All posts by Miley Dowling

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How to Build Your Own A-Team

So you’ve got your hardware all sorted out, and the Xerox c75 shipping notification just made your cell phone vibrate. Now it’s time to assemble a dynamite team. When you’re trying to do so, you could do worse than look to the popular 1980s television show called The A-Team. While you will want to give focus to diversity in your actual hiring practices, let’s take a look at what each member of the NBC show brought to the table.

The Leader

Lieutenant Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard, was the leader of the team. Chances are, this is your character, too. You’re the leader of a startup team hoping to take over the world–or at least save it. As you well know, a startup company is different from an established one, and the rules of play are different. Hannibal knew this; he was in your shoes. The A-Team operated outside the box, and Hannibal’s strategies were unconventional. So you, too, might benefit from thinking outside the box. Leadership is crucial, especially when managing a group willing to take on an enormous challenge.

The Smooth-Talking Second

Next up is Lieutenant Templeton Peck. He was characterized in the TV show as a smooth-talking con man, and as a result, he was the one sent out to gather supplies for the missions. How does this translate to your team? Your second-in-command should have a gift for talking to people; perhaps a background in sales or management should be a priority. They should be able to give presentations, resolve conflicts, convince investors to stay, and convince customers to come aboard. This may sound like a tall order, but it is. 

The Pilot

Thirdly, the pilot. In the A-Team, this was Captain “Howling Mad” Murdock. This is someone who was written off by the establishment. In the case of the TV show, Murdock had been declared unfit for duty and clinically insane. Hannibal, the team’s leader, saw something in Murdock, though. One of the things to remember is that there are gifted and talented individuals out there, but sometimes they don’t do so well in a traditional corporate environment. These employees thrive in a startup but may bounce after your IPO. They start to flounder once there are regular policy emails and the beer kegerator gets taken away. But they’re willing to take risks–all the while taking the safety of their team members seriously. The person you’re looking for wants the team to succeed. They won’t take the kinds of risks that put you out of business, but they’ll work harder and longer than anyone else to see that you make it. It’s not the ego that drives someone like “Howling Mad” Murdock. It’s something else. It’s the need to do something extraordinary with their lives, to seek adventure, to overcome adversity. Eventually, you’ll want to promote your Murdock, but your Murdock won’t want the promotion. They’re a doer, not a leader.

The Strong People

Last but not least: the rest of the team. Probably the first person you think of when you think of the A-Team is Sergeant First Class Bosco, a.k.a. “Bad Attitude.” This guy was played by Mr. T. Now you ask: Who is the equivalent of Mr. T in your modern workforce? These are the rest of your team members, and they’re important. We’re not suggesting you find a bunch of people who are looking to create anarchy in your office. Instead, they’re bad to the bone. They work hard–harder than they have to work. They like to be part of the David vs. Goliath struggles and they’re not afraid of Goliath. They’re fearless. and you want them on your team.

Assemble a dynamite team and your startup will have a fighting chance.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechProductsSEO

Digital Products and Services That Drive Marketing

Technology has transformed almost every aspect of our lives including marketing. For example, before the advent of the internet, most companies relied solely on print and electronic media to market their products and services.

However, the introduction of the internet has opened a myriad of opportunities – that have taken marketing and advertising to another level.

A good example is social media. It is hard to find a business or company today that doesn’t use social media to market products and services.

Below are some of the digital products and services that are driving the market:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is one of the popular digital services used by companies and individuals to drive marketing. It is considered one of the most effective marketing strategies today.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is a technique used to optimize the content of a website so that it can easily be found on popular search engines. The objective is to create keywords that are commonly frequently searched by internet users and drive them to your website.

The effectiveness of SEO depends on who is implementing it. Most marketing companies hire professionals to optimize their business websites.

2. Digital Product Development Agencies

This is another digital service that is driving the marketing industry. There are many digital product development agencies whose focus is to market products and services for other companies. They are responsible for identifying what marketing strategy suits your need and implementing them.

