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Category Archives: Tech – Business

Business Roadmap

How to Develop a Strategic Business Roadmap

A plan must be put into place for any viable business to move forward. While the most successful company CEOs and visionaries got far by following their instinct, rest assured they had a roadmap made beforehand. They went over their goals, initiatives, and resources to develop a strategic roadmap that served as a guiding light for everyone involved.

So, if you are wondering why you need an IT strategic roadmap to move forward in the market, as well as some tips on crafting a successful roadmap, read on below!

What is an IT Strategic Roadmap, and What Does It Contain?

An IT business roadmap is a high-level visual overview of a complex IT undertaking. It details all the goals and plans for a predetermined time. IT roadmaps are used by businesses to plan and manage internal IT projects.

So, one could say that an IT strategic roadmap is a subcategory of a broader business roadmap that assists in underlining priorities.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to IT strategic roadmaps, here is a rundown of what most businesses should put into their business roadmaps:

Strategic Business Roadmap
  • A strategy statement outlining the company’s strategic aims (not IT-specific).
  • A chronology of the activities and projects that will take place over the next several years, with estimated start and finish dates, lengths, and scopes.
  • A prioritized list of corrective actions. This is created collaboratively by the business and IT and should be renewed regularly.
  • Explanations of planned projects. These should be comprehensive assertions for projects within the next 12 months and shorter statements for projects beyond that time frame.
  • The projected time and expenses of each project. Again, get more detailed when writing about projects happening soon, and describe distant projects more vaguely.

To support the roadmap, IT departments should maintain updated versions of:

  • Systems architectural diagrams for the entire business, including interfaces, manual data moves, and platforms.
  • A system inventory that is updated regularly and includes end-of-life dates, a basic usage statement, the number of users, and the system owner.
  • An ongoing list of new issues that the IT support crew is encountering. That should be tracked by good help desk software.

The Importance of a Strategic Roadmap

Significant technical initiatives, such as implementing new corporate systems like CRM or ERP, can be daunting. They are frequently costly, take a long time to finish, have a high failure rate, and can be inconvenient to the company’s day-to-day activities.

While less expensive, apps that specialize in specific business processes, like scheduling software, can have their own set of issues, such as limited capability and the need to integrate numerous systems.

Despite these obstacles, businesses that have engaged in digital tech report better productivity, reduced expenses, and higher product quality. Such businesses also have higher growth possibilities and are better equipped to respond to market changes more quickly.

The Perks of a Good IT Roadmap

An IT roadmap can assist a business in determining the best strategy for implementing an IT change in the business.

Here are some key benefits of a useful IT business roadmap.

Understanding the Possibilities and Limitations Better

By precisely identifying your company’s technological initiatives and goals, you will be able to more quickly identify technical goals that correspond with the overall structure of your enterprise or startup. Then you can prioritize those objectives. When you don’t look at the big picture, it’s far more difficult to establish achievable objectives. By placing everything on paper, you can easily see where your business will gain the most, what short-term goals are preferable, and what goals may take longer to achieve.

IT Strategic Business Roadmap

Reasonable Budgeting

Being unreasonable about your budgeting possibilities can lead to absolute failure and bankruptcy. Shaping a good IT strategy means that your IT infrastructure is carefully laid out in one place, and you can easily see what’s reasonable to achieve and what not.

From the very start of crafting a strategic roadmap, you can spot some pain spots that have been causing you to lose money. For instance, you will see systems that aren’t operating and should be put to an end.

Then, you can use those resources to fund another project or department.

Keep Your Systems Running Smoothly.

Finally, having a simple document that keeps the IT department or your future outsourced managing service provider up to date on all the systems they manage is really beneficial. Because there are so many diverse, crossing systems in so many businesses, sustaining the entire system necessitates understanding all parts of it. An IT business roadmap gives the ideal overview, keeping both new and experienced team members on track.

Finishing Word

Every proper fantasy hero uses a map to get to their treasure, castle or loved one. Your goal of sustaining and growing your business is no different – you need a map that can help you navigate the changing and murky waters of today’s disruptive, albeit sometimes interestingly challenging, world.

