Marketing

5 Local SEO Mistakes To Avoid

5 Local SEO Mistakes To Avoid

Making it to the top spot in search engine results is something that most companies strive for. What a lot...

How Tech Is Changing The Finance Industry

How Tech Is Changing The Finance Industry

The financial industry has undergone plenty of changes throughout the past couple of decades. As technology continues to transform services,...

How Fender Used Machine Learning And Social Listening Through Social Media For Success

How Fender Used Machine Learning And Social Listening Through Social Media For Success

In the past, all the smartest brands making use of social media have relied on tools that help with social...

5 Ways Technology Has Changed the Way We Do Marketing

5 Ways Technology Has Changed the Way We Do Marketing

Marketing has been a huge factor for businesses for hundreds of thousands of years, but it has changed drastically in...

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How to fix 100 disk usage error in Windows 10 - Avoid 100% Disk Usage Error in Windows 10

Avoid 100% Disk Usage Error in Windows 10

In today’s age, who does not own a computer in some format? Be it a desktop, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone, forty-seven percent of the world’s population utilises technology. You will not be surprised to learn how dependent we have become on this phenomenon.

Be it for looking up a cooking recipe on Youtube or conducting a pay order to your supplier half way across the world – technology and digitalisation has enabled our society to start businesses and increased our standard of living. With the introduction of operating systems such as Windows 10, users are able to rely on technology and enjoy its benefits.

As you may already know, Windows 10 is part of the Microsoft family and was launched on 29th July 2015. It is more than three years old now and getting more successful day by day. Would you like to know the best thing about subscribing to the Windows 10 operating system? It continually updates and is free of cost to its users!

Despite the amazing features Windows 10 owns, it does not come without some flaws. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to fix it. This article will show you how to rectify the error of 100% disk usage on a Windows 10 computer. Even if you are one of the few fortunate ones who has not experienced this, let us still share how you can fix this in case it happens.

Shall we get started?

Okay, the first thing we want to share with you are the various reasons that can cause such an error.

Imagine a user with an HP laptop and has an 8 GB RAM. He feels his personal device freezing a lot or slowing down generally. He clicks on the Task Manager and it is showing 100% disk error highlighted in yellow. So of course, he will press End Tasks in order to try and improve the processes. But it still doesn’t work? What to do? This has been an ongoing problem since a few weeks now for this particular user.

Here are a few typical ones:

  1. The dreaded viruses and malware

You may or not be aware of this: but viruses and malware can creep in to your laptop. Such things take up a lot of resources and limit the space available for your other programs. Hence, inadequate space will exist and slows down your computer.

  1. Problems with hardware

Got any corrupted files on your personal gadget? If yes, then those corrupted files are sending your computer into a loop that incorporates a lot of disk utilisation. You might want to check how old your hard drive is. Even if there is a lot of space available, it could be slow due to incompatibility with the latest software updates.

  1. Superfetch and Prefetch issues

So, these two programs are supposed to enhance your interaction with Windows 10 and improves its performance. How? By forecasting what tasks you might do on your computer and loading those programs in advance into your computer’s memory. Also, they require high disk utilisation.

  1. Google and Skype type applications

As much as we love these two applications, they often are responsible for high disk usage.

Now, let us move on to the actual solution itself and share with you how to correct it. Don’t worry, we got your back!

Take those beautiful fingers of yours and aim for CTRL+ALT+DEL on your keyboard to open up Task Manager. Here, you will confirm that there is indeed high disk usage. Check the processes tab, the disk volume should be highlighted in red. When you look at the left side, you will see all the tasks that are running concurrently. So, try the following:

  1. Disable Superfetch service

Take your cursor and go down to the search bar at the bottom left of your screen. Insert the words services.mc in the box to find Superfetch. Once it appears in the search results, right click on it and select Properties. Find Startup Type and choose the Disable option. Press OK to apply the new settings.

  1. Disable Prefetch

Of course, if we are disabling Superfetch, how can we keep Prefetch running? This will have to be disabled as well and here’s how you do it: Again, go to the search bar at the bottom left of your screen and type in regedit to launch the registry editor.

Okay, now it gets a bit lengthy. This is what you have to type in: KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM. Once there, you need to type in KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PerfetchParameters. (Hey, we did warn you that it’s going to get long!) Double click on EnablePrefetcher and once it launches, change the Value data to zero (the number 0) on DWord window to disable Prefetcher.

  1. Delete viruses and that pesky malware

We seriously hope you have some kind of effective anti-virus application installed on your personal gadget. Launch it and run a complete computer scan to check for viruses and to delete them. Get rid of any files that have been infected by a virus.

  1. Change or update hard drive

You will need to figure out if it is your hard drive causing this specific issue. Hearing any loud clicking sounds? See if there are any other issues involved. If this is the case, the time has come for you to hit your favourite electronics store and to buy a new hard drive. It is highly possible that yours has become too old and you need to upgrade it now. Make sure you buy one that is compatible with your laptop. So, make sure you do your homework! Research the market and see what’s available out there. Once you select your hard drive, you may have to reinstall Windows 10 or whatever operating system your laptop uses. (Psst, we are rooting for Windows 10!) You can also use software online to upgrade your hard disk to a bigger one without having to reinstall Windows 10.

 

costco melbourne line security - The Importance of Concert Security

The Importance of Concert Security

When you think of a concert what comes to mind? Is it a massive arena or stadium show with tens of thousands of people in attendance? If so, then you might want to adjust your expectations a little because a concert doesn’t have to a be a huge event and it might not even be a singer performing. But one thing is for certain a concert security company will likely have been hired, or at least they should have been.

