Streamlining a Small Business: 3 Effective Tips for Leaner, Better Management

There is actually quite a bit of understandable confusion regarding what defines the broad term “small business.” Technically, it could essentially mean anything from a two-man company that handles the local need for handyman work, to small scale production facilities with complicated processes at every step.

What we are going to discuss here will mostly be targeted towards small businesses with a decent workforce and at least some scale. However, some of the lean management tips will be applicable to any small business owner, even if they are the sole proprietor and employee of their company right now.

Decide on a Lean Management Strategy and Commit to It

There is no shortage of lean methods these days, as a combination of modern software tools and ancient wisdom has apparently come together in the best way possible. However, the important part is to find a lean strategy that would be the best suited for your business, and stick to it, instead of trying out too many principles at once.

Let’s for example, take hoshin planning, or what is actually known as hoshin kanri. Hoshin planning is a lean management technique based on two primary ideas:

  1. Finding and confirming the right direction
  2. Managing that direction with maximum efficiency

As one might guess, hoshin planning is introduced and implemented on an administrative level, meant for people with executive decision-making power. The many steps of hoshin kanri can be divided into the following broad categories:

  • Determining and finalizing an organization’s vision & direction
  • Setting small goals for breaking down the process effectively
  • Setting down, deploying and implementing yearly objectives
  • Monthly reviews and annual reviews.

If you want to know more, take a look at this guide for hoshin planning by Kanbanize, which provides a comprehensive introduction and step-by-step guidance for implementing the seven steps of hoshin kanri successfully. In fact, Kanbanize takes it one step further by mapping the metrics of hoshin kanri on a Kanban board, simplifying and visualizing the entire lean strategy.

Task Automation

Automation is actually not a new concept, because it has been around for decades now, but thanks to the recent improvements in machine learning, the usefulness of automation in lean management has now become more valid than ever before.

Although the exact details of automation tools applicable and useful in streamlining the processes in your business will vary in accordance with the concerned industry, take a look at the list below to take note of the most useful utilizations of automation for lean production and management:

  • Automatic lead generation and client assignment
  • Sales pipeline updates and management
  • Sales & client management, follow-ups and service
  • Payroll management, automatic vendor payments and payment reminders
  • Help your accountant with automation tools developed for accountancy
  • Introduction of advanced robotics in manufacturing, automated by AI
  • Automated delivery route optimization via AI-assisted GPS with real time updates
  • Minimizing the need for data entry via the use of portable barcode scanners
  • Minimizing general data entry work such as form filling as much as possible with automated processes

The principle idea behind any lean management principle is to shed unnecessary steps, processes and measures from the business to boost productivity and profits.

The principle of automation is also quite similar, as it aims to minimize human effort and error, replacing it with mechanized efficiency, accuracy and productive capacity, wherever possible. This is the reason why automation and lean are so closely linked with each other, and in this modern age of business, they are often indistinguishable and mutually inclusive for streamlining production and administration.

Simplify Everything

Businesses often make the mistake of thinking that streamlining is a complicated affair, but in truth, it’s actually quite the opposite. It may seem overly complicated in the beginning, but the end goal of every step involved in streamlining a business is simplification. To implement the same in your own business with efficiency, consider the following few tips:

  • Outsource, instead of increasing the number of people under your direct payroll
  • Hire temps to handle seasonal rushes or particularly big orders/projects
  • Keep the list of services & tools you use concise by only keeping the ones necessary
  • Pay bills on time and according to your financial settings
  • Pay the smaller bills as soon as possible
  • Set aside tax money after every payment
  • Only have meetings in person when necessary, and keep them short
  • Trim down the chain of command by removing unnecessary authentication requirements

With fewer processes to handle, the business automatically becomes more productive, streamlined and profitable, which is exactly what lean manufacturing and management is all about. The steps need not all be implemented at once of course, but initiation is still important. Take your time, but get started as soon as possible. The leaner your company becomes, the easier it will be for the establishment to grow sustainably

The 5 Lessons I Learned From Managing an Off Shore Engineering Team

I’ve been managing offshore teams since 2002, that’s when I founded Optics for Hire in the US and partnered with a team of optical engineers in Lviv, Ukraine. 

Our Team in 2003.

The work we do involves helping companies design and manufacture lenses and optical systems.  We’ve worked with some great engineers at leading companies like Amazon, GE, Mattel, Netgear, and many others.

Having engineers in Ukraine and customers in the United States leads to a number of potential failure points for project management. Issues we have to manage include time zone differences, language differences, different cultural expectations, jargon differences and more. Managing these risks has been critical to our success.

As our business grew and platforms like Elance launched, we expanded our use of remote teams, including hiring from India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Belarus for marketing, web development and many other skill sets.

In the years since 2002, thanks to new communication tools and software platforms, it has become easier to succeed in managing offshore teams.

