Running a business is not easy and it involves a significant amount of money. Haven’t you heard the phrase “you gotta spend money to earn money “? After all, you will have to look after the technical side and management side of your organization to keep the ship running. Unfortunately, business expenses are likely to spike up over time. Usually, business owners try to justify the extra expenses by tagging it as ‘marketing’ and ‘growth’. Anyhow, you can tackle your business expenses easily by conducting quarterly or yearly audits. If you’re wondering about how to tackle your business expenses, check out some amazing tips below.
One of the main factors that eat away a major share of your business profit is fees. Note that a company will have to rely on multiple services that come with a charge. For instance, consider all of the expenses such as invoice service fees, credit card processing fees, fees to mail or ship products, etc. When you do quarterly or yearly audits, focus on questions such as where and how can you trim down this type of expense? Are you paying way higher than the current market rate on certain services? You may compare your fees expenses with that of other companies that run the same type of business for better understanding and clarity. In short, make sure you are not overpaying for the services.
Services are indispensable in order for your business to run smoothly and successfully. However, when you choose a service, you must always think about whether it’s an essential option or a ’nice to have’ one? If you practiced this method, you’ll be able to cut down a good share of your business expenses. In other words, the ability to decide between what is significant and what makes things easier will let you make the right decisions without being subjected to emotions. Such decisions will surely contribute to the growth of your venture.
Evaluate your stock purchasing
Some business owners tend to stock more number of products or overbuy thing assuming that they will need it in the future. This can spike up your overall business cost to a great extent. To avoid this, always analyze your purchasing decisions before jumping into any conclusion. Better, systematize your purchasing so that you can be in track when it comes to what your business actually demands.
Look after your business operating expenses
Another factor that contributes to the overall business expenses is the operating costs. To tackle this, review your operating expenses regularly. Furthermore, no business will run the same way and hence, never consider someone else’s style or standards when you review the operating expenses. Make sure to delve into every trivial detail so that you will have total control over every buck that comes in as well as what goes out in your business.
The IT infrastructure is an indispensable necessity in order for your business to run successfully, especially in this digital age. Still, many business owners tend to overlook this factor. Otherwise, they may simply leave the task in the hands of their IT department or network managers. However, this can be a recipe for disaster in the long run. In other words, such companies will be doomed in no time if this practice continued.
Please note that you can easily embrace multiple business opportunities and economic growth. However, you will have to embrace the technological changes at first for this. Furthermore, IT infrastructure has got much more significance and deeper meaning than you imagine. Here are a few of the major points listed below.
It is not always about the cloud
When it comes to digital transformation, the first thing that may pop into the mind of almost every employer will be the cloud. In fact, they have a misconception that digital changes and cloud are interchangeable. However, it is not always about the cloud. Note that while the cloud is just the framework with which you can enhance your work efficiency, security, and productivity, it works differently for different businesses. Hence, it’s your responsibility to leverage it in a way to favor your business and obtain maximum client-and-partner value.
Networks require constant upgrades
Dealing with network upgrades can be quite distressing, especially if it requires going offline to complete the modifications or upgrades. However, if you are taking much time of inactivity to finish certain upgrades, it indicates that you are doing something wrong. After all, this is the digital age and most companies have adapted software-based networking rather than hardware upgrades eliminating the necessity of going offline. In short, if you want to survive in the present corporate world, which is incredibly competitive, you will have to let go of the 20th-century procedures, hardware, and standards, and embrace its modern counterparts.
Understanding your software
As mentioned earlier, modern businesses are usually software-based. Hence, you must have a thorough knowledge of your software. Even though people tend to focus on it during the beginning or as they install it, they usually tend to overlook it over time. You never know, your Company might be functioning on outdated software putting the security, productivity, and economy of your business at risk.
It is to be noted that software forms the perfect architecture for the IT infrastructure of your company making it extremely significant. Hence, you can ensure the security of your business with updated software. Plus, it will let your servers and devices adapt in real-time to every change through analytical and machine learning. Needless to say, it will be indefinably convenient to have a computer system in your company that can maintain itself virtually.
Networks are ever-changing and dynamic
While companies tend to embrace the changing market trends quite fast, they’re always slow when it comes to adapting changing patterns in the IT field. To avoid this, you must consider the networks as an adaptable and living part of your organization rather than just some pipes and plumbing. Keep in mind that the health and life of your company depend on keeping your network innovative and up-to-date.
