Why Forgotten Passwords Cost Company Revenue

Passwords are a necessary part of the online experience. When operating properly they can keep us safe, protecting our valuable data and identities, as well as ensuring peace of mind. The only problem with this is that we tend to use many passwords for different websites and services, some of which force changes at regular intervals. With this concern, lost and forgotten passwords become an inevitability and a problem that can negatively affect both customers and the businesses with which they interact.

Churn and Abandonment

In business, the term churn refers to the rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity. There can be many possible reasons for this, from issues out of a business’s control to deliberately designed elements that users find frustrating. One of the elements that is not so much the fault of individuals but rather the overall market is the password problem. Again, this is generally the result of juggling many passwords with many requirements, where frustrated users can give up rather than keep guessing the details of old accounts. Churn can be the result of many parts of the purchasing process but is commonly manifested as cart abandonment. This is where users fill their orders but get locked out of purchases because of misremembered passwords. Directly costing a business sales, this measurable issue has affected online stores for decades.

Overworked Support Systems

When getting locked out of websites due to misremembered passwords, there is usually some form of recovery process available. Unfortunately, these aren’t always reliable and can be confusing, leading many users to turn to live support. Though these live support systems can fix the problems, they’re generally designed to help with more complicated issues, with constant calls about passwords overloading support capacity. This is a problem that has existed for years, with around 30% of all customer support calls dealing with this exact issue. For every one of these calls, another customer risks being left unaddressed, which can again cause lost profit if the user gets frustrated and walks away.

Customers Placing Blame

Though complicated password systems are developed to help users, those negatively affected by them tend to blame the website or brand they’re using for the difficulties password systems create. Fortunately, there are ways around this concern through the use of a time based one time password. These passwords use encryption keys to link devices like mobiles to websites and services, allowing the generation of temporary but simple codes. Common names in this realm include the Microsoft and Google Authenticators, which are integrated with many major services. While far from perfect, such methods can save time, and reduce the guesswork and trial and error that can drive users away.

Looking forward, it’s inevitable that better solutions to password issues will become increasingly necessary. Though many services manage this issue, they’re still often underrepresented with the digitally involved populace. With a greater reliance on passwords than ever before and increasingly difficult criteria applied to them, it looks like one-time passwords and specialized password streamlining systems will eventually become the status quo. If you’re constantly fighting against your passwords, consider trying these out, and at the very least you will be left with less wasted time and a smoother online experience overall.

Cutting Costs When Setting Up a Home Office

These days, there are many people who decide to set up a home office where they can work in peace and quiet. Some people do it because they often work remotely for their employer at home, and these days with work-from-home becoming so mainstream, it has become all the more important. Others set up a home office because they run their own business from home or operate on a freelance basis.

Whatever your reasons for needing or wanting a home office, one thing you must take into consideration is the costs involved. This is something that can vary based on the items you need to set up your office such as furniture, storage, and equipment. The good news is that there are ways in which you can reduce the cost of setting up a home office, so this is something you should look into before you make your purchases. In this article, we will look at some of the ways to cut costs when setting up your home office.

Some of the Ways to Save Money

There are various ways in which you can save money when it comes to setting up your home office. Some of the main ways in which you can do this are:

Assess Your Needs

One of the things you need to do if you want to avoid spending money unnecessarily is to assess your needs before you start buying items for your home office. You may find that you have a lot of what you need, and this means fewer items to buy, and less money spent. So, make a list of the items you need for the home office and then work out what you already have.

Use Online Promotions

Another thing you should do is to look for online promotions, as these make it easy to save money on the cost of all sorts of home office items. This includes promotions such as Dell discounts. By using these vouchers, you can look forward to excellent discounts on all the items you need for your home office, and this means that you can set it up without breaking the bank. In addition, it means that you can afford to invest in quality items for your home office.

Check Out Sales Events

It is also worth checking out sales events when it comes to buying items for your home office, as you can often get some great bargains in the sales and also clearance sections of sites. You can wait for special sales such as Black Monday for devices and electricals for your home office, as this can also save you a lot of money.

Subscribe to Sites

One other thing to do is to subscribe to websites that sell the types of items you need, as this can provide you with access to special offers and deals. You can get these offers sent directly to your inbox.

These are a few of the ways in which you can cut costs when setting up a home office. 

How To Ensure That Your Remote Employees Are Actually Working

If you operate a business where your employees work remotely, you need to trust that they are performing their tasks as expected. However, it may be challenging to track the remote workers’ activities without reliable data. The good news is that with today’s technology, there are different ways that you can use to make sure that the employees are doing their work. Read on to learn everything you want to know about how to ensure that your remote employees are working.