When we started we used only email (this was pre-Skype, and phoning was expensive). This made talking about complicated technical subjects difficult.

Be sure to check out: 7 Great Project Management Apps for Teams

Here are five key lessons learned in the last 18 years:

1. Use Pictures, Screen Shares, and Voice Talk as Much as Possible  

Don’t expect to be successful with email alone.

Chat is better than emails, voice is better than chat, voice with a screen share plus video is best of all. It can be too easy to send a quick email to communicate, but if you haven’t been clear your partner could waste a full workday halfway across the world working on the wrong thing.

Don’t let that happen. 

2. Always Explain Your Assumptions 

A word like ‘expensive’ can mean different things in different cultures and in different contexts. Maybe when making a prototype expensive doesn’t matter to you but in production, it matters a great deal. Maybe expensive to us means more than $1,000 and to your partner, it means more than $100.

One way to make sure you understand everyone’s assumptions is to use ‘open-ended’  questions like “what do you mean by that?”

3. Make Sure You Communicate Not Just What You ‘Want’ But Also What You Really Need 

Clearly explain your end goal and be open to listening to feedback to see if your partner has a different approach. The reason you hire someone is usually that they have a skill set you don’t. Make sure you respect that skill.

It can be easy to pressure an offshore employee into doing a job a certain way, but they probably know a lot better than you do about how to do their job. Listen and learn from them and you will get better results.

You might be interested in Top Productivity Tools for Small Business

4. Use Software Tools and Keep Trying New Ones   

We use Basecamp, Appointlet, Uberconference, Skype, nimbus screenshot and Tickspot on a daily basis. Developers are always launching new tools that make our jobs easier.

In fact, as we’ve grown we’ve even started building our own tools, including a tool to search machine vision and CCTV lenses, as well as this free automatic graph digitizer Using these tools saves us engineering time and benefits our community.

Don’t get stagnate. If you aren’t trying new and better ways to communicate and manage projects you and your customers will be worse off.

5. Understand Vacations and Holiday Schedules

It’s no fun to find out just before a deadline that your team isn’t going to be working because of a three day Holiday you never heard of. So ask ( often ) about time-lines, working days and make sure you each understand when you and they will and will not be available

Working with offshore teams has been fun and profitable for our organization and our customers, we’ve made our share of missteps but I’ve never regretted the path we took. I wish you luck on your engineering projects and please connect with me if I can be of help you can find me here.

Why You Need the Best SEO Services to Be Successful in the Online World

SEO practices have a real impact for websites and their importance should not be neglected. Individuals who are new to SEO and who would like to take this huge burden off their shoulders should resort to professional services. What is the point of trying to improve your website’s ranking if you lack the expertise and the tools to do so? There are professionals that can help you with this and that will make a huge difference as far as the success of your website is concerned.

What to Expect from Professional SEO Services?

It is definitely worth it to pay for professional SEO because this delivers a measurable impact and it is successful even in today’s crowded search landscape. You need digital marketing in order to stay ahead of your competition and there are numerous advantages to hiring a SEO reseller:

  • Expertise; you will have access to a team of specialists that are aware of the latest advancements in the SEO field and that know exactly what needs to be done to create a successful digital marketing campaign for your business
  • Boost quality traffic; the purpose of SEO is not to attract just any visitors to your website; it is to attract the right visitors to your website;
  • Save time
  • Save money for you can resell the services you receive under your brand.
  • Offer more services to your customers, including search engine optimization

It is possible to provide a wide range of services to your customers in order to keep them happy and to maintain their loyalty. You can outsource the actual work to a specialized firm that has the skills and the tools to perform professional SEO services. People prefer working with an agency that provides various services such as website design, development, management and SEO. Furthermore, thanks to professional SEO you can be one step ahead of your competitors and thanks to SEO services you add value to your clients. Becoming a SEO reseller is the smartest thing you can do for your business but the most difficult aspect is to find an agency that is trustworthy, one that delivers its services in a timely manner and that is up to date with the latest changes in SEO. Although there are companies that prefer to manage SEO in house, this requires a significant financial investment not to mention that the persons they hire for the task might not be familiar with the latest SEO trends.

How to Keep up with SEO Trends

SEO changes all the time. According to searchenginejournal.comOptimization techniques that worked years ago fall by the wayside, and SEO as a whole evolves into a more intelligent discipline that evolves beyond spamming Google with links and keywords”. It is difficult to master the most efficient strategies in this field and this is why it makes sense to resort to professional services. The most efficient techniques focus on the following aspects: on-page optimization, link building, content and technical SEO. These should be at the core of any search engine optimization campaign. Using the right keywords for your business has proved to be quite efficient as far as SEO is concerned but the problem with keywords is that they can become redundant and repetitive. Although keywords remain the foundation of a SEO strategy, nowadays specialists focus their attention on topics and entities such as people, places, thinks.

