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5 Security Advantages of Cloud Computing Every Business Should Know

By Ashutosh Jha → Saturday, March 23, 2019
One of the advantages of cloud computing commonly touted among businesses is this: it generated revenue of over $411 billion by 2020!

But as great as revenue generation is, security is just as crucial. Luckily, the benefits of cloud computing extend to business security as well.

In the following article, we'll be talking about the security advantages that come with migrating to the cloud. Let's start flapping those wings, shall we?

1. Hardware Independence

Traditional computing leaves significant vulnerabilities. That's because you own, operate, and manage those physical servers. It requires hiring someone on-site (which is expensive!), and it still leaves you open to malicious attacks or natural disasters.

In other words, anything that happens to damage your equipment that's outside of your control could end you. And it could happen any day of the week, or when you least expect it. Getting on the cloud means shifting those responsibilities to a full-time managed platform.

2. Automatic Updates

Cloud computing security saves you money by not needing to hire a full-time employee alone. But it's also more effective security-wise.

That's because you're paying for engaged, competent IT Services whose full-time purpose is to maintain the integrity and stability of the cloud computing platform. And when security threats do arise, they're able to address them immediately with automatic patches, updates, and upgrades that take place while you're tending to your business.

3. Quality Control and Oversight

Another reason for the importance of cloud computing in business organizations is the QC and oversight advantages that it provides. Organizations are able to better track and monitor progress and the quality of work.

This turn toward more dependable analytics becomes the norm in every work environment in which it's utilized. As a result, employees become more plugged into what they're doing, thus raising their level of professionalism and attention to detail.

On a side note, they grow to appreciate the cloud. Their appreciation stems from the fact that it enables more freedom and flexibility in when and how they work. That only boosts motivation.

4. Malicious Actor or Disaster Safety Net

Core among the various cloud computing benefits is the fact it provides a virtual safety net to whatever might happen in the "real world." The safety and longevity of your business are no longer tied to a breakable object.

Likewise, cloud computing enables you to save virtually unlimited data and backup data. This means any threats from malicious actors that do arise can be repaired by reverting to saved, stored, and redundant data.

5. Building a Sustainable Business

Last but not least, cloud computing has a positive environmental impact with less strain on natural resources and lower costs. It also gives a business the ability to remain competitive moving forward.

The accessibility of cloud computing technology may even allow them to exploit unexplored market share. And that's even when they're playing in crowded spaces or going against large companies.

The Advantages of Cloud Computing Are Clear

Enjoying the advantages of cloud computing for revenue purposes is great. But just know that it goes well beyond that.

Security perhaps is more important to your business. That's because security breakdowns can end your business overnight, wherein you might be able to survive a few lean years earnings-wise.

So if you've been holding off, stop what you're doing and start the migration. And for more advantages of cloud computing, check out this previous post examining the technology's importance.

Money Talks: How to Write Financial Blogs People Will Actually Read

By Ashutosh Jha →
Ever read a financial blog? They’re boring, and at times, the jargon and mathematical lines can be mind-numbing. It’s no mystery why many people hate finance blogs.

Up to 43% of readers admit to skimming content. Unless something is interesting enough, there’s not enough time to read. This gets extra problematic when it comes to finance.

How to Write Financial Blogs
Sure, informative financial blogs are something we want. How do you write blogs that people like though?

5 Tips on How to write financial Blogs

In this article, we’ll teach you how to start a finance blog and make people like it.

Are you ready? Here’s how you do it.

1. Know Your Target Audience

The first thing you need to do is learn about who your audience is. Depending on the locale, determining the right demographic helps set the tone. If you want to learn how to start a finance blog, you need to know who you’re writing for.

Set an audience avatar in your mind. You want to have a firm idea of the people you believe would be reading your content. Some factors, to name a few, include:

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Salary bracket
  • Social status
  • Level of financial knowledge

When starting a personal finance blog, you should incorporate specific audiences within your writing. Some will write to help millennials between 18 – 35 while others will write blogs for older business owners. The idea is to adjust your writing style to fit the general understanding of your audience.

2. Be Passionate, Be An Expert

If you aim to write blogs, make sure you have an interest in the topic. There’s more to learn about concepts from this blog, but the idea is the same. If you’re passionate about your subject, it will be visible in your writing style.

You want to make sure you are an expert in your niche. People who write corporate finance blogs, for example, are savvy about stock trading and how events affect trade options. Nothing useful will come down if people notice you don’t know what you’re talking about.

