The Tech Everyone is Talking about in 2019

The tech-savvy and gadget-obsessed will undoubtedly be on the look-out
for most notable tech and gadget releases of 2019. Below are a few examples of
the most impressive tech to make its way onto the market this year, all of
which have got people talking and hurrying to invest. Will you follow suit?

Lenovo Smart Clock

Just when you thought that your smartphone had completely replaced any
need for an alarm clock, the Lenovo Smart Clock hit the shelves
in June 2019 – and has been flying off them ever since! This clever clock is
equipped to operate Google Assistant, is capable of charging your phone, wakes
you up with a gradually brightening clock face before setting off your alarm
and, of course, tells time. Believe it or not, while the Lenovo Smart Clock’s
specs are endlessly impressive, its real appeal lies in its minimalistic design
which is reminiscent of an old-school alarm clock and is guaranteed to add a
nostalgic charm to your bedside table.

New iPhone Cases

The new
iPhone cases by Bodyguardz
do so much more than simply
protect your favorite device from damage. Many of these innovative smartphone
accessories come with advanced technology for improved functionality and
convenience. For example, some come with a wrist strap that can be easily
removed or attached as needed. This wrist strap aids in reducing the risk of
accidentally dropping your phone, whether you’re using your phone at home or
out and about, therefore making it a top choice for runners and people who work
on their devices while on the go. 

Waverly Ambassador Translator

Say good-bye to language barriers for good with the new Waverly
Ambassador Translator. It’s an amazing little gadget that has the ability to
translate speech on the spot. It has a hygienic over-the-ear design to allow
for seamless sharing and has been programmed to translate dozens of languages
and dialects, thus allowing you to communicate effectively with practically
anyone and everyone at any time. While it is still in its very early stages of
development, the reviews on the product are promising overall. So, if you’re
someone who travels frequently or who deals with people from different
countries for business purposes on a regular basis, it’s definitely worthwhile
to give it a go and see if it works for you.

Ember 14 oz. Temperature Control Mug

Moms around the globe who are used to drinking their coffee cold after
attending to the needs and demands of their children all morning long will
certainly appreciate the masterpiece that is the Ember 14 oz. Temperature Control Mug.
In essence, this mug utilizes internal heating technology to keep your beverage
a specific temperature for up to an hour after making it. It allows you to
adjust your ‘perfect’ temperature as you prefer it, from between 120°F – 145°F.
The battery life lasts 60 minutes, or you can keep the mug on its charging
coaster for all-day use. Furthermore, it’s safe to hand wash and you can
control it with your smartphone!

Talk about awe-inspiring technology! Don’t forget to update your wish
list.

The Benefits of Analytics Tools for any Business

Knowing your customers is one of the fundamental principles of marketing. For your efforts to be effective you need to know about your customers behaviour. If you are selling online then you will also need to know about how they react and engage with your online advertising and website. 

One of the ways you can gather this information is by using an analytics tool. A good analytics tool will allow you to see your website in a way you’ve never seen it before. You will be able to understand how customers got to your site, what they did when they got there and what factors influenced them in making a purchase. 

Top Website Analytics Insights

For websites in particular, it’s very important to be able to understand how your customers are behaving online. Where in a physical retail location you can see issues like when queues build up and when customers can’t find products. This kind of insight isn’t available online without the use of an analytics tool. Some of the most useful website metrics are covered off below.

Where Your Users Came From

People will find you website in a mixture of different ways. They may come through a search engine or they may come to your website directly. Knowing this is crucial because it will help you to identify which marketing channels are most effective and which are the best at converting. A tool like digivante.com will even be able to tell you which type of website browser is giving you a better conversion rate. 

Time Spent on a Page

As well as driving users to your website you want to know that when they get there you are providing them with the information they want. Looking at a metric like time spent on a page can be beneficial because it can help you to identify weak or irrelevant content on your website. It can also be a sign that you are attracting the wrong website visitors. 

