7 Tips on Keeping Your Mailing List Optimized

Maintaining a mailing list is a great way to maintain a loyal audience base. Your subscribers are most likely your customers and those who are genuinely interested in your content, which means you can expect a higher engagement rate with the content you deliver to them.

Keeping your content optimized, however, is not enough. You still need to make sure that the mailing list itself is highly optimized. This means doing some cleaning, regularly maintaining the list, and performing other routine tasks. These top 10 tips will help you cover the essentials with ease.

1. Start Small

There is no way to build a mailing list overnight. When you try to do that, you will end up with a list of recipients that aren’t really interested or engaged. Why send your content to hundreds of people that aren’t really interested?

Always start with a small list and pay attention to how it grows. When you see a spike, find the source of traffic and make sure that the list stays relevant. You don’t have to remove people from the list, but you have to be mindful of sudden spikes that are the result of blackhat tactics.

2. Regular Cleaning

When you do spot anomalies in your list, be prepared to do some cleaning. The best newsletter software can actually automate this for you. What it will do is scan the list for bad email addresses – usually the ones that return error messages when you try to reach them.

At the same time, the newsletter software will also help you identify recipients that don’t really open your emails. When you see passive recipients, you can actually remove them from the list – or separate them into their own group – to keep the main list optimized.

3. Group Better

Speaking of grouping, grouping your recipients based on their interests, the content that they responded to the most, and other common metrics is a good idea. You can refine your newsletter content to be more relevant and targeted this way.

Of course, grouping is also a lengthy process. You can run a series of A/B tests to identify users with certain preferences. Since you can now test before delivery, you can optimize the content of the A/B testing itself and save a lot of time in the process.

4. Mind the Design

The best newsletter software comes equipped with tools to help you design your next newsletter. These tools, including a WYSIWYG editor, are invaluable. However, over-designing your newsletter will have a negative impact on your recipients.

Once again, grouping is the best way to keep the list optimized. You can use lighter designs for certain audience segments, and more visually appealing ones for users who prefer them. If you are not sure, play with the design of your newsletter and gather some insights.

5. Synchronize

Another thing to do with your mailing list is data synchronization. This is particularly handy when you also use other business solutions such as a CRM or an e-commerce platform. Rather than manually move user emails between platforms, two-way sync is much simpler.

Two-way sync allows you to keep your mailing list up to date. However, you still need to have the permission of users before sending them emails, so make sure you also integrate an opt-in checkbox to the business solutions you use to filter potential subscribers.

6. Use a Reliable SMTP

A reliable SMTP server is everything; the success of your mailing list depends highly on whether your emails are received or if they go straight to the spam folder. The same is true for transactional emails. You want an SMTP server with enough credibility and one that is highly reliable.

Bulk email servers are specifically designed and configured to handle the delivery of mass emails. This is why working with a reliable email marketing service provider is always the best way to go; they already have their server preconfigured for success.

7. Watch Out for Cost

Here’s why keeping an unhealthy mailing list is not recommended: you will end up paying more for dormant recipients. Most email marketing tools charge you based on the number of recipients and how many emails you send every month. Not properly cleaning your list is a costly mistake.

You want your mailing list to have a healthy return on investment (ROI). You can use cost as one of the indicators when doing regular reviews of your list. If you think the cost is too high for the return it produces, you know you need to take a closer look at the list itself.

These are seven tips that you can apply immediately. Most email marketing tools provide features that make completing the necessary maintenance tasks and keeping your list optimised easy. With these tips in mind, maintaining a healthy mailing list will not be a problem.

Ten Tips for Adapting your Business Website to Mobile Devices

It might be hard sometimes to get the right vision on all these online features, especially when it comes to adapting your website to modern trends. That is when eWeb comes in handy. In spite of you being a beginner or an advanced user, you have to keep an eye on new things to be competitive on the market. eWeb provides you with the TOP solutions on how to create your own website and optimize it for your mobile users.

Mobile Internet

Mobile internet usage for the first time went over the computer internet in 2016. People now are shifting more towards mobile screens for internet purposes. With the rise in the use of the mobile web, it is also essential for the webmasters to have a shift in their priorities. The following ten elements are necessary for you to make sure that the mobile version of your website is performing optimally.

