Insights

5 Mistakes to Avoid when Managing Remote Teams

Managing a team in itself is a difficult task. Different types of characters, cultural influences, and perceptions affect the way people interact and collaborate with each other. As a manager, you need to find the balance of listening, the proper language to use, providing the necessary support and the approach of delegating tasks to your employees. This task might be even more challenging when managing remote teams. There is a lot that can go wrong.

In this article we’ll elaborate 5 mistakes and how to avoid them when managing remote teams:

1. Dropping the ball on regular meetings

Having independent employees is a great thing. They get the work done and you don’t have to worry about falling behind on projects and tasks. However, there is always need for an update on work progress. Having regular meetings is a must in order to keep track of how work is going and what the obstacles a remote team member is facing as well as crucial points where you can provide assistance.

In today’s day and age, there are many ways you can stay in touch with remote teams. Using video conferencing equipment, free messaging platforms and gadgets are by far the most suitable options as they offer the advantage of meetings that feel like being physically present in the same office, having a face-to-face meeting. So, make sure to schedule regular meetings with remote teams, even if just for a simple “Hello”.

2. Micromanaging

On the other hand, there are managers who feel the need to know everything their employees are doing. When employees are at the office, this is rather simple as you can stay on top of everyone and exhibit micromanagement. For remote teams, this is a more difficult thing to do as these teams are not in the same space as the managers. Another thing to better avoid is the manager’s tendency to check in way too often with their employees. This creates an unpleasant situation causing the employees not to feel at ease, brings frustration and leads to unnecessary stress.

Take into consideration the act of allowing independence for your remote employees as well as how often you get in touch with them. Having clear-set rules about the methods of reporting, how often and when is really important to get quality results while at the same time avoiding the need for micromanagement altogether.

3. Not building a collaborative culture

Remote teams can often feel left out and isolated because of working by themselves in all projects. For that reason, it is important to build an effective collaborative culture between in-house and remote teams.

Encouraging the development of such philosophy within a company leads to more effective teams and successfully enclosed projects. You can provide the space for remote workers to join meetings held at the office through video communication even if these meetings may seem somewhat insignificant to them. It will still contribute to keeping everyone updated on the latest developments within the company, provide room for their input and experience in solving obstacles.

This way remote teams will feel appreciated while you develop a collaborative culture where all employees have a sense of being included and important to the overall development of the company.

4. Not focusing on important matters

The main concern of each manager is to create sustainable progress where goals and targets are met. Trusting employees and validating their work through online collaboration tools will lead to a more effective progress and a more productive working bond. It should not matter where the employee is working from as long as they provide quality advancement in their work and the company’s performance remains in high standards.

5. Relying extensively on e-mail

Relying on e-mail as a communication means between your remote teams is a necessity. But, relying too much on the e-mail does not allow space for verbal elaboration and feedback to tasks. Therefore, making use of other communication tools, such as video calls, is a great way to allow your employees to open discussions as well as to freely express their opinion and concerns verbally. Being on the same page is crucial for successful work when a remote worker.

Conclusion

It is highly important for managers to keep track of what their team is doing, regardless of whether the team isin the office or working remotely. It is also essential to avoid making the above-mentioned mistakes while managing remote workers as it can lead to a decrease in motivation, unnecessary stress and frustration. To spare yourself from such distress, make sure you hire professionals who are not looking to override the system.

Build social culture between teams and offer proper tools to collaborate. Investing in good video conferencing equipment that allows teams to communicate properly is something you will be thankful for. And above all, make sure you lead your team into focusing on what is important.

Development

7 ways to utilize big data for increased profits

The technologically advanced, digital age that we are experiencing has led to an exponential multiplication of data, generated by sensors, online transactions, smartphones, and social media channels amongst other things.

Consequently, big data, the term used to describe the inundation of data, is creating a stir around organizations and becoming the latest buzz word, but is the hype is well-justified?Absolutely!

Look around you; the changing business dynamics have resulted in stiff competition in almost every industry; competition between thriving e-commerce businesses and the conventional brick-and-mortar stores, increasing accessibility to international markets leading to declining revenues for local businesses, multitudes of online businesses offering top-notch services at competitive prices.

In a drastically changing economic environment where companies are vying to gain traction, big data analytics could be the game-changer for your organization.

Smart companies utilize the massive accumulation of data for keen analysis to gain valuable insights into the changing trends, both positive and negative.This crucial information enables companies to make strategic business decisions leading to higher profits, something which was not possible previously with small, isolated sets of data.

Unfortunately, only 23% of organizations are ’smart’ and have a viable big data-strategy, while just19% have access to high-quality data, and almost 15% of the marketers surveyed in Crain’s B2B magazines are still unsure of what is big data.

To make matters worse, most businesses analyze only 12% of their data while the rest of the transient digital information is lost, taking along with it the many valuable insights.

Therefore, to keep abreast with the innovations and gain leverage as an entrepreneur you need to implement a big data strategy to revolutionize your business model and increase profits:

1. Well-informed decision making

Businesses thrive on the astute judgment of their leaders, who try to make smart, objective decisions that are most beneficial for their organizations. However, they are bound to experience an occasional error in judgment and make mistakes.

