1
What Are the Trends Set for Outsourcing in 2017?
2
Why Drupal Stands out from the Other Available Content Management Systems?
3
What are the Biggest Hurdles for Agencies & Small Businesses?
4
How to Prevent Conflicts That Arise While Working with Remote Teams
5
5 Apps You Need Right Away to Manage Your Remote Team!
6
7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team
7
12 Marketing Events Agencies Should Attend in 2017
8
Busted: 7 Myths of Working with Remote Teams
9
Why Drupal Is Ideal For E-Commerce?
10
7 Common Ways That Small Businesses Waste Money Marketing

What Are the Trends Set for Outsourcing in 2017?

In 2016, the SEO industry, as well as the outsourcing industry, have made their way to success with the help of technological advancements. The year 2016 has been remarkable for new trends in the outsourcing industry. We are now three months into 2017, however, and during this period outsourcing has increased in popularity and to a whole new level altogether. In terms of outsourcing trends for 2017, experts predict that the year 2017 will experience greater innovation and development in cloud technology, in data security, and in social responsibility. Below are discussed a few possible trends that may influence outsourcing to a great extent this year.

  • Outsource providers will level up their quality:

According to a global outsourcing survey (conducted by Deloitte) in 2016, businesses who outsource their work to their outsourcing partners, expect innovative and error-free services from them. They outsource not only to complete their project within budget, but also to avail other value added services that are offered by their outsourcing partner.

So, in response to this, it can be expected that outsourcing providers will increase the quality of their services by including more and more value added services and bringing innovation into those services. According to this trend, before starting a new project, both employers and their outsourcing partners will get SLA or Service Level Agreements before initiating a new project.

  • Virtual employees will be increased:

With the help of advanced and latest technology, it has become easier for outsourcing providers as well as freelancers to work remotely. Since there is a number of project management and real-time monitoring software, it is easily predictable that 2017 will see a significant increase in virtual agents. The advanced technology will make the future of offshore outsourcing industry brighter than ever.

Since virtual employees and offshore outsourcing offers a number of benefits including productivity improvement, low workforce cost and accessibility for extended hours (especially if the outsourcing partner is from a different time-zone), most companies prefer outsourcing their project.

  • IT delivery system can be centralized:

Looking at the streamlining business process of 2016, it is easily predictable that more businesses will switch to just one dedicated IT vendor rather than opt for outsourcing to multiple IT vendors. The more centralized the IT system is, the more standard and innovative and productive it would be.

  • Use of cloud technology will be increased:

Cloud technology became popular in the year 2016. It is expected that this year will be an excellent year for Cloud technology, especially for the Hybrid Cloud. The Hybrid Cloud refers to an integrated Cloud service used by both private and public Clouds in order to access business functions easily. According to many industry experts, more than 50% of IT vendors will use Cloud technology by the year 2018.  The remaining percentage will possibly partner with industry Cloud platforms.

  • Impact outsourcing:

This year, it is expected that a new social responsibility model for business processes may gather more attention. The primary aim of the outsourcing providers would be providing quality outsourcing services in a cost effective way.

  • RPA or Robotic Process Automation:

This year, RPA may enhance the ease and efficiency of BPA in 2017. It is predicted that it will develop productivity to a great extent and reduce costs while maintaining its quality. For repetitive tasks, software robots can replace humans.

  • Development in automation:

With the help of the automation process, it is now possible to increase production with efficiency. Experts predict that there can be a great development in automation and scalability in the year 2017 with the help of reusable platforms that offer better technical support.

With the above predictions, the year 2017 is looking to be a promising year for the outsourcing industry. These trends, however, focus more on streamlining business processes and enhancing the use of centralized technology. Indian outsourcing providers will increase their functional capabilities significantly.

Additionally, outsourcing companies are making data security a priority in the year 2017. However, it is just a prediction based on the trends of 2016. Only time will tell if the prediction will come true or not.

Why Drupal Stands out from the Other Available Content Management Systems?

