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How Small Businesses Can Use Technology to Step Up Their Game

 

If you own a small business, you likely don’t want to stay small forever. But expanding involves a lot of foresight and great planning. While you might not have been able to anticipate a global pandemic, finding ways for your business to work both in office and remotely was made much more possible by technology. How can you use technology to help your office run more efficiently while you’re trying to grow? What are the best options for small businesses as they seek to expand?

Cloud Software

The cloud always sounds like a nebulous place, but it’s the future of storage. While it sounds like a not-real location, basically cloud storage is just sending data from your servers to another part of the internet for backup storage! This is a good thing—having a backup that you can reach from anywhere, even your phone, makes it possible to do work from where you are. Cloud backup protects your work and that of your team, and makes it equally accessible to all in the company while protecting it from hackers.

Managed IT Services

Small businesses need various IT services, including VOIP solutions, to function best. VOIP, or, Voice Over Internet Protocol, allows several calls to be going on at once. This includes conference calls and client calls from varied locations. Having the ability to use various locations for a VOIP call makes a difference. Your team can work together more closely, and be able to keep in contact, both with one another and with clientele.

Faster Internet

If your company depends upon the Cloud, VOIP, and other services which are necessary for modern business, you want to be able to do that business as effectively as possible. While things like dialup have gone the way of the dinosaurs, if you live in a rural area or smaller town, you might not have access to fiber internet yet. However, searching around and installing both the fastest available internet for your area, and rewiring your place of business with cables which can tolerate faster speeds, is essential.

No matter what industry, businesses need the internet and technology to be able to grow and prosper! Figure out what services are best for your business’s growth. Meanwhile, make sure you’ve got fast internet, Cloud storage, and that you’re all set up with the best IT services!

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Are Live TV Shows Still Relevant?

With the growing popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix, many people aren’t sure what place live TV has in the world anymore. However, it has become increasingly clear that people are still tuning in to watch live TV. That means that live television remains a relevant space and a good place to reach an audience of people who are excited to see what is coming to them through their TV screens from their favorite channels.

Live vs On-Demand

First you have to understand the difference between live and on-demand television and the kinds of audiences they reach. Live television plays on your TV throughout the day while on-demand shows can be watched at any time. While there are many benefits to on-demand TV, live television still pulls a huge audience. Many people enjoy the excitement that comes from waiting for the newest episode of their favorite show to air. This is so true that even on-demand services have started putting out shows an episode at a time to keep their audience intrigued.

Advertising Power

Live TV also provides an excellent opportunity to advertise your business in an effective manner. In fact, 58% of consumers prefer TV ads over other forms of advertisements. That means that your television ads are more likely to be successful than other advertising options. Taking advantage of the possibility of television advertising is a great way to build attention for your brand and tap into a broad customer base.

Seeing Things First

For many people, the ability to see their show as early as possible is important. This helps them to prevent spoilers and to ensure that they are on top of the latest happenings in their favorite TV shows. For this reason, many people like to have access to live television as well as the ability to stream it later. It makes it easier for them to watch the newest episodes of their favorite TV and re-watch as often as they want through a streaming service. Most consumers are looking for a combination of both options to meet their needs.

It’s important to acknowledge that though the ways people consume media have changed, more traditional methods are still great. Many people enjoy the ability to watch live television on a regular schedule. Finding ways to maximize upon both options will make things simpler and ensure that you have access to everything you need.

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The Best Ways to Use the Cloud for Your Business

To succeed in business, you need to keep up with the latest in technology. Cloud-based technology systems are crucially helpful in managing and organizing your business documents. There are so many ways to take advantage of the cloud to benefit your business. 

The Ultimate Backup

The most important reason to utilize a cloud system is to have a backup. In the event of a server failure or other unexpected data loss, having a cloud backup system will make sure you don’t lose any important files. Companies that suffer large data losses are at a higher risk of bankruptcy than companies that don’t. Using cloud-based storage for everything from your most important documents to day-to-day communications is the only way to protect your company from major data losses. Cloud-based storage systems can also provide excellent security to prevent hacking.

