Personal Finance Technology Trends For 2012

Hello and here’s wishing all of you the best of health, wealth, peace of mind and success with your financial goals in 2012.

I thought I’d start the year off with some trends; especially in technology, that might help you better meet your personal financial goals, because there are a host of personal finance services and applications, or apps as they’re called, that are going to change the way we Americans invest, bank, track our finances, shop, get coupons and so on.

Some of these apps use the web, but increasingly, many are available on mobile devices because more than a third of all American adults now carry “smartphones” with amazing amounts of display using processors that are as powerful as the ones in your laptop.

In fact, if you’re like many of my clients who’ve been holding out against the invasion of technology you might want to reconsider your decision in 2012. This might just be the year to allow the benefits of these innovations to help you gain better control over your finances.

Maybe now’s just the time to stop using a pen to write checks, paper to track your expenses, and scissors to clip coupons, to let technology streamline this process for you a little, and in so doing, to add to your savings and bottom line. Because, let’s face it, your best coupon deals or hotel and airfare discounts no longer come as inserts or advertisements in your newspaper but go to those who use the Internet.

So here are a few ideas for you to reflect on and consider opening yourself up to, and while I encourage you to listen to these with an open mind, adopt only those that you are 100% comfortable with, knowing full well that you could always revert to paper and pen if this turns out to not be your cup of tea, so here are some new ways to think:

1. Think “Mobile Money” How does that sound? Well, here’s the lowdown. With technology where it’s at today, you can now wave your smartphone in front of an intelligent device to make all sorts of payments, and this trend appears to be really catching on because it helps retailers, mass transit operators and others sell more while cutting down costs. With mobile money, your smartphone is securely linked to your bank or credit card account and saves you the hassle of carrying a card, swiping it, getting a bill, signing it, and so on: and it saves the seller money too. Moreover, I suspect merchants and service providers, such as Google Wallet, are going to make this more attractive by offering promotions and discounts to folks that adopt this mobile payment technology, much like they offered incentives in the early days of the Internet.

2. Think: Person to Person Payments. Remember how, when you’re at a restaurant with friends and it’s time to split the bill, you either ask for separate bills or fumble for cash to pay your share of the bill. Well, how about just clicking your smartphones against each other and you’re done? Companies like American Express, Mastercard, Visa and PayPal now offer a host of services that let you easily transfer money between friends using verified bank or credit card accounts. This makes sending money across the street, neighborhood or country faster, easier and less expensive, and remember, you are ALWAYS the bearer of any expense your bank or credit card company incurs in all the transactions you make, so if this technology reduces costs, chances are, some of these savings will flow through to you too.

3. Think: Money Management. There are new web sites that have also turned into apps on your smart phone, such as Manilla.com which I mentioned a few weeks ago in my interview with Terry Savage, and Pageonce which help you manage bills, payments, subscriptions, coupons and more; for free! So you never have to worry about a missed payment, late fees, trips to the post office, stamps, missed deals where you could’ve used a coupon to save big, and so on. What’s more, many of these services genuinely have an environmentally friendly agenda and want to help replace paper clutter with electronic account statements. Other, more specialized sites such as savvymoney.com help customers manage their debt: credit card payments, mortgages, car loans, and automatically give you tips on when to refinance or make extra payments to reduce your overall interest expenses, and so on. Others like betterment.com are designed to simplify investing and finally there is mint.com, whose CEO I interviewed about a year ago which was the first site like this out of the gate. And it’s a good site to bring all of your financial accounts together. So, with an open mind, check them out and sign up for the ones that make sense to you. And remember, you can always opt out if you don’t like ’em.

Now, before I go further, I want to stress that I am not recommending these specific sites or validating what they offer but merely citing examples of technology advances in personal finance that are worth exploring further.

4. Think: Personalized Deals. We all heard about the promise of personalization, and while this has happened to some extent with the Internet, it hadn’t quite panned out in the personal finance space, until now. In fact, to understand personalization, consider trying this experiment. Take your laptop over to a friend’s house and type in the same search phrase: say, “top 10 deals in Miami” in google.com or any other search engine: your friend on his computer and you on your laptop using your friend’s Internet connection while sitting right next to him, I am almost 100% certain that your search results will differ because search engines personalize search results to your browsing history. The good news is that with smartphones and location-based services, stores can now know when you walk into them, what your purchase history and profiles is, and entice you with special offers just for you: personalized discounts and on the spot deals to customers willing to opt into these programs. And frankly, for the most part, you have little personal information to lose that you haven’t already lost by simply using the Internet, Facebook, email, search engines or smartphones at home!

I know it sounds a little scary: like an Orwellian universe, but it’s not as bad as all that. YOU have the right to opt in or opt out of any of these services.

5. And Finally, Think: Social commerce. The Internet spawns strange terms like this one, but what the heck! Apps now let you borrow or even legally take money from individuals across the world: who might want to give you a loan where they believe in you more than a bank, help you out in a crisis, lend you money to do up a kitchen or bathroom, or simply invest in a brilliant idea: private individuals reaching out to each other and opening their wallets in what’s called social commerce without borders. Check out sites like weemba.com or kickstarter.com if you have an idea you think others may want to fund. It’s actually pretty cool to think that banks will no longer control what you can and cannot do, financially. I love the free markets.

But don’t think large banks and corporations aren’t watching all of this very closely and actively stepping in where they sense success: so in 2012 you will likely see a lot more happening in the space of personal finance technology… and as we kick off the new year, I urge you to try and “get with it” if you like, and explore ways of saving time and money by using technology to your advantage.

Azure Technology

Azure is a platform as well as infrastructure useful for cloud computing. It has been created by Microsoft. The key purposes for Azure usage include building, deploying, and managing applications. A global network of Microsoft-managed data centres deploys Azure. This ensures easy data storage and access, along with security.

Azure Benefits offered by Leo TechnoSoft

Azure development company Leo TechnoSoft offers various benefits to develop web solutions using the Azure platform with regards to business, data and management.

Business benefits of Azure

Ability to Scale on Demand: Azure has been built to scale alongside your business. It loads your applications as a cluster allocating a web application to a specific set of processes.

Flexibility: Azure is simple to adapt. It offers a host of application building blocks, along with the services that would allow you to customize the cloud as per your requirement.

Cost Competitive: Azure works with a pay-as-you-go model. This reduces the upfront costs to small businesses. People who have signed a contract can also receive additional enterprise discount.

Customer support: Azure infrastructure is now available in 19 regions across the globe. It has multiple data centre regions. These centre regions provide (and offer) support plans various languages.

Hybrid Capability: Azure provides you with the ability to create hybrid environments.