On the flipside, a real expert would know how to make hard concepts simpler. This is crucial as the common issue on how to start a financial blog is expertise. You may have basic ideas, but you need a strong understanding of the topic to explain the concept.

If you can take time to explain hard to understand concepts, do it. You can even write entire topics about them and link your blog posts with each other. This saves you time explaining hard concepts when you write blogs.

3. Pinpoint Your Writing Style

The smart way to deal with topics is to write the headlines down. Create a content calendar and create building blocks for your big articles.

Before starting a personal finance blog, you want to make a primer about some typical concepts. Start with small techniques. Work through ideas like taxation and teach more complex financial concepts.

Once you teach the right building blocks, expand on the concepts and link them. Go from general ideas to specific topics.

If you, for example, are writing for corporate finance blogs, you might want to give a primer about handling corporate finance papers and investments.

Find the writing style that fits you. Do you tend to ask short and sweet questions? Do you like to break down harder concepts?

Depending on your target audience, you may either opt for a casual, personal tone or a professional tone. People tend to respond better to personal style tone—like asking a friend for advice. Depending on how you can convey your message better, the right voice can help you start a finance blog.

You would also want to break the wall of text that is developing. Create images, videos, and infographics that can help explain your position better.

  • Make a list of small details
  • Add subheadings to create content hierarchy
  • Use short paragraphs with 1-3 short sentences

Doing things as simple as these can help your audience when you write blogs.

4. Write the Most Compelling Intro You Can Make

Writing a great intro is crucial to entice your readers. You want it straight to the point, but it should also pique curiosity. You want to grab their attention with a statement or a question.

Where you can, you should:

  • Make a factual declaration and support it with facts
  • Ask a question people want to ask
  • Drop something true but ridiculous

If you want to learn how to start a finance blog, the intro should absorb the reason down to your content body. It should be something that people want to consume. Whether you promise enlightenment or information at the end, your intro should pull them into the blog.

5. Create Titles People Would Enjoy

It’s crucial to have robust, catchy titles. You want it to seek attention, but not be click-baity. You also should summarize your entire intent in the headline.

If you want to go with the current trend, you would want to follow through Buzzfeed’s headline writing style. These are compelling and gives the right promise to the customer.

Headlines like “5 Most Powerful Stock Trading Tips You Need To Know” is not only compelling, it also gives away everything that the reader can expect, so it piques curiosity.

How to Write Financial Blogs with Ease!

Whether you’re starting a personal finance blog or corporate finance blog, you need to remember. If you want to write financial blogs that people would read, write it for them. Make it simple, informative, and easy to digest.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Want to make the best out of your online business?

You need someone who has the best guides to successful online ventures. What you need is Tricks Road.

Check out our other guides today and find out how to make your business more efficient. We can help you optimize your business. From short term business loans to remote team management tips, we have it all for you.

The Complete Minimalist App Development Guide

By Ashutosh Jha →
A wise man once said that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

This saying rings true in the tumultuous world of modern app development. Due to their usability, minimalist apps are a powerful consumer magnet. On the other hand, overly complex apps turn people away.

app development guide
They inflate development costs and remain under-utilized.

But, there is one problem.

It’s not easy to apply some abstract principles on enterprise-level development.  which is more elaborate and expensive. To make it even trickier, the market environment is more crowded than ever before.

Well, these are not reasons to forgo minimalist development. Executed right, it both refines the workflow and improves the quality of the end product.

Step by Step Minimalist App Development Guide

This guide should help you start your endeavor on the right foot and steer clear of development dead ends.

Angle of Approach

Like them or not, minimalist apps have an edge in the market.

They are lightweight, elegantly designed, and user-friendly. Thanks to these characteristics, they are also easier to deploy and linked to various business benefits.

Alas, the road to creating such a winsome product is long and dotted with obstacles.

The journey starts with the right mindset, a crystal-clear sense of purpose. You need to embrace "less is more" design philosophy right from the get-go.

First off, define what your app should do for users— how it adds value to their lives or solves a practical problem. Likewise, envision the look and feel you want the app to ooze.

Scope out what your competition is doing and  "borrow" cool ideas from accomplished developers.

Once you finish your research, get familiar with the platform/platforms you are developing for. Decide whether you want to go for a hybrid, native, or a web-based app.

They differ when it comes to:
  • ease of use
  • ease of maintenance
  • development costs
  • interactivity
  • speed
  • responsiveness
  • API compatibility
  • user experience (UX)  

Weigh these factors before making an educated decision.

