity

Data management strategy also concerns cybersecurity. While deciding on giving your employees access to the sensitive data you store, you must be sure that they’re aware of the possibility of a data breach.

As already established, data is crucial to your company’s development and progress, so to avoid sensitive information being lost or stolen, make sure that your workforce knows how to protect it. Train your employees so that they wouldn’t click on suspicious links in phishing emails. Ensure that they use strong passwords and don’t share sensitive information. Warn them against using unprotected devices to work operations to prevent cyberattacks to the greatest extent.

Your employees need to be aware that handling sensitive data is a responsible task. You need to ensure they know what steps they should undertake in case of a cyberattack. Remember that even though some security prevention measures are evident for you, your employees might not be aware of them.

Organize the Data Management Process

Last but not least, if you plan your business data management strategy, you need to analyze your company’s needs. Determine which kind of data needs to be stored and organize them depending on their purpose. Remember that you don’t need to gather every single piece of information about your customers and competitors. To avoid a mess in the databases, establish the data-gathering plan that meets your objectives.

By creating transparent yet secure databases, you are assured that your employees would find useful information in a shorter time that contributes to your company’s efficiency.

Collect valuable data and prepare them so that they’re ready for further analysis. Categorize them and determine which one is structured and unstructured. Don’t forget to regularly inform your employees about the changes in your data management strategy.

Conclusion

83% of organizations see data as an integral part of their business strategy. Data is a knowledge base. You need to be sure that each employee knows how to value it and handle it correctly. Regardless of your business’s size, data management strategy is crucial for small businesses, medium-sized companies, and big corporations.

Remember that when you make your data accessible for your company members, you need to make it secure. Invest in data protection software, and create a data protection system that would be a standard in your working environment. Your data is too precious to get to hackers’ hands unprotected – any cyber attack might seriously disrupt your business continuity plan.

5 Things To Avoid When Building Brand Equity

Every entrepreneur wants to see their enterprise grow. Nonetheless, it is much easier said than done. Even some new and exciting ideas cannot come to fruition because of different reasons.

Building trust in your customers and boosting your client retention rates takes time. After all, creating a brand people respect was never said to be easy. Additionally, there are many obstacles that careless businesspeople may not spot until it is too late.

Sometimes all it takes for some business to fail is one unaddressed problem. Before you know it, one can become two, then two can become three, and you have suddenly found yourself in the wrong spot with lots of problems to deal with.

To avoid such a scenario, we have prepared for you five tips on building brand equity. What should you NOT do as an entrepreneur? Let’s get started.

Implementing Poor Translation

Of course, English is a dominant language in our world. However, when you expect your company to grow worldwide, reaching the markets where other languages prevail might prove to be indispensable.

In such a case, look for translation services near your company’s location. For example, if you live in England, looking for translation services in Manchester is an option you should consider.

Remember that your competitors are also looking towards other markets. Ensure that your brand is well-perceived everywhere on Earth by relying on quality translations!

Not Defining Your Focus

Successful brands know what they are all about. Make sure that yours does too, and you should be well.

Think about the primary value of your company, something that differs it from others. Perhaps you value loyalty and treat your long-term clients exceptionally well? Maybe you aspire to be the most transparent or positive brand on the market?

When you create a niche for yourself, you will notice that customers can relate to your business more easily. Build your marketing strategy around your focus and reap the benefits today!

Not Delivering on Promises

One of the worst things that can happen to any company is not bringing its customers the quality they seek. If you do not want to ruin your brand value, make sure to fulfill all the promises you make.

Moreover, maybe you do not have to overhype the product you are selling to your audience? Add some level-headed marketing and do not create unrealistic expectations as it happened in CD Projekt Red’s case!

Remember that consumers can oversell a product to themselves with almost no help from you. Be honest about everything you do, and your customer base will only grow.

Overcomplicating

Of course, every business wants to stand out. Nonetheless, this process should never come at the expense of your customers’ convenience. Sometimes, a more straightforward way is the right one.

How many times, while coming up with a branding strategy, you noticed that the message you want to send does not seem as strong as you would like it to be? Perhaps the best way to combat this problem would be to keep everything simple?

Do not blindly assume that every client has some prior experience that will help them understand your offer! Instead, let your brand loyalty increase naturally by being more approachable than your competitors.

Expecting Instant Results

Doing some social media marketing will not immediately lead you into the brand’s upper echelon. Remember that you have to work for your success for years as this is the price every business has to pay to build their brand awareness.

Take, for example, Amazon. It has built its position through years of hard work. If you desire to join the big leagues, you must be prepared for a long journey.

Additionally, ensure that your brand equity is constantly getting bigger. Read the latest reports and monitor the feedback you are given, both positive and negative! It is very important not to stay complacent and keep pushing forward.

Nevertheless, do not expect a miracle because none is coming your way. Learn from your mistakes, share your company’s plans with your customer base, and patiently wait for the results! If you are persistent in your branding and passionate about what you do, success will find you sooner or later.

The Bottom Line

When you build brand equity, it is easy to overlook some things. However, after reading this article, you know how to avoid the most common mistakes and not share some brands’ fate!

Remember to keep matters related to your brand name simple! Additionally, be customer-oriented by sacrificing some time to brush out your social media marketing. You can also focus on your foreign consumer more by enlisting professional translation services.

If you want to establish solid brand awareness, be prepared that it might take some time. However, if you will use your assets right, you should boost your brand equity without facing daunting challenges. Good luck!

Effective Apps That Will Help Workers Monitor How Healthy They Are

It’s not enough to keep your employees happy with a good salary and amazing benefits. It’s also a must that you ensure that they are working under the best conditions possible and that they are always in good shape. A lot of companies tend to forget to manage their employee’s health but luckily, some apps are able to help those companies out.

