Essential Tips To Manage Your Team Effectively During Trying Times

Difficult times like a global economic crisis or unexpected pandemic tests people professionally and personally. Businesses have to prepare themselves to face tough times that are coming ahead. The business team has to be well equipped to maintain unexpected uncertainties that could even bring an end to the whole company. The survival of a business depends on the ability of the team to stay atop of challenging situations.  

Covid-19 pandemic is a global threat that puts nations through the toughest of times in several years. Here are a few tips that will help contribute to better team management during trying times.

Stay Calm

Panicking is not the solution to any problem. The only thing we can do now is to focus on moving forward by adopting changes that the situation demands. Keeping in mind unpredictable situations that could come up in the future is important but fear of daring a move is going to be detrimental for the business. Operate from a solution-oriented perspective to clear up your mind to think creatively and strategically. The rational thought process you use to encourage your team will contribute to its productivity.

Task Forces

In an unexpected situation like COVID-19, the departmental priorities and individual responsibilities may not be the same as that of the times pre-crisis. They will undergo a rapid change that in itself is a challenge to the business team. Some skills get more attention as its importance keeps increasing, and employees may have to work more closely with the team to overcome the industrial challenges and adapt to the changes that came into effect.

Things are moving at a rapid pace now and we would recommend Slack as a solution for brainstorming, real-time updates, and for requesting information. We view a few of the virtual groups that are active at the moment as task forces that offer diverse expertise and help build a sense of ownership. When employees see that their ideas are given the attention they deserve and are put to action, they are motivated to continue delivering out of the box ideas.

Empathize

After all, the whole world is threatened by the crisis and it is important to realize that we all are human and will have fears and worries about the unpredictability of the current situation. Leaders have to empathize with the employees and realize that they have a life outside the office, meaning that they would be battling professional and personal challenges. They would be worried about the safety of their loved ones but still manage to show up for work (even if remotely) forgetting all the personal worries and give their best to the success of the business team.

Business owners have to realize that everyone would be delivering the best by staying within their physical, emotional, and mental parameters. It is important that you communicate with your team personally and realize that understanding the circumstances of each person is crucial in improving productivity and encouraging mutual respect.

The power of face-to-face interaction is proven beyond doubt especially in trying times. Due to the stay-at-home protocol enforced in several countries, many are isolated and human connection is crucial in a time like this.

Realize The Importance Of Communication 

Business strategies have globally shifted across all industries and the business environment is not the same every day, as so much is happening around us. As the priorities keep undergoing continuous changes, the management has to take those changing priorities seriously, deploy the tasks to a broader team, and guide individual work when priorities shift.

Now that workplaces have shifted to remote platforms, where individual employees work from the comfort of their homes, there is an increased chance for directional messages getting miscommunicated or even worse, not communicated at all. Leaders have to focus more on transparency so that employees develop a sense of teamwork. When the team stays informed about important decisions at the executive level, their dedication to the work they do increases by multiple folds.

To ensure that everyone who is part of your team gets every key message, you would have to keep repeating the same points during internal team meetings for quite a while. You would be going on and on about the team objectives and key projects via the communication platform that you use. You may find it overwhelming, but remember that most people are only getting this information once or twice and it is not going to exhaust them. Always be open to questions, innovating ideas, and important conversations.

Be Prepared For The Future

Even if your company has been thriving in the competitive business world for long with a team of experts who come up with innovative ideas, the possibility for a temporary shutdown still remains. That is how the situation is. This challenging time will affect various departments in your company differently. Some team members will end up having nothing much to contribute at the moment. That does not mean they are not valuable.

It is the time that you start thinking of big strategic work that you kept postponing to complete more urgent projects. You have to learn to use the current less busy business environment and invest the extra time you get to future-oriented goals so that the future success will compensate for the losses that you might have to face now. Sometimes you may have an idea in mind that needs to be developed. Invest your time in giving shape to the idea. Certain departments have to hold strategic meetings to identify key goals for the upcoming year.

Why You Miss Out By Not Having A Digital Marketing Strategy

Owning an online business does not necessarily mean that you will have an ideal digital marketing strategy in place. It does not happen that way all the time. The set of efforts you make to market your products through the internet is technically online marketing but this does not cover it all. Just because you use internet resources to boost your sales does not necessarily mean that you have a digital marketing strategy.

An ideal digital marketing strategy involves careful planning and analysis. If you are going for online marketing without a suitable strategy, you might be missing out on various opportunities to boost your business growth.