Laying the Groundwork for a Minimalist App

Before you start cranking out strings of code, assess your current development process.

Map out the entire lifecycle with all its different stages.  Create a code library to speed things up in the future and promote higher control and standardization.

Identify development clutter and revamp the workflow for simple app design. For instance, automate various manual and time-consuming processes. You will conserve resources and reduce strain on human workers this way.

At this point, try not to make a common mistake and get carried away. So many developers want to come up with a killer product packed with awesome features. This is not the way of minimalist development.

You are better off releasing the product with basic features and functionality. It’s always possible to include more down the road, via app updates and new versions.
Feature bloat interferes with a minimalist approach to development.

To prevent any surprises, you should take into account the overall intricacy of your product and its algorithm. The best way to determine cyclomatic (logical) complexity of the code is via white box testing. This process revolves around the quantitative measurement of the source code.

If you struggle with the implementation of the technique, this website should help. You will quickly get a hang of the math and evaluate how your product holds up in the light of minimalist principles.

Tools of the Trade

Minimalist app development requires smart tool selection.

Native solutions tend to be the most powerful, but they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. For instance, severe budget constraints may push developers toward cross-platform frameworks.

After all, the simplest approach is “code once, run everywhere”. It’s embodied in many open source, online, and pay-as-you-go platforms. Yes, they are lacking advanced specs, but compatibility with multiple platforms makes up for it.

Another option to consider is a Mobile App Development Platform (MADP). It's geared towards simple designing, developing, deploying, and testing of your product. You can initiate all these activities across operating systems, from one centralized dashboard.

Then again, less-experienced development teams may want to opt for Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD). This approach lets you work with pre-configured components. It supports no-code and low-code development methodologies, decreasing administrative and development resource requirements.

As you can see, there are a lot of bases to cover already. But, rest assured that taking more time in these early phases will pay dividends. You will not have to waste time on things like troubleshooting the code later.

Not only that but you are able to move forward into development confident you are heading in the right direction.

The Importance of Layout and Interface

App design is a driving force behind user engagement and satisfaction.

sample app layout
There is no better proof for this statement than minimalism. It represents a sublime blend of form and function, which echoes the principles of clear visual communication.

Clarity of form is paramount and its most visible manifestation is an amalgam of clean lines and whitespace.

These layout standards encompass other core elements. They allow developers to get their messages across without overwhelming or confusing the user.

Lines and dividers are used sparingly in order not to overcrowd precious screen space. Generous uses of whitespace enables other components to breathe. It also creates contrast and sparks visual interest instead of boredom.

As a result, the user interface (UI) is both accessible and appealing. For this effect to take place, though, there has to be a clear hierarchy and order of priority.

Provide visual and other cues to make it easy for people to grasp basic features, especially in terms of active tabs and controls. Data users want should be always readily accessible, only a tap or two away.

Once you manage to put together a minimalist layout, you can turn to flat design conventional wisdom. It promotes 2D visual details like minimalist buttons, illustrations, and other design elements. There are no shadows, textures, and detailed images to distract users.

But, if that kind of aesthetic doesn’t reflect your brand, you can also utilize spacing, shadows, blocks, and color. Just ensure a natural flow between elements— this gives you interface and modern look. At the same time, it defines different areas in a subtle manner.

Whatever your choice is, remember the supreme rule. Intuitive interaction calls for an environment that is effortless to navigate.

United Colors of Minimalism

Our next key task is to streamline the color scheme.

This design aspect sets the mood and tone for the whole UX. Thus, you cannot decide on a whim or follow personal preferences.

Yes, the possibilities are near-endless, but you can make your life much easier by relying on predefined color schemes.

For instance, a monochromatic scheme is almost ubiquitous nowadays. It includes different tints, shades, and tones from the same hue. Usually, you create these variations by altering the brightness and saturation of the hue.

On the other hand, the analogous color scheme includes three different colors next to each other on a color wheel.  Many gesture-based interfaces feature this scheme to highlight the most important tasks and items.

In both cases, it’s a good idea to stick to neutral colors for the general scheme. You can always add some contrasting tones later to make things more interesting.

This brings us to a vital point— making sure to direct user’s attention with the help of bigger and bolder elements. The minimalist layout is compatible with occasional splashes of striking color.

They put emphasis on a particular segment of the screen without being too on the nose.

Typeface and Iconography

Apart from colors and layout, digital artists have one or two more aces up their sleeves.

