These Crucial Things Could Be The Difference Between Success and Failure in Your Small Business

Setting up your own company and working for yourself is the dream for many. But when risks are high, many can be put off taking the plunge. There are so many things to consider, and so many factors that you need to get right. Any of the following things could be letting you down, and so make sure you’re not overlooking these three important things.

An Excellent Website

The perfect website will be easy on the eye but without putting style over substance. It will have clear navigation, be intuitive to click around and have a search box to make it easy to find anything that’s not on the main page. It should have clear contact information, social media information and all errors should be fixed immediately. Research has shown that if customers have to wait more than three seconds for a site to load, or if a website is down when they click on it it would put them off so badly they’d be unlikely to return. This highlights just how important it is to keep on top of this. You’ll need to hire a professional website designer to put everything together, and have the right support on hand for when things go wrong. You could research IT support companies for SMBs to find the right services for you.

An App

While your website should be properly optimized for different devices, this alone is no longer enough. To take it a step further, you will need an app. An app is a fantastic way to get your business onto the phones of your customers and potential customers. It means all your information, products, and contact details are accessible to them at the click of a button. Plus it makes you look more trustworthy and legitimate which is what customers want from a business. And is of particular importance for the success of newer companies. In the not too distant future, every small, medium and large company will need an app. Right now you can use this time to get ahead of your competitors, since many SMBs still have not set one up.

A Social Media Strategy

Using social media as a marketing tool can help you grow your brand awareness. This is useful for all businesses, regardless of what you sell. It shouldn’t be thought of as an added extra and is instead something that needs to be an integral part of the marketing approach of your company. Research has shown it to be twice as effective at leading to sales than traditional outbound marketing, so it’s something that should be taken seriously. A good social following makes you look reliable and provides customers with another way to contact and interact with you. Using it right will build your relationship with customers. It will make you look more reputable, boost your website with Google and so much more. Getting a social media expert on board your team could be an excellent investment, someone who can look at the information and come up with a good marketing strategy.

Category: Business

It starts with a Referral – Not a Salesperson

Harvard Business Review posted a recent article, with some interesting statistics. The headliner being :

84% of B2B Sales Start with a Referral — Not a Salesperson

Here is the article for you reading pleasure

 

Outbound B2B sales are becoming less and less effective. In fact, a recent survey found that connecting with a prospect now takes 18 or more phone calls, callback rates are below 1%, and only 24% of outbound sales emails are ever opened. Meanwhile, 84% of B2B buyers are now starting the purchasing process with a referral, and peer recommendations are influencing more than 90% of all B2B buying decisions.

Why are more and more buyers avoiding salespeople during the buying process? Sales reps, according to Forrester, tend to prioritize a sales agenda over solving a customer’s problem. If organizations don’t change their outdated thinking and create effective sales models for today’s digital era, Forrester warns that 1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service e-commerce by 2020.

The answer to the shift away from reliance on outbound sales could reside in social selling, the strategy of adding social media to the sales professional’s toolbox. With social selling, salespeople use social media platforms to research, prospect, and network by sharing educational content and answering questions. As a result, they’re able to build relationships until prospects are ready to buy.

This is different than social media marketing, where a brand engages many, aiming to increase overall brand awareness or promote a specific product or service by producing content that users will share with their network. Social selling concentrates on producing focused content and providing one-to-one communication between the salesperson and the buyer. Both strategies create valuable content from the consumer’s perspective and use similar social networks and social software tools. But with social selling, the goal is for the rep to form a relationship with each prospect, providing suggestions and answering questions rather than building an affinity for the organization’s brand.

Social selling makes sense for achieving quota and revenue objectives for multiple reasons. First, three out of four B2B buyers rely on social media to engage with peers about buying decisions. In a recent B2B buyers survey, 53% of the respondents reported that social media plays a role in assessing tools and technologies, and when making a final selection.