A digital product development agency can analyze your business and recommend an appropriate marketing strategy. If you implement a marketing strategy and you can’t see the results a few months down the line, then it means you are missing something. You need a professional to analyze and recommend something that will work for you.

3. Email marketing

Email marketing strategy is as old as the internet. It is another digital service that is being employed by many companies to market products and services. It is also considered one of the most online marketing strategies after SEO.

How does email marketing work? Email marketing focuses on maintaining existing clients or customers and attracting new ones. It is a perfect strategy for those who want to build brand awareness as well as encourage repeat clients.

4. Social media marketing (SMM)

Social media has proved to be a powerful marketing strategy in the modern-day. Most companies have taken into social media to market their products and services. This is because social media platforms have the power to reach a large audience within a short time.

As a result, most companies have opted to hire professional marketers to run their social media pages. This has led to an increase in competition in different sectors.

5. Pay-per-click (PPC)

PPC is also another major service that is driving the marketing and advertising industry. Pay-per-click service works very simply – a client bids for words that they want their ads to show up for. That means when a user clicks on one of the keywords, their ad is automatically triggered.

The good thing about PPC is that you don’t pay for space to advertise, but rather for the results you get.

In general, there are several digital products and services that drive marketing. All you need to do is identify a strategy that works for your business.

DevelopmentMartechProductsSaaSSEO

The Tech Your Employees Need for Peak Performance

Technology has helped to simplify tasks and improve performance. However, the market is filled with all kinds of equipment and software claiming to be the best at managing employees. The availability of numerous options can make it difficult to choose. That’s why we’ve prepared this list of the best tech for your employees.

1. Virtual Reality

Your employees need to undergo training at least once every year. The training familiarizes them with the latest issues in their work environment and teaches them how to cope with such scenarios. Traditionally, employees had to handle real-life scenarios as part of the training. Some of those situations were risky for the employees. Instead of hiring someone to train your employees, use virtual reality for learning purposes. This technology introduces the employee to a virtual environment without putting them in harm’s way. It also offers a variety of scenarios for better problem-solving.

2. Multiple Monitors

Have you ever tried to use multiple programs on a single computer at the same time? It’s a lot of work. That’s why you should consider installing multiple screens in the workstation. You can use an adjustable monitor arm or mount for the extra screen. That way, your employees don’t have to keep switching between different windows. With two screens, the worker can use two programs simultaneously and be more productive.

3. Wireless Laser Printers and Copiers

Your staff has to print documents for record-keeping purposes. The workers also have to print documents for meetings and customers. If you want your employees to be more productive, invest in high-speed wireless laser printers. That way, they can print bulk documents within a short time. Wireless printers will also keep the work environment free from wires, which can be a hazard – somebody can trip on those wires and hurt themselves badly. Also, anyone can connect to the wireless printer from their computer. As a result, printing becomes more efficient.

4. Cloud Service

Today’s workers want flexibility. Your workers don’t have to come to the office every weekday. You can give them some days off to work from home. That change in environment helps the worker become more creative and focused. Invest in cloud services so that employees can share and access files through the platform. It will make remote work easier and safer.

5. Virtual Assistant Software

How many times during the day does an employee respond to a customer query? How many times does the employee give the same response over and over again? If your answer to these questions is multiple times, that employee is wasting time. You should invest in a virtual assistant software to get rid of repetitive tasks in the workplace. It will allow employees to make better use of their time.

6. Network Security

You should also invest in better network security so that employees can use their devices without putting the business at risk. According to experts, bring your own device or BYOD policies improve productivity. Employees feel more at ease when using their devices at work. It motivates them to be more productive. You can only allow employees to use their laptops if the system has been secured. Since you have no control over what the employee keeps on their computer, you have to protect the office network from malware and dangerous programs.

To conclude, most of the tech on this list is easy to use. That means you won’t have to waste time training employees. Make sure you tell the employees about the new equipment so they can be prepared.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechProducts

Phone Apps for Fitness

Over the past few years, fitness apps have become popular, especially among the younger generation. One of the biggest reasons for the surge is the convenience they provide. Using an app, a person can work out at any time, from anywhere. 