We don’t like to think about it, but concerts even small ones can attract all kinds of trouble. In some cases, this can be extreme like a terrorist attack for example or it might be a lot smaller scale. Drunken brawls and fights breaking out can happen a lot when people are drinking, which is pretty common at certain concerts, isn’t it?

Which is why a concert security company is so very important in today’s society, without one you run the risk of even a small incident spiralling quickly out of control. You might think it’s very unlikely but why take the risk? A concert (even a small one) will usually take weeks of careful planning so why risk all that work going to waste by not hiring security?

Even the big stadiums and arenas that the A-list singers, entertainers, and performers hold their shows at will usually have security provided by a concert security company. So, if the service is being used by the giants at the top then shouldn’t any business benefit from it no matter their size or type of concert they’re holding?

The Business Benefits

Many businesses today hold their own “concerts” they might not be concerts in the traditional sense, but they are still the same thing. For example, a charity or youth center that is hosting a beach party is classed as a concert.

If you work for a school that is hosting a celebratory event at an outside venue or even one on school grounds like a party, then that’s also classed as a concert. When it comes to security a concert is more than just a giant event held in a stadium it can be a small niche event as well.

Many businesses hold their old special celebratory events in a similar manner, don’t they? Which is why concert security is so very important. Many businesses and service providers can benefit from using a concert security company no matter what type of concert they are holding, let’s look at the benefits in more detail below.

Increased Protection

Whatever the concert you’re holding is it will benefit greatly from a strong security presence. Your business might have its own in-house security team, but concert security is a completely different beast and as such only experienced professional will be able to ensure maximum security and protection to your attendees.

Using a concert security company is, therefore, the best way to guarantee protection, they are able to more easily identify possible threats and calm down any rowdy behaviour. Concert security is a specialist area so calling in a professional team to handle it is the best way to ensure high-quality results.

Crowd Management

One of the lesser considered risks of any concert is crowd management and this doesn’t just go for large venues either. Even smaller concerts can still fall into disarray due to poor crowd management and an important part of any concert security teams responsibility is ensuring this doesn’t happen.

If too many people enter at concert venue at once or they aren’t properly organised, then people are at serious risk. Which is why any business hosting a concert (of any kind or size) will be sure to benefit from hiring the services of a professional concert security company. Gate attendants, for example, are an important part of any concert security companies service.

A Security Presence

Just having the presence of some security can make all the difference, because concerts can sometimes bring out the worst in people. They might act more reckless and rash than they normally would especially if alcohol is being served.

So, having the additional support of professionals from a concert security company can help ensure everyone follows the rules and behaves. Anyone who might be tempted to act rash or commit any sort of crime will likely think twice if they see a strong security presence.

Additional Health and Safety

A concert security company will be able to supply a wide variety of specialist security staff including those trained in emergency procedures like CPR and first aid. So, if someone is hurt or suffers from a pre-existing condition you will have onsite help, yes the risk of this might be small but isn’t it always better to be safe?

With the help, support, and assistance of a concert security company you can be sure everyone is protected. Millions of concerts (of all types and size) are held all around the world every year and are safe, secure events. Make sure yours is amongst them by hiring the services of a concert security company to assist you.

How To Find A Professional Concert Security Company

So, now you know the benefits of using a concert security company the question remains how do you find one? While you do have a number of options one of the best is to use a professional security services business.

A professional security services group will likely have a concert security team under its services. By hiring your concert security company through a professional security team, you can be sure you are getting experienced professionals to assist you. This way you can be sure any event will have a professional team supporting it.

Remember concerts come in all sizes some are small festivals set-up by businesses to celebrate anniversaries or events. While others might be huge events with A-list celebrities in attendance, but no matter the size or scope of the event having a strong security presence is essential to ensure everyone in attendance stays safe and secure at all times.

small business employee pay benefit packages - Legal Requirements When Starting a Business

Legal Requirements When Starting a Business

Starting a business can be an exciting time, and its easy for us to get caught up with the excitement and overlook some factors when starting a business.

Although you can effectively run a business using your own rules, there are some legal requirements that should be taken care of before any other aspects of the business.

While these requirements may not seem important on the surface, however according to this bad faith attorneys in Houston there can be some ramifications should they not be in place at the right time.

Registered Business Name

Depending on the niche of your business, you may want to use a business name. If this is the case that you will need to register as a DBA (Doing Business As) or FBD (Fictitious Business Name) which will inform the local government of how your business will be identified.

Even if you’re using your real name as part of the business name, you will still need to register the business in the right way, or you will be restricted to using your real name as the business name, which can hinder future marketing efforts, especially if you’re looking to brand your business.

It’s also worthwhile ensuring that the name you’re planning to use isn’t in use by someone else. Although this can be a time-consuming endeavor, it does mean that you can avoid any potential infringements later on.

Business Permits and Licenses

When running a business, you need to ensure that you have the relevant business permits and licenses in place. The documentation you need depend on the industry you’re operating in, as well as the state the business is situated in. While some states may have similar guidelines in place, it shouldn’t be assumed that these are the same.

There could also be a requirement for federal license should the business carry out services that are regulated by a federal agency.

Operating without the right credentials could mean that the business is fined. How much the fine is can depend on the severity of the reason. For example, those who forgot to file taxes are likely to fare better than those who have been running a business for several years without a license.

Federal Taxes

Although sole traders will only need to complete a personal tax submittal, those who are looking to operate as a corporation will need to ensure that they obtain an Employer Identification Number.

An EIN is effectively a Social Security number for the business and allows business to open business accounts and submit returns.

Even if you’re a sole trader there are still some federal tax obligations you need to be aware of. The US Small Business Administration offers information about the taxes and forms required. The information that’s required may vary from state-to-state, so it can also be a good idea to ensure that you’re operating within the guidelines of the state.