Set Measurable Goals

It is vital to set measurable goals that are also easy to achieve. You need to involve the workers in the goal-setting process, so they can also share the same vision of the company. Workers who are treated as important are productive. They are also determined to ensure that they attain short and long-term goals. It is essential to see if a worker can complete different tasks assigned to them. If some members are failing to meet their target goals, it means that you may need to make necessary changes. You can easily monitor the performance of remote employees if you set realistic and attainable goals. 

Workers will be more focused on their tasks if they know everything that is expected of them. Make the work simple and also set deadlines. Supervising employees who work remotely is not feasible. Therefore, talking to your employees is vital when you give them feedback and acknowledgment for completing their tasks. You must position yourself as an effective team leader who is ready to listen to the concerns of the members. Define all the processes that can help each member to meet their tasks. Without smart goals, your employees will be doomed.  

Track Productivity

For a purely digital company, it is possible to monitor the activities of each employee every minute. You can achieve this by using employee monitoring software that helps to track the time every employee spends doing different tasks online. For instance, with this software, it is possible to track the time spent by every worker doing productive work or browsing social media. The main advantage of this employee time tracking software is that it helps track the overall productivity of each worker. You can detect people who are doing unproductive things during work time. This will help you contact them directly and remind them to focus on their work. 

You can use the software to evaluate the overall performance of remote workers. If you realize that the majority of workers are not productive, you can discuss with them to address the issues. If the employees know that their activities will be monitored, they will put more effort to increase their productivity level. Even if someone is working in a distant area, they will turn into an active worker.

Schedule Check-ins

Check-ins provide you with real-time data about what each employee is doing at a specific time. For instance, all the workers must check-in their time for short breaks or any other activities that are not job-related. If you get this kind of system, you can track your workers and know what they are doing at any given time. You will also be able to use real data to ensure that all the employees are on track to finish their tasks. It is vital to check if employee productivity is consistent or fluctuates. Every worker needs to put more effort into their work.   

Allow Workers to Make Decisions

When employees work remotely, they rarely interact physically with the managers, who in most cases are decision-makers. However, there are chances that remote workers are likely to encounter some challenges in their job. Instead of waiting for the manager to solve the problems that may arise every time, it is good to give the employees the autonomy to make decisions that can affect their work. This will also motivate the workers to develop a sense of belonging to the organization if they are treated as valuable assets. They will put the optimum effort into their job if they are happy about the treatment they get.    

We are living in changing times that are affecting almost all facets of life. New technology has introduced a new concept of working remotely. With the COVID-19 global pandemic, remote working has spread to several sectors now. To ensure that the workers are paying attention to their work, it is crucial to set realistic goals. You also need to use remote employee monitoring software to track the activities of each individual. It is also a good idea to schedule check-ins and track productivity.

5 Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Workspace Productivity

Do you want to increase your productivity at work? Do you want to get more done in a day? If so, then it is time for you to make some changes to your office.

All the people who have succeeded in business know that office design and layout is one of the most important parts of it. It can help employees organize their work and make it easier to find things. However, not all companies understand how big of an impact this can have on their employees’ productivity. It can get tricky if your employees have to focus a lot of their time on finding which tasks to do. It might lead to difficulties in executing tasks and affect overall productivity. There are some task management tools that can help maximize productivity at work.

It’s not just about how much space you have, but about how you use it. In this lesson, we will explore some of the best office design tricks that will help increase your productivity at work.

1. Consider Your Layout

The most important thing to consider when designing your office is the layout. Company culture is deeply rooted in the office’s design. In order to create a positive, productive environment, it’s essential to have an office layout that employees are happy with.

The first step in deciding where your office should be is figuring out what type of business you’re operating and the amount of space you’ll need. Whether it’s a simple laptop setup or a large warehouse, the type of business will dictate what type of setup is needed. If you’re just starting up, then we recommend looking for an affordable place that has enough space for all your equipment and furniture. If you know exactly what kind of office space you want, then there are websites that can help provide these quotes from facilities.

2. Keep Things Comfortable

One of the most important things for your employees is a comfortable office space. To keep your employees happy, you should make sure they are comfortable in their work environment. It is important that they are protected from environmental factors that could impact their performance and productivity at work.

There are many factors that make a comfortable office space. Temperature, lighting, noise levels, proximity to coffee shops and lunch spots and more all need to be taken into account when you’re designing your office layout.