If you have a good CMS or content management system, it should be able to not only create and manage the content of the website but also manage the related tasks such as formatting, editing as well as organizing from a centralized interface. As there are many good CMS platforms available out there, you may get confused as to which one to choose. Well, Drupal can be regarded as one of the best content management systems. Nothing seems impossible with Drupal. You can choose to run a blog or a blogging community or even share photos, upload files and a lot more. Here are some reasons why Drupal stands above the rest:

  • Great SEO Tools

You probably know the power of SEO as it is the reason behind the number of visitors that your website gets. Drupal can be regarded as the king of SEO in this case. In order to make your website SEO-friendly, you not only need to optimize the content but also the meta tags and keywords. Drupal enables you to do all these with ease. You have complete control over everything and it’s totally free of cost. In the field of CRM, Drupal far exceeds expectations when used in combination with other SEO tools such as Google Analytics.

  • Huge Community

This CMS is incomparable with a well connected and organized a large community of programmers and developers. Drupal has been long in the game and its longevity is proof that it works, but that can be said about other CMS platforms as well. So you may ask, “Where is the difference between all the other available CMS platforms and Drupal?” It is in the way that the members of the Drupal community work together. The developers and programmers are devoted and passionate about Drupal,  helping each other and contributing on a continual basis to the well-being of the community.

  • Module Developer Practices

Everything is the module in Drupal CMS and you can get all these modules totally free of cost. They have neither widgets or plugins or components. If you check their website, you will see that all the modules are listed there in a categorized manner. There is no personal website that is used to sell a module. If you need or want to have a module custom built, you can have t it done by someone. The developers and programmers of Drupal use their expertise so that they can build these modules together as a team or a community. They don’t see each other as competitors but help each other so that they can give you the best modules/product.

  • The Drupal API

A hybrid of an extremely progressive Framework and a standard content management system, Drupal has an extraordinary API. Of course, they don’t claim to be Zend, Cake or CodeIgnitor, but Drupal offers you an attractive granularity of workflow control. Also, with Drupal, you get more time to add or tweak if required.

  • Versatile Theming System

The theming system of Drupal is extremely versatile and makes it perfect for users who are new, who are slightly experienced and who are professional. In other words, they have everything for everyone. They offer a number of free themes that you can make use of if you are a new user. These themes not only look beautiful but also professional. You can even customize your theme according to your choice and you can do all these things with extreme ease.

  • Content Types

With the Content Construction Kit (CCK) of Drupal, you can construct any type of content you want. The flexibility that this kit offers is something that no other content management system can offer. It offers thirty types of content and each of them is different from each other. To make it more understandable for you, here is an example. If you want to have real estate listings,  you can input things such as the number of bathrooms or bedrooms into fields that are already there in the modules.

  • Smooth User Management Including E-commerce

Drupal allows you to control everything from member profiles and registration to role assignments. You even have the power to restrict or allow the communication between members. When it comes to e-commerce, Drupal offers the very popular Ubercart. With this, you can do a number of things that you thought you could only dream of from calculating taxes and creating and controlling inventory, to handling fees and accepting payments from any of the available payment gateways – and there is no limit.

In conclusion, you can see that if you are planning to build a website that will have the possibility of huge growth, then Drupal is right for you. Drupal is definitely the best content management system available in the industry.

What are the Biggest Hurdles for Agencies & Small Businesses?

If you own a small business, you may feel that the problems that your business is facing are unique. But this is not exactly true. The biggest hurdles that your business is facing are similar in essence to those your competition. There are several challenges that are acting as major roadblocks to the ascent of agencies and small businesses. Some of them are discussed below:

  1. Marketing

One of the biggest obstacles to the success of relatively small concerns is marketing. To get the word out about your business is important for its success. With the help of technology, you can now test and bring a product to market easily, but it is quite difficult to cut through the noise on social media as well as other marketing channels and differentiate your brand and business.

  1. Hiring new employees

A hurdle that several small concerns must overcome is while recruiting a workforce. They find it particularly difficult to handle problems related to the hefty costs associated with getting a workforce on board. Sometimes the total cost of the process of bringing them on board  – bonuses, training, equipment, benefits, taxes etc. – can range anywhere between 1.5 and three times the salary assigned to that particular designation. That is a really notable amount of investment for companies that are usually already hard pressed for money, to begin with.

