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:
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 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.
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.
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.
What is Data Protection in Cloud Computing? was last modified: June 26th, 2021 by Jason Mood
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.
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.
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
Businesses should also have a well-thought-out file access system for an added layer of security.
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.
How To Turn Mobile Devices Into A Business Asset was last modified: August 19th, 2021 by Nora Sbalckiero
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.
Best Security and Privacy Tips for Remote Work was last modified: June 4th, 2021 by Emily Doxon
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bringing Your Office Into the 21st Century: 5 Digital Solutions Your Company Needs was last modified: July 13th, 2021 by Amanda Greenberg
If you’ve done the same thing every day for 10 years, it’s only natural that you would feel as if your momentum may have come to a screeching halt. Most of us like the idea of continuously advancing in our career, making more money, earning better and more important titles, and thereby feeling like we’re growing as individuals.
But sooner or later, we may hit a rut, and feel stagnating in our current role. Could this be a plateau where you’ll stay for the rest of your working life?
It doesn’t have to be. If you’re feeling stationary in your current position, you can take several steps to reinvigorate yourself and create new momentum.
Steps to Take to Achieve Forward Motion
Try some or all of these ten steps to breathe new life into your career:
1. Get a new certification
First, think about seeking a new certification. For example, if you work in accounting, you couldpass the CPA exam to become a CPA. Depending on your current role and your certification, this might enable you to earn more money, have a shot at a substantial promotion, and even open a door to entrepreneurial opportunities. No matter what, you’ll get the chance to learn new skills and engage in activities that enable you to break from the norm.
2. Learn a new skill
You could also make the effort to learn a new skill, even if it diverges from your current areas of expertise. For example, you could take up computer programming or learn how to work with a new piece of software. This will keep you engaged, make you a more well-rounded professional, and could open the door to some interesting opportunities down the road.
3. Branch out to other departments
How often do you talk to people from other departments in your organization? If your firm suffers from apersistent silo mentality, you may rarely, if ever, reach outside your own circle. Getting acquainted with colleagues in other departments can help you understand better how your organization works, and give you an opportunity to network and learn new things – all of which can be good for your career.
4. Take on a new responsibility
Don’t request a new responsibility; take one on. Step in to address something that no one else wants to touch, or expand some area of the business. It can keep you challenged and interested in your work – and looks impressive when it comes time for supervisors to evaluate you for a promotion or raise.
5. Talk to your bosses
Are you feeling trapped or bored? Consider talking to your bosses about your status. They may have ideas or new directives that will help you to feel more challenged, or shift you to a new position entirely.
6. Start a side hustle
If you’re not getting what you want or need from your main career, why not attempt a side hustle? Pick up a hobby and turn it into a business, or dabble in a new industry you’ve always wanted to investigate. It could turn into a full-time gig later, if you choose.
7. Look for a transfer opportunity
If you like this company and you’re just tired of the same environment, look into the potential for a transfer. Moving to a new department or a different location could be the fresh breath of air you need to feel good about your career again.
8. Work for a promotion
You may already be doing this, but consider aiming for a specific promotion. Depending on your industry and the nature of the business, this could be a new role that’s several years off, but if you start laboring toward it now, you may feel a surge of inspiration and motivation that will carry you to your end goal.
9. Apply to jobs with other businesses (or start your own)
If opportunities are rare at your current place of employment, think about applying for jobs with other businesses. You could even start a company of your own in your industry.
10. Change careers entirely
Of course, if nothing else is working, or you’re just finished with the industry you’ve been in, you might plan a complete career change. It’s never too late to jump into a totally different line of work.
No matter what you do, if you want to break free of your feelings of stagnation,it’s important to embrace change. Thanks to status quo bias (and a bit of laziness), most of us prefer to keep things the same for as long as possible.
But if you allow yourself to remain complacent and simply accept the patterns you’ve fallen into over many years, you’ll never make any progress. You have to change something if you want different results; there’s no other way forward.
10 Steps to Take If You Feel Stagnant in Your Career was last modified: May 31st, 2021 by Alex Sanders
Fire is often treated as a natural element, alongside earth, water, and air – a fundamental aspect of nature that’s necessary for life to flourish. There are many good reasons for this, including the fact that fire can trigger the activation of certain types of seeds, fostering life directly, and the fact that humans have harnessed the power of fire to cook food.
