Business Blog Posts

November 28, 2021

Mental Training for QA

This is a spin-off of a Mental Training Plan that I found many years ago. I thought I had posted this before but was surprised to find that I hadn't.

Mental Training for QA

Putting Your Mind in a Position to Think Confidently and Compete Well

Motivation and Commitment

  • Personal Meaning and Incentives (what drives you to reach your goals)
  • The Psychology of Personal Excellence (Terry Orlick, 2000, "In Pursuit of Excellence")
  • Knowing where you want to go (having a vision)
  • How much you really want to get there (commitment)
  • How strongly you believe in your ability to arrive at your desired destination (belief)
  • Connecting with each step in front of you (focused connection)
  • Ask yourself "what type of qa engineer do I want to become here at {Company Name}, and what is it going to take for me to get there" (vision and commitment)

Mission to Excellence

  • The pursuit of excellence starts with getting to know your own patterns (awareness)
  • What is it like when performing at peak? How do you respond to pressure? What situations cause you to get frustrated and lose focus? What goes on in your head when you are performing well vs struggling?
  • With this awareness, you can better establish priorities, and develop strategies to gain control.

Connecting with your Goals: Creating a road map for success

  • Challenge yourself to work on areas that need improvement
  • Goals should be challenging, measurable, self-referenced, and within your control
  • Technique goals, practice goals, competition goals, mental training goals, strength/conditioning goals, etc.
  • Goal Planning (begin with the end in mind, develop specific action plans and strategies for achievement)
  • Set short term goals (daily/weekly, monthly) in relation to long term objectives (Career)
  • Balance outcome goals with performance goals
  • Outcome goals (Bonuses)
  • Performance goals (In order to win the big accounts, we need to commit ourselves to .....)
  • Write your goals down and specify timetables for achievement
  • Monitor, evaluate, and adjust your goals based on the progress you are making (adapt and persist)
  • Get in habit of using weekly journals
  • Think of creative ways to quantify and measure your goals
  • Take Pride and Ownership over your goals - be accountable to yourself and to your teammates
  • Finally, have a passion for you are doing - challenge yourself to raise the bar in your pursuit of excellence

Mental Preparation for Peak Performance

  • Develop your own mental plan for competing effectively (thoughts, emotions, attitude, intensity, focus)
  • Top performers consistently prepare themselves for peak performance (have/adhere to very systematic competition focusing plans and pre-performance routines)
  • Think Like a Champion (expect to do well, believe in yourself, trust yourself and be confident)
  • Approach competition with proper mindset (mentally and emotionally ready to give it your best effort)
  • Positive Expectations and Positive Thoughts (think and act confidently)
  • Visualization Training: Program your mind, muscles, and emotions for success
  • Develop your Imagination - make your imagery as vivid, realistic, and detailed as possible ("Feelization")
  • Script Success - Imagine how you will achieve your goals (action plans for achievement)
  • Focus on what you want to occur
  • See yourself performing well in a variety of different competitive situations
  • See/Feel yourself Performing Great - with confidence, full focus, competitive intensity, and trust
  • Positive energizing cues help create vivid imaging ("quick hands", "see it and drive it hard")
  • Mentally prepare yourself for coping with adversity and/or distractions effectively

Mental Focusing: Concentration, Confidence, and Composure

  • Control the Controllables: Stay Focused on You
  • What do you need from yourself at each situation, each project to compete w/confidence, intensity, full focus?
  • Self-Regulation Skills (mental and emotional readiness, emotion/energy management, positive self-talk)
  • Embrace the Pressure (harness the high energy of competition and make it work for you)
  • Connect with your Competition Goals (game plan, purposeful intentions, sense of being on a mission)
  • Confidence (tied to the way you think, feel, act)
  • Condition your mind to think confidently (believe in yourself, expect the best from yourself, trust)
  • Success breeds confidence, hence, build on past accomplishments, find your rhythm and flow
  • Concentration and Attentional Focusing (immerse yourself in the moment, connect with your performance)
  • Develop a systematic pre-performance routine and adhere to these routines while competing
  • Improves consistency and focus, enables you to take it one pitch at a time
  • Immerse yourself in the moment, quiet your mind, put everything on autopilot, trust your preparation and ability, and let your competitive instincts take over
  • Poise and Composure while competing
  • Breathing: Your most versatile mental skill (clears tension and clears clutter in the mind)
  • Patience - let the game come to you (respond to each situation with confidence, poise, and full focus)
  • Refocusing: Let go of mistakes quickly and learn how to take it one project at a time
  • Don't allow frustration to undermine your confidence or focus
  • Be Persistent and Mentally Tough - never give in or give up
November 21, 2021

Tips for Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior

Americans 50 and older are embracing more tech with 81% of adults 60 to 69 owning a smartphone and three-quarters of Americans 50 and older regularly using social media, according to an AARP survey. If you're ready to embrace technology, use these tips to learn more.

