What Are The Industries of the Future?

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It seems like the world is changing faster than ever before. With the rise of the internet and other technologies, the old ways of doing things are slowly but surely being scrubbed away, and replaced with the new and the modern. This is having a tremendous impact on multiple aspects of the world, and especially employment. There are some jobs and industries that just won’t exist in the next few decades. If you’re looking for a new career or you’re wondering where to invest your money, then you’ll want to take a read below, where we outline some of the industries that are going to be big in the coming years.

AI and Robotics

One of the primary reasons why some 40% of jobs will be lost in the next couple of decades is because the AI and robotics industry will be so strong. There’ll be little use for manual laborers when there’s a machine that can do the job of fifty works, in half the time, and which you don’t have to pay. There’ll be other, less-manolvent uses for AI and robotics, too, including improved search and rescue operations and better community management. One thing is for sure though, it’s an industry that is going to be all powerful in the coming years — there’s a lot of money being poured into it at the moment, and all the investment will bear fruit at some point. 

3D Printing

It sounds like something out of science fiction, being able to instantly have whatever you need, without even leaving your house. Yet this is the reality that we’ll be living in sooner rather than later. 3D printing has been around for a while, but it hasn’t quite been perfected just yet — it’s still rather limited. In the future, though, this won’t be the case. Once all the kinks have been ironed out, it’ll be possible to print just about anything, from new clothes to DIY tools and beyond. There’s even the suggestion that by 2030, Christmas dinner won’t be lovingly prepared by hand — it’ll be printed. This industry will shake up perhaps just as much as the robotic industry; who will go to a DIY store to buy a hammer when they can just fire up the printer and have one in an hour?

Personalized Tech

They say that technology is supposed to make it easier to communicate with one another, but in fact, it’s actually driven us more within ourselves. There’s not much about the selfie culture that is focused on the community; it’s about the individual. We’re going to see this taken into more constructive ways in the coming years, with the rise of wearable tech. In the future, we’ll have devices that actively monitor our health, push us to work out more, eat healthier, and so on. We’ve already seen the beginnings of this movement in things like the Fitbit and Apple Watch. In the future, we’ll see it become more pronounced and better integrated with the individual. 

All Things Healthcare

A lot of the industries of the future will be driven by developments in technology. But one of the biggest growing industries will be driven by something else entirely: a major shakeup in the makeup of society. In the coming years, we’re going to experience something that’s never happened before: there will be more elderly people than there are young people. And that means that there’s going to be a greater demand for healthcare services. As such, a person with all the necessary entrepreneurial skills would be well-served by looking at starting a company in the medical field. To give an idea of the extent of the projected growth for the industry, just take a look at the top ten highest in-demand jobs in the next decade. Eight of them are different ways of saying ‘nurse.’ 

Alternative Energies

There’s no getting around the fact that one of the biggest changes in the near future is unwelcome, and will have a dramatically negative impact on how many people across the world live. While the governments are dragging their feet at the moment, there will come the point when the signs of climate change become too obvious to ignore. At that point, we’ll likely see a much quicker shift away from reliance on fossil fuels. So what’s going to take the place of coal, oil, and gas, and keep the world ticking along? It’ll be renewable energy sources that keep the lights on. While the technology hasn’t quite been perfected just yet, it is moving in the right direction — and when they do get it right, it’ll be the thing that powers the world…whichever way you look at it, it’s going to be a huge industry.

A New Currency

There’s been a lot of hype and false-starts when it comes to cryptocurrencies, but it’s hanging on in there — and some of the world’s smartest people believe that it’ll fulfill the original prophecy, and the thing that changes the world. BitCoin is, of course, the largest such digital currency, but there are plenty of others too. It should come as no surprise if, ten years down the line, paying with whichever comes out on top is a viable option. 

In the Home

We said earlier that tech had changed many areas of life, and it’s true — its reach is far. One such area where it’ll have a dramatic influence will be in the home. The development of the Internet of Things will open up a market that’s been hitherto non-existent. Everything from our refrigerators to our air conditioning and doors will be infused with the internet. Sure, much of it will be gimmicky — but if the rise of personal tech of the past ten years has shown us anything, it’s that people will always be drawn to the gimmicky.  