In addition, more than three-quarters (82%) of the B2B buyers said the winning vendor’s social content had a significant impact on their buying decision. A LinkedIn survey found that B2B buyers are five times more likely to engage with a sales rep who provides new insights about their business or industry. Another survey showed that 72% of the B2B salespeople who use social media report that they outperformed their sales peers, and more than half of them indicated they closed deals as a direct result of social media.

Social sales content also gets salespeople involved earlier in the sales cycle, which means they’re more likely to define the criteria for an ideal solution or the “buying vision,” and thus, more likely to win the sale.

It doesn’t take a significant amount of time to get started in social selling. B2B salespeople only need to invest 5% to 10% of their time to be successful with social. Salespeople should begin carving out a small percentage of their daily time for social media. Regular interaction with a prospect may not lead to a direct sale this week or quarter, but could result in a significant win within the year.

Salespeople should also collaborate with their social marketing counterparts to make the most of their social efforts. Marketing can train salespeople in social media systems, processes, and best practices. According to a survey, 75% of B2B salespeople indicated they were trained in the effective use of social media. This training can encompass everything from working in specific social media channels to using corporate social media software, understanding the business’s social media guidelines, and orienting social media content around customer interests and needs, rather than on brand features, benefits, and prices.

What’s more, sales and marketing can collaborate on information to ensure that their efforts are aligned and to identify common goals and metrics that both teams can support. Since sales pride themselves on their one-on-one relationships with customers, they can discuss with marketing customer successes and concerns, changing customer needs, customer questions, and industry updates.

Integrating systems and encouraging transparency will also go a long way. Salesforce, for example, emphasizes the importance of improved communication between sales and marketing citing an App Data Room and Marketo study that found sales and marketing alignment can improve sales efforts at closing deals by 67% and help marketing generate 209% more value from their efforts.

 

Social media is too important to be left to marketing. In fact, a recent study found skilled social media sales professionals are six times more likely to exceed quota over peers with basic or no social media skills. It is time to get started with social selling and meet your prospects where they’re spending their time. Your organization could be halfway there if marketing has already made the shift to integrating social media into their strategies. When marketing combines their long-game with sales short game in social selling, it can be a win-win for both teams — and for your overall business.



This article is was originally published Here

How to make #SocialSelling work for your organisation

I recently had the opportunity to work with Network Sunday and spent some time talking with Tim Bond, the companies CEO, resulting in a white paper that will guide organisations to the benefits of social selling.

Here are some highlights, followed by the white paper in full, hosted on slideshare.

In 2015 the questions being raised were:

What is social selling? Why aren’t more sales people selling this way? How do we implement it?

Today (October 2016) there is a general consensus that the buyer / seller dynamic has changed and sales people who practice social selling outperform their peers. Clearly organisations now face a new hurdle: ADOPTION

Social selling for Organisations from Ben Martin Social_Ben

 

Internet Trends, stats & facts in the U.S. and Worldwide 2016

Internet Trends, stats & facts in the U.S. and Worldwide 2016

vpnmentor.com

The following collection of charts represents the most trusted research and the most recent data on major internet trends. Feel free to use the charts included here on your post on Internet World Usage Statistics, and do share it on social networks. Share

While dedicated to vpns and online privacy issues, vpnMentor also wants to be your resource for Internet trends and data.

As a result, we have scoured the most trusted researchers’ sites to present the following series of charts. Grouped by general topic, the information below represents the most recent data on major internet trends.

Global Internet Trends

Internet Traffic Statistics

Asian nations account for almost half of the world’s internet users.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Number of Websites in 2016

There are almost 1 billion websites, but this is not the high water mark. In 2014, the internet crossed the 1 billion mark.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Web Growth Statistics

The fastest growing segment of the internet is the number of mobile social media users. The number of people who used mobile devices to access social media grew by more than 280 million globally from 2015 to 2016.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Mobile Internet Penetration

The U.S. and the U.K. do not rank in the top 10 markets in terms of smartphone penetration. The UAE leads this statistic with 91% penetration.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Global and U.S. E-Commerce Trends