Choose the Right Device

Test different devices to find one that's intuitive and easy for you to use, especially if you have limited mobility. Tablets are often ideal because they have larger screens than smartphones, but they aren't bulky like laptops. Some devices, like the GrandPad tablet, are designed for seniors, delivering only the features they need.

Ask for a Demo

If you buy your device in a store, as for a demo before you leave. For example, if you want an iPad, you can take a short drive from Framingham to the Natick Apple Store to have them set up your new device and show you how to use it.

Attend a Class

Tech classes for seniors focus on the basics to help older people learn how to video chat, navigate devices, and do other basic tasks. Senior centers or community colleges might offer these classes locally.

Learn Online

If you already have a basic understanding of navigating the internet, online tech classes for seniors can help you learn more. GetSetUp is designed for older adults and offers tech classes. Another resource for tech and other classes for seniors is Senior Planet from AARP.

Practice With Family

If you have family members visit, do a test run with video chatting or other programs you plan to use. That way, they can help if you have difficulty, and you can get pointers from them to improve your comfort with technology. You can also practice with a neighbor or friend who's comfortable with technology.

Get Extra Gear

If you plan to video chat with your family often, having a quality pair of headphones can help. Noise-canceling headphones block out background noise and concentrate the sound, so you can better focus on the conversation. Decide on your budget, and choose headphones with good reviews at that price point.

Keep your headphones at a reasonable level. Anything over 70 decibels can damage your hearing over prolonged periods,according to the CDC. Normal conversation or the sound of an air conditioner is about 60 decibels while your washing machine is about 70 decibels.

Trial and Error

Improving your tech skills often happens with trial and error. The more you use your technology devices, the more you'll become comfortable with them. Start with what you know and expand from there to learn more.

Practice Online Safety

Create strong passwords for all devices, apps, and websites. Install antivirus software on your devices, updating the programs frequently to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Do updates on your device when they become available. Never click links from people you don't know or links from unsolicited emails, as they could lead to viruses or cyberattacks.

Become Tech Savvy

You don't have to become a tech expert, but finding the right equipment and jumping in can help you become more comfortable with technology. Visit the Cryan's tech blog for more useful tips.

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Image via Pexels

November 14, 2021

How to Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Strategy

A phone with Facebook open on it.

No matter what kind of business you have, you're probably using some social networks for it. They're great tools to connect with your current customers and reach new people. However, if you just create an account and post from time to time, it will get you nowhere. Instead, you need to create a plan and stick to it. But how to get the most out of your social media strategy?

You might think that this is a big job, and you wouldn't be wrong. Of course, you can't dedicate all your time to it. But at the same time, it doesn't make sense to do it if it won't bring you any results. Hence, the trick is in finding the right balance.

In other words, you should focus only on the things that could make a difference for your company and bring you closer to your goals. For example, if you want to modernize your moving business, social media is a great tool to use.

It all sounds like common sense, we know. And it can be easy, but only if you do it correctly from the start. So, let's see what steps you need to take to get there.

Set Logical Goals for Your Business

For your social media strategy to work, it must have realistic goals. A good place to start is to ask yourself what you want from social platforms.

Now, the accent here is on ''realistic''. It's always a good idea to tackle the smaller objectives first and then scale things up when the time is right. You'll learn how to do things properly, and it'll make the whole process a lot easier.

Here are some sample goals that you might find interesting to use for your strategy. You can combine any of them, but be sure not to push it too far. Keep things simple and stick to one or two objectives to get the best results.

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Get leads and sales
  • Grow your audience
  • Boost engagement
  • Drive traffic to your site

Two men in the office talking about how to get the most out of your social media strategy.)
Make your strategy logical if you want it to work.

Research Your Target Audience

Try not to make assumptions about your followers. It's crucial that you understand your target audience as well as possible, so you know how to sell them whatever you're selling.

It pays off to take the long route and research them as much as possible. Knowing a lot about your social media audience means that you'll understand how they behave online. You'll also know when they're active, so you can consider automating your business's posting. And automation is excellent as it allows you to do the majority of work whenever you can, and the posts will publish themselves when you tell them to do so.

To point you in the right direction, we'll give you a glimpse of what you can expect on the most popular platforms out there.

  • Facebook and YouTube are great for ads. Most of their users have high earnings, so if you want to sell, this is where you should be.
  • If you want to get to Millenials and Gen Z, look no further than Instagram. Here, bold, eye-catching content will get you noticed.
  • Pinterest is used a lot more by women than by men. So, if this is your target audience, you know what you need to do.
  • If you're looking for a well-educated user base, LinkedIn is as good as it gets. Here, you post that in-depth niche content that you couldn't post on Facebook.

