Technology

3 Secrets to Staying Ahead of the Business Curve

Technology

Business EnvironmentIn today's rapidly changing business environment, staying ahead of the curve becomes more challenging for companies. Emerging technologies often present a problem as they call for a complete rethinking of their business processes. Failing to accommodate these changes could set them back and might make them give up on their share of the competition.

In the case of start-ups, ignoring technological advancements is not advisable — unless you want to fail grabbing the attention of consumers.

Customer is always right

A business exists to serve the needs of their customers. Without a demand for your goods and services, your company would have to close down eventually. Your customers are your source of funds, so you can continue with your operations and pay your workers. While customers are always right, you should know this saying's limit.

Know your customers

By understanding your market, you can present your products and services in a way that resonates well with target customers. For instance, JobLogic says that the use of field service software can help your employees and field engineers — regardless of location — know what to do with their job through the information relayed to them. As such, there will be less errors and everybody will become more productive because they have an idea about a specific market.

Clean up your image

Earn the trust of your market, even before they start buying your goods and services. Present your brand in a professional manner, ensuring that your products conform to the highest standards. Strive to project a positive brand image at all times, so they will not have a single doubt. While this might seem overwhelming, you should tend to the concerns of your clients in a friendly and caring manner.

Staying relevant in an ever changing business environment often proves difficult, especially when you fail to keep up. This is where innovative thinking and the use of the right technology comes to the rescue.

Stop Filling Out Shipping Labels by Hand: Use these Instead

Technology

Shipping BoxesNow that you’ve determined how to pack your items and which carrier to use, you know have to decide how you’ll label them. A majority of new sellers begin by writing shipping labels by hand, but while this is a nice option, it could be very time-consuming. 

Alternatively, you can consider the following options.

Carrier Online Label Template

This can be found on your carrier’s website and is ideal for small orders, around five daily. All carriers provide online shipping label templates for their customers to fit their particular requirements. 

While this is great because you don’t have to worry so much about carrier specifications, it’s somewhat time-consuming for bigger orders since you have to go through a specific process every time you fill out a label. You have to log into the site, fill out the template, download it, and then print it—every single time.

Shipping Label Software

If you’re not already using shipping software (free or paid, doesn’t matter as long as it works for you) with labeling features, a shipping label software program is excellent. You won’t have to go online and you’ll have more automation and customization options for your labels. 

This is perfect if you don’t always have Internet access if you utilize different carriers, and if you need to fill out around five to 10 labels daily. You could just import your carrier’s template into your software and then label them in your computer.

Online Shipping Tools

These are capable of instantly aggregating your order details from different carriers and platforms, and filling out forms accurately. Some are free (minus some features), while some require a monthly fee. This is the most sensible option if you have around 10 to 20 labels to fill out daily.

With shipping, the main rule is to precisely satisfy all carrier requirements so don’t make your template from scratch. The choice between carrier online templates, label software, or shipping services will mainly depend on the amount of labels you need to fill out daily and the amount of time you can spend doing it. And remember, while you’re welcome to do all the labeling by hand, there are other, more efficient ways to do it, you just have to pick one that will work for you best.

‘Let there be Wi-Fi!’: Churches in England as Broadband Beacons

Technology

Church of EnglandIn rural England, churches are utilising their spires as beacons for wireless broadband internet. David Cameron had pledged high-speed broadband to every home in the UK, reaching out to the remaining 5% of the population. It may seem daunting to provide wireless internet to a million more properties, but the Church of England has offered its structural assistance through 10,000 rural churches.

The WiSpire

The Church of England is currently providing WiSpire, a broadband service, across Norfolk via 47 churches. Every wireless internet spire covers an area within a radius of 2.5-miles. Sir Tony Baldry, head of the Church Buildings Council, conversed with rural affairs ministers and opened up the use of spires and towers. Due to their ideal locations in the rural areas, they can reach the homes without broadband internet.

Rory Stewart, the rural affairs minister, appreciates the opportunity the Church of England proposes. He acknowledges how the church spires allow point-to-point coverage, extending even to the remotest of rural areas.

Churches as Buildings

Many of these churches are listed buildings, and from an architectural perspective, they could be ‘visually tarnished’. Steve Maine, the chief executive of WiSpire, comments on the structural issue affecting the project. They are working on a design to obscure the devices, and also, to maintain the building’s fabrication — that its careful installation does not damage or penetrate lead roofs.