Below are some reasons why it’s important to have a strong digital marketing strategy.

Strategy Accentuates Focused Efforts

Regardless of the type of business you have, increasing sales is a common goal for all business owners. But in many cases, you may not be able to focus on your efforts, thereby diverting you from the right path towards the goals. Unless you invest some time in identifying your goals and formulating a plan, it would become quite difficult to achieve your goals. Suppose you have signed up to have your ads displayed randomly on other websites. The idea may not necessarily contribute to your revenue if the ads are not reaching the right audience even though advertising increases your visibility.

Take for instance a business that sells women’s fashion wear. If your ads are mostly put on websites visited mostly by males, it won’t be beneficial for you. There could still be some female viewers visiting these sites and taking notice of your ads but that is only a small percentage.

Do not cast blindly but take adequate care in the selection of ad service so that your ads reach the target audience.

Strategy Promotes Cohesiveness

In many cases, a company would have more than one individual involved in the decision-making process. If an appropriate strategy is in place, it is easy for us to ensure that everyone remains on the same page. Otherwise, you would be exhausted by dealing with individuals who just can’t reach a collective decision merely because each one is working based on their priorities.

A digital marketing strategy succeeds in creating a singular vision regarding the growth of the company. It ensures that online activity progresses based on predefined priorities and not personal preferences. Having a well-defined strategy reduces the chances of duplicated efforts. Consider, for instance, you and your coworker are working on launching a social media marketing campaign. The duplicated efforts, in this case, account for a waste of effort and time. Using the same platform for different purposes leads to the creation of conflicting brand images.

Strategy Promises Better Organization

Organizing and scheduling your efforts becomes quite easy if you have a strategy. Ad campaigns and social media posts can be released in a structured manner by allowing one to build upon the other. With a strategy, it is easier for us to develop a clearer picture of the operation of a digital marketing campaign.

Strategy Helps In Identification Of Shortcomings

In many cases, we fail to identify the shortcomings until and unless we sit down and make a thorough analysis of our strategy. If you have an unguided digital marketing strategy, there are chances for embracing mechanisms that seem comfortable but may fail to offer the best return for the time and effort you invest.

Once you have identified the shortcomings in your strategy, the next thing to do is formulate a plan to address the identified shortcomings. You may either hire a consultant or collaborate with a digital marketing agency.

You have to take the time to relate the points you have found after analyzing your digital marketing strategy with your goals. This is important to improve brand awareness and to increase the revenue from sales.

How Businesses Can Support Their Customers In An Uncertain Time

In what way can a small-to-medium-sized business support customers when it is in a state of uncertainty? SMB leaders must stay more flexible, plus understand the feelings and requirements of their customers more than before. SMBs that offer services, such as salons and restaurants, are interacting with customers through the internet and they are establishing websites that have the facility to book appointments or buy gift cards. Other plans of action to think about are policy changes such as expanding cancellation-related grace periods or refraining from enforcing change fees.

When it is not possible to meet customers in person, you must make support available through mobile software, electronic mail, or your website. Chatting with them through a video conferencing or instant messaging platform will possibly offer a greater sense of community in the time of social distancing.

Nowadays, to support or help customers means to treat their safety and health as being important. So share with them whatever hygiene- and health-related protocols that you follow through an electronic mail or signboard at the front of your shop. Inform them that you and those who work for you follow every local and state ordinance.

Most Effective Procedures For Sharing Information With Customers Through Social Networking Channels

Be thoughtful of the feelings and rights of customers. They may be taking to social media more frequently to chat with their loved ones and to be informed about the latest things going on. A recent study reveals that individuals were investing 20% extra time in applications at the time of the coronavirus pandemic-enforced lockdown. Sharing supportive content and positive pieces of news will aid a small to midsized business in staying visible in the social media feeds of customers. Take part in your customers’ day without coming across as trying desperately to minimize the unease many of them may be feeling.

Finally, keep a close eye on any message that customers send to your organization or any reference that they make to it on social networking websites. You must also pass on important pieces of information related to your business such as reduced working hours or closures.

In What Way Should An SMB Adapt To The Changing Behaviours Of Customers?

With the global pandemic still posing a threat, every business must be ready for customer behavioural changes and tweak the strategies accordingly. Social distancing norms are established, so several customers still seek ways to buy things on the internet in order to remain safe and expose themselves less to public spaces. Therefore, this is the perfect time for physical shops to set up an e-commerce website. Present e-commerce stores have to prepare for a spike in sales, plus make customer support personnel ready to deal with the grown demand.

