Category Archives: Main

Job Security or Exploring New Opportunities? Which Should You Choose?

Our jobs put food on the table and pay for the rent however in a 2015 Gallup poll, only 31% of workers in the United States are feeling satisfied with their jobs.

This statistic shows the sheer number of unhappy workers in the US who are just content with picking up a paycheck. Below are some tips on whether you should make that jump or stay with your current employer.

Contentment Isn’t Necessarily Bad

If you are statistically like most of us, then we have learned to be content with what the employment world has given us. Having a stable job that you are content with isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are aspects of the job that makes you content such as the distance to home and the work environment keeps you going the doors to the 9-5 hustle. Most employees stay with their employers due to the security of the job.

After the 2008 global recession, jobs have been difficult to obtain and maintain with the current economy’s uncertainty. If you value the work to life balance and your current job rewards you with a fair pay, then you can settle on what you have and consider a change when you feel like the time is right.

Budget

Relocating to a new city for the dream job changes the dynamics of your life. Your support circle basically ultimately becomes non-existent when you move so you have to plan your life accordingly. Keeping tabs of your finances is crucial to maintaining your life in an unknown place.

The worse thing that could happen is leaving yourself penniless in a big city like New York. Ensure that the job you have gone for leaves you at a financial advantage than you previously were to be able to live comfortably.

Owning A Business

They say that if you love your job is like having no job at all. If you are passionate about something and it is a viable method of earning money, then owning a business is one of the best things you can do. Subject to sufficient start-up capital and clearances, becoming your own boss is the best feeling.

You can kick-start your new career by researching the requirements of how to create a successful business. The financial and legal aspects of it can be daunting at first so make sure you are realistic when starting up.

Confidence Is Key
Leaving your comfort zone can leave the most relaxed person feel anxious. Whether making that jump to a better job in a big city or going alone by opening a new business, it is important that you believe in what you are going to do.

By building a base of self-confidence will enable you to quickly settle into your new ventures and making a success out of it.
Remember…

Our careers evolve from our childhood aspirations of being an NBA star or an astronaut to our college years settling for a decent office job.

If you are one of the lucky ones, you have worked hard enough or was in the right place introducing you to your dream job. The key thing to remember that any changes you make, does not not necessarily be your last.

5 Business Ideas For A Busy 9 to 5’er

In these difficult economic times, the risk of starting a business is the same as the risk of losing your job. Whether you are trying to buy that dream car, pay off your student loans, or safeguard your future earnings, a side hustle can really come in handy. This article highlights some of the best business ideas for the 5-to-9 ers.

Coaching

If you are skilled good at providing consultations to others, you can make up to 300 dollars an hour as a trainer or a coach. Most coaching sessions only take less than two hours hence less time consuming. With the advantage of video conferencing, you can train your clients over the internet. As long as you are able to connect with people and help them, this option can be a great business idea for you. Furthermore, it will serve you best if you treasure your off- time.

Blogging

Blogging can be a lucrative side hustle that will earn you a good chunk of extra bucks. You can start with a word press site as you build your fan/client base. Your revenue will be generated through your blogs from either advertisements or selling subscriptions. As it works for all other businesses, high traffic translates to higher incomes. You will also need to create more references to your blogs through social media and direct references by friends. With blogging, money will still flow to your bank even if you are not working.

Soap maker

You can make either soap or beauty products and sell them online or at local events. This venture allows you to play out your creativity with scents and aesthetics. In this business, holding up the consumer standards is most important. No one would want to get a skin rash or burns from your products. It may not be easy as it may seem during the planning stage and will need more determination and heart to get it operational. You will need o find a reputable supplier for the ingredients.

Clothing designer

You can decide to design you own clothes and sell them online or at the functions. This can be rewarding for a visionary and creative entrepreneur. If you are a part time venture, start with few designs and small productions. Take beautiful pictures and for display on the online stores as you build more networks over your time-plan. You might want to get a fashion expert as well for assistance.

