It’s Time Your Business Embraced New Technology

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It’s pretty safe to say that technology is now an undeniable part of just about all of our lives. We communicate using technology; we are entertained by technology and, of course, we do business with technology. Technology is a part of our lives now, and for better or for worse, it’s something that we all need to adapt to. There are a lot of business owners who are more than a little resistant to using modern technology. Many of them assume that because their business has succeeded in the past without it, then they don’t need it now. The problem there is that the modern market never really stops moving. If you’re not keeping up then, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll get left behind. With that in mind, here are some pieces of technology that your business needs to consider using

Point-of-sale

There’s far more to the point-of-sale in your business than simply handing over a product for money. It’s also the place where you customers may be doing the majority of their interacting with your employees. This means that the pos system needs to allow your employees to deal with any request the customer may have, whether that’s a refund, a stock query or a price check. You also might want to look into things like being able to accept credit card payments on your smartphone if you’re running a small business or one that isn’t in a single location. An advanced pos system allows your employees to deal with any customer query quickly and efficiently.

Marketing

Traditional marketing methods are on the way out. It’s a sad fact, but it’s true. The modern generation doesn’t care about ads, and many of the old school marketing techniques are completely out of date. A lot of marketing has moved to a purely online platform. People do their shopping online, look for reviews online and search for businesses online. If your business doesn’t have a strong online presence, then you might as well not be marketing it at all. Make sure that your business has a decent presence on social media, as well as making sure that the SEO on your website is high quality.

Video conferencing

With the internet being the force in the world of business that it is, the chances of you doing business with someone on the other side of the world have increased exponentially. There’s no limit to who it is that you can do business with. Provided, that is, that you can actually find a way to communicate with them. Modern software makes video conferencing faster and more convenient than it’s ever been. Rather than waiting for hours, even days, for emails to go back and forth, video conferencing allows you to communicate immediately with anyone no matter where they are. It also allows you to share visual information instantly as well, giving it a huge advantage of traditional conference calling. 

Whatever your business is, there is no escaping the need for technology in it. You might not find yourself needing to use every single bit of modern tech available to you, but turning your back on it completely is a real recipe for disaster.

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.

Going Back To School Is Good For Business: Here Are The Reasons Why

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Okay, so you have finished your high school and/or college education. That’s enough, right? Well, maybe, but there are advantages to going back to the classroom, be that at an actual place of study or through a virtual route online. And while you might question the viability for you, especially if you’re busy running the day-to-day operation of your business, you might want to consider the following benefits.

#1: You will overcome your weaknesses

We’re sure you have many talents, but you probably don’t know everything. Like many of us, you might have weaknesses that you have struggled to overcome. It might be the intricacies of managing your accounts. It could be a struggle with the technology in your office. Or it might be a confidence problem when dealing with difficult clients or employees. You might not have to go back to school to learn skills in any of these areas (or others where your weaknesses are prevalent), but you might be able to find a part-time or online course that will strengthen your weakest business skills. And because you have become more proficient at your job, you will have less need to hire others for the jobs you found difficult, and consequently, you will save money.

#2: You will stay up to date with trends

Time moves on, and so inevitably, does the world of business. Technology changes, and so do business tactics. There have been advances in marketing, and changes in the way businesses operate locally and internationally. So, even if you have been to business school, or taken the occasional business workshops at events in the past, there might be something new for you to learn. Take those courses that will serve your business well, not only for your day-to-day operations now but for the long-term future of your business as well. By staying up to date with trends, you will manage to match or out rival your competition and give your clients and customers what they want from a modern business.

#3: You will meet new people

Attending courses that are designed for business people are not only useful on a skills-based level, but on a social level too. You might meet other people within your industry that could benefit your business now or in the future. Your tutors should also be experts in their field, and by staying in touch with them, long after your course has finished, you will be able to benefit from their continued wisdom. Of course, will also meet people who could become your future customers. Taking courses that are open to the general public, such as confidence building or first-aid, will give you the opportunity to talk to others, and market your business to them.

#4: You will open the door to a successful life

A common thread linking many people to success is a college education. Luminaries, such as Philip McTigue , Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos have all benefited from the qualifications afforded to them in both their personal and professional lives. By going back to school yourself, you will improve your reputation as a business professional if you have a qualification to your name. You will be able to use your education to open new doors for yourself in your chosen industry. And as you benefit from the success that education can bring, you will also have the opportunity to share your improved wisdom with others to impact their lives. In a landscape filled with business failure, you might be able to buck the trend.