Delegating tasks to your subordinates will never be as easy as you think, especially if you’re running a startup or a small business. In fact, many of you would have probably decided to start your own venture because of these micromanaging issues. For instance, you may think that you’ll be able to lead better than your boss. Note that it will always be hard to give one’s reins to the hands of another person, particularly if you are best at the task. However, keep in mind that micromanaging can surely hurt your employees as well as your business. Below are some of the in-depth details that every employer must take care of.
The negative results of micromanaging your staffs
Most employers might think that if they are best at something why don’t their employees follow their path and succeed in the same way? Hence, they might not find micromanaging a big issue. Unfortunately, this is not the case. On the contrary, micromanaging can cause a devastating impact on your business. Some of those major downsides of micromanagement are given below.
- When you deal with a startup or a small business, you’ll barely have time to look after your own to-do list; let alone look after the tasks of your employees. If you’ve tried to supervise or look after every task and matter in your business, it is likely to burn you out making you less productive. This can sometimes sink your ship.
- Happy and satisfied employees are one of the major factors of a successful business. This is mainly achieved if they are given control over their tasks. Of course, you can review their work and point out the mistakes if any. On the other hand, if you try to control or lead them every time and make them feel like a robot, they are most likely to disengage from their tasks becoming less productive and enthusiastic. Plus, you will never be able to gain their respect as an employer.
- As mentioned earlier, dissatisfied employees who are brilliant at their work are likely to start their own business or searching for new jobs. Needless to say, this will likely make you suffer from a huge turnover.
How to figure out whether you are micromanaging your employees
Sometimes, employers might be micromanaging their employees without realizing they’re doing so. To figure this out, check out whether you exhibit the following characteristics of a micromanager.
- Asking your staffs for daily progress reports and updates of the tasks even if they are not so urgent
- Always asking your employees to improvise their work or never appreciating their work
- Rather than giving a chance for your employees to take over low-value business tasks, you prefer doing it yourselves since you are much faster or you don’t trust them
- You don’t want your employees to move on with their tasks without your approval. As a result, they are not able to meet the deadlines resulting in customer dissatisfaction.
If you are still not sure whether or not you are micromanaging your employees, follow the tips given below.
Do a one-week self-assessment year
Write down all the business tasks that you do for a week. At the end of the week, analyze the report well. Check whether you spent most of your time minding your own business or trying to interfere with your employees’ task. If you are more focused on doing the tasks that your employees can do, you have got some issues.
Demand feedback from your staff
Another way to figure out your managing skills is by asking your employees for unbiased feedback. You can ask them to avoid mentioning their name so that you can expect honest comments. If you get many negative reviews about your management style, then you’ll have to address the issue as soon as you can.
Tips to tackle your micromanaging habit
So, you have done the tests and figured out that you are, in fact, micromanaging your employees. Do you want to kick this career-ruining habit out? If so, follow these steps listed below.
- Start giving low-value works to your staffs and work your way up slowly with more important works and build trust on them
- Explain the objective or every task and let them decide the way to achieve the goal
- Authorize your employees to make some decisions on their own rather than waiting for your consent every time
- Never ask your employees to CC you on the emails that do not affect your work.
Software as a Service is among the types of cloud computing technologies. The term ‘SaaS’ refers to a business model where a company hosts its programs and makes these available to users over the internet. SaaS enables connecting to programs and using these via a web browser. SaaS is currently booming right now but it originated from the 1960’s. In the era of early computers, this technology was known as time sharing system.
Users only need to go online, launch their internet browser and enter the software program’s address. On signing into their cloud account, users get access to every single feature and data stored on the cloud.
Software as a Service keeps helping people and companies streamline their workflows, so this technology has caught on. It’s not surprising that SaaS has shown to be very popular among the tech-savvy people. In three years, the Software as a Service market, on the whole, will hit $164.29 billion, as per the Transparency Market Research company. The fact that up-and-coming businesses provide funds for Software as a Service is a sign of the quickly evolving market for this technology. It has become a popular technology due to the following factors.
Software as a Service makes it possible to access data from anywhere over the internet, so one does not need to buy or download and use a program they would otherwise not afford. A user will able to access the complete suite of features in that cloud-based program any time he or she needs. Businessmen, women, and regular people can work together through that program in a more convenient way than with the previous technology. As long as everyone has internet access, they’ll be able to work at their leisure.
Those who provide Software as a Service keep their programs in good condition, so a user does not need to bother about updating these any more. Several businesses did this by rolling out newer versions of the software products they offer once in a while. Today, everybody receives software updates simultaneously so they are able to utilize these soon after.
Software as a Service is intuitive, and that is the biggest advantage it gives to the user. For a wide range of users to adopt Software as a Service, it shouldn’t have a steep learning curve and its user interface should be well designed. In other words, the UI features and every other element of SaaS should be designed in such a way that new users can become skilled at these by themselves or by reading how-to blogs.
