The Essential Tech To Add To Your Family Home

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When it comes to pulling together everything you need in your family home, it can often seem like a big job. When you have a lot to buy, your budget can constantly be stretched. Then, when you add in the idea of getting your technology in place too, the price can keep on increasing. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Although there are some tech essentials that everyone wants to add into their family home, you don’t always have to end up paying the earth for them. Because even when something’s a must-have, you can still shop around to get the best price.

And when you have pretty much everything to buy, this is always the most important thing to concentrate on. Well, that and making sure that you only choose the essentials based on what your family will need. But, how are you meant to know what would be essential for everyone? That’s where this post comes in. We’ve pulled together a list of some of the tech essentials that you might like to consider adding into your home, as well as how to get the best price for each piece too! So read up and start shopping!

Home Entertainment

The first thing on most people’s list is often a good home entertainment center, and for a very good reason. Whether you spend a lot of time watching your favorite TV shows, or you like to have movie nights, the right home theater system is a must-have. But, you don’t really want to spend over the earth if you don’t have to. So, you’re going to want to research everything from the right screen size to the surround sound systems that you need.

Computers

Popular choice number two, or even number one to most people, is the computer technology that you’re going to choose for your home. Whether you want to find the best laptops for your work, or even the full computer systems that you need to your home business, you need to ensure that you do your research. And in terms of cost, you should definitely shop around to get the best price, or even wait for the bigger sale periods throughout the year to find the best deal.

Smart Home Solutions

The next thing to consider is definitely a more modern installation compared to some of the other things on the list, but as the world is changing, you’re definitely going to want to think about installing some of these things for ease, if not evolution. Everything from an electric garage door opener, to automatic lighting systems and even an instant hot water tap in the kitchen, look into the best solutions to smarten up your home.

And A Smart Home Hub

If you are thinking about installing some smart home solutions, then you may want to go with a smart home hub too. Smart home hubs are essentially the control center that you can operate all or most of your home tech from. So when you want to turn the oven on without moving, or close your curtains when you’re not home, your home hub is going to be your new favorite gadget of all time.

Gaming Consoles

And, of course, you might want to think about the different gaming tech that you can work within your home. You don’t have to be the biggest gamer to be able to enjoy playing a game or two. Whether you’re the gamer in the family, or you’ve got kids that love to play, you could think about getting pre-built gaming computers alongside some of the most popular on the market. To get the best deal, you could even look into pre-owned options.

Home Security

With the tech being for your home, you could also consider the home security options that you have. Because locking your doors isn’t always enough. You may want to think about installing a home security system with CCTV and remote access too. This is often a good idea when you’re concerned about safety, or you want to be able to keep an eye on your home when you’re away.

And Things Just For Fun

If you’ve already invested in some of the best pieces for your home, or you’ve been able to shop around and bag yourself some good deals, then you may want to pick up a few pieces, just for fun. And when that’s the case, you should think about the home gadgets to get that are just a bit of fun. And there’s a lot to entertain you as you choose to.

Short Term Loans: Could They Save Your Business?

No-one likes to have to borrow money. Debt is something we would all avoid if we had the chance. However, business debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, businesses (small and big) need an extra nudge in the right direction. The decision to take on a business loan shouldn’t be a light one, but there can be lots of benefits to a cash injection. It can be especially useful if you feel your business will inevitably fail without it. So, how do you decide if a loan is the right choice for you?

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New Opportunity

The main objectives of any business are to make money and grow. Sometimes, without a cash injection, that can be impossible. Small businesses often have enough money to pay the bills and keep things running smoothly, but when it comes to new opportunities there usually isn’t enough in the budget for business owners to be creative. So, if a customer approaches a small business and asks for a large order, it may take a small business loan for the business to be able to fulfill that order. Similarly, a business owner may have an idea that could propel the business into a bigger and better stage, but without the money, that idea is useless.

Fast Cash

Unlike traditional loans, short-term loans are often in your bank account the same day they’re approved, if not a few days later. Click here to find out more. When you apply for a traditional loan, you’ll often have to jump through hurdles to get it, wait a while for approval and then wait even longer for the money. So, let’s say you’ve been unable to keep the business running because of poor health on a temporary basis. Now you’re fit and healthy again, but you have outstanding bills that could cause poor credit history for the business. A short-term loan can pay off your bills, give you the time to earn the money you need from the business and give you peace of mind.