One of the main takeaways from how to get the most out of your social media strategy is that you don't spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus on platforms that your audience already uses.

Find Out What Metrics are Important for You

Regardless of your industry or specific goals, you should rely on data when shaping your strategy. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should track every metric out there. On the contrary, keep an eye on the things that matter for your goals.

For instance, if you want to get your home-based business off the ground, you need to keep track of how many people you reach. And if you're trying to get your community active, high engagements are what you need.

There are other things like clicks, hashtag performance, likes, and sentiment. Each of them will play a big part in a specific scenario. So, take your time and learn about the numbers. If you know what they're all about, you'll know how to look at them and use them.

Metrics on the laptop screen.
Keep track only of metrics that matter to you.

Work on Your Content

You can't have a good strategy without good content. Consider your goals, audience, and brand to figure out what kind of content you need to post and where. Use this information to create a content strategy that will help you get closer to your followers.

Here, you want to develop a content theme and stick to it. Find a way to communicate to your audience that will set you apart. You want them to recognize your posts as soon as they see them. If you manage to do that, you'll create a long-lasting impression that will help your brand.

Don't be afraid to show your human side on social media. As a matter of fact, we recommend you do this. Your followers will be glad to know that there are real people behind the company. It will make them feel closer to you, which can't be a bad thing.

Pay Attention to Timing

If you want to use social media to move your business forward, you have to think about timing. Research and find out when is the best time to post on the platforms you're using. If you post at the right moment, you'll get plenty of engagement, and your content will find its way to more people.

Now, you can automate the process and tell the software when you want things to be published. However, it's a good idea that someone from your team is active when your posts go live. When your followers start writing comments and asking questions, you need to respond as soon as possible.

HA man looking at his watch.
If you want to get to the bottom of how to get the most out of your social media strategy, always be on time with your posts.

Conclusion

So, how to get the most out of your social media strategy? As you can see, it only takes a bit of work to put together a tactic that will work. The tips we gave you today will make sure you don't spin in circles or shout to an empty room. Follow them, and you'll find your audience, and they'll love what you do.

Meta description: Find out how to get the most out of your social media strategy. Learn all the tricks and start growing your business from today.

October 24, 2021

Ways to modernize your moving business

A modern navigation system that can be used to modernize your moving business

The quick advancement of technology over the last couple of decades has been affecting several industries. And those changes didn't bypass the moving industry either. The digital evolution, accompanied by progressive software development, is making a serious impact on how many businesses operate today. More significance is given to the modernization of operations, communication, and relationship with customers. As a result, competition in the moving industry is continuously growing. And expanding the customer base is becoming more difficult by the day. Given these points, regardless of the size of your company,-you have to modernize your moving business to survive the harsh market conditions.

How tech can help you modernize your moving business

In a way, everything seems like switching from analog to digital. To adapt, a moving company has to-understand and follow the changes in its market. Most importantly, it has to understand its customers better. Because with technology, the expectations, perspectives, and behavior of potential customers are changing as well. While deciding to modernize your moving business is relatively easy, knowing where to start is the real challenge.

There are several ways to improve your operations and expand your customer base. Here, we'll discuss a few that can help you better adapt to the circumstances.

Embrace the technology

Generally,-one of the best ways to modernize your moving business is to embrace new technologies. While it may seem exceedingly overwhelming at first, the results are worth it.

Here are a few examples of technologies that a moving company should consider:

  • Callback and automation software
  • Chatbox on your website
  • Better online estimates
  • Upgrading the communication channels
  • Improving the customer service system
  • More effective scheduling
  • Geotargeting and local advertising
  • Vehicle tracking systems
  • Solutions for monitoring deliveries and movement
  • Route optimization solutions
  • Analytics and reports of information

In the long run, using tech in your daily operations will lower operational costs and save resources. For this, there are different software solutions created specifically for the moving industry.

Ratings and map navigation instructions on a mobile device thanks to geotargeting software
Both business owners and customers benefit from using advanced software solutions.

Modernize your business website

As one of the primary focuses of marketing efforts, a business website must follow the trends. It is-among the first places potential customers check-when looking for a suitable moving company. Depending on the quality and relevance of your website, they will evaluate you immediately. That's why it has to be modern, clean, functional, and useful, above all.

Second, your website needs to-represent your brand-among other competitors properly. Being that today's customers are more tech-literate than before, they will make their own comparisons. Failing to-provide them with a good user experience-will only drive them towards your competitors. To avoid this, make sure you are offering everything others do and even more. In other words, make your website:

  • mobile-friendly
  • fast and performing
  • with advanced features like call scheduling and online estimates
  • filled with helpful information like guides and instructions

Most importantly, ensure you have open lines of communication ready for your potential clients.