If companies are going to make key changes in their work environment, then one of those should be with regards to employee health. Aside from offering good insurance and healthcare plans, companies can also try using a selection of health and wellness apps to keep in touch with their employee’s well-being.

Specialized Tracking Apps

Some industries should have better safety precautions than others such as the healthcare industry. Employee health in the sector is an even bigger priority now with the pandemic still active. Specialized tracking apps cater to the health monitoring needs of certain industries which is a must nowadays.

For hospitals and medical institutions, such apps are crucial to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. At the same time, these apps help healthcare workers continue on with their job of treating the infected. These apps come with symptom monitoring features that make it easier for management to detect if something’s amidst.

Fitness Trackers

The best cure will always be prevention. In this light, companies should invest in organizational fitness trackers. These function similarly to any other fitness trackers. They take note of calorie intake, calorie loss, heart rate, and a few other crucial metrics on a deeper scale. Some apps even allow workers to manage their dieting habits.

Fitness trackers are a great way to boost one’s overall health and heart health. Employees don’t always have the time to work out and keep track of their health. You can encourage your employees to try out fitness trackers by giving them subscriptions to the top options on the market.

Trackers do a great job of measuring your movement. But care should be taken to fully understand how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn.

Fitness trackers usually go well with smartwatches. It might be a great idea to invest in these gadgets as well. Fitness trackers like Apple Watch are water resistant and are meant to be worn at all times to track your overall health and activity, which may leave you wondering, can you shower with your apple watch?

Mental Health Focused Apps

Health isn’t just about the physical aspects of the body. It’s also about mental health. Employees go through stress and fatigue on a daily basis. Poor mental health makes it harder for them to focus on work and become more productive. This is especially the case now considering that people also have the pandemic to worry about.

Mental health apps can help your employees effectively manage the other spectrum of one’s well-being. Aside from giving your employees access to mind relaxing puzzles, audio,  and self-help guides, these mental health apps can also check in on your employees regularly if they are undergoing something serious like anxiety or depression.

Being the top company is no longer about giving your employees the best benefits and healthcare plans. It’s also about making sure that they are fit and healthy all year-round. These apps are going to be great additions to your company’s healthcare plans and these also help you manage their health on a deeper level.

Effective Tips That Will Help You Become Better in Metalworking

There’s this undercurrent of global culture that praises the movers and shakers of the world. People look to Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. They look to the super-elite. The reality is nothing gets done without the skills and the knowledge of the people on the ground. The pipes don’t work, the lights don’t flicker, and the structure fails without the men and women who dedicate their lives to their craft.

One such craft is metalworking. The ability to conceptualize, form, shape, and use the forged pieces of molten Earth as an end product for something bigger is, without a doubt, the core of our modern world. The ore and its supply ushered in the technological age. Without it, we’re centuries behind. Metalwork is, to this day, extremely important. It’s one of those professions that will not depreciate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lifelong professional or a new hire, there’s always something new you can learn. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge or hone your skills in metalworking, here are a few effective tips. 

Brush Up On Maintenance 

You may know the machines you work with like the back of your hand. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush up on maintenance and care. When you put your nose to the grindstone and get the tasks done, you invariably put some wear and tear on the tools that you’re working with. Since we’re not in an iron forge with a hammer and a kiln, it’s important to keep up with parts, too. It’s all well and good until we need to turn and mill metal parts on short notice. General upkeep and familiarity are good. It’s part of proper quality assurance. So to acquainted, or reacquainted, with your machines. It does not hurt to do a once-over read on the manual. It may be boring, but it’s a good idea. Check the parts and maintenance logs. Make sure that you can put out the best work with the best conditions you can facilitate. 

Adopt New Technologies

Adopting new technologies is another way to get better at metalworking. Fabricating is what makes modern tech move forward. There is no new model or cool product without fabricating. But what does improve is the techniques and the technologies used. Don’t be the only person stuck to old ways of thinking. Adapt, just like in any other industry. If there’s a means that completely contradicts your process, be open to letting some of that in. If there’s a detail you’ve noticed impedes on production, cut it out. The dirty secret is that there’s a lot of room for improvement in a lot of manufacturing and fabricating. Most professionals are set in their ways and avoid change. The ones that do ultimately get better, more confident, and attract better business. 

Stay Efficient 

People fawn over the lean/6sigma model of manufacturing. Yes, it’s important to keep things down to a predictable and quality assured science. But the belt thing is pretty odd. It reeks of Silicon Valley babble. That’s not to say the principles should not be followed. They absolutely can. But there are ways you can adopt them without the terminology. Simply put, you should know what the client is looking for and strive to get it done as simply as possible with virtually no waste. What’s the biggest thing clients are looking for these days? Lower cost and minimal lead time. How does one achieve that? Shorten setups. When you’re setting up, you need to have the software and the tooling to get things done as quickly as possible. Quick-change tooling on a press brake and turret punches, for example, can be outfitted with software that allows one to maintain precision—even in beginners. In terms of being a “better” metalworker, it will certainly seem like that to your clients. 

Keep In Touch With The Old 

Even with the advancements in technology, there is value in the older ways. There is so much to be learned when you do things with a more manual approach. Semi-automated means and less detailed software can be used on projects and jobs that don’t have the same sense of urgency as the others. Keep yourself knowledgeable the same way a doctor keeps a clinical eye. Don’t rely too heavily on new tech. Use them. Assure your clients you have them. But when push comes to shove, you should be able to work under the harshest conditions. That means without the new bells and whistles. 

Getting better at metalworking is part of an ongoing pursuit of excellence in the field. It’s part of being a better worker in general. If you apply the principles above and keep these words in mind, there’s no doubt you’ll improve. Stay strong. Stay hungry.