Good luck!

Increasing Company Revenue Through Website Design

Increasing Company Revenue Through Website Design

As the pandemic rampaged through the economy in the last two years, many businesses were forced to conquer new plains that were unbeknownst to them so far. For instance, lots of brick-and-mortar businesses had to build a strong online presence to survive. And thus, more and more companies and organizations face the reality that many factors go into successful conversions that lead to sales.

One of those factors is a user-friendly website design. A successful website presence plays a huge role in retaining visitors to your website and leading them down the funnel.

So here are the best rules for increasing your revenue with a sleek website design.

Rule #1: The Simpler the Navigation – the Better

Here is something to go by: if the user can land on any page on your website and find what they need within three clicks – you’re good.

Clear and concise navigation along with a search bar are staples of good website design. Because bear in mind that navigation is a huge part of your bounce rate. To remind you, bounce rates are the percentage of single interaction visits to a website. The average bounce rates for websites fall between 26% and 70%, with a percentage between 26 and 40 being considered a great bounce rate.

Increasing Company Revenue Through Web Design

Rule #2: Uniformed Colors and Fonts

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with picking the right color palette for your business and brand and sticking to it.

But creating a recognizable brand identity is crucial. It makes you look more professional since picking 2-3 colors and fonts gives a website a well-designed and clean look. Moreover, it indirectly helps users navigate the website intuitively. All of this accumulates to better UX (user experience) and makes the user spend more time on the website.

Rule #3: Evoke Emotion

Just like marketing relies on waking up emotions in people to make the sale, evoking emotions through smart website design is also a valid tool.

Good storytelling helps funnel users and connect them with products and services. Your strategy then leads to the action of making a purchase.

Website designers must consider the emotions that their site evokes. It’s not enough to ensure that a website conveys the message you want to impart. Sites that do not elicit an emotional response are forgotten quickly. Emotions must be taken into consideration when designing your website.

Rule #4: Add Lots of Infographics

Sure, evoking emotions is a huge part of the deal when designing websites. But another thing you have to work on continuously is authority. Building brand authority is done by not just diligent customer service but by fact-checked infographics, as well.

Increasing Profit Through Website Design

People love seeing clean infographics and other statistical content. It immediately makes you feel more trustworthy. Here are a few simple tips for constructing reliable infographics:

  1. Stick to a simple design and a few colors.
  2. Keep the content easy to understand.
  3. Highlight the most vital content of the statistics.
  4. Add the source of the information below the infographic if it was taken from a reliable source. Don’t forget to link to the original content, too.
  5. Avoid infographics that rely on unchecked data or data you haven’t collected yourself.

Rule #5: Highlight the Value You Offer

Through design, you can further emphasize the value of your product or service. After all, sales are all about convincing potential clients and customers that you offer the solution to their problem through the value of your service or product.

So, a good rule of thumb is to allow users to “test drive” or “preview” products before buying them. Letting visitors apply for a demo or download a report to get a closer look at the product is an ideal solution.

In short – allow users to make their own choices by gently nudging them towards your freebies and discounts and demos.

Rule #6: Add Testimonials to Your Website

Customers are more likely to purchase goods or services from businesses that have been recommended by others. If you’re a real estate agent, for instance, you’ll want a 5-star profile on Opendoor.

The issue with review-based platforms is that you generally do not influence them. You want to control the majority of the content that surrounds your company as a business owner. Having a testimonials page on your website can help you better showcase your products and services if they are honest and legitimate.

testimonials for website design

In other words – for the love of God, don’t add fake testimonials under fake names and stock photos. That crumbles your trustworthiness. No testimonial is still better than a fake one.

Final Word

We could go on and on about rules for making your website more likely to convert visitors. But that would probably make you bounce off our blog a lot faster. So if you made it until here, then we thank you, and we hope that this rundown of basic website design rules will set you on the right path to more conversions in the future.

