Category: SaaS

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What You Need For Your Next Online Business Meeting

With more of the world working from home than ever before, chances are you will attend or run an online business meeting. And since the majority of businesses usually use face to face meetings, it takes an adjustment to run a meeting online while remaining effective. 

That is why it’s essential to learn what you need for your next online business meeting because virtual meetings require equipment and software you might not currently have. So, in case you have to run your business in the virtual world, even if it’s temporary, follow this guide to set up your tech.

Meeting Software

The central part of any online business meeting is your meeting software, and there are several programs to choose from. Zoom is a popular software choice for businesses to meet with their staff because it’s free and easy to use. That said, Zoom isn’t the only meeting software you can choose for your business meetings.

Here are some other software choices you could download and use:

  • Cisco Webex Meetings
  • Join.me
  • GoToMeeting
  • BlueJeans
  • UberConference
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Meet

Be sure the software you pick has the capabilities you need, like screen sharing, whiteboarding, or dedicated sub-rooms for breakout sessions. Each conference software has different amenities, so choose one that works for you and your business.

Also, be sure that your team can easily download the software because each participant will need the software to join your meeting.

Proper Lighting

Using your computer’s camera or your front-facing phone camera is probably your best choice if you don’t want to invest in a third-party camera.

The problem is, you still have to worry about proper lighting because if your lighting is in the wrong place, your staff will have a hard time concentrating on your words. So, you want to gather three LED daylight bulbs and place one directly in front of you, one at 45 degrees to your right, and one 45 degrees to your left.

Be sure these lights are slightly above you, so the lighting isn’t too harsh, and they will give you sufficient lighting for your meeting without distracting shadows.

Up to Date Microphone

More important than lighting is your staff’s ability to hear what you’re saying, and for that, you need a proper microphone. You might have a sufficient microphone inside your computer already, and the best way to tell if your audience can hear you is to test it before your meeting.

If you don’t like the sound coming through your microphone, you want to invest in a standalone microphone. These products have noise-canceling features that block out surrounding sounds so that your staff can hear you better. 

For example, noise-canceling features could block out a residential air conditioning repair Santa Rosa residents might need during a business meeting to stay cool. In fact, that feature would be helpful in any house across the world because sometimes there are loud noises during your meeting and you don’t want the disruption.

The Blue Yeti microphone is a popular model for podcasters and would work perfectly for any online business meeting you conduct.

Bring Your Teams Together

Businesses need to adjust to current times and that means conducting business meetings online. The truth is, it doesn’t take a whole lot of preparation to have business meetings with your staff because you already have most of the equipment you need. 

When you don’t or if it’s not good enough, ordering tech gadgets to enhance your current equipment is a smart investment in your business. Doing so will allow you to conduct business anywhere and in any climate so you can carry on regardless of the state of the world.

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Free VPN vs. Paid VPN – Which Should You Choose?

If you are seeking to find a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to secure your online activities and protect your data, you are not alone; many other people have intensified their interest in VPNs. We have gone through different VPN reviews websites like VPN Watch, and now we’ll guide you through what to look for in a VPN and explain the key differences between free and paid VPN services.

What Does a VPN Do?

When you decide to find a VPN service, there are a few important reasons behind that, such as:

  • You are a frequent traveler who wants to use public Wi-Fi.
  • You want to surf the internet anonymously by masking your IP address.
  • You are just afraid that someone might try to steal your information on public Wi-Fi.
  • You are afraid that someone is watching your browsing history and activity.

A VPN creates a secure connection to a network over the internet through an encrypted tunnel that hides your IP address. This allows secure and private sending and receiving of data over public or shared networks on various devices, giving you enhanced anonymity and privacy when browsing.

A VPN hides a lot of information, which, if made public, can put your privacy at risk, such as:

  • Your IP address.
  • Your browsing history.
  • Your device details.
  • Your location.
  • Your internet activities.