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You Already Have Buyers

If you’re thinking about introducing a new product or service to your business, a short-term loan could be ideal. This is especially true if you’ve already done your research and know that buyers will be lining up. If you know you can sell quickly, you know you can repay quickly. That means a short-term loan is better option for you than a traditional loan. Additionally, paying the loan off quickly will boost the business’ credit portfolio in case you need to borrow money again in the future.

Covering Costs

If a customer refuses to pay you for your work because of a dispute, it could mean that your business and your staff suffer. If you don’t bring in the money you need, you may be forced to decide between a loan or getting rid of employees. If you know you’re in the right and the situation will be resolved quickly, a short-term loan could cover your back and save you from losing valuable members of your team.

Remember, it isn’t wise to accept the first loan offer you’re given. Do some shopping around and get the best deal for your business.

 

Enemies of SEO: The 3 Worst Things You can Do For Your Search Engine Visibility

“Oh no!”, You’re probably thinking, “Not another article on SEO!”. It’s true that articles on search engine optimization are proliferate among business sites, and while SEO has become a ubiquitous buzzword (or buzz-acronym to be super specific) every day entrepreneurs are actively damaging their search engine visibility through poor choices. Business owners are conditioned to keep overheads to a minimum but they also understand where and how to make prudent investments to facilitate the growth of their reach. Investing in digital marketing and search engine optimization is usually a pretty safe bet, typically yielding a healthy return on investment. There are, however, certain caveats.

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While a great many businesses lean on outsourced companies like Ignite Digital to help boost their online visibility, SEO is not something that one can simply throw money at and hope for the best. Businesses must be ever-vigilant to ensure that their investments in SEO are not compromised by poor managerial choices. Thus, it’s vital to avoid these common SEO pitfalls of which even the most proficient business person can fall afoul.     

Outsourcing to the wrong company

While outsourcing your SEO is usually a prudent investment, one must also discriminate when choosing the right company for the needs of their business. Bear in mind that the cheapest is rarely the best. Many fledgling businesses are attracted by the low rates of SEO companies based in places like India and The Philippines and while there absolutely are genuinely good companies based in these areas, there are just as many cynical spammers. Entrepreneurs owe it to their businesses to thoroughly vet their prospective companies before handing over dollar one.

Not keeping outsourced companies on a tight leash

If you’re already outsourcing to an SEO company and see any of these red flags, it’s time to take your business elsewhere…

  • They have nothing to show- Even if they don’t have results to boast they should at least be able to detail their strategy for how they will increase your visibility and drive traffic. An SEO audit and some optimized content are be the bare minimum you should expect in the early days of business with them.
  • They don’t share their techniques- ‘Doing’ SEO’ is like fixing a car. It’s technical and confusing stuff which can be baffling to the layman and if they don’t at least attempt to explain in accessible terms what they’re doing, it’s like the mechanic working on your car simply saying, “What I’m doing here is… I’m fixing your car!”.
  • They’re not asking you to do anything- SEO is a two way street and any SEO company worth their salt will be very forthcoming with suggested changes that you need to make. If they’re not, they’re wasting your time and money

Poor quality content

Little did Bill Gates realize when he said “Content is King” that lazy and disreputable companies would misinterpret his words as “Post any old garbage, as long as it’s regular”. While regular content is an SEO must-have, it should never come at the expense of quality. Someone on your payroll should be accountable for enforcing the regularity and content of your blog posts, videos, ebooks and white papers on your website to ensure that your brand is not besmirched by poor quality content.

Trend Power: Using It To Boost Your Online Sales

Follow, like, comment, or share. That is what we are invited to do on a daily basis in response to online trends. It is through this interaction that online fashions gain traction and momentum. Making them the perfect horse to ride for some quick and easy online business success. So read on to find out how you can utilize what is trending right now to boost your sales and increase your online profits.


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Identify

The first task in using trends to your own advantage is to identify them. What are the hottest topics, colors, keywords, and products at the moment?

To do this,  you can use a variety of online tools. One such tool is a keyword rank checker. These are programs that allow you to find out what the key phrases around any particular subject are. Something that will indicate where the trends lie.

Then, there are also sites like Google trends, for a more general look at what is popular over a certain time period. Don’t forget blogs and social media trend trackers either, as these can help you get an idea of specific themes and ideas that are part of the current zeitgeist.

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From this, you can work backward to identify the type of products that are trending that fit in with your business model. With a view to offering them to your client base.

Finance

Once you have identified the trend, you will need to ensure that you have the funds in place to be able to secure the product you wish to sell on at a profit. This is very important when using what is trending as a basis for sales because things can change so quickly. So, if you haven’t got immediate funding available you can risk losing sales momentum because other companies will get in first. Taking the share of the market that you are hoping to exploit.