Network Cabling Types for Your Business

5 Network Cabling Types: Choosing The Right One for Your Company

If you’re wondering how to improve the performance of your office network, you came to the right place. This article will help you find the infrastructure that matches your needs.

Before you pick out the cable network type, you should look at several factors, such as if your company leases its headquarters or owns them. If you own the space, then you should focus on your primary usage and what are the company’s speed requirements. If you are leasing the space, then you should consider how long you will be staying in that space. That way you can determine what kind of network will get the job done.

Check out our neat guide to find the network cabling types that suit your needs!

What is Cabling Infrastructure?

To understand what kind of cables your business needs, you need to understand what cabling infrastructure is.

Cabling infrastructure is a complex network of cables that fulfill the requirements of various equipment. To be more precise, the network cabling infrastructure is a network of bulk Ethernet cables or fiber optic cables that connect different electronic gadgets and appliances of one building.

Picking the correct cabling infrastructure depends not only on leasing or owning a property. Here are some essential questions to ask yourself and a verified IT professional when choosing a correct network cabling type:

  • Do you need a conference room with high-speed internet?
  • Is there an employee or department in the company that needs the opportunity to do problem-solving skills that involve making IT decisions with wide impact?
  • Are you in the business of manufacturing that requires sturdy cables that can persist in extreme environments?
  • Do you plan to use PoE (Power over Ethernet) devices?

Now, let’s take this last question and expand upon it, as it serves as a great introduction to the need to be meticulous with listing out your needs. PoE devices are, for example, the VoIP phone system, security cameras, door access, WI-FI, and devices that work best when connected to a minimum category 6 cable.

network cabling types guide

5 Most Commonly Used Network Cabling Types

Category 5 and Category 5e Network Cabling Types

Just like Category 6 types, Category 5 and Category 5e cabling types are UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cables. They are the most used cabling equipment for businesses as they can double for both computer networking and traditional telephone lines.

Category 5 (Cat5)

Category 5 cabling was a popular choice in 1995. As you can assume, technology has surpassed it by now. But don’t stray away from this choice if it soothes your lower IT needs.

Category 5e (Cat5e)

For any kind of advanced technology, you should go for Cat5e or beyond. It became standard to use in 2001 and consists of a copper cable that has a new standard. That reduces interference and speeds up the transfer. For now, Cat5e is the most used cabling type since it satisfies a lot of needs – it supports up to Gbps of speed and is not expensive as other cable types. Bear in mind that its bandwidth is just 100MHz, tho.

Category 6 and Category 6e Network Cabling Types

For current uses, systems using category 6 cabling will have more errors than systems using category 5e cable due to enhanced transmission performance and improved immunity to external noise.

Category 6 (Cat6)

If you own or plan to stay in your building, Cat6 cabling should be your choice. This cable provides more than twice the bandwidth of Cat5e while maintaining the same speeds. If your company employs PoE devices, you’ll need at least a Cat6 cable to manage the power. The main difference between Cat5 and Cat6 cabling is not only faster speeds but also less crosstalk, which causes mistakes and other problems.

Category 6a (Cat6a)

The Cat6a network cabling type has a higher specification that allows for transmission frequencies to be doubled to 500MHz. When compared to Cat5e and Cat6 cabling, this connection provides a significant increase in both speed and bandwidth. Without sacrificing 100 meters of cable length, this cabling architecture provides full 10-Gigabit Ethernet speeds. If you intend to expand or relocate the facility in the next 5-10 years, Cat6 or Cat6a are advised since they provide adequate transmission quality.

Network Cabling Types

Fiber Optic Network Cabling Type

Companies nearing capacity restrictions with Cat6 cables are increasingly turning to fiber optic cable infrastructure. Fiber optic cable is used to connect network segments, and to connect buildings and floors, but not for total network wiring. Fiber optic cable can transmit data at speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.

Final Word

While technology is always changing, and no one can anticipate precisely what will happen next, your cable should be able to work at its best for at least a decade. Your company’s cabling infrastructure should survive as long as your company’s electronics and your next equipment upgrade.
If you are unsure which route to venture on, enlist the help of experts and highly-skilled engineers that can provide support for your project. No matter the size and complexity of the business, there is an end-to-end cabling solution for everyone.