Statistics on Internet Research before a Purchase

People between 18 and 35 years old do the most online research via mobile devices.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Facts and Statistics about Product Reviews

Think reviews are important? You’re right! 55% of shoppers said customer reviews affect their buying decisions.

internet trends - vpnMentor

In addition, almost 40% of people in stores read online reviews before buying a product or service.

internet trends - vpnMentor

E-commerce Spending Via Desktops

When it comes to online purchasing, people on Macs do more than people on any other platform.

internet trends - vpnMentor

World E-commerce Statistics

Business to Consumer sales (B2C) are up globally from 2015. The Asian-Pacific nations lead this category, with an expected $707 billion + of sales in 2016.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Who Uses the Internet to Shop?

The U.S. leads in overall e-commerce spending.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Internet Trends: Device Comparisons

Number of SmartPhone Users

While several forecasts pegged 2014 as the “year of revolution” when mobile-only users would surpass desktop-only users, it turns out the forecast finally became reality in the U.S. in 2015.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Use Patterns: Mobile vs Desktop

Mobile is the fastest growing platform in terms of time spent on-screen. This means more people are spending time on their phones versus time on their desktops.

internet trends - vpnMentor

U.S. Platform Trends

In the U.S. the fastest growing segments of device ownership are smartphones (from 35% in 2011 to 68% in 2015) and tablets (from 3% in 2010 to 45% in 2015).

internet trends - vpnMentor

Percentage of Mobile Web Internet Traffic

An astonishing 76% of Nigeria’s total web traffic comes from mobile devices. In the U.S., mobile web accounted for 22% of the overall traffic.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Tablet Internet Use

Tablet penetration has risen slowly over the past couple of years. By 2020, tablets will be used by 35% of all internet users.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Mobile vs Laptop: Types of Activities

Nearly as many people aged 16 – 24 use phones to chat as they do laptops. However, laptops still dominate streaming content

internet trends - vpnMentor

Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablets in the U.K.

In the U.K., the number of people who own multiple devices grew from 53% in July of 2015 to 57% in December.

internet trends - vpnMentor

VPN Use

Of course, VPN use and data privacy have strong correlations. By accessing a separate server for internet use, VPNs make it much more difficult for hackers and/or 3rd parties to track online activities. The following charts examine the current state of VPN use around the globe.

Top Markets for VPN Use

Asia and the Middle East continue to dominate the VPN market.

VPN Use and Data Privacy Stats - vpnMentor

Internet Trends: Performance

How Load Time Affects Web Page Abandonment

While web page features such as plug-ins, pop-ups, and streaming video may help convey your message, they hinder the page load time. As the following charts show, a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load runs a high risk of abandonment.

internet trends - vpnMentor

 

internet trends - vpnMentor

Global Internet Speed Trend

Good news: internet speeds around the globe are at their highest peak ever.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Internet Trends: Search and Social Media

Most Popular U.S. Online Activities

In the U.S. last year, communication activities such as email (almost 91%) and instant/text messaging (86%) dominated.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Content Management System Trends

WordPress continued to win content management market share with nearly 60%. The No. 2 system, Joomla, had a 5.9% market share.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Percentage of Google Chrome Users

In terms of web browsers used, Google Chrome continues to thrive. According to the latest numbers from w3schools, it is more than 4 times as popular as its next closest competitor (Firefox).

internet trends - vpnMentor

Percent of Internet Time Spent on Search Engine/Social Media, etc.

The top 3 activities for desktop users in terms of time spent in 2015: Portals (Google, Yahoo, etc.), business/finance, and entertainment/news. The top 3 activities for Mobile device users: maps, photos, and games.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Percent of Most Visited Websites

Google wants to be the internet’s portal, and it is well on its way. The internet giant’s flagship page nearly tripled the 2nd place website (Facebook) in terms of page visits.

internet trends - vpnMentor

2016 U.S. Online Shopping

In terms of U.S. e-commerce, Pinterest is lapping the field.

internet trends - vpnMentor

Forecast and Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Currently, mobile users spend double the time in apps as they do on mobile web pages. In future years, this gap is expected to grow even wider.

