Combating the Challenges of Tech in Business: A Guide

When you introduce tech to your business, it is unlikely that the entire process will go smoothly at all times. Along with the many benefits of using technology within your company, there are also many challenges. To make sure that you can combat these, here is a guide to ensuring that your use of tech and digital platforms can reach success in 2020.

Get External Support

One of the major ways that you can combat any issues with your digital transformation project is to hire external support that can help you to boost a particular aspect of your online presence and tech usage. For instance, hiring a web design agency such as ALT Agency can help you to create a secure and easy to access site that can increase your customer satisfaction levels without needing you to have the right skills yourself. This will help you to create a professional interface and will make sure that there are experts on hand at all times to help you to overcome any issues that occur with your website or online presence, such as crashes and cyber-attacks.

Stay Secure

When you are operating your business online, you expose your company to many risks that you would not come into contact with within a physical store. This includes cyber threats, such as hackers, viruses, and phishing, many of which are difficult to spot with the use of basic cybersecurity software and plans. However, you can make sure that your company stays secure online and protects its customers by creating a complex password, choosing your payment provider wisely, making sure your coding is secure, and getting an SSL certificate. You should also run security checks on your website regularly.

Get an In-House IT Team

However, to overcome many of the issues that you may face as quickly as possible, you should hire an in-house tech and IT team. When you do this, you should make your requirements and the skills that will be needed overtly clear on your job applications, and you might even be able to connect with tech schools and colleges to find the right employees. If this is not possible, you should train up the staff that you have as much as possible to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that they can contribute effectively to the running of your business online.

Introduce Tech Gradually

Using technology and getting online can be difficult to get used to. However, one of the top ways in which you can ensure that your staff and your customers can get used to tech and ensure that you can avoid common problems is to introduce tech gradually. For instance, you might start off with creating one social media account for your business, having both an online and physical store, or by running your usual operations alongside your new software. You might also want to introduce certain technologies in a couple of departments first, before making it widespread. This will ensure that you can test your new strategy and ensure that everyone is comfortable with it before you implement it business-wide.

Understanding the Reasons Why Your Website is Not Ranking Well

A great website is so important for both personal and business ventures. We all spend hours and hours tweaking our websites and trying to deliver the best possible content for our visitors but for so many websites, this just isn’t enough to help them stand out in the massively crowded online world. With so many millions of websites all focusing on similar topics, it is no wonder that ranking near the top of search engine results pages is so difficult. 

Many people who don’t have much experience or knowledge of website design and building do not understand why their website, which looks absolutely amazing, does not figure at all near the top of the rankings. There are various factors that decide this, and each needs to be addressed systematically in order to give your website a boost. To help out everyone whose website is not performing as they want it to, here are the top reasons why your website is not ranking well.

1. Technical Issues

The first reason why your website may not be ranking well is because it has technical issues. Google does not like to recommend its users to websites that are not user-friendly so if its spiders detect problems like rough scrolling, delayed page loading, or broken links, it will negatively affect your website’s rankings. The SEO experts at this company explain that the first thing you should do to try and improve your website’s ranking is to put yourself in the position of your users. Try to imagine that you are visiting your website for the first time ever and check whether it is an enjoyable experience. Does your website run smoothly? Are there any links that go to broken pages or are unclickable. Google’s algorithms are very smart and they will penalize you for a technically poor website.

2. Inadequate Content

At the end of the day, a website needs to provide quality content to its visitors if it is going to be successful. You can create a website that works perfectly, has 10,000 backlinks, and is supported by every social media platform, but if your content is no good, your website will not rank well. People these days are always on the lookout for the next big thing. If your website provides boring, unengaging content to your audience, they will just click onto the next website down the list. If you want visitors to stay on your website and to return later, you have to give them something to come back for.

3. SEO Keyword Issues

Keywords are absolutely vital in SEO and identifying the common search terms which are relatable to your site is a huge part of SEO. It is what you do with those keywords, however, which has an enormous bearing on the ranking of your website. There are two major mistakes that many websites make.

The first is to not do any keyword research and so have none of the important words for the Google algorithms to detect during relevant searches. The second big mistake is to overload your website’s content with the keywords in an unnatural fashion so that you are penalized for trying to game the system.