It is possibly difficult for small to midsized businesses to consider tweaking long-term plans, particularly with news changing every day, so they may go about this process gradually and steadily. Remember, the things you do presently may vary on the basis of your customers’ and organization’s requirements. For instance, temporarily stopping some projects or lessening budgets are deeds that a leader might have to think about to continue operating their small to midsized business.

Resources That Aid SMBs In Staying In Touch With Customers

More and more entities are coming forward to give monetary help to small to medium-sized businesses. Facebook said that it would offer $100 million in grants, and Google announced $340 million as advertising credits, to aid those businesses in staying connected with their customers and sharing key updates. With more businesses coming forward to support others through free offerings or lessened cost, small to midsized business leaders must seek resources that could aid them in staying engaged with communities and customers.

A number of individuals have launched GoFundMe webpages for donations to the small organizations of their preference. Some who operate Atlanta-based restaurants have made similar attempts to support the welfare of the communities that they cater to and the people they employ. This may be an onerous period but seeing how people are coming forward to assist SMB workers and owners is motivating. It strengthens the idea that all attempts to help one another will be useful for a considerable amount of time.

Ways To Inspire The Sales Team To Achieve Their Objectives This Year

Exhaustion due to prolonged stress in sales is an actual phenomenon. As per LinkedIn’s data, there is about 34% annual turnover in this field. That said, exhaustion is beyond a retention issue. The task of selling is taxing, it involves much pressure, and even high performers face many problems in it. Therefore, slowly developing sales is not a sign that your business has incapable employees. Instead, it is a sign that there is possibly no fine incentive system in place for those high-performing sales representatives.

The main sales incentive is in the form of money, and it will possibly remain so. Then again, it alone will not inspire salespeople to strive to achieve their goals. This would be the case, especially, in the event, they think that their leaders are not recognizing their considerable effort in sales. Leaders have to treat salespeople with importance for the things they do instead of merely compensating them.

There is no better way to tackle the exhaustion of salespeople and motivate them to achieve fresh objectives than making appreciation a part of your company culture. Giving gifts is a potentially influential element of its culture. The only thing is that presents should be worthwhile for them. Here, we will explain why giving gifts is an excellent motivating factor for salespeople, and will give you suggestions on implementing an incentive program based on presents.

Encourage An Appreciation Culture By Means Of Gifting

The work of an excessive number of salespeople often goes unrecognized. As per a study by the Harvard Business Review, 82% of US employees do not think that those who supervise them appreciate them sufficiently for the part they play in making something happen. This is negatively affecting their performance: a further 40% said that they would use more energy when working, in the event they were appreciated more frequently.

When you acknowledge the efforts of workers and reward them, they will have an extra drive to achieve bigger things. Recognition culture will serve the dual functions of inspiring people and reinforcing what achievement appears to the workforce at large.

No other form of acknowledgment will strike a chord just as well as a meaningful and timely present. Besides recognizing salespeople’s contributions, it will show that you value them as people, not only as true workhorses who close big deals.

There are other influential non-monetary ways to encourage salespeople such as through healthy competition, verbal recognition, and displaying the names of high-performers on a big board. These are three ways for leaders to acknowledge the achievements of salespeople and make them energetic enough to remain determined and engaged. That said, presents encourage them on a different level.

Take for instance quickly-growing companies that have high revenue. The Incentive Research Foundation discovered that these entities are 30% likelier to notice that their rewards and recognition programs are effectively affecting worker behaviour.

Tips And Ideas On Building A Purposeful Present-Based Incentive Scheme

The complication in a recognition culture based on gifts is that organizational snack cans and swags will not encourage high-performing individuals to accomplish fresh objectives. Instead, it will have to include the presents that convey the company’s gratitude truly and in a manner that its sales personnel will appreciate.

Present Them With An Experience Worth Remembering. Do you know whether your salesperson has been desperately wanting to do something, like, say, dining in a particular restaurant or rock climbing? If yes, give him or her a voucher that allows them to dine there or maybe give them a free pass to a rock climbing gym.

Give A Present With Enduring Value. Choose a present that the person from the sales team may appreciate and utilize repeatedly, like a plant, notebook or calendar.

Choose Something That Can Do Good. Every worker, particularly Millennials, have a strong feeling for society- and environment-related causes, and they wish for their employers to care about these things as well. Give a present that has a potential impact like the following.