Computer tutor

The demands for computer skills are constantly increasing. The skills of most workers in a particular field become insufficient as the technologies continue to develop. If you are good with windows, Linux or web creation, or other relevant computer software applications, you can utilize your skills to help other and make money off them too. This will require you to establish yourself, develop your curriculum, and acquire the right learning materials to become a computer educator.

All these business ideas will demand endurance, flexibility, and dedication to face the challenges that will present themselves. As a student or an employee, starting out gradually with on a low-cost and a low risk path is highly encouraged.

What Should You Opt for: A Pro Web Designer or Website Builders?

It is not cheap nor easy to hire a professional website designer. And that is why it baffles many people why anybody could opt to employ the services of a professional website designer when they can cheaply and readily use free website builders such as Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and etc. It turns out that there are advantages and drawbacks for each, and each of them is considered incisively below.

For starters, a good website designer can turn your vision to reality. They can easily take the concept stuck in your head and turn it into a live design that you can see. Further, they can develop an interesting design that will set you apart from your competitors.

However, not everyone should use the services of a professional website designer, especially if your business lies under any of the following categories, i.e. hobby, blogger, new business, solopreneur,
unproven concept, small nonprofit, and etc. The deciding factor is often
summarized in the very sagacious words of DJ Quick that If it doesn’t make money, it does not make sense.’ That means that the website should return value for money. If hiring a professional web designer will cause you to lose money, and the venture won’t give you any returns, then stick with website builders such as weebly and wix.

The next most important question is who’d be better off hiring the services of a professional website designer? Somebody might be wondering why they’d need to contract the services of a designer when website builders are so affordable and available. To answer the question, you need to ponder on how much it would cost your business if you don’t get a professionally done website. According to Warren Buffet, the most important consideration in investments is opportunity cost.

Opportunity cost is mostly a comparison of the several options available to you and the determination of the overall best course of action. Therefore, the following persons or entities are better off procuring
the services of a professional website designer: A business that rakes in over $250,000 annually in revenue, a local business that is in a competitive industry, a solopreneur who generates more than $150,000 annually in revenue, a high transaction value business, etc.

As already mentioned, a website is an investment, especially if it can help you generate money. That means the professionally built website should rake in more income that you would otherwise get if you didn’t try the service or chose to try a website builder instead.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Website Designer vs Website Builder

The benefits of a website builder over a website designer include:

Affordability- It costs very little or nothing

Ready- It is only a matter of minutes and you have your website up. A design firm will take weeks.

Decent Design

A website builder has its share of drawbacks, and they include:

It is generic- Most website builder templates look the same. Nothing distinguishes between sites.

Not professionally built – You won’t have someone who understands visitor conversions to optimize the conversion design of your website.

Poor SEO – website builders don’t provide tools to optimize your website

And what about the benefits of professionally designed websites? The benefits include:

Professional design- Professional designers understand website design best practices, colors, fonts, and themes. They understand information architecture, user interface, as well as how design affects visitor flow. Therefore, they’ll do something that is close to perfect when designing your website.

Unique design- Hiring a web designer permits you to have an original and unique design

Optimized for conversion- A professional website designer will structure the design so as to optimize conversions.

And what about the drawbacks? They include A higher upfront cost

Longer time to launch- Quality varies

As is evident, each option has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is upon you to decide what you really need and go for it. Use the criteria outlined above to determine the option that best suits your situation.

Could A New Social Media Giant Emerge in The Near Future?

Where there used to be just MySpace (now a virtual online ghost town), dozens of hugely popular social media platforms crowd the marketplaces these days. All of them are striving to be the most coveted place for people to express their thoughts and share content on the Internet. Facebook may be the current undisputed champion in this category, but sites like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are generating more and more fierce interest from the general public.

Then there is Twitter, lagging a bit behind some stronger competitors despite being the preferred way for US President Donald Trump to speak to his constituents directly. The micro-blogging platform also doubled the maximum character limit to 280 in 2017 in a bid to generate more interest. Still, the company isn’t gaining the kind of viral interest that some of the newer and hipper social media offerings are commanding.

We could actually see an entirely different and unexpected player take center stage in the near future, one that begins to create the kind of buzz that ultimately revolutionizes the social media space and crowns itself a new king. Where the next new darling of social media will come from and what it will need to offer to trounce the competition is still unknown, but some experts predict augmented or virtual reality could play a significant role in shaping the future of all social platforms.