4. No Backlinks

One of the ways in which Google decides whether your website should rank highly for search terms related to a particular topic is the number of backlinks to your website, and more importantly, the number of backlinks on websites that Google does judge to be an authority on the subject. Backlinks are vital because it shows that your site is respected and can be trusted. No backlinks at all will stop you from registering with the algorithms whilst backlinks on poor websites will be flagged up as you have just paid for links. Backlinks should be built link by link of quality sites for maximum ranking effect.

Designing an attractive website and designing a successful website are two very different things. What most people don’t realize is that there is so much that goes on in the background which decides where your website is going to rank. Google has more than one billion websites to scan and rank and so it is vital that your website ticks all the boxes if you want it to stand out. It is important to be aware that SEO is a gradual process and so your website is not suddenly going to leap to number one once you start implementing your SEO. Make sure that you address all the issues laid out in this guide and speak to a professional SEO and website design team to help you take your website to the top.

Why Should an Invention Be Patented?

How would you feel if someone stole an idea you spent years and invested tens of thousands of dollars developing? In today’s ultra-dynamic market, piracy and property infringement issues are quite common. So, whether you’ve come up with a revolutionary consumer product or have developed a new cybersecurity business software, you might risk losing your competitive advantage as well as tons of market shares if you’re not vigilant enough. This is where patents come in handy. In the following guide, we will explain what patents are and why it is imperative to protect your newest invention by filing one at the earliest opportunity.

What is a Patent?

In essence, a patent is a type of intellectual property that guarantees the protection of a product, service, design, or process. The owner of said property is given sole ownership, meaning only they can manufacture, market, export, and sell it. Patents are essential across all industries, from automobiles to high tech. According to the business laws in effect in a state or country, a patent will be valid for a limited period, usually around 20 years, after which it must be filed for again. There are 3 main types broken down into utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.

Patent Granting Procedure

Filing for a patent is a notoriously lengthy and costly process. It can take up to two years and cost anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000. That said, these figures shouldn’t discourage you; on the contrary, acquiring a patent will do wonders for your business portfolio by showcasing your potential for innovation and creativity. Now, irrespective of the nature of your invention, it’s important that you refer to your local patent delivery authority to get a comprehensive idea of what is required, essential paperwork, and fees. Remember that, once granted, it’s an investment that will basically pay for itself.

Protection from Copycats

One of the main advantages of having your invention patented is ensuring its protection against intellectual theft. Developing a product or a service is complicated and time-consuming enough without having ill-intentioned individuals copy your idea and profit from it. When it comes to tech services, the IT experts at solutionpartner.com go to great lengths in explaining that a new piece of software, for instance, must always be patented. Information travels fast online, and it would only take a few days for your invention to be duplicated and commercialized. However, if you own the patent to said product, you’ll be able to sue anyone who infringes on your intellectual property rights.

A Sizeable Competitive Advantage

Companies and brands with patented inventions tend to fare relatively better than their unprotected counterparts, on both the commercial and financial fronts. This owes to the fact that a patent grants your business authority. With this, you’ll enjoy a far better market positioning, which will help you capture valuable opportunities to grow your customer base, bring in new investors, expand your operations, and turn a profit. This gives you a leg up over your direct competitors, no matter how niche your industry is.

Legal Protection

A common mistake many business owners make is publicizing their inventions too early. Whether it’s in a presentation or a featured article on a public forum, they risk giving off that novelty for others to exploit. Once that’s underway, there isn’t much you can do to prove that you have in fact pioneered that property. By contrast, keeping your invention under the radar until you’ve been delivered a patent places you under the protection of the law. As such, any entity that attempts to duplicate your product or service for commercial purposes exposes themselves to greater legal sanctions, from hefty fines to prison sentences.

Striking Business Deals

Aside from initial expansion, selling or licensing is often the end goal of company owners. Now, what happens to your expensive patents once you decide to part ways with your ventures? In practice, patents can be traded just as any other commodity; you can include it in your licensing deal for a fee and under certain conditions, which grants others the right to exploit your invention or sell the patent altogether at a profit. At this point, you may want to enlist the services of a specialized intellectual property lawyer to help you weigh your options and decide on a course of action.

