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How Training Your Employees Can Improve Your Business

Employee satisfaction plays a central role in a company’s success. Because without people who are happy to work with or help customers with requests, the workplace can suffer. How can a business owner help their employees be happier at work, thereby increasing overall productivity?

One solution that’s rapidly gaining traction since the Great Resignation is investing in upskilling employees. Let’s examine this growing trend and how you can use upskilling your employees to improve your business.

This infographic was created by Michael Page, an employment agency for assistant project manager jobs

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Business

Workplace Differences Caused By The Generation Gap

In recent decades, the issue of generational conflict has become increasingly common, especially in the workplace. When generations struggle with different — and sometimes conflicting — ideas about how work is performed, it can create hurdles that businesses must overcome to function smoothly. Below is a brief overview of the generation gap and some strategies for dealing with the problems that arise from divided generations.

For more information for bridging the generation gap in the workplace, check out the companion resource by Goodwill Car Donations.

This infographic was created by Goodwill Car Donations

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Business

5 Ways to Quickly Convert a File Into an Editable Version

There are few things more frustrating than trying to edit a document only to discover it’s  been saved in a format that cannot be edited. Fortunately, there are several solutions to the problem — five of which are presented here. The next time you receive a document from a colleague or your boss that cannot be edited directly, you won’t find yourself pulling out your hair or trying to recreate the wheel because you’ll know exactly what to do to fix the issue.

1. Adobe Acrobat’s Sharing and Collaboration Features

If you’re a business owner, manager or digital marketer, you know how important it is to share and collaborate on documents with clients and colleagues. Adobe Acrobat’s sharing and collaboration features can help you do just that by allowing you to convert any file into an editable PDF.

When you use Adobe Acrobat to create a PDF, you can add comments and markups to the document using the Comment tool. You can also use the Compare Documents feature to compare two PDF versions. If you need to sign a document electronically, you can do so using the Fill & Sign tool.

Once you’re done making changes to the document, you can save it as a new PDF or export it to another file format, such as Word or Excel. You can also share the PDF with others via email or by creating a link that can be shared via social media or instant messaging. If you need to track changes made to the document, you can do so by enabling the Track Changes feature. If you want to password-protect your PDF, you can do that too.

2. Google Drive’s Export as Doc Feature

Google Drive is a powerful tool. The Export as Doc feature can be highly beneficial for business owners and digital marketers because it allows users to easily convert PDFs or other non-editable file formats into editable formats. This can save a lot of time and frustration when making changes to a document. The feature also ensures that all formatting and layouts will be retained when converting a file, which is often important for business documents or marketing materials that require a specific format or structure.

The Export as Doc feature is pretty straightforward to use. Open the file you wish to convert in Google Drive, click on the File menu and select Export as Doc. The file will then be exported as an editable Word document. This process can be reversed by exporting the Word document as a PDF.

3. Microsoft’s Template Create Feature

Microsoft offers a template creation feature that allows you to quickly and easily convert files into editable versions. Upload the file you want to convert, select File and Save As, and decide where you want to save your file. Then, choose either Word Template or Word Macro-Enabled Template, and click Save. That’s it! Microsoft will do the rest, delivering a high-quality, editable file within seconds.

Microsoft’s template creation feature uses cutting-edge technology to quickly and accurately convert files into editable versions. Nobody has the time to rebuild documents, and this feature allows you to convert files to editable documents via the pre-built elements in a template.

If you already have Microsoft Office, there’s no need to download or install any new software. Upload the file you want to convert, select the output format, and you’ll have your file in seconds. Microsoft produces high-quality results that are accurate and reliable, so you can trust that your converted files will look just like the originals.

4.  OCR Online Image Conversion Feature

OCR Online is one of many tools capable of converting an image to an editable Word document. Like the others, there are limitations, but if you have a small, simple file, it just might do the trick.