Website Performance

Proven Methods How to Evaluate the Performance of Your Website

When building and maintaining your website, one of the aspects you need to pay special attention to is the performance of your website. After all, not every visitor that comes to your website will have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Different people still have different Internet connection speeds, particularly due to the ever-growing use of smartphones which access websites via WiFi or mobile data.

So here is some insightful information on how you can evaluate the performance of your website and see where you’re at.

Keep Track of KPIs and Features That are Important for Your Goals and Niche

An overarching advice on how to track performance of your website is a simple one: keep track of KPIs that make sense for your industry and business.

And a reminder that KPIs are metrics you use to evaluate what impacts your business and how much. 

Now, let’s go over some generally useful KPIs for tracking how your website or web app is doing.

Reach and Impact

To get a feeling of the performance, you need to measure the audience’s reach and impact. Reach is the estimation on how many visitors your website may get. Impact refers to the number of visitors that are converted to customers.

This is most frequently measured using the reliable Google Analytics tool. In its dashboard, you can look at the “number of visits” and “unique visitors” section to find out this useful data.

Using Google Analytics to track these KPIs, you will be able to answer:

  • Is your audience growing?
  • How fast is your audience growing?
  • How many users are coming back, or are new ones arriving?
  • Where are all these users in the conversion funnel?

Insight like this can be easily interpreted, so you will know if people are, for instance, thinking about your brand, staying loyal to it, and returning to use your services.

Performance of Your Website Google Analytics

Traffic Sources

It’s not only important to know how many people are returning or discovering your website. It’s useful to also find out your traffic sources, a.k.a. where are your visitors coming from to your website.

The aforementioned Google Analytics tool has an Acquisition section that sorts visitors into different categories. Some of the criteria it uses are:

  • Visitor’s location
  • Their interests
  • Traffic channels and referrals
  • Overall demographics

By delving deeper into your audience and how it behaves, you will start to shape who your potential customer is. That, in turn, will give you more information on how to hone your marketing approach and how your website is doing.

And by tracking where your potential customers are coming from, you will be able to tweak your website’s performance better. Pay attention to which traffic channels your visitors are more likely to flock to:

  • Social media platforms
  • Google
  • Directory listing
  • PPC ads

And finally, pay attention to which keywords brought the visitors to your website to know how your website is doing in its niche.

Time to Interactive

To move on to more developer-centric means of evaluating the performance of your website, time to interactive (TTI) will tell you the time until the web app is rendered and responds to user input.

The higher your TTI, the worse your website is doing. So TTI optimization refers to lowering the time to interactive. Here are some things that indicate a lower TTI:

  • Compressed code: Less load time is needed when your code is minified. That means that web page and script files have minimized code, as well, leading to reduced load times and bandwidth usage.
  • Preloads: Using the preload attribute means hinting to the browser how the media file should be loaded and what will give a great user experience (UI) to the visitor.
Performance of Your Website SEO

Time to First Byte

Something not to forget is the Time to First Byte (TTFB), which is the speed at which the first bits of information get to the user.

The action occurs after a server connection has been established. A faulty TTFB means that both your SEO efforts and UX can take a hit. These are some ways you can improve the speed of the information flow:

  • Optimizing your code: Getting static caches and dynamic content are great ways to improve TTFB.
  • Getting a CDN (Content Delivery Network): Apart from dynamic content, you will also have static content. And static content such as images and scripts gets delivered quicker to users through a web of servers scattered across the globe.
  • Lower your queries: Lowering the number of images you load and combining CSS files will help with TTFB and lead to overall better UX.

Final Word

Optimizing your website and/or your web app is a sure-fire way to better conversion and leading customers down the sales funnel.
What we have here is a useful rundown of various ways to deal with website optimization – through both SEO efforts and web dev efforts. If you feel more sure of leaving this job to experts, then you can always get an experienced team such as these.

