Tips for Choosing an Online Backup Service

Businesses rely on vital data to do business and provide customers with services that keep you in business. Nothing is more important to your operation than protecting your vital data. The best way to keep mishaps from losing your data forever is with an online backup service that will store your data on remote servers away from your business. Storing data is not only secure, but it occurs automatically so it is one task that you don’t have to keep on your mind.

Online backup services work by installing the company’s software onto the computer so it can access the important data on the hard drive. After the data is copied, it is compresses and then encrypted before being transferred to the remote servers. There are many services to choose from, making it difficult to know which ones are good in comparison to those that don’t fulfill their claims.

There are a number of variables to consider, including those of your specific needs and those associated with the specific service. These include the number of computers you have, whether you will require mobile access, file syncing and more. Since all of these companies offer the same type of service, price is one of the variables that will matter to you. Compare prices and capabilities of a variety of services to get the best value.

Some services offer a free trial to give you a chance to decide if it is easy enough for you to use or if it offers the capacity needed for the amount of data you need to store. You should also look at how you will pay, either as a one-time fee or with monthly or annual payments.

Other variables to look at are the additional options you have for backup up your data or managing it with ease. The features a service provides will determine how quickly and easily you can save important files as well as restore or remove them.

All online backup services do not use the same guidelines for determining when data is backed up. Some services operate these tasks according to a specific schedule that you provide. Others perform backup continuously. The right choice for you will depend on how and when you do business. Many prefer the scheduled option since it is usually performed during inactive times for the business and provides the entire bandwidth of your internet system during operation.

Once you subscribe to an online backup service, the initial upload will take a much longer period of time than the ongoing uploads. The time this takes will depend on the amount of data being uploaded and how fast your internet connection is. Once completed, you can enjoy peace of mind that your data is safe and secure.

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How to Increase Productivity before the End of the Year

If your goal for 2015 was to improve the productivity of your business, it isn’t too late to tweak your plan and accomplish your goal before looking ahead to the next year. Improving the way you do business is the best way to accomplish more in less time is the best way to increase your profits. To get started, you need to come up with some ways to save time and make sure the entire team is focused on accomplishing the same goal. Once you are all working together on the tasks you know will propel you forward, the process will become much easier to implement.

Businesses are realizing the value of customer service and working towards building a reputation for their business that both attracts new customers and creates customer loyalty. Although the last thing you want to do is reduce your efforts at providing services to your customers, you can implement CRM software into your business that will optimize your customer service efforts and save you time.

Two of the most significant assests any business has are its employees and its operating system. Too often, business owners fail to take advantage of the talent working for them when the time they invested into learning more about their employees would be to their advantage. Take the time to learn each employee’s area of expertise and give them an opportunity to put their talents to work. You may find that the person you have been relying on for one area of work is much more productive when they are given responsibilities based on their experience and/or interests.

No matter what type of operating system you use or the software that you install to enhance your business, make sure it has the features to simplify everything you do. The more capabilities your software has, the more time it will save you so that you can focus on more important areas of the operation. A lack of time is often the cause of businesses failing to expand their offerings.

One of the most difficult things to do for people and businesses alike is to improve their organizational skills. If you find that you are constantly searching for things or data or having to re-create documents that have gotten misplaced, you are losing valuable time that could be used to accomplish more tasks. This is another area where the right software can improve productivity. Implementing a system of saving and processing documents that is shared and accessible to everyone will not only save time, but improve the work that everyone does.

Look at all the tasks on the agenda and determine which ones are most likely to put you ahead and those which aren’t likely to have any real value. Eliminate those with the least promise and focus on the ones at the top of the list that are most likely to make your business better overall. Once you have clearly defined your goals and created the best path for reaching them, your odds of finishing the year with a higher bottom line will be a lot more promising.

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Five Ways To Stay Motivated As An Entrepreneur

Eventually, the going gets tough for everyone. We all run into something that may slow us down, or we just get worn down from the day-to-day grind of everyday life. Whatever the case, we all need motivation.