In a world that thrives on market competition, no business owner or entrepreneur is safe from having their ideas plagiarized and hard work undermined. This is why patents are an extremely useful legal tool that you should use to protect your invention, develop your venture, and fulfill your strategic objectives.

The Advantages of Sticker Rolls

Stickers come in many shapes and sizes. Take a look around you, you will see that you will find stickers everywhere. One of the most printed stickers are stickers rolls (translation: stickers op rol). The advantage of stickers on a roll is that you can use them for many applications. Would you like to discover more advantages of sticker rolls? Then read on.

Your Own Sticker Rolls

The biggest advantage of sticker rolls is that you don’t have loose stickers everywhere. Stickers rolls are easy to store and are always at hand. In addition, the sticker rolls fit in dispensers and labeling machines. This makes it easy to remove the stickers from the roll and stick them on.

Sticker rolls can be used for many different applications. For example, the sticker rolls are often used in the kitchen of large companies and the hospitality industry. They are ideal as preservatives stickers. You can also use them for safety reasons such as inspection stickers or warning stickers. Another way stickers on rolls are often used as labels on products or packages.

Stickers on a roll are available in many different varieties. So you can choose the material, the finish and the shape yourself. For example, round stickers on a roll are often used as closing stickers for parcels. And rectangular stickers on rolls as name and address stickers. You can also have the shape cut to your liking, such as the shape of your logo.

Create Your Own Stickers

Would you like to make your own stickers (translation: stickers maken) for promotional purposes? Stickers on a roll is just one example of the many existing sticker products. You can have stickers printed on floors, windows, cars and walls. You also have a choice of sustainable variants if you want to make an environmentally friendly choice. 

Logo stickers are always handy to have at home. They are multifunctional, because you can stick them on anything. With logo stickers you can easily and inexpensively promote your brand. Stick them on packaging, laptops, notebooks and other objects where your logo should not be missing. Besides that logo stickers are a nice and inexpensive give-away at fairs and events.

Stickers are also very suitable to convey a temporary message. This is useful if you want to promote a temporary campaign or discount campaign. For example, you can have window stickers made with a discount percentage and stick them on your store window. In this way (future) customers walking down the shopping street can see that there are sales.

Do you already use stickers on rolls or other stickers within your company?

The Importance of Observing a Work-Life Balance

What “Work-Life Balance” Means

Having a work-life balance is an idea that’s been thrown a lot around the lifestyle scene, especially with the current “work-from-home” arrangements some of us are facing. The new workforce comprising of millennial workers seems to hold this aspect as a core part of the work environment.

How to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

To maintain this work-life balance, you need to separate your work and life responsibilities from each other. Let your work worries stay in the office, and let your worries stay at home, with none of them encroaching on each other. This new shift towards maintaining this balance can benefit workers by cutting down on their stress and lessening the chance of burnout.

Stress is the 5th biggest killer in the United States, with a quarter of Americans saying that the jobs they have are their 1st and foremost source of stress. Healthcare software development by companies like this have produced lifestyle apps that can help you rein in the body you want. This might come from their heavy workloads, or maybe an internal feeling of having no control over their work-life balance.

Setting Priorities, and Learning Your Strengths

When balancing your work and life, you need to set your priorities. Find what things are truly important to you, and stick to them. Drop anything that might add unneeded pressure onto your already busy lifestyle. Plan out what your career path is, and take steps towards your end goals. Lastly, simplify any part of your life, and find whatever part that you can change for the better.

Playing to your strengths can also be a great move towards a better work-life balance. Instead of focusing to become everything, focus on the few things you know you can do confidently. Use your skills to find a workflow that you can use. This will save you from headaches later on.

Stay Realistic and Grounded

While you chase the career goals you’ve set for yourself, it’s important to keep yourself grounded in reality. A little self-analysis can go a long way when planning for the long-term. In the face of a problem, ask yourself what caused it and what you can do to prevent it from happening next time. Ask your friends and peers for help in managing yourself and your time. Ask them what you could do to better yourself. Remember that life in itself is a learning process, and we can only know what we’ve learned. 

Take Breaks When Needed

Take time for yourself, even when it’s tempting to take on your work with everything you’ve got. The people you give your time to can be a great support when you experience hardships in your work. It’s crucial as well to look into your health, and the steps you can take to make sure you’re in top shape. Take time to exercise, and make sure to prioritize it. A healthy mind and body can be an amazing tool in landing the deals that you want.