Keeps Everything Organized

Another benefit of using a cloud-based storage system is that it is easier to keep everything organized. You can set up separate folders by teams, projects, or other types of categories. This allows everyone in your company to keep their work organized in the appropriate folders so everyone can find their needed documents. Because everyone who needs to can access everything, your business will always be synced up. It is easy to make changes and move documents to different folders as necessary if your organization system changes. 

Easily Share Files

Cloud-based storage systems also make it easy to share files with those who are inside of and outside of your organization. You can control permissions on documents and folders, so privileged information can remain private. In addition, you can make sure that anyone who needs access to a document or folder can easily receive access through the permissions you allow. Cloud-based storage systems also allow you to decide who has access to edit or view documents. Another benefit is you can allow those you are working with outside of your organization the permission to upload files to your cloud system. This allows for easy collaboration with members inside and outside of your organization.

There are so many benefits to using a cloud-based system for your business, from staying organized to avoiding large data losses, cloud-based organization systems make many aspects of running your business that much easier. Making the most of your cloud-based system will make it easier to manage your business successfully.

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How to Be a More Tech Savvy Homeowner

As a homeowner, your fiscal investment depends upon your taking care of it. This is, of course, exhausting after a while! There are so many tiny things which need to be cared for in a home; however, those tasks are much easier than they used to be thanks to new and upcoming tech products. How can you use technology to become a more savvy homeowner?

Install a Security System

First things first: your home needs to be protected. Chances are, unless you own an older home, a security system was installed on your property. Likely, though, it’s outdated. According to Consumer Reports, modern security systems have options for monitored doorbells, window and door sensors, and property monitoring in varied ways. Some can give you the options of having deliveries monitored, or for you to monitor your home online from a remote location. What specifically you need is dependent upon what crime is in your area, and specifically how many square feet of coverage and acreage you need cared for.  

Solar Energy

People can often erroneously have concerns over installing solar power, thinking it will not be useful on days when it is not sunny. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to AMP Smart, solar can be combined with battery storage to give you more control over your power. While solar rebate options in most states are ending in 2022, that still gives you five months to choose whether solar could be a good bet for your home. Owning your own panels gives you options to not be dependent upon the electrical grid as well, which is increasingly important in certain states.

Regulate Your Temperature

A simple install and simple to use computerized thermostat can save you a great deal of money in the long run! Many consumers turn their thermostats up midday, for their air conditioner to not be overworked in the heat of the afternoon, and down slightly at night, so as to sleep in cooler air. If you’re like many, though, this can mean forgetting to turn the temperature back to a more regular setting and paying the bills for it later. According to Hunker, digitally connected thermostats that connect to an app on your phone can save you up to $100 on yearly electrical bills, as you can change the temperature whenever and wherever you are!

Sometimes new technology can seem intimidating, especially if you’re the one expected to install and use it. But don’t worrythere are excellent technicians who can help with the installation process. Your safer, more efficient, better protected home is waiting for you!

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How Technology Can Improve Efficiency in Business

Technology has endless potential. In particular, it can help all sorts of industries increase the efficiency of their processes. As you think about how to help your business be more productive, there are a variety of different factors you should be considering. Here are just a few reasons why you should invest in time-saving technology for your business.

Faster Production Times

Using various kinds of technology involves automating processes that if done by an individual person would take much longer. By automating processes like ordering, packaging, and shipping, your business will be able to sell a lot more inventory a lot faster.

As you think about the best kinds of technology to invest in, there are a lot of industry-related factors to keep in mind. Buying the wrong kind of software, or one that doesn’t fit your business processes, is a waste of valuable resources. Do your research and think carefully about your company’s goals and needs to land on the right option for you.

Lean Manufacturing

Using various kinds of technology can also help you with lean manufacturing. As opposed to trying to spot errors or areas where productivity is lower on your own, technology can help you identify the best places where improvement can be made. Ultimately, the main purpose of lean manufacturing is to reduce waste produced. With technology, you can make sure you are utilizing every scrap of material or can devise methods to prevent that waste from occurring in the first place.

