7 Hacks for Productive Home Working

If you are new to remote working, whether it is a result of the current pandemic or whether your company has switched to remote working opportunities, it can feel a bit of a challenge to know how to work from home most productively without getting distracted. A new working environment and having more responsibility of your own routine can actually lead to lack of motivation in some people – which is why these 7 productivity hacks for home working are here to help you.

  1. Set Up Your Working Space

First and foremost, you need to have the perfect spot to do your work at home. Ideally this should be a home office, but that is not always possible, especially if you have a smaller home. What matters is being able to set up a comfortable spot where you will not be disturbed and where you can sit comfortably.

  1. Have Set Working Hours

Working from home easily leads into working more hours than you would do when you are in a workplace. However, a working day is still the same, which means stick to set start and finish hours to make sure you do not overwork yourself and can remain focused.

  1. Let Others in the Household Know Your Schedule

If you do not live alone, working from home can be tricky. It is easy for others to speak with you or interrupt you simply because you are at home, but your work schedule needs to be treated in the same way as if you were at the office.

So make sure you tell those you live with the hours you are working and cannot be disturbed during, and the time you will be clocking off.

  1. Choose the Right Software and Systems to Keep You Connected

Staying connected with others in your company is key when you are working from home, so that you can make sure communication is effective and that you have access to everything you need. Team software, like that from ovatiotech.com, can really help remote team members to work from the same information, connect through video chat or messaging and align all their communication.

  1. Make Sure You Still Take Breaks

Because you are at home, you may think that you do not need a long lunch break, or perhaps forget about breaks throughout the day. No matter where you are, breaks are still important for your health and productivity levels. So be sure to schedule in breaks like you normally would.

  1. You Can Still Leave the House

Working from home does not mean you have to be stuck to your desk all day. You can choose to work in the garden if you have one, or take a walk at lunch time to get out of the house. This will help you to feel focused and refreshed. Some people like walking first thing in the morning – to simulate a morning commute to the office and signal the start of the workday.

  1. Position Yourself in Natural Light

Natural light can be one of the biggest productivity boosters, so making sure that you are working in an area that has plenty of natural light will help for a more positive mentality and more work motivation.

Working from home can be a success with these 7 productivity hacks.

Four Reasons Why Political Campaigns Should Use SMS Marketing

When fundraising for a political campaign or simply driving to get the message out about your candidate, SMS marketing is one of the best ways around. If you are thinking of trying to promote your political message through SMS marketing or looking to ramp up your existing SMS plans, this guide has been designed to provide the crucial information as to why it is so effective. Read on now to learn about four reasons why every political campaign should be using SMS marketing.

It Captures People without Internet or Smartphones

Not everyone has a smartphone or reliable internet connection. Nonetheless, nearly everyone will have some kind of working phone with an SMS connection. That’s why it makes sense to develop your SMS marketing, collecting people’s numbers while going door-to-door. This means that you will be able to pick up on people from a lower-class background or of an older age and let them know all about your campaign. If you are not sure how to develop your mobile fundraising campaign, why not consider trying mobile fundraising with Anedot, a respected company with plenty of experience in this field.

It’s Direct

SMS marketing is direct, which is what political campaigns need if they want to thrive. People value communication that gets to the point, is short and concise, and quickly conveys the message. It also serves as a crucial reminder to people who may have forgotten about you, conveying the fact that you care about their opinion and want to hear more from them. Just remember to get the name of the people you collect these phone details from, so when you address them:

It Feels Personable

People value communication that feels personable. This shows that they are not another voter to win over, but someone important in their own right. A way to make it really feel like you are talking to the person who you contact is to allow them to reply to the text so you can get a conversation going. You’ll be surprised by the amount of undecided voters who may change their affiliation if they feel that they can actually have a proper conversation with campaigners. One by one, you will find that you can slowly swing the favor of the vote your way.