You can also increase work quality and employee happiness in your office without spending a ton of money. Here are some simple tweaks you can make around the office that will do just that:

  1. Keep the mood light with bright colors that suit your company culture
  2. Allow employees to listen to music, as it increases focus and productivity
  3. Offer food options for employees who need them
  4. Encourage breaks by giving them plenty of space for their lunch breaks or coffee breaks
  5. Set up a designated workspace for naps
  6. Offer ergonomic chairs and desks

3. The Psychology of Color

The colors that we design our office spaces with are not just for aesthetics; they can have a major effect on the productivity of our employees. For example, when the color blue is used, it stimulates employees and helps them focus. On the other hand, red stimulates people to move and be more active.

Studies show that people feel safer, more creative, and more productive when they are in an environment with warmer colors (like reds and oranges). For example, one study found that participants who were in a room painted in red were more productive than those who were in a room painted blue.

There are many ways to implement color into the workplace: changing the office colors, adding accent colors to certain furniture or objects, or painting the outside of the building.

4. Improve the Lighting

Improving the lighting in your office is one of the easiest things you can do to boost productivity. A study found that those who spent their entire day under artificial lights were twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety as those who had access to natural light all day long.

There are a number of ways you can do this, but most have a similar effect. You could move your desk to a room with more natural light, use lamps or soft light bulbs that mimic natural light, or by some form of daylighting system. The benefits of these changes are clear and well documented.

5. Nail Your Desk

The ergonomics of a workstation can dramatically affect your mood and productivity. Proper ergonomic setups are essential to long-term success in the workplace. A study by the Ergonomics Society found that over 30% of office workers experience lower back pain, while 25% experience neck pain. These adjustments can help alleviate some of these symptoms and make co-workers more comfortable in their workspace.

Employers should consider these quick ergonomic checks to make sure their employees are comfortable and not distracted by discomfort. You should have a desk set up that is appropriate for their needs and takes into account their body type. This includes height and depth adjustments, placement of monitors in the correct position, chair height and armrests if they use them, as well as adjusting monitor tilt angle to avoid glare from lights or windows.

Final Words

Effective workspace setup and organization can make all the difference to one’s productivity. The way that your workplace is set up could be affecting how productive you are on a day-to-day basis. Minimizing distractions and maximizing space can help increase workplace productivity.

If you have any concerns about this guide or have more ideas for a new space, feel free to comment below. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

Useful Asset Management Tools and Software for The Energy Sector

In this digital era, there is a high need for businesses to manage and track their assets. With everything technology has brought about, tracking and managing assets have become a bit complicated. Furthermore, there is high insecurity of data with the employee turnover. There is a lot that a company can cost from mismanaged and misplaced assets. Companies tend to spend more than they need without proper tracking of their assets. They need to have an accurate picture of their assets and where they are located. This is very crucial for the energy sector that provides utilities such as water, electricity, and gas to businesses and households. This sector faces a lot of challenges in asset management and areas like equipment maintenance.

Resolving Challenges in Energy Sector with Asset Management

The energy sector relies on heavy usage of assets and asset management tools have become important. Companies like Neara provide asset management software for a power line. You can also get the best power line design for pole compliance and efficiency. Assets management tools such as CMMS and AMS provide many benefits to organizations. Some of the benefits reaped from these tools include;

  • Creation of an active preventive maintenance program
  • Real-time tracking of assets and their performance
  • Generating RIO for individual assets
  • Managing inventories accurately
  • Tracking the life cycle of assets
  • Scheduling and prioritizing work orders

The main benefit of using asset management tools in the energy sector is to collect data in real-time with a centralized system. When this data is accessible to managers, technicians, and workers, it speeds up operations and provides an overall overview of all assets that still hold value. IoT tools are best for collecting real-time performance details of an asset. IoT devices can be used to:

  • Assess the condition of an asset
  • Assess the usage history of an asset
  • Check for the latest compliance and permit history
  • Check the repair and maintenance history

CMM, AMS, and IoT devices are the best for asset management. With the data collected from these, it is easy to work on important assets like towers and transmitters. The utility sector has technicians employed specifically for repairing and maintaining aging infrastructure to minimize the chances of outage or failure. That means that these experts must have accurate data for active response. Accurate data provides more visibility and a connection between the technicians in the field and the workers in the office.

Real-time collection of data using assent management software helps in the proper calculation of asset RIO. A company in the energy sector can get a rough idea of the value of its assets. Calculating asset RIO is done by calculating the cost of maintenance and operation. Through this calculation, it becomes easy to decide if the equipment or asset will be worth replacing or throwing away at the end of its life cycle.

IoT devices can be used to minimize the costs of maintenance and avoid failure. IoT makes it easy for companies to collect accurate data on the performance of assets. Devices like trackers, sensors, and barcodes interact and pass the information to the central management system where the data is stored. Asset management tools can help companies in the energy sector in different ways as follows.