  • Granola prepared by women employees who have survived maltreatment.
  • Artisanal beach towels produced by an organization that provides some of its profits to companies involved in marine conservation.
  • Wine stoppers handblown by teenagers who are affected by gun-related violence.

Give Them A Break From Work. The best gift is occasionally time off for people who work hard in order for them to reflect and return to work with a stronger will to do more. Motivate salespeople who are trying tirelessly to close a transaction by allowing them to have a day off.

Cause It To Be Surprising. All great presents have a surprise element. That said, this form of incentive scheme would work only if it is rarely implemented. After all, workers wish to be aware of the reason for the reward to feel encouraged.

Add A Note Of Thanks. You may not effectively acknowledge each person’s contribution through a blasé electronic mail. The most meaningful and personal action is to write a note that expresses your gratitude to the salesperson for his or her contribution.

Gift-Based Acknowledgement Does Not Suit All Circumstances

The finest leaders are aware that every single individual in their sales team deserves to be recognized for the part they played in producing a result. One salesperson may value a particular form of gift that is different from another. Therefore, a leader must be aware of each team member and what motivates him or her.

Personally thank team members for their fine work and encourage them to achieve their 2020 objectives through an organizational culture that acknowledges and rewards it.

How To Increase Productivity Of Remote And Distributed Work Forces

We are going through a tough time with the COVID-19 pandemic wave hitting the world.  ‘Work from home’ protocol adopted to keep ourselves safe has made remote workforces the new normal. But that hasn’t necessarily changed business goals and deadlines much. This is a challenge to the managers, as they become obliged to ensure that the remote workgroup performs just as well as usual employee groups functioned before the new work culture was adopted.

Here are 4 important steps that managers can adopt to address communication and productivity issues that could arise from the part of workgroups that are not acquainted with working remotely.

Integrations Of Communication And Management Tools

Integrations allow remote-friendly teams to connect on a regular basis with little effort. SaaS platforms that are based on communication have now become virtual offices where employees who are working in different time zones communicate one-on-one and also in groups. Microsoft Teams and Slack have become some of the important spaces to facilitate daily team interactions that contribute to building a sense of teamwork.

Progress Should Be Made Visible And Simple To Understand

Combining the methods to measure your performance with goal-setting processes is an important strategy that can be employed to motivate the employees. Through such an approach, employees gain a better understanding of how well the business is performing, figure out areas of personal improvement, and find opportunities for specialization.

To make sure the company is operating smoothl while working remotely, employees should have an unambiguous idea about prioritizing their time, sticking to deadlines and tracing task processes. Knowing individual responsibilities is not just enough. Every employee should clearly know what the tasks assigned to them as well as to their peers are. They gain this knowledge only if organizations remain transparent at all levels.  

Use Data To Increase Productivity And Check Communication Breakdowns

Data is a crucial tool that assists everyone in an organization in tracking the impact of their work on the entire business. It helps people set goals, manage them, and follow a work pattern that can bring out positive results.

Most of the organizational management and unified communications software has now begun displaying data in a dashboard format for users to draw necessary conclusions from it and make data-fueled recommendations.

Employing proper data-collection methods and putting the collected data together in an easily understandable manner helps employees working at different levels of the organization immensely. Data allows executives and managers to see the issues that have occurred and identify irregularities and performance issues if any.

Connect To Employees Personally

Working in remote platforms can be a source of frustration. Distributed working environments often make it extremely difficult to maintain coherency with even the simplest of tasks like parsing the meanings of phrases, emoticons, and punctuations in written communications becoming overwhelming for at least some employees. Comprehending communication in an in-person work environment is quite easy, as it has the advantage of context but in virtual environments, employees take some time to figure out the exact emotion behind a communication. Language differences add up to the challenge of global organizations.

To ensure that day-to-day work is done properly and bottom-line goals are met, managers can make use of the latest tools and technology but they have to keep in mind their long term goal. Ensure that your employees stay engaged, productive, and happy. Take time to call them up or leave a little reminder (it could be something like a mailed card or a link to the book they will like). It assures the employees that they are not forgotten and work is not going unnoticed. When they develop a belief that there is a bigger purpose to what they are doing, their productivity is definitely going to increase.

Launching A Tech Startup In 2020? Know About The Key Factors To Consider

Launch of a tech startup calls for a celebration for all the people involved, as the startup would definitely be the result of a long duration of hard work and planning. Launching a tech startup in 2020 is challenging than ever as the whole world is threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence you cannot simply just hurry off into launching your tech startup without studying the current market situation and possible challenges.