It Allows You To Collect Data

As both the 2016 and 2020 national campaigns have shown, data is the secret weapon for winning an election. By using text marketing, you are able to build metrics that can then be converted into crucial campaign data. The more you know about your prospective voters — and their breakdown by race, age, and gender — the more you can tailor your messages to truly resonate with them. Make sure that when you are using two-way marketing to ask lots of questions of the person who has replied in order to get a full picture of their concerns and to then use that data to your advantage later on.

Simple Tips for Improving Your Conversion Rate

It is so frustrating when you get lots of traffic to your website, but it just does not seem to result in sales. However, traffic is a great place to start, and there are lots of things you can do to bring those conversion rates up.

Here are some simple tips to improve your conversion rate and get more sales.

Quality Copy

Copy is the writing on your website that is designed to get people to act. The better your copywriting is, the more likely it is people will take the actions you want them to take on your page.

This is where you must be investing in quality on your website, taking the time to craft the right messages, and guide people through the sales process using calls to action.

Create More Touchpoints

Improving conversion rates is about getting more out of the traffic you already have, and one of the ways to do this is by creating more touchpoints.

People might be coming to your website and enjoying the content, but once they leave your site, you may never see them again. You need to use your great content to get people to give you a way to reach them consistently.

Contact forms are an important part of your website’s weaponry, so make sure you are using them to good effect.

Email Marketing

Once you have someone’s contact details, you can start leveraging email marketing to boost your conversion rate. However, just sending out hastily crafted emails is not going to get the results you want.

Your email marketing campaigns need to be highly focused and personalized towards your customers. Your email autoresponder will have good segmentation options to make sure you’re reaching the right people with the right messages, and tools like rocketseed.com can help add that personal touch to your emails.

Ensure you are offering value to your subscribers, which will lead to more engagement and better conversion rates.

Shipping Policies

If you are selling a physical product, then it is important you clearly outline your shipping policies.

When customers add a product to their basket, it is part of a complicated decision-making process. If people have made that decision, only to find out further along the line that there is an additional cost, then they have got to go through the whole process again, and they might come up with a different answer this time.

Being clear about shipping policies will help you reduce abandon cart ratios, helping you make more sales.

Checkout Process

When someone is decided to buy your product, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to pay. When you look at some of the biggest e-commerce brands globally, they allow you to buy products with so few clicks – there are no barriers to a sale.

However, smaller sites sometimes make you jump through hoops, and every hoop you have to jump through makes you less likely to follow through with your purchase. Do not let this be your website.

4 Ways to Improve Your Network Security

Cyber attacks are on the rise, and surveys show that there is a security breach every 39 seconds on average. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and using increasingly complex methods to steal sensitive data. A data breach can destroy a company’s image and result in substantial losses. It is therefore essential that businesses protect their digital assets by implementing effective security solutions. With this in mind, here are four ways to improve your network security:

  1. Provide cybersecurity training

A recent study found that 95% of successful cybersecurity breaches are due to human error. Human error is described as accidental actions that cause or allow a security breach to occur. A common example of this is when an employee unintentionally releases a virus by opening an email attachment from an untrustworthy source. Employers need to provide their staff with sufficient training on cybersecurity. This will help employees recognize a potential cyber threat and take action to minimize the risk. Cybersecurity training should cover various aspects of network security, including how to prevent sql injection attacks, phishing scams, and other malware. Offer regular training sessions to refresh your team’s knowledge of cybersecurity threats and the associated risks. You should also encourage your employees to report any suspicious activity immediately.

  1. Protect your company’s Wi-Fi

An unsecured Wi-Fi connection can make your network vulnerable to cyber attacks. Employers should take steps to secure their Wi-Fi router and ensure that their network is protected against hackers and malware. Firstly, make sure that your Wi-Fi has a solid password that is updated regularly. It is a good idea to have a separate Wi-Fi for visitors so that you can limit your network access. Remember that you should also keep your Wi-Fi router in a secure location like a locked cabinet. Avoid leaving your Wi-Fi router in the office or out on display.