1. Make your website more responsive

The site must be responsive and contain all the necessary informati

2. Make your information easily available

The information present on the website must be easy to find on the web screen. If the data is not easy to find, this brutally affects the response rat

3. Throw out Flash

It is essential to know that Flash is now out of equations. Android and iOS do not support flash now.

4. Turn Autocorrect on for Forms

It must be made sure that there are no spelling mistakes in the content of the website, and every link is alive.

5. Large Buttons

The press button must be large enough so that it is easily pressed on the mobile screens. Otherwise, this creates a sense of irritation when the press buttons are not large enough. 

6. Compress images

The resolution of mobile phones is smaller than that of PCs. Hence, you need to compress your images. 

7. Larger font size

The content of the website must be easily readable for the users. For this, you need to go for larger font sizes.

8. Allowance for Desktop view

There may be some users who prefer a desktop view even on mobile phones. For such users, you must incorporate the option of desktop view as well in the website you are creating.

9. Making Viewport Meta Tag a part of the website

The Viewport Meta Tag can be used to significantly enhance the outlook of your website. Including this aspect can prove to be helpful for the interactivity level of your website.

10. Mobile testing

Mobile testing is an easy way to ensure that the visitors of your website are getting the experience you want them to have. 

The mobile phone version of any website is essential to increase the number of visitors one may get. However, several complications may come as a part of it. By using the services of platforms like eWeb, you can significantly enhance the overall quality level of mobile phone websites.

5 Brilliant Ways to Use Technology to Boost Workplace Productivity

According to the recent survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace productivity is constantly declining since 2007. As modern-day smartphones become increasingly popular, entrepreneurs are wondering if today’s technology can actually help or hinder employees to become more productive. From applying for quick business loans to organizing team building activities, employers are doing everything they can to improve productivity.

Many employers believe that banning technology can improve focus and boost productivity. However, they fail to realize that the right technology can simplify and streamline tasks. Here are five different ways you can use technology to boost workplace productivity.

1.    Cloud-Based Management Software

Cloud-Based management software enables you to access all your projects, assets, and milestones anytime, anywhere. Since all the important documents are easily accessible, the convenience can significantly improve team performance and boost your company’s competitive advantage. In fact, most (if not all) companies run 79% of their workloads in cloud-based software.

With that said, regardless of the size of your business or the industry you belong to, great cloud-based management software can greatly enhance your team’s productivity.

2.    Online Meetings

Providing an avenue for online meetings is one of the best tools created for small businesses. While teleconferencing isn’t new, today’s virtual meeting tools have advanced capabilities that can result in improved productivity. While it’s beneficial to physically meet occasionally, virtual meetings are more flexible, especially if some of your employees live in different states or countries.

By holding your meetings online, you won’t have to deal with traffic, you can record the meetings, and you can host a meeting anytime, anywhere. There are different tools you can choose from, such as Zoom. This app allows you to share documents while the meeting is going on. Other virtual meeting applications are Facetime, Skype, and Zoho. The best type of software depends on your business’ needs and preferences. Make sure to find one that works well for your business.

3.    Communication Software

Aside from your regular meetings, constant and effective communication is critical for team productivity. However, some companies are hesitant to invest time and money into communication software. Studies show that companies with approximately 100 employees waste an average of $420,000 annually just because of miscommunication.

Thanks to technological advancement, there are many advance communication solutions for businesses in all shapes and sizes. There are team messaging apps, video calling apps, and other communication-centric software that can significantly improve internal communication and in turn, increase team productivity. Some of the messaging apps most companies use are Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Zinc, and Crew. Most of the communication apps in the market offer more than just messaging, so make sure to look for one that’s suitable for you.

4.    Time-Tracking Software

One of the best ways to measure improvements in productivity is through using a time-tracking device. Before you can increase your productivity, you need to analyze your work clock. What distracts you the most during work hours? What time of day are you most productive? How much time do you waste on said distractions? How can you contribute to your company’s progress? By using time-tracking tools like Toggl, Hubstaff, Tick, and Time Doctor, you can make the most out of your working hours and become more productive.

5.    Total Automation

Change is uncomfortable; but if you’re still using pen and paper while everybody else is going online, you might want to reconsider. Going online or automating your workplace not only improves company performance, but it also helps your employees with their daily repetitive tasks. You can automate different types of business operations, such as task management, email management, and more. This frees up time for your employees, allowing them to focus on more important tasks.