Less Errors

There are so many business processes that can easily result in errors. In the simplest things like ordering at a restaurant, a waiter might write down an order wrong, whereas if people are able to submit their own orders through a computer there won’t be any mistakes in the ordering process. Using technology in business will simply reduce errors made over all areas of your work.

With more complicated things like medical records or legal files, making mistakes can mean a lot of time lost trying to comb through the records to find and correct the errors. Having automation for some of these tedious things will reduce the chance of error significantly.

Figuring out the right approach to solving some of your business concerns will vary significantly from situation to situation. Depending on where you are at, you might want to start your move to technology with simple things like an electric cash register. If your company already is using various kinds of technology, consider having a professional come in and help you identify specific places where further technology could help you be more efficient.

Trying to stay up-to-date with technology? Our podcast provides regular updates on gadgets, games, and tech!

Renewable Energy Sources That Aren’t Solar and Wind

Renewable energy sources are all the buzz, especially as they seem to consistently be a necessary part of the growth and future of the United States and the world in general. While most of the attention goes to solar and wind energy sources, there are actually many more renewable energy options that people should be aware of. Here are a few renewable energy options that you should keep an eye on as we move towards a more renewable and sustainable future.

Hydroelectric

One of the most exciting possibilities for renewable energy is the option of harnessing the power of water to produce electricity. According to the National Academies, water has been an essential part of producing energy for centuries, but now may be the time to harness its power on a larger scale. Much like wind turbines, water passes through a turbine of its own to produce energy and power a generator. Water is capable of moving quickly and producing a large amount of energy without negative impacts or actually being used up, making it highly renewable.

Geothermal 

According to Rabe Hardware, geothermal is among the most clean and efficient sources of energy. It is energy the earth already has stored beneath the surface and can be used in a variety of ways to produce usable energy. Geothermal energy is especially useful for heating and cooling purposes and can be a great way to harness renewable energy to power normal operations. Using geothermal energy can be harnessed anywhere, but it is more viable in particular areas depending on the geological traits of the physical space.

Biomass and Biofuels

Another option is a move from using fossil fuels to focusing on biomass and biofuels. According to Energy Sage, these kinds of fuels are produced by plant and animal life, and are like traditional energy sources but much more renewable. They also cause less environmental damage. Biomass and biofuels do come with their own problems and requirements, but they are a great option when it comes to transitioning to renewable energy sources and attempting to make human life on earth more environmentally compatible.

 

There are many kinds of renewable energy that may play a part in making the future more sustainable. The more people understand and implement these energy sources the better it will be for the future of human life on earth. Each energy source has its own role to play and can be an important part of making a difference for the future of sustainable life.

 

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How Robotics Will Usher in a New Industrial Revolution

The future of industrialization is robotics and mechatronics, and that means big changes are in process. This can cause a lot of stress to workers as things are further mechanized. Some are afraid of the robotics themselves, as they go through retraining. Some are worried about their jobs disappearing. However, neither need be true, if the concepts are understood and workers willing to lean in and learn. How is robotics the new industrial revolution?

Fewer Workers in Harm’s Way

Your workers know the structure and strictures of their work and how the protocols work for what they have right now. When presented with a new challenge with completely separate protocols, and with also the ability to cause damage to life and limb, it can be frightening for them. However, when properly trained, your workers can be safer using robotics. Any process, if safety protocols are not followed can be problematic, but robotics can take some of the most dangerous parts out of their repertoire at work, while leaving plenty of work for all.

Boost Mass Production

Mass production has been an important part of manufacturing since Henry Ford pioneered it. Your team is probably more than familiar with mass production by a streamlined assembly-line style process. As assembly lines changed in the industrial revolution in the early 1900’s, people were worried there wouldn’t be a boost in sales to go along with the faster production. This transformation of production created not only new careers, but new products and plenty of sales. Likewise, the shift to robotics industrialization is causing the industry to change in many ways, but mass production is likewise increasing.

Increase Jobs in the Workforce

Ok, your big concern: will there be a reduction in workforce? Yes and no. Initial reports show that robotics will decrease jobs…initially. But, this is only in the least skilled work. Most workers genuinely want to learn new skills and to be able to grow in their field. Those jobs will indeed grow over time. Some of the jobs which are in preparation are already available with more certification, much of which workers already desire to do to get increased wages.