Exactly as it sounds, this app is an online picture to text converter. It allows you to extract text from an image. Your original file can be a JPEG, GIF, JPG, or BMP, or PDF. OCR Online will convert the file to a text, Word, or Excel format. OCR Online can also scan an email to extract and convert text. And, as you would guess, OCR Online uses optical character recognition software.

OCR Online is very easy to use. You upload your file to the website, choose what language you want to use, convert the image, and save it. As mentioned, though, there are limitations. Online image converters will often lose formatting in the conversion process. Also, you will not be able to edit the new file before saving it, and there is no built-in document security. Lastly, it will not work if you are not connected to the internet.

5. Nitro Pro’s Export File Feature

Nitro Pro’s Export File feature is a handy tool that allows you to quickly and easily convert PDFs into any format you need. Whether you’re looking to edit a document or share it with someone who doesn’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on their computer, this feature is essential.

Using the Export File feature is simple. Just open the PDF you want to convert and click on the File tab at the top of the screen. Then, click on Export File. A new window will pop up, allowing you to choose which format you want to export your PDF into. For example, you can export it as a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, a PowerPoint presentation, or even an HTML file. Once you’ve selected your desired format, click Export and your PDF will be converted on the spot.

Edit Your Files Without the Hassle

There you have it — five ways to convert a file into an editable version quickly. Whether you’re looking to convert a PDF into a Word document or an image into a PowerPoint presentation, each method is sure to get the job done quickly and easily. So, next time you need to convert a file, be sure to give one of these methods a try.

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Business

Short- & Long-Term Effects of Network Downtime in Retail

A disruption in the network can be greatly expensive for a business. Whether it’s at the register or on a browser, the potential losses due to downtime is no joke. For example, on Prime Day 2018, Amazon suffered an outage. The 13-minute interruption equated to a loss of nearly $100 million in sales.

And with 81% of retailers experiencing downtime at least once a year, with most reporting 4-5 outages per year, there’s no wonder why there’s a push to set up an infrastructure that helps combat the issues that come with a disruption of a network. Luckily, there are ways to get on the offensive and combat these inevitable issues. Continue reading for more!

The Dangers of Network Downtime from PowerSecure, a Power Distribution Service
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BusinessManagement

How Carbon Management Programs Can Help Enterprises Adapt to Climate Change

The world is experiencing climate change at a rapid rate. In response to this challenge, companies are taking action to reduce emissions and improve their carbon footprints. A carbon management program can help achieve those goals by identifying ways to reduce carbon emissions and then implement changes that result in lower emissions over time. But why would a company want to do this? The answer comes down to the fact that addressing climate change is good business—and not just because it saves money on energy costs.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on the environment

It’s no secret that the environment has been experiencing increasingly severe weather, rising sea levels, and biodiversity loss. This will only get worse as humans continue to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at an alarming rate.

As a result of climate change and its effects on the environment, many businesses are beginning to feel its impact on their day-to-day operations. Some examples of these effects include:

  • Increased difficulty accessing freshwater resources (due in part to scarcity) makes it more expensive for companies like Coca-Cola or Nestle to produce their products
  • Rising temperatures lead to reduced productivity in factory workers who must work outside all day
  • Hurricanes such as Ian and Sandy have resulted in billions of dollars worth of damage due to property damage, cleanup efforts, and lost revenue

Companies are taking action

As the effects of climate change begin to take a toll on businesses, companies are taking action. They realize that business as usual won’t cut it anymore; they need to get creative and adopt new strategies for sustainable growth.

One such strategy is carbon management programs (CMPs). A CMP is an initiative that involves employees working together toward environmental improvement through educational initiatives, energy reduction projects, and other means. The idea behind these programs is to teach employees how their actions affect the environment and equip them with the tools needed for making environmentally-friendly choices at work.