For example, you can automate time tracking so you’d know how your employees spend their time while working. Additionally, you can streamline certain tasks like social media posting, email replies, and other manual tasks.

Boost Productivity in the Workplace with the Help of Quick Business Loans

With the right technology, you’ll be able to maximize workplace productivity and set your business up for success. Think of these tools as an investment for your company. Most of these applications don’t require a huge investment, but if you’re in need of additional working capital to try out different apps, you can apply for a quick business loan.

Aside from improving productivity, the funds from small business loans can be used for almost any other business purpose.

Easy Way to Remove Photo Background for Social Media Posts

Today, a wide range of photo editing tools are available online that have made background removal easier for everyone. Background removal is a common concern for most people handling photo projects. Background removal is a type of photo editing. There can be various reasons why you need to remove the background of a photo. Maybe you need a blur or plain background for a logo or a product photo, or you may want to cut out the subject of an image, or the image background might not be appropriate for a social media post. Whatever the reason may be, you should have an efficient tool that enables you to remove the photo background on the go.

This post elaborates on inPixio’s Remove Background Tool, which allows you to erase the background for free. It is available online and has gained popularity since its release last year because it is time-saving and easy to use. It enables you to remove image backgrounds in just a few clicks.

How to Use inPixio

The best thing about this background tool is that it is totally a web-based application, and you don’t need to install it on your device. The interface is simple, self-explanatory, and easy to navigate. No need to sign up for using this online application. Follow this three-step guide to achieve a perfect background edit.

1. Select an Image:

This online photo editing tool provides a few options for importing a photo for background removal. You can browse files from your computer or phone to upload the image, enter an image URL, or drag and drop an image. You can also import additional images at the editing stage in this Remove Background tool. This way, you can edit multiple photos at the same time.

2. Remove the Background:

The process to erase the background is very simple in inPixio. You can use the markers to mark the areas you want to keep and erase. Use the red brush to mark the area that you wish to erase. Use the green brush to highlight the area that you want to keep. Finally, click the “apply” button to get your desired result. If you have highlighted the wrong area while editing, use the erase tool to correct your markings. A useful tip here is to zoom the image to mark the areas precisely. The slider enables you to amend the feathering around the image.

3. Download the Image:

Keep marking the image until you achieve a perfect cutout. Once you are done and satisfied with the result, click the “Save my photo” button to download your edited photo in .jpg format.

Photos that Work Best with Background Erasers:

There is a huge variety of photos that can be edited with this background removing tool. Try to select the images having contrasting colors of the background and the image subject. This makes it easier for this application to do the background erasing job, and you won’t have to put much effort into the editing process. Many eBay and Amazon merchants use this app to create product images. This application is also useful for web developers and product marketers for editing various images for marketing.

Bottom Line

Many photo editing tools are expensive to buy and difficult to use. Background removal is a basic editing task that can be best done using a free background removal tool. Therefore, inPixio Background Remove is a simple tool, yet it delivers quality results. This application gives you control over what you want to remove and keep, enabling you to cut out the background with the help of markers precisely.

Health Tips for Mobile Professionals

From ‘tech neck’ to ‘texter’s thumb,’ to carpal tunnel and eye strain, injuries incurred while on our devices are on the rise. With the pervasiveness of devices dominating our daily lives and careers, today’s work-related injuries often look a lot different than they did in the past. However, tech-related injuries are no less serious than any other type of repetitive stress injury. The good news is that there are a host of products to protect your vulnerable joints and digits as you spend your day interfacing across multiple devices. From wrist braces to finger covers, there is no shortage of healthcare supplies designed to help us stay in the game.

The best method of avoiding a tech injury is, of course, prevention. While that can be difficult in the digital age, keep in mind that easy exercises such as standing, stretching, and taking regular breaks are powerful protectors against strain. Another quick fix is to adjust the brightness of your screens to a level that’s easy on the eyes. If your body is still feeling taxed despite your best efforts, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice with your healthcare provider.

In addition to tech injuries, you should also be mindful of any injuries that are exposed to tech. Minor injuries as simple as paper cuts or splinters should be treated immediately and protected from contact with keyboards and smart screens, which have the unfortunate reputation of being among the least sanitary daily items that we come into contact with. A fast bit of first aid on any open wound likely to touch a keyboard or touch screen will save you from exposure to a world of nasty bacteria. It is also advisable to sanitize all devices that you come into contact with

Best Translation Apps for Small Business Travelers

Translation is that the transfer of knowledge from one language to another. Human translation is the correspondence of a message from a source language to an end language, performed by a medium proficient in the two tongues; giving it that human touch.