Robots are more than just fun gimmicks in movies and television- they truly are the future of the economy! Your business will be transformed as well, in the next 20 years, due to robotics. The future looks wonderful, for both you and your team!

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Features That Will Bring Your Home into the 21st Century

The modern world is so exciting and innovating, which makes it a fun thing to be a part of! Modernizing your space can be a great way to increase efficiency and the joy you get from spending time in a home you love. As you look to bring your house into the 21st century, there are many things you may consider adding, but the eight listed below are some of the best new features!

Porch Cameras

One modern feature that has been popping up on more and more houses in the past couple of years is the porch camera. These cameras can run independently or can be part of a doorbell system that alerts homeowners of who is at the door. These cameras are a great security measure that can help to decrease the likelihood of a break in or packages being stolen from a doorstep. These cameras are quite affordable and easy to install on your own which makes them a security feature that is definitely worth having in the modern world. Since these cameras will be doing a lot of work for you, it is worth it to choose the porch camera that best fits your needs.

Smart Thermostats

One of the most important parts of staying comfortable in your home is being able to regulate temperature as needed. A smart thermostat makes it much easier for you to keep the temperature comfortable in your home. A smart thermostat is a very convenient tool that helps you keep track of your energy use and work towards increased efficiency. It can also be controlled from your smartphone, which means you don’t have to get out of bed to turn on the heat on a cold evening and you can make sure you aren’t heating your home when no one is there to appreciate it.

Energy Efficient Features

Increasing your efficiency overall is a great way to modernize your home and keep your utility bills as low as possible. One easy change is upgrading your windows, so they are more efficient and don’t let air in and out of your home. Making sure to insulate around windows and doors can also increase efficiency. As you incorporate more energy efficient features into your space, you can enjoy the more consistent temperatures and the decrease in your utility bills that you will experience.

Smart Kitchen Features

The kitchen has become increasingly important in modern homes, and as you add smart features to your kitchen space it will become more functional and comfortable. Some of the best things you can do to improve your kitchen is simply managing your space well and increasing your storage. You should always do this with design in mind so that you don’t miss out on the benefits it brings. Custom cabinets add value to your home, and automated cabinets can add additional functionality. Your kitchen should also have updated appliances that increase your convenience and efficiency in your kitchen space.

Sustainable Power Sources

While many homes are still dependent on the general electrical grid, it is important to consider other means of generating power. Solar and wind power are both great sustainable options that can modernize your home and decrease or eliminate your dependency on the grid. These systems do come with initial costs but there are tax breaks available that can decrease your overall spending and help make the purchase more attainable. Once you have installed a sustainable power source you will immediately see the benefits as your utility bills decrease and your carbon footprint is improved overall.

Heated Flooring

Radiant heat is a modern convenience that can make winter mornings much more comfortable. Some people choose to install radiant heating in their whole home while other homeowners simply use heated flooring in their bathrooms. Another option is to install radiant heating under your driveway to prevent snow and ice from building up. No matter how you decide to use radiant heating, it can greatly improve your comfort in your home and make your space feel more modern. With radiant heating in your bathrooms, you can have toasty floors to help you get out of bed on the coldest of winter mornings. Radiant heat is actually very affordable both to install and to run in your home.

Open Spaces 

Open floor plans are very popular, and they are likely to stay that way well into the future. This doesn’t mean that every space needs to be open, but it is nice to have plenty of entertaining space combining the kitchen and dining room together. A well-designed open space can make a home feel more welcoming and can greatly improve your ability to host parties and have guests over. Creating an open floor plan may require you to use beams to support the weight of your home, but those beams can be a beautiful design element that will stand out to your guests in a visually appealing way.

Sleek Design

Design is important to every home and a sleek design speaks to a modern aesthetic that is important in this generation. This type of design depends on built-in storage that allows loose items to be hidden away only to be taken out when they are needed. No matter how you are using your space, having sleek design elements can help it to feel more modern and like it belongs in the 21st century. Choose design options that fit with your personal style and enhance the look of your home as it currently stands. That way every design decision will work together to make your home more beautiful.