Ranking is influenced by content, links and rankbrain, and when you optimize your website you should make sure you do it for keywords, entities and topics. As far as content is concerned, we all know how vital it is for how your site performs and for its ranking. What most people do not know is how to create valuable and original content, content that will attract visitors and that will make a difference in the online environment. This is why you need professional SEO services USA that will deliver the content you need for your website after having performed industry research. It is important to know your competition, to see what it has to offer and you do not so that you can make the necessary modifications.

According to link-building-strategies.comEvery site owner should have an idea about what they want to get out of the web presence, but this is not always the right one. The needs of your business always come first and this is what you should focus on. If you want to boost your sales on a certain segment of the activity, you should focus your SEO process on how you can achieve this goal”. It is impossible to know what changes need to be made to your website if you do not audit it first and this is one of the professional services offered by specialized agencies.

Moving on, if you are determined to pay for SEO services you should know what to expect from them. You should be aware of the fact that changes will not occur over night and this process takes time. Nonetheless, SEO results are measurable and they will be visible provided you hire the right agency for the job. It is not enough to build a website and expect it to be successful. You have to invest in it, to optimize it constantly, to resort to professional SEO that will handle keyword optimization, topic optimization, link building and other services that are essential to the success of your website.

According to semrush.com: ”If you want search engines to offer your content in results, you need to do three things:

  1. Ensure these search engines understand who you are and what you offer.
  2. Convince them that you are the most credible option for their users.
  3. Make your content deliverable.”

This is more complicated than most people imagine and this is why there is an increased demand for professional services among website owners who understand that they need the best SEO in order to build and maintain a powerful presence in the online environment.

Essential Android Apps for Creating Business Video

Without a doubt, video production is getting cheaper these days, which makes it an affordable marketing tool even in the hands of small businesses. According to The State of Video Marketing in 2020 report by HubSpot, 92% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy.

If you’re not going to broadcast your video ads across national channels, but use social media, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, etc., to promote your products, it may be quite enough to have an Android smartphone with a decent camera, plus a few video editing apps to produce an engaging and appealing product review, or even a creative ad.    

There are hundreds of amazing apps available for Android that you can download and use to create videos. In this article we’re going to give you an idea of what type of applications you may need when dealing with video files on your smartphone.

In particular, we’ll cover apps needed to edit your video, convert between different video file types (e.g. MP4, MOV, 3GP, etc.), store your recorded footage and repair video files if anything goes wrong.

So, if you’re ready to create some video clips that will help you promote your business, this list of Android applications is a great point to get started.

Video Editing Apps for Android

Most of the modern Android smartphones have in-built cameras which are capable of producing high-quality videos. However, your source footage needs to be edited before going live.

With the video editing software, you can cut out unwanted frames, merge different recordings into a continuous clip, add beautiful transition effects, fine-tune color tones, add texts and a logo over the video, and ultimately give your video enough polish to make it look professional.

Although most of the video editing apps for Android devices lack advanced features that you can find in desktop software, mobile apps have a low learning curve, meaning you can create killer, hassle-free videos on the fly.

Here are a couple of video editing apps we’d recommend you to start with:

1. Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush is a mobile version of the professional video editing software – Adobe Premiere Pro. It has enough features to fine-tune your video clips while you’re on the go, and then instantly share the clips from the app to social channels like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Adobe Premiere Rush allows you to trim your clips and add transitions, automatically color-correct, and then add music from the built-in library. There are also hundreds of video, image and animation templates available right in the app, or from the Adobe Stock. You can use the templates to enrich your footage and make it look professional.

Adobe Premiere Rush is easy to use across all your devices and can be linked with other Adobe software products, such as Premiere Pro, for example.

Overall, with the price tag starting at $9,99/month, we highly recommend Adobe Premiere Rush for editing videos on you Android device when you’re on the go.

2. FilmoreGo

FilmoraGo is a free video editing app designed for mobile devices. This app has a bare minimum of video editing features, yet allows you to produce great-looking and creative clips. 

With FilmoraGo, you can trim, split, rotate, zoom, speed up, or slow down your video. It also allows you to seamlessly add sound effects and audio tracks sourced either from the app’s library, or from your own files. Of course, there are controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, temperature and applying pre-built filters. And with the library of stickers, overlays, preset intros, themes, transitions and animation effects, it’s easy to go creative with this app.

Video Repair Tools

One thing that is often overlooked by beginner videographers is safety and security of their footage. No matter how advanced technologies these days are, there are always chances to lose your precious video due to some glitch, or an accident.

Mistakenly deleted clips, formatted memory cards and corrupted video files are just a few examples of how your recorded video may be lost.

Simple file backups will save your work most of the time. However, there are cases when the video file gets corrupted during the recording process. You may realize this when trying to open or edit the video – the file just won’t play.

