3 Reasons to Invest in Business Intelligence

Businessman looking at charts

Businessman looking at chartsStarting and growing a business can be very tough, especially today where competition can be very heavy. That’s why many companies today look for any edge that they can have over the competition. This can involve anything from flashy advertising to ground level promotions.

One of the things people overlook is outsourced or third-party IT development for business intelligence – which has true potential to change things for the better at less cost than most people realize.

Here are three particular benefits of this.

It grants consumer insights

One of the most valuable resources available to any business are insights into consumer mindsets and behavior. These include the types of things people purchase, preferences of brands, characteristics and demographics of customers, and so many other bits of data that shape your decisions.

Business intelligence and technologies that gather that are invaluable sources of these types of information.

It makes data into actionable information

Of course, all that data isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t lead to any form of positive action or reaction. With a system set up by outsourced IT development for business intelligence, you’ll be able to sort that information effectively and even filter for bits of information that are particularly relevant to your business.

These systems can even by complex enough to analyze comparatively the information to look for relevant trends.

It improves efficiency

Finally, systems for business intelligence enhance overall productivity in your company. After all, when you are aware of what you need to focus on with your business, you can direct your personnel and energies towards what is necessary to grow your business as best as can be done.

This spares you having to waste efforts with things that the intelligence show isn’t the best for your company for business. This ultimately saves money in the long term.

With business intelligence, you get empowerment with the knowledge to understand your consumers with pinpoint precision – all to the benefit of your business. This makes it and systems for it worth the investment.

The advantages of a lightweight wheelchair

Wheelchair on road

Wheelchair on roadAdvances in wheelchair technology mean there is now a range of electric wheelchairs available for individuals with limited mobility. However, this has not relegated lightweight wheelchairs to the history books. When comparing lightweight wheelchairs against powerchairs, there are still several advantages that a non-motorised wheelchair can provide over an electric wheelchair.

Suppliers of lightweight wheelchairs, such as Karma Mobility, and wheelchair dealers can talk through the details of buying a lightweight wheelchair with users. Below are some of the key points to consider.

Ease of use

A lightweight wheelchair doesn’t come with a bulky battery or motorised parts that add to its size. This often makes it the preferable choice for home use, where navigating tight corridors and doorways on a daily basis can become a strain with a larger mobility aid.

Less maintenance

Electric wheelchairs require their batteries to be charged and being motorised can often require more maintenance, as there are more parts that can fail. A lightweight wheelchair is a simpler piece of kit, which keeps maintenance to a minimum.

Travelling on public transport

Lightweight wheelchairs can be folded away with ease. Their compact nature once packed away means that they can be more easily stowed away on public transport, such as trains, planes and the tube. There is plenty of advice available for wheelchair users on public transport that can make trips out a safer experience.

Travelling in the car can also be made easier with a lightweight wheelchair, for the same reasons of stowability.

Making the choice

As described above, there are several advantages to using a lightweight wheelchair. However, these should be considered in the light of each user’s personal needs and lifestyle. For those wanting to travel longer distances, a powerchair may still be more appropriate. Some users may want to have both a powerchair for outdoor use and a lightweight wheelchair for home use.

For those struggling to decide what kind of wheelchair to get, there are several sources to turn to for advice:

• Wheelchair suppliers
• Wheelchair dealers
• Local GP or occupational therapist
• NHS wheelchair services
• Fellow wheelchair users.

Once a user has decided what they want to purchase, funding options can also be looked into.

SIP vs. PRI: Which is Better for Your Business?

SIP displayed in the keyboardWhen the telephone was invented, it was truly revolutionary, as it allowed people to communicate over longer distances. Once it was applied to businesses, it provided companies with a convenient way to communicate with their customers.

Today, the discussion revolves around traditional PRI and modern SIP trunk service. You might be wondering which one is the best for your business. Here’s a guide to help you gain a better understanding of the service.