  1. Relationship with customers

According to experts, the key to keeping your small business blooming with success is proper communication and the relationship that you have with your customers. Not all businesses see the face of success. Small businesses that achieve success and continue to survive are the ones where the owners, as well as the employees, have a great relationship with their customers. Know what your customers want and ask them how you can do better or what can be added. For agencies and small businesses, relationships are of paramount importance. In this digital age, it has become important to develop a bond with customers.

  1. Relationship with the government

To make local government work for you, take the idea of relationships to the next level and use those skills. According to experienced businessmen, small businesses which reach out and become a staple in the community are the ones that get the most support from the local government. You can be present at community events or join the chamber of commerce so that the local governments support you. If you make an investment in your local community, it will affect your business positively. Also, to build valuable customer relationships, you can volunteer to work on events or serve on local boards.

  1. Cash flow management

A variety of problems related to cash flow is the cause of a headache for many companies. And for agencies and small businesses, the main problems are to do with unexpected outgoings of cash, clients deferring payments and expenses that seemingly need to have been paid for yesterday. However, these problems do not come without solutions. While product demand is far more difficult to control in-house, cash flow related problems can be resolved. In order to improve on your invoicing and budgeting, there are a number of newly designed solutions that are available. All you have to do is to find a suitable one.

  1. Increasing profits

Agencies and small businesses that have five to ten employees face problem such as increasing profits. There can be many reasons behind this, but the main reason that it highlights is the inability to remain a low-cost leader against the competition. To stay ahead of your competitors, what you can do is to innovate and optimize constantly.

  1. Not becoming dependent on major clients

Client dependence is a huge issue for several organizations, mostly those with under ten employees. In case the organization has to depend on say just one or two clients for the major chunk of the money they make, then that is a sign of hitting the danger zone. The balance of power is disturbed unfavorably for the firm if this were the case. It would be hard for them to survive – to just remain operational with minimal profits. Reaching this stage is not at all recommended. If you want to your firm to grow, you must necessarily diversify your clientele.

You might, in all probability, as the owner of a small concern, have to face hurdles that CEOs of large companies may not face. However, to look at the brighter side, being small business owner does have a number of benefits. Being small in size, you are much better equipped to respond to volatile circumstances, as well as more flexibility. Pay more attention to the strong points of owning a small business and make more effort to emphasize and use them in advantageous ways for you to overcome challenges. The first step would be to overcome them.

How to Prevent Conflicts That Arise While Working with Remote Teams

Nowadays, most companies prefer to work remotely. In fact, it has now become a standard business practice for them. By choosing remote working options, the employers can make the most talented team in their business. But only a team leader knows that conflict is inevitable. Conflict can be of two types – direct conflict and passive conflict. Whatever the conflict is, the workflow of your business will be disrupted and will affect your bottom line. The problems or conflicts can get multiplied during the managing of remote teams since no physical interaction is involved there. Not only that, while working remotely, not everyone is more productive. It has also been seen that some team members take advantage of remote working and goof off while they are supposed to be working. It is also difficult to contact staff who work from a distance at the time of an emergency.

In other words, it can be said that there are certain difficulties in the logistics, but it is not that difficult to a handle a remotely distributed team efficiently. In order to prevent conflicts that arise while working with remote teams, and manage the team effectively, you can follow these effective practices discussed below.

  • Have an official communication system:

To ensure team cohesiveness, you can fix meetings daily or sometimes multiple times in a day, depending on the type of business or work you do. It is true that there are chances for misunderstanding between remote teammates who are scattered across the world. So for a more effective way of communication, the meetings can be recorded, so that if anyone is confused about any topic, s/he can check back to the recorded history. Effective communication systems can be the key to lead a remote team successfully. Set up a system for official communication and make sure that employees comply.

  • Find out the suitable tools for communication:

According to the productivity professionals, a meeting via video conference is the most effective way to engage remote participants. Otherwise, on a conference call, employees can be engaged in multiple tasks, or they can be out of their working zone.