Moreover, when different individuals are involved in the decision-making process, there are conflicts and difference of opinion.

Predictive analysis of big data enables business owners to come to a definitive solution backed by hard evidence. Also, as the companies analyze more and more data, the actual outcomes are compared against the predictive results which further enhance the analytics engines.

When decisions are based upon concrete evidence, as opposed to personal intuitions, they are more productive for the company in both the short and long term.

2. Gauge customer behavior

Businesses are all about profitability, and profits are acquired by attracting customers. Big data allows you to understand what really captures a customers’ attention.

When consumers interact with a business through emails, websites, phone calls, social media, etc. they provide significant information about their experience with your product or service. They share their expectations with your company and positive and negative feedback about your products; a wealth of knowledge pertinent to customer satisfaction waiting to be explored. However, much of this data is unstructured and unanalyzable by traditional means.

Big data is revolutionizing how companies gain greater insights about customers’ responsiveness by analyzing the accumulated customers’ communications. This helps companies understand their customers intimately and provide them with better services.

According to a Forrester study, 44% of the B2C marketers are using big data and analytics to improve responsiveness while 36% are utilizing it to establish more relationship-driven strategies.

3. Improved marketing campaign

In recent times, marketing strategies have evolved tremendously, and businesses utilize a varied number of tools and platforms to engage customers.

Terminologies like click-through rates, browsing behaviors, social media interactions, online purchase data, etc. have an immense impact on marketing campaigns and the sheer size of customer data collected every day is unimaginable and incomparable to anything marketers had to deal with previously.

Big data can facilitate marketing practices in some ways:

  • It provides insights into the customers; where they are, what their expectations are, how they prefer to be contacted, and much more, leading to a marketing campaign which revolves around customer satisfaction
  • It enables you to understand what drives customer loyalty and retention so you can implement it in your marketing techniques
  • It allows you to divide your marketing techniques amongst the different marketing platforms, depending on the previous effectiveness of each channel, to gain an optimal You can also continuously test and analyze your methods for improved efforts

According to research, 54% of the Chief Marketing Officials (CMOs) believe that, in the long term, big data and analytics will be integral to their marketing strategy, thus, signifying the proficiency of the system.

4. Successful customer relationship

We have already discussed how big data helps expedite marketing efforts and enables businesses to gain valuable customer insights to enhance the overall buying experience. When companies shape their efforts according to the customers’ requirements, they ensure improved customer relationships, with increased loyalty and greater customer lifetime value.

Moreover, Forrester also concluded in a study that big data analytics enhances a marketer’s ability to go beyond campaign executions and focus on establishing abetter customer relationship. Try not to spam your users with a lot of ads on their mobile phones. Subsequently, companies enjoy repeat business, better customer acquisition, and retention rates, leading to increased profits.

5. Consistent business performance

A business’s success depends largely on its employees and their performance. Whether they function individually or as a team, their competence at their jobs directly affects the scalability of the business.

Big data can help drive productivity through evaluation of the employees’ work habits and activities and indicate the areas that require improvements. It can be used to provide constant feedback and create opportunities for continuous performance improvements.

In an interview with the NewYork Times, Google’s head of people’s operation, Laszlo Bock, explained how they accumulate feedback to promote self-motivation. He said,

One of the applications of Big Data is giving people the facts, and getting them to understand that their own decision-making is not perfect. And that in itself causes them to change their behavior.”

Use of big data to endorse self-improvement is far better than a one-off training seminar, as it is an on-going resource for optimized performance.

6. Smarter hiring choices

As mentioned above, big data allows for informed decision-making; one such scenario is when you are hiring new employees.

The tough hiring landscape makes it extremely challenging for the hiring team to choose the most proficient staff. In the current economy, brimming with technological revolutions, highly qualified individuals are integral to a company’s growth yet they are a scarce commodity.

Josh Bersin of Deloitte Consulting highlights this issue in his report on corporate talent, leadership, and human resources and explains that data-driven companies like Google employ big data to develop algorithms which predict the engagement of prospective employees and assists the management in hiring the most competent individuals.

Hard-working, skilled employees, are the backbone of any enterprise, and one of the key components essential to yield amplified profits.

7. Right pricing

Product pricing is an extremely critical aspect which requires great consideration. It is estimated that on average, a 1 percent increase in price results in 8.7 percent increase in operating profits (assuming there is no loss in volume).

In addition, 75% of the revenues generated by a company are from its standard products. However, 30% of the pricing decisions made by businesses fail to deliver the right price resulting in a massive loss of revenues.

When pricing a product, companies decide on an optimal price that the customers are willing to pay. Ideally, they also take into consideration the cost of the competitive products and the value they offer to consumers. But for large enterprises, producing thousands of products, assessing the numerous pricing variables for each product becomes too complicated and overwhelming.

Enter big data. Harnessing the power of big data available in the form of customer interactions enables the companies to price their products, appropriately, resulting in increased profits.

The evaluation of pricing variables is automated to expedite the process. Despite that, the entire process may not be easy and highly complex but ignoring the deluge of accumulated, valuable data is akin to forfeiting the rights to acquire hundreds of millions dollars in profits.

Big data is the next big thing. Employing big data strategy and analytics can supplement your business transactions and expedite every aspect of your business model from staffing to marketing to customer acquisition and retention.