Pricing: Enterprise with Microsoft Enterprise Agreements receives discounts for Azure ranging from 10-36 percent and upward. In case of no Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, you can buy pre-paid subscriptions; it also qualifies for a discount over on-demand pricing.

Azure Data Benefits

Azure development company Leo TechnoSoft guarantees following data benefits to the users:

Big Data insights: Microsoft Azure HD insight service brings an Apache Hadoop solution to the cloud. It integrates with Excel and allows you to visualize your data in new ways, with regards to uncovering the business insights that would help you to succeed.

Simple and Reliable Data Storage: Azure allows you to store (or share) any type of data in a reliable and fast environment. This includes file data, structured data sets or even queries.

Data Security: Azure was built on the basis of Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle. Based on proven technology and tested around the globe, Azure has the most secure code.

Reliable Backups: Azure always backs up 6 copies of your data. This backup is stored across two separate Azure data centres. This guarantees 99.9% availability of backups.

Integrative Data Solution: Azure integrates data across the full line of Microsoft PaaS and SaaS offerings.

Azure Management Benefits

Azure development company Leo TechnoSoft helps users to manage their data storage and data access via following management benefits:

Automation: Azure Automation would allow you to automate all your tasks in your own customized Azure environment. It offers rapidly build powerful integration solutions.

API Management: Azure API management would allow you to publish APIs to your market (that includes employees or customers) securely and at scale if you create and run a variety of APIs.

Easy scheduling: Azure would allow you to create jobs on complex or simple recurring schedules.

Ability to Run Virtual Machines: Azure allows you to deploy premium virtual machines in minutes including Linux and Windows servers.

Developer Collaboration and Options: Visual Studio Online and Application Insights are available in Azure. These two features provide enhanced collaboration between your dev teams in integrative environment.

Availability of multiple orchestration cluster management tools: Azure has multiple orchestration cluster management tools available for user by default. These tools include Apache Mesos or Docker Swarm. Orchestrators are supported in the Azure Resources Manager API and have ARM templates

Winning With Technology In Self Storage

Technology may not be the driving force behind the phenomenal growth of the self storage industry, but it sure complements the activity, adding to the capacity for generating a return in the business and expanding the possibilities in customer service. Long a dream for many self storage operators, the technology to operate an unmanned facility, leads the list and stands as an example of technological innovations that offer solutions. These electronic systems provide efficient service assistance to customers, freeing time for management staff members, and allow owners to generate a healthier net operating income.

The impact of the gains in technological improvements to the practice of operating self storage may be hard to measure for each individual location, but a bird’s-eye view shows the contrast between the have’ and the have not’s. Go to the intersection of highways 24 and 28 in Anderson, South Carolina, a county seat just about halfway down Interstate 85 between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA. From that intersection take each of the main roads–north, south, east, and west–and you’ll find no less than six storage facilities within two miles. That’s about average for most towns, it seems.

Expectedly, the oldest ramshackle building has an office in another business building on an adjacent piece of property, not even a hint of security, and little curb appeal. The newest, Westside Storage, right beside the area high school has great visibility for the store that has one first-phase building complete and two additional building pads ready to be poured. Great signage calls attention to the features of available storage with state of the art security features. In between, there are the fenced and unfenced stores that feature “Boat and RV Storage,” especially the ones on Highway 24, the most direct route from downtown to Lake Hartwell to the south and west.

The results of your short ride will readily reveal why one or two of the properties show up on brokers’ lists, ready to be sold. As in many lines of business, new competition and demographic shifts in the neighborhood dictate new approaches. In this neighborhood, the more industrial side of the town known as The Electric City, changes come as giant corporations decide whether or not their Anderson branch will stay or go. This southern city, within 20 miles of Clemson University and the research infrastructure it attracts, still holds onto names like Michelin and Honeywell, but has lost facilities and jobs for many of the old-line big names in textiles. The changes are apparent as witnessed by the contrast of new sub-division signs right alongside those that indicate “This Industrial Site is Now Available.”

For the owner or prospective investor, the answer to how to make a go of it rests on the ability to compete. Technological innovations and improvements in the way we do things open the door to generating profits more efficiently. The changes cover the scope of all we do, even from the initial evaluation. Market survey methods, architectural and engineering processes, building materials, construction procedures, security systems, accounting and management systems, and customer services all see innovation and change that make operating a business different. We save time and money. We make operations easier. We make our services more convenient and easy to use.

In a recent Self Storage Developer’s Seminar, one of the industry’s popular consultants showed maps of recent site surveys and commented, “We used to concentrate on the three-mile radius around each site under consideration. Now, with neighborhood transportation transitions, we look at a ten-minute drive. People are more mobile and the traffic management design for each area of the city has a significant impact on the proposed business and its ability to attract customers.”

Paul McElreath works with architects, engineers, and owners to depict all the features and support infrastructure of wiring and conduit for the sophisticated security systems furnished by Digitech International, specialists in security for the self-storage industry. “Each architect used to draft drawings by hand. We would get them and have to manually add our system information to the mechanical drawings, and then move them along to the general contractor. Counting the mailing time, that was a process that could easily take three weeks or more.” Pointing to his computer screen, he adds, “Now, it just takes a few seconds for an architect to e-mail a set of prints. We use a CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing) program to add a few lines, attach symbols, and drag’n’drop a few icons onto the drawing and we’re ready to send them out again within a few hours, depicting a complete system layout. It’s amazingly fast to use the tools that computers make available to us.”

What he says is true in moving information as well. Practical web-based management software solutions have appealed to early adopters who want to leverage the power of the Internet to make operating information available instantly and at virtually any computer terminal or laptop wherever they might be in the world. “The technology involved in parking vital information on a remote storage archive in somebody’s corporate server farm seems alien to some owners who think they still have to maintain local control of their operating data,” says Markus Hecker of SMD Software of Raleigh, NC. “Others, including some of the large real estate investment trusts that own multiple properties, and are gobbling up more through consolidation purchases, see the value of having all the data available instantly for evaluation back at the home office.” His counterpart at Centershift, one of the first software development companies to embrace the model, says that issues of security and redundancy were part of the original design, so that they would never need to be a worry for owners and operators, offering full time operational reliability. These firms, along with many of their competitors, now offer some form of remote information gathering, processing, and delivery.

Timely and convenient customer service and the age-old drive to conserve operating capital by reducing overhead influences the rapidly evolving business of ATM-like kiosks, self-service rental stations, appearing at storage centers in neighborhoods around the country. Notables like Shurgard and Public Storage join the few early adopters in adding the devices and processes in at least a few stores. Robert Chiti, President and CEO of Open Tech Alliance of Scottsdale, AZ, says, “The self-service rental station includes a method for each prospect to initiate a conversation with the home office call center, if they need to, but the tools are built in to allow each step of the process to be automated on the spot. With prompting and on-board video instructions, a customer can go through the steps to complete a lease and be accepted for an immediate move-in.” Positioned more as a manager’s assistant, rather than a management replacement, self-service kiosks offer hope to owners who want to cut away overhead.