If you’re recording video on your Android smartphone, it’s likely that the files are saved in either the MP4, or 3GP format. Now, there are video repair tools that can fix both 3GP and MP4 video files:

Restore.Media

Restore.Media is a video recovery app that works online, meaning you can use it on your Android smartphone via a web-browser. Restore.Media allows you to repair corrupted 3GP, MP4, MOV and MXF files. It also has a video recovery algorithm optimized of Android devices.

We highly recommend that you add this tool to your bookmarks, so that when you get a damaged, unplayable video file, you know how to fix it. Also, there are lots of useful articles on the Restore.Media’s blog on how to prevent your video from being lost. For example, here is a detailed guide on repairing damaged 3GP files.

Video Converter Apps for Android

Generally, Android phones record video in the MP4 or 3GP format. 3GP is a video format that was specifically developed for fast streaming of the video content via 3G networks. MP4 is the most widely spread video format, thanks to its great compression/video quality ratio. If you’re recording video with some 3rd-pary apps, the output files can also be in the MOV or even MXF format.

Now, some of the social networks (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) have certain restrictions when it comes to file formats. In particular, the MP4 format is the one that is supported by all of the mentioned platforms, while 3GP and MXF are likely to be rejected. 

This is where you may need a video converter for your Android device.

VidSoftLab – Video Converter

Video Converter by VidSoftLab can convert for free virtually any video file to the MP4 format. It supports AVI, MP4, MKV, MOV, FLV, 3GP, and other video file types. What’s more, this tiny app allows you to merge, trim, cut, reverse, stabilize, crop and rotate the converted file and then upload it to a social network – all with just a few simple clicks.

No matter what your source video file format is, with this tiny app, you will be able to quickly re-encode it and upload to any social platform you want.

Cloud Storage for Your Video Files

If you shoot video files on a regular basis, your smartphone will quickly run low on storage. Hence, you will need a place to store tons of your recorded footage. A great solution to this could be uploading your files to a cloud storage account.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a simple answer here. With the personal account you get 15 GB of storage for free. If you need more, there are the following options: 100GB of storage for $1.99, 200GB for $2.99, and 2TB for $9.99 per month.

So, these were the 5 applications we recommend when you record and edit videos for your business on Android. Armed with these apps, you will be able to make your clips stand out of the crowd and get it noticed by your potential customers.

Best iPhone Docker for Easy Charging

A portable charging station with added features of an alarm clock, a radio or a media player is helpful to charge a mobile phone anywhere. It has a comprehensive list of features including no dependency on plugs, compact size, its easy to carry and you can control functionalities without using the device. Its also compatible with all of the latest versions of iPhone devices. Wireless charging devices will free the users from cables, and iPhone docks are one of the cool accessories.

The best iPhone docking station is shared below with features available for easy use:

1. Elevation Dock 4 iPhone Dock:

 It has a compact size and one of the stable and secure iPhone Dock which any user can buy for best use. It is made up of medical-grade silicone with stainless steel borders and available in back and silver color. It is 5-foot-long with a cable and compatible with all the iPhones and iPads and there is only one negative point about it that if the wire is broken then the entire piece needs to be purchased. It is available for S49.95 on major E-commerce platforms.

2. Rerii Bamboo Charge Stand with Aluminum Base:

It has a strong base for iPad and adjustable style to accommodate the device with a thick base. It has a wooden look made up of bamboo and a robust aluminum base. To protect the iOS devices from scratches, it supports with rubber padding. It is available for $25.99.

3. Apple Lightning iPhone Dock: 

It is developed by Apple and it is of the docks on which you can play music while the phone is kept on charging. It is made up of aluminum and comes in various colors including black, gold, silver, rose gold and space grey. It can be connected to the system for synchronization and cable is not given with the unit, which is a shortcoming for this dock. It is available at $40.04.

4. Elevation Lab CordDock V2: 

It has a unique feature that lets your phone charging even if it is docked or undocked. It has a removable lightning port and provides the freedom to keep it horizontally or hold it upright. It is a very fast charger and it is available at $29.95.

5. YoFeW Apple Charging Stand: 

It can be used to put multiple devices on the stand, which can be used for Facetime calls on a 60-degree angle. Charging cables wires or USB chargers are not a part of the package and it is priced at $29.99.

6. Lamicall: 

It comes in modern design and in black color, convenient cable wire and hole at the back help to handle the wire. Its design is suitable for video calls and robust stand with rubber pads to prevent scratches and it is available at the lowest cost of $9.99.

Some of them are easy to use from far and handy operations can be done from the iPhone deck without touching the mobile. The provided control panel helps the user to do the required operations. iPhone docks are available in different sizes, finish and price, users can choose from multiple options.

7 Google Chrome Extensions that Boost Freelancers Productivity

The Google Chrome Webstore houses tons of useful Chrome extensions for various activities like gaming, sports, web design, freelancing and more. These extensions are very useful as they help freelancers, solopreneurs and other small business owners work more efficiently, have fun and stay productive. They help to keep all your productivity tools handy, so you can easily access them when needed.