The benefits of adopting this strategy are twofold: For starters, CMPs can help improve your company’s image by showing customers that you’re committed to reducing its carbon footprint while also encouraging employees’ engagement in environmental issues. Secondly—and most importantly—it will help reduce your overall energy costs. That’s because if everyone participates in these programs throughout all departments within an organization (including top executives), then there will be less waste produced overall.

Carbon management programs can reduce a company’s carbon footprint

Carbon management programs can help companies reduce their carbon footprint, save money on energy costs and increase employee engagement and customer satisfaction. These benefits are not only important to the bottom line but also to employee productivity, health, and safety.

The implementation of these programs is similar in each industry: companies must first identify their carbon reduction goals through a benchmarking study that compares corporate emissions against other businesses in the same sector. Then they create an action plan for how those reductions will be made.

Carbon reporting fulfills stakeholder expectations

Carbon reporting helps companies achieve their goals by providing transparency on emissions and driving awareness of risks, opportunities, and challenges associated with climate change. It also guides how to identify effective strategies to reduce emissions in line with these risks.

This kind of information allows companies to make better decisions about how to manage their carbon footprint—and ultimately reduces costs associated with compliance requirements or penalties for non-compliance.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that carbon management programs are a great way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint, but they also benefit the environment and society at large. The more companies that take action to minimize their impact on the climate, the better off all will be.

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Business

5 Reasons Why Every Business Should Be Using Document Verification Software

The world of business has changed dramatically in the past decade. Digital transformation has completely reshaped how you think about marketing, sales, and finance, but it’s also given rise to new risks and opportunities for fraud. One way you can protect your company and its customers from these threats is by using document verification software. Here are five ways that using this software can help your business do just that

Fraud detection

Fraud detection is a big business, and it’s also a big problem for businesses that lose large sums of money to fraudsters every year. Document verification software can help detect fraud by verifying the identity and location of individuals who are conducting business in person with you or your company. This includes:

Employees: Document verification software can verify the identity of your employees before they enter the building by scanning their credentials such as ID cards.

Vendors: When running on-site training sessions for vendors, you’ll be able to know that each attendee has verified their credentials and location before entering your office space or facility.

Contractors: Contractors may need special permission to enter your facility based on their work schedules; document verification software can confirm that they have permission before they arrive at your front door.

Secure customer data

Document verification software helps protect customer data from security breaches and identity theft. With this kind of software, you can keep sensitive information secure and prevant fraud. You can also avoid security breaches and other data breaches that could potentially put your customers at risk of identity theft or financial loss.

Improve company efficiency

Document verification software can help reduce the time it takes to process documents, the number of errors in documents, and the number of people required to process documents. The same goes for improving efficiency. A report from IDC showed that companies using document verification software saw an average time savings of 14 hours per week spent on manual data entry and data retrieval.

Better identity management

As a business, it’s your responsibility to protect the identities of your customers. Even though you can’t always prevent identity fraud from happening, there are ways that you can make it more difficult. Document verification software can help with this by providing better identity management capabilities.

A document verification solution can also be used to manage your own organization’s identities. For example, if one of your employees leaves a laptop behind somewhere, someone could use the laptop to access sensitive information or do damage to the company by deleting files or accessing customer records and other private information. A document verification system would allow you to track down that person quickly and bring them back into compliance before any major issues occur.

Faster transactions

One of the most overlooked benefits of using document verification software is the time savings it can provide for transactions. With traditional verification methods, such as faxing or snail mail, it can take days for a company to receive documents back from its vendor. This means that the customer must wait until their documents are returned before they can pay for products and services.

When you use document verification software instead of traditional methods, your customers don’t have to wait any longer than necessary once they’ve submitted their documents. They’ll be notified within seconds whether or not they’ve been approved—and if they’re approved, then payments will be processed automatically so you can keep moving forward with no holdups at all.

Conclusion

As a business owner, the last thing you want is to have to worry about security in your office. The fact of the matter is that there are some things you can’t ever fully control, but there are also some things you can do to make sure they don’t affect your business. By using document verification software, you can keep your customer data safe and secure while also managing employee access and providing better identity management for faster transactions.