“Think: Sitting on your couch at home, then opening an app and taking a photo of yourself that makes it look like you’re in Egypt sitting on top of a pyramid,” suggests whyzze.com’s Misti Cain. “Or let’s say you’re out for a jog in your neighborhood park. With a simple touch of a button you’re able to take a video of yourself with zombies chasing you in the background. How’s that for #workoutmotivation?”

Tech giant Apple is already offering augmented/virtual reality features on the latest iPhone 8 and iPhone x, following up on similar advances made by Samsung and Google in the smart phone space. More people are turning away from laptops and desktop computers to access the Internet with phones and tablets. Virtual and Augmented reality is also moving away from relying on bulky, heavy equipment to bring the experience to everyday users with much smaller devices that can fit in your pocket.

Live video streaming is also becoming increasingly popular with the launches of Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. YouTube is still as popular as ever, but it also hasn’t changed much with the times. Sites like Vine take advantage of the shortening of the human attention span by only allowing quick-hit, short, looping videos to be featured on the unique platform. Facebook also now offers multiple features incorporating animated .gif files that also include just a small snippet of video. Any new social media platform hoping to attract the masses
simply must provide video-heavy features to users in order to hook them and keep them engaged.

The next trailblazing social media platform also has to cater to more millennial and Generation Z users, who are the real keys to popularizing anything new. Getting these younger folks hooked out of the gate is essential for any social media site that hopes to become a powerful trend. Exponential growth in the space has the social media market crowded with new players trying to claw their way to the top, and it will take a monumental effort by one of these entities to displace big hitters like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest. Though it still may be possible, it definitely won’t be easy.

15 Entrepreneurs Predict the next Big Thing in Social Media

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300813#

https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/2017-10-03-5-social-media-trends-to-prepare-you-for-2018

Human communication and the rise of Chatting apps

This year has seen a rapid increase in the number of chatting apps around us. But then, every other year has been always same. If communication is the base of human civilization, phones have played a major role in building up the structure over that and chatting apps are the central pillar of that communication.

In our tad busy lives, chatting apps act as a life saver for our relationships and a tad easy way to stay in touch. If you’re in the USA and have an iPhone, there’s a fair chance that you use iMessage to stay in touch with your friends or family but that has a limitation. Your friends with their Android and other phones always stay out of the loop. That blue messages are not for them. So, you might be using messenger or just text messages for those non-iOS friends.

See, that is the problem with chatting apps. They have to be abundant in order to be ubiquitous. Another such great app is Messenger by Facebook. Since Facebook is used by a major number of users in the world, this is another way to contact your friends and family. Nearly everyone I know is on Facebook and subsequently on messenger.

You want to talk about Tinder. Well, let’s talk about it. Tinder is another dating platform where you meet your next match by a simple swipe. Swipe right, get a match and you got a date. It can be a dating app but it hasn’t’ got the potential to be a chatting app.

So, what should an ideal chat app be like that can replace all the clumsiness of managing so many apps? If you’all ask me, I need a chatting app that can run on all platforms and I am not talking about just phone platforms but desktops and Mac too. It should have the ability to send and receive media effortlessly. Integration with third-party apps will be highly appreciated. And payments, yes, it should be able to send and receive payments to make my life easier.

Well, I know one. Have you heard of Whats App? There are fairly low chances of that if you stay in the USA. For the rest of the world, it’s a fairly common app. Whats app started as a simple chat app back in 2009 after which it was bought by Facebook last year for a whopping $22 billion. It is an app that uses low bandwidth to send and receive messages over the internet. Whats App compresses the media files in order to save you data.

The app alone account for 11% of mobile traffic in Africa and is famous in other major parts of Asia like India and Pakistan. Whats app recently introduced calling and video calling over the internet like Skype and the video quality is very fair over low bandwidth.

It already has a base of 1 billion users and increasing rapidly. Low bandwidth usage and constantly adding features can be attributed to the growth of this chat app so rapidly. Starting next year, Whats app is testing online payment integration in its app so that business users can make the most of it combined with push notifications.