Cloud computing presents a way to improve communications management, training management, and project management in an usual company. Managers at the highest level of a company are able to handle projects transparently and communicate with in-house and remote workers in a more efficient way than before. That enables businesses to search for talented people in areas other than the ones nearest to them.
This technology helped increase automated marketing software in numbers. The tiniest of new businesses can try out SaaS software for free for a limited period of time. These startups can use these free software trials in a bid to make their marketing campaigns as good as possible. With SaaS, companies are able to automate these campaigns and plan, implement, and monitor these through an interface which they can access.
Software as a Service versus Platform as a Service
Software as a service gives fully evolved programs for people to employ through a third-party provider. On the other hand, Platform as a Service providers deliver hardware as well as software tools for developers. With Platform as a Service, they’re able to make use of the tools at their disposal for developing software. The vendor hosts the software and hardware on their or a third-party’s infrastructure so a software developer does not need to set up both to perform their tasks.
Software developers can change programs to suit their needs without starting over from the beginning and writing code. Both Platform as a Service and Software as a Service can be accessed over the internet, but those who provide the former service presents software developing professionals with access to the platform for that purpose. Conversely, those who use Software as a Service get access to every feature of the software over the internet.
Software as a Service keeps growing, and is expected to keep affecting the way usual companies run their business. When Software as a Service providers start solving fragmentation issues and integration complexities, more and more people will be interested to invest in these tools and they will have a wider effect on how we work.
The development and innovations in the technology field play a significant role in the growth of e-commerce, especially in this digital age. The major upsides in this case include the availability of wider markets, convenience, and reduced market costs. However, it’s not a cakewalk and digitization has got its own share of downsides as well. Note that the rise in cybercrimes has become a major reason for concern for both startups and established businesses.
In fact, several well-known and reputed enterprises such as LinkedIn, Yahoo, Facebook, etc., had to face political and civil outrage for their incapability to uphold their user confidentiality or privacy. Note that these companies have become victims of successful cyberattacks. Even though no one is exclusively immune to such hacking issues, storing your client’s confidential data and company in the cloud is regarded as a relatively safer choice regardless of whether you run a small company or a high-end one.
Furthermore, just transferring your sensitive data to the cloud alone will not enhance its security. Rather, you will have to adapt some security measures and precautions as well. In order to help you out, below are some of the best tips that you may consider to secure your company data in the cloud.
Understand the significance of internet security
The first step to achieve or design a flawless security policy is to understand the significance of internet security for your business. Rather, the aftermath of successful cyberattacks. Below are some of the few reasons that you might want to consider.
- If your company data or client information is hacked by cybercriminals, this is due to a poor security policy. This will not only put you in some legal troubles but will also negatively impact your brand reputation and, thereby, your market value.
- Another issue that can occur if your company became a victim of hacking scandals is heavy fines from the government. Note that you will have to provide fair monetary compensation to your clients who are affected by data leaks. The compensation amount or fine will be determined by the court.
- To survive in the competitive business field, you will have to implement some new and unique strategies. Hence, if your business secrets are leaked, it can lead the way to your company’s destruction.
Analyze the behavior of your employees
Do you know that your employees are the weak links in the cloud computing platform? Most hackers tend to target your employees first in order to gain access into your company network. To avoid this, conduct shadow IT tests of the systems in your company regularly. This way, you can check the activities of your staff and the cloud sites they are accessing.
Check whether the information or data stored in every cloud site that they access is accurate or should even be there at all. When it comes to the latter, more sensitive data such as business secrets and client information must be encrypted before transferring to data protection sites or apps. Needless to mention, this enhances the confidentiality of your data. However, this is not a must-do task if access to the particular cloud site is restricted to one or two employees.
Choose your cloud service providers carefully
Since the cloud platform is extremely popular these days, you can find several cloud service providers in the field. Without any doubt, every cloud service provider in the market claims to have the best services, especially when it comes to data management and security. Of course, not everyone will be a veteran or trustworthy. To tackle this, try to meet several cloud providers and shortlist a few. Then, go through their user reviews to zero in on the right option.
Better, if you can contact any of their existing or former clients. Furthermore, the parliament has introduced some laws, known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), to secure the data of online users. Make sure that the policy of your cloud provider complies with these laws.
Most importantly, ensure that your chosen provider possesses all the necessary certifications issued by respectable bodies in the field such as SOC (Service Organization Control) report, ISO 27001 certificate, etc. That being said, one of the credible certification bodies that you can rely on in this case is the Cloud Security Alliance. This agency provides a star certificate to the cloud companies that adhere to industry standards.