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Business

Boost Customer Retention Through the Roof With These Strategies

Loyal customers are the backbone of any business. They’re so valuable that some companies, like Amazon and Apple, have built entire businesses around them. But as you probably know, it’s also incredibly hard to find and keep loyal customers. The good news is that even if your company isn’t one of those massive multinationals with billions of dollars at its disposal, there are plenty of strategies you can use to incentivize customer retention—even if they’re only small changes that don’t cost much money or effort. In this artlce, we’ll dive into the details of each strategy so you can get creative with incentives for your customers.

Publicly recognize your loyal customers

Publicly recognizing your loyal customers is a great way to thank them for their business, but it also encourages other customers to buy from you more often. The main benefit of public recognition is that it’s free, so there’s no reason not to do it. Thanking customers publicly can be as simple as sending an email or making a post on social media. You should publicly recognize your most loyal customers at least once per month or whenever they reach a certain milestone.

Finally, be sure that the recognition you give is personal, specific, and heartfelt. This will allow you to show off your knowledge of the customer’s preferences or needs and build trust in future transactions with them.

Create a customer loyalty program

As a business owner, you should be looking for ways to ensure that your customers are happy and loyal to your company. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a customer loyalty program. A customer loyalty program is an easy way for you to reward your most loyal customers and encourage them to return again and again. It will also help bring in new customers who want access to great deals as well.

There are many different types of customer loyalty programs out there; some businesses offer discounts on certain days or weeks of the year while others offer exclusive access to products or services only available through their program. You can structure your program however it works best for you and your business.

Create a feedback loop

How do you know if your customers are happy? That’s why it’s so important to create a feedback loop—a way for customers to give you specific information about what they like and don’t like about your product or service. Creating this type of feedback loop is one of the best things that companies can do to improve customer retention rates.

Here are some examples of how you might create a feedback loop:

  • Ask customers how they feel after they’ve used your product or service.
  • Send out surveys after each interaction with a client (phone call, email exchange).
  • Create social media groups where people can discuss their experiences with others who have had similar experiences (or even different ones) with your brand.

Give your customers VIP treatment

The first step is to recognize your most valuable customers, who are often your best promoters and advocates for your brand. This can be done through some methods, such as sending them regular updates on new products or services, offering them exclusive deals only available to VIP members, or even just making sure they feel like they get special treatment when they do business with you.

Survey your customers to learn more about them

Conducting surveys is an excellent way to learn more about your customers. Surveys can be conducted online, by phone, or even in person. The more information you gather from surveys, the more likely it is that you will know exactly what your customers need and want from your company.

Surveys are a good way for businesses to get feedback from their customers on product development or service improvements. They are also helpful for making sure that all employees in the organization understand what customers expect them to do for their business.

Conclusion

The customer retention strategies in this article can help your business get more loyal customers. They’ll also help you make sure those customers keep coming back for more. You don’t need to do all of these things at once, but they’re worth exploring as you find out what works best for your business.

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Business

Reasons Why Protecting IP Is Such An Important Step For Founders

Locking down funding for a startup or business venture takes a lot of work. One area founders should not overlook is the protection of their intellectual property, or IP, as such protection is not only important to owners, but to those looking to invest as well. Below is a quick look into why IP protection must be kept in mind as founders work to secure investors.

First, what all falls under the term “intellectual property”? Essentially, it is the property of the mind in terms of the product, or outcome, from ideas, information and knowledge generated by you or other members of the team. IP can be categorized in four types: patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks. Often, these points are considered to be the most valuable assets owned by the startup. IP is what gives the budding business a competitive edge in the market and sets it apart from others.