Whats app is no doubt going to take over as a chat app with the rocket speed in the near future.

E-sports: The Past, The Rise and The Future of the Game

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you’ve probably heard about e-sports already. In an era of digital revolution that has changed everything from shopping and dating to our own culture, it was only logical that sports would also be changed, right?

People had the idea that a sport meant to throw or kick some ball over a hole or boundary while a bunch of cheerleaders clapped and dance in front of you, but in the 90’s and early 2000’s something strange happened: the internet gave video games a big push.

Suddenly you were able to play with people from all parts of the globe in real time, making teams, forming alliances, strategizing, and defeating your enemies. Games like Starcraft 1 and Counter Strike gained worldwide popularity, which led to the creation of tournaments like The Nintendo World Championships, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), QuakeCon, and the Professional Gamers League. Gaming platforms were starting to grow as online gaming became more and more popular every year.

Now let’s flash-forward to 2017.

Tournaments and sponsorships have become a worldwide phenomenon. Big-scale events are thrown every year where companies scout and put all their money on big-league players to compete for million-dollar prizes and world recognition.
Games like Dota2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global offensive, Halo, FIFA, Call of Duty and Street Fighter (just to name a few) all have annual global tournaments that not only offer big cash prizes for its winners but have become international events viewed by millions of people. The scary part? Prizes and viewership increase year by year.
E-sports are at its peak moment right now and hundreds of investigators have concluded that gaming technology is so far advanced that is capable of producing a wide array of high-quality content for every single consumer. Literally, no one can refuse to be attracted to them because game developers are giving us such a diverse group of options that can suit everyone’s tastes, we just can’t get enough.

Part of e-sports tournaments success is due to the fact that every single person who watches them also plays the game, which is not entirely true for traditional sports. Researchers found that people use the viewing process as a way to learn more about the games in question and improve their own skills as players.

Big brands and even traditional sports companies from all around the globe have already started to take a piece of the cake. Ambitious clubs like Paris Saint-Germain have started signing up players from different e-sports such as League of Legends. Their train of thoughts is quite simple: if digital gaming is where the next generation of fans will come from, then we must invest in it.

The most shocking part is that e-sports have evolved and grown year by year into becoming a billion dollar business that has no plans of disappearing anytime soon. Although many retractors say they are not real sports, they sure have given traditional sports a run for their money.

The Latest Trends In 2017 For Bars and Lounges

Bars and Lounges

One of the most popular ways of socializing is to go to a bar or lounge. It is how many people celebrate, commiserate, romance, and unwind with friends. The changes that we are seeing in this kind of nightlife right now, involves the huge rise popularity of premium beverages and boutique drinks. This has changed the whole industry and the way people are partying. As a result this has created a whole new chain of supply and demand.

Bars and nightclubs are a multi billion dollar industry in America. For bars and lounges to be successful in 2017, the key criteria seems to be loyal customers, an adapting menu for food and drinks, and embracing new technology.

Keeping loyal customers

This might not be a new phenomenon, as bars and lounges have always had regulars, but this is definitely the key to success in 2017. Bars and lounges are modernizing, offering new décor, food, drinks, and music options. The true success of a bar or lounge is providing an atmosphere that is so inviting that it encourages repeat customers.

Menu Changes

A trend that has been noted recently, is the popularity of craft beers, ciders, wine, and cocktails. Younger consumers in particular are hungry for boutique beers that are unique and have interesting flavors. This is a worldwide phenomenon and as a result micro-breweries and bars that brew their own beers have been popping up everywhere. The exciting thing about this current love of boutique beverages, is we are seeing a lot of fresh options.

Along with beverages, food is becoming more interesting as well. Many bars and lounges are becoming home to creative bar snacks and a more adventurous range of bar food. The bars and lounges that are really thriving right now are the ones that have jumped on this trend and are selling new and interesting food and drinks.