Here are some of the factors that you have to consider in order to launch a tech startup in 2020.

Building The Right Team

The primary idea of the startup might be yours but that does not mean that you can do it all on your own. You would need an efficient team if you want to see your dream come true. At times, you may be tempted to head off alone, but realize that it is going to be a daunting task and that you may find it extremely tough.

Your team members including the co-founder and the development crew must work according to your vision, all while making their own contributions to the project. The right team resembles multiple moving parts of a machine that work towards a common goal. As all of them are on the same page, they will have a clear understanding of the deadlines that should be met and milestones to be covered in order to make a successful launch.

In order to work as a team, you need an efficient structure that keeps things moving forward. There should be a formal business plan and efficient project management tools.

Time

After all, it is a tech startup that you are going to launch and it is not going to happen overnight because it requires adequate planning and testing. It is advisable that you start small and give time for your idea to evolve gradually. That does not mean that your team should not go for bold moves. You should have the willingness to adapt to the changing industrial environment, innovations in technology, and growing demands.

Start with a technology that addresses a specific problem without stressing yourself out trying to develop something that addresses a wide range of problems. User Experience plays a crucial role in deciding the success of your app. Consider the UX before starting to write the code.

Realize that key parts of your business will fall into place only if you are ready to wait patiently. Take for instance the case of HookedUp that started in 2018 as an online project idea and later evolved into an app. It is through the advancements in design, it transformed into a social networking app. Have an open mind and wait for your original idea to develop into something different and more advanced.

Financial Support

Strong financial backing is quintessential in launching an app in 2020. You will need competitive and expert coders and developers who can produce a streamlined app with a smooth user interface. This would mean that you have to invest quite a sum in human capital.

There are multiple ways available for raising capital like using an equity crowdfunding platform, SBA loans, angel investors, or your friends and family. You will need money not just to launch the initial form of your startup but also to progress to the next step.

Staying Updated

Technology never stays stagnant. Instead, it changes continuously where new ideas take shape with changing demands. Every day new tools and platforms are being introduced into the market. Studying the pace and volume of these changes is crucial for the successful launch of a startup.

It is necessary that you catch up with the latest technology to decide whether or not to include it in your platform. It means that you have to invest a significant part of your time and effort in research and development. You have to find the right balance between the expectations and the functionalities that you can offer. The ideal team constantly keeps track of the technological advancements, all while focusing on the key tasks that should be completed in a time-bound manner.

Tips For Communicating In Your Company During A Turbulent Period

Periods of quick change will test an individual’s capability to adjust and react to a given situation. This is when the communication capability of a leader will be the factor that decides if a business will fail or succeed. This applies no matter whether he or she is an executive-level or front-line leader. Good communicators can present a vision, plan a feasible path ahead, and help others understand the implications. All of the things mentioned above is very important to have, particularly in uncertain and turbulent periods.

Therefore, strong communication is beyond just a catchphrase. Rather, it is a tool that can affect collaboration, customer relations, and organizational culture in a positive or negative way. It is unfortunate that a survey discovered 91% of 1,000 workers said their leaders do not have good communication capability. It is possible to track this inability back to the way in which managers and leaders are involved in or communicate with workers.

So, in what way does one make sure that their employees are able to relate with their ideas during these times? Below are a few strategies to take into consideration when emailing a co-worker, presenting something to numerous workers in a conference hall, or talking to somebody somewhere remote.

Reiterate Your Idea Multiple Times

Leaders mistakenly feel that they would achieve their objective after just communicating something with their workers and the most important individuals in their organization. They must not continue doing that believing that this is the case. There is complete and successful communication when the receiver of your message internalizes that idea instead of simply listening to it.

To make sure of this, you must repeat your messages through different mediums, like video, telephone, and email, because there is a likely emotional reaction to those ideas. This research by Queen’s University’s Kate Sikerbol discovered, “Allowing employees to share stories and feelings helped them to develop a greater sense of control over the changes, improved morale, reduced absenteeism, and built trust between managers and employees.”

Try To Get Feedback

After delivering a message, the most difficult task may be to confirm that everyone thoroughly understood your idea. In order to be sure of this, you have to make sure you seek a response from your audience. This is a way of finding out what they listened to and understood, plus which actions are occurring consequently, and the level of acceptance your idea has got. This will let you move forward by being aware that the problem has been addressed.

