How Technology Has Helped To Bring Businesses Closer Together

The 21st Century is a wonderful time to be doing business. Every day brings new advances to allow your business to be working more efficiently, more cost-effectively, and more competitively. Technology allows your business to lower its overheads, leaving you more room to drive prices down in comparison to your competitors. Below are just a few of the big ways in which technology has helped business to move on from the bygone eras of handwritten letters.

Video Calls

With the advent of broadband and even fiber optic broadband, hosting video calls and video conferences has never been easier. In times of old, trying to video call another person meant huge satellite delays, bad quality images, and incredible amounts of lag. Of course, sometimes only a face to face meeting will suffice. In these instances you will need to work with a company like Air Charter Service to get you to your client as quickly as possible; thereby avoiding lengthy check-in times – or perhaps vice-versa.. But for most day to day needs, video calls will allow you to meet clients in something resembling face to face contact, and in minimal time.

Conference Calls

Similar to video calls, landline conference calls revolutionized business at the time of their invention, similar to how mobile phones changed the way we communicated. Being able to have people from multiple offices, all around the globe, talking to each other simultaneously, helped to speed up negotiations and discussions by a tremendous amount. The only downside, of course, is that without the visual cues of who is talking or about to talk, it can be very difficult for conversations to run smoothly. Many conference calls can take much longer than normal conversations due to people accidentally talking over each other or mistaking a pause for thought as the end of someone’s input to the proceedings. It can be useful to have a designated host who helps to organize who will talk and when.

Social Media

What list of technologies which have helped business would be complete without a tip of the hat to social media. Not only has it helped businesses reach the general public far easier than ever before, but it has allowed both businesses and individuals to network in a way that has never been possible before. LinkedIn has meant that professionals can communicate with other people working in their field, meaning that the staff of a business are the best source of contacts to facilitate business partnerships. Two relatively junior people who have connected via social media could be the foundations for the heads of their two respective companies meeting to discuss big plans.

There you have it, three simple ways in which technology changed the face of business forever. They may seem like simple inventions, but they have helped to form the bedrock of how many businesses today model their strategies and daily operating routines. What will be the next big invention that slots itself neatly into our daily business lives? Only time will tell. Till then we will just have to struggle through, blissfully unaware of how our lives will change next.

Business Phones: One Sneaky Trick That Will Save You A Fortune

Business phones are highly common in modern life. Most companies will offer their employees a phone as a bit of a perk on the job. Well, it seems like a perk, but really you should only use the phone for business use. The chances are all your employees already have their own phones, and they’re probably high-tech smartphones. But, with business phones, you give them business numbers, which look more professional.

Start saving money on your business phones. Image Source

The problem with this approach is that it obviously leads to high overheads what with all the phone contracts. I mean, even if you operate a solo business, you’ll be paying for two phones; business and personal. Consequently, if you can figure out how to lower these costs, then it benefits you massively.

The Perfect Solution For Business Phones

As it happens, I believe I’ve come up with the perfect solution to your business phone woes. With my idea, you can save a fortune, but still, have the benefits that come with a business phone. It’s so simple; you buy cheap, basic phones, instead of smartphones.

Now, hear me out. You’ve definitely already got a smartphone, and so do all your employees, so why get another one? It’s a needless expense as you can use all the fancy features on your personal phone if you need them for work. Your business phone is purely there to act as a communication method between you and your clients. If you click here, you will see a very standard cell phone that’s mainly aimed towards seniors. This type of phone is perfect for businesses on a budget. It has everything you need; the ability to make/receive calls, voicemail, speed dial, enhanced volume so you can hear people clearer, a massive battery, and internet access. Any other cell phone features simply aren’t essential. You can pick up a handful of these phones for less than it costs to buy one high-end smartphone for your business.

How Much Can You Save?

It’s impossible to give accurate figures here because different people will spend different amounts of money on their business phones. For examples, a solo business person won’t spend as much as someone with ten employees.

But, we can take a look at some of the rough estimates per phone. On the one hand, we have very basic ‘brick’ phones that are around $80. On the other hand, you have some top smartphones for business use, which are around $800. You will save hundreds of dollars if you buy the handsets on their own. That’s not even taking into account the monthly tariffs, which can be half as expensive on the lesser phones. These savings alone can help you get out of debt!

