Is Cloud Technology Good for Business?

More and more businesses are moving towards cloud technology when it comes to storing data, so what are the main pros and cons of it?

Pros

Storing data in the cloud is a very flexible way of doing it because you can store as much as you want without running out of space. There’s no physical disk space for you to fill or backup. All of that’s taken care of by the vendor you use. And if you need more space then you just carry on filling it up, and you won’t run out. This means you can move quickly and meet the forever changing demands that you often have to face as a business owner.

The improvement that it can make to your employees is huge too. They will instantly find it much simpler and easier to collaborate and work remotely because they can upload, share and sync documents at any time or place. This makes your business much more flexible as a whole and able to share ideas in a swift and straightforward manner. There’s no waiting around for paper documents to be passed around or emails getting lost or ignored.

The environment will also benefit from you switching to cloud-based storage systems. You’ll use a lot less energy and emit less carbon dioxide by storing your data in the cloud. This is because you won’t have any need to run on-site servers. Some people argue that small businesses could cut their energy usage by up to 90% by doing this!

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Cons

Storing data in the cloud puts your business and its functionality under the thumb of your internet connection. In other words, if you have problems with accessing the internet, you’re not going to be able to access your data either. This serves to offer a double whammy setback when your internet connection fails you. This is a problem you don’t get if you use more conventional methods to store your data.

Security is another big concern that you’ll need to take into consideration. Cloud computing means storing your data on the internet, meaning that there is always a risk of hacking and leaks. Of course, there are strong security systems provided by most cloud storage providers, but there’s no such thing as 100% security on the internet. If someone with the right skills is determined to hack you, they’ll hack you. It might be a small risk, but it still exists.

The quality of vendors offering cloud storage solutions varies wildly, so this is something you’ll have to be very careful about. You need to do extensive research into the company before you hand over your cash. You’re best picking a reputable provider like IESA because some other vendors don’t offer the same level of support or technical help when you require it.

Verdict

The pros and cons of cloud-based technology are vast. There are great arguments to be considered on both sides of the debate. If you can find a good vendor whose technology is strong and whose character your trust, then cloud storage could be a great thing for your business.

How a Blog Could Help Your Small Business

You’ve probably heard a lot of people tell you about how a blog can help boost business, but here are the top reasons why this is the case!

Your Products Can be Promoted

It’s important to remember that the main aim of your blog isn’t to advertise your products. The focus should be on creating content that will appeal to people that your business is interested in selling to. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make people aware of the things that you sell too.

As I said, it shouldn’t be the central focus of the post, but internal links offer you the chance to point people in the direction of what you can offer them. If they’re reading your content in the first place, they’ll probably be interested in these things anyway, so you’re offering them something useful.

Trust is Built

Trust needs to be a big part of the business-customer relationship. If a customer can’t trust a business, why would they keep coming back to do business with it? But trust can be built via publishing a blog. If you’re producing content that proves to people that you know what you’re talking about, people will be more willing to trust your business in the first place.

To reach this point though, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort required to make the blog of the highest standard possible. If you’re still asking yourself ‘how do I start a blog?’, search the internet and see what makes other people’s blogs so successful.

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Connections Are Made

Building a community around your blog and your business is a very positive step to take as it gives your business the human face it needs to succeed. People expect more from businesses in return for their custom and brand loyalty nowadays, so make sure you create an effective blog.

To make sure you create genuine, long-lasting connections with customers, your blog will need to be reliable and updated regularly. You should leave readers waiting in anticipation for the next blog post to be uploaded. You can also build links with businesses to increase your reach and find new readers.

Traffic Will Flow to the Site

Blogs are a simple way to attract more customers to your website. As long as your content and website is fully optimized, people should be able to find it when they put relevant keywords into a search engine. This will also mean your brand exposure increases, and your sales should increase too.

The simple fact of the matter is people like reading content that is relevant to them. It could be entertaining or informative, it doesn’t matter as long as it connects with the people who you are looking to sell to. Your website needs to be smooth and fast if you’re going to turn increased traffic into increased sales though.

Hopefully, I’ve now convinced you of how important blogs can be in improving the fortunes of a business, so get yours started today.

Top Tips for Building a Productive Work Team

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In order to run a successful business, you need strong people in your team. You need people who are willing to push as hard as you are, to grow your venture. You’re also going to need staff who are always productive and motivated. This can be a hard task in itself. As the business owner, it’s down to you to find those people. To train them up in your business methods and ways. Oh, and to keep them motivated and working hard. Not too much of a challenge then! Here are some top tips to help you do just that.

Finding the Right Staff

You need to start off by finding the right staff in the first place. Picking the wrong kind of people can have a real negative impact on your business. If you’ve never recruited before, then it may seem kind of daunting. Make sure that the job description you put out there is detailed, to attract the right candidates. Spend some time sorting through CVs and conducting telephone or Skype interviews. Then, bring in your favorites for face to face interviews. It may take some time, but it will be worth it when you start with the right staff.

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Training Them Up

You’re next step involves training all of your staff, to work well within your business. Again, you’re probably not a teacher, and so this can seem pretty daunting. It isn’t as hard as it sounds, however. You can send your team on training courses to learn different aspects of your industry if your budget allows for it. Courses such as Simplilearn.com/agile-and-scrum/csm-certification-training can teach your members the ins and outs of Scrum. Something which lots of businesses are using nowadays. If you don’t have the funds to send them out for training, you’re going to need to do it yourself. Write everything out and create useful packs they can refer to. Give them one-on-one and team training. The more they know about your business, the better.