Control The Reiterated Things

Sometimes, leaders are aware that they will have to repeat what they communicate with their team. It is specifically the case when a company member demands their viewpoint in uncertain times because their answer will likely be passed on to other people.

Circumstances often emerge when one’s remarks or reactions give the foundation for the next action, direction, or talk. Therefore, a leader must be capable of influencing how other people understand and pass on the things they say after leaving the discussion. They may do the following things to produce that result.

  • Be Proactive. Communicate the things they feel matter the most. This will confirm that the things passed on are exactly the ideas that a leader wished to communicate in their organization.
  • Keep Your Ideas Simple. Individuals cannot recall all the things you say as a leader, so they may choose the things they feel are important and pass on only those. Therefore, deliver your messages as short extracts from a recorded speech.
  • Do Not Say Negative Things. Several pieces of research on psychology show that individuals often keep negative things in mind longer than positive ideas. There is an appropriate situation to communicate these things, and a turbulent period is not one. In this situation, negative verbiage or examples could just be detrimental to your capability of communicating with an apprehensive audience.
  • Make Your Ideas Interesting. Make it intriguing so that the audience will not misrepresent or embellish your idea. You can just add a tale, illustration, or analogy to make the conversation interesting.

Finding the appropriate words to communicate is potentially challenging for a leader, especially in tough periods. This can cause a leader to communicate only a few things of little substance to those who work for them. As a leader, you might not get the right words, but it is your job to communicate something of substance with them. Therefore, pay attention to communication activities, opinions, impact behaviour, and influence outcomes in an effective way during the right time. This way, you could just give the guidance that others seek particularly in uncertain times.

Businesses Must Start Prioritizing People To Prosper During A Changing Time

Leaders are going through a stage where their businesses are changing. They must decide on how they wish their future of work to look like. Specifically, what they want technology to achieve and whom they want to invest their time in.

There is one future where data will be the lone important thing and where data collection programs will solve every issue or activities with data will be automated. There is another, more emphatic future in which the preferences, requirements, and unique capabilities of individuals will be made more credible properly.

Leaders have to choose the second kind of future because the current situation fails businesses and their workers in the following ways.

  • The deification of technology has caused the so-called ‘last mile problem’ to continue. In this situation, processes are stretched across a continually-growing number of isolated and limited (purpose-wise) applications, plus work settings cannot run end-to-end. This results in the kind of inefficiencies that cause businesses an estimated loss of around 20% to 30% in revenue yearly.
  • The prioritization of technology to the point of worship has caused businesses to lose much of their happiness. Workers invest more hours in filling the gaps that technological limitations have made as compared to reaping the benefits of the functionality of it. Therefore, they feel more and more underutilized, detached, and disheartened at workplaces.
  • The systems and processes made nowadays are far from being flexible because the applications that people rely on are not holistic with regard to scope. As a result of this, their processes usually work under certain conditions alone. When these conditions suddenly change, like due to disruption in the market that makes people work remotely, their processes cease to function.

Businesses are expecting to have a world where individuals are treated as the most significant resources. Workers should not be made to invest considerable time in finishing such intense clerical tasks that affect normal thought. Instead, they have to be authorized to perform the things they carry out in the best way, which means high-leverage activities they are employed for. Studies reveal that those who think they are well-supported feel happier and more encouraged.

Engaged workers, on the other hand, have a positive effect on the net profits of businesses. As per the research company named ‘Gallup,’ businesses reporting higher worker engagement are at a state of yielding 21% greater profits.

Similarly, people are the best resource available to leaders to confirm that their businesses stay agile. Workflows and processes that are important to a company’s functioning and that are built just on top of technology, exist and break down with the related tech. When applications start to fail, businesses go down. Anyhow, your company is adaptive when systems are strategized around what individuals require to prosper, and those systems are built to let them keep thriving, despite conditions changing. When workers must perform tasks from their residence, you should not worry in the event you account for this in your technology, business continuity plan, and operation-related strategies.

The fact is that tech alone cannot be the most useful resource for your business. Rather, you have to utilize technology to empower individuals who work in your business. They are more important than everything else, especially when they have the soft skills that cannot be replaced. Some of these skills are the capabilities to think when doing something else, problem-solve in an innovative way, and working together for progress. Individuals make growth easier to achieve, letting business leaders set their ethos and products/services apart from the competition in a meaningful way. Successful businesses have mostly acknowledged the role individuals play in this regard.