We’re entering a new phase of the world, one that has technology running through its veins. When the great digital revolution marches forward, everything will be open to new developments and industry shifts.

Getting Tough On Training

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Any business owner knows the importance of training. In some cases, even just the fact that you offer training could help you appeal to quality applicants. Even once you have the best team onboard, making sure that they’re well versed can increase both their satisfaction and that of your customers. But, is extensive training always a good thing?

Training courses cost in time and money, and those are two commodities which no business can take chances with. Of course, some training is always going to be unavoidable. Sometimes, though, business owners embark on training which may not be necessary. This can lead to both knowledge and money going to waste. The question is, how do you know when this is likely to be the case?

There isn’t a regular use for the knowledge

Before offering expensive training, consider how often your team will use that knowledge. After all, there’s little point in embarking on training which won’t often be necessary. You may even find that your team forgets everything they learnt by the time that knowledge becomes applicable. If you’re training your team in something like programming which will only come in handy during disaster recovery, for instance, you may end up throwing money away. That’s not to say you can do away with essential knowledge like this, but you may find that it’s more cost effective to outsource with companies like Pointivity who specialize in this are and already have the necessary know-how. That way, you can save on wasted training costs, and focus instead on IT issues your team is liable to face daily. 

Costs outweigh benefits

As profits always matter, it’s also important to consider whether training costs outweigh any benefits. The last thing you want to do is to spend on training which doesn’t increase your income. Again, something like IT repairs is an excellent example of this, as are courses in programs which will soon be obsolete. Again, outsourcing can often be a cheap alternative. You may also want to use this excuse to eliminate outdated programs and methods, rather than losing profits on training here.

Downtime stands to do damage

For the most part, training means downtime. That’s because employers tend to train entire teams at once. In some cases, it is fair to say that this team-wide training is entirely necessary. But, before signing everyone up, it’s worth considering how much damage that downtime could do. Think about how long you’d all be out of the office, and how much profit you stand to lose by doing so. When you add that to the cost of the training itself, you may find that downtime does too much damage to deal with. In this instance, it may be worth keeping certain training within select areas of your team. By training just a few staff members on your new security software, for instance, you could reduce downtime altogether while still ensuring that there’s someone onboard who can deal with questions and problems whenever necessary.

Make Your Business More Efficient With These Epic Hacks

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As a business owner, it is important to look at what you can do to be more successful, and boosting business efficiency is an excellent way of achieving this. You need to do as much as you can to look at how you are going to improve the efficiency of the business moving forward, and this is something that can really take your business in a positive direction moving forward.

You need to make sure you are doing as much as possible to improve your business efficiency, as well as the way in which your company is run. So, you need to make sure you are looking for the best ways of improving the company moving forward, as this can make a massive impact on the success of the company. Make use of these ideas and try to use them to help your business blossom and grow.

Digitize

You need to ensure you do as much as you can to digitize the company and bring the company online wherever you can. There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind that are going to help you make the business run better, and this is why you have to have a strong online presence. There are a lot of factors that play a part in this, and you have to make sure you take this step. You have plenty of options to digitize your business, and it is important to make the most of these where possible.

Scalability

It is also important for you to think about the scalability of your business, and how this will help you to improve efficiency. If your company is operational across mobile devices and tablets, you will be able to reach more people and get more done in the process. Think about how Cloud computing systems can make your company more scalable, and check out what The Azure Cloud Experts can offer you by way of scalability options, and Cloud solutions that will help make your business more efficient.

Better Communication

There are a lot of things you can do to keep your business as efficient as possible, and this is something you can achieve through better communication. There are a lot of things that you can do to help you improve the way you communicate. More one to one conversations and staff meetings are a great way to achieve this. Be clear, honest, and upfront with your staff about what you expect from them and want them to do. The more you communicate, the easier it becomes to ensure that your staff are more productive, and the business is more efficient.

When you are trying to make the business better and more efficient, you need to make sure you are focused on improving the way in which your staff are doing things, as well as modernizing and updating your company. There are a lot of things you can do that are going to help you with this, and you need to make sure you are doing as much as you can to make the company work on a better level.

