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  • Common Mistakes that Business Owners Make Apr 24, 2018

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    Content: Most people believe that becoming self-employed is the easiest way to get all the freedom that they need. However, the reality is that starting your own business is an uphill task. For example, in the U.K, 20% of companies fail within their first year of operation while 50% collapse in the course of the next three years. Focusing on the wrong principles discredits your business and decreases your level of popularity among your customers.

    Managing a business is a lot like managing any kind of project if you consider for a moment the fact of if you were project managing a refurbishment of a property ready to sell. You will need a set of guidelines on which action to complete first and how it needs to be done, who’s doing it and what you want the job to do at the end of the day. There is a long list of tasks to work through before you can get to the end result.

    For a basic example you cannot paint a door frame before you have prepared the area like sanding the wood down, priming the frame, let it dry, apply the first coat, let it dry, re-sand that then apply your second finish coat and this is the way you need to look at your own business. There are technical steps to go thru to get the result you need at the end of the day.

    Project management professionals already know what to do and in which order to do it by the very nature of their experience. As Roger from Pro Results says: “When managing a project you need to know all of the steps in the process you are undertaking before you start as this is the only way you can quantify the project as a whole. Without this there can be no budget or associated costs with the process of what is needed let alone the time it is going to take to get the job done.”

    If you have questions regarding your business practices, the following slip-ups might clear your mind:

    1. Unsatisfactory Customer Services

    Clients value the services they receive. In fact, 55% of all clients prefer paying more to get high-quality services. Therefore, if your business does not offer clients the type and quality of products or services that they need, they will look for them elsewhere. Most companies also fail when it comes to sound customer service delivery; as a result, most of the customers move elsewhere to have their needs satisfied.

    2. Not challenging how others do business

    The business environment is highly dynamic. People’s needs change with time; how those needs are met also changes. Therefore, re-inventing your business in such a way that it remains relevant – regarding satisfying people’s needs – is core to its success. Resisting change will only give your competition a better chance to surpass you. Streamlining your business toward people’s needs determines how many clients you retain and how influential you become.

    3. The lack of purpose

    Not having a sense of direction is one of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make. Objectives that have not been set can make a business owner focus on the wrong tasks. Once the goal of a business becomes blurry, failure becomes inevitable. It is always prudent to remember why you started the company in the first place.

    4. Wasting resources on office supplies

    A business cannot survive without office supplies like printer ink, paper, and toners. However, buying them in excess and not accounting for their use is a grave mistake on the part of the business owner. You will realize that at the end of the financial year you will have wasted a lot of money on supplies – if you do not adequately account for their usage. In this regard, many businesses have resulted in making wise choices; most contemporary enterprises only buy what they need.

    Today, most businesses make orders for office equipment online and have it delivered on a monthly basis. This endeavour saves time and resources, which can be allocated to more important things.

    5. Pestering clients

    Nowadays, spam in our inboxes has become a ‘trend.’ However, it becomes incredibly annoying when we unsubscribe from the use of specific services and still get the emails. What makes them even more annoying is the fact that they usually have nothing valuable to offer. Nevertheless, content that is promotional attracts people to purchase their products or services. Persistence is a good virtue in business; however, overindulgence chases away customers and new prospects.

    The Take-Away

    Business is the best way to develop your passion, talent, or skill. However, to become successful, you have to adhere to certain principles. If carefully taken into account, the above factors can ensure that your business stays afloat, and, eventually, becomes a great success.
  • 5 Tips For Choosing The Best CRM For Your Small Business Apr 23, 2018

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    In the early stages of your business, you are not likely to face much challenge managing contact details and other information of your customers; after all you probably have only a handful and one or two workers on your team. But as your business grows and your staff and customer base expands, managing vital information might become a hassle. At this stage, you need all the help you can get because pen and paper or even spreadsheets just won’t do.

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    A CRM solution makes it easy to store customers’ information in one place where you or your team can easily access it. This way, you have more time on your hands to focus on the more essential aspect of managing your business growth.

    Here are 5 things to consider when you want to pick a CRM solution for your small business:

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    What do you really need:

    The first thing to do when considering a customer relationship management system is to establish your priorities and what you need the application for. There are standalone applications that stores only customer’s data, while there are full suite packages that does everything from storing data to tracking lead activities, managing marketing campaigns and providing quality insights into your customer’s habits. Your business priority will help you determine which of these types to go for.

    Easy to use:

    As a small business, this may be your first time using a CRM solution. Even if you have used one before, you still need to go for a product that is easy to use. The demands of your business may not give you the time to start learning how to use a complex solution. Additionally, it is unlikely that your sales team will be able to grasp a system that is difficult to navigate. When choosing a CRM system, look for a solution that is intuitive and easy to use.

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    Scalable:

    No matter how much your business has grown, it will always grow more. You therefore need a solution that can grow as your business grows. It doesn’t make for good business sense if you have to change your program every year. Whether your customer strength is 100 or 100,000, a good system like Nextcom CRM will be able to handle it. Going for a scalable system will likely cost a bit more initially, but this could save you from potential disruptions down the line.

    Multi-device:

    In this age and time, very few transactions are done 100% in-shop. For one reason or the other, you or your team may need to spend some time outside the office and it is important that you can access your CRM program wherever you are. This is why you should look for a solution that provides mobile or cloud access. This way, regardless of where you are, you can access information on the go.

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    High level reporting:

    The more information you have about your customers, the easier it is to sell to them. Reporting is one of the most important parts of a CRM system, without this, you will not be able to get reasonable insight from the data put in by your sales team.