New Website Visitors

Being able to see the percentage of new visitors to your website is hugely beneficial because without new users, you will have issues with making sales. If you keep getting the same repeat visitors to you site then you may have a problem with your marketing in that you are not attracting new customers to your site. A returning user metric on your dashboard will help you to identify where marketing budget needs to be spent to be the most effective. 

Data Driven Insights

In any retail environment be it online or in store, the customer is king. You therefore must be able to collect and utilize customer insights effectively so that you can grow your businesses successfully. Using an analytics tool in your business is one way to ensure that you are keeping the customer at the forefront of decision making. Providing them with a great customer experience will keep them coming back and will help you to win new business.

4 Ways To Improve Your Employee & Customer Experience

In the world of
business, you always need to make sure that you are keeping both your employees
and your customers happy. Many businesses forget that there are two main groups
of people that need to be happy if the company is to succeed and will place to
much focus on just one group. This means that it is worth knowing a few
different ways in which you can improve the customer and employee experience, and
there are many ways of doing this which could deliver powerful long term
results for the business and ensure that everyone is happy and content at all
times.

1.
Seek Feedback

One of the most obvious ways to improve the experience of both the consumer and the employee is to ask for feedback. This can be daunting, but it is important for identifying areas in which you could make improvements.

2.
Improve The Office

Making improvements to the office is smart because it will improve both
the customer and employee experience. Employees spend the majority of their
week in the office, so it will be much better for them if this is somewhere
comfortable, welcoming, and well-equipped. From the customer’s point of view,
this can help to make a good first impression, and it will ensure that they are
dealing with staff who are happy and content. A few ideas for improving the
office include:

  • Maximizing natural light
  • Upgrading the furniture
  • Potted plants
  • Personal decoration
  • Using an open plan office

3.
Improve Communication

Communication is
key to success in the business world and a great way to improve both customer
and employee experience. Increasing face-to-face communication is a smart idea
for forging important relationships, but you should also think about ways in
which you can improve digital comms. One highly effective strategy for this is
to use a service like boomerangmessaging.com which can automate communication flows
between business systems and customers with text, email and voice messaging.
This can reduce operating costs, improve the customer experience, optimize
process efficiency and much more.

4.
Host Events

Hosting events is
an intelligent idea which can bring a host of benefits to the company. First,
it is a good idea in terms of improving morale and team-building, but it is
also highly effective for advertising the company. It will also paint your
company as a brand that cares about its target customer. This will allow
customers and employees to relax and socialise, which can break down barriers
and create a powerful relationship between business and customer. There are all
kinds of events to consider, including:

  • BBQs
  • Launch parties
  • Workshops
  • Fun days
  • Festivals

Taking steps to
improve the employee and customer experience is important and a great way to
improve your company. In order for any business to grow and succeed, both of
these groups will have to be happy and content, but this requires constant
work. The above are a few ideas which should help with both the employee and
customer experience so you should soon start to see results after trying these
ideas.

Recycling Office Materials: A Guide

All workplaces generate waste, and while manufacturing industries tend
to produce the most, it is surprising how much material can be recycled through
general office work. If you are looking for effective and efficient ways to
manage your office waste, this guide is for you.

What waste is produced through office work?

  • Paper – Paper is often
    the most abundant recyclable material in any office. While many processes
    within offices are computer based, office work still generates a lot of paper
    waste. The good news is that paper is one of the easiest materials to recycle.
    While it is good to have paper recycling bins in every office, a better way to
    store paper before it is sent for recycling is to shred and/or compress it. Look
    at recyclingbalers.com
    as this is one company where waste machinery can be bought to suit any office
    space.

Shredding and compressing
paper means that more of it can be stored in one place, and because it is
shaped into bales, it makes it easier to transport.

  • Plastics / Glass – if your staff
    eat lunch and other snacks onsite, then there is likely to be plastic waste
    that can be recycled. Single
    use plastics
    such as drink bottles and coffee cups are becoming a
    big problem for the environment, and most people are happy to recycle if
    appropriate bins are provided.

Waste machinery can compact
and bale a variety of materials, including plastics, and may be something to
consider investing in if you have a large, office-based workforce.