 A mock-up prototype design for different website elements
When in doubt, consult with professional designers and developers.

Master your marketing strategies

Today, marketing is much more complex than before. What used to be quite simple is now branching into numerous directions. *We have social media, communication apps and portals, and thousands of means of online communication*. Everything that an average moving company can use to better advertise its business.

Social media for advertising

Contact with numerous social media networks like Facebook and Instagram seems inevitable nowadays. Everyone is using them for various purposes, and the amount of shared information is simply incredible. However, many moving business owners underestimate this aspect. It's a free-pool of potential customers-that would be a waste not to use.

Not only that, but it's a sure way to-adequately promote your moving business-and make a recognizable brand. You can create a company profile and share content. It's a great way to establish valid relationships with your current and potential customers. On the other side, other experts and-influencers can help-by reviewing your service. And ordinary people can share their own positive experiences about your business with others.

Icons of major social media platforms on a smartphone
Improve your connections with potential customers with social media networks.

Include a blog to your website

A blog is a great place to share information about relocations in general. Considering this is the subject you know best, you will have a lot to write about. Everything from simple guides and innovations to previous experiences can be transformed into quality content. For example, packing instructions, storage options, vehicles and additional equipment, and many more.

First, it will-establish you as an expert in the industry. People will appreciate the information and familiarize themselves with relocation. Not to mention, it automatically means more potential customers.

Second, it-gives you additional space for other marketing methods. With plenty of quality content come more keywords you want to rank for. More opportunities for links to and from other websites. And finally, with good optimization, your moving company will be easier to discover online.

Follow modern practices for search engine optimization

Speaking of optimization, a modern moving business takes care of SEO. It is what essentially makes it possible for your business name to rank high in search engines. High rank translates into better online visibility and more website traffic. And eventually, result in more clients.

However, digital marketing is constantly changing, including rules and guidelines you need to follow. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not something you can do and forget about it. It will-*require continuous attention and effort to be effective*. Many competitors are already probably investing in optimization and don't plan to stop. Most importantly, search engines like Google also want to ensure their users are served with the best and most relevant information.

Invest in local SEO

Besides general, every business that serves a particular area should also focus its efforts on local SEO. For example, if you are in Washington, you first want to attract customers interested in this area. Whether they are moving from or to,-they will look for moving service with a location in mind. For this, you can benefit from GMB listings, online reviews, maps, and more. Everything that is included in local search engine optimization. The only effort, late on, is to keep all the information up to date.

Considering all the above, it's clear that relationship with your customers is growing in importance. If you wish to be a modern, influential, and recognizable company, don't forget that. If you want-to modernize your moving business, you need to invest in promotion and equipment but in communication as well.-After all, the internet is making it possible for both sides to benefit from it. Customers will have a better service, and all their issues appropriately solved. On the other side, reviews and ratings you will get from them will spread a good word about your business.

Meta description: Learn about different ways to modernize your moving business so you can stay in touch on what matters today the most.

October 17, 2021

Strengthening IoT Security In Your Smart Home

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65% of consumers say they're excited-about the future of smart technology with 26%, in particular, currently interested in purchasing a smart home. Internet-connected devices like security systems, smart locks, medical alert systems, smart TVs, and smart thermostats can enhance comfort and convenience around your home, but they can also provide hackers with the opportunity to access your devices and data. If you're creating a smart home, it's-important to strengthen the security-of your IoT devices and eliminate poor security practices.

Secure your router

Your router links all your IoT devices together, which means it needs to be impenetrable to hackers. The manufacturer will have given your router a default name (typically its make or model). However, a generic name can be more easily guessed by cybercriminals and allow them access to your network. So, it's important to change your router name to something unique unrelated to you or your home address. Setting a complex password is also essential; make it at least 15 characters and a combination of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters. It's also useful to use-a strong encryption protocol'- namely WPA2 rather than WPA or WEP. WPA2 protects your Wi-Fi access points, offers stronger security, and requires stronger wireless encryption. These security protocols are particularly important for people with disabilities who are increasingly turning to smart home technology to help them-live more comfortable and independent lives. It's important people with disabilities set protocols that keep their home secure while being manageable and within their capabilities.

Use a dedicated network for your IoT devices

Setting up a guest network solely for your IoT devices, separate to your primary network, allows you to maintain complete control over your smart home. With this security precaution, hackers are kept at bay and your local smart home network can only be accessed by you. Ofer Maor,- cybersecurity thought leader, explains the importance of running your home on multiple networks: 'There is my 'office' network with the laptops, NAS, and all the important sensitive parts of my home. There is my 'Home IoT' network, which holds most of the IoT devices. This limits a breach ' if one of my IoT devices gets hacked, the hacker may be able to propagate from it to other IoT devices but will not be able to reach my laptop or my sensitive data.'