There are a number of tools available for communications including social networks, digital whiteboards, chat rooms and many others. Though email is the most widely used among others, it is often not that efficient. For better communication, you can train your employees to use other communication tools, but video conferencing is a must-have tool while working with your remote team.

  • Closely monitor your team to observe the dynamics:

It is a good idea to break your work up into teams to get more productive work. In order to do so, you have to make sure that your team members are well trained to use the tools for effective intra-team communication. If cfor instance, the team lead cannot control a certain team too well, other team members will do work that makes no sense and is not pertinent to the larger plan. Therefore, every manager of your remotely located teams has to have great communication skills and maintain accountability to you and the other executives. They should also have a good grasp of all the activities of their team, and be quick to understand what is going on.

  • Set some goals and make your people responsible:

Remote workers are most susceptible to the temptation to slack off. That is why it is highly important to lay down some rules and responsibilities for every remote employee and make sure that these are stringently adhered to.

  • Choose your remote partner wisely:

You should pick people who have sound character and who can take initiative. It is strongly recommended that you take an insightful and thorough interview before hiring them, and verify all the references. If you sense a bad attitude in them or you feel something is not right, then you should not ignore your gut feeling.

Working with remote teams implies adopting alternative strategies. In order to prevent conflict and get more effective remote teams, you might have to exert yourself more in every aspect of your work life.

However, the upside of working with remote teams is huge. This is the reason that nowadays, most offices prefer to work with remote or distributed teams. If the teams are managed properly, they can be proved to be highly effective for your business.

5 Apps You Need Right Away to Manage Your Remote Team!

The trend of hiring remote teams is something that more and more companies and nonprofits are recognizing and welcoming with open arms. For years, there have been myths surrounding the subject of hiring remote teams for work. A few of the common myths were: Remote workers aren’t as highly skilled, remote workers are not as dedicated to the company as regular workers are, or that it is difficult to find reliable remote teams. With these myths being proven to be inaccurate and/or misleading, having a remote team is no longer taboo. With the growing acceptance of remote working, it is a party for freelancers. Freelancers, retired professionals, qualified housewives, students, and people who may find it difficult to be physically present at the office are now able to find jobs in the market without facing any sort of obstacles.

However, that is not to say that the system of remote hiring is without its problems. Apart from the fact that there can be times that remote workers find it difficult to coordinate their tasks and schedule with the rest of the office, there is the risk of remote workers becoming psychologically isolated, or distanced, from the rest of the office. However, there is a way to avoid that. There is certain office coordination and employee tracking software available, which can serve to maintain a basic minimum communicative connection between the employer and the employee, as well as between the various people of a team. A few of these apps are mentioned below in no particular order of prominence and effectiveness:

Skype: This is really the first thing to come off the top of anyone’s head. Skype is one of the finest real-time messaging and video-chat service in existence. iIt also is the most popular VoIP software in use at the moment. It’s not really surprising that it’s the most professionally-accepted means of inter-employee or inter-group (team) communication in today’s era.

Skitch: This one is not available anymore, but older versions of it can still be found and downloaded online.  Its specialty is that it allows you to capture screenshots very quick. You can edit the screenshots in this app before sending them, which helps to communicate the exact plan or order in fine detail and with the most precise directions.

Dropbox: This is one of the most popular mediums of cloud storage. Here, you can keep records of all work done by every single employee for a specific time period.  All folders and files on the company network can be saved here under the appropriate heads. In this way, an employer/team head is able to keep track of all the work done within stipulated deadlines. It also is helpful as an unbiased evaluation of the performance of employees; whether office-goers or remote.  A huge advantage of Dropbox is that all you have to do is install dropbox into all the systems and then share it with all the computer systems you want to. Dropbox has the provision of restoring any deleted file or folder within thirty days of deletion.

Slack: This is one of the greatest apps. It has brought about a sea of change to the world of virtual business integration and communication. Although it has not quite displaced Skype completely, it is used simultaneously with Skype in a lot of places. It has all but killed professional emailing, though. A large part of its popularity can be attributed to its excellent in-built group communication system.

