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.

Improvements to Consider when Renovating a Restaurant

Renovation concept shot

Renovation concept shotHave you been getting bad reviews for your restaurant lately? Customers can’t sometimes help but speak their minds online if the food doesn’t taste great or if the furniture smells like a remnant from the 60s. And this is expected if you’ve been running a restaurant that desperately needs an overhaul.

Before your establishment gets featured in Kitchen Nightmares, it’s just right to make adjustments. You may have to repaint, fix the ceiling or build an extension to a bigger space. Don’t forget to consider the following as well:

Upgrade Your Tech

If your establishment has been suffering from delays and slow service due to outdated technology and devices, it’s just right to upgrade. For instance, you might want to consider changing your billing system into something more efficient or you might also need to contact a paging system supplier for a brand new and updated unit to speed up requests and eliminate unpleasant situations for customers.

Remove and Replace

That jukebox may look good right in the dining area, but if it has already served its purpose, remove and replace it with a brand new one. This is especially applicable in the kitchen where old gas stoves or ovens can compromise the taste and texture of a dish. And don’t think twice about completely replacing your entire kitchen and dining equipment with everything brand new. Using sparkling new tableware and cutlery can go a long way, especially in the eyes of your customers.

Retrain your Staff

Finally, don’t forget to retrain your staff. Making sure that your servers and cooks are updated with new knowledge and skills is as important as renovating your restaurant. You want to present your new establishment to the world, so why not include a newly trained staff to go with it? Remember, evolving is the key to staying relevant; don’t leave anything untouched.

Major improvements in your restaurant can be a challenging and costly undertaking, but it will yield bigger returns in the long run. As consumers’ tastes and demands evolve, so should your dining experience.

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.

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.

Three Benefits of Getting IT Support for Your Company

Software as a Service (SaaS, on-demand software) concept. Modern business model where software is licensed on a subscription basis.Modern businesses will rely on information technology to efficiently run their day to day operations. Whether you focus on online sales or you consistently need to do online searches or store files on your computers, you need to work on arresting any inconveniences. With reliable IT support, you could save your employees as well as your clients from getting disgruntled by technical hitches.

New Jersey IT support service providers understand that businesses are not created equal. It is nearly impossible to get it right with a one-size-fits-all proposition. You will hence get aid that matches the needs and objectives of your company. Here are some benefits associated with getting dependable assistance.

Technical Expertise and Resources

Companies that primarily deal in providing IT support have in-depth technical expertise and the resources needed to provide comprehensive service packages. They have tackled all sorts of challenges in the past, and they could quickly and satisfactorily solve different computing problems that affect both programs and hardware. Your employees can focus on operations as your specialists work on ensuring that downtime is avoided by all means.

Security

Currently, cybercrime is at its height. High-profile hacking cases are not foreign, and the need for data and internet security has not once been greater than it is now. Dependable IT support specialists will ensure that malware and viruses are immediately detected and cleaned. They could also help you in recovering vital data, and this could save you from considering alternatives that might pose security concerns.

Less Risk

Federal regulations, markets, technologies and even data threats are prone to frequent changes. By working with the professionals, you do not need to know the risks involved or even the data safety compliance requirements. It is their business to know the industry specifics, and simply ensure that you get safe and reliable assistance.

Because of the delicate nature of IT matters, you may want to choose a service provider with verifiable references. This could help you gauge the reliability and credibility levels of various companies. Choose specialists you can trust to provide consistent, yet cost-effective assistance.

4 Simple Tips to Modernize Your Business

Businessman installing a modern softwareRegardless of the size of your business, you will need to find ways to keep up with the quick pace of business to thrive. The fact is things can change extremely fast in the modern business world, and adapting to these changes promptly can help you stay a step ahead of your competition.

Here are some simple steps to adopt new ways of doing business:

Install modern software

If you are still using traditional methods of bookkeeping, you may want to upgrade to modern software that can help you accomplish tasks within a fraction of the time you take.

Where you want to share sensitive data with your stakeholders, opt for Internet tunnel application or software that helps keep your information safe.

Embrace cloud

More businesses are adopting cloud computing because of its numerous benefits. Cloud enables you access functionality without having to make large upfront capital investment. All you need to do is pay a low monthly fee.

Cloud also helps you scale your IT requirements appropriately without having to make major changes.

Automate daily tasks

Many businesses spend needless time and money on jobs that they could automate easily. Evaluate the activities you do on a day-to-day basis, from invoicing to social media and automate them to free up much-needed time. Automate visitor management, too, to ensure your front office staff have an easier time.

Consider hiring remote workers

In an increasingly globalized world, it is becoming the norm for people to work remotely rather than report to the office every day. Take advantage of this trend to access talent from any part of the world that can help boost your business.

Find ways to make it easy for your remote employees and in-house team to work together in a way that guarantees your success.

With the rapid changes in the modern economic landscape, business owners need to look for ways to keep up. With just a few smart tactics, you can ensure you stay relevant and profitable.

Traditional Phone vs. VoIP System: What’s the Best for Your Business?

Man pointing to the VOIP informationAs a small or medium-sized business, you need to have an easy and hassle-free way of communicating with your clients and vice versa. At this point, you may think that you just need a traditional phone system, like the one you have at home. It is not as easy as you think, however. Choosing the right communication platform for your business can be quite tricky, seeing that you have some variables to consider.

Ultimately, you have two primary options: the traditional phone and the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system. Knowing more about how their differences can help you make the right choice.

The hardware

Although traditional phone systems have improved considerably over the years, they still require the installation of bulky and heavy equipment. The physical lines and devices that comprise them need not just a lot of space on-site, but regular maintenance too. All these further increase the cost to operate them.