State and Local Taxes

As well as federal taxes, a business will also need to ensure that its up-to-date in relation to state and local taxes. The taxes due often depend on the structure of the business, as well as what state the business is located in.

An example of the taxes that need to be considered will come from payroll, income, sales and property tax.

If the company has employees, then the business will need to ensure that it’s take care of any unemployment taxes relevant to the state. Again, more in-depth information can be found via the US Small Business Administration.

Adherence to Laws and Regulation

When operating as a small business owner, many would be forgiven for assuming that they don’t have to adhere to the same business laws and regulations as a large corporation would, but this isn’t always the case. Although some small businesses may be exempt from certain laws and regulations, there will be others that need to follow the same guidelines.

What business laws and regulations you must adhere to will depend on the nature of the business as well as where it’s situated.

The sectors of the business that laws and regulations apply to can vary, but can include aspects such as finances, marketing and intellectual property.

Become Familiar with Employee Laws

Although you may not be considering hiring employees at this particular moment in time, it can still be worthwhile brushing up on the laws surrounding employees.

Should your business start hiring, you need to ensure that the right tax regimes are in places, as well as making sure that anti-discrimination laws are followed to the letter.

The last thing a business wants to do is have its expansion efforts hindered by a legal oversight.

Open a Business Bank Account

In order for your business to viewed in the right way, it needs to be separated from your personal finances. Although there are many who look to fund their business venture with personal loans, this can be detrimental in the long-run.

Opening a business account gives your business its own identity, which makes acquiring a business loan a much easier endeavor.

The sooner you’re able to open a business account, the sooner you will be able to start building a positive credit profile for the business, which means acquiring capital should be an easier endeavor, regardless of whether you’re looking to acquire a loan, grant or investment.

It can seem like that there is a lot to take care off before the business can operate in the right way, but its important that all the necessary checks are made, otherwise you may find that the business experiences some forks in the road in the future.

cyber security skills itteam master header - Cyber security Mistakes That Many Big Companies Make And Avoiding Them

Cyber security Mistakes That Many Big Companies Make And Avoiding Them

With regards to last year’s WannaCry ransom-ware attack that was suffered by European businesses and hospitals, cybersecurity is still very much an important topic for discussion even in the mainstream press. It should be more important than ever that companies improve their network security after events like that outbreak.

Every day there are security risks to a system and although most of them are not nearly as wide spread or dangerous as the WannaCry attack, it is a very real and constant struggle facing off against these attacks. Interestingly though, huge corporations and even smaller ones too, who had seemingly good security in place still suffered because of threats.

How then can your company make sure it avoids its systems being breached by hackers and viruses? Wr recently had a chat with Digital ID who are the UK’s largest ID card company. One of the key areas they will be addressing this year in terms of security will be to review   the most common mistakes companies make when it comes to cybersecurity, who has access to their data and what would happen if their systems were to be compromised, and with this in mind we highlighted a few things you can also do below that will help keep your business secure.

Becoming Complacent

Complacency is perhaps the biggest cyber security threat facing many companies. Cyber criminals are diligent and patient and spend a long time prodding and poking at defence systems until they can find a weakness. As technology in general continues to evolve, so too does their abilities.

It could be seen this way – that the network security for a company is only as strong as the weakest link it has. When security is complacent, a company is open to threats from the diligent hackers that constantly outdo themselves. You may be pleased that a security breach has yet to happen to your company, but that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. Therefore, it is vital that you are knowledgeable about the latest developments in security measures and take a preventative approach to cyber security.

Failure to Utilise Security Features With All Connecting Devices

With the fact that more and more devices are now able to connect to the net and the establishment and development of the IoT, a seasoned cyber crime expert can find appropriate back doors to access a network. Without sufficient security measures in place such as using security cards to reduce access to networks and hardware. Each and every access point to the internet could be a liability for a company. Whether it is something like a Wi-Fi-enabled fridge or a POS location, anything and everything that can get online should be included in the cyber security systems a company uses.

If it isn’t, a business could make a name for itself being the one company in the world that lost secure customer and staff data because the washing machine on site did not use a secure enough internet connection.

Neglecting To Update Networks

There are two basic forms of updates for security – the updates issued by the manufacturers of hardware and software and the ones internally created. It is vital to update a network, but this is not often done as quickly as it should.

If a company has an undermanned and underfunded cyber security and IT department, it may not have the necessary time to install updates and patches as soon as they are available. This is a problem, mainly because companies tend to release updates as soon as security flaws have been identified.

When a company has located a security flaw, it means a cyber criminal will soon, or may have already, identified the problem. Often hackers work backwards to identify where exactly patches have been installed and just how they improve security measures for a piece of software or hardware, operating system or even network.

One a cyber criminal knows exactly what is corrected, they can develop a way to worm into the network that has not installed the update yet. Installation should therefore happen as soon as possible, whether it is Adobe’s latest patch for Creative Suite or an operating system update from Microsoft.

Other security issues related to updates are connected to programming that has been specifically conceived and written by cyber security or IT departments of companies. It is not enough to just write and use these with a network – they need to be scanned and tested regularly for weak points. When a weak point has been detected, an update should be put together as soon as possible. Although these weak points are more difficult for hackers to spot as they are not looking specifically for these issues, compared to with mass software updates where they can spot the precise issue that has been dealt with it is still important to update the network to reduce the threats.

Relying Solely On Anti-Virus Software

Although it might be okay for home users to rely mainly on anti-virus programs, a company taking this approach to cyber security is more susceptible to attacks. The vast majority of anti-virus software suites are only designed to detect malware that is attacking. As only 40% of attacks to computer systems is thought to come in the form of malware, this is obviously a problem.

No-one is saying you shouldn’t make use of anti-virus software. It should definitely be part of a company’s defence, but it should just be a portion and not the whole thing.