Moreover, studies suggest that the average Fortune 1000 company can:

  • Improve their revenue generations by more than $2 billion per annum by increasing data usability by only 10%
  • Increase return on equity by 16% by enhancing the data quality and improving the ability of the salespeople to access it by just 10%
  • Increase return on investment (ROI) by 0.7%, which equals to $2.87 million, by enhancing the intelligence and accessibility of the data by only 10%

To conclude, if you want to acquire better profits, you should jump on the big data bandwagon to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Author Bio:

About Alma Causey:

Alma is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on

@AlmaCausey.

Insights

Key Tips You Should Remember When Investing In Cryptocurrency Market

Investing in cryptocurrency is difficult for several reasons. Perhaps, the most common thing people may think once they have heard about cryptocurrencies is which coin should they buy.

Indeed, investing successfully in this modern type of financing starts with the proper gathering of information and understanding the risks and basics of the circulating currencies. This article will provide you tips on how to keep a long-term investment in cryptocurrency.

Build Your Investment Portfolio

Like any other venture, investors have to create their portfolio and actively work on it. Also, they need to focus on it for the long-term run.

Building an investment portfolio with various cryptocurrencies is the way to run, but picking them is selectively compelling. Thus, only spend your investment on things you only know, and keeping your emotions in control are the policies that should always practice in every portfolio.

Watch the Market Capitalization

The cap of the market gives more data about your buying choice than just the price alone or both. What happens usually is people look at the value of the coin and suddenly jump into buying it.

Also, it is essential to remember that the higher price of the coin doesn’t get its capitalization greater than another coin with the lower value. It means that investing in the lower value of the currency gives you a greater chance of survival for the future compared to the higher price of the different coin.

Besides, the price of a cryptocurrency still depends on its market capitalization concerning other coins, which means it links to the stock of the cryptocurrency. Thus, it doesn’t look like a good choice to buy the currency by seeing their prices only.

For lasting investors, if the price is reasonable and market capitalization is at its best, then it is an excellent option to engage in the investment.

Bargain Wisely For the Dip

If crypto is currently escalating, then it’s a smart choice to wait for a dip. Though some may have witnessed the rise of the Bitcoin’s price, it’s still not sustainable and usually will change or even go into multiple revisions. It is particularly accurate for cryptocurrencies as the fundamental value depends on the demand and supply alone.

Thus, Bitcoin as an entity can’t produce enough amount of profit as a company can, that’s why price rise and drops are more severe and frequent.

As the price is being dependent on demand and supply analysis, emotions can have a great impact, which is usually coming from the news or views of some influential people. Briefly, buying the dip seems to wait for correction is a wise choice instead of going with the majority when the price is already rising.

Choose The Coin That Lasts

In the world of cryptocurrency, currencies die all the time. Other coins may stay alive for a period in the markets because of their potential. For instance, Ripple, Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum are considered to be the legit cryptocurrencies because to their purposes.

These cryptocurrencies solve specific problems when it comes to the constant game of survival. If you are going for a long-term investment, you should choose those coins which will provide you lot of benefits and offer better solutions beyond buying platforms.

Moreover, cryptocurrencies are continually rising and falling. Thus, you have to do due diligence first before investing.

Takeaway

The value of cryptocurrencies and the rise of technology has exploded in the past year. The only problem is there is enough upside potential to invest in cryptocurrencies. The key factor is that Bitcoin is not only the cryptocurrency that you can buy.

Though there were security breaches in the crypto market a couple of years ago, it looks like those issues can no more impact the market in today’s trade. And still, there are financial institutions like Ashe Morgan and other companies that may help you bring your investment to the top.

Development

How Technology Is Changing the Medical and Healthcare Fields

Technological advancements, more than anything else, are reminding us just how central healthcare is to our continued existence. More accurately, perhaps, we should say that these various developments improve the quality of our collective lives; in addition to extending it.

 

The various analytic devices that have sprung up in the last decade to measure practically everything that can be measured are due, in part, to the insert molding process for the medical industry. It’s allowed improvement in devices ranging from the MRI scan, to the EKG machine. Now, with the integration of mobile devices into our everyday lives, apps have been developed that influence everything from exercise to sleep rhythm. As the march of progress continues ever-forward, there are some pros and cons to the extent with which technology has infiltrated our lives.

 

The Positive Influence of Technology in Medicine

 

For one thing, the migration of paper documents to electronic format with the establishment of electronic health records (EHRs) has thus far has huge benefits. These include much greater portability, as well as the ability to facilitate medical diagnostics. EHRs connect doctors with very few geographical limitations, which is of tremendous benefit to the patient.

 

 

The ability of some apps to operate in virtual space has also engineered advances in telemedicine. Let’s say, for example, you live in a rural area with substandard access to healthcare facilities. Or, you live in a city, but inclement weather has made road traveling temporarily dangerous. This is where telehealth shines, since it means you can convene a conference with your doctor right in the comfort of your own home. In fact, this feature saves you money, too, in case your symptoms and concerns don’t necessitate a physical doctor visit.

