StrategyDriven Business Communications Article

The Top 4 Benefits of Introducing Unified Communications into Your Business

Unified communications sounds like another corporate buzzword, the sort of thing that a bouncy, over-eager sales rep would try and sell to you with vague promises of efficiency and taking your business to the next level. Regardless, there are a number of perfectly valid reasons that introducing a unified communications system into your business is a smart move and one that virtually any business can benefit from.

Really small businesses, where you and your coworkers are few enough and close enough that you can simply speak to each other, won’t benefit from unified communications. However, any business that consists of multiple departments and requires that employees are able to efficiently and easy communicate with one another will benefit from unifying their systems.

Easier to Manage

Having a single, unified system is much easier to maintain and to manage than having a number of different, disparate systems. All of your unified communications go through a single server and can be managed through a single interface. You don’t need to have any hardware on-site, instead everything is hosted in the cloud. Should there be any hardware issues, then backups can take over, meaning that for your business there is little to no interruption in service.

Reduced Costs

Instead of paying for a number of different products, each of which have to be individually managed, a unified communications system is largely cloud-based and the only cost to your business is a subscription fee. For that fee you will be covered in the event of any issues at no extra charge. If yours is a business that needs to make phone calls to other branches or locations, then making these calls using a VoIP (Voice over IP) protocol, such as SIP Trunking as offered by Masergy, is cheaper and more reliable.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Consumers are more vigilant than ever when it comes to demanding that the companies they do business with minimize their carbon footprints. Even if customers are not actively selecting businesses because of their green credentials, being able to tell them that your company takes environmentalism seriously makes it much easier to market your products and services. Switching to a unified communications system is a simple yet very effective means of reducing your carbon footprint and boosting your business’s green credentials.

Improve Productivity

By unifying all of your communications systems you will make it much easier for your workers to get to grips with the most effective ways of communicating with one another. Even if every member of your team has to learn how to use the new system, once they have done so, you will notice some major productivity gains, gains which would be hard to obtain any other way.

A unified communications system offers numerous advantages to any business. The benefits that they bring more than justify the financial cost, as well as the time that you will need to invest in training your team in using the new system.

StrategyDriven Corporate Communications Article

Why Professional Translations Matter in Business

With today’s businesses being more globalized than ever before, there is a much higher chance that language barriers can exist. Perhaps your business is located here in the United States but your manufacturing plant is overseas, and you have overseas customers. What this means is that you are trying to communicate with people who speak another language and just trying to get by isn’t good enough.

Here we’ll take a look at why professional translations matter so much in the business world, and why you don’t want to be taking any shortcuts.

Legally Binding Contracts

One of the most obvious reasons proper translation matters is because you want to be sure the legally binding contracts you enter are exactly what you understand them to be. Signing something only to discover what it means later on down the road is never a good plan. You could end up in an agreement that harms your business, and yet you’re stuck in it.

The Cost of the Translation Pays for Itself

Professional translations don’t come cheap, but what business owners have to think about is how much money it can save them in the end. Again, if you use the wrong wording when drafting a contract in another language, that simple mistake could cost your business a lot of money in the long-run. It’s just not worth taking the chance.

Make Sure Your Messaging is Clear

These professional translations also help you to make sure your messaging is clear. That could be messaging with clients/customers, vendors, suppliers, partners, overseas staff, and anyone else you are hoping to communicate with.

All you have to do is take a look at some of the rather ridiculous examples of real life funny out of order signs on the mantasticpursuits.com site to see just how important the right words are. Without using the right ones, your messaging is lost and often misdirected.

Ensure Your Content is Always High-Quality

Another benefit to using professional translations is that you’re going to be making sure that all the content you put out regarding your brand and its products is high-quality. This is especially important when it comes to your digital content thanks to the newest Google search engine algorithm. You don’t want to risk your website being penalized by Google, thereby missing out on potential business.

