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7 must-have technologies for your business

Technology continues to change the face of business, and those companies who take advantage of the right innovations for their industry often enjoy a significant competitive edge. From better managing your teams and cashflow, to ultimately better serving your customers – we examine some of the must-have technologies that can help your business thrive.

Take control of your cashflow

Ask any business owner about their biggest challenges, and cashflow is virtually bound to feature on the list. Thankfully, there are several technologies available to assist. ‘Cloud accounting’ software applications like Sage One and Xero have inbuilt credit control features which will send automated emails to your customers when their invoice is about to become due, as well as follow-ups should it become overdue. Asking your clients to pay via direct debit through a system like GoCardless can also be more convenient for both you and your customers.  

Boost employee engagement through collaborative and remote working

Did you know that 80% of workers who telecommute report higher morale, and that 69% miss fewer days of work? Those are impressive numbers indeed – and can make a huge difference to any business’ bottom line. Free cloud file sharing platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox, and team and project management platforms like Trello, Asana, Jira, and Basecamp make it easier than ever before to take advantage of the remote work revolution. And while there is always an adjustment period and learning curve where changes to the way we work are involved, companies willing to adapt are soon rewarded with increased productivity, and all the other benefits that come with more engaged, happier employees. 

Make sure you stay connected if the internet goes down

As more and more businesses, large and small alike, come to rely on technologies like cloud computing, file sharing, social media and instant messaging, losing your internet connection – even for just a few hours – can start to become a major problem. If it affects and frustrates your customers, it can also be bad for your brand reputation. Investing in a backup plan in the form of a redundant internet connection or failover with a different carrier than your primary one is a must-have if your business depends on being online.  

Data backup and disaster recovery

With so many big data breaches making the headlines these days, business owners are becoming increasingly aware of the need to secure their data – and that’s great. Unfortunately, this sometimes means overlooking more mundane yet more likely threats – like accidents or simple human error. Hardware failure is another common issue – so having a partner that can assist with hard drive recovery services, as well as protecting yourself against ransomware attacks and hackers is the best way to cover all your bases.

Offer a variety of payment methods

Considering that 50% of online shoppers will abandon their purchase if their preferred payment method is not available, it makes sense to offer multiple options – and this applies to offline businesses too. Technologies such as a virtual point of sale system that allows you to connect a card reader to a PC, and products like Intuit – which integrates with QuickBooks and allows your customers to pay their invoices via credit card -and access their own personalized account webpage where they can view their billing history- are just a few options.

Business intelligence and analytics

Small businesses frequently need to think on their feet, making decisions quickly in order to take advantage of a new opportunity – but they no longer need to make these decisions without data to back them up. Business Intelligence (BI) software designed specifically for SMEs, with features like simple dashboards and easy-to-monitor KPIs can give businesses an edge without all the complicated features which come with an enterprise solution. Visual analytics and real-time data can be incredibly useful for small businesses, and there are now several good options to choose from which will allow you to spot trends and predict customer behavior ahead of time.   

Social media management

While most businesses now embrace the need to have a presence on social media, for many it’s still a chore which takes time away from their core business functions – especially when they have several accounts across different platforms. Bringing all those accounts together in one place with a free social media management tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or SocialOomph can make it a lot easier. You’ll be able to post updates across platforms all at once, schedule updates to go out later, and check all your mentions from one page.

The Difference in Private, Public, and International Schools in China

Education in China is continually growing and parents are eager to send their kids to school there. The national government has instituted a “Nine Year Compulsory Education Program” for all citizens of the country. In this educational campaign, education is free; therefore, the number of students attending middle schools in China or other learning institutions at different levels are increasing each year. Even though it is free, there are additional fees that need to be paid for, such as uniforms, and books etc.

As expatriate parents, you are not exempted from increasing school fees. With that, you are considering several options on where to enrol your children.

Public Schools

Because of innovations, Chinese learning institutions are now accepting children of expats or foreigners holding legal resident status. This is a welcome move for parents as private school education becomes more expensive each year. Expat parents are not exempted from the benefit of free tuition. However, the fees that they pay to a public school of choice are much lower when compared with what parents will pay if they want to enrol their children in private schools.

Language is a big problem; therefore, it is suggested that your children should be equipped and prepared with skills in the language. Another aspect that parents should consider is that non-Chinese speakers are usually held back one year level if enrolled through the public school system.

Private Schools

This type of school has better advantages when compared to public schools. The student population per classroom is much lower. There is little barrier when it comes to language as subjects are taught in English, or the school has language tutorial support. In a public school, all subjects are taught in Chinese and offer little or no support at all when it comes to language.

The learning environment and processes in private schools are just replicates of the public school system. But there are private schools which embed learning process and accreditation of foreign schools in order for students to be accepted in any schools around the world. It can be deduced that private schools are better equipped than public schools.

International Schools

International schools are still preferred among expats, but it is more expensive than private schools.  The number of international schools in China is quite impressive and most of these are located in urban cities. Normally, the baccalaureate program of this type of school follows that of their origin country. Some of these schools are also incorporating local subjects such as Chinese language and culture. The cost of education in this kind of learning institution is as high as that in the U.S.