Motivating Them

When your new staff members join, chances are they will be somewhat motivated and productive. After all, they have to impress the boss. However, things can rapidly change as they get their feet under the table (or desk). You’ll need to constantly think up new ways to keep them motivated and working hard. This doesn’t mean punishing them every time you see them on Facebook. Always focusing on the negatives will force them out anyway. If you want to push them to do their best, you need to use positive reinforcement. This means rewarding them for when they do well. Providing incentives and bonuses for those who are excelling. Offering new training courses and opportunities for those who want to learn something new. Team nights out and dress down Fridays. There are plenty of ways to keep your staff focused, happy, and profitable.

Putting your first team together may seem like a scary thought. However, once you’re in the swing of things, it will certainly become a lot easier. Watch your business grow with the help of a strong and productive team.

How To Market Your E-Commerce Business Abroad

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Marla Elena

There’s no doubt that E-commerce has opened up trade all across the world. So, if your business is in any way successful, you may find that there are foreign markets interested in taking up your offer. But how do you take advantage of your new opportunities? In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how you can develop your foreign markets, expand your reach, and make the most of the service that you provide.

Look into domain names

First thing’s first, look at buying a domain name that includes the suffix of the country that you are generating interest from. Try and find one that fit’s your current name exactly, although you can choose a similar alternative if that is already taken. However, you must check out whether the company using your ideal domain name is successful in any way. If so, you may run into problems at a later date – particularly if you serve different markets. As ever in business, it’s best not to step on anyone’s toes. So if you feel you have to, then choosing a keyword that is is in line with your business is the best alternative.

Check local regulations

Every country has different rules and regulations for trade and commerce, and if you want to become a presence in foreign climes, you must find out what they are. You’ll need to know about their rules on advertising standards, copyrights, taxes and much more. It’s a lot to take in, so you might be better off finding an international business developer to give you a hand and point you in the right direction.

Investigate payment options

Another vital thing you have to think about is the way you take payment. Different countries use different payment systems – and some won’t trust your preferred method. With this in mind, make sure you look closely into your options for whichever country you are serving. You will also need to consider local exchange rates and pricing. It might not be as simple as charging the equivalent of your standard prices, and you may make more sales by dropping the price in real terms, as well as changing the currency. It’s murky waters, for sure, so it might be an idea to get an accountant with experience in the international market on board.

Set up an office

Finally, to really cement yourself in a foreign country, it is a good idea to establish a physical presence there. Now, if you fancy a move abroad, then you could go down this route. However, it is possible to find virtual offices for rent. It will give you an address and phone number in your host country, and you can even get a full-cover service that will answer phones for you. It will give you a professional edge that could make the difference between making a lot of sales and just doing OK. After all, most people trust businesses that are present in their own country, especially when they haven’t encountered them before.

With any luck, these ideas will have your E-commerce business up and running in a different country in no time at all. I’d love to hear how you got on, so let me know in the comments section below.

Employee Recognition: Learn Why It Pays To Reward Your Staff

Any business that employs people will know how it can sometimes be a challenge to manage those workers. The thing about us humans is that we often need other incentives to do a good job apart from getting paid well.

You might be reading this and thinking that I’m talking a load of nonsense! But, rewarding and praising your staff for putting in 110% can impact your business in many ways you might not even imagine! Let me explain:

Successful Business Meeting --- Image by © Corbis

Successful Business Meeting — Image by © Corbis

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People like to feel appreciated

One of the factors behind people quitting their jobs and working for other companies is appreciation. Or, should I say, the lack of it! Your workers likely perform various tasks throughout the day, some of which may go above and beyond the call of duty.

What happens if your employees don’t feel like you’re even noticing their efforts? They aren’t likely to do anything other than “work-to-rule”, so to speak. As you can imagine, such actions can have devastating consequences on your company’s productivity!

Yes, a salary consummate to the amount of work they do is only fair. But even a simple “thank you” for putting in extra time on a challenging project can go a long way to having a happy and productive workforce.

People like to get rewarded for their efforts occasionally

Maintaining good morale in your business is crucial to retaining staff and growing your enterprise. After all; a happy worker is a productive one. Sometimes, it pays to treat your top performing staff to some special rewards.

Many of today’s leading companies operate some form of employee recognition rewards on a regular basis. Examples of such rewards might be:

  • An all-expenses paid trip to a major sports game;
  • A cash bonus;
  • Vouchers or coupons that can get used at major retail stores;
  • And so on.

Your workers don’t want a reason to quit

For the most part, people that take on a new job assume that they are going to be working there for a considerable period. The last thing they want is the hassle of searching for new jobs, applying for them and attending interviews.

For obvious reasons, that’s not something you’d like to happen either! That’s why it is important you reward your staff for doing well and performing vital functions for your business. You already know how expensive it is to look for new employees; don’t turn that task into a habit!

Your customers will hear how great your company is

Believe it or not, word about how good an employer is will spread to that firm’s customers! Websites like Glassdoor give people an insight into what it’s like to work for particular companies.

Some potential customers might check such sites out before they give you lucrative contracts. That’s because they want to find out how good a job your workers will do when creating products or services for them.

By now, you will know how crucial it is to keep your staff happy and rewarded. If you’ve got morale issues at your workplace, I hope this article has given you some food for thought on the subject. Good luck!