But there’s also something more fundamental about the appeal of fire that’s harder to pinpoint precisely. Why is it that human beings are drawn to fire, and why should you spend more time next to one?
Fire and the Hearth
There’s a reason the hearth has become a central gathering place in many cultures. We’ve been using the fire as a gathering point for thousands of years all over the world. There’s even evidence of prehistoric hearths, created and used as a place of social gathering in ancient caves and campsites. In Ancient Greece, the hearth was such an important cultural touchstone that there was even a goddess of the hearth: Hestia.
Today, modern hearths are an inviting aesthetic design choice for our living rooms, adding a layer of coziness and warmth to the most social area of our homes.
The Value of Fires
These are just a few of the reasons you should consider spending more time near or around a fire:
First, fires offer a form of visual stimulation with a bright, flickering series of flames. Many people report feeling almost hypnotized by the fire, drawn into it. It’s interesting to watch, and it can break you away from other distractions, like the TV or your smartphone.
If you build a wood-based fire, or if you have a fireplace that can replicate the sounds, you’ll hear a distinctive crackling sound that many people find soothing. It’s a bit of background noise to make you feel calm, and it may even work for ASMR.
Fire is also hot, of course, which makes it the perfect addition for an outdoor event in cool weather – or a supplementary source of comfort in your living room during the deep winter.
Smell and memory
Did you know that smell is closely connected to memory? When you smell something connected to a memory, or even a previous time in your life, you’ll often be hit by a wave of nostalgia. Holding a fire regularly can fill your nose with that signature smoky aroma – which by itself, is pleasant for many people. Over time, as you spend time with friends and family members, laughing and enjoying yourself, that smell will be tied to powerful, positive memories you’ll always be able to recall.
Open time for discussion
When people gather around the fire, they’re choosing to eliminate distractions. You’ll have open time for discussion with the people around you, giving you a chance to explore new topics and get to know your loved ones a little bit better.
Cooking and meal prep
Fires are commonly associated with cooking and meal prep; hosting a fire is a great opportunity to cook some hot dogs or roast marshmallows over the flames. You can also think fancier by grilling halibut, steaks, or burgers. These dishes are perfect for a beach party, camping, or an outdoor cookout. And if you ask your family or some friends to join you, it’s another opportunity for bonding as well.
Ideas for Your Next Fire
If you’re not sure where or how to host a fire, there are several ways you can get started.
Install a fireplace
One of the best ways forward is to install a fireplace in your home (assuming it’s legal for you to do so). Today’s fireplaces come in a wide variety of styles and functions, and they can often be installed with minimal cost and effort. Choose a wood-burning fireplace if you want that classic texture, or an electric or gas fireplace if you want some clean-burning efficiency.
Purchase (or build) a firepit
If you don’t like the idea of having a fireplace in the house, or if you don’t have room for it, consider purchasing or building an outdoor firepit. It’s an easy choice that can support your fires for years to come.
Water Vapor Fireplace
Install a water vapor fireplace. There are numerous other advantages of water vapor fireplaces, such as their low energy consumption and environmental friendliness, but the bottom line is that they provide stunning flame realism that rivals gas while maintaining the safety and convenience of an electric fireplace.
Rely on others
If you don’t have much space in your current house/apartment, consider getting a friend to host the fire, or keep an ear out for invitations.
Head to a campsite
Consider going to a local campsite and setting up a fire of your own; there are often rings or firepits you can use to build a fire from scratch. Just make sure you read the rules of the campsite prior to starting one.
After you have a successful fire and bond with the people around you, you’ll likely want to repeat the experience again in the future. Hopefully, if the others are on board, you can turn this into a regular event – and relieve stress while connecting with the people most important to you.
Why You Should Spend More Time Near a Fire was last modified: January 11th, 2022 by Alex Sanders
The world runs on technology these days. Nothing seems to move forward except it imbibes technology.
Do you want to make an impact in your industry? You will need technology to make this possible. The strategic use of technology in your business can also give you an edge over competitors.
You do not have to be a scientist to effectively apply technology to your business and bring about the desired growth. Just reduce the time you spend on frivolous things such as watching TV and spend your valuable time on things that can move the needle in your business.
The information in this write-up is put together to guide you on how to start making use of technology as a tool for business growth. Check below for 11 ways you can boost your small business with technology.
1. Communication can help
One of the many benefits of technology is that it boosts communication. You can use this benefit to your advantage in that technology enables you to communicate via more easily with potential clients and partners.