Primary Rate Interface (PRI)

PRI has been the industry standard since the 1980s and is the go-to technology for many companies. It requires a lot of infrastructure setup, as well as a connection to an existing telecommunication company to provide service to your business. It’s a stable setup that’s also great for smaller companies. The known disadvantage is that only a single call can be fielded at a time.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

Since the onset of the Internet, people have seen a shift towards SIP trunk for communication. This requires less infrastructure. In fact, all you need is a router and a service plan or package from a local provider. It provides options for video calling, as well as online collaboration over great distances. This is because SIP leverages data connectivity over standard telephony.

Which should you get?

Ideally, small to medium businesses without an existing setup will benefit from SIP due to the ease of system installation. The costing for this is lower than traditional communication systems. On top of that, you can field multiple calls at the same time. Bigger businesses could also benefit from SIP if they’re willing to move beyond their existing infrastructure.

Modern SIP is a good way to future-proof your business, especially if you want to target the global market. Use this guide to decide.

Growing Business: A Good Dilemma

Woman managing her employeesImagine riding a car and suddenly accelerating to more than what you can control. An accident will happen. Same is true when handling business. It is normal for a businessperson to want and work for growth. However, when your business growth is too fast, it can do more harm than good.

While a growing business is a good thing, the risk of mismanagement is also there. To avoid the pitfalls of not being able to meet the demands of your consumers that would eventually lead to the downfall of your business, knowing how to handle a growing business is a must.

Tips for managing your growing business efficiently:

Use time savers

“Time-savers” such as automated purchase orders, using a POS system and investing in management information system software are just some of the things you can do to help make the job easier and faster. These time-savers can help your company focus on other more important things.

Manage your people

Hiring new ones who will be an asset and not a burden to your company is also important. Manage your people well by learning to listen and giving out incentives while being strict at the same time. Also, do not be afraid to reprimand or even remove ones that do not contribute to your company growth.

Handle your finances

A growing business does not just mean an increase in profits and income. Believe it or not, the influx of money, as well as the expenses, can be overwhelming. Prevent this from happening by learning how to handle your finances early on. Seek professional help if needed.

Have a goal

Set a realistic goal and work your way to reach it. While opportunity knocks only once, it pays not to be greedy. Only work with what you can and slowly, but surely, expand from there.

Being concerned with your growing business is a happy kind of dilemma. Learn how to work your way through it to be able to enjoy its fruits in the long run.

How to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing

Marketing Strategy Planning Strategy ConceptInbound marketing makes use of the combination of social media, blogs, search engine optimization, and content marketing, among other forms of pull marketing to create brand awareness and attract customers. It is a marketing strategy your business should never do without, as it makes your brand easy to find online and helps you establish strong customer relationships.

If marketing isn’t your forte, it’s a good idea to consult a HubSpot agency partner in Massachusetts and see what they can do for your business. If you’re on the fence about adding yet another task to your long list of must-dos for your business, don’t be. Here are the reasons inbound marketing is good for you and what you can do to make it work:

Benefits of inbound marketing to businesses

When planned well, executed properly, and utilized effectively, your inbound marketing strategy can:

  • Increase awareness of your brand,
  • Develop a brand preference among consumers and influence their future purchases,
  • Generate inbound links as well as social media shares,
  • Engage customers in their preferred platform anytime,
  • Increase customer satisfaction by putting them first,
  • Boost SEO efforts,
  • Save your money when generating qualified leads, and
  • Bring you long-term business benefits such as ongoing inbound traffic through word of mouth, social shares, and SEO.

Elements of a successful inbound marketing campaign

Good inbound marketing practices involve using strategies such as SEO and social media to make a business more visible and engage with customers online. Here’s what your inbound marketing campaign needs to succeed:

  • SEO – Search engine optimization takes your company to the top of search results;
  • Social media – It is a powerful tool to reach your target audience and share information about your brand;
  • Blogging – It drives traffic to your site and nurtures leads;
  • Webinars and other live events – These are great ways to engage with your audience in real-time;
  • Videos – More and more people are watching videos, so get your business some screen time as well;
  • White papers, e-books, email newsletters – Well-researched articles, surveys, comprehensive tips, in-depth guides, and industry studies build credibility and authority.