Use Health Management Applications

With today’s technology, you can use applications to help in managing every aspect of your life. Management apps can help to plan out your day in the most efficient way possible. Lastly, messaging apps can get your word across to clients all across the globe and help you create a network. It can even help you stay close to the friends and family members you hold dear.

Manage Your Mental State

Last, manage your mind and your mental state. You can do this in a variety of ways, whether that’s through a hobby or maybe a long-needed vacation. When anxiety creeps into your mind, do some exercises to reassure yourself that you can achieve what you set out to do.

The Effort to Change

This will require a massive effort to change up what you’re already used to, but in the end, it’ll be worth it. Work-life balance isn’t just a matter of managing your time; it’s about managing your mindset around it as well. Some people can be immersed in work so much that they spend less time on themselves. At that point, anyone would want a change in their lives.

Work-life balance is about finding a purpose and meaning in living your life. It means to be confident in yourself and to have peace of mind with regards to how you spend your time and energy.

Tools That You Need to Master if You Wish to Sell on Amazon

Amazon is one of the most reputable e-commerce platforms available in the digital world. The success of Jeff Bezos is undeniably legendary for creating such a major hub for online purchasing, selling, and shipping. Anyone can sell products online, but not all of them can say they master the process. Selling on Amazon needs patience, consistency, and reliable tools that streamline every step effortlessly. If you want to start selling on this platform effectively, then read on to know more about some of the tools that you must master.

Brand Gate Checkers

Using a brand gate checker is highly convenient for researching keywords and product development. You will have a tool that is designed for optimizing listings effectively with minimal mistakes. Strategically and consistently generating long-term sales will always be beneficial, increasing your monthly profits using Amazon tremendously. Using a brand gate checker tool will help sellers leverage the specifics surrounding optimization, making it easy for them regardless of the scope of their plans. The most convenient aspect of tools that provide these features is that they’re versatile and a great value for their money, increasing ROI levels significantly. Another competitive advantage of a brand gate checker tool is that you get to monitor the rest of the industry. It allows you to research what your competitors are doing to be one step ahead of them.  

Niche Hunting Tools

The idea of effortlessly streamlining product research is quite appealing, and you can do it with a nice niche hunting tool. You can use these tools to your advantage to find the optimal sale opportunities on Amazon, making the process tremendously easier than traditional methods. Advice from the fulfillment by Amazon specialists at Infinite FBA suggests that taking a seller’s business to the next level is achievable by utilizing features that find top-rated niches and products. This tool helps you find the rankings of bestsellers, reviews, and price points of a specific niche product. 

When you’re able to find how lucrative and marketable a certain product can be, you can use that to your advantage and get a piece of the profits by selling it too. Whenever you feel hesitant or doubtful of a specific niche, the tool helps you track and gather the sales data with one click. This is possible thanks to due diligence steps that allow you to review and confirm specific facts about that product. When you examine that data, you will have all the proof you need that this niche is a great choice to make some money. 

Feedback Tracker 

Another tool that can be quite useful to master is a feedback tracker tool. It compiles every customer review and feedback into one spot for you to check, getting more info on how good a specific product really is. The importance of customer feedback is vital to your sales goals because analyzing the data you get will help you determine which products are loved the most by customers. These tools also have features where they can help you with your own sales and product choices, allowing you to create custom and personal emails to those customers. This approach will help you get more context from customers, fixing any negative feedback, and solving people’s problems with orders. This tool helps you increase customer satisfaction levels, allowing the products you sell to get more positive feedback to generate more sales.

PPC and Competitor Analysis  

Using PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and competitor analysis tools will help you determine which products are profitable and lucrative based on the number of clicks it got. It allows you to analyze sales data of every competitor in the market that sells the same product or targets the same niche. This tool is convenient for beginners because it allows them to calculate fees, making the process easier if they don’t have a high budget. It helps sellers avoid products that will be difficult to maintain on the listings page. Also, categorizing the sales data of specific products by seasonal periods is convenient for choosing the right time to list something.