They can use typefaces recurring brand emblems. They play a highly intricate role in UI. Improving readability is just one facet of it.

Fonts are also about personality, expression, emphasis, and engagement. And through it all, consistency holds the key.  

That is to say, you don’t want to mix several different fonts. Introduce some variety in a different way— by changing the size, weight, and style of the typeface.

And although there is a myriad of different options, recent years have proven you cannot go wrong with the platform’s defaults. For example, Roboto and Noto are go-to fonts in minimalist Android app design. Taking advantage of them is a surefire tactic to foster a seamless reading experience.

top content fonts
Finally, we have icons, another design staple you need to get right. The first rule of iconography is that your target audience should instantly recognize them. Minimalist design should help you achieve this level of comprehensiveness.

Tap bar icons are particularly important. They transfer people to different sections of the app and signal which section is currently active. This is a crucial piece of information for users.

Here, one neat trick is to switch between stroked and filled versions of the same icon. The former designates inactive/unselected state, while the latter signifies active/selected state.

Of course, these are not hard rules. There is always some room for play and experimentation. So, think outside the box.

It’s your best shot to pierce through the noise and delight the audience.

Simply the Best

The success of your app hinges on how easy it is to use.

Minimalist development is the best method for creating a killer product. But, it’s not a goal in itself, something to adopt merely because others are doing it. To make the most of it, develop a deeper understanding of what this approach can do for you.

Work out a set of comprehensive design guidelines for app lifecycle management. Focus on intuitive UI elements and show restraint when using them. Try to strike a fine balance between functionality and visual appeal.

Following these principles, you should be able to master the art of visual storytelling and achieve faster time to market.

Feel free to contact us on social media or via email. We'll show you how to rise above the competition in the booming blogosphere!

Designing a Website Blog From Scratch- A Complete Guide

By Ashutosh Jha →
Did you know websites with a blog receive 434 percent more indexed web pages compared with websites without a blog?

If you want your website to rank high on search engines, creating a blog is a great place to start. However, starting a blog can also feel like you're designing a website from scratch.

designing website from scratch

Guide While Designing Website From Scratch- 10 Steps

Not to worry. In this article, we'll reveal how to get your blog up and running quickly with these simple tips going forward. Let's go!

1. How to Pick Your Blog Name

You might be panicking already cause you can't come up with an interesting, catchy and awesome blog name on the spot.

Remember, this is your brand name which needs to be relevant to the topics you're expecting to cover in your posts.

But also, you can always change your blog name later if you change your mind. If you're really struggling, then choose your name or nickname. For example,

You need your blog name to stay simple and to the point. You want to appeal to your audience, while also considering how the name appears to search engines. So always include SEO keywords.

2. Register with a Hosting Provider

Once you're ready with your blog name and domain name, it's time to register with a hosting provider.

This ensures your data files are accessible and secure. You can take advantage of free hosting providers. However, they always come with risks and low-quality services.

Alternatively, you can go with one of the many hosting providers which charge a subscription fee. These can usually save you money along the way by providing you with better website design, too.

You can discover more and compare the different hosting provider options available for your blog.

3. Picking a Blog Platform

You need to select a blog platform to write your articles and design a website from scratch. This is called a CMS (Content Management System).
Blog Platforms
A Content Management System (or CMS) is where you'll be writing, designing, and publishing your blog posts. You should be able to upload content here and select themes for your blog.

There are tons of blog platforms from Wordpress to Squarespace. You need to choose which is right for you.

4. Decide on a Blogging Niche 

Your best chance of becoming a successful blogger is to establish yourself as an influencer in your niche.

How can you do this?

You need to write about something you're already passionate about. But that's not enough either. You also need to know your stuff!
Research what your audience would actually be interesting in reading about. The more interesting your blog to your readers, the more effective you'll be at driving web traffic to your website. You can check most profitable blog niches to get some ideas.

5. Design a Blog Website

It doesn't matter what your content is about if you can't get your audience to stick around long enough to read anything.

Attention web designers - you've got 50 milliseconds to make a good impression with your website.

You need to instantly connect your audience on an emotional level. This requires an awesome blog design which draws you into reading the content.

That's not just about the aesthetics of the blog web pages either. While this is important, it's not everything.

It's also got to be easy to navigate around the web pages. Over 94 percent of users say that an easy to navigate website is a deal-breaker.
Users want your website to be intuitive to browse. They shouldn't have to second-guess each click. It needs to be obvious how it works.