Choosing the best VPN for you can be a tough endeavor, but it is one that you must conduct if you want to protect your online identity and data. You can choose either a free or paid VPN.

Free VPNs vs. Paid VPNs

The best VPNs keep your identity completely anonymous online, protect your data, shield you from cyber threats, and give you access to geo-restricted websites. Isn’t the thought of getting all that for free amazing?

However, can free be entirely free?

Paid VPN providers make profits from subscription fees. How free VPN providers make money should be a big question for you because, somehow, they have to generate revenue from your usage of their service.

Why Should You Choose a Free VPN?

The first reason for choosing a free VPN is that it is free – you won’t have to pay anything to use it. Furthermore, like any VPN, a free VPN will give you anonymity while browsing the web.

What Risks Are Associated with Using a Free VPN?

Some free VPNs compromise your data security and privacy to make money. How do they do that?

  • They track your online activities and browser history, then sell your data to third parties, such as advertisers.
  • They are inviting malware to your device. That malware harvests your data to facilitate phishing scams and other data breaches.
  • Weak security: free VPNs have next to zero security because of their weak and fickle online security features. This leaves you vulnerable to hackers, cybercriminals, and governmental spying.
  • They interrupt your browsing with ads and continuous pop-ups. This is annoying and may lead you to malicious sites that are dangerous to browse.
  • They redirect your internet traffic without your permission. Browser hijacking is also one of their revenue making streams.
  • You will face significant speed drops. Free VPNs significantly slow down your internet connection.

When Can You Use a Free VPN?

Despite these numerous flaws, some safe free VPNs still work well when used occasionally. For instance, if you are about to travel and want to access a geo-blocked site from home, or if you want a little privacy and protection while using shared public Wi-Fi, you can use a limited free VPN service.

Paid VPNs

The fact is no free VPN will offer you a complete high-quality and safe service without limitations. To get full usage of a VPN, you should opt for a paid option.

Are Paid VPNs Worth the Money?

Definitely, paid VPNs are worth it. With paid VPNs, you get:

  • genuine protection for your private online data,
  • secure protocols with top-notch network security,
  • a premium VPN service that keeps you anonymous and your internet traffic private,
  • access to content that is otherwise geo-restricted, such as streaming services or games, 
  • no bandwidth caps or slow connection speeds,
  • a no-log policy,
  • built-in malware protection and ad blockers to keep you safer,
  • access to more server locations and better server selection,
  • better customer support services.
  • additional security options like double vpn

Bottom Line

To be brief, we strongly advise against using a free VPN service. No free VPN is reliable or trustworthy enough to offer you the level of digital protection that can keep your data safe online.

However, you also need to know that all VPN providers can track your online traffic, activity, and browsing data. The question is why or whether they do so. Paid VPN service providers say they don’t. You cannot know, and you have to take their word on that.

We believe that the information in this article can help you make the right decision. If you have any other issues regarding VPN selection, you can alert us through the comments section.

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Different Approaches for Test Automation for Microservices

Most companies that use DevOps are turning to Microservices for their code development. Microservices are small-sized parts of an application that are focused on completing one task. They are a subpart of a module. These services are independent of each other. Hence they can be tested separately by QA testing companies without worrying about dependencies. Microservices can also be deployed independently. 

All of those are neat benefits. But not everything is great when it comes to microservices. In fact, one of the downsides is that they are hard to test since each has its own codebase, dependencies management, and database schema. Even for local testing, you have to make sure that you’re using the latest code stack., all data migrations are up to date, and that you’re using the correct code branch. 

Since this can be pretty challenging, here are a few ways through which microservices testing can be automated.

1. Full-stack inbox testing

In this, you create the testing environment on a local system. Then you carry out the quality testing on that local system, by testing each instance one by one. The machine is called a vagrant box, as Vagrant is used to creating that environment. 

Benefits

  • Building your virtual machine will take minutes  
  • Pre-built Vagrant provisioners
  • Anyone can test over the internet by downloading the same machine on their laptop. 
  • QA becomes easier. 