Jefferson Shreve, the principal in Storage Express, owner operators of more than 65 storage locations dotting the Midwest, built an original business model around operating unmanned sites. “We started out in secondary markets, challenged to support the cost of operation for smaller facilities. Our average investment gave us about 22,000 rentable square feet, not enough to pay a lot of overhead. We had to find ways to compete effectively with the other properties.” Shreve says they are beyond the testing stage. They invest in the DSL or TV Cable connections that give them high-speed access to the Internet at each site. “We have about five sites now that have the kiosks in place, with orders for another five. That complements what we have been doing with access control and security for each location. Now we can lease properties and keep an eye on them with remote video across the Internet. The innovations have given us tools that allow us to do a better job and still keep the overhead under control.”

Shelly Gibson serves as Training Coordinator for Universal Management of Atlanta, GA, a firm fielding more than 100 employees to staff the more than 40 stores that make up its current roster of contracted clients. “When we’re recruiting, all the new technology at the store level puts more pressure on us to hire right to begin with. We have to be much more careful. Computer skills are an absolute, and we need people who can roll with what comes, because change is constant.” She details her experience, “I started out as a driver of the free move-in truck and part-time manager back in the days when our gate control system was operated with a little Tandy computer. The whole process is so much more in depth now. It takes a lot more training.”

One of her fellow workers, a trainee, and the manager of Quality Self Storage in Roswell, GA, Vanni Hardy, says she has seen many good changes in her twelve years in the business. “All of these things we used to have to do manually were time consuming for us and the customers. Just completing a lease took at least twenty, and usually thirty minutes. Now, the process is more complex and the lease includes a lot more, but we can get it done efficiently within about ten minutes.” Reflecting on what some of the innovations mean to customers, Vanni continues, “People come in to the office and see the monitors on display and it makes them feel secure, even though we don’t use that word “security” anywhere. We have the site graphics display as well. I show the prospects that we can easily keep track of who is on site and which units are being used. They understand it, and it’s impressive to them. It actually makes it easier to explain why we need all the background information as we put together their customer file.”

One of the demands placed on operators within our contemporary society, especially since the terrorist attacks we refer to as 9/11/01, is collecting accurate tenant information. With scrutiny in our industry what it is, or what it has become, the liability for not discriminating in the rental process has increased dramatically. “Our customers, political leaders, and the community-at-large demand a higher level of public and personal safety than previously expected,” says Michael T. Scanlon, Jr., Self Storage Association President and CEO. “Counter Measures is a program we introduced for our members last year that revolutionizes the process at the rental counter. It’s an instant verification of personal information including ID, credit scoring, bankruptcy record, criminal background check, and free monthly updates on customer addresses and information.” Available by subscription through the Self Storage Association in Springfield, VA, the program requires a computer connection by dial-up or high-speed modem. The program is designed to help owners with verification of information for both potential customers and employees.

Vanni Hardy, continuing to comment on the positive changes she has seen come through technological improvements says, “In our store, which is a multi-story climate controlled environment, we have intercoms throughout the building. That saves a lot of walking for our customers and the managers too.” James Doman, Manager for Secured Self Storage in Asheville, NC agrees. “The system we use has the intercom stations tied to the telephone system. When a tenant needs a question answered, they press the call button and it rings my cordless telephone. That way, with the long-range telephone I wear on my belt, I can be anywhere on the site, or even off the site. I can respond to them and get them the information they need.” Underscoring the importance of the convenience he says, “I’ve heard there are larger stores than mine that have as many as forty-eight stations interfaced to the telephone system, but mine isn’t that large. It sure makes it easier for customers though. Another thing that makes my life easier is that, if I need to, I can open the gate from any location on the facility by simply hitting the number 9 on my cordless phone.”

Mike Mead, an electrical engineer by training has been installing electronic security systems for owners of self-storage across the State of Texas for nearly two decades. Owner of Dallas Automatic Gates, Mike says, “Some of the biggest changes we’ve seen are making it easier to install the security systems quicker, and they’re more thorough too. The latch-type alarm contact for individual unit door alarms is a great improvement over the dual contact switches we used to attach to the door track. They’re all reliable when they’re installed correctly, but the QuickSwitch and LatchGuard can be installed a lot quicker, saving both time and money.” The activating device attaches to the door track. Rectangular in form, it creates a collar around the door latch. As the latch is moved to unlatch the door curtain, a magnetically sensitive switch embedded in the collar senses the movement. As with any of the door alarm systems, if a valid code is not entered in the access control system, and the unit door is opened, an alarm will sound.

“The biggest competitive advantage that’s new amongst the security tools now available for owners of self storage to use is the wireless door alarms.” Small, battery-powered transmitters installed at the exterior of the doorway to each unit serve a similar purpose. If the door is moved without a verification code being approved by the software system, an alarm sounds. “The fact that the system can be installed without having to enter each unit makes it an addition that even existing facilities can use,” Mead continues. “New technology may have hurt some of the little guys a bit, but not all. We’re helping several owners refurbish their older sites to keep up with the newer competition. With the wireless door alarms, new cameras, and some added curb appeal, they’re able to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak.”

As Jefferson Shreve and others have proved, the tools of technology make operating a smaller site more feasible. At the same time, Michael McGowan, active in acquisitions for Public Storage, Inc., the nation’s largest operator, says, “Maybe it’s coincidence, and it has to do with the markets where we look for properties, but we just don’t see properties that don’t have the bells and whistles for operations and security. We’re a big believer in the tools ourselves, and it looks like other owners are making them pay off as well.”

Technology and innovation will continue to impact the way we do business. We want to find faster and more efficient systems, less expensive materials, and better processes to achieve our profit goals. Like they say in business and design schools across the land–do it faster, cheaper, and better. You can win.

Basic Technology History

Online Technology Source

Computers:

First Computer Invented:

Most people when they think of first computer invented they think Bill Gates. This, however, is not true, for the computer was invented long before Bill Gates was around. Bill Gates only revolutionized the computer, buy creating a more compact and useful form of the computer and making it available to everyone with a job.

There are many people out there who would say that the first “computer” was the abacus, invented in Asia about 5000 years ago. I however, wouldn’t.

The first of the “modern” computers was invented during World War II, in 1941 by a German engineer named Konrad Zuse. Its name was the Z3 and it was used to help design German airplanes and missile’s. Then in 1943, the Allied forces developed a computer called Colossus. It helped decode German messages.

The Mark I, designed by Howard H. Aiken, an engineer working with Harvard and IBM. The Mark I was positively huge, taking up half of a football field. It was useful though and it helped to create ballistic charts for the US Navy during the war.