How does it work?

Things being what they are, what does an interpreter do? An expert interpreter peruses and comprehends both the source and target dialects of a translation. Yet, more significantly, a capable interpreter conveys social ideas, not simply composed words. An interpreter changes over both the words and the significance of a message, utilizing exact punctuation and linguistic structure, into whatever target-language(s) you require.

Phone Apps for small Business

To expand business potential, some need to conquer the boundaries of language. In case you’re going for business, interpretation applications are turning into a well known approach to impart. Consider these applications and pick the best ones to assist you with conveying the desired information:

  • Waygo Translator
  • The iVoice Translator Pro
  • Quest Visual’s Word Lens App
  • Google Translate
  • iStone Travel

Small Business Productivity

Translation services give a chance to express what is on your mind to a global crowd. Also, with human translation services, you can step up your worldwide reach in manners your business has never experienced. Human interpreters read something other than the words on the page. Human interpreters get aim, manner of speaking, and need. We accept that each correspondence originates from the heart: the core of a human; the core of a business. We additionally accept that human controlled translations are the best way to keep up that heart in every translation.

Running in corresponding with the expanding interest for translation services and the accessibility of particular ICT for interpreters, different authoritative advancements have had, and are in fact proceeding to have, a significant effect on the translation services division. For instance, numerous in-house translation divisions have shut as enormous business associations have thought that it was important to scale back and center around center capabilities so as to decrease costs (Fraser and Gold, 2000, p. 3; Locke, 2005, p. 19). Because of this divestment, associations presently will in general re-appropriate more translation assignments to independent interpreters. Open part associations have received a comparative approach and now will in general depend on the services of specialists, related to a center collection of in-house interpreters. Because of these improvements, a considerable extent of interpreters, in the UK and somewhere else, presently take a shot at an independent premise (Holland et al., 2004, p. 254; Locke, 2005, p. 19).

Translation Company

Inside the language services industry, the expressions “company” and “organization” are regularly utilized reciprocally. Along these lines, a company that gives translation services to other companies may be alluded to by its customers and contractual workers as either a “translation company” or a “translation office”. In certain unique circumstances, in any case, the expression “organization” has certain derisive meanings. At the point when independent interpreters get together and talk about the general benefits of working for direct customers rather than “offices”, the view is here and there communicated that organizations find a good pace huge lump of the cash paid out by the customer, regardless of increasing the value of the completed item.

The suggestion is that the office has no in-house capacities that are legitimately applicable to keeping up or improving the quality and precision of the translation (for example no in-house translation, checking or altering ability), and is along these lines simply exchanging on its entrance to gifted specialists.

A further ramifications is that such offices do not have a top to bottom comprehension of the complexities of the translation procedure and are probably going to compromise (for instance, by holding back on the checking or altering forms) so as to amplify income.

This likely could be a legitimate analysis of certain organizations. In any case, there are various other language service suppliers (Honyaku Plus included) whose staff remembers full-time for house interpreters who complete a critical extent of the translation extends that the company embraces for its customers. This sort of company will probably still redistribute some division of the work that it does to consultants—either in light of the fact that its in-house interpreters are completely involved or on the grounds that the current task requires an interpreter with a specific specialization. Given this certain differentiation between the two words, we at Honyaku Plus consistently like to be portrayed as a “translation company” as opposed to a “translation organization”, as we do utilize in-house interpreters and take huge consideration in guaranteeing that the work which we convey has been altogether checked and altered.

Site Translation

Site translation is otherwise called “Site Globalization”. So as to really “make an interpretation of” a site into different dialects you may require both Internationalization (I18n) and Localization (L10n) services.

The Best Translation Apps and Localization Services for Your Business

Connecting personally relevant information to people in an easy way is key to success in business. But the pursuit of information connectivity can hit a wall when it reaches language barriers. Happily, the latest generation of translation apps bridges the gaps which previously separated businesses from worldwide customers. We’ll consider how you can use an online language translator — software app, bot or online translation services — to increase connections and improve communications with global audiences.