Problems:

  • Spinning the machine locally can have unexpected errors. 
  • This system doesn’t scale. 
  • Trying to replicate a cloud infrastructure environment on a local system doesn’t test the same way. 

2. End to end testing 

End-to-end testing is the Quality Assurance for all the parts of the system i,e, services, integration, interface, and network. This type of testing tests the whole user journey, from start to finish. You can also use the 80/20 rule – that is, not simulating all the parts of a real test, just pieces of it.

Benefits

  • It validates all layers of the service, such as the data layer, integration layer, presentation layer, and business layer.
  • It reduces time and costs by decreasing errors. 

Problems:

  • Many companies don’t believe End-to-End testing is useful for microservices as they are not full applications. Hence there won’t be a workflow that tests all aspects of service. 
  • Testing gets complex every time you introduce a new microservice into the architecture. 

3. Unit testing 

Unit testing is done by writing test cases for a particular unit/part of the code. A unit can be one method or a whole module. The basic idea is to divide the repository into smaller components and to test them individually. 

Ideally, unit testing should be done by minimizing external dependencies. Doing so will ensure quality even if the external environment around the unit changes.

Benefits

  • You can use different development languages or frameworks for unit testing.

Problems:

  • Testers may write wrong tests
  • Debugging unit tests often wastes time instead of saving it.

 4. Documentation first testing

Also called the API First approach. In it, you create the API along with its documentation before anything else. The API documentation is made open-source.

Developers APIs are considered “High-level citizens.” Doing so creates a contract for how to make changes to them.  If anyone wants to change API or create their own based on them, they’ll have to review the document to make sure that the new API upholds the standards mentioned in the Original API. 

Benefits

  • Increases Speed to market 
  • It reduces costs. Well suited for cloud development.
  • Many teams can work parallelly based on API definitions in the documentation. 

Problems

  • Setting up the initial API can be challenging.
  • Testing all parameters in API Request combinations can take long
  • Schema updating of the API may cause downtime because of new parameters. 

5. Stubbed Testing

Used for top-down integrating quality testing. In it, you use small codes called stubs for testing. They behave and handle data like microservices but they are just dummies – small, isolated parts of your application.

Software testing companies use stub tests when they need to do QA after taking input from the user. The system can just mimic user behavior.

Benefits:

  • Can test the primary module without the smaller modules (top-down approach)
  • Reproduce complex modules easily
  • Can test without the required response. 
  • Saves time

Problems:

  • Shallower than other methods. 
  • Static methods cannot be stubbed
  • Pointer method signatures not supported.

You can use different tools software testing companies use to test microservices, such as: 

  1. Goreplay: Open-source, a networking tool that monitors live traffic. 
  2. VCR: a unit testing tool that records HTTP interactions for your test suite. 
  3. Apiary: a documentation tool. It can write, mock, and spin an API in 30 minutes. 
  4. Wilma: Service virtualization tool. Combines Service stubs and HTTPS proxy
  5. Wiremock: HTTP based API simulator. Creates an actual HTTP server and mimics web service. 

Conclusion

Microservices testing can be difficult but is an unavoidable part of development. You can change your strategy as per requirement and situation. There is uncertainty in this type of testing, but if you apply tried and tested theories like Stubbed testing, documentation testing, etc., you won’t face any problems. 

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The 7 Best Careers for Digital Nomads

Jetting off to a different country — or maybe several — for a long time, maybe even permanently, is a dream for many. Unfortunately, it’s not always the most practical of aspirations. After all, you need to earn a living, one that will fund your desired lifestyle.

But today, many people have found a way to earn a living while still making their way around the globe. These so-called digital nomads rely on their business savvy and WIFI connections to perform their work. And you can, too! While not every job is conducive to this lifestyle — after all, it’s hard to perform surgery on the go — there are still many that are, from software development for a company like BairesDev to writing for a variety of publications.