Personal Tools for Health

 

With the advent of the Internet of things (IoT), wearable technology has exploded, too. This includes remote monitoring technology such as health monitoring systems for your heart, lungs, etc; information on the progress of chronic diseases can be relayed electronically to a prescribed healthcare facility. Millions of people already use these kinds of devices; with the pacemaker being the most popular to date.

 

It’s only becoming more prevalent, too. A recent study – taken in 2018 and reported in the Huffington Post – shows that experts think over 80 million wearable devices for the purposes of healthcare will be in circulation.

 

Are There Cons to the Prevalence of Healthcare Technology?

 

As with most advancements, there are also concerns with the growing ever-presence of technology in our daily lives. With healthcare, in particular, there are steps such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that seeks to enhance data security to protect your private medical information. It is purported to be an effective regulatory compliance mandate that provides companies with a guideline on how to keep client data safe. However, this protective measure cannot, of course, ensure that malignant cyber hacks won’t compromise your privacy, or affect any of your wearables that are connected to the Internet.

 

Concerns That Hit Closer to Home

 

What about more direct issues that arise from the continued growth of technological devices? Let’s take sleep, for example. This essential activity that consumes more than one-third of your life has been shown to be affected by the various gadgets in the average home.

 

The blue illumination that signals the powered-on state of most gadgets interferes with sleep. When you think about all the items in your room – the television monitor, computer bus, tablet, smartphone, speakers, etc – then it becomes clear just how many things may be stifling your circadian rhythm. The fact that, if you’re like most people, you go to bed with your tablet and phone, exacerbates the problem. Experts recommend putting all electronics away for up to an hour before you sleep to ensure that they don’t prolong your wakefulness.

 

In the same vein, these devices keep your brain alert, which is why – for children, especially – it is recommended that they do not have all of their games and apps with them as they’re going to bed. Create an environment in your home where neither child or adult is flooded with wearables and other electronic devices in the hour before bedtime.

 

Present and Future Uses of Medical Technology

 

As the relevant tech becomes more advanced, many researchers are turning their eyes toward the use of medtech for things such as genome sequencing. In fact, there are already a couple of outfits – with 23andMe.com being the more prominent – that can provide you with information on genetics and heritable traits if you send in a DNA sample (saliva, i.e.). The generalized name for this field is personal genomics, and it could become even easier to do it in the future.

What would be the benefit of this? Well for one, if you have a history of celiac disease in your extended family, then personal genomic sequencing can help you proactively minimize your chances of manifesting it via dietary triggers. Diabetes is one of the most common ailments for which there is a genetic predisposition, and advanced foreknowledge of its likelihood can help you start early in trying to stave it off.

 

Although, as with any such advancement, there are cons as well as pros; overall, the continued development of technology is a benefit to humankind. It holds a lot of hope for healthcare worldwide, and allows the more fortunate to reach out to the disadvantaged all the world over.

Insights

The Top Five Ways Your Business Can Use a Web Based Asset Tracking Software

Web-based asset tracking software: An Overview

If you lack processes to trace the whereabouts of your business assets, you’re likely at the risk of losing both time and money. With the rapid rise in business mobility, an asset tracking software has become a must for most businesses. This is a solution that helps your business keep track of its assets and inventory, improving transparency and lowering storage and maintenance costs across the fold.

According to a study, at least 91% of corporate employees use one business application on their smartphones, with 23% of them saying this tends to increase their overall productivity. Automated asset management does exactly that. It allows you to implement a robust management process to monitor your tools and log instant updates in your system. Doing this has the following benefits for your firm:

  1. Compliance with industry standards: Working in a competitive market opens up a lot of challenges. One of them is to abide by standard industry rules and regulations. Accurate asset records make this easier to do.
  2. Lower administrative costs: Once you automate your asset management process, you don’t need to place manual controls on check-ins and check-outs. This enables you to cut down on administrative costs and improve efficiency.
  3. The ability to scale easily: During the course of its operations, companies are likely to accumulate assets. In such cases, it often becomes difficult to scale existing asset management processes. An asset tracking software allows you to do this with minimal effort.

In order to gain additional revenue from your assets, the best way forward would be to invest in an asset tracking system that enables you to do all this and more. Here’s a look at the top 5 ways your business can use this solution:

Number 1: Create barcode tags for assets to improve visibility

Depending on its industry, every company comprises of a few departments. Each department has a specific set of assets which are designated to its employees. To ensure smooth completion of daily tasks, it is imperative that these tools are easily traceable. In order to do that, an asset tracking solution lets you label your equipment for faster retrieval.

Using the barcode technology, every tool is assigned a unique identification code which helps to check-in and check-out. Employees simply have to scan the tag and all relevant information will be entered into the system. Carefully tagged assets have a lower risk of misplacement and improved transparency, which leads to higher productivity levels. To this end, maintaining asset tagging best practices is vital for efficiency.

Number 2: Prevent outages with automated stock management

When working in time-sensitive environments, one has to be cautious about stock management. For instance, hospitals deal with medicines which tend to expire in a few years’ time. What if these medicines aren’t replenished on time? Feeding patients expired tablets can lead to grave consequences for both the institution and the lives of the people admitted. For this reason, companies should opt for automated stock management routines.