No need to make the trip anymore since you can simply make the call. Technology makes communication faster and more qualitative. You can opt for a video call since it enables you to see the other person face to face from your individual remote locations.
2. Boost marketing tactics
Technology, if used properly, can boost your marketing tactics. The traditional marketing strategies do work just fine, but they can never be as effective as the technology—based marketing strategies.
A very good example is social media marketing. A small business such as camper repair service can leverage the power of an effective social media strategy to reach potential customers faster via social media and direct clients to their website.
Technology can equally help you to prepare a business plan even if you do not have much knowledge or experience about it.
In fact, you can build great websites using special technology-based tools even if you have limited knowledge about website building.
3. Social media can be a viable tool
Social media opens up your business faster than ever. It gives you access to so many people from the comfort of your home.
One of the best ways to harness the incomparable power of social media for business growth is via digital marketing.
Working with a social media marketing agency enables you to get the words out about your products and services without physically advertising your business.
The internet reaches virtually every corner of the earth. So, things you post on social media can be seen globally. What is more, you can choose your preferred target audience in social media marketing.
4. Save time via remote workplace
As a small business, you will need to save as much time, effort, and money as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by resorting to a remote workplace.
A remote workplace enables your employees to work from home and also helps you to connect with them all without meeting at a physical office. If the employee possessing a particular skill is unable to report at your physical office, such an employee can connect with you via remote workplace platforms.
5. Build a website
You will need a website to tell the world about what you have to offer. So, you should invest in a website if you want to grow your small business faster.
It is not enough to build a website; you must make it responsive and attractive so that the potential clients will be willing to do business with you.
A functional, responsive website will give your business identity on the World Wide Web. It will also serve as a source of tenable information about your business to anyone searching for such information online.
6. Search engine optimization is essential
It is not enough to build a website, but you must make your website visible. Increased visibility will bring in more clients to patronize your business, leading to faster growth of your brand.
This can only be possible if you carry out the search engine optimization of your web content. You may have to hire SEO experts to do this for you if you do not have the required knowledge.
7. Secure your business
While technology can showcase your business to the world faster than the conventional way of doing things, it also has its risks and challenges.
For one, your website may get hacked and this can lead to data loss or theft, as well as, the possibility of financial loss.
You can curtail this by securing your online business. This can be done by using an encrypted password and creating active firewalls for your website.
8. Cloud storage can help
You do not have to keep all your data stored on your computer; you can move some of the data to the cloud. Cloud storage frees space on your hard disk and can even help your system to run faster.
Additionally, it can make your data and files available if you have to access them outside your office or when you are in a remote location far away from your computer. This way, you can obtain the necessary information at the tip of your finger.
9. Improve your customer service
Technology can help you to boost the quality of your customer service. One of the best ways to do this is to provide live chat services whereby your existing and potential customers can chat with you and get a response in an instant.
You can equally offer toll-free call service so that your callers will not have to pay for calls.
10. Automate your routine tasks
One other way to boost your small business is to automate tasks. A good example of tasks you can automate is customer service. Automated messages can provide answers to a good percentage of the questions that customers ask. You can equally automate your social media posts. This way, you can focus on some other aspects of the business.
11. Video marketing always gets the attention
One other way to get the words out is via video marketing. However, make sure that the videos you create are related to the products and services that you offer.
Search engines can rank your website higher if you have related videos uploaded on the website. You can also upload such videos on your social media platforms.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to boost your brand popularity via technology. You can submit search engine optimized content on your website and popular websites like Ezine.
You can also build backlinks to your website so that you can connect with authority websites. If this is too technical for you, you can simply hire SEO experts to do it for you.
In addition, it’s very essential that you sleep well, exercise enough and optimize your health so that you can effectively muster the needed positive energy to move your business to the next level. These little things do move a needle. Try them!
11 Straightforward Ways to Improve Your Small Business with Technology was last modified: August 12th, 2021 by Tony Uran
It has already been more than a year since many people across the world left their offices and started working remotely. While employees have struggled since then to establish a ‘working from home’ routine and manage their time well, the executives have pondered a question on how to maintain the same level of productivity and efficiency when there is no direct contact with and between the employers.
In that regard, one of the solutions applied by many small and big companies is the use of project management and collaboration software. In fact, this is a worthy solution not only for remote work but also when you have the whole team in one place. Such software makes the working process easier, enhances productivity, and assists in solving other issues that can be encountered in project planning and implementation. Considering that, we have composed a list of project management and collaboration software, that you will definitely give a go once you try them.