Globalizing your customer communications with professional translation services

Globalization is a megatrend that has transformed our world. The physical borders that previously separated us have been replaced with cloud communications and devices which connect us with everyone else. One main barrier remains language. And even here, thanks to the latest batch of apps, the walls are tumbling down.

Who can provide translation services? If you have the budget, it makes sense to turn to a translation agency that can provide an expert human translation. But for those businesses that want to save money and cut some corners, we’ll outline cost-saving alternatives to certified translation services.  The economic benefits are already built-in: the cost of localizing content is a fraction of the expense to create new, original content. Reach a new country or region that expands your market and your revenues. So it’s an investment with potentially rapid payoffs.

Localization services go beyond mere translation. They involve the adaptation of measurement units and currency to the target location. They sometimes require changing dates and number formats. And, ideally, they involve knowing something about the cultural preferences of your target market, adapting language and graphics accordingly. Localization also involves many technical adaptations to get your website and software localized, but that goes beyond the scope of this post. We’ll focus on the top translation apps, both for mobile devices and on the desktop, hitting the leading business translators among them and identifying the best features of each.

Translation apps to close language gaps

What are the best translation apps? There’s no one best translation app that does everything better than all others.

  • The most common language service that businesses require is document translation. What is the best app to translate English to Spanish documents? It should come as no surprise that Google Translate is the winner. Whether you translate English to Spanish or Spanish to English, choose between copy and paste or choose document mode to produce a translated document. The interface is fast and easy, on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Another common business usage for translation apps is one-to-many speech translation. This is useful when you have a conference call and not all audience members understand the language of the speaker. Here Microsoft Translator really shines. Each member of the audience is given a unique code that embeds their linguistic preference. The speaker’s speech is automatically translated into the preferred language in real-time, just like a simultaneous human interpreter.
  • Google Translate is good at one-to-one voice translation. A voice-to-text algorithm translates your words as you speak. Press another button and the app voice-translates into the language of your interlocutor. It takes a few rounds for both sides to get comfortable with the back and forth in a business or traveling context, but the process soon becomes natural and fluent.
  • Another feature of value is camera translation. Several translation apps have this capability. Point your phone camera at a foreign language menu or sign or marketing brochure and a translation in your preferred language overlays the original text. It’s an implementation of augmented reality. It’s of great use when dealing with unfamiliar texts while on the go, for ordering at restaurants or making sense of images online or in the physical world. Both Microsoft Translator and Google Translate have this feature: judge for yourself which is the more intuitive.

Some apps perform better in some languages than others. While Google and Microsoft do well in Western languages, try Baidu or Gengo for Asian languages, especially Chinese.

Working with freelance translation services to finish the job

Mobile apps can take you a long way, but in terms of translation quality, they still cannot match a quality human translator. You’ll want one of those on your side if you’re producing translated materials for publication. There the cost of an embarrassing mistake is too high to trust only machine translation. Find a translator specializing in the language pair, direction, and who knows your target industry (Software in Spanish, for example) on freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Freelancer.com.

Just sign up there as a client and briefly describe your project. You’ll likely get a flood of applicants. Compare their profiles, rating, rates, and reviews. A freelance translator – and you should insist on a mother-tongue speaker of your target language — will certainly cost less than an agency. how much do translation services cost? The range is wide, from $0.01 to $0.20 per word. Bear in mind, too, that you will need to invest personal time in selecting and managing your resources. Time is money. Freelancers can be a cost-effective investment if you wisely. Often it makes sense to do most of the work by machine translation, using your freelancer as a proofreader and auditor, or as a watchdog on an agency. This should give you a level of quality control and keep you safe from embarrassment

When translation and localization online services are needed

While our focus here is on budget translation solutions, there are times when you will want to pay a premium to have a translation company or localization agency to assist you. This is the case if you want to create a multilingual website, mobile app, or any other software. There are also ways to integrate automatic processes to expedite localization, and there are dedicated software apps for this. But this kind of project requires technical expertise beyond what most business people, or freelancers, possess. For these more complex projects, email a few translation and localization companies to get a free quote and some free strategic advice to get started. You can always leverage machine translation after a localization/globalization framework is in place.

For now, at least, you have some starting points for getting “found in translation”. Good luck on the fast track to going global!

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
  • Use project management tools to automate your workflow.
  • 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 like SEO for Lawyers 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.