Here are some of the best ones that a lot of people are already working on while traveling around the world.

1. Software or web developer

Programming is an occupation that you can easily carry with you wherever you go, whether you’re building apps, websites, games, or other products. Given that it’s a skill that’s in high demand, many businesses will be eager to accommodate your desire to work remotely, as long as you demonstrate that you’re a skilled coder who will benefit their organization. Often, you don’t even need an internet connection, which makes the profession even more adaptable.

2. Writer/editor

While there are many writers and editors who work in full-time roles at publications and organizations, there’s also an increasingly large subset who freelance. This makes it easy to travel while you write — and you may even find that some employers will let their full-time staff work remotely as well. You have many options if you pursue writing as a career, from blogging to copywriting to journalism.

3. Digital marketer

Not all types of marketing are conducive to the digital nomadic lifestyle, but those that deal exclusively in the online realm tend to be more so than, say, print advertising. For example, an SEO specialist is often able to develop strategies for boosting rankings and analyze businesses’ materials from anywhere in the world. Likewise, a social media manager often needs little more than an internet connection to post content and evaluate analytics.

4. Virtual assistant

The job of virtual assistant is steadily gaining popularity as many business leaders are realizing that much of the help they need can be provided remotely. In this role, you’ll perform many of the jobs a regular assistant would — scheduling appointments, entering data, responding to requests, and performing other administrative tasks — all from the comfort of your own home or wherever you’re currently residing. 

In many cases, you’ll be expected to make phone calls, so you should discuss whether it’s possible to use Skype or a similar platform with your employer.

5. Graphic designer

As long as you have the artistic flair and essential design tools like Adobe Suite, it’s not too difficult to imagine life as a graphic designer on the road. There are plenty of times when you won’t even need a WIFI connection, like when you’re sketching out ideas or even creating them on your laptop, whether you’re working on a logo or an advertisement. 

6. Online language teacher

If you have a passion for travel, envisioning life as a language teacher isn’t a huge stretch. Fortunately, you don’t even need to teach languages in person anymore. The demand for English teachers around the world is high, as is that for instructors of other languages. You can teach through an established company like Teach Away or market your services as an independent tutor.

Keep in mind that the requirements vary for different platforms, so it’s important to look into them before you decide to go this route. At the very least, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree.

7. Consultant

If you’re well-established and have a great deal of experience and plenty of skills in your industry, consider becoming a consultant. This career path has a lot of advantages over traditional, 9-to-5 positions, including more flexibility and often higher earning potential. Businesses in many industries need consultants to advise them on their strategies, from marketing to finance. 

Because you’re not a salaried employee, you won’t be expected to go into an office, and the meetings you do need to attend can often be conducted over Skype or another video or phone platform.

There are plenty of options when it comes to living life as a digital nomad, no matter what your strengths. While it’s not suited to every career, increasingly, many organizations are allowing their employees to work remotely — even when they’re traveling the globe. If you believe your job is adaptable to this lifestyle, discuss it with your employer. It’s a good idea to support your case by explaining how it will benefit both of you. 

Or, consider whether freelancing or consulting might be a good fit for you. Not only are there plenty of jobs for the digital nomad, but there are so many different ways of working!

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The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Outsourcing Software Development

When a business needs to create, customize, or manage software solutions for their business, they simply don’t have the time, know-how, or manpower to do so in most cases. Thus, many organizations have made the smart decision to partner with a third-party outsourcing provider for all of their software development needs.

Outsourcing software development has a number of significant advantages for companies of all sizes and specialties. The practice reduces costs by not keeping team members as in-house, full-time employees. As they are part of an external team, the hiring company must only pay a flat monthly or hourly rate or pay for the entire project (depending on the contract). Companies are able to scale the number of people on their teams up or down as well, helping to ensure maximum efficiency and use of resources. 