The Demand for Apps

Apps are a part of nearly every adult’s life. People use them for things like finding food, entertainment, retail supplies, and for social media. The new technology lets you access almost anything with a push of a button. 

Apps for Exercising

Maintaining physical fitness is important. Until recently, you needed to go to a gym or fitness center in order to attend classes. Nowadays, all you need to do is select an app and your workout begins. Smart TVs and iPhones make it easier than ever to have a virtual instructor directly in front of you, allowing you to mimic the movements and keep in time. You can find Pilates and yoga classes, floor exercise sessions, and dance routines and apps for performing on workout bikes and cross-trainers. Of course, you will need to have the equipment as necessary on hand to take part. 

Apps to Track Weight Loss

A big part of achieving your fitness goals is maintaining a healthy weight. Thankfully, along with workout apps, there are apps that allow you to monitor your calorie intake daily versus the number of calories required to sustain your desired weight. This lets you slowly reduce your intake of calories while also developing better eating habits and smaller portions. Nutrition apps can help you remain motivated to achieve goals. 

Fitness tracking Apps

Ever wonder if you are working out too often or not enough? Today, you can remove the guesswork with an app that tracks fitness. Some of the features on these apps include a count of steps, the number of stairs you climb, and how long you run. Many of them also have the ability to save daily results as well as your routines for convenient monitoring of your progress. Devices that you wear often work in conjunction with the apps. One such app, the Runkeeper, lets users track activities, monitor progress, and offer training tips prior to an event. 

Benefits of Fitness Apps

Not everyone has time to attend the local gym two to three times each week. With fitness apps, you can get in an extreme workout while at home or on vacation. Fitness apps will help you burn more calories, target areas of the body that need improvement, build lean muscles, and achieve a fit physique. Nutrition apps help you learn the right foods to eat, the number of calories you consume, and the recommended number of calories you need to consume to sustain your desired weight. 

Getting the Most Out of Your Fitness App

Of course, if you don’t use the app, you won’t reap its benefits. Just like having a gym membership, you have to go and workout in order to lose weight and tone your body. The good news is that they are convenient, so accessing it when you have free time is easy. The key to your success is to remain motivated. It’s also beneficial to switch up workouts. For instance, one day do aerobics and the next session does cardio dance. This way your workouts will remain invigorating instead of stale, keeping you interested, and performing at your best. 

Maintaining a healthy body is something that’s easier than ever to achieve. There are hundreds of fitness apps available. Select a few that provide the features you want, and then see which ones work best for you.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaS

8 Reasons Social Media Can Help a Small Business Grow Better and Faster

Are you still not convinced of the power of social media? What benefits does it bring to your small business?

Social media has approximately 2 billion users worldwide, and chances are, most of your target users are already there. That’s what makes it a crucial part of the marketing strategy of your brand.

So, while your business should be on social media, sometimes, this is easier said than done.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the eight reasons how social media can help you grow business.

1. Social media is the most cost-effective way

Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to put your brand out there. Signing up and creating a business account on major social media platforms is easy. Now, if you decide to tap into paid marketing, you can start small, to get a better idea of what to expect.

Being cost-effective with your business is important, as it helps you have a greater ROI (return on investment) and make you have a bigger budget for your other marketing initiatives.

By investing a little money and time in it, you can increase your conversions and eventually get the return of investment on the money that you’ve invested.

2. It helps in promoting your business

When using advanced options like targeting and remarketing, it easier to address your message to your audience that is interested in your products and services.

In social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, paid advertising here is relatively cheap, and with a solid social media strategy, all your efforts will eventually pay off.

3. It helps in driving website traffic

A strong social media presence is vital in attracting traffic to your site. Not only this helps drive traffic to your page but it enhances your search engine rankings as well. That’s how important social media for small businesses.

As you’re probably aware by now, SEO is an enduring process that lets you stay on top of Google’s search results.