  • Reducing risks and safety issues of their assets
  • Approaching maintenance proactively
  • Reducing impact on the environment
  • Improving the use of renewable sources of energy such as solar systems, and wind and hydronic turbines

Conclusion

These are important asset management tools and software suitable for the energy sector. When finding one, you need to identify the gaps in your assent management and maintenance. You can also compare software based on the company’s needs for asset tracking and management.

Best Cybersecurity Tips for your Home-Based Small Business

The Pandemic has meant a significant switch in lifestyle and even career. Many people decided that this is the perfect time to pursue that small business idea they’ve always flirted with.

Despite the comfort of running a business while sitting in pajamas, there are still a million things pulling business owners in different directions. For example, security isn’t always a top concern and sometimes goes unnoticed until something goes wrong. But it is a crucial element. Keeping up with cybersecurity basics for a business can prevent irreparable damage and more than $25000 in losses.

So it’s time to get those ducks in a row before something happens! Here’s a short guide to the best steps business owners can take right now to protect their home-based businesses.

Set Up Admin Access Control

Access control is one of the most important things any business can do if it has any employees. It’s crucial for anyone who works remotely or with freelancers. This goes for online accounts, internal systems, and work accounts that are used by many people.

Access control is a security technique that regulates who can view or use certain accounts or data. For example, if the business has a website on WordPress, then the owner can control who gains admin access to the site and what they can do.

This prevents people from gaining full control over the website. And if their login details get stolen or their account hacked, the hackers will also have limited access. The same goes for data and account sharing. Give people access only to that information they need to perform their duties.

Keep Those Passwords Secret

There will be some preaching about passwords on a list like this because passwords are that important.

With passwords, it’s best to stick to the advice of cybersecurity experts, which are reiterated in such trusted sites as Wired, TechCrunch, and Forbes. The standard best practices stay the same:

– Use a unique password for every account.

– Make passwords long, with multiple characters, numbers, and symbols.

– Don’t share passwords on unencrypted chats.

If it’s hard to remember all those passwords, then it’s best to make use of a password manager. Also, always enable two-factor authentication on accounts.

Keep Off-Site Data Backups

A lot of businesses are not prepared to deal with the consequences of having all their data stolen in a cyber-attack or locked away by ransomware. Not only do many not have up-to-date backups, but those that do often make the mistake of storing them on the same premises. Sometimes even on the same devices/servers. That doesn’t help anyone.

Backups should be stored on encrypted hard drives in an off-site location that isn’t easy to access or on a secure cloud server. The second usually costs a monthly or annual fee, but the upside is that it can’t be lost or destroyed in a fire. Both of these off-site data protection options are essential if you want to safeguard your business from a data disaster.

The downside of using cloud servers, however, is that they aren’t infallible. Hackers have managed to break through in the past.

Use Encryption Tools

Encryption is a method of changing the original plaintext of computer code into a different, undecipherable code. This code can only be decrypted by the person that has the key (app). Everyone else sees scrambled nonsense.

So, there are apps and software that can encrypt hard drives, emails, and even network connections. Even messaging systems like WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption to keep messages private.

Look for encryption apps and software that have received good reviews online. Make sure to encrypt any files and drives on devices used to run the business. Also, use a secure email provider that encrypts emails and a VPN to encrypt the network connection.

The last is important because hackers can use digital devices to gain access to the home’s network and infiltrate the business’ accounts. There are even VPNs for Fire Stick for watching shows in the background while getting work done (it’s okay, we don’t judge).

Keep in mind that this advice goes for any employee as well.

Conclusion

It’s obvious that a lot of work could be done from home. That’s why people switched to running their businesses from the home offices. But it’s important to remember that this comes with a number of cybersecurity risks as small businesses are big targets for hackers! It’s much easier to do a little preparation now than having to deal with the consequences of a cyber-attack later.

What is Data Protection in Cloud Computing?

Many businesses now use cloud computing as a way to store and share data across the business. However, with cloud computing, there is a risk that data protection laws could be breached if personal data is not effectively protected.

The main risks regarding data protection when using cloud computing are:

  • Loss or damage of data caused by your service provider.
  • Unauthorized disclosure or access.
  • Malicious attacks on your service provider (e.g. hacking and viruses).
  • Poor security processes compromise your data.

Most cloud hosting providers have extremely strong security processes to ensure data protection but when you are looking for a cloud computing provider, you should be checking that they have a good reputation for being secure and for protecting data, to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Before you agree to use a cloud computing provider, you should carefully check the service level agreement for the details related to the security measures that they have in place to protect your data. The types of security details and solutions you should look for include:

Cloud Firewall

This is an added layer of protection to help prevent malicious attacks, they block cyber attacks by forming a virtual barrier around cloud platforms, applications and infrastructure.