6. Include Essential Web Pages

You've got to remember the boring bits of your blog website, too.

It's not only about fascinating blog posts and intriguing design. You also need to include the essential web pages, such as "About Us/Me," "Contact Page" and also, "Store/Shop".

Your "About Me" page should focus on who you are and why you're writing this blog. Talk about your background (why your opinion matters?) and what's your motivation (why you want to help?) to build authority.

Your "Contact Page" should simply include a basic email address and social media accounts. You can also include an option to call via telephone. You could also include a message box to encourage interaction.

7. Establish a Strategy

It's important to establish a strategy to connect with your audience.

First, consider what you want to achieve with your blog. Do you want to drive web traffic to your online store? Or, do you want to build your authority?

Make sure you learn who your audience actually is. You can discover information via Google Analytics and other tools. Knowing the location and demographics of your audience is important for engaging with them more effectively.

8. Make a Blogging Commitment

Your audience doesn't want to read a one-off blog post without ever hearing from you again. You need to show that you're reliable with a regular blog post.

Tell your readers that you're going to post every week or bi-weekly to maintain enthusiasm for your blog activity. Keep yourself organized to make sure you meet this commitment to maintain trust.

9. Include Images and Videos

Your audience doesn't just check into your blog for the words. You could also add videos to your blog to spice things up.

Your audience also wants images! In fact, blogs with images receive 94 percent more views than those without images.

10. Promote Your Blog

It's not as simple as "write the blog and they will come". You need to go out there and promote your blog yourself.

The best tools at your disposal are definitely social media networks. Whenever you publish a blog post, post it on Facebook and tweet about it Twitter. This is a sure-fire way to build your audience for your blog articles.

Designing a Website From Scratch

Now you know the tricks of designing a website from scratch to make a blogging success. Starting a blog can appear a lot of work at first. However, breaking it down to 10 steps makes it much easier to get going.

If you want to learn more about how you can make your blogging website successful, check out our consulting services here.

8 Creative Employee Recognition Ideas

By Ashutosh Jha → Friday, March 22, 2019
Did you know that nearly half of US workers feel underappreciated?

You may be thinking to yourself, "no way that my employees feel that way," but chances are, some of them do.

Think about all of the employees you have. Do you get the impression that some of them are unmotivated, disgruntled, disengaged, or frustrated with their work? You may think that your employees' attitude toward their work is their own problem, or that it's just a phase that they'll get over.

8 Creative Employee Recognition Ideas
But the truth is, this is your problem too. More often than not, when employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, their performance starts to drop. This can have a huge effect on how you look as a boss and on your company as a whole. 

Luckily, there are things you can do if you get the sense that your workers feel underappreciated.

You can start doing things that demonstrate that you recognize your employees' and work.

What sort of things are we talking about here?

8 Best Employee Recognition Ideas

Read on to learn about the top employee recognition ideas. These employee recognition ideas will help you keep your employee motivated and encouraged to give their best.

1. Survey Your Employees for Recognition Ideas

Before you start doling out gifts and bonuses, you should survey your employees via email to ask them what recognition ideas resonate with them the most.
If you are taking only one approach in recognizing your employees, chances are you're missing the mark when it comes to how you recognize the others. 

You will be surprised by some of the answers that surface when you ask your employees how they like to be recognized.

Plus, just asking your employees for their opinions on the matter is something they'll appreciate.

2. Lunch Out

A lot of employees aren't into the idea of public recognition. If this is the case with some of your employees, you should take them out for a private lunch with just the two of you instead.

This will help to foster a meaningful conversation that will give you the chance to show your appreciation for an employee in a private setting.

And if you want to take it one step further, allow your employee to pick the lunch spot!

3. Experiential Awards 

When it comes to employee recognition, a lot of companies stick with the tried and true method of giving their employees a certificate of appreciation along with the boss giving a short speech of gratitude in front of their coworkers.

While there's nothing wrong with this method, it can get a little old and feel a little boring. Plus, most of your employees are just going to toss that paper in the trash.

Instead, we suggest thinking outside the box by giving your employees experiential awards instead. This could be anything from a skydiving session to a wine tasting to a rock climbing lesson.

Experiential awards are fantastic because they're something that your employee will remember for a long time. Plus, an experiential award, if chosen correctly, is usually something that people have wanted to do for a while, but didn't because they felt like they couldn't justify spending the extra money.

4. Catered Meal

Are you looking to show appreciation to your whole staff, and not just one employee?