Secure your server using strong passwords
One of the main factors that can make you an easy target for hackers is using poor or not strong enough passwords. Similarly, not changing your default password is also a big risk in this case. The worst case is keeping the same password for multiple platforms since it makes it easier for hackers to steal all your information instantly once they figure out your password. To avoid such issues, it’s recommended that you create a strong and different password for your important files and sites. For this, design a password that features a combination of alphabets, numbers, characters, symbols, etc.
Of course, some people may find it challenging to remember all these passwords, especially when they’re complicated. Thankfully, you can easily address this issue by using password managers such as RoboForm and LastPass. Besides, as far as extremely important and sensitive data is concerned, you cannot rely solely on strong passwords since sophisticated hackers can break it at times.
In such cases, rely on MFA or on a multi-factor authentication scheme. Hence, anybody accessing a site or file will have to submit a one-time password apart from the regular password and username authentication. Note that OTPs are usually sent via SMS, voice calls, or emails to the email id or mobile number that you provided during the initial processing of account registration.
The business industry is getting more and more advanced every single day and if you want to survive in this field, you will have to embrace the new changes. As Stephen Hawkins quoted, “Intelligence is the capability to adapt to change.” Nowadays, people tend to judge a business mainly based on the appeal of their website. In fact, this is actually one of the main reasons that attract potential customers.
Why you should redesign your website
The expectations and interests of the customers are likely to change over time or with the changing trends. Hence, it’s extremely crucial to keep on modifying your business websites to keep your customers engaged. In case you focus solely only on the quality or other aspects of your service and ignore the appeal of your website, this will cause your company’s revenue to most likely decrease. In simple words, an outdated website is more likely to have a negative effect on your trade which can be an advantage for your business rivals.
Are you wondering about the ways to survive in this frequently changing digital world and keep pace with the changing interests and requirements of the consumers as well as the current trends in market? The simple answer to this is to redesign your outdated website. Note that the redesigned website must assure both the functionality and aesthetic design upgrade. You can rely on an expert WordPress development services provider to achieve this objective.
Similarly, maintaining a decent search engine ranking even after the maintenance and redesign is also as important as redesigning your website. Mind that if you failed to redesign your site properly, it will have a negative effect on all your SEO efforts as well. In short, both of these processes are directly proportional to each other.
How to redesign your site
When you redesign your site, make sure it not only follows the latest market trends but also is faster, clutter-free, user-friendly, mobile-friendly. In other words, redesign your online platform in such a way that it keeps your customers engaged and satisfied. You should consider the tips below when redesigning your website that will create the least effect on the search engine rankings.
In-depth website review
Once you decide to redesign your website, thoroughly evaluate the present condition or status of your site and use it as your reference point. Note that since your former website had great search engine rankings, you can use it as a reference point to maintain the rankings even during or after the redesigning process.
You can also figure out the mistakes you made on your old site and make changes accordingly when redesigning it. It’s recommended to consider certain areas of your websites such as site architecture, search engine ranking, title tags, Meta descriptions, content, and URLs. Note that focusing on these factors will help you tackle the issues on your old site.
Move to a new host
If your old website had issues associated with speed, uptime, performance, etc., the hosting provider is to blame which means its time to switch the host. Haven’t you heard the phrase ‘better sooner than later’? After all, these are the main elements that maintain your search engine ranking.
One of the best things to do when you move to a new provider is to redesign your website. Furthermore, try to choose a host from the same place as that of your website since it can affect the load speed of your website, otherwise.
Never discard the well-ranking content
When redesigning your website, make sure to maintain the content on the site that helped it gain higher search engine ranking as such. If you try to modify or remove it in the process, it’s likely to hurt the search engine ranking of your redesigned website. In simple words, give a new look to your website by keeping the content as genuine as possible.
In case you are making any inevitable changes, be very careful and make them appear nearly insignificant. Besides, make sure to maintain the elements that are commonly-crawled by search engines such as title tags, Meta descriptions, and H1 to H6 headings and schemes.
Follow the architecture of your old website
Following your old website architecture is one of the best ways to maintain your search engine ranking even after the redesigning process. Note that if you modify the architecture during the website redesigning process, you’ll have to build your search engine ranking again from the beginning.
Rather, make simple and minor changes such as color aspects, visual enhancement, etc. If you attempt to change the complete architecture of your site all of a sudden, it may confuse your customers who are habituated to the old design.