GanttPRO is a project management and collaboration tool to create a Gantt chart online that helps handle personal as well as team tasks. Thanks to a Gantt diagram view, all the tasks, and their dates are plainly seen on a timeline. With GanttPRO, users have the ability to track responsibilities along with the whole progress. Staff members are always clued-up about the project’s state and also avoid risks and misconceptions in organizing.
Why can GanttPRO be your choice?
Collaboration opportunities in the cloud-based GanttPRO are noteworthy. Project participants can work together in real-time: comment tasks, affix documents, leave summaries to assignments, export their charts in PDF or PNG as well as share them through a public link. With the real-time notifications, project participants will certainly know all changes. In terms of project management functions, this Gantt chart app offers loads of possibilities to manage tasks, resources, costs, and also schedules what makes it outstanding project management and collaboration software.
ClickHelp is a contemporary online documentation software. It’s used by businesses all over the world to create and publish different sorts of documents like manuals, customer guides, help documents, frequently asked questions, and so on.
ClickHelp is easy to use for doc teams. It is browser-based and supports multiple systems: Mac OS, Windows, and also Linux, so you don’t need to set up anything. This makes it easy to create and provide your documentation from any location in the world.
In this online project collaboration and documentation software, you can also work on your documents together with your staff members in one online portal. Absolutely nothing will be missed since notifications will certainly keep everybody from your team updated.
Why can ClickHelp be your choice?
Password-protected online assistance.
Easy importing and exporting.
Effective full-text search.
And many more.
3. Google Docs
This widely-known web-based project collaboration software needs no introduction. You could not know the applications from the project or time management category. However, if you have ever dealt with records online, it is 100% certain that at least you have heard of Google Docs.
This powerful software allows developing and editing documents any place you are as well as talking and commenting. These incredible collaboration functions make all word-related work a breeze. Google Docs provides lots of templates and add-ons. You just need to log in and that’s it. Everything else you need to do is to enjoy smooth online work with the documents.
Why can Google Docs be your choice?
No lost data — everything is immediately saved online.
Awesome web link sharing with various accessibility levels.
Wiredrive makes media management and collaboration processes smooth and easy to handle. This project collaboration software can become a centralized place where creative teams can keep project-relevant files.
Shared workplaces for tasks and groups enable quick web-based collaboration between project participants: you can review, comment, and track all tasks. On top of that, shared work is encrypted so you do not have to fret about protection concerns.
Why can Wiredrive be your choice?
Notifications that keep everyone from a team updated.
Powerful search and filtering functions.
Presentations in secs.
5. Creativity 365
Even though this software is not as all-purpose as the above-mentioned one, Creativity 365 is a great option for creative industries. It offers Individual, Business, and also Education content production solutions. With the help of this software, groups can quickly collaborate online and implement their concepts across desktop and also mobile devices.
This software consists of 5 applications: Animation desk for producing your own animation, GIFs or storyboards; Write-on for making and editing movies; NoteLedge for taking notes, sketching suggestions or videotaping moments; Markup for making notes of Websites, ePub or PDF files, and sharing them; Pocket Scanner for scanning documentation and digitalizing it.
Why can Creativity 365 be your choice?
Great for creative groups.
Enormous storage space capacities.
Hightail will certainly be your selection if you require working opportunities for file sharing, creative collaboration, as well as task management within your projects.
File sharing possibilities allow for sending out big multimedia data easily. For this, simply select, drag & drop or import your files from other services – Hightail will cover you. Creative online collaboration gives a single space for groups that eliminates miscommunication concerns. With project monitoring features, individuals can gather employees, set up to-do lists for them, discuss tasks, and also appoint follow-ups.
Why can Hightail be your choice?
Accessibility codes as well as expiry dates.
Lots of file formats accessible for previewing.
Data track delivery.
Quip arranges online collaboration on documents and task lists in a very fluid way as it helps teams work faster and be more productive.
This online document collaboration software serves well for making collective meeting notes as well as handling tasks. Quip will be the place where you as well as your group will keep all documentation to get work done.
Why can Quip be your choice?
Opportunities to add project trackers, calendars, as well as numerous other tools right into a Quip document.
Combines group conversations, lists, documents, as well as spreadsheets in one place.