That means if you are looking exploit what is trending for profit you will need to have funding prearrange and easily accessible.  A good way to secure this is to use a line of credit that will provide flexible funding as and when you need it. Allowing you to move with the fashions online and enabling you to make the most out of flash in the pan trends.

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Although, it is worth noting that small business line of credit rates can be higher than traditional loans. However, you only pay interest on what you have borrowed. As opposed to on the entire amount as you would in a traditional loan situation. So it can still work out to be financially in your favor.

Move the product

After you have secured the product in the necessary numbers, it’s time to use what is trending to sell units.

Social media is a great way of doing this as you can include tags, images, and even instructional videos to garner customers’ interest and ensure that your product is seen by as many people as possible.

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Don’t forget to make your trending product available to your current customer base too, by sending out emails or texts. As if they have already bought from you, you have a trust relationship that you can use to close the deal and move those units quickly for a fast profit.

How Augmented Reality is Saving the Tech Industry

As automation and robotics continue to edge human workers out of jobs, it’s clear that either technology or people (or both) will have to adjust. While it is true that recent technological innovations have replaced humans in certain industries, it’s also worth noting that there are still millions of unfilled jobs in the United States.

Thus, it may not be the case that fewer jobs will be available for workers in the future. Instead, the nature of work itself may simply be shifting. Currently, people lack the necessary skills to fill those millions of jobs mentioned above. While some jobs are probably going away forever, new ones that emerge will require a workforce that’s properly trained for them.

If this is the case, technology will not be the force that prevents workers from finding employment. Instead, it will help them prepare for the jobs of the future.

Augmented reality companies, in particular, are set to play an essential role.

Understanding the Tech

Augmented reality should not be confused with virtual reality. VR inserts users into an entirely new world. AR, meanwhile, inserts new, virtual elements into the real world. It can also remove certain real-world elements, if that’s the goal.

This has clear implications for job training. Potential employees may soon be able to put on an AR headset and superimpose a new tool or piece of technology onto their surrounding environment. They can learn how to perform a task or use a machine without having to travel to a training site.

According to a report from Tractica, a robotics-focused research firm, this application is clearly viable. “AR headsets provide an ideal UI for hands-free operation, with the device at eye level, presenting information when needed. AR headsets can also bring powerful first-person views, which are valuable hands-free resources for field force automation, training, or maintenance jobs,” the report states.

Recognizing the Potential for AR

Most AR programs currently involve the use of smartphones or tablets, as they’re more readily available than AR headsets. However, given the relative success of the Microsoft Hololens, as well as the rise of smaller firms like Osterhout Design Group and Daqri, it’s safe to assume that such tools will soon be put to wider use.

Major tech companies have also indicated their faith in AR. Facebook is developing a tool which will allow users to make their own customized image filters. Apple released an AR content creation platform for developers. Samsung is creating its own MR (mixed reality) products. The augmented reality industry is growing steadily, and that trend isn’t likely to reverse itself anytime soon.

AR for Job Training

Although it’s not possible to determine to what degree robotics and artificial intelligence will displace human workers, few doubt that they will have a clear, measurable effect. For workers to compete, they’ll need the ability to quickly learn valuable skills.

Bryan Ballard, CEO of Upskill, believes AR will be critical in this respect. Ballard’s company aims to develop the go-to AR operating system. He believes that a classroom is the wrong space for job training because it involves removing a potential employee from the actual context of the job. Ballard says, “At a base level people need more skills to do their jobs,” adding, “What we see in real life is that there is a way to get better information right way and it’s always available to see.”

Daqri’s CEO, Brian Mullins, agrees: “Augmented reality is a modern technology that is human focused, and when done right, focused on knowledge transfer. You can show a worker how to do something that they didn’t know, and give them actionable information to make the right decisions.”

Current Uses of Augmented Reality Technology

Some companies are already toying with the idea of using AR as a job training tool. GE is developing a Hololens program that would train people who have no background in the medical field to correctly use an ultrasound machine. Boeing, which has already used AR to train employees in key tasks, has found that workers who learn via this approach are more satisfied and more accurate.

These examples merely represent the experimental stages of using AR to train employees. In the future, companies will have to find ways of scaling the process so that it’s efficient, effective, and available to a wide range of potential workers. Companies hoping to take advantage of this training model will have to work closely with AR firms to develop the best possible tools.

Those that do will likely benefit from a more qualified, productive workforce. Workers who’ve been replaced by machines will also benefit, as they get the opportunity to learn new skills that make them more valuable in the long run.