If so, a catered meal is the way to go. If you already do catered meals for your company, find a way to make this one extra special. For example, you could add a popcorn stand or a s'mores bar to the event. 

Or, you could order from a variety of your employees' favorite restaurants instead of just picking the standard one you always order from.

5. Schedule a Fun Activity 

This is another great idea for companies who are looking to treat their whole staff.

Sure, you probably already go out for weekly happy hours, but your employees are probably used to this and no longer see it as a form of employee appreciation. 

That's why we suggest shaking things up and scheduling a fun employee outing instead. Some fun activities worth considering are bowling, laser tag, karaoke, or an outing to a professional sports game.

If the event can cut into the regular workday a bit, which will be even better in the eyes of your staff!

6. Surprise Time Off

If there's one thing every employee will appreciate in your office, it's some surprise time off.

You can use this as an added award for whoever wins employee of the month, or if you can afford it, you can give your whole staff some extra time off.

One boss recently found a way to close down her entire shop and take all of her employees and their families to Disney World.

If giving all of your employees extra time off is something you can swing, trust us, they'll never forget it.

7. Wellness Day

Employee wellness is a hot button topic right now. To show your employees that you appreciate their work and that you care about their health, we suggest scheduling some sort of wellness day.

There are many self-care activities that you can bring into the office that will show your employees that you care. For example, you could organize mindfulness/meditation sessions, yoga sessions, on-site massages, or fitness classes for your whole team.  Here are some of the top industry wellness program you can also follow-

8. Step Up the Paper Awards

As we said earlier, most employees end up tossing out paper awards for the employee of the month or employee of the year.

To show your employees you care, we suggest stepping these awards up a bit. For example, instead of paper, you could hand out plaques or trophies.

You can find more info here about doing this. 

Employee Recognition Ideas: Wrap Up

As you can see, there are many things you can do to show your employees appreciation.

If you have any questions about these employee recognition ideas, or if you've used one of these ideas successfully, please drop us a comment below.

And, if you are looking to hire new employees, then check out these questions to ask potential candidates.

How to Get Ahead of Your Competition

By Ashutosh Jha →
Competition in business is inevitable, and it should be looked on as something positive. If there is competition in your sector, even if it is not in your particular niche, you can be sure that you have chosen something that sells well. Plus, you can learn a lot from your competition, so you should never ignore what they’re doing, and you must do plenty of research to find out as much about them as possible.

How to Get Ahead of Your Competition
Once you know precisely who your competition is and what it is, they do, you can work in getting ahead of them. This is crucial, as it will put you at the head of the pack, and you will be the business that customers come to first. Here are some ways you can do so.

Learn Everything

There is a well-known saying that goes: knowledge is power. In business, this is absolutely true. The more you know about your competition, the better. It will give you the power to be able to do things in a better way or to see what they are doing well and try to replicate that in your own style.

Yet it’s not just learning about your competition that is important. If you really want to get ahead, you need to know everything you can about business too. Start by studying for an online accredited MBA which will give you a sound knowledge of business practices and how to utilize them. Understanding business means you will be better placed to make important decisions because you will be able to ascertain what the likely outcomes are going to be.

You also need to know everything you can about your or products and services. When someone asks you a question, having the right answer is crucial. The more you know, the more confident you will be, and that will help you gain your customers’ trust and ensure good reviews, both of which are vital for business growth.

What Is Their USP?

One of the most important elements to find out about your competition is their USP or unique selling point. This is what sets them apart from the rest and makes them different. Knowing this means you can work out what it is your customers want with regards to these products and services, and you can create your own USP from this information.

Remember, the idea behind a USP is that it must be unique. So, although it is wise to find out what your competition’s USP is, you can’t copy it. You need to find your own, although it can be along the same lines if this is something that will work for you.

Know Your Customers

The more you know about your customers, the better in business. It will help you to sell to them better, and it will push you ahead of the competition. It all begins with market research. It will show you who is most likely to buy your products and use your services. It will show you whether they are male or female, what age range they fall into, their geographical location, and perhaps even what their hobbies are.

When you have this information, your marketing campaigns can be much more effective. You can target them towards those who are most likely to spend their money with your business, and those will make your budget stretch much further. It also means the campaign doesn’t have to be something that everyone likes or understands; you aren’t interested in anyone who isn’t your target market.