Then again, things will keep changing, so the future will be all about adapting to the changes and continuing to do what you have been best so far. You should not assume that you have a sufficiently stable foundation; instead, you have to make the best use of your resources to be adaptable.

There exists a way to achieve that with certainty. When designing your company infrastructure, you must not consider which technology solution you require to accomplish a particular result. Instead, you should think about the things your workers want to prosper.

Tips On Software Testing As Part Of Quality Assurance

Software testing refers to the process of evaluating a software program, to know whether it has the quality and complies with predetermined requirements. Through testing, software professionals aim to single out and correct mistakes at an initial phase. It is a significant aspect of QA (quality assurance) and an essential element of software development. Now, let us discuss some tips for testing and quality assurance.

Have A Quality-Centric Business Philosophy

The philosophy of a software development company will determine how well (or bad) the development process will be. The developing software’s quality has to matter to the company, and this is something which top-quality work is based on. It takes time to produce fine code and correct bugs, but software testing is beyond an element associated with the service for which money has to be spent. It is a useful investment too, as faulty software is much costlier and does not go down well with users.

Know The Importance Of Quality

Your team of software developers must know how important it is to build a top-quality software program. The developers also have to know the effects that program errors might have for a business, especially on the applications that are critical to keeping it running.

The initial step of QA begins with programming, which has to do with incorporating a fine software concept and software design. With the right approach and top-quality coding, it is possible to prevent consequent errors and other issues in an easy way. Bug fixing has to be a smart and clean solution, rather than a temporary way of dealing with an issue. Albeit it takes slightly longer occasionally, temporary solutions that do not address underlying issues can be elsewhere in improper places.

Remember That QA Is No Stage

Neither quality assurance (QA) is the first link in software development, nor is it the final link. QA is among the steps in the continuing agile software development process. Software testing occurs in every single version of a software program, and the components of development will be executed only after testing. So, it has to be there as a standard and continuing element of daily software development.

Identify And Define All Your Requirements

Before starting software development, it is important to define the quality criteria and requirements of the to-be-made program. This must be done because every developer and stakeholder has to understand what program should be developed. Besides, another reason to do the aforementioned is that it allows bringing together many different ideas concerning quality and requirements.

As per ISO 9126, software quality aspects are categorized into requirements namely functionality, usability, reliability, maintainability, portability, and efficiency. The software testing professional have to check quality criteria and each of the aforesaid requirements. The results have to be conveyed early by means of fine documentation so that any errors that occur in development can be fixed early enough.

Have Dedicated Staff For Testing

Software testing has to be allocated to one who is devoted to this task. This assures that software testing is performed in a professional manner with focus, not casually. Testing is beyond clicking through a to-be-made software program; a cheap workforce will not replace it. Every strategy, standard and guideline should be followed in testing. Automated testing must be done as a general rule. Every relevant test has to be part of the process from the get-go and implemented without interruption. Only dedicated professionals can offer the experience and expertise necessary in methodological testing.

Use Automated Testing

Test automation is common these days. Automatic equipment has to do around 80% of all software tests. It is very helpful to have automation for standard tests that have repetitions or the ones that are not easy to perform manually.

Automated software tests can be divided into the following.

  • Unit tests
  • Integration tests
  • Component tests
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface) tests
  • Acceptance tests

However, testing everything through automation is impossible. For instance, testing related to the usability of software cannot be done using automated tools. So, manual testing has to be a vital part of SQA (software quality assurance).

Ensure Good Communication Among Team Members And Stakeholders

An extremely significant aspect of software quality management is communication. It is possible to address, reconstruct and correct software bugs only through good documentation. Besides fine communication in a team of software developers, it is also essential to have fine communication with customers. For instance, not communicating fresh specifications early enough, could just cause more costs and major delays in the software development project. Feedback has to be a frequent aspect of SQA to keep the team and customers updated on the present state of the development project.

Ensure There Are Values To Be Had For Everyone

Everybody who takes part in the software development project has to know the advantages of both testing and quality standards. If customers exit a software-based platform, like an ecommerce website, for instance, what would the repercussions and expenses be? That customer action could bring about considerable revenue loss for you. This is reason enough to put money and resources into building top quality software programs.

Finding product errors and defects allows identifying and resolving issues for both developers and customers. So, customer concepts like prebuilt design should be improved. When the concepts do not work in software usability testing, especially for mobile phones, the tester will be able to tackle the issue in time. Designs can then be tweaked, and thereby, any loss of revenue avoided.

