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.

Social Links

Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rathodatman/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RathodAtman

Skype: atman.rathod

Medium: https://medium.com/@rathod.atman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMARIXTechnoLabs/

Insights

Great Career Choices for People Who Love to Travel

Some people get a travel bug in their earlier twenties, right around the time they land their first serious fulltime job. Others get the desire to explore the world later in life when they want to find the next job.  For all of them, the desire to travel and their dream job doesn’t have to cancel each other out.

In fact, your job can complement your travels if you choose a career in the right industry. Here are some great career choices that prove you don’t have to be filthy rich in order to travel the world!

Become a tour guide

Although regulations differ from country to country, anyone can become a tour guide after they pass rigorous training. You will learn a lot preparing for this post bit is more than rewarding, especially in terms of traveling.

No two days are the same for a tour guide who gets to travel on buses, cruise on ships, and drive passengers to scenic locations. Even if you decide to be a tour guide in your home city or country, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet people from all meridians and show them your national treasures.

Teaching English abroad

Is English your native tongue or are you proficient enough to teach others? If the answer is positive, then you can travel abroad to become an English teacher. Right now, China is among the countries that has the highest demand for qualified English teachers. 

As the boom of foreigners teaching Chinese children English is slowly coming to an end, educational institution there are now hiring language teachers to teach the youth of the country in person. Of course, if you’re proficient in English, the list of countries where you could teach is vast, from the Far East to South America. The best thing about teaching English abroad is that you’ll travel the whole country, as opposed to staying in one town.

Get a job as a bartender

Another jib that is fairly easy to grasp the basics of is bartending. Don’t get us wrong, it takes years and even decades to excel in the industry but starting a new career in bartending is affordable and not overdemanding.

Apart from knowledge, all you really need is a working visa, as there are countless hospitality businesses worldwide that are in need of good bartenders. This allows you to constantly be on the move, all the while looking cool as hell while mixing cocktails behind the bar.

Learn to drive a truck

Assuming you possess a valid driver’s license and you feel comfortable driving passenger cars, why not up the game and learn to drive a truck! Admittedly, heavy vehicle training is not easy but if you enroll in the right kind of course, you’ll learn fast.

Once you get your license, you can start working for international transport companies that ship goods across continents. You’ll be living on the road, enjoying the roadside scenery, and earning a hefty sum each month. When you grow tired of trucking, just chose another driving course to learn how to drive a bus and start making friends with passengers from all walks of life and from all seven continents.

The perks of being a flight attendant

There isn’t a person who hasn’t dreamed of becoming a flight attendant or a pilot. As you grow up, you learn that this dream job is not out of reach as other ones (did someone say “an astronaut”?). Once you go through the flight attendant training school that each airliner has, you are ready to step into your office in the sky.

As if being in the sky every day wasn’t exciting enough, stewards and stewardesses often get a daylong break in the most exciting destination in the world. Your Instagram feed will be full of pictures of tropical beaches, city skylines, and picturesque mountain villages.

Working as an au pair

For people who adore children, there is no better way to combine this love with the love for traveling than becoming an au pair. The job opportunities are endless if you know the language of the family whose children you’ll be sitting.

Moreover, if you’re learning a new language, becoming an au pair will allow you to perfect it; all the while teaching the little ones a few words of your mother tongue. Apart from cultural interaction, the best thing about working as an au pair is that the food and lodging are included so you get to keep the remuneration, no matter how small it is.

Website designers needed

The digital area we live in has produced a new kind of nomads: digital nomads. This means that people working highly sought-after jobs get a chance to work across the globe and earn the same big salary. You don’t have to be a senior developer to travel the world, as you can easily learn to design websites for a living.

The full list of careers that involve a lot of traveling is virtually endless, as new job posts are popping up all the time. However, you can feed your travel bug with any of the 7 professions listen above. 

Insights

5 Reasons Why 2020 Is the Year to Get Your Kids to Cook

No matter who is giving the reason – me, a teen or a young kid, I can share 5 reasons that will inspire you to take action!