    Ensure that the CRM system you are going for has a comprehensive analytics feature that can correctly display and interpret information in real time to help you make informed decisions.
    Leydys18 likes this.
  • A4 Laser Labels Convenient and Efficient for Your Business Apr 21, 2018

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    In today's world, efficiency and the ability to get work done quickly are the keys to success. In the office, your home, or for general uses; laser labels can help you attain this efficiency and enable you to be more organized to achieve your goals. When it comes to selling products with labels, customers need to be attracted by the appearance of your overall product to even consider buying it. However, appearance alone does not define the quality of a label. Laser labels are made from pressure sensitive materials and are specifically designed to work with laser printers and contain numerous qualities that enable it to be the best for your personal as well as retail use.


    How they work

    The laser label has a distinctive structure that constitutes of a face stock, top coating, adhesive and liner. The face stock is the top most layer of the laser label, which is the one that contains the writing and is the side you can see on containers and other products. It is printed on using toner and conveys a message about the product either with a printed image or text (sometimes even both). The type of face stock that one requires depends on the environment in which the product, bottle or in the case of an office, a file, is to be placed in.

    For example; if the product is to be placed in a refrigerator where contact with moisture can enable deterioration of the laser label, then a face stock with tensile strength as well as capabilities to withstand cold temperature needs to be placed on the container. A factor that can enhance the properties of the face stock is the top coating of a laser label which provides an extra layer of protection. Top coatings are applied to make the material of the laser printer label more durable and weatherproof. Another thing you need to take into consideration when deciding which label to use for your project is the adhesive.

    The adhesive is the middle layer of the label that forms a bond between the laser label and the surface to which the label is to be applied. Adhesives come in a variety of bond strengths, in other words, the sticking strength which can be used for different functions. For laser printers; however, acrylic emulsion adhesives are always used. Permanent adhesive labels cannot be removed once applied to a surface whereas removable adhesive labels can be removed and adjusted onto a surface with the label remaining intact.

    Finally, the liner is that part of the laser label that can be thrown away when the label is put to use. It is the bottom layer that is there to protect the sticky quality of the laser printer label and is silicon coated to allow easy peel-off. The liner is there to ensure that the label passes through the printer without causing problems such as jamming. The material for laser printer labels comes in a master roll which is slit to a certain width and then cut into sheets. The sheets are then cut into desired label shapes from the face stock so the liner remains in whatever the final shape maybe.

    Different Types

    Laser labels come in many sizes and materials. One can attain custom sizes for different uses or can be print a label in a certain size as required such as A4 Labels. The materials used to make laser labels are as follows:

    • White Matte Labels are the least expensive and are most popularly used in the labelling of mailing products. They are excellent with laser printers and come with permanent acrylic adhesive.
    • White Removable Labels have a high quality acrylic removable adhesive that can be applied to most surfaces and easily removed without leaving any residue.
    • Glossy Laser Labels enhance your label's appearance and make your product stand out in the market. Glossy labels move through the printer easily and print excellent quality images.
    • Clear Laser Labels are completely transparent and allow visibility of the product it is placed on. Clear labels have a top-coating which prevents smearing or smudging during the printing process.
    Fantastic Business Uses

    The uses of laser labels are endless. Offices print labels to place on the spine of their important files, libraries use it to label their reading sections on shelves, post offices and courier services use it as mailing labels for envelopes and larger sized labels are used to post addresses on shipment containers as well as boxes. At home, kids use labels to organize their CDs and mothers use it in the kitchen to label their food items and spices. Perhaps the most important use of laser labels is in chemical manufacturing where not labelling a certain chemical could be hazardous.

    With laser labels you have the convenience of printing your labels at home or in your office. Furthermore, supportive labelling technology such as 'Label Dispensers' have made mass labelling all the more convenient as individual liners do not need to be taken off from the labels which saves a great deal of time. Efficient and convenient, laser labels are truly the first buy for an organized company or an individual.
  • Bright Ideas Modern Office Lighting 101 Apr 21, 2018

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    There are many potential solutions for the implementation of office lighting design solutions but there are several key solutions that need looking into in the first place before any solutions are finalised. One of the main considerations of old would have been fluorescent lighting to start with which was actually 90% more cost effective than the older incandescent lighting solution back in the day.
    In modern times we have gone much further which started with the sodium lighting then moving on to mercury halide lighting systems for some seriously intense lighting applications.

    To give an example you can go into any branch of B+Q look up and see the 1000 lumen lighting systems covering the whole ceiling which is not limited to the DIY sector but can be found in food stores or any superstore with high-level ceilings you could think of today.

    A Very Bright Modern Solution

    Moving on from there we can start to look at more modern solutions that have been developed since. When LED (Light Emitting Diodes) first came out they had nowhere near the power of what they have in the modern day today. Chinese companies have led the way in this kind of technology like no other nation in the modern day for many reasons but for this article let’s call it a financial aspect where they have had access to the funding most of us in the western world have not. Of course, there are additional controlling aspects to this but this is not relevant for the purposes of the article.

    Some of the next technological development came thru the LED arena in the form of high intensity LED arrays which both operated on minimal power but provided high-intensity lighting solutions to the customer. If serious organisation take the time to look into the lighting systems they plan to employ they will simply see the facts the high intensity LED lighting solutions are in fact the key to the majority of the companies requirements in an affordable manner which will translate into an environmentally, yet cheap solution for the company to run with.

    While looking at lighting systems EL (Electro Luminescent) technology is brilliant for aesthetic solutions but the lumen output is not at all designed for high-level lighting solutions for the office or workplace. In the modern day the LED solution far out ways the EL option. Some of the latest LED products for overhead lighting in an office environment (so to speak) provide the best answer at the end of the day for a practical solution to functional applications which are actually fit for purpose.

    Hi Tech Light Bar

    Some of the best tech out there on the market is commonly termed as a light bar. Being way more efficient than the older style LED technology these are the modern-day equivalent to high intensity LED but far superior to those of past years due to many factors apart from the massively increased luminescence of the past products.