  • Electronics – old electronic
    equipment that is no longer working or in use can be recycled. Often they can
    be refurbished, or the working components re-used. There are companies that
    will collect old electrical equipment from your office, and a simple internet
    search will bring up some results in your area.

  • Food Waste – using bins to
    collect food waste, such as fruit and vegetable, or sandwich leftovers from
    staff lunches, is another way that an office can put waste to good use. Food
    scraps can be collected by a local service, and made into compost.

How to Encourage Recycling in an Office

Having a recycling policy in
an office
not only helps the environment, but puts the feel-good
factor in your team.

One way to help staff recycle is to provide a central point where there
are bins that are clearly labeled for different materials. Removing personal
trash bins from desk areas will mean that staff have to visit the designated
recycling bins to dispose of personal and office waste.

You can also remind staff of the importance of recycling through wall
posters, and include a message on staff intranet and email footers. Another fun
way to encourage more recycling in the office is to create challenges and give
prizes for those who recycle the most, or help others to recycle more.

Recycling is a habit that any office can adopt. With the right
equipment, like appropriate bins, shredding and baling machinery, recycling can
become an efficient part of a well-run office.

3 Solutions To Streamline Your Legal Business

As the owner of a
business in the legal sector, you’re rushed off your feet from the moment you
enter your office in the morning to the moment you leave it during the evening.
Throw in the fact that you’re at the mercy of the courts and you have to abide
by their timeframe, everything about your schedule just gets that much more
frantic.

This is why you must
resolve to streamline your workflow as best you can. The more productive and
efficient you become, the better control you’ll have over your schedule. Ultimately,
this will result in you performing more work of an optimized nature.

To find three
solutions that will be sure to help you streamline your legal business, be sure
to read on.

Embrace
technology

There are a host of
different pieces of technology out there that you should be embracing in your
bid to streamline your business. By failing to embrace them, you will only make
running your legal business ten times harder than it needs to be.

One piece of tech
that you should definitely be embracing is case management software. This type
of software, which is offered expertly by Redbrick Solutions, brings with it a host of features that
will be sure to benefit your legal business. These benefits include:

  • Smart search
    technology
  • Customizable
    workflows
  • Intuitive to-do lists
  • The ability to
    import personal letter templates
  • Comprehensive
    document management
  • Apportionment
    calculation
  • Easy billing
    platforms
  • Two-way email
    integration
  • Shared diary across
    all of your departments
  • The ability to
    e-submit SDLT

By making use of such
technology, you will be sure to save yourself time and money. What you should
do with the time and money that you save is invest it in streamlining your law
firm further.

Send
out newsletters regularly

Having to constantly
inform your clients about the latest services that you offer will distract you
from your daily tasks. You can, however, streamline this specific area of your
workflow by resolving to send out newsletters regularly. This will help to keep your clients
up-to-date with all the happenings within your law firm, meaning you won’t have
to interrupt your workflow in order to provide this information on a daily
basis.

Automate
your booking system

Similarly, having to
constantly take phone calls throughout the duration of each working day will
also be sure to interrupt your workflow. For this reason, you should seek to
automate your booking system.

One way to do this is
to invest in an online booking portal. This will see your clients book an
appointment with you via an e-calendar that is permanently posted on your
website. If you wish to do so, you can then follow up on these bookings by
sending out confirmation emails at a time that suits you.

If you wish to take
your legal business to the pinnacle of its market, you must resolve to
streamline your workflow as best you can. Take the above advice, and you’ll be
sure to do just that.

How to Reach Your Target Audience Online

Finding your target audience on online platforms in one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website and increase your online sales. However, reaching and communicating with your target audience can be difficult if you do not take the right steps. This article will guide you through some of the best measures that you should take to find your target audience and encourage them to invest in your business. 

• Establish Your Target Audience

The first thing that you need to do is to find your target audience and to do this, you need to establish a niche. You can find your target audience by establishing what age group, economic background, and locational area you are aiming to attract to your website, as this will then help you to aim your marketing campaigns towards this target audience. 