  1. Create a backup plan

Your network will still be at risk of a cyberattack, no matter how many security measures you take. This is why you must create a data backup plan to recover valuable data in the event of a breach. A data backup plan will help minimize losses and ensure business continuity if you ever fall victim to a cyber attack. The goal of a data backup plan is to get your business back operating if data is stolen is compromised. You can create a data backup plan yourself or partner with a specialist IT company to create a customized backup strategy.

  1. Outsource your network security

IT security experts have the skills and expertise to improve your network security. They will identify vulnerabilities and create strategies to enhance your network security. An IT security company can also monitor your digital systems 24/7 and act quickly in the event of a network breach. Outsourcing your cybersecurity to experts will give you peace of mind knowing that your network and data are secure. This means that you can focus on growing your business and achieving your strategic objectives.

How To Effectively Control Access In Your Organization

When you are running an organisation or a business, you will likely have some files or property that needs to be kept secure. It is highly unusual that everyone in an organisation would have access to everything but how do you control this? The truth is that there are a few ways that you can effectively control access in your organisation with both digital tools and physical tools. Below, we’ll give you some of our best tips and tricks.

Inform Your Staff 

One of the simplest things that you can do to control access in your organisation is to inform your staff. You could find that some of your staff members are breaching your security procedures simply because they do not understand them completely. If they don’t know what they are allowed to access, how can they make sure they are following the rules? This is something that should be conveyed both in verbally and written in guidelines.

Invest In Access Wristbands 

If you operate in a large office building, it might be difficult to keep track of everyone at all times. For this reason, you may consider hiring security personnel to monitor the various rooms in your building. However, security staff can be expensive to maintain. So, instead, you should consider implementing an RFID wristband system with access levels granted to each staff member. If you visit https://www.idcardsdirect.co.uk/, you’ll find great options for your business.

Grant Digital Access

Not only will you need to protect any physical files or rooms in your building, but you’ll also need to be careful when it comes to your digital files. These usually contain financial data, passwords and even customer data which needs to be protected at all times. If you want to effectively control access in your organisation, you should make sure that access is only granted to those who require it. Password protect everything and change these regularly. The last thing you want is a security breach of your data.

Protect Your System

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re protecting your organisation from any unauthorised access from outside of the business. For example, hackers could gain access to your digital files if you are not protecting them carefully enough. This can be even more common in systems where customers can login to a portal and get more access than they really should. Find any gaps in your security and close them as soon as possible to control the access.

Final Verdict

If you are hoping to keep your organisation as secure as possible, you should make sure to take on board all of the advice that we have given you in this article, and deploy all the digital tools and physical tools which are available to you. Invest in RFID wristbands, train your staff and make sure that everything is password protected. Don’t let your lack of consideration for security compromise your business. Once you set out access levels, you’ll have the peace of mind that everything is going smoothly.

5 Tips for Switching Employees to Remote Working

In 2020, millions of businesses switched to remote working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the reduction in costs and enhanced work-life balance for employees has led to many businesses making the change permanent. If you’re considering introducing a long-term, work-from-home strategy, take a look at these five tips for switching employees to remote working:

1. Issue the Right Equipment

You’ll need to decide whether staff will be permitted to use their own devices or whether you’re going to issue the equipment they need. Providing staff with tech devices ensures that all employees will have access the right equipment, but it also means you can pre-load devices with security software and any work-based platforms they’ll be using.

2. Transition to the Cloud

Cloud-based services can benefit any type of business but they’re particularly advantageous when you’re managing a distributed workforce. When programs are based in the cloud, for example, employees can log in from any location. Similarly, data can be shared seamlessly within the cloud, which is vital when it comes to maximizing productivity and efficiency.