Unlike other on-premise software, extensions do not require elaborate installation rituals and processes, neither do they take-up sufficient ROM space. They’re like lite versions of your popular software.

So, What are Google Chrome  Extensions?

Google Chrome extensions help to customize user browsing experience. They can be installed on to Chrome to modify browser appearance, functionality, and behavior. They enable users to personalize their browsing experience by tweaking Chrome a little here and a little there.

Google Chrome extensions can perform functions like:

  • ad blocking
  • optimizing memory usage for more efficiency,
  • password management,
  • voice and screen recording, e.t.c.

They are built on frameworks such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS which gives them versatility. They are functional across devices, hence can be run from mobile as well as PC to provide seamless operation.

How to Install Google Chrome Extensions

Whether you’re geeky or not, installing Google Chrome extensions is easy, simple and straightforward.

Following are simple steps to install chrome extensions:

1.   Open Chrome Web Store on your device (either your phone or your PC). You can also search for the Google Chrome Webstore on Google
2.    Search for and select the extension you want.
You can also search by Features like
            -Runs offline
            -By Google
            – Free
            -Available for Android
            -Works with Google Drive

3.    Click on “Add to Chrome.”

Some extensions require certain data or permissions to install or run smoothly. You also have the choice to allow or disallow an extension from making changes to your browser.

To (de)activate the extension, click the menu icon to the right of the address bar as shown below.

Hover over “More tools”, a drop-down menu will appear to your left. Click on “Extensions”. Here you can (de)activate or remove an extension.

7 Top Google Chrome Extensions for Freelancers

1. Noisli Extension

With Noisli, you can block out annoying noises. It works as a kind of active noise reduction/cancellation, which allows you reduce or minimize unwanted sound by the introduction or addition of a second sound, thus allowing you to create the right working environment as a freelancer.

Some monotonous white noises help us stay focused. Noisli has a host of noises to choose from and an option to customize your own. With Noisli you can choose your own noise, time it, and adjust the volume, all from within your web browser.

2. ColorZilla Extension

If you’re a freelance graphic designer, this Chrome extension might just become your bestie. ColorZilla is a well-designed eyedropper tool that reads colors in hexadecimal and RGB formats. With it, you can easily and legally extract color data from any website, and that without having to open another application.

Now available for Chrome, ColorZilla is one of the most popular Firefox developer extensions. You can join over 5 million other people who have downloaded it and are using it to improve their work.

3. Boomerang for Gmail Extension

Being a digital nomad comes with its benefits, but constantly being on the move makes it occasionally difficult to keep pace with emails. The Boomerang extension solves this challenge by allowing users to schedule emails for a future date.

This is very handy for when you are on the move, e-mailing someone in another time zone, or catching up on emails late at night. Boomerang also allows users to schedule emails to self. This can be used as alarms or reminders for important tasks, meetings, deadlines, follow-ups, etc. It also sends prompts that nudge you to respond to emails.

4.  Web Developer Extension

Developers will love the Web Developer Chrome extension. It adds a toolbar button to your Chrome browser which contains or displays various web developer tools you can use, all in one place.

With this Web Developer extension, you can quickly and easily view responsive layouts, disable styles, and outline elements.

5.  Taco Extension

Do not let the name fool you, this beautiful Chrome extension is a powerful hub for productivity. On any given day most of us use up to 20 different apps and tools from Trello to Salesforce, you just name it.

Taco collects and assembles all your incoming tasks and notifications from various apps into a single place, giving you a bird’s eye view of all you need to do at any point in time, so you don’t miss important tasks or notifications.

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6. Save to Pocket Extension

When you create a Pocket account, you can save stuff for later, say an article you love but can’t read immediately. Whatever you save here can be synced and made available across all your devices. This cross-platform extension allows freelancers, nomads or busy persons to keep up with essential information by saving it for later.

This extension is great for freelancers, writers, designers, entrepreneurs and business owners, it reduces multitasking so they can focus on the task at hand.

7. StayFocusd

Being a freelancer requires discipline, and there are gazillion digital distractions when working on the web. We’ve all been there, intend to take a break and spend five minutes on Facebook to catch up, another five minutes to say hi on WhatsApp, but two hours later you’re on Twitter or ranting about politics in some faraway forum.

Fortunately, StayFocusd helps us stay focused by blocking out websites that distract us. Its customized settings allow you to block access to entire sites, specific pages or certain content types such as images and videos.

Conclusion

These extensions are easy to install, easy to use and will help you get more done in your freelance business.

Which (of these) extensions do you use as a freelancer? Let us know in the comments section.