Keep your devices up-to-date

It's important to regularly update all your IoT devices, apps, and router as they may not do so automatically. Keeping your smart home network up-to-date further reinforces the security and protects against cybercriminals. Also be mindful to disable any unused or unwanted features, such as, the ability to control your smart devices remotely. This essentially helps you keep any potential entry points into your smart home to a minimum.

Working to improve comfort and convenience, smart homes can drastically increase the quality of life. By ensuring your IoT network is as secure as possible, you can ensure your home stays safe and out of the reach of cyber criminals.

October 10, 2021

Essential Types of Software Every Business Needs

Two men talking about essential types of software every business needs.

It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur. If you have a good idea and surround yourself with the right people, you can make your organization successful in no time. However, running a business is never easy. There will be many challenges on your way, and to overcome them, you must find the tools that will help you do it. Of course, we’re talking about software solutions. But with so many of them available, how can you decide what you should go for? To help you out, we prepared a list of essential types of software every business needs. So, let’s check them out.

Internal Communications

One of the first things you want to get is a place where all your employees can get together and talk or chat at any time. This piece of software is crucial if you want to get your home-based business off the ground. And one of the solutions lots of businesses use and love is Slack. With it, your workers can interact with each other easily, and you can create as many chat channels as you like.

On top of that, you can choose to connect your internal communication platforms with other business software solutions. If you go down this path, it’ll not be only for communication, but you’ll also be able to see what your team members have been working on.

A man talking to someone over the internet.
Internal communication solutions are one of the essential types of software every business needs as they allow your employees to reach each other easily.

Social Media Management

In this day and age, if you want to set yourself apart from the competition and reach a new audience, you can’t do it without social media. That’s what we all know. But, when you’re busy, it can be hard to find time to manage all these accounts. At the end of the day, it’s a job as any other if you do it the old school way.

Luckily, you can use social media management tools to help you take care of it. They allow you to plan and schedule your posts ahead of time and analyze the results all in one place. You’ll know where you are with clicks and engagements at all times.

Combine these with social media monitoring tools, and you’ve got yourself a full set. These are a great way to see what people are saying about your brand anywhere on the internet. Tools like Hootsuite can pull in conversations from around the web and display them all in your dashboard. So, they’re a big help with staying informed.

Customer Relationship Management

CRM is one of the fastest-growing software markets that we have today. In 2019, it was valued at $49 billion, and by 2027, it’s projected to reach $96 billion. And that kind of increase can’t be a coincidence. So, what’s it all about?

Well, it starts from the idea that the more you know about your customers, the more successful you can be as a business. A CRM software lets you keep all of the insights and notes you collect in one, easy-to-reach place. So, CRM software, like the one from moverstech.com, collects, organizes, and manages all your customer information.

In essence, it’ll help you to:

  • Improve communication with clients
  • Enhance your customer support
  • Manage your data in marketing, sales, and support teams

A man in the office talking on a phone.
CRM will help all your teams to do a better job.

Contract Management

No matter what your business is all about, all the chances are that you have contracts with each client you work with. So, the next of the essential types of software every business needs is contract management.

If you have it, your employees won’t have to neglect their regular work to search for key data every time they need to do an audit. All your contracts will be in a single place, and the right people will be able to access them at any time. Hence, it’s a tool that makes the lives of your workers easier and saves you money.

Moreover, you can use it to review trends, analyze the data, and find risky areas that you overlooked before. No matter what niche you’re in, it’s always nice if you can improve your operations, and this software makes it easy.

Email Management

There’s no way around it - emails are vital for any type of business. It’s one of the effects of the digitalization of everyday life, and there’s nothing we can do about it. If you don’t open and respond to them in time, it can cost you a lot. It’s enough that you’re not careful for just a few days, and you might miss growth opportunities that you needed to stay in business or take your company to a whole other level.

Email management software will help you stay on top of everything, and that’s why you need it. It will resurface any messages that you or the sender didn’t follow up. On top of that, it will help you arrange the emails if you’re overloaded with them. It’ll make it easier to see the important things sooner so you can react in time.

Knowledge Management System

This is software that will be very helpful if you’re in the business of selling services. Its main purpose is to make it possible to share knowledge within your business.

So, you can use it to create guides, documents, and articles that your employees can share among themselves. Your customer support will have better knowledge of what you sell, and they’ll be able to help your clients a lot faster.

Two men talking over some papers.
With KMS, your employees can teach one another things, so your business becomes a better-educated place.

Accounting

If you ever tried to manage a company’s financial system, you know how daunting of a task this can be. You have to think about the transaction history, auditing, and all sorts of reports. Taking care of all of these things manually can take days. So, why would you do it that way?