The rural churches, once utilised for the project, will become broadband beacons — archaic buildings equipped with modern technology. M&E Maintenance Solutions Ltd, a building fabric services provider, suggests the importance of the building’s fabric maintenance. Churches, in particular, are sturdy structures but technicians must handle them with caution.

For the Greater Good

Peter Aiers, the south-east director of the Churches Conservation Trust, concludes that the broadband installation looks to benefit both the church and the local community. It improves the quality of life in the village by turning a church into a 21st-century facility while barely affecting its aesthetic value.

The churches also receive ample funding to maintain upkeep, and the citizens who will benefit, mostly composed of farmers, can stay connected.

Followers to Ambassadors: 3 Ways to Make Users Work for Your Brand

Technology

Making your Followers Work for your Brand in BrisbaneIn the online world, nothing is more powerful than the word of mouth. There are plenty of proven and effective strategies to promote your brand, but making fans the walking and talking ambassadors of your business is a sure-fire way to expand your reach and generate quality leads.

The truth is, you may spend millions of dollars on ads just to make your brand the talk of the town, but consumers are more likely to believe in the people they know than what your advertising materials would say. Channelling your energies to induce fans to promote your business willingly to their own social circles is a sound move to boost your branding and website SEO in Brisbane and elsewhere, Bambrick Media Pty Ltd states.

Home In on the Influencers

In social media, the number of your followers would only matter if a huge chunk of your fan’s population can influence others. Influencers are Internet users that have a strong following online and are considered an important figure in their social circles. If you manage to effectively engage with the so-called influencers in your fan base, there’s a greater chance to get more positive results out of your efforts.

Engage with Active Users

Interactivity is imperative, particularly for the most engaged users. You don’t have to talk and have a conservation with each and every one of them; simple responses, like 'Thank you', accompanied by a link to be shared would suffice.

This way, those who care the most about your brand would love it even more. Constant engagement would keep your posts relevant in digital channels, and make your content multiply its visibility.

Use a Reward System

Giving online users a special treatment is an effective strategy to convert typical fans into loyal advocates. Be the brand that repays the time and efforts of your fans. If you them feel good being a part of your brand, they are likely to pay you back with positive reviews. Incentives are a generally great motivation for action.

Turning typical fans into brand ambassadors can be your key to put your marketing notches higher. With an army of loyal brand advocates, the road to the top of the food chain is a lot easier to take.

Aluminum: A Danger in Ill-Equipped Construction Facilities

Technology

Rolled Sheets Of AluminumAluminum is one of the most commonly used metals worldwide, with its applications in the manufacturing of pots, pans, foil, beverage cans, building components (siding and roofing, for example), and even airplanes. It can come in powdered form, a material used in creating fireworks and explosives. Aluminum compounds also play important roles in industrial applications, including processes such as abrasion, furnace lining manufacturing, and treatment of water.

Aluminum has many uses that without it, the construction and product manufacturing industry will suffer. However, these industries need to make certain their employees have a safe working environment, or they will suffer from aluminum toxicity that can reach fatal levels.

How aluminum toxicity happens

Aluminum toxicity can take place whenever a person inhales or ingests a high amount of aluminum. While exposure to this metal does not cause immediate harm, prolonged exposure, especially to high levels, can result in severe health problems.

In the case of facilities wherein workers handle aluminum on a daily basis, exposure can occur when the byproduct dust caused by their operations go airborne. From the air, the dust can make its way to uncovered food and beverages. Workers are also at great risk of inhalation of airborne aluminum dust when their workplaces don’t make use of the correct dust removal and containment systems. Employers can significantly minimize the risks of aluminum toxicity with an aluminum dust collector in place.

Aluminum toxicity and the health hazards associated with it

Aluminum toxicity takes place mostly in locations wherein the presence of the metal reaches significant amount, and when people face prolonged and constant exposure. This type of illness has many health hazards associated with it, including bone disorder development (fractures, osteomalacia, and osteopenia), encephalopathy (seizures, stuttering, jerking, gait disturbance, abnormal EEG, and even coma), as well as increased risk of infection, among many others. The worst-case scenario is a fatality.