Encryption

Encryption is a security method that scrambles data so that hackers cannot read the data. Encryption can be used in lots of different ways including to protect data that is being stored and to protect data that is being sent.

Cloud VPS

A VPS (virtual private server) provides a private, dedicated hosting environment, as opposed to sharing a hosting environment, where there is greater risk of malicious attacks and other security weaknesses. A VPS is more expensive than a shared server due to all of the additional levels of security that this solution offers to businesses. If you have a business that uses customer data, it is definitely recommended to use cloud VPS to keep your customers’ data protected.

Identity and Access Management

IAM tracks the identity of a user to authorize or deny access if necessary. The user’s access privileges will determine whether they are permitted to access data. Access control services are an important data protection measure for businesses across all types of systems, not just cloud-based ones.

Backup Plans

Another important element of security when using cloud computing solutions, is to have an adequate backup plan. If your data is accidentally deleted or there is a technical fault that results in the loss of data, a backup plan takes a copy of the data, which is usually stored in another cloud. In the event of data loss, the latest backup copy can be re-installed.

Employee Training and Awareness

One of the top causes of data breaches is through an error made by a user, so it is vital that employees who have access to data are comprehensively trained in data protection. Regulated industries have mandatory training that employees must complete to be compliant with regulators, including data protection, which they must pass a test on to demonstrate their understanding. Records of employee training results must be provided to the regulators as evidence that the business is complying with the training requirements.

There are many benefits to using cloud computing and often it is a more secure way of storing and sharing data, as providers implement excellent security measures. Businesses can also reduce costs by using cloud computing and collaborate more easily while employees work remotely, or across different locations. As long as you check that the cloud computing provider has the key security measures in place, your business can greatly benefit from using this technology.

How To Turn Mobile Devices Into A Business Asset

In the early stages of their inception, mobile phones were seen as expensive devices reserved for business executives. To have one, you need to be a company hotshot to have a ‘work phone’ issued to you. It means your inputs are needed anywhere and anytime.

These days, however, mobile devices have become extremely important to everyone, whether part of the workforce or not. With a few clicks of a button, one can get the information they need, communicate with the rest of the world, and purchase several items. 

There are over four billion mobile phone users in the world today, with some owning other portable devices, such as tablets and netbooks. It is no longer surprising why business organizations rely on mobile technology for several business processes. This has changed the way enterprises approach mobile phone use in workplace settings.

14 Ways to Optimize the Power Of Mobile Devices for Your Business

An affordably priced Android phone can do more than just send short messages or calls. With so many applications and software made for mobile use, there’s no shortage of things that you can do outside of your office desk. For this reason, a mobile device has become a viable workspaces extension, allowing employees and businesses to do the following activities that promote growth and productivity:

1. Launch an Online Store  

Thanks to mobile technology and cloud-based applications, a business idea can easily become a reality with the use of a mobile phone. Drop shipping, for instance, can become an additional income source for entrepreneurs who want to start a retail business but cannot afford to spend for a stock inventory and a physical store.      

Because there are so many things that businesses can do online—from launching an e-commerce store, to contacting suppliers and shippers, as well as accepting payments—there’s no need to have physical stocks and store, or purchase costly machines.  

Business analytics and investment database CB Insights discovered that as of 2011, it only took startups to spend GBP£3,200 (USD$4,500) to open a small business. This is only about 1% of the amount needed to launch an enterprise 11 years earlier, which was pegged at GBP£3.3 million (USD$4.6 million).  

Industry estimates further reveal that technology has drastically reduced the time it takes for businesses to go international. From more than three years up until 2008, the figure almost halved to only 22 months for ventures established in 2009 and later. 

2. Use Mobile Devices to Facilitate Flawless Communication and Collaboration

There’s no shortage of useful mobile phone apps that you can use to reach out to your staff, whether in times of emergency, regular and scheduled meetings, or if some of your employees are on the field.

Using mobile devices with a teleconferencing-enabled application, your team can stay in touch to discuss important updates, emergencies, urgent issues, and how to move past these problems (or successes). When it comes to regular meetings, perhaps, the only valid reason for absence is a non-existent Internet connection.   

Not all your staff may be in a good location to receive broadband from their provider. A signal booster may be needed to improve your mobile signal.

Timely communication isn’t the only added-value for these apps. Some types of business software allow the management to track a team member’s productivity and work progress, ensuring that the program goes as planned. If facing snags, a member can flag the issue(s) to the supervisor, who’s expected to provide useful insights or address the issue moving forward.       

