2017 Technology Trends for Small Business

Small to medium-sized businesses are expected to contend with cloud adoption, the internet of things security, mobile payments, Al chatbots, and collaboration that will tool in the year. Technology may mature rapidly or emerge this year while such businesses are dealing with a continuation of trends in the world of Information Technology. However, some of the main topics will not fade away. A perennial concern remains in the cyber security system. As different threat vector change, the signs of security in information are changing. The cloud adoption is also expected to continue advancing. Chatbots are the special artificial intelligence tools that will invade the way business is operated. Comprehensive mobile solutions that include mobile payments will also be seen in this industry. As more options spring up, collaboration tools will be expected to increase. Click here for more information.

IoT Security Remains a Hot Topic of Discussion

The security of the internet of things is now one of the hottest topics for the past few months. Therefore, it will become a hot thing in technology trends in 2017. As small businesses bring more devices connected to their offices and stores, concerns about security will always be raised and expected to grow further.

The rise of malware like the Mirai has the capability to infect devices and turn them into botnets. These botnets conduct a distributed malware attack to deny the small businesses services using their computers. According to a survey conducted in 2017, security practitioners and Information Technology have seen an increase insecurity measure among small businesses that have most devices connected to their stores and offices using the internet of things.

While IoT is a new thing in the world of technology and business, we expect it to have many security challenges. However, the rise in technological advancements through the internet of things will have this problem solved with the coming years.

Cloud Computing Becomes a Norm

According to the state of SMB’s Cloud norm, SMB cloud adoption has risen with the rise in aggregation within the past few years. Over 70 percent of large companies are storing and processing their data using the online capability provided by cloud computing. Over 90 percent of market firms, according to the same research, have adopted the use of cloud computing. The factors that drive this mass adoption of cloud computing include cloud-based back-up and archiving, cloud storage devices, the adoption of basic and mobile collaborative applications, and the continued presence of employee mobile devices. Small business can take the comfort of putting their data in the public cloud. By the end of 2017, IT professionals will be expected to deploy more cloud-based services.

Artificial Intelligence comes live Through Chatbots

While small businesses are actively adopting the use of artificial intelligence on a massive scale, chatbots are the main form of artificial intelligence experienced in those businesses. Large companies use powered chatbots to engage in conversations with their clients and customers to enhance better service and production.

All these technology tools …

Evaluate Risk and Returns of your MF using a Mutual Fund Calculator

Risks are involved in every venture, and this is applicable to the mutual funds as well. Before investing in a mutual fund, you should be aware of the risk and returns associated with it. How can you do so? Here, we have listed certain factors associated with evaluating risks and returns of the mutual fund.

The following information is derived from the historical performance of the mutual funds. When you analyze previous statistics, you can estimate the future performance by performing mathematical calculations. Although this is not an exact measure, it can provide an estimate of the performance.

What are the Risks in Mutual Fund Investments?

  • Market Risks – The value of the mutual funds is driven by the market happenings. Hence, mutual funds are subjected to market risks. High volatility carries higher risk with it. Market risk should be analyzed before proceeding with the investment.
  • Currency Risks – If you are investing in offshore instruments, currency risks come into play. With the depreciation of one currency with respect to another, you can either gain or lose thereturn on your investment. Although you cannot predict the exact risk, you can derive an estimate. For example, if Rupee is depreciated against US Dollar, you will earn ahigher return if you invested in a US fund.
  • Industry Risks – Similar to market risks, but it is concerned specifically with an industry. If the particular industry witnesses a downfall, the stock prices will go down and vice versa. To prevent this, you should analyze the latest happenings in the industry.
  • Interest Risk – The interest rates are always changing and thus, it may affect the valuation of the equity and debt instruments. But, the effect is temporary and it may get better with time.
  • Country Risks – A lot of happenings in a country may affect your investment. For example, if there is a political unrest or any natural calamity, it will negatively affect your investment. If there is a new policy promoting growth in the industry, your investment may witness higher return.