Why UX Is Crucial For Your Business

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UX, or user experience, refers to an individual’s responses and perceptions that result from the use of a service, system, or product. It is about how the user feels as a consequence of the interactions that are presented to them, be this through an app or a company website. No matter what kind of company you have, we exist in a climate whereby the digital is everything. The way that you present your business digitally will have a dramatic effect on how you are viewed in the eyes of your target market, and thus, how you perform and succeed. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why UX should be such a crucial part of your strategy.

UX increases profitability

Your user experience and how profitable you are, or become, as a company is closely intertwined. A user-face that’s friendly and accessible is far more likely to turn web users of your site into customers. There’s much competition out there between companies with the same products, content, and similar branding. Due to this, excellent UX can really help you to stand apart from your competitors. There is a high correlation between the experience of your users and your conversion rates.

If your UX design is simple to use, then you have successfully implemented design patterns that are learned immediately with no instructions. If your users can easily navigate your website or app, then you are far increasingly the likelihood that they will arrive at your desired destination, for instance, they will make an account, subscription or a purchase. When we are thinking about the journey of the customer, we do this in terms of how many steps it takes them to achieve their purchase or service goal.

If there are too many complicated steps, the customer becomes less motivated by this lengthy the process; this is where UX design comes in to make the experience as seamless as possible. You won’t want to miss out on any customer opportunities due to such issues that can easily be fixed with UX solutions; these can reduce the number of steps needed to get the gold!

Connecting the content

Excellent UX design can be a great way to encourage customers to get really engaged with your content. Whether it’s a blog, a video, or product purchase system, if your user experience is created just right, you will be allowing your target users to connect more personably with your brand image. UX design incorporates your target market research to cater to the personas of your users; once you know who they are and what they like, you can create content that helps keep them hooked on your brand. However, there’s no use in great content if your website or app is to difficult to navigate; if this is the case, no one is likely to experience it. If you’ve spent the time catering your content to your target audience, you’ll want to create every opportunity that you can to allow them to connect to it.

Brand Loyalty

This brings us to brand loyalty; your customers are more likely to be loyal to your brand if they are enjoying a high-quality user experience. Even if you have a fantastic product or service, if your UX isn’t top notch, you’d be surprised how quickly customers will move on to other brands. Having a UX perfect digital presence can far enhance your reputation and get people talking. These trends are being focused on by the top players across multiple industries, so if your competitors aren’t as UX savvy as you are then this is going to work in your favor and give you an edge. With so much competition out there it’s not something you’ll want to pass up on.

Assessing UX

It’s essential to assess your user experience to make sure you are keeping on top of your goals; using a UX research platform is the best way that you can do this. UX insights are necessary to give you the full picture on how your user experience is working, isn’t working and how it can be improved. This is done by, for example, usability testing which allows you to get feedback from actual users as they make their way through your website or app. When you’ve worked on something for a long time, you don’t fully see it anymore, it is no longer new, and you lose the ability to be objective. Authentic testing, as opposed to testing completed via you and your team, is entirely worthwhile to ensure that you aren’t missing any ways that your UX could be improved.

You can also gain information that allows you to track your success against your competitors over time or get surveys that track user behavior and satisfaction. There are many other ways that research and analysis can help you make the best of your user experience. Overall, being meticulous and forward thinking is the best way to go so that you don’t pass up on any opportunities.

It’s all about the social

Of course, in the digital business world, we have all come to know the huge importance of sharing via socials. With great UX design, you can ensure that your platforms are all geared up for the right social sharing opportunities. You can cater your designs so that your customers can easily share your content or share the fact that they have purchased from you. You can connect more easily to your target audience in this way because you are ensuring that your brand is personable and socially present. With the opportunity to connect to so many people, in this way, perhaps you’ll grow your target audience further than you dreamed possible.

If you take the time to make a UX plan, or to tweak your existing one for something improved, you will be well on the way to mastering it. Ensure that you are always looking back to your target audience and brand voice when you are seeking to improve your UX solutions, it’s these that should point you in the right direction.

3 Tips For Running A Successful Courier Business

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Starting your own courier company is a very sensible move in the current business climate. The massive surge in online retailers over the last decade means that more parcels than ever are being shipped out and those online retail businesses need regular couriers to handle all of those deliveries. While there are already a lot of large courier companies that are well established, that doesn’t mean that a smaller business like yours doesn’t have a chance of succeeding. Some companies don’t mind using a big courier company but a lot of online retailers feel that they don’t get the level of service that they’re hoping for because that courier is dealing with so many different companies. If people are sending items that are an awkward shape, for example, they might want to deal with a smaller company that can dedicate more time to finding the best way to send their products, rather than simply using standardized boxing sizes and shipping them out.