3. Improve Sales and Marketing Strategies

With various integrated platforms that work across all mobile devices, it is now easier to improve marketing and sales strategies both online and offline.

  • Promote Search Rankings

Whether a newly-established business or an enterprise that wants to build a stronger brand, every business should tap the power of search engines to increase brand awareness and strengthen its reputation. 

Industry estimates suggest that more than 80% of the buyers turn to search engines to ask about a specific pain point and look for products that could address their issues. Simply put, the majority of the purchasing process starts with an online search—which, most often, is done via the use of mobile devices. Hence, in order to increase your brand’s online visibility, make sure your mobile site loads quickly and that you employ search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to attract web traffic and increase sales.       

  • Online Marketing

E-commerce and social media platforms all come in mobile-friendly versions. Thus, wherever you may be, you can check your website for performance and assess what makes other websites tick.

Study your competitors’ methods and compare them with your own to see whether your campaign is on the right track or if you need to tweak some methods. Study whether you need to employ paid online advertising, such as pay-per-click (PPC). Assess whether your site is user-friendly by using your own mobile device to navigate through it.   

  • Cold Calling Isn’t Dead

If you’ve been a victim of unwanted calls, you know how irritating they can be. With apps such as Drop Cowboy, however, you won’t have to wait for your potential clients to pick up the phone before being able to reach out to them. All you have to do is to record a voicemail message or SMS marketing messages and send them to your client list for a streamlined service.

  • Reach Out To Your Market And Partners Better

Save on printing costs and the environment by reducing hard copies of your brochures, flyers, and product catalogs. When a customer has specific questions about your services and rates, you can reply through a chatbot or send an image of your sales and product information materials via email.

Mobile employees and remote workers who need to get in touch with clients, the different office units, suppliers, and other partners should go and have an app like Progressive Dialer installed on a mobile device. This app is compatible with all mobile devices and, thus, can be used while on the go.                  

  • Using Your Tablet for Client Presentations

Time is money when it comes to business. This means you need to seize every opportunity to drive sales. For instance, if you need to conduct an impromptu sales presentation, you can just plug in your tablet to a power supply and show them to your clients as you discuss the benefits of your products and services. A bigger audience may require you to link your tablet to the projector.    

4. Enhance Customer Service

Customer service is an important business component. While attracting new customers is essential to increase sales, so is retaining current ones. Client acquisition costs five times more than customer retention. Additionally, hiking the latter by 5% also increases business profits by as much as 95%, per research done by global management consulting firm Bain & Company.

Either way, customer service should be a priority for all types of business, and your mobile devices can help you achieve this goal through the following practices:      

  • Streamlining Repair Processes

Mobile phone cameras can be used to take photos of problematic issues and cut through all the bureaucracy involved in repairing specific home appliances and fixtures. Service contractors only need to snap a photo of the spare parts in need of replacement. This photo can then be sent to the team in charge of inventory or purchasing to either find out if it is available in the office or needs to be bought locally. This means the problem will be addressed as soon as possible, leading to happy customers. 

When selling products, a high-resolution camera phone can take nice photos of the items. This helps attract more potential buyers.    

  • Tracking Packages

Courier companies offer tracking services on their website. All you have to do is prepare the package number or code and input it when you’re asked to.     

This comes in handy when your customer asks for assistance in finding out the package’s expected delivery date. Because you can do this with your mobile device, you don’t need to keep the customer waiting before providing a shipping update.      

  • Using QR Codes To Provide Product Information

As part of the barcode family, a QR code is a machine-readable label that contains useful information about a specific product. Apart from a QR scanner, mobile devices can be used to get the information you or your customers need.

Businesses can also use QR codes to print marketing documents and other informative materials or redirect your audience to your website.          

5. Access Business Documents Anytime, Anywhere

These days, document management apps can be downloaded on mobile devices with ease. Once you have any of these apps, you’ll have access to business documents wherever you may be.

Apart from viewing files, some apps have additional features, such as search, edit, print, share, and send functionalities. In some cases, you can even use your mobile device to directly print the document. Still, others have embedded data protection features. This feature allows your mobile employees and in-office staff to share and collaborate to make necessary amendments to documents, such as proposals, quotations, and contracts, as soon as possible. Your staff can also access the inventory files to check whether stocks are available before asking a colleague to file a purchase request.

With this feature available on all mobile devices, some documents no longer need to be printed, signed, and sent back, causing unnecessary delays in business processes. 

6. Make Remote Work Easier

The new normal has required businesses to make remote work arrangements more prevalent. However, this shift to a virtual office is nothing new. In fact, this non-traditional work situation has been around for several years. Prior to the pandemic, offsite workplaces were thought to have increased by as much as 91% over the last decade, according to a survey by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs.