3. Update Your Cybersecurity Strategy

As you switch to remote working, your cybersecurity methodologies will need to evolve. When employees are accessing platforms remotely, for example, there will be logins made via potentially unsecured routers and internet connections. Additionally, cloud-based infrastructures require different security protocols, which means implementing new strategies. Of course, new threats are emerging all the time too, so you’ll need to ensure your cybersecurity strategy is equipped to deal with new risks and attacks.

4. Provide IT Support

As a business, you’ll need ongoing IT support to ensure your tech infrastructure is functioning optimally. However, your employees may need to access tech support to troubleshoot issues with their devices or connections too. IT managed services can be the most cost-effective way for businesses to ensure they have the tech support they need. Encompassing system maintenance, cybersecurity, user account management, secure remote access and much, much more, managed IT services ensure you can access a wide range of services and comprehensive support.

5. Maintain Communication

When staff are working remotely, it’s easy for employees to feel isolated. This can be particularly common if staff are used to working in busy, bustling offices or are new to homeworking. Maintaining communication ensures staff feel supported and gives them the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have. Furthermore, regular communication can boost morale and increase productivity. From one-to-one video chats with supervisors to virtual social events, be sure to make communication a top priority when you’re managing remote teams.

Implementing Remote Working Strategies

As more businesses benefit from remote working, we’re likely to see a major shift in the way employees work. While remote working can deliver lucrative benefits, it’s important to take a strategic approach to any major change. By doing so, you can achieve a seamless transition and maintain your operations as you implement new working arrangements. With a comprehensive strategy, professional support and the right resources, remote working could be a fantastic way to grow your business.

4 Types of Insurance Coverage Your Business May Need

If you operate a business, you likely already know there are many insurance products available. The number of options can prove to be confusing. However, it is important to remember that your business doesn’t necessarily need coverage from several different insurance policies, depending on the state you’re in, whereas some policies are law, such as how in Georgia you need to provide worker insurance for part-time staff.

Another example on how these rules fluctuate is, if you operate as a sole proprietorship or run a small business from home, you’re not going to require the same type of coverage as a mid-size organization with multiple employees. As a result, you have to pay particular attention to the type of insurance your company needs.

That’s where this article is here to help. Instead of dropping money on policies that aren’t necessary, you will have a greater understanding about which coverage is best. Here are four types of insurance your business may need.

Workers compensation insurance

If your business does have employees on its books, you will most likely require workers compensation insurance, as every state in America requires businesses to have some form of this coverage. However, the extent of your cover can be drastically different depending on where you’re based, with your requirements being dependent on the number of employees working for your business, as in Georgia you don’t need have this cover if you employ less than three workers. There are also plenty other rules specific in Georgia, so be sure to learn what’s required if you have a business there.

However, even if you fall under the mandatory total of employees, it still makes sense to acquire workers comp insurance as it supplies vital financial protection for not just your staff, but also you and your business. If an employee is a victim to a workplace injury, the insurance can cover emergency treatment, lost wages, medical bills, and even death benefits.

General liability insurance

For many small businesses, general liability insurance is a must. This policy protects a company from common claims that revolve around:

  • Property damage
  • Bodily injury
  • Copyright infringement
  • Advertising injury
  • Reputational harm

Did you know that the average slip and fall settlement sits at around $30,000? For many small businesses, trying to cover this expense would lead to them having to shut up shop for good. Yet if you have general liability insurance in place, you won’t have to deal with this type of cost on your own.

Professional liability insurance

To be protected from client claims, you must be covered with professional liability insurance. This policy covers the likes of copyright infringement, negligence, and personal injury. It can include damages resulting from something you did, or something you should have done.

While many business types can benefit from this type of policy, professional liability insurance is particularly essential if your company supplies:

  • Clients with contractual services
  • Clients with professional advice
  • A professional service

Commercial auto insurance

If you operate with business-owned vehicles, you need to have these covered with commercial auto insurance. This policy will cover you and your employees in the event of a vehicle-related incident. As a result, it can help cover expenses related to property damage, injuries, and more.