Outsourcing companies, such as BairesDev, give organizations access to niche skill sets and a wide variety of talent that they may not have been able to access otherwise. (Learn more about BairesDev here: https://www.bairesdev.com/software-development-services/software-outsourcing/) These teams keep costs down while operating at maximum efficiency to help companies stay focused on their core business tasks and still accomplishing their software goals. 

The Most Common Software Development Outsourcing Mistakes

Working with an outsourcing company for software development projects is very beneficial for all kinds of businesses. However, the partnership can go awry when the hiring company makes mistakes. This doesn’t just lead to failed projects, but to loss of time, loss of money, and an indefinitely postponed launch of the final product.

It’s very important that companies understand what it takes to have a good partnership with a third-party outsourcing provider. Not only that, but they should be aware of the common pitfalls and how they can prevent them from happening.

Here are just a few examples of the most common outsourcing problems and how to prevent them:

  1. Choosing an outsourcing company based on the lowest cost. – Most outsourcing companies do exist to help cut down on the cost of developing software. The price of hiring talented developers at an offshore or nearshore development company can be a fraction of what it would cost to hire a developer to work in-house.
    However, saving a few extra dollars overall to hire a more inexperienced development team at the lowest cost could have dire consequences. Obviously cost is a deciding factor in making any business decision, but it should not be the only one. Take experience levels, technology offerings, project examples, communication abilities, and the company as a whole into account in all decision making.
  2. Not making communication a top priority. – Communication makes or breaks an outsourcing project. When working with an outsourced team, communication becomes more important than ever. Before a project begins and an outside team is even hired, companies must take the time to fully establish the project goals, the intended functionality, the necessary requirements, and any other important information that the development team should know. After selecting an outsourcing provider, leaders need to decide on the required communication methods and frequency of communication. Thanks to programs such as Slack and Skype, instant communication between teams all over the world is possible. Regular meetings (via phone or video chat) should occur to help ensure that all team members are on the same page and kept updated on progress throughout the duration of the project. 
  3. Setting unreasonable timelines. – While outsourcing companies are able to expedite timelines thanks to the experience and skill sets of their talent, they aren’t magicians. Timelines must still account for any bugs, issues, or additional development requirements that may not have initially come up. If the hiring company sets a due date that is simply unattainable, the project will fail, not be up to necessary standards, or important items could be overlooked. Instead, companies should work with the development team to decide on a fair time frame that works for both the devs and the end-users.
  4. Not having any kind of in-house tech know-how. – Some companies enter outsourcing contracts without having any kind of in-house technology understanding on their end. While outsourcing companies offer their team leaders, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to fully align their work without being able to discuss the logistics with the in-house team. These in-house employees don’t have to be experts, but just having a tech resource available is helpful and will prevent possible communication issues.
  5. Underestimating the importance of quality assurance and testing. – Again, developers are not magicians. While they are experts in their respective field(s), outsourced development projects are bound to have bugs and errors. This is why quality assurance processes and testing are so important throughout the entire Software Development Life Cycle. Some hiring companies believe that they are hiring experts so they should not have to also hire testers and QA professionals. This is simply not the case. 

Software development outsourcing companies are great resources for companies who need to complete development projects but simply don’t have the time, money, or know-how to do it in house. As long as best practices are put into place from the very beginning of the relationship with an outsourcing company, these costly mistakes are avoidable for joint success.

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How Can I Use Videos For Lead Scoring?

Like marketing and sales tactics, videos can and should be calculated.  This information can be used to guarantee your work will reach the right people.  Videos require a different approach to metrics with different numbers when building the correct lead scoring process.  We at Inovit will break down how lead scoring works and how different kinds of videos fit into the scheme.

Just What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is evaluating a prospect or customer readiness to buy your products or services. This is determined by the level of engagement with your service or brand and the customer’s intention in purchasing.  For a long time now, customers are seen as a funnel but you must realize some customers are non-linear with sustenance going beyond the final sale. Lead scoring measures behavior from one customer to another.  The most popular way to achieve this is with marketing automation platforms including Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, or Act-On.