My whole point is that a fancy phone isn’t necessary if you need a business phone. You’ve already got a fancy one for personal use, so why bother getting another. It’s a needless expense, and this one trick can save you loads of money. Some may argue that no business phone at all will save even more cash. However, I think a business phone is good as you can set it up with a professional number, which adds to your reputation. Plus, you keep personal, and business contacts separate, which will benefit you. So, finding a cheaper, more basic phone is the best option.

Gaming Galore: Here’s To The Rise of Mobile Gaming Apps

Mobile gaming is on the rise across globally, and within the next two years is expected to account for half of the world’s revenue in video games. Since the dawn of electronic gaming it has been a constant battle between the latest consoles, the latest being between xbox and Playstation. However, now mobile gaming has been added to the mix- it already account for forty percent of the video game market and by 2020 it’s likely to reach the halfway mark.

What’s interesting is that smartphones have been around for a while, but it’s only more recently that we have experienced a boom in mobile gaming. The reason for this mainly boils down to trends from the east coming into effect in the west. In places like Asia, free to play models have been around for a lot longer. Their games and monetisation strategies are now reaching markets over here and doing equally as well. ‘Micro-transactions’ where players can make in app purchases tend to make a good amount of profit. This allows developers to release games for free (therefore reaching many people) while continuing to progress with creating future content for the game. Take FF15 a new empire strategy app for example, here players can make purchases for things like gold, VIP tokens or the ability to speed up their progress. While the game can be played without these things, lots of people will make at least a small purchase at some point to improve their game play experience.

In places like China, games developers will usually target mobile first, whereas in the west consoles and PCs are usually favored. Now that mobile gaming accounts for such a large share of the market, we’re likely to see more improved games being produced. Plus with the creation of new, more technologically advanced phones this can also hugely boost mobile gaming. In the past, hardware was really restrictive meaning it was difficult to create an engaging mobile gaming experience.

These days, gaming isn’t just about the hardcore fans any more. Five billion people in the world will own a smartphone by next year, and most of us at some point will download a game to play on. This means that the profile of your average gamer has changed drastically, the demographic is now from young children to the elderly. It’s a place where casual gamers can enjoy the odd game due to the ‘pick up and play’ nature, and there’s plenty  opportunities for die-hard gaming enthusiasts. With celebrities coming out with their own mobile games and appealing to their individual audiences, just about everyone at some point is likely to get involved. This puts game developers in a very interesting and position, the mobile gaming market is lucrative there’s no secret about that.

Be prepared to see bigger and better mobile games coming to your screens in the next few years. It’s an exciting time for both developers and players.

Do you enjoy playing games on your mobile? Do you download and play them regularly, or just once in a blue moon?

Prepare Your Business Better For All Outcomes

Being prepared for everything in business can mean the difference between success and failure. If you do not adequately set your business up ready for any outcome, then you will struggle when that outcome does eventually arise. And arise it shall, of course.

There are many things to consider when thinking about what you need to prepare for. And these factors stretch from how you look after your data, all the way to how you care for your employees. A happy office is a productive office, and a workplace that feels secure is one that will be open to trying new things.

Data Protection

Ensuring that you have the adequate measures in place to keep your company and client information secure is essential towards maintaining trust in both your employees and your investors and customers. Too often nowadays do we see reports of hackers obtaining critical information from supposed multinationals and putting people’s lives and money at risk.

Looking towards the future of disaster recovery then is imperative in taking measures to keep everything secure and not having to start from scratch should someone manage to break through encryption processes. Hacking has been a thing for years, but now we see more instances than ever. Do not let your company fall foul of these people.

Health and Safety

Health and safety in the workplace is something that brings eye rolls and groans to any team meeting. However, ensuring proper health and safety procedures means that you will not have to worry about any potential dangers or accidents that may occur during office hours.

Of course, accidents happen and so it is a challenge to make sure that everyone is okay all of the time. But that doesn’t mean you can scrimp on making your employees feel safe. If someone is injured at work, that is your responsibility, whether or not you were at fault. Save your company the hassle of potential lawsuits and do your absolute best to make sure everyone is safe and sound.