Not knowing testing and quality requirements tends to mean a resource shortage. There could not be anything worse than interns or unqualified personnel replacing professionals or testing being canceled completely.

Keep Improving And React To Any Change

Continuous betterment is the key in the agile software development process. The same goes for software testing.

Methods and tools for software testing to guarantee quality constantly keep emerging. If a project’s criteria changes, tried and tested processes will not go well with those requirements and can no longer be utilized together. So, testing professionals have to keep learning about new techniques and tools, plus scrutinize present processes frequently. For this, the following are useful.

  • Sharing knowledge among company teams and testing professionals; and,
  • Discussing strategies, trends, issues and their possible solutions in conferences and groups.

The aforementioned helps in adapting and optimizing software testing and other processes, efficiently.

Use Fine Testing Tools

Tools are important especially for automated testing. Besides well-structured processes and work methods, testing professionals must use the tools that help to streamline their work.

Debunking the Most Common Cybersecurity Myths

Even though small businesses belong to a varied group, most of them have a few things in common. For instance, they all want their businesses to thrive as soon as possible. Secondly, most small-business owners depend on their websites to market their brand and build a reputation for their company in the industry in order to draw more customers.

The problem is that with the developments in technology, cybercriminals are becoming more evolved too and they can easily find new ways to infiltrate into the network of small businesses. This can put the sensitive data of the company at great risk and could lead to many kinds of potential losses.

While many small-business owners try to learn how to stop such threats, most of them get confused with the many myths about cybersecurity and the best practices to be followed. Below are some of those misconceptions which all small businesses should be aware of so that they can protect their company data in the best way possible.

Small Businesses are Not a Target of Cybercriminals

Many budding entrepreneurs presume that their company is too small to be a potential target of cybercriminals. However, being a startup or a small business does not remove their site from the list of appealing ones to hack into. In fact, small businesses can be more attractive targets for some cybercriminals because they will not have in-house security experts or a robust cybersecurity solution installed. A recent report even highlighted that around 43% of cyberattacks happen to small-scale businesses. The results of such attacks can be devastating.

In order to protect your customers and company’s sensitive data, you need to take proactive approaches to cybersecurity. This means that you should invest in a reliable and comprehensive cybersecurity solution for your business, which offers the same level of protection that is provided to large organizations with lots of data. This will help protect your website data efficiently.

Your Data is Not Worth Stealing

Some small businesses believe that because they are not collecting any payment details, they do not have the data that is worth stealing for a cybercriminal. However, payment details are not the only kinds of valuable customer information that cybercriminals target. Online hackers can target even personal identifiable information like the names, email IDs, and user account credentials.

When cybercriminals have the personal identifiable information data, they can use it to inject malware into your customer accounts or emails for further gains. They can even sell the personal identifiable information on the dark web for creating phishing schemes or tricking people to provide their banking details and credit card information. Cybercriminals can also use the data for ransomware attacks and withhold stolen details unless the user pays the specified amount.

Antivirus Software is Enough to Keep you Safe

A few small-business owners think that having a traditional endpoint security solution will be enough to protect their websites from cyberattacks. However, consumer-level antivirus software or firewalls are not enough to secure your business website. Cybercriminals can easily break into the system and steal the data even if you have such solutions in place. Therefore, you should adopt a more holistic strategy to boost cybersecurity. This means incorporating multiple layers of security for your business data and securing all points of entry.

Antivirus software applications usually detect threats that are in the form of executable programs or macros that run within other programs. However, cybercriminals these days can break into web applications too and install malware to compromise the security of the system. This can cause significant data loss, which sometimes happens even without the user recognizing it. Traditional antivirus programs cannot detect such threats either, which puts your websites exposed to cyberattacks.

You can install automated website scanning solutions to counter such threats. This will go a step further than your traditional endpoint security system and scan the data files and website database for malware. You can even choose a security solution that automatically fixes the vulnerabilities found in the web application.

External Attacks are the Only Cybersecurity Threat

There is no arguing the fact that external attackers are a grave threat for businesses. However, there can be some internal risks too. For instance, the team members of your company can pose significant security risks via many types of ignorant errors. In fact, reports say that around 60% of data breaches happen due to employee errors. This means that you should educate your staff about the cybersecurity measures that you have taken.

Employee training on cybersecurity should be done at least once a year. These annual sessions can include how to identify a phishing scam, how to use a password manager to generate unique and more secure passwords, and how to use a VPN when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. That will ensure that you stay safe from the internal risks of data loss.