However, you do still need to realize that you’re up against some big competition and success is going to be an uphill battle in this industry. If you’re considering starting your own business or maybe you’ve already started one but you’re struggling to get new customers, read these simple tips on how to run a winning courier business.

Specialize In The Beginning

If you just start a general courier business, you might find it hard to gain any traction because there are better established companies out there that can offer the same service or even a better service, at half the cost. They’re shipping out in such quantities that they can afford to do things cheaper than you can. You might get a few customers that don’t like the idea of working with a big company, but for the most part, people are just going to go for the cheapest option. If you’re going to get anywhere, you have to offer something that other companies aren’t, and that means specializing.

There are all sorts of different ways that you can do this. The most obvious way is to specialize in moving fragile packages and offer a custom packaging service to ensure that things are well protected. However, there will already be quite a few companies that do this so you should consider looking at something even more specific. You might decide to specialize in moving artwork, for example, which requires a lot of custom made boxes and often temperature controlled vehicles to ensure that valuable artwork isn’t damaged in transit. Maybe you could specialize in moving expensive musical instruments or antique furniture. Offering a specific service like this means that there will be less competition out there and you’ll also be able to charge higher prices because you’re offering a unique service that people are willing to pay more money for.

When you start turning a profit, you can expand your services and move into more general courier jobs but if you start there, you’re not likely to see any growth at all and the business will probably fail.

Find Ways To Reduce Prices

Courier businesses have very high overheads because you have to cover the costs of packaging, storing items, and running a fleet of vehicles. If the overheads are too high, you’ll have to pass some of those costs on to the customer if you want to keep the business afloat. If you don’t pass those costs on and you offer cheap prices that you can’t really afford, you’ll end up running out of money pretty quickly and the business will fold. That’s why it’s vital that you find ways to keep the costs as low as possible so you can be competitive on pricing.

There are all sorts of different ways that you can save money but the best place to start is always with your vehicles. When you’re first investing money in a fleet of vehicles, you might decide to save money by purchasing older ones. The only problem is, they’re more likely to break down and you’ll end up spending a lot on repairs. It might be more sensible to spend the money upfront on newer vehicles that are less likely to break down, they’ll also be more fuel efficient so you’ll save a bit of money there too.

Fuel costs are one of your biggest overheads so anything that you can do to reduce them is a big bonus. Buying more efficient vehicles is a start but you can also save a lot of money if you buy fuel in bulk when prices are low. You can store it all in a petrol storage tank so you’ve always got a good supply. Fuel prices shoot up and down quite a lot so if you get it in bulk while it’s cheap, you won’t be wasting money if prices increase again.

Focus On Branding

Branding is so important for a courier business. Your aim should be to position yourself as the go-to service for any online retailer in the area. People should associate your brand with speed and efficiency as well as good customer service. The best way to start increasing brand awareness for your courier business is to get the design right on your vehicles. It’s the best marketing opportunity that you have because your vehicles are driving around all of the time, being exposed to so many potential customers. If you don’t use that as an opportunity to build brand awareness for your business, you’re really going to struggle.

When you’re building your brand, you need to think about what the core values of your company are. For example, if you want to reduce your environmental impact then you should use electric vehicles and more sustainable packaging and make this the core of your marketing. If you can position yourself as the eco-friendly courier company, you’ll find a lot of customers will use you over competitors that don’t have such an environmental focus.

Beating the competition in the courier business is going to be tough, but the popularity of online retail does mean that there are a lot of potential customers out there so if you follow these tips, you should be able to build a successful company.

Leadership Skills Everyone Needs To Know

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There may come a time in your career where you are no longer an employee and instead you are a leader. Being a leader is something which is harder than it looks and when it comes to being a great leader, there are a lot of things you will need to learn. Today we are going to take a look into some of the ways that you can lead your team to success this year with some essential tips.

  1. Be transparent

To be a successful business leader you need to always remain honest. It is incredibly important for you to be honest with your followers and always show that you are willing to share problems with them. Your team is a huge part of your working environment and it is important for you to earn their trust and don’t keep things from them. If you are having trouble with something don’t keep it to yourself, asking for advice shows that you respect your colleagues which can be a great thing.