Making money online is possible when you have the right tools in your arsenal. Researching and finding the right steps to reach a point of excellent returns is worth the effort and time spent. All you need is a computer, laptop, or even a smartphone to start your ecommerce journey right. Evaluate the market, choose the best sellers, and capitalize on the opportunities for more sales. Product research is key, especially if you’re planning to dive into the e-commerce world full-time. Focusing on bankable or best-selling products will always increase your profits tremendously. Consider using these tools to make your money-making goals a reality.

6 Processes That CRM Software Can Automate

Being an entrepreneur and running your own company seems like a rather fun experience. A lot of business owners would agree. However, it’s also a challenge. There are many different factors involved, and a business owner has to deal with many tasks on a daily basis. Some of those tasks require creativity or problem-solving abilities, while others are pretty mundane and boring. Those brainless tasks usually kill productivity in the office. No one likes to do them, but they still have to be done. This is exactly why you need automation.

One of the best ways to automate specific processes in your company is to utilize the power of the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). Having a good workflow in the office is paramount if you want to be successful, and this software can help you achieve that. Here are the six processes you can automate with CRM.

Data Entry

It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in and what your company is about; data entry is definitely a significant aspect of your day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, entering data and keeping track of important daily numbers can be a bit tedious. More importantly, it takes a lot of time to do, and it usually leaves you exhausted. This can be a problem, especially if you don’t have enough human resources, and your primary job requires creativity. Fortunately, this is where CRM can come to the rescue. As experts from https://crm.webfletch.co.uk/ say, the automation of the data entry process can save you a lot of time and money. Leave the boring jobs to your computer. This way, you can work on creative tasks in your company, and the machines can crunch data.

Email Marketing

Even though email marketing should be personalized, especially if you don’t have a lot of customers, some aspects of it are generic. For example, promotions, limited offers, and follow-up emails can be automated This will save you and your employees a considerable amount of time on a daily basis. The time that can be spent on improving the company.

Customer Support

Conversations with customer support agents regarding complex problems can’t be automated, of course, but simpler issues can be fixed with things like chatbots, for example. If you are selling a product or offering a service to your customers, you will probably answer thousands of similar questions every day. This can be frustrating, but more importantly, it can be rather time-consuming. Therefore, if the customer doesn’t have a complex problem, it’s a good thing to leave a computer to provide a user with an answer. If you want this method to provide you with good results, you have to know what the most frequently asked questions are and make sure you have the answers to them. 

Reports

When you own a company, you have to deal with a lot of different reports on a regular basis. Every time your employee makes a sale, every time you get a new client, and every time you pay your workers. Filling those reports can be rather boring and exhausting, especially if you have other work to do. This is one of the mundane tasks CRM can help you with. If you have a lot of reports that don’t require detailed analysis and checking, make sure to automate them. Automated reports are one of the best ways to save time and resources.

Documentation Management

It doesn’t matter what you are selling or what kind of service you are offering to your customers; if you want to keep things in order, you must have proper documentation. Every sale and every payment has to be documented. This means there will be a lot of files like invoices and receipts you have to enter every single day. This is a lot of work, even if you have a good accountant in your office. However, a good organization and automation can make this process simpler and easier.

Appointment Scheduling

If you are meeting with clients and customers on a daily basis, the receptionist in your office probably has a lot on their plate. However, if you are a small company, you probably don’t have a receptionist or a personal assistant to take care of your appointments. Doing this yourself can be time-consuming. Therefore, your best option is to automate this process. It will save you a lot of time, and you definitely won’t forget a meeting.

Summary

Being an entrepreneur is not a simple thing to do, especially in today’s competitive market. If you want to find your place and succeed, you must find a way to organize your workflow better and save time. Using the right CRM Software can help. Automating your key tasks will definitely help you achieve better efficiency.

Most Effective Ways to Make Your Workspace Focused and Productive

Productivity has become a hot button topic. People are making crazy amounts of money by writing guides for productivity for people of all ages (some starting as young as middle school). While finishing the tasks you want to is an admirable goal, we have found that often it is the smaller, quieter things that most influence productivity.

A new area of research called environmental psychology has emerged and has been finding very interesting results. Consistently, studies are showing that people’s environment affects their mood, creativity, focus, and, you guessed it, productivity. You might not need to force yourself to sit and do things that you despise. You might just need to tweak up your space a little bit so that it is more encouraging for productive work. The following will explore some of the things you can do to your workspace to make sure that you can get your work done when you need to.