With the help of an asset tracking tool, you can set threshold levels whenever stock reaches a specific amount. Before you cross this level, you can generate purchase orders for new stock. This way you don’t have to pile up on extra stock or suffer from untimely outages.

Number 3: Ensure traceability through instant location updates

If you are a highly mobile company, you understand the complications involved when moving assets. Haphazard placement of tools and machines can result in a waste of time and delay of daily activities. To tackle such problems, an online asset tracking software lets you enter locations for all your equipment. With barcode labels assigned, employees can also scan assets through their smartphones when on the move. Doing so automatically revises GPS coordinates to prevent any confusion.

Once you record locations of all your assets, warehouse management becomes much more organized. Employees can speed up check-ins and checkouts if they know exactly where a machine is placed, thereby improving business efficiency and traceability with instant location information.

Number 4: Schedule audits to verify consumption patterns

Holding a large asset base makes you a victim of unauthorized practices. To keep a check on asset usage, your company should carry out frequent audits. As a part of a diverse set of features, an asset management solution lets you hold audits in a systematic manner to avail the following advantages:

  • Align your asset management practices against proposed methods
  • Make corrections to enable comparability and compliance
  • Eliminate the risks of data breaches and other unwarranted operations

Going over the financial records of your company gives you an opportunity to match the actual results versus those that are recorded. By doing so, you can spot any malpractices in asset management and make necessary amendments. You can, therefore, maintain the credibility of your asset accounts through certified audits for your company.

Number 5: Run recurring service events for prolonged useful life

Physical assets have a predetermined useful life after which they have to be disposed of. In order to derive the maximum outcomes during this period, it is critical to that you keep your tools in good shape. This can be done by carrying out extensive maintenance sessions for your equipment and machines. Every time you check-in a new piece of machinery, the software automatically assigns it service tickets.

Compiling relevant data from associated vendors, the software sets up advance notifications for every maintenance session to achieve the following:

  • Lower overhead costs by reducing the need for capital replacements
  • Improved asset performance and efficiency due to increased uptime
  • Planned maintenance lets you tackle unwanted delays in work operations

With the ability to custom design your repair events, your assets have a higher chance at extended useful life. Make sure none of your tools get missed out on optimized repair and service sessions.

Develop high-performance strategies with a web-based asset tracking software

Small and medium-sized businesses operate on restricted budgets and cannot afford poor asset management. A company’s assets are capital investments which need to be fully utilized in order to gain maximum rate of returns. For this reason, many firms choose an asset tracking business tool to help set their business towards a path for improved performance and growth.

With facilities like RFID tracking, organizations can carry out mass actions at once. This saves time when it comes to checking in large shipments. The software also allows you to plan office events with a dashboard and availability calendar to reserve items and venues in advance. Doing this lets you avoid last-minute cancellations and carry out flawless meetings and conferences.

For companies struggling to maintain a database, asset management software can be used to create customized templates for all their tools. You can add fields as per your requirements to differentiate assets between departments and so on. All these features build up business proficiency and allow you to gain increasing economies of scale – all through simply tracking your assets!

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This post was contributed by EZOfficeInventory, a web-based asset tracking software for asset-intensive companies wanting to lower overheads and improve ROIs.

Insights

What is Online Reputation Management?

In our digital age, what people say about you online really can make or break your business. Reviews and recommendations are the one-stop-shop for consumers who haven’t yet made a decision about which hotel to lodge at while on vacation or what restaurant to dine at tomorrow night. While smart marketers enable SEO as a part of their marketing strategy, they’re not yet familiar with what is online reputation management and how it can help protect their brand reputation.

 

If you’re in the market for a new L-shaped couch or a smoothie blender, you’re going to do your due diligence by researching competitors online. Online reputation management (ORM) experts can ensure that companies’ branded keywords reveal the positive elements of their brand on the first page of Google. Here’s exactly how they do it:

 

  • They Take a Swiffer to Google’s First Page: Does a slanderous press release haunt the first or second ranking on Google under your branded keywords? Through proven content marketing tactics, ORM experts create loads of unique articles and send them to their network of bloggers to be posted as backlink juice. Essentially, the ORM specialist places anchor texts with your specific keyword in each article, linking back to a desired positive result on the first page. After a few months (depending on the severity of the case), Google will eventually place more prominence on the positive results and rank it above the unwanted press release.
  • They Put You on the Map: The backbone of ORM is SEO, a vital strategy used to get Google to notice your brand. The more prominence you have on the SERP, the more business you’ll be generating. ORM specialists will create microsites, social profiles and local listings for your company to rank high on. Maintaining a digital presence will entice more consumers to write reviews about your company, resulting in greater customer trust and brand credibility.
  • They Protect Your Brand Long-Term: Companies such as internetreputation.services make it their mission to protect brands’ reputation in the long-run. They do this by securing microsites for their clients with their branded keywords as the domains. After the client is pleased with the suppression work that was done on the negative results, it is highly recommended for clients to keep their domains in case other bad press releases come along. The more branded online properties you can secure, the greater chance you have in protecting your reputation from slander.

 

We live in a time where business cards are replaced by a quick Google search. Online reputation management is not a luxury, it is a necessity for both e-retailers and brick-and-mortars. If you work in a competitive profession such as dentistry or medicine, you no longer have a reason to stay up at night worrying about your reputation if you can hire an ORM agency to take care of your qualms. Your reputation is the most sensitive and vulnerable asset that you own. Protect it wisely with online reputation management.