A remote workforce brings a host of benefits for a business. Rental costs, electricity bills, among other business expenses, are expected to drop while increasing overall business productivity.

For seamless virtual operations, mobile devices and a strong Internet connection are must-haves, so are work-related apps, such as a few that were mentioned earlier: document management, time-keeping, and project management. 

7. Provide Work Flexibility To Employees

Employees these days prefer the flexibility of working from home or working anytime and anywhere. Various researches show that there are various contributors to employee satisfaction. Opportunities for career growth and promotion, job security, adequate pay, and close relations with colleagues and bosses, as well as work flexibility, are elements often mentioned.     

If you’re a business looking to retain your top talents, consider providing the benefits earlier mentioned. Work-life balance has become more essential these days as workplace stress levels among employees reached 83% in 2019.

8. Access Data and Business Analytics

Business analytics software can be installed on your phone to check the overall health of your enterprise. Business analytics can either be descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, or prescriptive in nature. 

Depending on the features of the app you downloaded or subscribed to, as a business executive, you’d be able to see which department is the most and least productive and which business units can be streamlined.

In addition, businesses can have an overall view of mobile device use among their employees to determine if the current mobile software or apps are adequate or need to be replaced with a better mobile app. Auditing mobile device and platform use can also help enterprises determine potential security threats and opportunities for cost-saving practices.

How About Mobile Data Security?

Cyber hacking is a prevalent issue globally, and there’s not a day that passes by without at least a few thousand attempts happening. In fact, Web Arx Security has revealed that at least 300,000 websites are hacked daily.

Big companies have often been targeted as they can spend thousands, if not millions of dollars, in costly settlements. For instance, a ride-sharing mobile app fell victim to a data breach in 2016, forcing the company to spend USD$148 million in investigation and settlements.     

For these reasons and more, business data protection and security should equally be given priority as soon as the use of mobile devices for work is allowed.   

The following measures should strictly be implemented to protect and secure business information on your mobile device: 

  • Using a virtual private network (VPN)
  • Avoiding public Wi-Fi use
  • Mobile app or software updates
  • Two or multi-factor authorization for each device
  • Use of strong passwords
  • Device encryption
  • Antivirus application

Businesses should also have a well-thought-out file access system for an added layer of security.  

Closing Thoughts

Mobile devices have become essential business tools, especially with the evolving and more flexible work arrangements. Businesses and individual employees should all be aware of how to optimize mobile device functionalities to keep them going, as well as drive sales and promote business growth, all while keeping data safe and reducing costs.  

Best Security and Privacy Tips for Remote Work

With employees across the globe being sent home with laptops, the issue of cybersecurity has gained particular relevance for business owners. Not only do entrepreneurs have to accelerate the digitalization of their companies, but they also have to ensure their digital safety. And when the pandemic-related transformation of businesses comes to an end, a large percentage of employees might wish to continue working remotely. Therefore, it is essential to ensure business employees follow sound digital security practices while working from home.

Let’s take a look at the best security and privacy tips for remote work.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the access control mechanism that makes it more difficult for malicious agents to infiltrate your employees’ devices and your company’s network. With 2FA enabled, a randomly generated code, along with a password, is required to log in to an account. This code can be generated with the help of free apps such as Google Authenticator.

If a cybercriminal steals a password, which is not exceptionally difficult these days, they will not be able to immediately gain access to the system. Given the ease of use and the fact that 2FA is essentially free, this security tip is not to be ignored.

Establish a VPN connection

Virtual private network (VPN) apps allow remote employees to establish a secure connection to counter numerous digital risks.  VPN apps can help to anonymize your employees and shield their privacy, for example. They can also make it harder for cybercriminals to illegally gain access to your office resources such as databases, productivity suites and project management software, among others.

When properly configured, a VPN connection allows employees to use the Internet to access work resources safely while hindering unauthorized access for everyone else. With regards to configuration, it does not require too much technical know-how and can be set-up by virtually anyone. Therefore, even if your company does not have a dedicated IT department, don’t feel discouraged to set up a secure VPN connection for your employees.

Use an Antivirus

Although malware is a constant, unremitting threat, it presents more danger for remote employees than for your office workforce. Whereas it is possible to protect the latter with network and endpoint security measures, the former are left exposed. For this reason, remote team members should be encouraged to install the best antiviruses for Mac or PC. With a security solution running in the background, your employees would gain a considerable degree of protection, not only against malware and viruses, but also against hacking attempts such as phishing.