Clean Up Your Room Or Workspace

Not to nag you, but maybe you should clean up your workspace. Studies have found that people are far more productive in clean spaces than in messy ones. Beyond productivity, a messy room has been shown to correlate with depression. Clean rooms reduce allergies, boost your self-esteem, and build a sense of productivity within you that makes you feel excited to feel more productive. This seems like a very small point, but it can make a huge difference regarding how much work you get done and how easy it feels to get it done.

Take some time to pick up anything that isn’t where it should be. Change the garbage. Wipe down your surfaces. Vacuum or mop and, if you are able, let in some fresh air through the windows. While you’re cleaning, consider how much clutter needs to be out on display and which items you can put away for a sleeker feeling.

Make Sure All Your Tools Are Within Reach

If you keep all the things you need to finish your work nearby, let’s say at your desk, you minimize the number of times you need to get up and go looking for something that you need to finish your work. If it’s schoolwork we’re talking about, you’ll need your class notes, your textbooks, and some pens or pencils. If you’re working remotely you’ll need your computer or laptop, your mouse, and keyboard. Check out Emeril pressure air fryer reviews to make healthy snacks so you can focus on productive activities.

If just thinking about all these items makes you want to run in the other direction, consider adding a bit of fun to them. Maybe you find a book cover with your favorite anime character on it to ease the dread of opening that textbook. Maybe you could find a custom playmat for your keyboard and mouse. For some people, all it takes to lighten the work mood is their favorite type of pen with colorful ink. Figure out what little joys you can hide in your daily work.

Think About Colors

The color of the walls around you or the color of large items like rugs, curtains, bedding, and furniture, can have a big impact on your mental state. Take a few moments to read about color psychology and you’ll begin to understand how influential colors are on the human mind. Studies have even found that the color of a placebo pill (a sugar pill designed to do nothing to the body) alters how effective people feel the pill is. During sports matches, the team wearing a black uniform is more likely to be given penalties. People driving red cars are given tickets more often than people driving cars of other colors. It may seem a little strange to start looking at the impact of color, but it can be incredibly helpful not only when you’re designing a space ideal for productivity, but when you’re choosing outfits for dates or job interviews or icing for your friend’s birthday cake.

Add A Houseplant

House plants are pretty, and often require minimal work for maintenance. Beyond this, they have been shown to increase the levels of oxygen in the room (this can help with focus and concentration) and they reduce stress and anxiety (which are two of the big inhibitors to productive work). Studies have found that indoor plants boost productivity by up to 15%. That’s a big improvement for such a little alteration!

The above tips should help you set up a workspace that helps you finish the work you need done. Of course, it is important to make sure that you are not pushing yourself too hard. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep and eating high-energy foods. All the employee productivity advice in the world isn’t going to help you battle exhaustion. Your life is about far more than what you can get done in a day.

How to Run Virtual Machines from External Drives

There are countless reasons you might be interested in hosting a virtual machine. Depending on the work you do and the tasks you need to accomplish with your computer, you might want a separate operating system just for certain activities. Suppose your work involves interacting with malware or computer viruses, for example. In that case, you don’t want to risk your own operating system while working, so a virtual machine makes perfect sense for you.

A virtual machine is, in a sense, just another file located on your computer. Because of this, you can store the virtual machine on an external drive, just as you would any other file. The following will explore how you can store and run a virtual machine from an external hard drive, as well as the pros and cons of choosing to keep your virtual machine external. 

What Is A Virtual Machine

In the broadest sense, a virtual machine is a file (often called an image) that acts as if it is a computer. It is a computer within another computer. Like most other programs, it will run in a window, giving you the same basic experience that you would have if you were using the host operating system in a non-virtual sense.

It is important to note that the virtual machine is kept separated from the rest of the computer system. This means that you don’t need to worry about the software within your virtual machine influencing the computer itself. Because of this, many view virtual machines as excellent grounds for testing beta releases of operating systems, working with data that has been affected by viruses, creating backups, and using software or applications on operating systems that they were not designed to work with.

When people speak about virtual machines, they sometimes use the term guest to refer to the virtual machine and host to refer to the machine that the file is being run on. More than one virtual machine can exist within a host at any given time.