You can analyze the potential of investing in mutual funds by using any mutual fund calculator, for which I highly recommend this website.

Parameters to Evaluate Mutual Fund Return

  • Risk-Adjusted Returns –Analyzing the risks associated with the mutual funds in the past and analyzing the percentage of returns associated with it, we can determine the most appropriate funds for investment. If the return percentage is same over a certain period of time, the particular mutual fund has a higher Risk Adjusted Return.
  • Benchmarks – There are certain standard industry measurements that can be used to determine the potential of a mutual fund investment. BSE Sensex and CNX Nifty are the major benchmark indices in Indian stock market.
  • Fund Manager Capabilities – Since trading will be done by a fund manager, it is necessary to peek into the capabilities of the manager. A successful fund manager should have a great track record. Moreover, decision-making skills are equally important.
  • Quality

Do you know how much your company

Do you know how much your company is spending on printing, copying and faxes? If the answer is no, then you’re not alone. In many businesses printing is something that tends to happen below the management radar, so there’s little or no control over its costs and efficiency.

Of course, you can only take control of something if you can measure it, so understanding your existing set-up is the first step.

What Is a Print Audit?

A print audit from a company like http://www.xeretec.co.uk/services/print-audit is conducted to gather information on printer use, how printing resources are accessed and the operational costs that are involved in these activities.

It’s important to define the remit of the audit at the beginning of the process. Does it, for example, need to include things like photocopying and faxing? Does it take account of printing jobs contracted out to third parties, such as printing brochures and sales material?

The first stage of a print audit is usually to collect usage information from existing systems. Printer hardware always includes some form of copy counter which can be interrogated to find out how many pages are being produced. In the case of multi-function devices, this information should also be able to tell you how many of the pages produced are prints, how many are copies, and the proportion of jobs produced in monochrome and colour.

As well as the volume of printing, it’s also important to know where the jobs are coming from. You may have networked printers that are accessible by many people and also individual machines attached to desktop PCs.

You also need the audit to look at the cost of printing – not just the capital cost of the equipment, but how much you’re spending on consumables, on power and on maintenance costs. The costs of contracted-out printing need to be examined too. For many companies the total cost of their spending on print activity can come as a bit of a surprise.

Where Next?

Armed with the audit information, you can begin to look at streamlining your operation and bringing your printing costs under control. In some cases this may mean making just a few minor changes in order to optimise your print operations. In others it may require a more radical approach.

If an infrastructure change is required, then you have the opportunity to use the audit results to position printing equipment where it’s most needed. You also can take greater control of who is allowed to create prints and in what format. There are security implications here too: if your company deals with sensitive information, then you’ll want to have control over what is printed out. This in turn will help with compliance when it comes to implementing new regulations like GDPR.

All businesses are under pressure to cut costs. Understanding your print requirements is a step towards ensuring that money isn’t being thrown away on inefficient operations and unnecessary printing. Carrying out a print audit is the first stage of …

Legal cashiering is a specialised job

Legal cashiering is a specialised job. Managing the finance and accounting functions of a solicitors’ firm, particularly one handling and holding large amounts of client money, demands deep understanding of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules and Code of Conduct. Any breach or slip-up opens the firm up to the risk of charges of money-laundering or fraud.

In-House or Outsourcing?

Traditionally, firms have conducted their legal cashiering in-house. However, as regulations surrounding the area grow ever more complex and cost pressures mount, more and more firms are recognising the advantages of outsourcing this function.

It is, of course, essential to choose the right provider. Relevant experts, such as Pinpoint | Outsourced legal cashiering service | Cloud based software, are always happy to discuss their tailor-made services, allowing firms to assess the benefits for themselves.

Focus on Your Business

Engaging an expert to manage its accounts allows a solicitors’ firm to focus on its specialism of providing excellent client care. Fee-earners need only record their fee-earning activities and disbursements. Providing the legal cashiering service with daily email notifications of incoming and outgoing monies is then all that is necessary to allow them to do the rest.