Data Maps

Data in a network is similar to blood flowing through our bodies. The data is important to the survival of a company. Understanding where it comes from, where it is going and what it does on its journey is crucial to the security of a company’s network. Data mapping is used to identify each and every file kept on a network, everyone that has viewed it and its interactions with other files stored on the network. All this and every other detail about it.

Mapping data flow helps to identify patterns in the data. It is possible that comprehensive data mapping could have prevented the WannaCry ransom-ware attack. That particular strain of malware was designed to make communication with the original host at different intervals, which made it hard to detect. Data mapping could have identified that random files having communication with external hosts was a red flag. Which could have enabled cyber security teams to further investigate matters.

Testing Security

Valuable insight can be gained from beta testing. Whether it is simply a new game or an operating system, this testing puts the software or hardware through the strains of being used on a daily basis. It can help to detect potential problems, giving design teams the chance to correct the issues before the software or hardware is released en mass. Security testing is carried out in a very similar way. Before the release of a new or updated security feature or program, it should be tested thoroughly. Remember, cyber criminals are diligent and patient and will prod and poke at something until they find a weakness.

slide - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

Every Monday morning, millions of people around the world head to the office. It’s almost a second home, where we spend hour after hour working away, collaborating with colleagues, attending meetings, joining conference calls and eating packed lunch at our desks. But for some individuals, they’re doing all of the above in an amazing setting. They work for companies that value creativity and have provided employees with a workplace that inspires, a place that employees enjoy. Here are some of the coolest offices around the world:

Company: Lego

lego office campus billund cf moller dezeen 3 - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

Playing homage to the products that have made Lego a household name, the company’s office in Denmark is a collector’s dream. Bookshelves dotted throughout the building display a selection of Lego’s most exciting creations; from Doctor Who memorabilia and Star Wars spacecrafts, to machine-dinosaur hybrids and working miniature vehicles. The layout of the office promotes collaboration within the large central space, while quiet nooks can be found on the perimeter for those looking for a moment of peace. Anyone not in the mood to take the stairs can make use of the giant slide, which provides a great entrance into the main collaboration area. An abundance of windows means the building is flooded with natural light.

Company: Quicken Loans

Qube 2 700x465 - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

Creating an office space for 6,000 employees can’t be easy. However, Quicken Loans took the challenge in their stride and transformed nine buildings into creative workplaces; each boasting its own unique vibe. While each office is different, a theme of vibrancy and openness is evident throughout. Artwork is sourced from local artists, and displayed on the walls and floors. To move from area to area, staff can walk or opt to scooter for more efficiency. Meeting hubs are dotted throughout the campus, ranging in size and theming. For downtime, employees can head to the roof bar, challenge colleagues to a game of ping pong, or burn some energy on the Cleveland Cavaliers replica basketball court.

Company: Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market office by Wirt Design Group Glendale California 04 - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

When Whole Foods Market moved offices in 2013, they wanted to create a workplace them embodies the company culture of family, community, sustainability, health and transparency. Each f these themes can be seen in the resulting offices, in everything from the sheer amount of glass used throughout to the nature-inspired graphics. The heart of the building is the test kitchen. Surrounding the space, a plethora of work stations can be found, offering employees the flexibility to find the environment that works for them. Natural lighting and reclaimed furnishings showcase the company’s promotion of sustainability, while also giving the place a simple and minimalist feel. The many windows also allow colleagues to enjoy great views of the adjacent mountain range while they work.

Company: Ancestry

Rapt Ancestry Finals LowRes 6 700x467 - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

The past and present create a stylish harmony at Ancestry’s office in Utah. On one wall you’ll find a striking, colourful and modern art piece showcased to perfection, while another wall plays host to a selection of antique plates. The theme of the company is ‘human connection’, which can be seen in the employee portraits that are dotted throughout the office, which are accompanied by an archival photograph of one of their relatives (found through the company website, of course). Colour plays an important part in the Ancestry office, showing the migration of different ancestries through time. Meanwhile shared spaces such as the break room are a rainbow of hues, giving the impression that heritage is global. Furnishings give the office a sense of nostalgia, thanks to the worn chesterfields, plush ottomans, and the giant table in the café that reminds employees of a meal with the family.

Company: Adobe Systems

adobe san francisco office 6 - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

In 2016, Adobe decided it was high time that they revamped their office to align with their present-day values. The transformation process involved updates to the Wellness Center, two cafes and Customer Experience Center. It also meant connecting the three isolated towers to create a stylish vertical campus. A breath of new life into the West and East Towers saw the introduction of wood and pops of colour. Oversized bleachers, living room-themed meeting rooms, booths and picnic benches allow employees to work in the setting of their choice. Features like the succulent wall and greenhouse meeting rooms connect the outside to the inside. For those wishing to fully transition out of doors, the rooftop trellis has turned the area into a space for eating, lounging and working.

Company: TOMS

slide - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

On an estate of steel buildings in LA is TOMS HQ. Inside, the buildings original steel rafters and ventilation pipes have become part of the décor, and are complemented by ample reclaimed wood. Traditional desks form one part of the office space, with cubicles separated by pieces of plywood. Meeting rooms are dotted throughout the open place office, tucked into nooks and crannies. Outside, there’s more meeting rooms available; in the shape of safari tents. Motivational quotes are a key part of the TOMS office, with reclaimed wooden strips on the walls displaying some of the company’s iconic charitable messages, and others showing inspirational sayings that resonate with the company ethos. 