    I the research on a new build of lighting requirement is done correctly these factors will be apparent to the designers and management from the onset so should indeed be factored into both the brand, functionality, energy footprint and all other aspects of the companies profile. We hope you enjoyed this article and found some of the information at least helpful.
  • What are the Benefits from Modern Online Recruitment And Some Expert Advice Apr 20, 2018

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    Employers and job seekers alike love the 'somewhat' new way of hiring employees and finding open job positions.

    "Online recruitment is an extremely efficient manner of filling job positions, and has also become an excellent staffing strategy for any type of firm in any type of economic sector." - New Millennia Who are experts in Helping you start your own Recruitment Agency.

    Benefits from online recruitment

    Job seekers and employers endure many benefits from online recruitment. The advanced degree of online recruitment processes has become online recruitment’s most advantageous aspect. Recruitment procedures have many phases; however, when the procedures are performed online it allows for a more streamlined and standardized method of implementation to be performed; thus providing a cost and time efficient approach to filling open positions.

    There are many tasks involved in filling open job positions: filing, routing application materials, sorting, and coding; however, with online recruitment all of these tasks can be performed automatically instead of manually. This automatic process is one of the main elements of online recruitment being such a time efficient manner of hiring employees.

    These automatic procedures also contribute to online recruitment’s advantageous cost efficient approaches. Many firms have seen a decrease in their recruitment expenses because prospect employees can fulfill online quizzes and assessments, as well as skill-based evaluations all online; meaning employers can ‘weed out’ any potential employees they do not believe would meet their company requirements.

    Positions filled fast


    Online recruitment has become the quickest way to fill job positions. Many firms post open job positions in the morning and by lunch time they have several applicants. Not only can employers view applicants that have applied for their open job positions, but with the easiness of communication that the internet provides they can even set up interviews and have the open job position fulfilled within a couple of days, sometimes even on the same day the job position was posted.

    User Friendly

    Most online recruitment sites are user-friendly and only require a firm to have a credit card and job ad to post their open job position. The firm advertising the open job position does not need to fret about having only minimal IT knowledge; the online recruitment service provider does the advertisement of the job for them.

    Online recruitment provides a less risky process to both employers and job seekers when it comes to filling open positions. If you are looking for a job or looking to post a job, check out an online recruitment service provider today. Within a few moments you will see just how easy it is to find a job or have a job position fulfilled, and most importantly you will see how time and cost efficient online recruitment processes are proving their selves to be.
  • A Guide to Forwarding Domains to your Main Website Address Mar 24, 2018

    You are probably aware by now, why it is important to have additional domains for your business, regardless of the industry you compete in- be it fashion, property, FMCG, consultancy, web, telecoms, or technology services. Those extra domains give your website flexibility, and can protect your brand online. Furthermore, they drive potential customers to your website, which is the whole idea.

    "If you get some relevant domain names and don’t maximise their full potential, they can’t make the positive impact you want for your business. To do this, you must forward those secondary domains to your main website address." - www.domains4less.co.nz/

    What is domain forwarding?


    Let’s assume the domain that anchors your main website address is yourbrandname.com. You are a photographer in Leeds, so you have also registered yourbrandname.photography and yourbrandname.leeds.

    If a prospective customer types yourbrandname.photography or yourbrandname.leeds into the address bar, and you have set up those additional domains to forward to your main website address, the customer will immediately be redirected to your web address at yourbrandname.com.

    It is actually easy to set up, too. You can discuss with your host provider to organise your secondary domains and link them to your primary website.

    Forward with masking

    Another way to forward your secondary domains to your primary website is by ‘masking’. When your customers get to your primary site via a different domain, they are automatically forwarded to your website’s real domain. However, the easy-to-remember domain is still visible in their address bar. (Note: This feature may be unavailable for some sites with SSL certificates.) You can find out more about domain masking techniques on this website. So if you have over seven domains, forwarding them to your primary website is easy. But what would anybody be doing with seven domains? Your guess is as good as mine.

    Forwarding multiple domains in practice


    Not long ago, I had this discussion with a family friend of mine. He is a private GP who purchased the domain name with the COMPLETE name of his practice. I inquired how many of his patients discovered his website by using the name of his practice or by using his real name. I told him the truth: even I couldn’t recall the name of his establishment! If I didn’t bookmark the webpage, I would never be able to remember it whenever I needed to.

    He could have gained by acquiring more, shorter domain names for his practice and by investing in the domain names of every physician under his practice so they can be used separately. For instance, drjamesingram.com and familygpofleeds could redirect to familgeneralpracticionerwestyorkshire.com. I also informed him about getting .org, .net etc to lock down his business name. It is the smart thing to do.

    I almost had a similar discussion with my gym instructor. She has changed gym clubs multiple times since we first met- what I remember about her is her name. Fortunately, she uses her name as a domain and sends it to each new club she registers, so I don’t have to worry about remembering where she works! (with the added benefit of never having to update email addresses).

    Using Masked domains

    Why mask your domain? What use is this technique?


    My gym instructor’s club has a lengthy URL: clubname.com/severalcharacters/hername. She redirects her shorter domains with masking to HER page on the club website because her potential customers don’t need to visit the original URL.

    She actually has about eight domains she forwards with masking to her club webpage. Apparently some people call her “Sandra”, while others call her “Sandy”. She also acquires domains with the addresses of each club and redirects each domain to her page on the clubsite. Very savvy.


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    301 Redirects


    The importance of 301 redirect: In simple definition, a 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. Most people call it an online “change of address form”. If someone is unaware of your new web address, you will want to ensure all traffic from the previous address is forwarded to this new address.

    For instance, if your new website is www.supertechsite.com and you want change it to www.reallysupertechsite.com, you would use a 301 redirect from the old URL to the current one. So whoever types in your previous URL (or clicks a bookmark link), will automatically be directed to your new website.

