Monthly Archives

June 2017

Technology

The Useful Apps You Need Right Now

June 28, 2017

It’s hard to remember a life without apps. Growing in popularity in recent years, we use them on a daily basis, whether it’s updating our social media accounts, tracking our calorie consumption or gaming on the go.

App stores are congested and competition is rife. Don’t waste your time with trial and error downloads — take a look at our list to find a host of must-have apps that will actually make your life easier.

Evernote Scannable

Paperwork has been on the way out since we don’t know when, yet we still end up with a pile of papers, invoices and business cards. Make sense of them with Evernote Scannable, a clever app that helps you organise your most important documents.

Using your smartphone camera, you can scan the documents to create a digital library. As you’re never without your smartphone, it means you’ll always have the essential information you need to hand. What’s more, the app will even pull in details from LinkedIn and match them to your business cards, providing a more comprehensive contacts list.

Out of Milk

Co-ordinating a household can be difficult at the best of times, especially in the grocery store. Writing a shopping list can be difficult, especially when your better half fails to remind you that they’ve used the last of the milk.

Out of Milk is an app that puts an end to it all. Available to Android users, it allows you to create a digital shopping list that multiple people can add to and update. By updating your shopping list in real-time, there will be no risk of buying the same thing twice.

True Potential Investor

Forget queuing at the bank to deposit your cash — True Potential Investor makes organising your investments easier.

Created by Stocks & Shares ISA provider True Potential, the app is a self-directed investment service that lets you set goals, create budgets and invest directly from the app. Choose from a range of investment Portfolios* based on the level of risk you’re comfortable with and start working towards your financial goal.

*With investing, your capital is at risk. Investments can fluctuate in value and you may get back less than you invest. Tax rules can change at any time.

7 Minute Workout

Getting to the gym can be tough. If your membership has been languishing in the drawer for months, it’s time to cancel the subscription and download 7 Minute Workout.

The app takes you through a selection of high-intensity workouts lasting only seven minutes. Say goodbye to hours at the gym and hello to short, intense fitness sessions in your own home. They’ll easily fit into even the busiest of schedules and are great for keeping fit and staying trim.

Lifestyle

A Day In The Life Of Superman

June 21, 2017
I was recently asked by chillmoney.ie what character from the big screen I’d most like to live a day in the life of.

Superman is the greatest super hero because he can fly, is bulletproof, and virtually indestructible unless you happen to have some kryptonite available. Despite all his powers, I was a bigger fan of super heroes like Batman and Wolverine because I felt Superman was too much of a boy scout.

Something that has been on my mind for a while is what I would do if I had Superman’s powers for a day.

As someone that is interested in Astrology and space exploration, the first thing I would do if I had Superman’s powers is fly into space. I would love to go to the moon and explore the site of the lunar landing. I would also love to see some of the other planets and check out the view of earth from space.

After taking a trip to space, I would come back to earth and visit some of the places I have never been to. I would go to places like Mount Everest and the Pyramids in Egypt.

Even though I think Superman is too much of a boy scout, I will use his powers for some good as well. Unlike Superman, I wouldn’t try to destroy all the nuclear weapons in the world since I know it didn’t work out well for him when he tried it in the movies.

Instead, I would destroy all the extremist groups in the world and help rebuild countries that have been damaged by war.

One thing I wouldn’t do is help law enforcement officers with catching regular criminals or firefighters trying to rescue cats from trees. They already get paid to do that so there’s no point in me wasting my time catching petty criminals.

Another thing I don’t get when it comes to super heroes, specifically Superman, is the fact that he does all the good deeds for free. While that is a noble thing to do, there is no way I’m putting in all that work for free.

If I ask the governments of the world to pay me for maintaining peace around the world and they refuse, I will just walk up to bank, break in to the vault, and take what I feel I am owed. I’m obviously not going to hurt anyone, but it would be fun to see how the government reacts. Will they attempt to arrest me or will they accept the fact that there isn’t much they can do about it unless they have some kryptonite?

Since Superman can accomplish all the things I plan to do with his powers in a few hours, I will probably spend the rest of the day picking up women that want to spend some quality time with the Man of Steel instead of sitting around pining for Lois Lane.