Personalised Service

Engaging a legal cashiering service does not mean giving your firm over to a faceless call centre or help desk. The best legal cashier services ensure each firm has a named cashier and deputy to provide a personalised and easily accessible service. At least one of these individuals will always be contactable during the working week.

Cloud Access for Business Continuity

Legal cashiering providers offering cloud-hosted services mean that client firms have 24/7 access to files and finances.

Compliance and Reconciliation

A legal cashiering service will take away the administrative and intellectual headaches of ensuring that your firm complies with all the latest industry regulations. They will ensure this is done in a timely fashion so as to avoid all risk of financial penalties. It will also ensure all bank accounts are reconciled in order to satisfy the firm’s obligations under the SRA Accounts Rules.

Interactive System

Many legal cashiering services recognise that just because firms outsource this aspect of their operation, it does not mean they do not want to monitor their accounts data. Consequently, excellent legal cashiering services offer fully interactive packages.

Cost Savings

Employing an in-house cashier inevitably involves overheads. Some, such as salary, training and office space costs, are fairly predictable. Others, including recruitment costs, can surprise employers at inopportune moments. Outsourcing the cashiering function replaces these overheads with a single, predictable and affordable monthly fee.

Smooth Out Cash Flow

External cashiering services are experienced at claiming back money due from clients. They will also watch for the late arrival of monies due or anomalous amounts received and ensure appropriate remedial action.

Accounting Issues

No small matter for any business, accounting issues can be particularly complex for law firms. External cashiering services can help streamline this process by ensuring all accounts are kept in good order. It will also be …

We all know what makes bad office design

We all know what makes bad office design. It’s just common sense, really. Cramped, dirty and dark, overheated or too cold, draughty offices with cluttered old furniture and impractical work spaces will make for unhappy workers, high turnover, low productivity and more days lost to sickness.

So it is no surprise that a well-designed, bright and airy office which takes its workers’ comfort into account at every turn produces more creative, more efficient and happier staff.

But how easy is it to create a well-designed office? What elements are the most important, and how can you go about achieving them? Here we take a look at some of the more important factors.

Functional and Practical

Perhaps the most obvious element of good office design is that is must be both functional and practical. That is, the office must be fit for purpose. There’s no point having a fantastic-looking office space which your workers find inaccessible and impossible to actually work in.

So there must be enough space for all of your employers, including the part-timers, and that space must be carefully set out so everyone has somewhere they can call ‘home’. Even in offices where desks are shared, it is important that your workers can feel a sense of ownership for the space they use. If they are allowed to personalise this space, all the better.

Flexible and Future-Proof

Another important element of any office these days is that it should be flexible, so you can easily change it according to your business’s varying needs. For instance, if you have a special project which requires an influx of temporary staff, you need to have somewhere to put them.

In addition, you should be able to adapt your office space as and when it needs it. So the ideal situation is an office which fits your usual needs – say, small offices for meetings, break-out areas for less informal chats, and a large open-plan space to house the main body of staff – but which can be changed at minimal notice.

Being future-proof, too, is an important consideration. This means having an office which is simple to move around, with space for your business to grow if necessary. You don’t want to get stuck with a tiny rigid office where everyone is crammed in, leaving you no room for manoeuvre.

Comfort Is King

The key to every good office is comfort. And this doesn’t just mean having armchairs in the break-out area. Comfort is also so much more than just an adjustable chair to sit on – it’s having the right lighting levels, the correct temperature in all weathers and space to move around when you need to.

So a well-designed office makes the most of its natural light or uses carefully planned artificial light in its place so there are no dark corners or overlit areas. It also has excellent air-conditioning systems which can easily be adjusted when the weather turns warm or cold so every member of staff is …

Risk management and mitigation

Risk management and mitigation are key parts of land and property management today. One of the mitigation measures that can enable risk scores to be reduced is the purchase of insurance against the wide variety of environmentally based claims that can arise.