A Chance to Localize Your Content

It’s a fact that when you localize your content it performs better not just locally but on a global scale. Part of that “localization” includes understanding the local culture and language, and appealing to them in a way that makes communication accessible by all.

Not the Place to Make Shortcuts

While there are a number of areas that allow for shortcuts and budget cuts, providing high-quality translation shouldn’t be one of them. Making sure that your message is being relayed and understood as it is intended has a massive impact on the actual success of your business. What this means is that the translation service pays for itself.

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article

Keeping Abreast: Aligning Managers With Your Orders

One of the greatest difficulties in business has been and may always be, maintaining a good level of communication. This is especially true for the people you rely on to make your business function from day to day. It goes without saying that the most numerous employees will be junior and or regular staff that are the individuals making things happen at ground level. Here is where the most action takes place, but the most difficult decisions take place higher. As the business owner and leader, it’s your job to keep your workers functioning at a consistent level, getting everyone to pitch in and do their best. However, you’re only one person, and cannot reach out to every single person every day. Your managers are essentially your long arm strength. These people are the ones you trust to make sure your decisions are implemented and carried out as and when ordered. If your managers aren’t in the know and aligned with the company’s direction, this can lead to fallout and massive disruption. Keeping them abreast and knowledgeable should be a part of your modus operandi.

Meetings of superiors

Every week businesses around the world, conduct meetings with employees and superiors. Whether it be in the boardroom, or at the managerial level everyone in the business must be updated and give updates too. Generally, managerial meetings take place after the boardroom meetings whereby executives, partners and stakeholders discuss how various parts of the business are progressing. One way to be ready for the meeting with the managers is to be clued up on all aspects of the business that are divulged to each section and or department. Another way to be planted in this meeting is to know what you require of each manager even before the week has started. This could be things that aren’t even related to the general proceedings of the day and or week. It may be just to get employee holiday paperwork in on time, or discussing sick pay for those who are off work will an illness. The key to keeping your managers abreast is to inform them when you’re ready. All too often leaders just want to get the show rolling and show managers that they are competent enough to lead them and not be hesitant. Unless you have a clear picture of how things are going at ground level, don’t give out orders as this will result in a wastage of time.

A cohesive backroom

Every business has an advanced software interface that employees utilize to remain in the business mainframe. Using their company accounts, managers can sign in to access memos and statistics in their department. Anything from orders, sales, work history, task allocation, reports, and updates are all accessed via the managerial interface. However, the process of signing up and re-signing in are the most fraught moments in this procedure. For security purposes use two-factor authentication with plivo’s sms api. When a manager is first signing in to his or her account, proper verification of who they are must be made not just for security purposes, but to officially have them on record on the servers. If a manager somehow forgets or loses their account information, when resetting a password or changing a username, must also be met with the same level of integrity testing. This can lead to a cohesive backroom of your business, whereby only those permitted are allowed access to sensitive information, which protects your business from wannabe saboteurs.

Encouraging managers to communicate in real-time

When work is being allocated, and in the process of completion, things can often change. It may be because an order has to be altered or cancelled, an error that has been carried over from another department, or simply because the client changed their mind. Managers must communicate with other not just in the interface, but face to face also. When something needs to be changed, it’s all well and good to do so digitally through software because it’s the fastest and easiest form of relaying alterations. However, there is always a culture of rivalry and sometimes egos to play a part. If used properly these are actually great traits to have because it allows your employees to feed off of each other’s energy. However, there should be no such room for invisible territorial lines. Every manager no matter what department must feel welcome in other sections of the business, and if something needs to be discussed in person, this should be encouraged.

Keeping managers abreast of developing situations is the key to aligning your orders with employees. Not only must they be working in tandem in the business online interface, but communicating in person too.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Four Ways to Control How Your Business is Perceived

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
In today’s global economy, competition is fiercer than ever, and businesses need to do everything that can to stand out from the crowd. Understanding and controlling how your business is perceived is crucial if you want to be sure you not only get the attention of your customers, but also leave the right impression.