With VoIP, on the other hand, the entire system already serves as the phone switch. For instance, when you work with a highly reputable Asterisk provider, you can transform a single computer to a complete and robust communications’ server. So just imagine how little space you have to use when you go with VoIP.

The initial cost

Installing a traditional phone system in today’s time and age costs a lot more than when you set up VoIP. With a cost per employee ranging from $800 to $1,000, this can quickly balloon to proportions you may not afford. Therefore, if you have five employees, all of whom requires a line, you are looking at a $4,000 to $5,000 initial expense.

Opt for VoIP instead, and for the same number of employees, you can reduce your costs by more than half. On average, a VoIP system with five extensions only costs about $2,000.

Although the final decision still depends on your preference and needs, you should not disregard all the benefits and advantages that VoIP has to offer.

You Need On-Hold Messaging

A TelephoneDespite social media offering new ways to connect with companies, some customers prefer to talk to someone on the phone. And if you have a business, it pays to have an on-hold message service instead of risking your clients to listen to a busy dial tone over and over again. Here are some reasons why you need to this type of phone service.

First of all, it helps you create a professional image.

Slip into the shoes of your clients and try calling a company hotline. Would you trust a broadcasting company that doesn’t have a message on-hold in their business phone systems? Chances are, you won’t. You’d think that for a company this size, it wouldn’t kill their budget to invest in one. If that’s not the kind of image you want to give your customers, do invest in an on-hold message for your business phone systems can create that professional image you want.

Second, you can use this time to do a sales pitch.

Don’t waste your customers’ valuable time. Do consider doing a quick sales pitch over the phone using recorded messages in your on-hold messaging system. After all, you already have your customer’s attention, so better make the most out of it. Don’t want to do a sales pitch? It’s okay. You can also use this time to inform your customers about your business hours, promotions, and other important reminders that they might be interested in.

Third, it eases your customers’ anxiety.

Customers who call company hotlines are, more often than not, anxious because they need quick solutions to their problems. Think about it; it’s already frustrating to stay on-hold when you’re in a hurry, and you have to fix a problem right away. Listening to something nice like classical music or even recorded messages about promotions and new services can ease their anxieties a bit instead of getting a busy dial tone.

Get an On-Hold Message Service Today!

If you still don’t have one, read again the reasons above and decide if you’re willing to risk your business reputation for not having a simple on-hold message service for your business phone systems. It’s straightforward but very effective. Moreover, it can help you generate more business instead of frustrating your customers further with a busy dial tone.

Building Beneficial Supplier Relationships in 4 Ways

Man pointing on the supplier informationIt’s difficult to find a good and reliable supplier — the one that doesn’t only provide quality products, but is punctual, competitive, and innovative as well. But, if you are already working with a supplier that answers to all of your needs, you must treat them right and with respect. Build a good relationship with your suppliers through the following practices:

Set clear and achievable requests

Be realistic and considerate when placing an order to your supplier. Consider their scope and limitations, especially when ordering in bulk with a tight deadline. Suppliers work with other companies, too. Ease the process and ensure delivery by providing adequate lead times.

Seek ways to improve the purchasing process

A reliable and up-to-date purchase order process allows companies and suppliers to be more transparent with each other. There are applications that can help both parties acknowledge receipt of purchase order, process payments, and fulfill special requests. SourceDay suggests making the most of these to improve business flow.

Always pay on time

Paying suppliers on schedule shows how professional and reliable your company is. Don’t discount the importance of payment schedules since suppliers rely on them, too. If you cannot pay on time, be honest to your supplier. Explain the situation and try to negotiate for a more favorable payment term.

Get acquainted

Personalize the relationship by visiting your suppliers’ office and being familiar with contact persons. You can also invite them to office parties and include significant people in strategy meetings. With this, you are able to build a healthy relationship that goes beyond business. Be friendly and always communicate in a respectful and considerate manner.

Suppliers are essential in business. Without them, there are lesser products to create and innovate. Treat them as partners and give importance to your working relationship to ensure smooth and beneficial business operations.

SIP Trunking Benefits for Consumers

Man pointing to the voice over internet protocolOver the years, one of the most important changes in the world of telecommunications happened right before your eyes. Now, many businesses shifted their communication services to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking to take advantage of the various benefits it provides.

While there is stable revenue for you as a reseller of wholesale SIP trunking services, you have to consider the benefits that it offers to customers. You deserve only the best service and value for your money. Here are the essential advantages that you will get from SIP trunking.

It is flexible

You usually do not anticipate your future needs when getting a plan for traditional phone lines, because these old PBX lines do not offer you much flexibility. With a SIP trunk, you can get the flexibility you want, such as the capability to add an on-demand feature when you need it.

You can add additional trunks, more call minutes and more channels, among others.

Perfect combination

With the use of SIP trunking, you can get rid of keeping both your data and telephone networks by combining the two in one service. And it gives you integrated communication elements including conferencing, video, screen sharing, instant messaging, and more. As a result, you have a perfect combination

Connected Virtually

For your traditional phone lines, the Primary Rate Interface (PRI) needs the circuits to be connected physically to the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) using cables and costly termination hardware.

Since your SIP trunks connect virtually, you can avoid those expenses and save time because you do not need cables.

Low Costs

If you choose SIP, you can save so much money of up to 60% of your communication expenses by getting away with the costly PRI lines and multiple charges for long distances. You can get the benefit of a fixed monthly bill and pay what you currently need. In other words, you pay two for the price of one.

Whether you are a reseller or a customer, SIP trunking promises various benefits for you and your business.