Trends in Unified Communications for 2015 and Beyond (Infographic)

As 2015 heads into its second quarter, many technology experts are wondering what the rest of this year will hold for unified communications. Some authorities in this sector have predicted that IT will change more in the next 18 months than it has in the past decade. Along with that, the rest of 2015 is expected to mirror 2014 in its double-digit cloud-based adoption growth.

Unified Communications (UC)

But first thing first: What is Unified Communications (UC)?

UC is a single product or a set of products that integrate enterprise-class communication services in real-time, presented in a centralized user interface that is consistent across multiple devices.…

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6 Money-Drainers of Small Businesses (and How to Overcome Them)

Is your business seeping cash for no reason? Some expenses are like a dripping faucet: you know it’s there, but it seems insignificant, so you let it go on too long. Others are more like a broken pipe underground, well-hidden but causing massive damage. Here are some places to check for financial leaks so you can stop your biggest money-drainers.

Leakage in your small business finances

Watch Your Staffing Costs

Staffing is a massive cost for most small businesses and a huge area of waste. Underperformers must be replaced quickly, because they prevent you from hiring excellent staff who could be moving your company forward. As your company grows and changes, your staffing needs will rapidly change.…

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People vs. Robots: When Google Translate is The Wrong Choice

As a small business owner you may have already experienced just how global business has become. Many geographical borders that previously made trade virtually impossible, have been transcended by tech and you’re probably finding yourself emailing a freelancer in Belgium, ordering supplies from Taiwan and recording data on software hosted in the US all whilst sipping your (Spanish) local barista’s single origin Guatemalan brew.

Spanish language

Most of the time you’ll manage just fine speaking only English in the Global Village. But there will be times your language arsenal needs to be extended.

For those times, there are plenty of free programs out there, such as Google or King translate.…

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Thriving in the Shadows of Big Business: Smart Strategies for SME Success

When you’re a small company, your best customers are sometimes large brands. Large companies have deep pockets and the ability to place huge, ongoing, orders. Here’s how to attract their business and keep them happy.

business partnership

Have a Crystal Clear Value Proposition

You’ll never get business deals with large companies if you don’t have a firm and crystal clear value proposition. Most companies don’t know how to formulate one, so here’s how to do it. First, think of an action statement that separates you from everyone else in the marketplace. Then, write that out and use it as your value proposition.

So, for example, if you offered dry cleaning services, you might say something like, “We clean suits for CEOs who need to look immaculate.” It’s hard to set yourself apart from the competition when you’re in dry cleaning, but this is a good start.…

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Three Non-Traditional Ways to Launch Your Brand

Trusted aphorism not withstanding, they will not come merely because you built it. If you are going to start a new business, you have to get the word out. You have to find a way to reach the person on the street, let them know that you have a new product or service, and give them a reason to want to try it.

A woman shouting with a megaphone, promoting her brand

Traditional methods of doing this include print advertising such as:

  • Brochures and Guides
  • Newspaper Adverts
  • Business Cards
  • Banners

That may work out just fine for you depending on your target market. If you are trying to exclusively reach the generation of people who still let their fingers do the walking through a printed phone book, the old ways may still be the best ways.…

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UK Startup Paves the Way for Standardised Parking Spaces

The blossoming sharing economy owes much of its success to the simple fact that it connects and empowers people. With the consumer becoming an increasingly willing collaborative participant in the digital rental phenomenon, entrepreneurs have been quick to capitalise on the business potential of tackling everyday irritations.

Ferrari car park

From ride-sharing apps that put an end to cab-hailing, to online chore marketplaces that advertise local odd-jobs, it’s clear that technology is making our lives more convenient.

But as technology replaces old systems that simply relied on advanced planning, for example: booking a specific parking space through an online parking marketplace rather than hoping to find one in an area while driving, we can expect discoveries that highlight industry inadequacies.

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10 Ways to Optimize Your Business Manufacturing Process

Streamlining your manufacturing process can help to save time, save money and help to minimize operational discrepancies. If you are looking for ways to optimize the manufacturing process for your product or factory business, read on for 10 invaluable tips.

Steel manufacturing

Sourcing and Partners

1. Consider Asset Finance

The most cost effective way to replace or upgrade your machinery and equipment is to lease. This relieves the pressures on your business cash flow and gives you a monthly repayment plan. If you want top of the range equipment but can’t put out a large cash outlay, asset finance could help. Find out more about asset finance on Gov.uk.…

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Bringing the World to Australia: Shipping Containers Available Now

If you’re involved in shipping things overseas, you already know how centrally important shipping containers are to your business. If you are shipping to Australia, here is a look at a few places we recommend for acquiring high-quality containers for your shipping business.

Shipping containers at a port

Start with the big names

The place to start regarding affordable shipping containers for sale in Australia is Port Container Services (contact phone number: 1300 957 709). This well-established organization has outlets in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle, Grafton and Brisbane (local addresses are listed on the website), as well as a service featuring containers for hire.…

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Reward your Small Business with the Capital One Spark® Cash Card

Brought to you by Spark Business from Capital One

Obsessed about your business? No, you’re driven. Driven to go above and beyond. So why settle for a business credit card that limits how much cash back you earn? Or charges you for an employee card? In your business, you accept every obstacle, deadline, and challenge but that shouldn’t extend to your business card.

With Spark BusinessSM Credit Cards from Capital One®, you could earn 2% cash back on every purchase, and receive free employee cards. Now those are rewards you can accept.

Learn how you don’t have to settle for less and get all the details at www.capitalone.com/smallbusiness.…

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How to Avoid Late Payments as a Small Business

For small and big businesses alike, late payments can be the bane of a company. It’s a hassle to chase clients around, hounding after them to please pay up.

Sometimes it’s simply because it slipped their mind. Sometimes it isn’t, but either way there are strategies you can put in place to help avoid them.

Invoice

From invoicing techniques to contingency plans these techniques will help you to get paid on time.

The devil in the details of your invoice

Whether your invoice is digital or paper it needs to be as clear as possible. You want it to be easy to pay, and thus the amount owed and ways to pay should be marked clearly.…

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