Business

Top Tips for Injecting Some Life into Your Presentations

June 20, 2017

We all know that presentations are an integral part of the business world. Whether they are delivering presentations to clients, employees, or industry peers, the majority of businesses will require excellent presentation skills in order to thrive in this competitive climate. However, many presentations rely on the same structure: a PowerPoint presentation, simple bullet points, basic handouts, and perhaps an open floor to questions. Whilst this can, at times, be an effective way to convey your message, it can also result in an audience switching off. Even if you are talking about a hugely exciting project, sometimes the familiar formula is enough to undermine your enthusiasm. Therefore, when delivering a presentation, it is important to mix things up! Below are a few ways to get started.

Switch PowerPoint for Prezi

Sometimes even the simplest change can make a huge difference. If you are looking to inject some excitement into your presentations, but you don’t want to do anything too drastic, Prezi will do the work for you. This online presentation software helps to create dynamic and visually stimulating presentations. Due to its range of ready-made templates, Prezi is easy to use but incredibly effective. Instead of moving from one slide to the next, a Prezi presentation will use impressive graphics and special effects to convey your message. Not only this, but it is free to set up an account!

Be Bold

One of the best ways to engage your audience is by shocking them to pay attention. Why not try to be really bold with your approach to delivering presentations? A good place to start would be Pechakucha. This is a type of presentation that is taking the world by storm and has even been featured by Forbes. Pechakucha is an excellent way to demonstrate just how daring you are willing to be, as your audience will be shown 20 slides for just 20 seconds. The strict guidelines of this Japanese technique will ensure that your presentation doesn’t drag and your points are as concise as possible.

Invest in your handouts

A simple A4 handout can result in a very underwhelming end to a presentation. If you are really looking to impress, why not showcase your documents in quality presentation folders. This way you can make sure to establish your business’s brand and give your audience something of quality to keep hold of. Not only is this approach effective, it is also surprisingly easy and affordable. At folderprinting.co.uk  you are able to select the perfect presentation folder for your document, and you will be able to find the type of quality product that shows your mean business.

Interact with your audience

At the end of a presentation, it is very common to ask the audience for any questions. However, it is important to remember that there is more than one way to interact with your audience. Why not try shaking things up by asking them some questions? Maybe even add a competitive element to the questions, with rewards for whoever engages most effectively. Alternatively, you could try moving around the audience area to avoid standing statically at the front of the room. You could also try taking and questions at select moments throughout the presentation if you are aiming for a more collaborative environment.

Business

Technology to Drive Efficiency Within the Workplace

June 20, 2017

To be successful, your company needs to be efficient. You pay your employees for their skill, time and productivity, and so, employees should be working towards targets, meeting deadlines and delivering sound results. However, efficiency levels can drop and plateau to new lows.

There can be many reasons behind a decline in efficiency – it may be because a department isn’t achieving their KPIs, however, it could also be because your company is yet to implement the appropriate technology that’ll speed up business processes and lessen employee frustrations.

What’s the best technology to drive efficiency within the workplace? Read below.

Document Management Over the Cloud

The cloud makes sharing documentation a smoother process for every employee (and employer) in the company. Through applications such as Dropbox, employees can add, edit, amend all your company’s documents without having to email the documents back and forth, or waste time reuploading the new document.

This type of document management is perfect for companies who have in-house staff as well as freelancers or those working from home. It’s also ideal for those who spend a lot of their time commuting to and from work, or must attend business meetings in other locations. Business is easily accessed, no matter where your workers are. They can work more efficiently without having to rely or depend on anyone else.

Supplier Portals

Your supply chain is key to providing a great service to your customers. If you are in retail, making sure your store (whether it’s online or offline) is fully stocked can determine your profit margins. For larger organizations running SAP ERP, you should invest in sound technology such as a SAP Supplier Portal found at weaveability.com to allow communication with your suppliers in real-time, to set up notifications for when stock is running low, forecast future demands and to see your current order statuses.

Tablets

Most work needs to be implemented on a desktop, however, offering your employees the chance to work with more flexibility can improve their performance rates. Employees do not need to be chained to a desk, and by providing them with tablets, they could find another place to quietly work when they need a change of environment. Tablets could also persuade employees to work during their commute if they come to and from work via bus or train. Instead of opening up a laptop, tablets are lighter and much more exciting.

Social Media Add-Ons

Keeping tabs on your social media activity can prove troublesome. It’s difficult to Tweet once every hour, and so, programs like Hootsuite allow you to line up Tweets for your Twitter account, so you solely focus on mentions from your customers. However, this does not mean you should leave your Twitter; make sure to keep watch of what’s happening, and amend Tweets or add more if it calls for it. Your customers will be contacting you, so remember to retweet or like their comments. You still need to be ‘present,’ even if you’re only really half there.