So, could going back to school benefit your business? We think it might, so consider the courses of education that could elevate both you and your business further.

We wish you every success, in whatever you decide to do.

4 Technologies That Allow You to Get Far More Done with Your Business

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A lot gets written and said about technology these days. Of course, this is hardly surprising when you consider that we live in the most technologically advanced age that the world has ever known, and that the repercussions of this are immense – both in terms of how we live our lives – and in terms of how we conduct our work.

Of course, there are certain reasons to be wary of some technologies and technological innovations. For example, the fact that we now store so much of our data online, means it is pretty much inevitable that we are infinitely more vulnerable to cyber attack, and data breaches, than ever before.

That being said, it is also the case that recent technological innovations allow us an unprecedented level of productivity, and opportunity, to the extent that these technologies can make or break our careers in many cases.

Of course, as the old saying goes “money is time”, and those who are able to get more done, in less time, and to a more exacting standard, are all but inevitably bound to prevail over the competition.

So, bearing that in mind, here are some examples of technologies that may allow you to get far more done with your business – and consequently improve your chances of success.

Virtual answering services

In all professions (more or less), answering calls in a professional and timely manner is an important skill and consideration.

Often, if you fail to answer a call from a would-be important client, they will take this as a sign of unprofessionalism, and will react accordingly by deciding to not use your services after all. Of course, even in the cases in which your prospective client has not immediately come to this conclusion, they may well decide that they can’t afford to wait around for an answer, and will therefore go elsewhere in the meantime.

In certain professions, however, the ability to take calls quickly and professionally is far more “make or break,” or even “life-and-death.” For example, in the legal profession.

These days, however, the Internet and the various high-speed communications technologies which we now enjoy have created a situation where third-party phone answering services are more effective and accessible than ever before.

What’s more, these services will often be aimed specifically at particular industries. So, for example, you will find an answering service for law firms can provide you a certain degree of quality, and a certain “phone style”, that is perfectly tailored to the norms and expectations of the industry.

Communication software (including virtual numbers)

If you’re a small business owner, or the type of solo entrepreneur who works out of their bedroom, you will undoubtedly want to present yourself in the most professional light possible – while also doing whatever you can to maintain an appropriate level of division between your personal and professional lives.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is highly likely that you will need to take client calls on a fairly regular basis, and to leave a phone number on job applications, business cards, and so on.

Of course, giving out your own private phone number might be a bit jarring, and disconcerting. Not least of all when prospective clients phone up without warning on the weekend or evenings, and you answer the phone in an all too relaxed, and all too unprepared manner.

Fortunately, modern communication technologies mean that it is now possible to have a “work number”, and the “private number”, without having multiple phones, and having to try and keep track of them at once.

This can be as simple as creating a Skype number, and leave yourself signed into your Skype account during the day. You can then buy Skype credit, set your number for the country of your choice, and have at it.

Of course, short of actual calls, there are many other tools that can be used for workplace communication – including Gmail’s inbuilt “chat” function, and services such as Trello’s chat function.

Task and project management tools

A lot of things can go wrong when you’re trying to figure out how to organize, and execute your plans for a business venture.

You might, for example, be tricked into wasting an exorbitant amount of time on a given path of action, without first doing your due diligence and ensuring that it will actually yield dividends.

Then again, you may simply never come to the point of being able to reasonably identify what the “most important” next action is for any given project.

Many project and task management systems have been developed over time, in order to address the specific issue. The famous Getting Things Done system, created by David Allen, is one of the leading productivity systems in use in business. It rests entirely on the fundamental premise that the human mind isn’t very good at organizing things – only generating new ideas.

These days, there are a wide variety of task and project management tools available in digital format, that are powerful and nuanced enough to change your professional life. These range from the basic and “free” – such as Microsoft To Do, which is built on the premise of helping you to track your projects and to-dos in one central location, and then identify the tasks that you should execute on, on any given day – to the more complex, such as Trello, which are targeted specifically at team project management.

In any event, the key is that you find a task and project management tool that you can use comfortably, and which allows you to filter out redundant actions, and identify the most important “next step” to take.