  1. Show empathy

Every person who works in your team is unique. They all have their own way of working, their own lives, and their own issues. It is important as a leader to show empathy to your workers when they are stressed, down or having trouble in life and this is something to think about.

  1. Know the generation

Most of the time when you are leading a team, you will be leading a younger generation and one which is different to the older generation. Younger people have a different way of working and they want to be able to have trust and flexibility. If you are able to give the young generation a more flexible work ethic, they will work wonderfully for you and they will want to progress with you.

  1. Say it like it is

Being a leader is hard because you might feel uncomfortable laying out those uncomfortable truths to your workers. However, to be a good leader you need to say things as they are because this is the only way you will have effective communication in the team. If you never communicate your team won’t know where to improve.

  1. Think of ways to be unique

Every good leader has a unique style of management and it will take you some time to learn what yours will be. However take the time to try and show your unique style to your followers and it will be a good thing for all of you.

  1. Be human

Back in the day there was this weird idea that a leader should be a totally inhuman entity in the office. This is not the case these days and to be a great leader you need to be human and show that you care about your employees in a real way. Show off your personality and be approachable and this will make all the difference.

  1. Never forget your responsibility

It is important for you to remember that it is your job to lead your workers and be present at all times as a manager. As much as you may want to be the friend of your workers, there still needs to be a few boundaries and ultimately you need to be sure that you put across an air of authority in the office.

  1. Be comfortable talking to CEOs

As a manager you will end up having a lot of instances talking to high ranking people in the company and other companies. Make sure that you get comfortable doing this and remember that although they are high up in a company they are still only people!

  1. Surround yourself with inspiring people

As a leader it is your job to motivate and inspire your team and show them what they could have if they worked hard and tried their best. But who is there to motivate and inspire you? It is a good idea to surround yourself in your life and online on sites like LinkedIn with people who will inspire you and help you to be better at your own role. Inspiration breeds inspiration so be sure to surround yourself with great people.

  1. Have a shadow

When leading a team it is always a good idea for you to give your employees the chance to shadow you and learn from you. As a leader, it is a privilege to be able to inspire and teach the next generation and your workers will thank you for this. Bring along a younger employee with you on jobs to help them see what it would be like for them in the future if they followed in your footsteps.

  1. Share your vision

If you have a vision for your life or the company you manage, it is always a good idea for you to share this with the team so that you can gain some opinions from a different perspective. For example you could hold a brainstorm meeting for an idea you have and this will allow you to get ideas from other people in the office and see if they can come up with other ways for you to get to this goal.

  1. Be a character

When people look back over their career they will always remember the people who led and shaped their career. When you are forging your career as a great leader, it is important for you to lead with your own personality and let your own quirks really show. You are the person who will set the tone for the office so you can really take a chance here to have some fun with it all.

Being a great leader is something which you will learn over time with experience. These tips should help you to grow your skills and find your place in the workplace this year. Go out there and inspire your team and be the best leader that you can be this year and the years to come!

How To Make A Career Pivot

Did you know the average person changes careers 12 times?

It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN you change your career.

The toughest part of changing careers is the job search process.

It’s slow and hard to navigate.

That’s why I created this free mini course which is a prelude to my career pivot course.

If you know how to make a career pivot, it won’t seem like an overwhelming process.

Learn the system and repeat it every time you feel like changing careers.

The Importance Of Product Testing And Why Your Business Should Be Doing It

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When it comes to a new product, one of the most important steps throughout the process is product testing. Without it, releasing it to the public or your clients can have serious consequences should something go wrong. And with some big businesses having to recall products because they’re dangerous or faulty can have an impact that some companies can’t recover from. So why is product testing so important?

The Rise In Competition

It’s pretty obvious that competition is only getting tougher as each day goes by. Putting a foot wrong in business is really not an option, especially when you’re competing against others for publicity, sales, and new customers. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your product or service has been tried and tested, so that is near enough perfect for public or client consumption. If you can prove to be more successful than your competition, then it’s going to make it slightly easier for you as a business to grow in success over time. Competition is only growing, and although it’s something you shouldn’t often focus on, it’s good to recognize what others are doing to test out what they sell.