The total number of visits, keywords you’ve chosen, external links, and your website content has a significant impact on how you’ll measure up against your competitors on search engines.

Social media helps you improve these factors, not only with the direct traffic that you’re getting but with shared links as well through the social media profiles of other users.

4. It helps generate more conversion

With increases visibility on social media, this will provide your business more opportunities for conversion.

Every video, image, blog post, or comment will lead more viewers to your site and boost your traffic. Social media helps your business create a more positive impression because it humanizes your brand.

When you share content, comment, or post updates on social media it helps personify your brand. The thing is, a lot of people would want to do business with other people, and not just companies or organizations.

So, taking the time to develop relationships on social media helps bring positive results on your conversion, and overall sales. The better impression you’re creating for visitors, the more they’ll think of your business when the need for a particular product or service arises.

5. Social media induces loyalty

According to a report, brands that regularly engage with their audience on social media has increased brand loyalty.

When your brand is visible and active on social media sites, you tend to be more approachable and credible in the eyes of your customers.

So, if you can build on creating more personal and genuine relationships with your customers, customers are likely to switch to other brands or with your competitors.

 Showing them that you’re human will make you feel more approachable and friendly, rather than just another business that sells goods, and is easily replaceable. It’s because it’s easier to switch to another brand or company, but it’s hard to dump something that is already close to you.

6. It helps improve your sales

A good and solid social media strategy requires a lot of investment. Your return on investment (ROI) needs to be considered. An excellent social media strategy can have a positive impact on your sales, as it helps boost your brand exposure, allows more people to talk about your brand or service, and exposes your business to a much wider audience.

The end goal here, of course, is to convert users into a paying customer and boost your sales. When you interact with your customers, you can form a certain degree of trust in them, and which could translate to more sales in the future.

7. It boosts your business’s search engine visibility

Now, let’s talk more about SEO. Search engine optimization, or SEO, helps boost your brand’s visibility organically. More often than not, SEO plays a key role in your current marketing plan. After all, the majority of search traffic falls on the first page of search engines.

So, if you’re not on the first page, the majority of your buyers wouldn’t come across your page. What they’ll find- is your competitors instead.

Now, that’s where social media comes in. It isn’t just your presence on social media that would help you rank better on search engines. The better the content you share on these platforms, the more linking relationships are created as users share and engage with your posts.

That could be a huge boost in your business on organic search results. That’s precisely why you couldn’t afford to forget all about social media, for SEO purposes.

8. It helps you track your competition

Social media allows you to keep your finger on the pulse, not just for the sake of marketing practices, but also with the strategies used by your competitors.

You can always learn a lot from your competition. What their strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can apply it to your own strategy and improve on it.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of how social media could help your small business. Test the types of content and strategies that work on you, learn from it, and constantly make improvements. 

DevelopmentInsightsStartups

Optimizing Your Small Business Office

Implementing minor changes in the office can boost your output levels. Focus on the office environment and its effect on your workers. What can you do to make them comfortable and more productive?

Just use the following techniques:

1. Technology Upgrades

Why should your employees continue to use old outdated computers when there are better versions in the market? You might think that you’re minimizing costs by using older equipment, but you’re actually losing a lot of money due to inefficiencies. Today’s typical worker bee workload requires computers with high processing power. With this in mind, it’s imperative for small business owners to use new technology to their advantage. Doing so boosts productivity, improves employee performance, and minimizes the hassles associated with using outdated tech.

2. Change the Décor

The office can inspire or demotivate your workers. If there are things everywhere, it will just seem too crowded and unnerving. While it’s best to hire someone with knowledge and experience in workplace interior decoration, there are several things small business owners can do themselves. Remove clutter from the office space. Put all files in the organizer. Add plants to the workplace to purify the air and bring nature inside. Plants can also motivate your employees because they have a calming effect. As a result, your workers will be more relaxed and productive. You should also move the desks closer to the windows since looking outside and being exposed to natural light can reduce stress.