It’s for all these reasons companies who have employees working with aluminum invest in the proper aluminum dust removal and containment equipment.

Black Hat SEO Techniques Could Mean Google Penalties

Technology

SEO in Brisbane, QLDWebmasters are only afraid of one thing – a Google penalty. That is why their focus should only be on using ethical SEO strategies to rank high on search engines. Unfortunately, though, some want to see immediate results even if it means deceiving Google.

Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO

There are basically two approaches for getting better ranking on the search engines, and these are the black hat and white hat SEO. Black hat SEO involves the use of unethical and deceitful strategies to get better rankings. On the other hand, white hat is the exact opposite. It does not matter whether a webmaster would prefer to use black hat, but know that the consequences could be great when Google finds out.

Google Penalty

Google is learning and it keeps getting better. Using its algorithms, a website may be penalized if ever caught using black hat approaches such as keyword stuffing and using duplicate content. As a result, the website may rank lower in search engines or not receive any ranking at all making brand awareness suffer.

There are different types of Google penalties, such as Panda, Penguin, Malware, and Manual Action. Some penalties can be resolved in days while some take months.

Going White Hat to Avoid Google Penalty

There is only one way you can avoid being penalized by Google, and that’s by using white hat SEO tactics.

SEO experts from bambrickmedia.com.au in Brisbane agree that creating useful, relevant, and original content is one of the best ways to get better ranking. Although keywords are important, they should only be used strategically not just in your content, but in your meta descriptions and title tags as well.

Link building is also an effective white hat tactic provided the landing pages show relevance. And if you ever need to create new pages, make sure that you are offering fresh content helpful to readers.

Google penalties can make traffic suffer and then, brand awareness. You can stay on the safe side and be honest or go black hat. However, remember that Google penalties may take some time to resolve. Who knows? Maybe by that time, your competitors already own the spotlight.

Smart Tips on Choosing the Best Home Security Camera

Technology

Security Camera HoustonWith cases of home invasion and burglary here and there, it pays to know how to protect your family and properties from such threats. Installing security cameras is one the best ways to increase your home security. This way, even if you’re home or away, you can ensure an additional level of protection for your loved ones.

There are different types of security cams in the market. They come in different sizes, shapes, and features to suit every homeowner’s security needs, but how do you choose the best one?
North Star Home enumerates these tips for you.

Consider light levels

Choose a surveillance camera that matches the amount of light present in the area you plan to install it. Just about any kind of camera will work for any well-lit area. Go for a day and night cam if the area has dim lighting. These cameras are equipped with low-light compatibility, with a light sensitivity rating of one Lux or lower. The best thing about day and night cams is they provide you consistent monitoring despite the changing light levels all throughout the day.

Wired or wireless?

Another important consideration is whether a wired or wireless unit is the best option. Wired cams come in a wide variety of options, which also translates to flexibility in price. In addition, they provide better video quality than most wireless systems. What’s best about a wireless camera is you don’t need to bother yourself with a messy and noticeable wiring installed in and around your home. Many dealers offer a range of easy to install wireless units integrated with a complete home security system

Find the right dealer

Another important thing to do when shopping for security cams is finding a reputable and licensed dealer. When you work with a trusted supplier, you’re confident of the quality of the product and the service that comes with it – installation, maintenance, and repair.

Keep these things in mind before you purchase a camera. With wise consideration of options, you can get the best value for your money while keeping your home and family safe from the threats of intrusion and robbery.

Five Minutes: The Make or Break in your Social Media Strategies

Technology

Social Media StrategiesMonitoring the competition is an important part of succeeding on social media. Part of the process involves setting up a dashboard to see how they’re doing, but whatever data you collect will end up useless if you have no idea how to go about your next step.

Gathering smart data will result in you making smarter decisions, so take everything slowly. It’s time to pause, dig deep, and analyze.

Beat the Competition with Analysis

Taking a look at all of your social media data will give you a better idea of where your strategy stands. A simple analysis can say so much about your competition, too. According to PR Caffeine, your social media strategy analysis in Minnesota will reveal which brands have the most shares on social media, as well as what influencers say about your brand.

Social analysis also gives you a better idea regarding the latest topics that pique the interest of people in your industry. You understand consumer conversation and learn what pleases the audience.