Project Management and Collaboration Tools that You will Definitely Keep Using After Trying was last modified: September 10th, 2021 by Angel Anna
Now that we are in the digital age and most of us rely heavily on the online world, we tend to spend so much of our time browsing and surfing the internet. Throughout the years, the worldwide web has become an effective platform for marketing. We even now have the term “e-commerce” or electronic commerce.
With e-commerce, transactions for buying and selling products are entirely made online. Business owners and manufacturers can just put up their products on a website, and buyers can easily purchase whatever they need. Now, all they have to do is find ways to promote their business — and trust me, with the power of the internet, marketing opportunities are endless. Gone are the days where you have to buy a slot for a TV advertisement or a section in a newspaper just to advertise. And this leads to one type of online marketing, which is affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of online marketing where a merchant or a business owner boosts their product sales by providing existing content creators or potential affiliate marketers with the same niche links that they can incorporate into their content. Once clicked by the audience, these links will direct them to the website’s shop to purchase the products.
Affiliate marketers or affiliates earn a commission when someone purchases an item through their link. Their income is solely based on the number of items sold using the link. Depending on the affiliate network, the commission can be a percentage of the sales or a fixed rate per sale. Although no training is required to become an affiliate, there are classes that you can take that can guide you in the industry. Look for the most recommended courseson affiliate marketing to have an in-depth introduction about being an affiliate.
What do you benefit from affiliate marketing?
It is very easy to start.
To be an affiliate marketer, all you need is a device and access to the internet. Other than that, you must be able to create content consistently. You also must study how to learn affiliate marketing in a professional way. Your content, it can be a blog post or a YouTube video, must be in line with the merchant’s niche or you can simply review their product.
It would not cost you anything.
Merchants do not require any fees for aspiring affiliates, so you have nothing to risk at all — except maybe your time and effort for content creation. However, beginners in this industry must ensure that they can widen their audience as their income solely relies on the number of people who purchase with their links.
You get an opportunity to increase your income.
As soon as they get into that groove and people start to purchase products through their links, affiliate marketers can easily earn an income. For your income to constantly grow, you need to keep promoting your website or account through your content to gain loyal followers who can potentially buy your chosen merchant’s products.
It can be done with several platforms.
Affiliate marketing works with almost all platforms, including blogs, Youtube, as well as Instagram. So, if you have been a long-time video creator on Youtube or you already have thousands of followers on Instagram, then you might have an advantage as an affiliate. Building your audience through those platforms can now be easy nowadays.
You can create a wide variety of content.
Depending on which type of content you prefer, you can find an appropriate merchant through affiliate networks. It is at your advantage if you are flexible and can create several forms of content, like blogs, videos, posts, etc. Instagram has this new feature where you can add affiliate links to your stories, and interested followers can just swipe up to get directed on the website.
It can elevate your platform.
If people keep interacting with your affiliate links, the more engaging your account becomes. As a result of this, you get better standing on these platforms’ algorithms, especially with Instagram recently, where the more engagements you have, the more visible you become.
How to become successful in Affiliate Marketing?
Although it is easy and risk-free to start getting involved in affiliate marketing and possibly earn an income, you still have to maintain good practices to help your earnings grow and be more consistent. To help you with this, here are nine tips and steps that you can follow to become successful as an affiliate marketer:
1. Choose proper platforms for you.
As we mentioned, you can choose from a lot of platforms for affiliate marketing. One factor that can help your success in this career become faster, you must select a platform that you are comfortable using. If you are not a writer, then blog posting would not work for you at all, and you would not need a website. You can always try Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, where creating accounts is free, and content posting can be pretty straightforward.
2. Stick to your niche.
Before you start, you must choose two to three related niches that you want your content to revolve around. For example, one of the most popular niches nowadays is sports and fitness. If you are a woman who religiously works out and an enthusiast of anything health and fitness-related, you can post about those things and choose merchants that maybe sell workout clothes, protein shakes, sports equipment, etc. In addition to this, if you love fashion, you can post content about that too. Remember, too many niches mess up your content, confuses your audience, and you lose the potential of gaining loyal followers.
3. Build your credibility to attract followers.
Credibility is vital for you to gain organic followers or followers that are legitimately engaging with your posts — in short, not bots. Remember that for affiliate marketing to become an effective source of income, your stats are key. You need to have more followers or an audience that anticipates every post and reacts to each of them. The more followers you have, the more chances of having people that purchase with your affiliate link.