Every company has different needs and ways to evaluate their customers.  Sales and marketing teams must create a lead scoring system that will work for both parties to deliver the best results.

Your traditional lead scoring assigns values to different interactions with your marketing or sales activities. In some cases, different interactions may be a lot more valuable than others.  This all depends on the level of engagement of the prospect with your company.  Each interaction is weighted or given a number of points based on the level of importance of every interaction of your sales or marketing team.

For instance, a prospect that has signed up for a webinar or watching a sales demo would be considered a more valuable prospect than someone viewing a video in your newsletter, liking a video post on Facebook, or viewing a YouTube pre-roll ad that plays before a featured video.

A lead scoring template will tie a numerical points system to each interaction that connects with the customer’s journey.  In other words, the more points a prospect has, the more qualified the sales or marketing lead will be.  There are different point thresholds that carry the consumer through the journey, prompting sales and marketing teams to perform other actions when engaging with the prospect.

We are huge fans of explainer videos and one from Hubspot breaks it down really well:

Some examples of template, marketing, automation platforms such as Marketo and Hubspot have excellent resources to help you get started.

Why Is Video Lead Scoring Different?

Videos are a unique medium with different metrics than those of sales and marketing tactics. Each metric should be mapped to your lead scoring chart with different levels of engagement connected to different tiers of the customer journey.

Using video lead scoring metrics information along with information from your prospect’s business to create a lead scoring scheme to accurately predict the likelihood that a prospect will become a customer, is risky.

If you look back at past data and see who your current clients are and how they behave, would be ideal.  Many marketing automation platforms are offering increases by sophisticated tools to help you.

About Video Production For Different Stages of A Customer’s Journey

Now that you understand how lead scoring works and what metrics to use to evaluate, it’s time to look at how different types of videos play a role.

Top-Of-Funnel Videos

You should think about top-of-funnel videos as an introductory phase for your viewers.  You need to capture your viewers and get them engaged in your brand.  This is your big opportunity to set a really great impression.

Explainer videos will help educate new viewers and give them an insight into who you are.  Broadcast commercials and social media videos can help reach out to new audiences.

As said before, brand awareness videos must prove value and must answer some very important questions:

• What makes your business different from others?

• What makes you better than your competitors?

• Why should prospective customers listen to you?

• How can you help me?

You need to consider middle-of-the-funnel videos.  Once you have captured prospective customers who are interested in your brand, you need to prove your overall value and then turn these people into positive sales leads.  Once you are at this stage, make sure you are giving them more in-depth information that agrees with your audience’s point of view.  Videos like webinars, case studies, how-to, and customer testimonials can give you an edge for prospective customers looking to learn more about how your product or service will benefit them.

A more in-depth video explainer video that is tailored to certain products, services, or industries can provide your audiences with detailed answers to specific questions.

Sales –  Bottom-Funnel Videos And Renewals

Think about it, bottom-funnel videos are the most important part of your sales team.  These videos are constantly used on demos, with existing customers, and even sales calls.  These videos can be perfect for a product walkthrough, explainer videos, or specific topics for webinars, and so much more.

Retargeting and Creating Loyalty Among Potential Customers

It can be quite beneficial for reactivating leads that have gone cold or to entice repeat purchases using videos. The type of video will depend on the viewer.  You might choose to target a YouTube or social media ad toward visitors to your website that did not convert. You might also send a video email to follow up with a customer who attended your webinar but did not enter the funnel. Videos can excite current customers regarding a new product or a feature with an explainer video that breaks down into detail about your product or feature. You already know these people have invested in your company with a brand, so give them a little shove in that direction.

The Value of Lead Scoring With Videos

You have put a lot of work into creating a video so it’s very important that you make the effort to measure the impact. Lead scoring is very valuable because it will give you the insight to create a video that will give your audience the very best experience and entice them to buy your brand.