Despite the numerous benefits of analysis, you hesitate. You’ve got a load on your plate, you argue. Sparing the time for an in-depth breakdown of strategies might consume your schedule.

Actually, all you need is five minutes.

Less than Time Consuming

The first step is to monitor the mentions of your competitors, which creates a competitive report that takes just five minutes. For more efficient monitoring, set up different alerts for each of your competition. After creating your reports, it’s time for some data digging.

Try picking out the influencers that talk about your opponents. Negative or neutral sentiments, it doesn’t matter. These people are unlikely to be hardcore fans, so they might be more open to the idea of working with the competition.

Also, watch out for spikes in social media activity. Use Mentions to determine what people talk about. Can you adapt your competitor’s strategy? If you’re looking for new opportunities, topic clouds also offer another look at the hottest discussions.

Becoming the ultimate marketing spy need not take more than five minutes of your time. All you need is to spare those five minutes and execute a competitive listening strategy.

Gas Dangers of Storage Tanks Every Employer Should Know

Technology

Storage Tank PrecautionsWhile storing massive quantities of various liquids or any other form of resource, storage tanks are the way to go. However, having them just in place is not going to be enough, as the structures would require maintenance equivalent to API 653 standards. Unless proper measures are followed, they might do more bad than good.

From the various dangers it brings, one that stands out concerns gas; other than it results to erratic scenarios, it is also a silent killer.

Explosion and fires

The material or substance stored doesn’t change the fact that tanks could cause an explosion or fire. In fact, HeartlandTankServices.com describes, the only factor it would change is the likelihood and severity of the scenario. Whether it may be flammable liquids or as innocent as massive quantities of grains, the inside of the storage tank is slowly building up gases. It would only be a matter of time for the volume to be enough and the accidental presence of a heat source for an explosion to occur.

Suffocation

In the case that the gases find a way to escape from the inside of the tank, a different danger is posed. For example, grains produce carbon dioxide as a result of their gradual fermentation. At small amounts, it is unobservable, but with towering volumes, it could produce enough gas to cloud the nearby vicinity. With the depletion of oxygen content in the air, workers could themselves dizzy, which would prove dangerous depending on where they are, even fatal.

Implosions

A not so rare incident in storage tanks, but still a possibility. Implosions are caused by the sudden change in temperature of the air inside the tank, resulting in an abrupt difference in internal pressure. However, instead of the force going outside, it moves towards inside, causing the tank to crumple. Unless there are workers at the top of the tank, the fatality of the scenario is not that great.

With big risks comes great responsibility. There is no room for failures and imperfections. Maintenance and operations involving storage tanks must be exceptional, leaving no room for any unintended incidents, because that small gap may mean the difference between life and death.

Stay Ahead in the Game: Understand Pricing Techniques

Technology

Pricing StrategyWhether you are a manufacturer or a retailer, it is important that you price your products or services correctly, so that your customers are satisfied. Not to mention you can maintain a decent profit margin as well. Although it may seem simple enough, it is important to understand the minute nuances involved when it comes to pricing of a commodity correctly.

Moreover, to ensure that your products or services are valued correctly, industry professional PriceManager says that you must be able to monitor competitor’s prices as well. So overall evaluating and understanding pricing of any product or service is necessary if you want to become a successful entrepreneur.

Some Common Practices In Price Evaluation

When you put your product or service in the market, make sure that you have priced it right. Here are some things that you must remember:

  • The commodity must be priced with an ideal profit margin after taking into account the cost of production.
  • Understand the market practices and predict the requirement of the particular commodity. For instance, evaluate the demand and supply of the product in the market.
  • Most commodities have complementary as well as substitute items. So monitor the competitor’s prices and accordingly fix the value of your product.
  • Evaluate the amount of effort that goes in to develop the particular product. This is something you should also keep in mind when pricing products.
  • Understand the requirements and objective of your customers. You should do this after evaluating the customers need and their willingness to pay for the particular commodity.

All your competitors will be working out the price for an item after evaluating all aspects from product development to delivery. Make sure that you too have priced your products and services competitively, so that you make profit and do not suffer any losses due to defective pricing. Proper pricing alone can make certain your success as an entrepreneur.