3. Provide Healthy Snacks

A healthy and nutritious breakfast in the morning can leave you satisfied for the rest of the day. Have an assortment of fresh fruit and other healthy foods ready in the morning and for meetings. That way, workers get a healthy start to their day and a mental boost during otherwise difficult to follow meetings. Your workers get up early in the morning to get to the office and serve customers. Some of them don’t have time for breakfast. The least you can do is provide them with healthy snacks that will give them the energy to serve your customers well.

4. Marketing Analysis

Your business cannot make money if you don’t market yourself. You don’t have to spend big. You can use paid advertising and word of mouth. Interestingly, not all of your marketing efforts will be successful. There are some that will lead to more sales than others. But how do you know them? It’s simple. Use the analysis tools provided by the search engine. Find out how customers find your business. Is it through social media or organic search? How can you improve the website layout to increase inquiries and sales? Which SEO optimization tools should you be focusing on?

5. Better Financial Management Techniques

Don’t assume that you can keep track of all the business finances because you’re a startup. Hire a professional bookkeeper from the beginning. If they’re too expensive, hire a freelancer because they are more affordable. When you keep proper records, you avoid cash flow problems. You should also keep up with the latest news in financial management because you could learn something new that could help your business.

Since your employees are still working from home, you can use this time to reorganize the office and implement the suggestions mentioned above. For example, if you take a better look at your finances, you’ll find the loopholes that make you lose money. You can optimize your business and increase your earnings by avoiding risky and wasteful financial behaviors.

DevelopmentInsightsMartech

How to Create ROI in PR and Marketing in 2020

For the layman, ROI (Return on investment) is a way to measure and evaluate the efficiency of an investment. However, it is not used to measure any form on investment on a small scale, it is looking at an investment’s and company’s long-term gains. It can be difficult to calculate ROI on that scale, so this guide will show the best ways to measure it and how to use it in your digital PR strategy.

What is ROI in PR?

It is important to understand that ROI is generally split into two categories; monetary gains like sales revenue increases and earned media gains that increase a startup’s reputation and credibility. Businesses are quite familiar with a company’s monetary gains because it has existed before social media and technology. However, nowadays it is important not to neglect earned media gains if you want your startup to be successful. If you want to achieve an accurate ROI for your PR strategy, it is important to understand both.

ROI for PR today

What is a press release and what’s its purpose?

In order to understand press releases, you can take a look at the Media Coverage press kit to get a detailed understanding and step-by-step guide to write a press release. Basically, the goal of a press release is to gain media coverage by sending it to media outlets. It is one of the main components to a well-balanced PR and media strategy. Take a more detailed look by looking at “How to pitch to journalists”. 

ROI’s can be a bit difficult to measure and while impressions and media mentions can provide a sense of efficiency in a PR campaign. However, they can be meaningless if you can’t contextualize the numbers around well-defined strategy goals. 

It is important to understand that you need to constantly be checking your metrics because things are constantly changing whether in a negative or positive way. Just judging and analyzing your initial PR gains can be a big mistake if you are only considering site sessions or publication appearances. Metrics could lead you to believe that the PR campaign is going better or worse than it actually is. 

If your site creates content designed to build social proof, looking at the metrics and amount of content impressions would be pointless because there would be another way to measure its industry credibility by lead conversion rates. 

In order to correctly use metric, you would need to give the data obtained a framework that describes your PR strategies’ purpose. Here are some that you may use to measure the ROI of your PR campaigns

  • Page Impressions – Every time a page on your site appears on a Google ad or SERP. 
  • Page Views – Every time a page on your site is clicked on a Google ad or SERP.
  • Page Click Through Rate – The ratio of page impressions to page views
  • Social Media Likes/Shares – The amount of interactions visitors have with one of your social media posts.
  • Bounce Rate – The ratio of single-page sessions on your site to multiple page sessions.
  • Average Page View Duration – The average time visitors spent on a particular page.
  • Goal Conversions – The number of measurable goals completed, such as scheduled calls.

USE S.M.A.R.T GOALS!