It is not only a soufflé that rises when a child cooks for their family… When a child masters a skill there are lots of outcomes. In particular, I have found a child who learns to cook and make good food choices…

  • gains self-esteem
  • gains a sense of importance
  • feels they are able to make a meaningful contribution to their family
  • is proud of their achievement
  • is better equipped to look after themselves
  • is able to look after others
  • gains confidence and competence
  • feels empowered to try more complex tasks
  • is able to use preparing food as an act of service
  • is able to use food as a means of expressing love
  • develops self-management skills
  • develops self-discipline
  • develops self-respect
  • develops budgeting skills.

I struggle to think of another set of everyday skills that directly impacts a child’s development and health.

Consider the three different perspectives below… mine, a teen’s and that of a younger child.

Reasons to cook – from my perspective  

  • Success builds a child’s self-esteem and confidence – cooking is no exception.
  • A sense of contribution, belonging, importance and pride develops as children master skills – cooking is an excellent way to foster this.
  • Learning about food fosters personal responsibility – you can feel confident that your children will be better equipped to look after themselves.
  • Cooking is a life skill. It’s like riding a bike – once they have ‘got it’ they are away.
  • You can get the odd night off!

Reasons to cook – from a teenage perspective  

  • You don’t have to put up with food you don’t like – you call the shots!
  • It feels great if you can cook for friends and family – lots of compliments are good!
  • Being able to cook gives you leverage… ‘If I cook dinner, can I borrow the car? Money for the movies? New shoes?’
  • Knowing you can cook is quite empowering. You can make good food choices so you can get better skin, have more energy, be at a good weight – it’s all your choice.
  • It’s quite good fun cooking!

Reasons to cook – from a tween’s perspective  

  • You can eat the ingredients while you are cooking and then get to choose the best piece.
  • Your mum gets in a good mood if you help (cringe – this was a sage observation from my youngest son!).
  • You can make sure what is being cooked is something you like.
  • If you do the cooking you don’t have to help with the cleanup.
  • It’s fun cooking.

The thought of learning a new life skill will simply not engage the average kid – especially when described as a life skill. However, you start talking about something they want or need and you have their total attention.

I have found deal-making works well. Along the lines of ‘If I do this for you, could you do this for me’. You may be surprised to find how kids respond to this; many are masters of negotiation in other things so they will quickly work it out. I think it is quite funny when my children say one of the main reasons they wanted to be able to cook was because it gave them leverage. That’s fine if that’s what motivates them. It also has helped our family operate more like a team with everyone contributing.

Ironically, often as parents, we have to buy things for our kids anyway. Take a special pair of shoes for example. Both parties win if you suggest that if they cook dinner each Tuesday they will be able to get those shoes. This is not bribery. Bribery implies that one person wins and the other loses.  This is far better than that – there are winners all round. Your child learns a skill for a lifetime, they get the shoes, the family bond grows stronger and you get a night off – it’s the epitome of a win: win situation. 

No matter what perspective you are coming from

 the outcome is the same – 

your child gets a skill for a lifetime 

which is undoubtedly to 

his or her advantage.

DevelopmentInsights

Telemedicine is Growing Incredibly Fast in the Age of the Coronavirus: What You Should Know

Telemedicine has exploded in popularity in the age of the Coronavirus and social distancing. The ability to have a doctor look at an injury or view vitals without having to be in the room provides convenience. The safety aspect of this rings true during normal life as going into a doctor’s office for an annual checkup can lead to sickness. The truth is that you rarely see any of the staff at some doctor’s offices cleaning the waiting room. The rapid growth of telemedicine even in the last few weeks has been immense. Restrictions have been lifted that correlate with how virtual visits are billed compared to physical visits. The restrictions have also been lifted so a doctor can practice medicine across state lines. In the past, the doctor would have to be licensed in each of the states which can be an immensely lengthy and tedious process. The following are things that you should know about the growth of telemedicine during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Why Hasn’t Telemedicine Become Popular at an Earlier Date? 

There has been resistance by both healthcare organizations and the government to adopt telemedicine. Patients might think that there is a need to see your doctor in person when in reality this is not essential in some cases. A physical therapist can put you through the same therapy session via Zoom as they can at their office. The older generations resist this as they do not trust they will receive the same quality of care as a physical appointment. 

Privacy has been a huge aspect of the resistance to telemedicine. No healthcare organization wants a hack to leak information that is protected by HIPPA. Cybersecurity has to be paramount when developing a telemedicine program such as telehealth. A doctor being hacked can lead to a breach and a number of lawsuits. 