Company: Money.co.uk

600 - Innovative Brands And Their Awesome Offices

Housed within a Grade II listed building in Gloucestershire, UK, is Money.co.uk. From the outside, the office is the picture of tradition, with the building somewhat resembling a Victorian castle. Meanwhile inside, vibrant colours and the modern décor are in complete contrast. Each room has a distinct theme, including the Star Wars cinema room, ice cave meeting room and ski lodge area. The themes even continue to the bathrooms, with one devoted to the Rolling Stones and another with a steam punk vibe. There’s a multitude of creative spaces for employees to enjoy, either for work or to socialise in. An on-site gym shows the company’s dedication to promoting health and wellbeing, while the historic yet modern giant polar bear and UV paint-splashed suit of armour give an insight into the company’s sense of humour.

How to Increase Productivity Without Increasing Stress Header Image 1 1 - How to Keep Employees Productive

How to Keep Employees Productive

Regardless of whether we’re looking to hire a new employee or retain existing staff members, there can be times when staff fell they are taken for granted. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the business but keeping employees productive can mean ensuring they feel valued. If a company is unable to showcase this, then it could be that a business ends up spending more time in searching for new employees, rather than set future business goals, but how does a business go about making its employees feel valued?

Offer a Productive Working Space

Many businesses are finding that the layout of the office can influence the productivity of a business. Those with the more old-fashioned grey and brown office segregation setup may find that the workflow is sluggish at best, whereas office space that’s open and inviting is more likely to inspire, especially if co-working spaces are available.

It can also be a good idea to introduce plants into the work environment, simply because they make people feel more comfortable and productive.

Even the cleanliness of a workspace can determine how productive a workforce is, so regardless of whether you need window cleaning in London or office cleaning in Glasgow, you’d be surprised at how a thorough clean can help raise spirits.

Listen to Your Employees

Although an employee may enjoy their role, there still may be aspects that they aren’t happy with. An example of this can be the lack of feedback in relation to a role being carried out. While some will take a role based primarily on the pay, there will be those who have a real interest in your company and what it has to offer. Some will also be looking to climb the corporate ladder, and if their performance is up to spec, then there’s very little reason as to why a higher role can’t be applied for.

A company can only really gauge the goals and thoughts of their employees by engaging with them on a regular basis. Not only will this mean that the employees feel more valued, the business could even benefit from the insight that employees have to offer.

Consider the Implementation of Time-Tracking Software

The truth be told, no business likes to keep tabs on its employees. In the ideal world, a business should be able to carry out a recruitment drive and once the right candidates are in place, the business should operate like a well-oiled machine.

Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t quite work like this, and there can be times where the attention of employees may be elsewhere. The use of time-tracking software installed at workstations can establish as to whether employees are procrastinating, and what the cause is.

Remember, it’s not always because the employee is not interested in the role, as there could be a multitude of reasons as to why an employee is not working but keeping track of their performance allows you deal with the problem quickly and get additional support in place should it be needed.

Ensure that Employees are Treated as Equal

There will be times when a company must show its authority to employees. Examples of this can be the punctuation of an individual or a lacklustre performance at work. However, it’s important that a company can trust its employees and be confident that they’re able to deliver what’s expected of them.

Deadlines can be stress-inducing but hovering over employees as they try to work is essentially saying that you don’t trust them to deliver, which means employees can feel less valued.

Trusting employees will ensure that the business is more approachable, and it’s more likely that employees will gain a sense of fulfilment, which in turn means that there are more suggestions when it comes to new ways of working.

There’s Always Time for Fun

When running a business, it stands to reason that there are goals that must be met. While it can be tempting to ensure employees are working as hard as they can, there’s no reason why you can’t inject some fun into the proceedings to boost morale.

This isn’t to say that the workplace should resemble a creche but allowing for five minutes of fun often means a business is able to enjoy a more proactive workforce.

A business can even introduce fun into its working practices. For example, a company that deals with sales could offer an incentive for the best conversions. It’s simple things like these that can contribute towards a more productive workforce.

Give Employees a True Picture of the Company

There will be times when a new employee is introduced into the company, and only told the details of their role. This can mean that new employees don’t fully understand the nature of the business, which means their approach to the role could be affected.

Those who are given a full overview of the company will better understand its goals and be in a better position to fulfil their role. It also allows employees to find out more about the opportunities available to them should they flourish in their current role.

Overall

Depending on who you speak to, many will have their opinion as to what makes an employee feel valued. Unfortunately, not every company will have the employee’s best interests at heart, which can often mean an opportunity elsewhere may be taken advantage of.

There’s no real science when it comes to creating a productive workplace, it’s really a case of ensuring that employees are fully aware of their role, and should they have any questions or concerns, then the relevant support is in place.

If the business is currently considering an office makeover, then now may be the time to make the investment, especially those looking to ensure that productivity keeps momentum.

The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO for Multi Location Businesses Blog Image1 - 5 Local SEO Mistakes To Avoid

5 Local SEO Mistakes To Avoid

Making it to the top spot in search engine results is something that most companies strive for. What a lot of companies forget, however, is that the top spot is only worth something if it brings in business for you.

It’s great for someone selling information products that can easily be downloaded. For the local dentist, however, it is more important to rank highly in local SEO results. In this post, we will address 5 local SEO mistakes to avoid so that you get this crucial business aspect right.

Why is it So Important?

If you are a pool company such as willshapools.com , for example, you want to ensure that local customers know about you and can find you easily. This means going beyond listing at the top of the search results for “pool companies”

It means that you need to list at the top of the page for “pool companies in Dallas” and also for the exact area in Dallas that you are in. If your competitors get this right and you don’t, guess who will be getting the main lot of business.

Mistake 1: Paying No Head to General SEO

Local SEO requires a different approach to general SEO, but you cannot ignore one at the expense of the other.  A lot of things that have an impact on general SEO will also impact local SEO.