One of the best ways to find out who your target audience are is to conduct market research, such as surveys and video research, that will help you to communicate directly with your target audience and find out what types of products and services they are likely to be interested in investing into. 

You can also find your target audience by looking at your competitors and the target audiences that they provide products for, and by studying your own knowledge of the products that you are creating.

• Improve Digital Marketing Techniques 

The most important way that you can improve your digital marketing techniques, however, is through your digital marketing methods. Digital marketing is important in order to increase your online exposure and drive traffic to your website, and there are many different ways that you can cater this towards your target audience.

For instance, you need to ensure that your content marketing, such as blogs and videos, create the right kind of content for your audience, and that the social media platforms that you are using are the platforms where your target audience is. If you are struggling to achieve a clear digital marketing strategy, you need to contact digital marketing agencies such as Caffeine Marketing, who can help you to develop your social media marketing, content, SEO and PPC advertising.  

• Establish your Brand Identity 

However, in order to connect with your audience, it is vital that you establish a solid brand identity. For instance, if you are intending to market towards business people, you should ensure that your tone is professional and your website is sleek and formal, whereas students are more likely to appreciate friendly and informal images and colorful websites. 

• Start Networking 

You should also do all that you can to network both in person and online, as this will help you to spread the word about your brand and enable you to gain referrals through communicating with other businesses.

This can also allow you to gain reviews that can encourage your target audience to buy from you, and allow you to find other similar businesses which are looking for a collaboration, enabling you to connect with their customer base as well as your own. Not only this, but networking events usually give you the opportunity to promote and speak about your brand to other businesses who may be interested.

Managing Your Web Team Through Change

Change can impact any business function at pretty much any time however, there are some functions that are more exposed or susceptible to change due to the nature of the work they conduct.

The functions that are most likely to experience change regularly are generally IT, e-commerce and marketing teams. Because technology moves so quickly changes in the market place are common and can have a big impact on websites in the form of security updates and data protection as well as marketing platforms with algorithm changes and new digital marketing channels. 

Managing change within a business usually falls to managers. Common examples of change may include a business take over, a new management team coming in and new processes or technology being implemented into the business.

Resistance to Change 

It’s not uncommon for employees to be resistant to change, even if it’s likely to benefit them in the long run. People who have grown accustomed to existing processes or technology will resist until the last minute by not installing updates or switching to new systems. Some ways to manage change

include: 

• Forming a leadership team
• Creating a feedback loop
• Being clear when communicating changes and emphasizing the benefits to the employee

Creating a Change Management Plan

There are a number of frameworks you can use to create a change management plan as well as software solutions, including the Inpulse change management plan

Regardless of the framework or software, there are some key principles of change management that you need to include in any change management plan. These include;

• Setting objectives
Being clear about the objectives and the outcomes of the plan is important because it will help you to analyze the areas in which you were successful. SMART objectives are often used to create realistic and measurable goals.

Steps to help make the change
Change doesn’t happen all at once, so setting out bite-sized steps that will help you achieve your objectives is a much better way of creating a clear and manageable process so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. It will also make it easier to get buy-in.

Implementation and timeline
Defining who will be doing what and by when helps to keep all stakeholders accountable and is an important metric to track. Some changes, like moving a website to a new server or upgrading security software, may be critical to achieve by a certain time or may need to be completed at a time that causes least disruption to the business.

Communicating the change
Whether it is just to your team that you need to communicate with or the project is part of a wider organizational change, communication is a vital component. No change management plan will work without it and it’s usually the responsibility of managers to open and maintain clear communication channels which should be defined before the change takes place.

Measurement of the plan’s success
As with any plan, you must have appropriate metrics in place to measure success. Gathering and analyzing data before and after a change will be key in assessing the success or failure of change and the change management plan.

Starting Your Own Online Business: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re thinking of starting your own online business, it can be tricky to know where to start. With new businesses launching online every day, finding a niche in the market and standing out from competitors can be tough, but it will help turn your business idea into a successful venture. With that in mind, here is a short guide that will help you start your own online business, as well as list several skills that you should have to help you rise above the rest.