Robots have Entered Emergency Rooms and ICUs 

The use of robots in hospitals in triage for emergency rooms and even on hospital floors during the Coronavirus has increased immensely. This allows the doctor to see a patient and a robot can even bring them medication. The increase in efficiency during this time is due to not being required to change scrubs, gloves, or masks. There is even an extension of some of these robots that has a stethoscope. The doctor will be able to hear your heart and lungs with the clarity of being right next to a patient. 

ICUs use telemedicine as an extra set of eyes as one mistake can lead a person in a sensitive state to worsen or potentially die. This will also help the staff in terms of the quality of care provided. A missed dose of medication or failure to notice other things is common in such a stressful situation. 

Look for Healthcare-Related Apps to Erupt

Healthcare-related apps are going to erupt in popularity when they can be integrated into telemedicine. Certain organizations might have an app so patients can meet with, contact, and integrate with other technology. Companies could profit immensely from this because apps for healthcare were used sparingly. If looking for security and collaboration optimization then considering a Helm repository. Collaboration can be easily attained by developers utilizing all types of different tools. 

Direct Contact or Quick Responses Can Save Lives 

A person that can directly contact their doctor and get an answer in a matter of minutes can save their life. Sending over a picture of a healing wound is a great example as many people cannot tell if an infection is present. Video is also available and charting data like blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate can be imperative. The ability to foresee a health problem in the near future due to rising vitals can allow a doctor to recommend medication or a lifestyle change. 

What Does the Future Hold?

There are plenty of people in the older demographic that would not have considered seeing their doctor virtually but have been forced to. A percentage of this demographic will continue to utilize this technology as it provides convenience. Not having to battle traffic or for immobile people, this is the best choice for them. The younger generation will be faster to adopt the technological advancements. Sitting in a waiting room with sick people simply does not appeal to many patients. Look for the use of telemedicine to stay steady although there might be drops initially after the pandemic comes to an end. 

Telemedicine has taken off during this Coronavirus as it the healthiest option for many patients. The last thing that anyone wants is to go to the hospital due to an insignificant illness then wind up with the extremely dangerous virus. Telemedicine is here to stay, the adoption rate by the general public is sure to increase after all of this is over.

DevelopmentInsights

How to Lead Change Management in a Startup

Managing and leading change in a startup can be challenging. Even for founders themselves, it is difficult to introduce change in an organization. To make it easy, keep on reading and we’ll share some tips on how it is possible to champion change management and make everyone willing to embrace it. 

1. Highlight the Benefits 

One of the secrets to successful strategic change management is highlighting the benefits. Resistance to change can stem from the fact that the employees are not aware of how it can be good for them. They might think that it benefits only the management. Show them that the change that you wish to introduce will also be good for them. This way, there is a lesser likelihood that there will be resistance. 

2. Conduct a Study 

Effectively leading change management requires the need to conduct a thorough study about what you are about to implement. There should be a solid basis. The changes should be backed by facts. This will make it easier to convince other people that change is necessary. Otherwise, they will have an unwelcoming attitude.

3. Create a Plan 

To successfully lead your team through change, you need to come up with a solid plan. It should be as detailed as possible and should be a result of thorough research. The plan should stipulate what will you do in case there is resistance. Also, it must identify what the management intends to do in case the plan did not work. 

4. Collaborate 

For change to be effective, you also need to collaborate. Change management is not a one-man job. It is a team effort. By collaborating with other people, especially those who will be directly affected by the change, success will be a likelier feat. 

5. Be Committed 

To lead change in a startup, commitment is crucial. You will encounter roadblocks, but these should not give you the reason to immediately give up. Show them that you are committed to the implementation of the planned change regardless of the obstacles that you might encounter. 

6. Set Realistic Goals 

While it is good for startups to dream big, when it comes to leading change management, being realistic is important. By setting realistic targets, you are increasing the chances that change management will be more successful. 

7. Communicate Effectively 

Communication will help in changing the attitude of the people within the startup about change. Maintain an open communication line. Be an active listener. Ask for their feedback about the change. Most importantly, do not surprise them. Take it slowly. Change must be implemented gradually, providing everyone with the opportunity to prepare whatever change entails. 