Here are some of the things that both local and general SEO have in common:

  • Your Click Through Rate: How many people actually click through to your site is extremely important when it comes to being ranked highly on a consistent basis. If no one is clicking through to your site from the search page, it will be marked down. This can be devastating to your business.
  • Domain Authority: The idea behind search engines is to filter results and place the most relevant and useful results in front of searchers. One way that Google and the like determine where your site ranks is by considering the domain authority. This means looking at a range of factors like the age of the site, how many quality sites link through to it and how many quality outgoing links there are. Ignore this aspect, and your competitor can easily get the drop on you.
  • Backlinks: At one stage, the goal was to have as many backlinks as you could have. It didn’t matter what sites they were from – the more sites that linked to you, the better you did overall. Backlinks are also important today, but it is more the quality of the links than how many there are. Say, for example, that a government-run health site links to yours. This is considered a high-quality link and will net more points than ten or twenty links from blogs and other non-authority sites.

 Mistake 2: Getting Basic Details Wrong

Google’s search algorithm looks at the basic details on the site, like name, phone number, and address and cross-references these to those listed across various other sites. So you need to make sure that the same details appear everywhere that your business is listed.

This means on your site, your blog, social media sites, review sites, directory sites, etc.

It is important to get this right – people will often look for directions, etc. on sites like Google Maps. If the information is out of date, you risk people not being able to contact you at all.

Mistake 3: Not Getting Reviews from Locals

There are many different review sites out there. You can also ask clients to review your business on your My Business page. You want to aim for a consistent number of reviews here, spread out over the month.

Get into the habit of asking clients to give you a review when you see them. Frequent good reviews will do a lot for your local SEO rank.

There is one caveat here – aim for a few reviews over the course of the week, rather than having your site blasted with reviews all in one day.

Having too many reviews at one time looks a little suspicious to Google. Say, for example, you have no reviews on your page today and tomorrow suddenly fifty or sixty come in. It’s going to look fishy like it was done to improve your SEO.

And, while we know that this is the reason to do this, it’s something that could cost you points with Google itself.

Mistake 4: You Don’t Have a My Business Page with Google

Google is the largest of the search engines, and so you want to do everything possible to boost your credibility in Google’s eyes.

This means having a My Business page set up with Google and ensuring that the information on it is complete.

There is another reason to do this, though, aside from for SEO purposes. If you don’t claim the page yourself, someone else with malicious intent might.

Get in there, make sure that you complete all the fields, load quality photos and make sure that you have an excellent description of what your company does.

Take some time to make sure all the categories and tags are correctly filled in, and you are way ahead of most other business owners on the net.

Mistake 5: Ignoring Potential Negatives

It is important to keep up to date on the best way to optimize your page. You also need to make sure that you know what might mark you down so that you don’t make these mistakes. Here are some common problems that could cause issues with ranking:

  • Using the wrong category: Your My Business page must be carefully completed. If you don’t complete the correct category, your business will not be shown to potential clients. Worse still, it could come up in searches that have nothing to do with your day to day business. Now, while that doesn’t seem like a big deal, it can mean having fewer people clicking through to your site, or people that click away fast. This can destroy your ranking.
  • Providing the wrong details: Let’s say that you have listed your address as 51 Smith Street on one directory site and as 15 Smith Street on another. It’s not a difficult mistake to make, but when the search engines compare the data, it looks as though you have provided a false address. All your business information must match.
  • Malware present: If there is any hint of malware on your site, the search engines will label it as unsafe, and it won’t feature in search results.
  • No physical address: This is extremely important. If the site has no physical address, it automatically appears less credible. Why wouldn’t a legitimate business list their address?
  • Having tons of negative reviews: Okay, you are going to get one or two negative reviews. It’s the cost of doing business. It becomes a problem, however, when you have too many negative reviews and few positive ones. That’s where it pays to ask clients for reviews. People may need a little nudging to leave a positive review, but they’ll be pretty quick to jump in with a negative one.

Local SEO is more about applying good common sense than anything else. You need to prove to search engines that your site is credible and worth recommending. Once you get this aspect right, your business is going to take off.

18293552513 e473df2764 o - How Tech Is Changing The Finance Industry

How Tech Is Changing The Finance Industry

The financial industry has undergone plenty of changes throughout the past couple of decades. As technology continues to transform services, processes, and more, we’re only going to see more changes from here on out. Whether it’s existing technologies that are being developed further or groundbreaking new ideas that have just been implemented, technological advances will continue to reshape the finance industry.

Advances in technology don’t just affect the finance industry itself, but also its employees and consumers. Most tasks have already moved from paper-based to digital as the financial services industry continues to be disrupted by technology.

FinTech on the rise

For decades it was considered borderline impossible for new companies to break into the financial services industry. Alas, no longer. FinTech companies such as Creditfix have been finding new ways to not only get into but even disrupt the financial services industry. These so-called disruptors are relatively young companies — often startups — that successfully implement innovative ideas and grow at a hare’s pace.

Whether it’s insurance or mobile payments, there’s no area of the finance industry that these disruptors can’t reach. These companies often attack the most profitable elements on the value chain of the financial services industry. Even large corporations worry that their dominance could be quickly overthrown by a single FinTech company in a timespan of less than a decade.

The number of investments in FinTech tripled worldwide in 2014 for a total of over $12 billion. Even banks have spent around $215 billion on information technology, software, hardware, and contractors just to keep up with the competition. All of this spending to stay up to date in the FinTech game is making a huge impact on the finance industry.

Financial carpooling

It started with Uber allowing you to share a ride with individuals headed the same way as you, now you could be sharing more than just a spare seat. In a few years, consumers may look elsewhere for their banking needs rather than going to the nearest Wells Fargo or Bank of America.