Quality Checks

One way of product testing is to do quality checks. These should a rigorous and high-quality process to confirm that you’ve done everything you can do as a business to make your product or service the best it can be. That way, if anything does backfire or go wrong, you have the physical evidence to lean back on. Most of the time, companies are caught out because they’ve cut corners when it comes to quality checking. Nowadays, it’s just not worth running the risk as the fallout from it can often be hard to come back from.

Take Advantage Of Technology

Technology has certainly come a long way in the last few years thanks to many businesses putting in funding to research and improve systems and softwares across all industries. So when there are self-contained devices like the GPS Simulator, this is a piece of kit that makes trialing and product testing more effective while reducing the amount of time and money too. Thanks to the digital world, we now have a lot more at our fingertips that help us with our research and testing. It cuts down time and man hours massively, and it’s no wonder that the discussion of robots doing more in the future is being discussed more frequently. Not only that but more money is being pumped into developing this technology.

Accelerated Life Testing

Product testing can be applied in a number of ways, depending on what it is your testing. Measuring the effects of aging is a big one because a lot of customers want the longest shelf life for a product, particularly when it’s a physical object. White goods like washing machines or kitchen appliances, in general, are something that’s used on a daily basis, so they have to have a guaranteed lifespan attached to it. Accelerated life testing is something you can do to avoid having to manually test something day in and day out. You subject it to excessive conditions in order to uncover any faults or issues, which you can then fix.

Conduct Focus Group Testing

Product testing can also be used with the customers themselves and is often used with many businesses both old and new. Only so much testing and research can be done in-house. Your customers are the ones who will ultimately be buying and using the product so why not get them to try it out for themselves? Focus groups are great for specific research that relates to your specific demographic of customers. These can be done over the course of quality checking, and it’s a great way of getting that all-important feedback so that you can tailor it as best as you can. This will hopefully lead to more sales when it finally goes out into the market.

When it comes to your customers, safety is the key concern for anything you are putting out to the public, and that’s why product testing is critical to doing all you can to protect your customers and to create a safe product that functions as it should under the normal parameters.

Product testing is extremely important to do as a business, no matter how many products you’ve released. There’s always room for improvement and even though the word perfect may not exist, you can certainly do your best as a business to get as close as you can to perfection.

The Most Common Mistakes Business Owners Make When It Comes To Outsourcing

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Outsourcing can be a huge help to a lot of businesses.  It lets them increase their workforce for particular projects and tasks without increasing their outgoings too much. However,  for some businesses, it doesn’t quite work out. This is usually down to a mistake made by the person or people in charge of outsourcing. To prevent this from happening to your company, we have explored some of the most common errors people make when it comes to outsourcing, and how you can stop them from happening.

Outsourcing the wrong tasks

The most significant error that many businesses make does not fully understand what tasks need to be outsourced. Money is then wasted

on paying staff to do jobs that could easily be handled in house for next to nothing. The general rule of thumb is to outsource any technical work that requires more skills than your employees have, or jobs that need to be done by a specialist. For example, you might want to consider using the services of a social media manager to handle social media, or a website designer to keep on top of your business site, to avoid wasting time on sorting out problems. You may also want to think about outsourcing basic and repetitive tasks such as data input and admin.

Not Taking Time To Choose The Right Person

Looking for the best person to hire for ad hoc tasks should be treated exactly the same as when you are looking for a full-time member of staff. You should take the recruitment process seriously and take the time to look at a selection of portfolios and invite applicants in for interviews, whether this is an informal chat over coffee or a digital interview. This will give you the opportunity to figure out which of the applicants is the perfect fit for your company and the project in question. That way, you know the work will be carried out to a high standard.

Not Having A Contract In Place

Even if they are only working with you for a week, it is essential that you have a legal contract in place between the business and the worker. This should clearly lay out the details of the work, what is expected from both parties, how and when payment will be made and what will happen if either party breaks the partnership before the scheduled end date. This should stop any issues and disputes from arising in the future and protect both of you.

Not Checking In With Them

Often, freelancers and contractors work on a remote basis, so don’t come into the office. This is, of course, is beneficial as it means that you don’t have to pay any additional overheads, but sometimes, these workers can get overlooked. It is important that every so often you check in on them, to see how they are getting on, that they have all of the resources and information that they need and to keep them up to speed with any new developments.