It’s a much better idea to invest in an accounting software solution and let it do things on its own. The app will do everything from supervising accounts to payrolls and taxes. It will save you time that you can spend doing something more productive, like creating great CTAs.

Conclusion

So, that was all of the essential types of software every business needs. If you’re running a small company, using the solutions that we talked about will make your life and the lives of your employees easier. All of your documents will be easily accessible, and you’ll be able to run your business more efficiently.

September 26, 2021

Best Parental Control Software

Best Parent Contro Desktop
Best Parent Control Mobile

Seven in ten children have encountered violent or sexual content while doing their homework online. This stresses the need for monitoring and blocking what kids can access while surfing the internet. Parental control software has been around for years and is a great way to keep your kids safe when they're online. The best parental control software will allow you to set time limits, block specific websites and applications, and even monitor what's being sent through their computer or mobile device.

Kaspersky Family Safety

Kaspersky Family Safety makes it easy to set up parental controls on your computer or mobile device. You can monitor their web browsing, block certain sites and applications, even keep track of social media sites they've visited. It also has great features like location monitoring, so you know where all of your kids are at any given time. If that wasn't enough, it also has a feature that allows you to control your children's mobile device usage. You can block apps, lock them out of the phone when they're not supposed to be using it, and even limit how much time they spend on their phone in general. Kaspersky is great for parents concerned about their children being safe online but don't want to block them from the internet entirely.

Norton Family Premier

If you're looking for an excellent parental control option that offers even more features, Norton has some of the best software out there. Like Kaspersky, it's great at blocking certain websites and apps on your child's computer or mobile device but also lets you stop them from using specific programs as well.

You can set time limits for their computer and mobile device usage, monitor your child's location, and even block certain websites or apps based on their age. It also has a great feature that lets you view all of the content they've accessed online in one place, so it can be easier to keep track of everything. Like Kaspersky, Norton is an excellent choice if you're looking for parental control software that not only monitors your child's internet usage but also offers peace of mind.

F-Secure Sense

F-Secure Sense is another great option if you're concerned about your child's internet usage. It offers all of the standard parental control features like web monitoring, app blocking, and activity reporting, but a few things set it apart from other competitors. One unique feature F-Secure Sense offers is called 'App Insights,' which will show you all of the apps your child has downloaded but not used within a certain amount of time. This can be helpful if they end up downloading an inappropriate app. It also allows you to block calls and texts from specific contacts, check their browsing history, monitor how long they're using their computer each day, and even set time limits for how long they can use their computer in general. F-Secure Sense is an excellent option if you want to monitor your child's internet usage but also keep track of what programs they're downloading as well.

Parental control software can be a great way to keep your children safe online. The best parental control software lets you monitor their internet usage, block certain sites and apps, and even gives you peace of mind knowing that they're not doing anything inappropriate on the web. It's important to choose one with features like web monitoring, app blocking, time limits for computer usage, and location tracking that will give you the most peace of mind.

August 15, 2021

Unconventional Ways to Generate More Business Leads

If you've tried everything else, it's time to consider some unconventional ways to generate more business leads - you might be surprised!

Unconventional Ways to Generate More Business Leads

Leads are crucial to successfully running and growing a business. But maintaining momentum in generating them is not easy. In a field as dynamic as marketing, trends and best practices change all the time. So, what worked for you in the past few years might not be working anymore. This can lead to your lead generation stagnating. To get the business juices flowing again, you might want to consider unconventional ways to generate more business leads instead. Some of them are a bit risky, a bit difficult, or a bit strange. But you'd be surprised at how effective a novel strategy can be. In the end, it might pay off in more ways than one.

Why should you use unconventional ways to generate more business leads?

Lead generation refers to the process of getting people informed about and interested in what you have to offer. It is, therefore, the first step toward converting someone into a customer. This makes lead generation vital to the survival of any business. But generating new leads is not always easy. If you are a small business without a lot of reaches or if you're in a seasonal industry, for example, you'll probably experience periods where you struggle to drum up excitement for your products and services. This is the perfect time to turn to the more uncommon ways of generating leads. They'll make you stand out from your competition and help attract audiences that you previously couldn't.

Young people using a laptop.
New types of marketing lead to new types of customers.

What are some of the best unconventional ways to generate more business leads?

The problem with unconventional strategies is that not many people are using them so they're often not that well tested. This makes it difficult to know what to expect - will you find success or disaster? If you're worried, focus on the following tactics that definitely work:

Try new and interesting types of content

There's no denying that content marketing is a great way to generate leads. But if all you do is write blog posts, you will eventually run out of interesting topics and people who respond to the written word. So it's important to mix it up a little - instead of writing this week, why don't you try your hand at an infographic? You can even learn how to create interesting videos to post on social media. If you're feeling brave, hosting and streaming a conference or a lecture about something can also be a good idea. Or you can post quizzes that your users will enjoy. Of course, you shouldn't abandon blogging forever; the point is to branch out and offer different things.