Technology

The world of lounges and bars has been forever changed by the digital age. The smart phone has become an extended part of most people and as a result bars and lounges are a digital playground. From dating apps to everyone having a camera in their pocket, going out for a few drinks has certainly changed. Bars and lounges that are embracing technology are doing well. The use of digital technology in bars is also taking off. Some bars have utilized digital signage to advertise the price of drinks – the Brew Exchange in Austin Texas has changing prices for drinks according to how popular they are – a kind of beverage stock market. Other bars and lounges are utilizing lighting, screens, and even Smart tables to satisfy this generation.

Overall it seems trends within the bar and lounge scene in 2017 are mostly about gourmet food and drinks and the latest technology. It seems consumers want what they have always wanted – drinks, good music, and laughs. The difference seems to be that now they prefer their beer to have a twist of something special. 2017 is seeing the trend of pop up bars and lounges with a touch of something a little different, doing really well with a younger, more sophisticated crowd.

Are photo booths a fad or here to stay?

Technological breakthroughs in the digital photography have enhanced the quality of pictures taken by people. Photo booths which have emerged thanks to advancements in digital photography have elicited excitement and favor from people. However the big question is if these photo kiosks will soon fade into oblivion or stand the test of time. This article therefore seeks to provide arguments affirming that photo booths are here to stay.

1. The rise of digital photo booths

For many years, photo booths have been unpopular in the market. Most photo booths were of the analogue version hence became faced out and their use dwindled. However, the digital era has facilitated the rise of digital photo booths which are increasingly been incorporated in diverse events. Besides, the digital photos booths have a number of attributes which are enhancing their popularity.

2. The attractive attributes of the current photo booths

There are a number of key variables that have made photo booths find their way back to the world of fame. They are as follows:

They are digital

The photo booths have the capability to produce high resolution pictures. There is also the benefit of choosing either colored or black and white photos.

Highly portable

The mobile nature of photo booths has contributed to their popularity in family gatherings, corporate parties, exhibitions and weddings. It is easy for the photo booths to be transported from one geographical location to another. This is mainly due to the innovations in the software and computer technology that is integrated in the photo booths.

Photo booths provide quality entertainment

As opposed to the past where photo booths were merely used for taking pictures, it is a whole different narrative presently. Nowadays, photo booths provide a chance for people to have an interactive session as photos are being taken. At a wedding for instance, a couple and guests are able to have fun as they take photos. The photos can be customized to suit the needs of the couple and guests making it a fun and joyous affair altogether.

Eco-friendly

The digital version of photo booths does not only take quality photos but also protects the environment. The chemicals used when processing pictures do not pose any harm to the environment. This is in contrast to the analogue photo booths.

3. Photo booths are now marketing tools

Marketing activities of organizations have assumed a new approach as a result of the rise of digital photo booths. Many organizations now prefer to hire photo booth services during end of year parties or other corporate events. Although the primary function of the photo booths may be assumed to be entertainment, the also play a pictorial marketing function. As such, photo booths enable organizations to increase brand awareness in an easy yet effective marketing approach.

In conclusion, digital photo booths are still gaining a reputation as an efficient method of taking photos during weddings, parties and other events. Besides, the photo booths have come bearing gifts-instant processing of photos, colored photos among others. Are photo booths a passing cloud? It is too premature to make a conclusive opinion if they are a craze. Only time will tell if experts in the events and planning industry, wedding enthusiasts and people at large are totally wooed by photo booths.

The 6 Top Quickest Ways to Master Social Media

Social media marketing is imperative for all kinds of businesses making a name for themselves in the digital world we are living in. It’s safe to say that with time, social media marketing has become quite confusing for most business and it has gotten to a point where they need to hire social media marketing professional experts to handle the marketing strategies.

However, there are a few different ways you can master social media very quickly if you don’t have enough to invest in a professional. If you need to know how to make social media fruitful for you, here are some tips and steps that will help you master is very fast.

1. Know Your Audience First

Be aware of what exactly your audience wants to hear or talk about, the things that interest them and what will encourage them to share your content. This will form a basis for the online conversation you have with them. Do some homework and find out what they want from brands and speak to them as if you are one of them.