When it comes to inbound marketing, keep in mind that quality content is the key to winning the hearts of consumers. With best practices in SEO, social media, blogging, and other online marketing tactics in mind, make sure you create content for your audience. Know what interests them and craft your content around their needs.

Take every opportunity to share content your target audience will find valuable and shareable, and you’ll be on your way to seeing your business grow.

Are Proxy Servers a Good Business Investment?

Dentist using proxy server for his businessMost people would see proxy servers as a way to browse with anonymity or lift pesky restrictions (usually seen with online streaming services such as YouTube). On a business level, though, setting up a proxy can smoothen operations by ensuring the quality of browsing speeds, among other things.

Here are two reasons to invest in a range of proxy server software for your business.

Maintain Confidentiality

Privacy is important for businesses, especially in sensitive departments such as finances, and research and development. With the recent Equifax data leaks, the need for strong cybernetic security has never been this pronounced.

A working proxy server can protect your business from threats, both internal and external. A proxy can effectively provide you with a reliable layer of security against espionage. You can also set up measures to prevent employees from stealing your data.

Increase Browsing Speed

Especially for businesses whose operations involve steady browsing activities, a proxy can cut down on traffic drastically. A proxy software can, behind the scenes, cache pages that are being visited by multiple users, and remove ads, among other things.

This will greatly help free up precious bandwidth and prevent any data bottlenecks. A working proxy server can also prevent crashes by managing data requests. If you run a web-based service, it can be costly to have your website crash.

With a proxy, incoming traffic can be equitably distributed to keep your page from going down.

The most obvious reason to secure a proxy would be to control browsing activities within your server – the return on investment greatly exceeds just prohibiting your employees from accessing certain pages while at the office. You can never be too careful with sensitive data, even in your own backyard.

With a good server, you can ensure that your business runs smoothly and is safe from data breaches.

Marketing Your Self-Published Book: Tips for Boosting Online Visibility

a woman using online marketing to promote her bookOne of the things self-published authors do to sell their books online is creating a website. It should not stop there, however, because having quality work and online presence doesn’t necessarily mean that people would already discover you. Especially now that publishing literature is easier than ever, the competition is even tougher.

Here are the basic things you should do to cut through the noise and bring your books in front of Internet users:

Insert keyword strings

It’s imperative to make your book more discoverable with keywords. However, don’t just focus on words, but rather on the actual string of words people type in whenever they surf the Web. The biggest mistake rookie self-published authors commit is inserting the wrong keywords or keyword strings.

Other than manually looking for trending search queries, investing in artificial intelligence-powered software is an effective way to find high-performance metadata to drive traffic fast, stresses StoryFit.

Don’t underestimate metadata

Metadata is granular information that helps make your online pages more searchable. It jumps through the screen whenever it matches someone’s query. Optimizing the meta title and description of each of your pages is key to grabbing people’s attention and compelling them to click the link to learn more about you and your work.

Get reviews

Authentic reader reviews add legitimacy to your brand as a self-published author. Before you release a book, contact a number of people for advanced reading and reviews. Of course, it’s best to have influencers so you can take advantage of their clout to market your work effectively.

Make changes when necessary

You can’t do things right the first time. Since user search behavior changes from time to time, you ought to adapt to keep your pages organically visible in search engines.

The most successful self-published authors are both creative and strategic. Learn how to optimize every space you get on the Internet and use it to best effect.

Three Advantages of Fixed Satellite Services

Person on her phone and laptop with internet concepts overlay

Person on her phone and laptop with internet concepts overlayConnectivity is a critical component in a person’s everyday life. With the fast evolution of technology, people are increasingly provided with options to get and stay connected. Key to maintaining a sort of fluidity in connectivity comes with the strength of reception for voice, text, and especially, data services. Fixed satellite services are a popular option that doesn’t get as much attention. But here are three reasons they matter:

Guaranteed reception

Standard cell sites used by most providers are limited and affected adversely by many things. The line of sight, weather fluctuations, and even power output can make a consistent signal hit-and-miss at times. With FSS systems, you’re provided guaranteed coverage in the area that they’re placed regardless of conditions. This means continuous connectivity for users applied in a system.