If you’re a business owner, staying motivated is an absolute must. On top of the challenges of everyday life, you also have to deal with the pressure and responsibility of running a business and keeping your clients happy. There will be days that feel like an endless uphill struggle with little to no return on investment. In spite of this, running your own business is one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have – not just financially, but mentally and emotionally as well. Here are five ways to stay motivated as an entrepreneur and keep your dream alive.

1. Think back to the way things used to be. If you are like many business owners, you were once an employee working for someone else. You remember the feeling of your supervisor constantly monitoring you or the long hours in the cubicle. Use those memories. Keep in mind what life used to be like – how much you wanted it to change – and you’ll find that doing your own thing isn’t as bad as doing it for someone else.

2. Find like-minded people. A coal will quickly lose its fire alone, but burns brightest with others. Look for others like you – others who are pushing to change their lives by becoming business owners. Having peers to communicate with will not only help motivate you but also allow you to learn from them. It also helps to read about others who have become successful and use their stories as inspiration.

3. Enjoy the little things in life. Sometimes you need to step away from your work to see the big picture. Take time to enjoy a short walk, a good book or even a cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop. Small pleasures can do a lot to remind you of why you chose to become an entrepreneur.

4. Keep positive reminders at hand. You may see so many motivational pictures or quotes that they all seem trivial, but don’t underestimate their effectiveness. Feel free to search and find one or two that stick with you, and have them nearby for those times you need an emotional pick-me-up. You can even write down an inspiring line from a favorite television or movie character and keep it posted on your desk if it helps.

5. Remember your clients. Customers are what keep any business alive. Their patronage of your services affirms that you make a difference to them. If possible, talk with them and thank them for their business. By realizing that you are doing good for others, you can be doing yourself some good in the process.

Motivation is the emotional momentum that keeps an entrepreneur going, day in and day out. Remember these tips for staying motivated, and never give up!

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How to Stay Ahead of Your Competition

As a business, it is your ultimate goal to have customers and be profitable. This goal can be increasingly difficult to reach if you have competitors getting in the way. If you’re in a market that is already saturated with other companies, you need to find a way to be better than them. There are several steps that you can take if you are desperate to get ahead of your competition.

1. Know the Latest Technology

Your customers want to have the best experience possible. The easier you can make it for them, the more likely it is that they will come back. Technology is there to help. You need to stay on top of what is coming out to help your business. For example, Ringcentral has come out with technology to help you stay connected and save your documents. This will help keep you more organized which is best for your bottom line. Browse Forbes and other websites to see what is trending.

2. Know Your Competitors Weakness

Every company has its weakness. Perhaps you have a higher quality product for a cheaper price than your competitor. Play that to your advantage and advertise it. Does their website always break down because they have a bad IT department? Tell everyone that you have NetSuite and that all customers’ data is secure. But be careful about being too aggressive towards the other company. Customers will feel the uncomfortable tension and may not come back. Plan a strategy that works best for you and shows your company in a positive light.

3. Obsess Over the Customer Experience

As I’ve already mentioned, the customer experience is everything for your company. With social media available to every consumer, it’s more important now than ever before. If you have a grumpy employee, the customer can now go on Yelp and ruin your reputation instantly. It can be difficult to control everything that happens to the customer, but you can do your best to ensure that they walk away happy. Even if they don’t like your product or service, make it easy for them to return it or for you to return it. They may not return again, but at the very least they won’t tell everyone to boycott your business. Customers will choose a business over any other based on how it makes them feel. Make sure that yours is the best.

In the end, it is important to do the best thing for the customer. Your business needs to know exactly how to serve them and how to do it efficiently. This will easily let your roll over the competition. If you’re interested in even more tips for your business, you can head to Business Insider for more advice.

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You Can Buy Your First Home With Bad Credit

You’ll get no argument from anybody when you say you’re buying a home. Everyone knows it’s a good investment. In fact, real estate experts are saying the housing market is favorable to buyers nowadays since prices and interest rates continue to be on the low side. However, having a bad credit record today gets to be an even bigger hassle because money-lending banks and other financing companies have tightened up their standards for money loans and mortgages due to the recent economic crisis. But, it’s not impossible.