From highlighting the benefits to collaborating, this post briefly talked about some of the best things you need to do to lead change in a startup. Regardless of the size and nature of your startup, the things mentioned above will make change management a lot easier. 

DevelopmentMartechSaaSSEO

5 Things You Should Know Before Creating a Cryptocurrency App.

Cryptocurrency’s popularity is increasing day by day. It’s such a promising market that many businesses want to leverage it to make money. Creating a cryptocurrency app is an excellent investment as the trading volumes are increasing worldwide. That’s why, as a business owner, you might be interested in creating an app that can handle transactions. However, you should keep in mind that the said app should uphold the values of blockchain i.e., decentralization and transparency. 

To create a crypto app, you can use standard, open-source libraries such as Coinbase SDK, or BitcoinJ SDK. Or you can create a custom wallet.  Both are excellent in their own ways. But there are problems with using open-source libraries such as publicity of exploits and operational risks. 

For a more secure and efficient solution, you should make your custom wallet through software development companies like BairesDev, to build a  personalized wallet that satisfies your requirements. But before you start working on a cryptocurrency App, there are a few things that you should know. 

Components of a cryptocurrency app

There are a few essential components of a cryptocurrency app that must be specified to your application development vendor. Those are:

Graphic Front end interface: The graphic front end is the face of the app, where people see the exchange. A simple interface that’s user friendly and responsive is best for a crypto application. You can make the application for iOS and Android. There are a few functionalities that you should have, such as login, transaction ledger, buying and selling, and fund withdrawal and deposit. 

Wallet: This is what will store the cryptocurrency. You have to connect your wallet to transactions as well as the fund amount. This is a delicate component, so it should have enhanced security features. You can also integrate your wallet with banking services so that the money gets transferred directly from the bank account.

Trading engine: This is the central part of the cryptocurrency app. The trading engine does transactions and tracks them. It also calculates balances. You can put stop-limit and stop-loss order functionality in your trading engine. It will help pull experienced traders towards your app 

Administration system: An admin system performs all the major activities. It powers up activities related to operational and organizational aspects of the app—transactions, wallet management, managing listing, fee, adding, and new currencies. 

Features

There are a few features you should put into your cryptocurrency app. These come equipped in custom solutions by application development companies. A few of them are listed here. 

  1. Social media login for ease of use 
  2. Market trends broadcast  to get real-time information (can be displayed through bar charts, pie charts, infographics, etc.)
  3. Cryptography exchange and tracking setup
  4. Search option for different types of crypto
  5. Profile set up for customers 
  6. PIN codes for coins
  7. Push Notifications  
  8. Security setup

Types of cryptography exchanges  

Cryptography exchange is a platform that people use for crypto transactions. The different types of exchange are:

1. Fiat Crypto exchanges: This exchange changes FIAT currency (USD) into crypto. It’s useful for people who don’t have experience and want to buy crypto using their debit/credit card or with cash. 

2. Crypto exchange: In this type, customers can buy one crypto using others. It is used by experienced traders who want to make money quickly.

3. Peer to peer exchange: A decentralized transfer between two interested parties. 

Types of wallets

There are many different kinds of wallets that you can configure for your crypto application. They are:

  1. Web wallets: These are a kind of hot wallet i.e. connected to the internet. They give customers access to cloud connectivity and hence are flexible and convenient. The security key is saved on the server. Therefore they are not very secure. They are only useful for storing a small amount of cryptocurrency. 
  2. Mobile wallet: These are also an example of a hot wallet. Customers can access these via mobile. These wallets can be used for paying with cash and for transactions through cryptocurrency. They use QR codes for extra security.  
  3. Desktop Wallet: These can be either hot or cold. These are software packets that download directly into a system. Users can access these without using a browser. They are safe from malware as they are disconnected from the internet. They don’t save private keys in third-party servers, they save it on the customer’s system. Hence they are secure too. 
  4. Hardware Wallets: They are better than other wallets because the keys are saved on separate devices. They’re costlier than cold wallets. They’re better for storing crypto rather than using it. However, they’re not very convenient as they have to be connected to the internet every time anyone needs to do a transaction.  