2. Pick a channel

You need to research where your type of audience hands out depending on what you are offering. Most brands choose to set up accounts on all excising platforms, which is not a bad thing but this takes too much time and effort while your audience might not even frequent most of them. Decide where your brand will do very well and save time and resources

2. Create good content

As a matter of fact, you need to make it great and engaging. Content that will capture your audience’s attention, content they will want to read and share. Great content will bring you a great audience and even more potential customers. Remember to be human when engaging with them and you will score high.

3. Go with a two-way conversation

The first thing you need to remember is that you are not doing your audience any favor, you are actually the one who needs then in order to bolster your business. With that in mind, you need to respond to comments, answer questions and even join them in a conversation so they can warm up to you and know that you can be trusted. This way, they will be more inclined to tell you what they need and what improvements you need to make so you can better serve them.

4. Find influences if possible

People who have an influential presence on social media can be your ticket to great business. Identify a person with a contextual fit, high reach and quality content and get in a deal with them. You could even make them your brand ambassador and instantly gain a lot of customers.

5. Always keep testing

Once you implement a strategy, test how well it is working to see if it is going well. This will help you develop your plan. You should check what time your posts get most engaged and the type of posts that are actually getting more engagement. You will find that some posts get you more followers while others don’t so check to see what is working.

Conclusion

These are some of the best ways you can implement social media marketing for your business. If you follow these tips you will be on top of the game in no time.

5 Effective Up-To-Date Cyber Security Measures for Companies to Combat Hackers

Ransomware Attack

In the recent months, cyber crime headlines have constantly hit the news. Hundreds of companies are hacked each and every day. The dangers that are posed by cyber-criminals and state-backed hackers have proved to be a real threat to organizations all around the world.

With this wave of cyber crimes, now is the best time to proactively prevent your company from falling victim to such attacks. To help you get started, here are effective up-to-date measures that can help protect your company:

1. Use of Virtual Data Rooms (VDR)

VDRs are online storehouses where your business can securely store data. They also make it easier for employees and other authorized persons to share sensitive data within the company. Even though VDRs are commonly used to secure financial information, they can also be used to store legal documentations, intellectual property information, as well as tax paperwork. It’s almost impossible for hackers to access information that is stored in a VDR. So ensure that you get one!

2. Encrypt your data

Hackers usually target credit card accounts, banking routing digits, and employee social security numbers to steal from businesses. It is recommended that whenever important data is at rest, it is encrypted. Installing full-disk encryption tools to your system is the most convenient way of data encryption. Once on, these tools encrypt all the programs and files in your drive with negligible performance lag.

Furthermore, you can utilize encrypted messaging apps to communicate with your employees. For instance, this year Facebook Messenger added an end-to-end encryption feature for advanced information security. Not all messaging apps, however, contain this encryption feature. So before sharing any information, ensure that you review the app you’re using.

3. Get a cyber security insurance

Yes, there is cyber security insurance! If you are a business owner, you definitely need this. Even though we all hope that cyber security breaches never happen, hope is just not good enough. We need to ensure that this risk is covered.

A cyber security insurance will protect your business from various cyber threats. And if there is a security breach, your company will not be crippled by paying tons of money in a lawsuit. Instead, your insurance policy will cover all your legal costs.

4. Hire “White Hat” hackers to test your system

To prevent sophisticated attacks, these ethical hackers can be quite resourceful. They’ll perform high-level penetration tests and attacks – with the company’s consent of course – and identify weak points in the systems. They’ll also help seal the weak points to prevent external attacks. White hat hackers are more effective and efficient than routine in-house tests.

5. System hardening

This is also referred to as security tightening or lockdown. It involves activities such as deactivating unnecessary software that form the basis of simple cyber attacks, configuring software for optimum use, as well as configuring the operating system for better security. System hardening is usually carried out in a step-by-step approach to iteratively reduce the exposed attack surfaces and increase the defensive layers.

Summing up, many security breaches are caused by employees clicking on malicious links or handing over sensitive information unintentionally to hackers who present themselves as reputable persons. Therefore, it is imperative that you supply your employees with the best practices such as securing networks when working remotely and using strong passwords to access company information. All these measures will come a long way in ensuring that critical information is secure.