The system dubbed “sharing economy” is now expanding beyond transportation and accommodation — it’s headed straight for the financial services industry. The so-called sharing economy will consist mainly of decentralized asset ownership — similar to the cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum that we see today — that utilize IT and machine learning to make matches between users and providers of capital.

This alternative to getting a bank loan may not seem like much, but in the grand scale of things, it is an absolute game changer for consumers.

Blockchain

As the funding and innovation in the blockchain industry only continue to grow, blockchain and cryptocurrencies will begin to conquer lands beyond retail purposes which means that we could see Bitcoin being used at an institutional level.

While the majority of these blockchain companies may not survive the next decade, the blockchain industry will become an integral component of the technology and operational infrastructures used by financial institutions.

Automation

During the early days of automation, the finance sector was among the first industries to capitalize on its potential applications and benefits. From automatic trading platforms that can autonomously trade stocks, ETFs, and currencies, to machine learning software that could predict — to an extent — whether or not a stock would rise or fall, the financial industry has been reaping the benefits of technological automation ever since its inception.

Recent studies show that automated banking could replace as much as 30% of bank jobs worldwide over the next decade. Further advances in the field of automation will make the use of financial services faster and easier for consumers.

Breakthroughs in the big data and analytics field have also helped the automation industry improve its already impressive system. For instance, automated financial advisors could collect data, compile it, and use it to determine the best course of action for a client — all in a matter of seconds, no less!

Going digital

Around twenty years ago, a large number of financial institutions created e-business units to capitalize on a trend of e-commerce interest, and, as time passed, this became the new norm for businesses.

Large investments in technology and internet development brought businesses to a level of efficiency never before seen. Today’s digital landscape covers a wide range of areas from operational efficiency to customer experience, to big data and analytics.

One of the biggest industries that has gone digital is the commercial banking field which has utilized advances in technology to improve their infrastructure for taking payments, selling insurance, growing client accounts, and giving out loans.

Big data

Big data is a crucial part of any strategy aimed at increasing revenue and profit margins. It’s important to have an in-depth understanding of what your consumers hold dear to their hearts. In the olden times, customer feedback was limited to surveys and focus groups, and the data gathered was often unreliable.

Technological advances have given companies the opportunity to gather individualized and accurate data about the behavior of their customers. Knowing what the end-user of a product or service does, wants, and needs is paramount to offering the most value while still maximizing profit.

Skynet

Self-learning machines are no longer limited to the world of science fiction. While it’s not exactly Skynet-caliber, artificial intelligence software that possess the ability to learn on their own are already helping financial institutions pinpoint the source of issues, mitigate risks, and lower operating costs by increasing the efficiency of internal and external systems.

Machine learning developers often focus on implementing basic human qualities such as self-education, pattern recognition, reasoning through logic, and even the ability to understand emotional and social queues.

There are already existing robots that can recognize specific objects, analyze the environment around them, and converse with homo sapiens in a human tone. If you’re skeptical, just have a look at the performance of self-driving cars in live, on-the-street tests.

As time goes on, robots will be able to perform increasingly complex tasks. While there are still some technological hurdles that face the development of sentient robots, the next few decades will slingshot the robotics industry to new heights.

Should you start preparing for the point in time where robots become too smart to follow orders and declare war on the human race? While that scenario is quite unlikely, being prepared certainly couldn’t hurt.

 

9357 forex trading wikimedia - The Beginner’s Guide to Forex Trading

The Beginner’s Guide to Forex Trading

The trading of currency is something that appeals to many people, especially if there’s a profit to be made. However, it’s not as simple as buying some currency and then reselling for a profit, as there are other factors that can determine as to what the outcome is.

Everyone has to take their first steps into the world of investing at one point or another, whether its using Elliott Wave Theory or other methodologies, but that doesn’t mean we should look to run before we can walk.

Many people will be keen to make a profit when it comes to forex trading, but this shouldn’t mean we have to make a series of losses along the way.

Profit Is Never Guaranteed

One of the major misconceptions of forex trading is that you can become a millionaire with the week. The truth is that trading in forex is just like any other form of investment, in that you put your money at risk each time you make an investment.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t rewards available to you, as thousands of people have found forex trading to be very profitable, but it’s important that we approach forex trading with clarity.

PIPs Explained

The forex exchange rate changes frequently, and it’s not unusual to see currencies listed in four decimal places. You may hear changes in the exchange rate referred to as PIPs, which is an acronym for ‘price in points’ So if an exchange rate of 1.501 has risen five PIPs, the updated rate would be 1.506.

Understanding Currency Pairs

Whether you’re new to investing or you’ve had some experience, you will find that currencies are traded in pairs. The first currency symbol in the pair is known as the base currency. For example, if EUR/USD was given an exchange rate of 1.1431, then one euro would equate to 1.1431 Euros.

Should the base currency rise, then this shows will mean a rise in value. This will also show that the paired currency is dropping in value.

Long-Term or Short-Term Investing?

When approaching the world of forex trading for the first time, it can be difficult to ascertain which strategy to use. While everyone will have a preference, those looking to make an investment for the first time with minimum funds will probably be better suited to a long-term investment.

The reason for this is because short-term investments can last mere hours, which can mean more work on your behalf. If you’re happy with this, then there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t embrace it. However, as the profit margins will be relatively low for a small investment, the man hours spent staring at a screen don’t really pay off.

However, patience is a virtue, and you’ll soon become comfortable with the forex trading industry and how different commodities are affected by different factors.

Once you have a better understanding of forex trading, you will be in a better position to widen the profit margin, but in the early days, it should be more about learning how investing works as opposed to making a profit with money we may not have.

Don’t Over Complicate the Process

When making investments for the first time, it’s easy to assume that you need a slew of tools at your disposal, but as long as you know how to use one or two, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make some headway in the forex industry.