    You can tell from our discussion so far, what significance this holds for marketers and business owners. Here are two ways your 301 redirect helps you be discovered by promising leads and customers;

    1. Initiate a 301 redirect between the http:// and http://www forms of your web domain
    This is something interesting, did you know http://supertechsite.com and http://www.supertechsite.com are seen as two different websites? Yes, even though we may consider them as same URL, they are actually different and could theoretically direct you to different content.

    Tip: Ensure you have a 301 redirect between your http:// and the http://www forms of your website. Otherwise all inbound links pointing to http://www.supertechsite.com won’t have authority over http://supertechsite.com and vice versa.

    1. Don’t change to a new domain without first initiating a 301 redirect!
    Considering rebranding? Refurbishing your identity? Getting a website makeover? Maybe you are also thinking about moving your web domain. It is a reasonable decision, however, make sure you go about it the correct way. Otherwise it could backfire and make send the web authority of your previous domain down the drain.

    Tip: Don’t begin from scratch when setting up a fresh domain. Initiate a 301 redirect from your former URL to the new one so the inbound links to your previous domain will transfer the same authority to the current one. Nice and easy!


    Expect Mistakes

    Whatever you do, always remember to acquire the common spelling mistakes associated with your domain and forward them to your website. If I had a pound for every time someone typed Geoffrey instead of Jeffery I would be rich!

    If an additional domain drove just one more person to your website a year, it would be worth every amount spent. Say you have 9 domains driving 9 additional customers to your site weekly? You don’t need to be a mathematician to know those domains are funding themselves.
  • Igniyte.co.uk Tells Us What Makes SEO Friendly Content. Mar 19, 2018

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    “Google is placing a higher priority on top quality written content with its new SEO algorithm. When putting a focus on SEO writing in your content, there are several things you need to keep in mind to get the best result,” - www.igniyte.co.uk

    Let’s have a chat with the online reputation management experts at Igniyte who have some tips for avoiding some of the new punitive measures and getting the best out of SEO.

    Let's start off with the right things to do.

    4 Types of Content to Put on Your Site

    Ignitye explains that no matter what type of content you put on your site, you need to make sure that the material is wholly original. Don’t just find content from elsewhere and add it to the website – generate your own audience relevant ideas and put some serious effort into the writing.

    Resources

    When you begin to write resource material, you should think about uniqueness and comprehension. Make sure that your visitors won’t have to do any additional research of their own, once they have read your information. You want them to feel like they’ve found an in-depth location for all the data they need, not a complex wall of jargon, requiring further study.

    FAQs

    Keep your readers in mind when you work on this type of content: what do they want to see? What will be useful for them? If you have an interactive site or are frequently inundated with emails, focus on responding to them as quickly as possible. This type of content can be a very useful resource for maintaining loyal readership and generating a strong business reputation.

    Data & research

    Customers, and readers, will come to your website if they think that you know what you’re talking about. Popular, data-heavy types of content can include case studies and even ebooks that tell the reader you’re knowledgeable about your chosen field (although, don’t make it too data heavy, otherwise they may find it boring).

    It may take a lot of work to generate this type of quality material, but it will pay off in the end with repeat visits and custom.

    Tutorials

    It’s a well known fact in that DIY tutorials are one of the most popular forms of online content – people love the chance to learn something new, and prove that they’re capable of solving problem. If you have a niche that allows for this, write quality and original tutorials to keep readers coming back for more.

    One of the best things about this kind of material is that it can be easily shared across social media, meaning it has a high chance of going viral.

    OK next we are going to delve into the types of content to avoid. This is what they explained NOT to do.

    4 Types of Content You Should Avoid

    Viral only content

    While it’s a huge bonus if your material goes viral (indeed, many businesses hire companies to try and improve the chances of their content going viral), using content such as images or link dumps is a bad idea. Infographics should also be avoided in general, as the new Google algorithm doesn’t recognise them.

    Duplicate content

    If you just copy an article or jump on a current trend, your site is likely to get buried beneath the others doing the same thing. Generally, you’re unlikely to get much value out of low effort, populist content and, in some cases (depending on how poor the writing is), you could receive punishment from Google.

    Automated content

    Stay away from content farms or companies that automatically create content for you, regardless of its theme or relevancy to your website. Your content should always be niche, original and professional if you plan on having your website rank highly amongst search engine listings.

    Monetized content

    When you write content purely for monetization purposes, it can be very obvious and might, subsequently, be flagged by Google. Not only does it tend to annoy readers, but it can make your content appear paper thin and lacking in substance.

    Following these simple, common-sense guidelines, whilst always ensuring that you are writing with your readers in mind, should drastically improve the traffic and ranking of your website. While we may never know fully what goes into page ranking, quality content will always reign supreme when it comes to the algorithms of the biggest search engines.
  • Of Course SEO Still Matters and Here is 7 Big Reasons Why Mar 1, 2018

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    Is SEO dead? A quick Google search of that term brings up 44 million references, including an interview with Sam McRoberts, CEO of VUDU Marketing. McRoberts insists that "SEO is far from dead," but notes that "it has changed so drastically that people really need to think of it as less of a marketing tactic, and more of a branding play."


    Search engines are constantly evolving. These changing algorithms are exactly why so many companies are renewing their commitment to developing rock-solid SEO optimized web infrastructure. In a shifting landscape, SEO has become more important than ever.


    Here are 7 reasons why your business should consider investing in SEO:


    It Isn’t Broken


    The tried-and-true methods to improve SEO are still working. Even after Hummingbird, plenty of data shows that the classic techniques still apply.


    It Will Continue To Succeed


    Keywords are still fundamental to SEO, even in audio and video searches. It's unlikely that any changes in the near future will be so drastic as to negate the fundamentals.


    It’s Got A Great ROI


    High-cost marketing such as PPC advertising and email marketing may focus on revenue, and social media marketing may burnish your image, but cost-effective SEO optimization drives basic discoverability. It's the titanium-steel scaffolding that raises your online presence.