Mobile App vs Mobile Web

internet trends - vpnMentor

Worldwide E-commerce Forecast

By 2018, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to approach $2.5 trillion.

internet trends - vpnMentor
Internet Trends: Resources Used

www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
hostingfacts.com/internet-facts-stats-2016/
www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/
asia.googleblog.com/2015/06/mobilestatsforasia.html
www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/online-shopping-behaviors-based-on-age
blog.kissmetrics.com/5-ecommerce-stats/
marketingland.com/167928-167928
www.statista.com/chart/541/conversion-rates-of-online-shoppers-in-q4-2013/
dazeinfo.com/2013/07/01/global-ecommerce-sales-2013-india-us-uk/
www.statista.com/chart/3790/e-commerce-revenue-per-online-shopper/
www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
www.slideshare.net/kleinerperkins/internet-trends-v1/24-24Time_Spent_on_Screens_by
www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership-2015/
dazeinfo.com/2016/06/13/number-internet-users-worldwide-2016-2020/
smartinsights.com/?attachment_id=72442
www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2014/UK-Digital-Market-Overview-February-2014?cs_edgescape_cc=US
blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/?wide=1
www.yottaa.com/company/blog/application-optimization/marketing-web-performance-101-how-site-speed-impacts-your-metrics/
www.statista.com/statistics/204954/average-internet-connection-speed-worldwide/
www.statista.com/statistics/18
Category: Business

Reaching The Modern Buyer [VIDEOGRAPHIC]

The modern B2B buyer has changed — what can your organization do about it?

It seems every month a new report is out showing sales teams that use social correctly see better results in terms of client relationships, pipeline gain and revenue growth. We’ve compiled the latest from including Forrester, CEB, CSO Insights and many more into an easy-to-watch videographic. Some highlights:

  • 84% of B2B leaders use social in their purchasing decision
  • Those who use social see 54% deeper relationships with clients compared to non-social sellers (all other respondents of the study)
  • Those who use social see 27% better conversion rates than non-social sellers

Enjoy, and feel free to share.

Original Post “Sales For Life

Category: Uncategorized

Ultimate Guidelines For Super Successful Online Business Copywriting

Anyone can write, right? Well, a quick look around the web and you will soon find that this just isn’t the case. Every day I see examples of terrible copywriting on the websites of both small business and global corporations.

The trouble is that the words you use make a big difference to your chances of success. There are no excuses for poor copy that is grammatically incorrect, or that doesn’t compel the reader into taking action. And the truth is that you will lose sales, scare off customers, and fail to get your core message across.

So, do you think it is time to take the words you use for your business more seriously? If so, read on. I’ve put together these ultimate guidelines to creating fantastic copy that will make a huge difference to your sales.

We’re going to go through everything from why you should focus on the benefits of your product to understanding your audience. Let’s get started right away.

Who you are talking to?

First of all, who is your audience? If you don’t know, how can you possibly communicate with them? Establish an ideal consumer – the average person who visits your website, for example.

Who are they, where do they live, and what do they do for a living? How old are they? What are their interests, and what excites them? What other products and services do they buy? The more details you can draw from your customers, the better.

It will help you begin writing for that ideal customer every time you put pen to paper. You can target every word to appealing to them, and make every last sentence relevant.

How do you give them value?

Another critical fact to establish is understanding the value you offer your customer. If you don’t know why people buy from you, it won’t be long before you start struggling in the sales department.

So, have a good think about your value proposition. What differentiates you from the competition? Do you do things faster, cheaper, or better? If so, how? Understanding the value you give will hand you the opportunity to create convincing copywriting.

It also gives you an upper hand against your competitors. If you know you can deliver a pizza within fifteen minutes, for example, then you need to be shouting about it from the rooftops. You will automatically become the pizza delivery company of choice for anyone that needs feeding, fast!

What is the purpose of your writing?