Commercial auto insurance is especially important for vehicle-based businesses like delivery companies and taxi firms. Yet it can also help you out if you use your car for work-related tasks and end up with unexpected expenses due to an accident.

 

 

10 Steps to a Successful eCommerce Business

Are you considering starting an eCommerce business? Running any business gives you the chance to manage your own time and make your own way in the world, but when that business is online, the possibilities are endless. Many people at least consider the advantages of selling products via the internet, as when done well, it can be a highly profitable venture. However, there is a difference between an eCommerce business that turns a profit and an eCommerce business that enjoys significant success.

If you are hoping to start an eCommerce business, here are ten key steps to a successful venture.

  1. Register the business

When shopping online, people are more cautious than ever before. Customers want to know that they are buying from a reputable and legal business, so it is important to officially register your business. When choosing a name for your business, you should ensure that it is recognizable and, ideally, tells customers what you sell. Your website domain should be as close to your company name as possible. You will also need a bank account for your business where payments can be deposited.

  1. Do not rush your launch

It might be tempting to rush your eCommerce business launch, but this is usually a mistake. Think of the launch of your website as the launch of your storefront and generate interest in your brand in the days and weeks leading up to it. The most important point to remember is that your website should be completely ready to operate before it goes live.

  1. Decide on your shipping courier

When selling products via the internet, you need a way to send your products to your customers. To do this, you will need to partner with a reputable shipping company that will handle your products with care and efficiency.

  1. Make sure you have IT support

If your business relies on your having access to a computer so you can manage your website and online payments, it makes sense that your IT system is crucial to your success. When you run into a problem, you could find your business is unable to operate for a period, which could lead to lost sales and reputational damage. Rather than employing an IT professional on a full-time basis, consider using a remote IT support company that will respond quickly when you need them to.

  1. Put your customers first

There is a misconception that running an eCommerce business does not demand the same level of customer service as running a brick-and-mortar store. In reality, you need to prioritize your customer satisfaction levels, ensuring that customers can use your website easily and quickly and place their order without difficulty. The product should arrive within your specified timeframe, and you should be available to answer queries and resolve complaints efficiently. Online reviewing is a powerful force that can make or break a business, and it is unwise to get a poor reputation by neglecting customer service.

  1. Invest in your website

Your website needs to be secure, easy to navigate, attractive, and stable, with user experience at the top of your list of concerns. There are professional website designers and developers who will be able to create the best possible website for you.

  1. Embrace social media

Maintaining a presence on social media by publishing content that is engaging and informative is key to success in the world of eCommerce. This enables you to build an audience of followers (potential customers) you can interact with and promote your brand to. When you create content, make sure it is easy to share, like, or comment on.

  1. Make your website mobile-friendly

In the past, people could only view the website when they sat in front of a static desktop computer or laptop. Now, most people are using their tablets and smartphones to browse the internet and make online purchases. For this reason, your website needs to be mobile-friendly, i.e., easy to view and navigate on a mobile device.

  1. Build a marketing database

It is far easier to sell to an existing customer than to sell to a new customer, so you need to nurture your customer relationships. Customer relationship management software may help you to do this, and you should give customers a way to subscribe to email updates and marketing promotions.

  1. Keep evolving

One of the most challenging parts of running an eCommerce business is that the internet, technology, and digital marketing are always changing. To stay ahead of your competitors and ensure that you are following best practices, you need to be prepared to adapt and evolve in line with digital marketing trends.

Tips for Empowering Employees in Digital Transformation

As companies both big and small transition to a digital approach in terms of conducting business, it is vital to ensure that employees are sufficiently supported and guided throughout the journey. While some employees (namely, those who have been utilizing technology for much of their lives) will adapt rather seamlessly, other employees (particularly those from older generations) may have a slightly more difficult time when it comes to making the necessary changes.

Here are some tips for successfully empowering all employees in digital transformation.