Employee Happiness

Keeping your employees happy and satisfied in their jobs can be difficult. Everyone starts out wanting to do their best for the company, however, after a while this drive can lead to a feeling of monotony.

Without feeling challenged, you run the risk of breeding a toxic culture in your office. Furthermore, you need to consider their mental well being which is never as evident as physical issues. Speak to others and let themselves be heard when discussing office improvements, and find ways in which you can make their office life a much more enjoyable experience, without having to bend to their every whim.

Failing to Prepare

Is preparing to fail. Yes, it’s a cliche that we all know and gets banded around as some sort of stock phrase, but it wouldn’t be a cliche without a ring of truth to it. Ensuring that you look at the bigger picture when wanting to grow your business and not merely focus on one or two areas for improvement will save you from the danger of stagnation.

Happy employees, healthy employees, and a robust security system are essential to keeping your business ready for any eventuality. Furthermore, building a culture of preparedness will run off on those around you and inspire them to innovate new ways of solving problems, whatever they may be.

Why Your Micromanaging Tendencies Are Slowly Destroying Your Business

Micromanagement is a word that often comes up when we talk about bad bosses. Of course, a little bit of micromanagement isn’t the end of the world and in some cases can help you keep your employees on track. However, if you let that power get to your head and you start to focus too much on their tasks and not your own, it’s going to slowly kill your business and, before you know it, you’ll end up without a business to run.

Micromanagement is one of the most common causes of a lack of ideas and creativity within the business. Image Source

What are the signs of micromanagement?

To being with, let’s take a look at some classic signs of micromanagement.

 

  • Micromanagers will always integrate themselves into other people’s projects. This usually means that a micromanaging boss cannot trust their employees with a task, even if it has nothing to do with the boss themselves. This is usually a sign that you have no faith in your employees and is a problem that will fester and create problems in the future.
  • Micromanagers discourage new ideas being formed due to their overbearing grip on their business. If you’ve ever worked in a company where the manager has a final say on everything then it’s another sign that they lack faith in their employees. If you want to show loyalty to your employees, you need to trust them to form new ideas instead of always following your orders.
  • Micromanagers will insert themselves into every process and create a bottlenecking effect. If you have to approve of every decision then it’s only going to slow down your business. Give your employees the power to make decisions that can affect the company and it will grow their long-term relationship with you and your business instead of constantly feeling caged.

 

You can probably already see a pattern here: micro-managers have a lack faith in their employees. In order to tackle this, we need to focus on what makes micromanagement happen in the first place and what you can do to overcome it as a habit.

Improving the relationship with your employees

As mentioned already, trust is a huge factor when it comes to micromanagement. In order to build more trust in your employees, you need to first identify why you don’t trust them.

 

  • Trust is a two-way street – If your employees have a lack of faith in you then it’s common for you to be distrusting of them too. During times like this, you need to focus on mending that trust by offering them reasons to be loyal to your business.
  • Promote a good balance between work and leisure – Don’t just talk about work all the time in the office. Give your employees time to enjoy themselves as well and don’t force them to work all the time in the office.
  • Recognize their efforts – Even if an employee doesn’t reach the expectations you set for a task, at least recognize their efforts and understand that they tried to help your business.

 

Breaking free from the shackles of micromanagement

Once you’ve established how you can rebuild your relationship with your customers, it’s time to actively break free from those micromanaging tendencies, and we’ve got some fantastic solutions to get you started

For starters, consider employee shift scheduling software if you find that you’re constantly unable to assign shifts correctly. If you ever mess something like this up, then it can severely harm the trust that your employees have in you and they might find you to be incompetent and not worth believing in. Not only does this help build trust, but it also means you personally don’t need to constantly assign shifts since a computer can do it for you.

Being more open to your employees is another great way to improve your relationships with them and get rid of micromanaging tendencies. If you’re transparent about changes to your projects or your workflow, then your employees can adapt to it (as long as those changes are for a good reason) and they’ll feel like they are a part of your business instead of being a disposable employee.

Some final words to keep in mind

As you can see, trust is a major factor when it comes to micromanaging tendencies and it’s important to focus on building a good working relationship with your employees. It will help you be more efficient, it will boost productivity and it will help you become a successful company.