You can actually buy your first home with bad credit by digging into federal and local resources and saving up for a bigger down payment. Below are some instructions you can follow to help you get your house:

Start Looking For Homes But Temper Your Expectations: Find an array of homes you’d be interested in, based on their sites, size, condition, etc. Because of your bad credit standing, chances are you won’t even be considered for loans big enough for the nicest or biggest houses so search for the modestly-priced housing. You might check out with realtors in your area and tell them about your situation. You might also want to try looking into the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which sells homes that have been foreclosed. You should know though that HUD will still require you to put up the necessary cash or to get a loan.

Be realistic. You may not be able to have a loan approved for your first-choice home, or if you do get one you’d be burdened with a high interest rate that’ll have you paying thousands more over the home’s lifetime. Face up to what you can afford. If this means a smaller home located in a place you’re not too happy with, so be it. It’s better than defaulting on your future payments.

You’ll Need A Larger-Than-Usual Down Payment So Start Saving Up : Most loans would generally require 10-20% down payment of the agreed housing price. In your case, because of your credit standing, it would make sense to plan for 20% down payment. Your other option might be The Federal Housing Administration (FHA).They offer loans to first time home buyers with very low down payment as 3.5% of the loan. If you’re short on cash. FHA would be a smart choice.

Expect A Higher Interest Rate: There aren’t any two ways about this. Loan on a mortgage, when you’ve got bad credit will be more expensive. You must make sure you can pay back your loan.

Find Out About Federal Mortgage Programs: The Federal Housing Administration and Veteran’s Administration (VA) provide loans that have more sympathetic standards to quality. If you are eligible, work with a lender that specializes in FHA and VA loans/

You’re situation may be a bit more challenging and frustrating but you can improve your chances of getting a home by following the above instructions.

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Time Traps For The Telecommuting Entrepreneur

Time waits for nobody. Time is priceless. Time is the most precious thing we can ever have.

Chances are, you’ve seen quotes like these while you have been browsing the internet. This is a bit of a paradox, as people are prone to spend lots of time online without even realizing it. This can be a hindrance to the average person, but to a person working remotely this can be disastrous. Remote work demands focus and diligence, otherwise important deadlines can be missed and clients can be inconvenienced.

When it comes to things that can sap your time and productivity, it can be the seemingly small things that can hurt you the most. And with most work being done from computers and smart phones, the most infamous perpetrators of time theft can be found on your device. Here is a list of potential time traps that telecommuting entrepreneurs should beware, and are closer than you think.

YouTube. When people think of videos to watch online, the number one destination tends to be YouTube. Funny cat clips, music videos and more can be found and brought up with the click of a mouse or tap of a touchscreen. This makes YouTube an easily accessible time sink. You may notice that it often starts with wanting to see a short video that may be just a couple of minutes, but can quickly turn into re-watching said video multiple times or clicking on related videos suggested in the sidebar.

Facebook. Social media has taken the world by storm, changing the way we communicate and connect. This is good in itself, but it can also offer significant potential for distraction. You may have some friends who post plenty of statuses that you make it a point to keep up with, aside from the games that Facebook provides and so many other items that may appear on your news feed. And with over a billion users, Facebook can present a lot of content that can hold your attention hostage.

Google. The world’s most widely used search engine is used thousands – if not millions – of times each day and can find info on almost anything. It’s not unusual to have a separate page or tab open to “Google” random items and pictures to kill time. Be careful, as this is another productivity pitfall that you can have open on your device if your curiosity gets the better of you.

Of course, this is not to cast these programs and websites as negative or evil – in fact, they can be used productively to great benefit. What can kill your productivity is using them in a manner that makes it difficult to fulfill your entrepreneurial obligations. The real threat to your time is that these distractions will take minutes of your schedule at a time, and those minutes can add up very quickly.

Your time as a telecommuting entrepreneur is extremely valuable – not just to yourself, but to your clients. During work time, close out any unnecessary windows and programs and focus on the task at hand. And don’t worry: when you finish with your work for the day, it’s okay to indulge in checking your news feed or finding that cat video you’ve been wanting to see. After all, you will be on your time then!

If you are curious about being a telecommuting entrepreneur and want to see what opportunities are available, click here and see a few of them for yourself!

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