Set up 301 redirects
Setting up 301 redirects is crucial to let the search engines know about the changes you’ve made. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up losing the webpages that are doing well. Note that even a slight change in the URL can affect your ranking irrespective of whether or not they were intentional. With 301 redirects, the customer will be directed to the new URL from the old one. This will prevent the ‘404 page not found’ error from happening.
Businesses face difficulties when it comes to hiring the right specialists to help them protect their networks from growing hacks and attacks. When surveyed, IT professionals said that lack of cybersecurity specialists was their most important challenge. In addition, the World Economic Forum ranked cybersecurity as one of the “top risks to stability in the world” in its 2019 list.
This lack of cybersecurity could cost mid-sized organizations and enterprises greatly. After 2017’s WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks, the threat of being victimized on the cyber scene has increased considerably, with over 4 billion records being compromised in data breaches. These attacks cost each organization an average of 3.86 million dollars. Large-scale breaches cost up to 350 million dollars (according to the Ponemon Institute).
As per the cybersecurity organization “ISC2”, there is a 3 million security experts shortage in the world, the most identified in Asia, with the region having 2.15 million vacancies. There is a lack of trained professionals to fill an array of essential cybersecurity roles, like intrusion analysis, security education, and threat and incident and risk management.
The Danger of Mistakes
Mistakes made by office staff also expose businesses to bigger risk nowadays. Deceitful phishing scams and suspicious e-mail attachments are at the top of the list, allowing hackers to get unauthorized access to computer networks. What swings the door open to cyber attackers is a lack of security experts to alert office staff of these scam tactics, as well as train them to identify them and avoid them.
The increase in the number of hacking attacks over the last decade is also one of the main risks for businesses. The ever-growing number of networks, as well as the use of cloud services, are music to the ears of many cyber criminals. Originally, cyberattacks were initiatives of individuals and amateurs, but now have increasingly become the result of state-sponsored cyber criminals, cyber-gangs, or even anarchists. Consequently, businesses trying to react effectively to these growing trends have been employing more and more cybersecurity professionals.
Training is a Solution
Of course, the shortage points to one obvious aspect of the issue: lack of adequate education to encourage people to think about cybersecurity as a career option. It is one of the popular fields for youngsters, but most of them are drawn to roles of app designers and developers because those have more glamour attached to them.
However, many initiatives are underway to address this issue. Thankfully, salaries for cybersecurity specialists are on the rise because their shortage makes them more sought-after. Supporting schools to pass on knowledge about prospects in the field is part of a good long-term strategy, which may yet produce positive outputs.
With the advent of science and technology into every conceivable sphere of life, a lot of things that make up everyday life have gotten easier to handle. Now, you have much lesser numbers of people who are willing to take on the kind of jobs machines can perform. For businesses, a one-time investment involving the installation of robotics can pave the way for tremendous overall growth. The kind of works that robots do can be grouped under the tern “Robotic Process Automation”.
An example would be automating the retrieval of information from an excel spreadsheet and pasting it in a digital space that pulls data from other sources, creating reports that validate the data from a vast number of sources. Generally, this work is done by employees, but at the end of the day, all it carries is tedium, which means employees end up wasting either their time or their talents on tasks that can be automated and carried out faster.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a huge movement going in full swing right now, thanks to the diverse potential it has been shown to carry when it comes to meeting varied requirements. For the very same reason, robots are now being programmed in huge numbers across the nation. The best example is a virtual robot, which emulates the behavior and actions of a human being, and can collaborate with structures and applications, and also control them. These robots have many positives to offer, including the following:
The Ability to Analyze
The RPA comes into better effect while executing specific operations of checking and examining. Information in a uniform format is very easily assessed by a robot. The work done in that manner can also be followed and understood by a human, using the marks which the machine leaves behind. The duration inside which this gets done can be predicted well beforehand as well.
Utilizing RPA can make a great difference in the field of business, as they are better than almost every other means you can employ when it comes to productivity. For instance, mechanical procedures can be robotized, and the company would stand to benefit from the steady, reliable output in that area.
They are Faster, More Productive and Accurate
Robots generally work more accurately, as well as faster. Boredom from staying stuck in repetitive work is something they are immune to. Where a bored human employee would understandably make mistakes, a robot’s actions can be predicted, as well as monitored over intervals to make sure it is working as intended.
The expenditure on contracting, preparing representatives, and enlisting inside an organization is directly influenced by the cost of hiring people to manage data entry jobs, information exchange, and call centers. The expenses set aside for compensations, as well as other requirements from the employees’ side, add to this in terms of aggregation. When these same employees are working regularly on a yearly basis, a huge part of the working finance is rolling solely into that figurative pot. On the other hand, a computerized workforce would cost around only a fraction of that.