Development

7 Ways to Establish Credibility for Your Business

With many new startups popping up every day, it’s only a matter of time before your business gets lost in the crowd. This is because every established name out there has something new business lack, in particular, credibility. Without a credible name, your business will have a hard time convincing new customer into buying your products or services. What’s more, stockholders will be even more skeptical before they decide whether it is prudent to invest their money into your growing business. The best way to convince all of these skeptics and eliminate any remaining doubt about your business is by first establishing some credibility and these are the seven ways to do so.

1. Listen to your consumers

Let’s face it, nobody likes it when their opinions don’t matter and their voices fall on deaf ears. As Mike from Bootstrap Business puts it, establish credibility by listening to your customers. Be known as the brand that actually cares. If your target audience thinks something is a really bad idea, consider changing it and let them know you are doing so. For example, just recently EA games broke the record on Reddit by getting the most downvoted post in the site’s history with their post about microtransactions in their new Star Wars Battlefront 2 video game. The backlash was so severe that they have removed micro-transactions completely in the end. Therefore, make sure that your community is behind you or you’ll find yourself with no one to sell your products to.

2. Provide only the best quality products or services possible

Let your product speak for itself. If you offer the best burgers in town, for a reasonable price, it’ll do the marketing for you. Word of mouth marketing is essential for new businesses as this will be the thing that establishes your credibility with your initial customers. Moreover, if you develop a bad reputation at the very start it’ll be increasingly difficult for you to find and retain new customers. Don’t go down that road and offer only the best quality services that you can.

3. Be honest with your customers

There’s nothing worse than blatantly lying to your clients. Eventually, the truth will come out and your credibility will take a huge hit from which it may not recover. If the jackets you’re selling aren’t made of real leather, then say so. If you do, your business will become known for dishonesty and that’s not something that just goes away. In the business world, honesty goes a long way and it’ll do wonders for your credibility with both partners and clients alike.

4. Be reliable

You’re the new kid on the block, you need to prove yourself first. Don’t make the mistake of being all talk and no action. Establish your credibility by consistently being reliable. Let business partners know that they can always count on you to uphold your end of the bargain. For example, reassure them by offering a performance bond to your clients as insurance that you’ll get the job done. In other words, make them an offer they cannot refuse.

5. Get client testimonials

If you’ve been doing business for some time now, you’ve probably come across partners and other business associates on your entrepreneur journey. Chances are they liked working with you and are more than willing to vouch for your good name. Use this to your advantage and put the testimonials of these clients on your website. Just make sure that they don’t have a bad reputation, otherwise, you’ll do more harm than good to your brand.

6. Announce reached milestones

People absolutely love to see progress. Get the hype train going and post about the progress your business has made on the internet. Has your business received a large outside investment? Announce it on your website. One hundredth customer milestone reached? Post it on Facebook and Twitter. Moving to a new office, and so on and so forth. Whatever it takes to keep the momentum going, just remember to stay positive.

7. Stay active on social media

Finally, get noticed on social media to gain some credibility there as well. Now, this kind of credibility is a bit different but it’s important nonetheless. Social media platforms are a good way to interact with your customers, the main thing is to stay consistent with your tone, so people can get to know you in a sense. For example, look at Wendy’s fast food chain. Their snarky tweets and rough comebacks made their Twitter profile go viral overnight. Now they use this roasting strategy as their social media trademark, it’s what defines them as Wendy’s and sets them apart from McDonald’s and Burger King.

In conclusion, establishing good credibility in the early stages is crucial if you plan on really kickstarting your business later on. Hence, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by offering poor customer service and bad quality products or you’ll just lose the same. Be ahead of your competitors and lead by example.

Development

What Are The Top 5 Software Development Trends For 2018?

Software Development is currently considered the world’s best job. This is because we all use some sort of software in our everyday lives ranging from Wall Street to your living room and oil rigs to video games. Considering these things, 2018 will prove to be an important and exciting for developers and software.

Without additional upheaval, we are presenting 5 software development trends that will govern 2018.

1.  Demand for Blockchain Developers Will Dramatically Upsurge

The blockchain is a constantly expanding list of records, known as blocks; they are secured and connected using cryptography. This technology has dignified to revolutionize almost every industry.

In 2018 it is expected that companies in all industries are going to create apps on blockchain platforms. This indicates that demand for blockchain will dramatically upsurge. According to the various analysis conducted in 2016, the number of blockchain developers worldwide was 5000 only. With the conviction that quantity increased in 2017, nevertheless, it still diminishes in contrast to more than 18 million Java developers. 2018 will prove to be a gold rush for developers who commit themselves to the blockchain, and the majority of them will come away a whole lot richer.

2.  IoT Gets Pushed To The Edge

Wearables like Apple and Fitbit get the majority of the public attention; however, they are just a niche in the enormous IoT ecosystem. Almost all the things are transforming into the data-gathering device; from living rooms to sea oil rigs and from roads to cars. These devices collect the huge quantity of data, and IT companies are researching about the quicker and cheaper techniques of processing it all. This is where edge computing is expected to play its role in this year.