Time management tools and software

It’s been said before, and it bears saying again, that “time is money.” No matter how well-off you may be in terms of your material resources, a business (or for that matter an individual) that doesn’t have a good grasp of time management, is in a deep rut, and is unlikely to thrive as a result.

Money can be earned and lost, but time is allocated in daily batches, and can never be regained once it’s been spent

All serious professionals – and just anyone who wants to enjoy the highest quality-of-life possible, for that matter – have to be very mindful of how they spend their time. In the case of entrepreneurs, though, time management is a truly fundamental necessity.

If you run your own business, and especially if that business is a start-up, you will have a dozen, or a hundred, different balls to juggle at once. Your ability to be efficient, and to allocate your time as effectively and carefully as you possibly can, is essentially equivalent to your ability to be successful in your business endeavors.

Fortunately, time management tools and software are among some of the most prevalent technological innovations in business. If you want to ensure that your team is wasting as little time as possible, you could use a service such as Time Doctor, in order to “keep an eye on them”, and automate “nudges” to remind them to stay on task.

Then again, if your time management issues are of a more personal nature, you could sign up to a subscription with Rescue Time – a service which monitors how you spend your time at your computer, and uses learning algorithms to assess how “productive” or “unproductive” your days have been.

Then again, there are more basic systems available, which can be used for tracking the amount of time spent on a given project. Toggl, for example, allows you to monitor the amount of time that you spend on an individual project.

Why And How To Protect Your Business With Technology

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Technology is paramount in one degree or another for all businesses to improve productivity, reliability, and professionalism and above all safety. Those stuck in the era relying on paper trails need to get with the times, technology can solve a lot of mundane time and cash consuming business processes you use to try and protect your data, you just need to figure out what can and will work for your specific businesses industry and size. It’s natural to feel as though the world of technology is quite daunting, and where to begin to enhance your business’s safety, so here are two areas to think about to get you started.

Security

Thinking about the safety of your files is so essential when you consider the outcome of a hacker gaining access to them. Especially when you take into account Statista’s report of $1.33 billion being lost in monetary value due to cybercrime. Whether it’s access to your business account details and statements, identity, address, your work or customer credentials, you most likely have something valuable worth protecting, that could cost you a lot of money, and a large portion of your existing reputation should anyone gain access to it. Security technology is the step where most businesses should begin to guard vital information.

Begin searching for services that are appropriate for your business such as computer security software. Or you could choose to outsource this task to an IT service that can professionally guard this information for you.

Back-Up

To enhance your previous decision to allocate cyber fighting software to protect your business information, you also need to back the info up in the unfortunate event your business intel is stolen or destroyed. This isn’t limited to cybercrime, there are an array of disasters that might occur which could ruin your data. Such as a fire, flood or hurricane to name a few. Getting your business back up on its feet following a catastrophic event is costly, especially if you’ve lost all of your enterprise’s intel in the disaster. This is why it’s important not to delay this step and to back-up everything as soon as possible.

The scale of back-up you need depends on the type and size of your business. For instance, for a freelance website designer working independently, they could back up their work on a Cloud Computing service and store any finished products or client details on an external hard drive and keep this in a separate building from where they work. For larger businesses such as a document filing agency, they may require in-built servers within different locations with employee and management access from anywhere in the world. This is to store, protect and gain access to vital business information to keep the company running in the event of a disaster.

Research, source, download and purchase the technology that’s right for your business by scouring opportunities, assessing the reputation and usage of the software and always update your knowledge to keep ahead of any technological advancements that could protect and save your business from a document storage disaster that is both time-consuming and costly to fix.

Your Business Needs To Understand Its Technology Better!

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There’s no denying that we live in a world almost entirely dominated by technology. The truth is that technology has changed almost every aspect of society. It’s changed the way we shop, the way we consume media and even the way that we communicate with one another. Of course, if there’s one part of society that technology has changed more than just about any other, it’s almost certainly the world of business. The truth is that the business world looks almost entirely different from the way that it did even a decade or so ago. If your business doesn’t embrace technology in a fundamental way then it’s almost certainly going to end up falling behind the competition and being left in the dust. However, that’s not the end of it. If you assume that just having technology as a part of your business is going to guarantee your success then you’re sorely mistaken. The truth is that you need to be able to understand your business’s technology and know how to use it as effectively as possible. Otherwise, it’s just going to end up being a drain on time, money, and resources. Luckily, there are ways to avoid letting that happen. With that in mind, here are some ways to better understand the technology in your business.