Most popular cryptocurrencies

If you build a cryptocurrency application, there are many different types of crypto that you can integrate into your application. For example

  1. Bitcoin: A cryptocurrency created in 2009, it is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies out there. It is currently used by many companies worldwide for their transactions. Bitcoin first came into limelight when it blew up in 2017. 
  2. Ethernet: It was created By Vitaik Buterin. It is one of the top-ranking cryptocurrencies. It has a block time of 14-15 seconds and the current supply is 120 million. 
  3. Dogecoin: This is one of the biggest contenders of Bitcoin. It started in 2013 and was based on dog memes. Till now, users have mined one hundred million coins. Block time is one minute. 
  4. Ripple: It was created by the ripple company in 2012. Its 2018 market capitalization was $23 billion. 
  5. Litecoin: It was started in 2011 as an open-source project on Github. Its block time is 2.5 min and is a low-cost cryptocurrency. 

Conclusion

Starting a cryptocurrency business is all the rage these days. Even though cryptocurrency is not “legal” in many countries, it’s catching on quickly. It’s futuristic, flexible, and profitable. 
But at the same time, you have to follow the rules. You have to follow government guidelines. You have to secure your wallet so that it’s safe to use. Many companies are using the concepts of blockchain to create business solutions. A cryptocurrency app hence may be just the thing that propels your business to the forefront.

InsightsMartechSEO

Why Your Business Needs to Own a Domain

Over the last few years, the thought has shifted for a lot of small- to mid-sized businesses that a unique domain isn’t always necessary. Instead, these companies have opted to take the entirety of their online presence to social media.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are what many consider to be the de facto standard tools for marketing. They are wrong.

To a degree.

Yes, having a social networking presence is crucial to your small business. Without using the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you miss out on a large audience—one that may or may not has heard of your company.

That won’t do in a world where business moves at the speed of 140 characters.

But then again – why should you invest the time and money into a domain? Let me explain.

What is a Domain?

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. The easiest way to define a domain is to show you an example:

google.com

That’s a domain, right? Well, it’s actually not that simple. 

What you see above is a web address, a URL. Domains are a bit more inclusive than that. First off, a domain keeps people from having to type out the IP address of your server. So instead of typing 172.217.1.46, you’d type google.com. Domain names use a number of special services to resolve Domain names to IP addresses. Should you want to learn more on how servers work, check this Host4geeks article too.

But the domain isn’t limited to only a website. For example: Say your business is wewidget.org. People could type that into their browser and go to the WeWidget website. People could also send an email to [email protected] to reach the company. 

The wewidget.org domain could also be used for FTP, cloud services, online shopping, and much more. So it’s not just a URL, it’s a window to an entire range of services that you can create on your own or with the help of offshore developers.

Let’s talk about why.

It Makes You Look Professional

When people ask you about your company, and you want to make sure they have all the information they need, the last place you want to send them is Facebook or Twitter. Why? It makes you look as though you don’t care enough about your company to show it off. 

A domain allows you to have your own unique URL that can be easily remembered by anyone. But more importantly, it allows you to offer up as much information as you feel necessary about your company. You are in control. You can have an About section, a products or services page, a section that highlights your employees, and much more. With your own domain, you can even add an AI-based chatbot to your site to assist with customer Q&A.

Your own domain also allows you to have email addresses that include the name of your company. So instead of using [email protected], you could use [email protected]. Of those two email addresses, which do you think looks more professional?

Easier Expansion

Another plus of having your own domain is that it allows you to further expand your offerings. With the help of offshore programmers, you could create web applications specific to your company. 

Say, for example, your company deals with managed PC support. You could hire offshore software engineers to create an app built into your website that allows clients to quickly send in help requests to specific support specialists. Pulling this off without a domain would be tricky. And without the ability to expand your online presence, you run the risk of staying small.

Local Search Results

To anyone that has tried their hand at marketing in the new world order, it’s rough. With an inordinate amount of competition, it is so hard to be seen—no matter how good your company is. This is why you need a domain. 

Without a domain, your company will not show up in local search results. So if someone searches for “widgets near me”, We Widget won’t appear in the results unless it has a domain. If your business depends on local business, this is something you can’t do without.

But don’t think that your business will automatically start showing up in search results just by purchasing a domain. You have to put the time and effort into crafting a professional website with plenty of pages that offer content the Google bots can crawl. The more information about your company you have associated with your domain, the better the chance it will show up.