Wunderlist: This is mainly a task management tool. It’s simple user interface and easy-to-use controls are the reasons that have made it so popular. Owing to this, it is really easy to track all employee activity and the inbuilt task management tool allows you to prioritize your tasks.

In conclusion, these are the top five applications that help to ease the process of remote team recruitment and remote worker management. Every single company looking to recruit teams that will be working remotely should pay heed and make use of at least one of these apps.

7 Important Tips for Leading a Remote Team

Employees are the most crucial part of any business or enterprise. If you have a team with good employees, you will have an edge over your competitors due to increased productivity. Leading your employees through the daily business operations requires you to put in the extra effort. Leading a team of remote employees can have its own set of challenges.

The work environment today grants employees the freedom to work from anywhere in the world due to the presence of the internet and computers. They don’t have to be present at a physical location to work.  There are many benefits to having a virtual team of employees working remotely.

The most crucial advantage is that you can hire talented candidates from across the globe, which contributes to taking productivity to the next level for you. You can bring in innovative ideas by hiring virtual employees and save the cost of maintaining an expensive infrastructure. Although there are many benefits of hiring virtual employees, there is one area that can cause concern – leading a virtual team can be tough. This problem is not insurmountable and can be solved if you follow certain tips. Here are seven tips that will help you to manage and lead a virtual team of employees like a pro.

Hire with Care

When you hire a virtual employee, you have to make sure that you hire the right candidate for the job. You must remember that not everyone can tackle the task of working alone. Although you and other virtual employees may be in contact, there are certain times when individual decision-making might be required. There are people who tend to be inclined to seek help from coworkers or seniors when put in that position. Remote workplaces are generally less social than physical ones and it is difficult to be available to the employee all the time. That is why it is important that you choose candidates who fit all the criteria of the job.  

Set Expectations

When your employee is working via a remote location, it is difficult to keep track of who is doing what amount of work. There is always a fear that keeps you wondering whether your employees are working well or abusing the privilege of work from a remote location. Productivity is the most important factor to consider when hiring regular or virtual employees. To maintain the right levels of productivity you must set expectations that are clearly communicated in a remote workplace model.

You can draw the daily output requirements, the time within which the employee should be available to you and other employees and team goals. This will act as a guideline for employees and will also keep a check on their output. If you have hired the right set of people, setting expectations will give you a thriving team that enjoys the privilege of working from home, but does not misuse it.

Use Technology

Communication and connection are the key to maintaining a successful virtual team. There are many technological tools that help you to connect and communicate with your employees and allow the employees to be in touch with each other.  There are tools that allow you to manage tasks and projects.  You can use tools like calendar, time manager, time zone scheduler, file storage, human resource management, etc to increase productivity.  It’s important to take the initiative to encourage your employees to use these tools as well.

Promote Voice Calling

While text messages and emails are formal and good ways of communication, they are often not easily understood and lack tone. By using voice calling on a regular basis, it will be easier to ensure that the entire team is on the same platform.

Video Meetings

Video meetings will help the entire team to connect with each other. You should encourage video meetings not only with yourself but also among other employees in your absence. As everyone is in remote locations, video calling is a better way to promote a sense of togetherness.

Deeper Bonds

Virtual employees want the privilege of working from remote locations and they often want more warm and friendly bonding than the regular working setup. You must catch up on what is happening in the employee’s life. Try to keep a more relaxed relationship with your employees. This develops a deeper sense of job satisfaction. Virtual employees enjoy a good balance between work and life. You can help them achieve that by adopting policies that encourage work-life balance rather than focusing only on your own profit.

Respect and Flexibility

Your employees might belong to different countries, cultures, and mindsets. Make sure you respect them and have a flexible attitude towards them.

These are some of the tips that will help you lead a team of virtual employees and may even help resolve conflicts or problems before they even arise.