A Short Summary

We have added a great deal of information in this article to draw viewers to your site and purchase your products. We have gone over choosing voice-overs vs animated text while pointing out that voice-overs have become more popular and why. Why mobile devices need to be discussed on a different level as the data connection is now so much faster.  But ask yourself if this an avenue that will work best for your viewers?

We cannot impress upon you enough, if you are using someone else’s work, you must get permission from the creator due to copyright laws. There are so many articles on the subject, read all you can and become familiar with all the dos and don’t s regarding copyright.

We at Inovit have gone out of our way to provide you with valuable information that will take a while to digest while helping you find the best marketing tactics that will work best for your videos and draw your potential and current customers to your site and buy your products!

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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.

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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. 

DevelopmentSaaS

Quit Smoking Apps That Are a Must Have

If you’re trying to quit smoking, there are a lot of resources out there to help you do it. A number of anti-smoking apps have come out to help those who want to finally break the habit for good.

Anti-smoking apps are support tools for your journey to freedom from tobacco addiction. They work by using psychological techniques to keep your motivation levels up and your mind disciplined. From focusing on how much money you’ve saved to get all the achievements you can against other quitters, there’s bound to be an app that works with your personal form of motivation.

We’re going to examine a number of these and how they differ so you can find the one that will help you the best.

Smoke Free

Platform: iOS

Smoke Free is the most popular anti-smoking app in the UK with over 15,000 five-star reviews. This simple app shows you how long you’ve been smoke-free, how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked, how your health has improved, and how much money you’ve saved since you started to quit. They also offer special missions that are said to double your chances of quitting.

How do they know? They take data from users of the free version of the app and see which techniques work better than others. The ones that work best from their data are used in the paid version of the app. You can opt out of participating in the experiments with the free version if you wish.

QuitNow!

Platform: All

With over 2 million downloads, QuitNow! is a very popular anti-smoking app. Its core feature is its huge community and the experiences they share on the built-in social media platform. Quitters using the program find the support on this platform a great help in their journey. The program also offers achievements and information on how your health improves over time.

Kwit

Platform: All

If you like apps that use gamification as a motivator, this is the app for you. Kwit challenges its users to become the Ultimate Kwitter. Daily score boosts 84 achievements, and 200 motivation cards to discover keep people coming back. You can also share your achievements through social media and receive empathetic encouragement to stop smoking.

Get Rich or Die Smoking

Platform: Android

Get Rich or Die Smoking is all about saving money and buying the things you want. You can add items that you want to buy with the money you’d spend on cigarettes into the app. As time passes, you can see how much money you saved and how close you are to buying the things you’ve set in the app. It also includes a community where you can chat with other quitters.

OHM Vaping

Platform: Android

Vaping is an alternative to smoking that avoids harmful combustion production. OHM is built for people using vaping to quit instead of going cold turkey. Like the other apps, it shows how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked and how much money you’ve saved. It also lets you rate and rank your favorite e-liquids and helps you calculate recipes for your own blends.

Butt Out

Platform: Android

This app isn’t free ($3.99 right now), and has many of the same features as the apps above. One of the things it does do differently is let you upload your own photographs and motivational quotes to keep you on track with your goals. You can also track when you’ve had cravings and when you’ve smoked so you can see how you’ve improved over time. If you need a tracker, then this may be worth the purchase.

These are just a few of the apps available in the app stores. Take a look at these or browse the store for your device and see what else is available. Whichever app you choose, we hope that it helps you finally break your smoking habit so you can live the rest of your life in good health.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaS

Successful Mobile App Ideas to Boost Your Business

Mobile apps are dominating our interactions with brands. If your audience wants to understand a product, buy or sell it, or get engaged with the product, they turn to a mobile app for the same.

It is slowly becoming important for businesses to stay present in this medium. However, it is important you think outside the box if you want to attract the attention of the target niche.