Shortly after this, came the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), developed by John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly, working with the government and the University of Pennsylvania. ENIAC was about 1000 times faster than The Mark I but no smarter.

The Use of transistors, ment computers that could store memory and even run programs. Soon after computer languages were invented so that people could change the programs run by the computer. Finally computer research brought us smaller, more useful computers, and eventually the kinds of computers that we have today.

First Laptops Invented:

Although it is a little hard to determine what the first portable or laptop computer was, and when it was invented, we can however say that there is more than one claim to laptop fame. There was even signs of laptops dating back as early as 1979. Designed by a Briton, William Moggridge, for use by NASA in early 1980’s. IT was one fifth the weight of any model equivalent in performance and was a 340K byte bubble memory lap-top computer with die-cast magnesium case and folding electroluminescent graphics display screen.

Since then notebook PC’s released in 1981 lay clam to being the first. It was the Epson HX-20, a battery powered portable computer, with a 20-character by 4 line LCD display and a built-in printer that started the new widespread desire for these laptop computers.

In January of 1982, Microsoft’s Kazuhiko Nishi and Bill Gates begin discussions on designing a portable computer, based on using a new liquid crystal display or LCD screen. LCD technology in 1982? Yeah that’s right! Believe it or not we had the technology to make the LCD tvs and monitors that you’ve seen only recently over 22 years ago. But that’s another story in itself.

First PDAs Invented:

First of all PDA stands for personal digital assistants in case you didn’t already know. In 1993, Apple Computer Inc. released the very first PDA(personal digital assistants) “The Newton®”. For the next three years, PDA sales dwindled, and were almost off the charts. Then, in March 1996, Palm(TM), Inc. delivered the industry’s first truly compelling handheld computer, the PalmPilot. Today there are to many PDA companies and products to even bother mentioning.

Some Things You Can Do On A PDA:

Get a Wireless Connection

Surf the Web

Play Music and Video Files

Watch movies Using PocketTV

Play a Game

Use Your Pocket PC as a backup device

Update Office Documents

Download and read E-books

Listen to Audio Books

Connect to Windows servers using Terminal Services

Use Messenger Tools

Change the theme of your Pocket PC

Project the Pocket PC screen onto your desktop

Study

Do Your Taxes

Some PDA Software:

Medical/Drug Resources PDA Software

Medical Calculators PDA Software

Learning Tools PDA Software

Patient Tracking PDA Software

Document Readers PDA Software

Medical Equipment PDA Software

Databases PDA Software

Printing PDA Software

News and Information PDA Services

Street Finders and Maps PDA Software

Bible Study PDA Software

Voice Command PDA Software

Language Translator PDA Software

Tax PDA Software

Home Entertainment Technology:

Home Entertainment really is just a collaboration of all our entertainment technologies into a package that surely will not disappoint us. Home entertainment systems have many different parts that together give us the feeling of being at the movies.

Plasma TV

LCD Panel TV

DLP Rear Projection TV

Video Projectors

Surround Sound Audio Systems

Speakers

DVD / CD / VCR Players

Accessories and Furniture

Satellite Television

Media Center HTPCs

First Television Invented:

The first signs of a tele date back to the 1862 when Abbe Giovanna Caselli invents his “pantelegraph” and becomes the first person to transmit a still image over wires. In 1900, at the World’s Fair in Paris, the 1st International Congress of Electricity was held, where Russian, Constantin Perskyi made the first known use of the word “television.” In 1930 Charles Jenkins broadcasts the first TV commercial. The BBC begins regular TV transmissions.

Then throughout the years the inventions came one after another. In 1950 the FCC approves the first color television standard which is replaced by a second in 1953. Vladimir Zworykin developed a better camera tube – the Vidicon. In 1956 Robert Adler invents the first practical remote control. In 1973 giant screen projection TVs are first marketed. Followed by Sonys release of the first home video cassette recorder in 1976.By time 1996 came around there was a billion TV sets world-wide.

First DVD/Player Invented:

We can only assume the transition over from cd’s and cd players over to dvds and dvd players wasn’t that hard. The technology was already there for them. So the dvd player was surely invented before or right after the dvd was invented. DVDs are the work of many companies and many people. The DVD evolved from CD and related technologies. Companies such as Sony, Philips, Toshiba, Matsushita, Time Warner, and others announced the new “high density” dvd in September of 1995.

Online Technology Source

Technology Topics for Think Tanks and Radio Responses for Listeners Debated

Welcome radio listeners and online article readers. In fact, welcome everyone not only to this program but also to the future. Technology is changing the way we live each and every day in very profound ways. It is also constantly rearranging the free-market with disruptive technologies causing challenges for status quo old companies, employment, and it’s difficult for the colleges and universities to keep up with this technology, as it seems they are always teaching and training people to do last year’s jobs.

Therefore, in the future these folks who have paid $100,000 in student loans may not even be working in those fields where they got their degrees. Statistically that has been the case, but it is going to be even more so in the future. Okay so, that’s what this program is about today on this 23rd day of October 2012 – how the future technologies will change everything.

The rules are simple; I talk, you listen. Then after 30 minutes I will open up the phone lines, or if you are reading this article online you may post a comment below. The first topic of the day is;

1.) Google’s Dominance and Disruption to the Newspaper Industry

Indeed, I believe it was Larry Page of Google who noted that the newspaper industry’s days are numbered. He stated that there won’t be newspapers in the future; that is printed words on paper being delivered to your doorstep. He was predicting the death of newspapers, and he did predict when it would happen, he said it could happen in a few years, or perhaps even a decade, but they wouldn’t exist in the future. Few could deny what he was saying, and when he made that common a few years ago the newspapers were laying off, merging, or simply going out of business.

Some newspapers have found that they can set up pay walls to make extra money, and perhaps the technology we talk about as tablet computers has at least help them in that regard where people can take their newspaper with them on the go, and read it online for a couple of dollars a month or week. This is worked well for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other well-known and well read newspapers. But it doesn’t seem to be working for all the local newspapers, although some who have a stranglehold on their local market are doing okay with pay walls as well.

Then again, why would anyone pay to view a newspaper online when they can go to Google News, surf the news and get information from all over the planet, perhaps even better information, or articles which have been downloaded from the Associated Press into regional newspapers. Often many of these stories we read on the other side of these pay walls is nothing more than regurgitated Associated Press news anyway. Thus, one should ask; why should we pay?

An article on ARS Technica titled; “Brazilian press to Google News: pay up or leave our content alone – Google says being told to pay is like, “taxing a taxi driver for taking tourists to eat.” By Megan Geuss on October 21, 2012 was curious. The same thing has been happening in France, and other places and it appears that they are trying to get Google tripped up in copyright law. You must realize that copyright law is different in Europe and perhaps in Brazil and other places. In the United States we have “Fair Use” case law on the books which seems to allow at least a paragraph and reference to a new story.