 

 

Business

Tips on Making Your Business More Secure

June 19, 2017

Online hacking is becoming an increasingly difficult problem for businesses large and small. Many small business owners have lost data and money as a result of cyber-crime, so you need to do all you can to protect your data and your customer’s personal information.

It is not only the loss of data or earnings that are problematic. A company’s reputation and level of trust with the customers can also be hurt. Here are a few tips to making your business more secure.

Risk Assess Data

You will probably have a significant amount of data stored on your computer systems, such as customer data, employment records, and supplier details. All of this has to be assessed to see if you are handling it correctly.

When you are looking at some of the information, ask yourself, what would happen if this data was compromised? Think about where you store this information and is it adequate for the type of data it is. Do the people who have access to the data, need to have it?

It is these types of questions that will give you some idea what data you have and how you should be dealing with it day to day.

Moving your data to the cloud

One of the ways you can secure your data easily is by getting your information uploaded to the cloud by a hosting firm. Companies such as umbeehosting.net can take all your data, including personal information, and transfer it to their servers. This is a far more secure way of dealing with your data, and it has many other advantages such as flexibility and cost effectiveness.

Then, you can have a remote desktop system for all your employees, and only allow access to those who need to see it. It also provides workers that are out of the office, a secure way to access the company data.

Passwords

Passwords can be difficult to manage sometimes, particularly if your workforce are not entirely secure with their passwords. Some may have their passwords written on post-its, others in a Word document. You can always employ help from a password manager tool that can help you keep all your passwords safe.

You then have the power to revoke passwords and generate new ones as needed. This will hopefully make your computers more secure and stop employees from divulging their passwords or leaving them unguarded by mistake.

Education

An important part of keeping your data safe is teaching people how to secure data properly. A small amount of training can go a long way to stopping potential breaches and maybe even prevent data being lost on memory sticks or laptops.

There are guides and videos on the internet that can help you to train your staff in the best practices of data protection. It also means that if there were a breach, you know that everything was done to try and prevent it from happening.

Protecting your information is a big responsibility. You are not only responsible for your data, but also for your customers and your employees. With these tips, you can move toward a more secure computer system that will hopefully protect your company from cyber-crime.

Business

5 Ways to Get Feedback from Customers

June 8, 2017

In order to successfully run a business, it is very important to get feedback from customers. Unless you get proper feedback, it will be extremely difficult for you to improve the quality of your product and service. Fortunately, collecting feedback is not a very difficult process. Here are 5 ways to get feedback from customers:

1. Feedback Boxes: Whenever anyone is going through your website, he or she will always be constantly thinking of ways to make your website look better. Maybe they are not impressed with some aspects of your website or maybe one of your links is broken. Unless the problem is very serious, they won’t reach out to your support team. They will just ignore your site and find a better website. Hence, if you add a Feedback Box below your website asking ” How can we make the website better for you? , it will be much easier for all your visitors. Since it is easily accessible, they will be more than happy to share all the issues which they are facing.

2. Support Forums: You probably have to deal with plenty of phone calls from your customers on a regular basis. Instead of dealing with each call individually, it will be much easier for you to host a support forum or use a third party support forum. In the support forum, your customers will post queries and you will answer them. The main advantage is that most of the queries are common. Hence, once you have answered some of the basic queries, your job is almost done. However, you have to hire a moderator to look after your forum so that there are no spam messages.

3. Social Media: You should also take the help of social media to get some valuable feedback. In the different social media platforms, people will be always talking about your business. You just have to do a hashtag search to find out what people are saying about your brand. What social media you should use depends on your customers and the nature of your industry. However, irrespective of the nature of your business, being active on Facebook and Twitter is a must. After that, you have to select industry specific sites. For example, if you are a tour company, you should be active on TripAdvisor. If you own a restaurant, you should be active at Yelp.

4. Direct outreach: These feedback boxes and support forums are a bit impersonal. In order to get quality feedback, the best option is to directly contact the customers and conduct an interview. Ask them about their experience of using your product and whether they want any changes or not. If the interview is positive, you can also use it as a marketing tool to promote your product.

5. Customer Survey Questions: Surveys are also an extremely effective way to get valuable customer feedback. They are also quite easy to create. If you manage to design the questionnaire properly, then you will get to know a lot about your product. However, don’t make it too long. Keep it short and concise. And apart from rating scales and multiple choice questions, you should also include a few open ended questions to get a better understanding of the customer’s experience.