12 Marketing Events Agencies Should Attend in 2017

The year of 2017 has brought forth a host of new promises and hopes. And just like it marks a new beginning for the world and the lives of people who inhabit it, it also heralds a new beginning for the marketing, advertising, and market research industry. For every year, it is essential to note down in a list the various marketing events, such as SEO, digital marketing and tech conferences, from around the world. Below is a list of the various international conferences and events that are an absolute must-visit this year. They are as follows:

HeroConf: This one is by far the only dedicated and paid media conference in the United Kingdom. This place has the greatest quality speakers and the greatest presenters. Here, both speakers and presenters are of the highest quality. Regardless of whether you’re a novice or a veteran, you can glean useful information from it. Date: 24-26th Oct. Venue: London.

BrightonSEO: This is to be held on April 7th and the 15th of September. As the name suggests, it is to take place in Brighton. In this event, talks are offered on a huge variety of subjects by speakers. Every year, speakers are brought in from a variety of fields that fall within the ambit of digital marketing.

Unbounce—the Call to Action: This conference addresses the issue of attracting traffic to a website and converting the leads from the traffic into actual customers. To be held in Vancouver from 25-27th of June.

SMX Munich: Its content quality is extremely good, and it attracts a tremendous volume of visitors. It is mainly focussed on covering a huge range of search topics. This is scheduled in Munich on March 14th-15th.  

SEOkomm: To be held in Salzburg in the month of November, this one is a single-day conference which is singularly focused on SEO. It is among those conferences which offer the most advanced tracks and content in the world. The great networking possibilities are an additional bonus.

SEO-Day: SEO Day is presently the second largest show in Germany. There are three parallel tracks here, such as the “expert day”.  This event is held in Cologne on October 19th, is a must-attend.

Local Strategy: Mobility is the chief feature of the technology employed for handheld or ‘mobile’ devices. As per the information provided by Google, people usually look for commercial businesses which are near them, (which has necessitated the ‘near me’ mechanism for local search). For this reason, it is imperative that local businesses are run with this target in mind. It is with this target that the Local Strategy event was held on January 28th of this year in Bologna.

AdWorld Experience: Held in Bologna just like SEO-Day (but on the 13th-14th April) Adworld Experience is held in the month of April.  Specializing in the field of paid marketing campaigns, the best speakers are brought in by the organizers every year. Every year, planning for the next session is started after one session ends. Workshops which are run on the first day are entirely worth the prices offered.  Afterward, videos of all the sessions are provided to the attendees, which means that the ROI (Return on Investment) would be increased on the educational budgets of agencies.

Web Marketing Festival: This is one of the most vital industry events in Italy and is held in the city of Rimini. To be held on the 23rd and 24th of April, it attracts over 3000 participants every year. There are about ten parallel tracks held here, on each of which over 100 speakers hold speeches. Apart from high-level sessions on the subject of digital marketing, you also get tremendous opportunities to network.

ClinicSEO: This event is mainly organized in Barcelona, Spain on the 27th of October. This event is geared to give you a better understanding of the way that professionals work. This event is completely held in isolation and is part of a broader expo.

SEOnthebeach: This conference has an informal atmosphere. Held in La Manga del mar Menor in Spain, it attracts talented professionals who share the greatest practices, strategies, and knowledge for two days. This event also provides great opportunities for networking. This is to be held on the 23rd and 24th of June.

QueDuWeb: Held in Deauville, France, on April 27th and 28th, this event is basically a series of conferences on subjects ranging from SEO Audit, Digital Strategy to Growth Hacking. Speakers from a variety of fields in digital marketing attend this event.

This list represents just twelve of the innumerable digital marketing conferences and events scheduled to be held this year.   

Busted: 7 Myths of Working with Remote Teams

With Cloud Storage and Cloud computing becoming a way of life and business for most big organizations throughout the world, it is now slowly becoming more and more common for companies to hire remote employees. That is, employees who would not be working on the company premises, and in some cases, never even meet face to face with the company’s leadership. They would, instead, be hired based on virtual interviews and online tests. This might sound like a novelty, but it is slowly becoming a reality. The most common forms of cloud working are working on mobile, or from a personal computer at home or any remote corner of the world.

There is a reason why remote work is becoming more popular. Skilled employees are now searching for positions which are autonomous and allow for more freedom. This not only helps them to spread their wings but also nets the company good returns. In this article, we’re going to dispel some of the most popular misgivings and myths that surround remote working.