SMB Grow

The Best Frameworks to Help Your SMB Grow Into an Enterprise

Running any kind of business is an everlong lesson in the importance of staying on top of growth trends and thinking outside of the box. But if you have a small or medium-sized business (SMB) that you want to grow into an enterprise, you especially have to pay attention in order to cover the ground properly.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the best practices that help your SMB to grow. Of course, we’re aware that many start-ups and existing businesses have felt the pinch of the pandemic, so we’ve taken that into account while listing some key strategies.

Enjoy this dive into tips for reinvigorating sales and driving growth. Good luck!

What Are the Most Common Challenges SMBs Face?

You probably searched for this article because your SMB is already facing a particular challenge (or more of them). But it’s good practice to stay aware of the wider picture and of fellow SMB owners who are struggling with the same or similar issues.

So here is a rundown of the obstacles that pop up on the way to becoming an enterprise:

  • Changing customer expectations: It’s not easy hitting your goals when your customers want nearly-instant responses. People and businesses are looking for service on-demand, anywhere, and anytime. They often expect that their customer inquiries get answered in a 24-hour window. So staying cost-effective while enhancing the end-customer experience can be a challenge.
  • Supply chain issues: Almost 45% of small businesses had some sort of domestic supplier delay, according to April data collected by the United States Census Bureau. Lots of SMBs are finding it harder to compete with larger companies who can buy vast stocks of available quantities of sought-after supplies.
  • Controlling costs: More so than other businesses, SMBs struggle with controlling costs due to unsteady cash flows and credit obligations they are likely to have. Lowering operational spending on staff and IT management (both important) while not losing on quality – it’s a challenge SMBs are struggling to deal with.

Top 3 Frameworks to Help Your SMB Grow Into an Enterprise

Getting your SMB to grow into an enterprise is a rewarding road. It leads to connecting to customers better, nurturing effective employers, and securing data.

Here are 3 great tactics to implement into your SMB business strategy.

Increase Your Market Share

Increasing market share is also known as market penetration. It’s a well-known SMB strategy for a reason – it worked for lots of small businesses. The aim is simple – sell more of your existing products, or promote your new products successfully.

“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” you say to yourself “but how do I achieve that?”

We know, we know. We didn’t want to spew out a generic statement. So here is a tried-and-true way to achieve better market share:

Offer trial periods and demo sessions

If you are selling a new product, market it to your targeted audience for a discounted price or as a free trial, or provide reduced prices for larger orders. If you are providing a service, think about giving customers a glimpse into the service through demo sessions. That can be a great short-term strategy to expand a business.

medium-sized business Customer Relationship Management

Get a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

In today’s day and age, having a well-built CRM is essential for businesses. In short, its benefits consist of getting to know your client better, improving your services, and improving the brand experience.

What does an effective CRM offer when it comes to features? Search for one that gives you:

  • The ability to create detailed customer profiles that you can view and organize in one place
  • Integrated marketing and communication channels that update your data automatically in real-time and help you communicate better with employees and other collaborators
  • Lead scoring and lead generation features make it easy to handle clients with the right message.

Work on Your Online Presence

Even though most SMBs work enough on their online presence to have a Facebook page, that’s far from enough to ensure that they are reaching their target audience and helping their SMB grow.

The top three marketing channels you need to cover are:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media (hello, afore mentioned Facebook!)
  • A website with a blog

Bear in mind that picking the foundation for your website is something you should carefully think about. Your website can be built using a template-based web design tool like WordPress, or you can build an entirely customized website that’s coded from scratch. What you pick can depend on the service or products you offer. But the goal remains the same – getting a UX-friendly website that leads your customers further down the funnel.

SMB Grow Online Presence

Prepare Your Business for Success

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Through integrating all of these three steps, you have a higher chance of growing your SMB. But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Be patient and grind hard to see results.

Even with the challenges of the current economic landscape and the pandemic (aftermath), your SMB can grow into a business that captures a large share of the marketplace and increases revenue while beating the competition through innovation and perseverance.

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