    Online Shopping Will Only Increase


    80 to 90 percent of consumers now check online reviews before committing to a purchase. When virtually everyone seeks products and services online, how will your business rank?


    Local Search Optimization Is The New Frontier


    Everyone has a computer in their pocket. Within months, mobile searches will outpace those done on traditional desktop computers. This shift has birthed a whole new category of SEO techniques to help companies connect local users with local businesses.


    Quality Content Matters


    Google continues to tweak its algorithms in order to provide consumers with the highest-quality content. Today, social media indicators have a greater impact in the algorithms than they had just a few years ago. Cashing in on these shifts by adapting quickly is what SEO optimization is all about.


    Keeping Up With The Joneses


    “SEO is a never-ending process,” says the team at Web Design and Birmingham SEO Agency Kalexiko. “If you’re not moving forward and improving your position, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is."


    Shifting algorithms are exactly why investing in organic SEO is more important than ever before. A smart SEO strategy is a fundamental need for your business to ensure success in online marketing.
  • Rav Dhillon and the Argyle Opportunity Feb 28, 2018

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    When Bitcoin launched in 2009, very few people believe it would grow as big as it is today. It is no longer news that investors made more than 1000% profit in the fall of 2017 when Bitcoin hit an all time high of US$19,000, practically making hundreds of Bitcoin investors billionaires.

    Bitcoin didn’t launch in secret, anyone who cared to know, knew about the cryptocurrency long before it hit the limelight. In the beginning, you could pick up one Bitcoin for the few cents found under a chair cushion, after a while, the crypto coin rose to a few dollars, and then to everyone’s surprise, it rose to US$400. Even though Bitcoin is currently trending at about US$7,000 due to circumstances in Asia, and talks of Government regulations; those who were fortunate to buy when it was cheaper can still be counted as millionaires.

    The Bitcoin opportunity is not the only time doubting Thomases have missed out on viable investment. Stories abound about people who heard of an opportunity but failed to take action, either because they were not in a financial situation to do so, or because they didn’t believe in its feasibility. It is safe to say that most of those people who missed out on Bitcoin now wish they could turn back the hands of time. If only.

    Well, going back in time is obviously not possible, except in the movies; but what is possible is going forward and taking advantage of new opportunities. Like the Argyle Bonds investment opportunity.

    For more than 30 years, the Argyle mine in Australia has been at the forefront of producing high quality colored diamonds. But this is likely to end in 2020. Rio Tinto, the current owners of Argyle mine has announced that they would cease operations due to the current high cost of extraction and production. But rather than this being the end of an era, it should be seen instead as the beginning of a new one. Rav Dhillon, former successful London broker and founder of the Argyle group believes that this situation creates a unique opportunity for people to invest in what is definitely a very popular and viable product. Rio Tinto’s colored diamond remains one of the most prestigious colored diamonds all over the world, and the Argyle mine is the only known natural source for the very rare and highly sought after pink diamond.

    Rav Dhillion explains “The demand for precious stones is soaring everyday and we are looking to raise £3 million to purchase the Argyle mine diamonds for commercial projects. Argyle Bonds provide a short to medium term opportunity to invest in Argyle diamonds. This opportunity allows for qualified investors to make returns on the high interest rate from a company with a proven success record of more than 30 years.”

    How does this work?

    With as little as £5000, investors have a chance to buy into the Argyle bond scheme and become a part of those who will invest in the limited supply of Argyle diamonds. This qualifies investors to receive quarterly fixed returns which will be determined by their level of investment. The intention is to place the purchased diamonds back into the market via authorized Argyle channels after successful purchase. For example, purchased diamonds can be used to create stunning, much sought after jewelry produced by Argyle Bespoke, or beautifully produced collectors’ coins through Argyle coins. One of such collectors’ coins was sold for US$1.4 million to an Asian buyer within a month of its production. This obviously shows the interest people have in products like these.

    This short to medium term investment opportunity is broken down into 3 categories.

    · A three (3) year bond term paying 6% on investment

    · A four (4) year bond term paying 7% on investment

    · A five (5) year bond term paying 8% on investment

    At the end of their chosen investment period or level, investors will get back their original investment as well as any accrued percentage on profits.

    Conclusion

    Even though this may not be the next big crypto, it is obviously a well thought out investment strategy that smart investors should look into.

    While not everyone will need diamonds for jewelries or collector’s coins, there is an increasing demand for alternative forms of investments, and with the recent market uncertainties due to Brexit and other economic situations around the globe, diamonds may well be the solution to safeguarding against cash devaluations and financial insecurity.
  • Shipping Control Software from MarSol Martitine Solutions to Create an Efficient Workflow Feb 27, 2018

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    There are many aspects of modern marine shipping, especially with larger shipping container carriers and cruise vessels. You need to look at shipping lane navigation, crew and cargo logging, course control etc let alone docking, onboard safety regulations and indeed regulatory control of all aspects of the maritime industry. The loading and unloading have to be done in the correct way so cargo can be unloaded the other end in order which all takes time, money and expertise.

    The less pressure that can be placed on both the crew and the high-end staff like the captain the better as these all need to know things are ship shape, and seaworthy before the next destinations can be planned for when the current one is completed.

    In order to take pressure off every member of the crew, there has been designed maritime crewing software control systems to help handle the load so to give you some idea of these lets list some of these jobs which deal with some aspects automatically with integrated software we can provide a shortlist of these below:-

    Shipping Master Software.

    A record-keeping tool and an electronic document control.

    Crewing & HR.

    Layers of Communication between the Crew.

    Individuals profile data, hiring of seagoing & shore based personnel, familiarisation, crew planner, crew matrix, work & rest hours.

    Live voice-chat with both crew and management.

    Group, department & customized daily planner, Inspections & audits planner, ship visit planner, and training planner.

    Routing Planner.

    Workflow.

    Work permits & Risk Assessments, Incident management, Inspection / PSC / Audits management, MOC process management, proposal for changes & improvements management, management review management, and TMSA Audits results from management.