Transition gradually

It can be quite jarring for an employee to completely change the way that they have been doing their job for years in a matter of a few weeks. Therefore, if you are keen to make the switch over to digital, do your best to introduce the new technology and ways of working in a slow and steady fashion, giving your employees time and space to get comfortable and to ask all of the necessary questions.

Enroll them in online courses

What better way in which to learn how to navigate the digital realm than through the digital realm itself? There are countless online courses available to aid your team in mastering the art of the internet and technology in relation to business. For example, Computergaga.com offers world-class Excel online courses, most of which are well-suited to beginners.

Be patient and understanding

Communicate to your employees that you do not expect them to become digital experts immediately. Let them know that it is alright to make mistakes and to let you know when they are struggling. In fact, you should encourage this! Making mistakes means that they are actively exploring what works and what doesn’t, and coming to you when they are having a difficult time means that you can guide them in the right direction and get productivity quickly back on track.

Adopt a culture of ongoing learning

The digital world is continuously evolving, so it is important that your business, your employees, and their skillsets are too. Adopt a culture of ongoing learning and do your best to constantly keep your team in the loop, encouraging them to do their own research and make their own recommendations regarding industry- and technology-related advancements. At the very least, strive to set up regular ‘refresher’ courses or workshops relating to core digital skills and competencies within your business.

Pair employees up with mentors

There are certain to be a few employees who are more tech-savvy than others. Take advantage of this by pairing up the digitally advanced employees with the technology-challenged team members. Employees will always learn better and faster when guided by their peers – plus, it will free up your time as a business owner to focus on other pertinent aspects of your establishment rather focusing solely on digital transformation.

The bottom line? Slow and steady wins the race. Give your employees time to adapt and take action to ensure adequate support throughout the transition phase and beyond. You will have a well-oiled digital-friendly business on your hands before you know it!

Five types of digital tools you need for your business

There are so many different factors to think about when it comes to ensuring that your business runs smoothly. From your online presence and marketing to managing your staff and your own workload, it can feel a little overwhelming at times. Luckily these days, there are plenty of digital tools out there to help you not only cope with these issues but do them more successfully.

Here are five different types of software that you should check out because they’ll almost certainly make your work life easier.

Website building tools

If there’s one principle we can say for definite is true, it’s that every business needs a website nowadays. With very few exceptions, this is the case regardless of your company’s size or the industry you work in. However, for those with little or no computing experience, the idea of creating one can seem extremely daunting. If that sounds like you, try using a platform such as Wix or WordPress that guides you through the process step by step, enabling even the least tech-savvy people to create something that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. 

Communication tools

If you work with a team, online communication tools are invaluable – especially with many of us working from home these days. Whether it’s video conferencing software or instant messaging, the ability to quickly and easily ask questions, raise issues, and share ideas is a vital part of the workplace. There are a wealth of options out there, so be sure to check out a range of different ones, like a Slack self-hosted alternative, before committing.

Email newsletter tools

One of the best forms of marketing and staying in direct contact with your customer base is through an email newsletter, and these can give a genuinely impressive ROI (return on investment). Again, there are plenty of different tools out there that can assist you with factors such as email templates, automatic responses, analytics, and even images. They vary quite a lot in terms of price, power, and functionality, so there’s sure to be one that suits your company’s needs perfectly.

Collaboration tools

Like communication tools, if you work with others, then collaborating effectively and efficiently is key. From services such as Google Docs and Microsoft 365 that allow team members to work directly on the same documents to project management software such as Trello, there are a wide variety of tools on the market that address specific collaboration needs to make your business more productive.

Organizational tools

Need some help getting organized? Unsurprisingly there’s help for that too. Classics such as Evernote enable you to take notes – including with audio, video, and images – wherever you are, whilst Hootsuite is ideal for managing your social media work, and Asana assists you in looking after your calendar. Whichever aspect of organization you particularly struggle with, you can find a tool specifically aimed at making it easier to manage. Alternatively, you can go for a more general type of software that has many different functions to cover all your bases!