Employee training

If there’s one mistake that a lot of business owners make over and over when it comes to bringing in new technology, it’s that they forget that technology is merely a tool and that without human beings, it’s basically useless. If you’re going to make the most of the technology in your business then you need to make sure that all of your employees know how it works and how to make the most of it as well. This means you need to provide them with adequate amounts of training. Sure, that might take time and money but it’s nothing compared to the time and money you could end up wasting if things are going wrong because your employees have no idea how any of the technology in your business actually works.

Outside assistance

Of course, when it comes to dealing with the technology in your business, you’re not necessarily going to be the perfect person for that job. After all, as amazing a business owner as you might be, you’re not necessarily going to be a tech wizard. Because of that, you might want to consider outsourcing elements of the technology in your business to other companies. A company light Throttlenet IT Solutions can offer you the kind of help and support in terms of your IT infrastructure that can make your life a whole lot easier. The same goes for things like using the internet in your marketing. Working with a dedicated web marketing team is going to allow you to take advantage of an entirely different marketplace than your business may have previously explored.

The needs of your business

There’s no denying that technology is pretty much essential for the health and well-being of any business. But that doesn’t mean that all businesses are going to have the same technological requirements. The truth is that every business is unique and that means that it’s going to have unique needs. Think carefully about what those needs are and how you’re going to be able to solve the problems in your business with technology. If your business is based on the web then you’re not going to need huge amounts of manufacturing tech, but if you’re running a warehouse then you’re probably not going to need lots of complex coding software on your computers. Think about the needs of your business and do whatever you can to lean into them whenever possible. Otherwise, you’re going to end up wasting money and resources on tech that you simply don’t need and that will only lead your business to feel bloated.

The changing times

One of the hardest things about trying to keep your business competitive in the modern world is the fact that the world is constantly moving at an incredibly fast pace. In fact, every year things seem to be moving faster and faster because they are. New developments in the world of tech are appearing all the time and if you’re not able to keep up then the only possible result is that you get left behind. Because of that, you need to make sure that you’re keeping up with as many new developments in the world of business tech as possible to keep your business on the cutting edge. Make sure that you subscribe to tech magazines and that you browse tech blogs as frequently as possible. The last thing you want is to find out about a perfect technological advancement that can help your business by seeing your competition using it in order to pull ahead of you.

Your demographics

Of course, no matter how important technology is to the world around us, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be just as important to everyone. The truth is that different groups of people respond to technology in different ways. The Millennial generation treats technology as an indispensable part of their everyday life. They are glued to their phones and do pretty much everything through technology. Because of that, you’re going to want everything from your marketing strategies to your customer service to be heavily text focused. Things like social media and online help desks are going to resonate incredibly strongly with this demographic. However, older generations who are somewhat suspicious of technology are going to prefer a more old-school approach. Things like traditional marketing techniques and telephone customer service lines are going to be vastly preferred by an older demographic.

The size of your business

Another thing that you need to take into account when it comes to bringing technology into your business is the size and scope of your business as a whole. After all, if you’re bringing in software and technology that’s designed to help a small startup when you’re several levels ahead of that stage, then it’s not really going to do you that much good. By the same token, a small, new business is not going to benefit from much of the technology designed to improve the workflow of huge companies. Make sure that you keep your business’s size in mind when considering what its technical needs are.

Your budget

You also need to carefully consider the kind of budget that you’re working with. You might have some technology in mind that you consider to be totally essential for your business, but if you can’t afford it, then it’s best to put it out of your mind until you can. If you try and bring technology into your business with the hope that the improvements it makes to your business will result in enough revenue to pay for it, you’re putting yourself in a seriously dangerous position. If it doesn’t end up paying for itself, you could end up putting your business in serious debt, which is the kind of thing that can snowball incredibly quickly.

Now, you might be of the opinion that your business doesn’t need technology. This is particularly common in older businesses. And that makes sense to a certain degree. After all, if your business has survived for this long without the need for technology, why would it need to change now? However, it’s important to really understand just how different the world is to the world of a few short years ago. You don’t need to totally change your business to fit the modern, tech-dominated world. Instead, think about how technology and modern advances can help you improve upon the foundation that you have already laid in your business up until now.