Marketing Ideas

Marketing is the most crucial part of your business (apart from the products and services themselves!) and ensuring that it is correct and will bring in the customers you want it to is a big undertaking. Sometimes, especially if you are not naturally gifted when it comes to marketing, it can seem incredibly daunting: how can you know that you are getting it right?

If you have competition, you can get a good idea. You will be able to see what works for them and what doesn’t, and you’ll learn from their mistakes and successes. Again, you must not (and should not) copy what someone else is doing. It looks unprofessional and is something that should be avoided at all costs, but it will steer you in the right direction and will help you to ensure you don’t waste any time, effort, or money in going about your marketing in the wrong way.

Find A Mentor

It isn’t easy starting a business and it isn’t easy running one even if you have been established for some time. You might need someone to talk to for helping you through difficult times, perhaps when cashflow is slow, or you have trouble sourcing new and exciting products, and that person could be a mentor. They can give you guidance and a psychological boost that can help no end.

Having a mentor is something that relatively few business owners take advantage of, so it is likely that your competition doesn’t have someone to turn to when they need it. Even if they do, the fact that you do too means that you won’t be left behind.

Getting confused and stuck in your business dreams is not unusual, but having the foresight to have someone close to you to help you come out the other side as cleanly and quickly as possible is, and it is this that might just help you gain the competitive edge.

Have A Good Image

The image is essential in business, and it can make the difference between a success and a failure. You need to have good branding that is coherent and cohesive, and that makes sense when it comes to what it is your business sells. This branding should be on everything from your storefront to your vehicles to your clothing.

Work on your image to ensure it portrays the right message; it needs to be professional yet welcoming, and it should clearly explain what it is you do for a living. Any confusion or anything that looks out of place will just push potential customers towards your competitors, which is clearly the last thing you want.

Tips To Write Marketing Plan Like Expert For University

By Ashutosh Jha → Thursday, March 21, 2019
Many marketers face the issue of a good plan. It’s necessary to compose an effective marketing plan for every product or service. It should include the main points and reasoning of the suggested project. The task is quite complicated.

Write Marketing Plan

In general, your marketing plan should:

  • Reveal your main objectives and establish milestones
  • Clarify the maximal potential and capacity of your project
  • Clearly understand partners and stakeholders
  • Attract and promote your project
  • Attract volunteers
  • Deliver a clear message of your initiative
  • Prove your viewpoint and discover novel capabilities
  • Prove that your initiative is perspective

Prior to beginning your plan, you ought to consider certain points. Firstly, answer the question "Who is your targeted audience?" It’s a vital aspect. In case, you are looking for advertisement promotion your audience will be advertising agencies. If you need partnerships, target at possible partners, etc. Build your strategy depending on what response you would like to hear from them.

Now, we would like to focus on the way your marketing paper is expected to be written from scratch according to your specifications.

Topic Selection

First of all, you ought to select a topic. Decide which marketing direction you wish to deal with. Evaluate possible ways of development and offer a clear target. Compose a convincing topic, which fully states your main purpose.

Data Collection

Your second move is to look for information sources. Once you choose the topic, get data about finances, different operations, changes on the market and other important facts. In the event, your nonprofit project is already running find details on expenses and similar points. In case, your project is new you should gather data associated with secure funding and operations. Add anticipated costs as well.

Craft the Mission Statement

You should build the core of your initiative. Clarify your audience the heart of the matter. Give a short but informative abstract of your plan. It should clearly state your philosophy and major principles. Establish the main milestones you wish to reach in your project. Don’t forget to mention possible issues, the purpose of your organization, and future aims.

Make an Outline

You should create an outline for your marketing plan and include all the details, such as marketing problems, fundraising, budget, resources and something of the kind. The main purpose of any outline is to maintain the focus. It will become your roadmap. You will never go astray and won’t procrastinate because you will know for sure which step to undertake and what data to study. Outlining is a very efficacious and quick method, which helps to increase productivity for many a time.

Products, Programs, and Services

This section should be dedicated to the necessary details that will help to understand what your organization is going to do. You should mention every product and service you offer, as well as come up with an effective program.

You should clarify how your project benefits its investors and the community. Tell what aim it sets and how it is supposed to be met. You should mention the slightest details. These are functions, beneficiaries, expenses, potential problems, outcomes of the project, etc. Mind that you should not overdo. Many inexperienced writers wish to show that they know everything about their topic and add too many unfamiliar abbreviations, jargon and so on.

Your marketing plan ought to reach its goals with the help of investors. Be straight to the point and explain your intentions and their possible profit step by step.