How Do You Purchase a Domain?

You can do this in a number of ways. You can purchase the domain from Register.com and then associate your hosted website with the domain through your host’s admin panel. An easier method is to simply purchase the domain and hosting together. There are plenty of sites that offer such packages, like Vervehosting, GoDaddy, Google Website Hosting, AWS, Rackspace, and more.

If you’re looking for the easiest, most cost-effective solution, go with the hosting/domain combo. Not only will you save money and time, but you’ll also have customer support for both your hosted site and your domain in one location.

The cost for both a domain and hosting can be as low as $12.00 USD per year for the domain and $9.99 per month for the hosting. You’d be hard-pressed to find something at this price point that will give you as much ROI.

Conclusion

You should consider a domain for your company a necessity. Without one, you’ll miss out on expanding your presence, increasing your clientele, and so much more. And whether you create your website on your own, or outsource to a third party, make sure everything found on your new site is relevant, up to date, and easy to read.

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The Cost and Payoff of Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance protects businesses from financial struggle that results from a natural disaster or Act of God. Many business owners may be wondering, is it really worth it? Business interruption insurance provides support in a challenging time due to a disaster and ensures that the business survives in the long run. To learn more about the costs and payoff of business interruption insurance, read below. 

What is Business Interruption Insurance? 

Every business faces unique risks because they’re in different industries and niches. However, one risk that is unavoidable for all businesses is natural disasters. Things like fire, water damage, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes can cause lasting damage to a business. 

Business interruption insurance can cover lost income from a natural disaster or Act of God. Enduring a disaster is difficult for anyone, but it will be even more challenging to recover financially as a business. But, with business interruption insurance, a business can maintain financial stability during a natural crisis. In addition, the insurance can help you rebuild your business to ensure that you become fully operational again. 

Terms You Should Understand

Many businesses choose to get some form of business interruption insurance to protect their operations. Below are some common terms mentioned in business interruption insurance policies that are helpful to understand. 

Business Income

The dollar amount of net income that a business would have earned if they did not incur a natural disaster or Act of God. 

Period of Restoration

The amount of time required to repair and rebuild damaged property thereby allowing the business to become operational again. The period begins when the damage occurs and ends after a reasonable, agreed upon amount of time has passed where the property can be fixed. Usually this period is one to two years. During this period, insurers are responsible for the loss of business income. 

Actual Loss Sustained

The overall loss a company incurs as a result of a natural disaster or Act of God. This includes physical damage and lost income over the period of time when the business is unable to operate. 

What’s the Cost and Is It Worth It? 

The cost of business interruption insurance can vary a lot based on numerous factors. The location of the premise, the business’s ability to relocate, the amount of coverage and nature of the business are a few factors that are considered when pricing out a policy. Business interruption insurance is frequently added onto property insurance. More often than not, you will receive a bundle insurance deal.

Whether or not the cost of business interruption insurance is worth it for you and your business depends on many factors as well. Some businesses are readily equipped to handle a disaster meaning the cost of insurance may not be worth their while. On the other hand, some businesses may not be able to handle the financial stress of an Act of God. 

Before you veto business interruption insurance, consider what it gives you during a disaster or Act of God. At a high level, business interruption insurance pays for your operational expenses while you rebuild and covers unexpected costs resulting from the natural disaster. The financial support from business interruption insurance can save you lots of money and prevent your business from going under. 

What Is Covered by Business Interruption Insurance? 

Insurance can be tricky because of all the definitions and complex terminology within the policies. Below is a list of all the expenses that are covered by business interruption insurance. 

  • Lease or Rent Payments. Even if you’re closed for business, you’ll likely need to continue to make lease or rent payments for property that you don’t own. 
  • Loan Payments. If your business is carrying debt, you’ll be required to meet your loan payment obligations while your business isn’t earning money. Business interruption insurance covers this cost.
  • Employee Salaries and Wages. Payroll is another expense that doesn’t stop when a disaster happens. Business interruption insurance will cover payroll while your business isn’t making money. Most policies cover up to one year of payroll.
  • Taxes. You may evade death during a disaster, but you can’t avoid taxes! Whatever your tax obligations may be, you’ll have to meet them which is possible through business interruption insurance while your business is closed.
  • Relocation Costs. If you’re forced to relocate your business, business interruption insurance will help you cover your moving expenses. There is a chance that the insurance would pay rent in the new location too. 
  • Lost Income. If your business is unable to operate as a result of a natural disaster, the insurance will pay you the revenue you would have made if the Act of God did not happen. This means your business will stay open even if you don’t have any business. 