  1. The first myth is that people who work remotely are not as productive as the employees who work on a site. However, with the presence of modern-day tools for tracking employee activity and progress, such as Slack, there are a lot of ways in which remote employees can be managed and productivity can be monitored. The key is to find out a stable mode to evaluate and measure the performance of others.
  2. A second misconception is that employees who are remote aren’t as skilled. According to this misgiving, skilled employees prefer a formal office environment. They feel that remote employees would never be able to qualify for lead positions. This is especially true for cases where the employee is an independent freelancer or contractor. This, however, is just the contrary. Hiring remote employees would mean expanding outside of your geographical boundaries and being able to mine for talent in uncharted territories where your business might not be physically present.
  3. A third myth that plagues some businesses is, “It is difficult to find remote employees”. This, while true to some extent, can be remedied by reaching out to talent-listing sites such as LinkedIn. There are also innumerable forums and sites which list independent contractors and freelancers who might be inclined towards remote working. It is also useful to locate retired professionals who might be open to earning some extra money working from home.
  4. Companies often think that it is extremely difficult to manage and communicate with such employees, but in today’s world, where workplaces are empowered with forums and message boards such as Trello and Basecamp, it is no longer difficult for a company to communicate with remote employees. Slack is a real-time communication portal that is very similar to Skype. Here, not just individuals, but teams too can communicate with one another and create the sense of a virtual workplace.
  5. Some people think that remote work has no scope beyond IT and data entry. This was true for a considerable amount of time, but now you see companies hiring remote workforces for product development, sales and marketing and work related to SEO.
  6. There is a common misconception that remote employees can not develop any feeling of kinship with the company or its goals. That, however, would not be true. There are plenty of qualified freelancers who are used to working from home and who commit to a company for the right price.
  7. Last, but not least, remote employees are able to be more flexible with the hours they work. They have no demand or need for changes in their work schedule to suit their own convenience. Their hours can be ensured with a virtual agreement/contract.

These, in short, are some of the common myths about hiring remote employees that now, hopefully, stand busted.

Why Drupal Is Ideal For E-Commerce?

One of the most flexible CMS platforms out there is Drupal. As Drupal Commerce is integrated with Drupal, it has become difficult for other dedicated e-commerce platforms such as Prestashop or Magento to beat it. You can find thousands of websites that have been built using Drupal Commerce.  There are, of course, various Content Management Systems for e-commerce, but people are more interested in using Drupal.

The main purpose of Drupal Commerce is to develop a specification that will help in guiding the e-commerce development on Drupal. They offer a rich variety of modules that can build world class e-commerce websites. This open source can help you in creating blogs, forums, intranets, photo galleries, review websites, new aggregators, wikis, social networks and CRM. Drupal can convert your dreams into reality.

Here are some awesome reasons why you should use Drupal Commerce for your new e-commerce development:

Free For All

In the Drupal world, more than 14,000 free modules are available. There is nothing you have to pay for, which is unlike WordPress and Magento. Moreover, the community is excellent at supporting these modules with improvements and patches. The Drupal community is considered to be one of the most devoted and cohesive communities.

Easy and Uncomplicated Way of Coordinating

Since you only have to handle and work with one system, the CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation), SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), as well as web analytics, become much easier. You don’t even need to coordinate between two different platforms.

Easy To Customise

You can create pages and blocks within the pages with the Views module, which is a type of query builder. You can also customize modules easily.

Maintenance

Since there is only one set of tools that you need to learn, it becomes very easy for you to manage and maintain a Drupal Commerce site.

Order Management Tools

The order management tools of Drupal Commerce are a part of the same administration toolset that is found in the CMS. This enables you to not only view, manage and update on the websites but also lets you send update notifications through the website.

Integration

Via a RESTful API, Drupal can integrate with external systems. This means, with third-party systems, you can extend or complement the functionality that is found in Drupal and Drupal Commerce. Also, with Drupal’s Feeds module, you can import content from external systems.

Synchronization

Compared to a two-platform system, it takes far less time to develop. You aren’t required to formally integrate between two different systems.