Mention the following necessities:

  • Main activities needed to reach the goal
  • Actual costs and potential investments that may appear due to various factors
  • Anticipated outcomes from the project
  • Analysis of the current market
  • Descriptions of the major audience, competitors, donors, partners, etc.

Make in-depth research. Show how knowledgeable you are. A detailed analysis will convince your potential investors that you are a responsible and self-confident person.

The Do’s and Don’ts

We wish to add some other recommendations concerning this matter. There are certain things you ought to do, as well as some common mistakes that you should avoid. Let’s start with the things that you should obligatorily ensure.

These are as follows:

  • Be straight to the point
  • Use appropriate language
  • Avoid unknown and too complex terms
  • Support your theses with effective examples
  • Add detailed executive summarization
  • Add details about financial aspects
  • Adjust your plan to various situations and audiences
  • Be original
  • Remain enthusiastic about your project

Consider things you should avoid:

  • Too long plan
  • Too many details
  • Technical jargon in excess
  • Overly dynamic style of writing
  • Unclear concepts
  • No support with the evidence
  • Rush transitions
  • Mentioning unclear facts

Try to keep these two lists in your memory. They are crucial and help to write a great marketing plan. Don’t make the typical mistakes that can easily bring to ruin the best ideas.

We wish to add a few words about the format. It should be consistent. Use 1-inch margins and a reasonable size of fonts. If you wish to print your plan, use one of the serif fonts. In case, you intend to provide it in a digital form use sans serif fonts. You should begin a new page each time you go to another section.

Don’t forget to revise. Do it yourself several times and use different revision methods, such as reading aloud or from the end to the beginning. Ask other people to read your project.

6 IT Consulting Business Development Tips

By Ashutosh Jha → Monday, March 18, 2019
Did you know there over 474,000 IT consulting businesses in the United States? Collectively, they employ over 2 million people and generate more than $400 billion in annual revenues.

Is your business one of those making a killing?

As technology advances and the demand for IT services continues to grow, it’s fair to assume every IT consulting business is turning good profits. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. There’s fierce competition for clients and the vast majority of the market is dominated by large firms.

Best IT Consulting Business Development Tips

Which brings us to the point of this article: Top IT Consulting Business Development Tips to Take Next Level.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Offer a Wide Range of IT Consulting Services

IT is a vast field. There’s networks, cybersecurity, hardware, data management, cloud computing, business process automation, virtualization, and more.

If you want to take your consulting business to the next level, it’s crucial that you offer a wide range of services under one roof. Sure, specializing in a certain niche such as big data consulting, is an ideal way to build your authoritativeness, but then you’ll be locking out other opportunities.

Most companies that need IT consulting services don’t prefer working with multiple consultants. They’d rather hire one firm that offers several IT consulting services.

2. Focus on a Local Target Market

As a small IT consulting firm, it’s unlikely that you have the resources to pursue a national market. If you’re doing this, you’re setting up yourself for failure.

Leave the national and global markets to the large consulting firms and focus on a local market. This ensures your competitors are companies you can go toe-to-toe with, and depending on your innovativeness, you can beat them.

Another benefit of targeting a local market is it becomes easier to craft a laser-targeted marketing strategy. Local SEO, for instance, is highly effective when you have a clearly defined local target market.

3. Keep an Eye on Your Online Reputation

What are people saying about your brand on the web?

Considering that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as friends, you have to safeguard your IT consulting firm’s online reputation.

Of course, offering quality services and building positive relationships with your clients is the best way to ensure your business gets positive reviews. However, you can’t make everyone happy.

Some clients will leave negative reviews and complaints on various online platforms. It’s your just to keep tabs on such reviews and take steps to mitigate the damage.

Ultimately, businesses that maintain a positive online reputation have the best chance of growing to the next level.

4. Attend Industry Conferences

Every year, there are tens of IT consulting conferences and events across the country.

Sending some of your staff to these events costs money, but the benefits are worth it. Your company will gain visibility and build valuable connections with other industry players.

Plus, nothing stops you from organizing your own conference! It’s a good way to showcase your expertise and enhance your chances of dominating the local market.

Growing an IT Consulting Business Made Easy

The IT consulting market is on a growth track, which means there are enough opportunities for business owners to cash in on the growth and take their business to the next level.

But you can’t rely on market conditions alone. With the tips fleshed out above, you’re now in a better position to position your firm for growth.

Keep tabs on our blog for more business insights.


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