How to measure PR ROI

At the moment, there are two strategies to measure ROI in PR

Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles

The Barcelona Declaration of Measurement Principles has shown the importance of measurable goals and places emphasis on achievements and it does it without letting go of the less attainable metrics because there are many components of success. 

It also takes into account new technology such as social media and understands its role in ROI PR and it deserves the same attention as any type of monetary ROI for PR strategy. 

However, what the principles lack is that they do not make perfect and concrete steps towards a framework for ROI calculations

In spite of their clear support for quantifying returns on PR in a meaningful way, the principles don’t enable startups with a mathematical formula to draw objective conclusions from their PR efforts.

Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE)

A more simple way to measuring all ROI activity, it multiplies the amount of ad space or “seconds” mentioned on a broadcast network by a medium’s advertising rate. 

The only problem is that it can be considered to be an outdated system of measuring ROI 

How are we measuring PR ROI?

Here are some of the factors that people use to measure ROI in their PR campaigns, You can also get a detail look at this at “The Ultimate Guide to Paid, Earned, and Owned Media” where I discuss the important types of media and how using the combined PESO model to create a successful PR campaign. 

Social Media Posts

Social media PR is key when it comes to creating a buzz around your startup.

In addition to being key to any PR campaign, social media platforms give startups: 

  • Increased organic visibility
  • Improved traffic to the website
  • Heightened brand awareness
  • Faster and easier communication

For a more detailed look at how social media can be a great help, make sure to check out “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media PR” where I discuss how important it is and how to measure it through earned media. 

How do we measure social media posts’ ROI?

If you’re posting to encourage people to sign up to a newsletter or webinar, then consider the following metrics your key indicators of success:

  • Signup conversions
  • Impression of signup conversion rate

If your posts are more focused around increasing your site’s reach and increasing your brand awareness: 

  • Impressions 
  • Click-through rate 
  • Estimated Reach
  • Social Media Mentions

How to track PR ROI long term?

There are individual measures of ROI in your PR strategy, but how does it work in the long run? 

There are three fields that can indicate real ROI in a PR campaign:

Brand awareness and loyalty

A continuous look at metrics like traffic and social media shares can show long-term increases and improvements in new business opportunities. It also shows the possibility of securing additional business.

It can also see the sales activities like blog posts, guest articles, social media interactions, and other forms of media outreach through the process of site engagement, becoming leads, and converting. 

Industry credibility

You need to be seen as somewhat of an industry expert so that consumers of your startup believe that you are reliable and trustworthy. Trying winning earned media because it will build social proof and attract new business. 

Increasingly positive reputation

Increasing your positive reputation relies on good customer experience and how that’s transmitted to the world. Getting good feedback from existing customers, for example.

You might make some short-term gains in traffic and bringing in leads, but this doesn’t necessarily convert into long-term startup prosperity. 

In terms of PR ROI, we look at the social media shares/likes on positive customer experience stories and audience engagement in press release announcements regarding customer milestones.

Conclusion

It is important to see the ROI of your startup frequently so that you know where your company stands.  Whether you are using the 2 strategies listed above or using social media and earned media, monitoring your business not only shows that you know what you are doing, but that you are interested to see what the future holds for your business. 

We at Pressfarm pride ourselves in having the ability to create an effective PR strategy and provide people with additional knowledge of the world of PR. If you are interested in having one of our PR professionals create something that can get you business visibility, check out our pricing and packages to take the headache out of something great.

Development

What Are VoIP Softphones and Web Phones?

This guest post was provided by VirtualPBX, a developer of business phone plans for small businesses to enterprises.

Two primary versions of software-based phones exist in the world of VoIP telephony: softphones and web phones.

Today’s blog will discuss the difference between those two types. You can learn about their benefits and disadvantages to make an informed choice for the next type of software-based phone you’d like to use in hosted business phone plans.

Softphones

Softphones are computer programs built to run on specific devices. They allow you to make and receive calls from any device they have been programmed to run on, including a laptop or smartphone.