    PMS (personnel management system).

    Class approved PMS, weekly job planner based on schedules jobs, job orders management, reports, user-friendly.

    Some other aspects of running a ship also come in the form of layers which all have to be fully checked as well as deck stock controls on every deck below the upper deck. Again with a brief look at some of these, we can see even that aspect is vital to organize as is even loading, weight restrictions and much more:-

    Purchasing & Stock control.

    Security is paramount for all concerned.

    Cargo storage and condition such as dry bulk or frozen storage areas.

    Automatic quotations distribution to the list of chosen approved vender's restricted online access for approved vender's to provide quotations.

    These systems are designed to provide as of these tasks as possible giving maximum flexibility to the ship crews and managers to pre-set (and planned) requirements for the users and access authority basis on every from the top to the bottom of the company's internal needs.

    In some of the unique ways, this has been done the individuals helping to provide each user with a unique ID a full history from the hiring process, familiarisation, with all changes and updates of the profile could be previewed through system log for auditing purposes. This while adding to security by ensuring compartmentalisation protecting more sensitive information is held behind a "firewall" to which only the higher up people on board (who will typically have top access) need to know.

    Electronic access control can also be integrated into each layer of the vessel if the operators so desire. Swipe cards, key codes, RFID fobs and other clever systems will all link to the corresponding clearance to the area if required.

    Some of these key benefits of the software:-

    All of these individual aspects invite users to both improve company standards and compliance with their own Safety Management System.

    An accessing system from any remote location will provide the user with latest available information within the system.

    Managing daily activities in an efficient way, utilising a Workflow Model and encouraging office staff to be self-managed.

    Users will have a full control and follow up on outstanding jobs, incidents, inspections including alerts and notifications.

    Generate and analyze data required by the user from the software in real time interactively.
    Usability of software.

    Paperless communication shore and vessels.

    Vision

    These help by saving time and money of maritime shipping industry with one CPU controlled software to manage all these activities on board the ship in shore and also the office. This helps massively to boost company efficiency, operations, overall control, compliance and report data for analyzing cutting the company operational costs in the bargain.

    So as you can see they are totally flexible and provide a series of multiple choices, solutions for the client to integrate into their address business needs & demand with customization of in-house software. Additionally, they will be run by top installers and management staff to help install and offer correct choices with their client to deliver both a "bespoke" tailor-made solutions which will fully match any organization business needs.

    I hope this article has been an interesting journey into the field of modern day technologies improvements from the point of integrated high performance (SMS) ship-wide management system today.
  • Working Out to Diet Tips to Ensure Your Employees Stay Healthy Feb 12, 2018

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    Health according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is defined as the state of complete physical, social, mental well-being and not just the absence of disease or infirmity. The WHO has affirmed health as a basic human right, as such provision of health care should be brought as close as possible to where people work.

    For every employer, the health of every employee is of paramount importance. Aside health being a fundamental human right, the productivity of every establishment is directly proportional to the health of its employees. Unhealthy employees will be unable to meet up work targets, have a lot of sick leaves and might even have communicable condition putting other workers at risk.

    Prevention they say is better than cure, and the focus of every health campaign in a work place should be on prevention rather than cure. It has been shown to be more cost effective to proactively spend on preventive campaigns than waiting for a worker to get ill.

    Here are some tips on how to ensure good health for your workers:

    1. Pre-employment and Periodic Medical Examination:

    The best point for screening employees is actually when they are employed. It is important to make them go through medical examination, to determine any medical condition they might have, and have a plan for managing the condition while they work with the establishment. They can be appropriately posted based on these conditions.

    Medical examination should also be periodic and not just at the point of entry

    2. Education:

    Education is key to every prevention drive. Every employee should be educated on common health problems, and all misconceptions should be corrected. They should be educated on warning symptoms and signs of diseases, how to prevent them, how to ensure safety at work place.

    3. Exercise:

    Employees should be subjected to regular exercise as it is an integral part of healthy living. Rather than sit in front of the computer all day, they should be encouraged to do small stretches, use the stair case from time to time. Outdoor Exercise sessions can be organized officially biweekly to encourage a healthy lifestyle. You can get some great gym equipment online that you can incorporate into your office exercise sessions, how about yoga for all the staff easy to set up with mats and cheap een with bringing in a professional yoga instructor.

    4. Hygiene:

    After Education, the next most important step towards prevention of illness is Hygiene. Every employee should be taught on personal hygiene, hand-washing, how to keep their work place clean and safe.

    5. Diet:

    Diet is very important to health. Employees should be taught about healthy eating. Ensure the cafeteria abides by all health standards. Periodic screening of food-sellers should be done for E. coli, Salmonella and other food borne bugs. Encourage eating of fruits.

    6. Healthy Habits:

    Discourage cigarette smoking, make the workplace smoke free. Also employees should be discouraged from alcohol use at work. Workers should be discouraged from over work, and encouraged to take up holidays when due as well as sick leaves when ill.

    7. Retainership:

    Hospital retainership services or insurance should be available for all employees
  • How Online Businesses Can Build Lasting Connections with Their Customers Feb 7, 2018

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    The aim of any Ecommerce business is to generate sales and drive the value of their conversion rates. True, but it is a little more than that. You also want customers to return to your site and repeat purchase.

    Many savvy online business managers achieve this by building lasting connections with their customers. At a time when the attention span of the average online consumer is pegged at eight seconds, you work is cut out for you. But it is not as difficult as it seems.

    In this post, we outline four ways you can build meaningful relationships and enjoy repeated sales from you online customer base.

    1. Grow your network- it’s the lifeline of your sales strategy

    Your network consists of business partners, professional colleagues, prospective and current customers, contractors, suppliers, partners, association members, family and friends. These connections are prospective customers waiting for you to meet their needs. How do you do that? By adding value to the relationship.