One common investment can be software that integrates the Elliot Wave Theory into modern-day trading. This software effectively simplifies the theory introduced by Ralph Nelson Elliot in the early 1920’s that focuses on cycles and market trends.

There will be many versions of such software online, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, it’s merely a case of finding a platform that work for you. If you’re a little spoilt for choice, then it may be a good idea to see if there are any free trial that you can make use of.

Consider Practicing with a Demo Account

People learn in different ways. While some may be able to look at a series of instructions and follow them to the letter, some learn more from the mistakes they make.

When you’re dealing with real-life currency, there isn’t much room for error, but what other option is there when it comes to learning the ropes?

When looking at brokers, it can be wise to consider an option that offers the use of a ‘demo account,’ which effectively emulates real-life trading using dummy funds. While you won’t be able to take advantage of any profit you make, it does mean that your funds aren’t at risk during the early days of trading.

Once you get a feel for forex trading and the way it works, then you can easily switch over to your real funds and enjoy the benefits.

Always Make Notes

When you start a new job or educational course, you tend to take note. For some people, this means a point of reference, whereas others can remember more by writing it down.

Although the process of forex trading seems relatively black-and-white on the surface, there can be much more that lies beneath.

Although there are many reference points available to you online, there’s no real experience like your own, and who knows, you my even find a few tips of your own that you can share with others.

When trading in forex, the first steps can be a little worrying and turbulent, but you will soon find that you’re able to adapt quickly, and be buying and selling foreign exchange with relative ease.

golf slider 3 e1521194212434 - Tips For Planning Your Corporate Golf Tournament

Tips For Planning Your Corporate Golf Tournament

One of the most effective ways for your business to network and promote your services and customers on the golf course, is by hosting a corporate golf tournament. While it might sound like something of a daunting task. Particularly if you have never held a corporate golf event ever.

However, with the right help and most crucially, planning and preparation, you can host a successful golf tournament for your company that couples as a perfect way to promote it.

Establish a Committee For Your Event

It can be something of a full-time job, the planning and hosting of a golf tournament, even for experienced event planners. It is best to appoint someone as the director of the tournament and set up a team that will help make your event happen.

Although the responsibilities and members of these committees will be determined by your own requirements and resources, you should give thought to assigning someone in charge of the following points below.

Choose A Date For Your Event

This is obviously the date that all of the planning and preparation revolves around. Set it so it is far off into the future, six months at the very least, to allow for enough time for anyone you invite to the event to set aside time to attend it.

Find A Golf Course For Your Golf Tournament

It is crucial to find a golf course and sign on a contract for it as early into the planning process as possible. The golf clubs that are best for corporate tournaments are also likely to be good resources for various other aspects of your planning.

In addition to the course and other amenities related to golf, the golf club will normally be able to help with the food and drinks services that are available before, during and after your event; registrations of players and organising the award ceremony for after the tournament.

Decide Upon A Theme For Your Tournament

By having a specific theme for your golf tournament, it will help set it apart from the many others out there. The theme could be in support of a local community group or charity, or in honour of a special guest.

Calculate And Stick To A Budget

Just like anything else connected to your business, calculating and sticking to a budget will help with your golf event planning. Along with the budget you have for promoting your event, you may decide on charging a fee for playing in a golf tournament, as well as any sponsorship funds.

These costs could include anything from basics such as cart rentals and green charges, to whether you want to make investment in insurance to include big jackpot, high profile hole-in-one competitions.

Get Help From Sponsors

The more organisations and companies you can find to help with the sponsoring of your tournament, the better. Whether this is through donation of the products or services you require, or supply of the prizes you want for competitions or by running mini-competitions. This will all help to make the event more appealing and more cost efficient for your company.

Choose A Tournament Format

The choice of the formant of your tournament will determine the degree to which your event attendees will enjoy it. If you know a lot of people who play golf regularly will be attending, a shotgun-style event, that involves players starting from different holes on the course and playing their rounds at the same time, will ensure you have most players on at the same time.

A popular choice for events is a Scramble or Best Ball if you know there will be players with varying golfing abilities. With these styles of play all golfers tee off and take their next shots from the spot where the best shot in the previous round landed.

Decide On What Events And Or Contests You Will Have

There are various kinds of events and contests, both off and on the golf course, that can make the event livelier and more engaging for all in attendance. Whether it is hosting silent auctions as fundraisers for charities or ‘closest to the hole’ contests, there are various ways to make your golf tournament and event stand out.

Make An Invitation List

The type of tournament format you decide upon will determine the number of people who can be invited to your event. For example, for a ‘shotgun’ style tournament involving only one tee-off time, means it is conceivably possibly that you could have 72 golfers playing, with four to each hole.

Work Out A Communications/Marketing Plan

Along with sending invites, you may way to keep in contact with event guests via postal mail or email. You can increase interest in your tournament by announcing events, sponsorships and new prize etc. as and when they happen.

Carefully Plan The Event’s Logistics

It is important, if you are not going to take on the job yourself, that you assign one person at least with the responsibility of ensuring that everything goes according to plan on the big day. This includes aspects such as the registrations at the start of the day and the prize tables through to the guest speakers and award ceremony that will be held later on.

As you can see, there are a number of very important steps to organising and running a successful corporate golf tournament event. From the course to the number of guests, the type of tournament you are going to host, and everything in between require meticulous forethought and planning.  If you don’t want to take on all this by yourself or even through members of your team, you should consider hiring professionals who know what they are doing. Professionals like a Golf Event Management team.

They have the experience and know-how because they spend their time planning and running golf events for corporate and other clients. With their help you could just sit back or tee off and enjoy the event without all the hassle and harassment of trying to run it as well.