Useful Writing Tools for Small Businesses

Effective communication can also help small businesses build relationships with customers as well as clients and potential partners. Writing is one of the most common and effective means of communication employed by businesses. Writing skills are paramount for anyone with a small business with goals of growing the business and building relationships. Estimates put 30% of business work being accomplished through the use of writing communications. This makes the need for tactful business writing very essential in the business world, and for achieving the goals set by the business. Be it report writing, proverbs and quotes writing, appointment confirmation emails, website publications, compare and contrast essays, SEO article writing or copywriting, business writing skills should be honed by the continued practice of writing skills. Small businesses can also outsource their writing needs, to professionals to write business communications for small businesses. Should the small business desire to keep all business writing in-house, there are writing tools that can be used to help tailor business writing to the desired language, the proper writing formats and make edits that will polish grammar and sentence structure to give the piece of writing a professional look and feel.

Grammarly 

Grammarly is one of the most popular writing tools that exist and it’s a multipurpose tool meaning it offers you more than one solution for your writing needs. There are essentially two versions of Grammarly available for businesses; the free version which offers very basic writing solutions, and the premium version which has a variety of writing solutions that comes at a fee of about $140 per year. Grammarly is effective in assessing grammar and punctuation errors like comma splices, fragments, run-on sentences among others. It is also useful for checking every word in a piece of writing for spelling errors and offers what is considered “near-human” suggestions and tips on the writing style and sentence structure. It can also be used to scan a document and identify cases of plagiarism and similarities with other published works. Grammarly offers not more than just grammar and spelling mistake corrections, but also offers detailed writing enhancements that focus on the clarity, conciseness and the tone of the document and can be installed as an extension of web browsers and other writing tools like Microsoft Word free of charge. It is a very useful tool for small businesses that run a blog, for the business involved in content marketing and copywriting and for business tasks like drafting reports, narrative essays, presentations and business emails.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is essentially the most used office software that offers a variety of writing tools for all purposes of writing needs. It is a sophisticated word processing program that allows people to create documents with a variety of fonts and offers a lot of formatting options. Microsoft Word is very useful when one needs to write a long document with many sections. MS Word is part of suite software and tools that are used by businesses like PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets, with the full collection of the Microsoft software being inclusive of a lot of writing and editing tools. Modern MS Word is integrated with online features, which can allow for online storage of documents and increased versatility with other related programs. MS Word provides formatting options like APA outlines for creating automatically formatted documents. Other formatting options provided by MS Word include MLA and Chicago format outlines.  

Canva

Canva is a useful tool for illustrating content pints, breaking up text walls and working as an image creation tool. Creating and placing images is important to business writing, especially for business blogs, copywriting and business presentations. Images help make business content attractive, and when someone looks at the content on a website, a wall of words without appealing images can be intimidating to readers. Canva allows you to select an image from a variety of options, and with hundreds of templates, backgrounds, and icons, customize the image and the content to your liking.

Keyword Planner

The keyword planner allows you to choose and insert the most applicable keywords in a document. Keywords are important to content writing, especially for SEO writing, as without them search engines will not know how to categorize a website for SEO. If the business website or copywriting content is not indexed well by search engines, then finding it will be difficult among all the content that is available on the internet. Keyword Planner is a Google keyword research tool that is applicable for website content or content for social media campaigns. The tool allows you, as a business contracted to do social media campaigns, to enter a topic, industry or website which will give you a selection of keywords that are organized by subject, popularity, and level of competition, and the most appropriate keyword for the particular business writing needs to be chosen from the available selection.

Google Docs

Google Docs is an online document processor that works well as a writing tool for businesses. The tool has collaboration and organizational features that help you as a small business owner or copywriter to draft a copy of your intended content and share it with editors and friends for comments. The tool allows you to store the documents on Google Drive, which allows you to access the content anywhere for review and editing purposes. As a copywriter and small business owner who has to stay on top of business projects, Google Docs can help in this regard.

Easy Way To Create A Strategy For Promoting Content On Google

Producing high-quality content at a great pace is only one way to ensure that your content stays relevant. However, in today’s modern fast-paced, uber-competitive world, producing good content is simply not enough to get it noticed. The article you spent so long on perfecting could easily be out-done by a competitor. This is why you have to make sure that you have other tactics to promote your website as well.

Rather than putting in all your time and energy at creating a large amount of good quality content, it is better to adopt a smarter strategy and divide time equally between creating content and promoting it.

If you’re producing content while you’re in college, writing an essay can get too challenging. But, you can pay for essays to be written for you. If you’re paying a high price, ensure that the writer you hire delivers high-quality content that needs little to no editing. Now that you don’t have to write an essay, you can figure out how to promote your website.

You don’t always have to spend a ton of money trying to promote your website. If you use smart tactics and free website promotion tools, you can promote your content for next to nothing! To help you promote your website content on google, we’ve made a list of some of the best online content promotion tactics that you can try!

1.   Social Media Is Your New Best Friend!

Depending on your target audience, using different types of social media platforms to promote your content is an excellent way of gaining recognition. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, Quora, and Reddit are all websites that generate a large amount of traffic daily. You can easily use these websites to attract more users for your websites.

Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr mostly have users from the younger generations, while Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and Reddit are more popular with the older generations. Depending on the type of audience you want to target, you can use the most appropriate platform to showcase your content and gain popularity.

However, you must stay up-to-date and active on your social media accounts. No one likes a dead account that only posts once in a blue moon. To remain relevant and popular, you must market your content on popular social media platforms.

2.   Use SEO!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of presenting your online content, which makes it more likely to be picked up and displayed by search engines. By making your data search engine friendly, you are more likely to generate organic, natural, and relevant traffic to your website. Search engine optimization is not difficult, nor is it very time-consuming.

A few tips and tricks that you can quickly learn online will go a long way in optimizing your content and making it stand out on search engines. SEO tools are becoming increasingly popular with bloggers and content creators and editors everywhere.

 A well written, SEO optimized, relevant article is sure to gather much more attention than a well-written article without any SEO optimization.

3.   Influencer Collaborations Are A Trend Worth Exploring!

Influencers and bloggers that have a large following are an easy way to get your content noticed. Collaborations with influencers don’t necessarily have to be about tangible products. Website content can also be marketed through them.

There are different influencers in different niches. If you want your promotions to stay relevant to your content, you can always pick out someone that reflects your website’s general theme. However, it doesn’t hurt to explore outside your comfort zone and approach influencers who may be completely different from your usual target audience, provided they have a large following.

Either way, your main goal is for your content to reach as many people as possible, and influencers can do that for you. It takes only a few posts by a well-known influencer to make or break your image, so use this resource wisely.

4.   Paid Promotions

As mentioned earlier, social media platforms that have a large number of users are an excellent way to promote your website. Other than making your own account and posting regularly, you can even use the paid promotion feature most of these websites offer.

Depending on how much you can afford to spend in the way of marketing, you are guaranteed to reach a particular number of people! However, the context of your advertisement makes a massive difference in attracting followers as well.

Make sure you portray your website to be as informative, relevant, and as attractive as possible so that users are drawn towards it. Paid promotions are an excellent tool for marketing your content and getting the word out. They’re not always over the top expensive, and most websites offer affordable options as well.

5.   Use the Comments Section Wisely

The comments section is an excellent way to engage with your users. You can use them to answer any queries people may have about the content you’re producing. However, you have to make sure your comments aren’t too spammy. Users can generally tell when someone is trying too hard to promote their content and are usually quite unimpressed by such tactics.

It is therefore wise to check your comments and, if need be, advertise smartly and not too openly. Make sure all your comments and responses are relevant and appropriate. Promote your website in a way that naturally attracts users and comes off as professional instead of spam.

Conclusion

Promoting your website and content is just as important as producing good quality content. Creating more and more content won’t do you any good if it doesn’t reach the target audience in time. Promoting your website isn’t as difficult as you might think. Use our easy and helpful guide to promote your website and ensure that it reaches the target audience in time!

The Best 4 AI Tools to Transform Your Business in 2020

Nowadays, it is not an easy task to keep pace with the times. Everything is rapidly changing: new technologies are being invented, businesses are being opened, medicines are being discovered.   Today you are a student, who writes his modern technology essay with excitement, tomorrow — you are an enthusiastic start-up entrepreneur who is full of AI business ideas.

However, both students and entrepreneurs are in need of fast reaction and modern technologies understanding to be competitive and productive. To do so, Information scientists and programmers in the whole world are developing AI technologies to implement AI in business as well as in daily people`s lives.

Adopting AI for small businesses, start-ups, and simple routine tasks already today allows us to live efficiently, sustainably and simply better. 

Today, if you take all these information science essays, various researches, scientific articles, you will come to the realization that yes – AI development is working on improvement. There are dozens of examples and case studies that show how the implementation of AI programs, even in big corporations, helped to optimize the work and multiply the profits. I recommend you to read the free Walmart and HANA case to better understand the power of AI technologies. (I would make a suggestion that after analyzing this article you will consider AI as one of the most fascinating topics).

All in all, this article is for those who are passionate about their business projects and ready to redirect their forces and finances into development, and also for those who read hundreds of essays on Information Science and are on the business plan stage now.

This article will tell you about 4 best AI Tools to Transform Your Business in 2020:

DataRobot

It is one of the most popular business intelligence tools today. More and more students include DataRobot examples when they do their artificial intelligence essay. DR works with global brands, like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Airbnb, United Airlines, Panasonic, Nippon steels, and others.

Talking about the tool itself — it is an automated machine learning platform that helps analysts and data scientists of different levels build and deploy better predictive models and improve discoverability of valuable business insights. 

What is more, DR supports data science and even provides workshop courses in around 50 global universities.

Pros: internationally used;

Cons: quite high prices.