    Don’t make connections and ignore them until six months later when you have a new proposal. Keep your business at the top of prospects’ mind by sending regular emails, useful newsletters and other items of value. This way, you won’t be a stranger when you contact them with a new product.

    2. Communication is essential to sales

    Business relationships have a short life span. If you don’t stoke the flames, your customers will move on to an active competitor. Keep your online presence hot and let them know you are still available. Post frequent articles on your blog, get active on social media and send your loyal customers digital freebies from time to time.

    You rarely meet people at the exact moment you need something; the same goes for your customers. But when they need a product/service you provide, do they think of your business as the first point of call? Constant communication can make this happen.

    3. Set up an automated communication system

    The email is an acceptable and highly-effective form of business communication. Don’t underestimate the value of this service, because even on a shoestring budget, email marketing can connect you to thousands of existing and potential customers with a simple message.

    Ryan Howard, Director at XEDI says sometimes, an email automation system is enough to keep you at the top of your customers’ mind. “Companies that maintain systems such as automated order or feedback forms usually enjoy good connections with their customers,” he says. Each exchange is always an opportunity to strengthen that relationship.

    4. Reward your loyal customers

    We love freebies. According to Bain and Co., a management consulting firm, a 5% growth in customer retention can increase profit by 25% - 100%. Repeat customers spend about 67% more than new customers, and one effective way to ensure customers remain loyal is by rewarding them.

    Consider rewarding them with gift cards, movie tickets, white papers, or free download templates. Ensure it is something valuable or it will yield nothing positive. Happy customers tend to share their positive experiences with friends and colleagues, so you are assured of winning some new prospects in the process.

    Online connections are the same as offline communications. Once you grow cold, your customers will easily forget. Keep the relationship hot by creating relevant buzzes from time to time.
  • Saad Rajas Email Marketing Tips that Can Help You Boost Profit Feb 7, 2018

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    Having a website to establish your presence online is a prerequisite when starting a business these days. However, while most entrepreneurs now understand the benefits of owning a website, very few entrepreneurs are getting measurable value from their online presence.

    The goal of having a business website is to produce leads and sales. You can optimize your website to convert more visitors to customers. But adding email marketing to your arsenal is the best way to guarantee you convert a lot more visitors into paying customers.

    According to Saad Raja, a leading internet marketing expert that has generated millions of dollars in sales online, told us no matter how well optimized your website is, some of your customers will simply not buy on the first exposure to your offer. Email marketing has been proven to convert to missed sales, and generates a very positive ROI.

    To ensure you start your email marketing on the right foot, here are 3 super tips from Saad Raja.

    1) Design an Opt-in Page

    Signal says that sending traffic directly to your home-page is an inefficient way of marketing. According to him, designing an opt-in page is a far better way to generate leads, sales, and customer. An opt-in page is a single page that offers your customers something of value for free in exchange for their email. The opt-in page is connected to an email marketing software like Aweber or GetResponse.

    Whichever niche or industry you are, you can find a USP that your customers would respond to in exchange for their email. It may be a free pdf, a discount, or a free product, while you get their email in return that will enable you market to them for as long as they remain subscribed to your list.

    2) A Thank You Page or an Offer Page

    After a prospect inputs their email, you should send the prospect are to a thank you page where you thank them for trusting you with their email. More importantly, the thank you page is also a chance to convert your visitor to a customer. Sending them to your best converting page is ideal.

    However, you can also send them to your homepage, especially if your home page converts decently.

    3) AutoResponder and Email Email Broadcast

    Now you’ve your prospect’s email, it’s time to send them a series of messages that will gradually introduce them to your company. Your messages should communicate how your product will help them solve a challenge or make their life easier. It should also communicate the value they would receive by taking advantage of your offer.

    Email marketing enables you to write this email series once, and they are automatically sent to any person that opts into your email campaign. You don’t have to lift a finger every time and your customers will receive your message daily, or weekly or monthly, as the case may be.

    Also, you can send special broadcasts either to offer a discount, introduce new products, or launch a contest. With email marketing, there is just so much you can do.

    Your customers can also reach you easily if they have any special needs and you will get actionable information that will help you serve your customers better.

    Saad Raja attributes the success of his online marketing company to the power of email marketing. Taking advantage of email marketing will greatly improve your profit and make your website and online marketing efforts much more profitable.
  • Cloud servers and the benifits for starting up a digital company Jan 21, 2018

    Ok what is a cloud server and what does it do for your company?

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    They were originally used for backing up your hard drive data but have evolved since then on many levels. Cloud servers are the future for sure as they are so versatile with the addition of remote access from any wifi or another internet like giving you the operator the power to access the documents you need immediately from any location. In this article, we will look at some of the benefits of utilising a cloud server in your business from the inside out.


    Operational aspects of a cloud server

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    In the main, the whole issue of cloud server applications seem complicated but at the end of the day, it is not. The cloud servers are run on the companies own hardware and as such are maintained for the most part without any help from the users. This being the case they are more reliable than other hard drive maintenance problems. Additional, typically the cloud server and the personnel running it find any potential issue before you notice any potential problem so it is generally non-problematic operating as a base function.

    When using a cloud you do not have to worry about bugs, viruses, glitches, non-updated drivers and communication issues between and of the integrated system they are linked to including your laptop and or networks which might take your time and money to correct such a problem. So this is one of the ways your company will save you money in the long run yet alone you will not have to maintain the operational aspects of the database to boot.

    All of the employees your company is using will have access to the kinds of permission you allocate (to them relating to their need to know) thru the server, instantly as well as you set the viewing permissions. The directors remain in total control of access to potentially sensitive information on any of your clients, suppliers, contacts, past records, orders or even board meeting minutes or any such information you or your organisation may need to protect for the best interests in your organisation.