One of the difficulties in pricing insurance policies is the problem in costing any remediation work that the client would have to pay for in the event of a proven environmental liability. This can arise in the case of an accident, such as spilling of a pollutant, biodiversity damage, fire, contamination of water supply, or from problems with the way the land is being used.

It is also sometimes necessary to take out a supplementary environmental damage or pollution insurance policy because of specific exclusions in the general insurance policies that are held by the land or property owner.

Remediation Costs Have Risen Significantly Both EU and UK laws have been amended recently, with the result that the potential cost of remediation has risen significantly. In both property and liability insurance policies, pollution is frequently excluded from cover. This has led to an increased recognition that environmental liability insurance is important and a growth in the availability of insurance policies that cover environmental risks. However, it is essential to take expert advice before buying a policy, as the risks covered vary widely from one policy to another.

Sometimes the landowner simply does not know the level of risk or possible pollutant involved in acquiring a site or business. However, there are large databases covering this area – it’s important to check that your insurance agent has access to one of these so that they can accurately advise you.

As noted previously, remediation costs can be hard to estimate, so you can find yourself over- or under-insuring because of a lack of clarity on how much a clean-up would cost in various circumstances. An expert insurance adviser will have computer programs that can analyse and accurately estimate remediation costs so that you can be sure you are covered for the correct amount.

There are a number of extra optional areas you may wish to cover. These range from loss of rent to reputational damage, the cost of cleaning up contamination by non-regulated materials or the transportation of possible pollutants from one place to another.

Beware a “Generalist” Approach
Unfortunately, environmental policies that are sold by non-experts can prove almost useless in practice – for instance, if they were drawn up to cover a different type of risk than the one facing the client. One of the key liabilities of a new land or property owner is that they are liable for remediation costs of any contamination on the land if the original polluter cannot be found. Furthermore, even if you contaminate only your own land, you must carry out remediation work at your expense.

Many generalist insurance agents and brokers can accidentally leave their clients without cover for losses that are contamination-related. They can believe that the pollution exclusions …

Ways Is CBD Oil Prepared?

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The Roto-Vap heats typically the alcohol solution, causing this kind of to vanish. Instead of evaporating into the air, the Roto-Vap reclaims a person’s …

ain5 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name

Your business deserves the best domain name that you can come up with. It is important that you take some time over the process of choosing your domain name and give it some careful thought. You want your potential customers to find you easily and to like what they find.

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Follow these top tips to select a domain name that will help your new business succeed in the digital world.

1. Weigh Up All of Your Options

According to Digital Marketing Magazine, a new programme launched in conjunction with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released 1200 new domain suffixes to the internet. You now have much more choice than the traditional .com and .org to select from. You may want to select .info for sites that give information or .biz for business or commercial sites. You can now even choose .SHOP or .LUXURY if it suits your brand.

2. Do Your Research

Get in touch with experts in web design in Belfast to check that the name has not been trademarked or copyrighted by another firm. Professional web designers such as http://www.rycomarketing.co.uk/web-design.html can help with advice on selecting a domain name and theme for your online presence.

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3. Don’t Make Things Hard for Your Visitors

The easier your domain name is to type, the more likely a person is to come across your site and buy what you are selling. Some people may like slang (such as using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’), but that will put others off. You need to go for universal appeal if you possibly can.

4. Keep It Short and Sweet

Long and complicated domain names are off-putting for users. No one can be bothered with them, and they are not easy on the eye. This makes them less likely to be clicked when they appear in search engine results. Instead, go for something short and snappy. This will also be more memorable.

5. Using Keywords in Your Domain

Weaving some keywords into your domain name will let users know immediately what service or product you are offering. So if you are selling tea cups, it would be sensible to have ‘tea cups’ somewhere in the domain name. However, go for variations, as Google penalises you if you just use the keyword on its own.…

FCA Prepares for the Rise of Robo-Advisors

 The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has set out to encourage greater use of so-called “robo-advisors” in the hope that they will offer more help to a greater number of investors. Robo-advisors are websites that suggest appropriate investment opportunities based on the answers investors give to an online questionnaire, and it is hoped they will allay concerns about the high cost and limited accessibility of traditional financial advice.