Define Your Business

First and foremost, before your business can get off the ground, you should take time defining what sort of products and services you plan to offer. Without having a business plan in place, it can be hard to know where to begin. You will want as many people as possible to access your business, therefore, outlining your objectives and goals, as well as researching competitors in your field can be a great way to get your online business up and running. Seeing how others are doing in the market can give you new ideas on how to stand out, helping to build up a loyal following.

Register Your Business

Your online business will need to be registered in accordance with your state’s laws. To make sure everything is above board, make sure to pick a business name that hasn’t been trademarked, and you will need to fill out the appropriate paperwork to ensure your business is official and ready to go. Also, take the time to develop a good understanding of the business regulations and rules in your state.

Pick a Domain Name

When picking your domain name, you should stick to something short and catchy so that people can remember it easily. Additionally, make sure it is easy to type, use keywords, and avoid any hyphens and numbers. The more memorable you can make it, the better!

Get a Web Hosting Service

While there are plenty of free web hosting services available, it’s advised to pay for one that provides all the services you need. If you’re serious about making your online business a success, it’s only natural that you will want to have all the resources and tools you need, so to avoid running into any problems (especially in the beginning stages), make sure to choose a web hosting service that allows for growth. There are several hosting services which are highly structured, enabling you to pick from a variety of website templates, as well as allowing you to do your own programming, which can give you the flexibility you need.

Make Sure Your Website is Easy to Use

No matter what type of online business you’re planning to run, your website should be functional and stylish. As you won’t be meeting customers face to face, they will have to trust what’s on your website, so ensure your page is engaging and easy to use, otherwise users may go elsewhere for their custom. There are various things that should be included on your website, such as an ‘about us’ page which can allow the customer to know more about what your business is all about, as well as contact links should they want to get in touch. If you’re not tech savvy, you may want to consider hiring a professional designer who can do all the hard work for you.

Use the Right eCommerce Software

It’s important that you have eCommerce software, otherwise your customers won’t be able to view your products or make purchases. The software can be easily installed and will ensure that your customers’ information and financial details are kept safe and secure. You will want your customers to trust your brand, so picking the right eCommerce software can make a huge difference.

Add Catchy Content

If you haven’t got catchy content on your website, you can’t expect customers to stick around. Instead of using large blocks of text to advertise a product or service, make sure to incorporate visuals and videos to keep viewers hooked. Try and see yourself as the customer so you can figure out what sort of things would interest you and make you more likely to make a purchase.

Use Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool. With millions upon millions of users logging into websites like Facebook each day, setting up your own business page can be a great way to spread the message of your brand. Directly engaging with your customers can help them feel more valued and appreciated too.

Use SEO

When searching for a certain product, many customers will click on the first link they see. Therefore, make sure to use SEO (search engine optimization) to ensure your website stays at the top of search results. Also, you can use relevant keywords that are related to your business to help attract more customers to your page.

Key Skills

There are all sorts of key skills that you can learn which will help your online business grow. While being driven and motivated can help you succeed, you can gain various qualifications which can set you on the right path. For example, completing an online MBA in operations management can help you develop strong leadership skills, and give you more knowledge on the key aspects of a business, such as financial management.

To get your business off the ground and running, you should have an idea that you believe in. Being passionate about what you have to offer can only be a good thing, helping to secure more customers and clients to your brand. Make sure that your business website is informative, eye-catching, and relevant to your target demographic. You should also have key skills that can help keep your business successful, such as knowing how to lead a team, as well as having the right education and qualifications behind you. Starting a new online business can be daunting for even the most experienced entrepreneur, however, staying consistent and driven are key traits that will help keep your business on track.

How to Secure Your Mobile App

Despite the new technologies behind mobile websites, native mobiles apps are still very popular among users. The fluid user experience that mobile apps can deliver is still unrivalled. On top of that, mobile apps can utilize hardware and OS-specific functions without annoying users too much (i.e. by asking for too many permissions) along the way.