Use novel technologies

It's important to keep up with the times; if you don't, your users will move on from the platforms, software, and tech that you're using to new and better things, leaving you behind. So keep an eye out for new developments in the world of technology. Try developing an app instead of focusing entirely on your website, learn how to use all the latest social media platforms that have become popular, and invest in technology like marketing AIs. This can sometimes be expensive, but it pays off!

Red heart over binary code.
Embrace new technology in your marketing.

Try your hand at the less famous social media platforms

You're probably already using social media for business - pretty much everyone is. But most business owners focus on the big platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. While you should definitely be active on those, you mustn't look at social media too narrowly. Other platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest can be valuable resources, especially when not that many businesses use them.

Focus on the individual

Mass media and the internet have made it easy for businesses to reach millions of people at once with their marketing. In most respects, this is a good thing. But it has also made many marketers forget about the individual and focus on watering down their message to reach as many different people as possible. Unfortunately, this can lead to your marketing being less effective at conversion. So try doing the opposite: personalize every interaction with potential customers.

One way to do this is to adjust your website and your communication to the interests of every individual visitor. Use cookies to find out their location, for example, and show them content that directly relates to where they're from. If you're sending out newsletters via email, remember to section your mailing list so that people can only receive the emails that concern them personally.

Mail inbox open on a phone.
Personalize your emails to potential customers.

Or you can make it even simpler - make sure your content is in the second person. Speak directly to your readers, listeners, or viewers when explaining things or giving advice as if they were right there in front of you. If you want to make visitors take action that will push them further down the sales pipeline, you'll also want to include a compelling and engaging call-to-action at the end of the content you're posting. This will feel less out of place if you've been speaking to the reader the entire time.

Tell a story about your brand

Having a good branding strategy is vital for raising awareness about your business. Your brand should clearly show who you are and what you stand for. But just presenting this to an audience is hardly going to inspire them to learn more. Instead, you want to tell a compelling story. Where did the idea for your business come from? Where do you plan on going in the future? And perhaps most importantly, why should anyone care?

Use social proof to your advantage

Social proof is a common phenomenon that makes people copy what others are doing. This is something you can use to your advantage - simply show that people are using your products or services, and you'll get the attention of others who want to do the same. The easiest way to do this is to encourage current customers to leave reviews and refer friends. A referral program can help with that. Another thing you can do is to partner with a social media influencer. Influencers have a lot of social power today; if they endorse your products or services, you'll definitely collect tons of leads from that partnership.

Generate more business leads by taking risks

Unconventional ways to generate more business leads are always a bit of a risk - that's why they're unconventional. But business is all about risk, so this is not actually a bad thing. Instead, you should embrace taking risks. Be the first to try something new, invent your own strategy, and don't be afraid to fail. This is how you become a leader in your industry: by standing out from the crowd.

August 8, 2021

Does My Business Need An App?

Business Need An App

As shopping apps get more popular with consumers, businesses are rushing to invest in their mobile apps. According to The E-Commerce Times, it is estimated that m-commerce sales will account for 54 percent of all retail e-commerce sales by the end of 2021. Nearly 80 percent of people use shopping apps while at home and a majority of them use them 2 to 5 times a week. While mass merchant stores like Target and Walmart have found great success in introducing their business apps, an increasing number of smaller businesses are considering whether it is worthwhile investing in an app of their own to keep up with the digitalization of everyday life. While business apps can provide some benefits, deciding to launch an app needs considerable forethought, planning, and the satisfaction of a few key criteria.

Benefits Of A Mobile App For Your Small Business

The overwhelming benefit that a business app provides is that it garners more traffic. With high traffic levels, your business has more chances to create sales opportunities and attract loyal customers. A business app can also work to improve your brand's visibility. When used as a part of your digital marketing strategy, a business app can present another unique opportunity to build your brand presence and identity with unique logos, app design, tone, etc.

Finally, investing in a business app can be another way of keeping your customer engaged - and returning. With special offers, vouchers, and incentives unique to your app, you can boost the all-important customer retention rate. Today, 3 out of every 4 dollars spent online is spent through mobile transactions. The trick to making it a success lies in investing in all the right aspects of its development. Customers want a truly seamless and integrated shopping experience. Therefore, spending time on designing a subscription cloud-based application software is worthwhile because it means that as a business, you can stick to your budget as a small business and trial it on a subscription-based model as you go. So, if the app does not generate enough interest in an upcoming period, you are free to cancel or pause.