Datalogue

It is a brilliant tool that helps your team to prepare data for use. Datalogue automatically receives raw data, cleans it ups, and transforms it into the product for data consumers and analytics. 

Datalogue works with such well-known brands as the New York Times, Forbes, Ameritrade network, and others. 

Spending less time for data preparation business allows getting well-analyzed, classified and transparent data.

Pros: user-friendly interface;

Cons: quite high prices.

Rainbird 

It is an AI software that helps to make your business operations smarter and easier. Rainbird enables your business to build systems based on human-like decisions to increase quality and efficiency.

Basically, Rainbird combines human-like knowledge with the company`s data, which leads to new ways of staff interactions with clients and new approaches to problem-solving.

So, Rainbird is in some way a completely independent working ecosystem that transforms the way your business works.

Pros: controlled learning algorithms;

Cons: takes time to implement it in the business.

Chatfuel

We can hardly imagine our lives without social media. The same story happens with business lives. Social media can become a powerful tool to promote and develop your business, but it’s important to use the right methods and algorithms.

 Chatfuel can be a great help for this. Chatfiuel is the world-leading chatbot platform for Facebook messenger. Chatfuel’s clients range from small and medium businesses to the world’s most recognizable brands. The most known clients are: Adidas, Lego, T-mobile, and others. What`s more — there is no need for coding! 

Pros: free trial;

Cons: are there any?

To sum up, I hope this article will help you to make a step forward into the AI era. But, please, keep in mind that successful business is not only about technology, it’s also about everyday work and strong will to make an impact.

Good luck!

Startup Business Plan

   If you want to start up your own business, there are a few things that are needed to ensure success and to get people to take your venture seriously. One of the most important things that should be done at the very beginning of your trek into entrepreneurship is to write a solid business plan.

   If you’re only just starting out in business, you’re probably much too busy to think about the long-term future.

   But part of building your business now is planning for when you want to call it a day. Every owner-managed business needs an exit and succession plan to pave the way for a smooth transfer of ownership so that one day you can reap the benefits of your hard work and investment while the enterprise you’ve established continues into the future.

   A startup business plan is a document that outlines your new business’s goals and objectives and indicates how they are to be achieved. This plan is invaluable when it comes to attracting prospective partners and financial aid for your new business. A business plan can also be used to track the new business’s performance and compare it with your original goals.

   While business plans can be formatted in a variety of ways to suit your particular business and personality, there are twelve basic components that should be included in a solid business plan. They include:

1. Objectives.

What size business will you be starting? How much money do you want to make and over what period of time? All of these questions should be answered in the initial planning phase and should be realistic.

2. Competition.

Many small businesses fail because there was not a market for their new product or service. Make sure this does not happen to you. Find out which needs are not being met by current providers, and target your business to fill those needs.

3. Cost.

Estimate the cost of assets needed for your business by pricing the necessary equipment and materials needed in the day to day operation of the business. The best way to do this is to contact individual suppliers and do a little comparison shopping. Then, compile a list that can be easily referred to as you complete the rest of your plan.

4. Personnel Requirements.

How many people will you employ? What types of qualifications will they possess? Having a solid idea of what you will require now, may prevent personnel problems in the future.

5. Pro forma income statement.

A pro forma income statement is an estimate of future sales and expenses. The information contained should be in line with the business objectives. If the numbers do not quite add up, you may need to cut expenses, raise revenues or change your objectives. If the numbers still do not look encouraging, a different type of business opportunity may be better suited to your needs.

6. Legal form.

Will your business be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation? Research each and find the one that’s best for you.

7. Capital.

This can be the most time-consuming part of starting a business. While there are loans and grants available, most funds used to start up new businesses are provided by the business owner. If you do not have enough capital to start your business now, do not get discouraged. Keep saving while you look for other ways to raise the needed cash.

8. Pick your location.

Location, location, location is the key to success. Place your small business in areas of high traffic.

9. Bookkeeping.

Whether you are going to hire an accountant or keep the books yourself, now is the time to implement your bookkeeping system.

10. Advertising.

How will people learn about your new business? Which types of advertising will attract the most people to your door: internet or TV? Should you buy back links for your new blog or not? Remember, these are quite possibly the most important dollars that you will spend. Use them wisely.

11. Permits.

Make sure that you have all of the necessary permits and licenses to operate your new business. These permits may include vendor licenses, sales tax numbers or professional licenses. Each city, county, and state is different. Check with the local chamber of commerce to see what is required in your area.

12. Open your business!

After the doors to your business are opened, continually match your business’s performance with its objectives. If there are any discrepancies, changes may need to be made in order to align the two.

As you can see, not all of these steps can be completed at the same time. Start writing your plan by including information about how you hope to achieve each step, and follow up by revising your plan as each goal is realized.

The most important thing to remember is that a business plan is not a rigid set of marked accomplishments, but an outlined path to where you would like to end up. Your plan may take many twists and turns along the way.