Adaptation

Do you want a CMS that can adapt with your business? Drupal Commerce is just what you want. it will always be adaptable, as your business grows and explores new models. This is important, as most of your site is built by configuring interfaces and modules and the layout of your site and your business logic can change anytime.

Awesome Features

Drupal Commerce offers amazing features. Features such as a complete product administration, shopping cart and checkout form. Along with various other additional e-commerce features, it supports multilingual and multi-currency.

If you ask me, Drupal is a perfect platform to build an e-commerce website. I feel it can aid in the growth of your business. Your customers can find your e-commerce site with ease and it will enhance their shopping experience. With thousands of free plugins available, you get the power to leverage more features and functions into your website.

7 Common Ways That Small Businesses Waste Money Marketing

Growing a small business is not that easy. We start a business because we may be a good accountant, lawyer, website designer, business consultant, lawyer or other professional service providers, but that does not mean that we are experts at growing and marketing our own small business. As we are not business marketing experts, we tend to follow what others do. And most of the time, it does not work at all. Here are the most common mistakes that small business owners make when it comes to spending money and how they can turn those losses into gains.

Building a social media following

It may sound good, but building a following on sites such as Facebook can actually cause more harm than good for your small business, in that it can be a waste of time and therefore money. As the algorithm of Facebook is always changing, it has made it harder for marketers to reach their clients organically. Based on 500,000 likes per year, only around 2% of your followers actually, see your posts. The good news is that now you can buy Facebook ads so that you can boost the number of users who see your posts.

Solution: Try to get your client’s email addresses and send them weekly newsletters with updates about your services. Also, you can offer incentives to those who recommend your products or services to their friends or family.

Not Understanding What Your Customers Want

Marketing is all about knowing the needs and wants of your audience, but small businesses tend to lack this information. You will be wasting your time as well as money if you do not understand the demographics of your target market.  

Solution: The first thing that you need to do is to identify who your customer is and determine what their needs are, where they reside and what they can afford to purchase. In defining who your primary customer is, you learn how to meet their needs and have a happy clientele.

Being Impatient and Giving up Too Soon

Marketing needs a lot of time as well as effort when growing a business. If you expect to get hundreds and thousands of followers in just one week, then this will seriously upset you. And as a result, small businesses give up, in spite of starting strong.

Solution: The solution to this is quite simple. First of all, do not raise your expectations too high. Give your small business a year or two to ramp up. Once you start getting followers, you can engage them with as much interesting content as possible.

Trying to do Too Much

Creating an account on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and a lot of other social networking sites is highly ineffective for a small business. As a small business owner, you have fewer employees. So don’t try to be online everywhere at the same time, all at once.

Solution: You can’t do it all – accept it. Choose one or two social media sites that your customers use the most and devote a few hours per week in promoting your products and services.

You Are Not Tracking Your Marketing Results

You may have Google Analytics set up, but do you really use it at all?  Many small businesses aren’t aware how this tool works. They have a lot of questions and confusion regarding Google’s PPC and AdWords. As it is an effective marketing tool, business owners simply buy ad space without fully understanding how those ads work. This is one way that you could unwittingly be wasting a lot of money.

Solution: You can set up conversion tracking for your ad campaigns. This way you will get to know how effective your ads are at attracting your customers.

You Have Not Changed Your Marketing Strategy in Years

Times change, and so should your marketing strategy. If you have a marketing strategy that you have not changed in years and are still investing in it, this is simply a phenomenal waste of money.

Solution: It is suggested that you try new things every year. As marketing is always evolving, you need to evolve too.

Huge One-Time Ad Campaign

There are a number of cool marketing tactics that you can try. While some of them work great, others do not. This is especially true if you only have one shot to make them work. Diving into marketing campaigns that require a lot of money is a waste of money for small businesses.

Solution: You need to first test the ad campaign with a modest budget. If you see that this new tactic is not working even with a smaller budget, it is likely that it will not work with a large budget.

Are these the areas in which your business is wasting money? If so, then it’s time that you make some changes in your marketing plan and grow your business.

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