You are advised to opt for professional rather than free antiviruses. Unlike their free counterparts, professional antiviruses are much more adept at detecting dangers before they spread through computer systems. Also, some commercial security software offers an at-a-glance view of protected assets and prevents individual users from disabling the protection.

Backup critical data

The recent spike of high-profile ransomware attacks proves one thing: no matter how seemingly impregnable your firewall is, someone will eventually bypass it. If the worst does happen, your employees should be able to restore their data without paying an exorbitant ransom. And the most reliable path to recovering your data? That age old practice of backup.

Make sure your employees regularly backup their data to public clouds such as Amazon S3, Azure or Wasabi. With the use of automated data protection solutions, both backup and recovery processes can be effortless and fast.

Run cybersecurity training

No matter how reliable your digital safeguards are, if the workforce is not familiar with safe browsing habits and other essentials of cybersecurity, a breach will inevitably occur. Therefore, it is of huge importance to ensure that every employee knows how to protect their own and their company’s digital assets.

It does not matter that much who conducts cybersecurity training in your company. Whether it is a member of the IT department or a third-party contractor, the important thing is to run the training regularly. After all, the cybersecurity landscape is constantly shifting and you need to ensure that all employees have up-to-date knowledge on how to deal with any potential threats.

To Wrapping Up

As the number of high-profile breaches continues to increase, you have to take actionable measures to tighten cybersecurity in your company. Even with a small amount of effort in the areas where it matters most, you can noticeably improve your cybersecurity preparedness, thereby saving your company’s digital assets and protecting your employees’ privacy.

Bringing Your Office Into the 21st Century: 5 Digital Solutions Your Company Needs

With the rise of technological innovations in the 21st century, industries have begun adapting their traditional business models to incorporate digital routes to success. Between virtual communication apps like Zoom changing the way employees interact and automation software reducing error and overhead, technology has revolutionized the business sector. That said, corporations that opt out of tech-based solutions often miss out on significant business ventures and customer connections due to a lack of technological know-how. 

Luckily, there are plenty of digital solutions available to business executives looking to up their game and remain competitive in the future. Read on for five technological innovations sure to streamline your business process and boost your annual earnings. 

A digital mailbox

A significant and recent shift to the workplace has been the surge of remote employment. Although the transition to at-home work was jolting under pandemic-induced chaos, business owners leaned into the storm, with many companies opting to stay remote indefinitely.

As a result, many have turned to digital mailboxes like iPostal1 to help keep their business running smoothly despite a scattered workforce. Digital mailboxes allow business owners to run remote operations with the benefits of reduced costs, additional time savings, and unparalleled convenience. Overall, setting up a digital mailbox empowers business owners to reduce overhead costs, i.e., receptionist salaries, office furniture (formerly used to store mail), etc., and maximize limited office space occupied by unopened envelopes. Additionally, digital mailboxes ensure that airplane-terminal-bound executives can manage correspondence anywhere—whether from a 6×6’ cubicle or an airplane seat.

Cloud storage

One of the most significant technological advances in the past ten years has been cloud storage implementation. Remote databases enable business owners to store and access data, applications, and client documentation with the click of a button. For companies looking to scale upwards, streamline deployment ventures, and more effectively manage information, cloud storage is the perfect solution. 

Social media marketing

As the online world continues to grow, bringing with it millions of scrolling consumers, companies have begun capitalizing on social media marketing techniques to draw in clientele and push out new products. Having a simple website no longer cuts it in competitive spaces, which means you need to build an approachable online presence in addition to keeping a clean, easy-to-use webpage. Social media allows corporations to connect with patrons on a more personal, casual level, allowing people to ask questions, browse products, and post feedback all in one place. That said, posting regularly and engaging with clients on a routine basis is critical for up-and-coming businesses. 

Automation

Another way to bring your company into the 21st century is by utilizing automation software to cut down on data input and calculations. For accounting departments, in particular, software like Quickbooks can reduce the time it takes to enter information, organize files, and calculate totals by automatically performing specific tasks. Although the cost to install automation software may be an investment up-front, the time and money you’ll save on staff will be worth it in the end. 

Security

Those running a business understand how critical cybersecurity is when it comes to sensitive information and company applications. Thankfully, digital solutions have streamlined safety efforts, with upgraded malware detectors, AI capabilities, and instant data breach alerts keeping business owners on top of online security. If you’re a growing company looking to keep hackers and breaches at bay, consider investing in upgraded prevention and detection technology.

The bottom line

For companies looking to stay ahead of the competition, implementing high-tech digital solutions that streamline business development processes is critical in saving time and money long-term. By building an online presence, upgrading your cybersecurity measures, and utilizing cloud-based services, you can climb the corporate ladder with ease.