However, developing a mobile app for your brand or the service you want to deliver is not without its challenges. One of those challenges is making sure that your mobile app is secure enough for your users. Fortunately, there are some simple tips and tricks that you can follow if you want to get started with securing your mobile app.

Know Your Risk

The first thing you want to do is a comprehensive risk assessment. You can’t really understand the security risks that threaten your mobile app and its users without completing this step. A risk assessment is the process of identifying potential risks, spotting parts of the app that needs extra security measures, and identifying other challenges beyond the app itself.

The security assessment will also help you understand the kind of information you gather from the app and its users. When storing personal details of your users, for instance, you know that you have more risks of information theft to deal with. This way, you can take a more proactive approach and add security measures for maximum protection.

Secure Your Source Code

Security threats and potential risks may materialise even before you release the apps to their respective app stores. You may have bugs and security holes that aren’t caught by conventional testing methods. The entire source code may be compromised too; this is a real possibility if you don’t have sufficient security policies in place.

Securing your source code is a crucial part of securing your mobile app. Aside from limiting access to certain parts of the source code, you also want the development project to be as compartmentalised as possible. To further secure your app, make sure source codes are reviewed and monitored for changes. This makes tracing the source of a vulnerability easier to do.

Use Encryption

Encryption must always be a part of your mobile app, especially if it is designed to capture and store user information. You want all sensitive data to be encrypted using a valid encryption key. You also want to make sure that only nodes with the correct encryption key can access data stored within the app. You even have the option to utilize the mobile operating system’s encryption features.

Aside from encryption, you also want to have a comprehensive identity and access management policies. Rather than letting admins and support officers access everything, you can define and limit access to certain parts of the app’s ecosystem based on user roles and other parameters. This increases app security by a substantial margin.

These security measures aren’t perfect, but the tips and tricks you can find in this article will help you preserve maximum mobile application security without the usual hassle. All you have to do next is work towards improving your mobile app security by going into the details and fine-tuning existing security measures.

A Guide: Cutting Your Small Business Costs

Turning over a profit is not the only all-important task you face as a business owner. As well as making money, you also have to become adept at saving it. If you don’t manage to cut your costs or tighten your purse strings, you’ll never consolidate the profit that you make. As a result, you’ll never be able to invest in your organization or take it to the next level.

To find out what you can do to cut your small business costs, make sure to read on.

Rent your equipment

Should your business be in the habit of taking on jobs on a short-term basis, then you should seriously consider renting your equipment rather than buying it outright. By going down the rental route, you will be able to get the most out of your tools before sending them back to their owner. Importantly, this will allow circumventing having to pay ongoing fees for equipment that you make no use of going forward.

It is always tempting to hit the stores and invest in a shiny piece of brand new tech — what with all the technology available today, nobody could ever blame you for that. If you’re a relatively new business owner and still keen on solidifying your reputation, then you’ll probably want nothing more than to have your ownequipment. If you’re smart, however, you’ll fight this urge and turn to a company such as Smart. Primarily dealing with computer repair Gloucester, this company also offers a top-tech rental service. Whether it’s aniMac that you wish to lease or a projector that you want to hire, the short-term tools that you need will always be available by Smart.

Ditch your landline

A landline is no longer the be-all-and-end-all of communication in the world of business. Today, there are a host of different tools and pieces of tech that you can turn to when you’re looking to increase your business’s communication flow — from cell phones to VoIP to virtual phone lines, the choice that you have is staggering. If you’re a smart business owner, you’ll ditch your landline and the costly annual sum that it brings with it, and turn your attention to these latest additions in the field of communication. 

Go paperless

The environment isn’t the only thing that will be saved if you go paperless. By ditching the paper that you use and waste within your office, you will stand to save a heap of cash, too.

First and foremost, going paperless will mean that you won’t have to spend your money on printer accessories — no longer will you have to put money aside each month for things like ink and toner, as you won’t be using your printer at all. How can you go paperless when there are always documents to draw up and contracts to sign, though? Quite simply, you go digital.

If you’re serious about cutting your small business costs, then you seriously need to consider putting the above advice into practice. If you do, you’ll find yourself consolidating the profit that you make in no time.