Whether you have a brand-new home or a home that has been around for decades, there are things you can do to make the space even more modern. As you increase your modern conveniences, you will feel more comfortable and satisfied in your space. And, when the rest of the world catches up on all these amazing conveniences, you’ll have been enjoying them for years already!

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Retail Sectors That Need Specialized POS Software

If you’ve never heard of a POS system, you’ve probably still used it without knowing. Point-of-sale software helps businesses to accept and keep track of sales from customers digitally, rather than the old cash register method. The digital computers that cashiers use at retail stores, for instance, are a type of POS software—but for some industries, specialized systems are needed. If your business is one of the following, you should look into POS software specific to your products!

Gun Sellers

One of the reasons gun sellers can’t use any plain old POS system is because of the many forms and background checks they need to complete in order to remain in compliance with the ATF. Some POS systems actually do offer electronic background checks so that you don’t have to keep track of a lot of paper, and most have management software that can handle other services you may have as a gun seller—rentals, range fees, and repairs, to name a few. As the best gun POS software options, like Cumulus, even have features to safeguard your store against ATF audits or scrutiny, keeping accurate records and reports for you to keep compliance.

Pharmacies

Talk about the POS equipment and software you need to run a pharmacy. Speaking of compliance, another industry that has a lot of oversight is the pharmaceutical industry, namely by HIPAA as well as PCI. Besides streamlining this process, specialized pharmacy POS software also provides many payment options, secure transactions, and digital inventory management. Inventory management software can interface with dispensing systems, essentially ensuring you keep your shelves stocked at all times. It even can keep track of competitor prices through wholesaler product load and price file updating!

Car Repair

Auto parts retail is a lucrative market, but can be hard to achieve effective inventory management without good software. Auto repair POS systems can help speed up the ordering process and manage inventory so parts are always in stock. Register tools that provide every type of sale—whether on the phone, in person, or online—are very important, as are easy-to-use search options so that you can get to the exact part your customer is looking for quickly and efficiently. Ones designed specifically for auto repair can even generate seasonal order prediction.

The basic POS software systems available are only increasing as the years continue. For specific retail industries, however, basics won’t do. Before buying the most popular brand, look to see if there is specialized POS software for your industry!

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Everyday Technology Solutions Every Business Needs

Technology has done much to improve everyone’s daily lives. However, there are many technology solutions that can specifically benefit businesses. By incorporating these technologies, you can help your business to run more effectively.

Cloud Software

Whether your team works remotely or in-person, it would be beneficial to use cloud software for collaboration. With the cloud, you can easily create and edit documents and share them with your team. It efficiently allows for collaboration and it helps to maintain consistency since everyone has access to the same documents. It can also be very cost efficient to use cloud software since you remove the need for any in-house storage at your business. No longer do you need to rely on paper documents that take up space and could become lost or damaged. Working in the cloud is an overall better option for your business. 

Communication Services

In order to run well, your business needs to be communicating. Fortunately, there are many services you can use to improve the communication in your business. Using an internal messaging system is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and avoid missing any messages. Having one channel to check is simply more effective. Additionally, you can use VOIP services. VOIP is a critical IT service that growing companies need to function better. With VOIP, you can have quality calls with your team via phone or computer. Examples of VOIP technology include most video call services. 

Artificial Intelligence

Many businesses have taken to using artificial intelligence (AI). AI is a great way to improve the efficiency of tasks. A common example of using AI in your business is to automate tasks. When you automate certain tasks, it frees up your time for other projects and priorities. Additionally, automated tasks help you to avoid any human error. These tasks are done well and you don’t need to dedicate any of your time or your employees’ time to them. Another way you can use AI in your business is on your website. Having an AI chatbot can provide quality customer service and direct your customers to much needed resources. These chatbots can handle more simple questions while reserving your customer service reps for more complex situations. 

There are many ways technology has helped to improve business practices. It would be in your best interest to incorporate certain technologies into your daily operations. You can improve the efficiency of your business as a whole.

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