Google has been quite good at sending traffic based on this “fair use principle” with links to the actual article, that is if you want to read more. Sometimes people don’t, and perhaps this is what the Brazilian press is concerned about. People just read the first paragraph, and headline, and then they don’t need to read the newspaper, buy the newspaper, or pay to go beyond the pay wall of that organization online. These companies believe it is hurting sales, but in actuality Google is probably helping them much more than it is hurting them. Shouldn’t the newspapers all over the world get with the program and get into the 21st century?

The reality is that status quo industries die hard, and they fight to the end using their power to propel their political will onto the market. However, with no innovation everyone is left back in the Stone Age, and that means we may as well be reading our text on chiseled stone, or hard to get parchment paper. The printing press changed the world, and now it is changing again, it’s time to get up with the program, and enjoy the trillions of pages online from whatever new source they come from. If these Brazilian newspapers wish to limit what their readers read and be their sole source of information that is rather self-serving.

Further, the mass media has often tried to control the minds of the people, and therefore has absolute control over the politics of the society and civilization. Obviously they don’t wish to lose that, and who could blame them, power is addictive. We know that from our own politics, and we certainly know it from human history. There are no differences from what I can see. Of course, one could say that all of this Internet flow of information contains very few gems, and much of it is just a barrage of information pollution. Speaking of pollution let’s switch gears and talk about real pollution and some new technologies for moment shall we?

2.) Better Local Pollution Emissions Technology

Recently, the AQMD in Southern California had complained that pollution levels had increased. But where was all this pollution coming from? Well, it was coming from a number of sources, different types of pollution interacting. Some of that, 1% of the pollution in the atmosphere in California has blown across the entire Pacific ocean from China. China says it isn’t their pollution because they are making products to send to America, therefore it is actually America’s pollution, therefore the United States shouldn’t complain.

Indeed, China is using coal-fired plants to generate electricity often without the clean coal technology which they now have available to them if they wish to buy it from Germany, or in some cases they’ve already copied it and installed themselves. You have to love the Chinese when it comes to proprietary information, they don’t seem to have any ethical knowledge of how that works, perhaps because their society went for thousands of years copying each other, and they assume that if you were a friend, or a fellow farmer you would share your secrets and cultivation technology with them.

Indeed, during the Communist periods they also shared technology, and they didn’t have patent law or intellectual property rights. Their culture is much different this regard and it’s been difficult for them to grasp this concept, but then again there are also companies which know the rules, but flagrantly violate them to turn a huge profit. Now then, back to the pollution problem in Southern California. It was also noted by the University of Riverside that much of the pollution in the LA basin was coming from not only the aircraft at the airport at LAX, but also from the ships bringing products into port Los Angeles and Long Beach port.

These giant cargo ships would get in long lines bringing, and while waiting in line idle their smoky and sooty diesel engines, waiting to unload their containers from Asia, mostly China. Those big diesel engines do not have pollution control devices on them like our modern day trucks and automobiles. They spew pollution into the atmosphere and during those foggy days it would combine with water vapor and other pollution caused by local surface transportation, refineries, and factories. These combinations make a wicked ugly looking atmosphere blocking out the beautiful blue sky. To top it off, the trains which are often able to allow for more pollution (old rules for rail) would pick up those containers and take them across the country. Because many of these cargo ships could not get through the Panama Canal as they are so large, they drop off the containers and then they go by rail the rest of the country.

Containers going locally in California or nearby states will often jump on intermodal trucks for some of the distance, and those trucks add traffic to our freeways and smog to the atmosphere as well. Now then, Gizmag had an interesting article; “New software improves measurement of greenhouse gas emissions,” by Antonio Pasolini published on October 22, 2012. These new technologies along with the software can help us know where the smog is actually coming from. My question is what happens when the EPA gets a hold of this, and starts going after specific companies, and industries with this new knowledge?

It’s not that we don’t wish to reduce pollution, no one wishes to breathe dirty air, but this will throw new rules and regulations and rather staunch enforcement on industries which previously haven’t had to deal with it. One could say they’ve been polluting all long, it’s time they stop. Surely, but if we clamp down on them too quickly, we will disrupt the supply chain, raise consumer prices, and have to deal with increased wholesale inflation on everything that we buy. So this technology helps us understand our environment and the actual emissions into the atmosphere from human activity, but it is also quite disruptive because the regulatory authority, specifically the EPA knows no bounds.

Of course, then we will get into issues with union lobbyists, and big companies who do not wish to comply with onerous EPA rules and they will tell everyone that if the EPA doesn’t knock it off, they will lay off workers. That could hurt the economy as well, and therefore they may go after little companies rather than the big companies, therefore creating barriers to entry in various industries, or the EPA could require new pollution control devices which would be too expensive for small businesses, therefore the larger businesses will survive, and the small businesses which provide competition creating lower prices for consumers will go the way side.

Indeed everything is interrelated, the advection fog that we see during the “June Gloom” off the coast of California, that fog mixes with the pollution and it heats up in a temperature inversion challenge in the LA basin. Throw in a few X-flares and solar maximum with increased temperatures, and now we’ve got the pot cooking exacerbating the pollution problem. Speaking of X-flares they probably affect much more than we might realize. So let’s talk about that for a moment shall we?

3.) X-Flares Occurring and Days of Rage Considered

Not only do solar flares and the solar maximum cause faster polar ice melt issues and change the mixtures and re-combinations of pollution while causing temperature inversions carrying that pollutions higher and thus, across a greater region, but some surmise that it also effects human behavior, at least social scientists have been attempting to study these correlations although the data is hard to get ahold of and we are learning more and more each year about such anomalies, or even inverse relations to solar flares.

On October 23, 2012 there was an X-1 class solar flare, which will affect the upper atmosphere during daylight hours over Asia and Australia. It would indeed be interesting to see if things heat up there in those regions with regards to minor civil unrest, increase in crime, or greater tensions over the territorial waters off the coast of China. We might find some interesting things in the news if we were to put the puzzle pieces together? And what of the Middle East during solar flare events – as in what happens when the Arab Spring, or fall fighting season corresponds to already overblown tensions plus the proverbial religious holidays of either side while solar flares are occurring?

Want to check the record and recent history and get back to me on that one? The reason I ask is; I was talking to someone from Washington state up in the Seattle area, a social worker, who indicated to me that her large caseload allowed her to see the differences of when her clientele had fits of anger, or challenges with their behavior. I met her in the Starbucks, and she proposed that my hypothesis was real, and she convinced herself of that fact. I don’t believe we have enough empirical data or evidence to prove it, but I think more research is needed. Oh, and speaking of Starbucks and having conversations I think the world has changed a little bit and let me tell you why;

4.) Are Tablet Sales Helping Retail Sales at Starbucks?