Edge computing utilizes a set of microdata centers to practice data close to the device, or at the “edge” of the system. Giving out on the edge saves money and time from transferring all of the data to a consolidated data center. This means IoT devices will be able to implement quicker actual-time data analytics, despite being in a place that has poor connectivity. This a big blessing for end users.

3.  Cyber Security Reaches A Modulation Point

There are two categories of cybersecurity initiatives: internal and external. Under internal cybersecurity initiative, businesses concentrate on creating security within their software. DevOps teams must concentrate on systematizing security testing into their software development lifespan. This will assist to make sure that susceptibilities are not familiarized during development.

Under external cybersecurity initiative, venture capitalists are overflowing cybersecurity startups with capital, to $3.4 Billion in 2016. As per Cruchbase Unicorn Leaderboard, there were five cybersecurity startups of worth exceeding one billion dollars in 2016. In 2018, we are expected to see more.

4.  Artificial Intelligence Becomes The Basic Need

Forrester forecasts that AI will haze the limitations between unstructured and structured data, and 50% of CDO’s will begin to report straight to the CEO. As a consequence, more than 13% of data relevant jobs on Indeed.com are of data engineers, in comparison with one percent of data scientists. This replicates the requirement for action-oriented, practical data professionals that can unswervingly influence the bottom line.

5.  Virtual Reality Perhaps Go Mainstream

2017 was a complete year of commercially-available, high-end VR headsets. Facebook’s HTC Vive and Oculus Rift commanded the technique in full-power VR systems (as opposition to smartphone-powered systems like the Galaxy Gear VR), but acceptance has been dawdling. Forecasters predict less than one million units to be sold between the two.

However, both of these systems are expected to make big moves in a market in 2018. HTC and Facebook have both decreased the prices significantly on their top headsets. HTC proclaimed a separate headset just weeks after Facebook exposed the Oculus Go. Both of these “lite” headsets will begin at a lower price point to appeal new users (the Oculus Go will begin at $199).

Conclusion

After viewing the discussion above, it can be said that all the software development companies must keep an eye in these trends. So, that they could incorporate them into their business practices while developing a software.

Author Bio:

Ray Parker is an entrepreneur and internet marketer with over 15 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, Creative Writing and Digital Marketing with IQVIS. He has worked with several clients from all over the globe to offer his services in various domains with a proven track record of success.

Insights

Important Steps You Need to Take In Order Keep Your Website Protected

Every online business has to invest in some form of defense against cyber-attacks. Luckily, setting up proper online security has never been easier, thanks to the wealth of resources available online on the topic. The best approach in this matter is to establish multiple layers of defense so that there are fail-safes in place in case something goes wrong. In the rest of this article, we will bring you up to speed with a number of established methods for improving website security, which you can then combine to create a truly impregnable defense system.

Keep Your CMS Up-To-Date

Modern e-commerce websites rely on content delivery and management systems (CMS for short) such as Magento, Drupal or WordPress to conduct their business. These frameworks are popular for a reason – they make the tasks of website creation and maintenance much more convenient. If your company is using one of these software suites, make sure you are always running the latest stable version. Older versions of software often have security holes which hackers can exploit to compromise your website. If you can’t be bothered to constantly check whether your website is running the latest version of CMS, be sure to turn on automatic updates.

Create Strong Passwords

Every computer user should know by know that creating strong passwords is the bare minimum when it comes to protecting yourself online. A good password should include letters and numbers in different cases, combined with other punctuation marks. Avoid familiar dates, names and common words at all costs as well. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, try using password management software. They are a much more effective way of keeping track of passwords, and some even offer the option of creating random ones for one time use.

Outsource Security

Setting up adequate security for a website can take its toll on company resources, especially for smaller business. It can be a resource-intensive, time-consuming process, which is why some companies opt to seek third-party assistance. IT security experts from firms like the Picnet IT Company can offer a wide-range of services at various budget levels. This is especially advisable for companies which lack full-time IT department, as worrying about security measures often falls on the back of webmasters who are already buried with work as it is.

Monitor For File Changes

A common tell that a site has been hijacked are sudden file changes. These are often hard to notice for larger websites with lots of moving parts, which is you should set up a monitoring system to track these changes for you. That way, you will be able to tell who and when is making the changes to which files. A good rule of thumb is that if your developer is changing something, it is probably safe, and everything else should be viewed with suspicion.

Be On The Lookout For Malware

Malicious software has been around since the early days of the internet. These programs can cause all sorts of harm, including creating backdoors for further attacks, loading up malicious code, spying, stealing credit card information and personal data, and more. Malware is one of the most common means of attacking a website. To find out whether your site is being compromised, it is necessary to do a thorough scan of every file and folder on the server. There are plenty of software suites on the market which can detect and remove suspicious-looking code. Be sure to check for malware at least on a weekly basis, if not daily.

Carefully Observe User Behavior

Most websites today allow visitors to create user accounts to access particular features. It is therefore important to assign appropriate permissions to each user. Managing permissions is essential in order to prevent attacks from compromised accounts. Always be on the lookout for suspicious user behavior, such as excessive access requests, downloads, changes in account information, etc. When a user keeps accessing your websites from different IPs constantly, this can also be a sign of an attack. It goes without saying that you should promptly ban users as soon as they start displaying malicious behavior.