IP represents a significant financial and legal asset, regularly estimated at more than 80% of a company’s total value. Because it is an intangible asset, it is very vulnerable to being copied by rivals or stolen if not legally protected. That’s why safeguarding it properly is so important from the onset. Just as a logo, brand and even the physical assets of a startup must be insured and protected, so too must IP.

Another reason why adequate protection is so necessary is that it has practically no limit on its potential value. Unlike asset classes with fixed values which can depreciate, such as machinery, the value of IP can increase indefinitely. Ensuring it is secured also reduces operational risks during the startup process and down the line.

Having a solid intellectual property portfolio makes new companies more attractive targets for financiers. When this portfolio is well secured and has rights in major markets, it boosts trustworthiness and appeal to backers, as the venture seems ready to be taken seriously. It also creates a strong foundation for scaling the business quickly and extensively.

Protected IP also works as a marketing and sales tool that can be leveraged several ways. For instance, when a company merely wants to sell an asset they have copyrighted, patented or trademarked, the distinguishing symbols of ownership can make the product more desirable. How so? These symbols send the message that the owner believes in the product, or its innovativeness, to such an extent it needs to be kept safe from competitors. This message appeals to customers and investors know it.

The costs of going through an attorney to research, file and protect IP legally may be daunting for startups. However, when the creation and protection of intellectual property is adequately funded, the chances of such investments being recouped are often far greater than the alternative.

For further information on securing funding and what investors want to see in terms of the steps taken to protect IP, please see the accompanying resource.

Infographic provided by Bold Patents, experts on design patent
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Business

The Benefits Of Getting An Alternative Mortgage And How To Choose The Best Lender For You

Mortgages have traditionally been financed in Canada by banks and credit unions that also offer deposit accounts and insurance products. However, today’s Canadian homeowners have plenty of options when applying for mortgages.

Fortunately, financial firms are continuing to develop innovative mortgages that meet the different needs of borrowers rather than pushing consumers to comply with rigid norms. As a result, rather than being excluded from homeownership totally, more people are able to obtain the necessary finance to purchase a home.

Some of the most popular mortgages today are alternative mortgages. But what exactly is an alternative mortgage, what are its benefits, and how can you choose the best alternative mortgage lender? Let’s find out.

What Is an Alternative Mortgage?

An alternative mortgage is any mortgage that does not match the threshold of a traditional home loan. Alternative mortgages may have variable interest rates rather than fixed interest rates and they may charge higher rates than traditional types of mortgages.

This type of mortgage is ideal for borrowers who don’t qualify right away through banks yet still want to buy your dream home. What’s more, these home loans require a minimum down payment of 20% or more.

Who Is an Alternative Mortgage Ideal For?

An alternative mortgage is an ideal alternative for many people who would be, or have been turned down by a bank. When you engage with a reputable mortgage broker, you have a plethora of options. You will have access to a wide range of alternative mortgage options to meet your specific circumstances, whether you’re a first-time buyer, self-employed, or have a lower credit score.

Rather than waiting to make a purchase or refinancing, an alternative mortgage can help you acquire the inexpensive funds you need right now to purchase a home, especially if you opt to work with a mortgage broker.

Benefits Of Getting an Alternative Mortgage

Here are some of the biggest benefits of alternative mortgages.

Tolerance for poor credit history: Non-traditional lenders reserve their lowest rates for persons with poor credit histories. Private mortgage lenders in BC, Canada may even consider lending you money if your credit score is 500 or lower, which is something that regular lenders will not consider.

Faster approvals: When applying for an alternative mortgage, a first-time homebuyer might not need to have proof of income or assets. As a result, the time it takes to get approved for one of these loans is usually shorter than traditional mortgages.

Flexibility: An alternative mortgage can offer more flexibility than a standard fixed-rate mortgage. For example, an interest-only mortgage or a payment schedule with a longer term can provide more flexibility if you have a large amount of money in savings and want to make larger payments over time. If you are self-employed and have a variable income, you may be able to obtain a variance mortgage to fit your fluctuating income.

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