4 Pieces Of Security Software That All Business Need To Use

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you already know that cyber-attacks are a big concern for all businesses. In the wrong hands, all of the data that you hold about your company and your customers can be used to commit fraud or hold you to ransom for large amounts of money. Cyber-criminals are always finding new ways to exploit weaknesses and steal information from companies so you really need to be on the ball when it comes to data security.

A breach is bad news for your business for a number of reasons. First off, you might be subject to fraud and have money stolen from the business. In some cases, you might be able to recover it and hopefully, you’re covered by insurance, but these criminals are experts at moving money around and hiding it so, more often than not, you’ll take a big financial hit. If you lose customer data, that’s bad news as well because they are trusting you to look after that personal information that you hold about them and if you can’t do that, you’re going to lose a lot of customers.

When it comes to protecting sensitive data, it’s important that you have strict policies in place and your employees are trained in good data handling practices. You should limit access to data to people that need it and make sure that there are clear policies in place when it comes to sharing that information. However, the best way to protect your business and its data is to implement the right technology. These are the most important pieces of security technology that all businesses should be using.

Firewalls And Virus Protection

If you don’t already have firewalls and virus protection in place, you’re way behind and you’re opening yourself up to so many risks. It’s not likely that you aren’t using any kind of security at all because we’re all so used to using it on our home computers already, but it may be the case that you’re not updating it regularly enough or you’re not using the right software. When you’re trying to protect your home computer, you can probably get away with the free firewalls that come built into the computer as long as you’re only using it for basic things like emails, reading the news, or browsing social media. But when it comes to business computers, that isn’t going to cut it.

You need to be using a paid service that is designed for businesses to protect yourself online, otherwise, you’re likely to be the victim of an attack. Cyber-criminals are always looking for businesses that are vulnerable and anybody that is using inadequate firewalls and virus protection is likely to be hit. There are plenty of great firewalls for business out there which offer the protection that you need. Updating them regularly is so important as well because cyber-criminals quickly find ways around them so it’s a constant battle to stop them from becoming obsolete. If you don’t update your firewalls, they’re next to useless. You need a good IT team on hand to deal with updating firewalls as and when they need it and responding quickly to any breaches. If you can’t afford to hire an in-house IT team, it’s best to outsource to a third party so you still have access to the expertise that you need.

Customer Verification Systems  

It’s not just cyber-attacks that you need to worry about either. Fraudsters will often contact your company posing as a customer and try to get you to share sensitive information with them. That’s why it’s so important that you have a good customer verification system in place. In most industries, you have to abide by Know Your Customer guidelines to ensure that you’re taking the right steps to confirm somebody’s identity before you speak with them. Most companies will use security questions when speaking with a customer to try to clarify that they are who they say they are. This is a good way of keeping things secure but if a fraudster already has some information on a customer, there is still a chance that they can pass these security questions so it isn’t the most secure way of handling customer verification. It’s worth investing in some KYC check software that offers safer ways of verifying your customers. For example, you can use facial recognition software which is far harder to cheat than some basic security questions. It’s also quicker for your customers than going through the same questions every time they want to contact your business for any reason.

Scheduling Software

You might be wondering what scheduling software has to do with data security, but it’s important to remember that in some cases, a data breach may come from within the company. It might be that you have a disgruntled employee that shares information maliciously or perhaps somebody that is being offered money to hand over information that is stored in the office. It’s a rare scenario but it does happen and if it does, it’s important that you find out who the culprit is immediately so you can limit the damage and deal with it so it doesn’t happen again. If you’re using good scheduling software, you can quickly see exactly who was in the building at what time using a punch in system and you can keep a clear eye on when information is going missing and who is working at those times. This will help you narrow it down and hopefully find out who is stealing that sensitive information.

VPNs

A lot of people are already using a VPN (virtual private network) at home to protect themselves and your business should be using one as well. Instead of sending information via an open connection where it is vulnerable to attack, a VPN creates a separate private network which is encrypted. You can still access the internet through the VPN and operate as you normally would but you have an added layer of protection.

If you implement these tech solutions in your business, you’ll find it a lot easier to protect your sensitive data and avoid a catastrophic data loss.