Just because you are an expat in this country, your obvious choice for academic institutions for your children is not always private or international middle schools in China.  This is not the case; you may also want to try public schools if only for cheap school fees or for a more colourful experience for your children.

Tips On Video Editing Course

The world of media production is one of the very few industries that experiences continual growth despite the unpredictable state of today’s economy.  It seems as though everything from entertainment to small business development is using various types of media to reach their audience for a wide range of purposes.

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Why You Should Get to Know Felixstowe

The old saying goes: no man is an island and that is certainly true. But certain nations can be an island and in the case of the UK, that too is certain. But what an island! Blessed with verdant land, it has been able to sustain itself, at least agriculturally, for hundreds of years. Today, the influx of new arrivals from over the world and a modern economy which requires and expects more than just food and clothing, the UK has to look to the outside world to get many of the things it needs and wants. The most economical way of bringing goods into the UK is by sea, the same as it has been for a thousand years. Arguably, no port is better suited to accommodate ships from all over the world in the port of Felixstowe.

 

ship

 

One of the Largest

Felixstowe is not just any commercial port: it is the largest one in Britain and definitely one of the largest in Europe. What does it take to rank amongst the largest? For one, the ability to handle a wide variety ships, from all over the world, and have all of the infrastructure necessary to load or unload all the cargo that is being dealt with. This means plenty of room, lots of cranes and dockworkers at the ready every time a ship comes in, or is getting ready to load up and leave. So how many ships can Felixstowe handle? It currently handles over 4,000 a year and if you stop to think about it, that is a very impressive number. If you assume that there are a few days out of the year when the port isn’t open, it implies that the port handles anywhere between 10 to 15 container ships day in and day out. If you have seen a container ship up close, they are not small, easy to manoeuvre ships either. They are behemoths and they carry a lot of cargo. And that cargo has to be loaded or unloaded and routed to its ultimate destination.

 

The Challenge of TEUs

Cargo ships and ports like Felixstowe measure the amount of cargo that they handle in terms of TEUs, which stands for Twenty-foot Equivalent Units. What it basically means is that most containers aboard the cargo ship are 20 foot containers, which are stacked on top of each other and spread out all over the ship. How much can a 20 foot container carry? It depends on how efficiently the container itself can be packed. Anything which is bulky and shaped irregularly, such as a car or a piece of machinery, cannot be packed terribly efficiently. But a container full of clothes can honestly be accommodated to maximize the available space.

 

Getting Your Orders Filled

Many smaller companies, who do not have the logistic requirements required and handle their order processing in-house, need to rely on a third party who will handle not only the storage, but also the logistics necessary to have their merchandise available when needed. Being able to count on an industry leader, like dmg-freight.com, can greatly contribute to any company’s sales success. Of course, when choosing such a company the ease of access to Felixstowe is an important consideration.

How to Apply for a Credit Card

Credit cards can be both exciting and intimidating. The benefits they offer in terms of convenience are a major draw for consumers but many people are simply put off by the prospect of a complicated application process and possible rejection. The good news is that whether you want to apply for online credit cards or actually go to your local bank and have them talk you through it, there are a whole load of useful tips on what sort of information to look out for but here are some particular points of interest to remember when filing an application. Continue reading…

Degree in Criminal Justice from Portland State University

Portland State University leads the way when it comes to online educational opportunities. This includes a top of the line program through which a person can obtain a bachelors in criminal justice online.

An online education in criminal justice from Portland State University represents both a convenient as well as an affordable for traditional and non-traditional students alike. Through an online education in criminal justice at Portland State University, a person can obtain a degree and beyond the way to a satisfying career at his or her own pace. For example, a non-traditional student with family and professional obligations can still obtain a bachelors degree in criminal justice without interfering with other vital commitments. Continue reading…

Consider Employment With US Data Corporations

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US Data Corporation is one of the well known members of the entire marketing world and this company specializes in offering the services like sales leads, mailing lists, consumer email lists, direct marketing and email marketing. It has more than 30 years of experience in this industry and the office is located in Agoura Hills, CA. This company also maintains the information of the marketing databases on the businesses and the customers all over the country, which actually set the industry standards for reliability, accuracy and currency. This company takes pride in providing the businesses some crucial ways to make money as well as the ideas to thrive in any type of economy. The uncompromised commitment to superiority and the broad experience have helped US Data Corporation to grow as the most reliable and prestigious providers of research data, marketing lists and sales lead of America. The compiled informative databases offered by this company can help you in learning more about the American consumers and the businesses. This company has also set the industry standard for currency, reliability and mission critical accuracy. Continue reading…

The Seven Best Industries To Work In

Whether taking your first tentative steps onto the career path you hope will set you up for life or seeking a dramatic change from your usual line of work, knowing what route to take can be a difficult and daunting task. With such a diverse range of employment opportunities, each offering their own advantages, you may not even know where to begin looking. If that is the case, then here are a number of the most popular industries to work in and why so many people choose to make their living in this way. Continue reading…

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