Protect Transaction Data

E-commerce business usually takes the steps to at least handle transaction data in a secure manner, usually through the use of third-party payment service providers such as PayPal. However, since getting a hold of payment data is such a lucrative prospect, websites are constantly being attacked in order to obtain it. Malware is the usual culprit during these attacks, so usual anti-malware measures apply. Additional, adding a layer of encryption on files that contain transaction data ensures that even if security is breached, hackers will end up with data which they can’t immediately use, giving you the time to take necessary measures to address the situation.

Set Up A Firewall

The most common ways to hack a website are SQL injections, application vulnerability exploits, and malicious code. Setting up a firewall is the first line of defense against these sorts of attacks. Firewalls come in two types, hardware-based ones, and software solutions. The modern operating system almost always include firewall software, so make sure it is turned on. Hardware solutions come in the form of routers and modems, which can block data coming from suspicious IP addresses on the web. The best practice is to combine the two for maximum safety.

Test For Vulnerabilities

The internet is always undergoing some form of change. New software gets released, different standards get adopted, and user behavior is constantly evolving, and hackers are coming up with new methods of attack. New threats are being found out daily, and one way to stay ahead of the curve is to constantly test your defenses of possible vulnerabilities. There are two basic ways to test your website for pathways of incursion. The first is to send particular queries to your website to see how it handles unusual requests. If it starts behaving in ways it shouldn’t, you can make the appropriate adjustments. The second way is more thorough penetration testing, which works by emulating an actual attack, and seeing if your defenses can hold.

Conclusion

While no amount of security will guarantee that your website will not fall under attack, adopting some of the practices which we have outlined above will go a long way in giving your site a fighting chance against common threats. Try to remain vigilant at all times, and respond quickly as soon as you become aware that your site is being hacked.

Products

How to Choose a Dash Cam for Your Car

Have you ever seen unbelievable footage online that someone just happened to catch on their drive to the office? Although these entertaining videos can offer some respite from a boring workday, that’s not why people are buying dash cams and recording their commute. Dash cams offer an unbiased account of what happens on the road, meaning they could work to your advantage if you need to support your side of the story after a collision, identify another car in a hit-and-run, or catch the person who vandalized your parked car.

Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular, with one survey reporting that nine percent of people already use a dash cam, and 26 percent think it’s a good idea to have one. And Grand View Research firm projects that the market for dash cams will be valued at $1.8 billion (U.S.) by 2022. If you’re looking to get in on the trend and buy a dash cam for your vehicle, you’ll want to take these factors into consideration when picking the perfect camera for your car.

Video Quality

If you’re relying on any footage you capture to provide evidence in an accident (such as the license plate of a car that hit you and took off), you’ll want to opt for a camera with a higher video resolution. Many dash cams will offer a resolution of 1080p, which should provide sharp enough footage for your needs. When considering video quality, don’t forget that a camera with night vision is also a must-have if you’re driving in the dark, or else you won’t have a clear video if an incident happens when the sun is down.

Storage

How much your camera stores will depend on a few things, like the size of its memory card and the video resolution (the higher the resolution, the more storage you’ll need). Check out whether the camera supports larger memory cards – many will be able to handle a 64GB card.

If you’re worried that you won’t have enough storage for your long drives even with a large memory card, you’ll want to make sure your camera offers loop recording. This function allows your camera to automatically record over old footage when it runs out of storage; just remember, you’ll need to download and save any vital footage from a collision before it’s erased. You can also invest in a camera with an impact sensor, meaning it immediately saves footage if you’ve been in a collision.

Fields of View

A dash cam records the view of your drive through your car’s windshield, so it won’t help if you’re hit from behind. To cover yourself from all angles, you can find a package that comes with both a dash cam and a rear view mirror cam. Because you’ll be recording twice the footage, you may have to settle for a slightly lower resolution.

You can also find cameras that record while your vehicle is parked. A camera with buffered parking mode, for example, continuously records while your vehicle is parked, but only saves the footage if an impact is detected.

Other Features

An automatic on/off function will start and stop recording when you turn your engine on and off. Since your dash cam is only good to you if it’s capturing vital footage, this feature ensures you never forget to record your drive.

Some dash cams also come with GPS. While this won’t provide you with navigation support, it will log the speed and location of your car, which could be handy for arguing against an unjust speeding ticket or keeping tabs on your teen driver.

In addition, you’ll want to decide whether or not to purchase a dash cam with a screen, which would allow you to review footage immediately, rather than downloading it to your computer for viewing. The downside? The screen takes up extra room, obstructing more of your view from the windshield and potentially acting as a distraction.

Finally, take a look at how your camera will be mounted to your vehicle. If you’re switching it between cars, you’ll want something that’s easy to regularly install and remove – likely with suction cups. If you’re keeping it in one vehicle, a more secure mounting option might take a little longer to install, but will ensure it stays put regardless of extreme temperatures or an impact.

Although car insurance providers don’t currently offer a discount for installing a camera on your car, a video recording from your dash cam could be used to support your claim in the event of an accident. At the very least, you might just record a viral video that will provide a moment of fun for office workers around the world!

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