4. Find an affiliate network.
The easiest way to find merchants or sellers that seeks additional promotion through affiliate marketing is by visiting affiliate networks. These networks are what serve as middlemen between merchants and affiliates. Merchants have their products listed in the networks, and affiliate marketers just search through them to find the products relevant to their niche, and they can create content about.
5. Carefully choose the products.
Only choose relevant products and merchants. This way, your content becomes consistent, and you stay within your niche.
Create high-quality content consistently.
Lastly, you have to keep your audience engaged and interested in your content, so they stick around. And when you finally post content on your affiliate links, make sure that you will be able to captivate their audience and persuade them to buy the product. Writing positive reviews about the products is the most common way to incorporate affiliate links.
The secret to becoming successful in this career is to be consistent and dedicated to your content. You have to lure in your audience and convince them that they need these products, so they should click your link and purchase. In affiliate marketing, this is pretty much the only way to earn income.
A Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing was last modified: July 26th, 2021 by Gremal Ebal
Time is money and people realize that now. The one who owns money owns others’ time. Every moment you waste you are losing the value of time in terms of opportunity cost. This is one of the reasons people spend most of their time working even after 9 to 5 office jobs as side jobs. Few do this because they are introverts and they prefer doing something productive rather than interacting with others. Nonetheless, there are some workaholics as well who want to make as much money as they can in their initial time to invest in long-term projects.
Working abroad is no longer a dream now. Remote jobsabroad are in search of you. Today, not only there are freelancing platforms andremote jobs in the USfor web designers and writers but for remote engineering jobs as well. Regardless of why and what you do, there are multiple companies based in Los Angeles offering remote jobs in Los Angeles and anywhere else. All you need is a device to work on or some telecommunication network to connect to your workplace and perform your job no matter which corner of the world you are sat in. There is no compulsion of time and place either. If you want some assistance in terms of guidance and detailed information that can get along well with your skills and interests, here are some of the side jobs explained by Hirewithtogteher.
This is something that is never out of trend or demand. People like to read experiences that they are unable to do due to shortage of time or anything else. First, establish an online presence for yourself by creating a blog. Do not forget that you can be a jack of all trades but a master of none. Hence choose a niche to target with your content. Better choose something that you are really good at and that excites you. It can be beauty tips, cooking, travel logs, fitness, consultancy and what not. Once the website is established well and traffic starts generating, it is time to affiliate links and post ads. It requires consistency and patience to establish a good blogging website.
2. Virtual Tutor
This is quite similar to writing blogs. The only existing difference is direct interaction with your audience. This is a must recommended side job for ones who love to read, write and teach. Basic requirement of this job is to possess strong communication skills and expertise in a certain subject. This has worked best during COVID19. A plus point of this job is that you get to learn about different cultures and civilizations when you interact with people from different regions of the world. Create a profile on any of the online tutoring platforms and begin to teach today. Additional features of screensharing and white board have added to its effectiveness.
3. Customer Support
Easiest side job with no technical work or expertise is customer support which has huge demand. Customer queries keep arriving 24/7 and organizations are always short of staff to deal with the potential prospects and existing customers. They pay you extra for being available during late night hours. Nature of this job is such that it keeps on grooming you and increasing your networking. Dealing with different kinds of people every day enhances your emotional intelligence. Do not miss such an opportunity if you find one.
4. Virtual Assistance
Virtual assistance covers various fields. If you are good at multitasking and want to grow, this is a perfect job to do. Assisting in scheduling of posts on social media and blogging websites, managing emails, handling customer queries, handling social media accounts, paying attention on how to pitch potential clients, data entry, and many others are the possible range of options you can have.
5. Voice over
Selling your voice to make money sounds quirky? Yes, this is true. With the world becoming a global village, there is an increasing need and demand for content to be either translated or spoken in native languages. If you understand and speak a certain foreign language, start selling this skill of yours. From children cartoons to record breaking TV and web series, people are demanding dubbed content in their native language. Organizers look for talented people for dubbing and voice over and pay as demanded. Few minutes of speaking make you hundreds of dollars. Also, this is an exciting job that refreshes your mind and mood.
In short, whatever reason is behind you doing a side job, be it a financial crisis you are facing or savings for future investment, side job online is never a bad idea. It is a guarantee to secure the future and save some money for the rainy days. Who knows it can be a career changing point for you once you are into it.
Best Side Jobs You can Do From Home was last modified: April 16th, 2021 by Jessica Cam