Does Business Interruption Insurance Payoff? 

Sometimes insurance seems silly because you’re paying for something that may or may not happen. Although, in the event that something terrible happens and your business is forced to close, you’ll be ecstatic that you invested in business interruption insurance. No one knows what the future holds, business interruption insurance pays off in the long run!

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6 Important Skills for Project Managers

When you’re a project manager, you tend to have a lot of things on your plate, and it can be difficult to get them all right if you don’t possess the necessary skills. To help you, we’ve put together a list of six skills that help project managers experience success on a regular basis.

Keep reading to learn what skills you’ll need to cultivate to make an impact on your business.

1) Empowering Individuals & Collective Teams Can Take You Far

Although the word “project” is in the title, one of the biggest parts of being a project manager is actually the management of your team. In most cases, companies that encourage the empowerment of their employees have been shown to have the highest records of growth and long-term stability.

When you as a project manager know how to empower your team and encourage them to become the best versions of themselves, you encourage both their growth and the growth of your company. Empowering women is especially important. And as any successful executive or business owner could tell you, happy team members make for higher rates of productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction.

So if you haven’t yet begun to empower your team members to take initiative and introduce their own ideas into your everyday business practices, there’s no better time than now to start.

2) Planning is an Absolute Must

As a project manager, you play a major role in decisions both large and small. In fact, you’re likely presented with more than 10 critical decisions over the course of each day, and in many cases, those decisions will have an impact on the long-term and short-term growth of your company.

So it goes without saying that making decisions that reflect a larger-scale plan is a must.

First, though, you need to successfully plan both the big picture and minute details of each project from the get-go.

When you do this successfully, you increase the chances that your project will go off without a hitch, and you help empower team members to ensure the completion of vital steps within the plan.

3) Know How to Appropriately Communicate with every Generation

Once you’ve come up with a plan, it’s also necessary that you know how to effectively communicate to each of your team members. If they don’t understand exactly what’s expected of them, you run the risk of running into problems later on.

The most successful project managers know how to tailor their explanations to the various generations according to their particular communication styles.

Baby boomers, for example, tend to communicate best in face-to-face settings, whereas Gen Zers tend to demonstrate the highest rates of comprehension in digital settings.

The ideal communication style often varies from one generation to another, but more so from one individual to another. That’s why getting to know your team members and their individual communication styles can help you ensure smooth transitions between each step in your project management process.

4) Time Management is Essential as a Project Manager

If you’ve adequately planned out your projects, they likely have a projected completion date. It’s at this point that effective time management becomes a necessary skill if you want the project to be completed within that projected timeline. To do this effectively, you need to have a clear idea of your team members’ respective skills, the resources available, and the resources that will be necessary to ensure timely project completion.

5) Make Sure You Know Your Stuff

The market is constantly changing, and your knowledge of your field needs to adapt to reflect those changes. The most successful project managers know that their learning is never done, and they actively look for opportunities to know more about their job, current market trends, and the elements that affect both each day.

To put it simply, make sure you know your stuff. Because the more actively you approach learning, the less likely you will be to enter a project with outdated knowledge and information. This will then enable you to make informed decisions about the necessary timelines, tasks, team members, and overall plans for each project.

6) Know When You Need to Negotiate with Peers and Clients

With the willingness to learn comes the knowledge that you won’t always be right. If you can embrace that knowledge and put it into action when interacting with peers and clients, you’ll find yourself miles ahead of other project managers. This is because project managers who approach complicated situations with this mindset tend to be more successful in negotiations than those who approach the same situations with the thought that they, and only they, have the answers.

Simply put, an accomplished project manager knows when to stand up for their thoughts and ideas and when to compromise.

Conclusion

Part of being a project manager is knowing how to manage your projects effectively. If you take the time and energy to cultivate the skills we mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the success you’re looking for.

Good luck!