How To Get Your Virtual Machine On An External Hard Drive

To begin, you are going to want to make sure that your virtual machine is shut down. Once this is done, locate the virtual machine on your device. By default, on Mac, virtual machines are often saved to Documents/Parallels within your User folder or in /Users/Shared/Parallels. This being said, you may have chosen a different location to store your virtual machine in. If you are unsure where your machine is located, you can search for files with a .pvm extension.

Once you’ve found your virtual machine file, you can copy or move the file to your desired location. The location you choose to store the file in will have an impact on how quickly the virtual machine can function. It wouldn’t hurt to do a little research on the best external hard drive for your purposes to make sure you’re not slowing yourself down unnecessarily. Once the file has been moved over, you’re done. Any time you wish to use the virtual machine, you can connect the hard drive to your physical machine and open the file. It is as simple as that.

The Pros Of Virtual Machines

You might be wondering why someone would be interested in using a virtual machine. There are many factors to consider, but one of the main reasons an everyday consumer might be drawn to the prospect of hosting a virtual machine is because this will allow them to use multiple operating system environments on a single computer. Additionally, virtual machines are easy to access, manage, and maintain. They can easily be moved from one server to another (even while they’re running) and can be created quickly via cloning. Virtual machines also offer disaster recovery options that many find appealing.

The Potential Drawbacks

While internal or external locations for your virtual machine make nearly no difference, there is one factor you might want to keep in mind depending on why you are running a virtual machine from your external drive. Because external hard drives are typically connected to your machine via USB interfacing, the speed of your virtual machine will be affected. This being said, if you’re using the virtual machine for basic operations, this change in speed is not likely to be too noticeable.

With the above information, you are well on your way to running a virtual machine from an external hard drive. As with all technical advice, it is important to remember to complete regular backups of your devices. This includes your virtual machine. Some conditions can result in damage or data loss.

5 MS Teams Apps You can’t Live Without

Introduction

Workforces around the globe have hailed Microsoft Teams as a force for collaborative good. In April 2020 MS Teams recorded a user base of 75 million users daily, meaning it must be doing something right. One of the things the communication platform has done incredibly well is its application integration. By allowing such a level of integration with third-party applications we have seen an astronomical rise in said applications. What follows is a brief list of the top applications for improving workflow and the work environment.

Planner

There are several third-party project management apps that integrate seamlessly with MS teams, however, one of the easiest to get the ball rolling is Planner. When scouring the Internet for the best teams apps, Planner has the advantage of already being integrated with MS Teams by default and is a lifesaver when working with multiple teams. Each team will have its panel and navigating between panels is just as easy as creating a new one. Onboarding teams is also a simple task making sure everyone is on the same page.

ScrumGenius

For development teams who apply agile scrum methods to development cycles sometimes post it’s on a whiteboard just doesn’t cut it anymore. These minefields of neon colors can be just as confusing as the jumbled meeting schedule. ScrumGenius is an app that looks to clear up the whiteboard mess and allow team leaders to automate meetings and recurring tasks. Further, this higher level of automation can be used to help take minutes during those daily meetings.

Polly

This app is as simple as it is brilliant. Polly allows for the creation of polls within Teams channels. The upside of this is that it allows teams to quickly decide on a wide range of things from the more mundane like lunch orders, or quickly deciding on what documentation to send stakeholders without the need for taking up valuable meeting time.

Health Hero

The global pandemic has thrust health, mental and physical into the spotlight. With many employees now working remotely, keeping tabs on the well-being of staff has been harder given that they barely physically see each other with their own eyes. An app that looks to improve the health of teams is Health Hero which allows the linking of health-tracking devices to the app as well as providing challenges and leader boards designed to help keep your team healthy.

Mio

Not all projects can be assigned to one team within one company, often projects can span multiple partners who invariably use different platforms to communicate. Mio looks to help connect teams using MS Teams with others using Slack or Cisco WebEx Teams, for example, helping ensure communication and collaboration by preventing teams from working in bubbles. This has a nasty habit of generating problems that are thoroughly preventable and deadlines being missed.

Conclusion

This is certainly not a comprehensive be all and end all list of apps to improve your MS Teams experience, it certainly shows a wide range of applications that can be tailored to a team’s needs without a massive outlay of capital.