    Saving money with the cloud server

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    In the long term you will not have to hire expensive technicians to maintain the company's servers as detailed but there are more ways in which they will help such as updating drivers and databases, the amount of server gig’s you need to run your company is completely variable depending on what you need to function let alone the point you do not need to buy buckets of server space you can “buy as you go” so there is always plenty of room for expansion when you need it by buying more storage power as and when you wish.


    Cloud and low running costs

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    You simply pay for the amount of server power you need so it is totally dependant on what level of storage and operational data you need to use. This being the case there is little “startup cost” to implementing large-scale investment if this is relevant to your requirements. There are no huge costs with regards to any hardware upgrades when you use the cloud system as a whole. You will get everything updated, protected, secured and all with remote interaction as and when you need it without any of the cost or trouble that maintaining your own dedicated server.


    Building aspects

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    As a rule 76% (according to the CSA - Cloud Security Alliance) there is a pattern forming from all manner of companies to upgrade their own cloud applications on a regular basis as well as their services that the server company supplies. This is mainly due to the need for companies to share information between its respective networks in day to day operations. With this feature, your team (no matter how big or small they are) can have direct access to the information they require as well as the full functionality to the table from any position in the world at any time.


    Clouds and supposed carbon footprint

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    Some of the arguments for reducing the “carbon footprint” include some of the following:- Reduction from driving too and from work and allowing the opportunity to work from home, while allowing the company to “downsize” their operations if required, the faster you can share information with files without effort let alone saving you money and using less costly resources in the bargain.

    The cloud is always on so to speak so it will always save you time and effort trying to rush to work in time to get that important memo before the deadline from home. With the school run also a very important part of your employees day you want as much productivity from your workers whether it is from home or at work, of course. Wherever there is an internet connection or a mobile phone signal you have access to your staff at all times.


    Security concerns and the cloud

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    Cloud servers, for the most part, are what is called “hardened” as well as protected to the nines so to speak. If there is any kind of natural or non-natural disaster these servers will be maintained and protected as a matter of course so your data is more secure and you or your company do not need to worry about this aspect in the main. Of course, there are varying levels of protection and for the most part, you get what you pay for.

    Automatic backups are a matter of security so the server operators have a duty of care to look after your data all of the time and a failure to do so will result in major damage to the companies reputation as server operators in the first place. Security audits are conducted on a regular basis so there is little worry on your part as a company as you are in full knowledge of this fact making the whole process even more attractive in this aspect. Again, this secures your more sensitive information making the implementation even more attractive to the client, you.

    As Chris from Umbrella says
    “A happier workforce makes a more productive worker.”


    Documentation control

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    Ensuring better control of your client’s documentation if you wish to secure proper business relations in both the short and long term. They will need to be secure in the knowledge you are the best “gatekeeper” for your sensitive information on your most valuable customers. Setting in the cloud organiser are set to give the operator various levels of control from just viewing, limited access to editing or fully open access to those who are cleared for such a level. Due to open editing from those with the correct clearances, there is the additional aspect you do not get a million copies of the same document clogging up your data bundle.


    Implementation with ease

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    Using a cloud server is very much simpler than maintaining your own blade or server. Most of the major companies will help you in house to migrate your own data into their system and for the most part, they have a team of dedicated operatives there at your beckon call to help this process completely.

    The above being the point 85%of enterprises have implemented the cloud systems into their applications in 2017 and as such they, are doing so as these are the most effective systems to bring on board at the least cost. This is a very good argument for the cloud systems due to the fact they work! Save your company and your budget some time and money by implementing the cloud system into your organisation. You will not regret it but become far more productive in the process straight off the bat.
  • From Loans to Social Media 6 Tips for Jumpstarting a Business Dec 28, 2017

    Jumpstarting a business can be financially liberating. But launching a new business requires spending a lot of money to bring your ideas to fruition. In this piece, we will show you tips on how to start and run a business without touching your savings.

    Apply For a Secured Loan or Business Bridging Loan

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    Instead of exhausting your nest egg financing a business idea, search for online finance companies offering secured loans or business brdging loans. A secured loan is a loan that is backed by assets the borrower owns, such as your home. Although this type of loan is considered risky, you can receive cheaper interest rates, which allows you more time to expand your business without going bankrupt.

    If your business needs short term finance for a big purchase or office move a commercial bridging loan could help. Bridging loans are for large short term finance.



    Start Small
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    There is a common belief that you have to aim big in order to reach business success. Actually, making small investments gives you the flexibility you to change things about your business until you can turn a real profit. Spending a lot of money early on in your business invites more financial risk which could force you to dip into your personal funds to keep your business running.

    Use Available Resources
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    Take advantage of available resources around you to create your business space. If you have a spare room in your house or a relatively spacious garage, you can convert these areas into your office or workshop depending on the type of business you're operating. Choosing this option saves you money on overhead costs. Look for any tools you already have around your home and start with these items. For example, if you are starting a business online, use your old computer instead of investing in a new MAC. If you are starting a landscaping business, use your own lawn mower instead of buying a new one.

    Make Sure Your Services Are Useful


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    If you're determined to run your business without spending your personal funds, sell products or provide services that are useful in the average person's life without you convincing them to buy from you. Think about your business's location and base your marketing strategy around the needs or wants of your consumers. Although every business has different profit margins, a business that sells hot coffee will usually sell more units than a business that sells hot tubs, especially if your business is located in a rural community!

    Encourage Customers to Pay Upfront

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    It's understandable that you want to place as many orders as possible to fuel your business's growth, which is why you should encourage your customers to pay at least 50% upfront to use your services. The idea behind this strategy is to minimize the amount of money you need to take from your borrowed business funds waiting for payments to clear or to be paid in full.

    Market Your Business Using Social Media Channels

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    Generate sales via word-of-mouth from family, friends and the general public using social media marketing. Advertising on social media is a free tool you can use to increase your business's sales potential without dipping into your savings!
    LanaW and InspiredExperiences like this.