It seems to me that more people come into Starbucks and they are busy playing on their iPhone, Android, or tablet computer. They are reading the news and minding their own business almost as if they are ignoring everyone else in the place. It used to be that people went to coffee shops to have a dialogue or discussion, or get social interaction. Today people are going and sitting down, plugging into the free outlet and using the free Wi-Fi. They don’t seem to be doing a lot of talking, albeit some of them get on their cell phones and disrupt everyone else.

So, is Starbucks the new place to go now not to have an intellectual discussion, but rather to use your personal tech devices so you don’t have to sit at home and you can be on the go? In other words, is it a destination point other than where you live to get out of the house and use your personal technology? Is that helping Starbucks sales? It could be, and they seem to be catering to that crowd, although they are catering to anyone who comes in to buy for dollar cup of coffee I suppose.

Indeed, I don’t think it is hurting sales, although it is difficult these days to get a decent conversation, thus, it may be limiting some of those folks from coming in as often, but then again many people are addicted to caffeine so they are going to go there and sit amongst the people with their tablet computers, perhaps sharing information with them in real-time. I’ve seen that happen too, where the debates and discussions are done in real time. Where someone will say; “did you hear about” such and such, and the other person will say; “yes” because they just got a news alert themselves.

Maybe these tablets are becoming a muse for coffee shop discourse? What I’m saying is this, technology is often disruptive and it changes the way we think, and live our lives. Have you ever wondered what will happen when 3-D printers are in every home? Let’s discuss that.

5.) 3-D Printers May Change Our Home Lives

Well, why go shopping at the store if you can buy the material you need, and merely print your furniture, silverware, cups, plates, houseplant pots, figurines, and other home decorations? Perhaps tools for the garage, picture frames, and all sorts of other things. That would be my guess, and I believe that’s happening in the future. Once you print something, depending on the type of material you use you may need to heat it up in an oven, or zap it in the microwave to get the material to fully fuse together, and harden the material so it never falls apart.

Does this mean people will be buying larger microwaves, and request larger ovens in their home? Will this spur on more home appliance sales for General Electric and other appliance makers? That would be my guess, and I wonder if Hewlett-Packard understands that future as well? Maybe they may have six-in-one printers instead of five-in-one (printer, fax, scanner, etc.) for the future? Likewise, the quality of 3-D printer you buy will determine the quality of the product you produce when you order the electronic file with the CADCAM design of exactly what you want.

Indeed, people will be able to tell if you created the object using a high-quality 3-D printer, or some cheap knockoff brand. Let’s say a figurine might be judged by its quality and by its attention to detail. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t take and X-Acto knife before you harden it to ensure the details are pristine. You may even decide to paint the figurine thus, painting over any flaws. Then you will throw it in the oven, before you put it on display in your home. Does this mean that hobby craft supplies may be a nice place to invest, or will it too be a victim of 3-D printing where people print those supplies as well?

In any case, because of this issue of quality and detail we may have more of our citizenry going for quality rather than quantity. Okay so, which manufactures will be hurt by 3-D printing in the future? It could cause a terrible challenge for the transportation industry because they will no longer be shipping products, and it could hurt the commercial real estate industry because big box retailers will not need to display items anymore, everyone will order it online, even use holographic displays to see the item before they order the file to print it at home.

China could be the big loser in this because they do so much in-country manufacturing. It could cause 100 million people to lose their jobs in China for instance. That could be enough to economically implode the country, causing an overthrow of the government. Sure, that is a speculative theory, but not so out of whack considering human history you see.

What about auto parts manufacturers? Many of those jobs have moved to Mexico from the United States, and we have a tremendous number of knockoff automotive parts being produced in China. This does an end run on China and the intellectual property and patents theft, which one could say is poetic justice, but we will be hurt here at home too. We make parts for all sorts of things; cars, trucks, airplanes, medical devices, hardware, and you name it. That will surely hurt manufacturing jobs.

Of course, it will spawn a new industry of 3-D printing material, and it really already has. There are several companies that think they have a lockdown on what type of material will be used in future, but I assure you that as these 3-D printers get better, and we get better at manipulating molecular assembly, and assimilation, that those pioneers of these 3-D printing materials will have to stay up with the game, or relinquish their market share to future innovation.

Now then, if folks are shopping less at retail stores, that will affect the retail industry as well, but people might also be driving less, therefore cutting down on the amount of fuel that that use. Still, this means that sales tax revenue for the cities, counties, and states will decline because they will be buying less fuel, and fewer things in the retail store. Also, you can expect that those items that they print in their own home will cost less than if they purchase them in a store, because the store has the supply chain which also adds to the cost of the product. Therefore all the things that they print will in fact be cheaper for that consumer. Lower costs mean lower sales tax revenue as a percentage.

Further, it is the materials which are sold in bulk where the consumer will be spending the most money, just as now people can almost get a free printer, but the big money is made in the price of the ink they have to buy to keep it recharged, just look at the prior decade of HP earnings as they are broken down in their annual shareholder’s reports.

What I’m saying is this will be a paradigm shift and affect every industry all at once. If you think that future isn’t coming, believe me it’s already in the pipeline and we already have 3-D printers in many high schools throughout the nation. Students are getting the idea of exactly what this technology can do for the future, and they are creating new applications for it.

Anyone who stops and thinks about it can see how it will affect whatever industry they are in – just think of the construction industry. If you need more nails, you don’t have to go down to the hardware store, you just make them on the job site. A plumber would not need to bring any pipes on his truck, all he’d need to do is take his portable 3-D printer, and do a 3-D scan of the pipe fitting that broke, and then print it and use it, job done, here’s your bill. No need to run to the hardware store to buy a part, and then come back later. He will be much more efficient.

Each entrepreneur in every single industry will consider what they need, and how they can use a 3-D printer to solve those problems. Once the technology exists, and it is workable, it will be everywhere. Humans seem to love things, they collect trinkets, objects, and they display them in their homes and domiciles. That is human nature. That is how human culture has evolved in society. It hardly matters which civilization you go to, they all have their knickknacks, statues, and artwork for display. Now they can display it all to their heart’s content.

There will be even greater abundance of choices. Perhaps people’s homes will become almost like museums of their own interests. Someone who likes aviation might have every model of every airplane ever built all over their home. Maybe this will replace bookshelves because books are all going to be electronic. Perhaps you have friends like I do who collect things. Once they get a hold of a catalog, or go online and see what’s available, they will be printing away like mad. Indeed I bet the professional psychiatry and psychology associations will come up with new mental addiction disorders to explain all this – it’s much like hoarding in a way – and we’ve all seen those crazy TV show examples.