Because they’re created to run on specific devices and operating systems, they gain native performance and have easy access to the features provided by a device. This makes them fast and, for example, capable of using a device’s hardware keys (such as a computer’s number keypad) or software features (a smartphone’s touch keyboard) to better control the phone.

Softphones can easily go by another name – an app – to make them more recognizable to newcomers. A softphone app for an Android phone is similar to what’s expected from other apps. It can be found in the Google Play store and downloaded to immediately work on the user’s phone. Packages for any device and any type of operating system can be downloaded by customers to work with their chosen hosted business phone plans.

This convenience of simple setup, however, also shows the greatest drawback of softphones. Every different type of device must have a softphone built for it. Even though VirtualPBX offers its Android softphone to customers, it must also offer an alternate version for iOS users in order to address that audience.

Similarly, separate versions must be created for all the devices and platforms the VoIP provider wants to address. To capture the majority of the user base, typically five versions of softphones are created: one each for Android and iOS smartphones and one each for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

Keeping pace with changes in device specifications and operating system versions can be intensive. It requires a lot of work on the part of the VoIP provider. Still, the rewards for creating a smartphone can be great for the end user because softphones often run smoothly and require little setup.

Pros:

  • Often available for smartphones and computers
  • Integrates with native device features like Siri commands
  • Syncs with the device’s contact list for easy access to identified contacts
  • More in-depth settings control allow you to fine-tune your experience

Cons:

  • Intensive for VoIP provider to develop and update, so support for a specific operating system of device may be missing
  • Like all apps, softphones take up storage space on a device 
  • Desktop versions typically incur a license fee

Web Phones

One growing alternative to the softphone is the web phone, which runs inside of a web browser. Typically, web phones take advantage of the WebRTC project that simplifies communication between two users of browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

Hosted business phone plan developers see a shift in responsibility from creating softphones to creating web phones. With softphones, developers shouldered the tasks of creating a specific software-based phone for every device and operating system they wanted to support. As was discussed in this article’s previous section, this process could be time and labor intensive.

With web phones, much of that burden is lifted because standardized practices and protocols allow developers to need to build only one web phone. The creators of web browsers build their products to work on most available operating systems. This allows any Firefox users, for example, to find a copy of that same browser that runs on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, or Linux devices.

Moreover, web browser creators also build in capability for WebRTC support and, of course, to support HTML standards so websites can be accessed.

What this leaves for VoIP developers to do is build a single website that uses WebRTC to connect to their phone system. Developers at VirtualPBX can focus on creating a single entry point where anyone with access to a capable web browser can make calls.

All you need as a user is a browser and a set of login credentials.

Pros:

  • Web phones run on almost any device
  • Expansion of web capability gives web phones access to hardware (like keyboards) and software (like notifications)
  • Updates are experienced immediately and universally since there is only one version for VoIP companies to maintain

Cons:

  • Lacks native performance that softphones achieve
  • Requires a web browser to run

Which Software-Based Phone Fits You?

Many softphones and web phones that work with hosted business phone plans have similar capabilities. For end users, the biggest questions about which ones to choose concern availability and overall performance.

Do I need native performance? Do I have a web browser that the phone will work inside?

A brief discussion with the VoIP provider will be able to assist with answering these questions and better guiding users toward a model that fits them best. Keep in mind that businesses of all sizes can benefit from both styles of software-based phones and that it’s always worth asking the service provider about the capabilities of their specific models of softphone and web phone.

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What Is the Impact of COVID-19 on the Real Estate Market?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every sector of the economy, leaving no industry untouched. One of the sectors that has been hit the hardest is the real estate market. It is easy to see how COVID-19 has impacted the way people search for and buy homes. It is hard for someone to make a decision to buy a house without seeing it for themselves. In the era of social distancing and with much of the country still under some form of a mild lockdown, this makes it hard for someone to get out there and look for homes; however, it is important to delve a little deeper, look beyond the case numbers, and see how COVID-19 has impacted the world of real estate.