Another big issue I see in copywriting online and off is irrelevance. It might be a blog post that is stuffed with unnecessary words just to make up a word count. It could be an email in my inbox that doesn’t explain what I need to do next. Or, it could be a business homepage that doesn’t explain exactly what they are about within the first 5-6 seconds after arrival.

Every word your business displayed needs to have a purpose. And, of course, you need to understand what that purpose is before using it.

Make sure the reader knows what they are looking at straight away. If you don’t establish that message and make it clear to yourself, it certainly won’t be clear to the reader.

What are the benefits of your product or service?

When I shop for something online, I want to know what a product will do for me. How will it improve my life? Which of my problems will it solve? Why is it better than a similar product I can buy for half the price?

The trouble is, so many online businesses get this wrong. Instead, these sites will just explain the features, rather than the benefits. So, they might say that a jumper is ‘made of wool.’ But does that really give me an irresistible urge to buy it? Far from it.

However, if that jumper was ‘woven to keep you warm in winter’ or ‘perfect for cosying up on a chilly evening’ it puts different pictures in my head. Take a look at the words you use on your site and see if you can make any improvements.

Why are you focusing on ‘me’ not ‘you’?

Countless business websites drone on for an eternity about their company history. And by the time a reader has got a third of the way through, they will just leave and go elsewhere. I hate to say this, but the vast majority of people don’t care about your business. All they want to do is find what they are looking for and buy it.

So, stop talking about yourself, save for a brief bit of info on your About page. It’s a complete waste of prime real estate that you can use far better by putting the focus on your customers. Avoid using the first person (I, me, mine, etc.) and use the second person instead. Words like ‘you,’ ‘your,’ and ‘yours’ talk directly to the person reading them. And it has a much greater impact, too. Let’s revisit the pizza delivery service again, as an example.

Which is the most impactful sentence out of these two? “Our first class pizza delivery service can deliver our pizzas in fifteen minutes”? Or, “You could be eating your delicious pizza within fifteen minutes”? The second creates an image in the reader’s head that is far more compelling, as it is more personal.

What do your customers say about you?

Testimonials and recommendations from past clients are a great way to give your service or products validity. A convincing quote from a verified customer can add a lot of credibility to your offering. However, the reader has to know that the person’s quote comes from a real individual. Photos, links to a website, and even their location can help paint a picture of that person.

While you are looking for suitable quotes, make sure you are taking notes. Let’s say you get a thank-you letter from a happy client. In it, you will find out exactly why they loved your service – and you can then use these words to create a compelling offer to everyone else. Customers are often the source of these types of reveal to companies – you might even find some benefits you had never considered before.

Are you up the task?

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, not everyone is a writer. And, not every writer is a great copywriter.

The truth is that copywriting is a skill that many people take years to master. And unless you have the time to put into educating yourself, you should think about aiming to find a copywriter or agency to help. I know how hard it is to run a business, and there is often little time to do everything. But, you have to bear in mind that the words you use represent your company, and it is critical to get them right.

Outsourcing copywriting can help you create compelling and convincing words that will improve sales. You are buying expertise and knowledge, and the job will be finished far quicker – and better -than you could do by yourself.

Are you keeping things simple?

Great copywriting is clean, crisp, and concise. The fewer words it takes to deliver your key messages, the better. Far too many websites fail to understand this, and will fill webpage after webpage with needless words and sentences. So, when you do the first draft, make sure you take a long, hard look at it when you are finished.

Could you edit it down a little, and trim off some of the fat? Could you separate some paragraphs to make it easier to read? Perhaps you could highlight specific sentences to attract a little more focus from the reader? Doing this will not only underline an important point, but it will also cover you if someone is skim reading your copy.

Are you direct?

Great copy is also forceful and direct. It doesn’t use words such as ‘may,’ ‘might,’ or ‘perhaps.’ Instead, copywriters use more direct language such as ‘will,’ and ‘can.’ These direct commands are a lot more forceful and have far more impact on the reader.

Let’s return to our pizza delivery company once again for another example. ‘Your pizza will arrive within fifteen minutes’ is far more compelling than ‘your pizza might arrive in fifteen minutes’!