That wouldn’t surprise me at all, nor should it surprise you. After all, we now realize that people get addicted to video games, and that our personal technologies are causing a lack of attention. Modern technology causes such things, and we should be ready for the next wave of 3-D printing challenges on our society and civilization. Perhaps all this is nothing more than the modern version of cave paintings. So, has mankind really changed all that much?

Many folks claim that people are too materialistic in our modern society, sure that’s true enough – these same folks will tell us that consumerism has ruined society, okay maybe to some extent that too might be the case, still, when 3-D printers are in every home, let’s just see what all those detractors of human innate characteristics happen to say when they themselves start printing away!

Tell you what, why not walk around your home for 15-minutes – right now and start writing down all the things you see, the smaller items perhaps under 2-foot by 2-foot. If you will note your home is filled with such items, just look in your kitchen, living room, home office, bedroom, and your bathrooms. See what I mean. Nearly all of it could be 3-D printed. Plus, if you don’t like something, let’s say that ugly cable TV box, you could order the e-design for a façade cover, one which let in airflow, but one which would allow that cable box to become a nice shape of something you like instead, or the base for an object.

Maybe you like model sailing ships from the Spanish Armada? Your cable TV box becomes the base of the model ship which covers up the ugly design and hides it in an art form for instance. Please realize I just made this up, but it could be whatever you want. Use your creativity, maybe you could become a designer and find folks willing to buy your designs for common things like this online and you receive a royalty from the online catalog.

Perhaps Amazon will get into the scene, or maybe this will be a new venue for Google, Microsoft, Apple, HP, or some new brilliant start-up entrepreneur who starts this business out of their dorm room at Harvard and also gets the money connections he needs to nearly unlimited capital to make it happen – and then goes public – think about how many times that scenario has happened and how it’s changed our world forever – and it hardly has to be Harvard for an optimal start-up.

Indeed, I hope you are beginning to see the glimpse into this future, the future of 3-D printing, because like the social networks, Internet, search engines, computer, and mobile tech this changes everything in every industry. The world will never be the same, the cat is out of the box, and it is alive – and it has been eating catnip, so look out.

Okay, well, my 30-minutes of talking are up, and you don’t have to listen to me anymore, it’s your turn to talk, and thus, I will open the phone lines. If you are reading this as a radio transcript turned into an online article, well, go ahead and leave a message below.

“Welcome caller number 4, you are on the air, what say you?”

How Technology Has Changed the Ecommerce Field

Technology is fast paced and the effect is something that we all are aware of. With so many changes happening due to the advancement in technology the e-commerce world has affected the most. Even the customers these days are tech savvy and prefer to shop online. The customers are much smarter than before where they could be befooled with the prices and the product quality. They know more than we think and know how to find the perfect store to place their orders.

With technology being so fast, it gets easier to track the orders online and they can also choose how they wish to communicate with their retailers online. The retail e-commerce sales have gone since 2014. In 2017 the sales went up to 2.3 trillion US Dollars by 2021 it is expected to grow up to 4.88 trillion US Dollars.

Increase in e-Commerce Sites

There has been a tremendous increase in the e-commerce sites. Almost every business is moving online today because they know their shoppers are waiting for them online. No one has the time to shop in stores because of their busy schedules, but with so many options online everything has become easy. Most of the online stores have started displaying offers & discounts to attract customers. There are offers like “Get 20% off on Your 1st Purchase”, etc. Today, there is nothing better than getting the time to sit at home and shop for your favorite dress from your favorite brand. And then it is delivered home. Who does not want this luxury? It also saves the money of the retailers, by not needing a store to display more than 1000s of products.

Some Facts

  • Average e-commerce conversion rates vary from 3% to 4%.
  • U.S.e-commerce sales reached $396 billion in 2016 and are predicted to grow to a massive 684 billion by 2020.

Increase in Mobile Apps for e-commerce

Every online business is moving to the mobile world. it becomes easy for them to do business even while they are traveling. And shoppers love using their mobile. 55% of companies have a mobile-optimized website, mobile app, or both. Every 1 in 4 e-commerce dollars is spent on a Mobile Device. Here is a glimpse of the 3rd Quarter of 2017.

It makes it easier to connect with your users through a mobile app. They can avail the offers while on-the-go and can directly complete purchases through the various payment options and payment gateways. Having a brand’s app on your phone tempts you to look into it for new arrivals or new offers, similar is the customer’s mind, hence mobile apps are increasing.

Online Payment

With the growth in e-commerce, there is an increasing demand for advanced and dynamic online payment options. There is also a growth in payments technologies through websites and mobile apps. This makes selling and buying of products easy and simple. There are international payment facilities also available that makes it easy for cross-border shopping with online payment solutions like PayU. With this customers can pay while on-the-go without the need to use their cards or other details. It saves a lot of time & money for both the customers as well as the businesses. Payment Gateways like PayPal have 70% higher checkout transactions than non-PayPal transactions.

Retailers take customers attention

Over the years email notifications are quickly being swarmed out by advertisers for mobile push notifications. With these features, marketers can get consumer attention like never before.

Promotional messages that were considered spam at one time can now directly be seen by the users on his mobile screen, updating them about the new offers or products.

Personal Shopping Experience is growing

Nothing has changed when it comes to personal attention while shopping. Every shopper wants a personalized experience with the growth in technology. Technology ensures that every shopper feels good with some personalized offers only for them. Making use of technology to send a birthday and anniversary offer gives them a feeling of being important and remembered.

Express Delivery & Huge Discounts

Who does not want a product at a lesser price without having to bargain with the shopkeepers? Who does not want their product delivered same day without going to the store. The competition and demand for both are increasing. This is challenging sometimes, but with stores offering a same-day delivery option with extra charges is getting popular among the consumers. Amazon is one such site that all consumers are fond of today.

Social Media

Social Media has played a huge role in bringing the customers closer to the retailers. Customers can directly send messages to the brands and get replies quickly to their queries. It has enhanced customer service to a great extent. In fact, brands have also started using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. for promotions. In fact, there is a direct call to action buttons like “Shop Now’ ‘Buy Now’ on these platforms that allow customers to buy directly from the page. They are giving the customers a chance to discover the brand and see what more it has to offer them

These are few ways technology has impacted e-commerce to a great extent. These are not the only ways but just a few of the popular means that have impacted e-commerce and the businesses online. These ways have played a major role in transforming e-commerce and making it this large as it is today. Offers, discounts, and multiple payment options have open doors for small businesses to start online businesses with little investment.