Ask for feedback

Before you make any changes to the corporate image of your brand or business, you first need to understand what the current perception is. The best way to achieve this is to ask for as much feedback as possible. Don’t restrict your enquiries to your current customer base – they are likely happy with the status quo otherwise they would not be using you. Instead, find out how your brand is perceived by those currently making use of other services, especially those of your closest rivals.

In this digital age, the perception of your business matters more than ever as it is the fundamental reason why consumers choose one product over another. Potential customers don’t only want to be sure that they are getting good value for money for the products or services they buy, they also want to be able to feel good about what they are doing.

Use high-quality promotional materials

Bespoke printed folders with contents that perfectly match the nature of your business are a great way to ensure your company or services are perceived in the way you wish. They not only boost awareness of your brand but also its identity. The flexibility of the format means your folders can contain anything from price lists and press releases to sales brochures or vouchers for special officers. You can also adjust the size of your folder to enable it to carry a DVD or other multi-media material. Position these around your office and reception area; use them for meetings and give them to customers and clients.

Stay on top of your social media accounts

With the right combination of tweets, posts and stories, your social media accounts can help you connect with millions of people all over the world. However, one slip-up can have lasting repercussions. In 2014 a young employee of American Apparel tasked with finding a picture to fit in with a 4th of July celebration posted a picture of what turned out to be the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding to the corporate Tumblr account. The image was swiftly removed and an apology posted, but the damage had already been done with many perceiving the company to be insensitive and incompetent.

Keep on top of your social media and use your accounts as a means to connect with your customers. If a mistake is made, apologize.

Avoid complacency

The world continues to change at a rapid pace, but if your business insists on standing still and doing things the ways they have always been done, it will soon be seen as a dinosaur and get left behind. Always keep tabs on the competition and any key developments in the field in which you operate. By being aware of potential changes to the market well in advance, you’ll be in a position to ensure your products and services remain desirable for decades to come and cement a reputation for being a forward-thinking organization.

How to Pick the Best Web Hosting Company

Because a lot of thought, planning, and money goes into creating the perfect website for your business, you want to be sure it gets the traffic you are aiming for and that the website can handle everything that is thrown at it. This is where the web hosting company comes into play. The web host is the service that publishes your website so others will see it. It provides a company with the actual server space to store all its content and looks after the file maintenance involved in the site. It is easily the most important component in building your site.

So, before you just go ahead and randomly select the first web host that you find, you may want to take some time and use these tips that will help you pick the best web hosting company for your specific needs.

Keep the Three S’s in Mind

A simple way to go about picking a web host is to always keep the three S’s in mind. These S’s are security, support, and speed. Each of these plays an important role, and if even one of these is lagging, the entire site and the user experience will suffer. Each time you investigate a web host, you need to ask about the three S’s and get detailed specifics.

Of course, there is more to it than just the three S’s, these just happen to be the most important criteria to watch for.

Be Aware of Your Specific Needs

It’s also very important that you are aware of your specific needs. It’s hard to shop for a host when you don’t even know what you need. Give thought to the website you are building. If you want to use something simple like WordPress, how much web traffic you are expecting? If you need any sort of special software for the site, do you know what this is and how to get it? Certain hosts will cater to specific criteria, which will help you to narrow down your options and find that perfect fit.

How Reliable is the Server?

Web traffic is fickle in that it will only stick around and stay strong if the website performs smoothly and as it is intended. What this means is that you need a reliable server that can handle your traffic without needing to “time out”.

When speaking to a potential web host you want to ask about their “uptime”, this is the time the website will be up and running, and is reliable. When a website crashes, it’s not unusual to lose more than just traffic, you can also lose out on a large number of potential sales.

What Kind of Pricing is Offered

Budget should always be on your mind when shopping for a web host. You want to find a package that offers everything you need, doesn’t have any surprise costs built in, and fits your budget.

Picking a web hosting company isn’t something you want to rush through. It’s important to do your research, take a good look at your options, and make sure you weigh all the pros and cons before making a final decision.