COVID 19 Timing: Peak Season for Buying Homes

First, it is important to note that COVID-19 arrived during a time that is usually the peak season for home shopping. During the spring, many people start to look for homes and prepare to buy during the summer. The goal is to make the move during the summer so that this will not disrupt kids who might be in school. Usually, the month of March sees a 50 percent jump in activity when compared to February, with the peak of the season taking place during June and July. Usually, these two months put together represent more than a quarter of all home sales during the course of the year.

Looking at the month of March, some numbers show that the last week of the month showed a 30 percent drop in sales when compared to the prior year. This is early evidence that indicates home sales are dropping as a result of COVID-19. In addition, more evidence from an MBA survey that took place at the end of March showed that mortgage applications dropped more than 10 percent in a single week. When compared to that same week last year, they were down by almost 25 percent.

Low-Interest Rates and Savings for the Buyer

For those who are able to get out and look at houses, this could be a great time to buy. Banks are feeling the sting as fewer people are taking out mortgages. Therefore, this could depress interest rates on mortgages, putting people in a position to lock in a long-term mortgage at a lower interest rate. Over the life of the mortgage, this could provide people with an opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, this could allow people to buy a home that they would not otherwise be able to afford. These are both important considerations to think about when it comes to the current real estate market.

Real Estate Rebound: Investment Opportunities

Unlike the Great Recession of 2008, which saw another historic drop in the real estate market, it is clear that the pandemic is almost solely responsible for the current state of the housing market. Therefore, as the country gets this virus under control, most people expect that the real estate market is going to rebound quickly. This means that now could also be a great time for those who are looking to invest in the real estate market. The country is known for its resilience and the real estate market is no different. The only question is how quickly the real estate market will rebound. Some experts think this is going to be a V-shaped market, meaning a steep contraction and a steep recovery. Other people see a U-shaped real estate market, which could mean a longer recovery process.

Regardless, it is clear that COVID-19 has had an adverse impact on the real estate market. Now, people have their eyes on the future. Just how is the real estate market going to respond? That remains to be seen.

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Dropped Your Mac Book Accidentally? Basic Steps for Troubleshoot Check

You just invested your entire month’s pocket money in purchasing a new Mac Book. You are excited about using it. You chat with your friends online and accidentally you drop it down! Mac books are delicate systems and so they can easily get damaged.

The external body may not be completely shockproof, and so these systems are generally not tested for the drop test. Attempting to test your best Mac book on your own, may never be advisable. You can search for MacBook repair in Auckland experts to get more familiar with drop test features on your own.

Professional Mac book repair services will never advise you to take the drop test for your new Mac book on your own.

So in case, you dropped your Mac Book accidentally, then here is what you should be doing next. Just follow the basic instructions provided by our expert team.

Avoid dropping very often

The drop test for your Mac Book can be considered as a type of death sentence for it. Even if done accidentally, still there are chances that it could get damaged permanently. The screen may need immediate replacement or the outer body could crack easily.

This is why most experts always suggest that it is wise to handle your Mac Book with the utmost care when using it outdoors or indoors.

Always inform the experts

The most important thing that you need to keep in mind is that DIY experiments should be avoided in all circumstances. If you are not a technical person, then don’t try to repair it on your own. Try and approach the registered company service center to get it verified for internal and external damages.

Be aware that certain damages may not be visible immediately after the failed drop test.

Check the screen first

 In most cases, the screen will easily get damaged even if you drop it from a lower height. Besides if you have dropped it in a bucket of water, then don’t even try to switch it on the back on your own. If you see any visible marks or scratches on the screen, then contact the service experts immediately.

Mac Book may be working well even if the screen is damaged internally. So before you switch on, it is advisable to check.

Avoid plugging in power immediately

The moment you find that the Mac Book is not working you should avoid plugging it directly to a PowerPoint. There are chances that the PowerPoint could get damaged and needs to be replaced immediately.

If the battery charging point is damaged then it could easily damage the power socket as well. If the Mac Book is not working then you should try and press the power button for a few seconds. It is better to rush immediately to a Mac Book expert.