Conclusion

Mobile friendly websites and mobile apps have changed the way people look at e-commerce. It has become the most preferred way of shopping for most of the people. Along with social media mobile apps are helping businesses to get bigger profits through these platforms. In fact, some of them are starting their online businesses from home with little investment. In all technology has impacted in the most positive way to help in the growth of e-commerce and all online businesses.

How Mobile Application Technology Is Creating Value for Brick and Mortar Retailers

Mobile application technology is a powerful lever for the growth of online business. This has specially been the case with the retail industries. Some of the most established businesses in retail have harnessed mobile applications development and web application development to create business models with high returns on investment, on-demand delivery and finally customer delight. This has given way to the preconceived notion that mobile application development has aided online retailers while pricking thorns in the feet of brick and mortar retailers. Conventional wisdom suggests that with the advent of e-commerce, footfalls in shops have been decreasing. This however is a myth. While online shopping has caught up speed, web portals do not exhibit the entire range of products and hence in a way limit the freedom of choice of consumers. Thus there exists a case for the tech savvy consumer researching a sample size of the product range displayed online and then returning to the brick and mortar store to make the purchase. In this article we take a close look at the brighter side of how mobile app development services are bolstering the businesses of brick and mortar retailers and allowing them to make the most of the retail boom.

Mobile App Development and Data Driven Retailing

A recent study report that appeared in the Harvard Business Review by Christopher Tunnard and Bhaskar Chkarvarti claims that countries across the world can be classified into four groups, namely stand out, stall out, break out and watch out. Break out countries according to their study are characterized by the following macro level features:

  • Have the potential to develop strong digital economies
  • Have a low overall score owing to lack of corporate culture
  • Are growing rapidly and poised to be stand out countries in the future

While these macroeconomic data may sound good, micro economic data needs to be diagnosed to make business sense of technology. The business research firm Forrester has estimated that up to $70 billion of sales will be aided by the web within the next three years. The point though is that retail industry has always been characterized by a high obsession with return on investment. At the ground level, corporate enterprises and even startups in retail are less than motivated to embrace digital initiatives like a web application or app development unless there is hard data to convince them of the conversion of visitors and leads into sales. The biggest challenge for retailers and application development service providers then is to understand the dynamics of conversion.

Niffler, a loyalty program app has till date seen 50,000 downloads. Users use the Niffler code at the point of sale and that data is captured to assess sales conversions. Most retailers belonging to the small and medium business (SMB) category do not have the technology and skilled manpower at the back-end to figure out the conversion rates implying a hesitance in embracing technology. This challenge necessitates application development companies to respond to the challenge with not just technical expertise but business consulting backed by web, mobile and social analytics. Measurement of key result areas across different platforms like web application, social application and mobile apps can enable enterprises to observe results and develop a direction to embrace digital initiatives.

A three pronged approach as suggested above shall lay an equal emphasis on each of the components to create a fully integrated digital strategy for retailers to analyze the metrics of traffic and conversion and develop applications for the concerned platform. While proxies discussed above make some approximation, innovation in combing the three aspects at cost-effective levels would cement a concrete model of digital business. Brick and mortar retailers when equipped with digital artillery can create multiple access points for the consumer to educate himself on not only product range but also on prices, promotional offerings, discounts, loyalty tokens and brand value. Moreover the data generated from web applications, mobile apps and social networks can be analyzed to better understand demand patterns and thus pave the way for an on-demand model.

How To Use Technology To Expand Your Small Business

Did you ever try to think how technology brings a change in our economy? Have you ever tried to notice and realized the existence of your business without the technology? You would have simplified a lot of things which were full of complexities with the help of technology. When you start thinking about the technology, you would realize that it enabled a small business to reach the top despite the tough competition.

You would have managed all tasks by assigning it manually without the internet, emails, mobile marketing, telecommunication channels and a lot more. Now, you can’t deny the importance of technology as businesses have experienced a huge growth in the last decade.

Time tracking software, employee scheduling system, time clocks, task management tools, CRM and a lot more options are there for managing all the tasks. It maintains the communication level within the teams and customers across the globe. It also assists in marketing a business and its products so that you can experience a success in a short span of time.

Let’s find out how to use technology to expand your small business:

Communication: Communication is very important when you have a product and providing a service because communication allows you to inform and encourage your prospective customers to avail your service and products. It is also important to respond to customer’s query without any delay. Emails, texts and social networking can keep small businesses connected to the customer base to improve the business solution.

Marketing: Technology has broadened the scope of advertisement so you can reach to new and existing customers through internet marketing. You can use search engines to the e-commerce websites, social networking sites to the email marketing for your brand promotion. When seeking a trusted platform to expedite the marketing process, it recommends choosing the right to the maximum accessibility.

Productivity: Many businesses have started working on a common software and files that can be accessed by the allocated teams & its members, clients and that can be extended to the head of the department. When you start working on a project, it will be beneficial for you to assign tasks on this software so that all the team members can work and allow the client to track the progress in real-time.

Also, Time Tracking Software allows having an idea about the work schedules, deadlines and total manpower required to finish a certain task. It will also be helpful to track the total time spent on a task and create the employee’s payroll.

3 Ways Technology Has Changed the World For Home Based Business Owners

I love that I have been born in this day and age and I don’t know how I could have lived at any other time in history. New technological advances have made my life much easier as a home based business owner. I am excited by the possibilities available with technology today and excited by the thoughts of the technology that will be available very soon.

The purpose of this article is to share with you, as a fellow home based business owner, some thoughts on how current technological advances are improving the way we can run our businesses. If you are living in the past it is time to change your way of thinking and utilise technology to your own advantage.

Here are three things to think about as a work from home entrepreneur:

Social media and Web 2.0 has changed marketing- The old rules of advertising made it hard for a home based business to compete with bigger companies. The internet, through search engines, web 2.0 and social media has changed everything to the advantage of the smaller operators. Yes, large companies can use the internet but if you target your market right you can still be very successful.

Smart phones have improved people’s lives- I was very late to the idea of a smart phone- even though I have worked in the industry for numerous years. But now, I don’t know how I ever lived without one. I started with a BlackBerry, went to a HTC and now I could never live without my iPhone. It’s just so damn convenient. I can send and receive emails, make calls, send and receive texts and there are numerous other applications that improve my life. It gives me so much time back. I can respond to a lot of emails and do work during my down time during the day. For example, I often write articles on my iPhone during the day if I am waiting at a cafe or something like that. I generally save about an hour a day.

You can run a home based business but sell to the world- The Internet, in my opinion, has had the greatest influence on mankind of all inventions. Now, with an Internet connection, I can sell my products from home to anywhere in the world. Previously as a home based business owner my target audience would most probably be limited to my surrounding suburbs.

Technology has changed the world and, as you can see from the above, there are three technological advances that have had a most dramatic effect on home based businesses.

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