Do you include a direct call to action?

Finally, it is possible to have the greatest piece of sales copy the world has ever seen but still not make any sales.

How? Well, the aim of all marketing is to create a response from the reader. It could be to sign up to an email list or buy a product, for example. But not every customer knows what they should do, even if they are impressed with what they have read.

It is essential that you make it clear what you want the reader to do next. And the best way to do this is to include what we call a Call To Action (CTA).

CTAs provide clear direction for the reader as to what they should do next. A CTA should also create a sense of urgency, to compel the reader further. Let’s head back to the pizza place one last time. A good call to action might be “Phone before 7 pm and get 10% off!”

I hope this guide to online business copywriting has helped. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Category: Business

Hiring Your First Employees: Guidlines To Success For Social Enterprises

So, you have started your social media business, and things are going well. Business is booming, and you have plenty of customers. The trouble is, you have no time to take on anymore and your business runs the risk of becoming stale.

The answer, of course, is to seek out some help, and hiring your first employees is one of the most obvious solutions. But before you do, it’s vital to understand that as soon as you bring on full-time staff, many different problems can arise.

Well, we’re going to explore some of those issues today. And, we’ll take a look at many of the other guidelines to make sure your social business hiring process is up to scratch.

job_interview__________one_of_the_really_neat_things_about_g___flickr

Do you need to hire full-time workers?

First of all, hiring employees is an expensive business. They will need space and systems to work in. You have to pay them, regardless of whether your business is making money in any given period. And, of course, the extra costs of insurance and security can weigh heavily. So, before hiring anyone, ask yourself if you could outsource instead. Doing this means you will only pay for the work you need, and there are no tax or National Insurance issues to contend with. Plus, you could consider using freelance workers as a trial period to see if you genuinely need more workers on board.

Are you prepared for the paperwork?

The second you take on full-time staff, you will find yourself swamped with paperwork. Contracts, sign-offs, training schedules and a lot more besides can all eat into your time. In fact, without proper organization, you might find that managing employees starts to take you away from your clients. And that can be bad news for your business. So, look into HR software, or consider hiring human resources professional to help out as your first recruit. It should take away a lot of the pain you will endure, otherwise.

chase_shares_tips_on_online_job_searching___thanks_to_www_ja___flickr

Are you hiring the right people?

Building a great team relies on having an impressive hiring process. And, again, this can take a lot of time out of your busy schedule. There are solutions, of course. Finding a recruitment agency or agent can help you reduce the amount of time you spend finding the right candidates. However, you will have to ensure that you are taking in the right people that fit with your social business. The right mix of personalities is essential for success. And, taking on people that you can trust to represent your brand just as you would is critical.

Employee retention

One of the biggest issues you will find when hiring great talent is that unless you are appealing to their needs, they will look elsewhere. Retention is vital if you want to keep your business performing consistently. It’s not a great look for your company if your clients have to start again with a new face every month or so. So, work on your business culture and invest in personal development for your staff. Think about giving them a benefits package, too. You might not be able to match your competitor’s wages, but you can provide staff with a better environment.

I hope these ideas help you find the right people at the right time for your social business. All the best!

Category: Uncategorized

Dematerialize Your Business, Work Better

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and just think about how much “stuff” businesses needed to operate in the past. They required filing cabinets, full of archived folders, documents and contracts. They needed big desktop computers, and mainframes to run their business systems. They needed expensive conference rooms and theatres to entertain clients. And they needed all of the paraphernalia that goes into constructing a modern office.

 

 

Then, around fifteen years ago, we were introduced to the idea of “natural capitalism.” This was a concept championed by some of the world’s leading technology companies. The idea was to have a capitalist system that could operate sustainably and protect the environment. Companies began work, looking for ways to reduce the physical footprint of businesses. Trailblazers wanted to find the means to deliver products that customers wanted. But they wanted to do so without the usual business resource overhead.