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Lighter Regulations

The Treasury and City watchdog have now stepped in to set out a series of new rules aimed at making such financial advice more easily available, freeing online providers from the heavier regulations traditional financial advice companies must comply with.

The companies behind robo-advisor websites would be expected to offer streamlined advice to those with less complex financial needs and offer such investors funds that are suitable to their investment aims and risk tolerance. The watchdog also insists that online questionnaires be clearly worded and tailored to those who are not expected to have a strong pre-existing financial knowledge.

The FCA’s Advice Unit accepts proposals from companies that wish to set up robo-advice websites, judging each application according to their own strict eligibility criteria.

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An Alternative to Traditional IFAs?

While the FCA and the Treasury clearly hope that robo-advisors will benefit a greater number of individuals with less wealth to invest, it seems unlikely the traditional IFA will be replaced altogether any time soon. Traditional advice services may be considered safer by those who prefer face-to-face advice from a human being, especially when they know such companies are stringently regulated and have often invested in back office systems for IFAs such as those developed by https://www.intelliflo.com/.

Almost two thirds of all retail financial products are currently bought by individuals who have not sought any form of financial advice, while many people with under £100,000 to invest decide to choose pensions, retirement income plans and investments without consulting and IFA or robo-advisor. This is the issue the FCA and Treasury hope to address through their promotion of robo-advisor websites.

With a number of High Street banks including Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Santander UK and Barclays all looking into developing their own robo-advisor sites, it looks likely that more and more people will be able to take advantage of financial advice, whether online or in person.…

The top 6 corporate gifts to look out for

Clients, business partners, and employees – all are your important pillars to run your organization. As a boss you must be valuing their contribution and thus on special occasions like Diwali, New Year, Christmas, or any success parties, you would require some corporate gift ideas. A handful of such wonderful gifting ideas are described below. Have a look and bring out more productivity from them.

Gift basket of food essentials:

Food can never be wrong in its approach. It can be gifted to anyone in your office especially during festive moments like Dusshera, Diwali, or Christmas. These are the times when everyone plans to spend a quality time with their friends and family. A gift basket carrying Ladyfingers, varieties of branded chocolate, peach preserve, raspberry preserve, chocolate cookies, oats biscuits, chips, pringles, cupcakes, etc. would be a great gift for your corporate people.

Pen with pen stand:

Pen is one of the most important object to be carried in office even in today’s date of computer and laptops. A Parker, Flair, or Pierre Cardin pen is still valued among classy people. Along with an expensive pen carry a pen stand to uplift the good look of the pen. Your business partner or client is simply going to be flattered with your shower of gift.

Religious baggage:

This one is the most attractive gift option for Diwali festival. Include incense sticks, idols of Gods and goddesses, boxes of sweets like motichoorladdoo, golden and red ball candles, etc. for your corporate people before Diwali. These are the gift items that promises of good luck and prosperity. As this festival is very important to our culture, you must give this gift to your professional people.

Wallet and folders:

You can get a fantastic wallet and folder combination for gifting your corporate people on any happy occasion. A wallet made up of leather and business folders with multiple pockets would be a beneficial gift for office-goers.

Lucky Bamboo plant:

There are lucky bamboo plants with various stalks and each of them has different meanings. For overall success and prosperity in all fields of life including health, finance, and family, you must take this plant. Keeping it in office table or home, would restore peace and harmony in your life. As a boss, you must care for overall development of your employees or clients. So, get a lovely lucky bamboo plant without any delay.

Personalized paperweights:

A personalized paperweight would be an impressive gift for your boss or clients. Include a picture along with a nice quote that defines this person and a lovely corporate gift is ready. On variety of occasions, therefore, you can go for a personalized paperweight. The work desk would look better!…