The reason being, there are several apps that belong to the different niches, and each one is getting a good amount of traction. If you repeat what others are doing, then you might not be able to convert. However, if you bring in a USP, then you would gain not just conversions, but also profits, as per the startup app development guide.

We have curated a few Android app ideas that should be able to win you the niche’s attention and garner more conversions for the product or service you are offering.

The Buy & Sell Niche

This is the niche that gains maximum conversion, as people are on the hunt for convenient means of buying and selling products. Scan and shop are reinventing the buyer’s life. You can see how comfortable life is as a result of this new method- where the customer has to scan the product, and it gets added to their cart. The customer won’t need to check out of the store manually; the app does it for them. This is just one of the many ways your app can redefine the whole process.

Finding a product in-store using the buy and sell an app or, creating smart lists that show you where the products are located within the store is also another method of developing an app for the buy and sell niche.

Food Apps

This niche still comprises of many unexplored areas that you can tap into if you want to deliver a good app to the users in your niche.

The food donation app is an excellent path to explore. Why waste the leftovers? Why not donate it to someone in need? The app will help people who have an excess of food connect with those who give food to the needy, and thus ensure the food does not get wasted.

There are difficult times when the food or rather the materials needed to prepare food, needs to reach the people in desperate need for the same. The food apps can help people distribute the menu to the needy.

These are just app ideas that you can validate and convert according to the requirements.

Invoicing Solutions

Many startups have to invest all their efforts into getting the invoicing done on time. They have to spend their resources in ensuring that the taxes are filed in time and take care of the balance sheets as well.

However, small businesses can’t manage everything by themselves. That’s why you can deliver an app solution specifically for them. The invoicing app solutions can help calculate the amount of tax to be paid and will help you know if you are paying the right amount of tax.

It is an interesting app that you can deliver to the startups. Apart from tax calculations, it can also help manage the profits, the investments they need to make as a business, manage their salaries, and help with paydays. There are various ideas that you can develop for businesses.

On-demand Apps

The on-demand segment is fast gaining popularity among the audiences. You need to pick up an idea that will resonate with the audience in this segment, and work on fulfilling it.

The on-demand car wash service is a solution that will help people who need a car wash or car cleaning service at the last minute. If they need it immediately or within an hour’s interval, then this car wash app will help them.

The on-demand laundry service is also another idea that you can develop on. Look into the gaps that exist in this niche, and deliver an app accordingly. Apart from cab and food, on-demand groceries, fruits, stationery, and other industries have also entered into this niche.

You will notice that there are several players in this niche, and you are competing with several players at the same time.

You must deliver a good user experience if you want to convert the users.

The Translation Apps

Businesses are operating at a global level, which is why it has suddenly become important for people to start speaking the language of the people in different countries. The translation apps will help translate from one language to another. It also helps you understand what the other person was trying to communicate.

Apart from the translation apps, you can even use language apps to help the people in the target market to learn a new language. It makes life easier for them to learn and adapt to a new language environment, without actually investing money into learning.

Productivity Apps

Both personally as well as professionally, you need a productivity app that can help you get through the day easily. From ensuring the milk can is full to making use of these apps to buy the necessary supplies, these apps make your day easy.

The note-taking app was used to make sure that you could write anything that came to your mind instantly. This was helpful to the writers, especially. There are several versions of these apps at present. You can use this concept to deliver other productivity solutions to the end-users.

The smart list app is helpful to everyone who wants to make their travel, grocery, or other lists.

Summing up

These are just a few ideas genres that you can use to create app solutions for your target market. Also, If you’re a fan of customizing your Android device through rooting, you can try out these Magisk modules to spice things up a bit. It is important, however, that you hire an excellent Android app development company that can help you create a winning solution.

About the author

Atman Rathod is the Co-founder at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading Mobile App Development Company with 16+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship, and business. His creative abilities, academic track record, and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.

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