Consistent and quick handover

Another problem easily handled by these systems is the matter of hand-off. This occurs when a subscriber leaves his area of coverage for another one. With standard systems, this can take some time leading to a period of non-connectedness that can be a hassle. With FSS systems, the hand-off is almost automatic and requires no user input. The speed at which this occurs is also considerably improved.

Cost-effectiveness and scalability

The lower power output requirements of fixed satellite services mean that it actually costs less to maintain and savings are usually passed onto users and subscribers. Additionally, capacity is never affected by an increase in users or even distance. What’s more, it’s relatively easy to scale up and expand with, again, little cost to burden any users with. This ensures greater savings and greater reliability all around.

The key to taking advantage of this kind of system is to find a provider that is dependable. With that, you’re sure to reap the benefits of what fixed satellites have to offer in this connected world.

Cloud Computing: The Future of ERP Software

ERP Software

ERP SoftwareAn enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a very important tool in the success of any business, as it allows companies to integrate critical business functions and processes like marketing, product planning, sales, distribution, and even human resources into one consolidated and comprehensive structure. Cloud ERP, or online ERP, is a type of Software as a Service (SaaS) that makes it possible for users to access ERP software on the cloud.

Cloud-based ERP vs. on-premise ERP

There are two types of ERP systems: cloud-based ERP and on-premise ERP. The main difference between the two is where its infrastructure is physically located, but the differences do not end there. With an on-premise ERP, companies need to purchase a software licence, as well as set up the infrastructure of the data centre where it will be deployed.

Cloud-based ERP, on the other hand, uses the SaaS model, so it does not need to house any of the data centres needed for running the system. It allows an organisation to access the system over the Internet and outsource its operations. This means lower upfront and operational costs for the organisation. There is also no need to purchase any expensive software licences since it is an on-demand system where you only pay for what you need.

Choosing the right cloud ERP provider

Cloud-based ERP is a great option for businesses that do not want or need the extra cost of purchasing a software licence and equipment, but the truth remains that not all of them are created equal. When choosing a cloud ERP provider, you need to consider some factors to make sure that you are getting the best services for the specific needs of your business.

The delivery model should be flexible enough that you will not need to make any major changes to the user interface and configuration. It should also be easy to scale up or down as needed. You should also carefully assess how secure the system is since it is in the cloud and a hacker can easily breach weak security details.

Top Strategies to Double the Growth of Your Business

data graph showing business growthIf you own a small or medium enterprise, you are in good company. SMEs constitute about half of the overall economy in most states, and they are the biggest creators of jobs anywhere around the world.

That means that small business is, in essence, massive business, and if you embrace the right practices, you can double your growth year after year.

Here are tips to go about it.

Choose the right software

The impact of accounting software for small firms or businesses has been unprecedented. Current software has made it incredibly easy to carry out such critical tasks as general ledger management, payment processing, invoicing and so on.

However, with so many software solutions available in the market, how do you know which one to go for? Consider such factors as security, ease of use, compatibility, and integration. Take advantage of cloud-based software.

Maintain a digital presence

The modern client prefers buying from sellers who can engage them digitally. In the recent years, businesses that have efficiently leveraged digital tools to reach their potential clients have generally experienced higher revenues per employee than those that have not.

In short, you will grow your small business much faster if you can invest more in your digital strategy.

Market more

Are you tempted to cut back on marketing? Think again. It is the same today as it has always been – the more you can build a stronger brand, the more you will stand out from your competition. That means you must market yourself more, and through as many platforms as you can.

Embrace emerging marketing trends, for instance, SEO and social media marketing. Focus on value, quality and customer service.

Small businesses must keep growing to stay sustainable in a rapidly changing economic landscape. By adopting a few smart strategies, you will find that doubling the growth of your business in 2018 and beyond is not a far-fetched idea after all.