Does Your Business Have The Capital For App Development And Maintenance?

A key consideration when deciding to create a business app is whether your business can afford it. If you choose to create an app yourself instead of hiring a professional, you will only need to pay for your license fees. Apple apps charge $99 while Android apps cost $25. Recent research by GoodFirms showed that a simple app can cost between $38,000 to $91,000. After that, there are also the ongoing charges for app maintenance which can vary according to the technologies you choose and the complexity. If you choose to develop separate versions for both Android and Apple, you will be incurring double the charges. Before making the decision, consider your business cash flow going forward and whether it can afford the regular maintenance costs.

Is The App's Need And Immediate And Ongoing One?

Developing an app is an expensive and ongoing commitment for your business. If you are looking for an immediate or one-off boost in brand visibility, it may not be feasible to invest in a business app. Firstly it can take a while to design a mobile app prototype for your business. There will also need to be test runs before it is released for public use. Also, businesses should be clear on how the app will fit into their daily operations once developed. What percentage of customer interactions would it replace? If it is minimal then it may not be time for a business app.

How Would Your App Be Different From An Optimized Website?

While more consumers are shifting to mobile shopping apps, business websites are still the main point of contact for most. On the plus side, a mobile-friendly business website is much cheaper to maintain and develop. If you already have a business website up and running, the costs are reduced further since the actions need to optimize your business website for mobile traffic are fairly minimal compared to app development.

According to Robin Cogburn of Exela Technologies, businesses should only invest in a business app if the customer experience is significantly different from what is offered on their website or other channels. In other words, there must be defining features to draw consumers to use the app.

So does your business need an app? While it certainly has its merits, small businesses should focus on ticking many other core boxes before moving on to app development such as having a mobile-optimized business website. When the benefits outweigh the costs, then it may be time.

August 1, 2021

5 Unique Benefits of Custom Packaging for Your Business

Custom Boxes

Do you want your business to stand out from the crowd? Custom packaging is a great way to do so. Imagine that you are walking down the street and someone hands you an envelope. You open it up, and inside, there's a beautifully designed card with your company logo on it. That person has taken the time to customize something for business, which automatically makes them more memorable in your mind.

Because of this this reason, every business is shifting to use custom packaging wholesale for their products. Now, it has become a compulsory component of marketing and promoting your business to the next level. Custom packaging will help you to get people's attention and leave a lasting impression on them. In this blog post, we'll look at five unique benefits of custom packaging for businesses. Those benefits are:

It Makes Your Company More Memorable

Custom packaging is an easy and cost-effective way to make your company more memorable. You can hand out custom boxes for people to store things they buy from you or create unique packages that will be remembered by all who see them as soon as they come through your door.

It helps to make a good impression of your business on customers. They not only start to use your products, but they also recommend others that serve as direct marketing for your company.

It Looks Great

The second thing about custom packaging is how great it looks. Not only does this kind of branding help get people's attention when walking down the street, but it also helps set up a professional appearance at home. Use customize packaging for your products and gain the customer's attention to your products.

Highlights Your Brand's Forward-Thinking

Not only does custom packaging help you have a professional appearance, but it also helps show that your company has forward-thinking.

It attracts consumers who are shopping for new things to buy or looking to try out something different than their usual brand and can be bought as gifts. This kind of marketing not only boosts sales but promotes your business with a special feel.

Customized packaging will always look better than other kinds because they're designed specifically for one purpose; your business promotion.

The addition of more design elements like colors, fonts, logos, or graphics means that these items always stand out on store shelves, making them grab the attention of customers even before they pick up an item and read its description.

Increases the Reliability of the Packaging

It increases the reliability of the packaging and makes it suitable for the storage and transportation of your products. When you buy products, they are usually packaged in a way that helps them stay safe and secure. Customized packaging for your business means that the package is designed to securely store your product while it's being transported or during long storage periods.

Custom Packaging Is an Inexpensive Marketing Tool

It seems like customizing everything from our clothes and cars to even phones have become the norm, so why not customize your small business marketing strategy with customized packaging? You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on traditional advertising methods when this budget-friendly alternative works just as well for your business.

Since people often judge books by their cover, having eye-catching custom packages could lead customers towards buying more items than usual because they want the set instead of individual products.

Conclusion

Custom packaging is a great way to make your company more memorable, and it looks good on the shelf. Highlighting your brand's forward-thinking with custom packaging can also help increase the reliability of what comes in those packages because you know exactly where every package came from. In addition, this inexpensive marketing tool will get people talking about how original you are, and it will promote your business. Contact a company like Stampa Prints for all of your Custom Packaging needs and work together to create something truly unique that embodies who you are as a business and gives customers an experience they won't forget.