Of course, if they had succeeded there and then, then they would have made killer profits too to sweeten the deal. But dematerializing business is a tall order. If it was so easy, practically everybody would be doing it.

But then things changed around five years ago. All of a sudden we started hearing whisperings about a new technology, enigmatically named the cloud. The cloud was a sort of wonder platform – capable of being accessed from any location using any computer. At the time, people didn’t really know how it was all that different from the internet. But as soon as they saw how it could dematerialize business operations, it began making a lot more sense.

 

The Cloud And Dematerialization,

In the past companies lived and died on the back of their document processing abilities. Thousands of boutique firms, like estate agents, lawyers and accountants pushed paper until the cows came home. It was an expensive and environmentally costly exercise. There was first the energy and resources that it took to get the material to their offices. And then there was the additional cost of sending it back out again in its new form. It cost a lot of money and put up prices for consumers and businesses.

But the cloud sought to change all of that. With document management software businesses didn’t have to rely on traditional means to push paper. Instead, they could digitise their paperwork and get it sent from one location to another with zero resource cost.

Dematerialization Is Even Better Than Physical

It wasn’t just that dematerialization was the same, just cheaper. It was also better. Companies found that they could turn the cloud into a new usage platform, allowing them to collaborate on documents in real time. Cloud computing enables network working in a way that just hadn’t been possible before. People could work on documents without having to be physically present. And they could use automatic sorting tools that simply weren’t available when documents were filed by hand.

The changes that dematerialization has brought to the workplace are extreme. The only barrier to getting rid of offices entirely now appears to be a cultural one. How long before the corporate world figures this out, I wonder?

 

Category: Uncategorized

Cyber Attacks: Is Your Business In Danger?

When anyone mentions the term ‘cyber attacks’, it’s not uncommon for a few shudders to go around the room. The idea of our business’ precious data being compromised, stolen and lost is unthinkable. It could literally destroy our business in the space of a few minutes; such is the damage that can be done. Unfortunately, we don’t always protect against cyber attacks as effectively as we should. Now, we’re assuming you’ve got IT support on hand to assist with any catastrophic incidents. Once you’ve got that, here are a few other prevention techniques to think about.

Servers & The Cloud

If you’re operating a business (no matter how small), you need some kind of central system to secure your data. By allowing employees to take security matters into their hands on an individual basis, you’re putting your data at huge risk. So, it’s up to you. Do you look at data centre building for the purpose of adding servers, or seek a potentially less secure cloud service? Ideally, you’ll do both in order to maximise prevention against cyber attacks.

Smart Passwords

We’ve been educated about the need to use smart passwords for years, but many of us still don’t use them. The harder your password is to guess, the harder it will be for anyone to hack it. The same goes for the rest of your employees. In fact, you can actually buy random password generator tools that plug into your USB slot. Failing that, you can always go online and use a free random generator.

Keep Tabs On Modern Risks

All that information you were told back in 2006 is still useful now, but the digital world has changed. The type of threats that we open ourselves up to are advancing all the time. In truth, even the antivirus companies out there struggle to keep up with new cyber attack methods. So, it’s up to us to stay vigilant and watch out for the signs. If you still think phishing refers to an activity with a boat and some bait, you’re behind the times.

Get Cyber Insurance

Yes, this is a thing! Although it’s relatively unheard of, cyber insurance is something that could be very beneficial for your company. It aims to help you in the event that a data breach was to occur for any reason. While companies haven’t looked to this sort of thing in the past, they’re increasingly becoming forced to. Don’t be surprised if cyber insurance becomes the norm over the next few years.

Ban Personal Mobile Devices

It’s really difficult to totally ban employees from using their mobile devices in the office. But, I suggest you do it, at least from a network point of view. Giving your Wi-Fi password to those with mobile access only makes the threat of a cyber attack more likely. Encryption techniques aren’t always implemented, and device management appears to fall by the wayside. If you’ve got an employee that doesn’t quite understand the dangers of the net, you could be in trouble. My advice? Ban them entirely.

Category: Business