The market for Mobile Applications Continues to Grow

The cell phone will become the main access channel internet in the coming years. The figures reinforce the perception. According to Gartner, specializing in technology, the sales of apps for smartphones and tablets around the world should grow almost five times in the next few years.

This new portable digital universe had its big bang with the release of the iPhone 3G and Apple Store in 2008. The US company reinvented the marketing applications to take control of sales. The online store currently has 225,000 applications and reached 5 billion downloads from its creation to June 2010. The launch of the iPad in January, it gave further strength to the Apple Store. In one semester, the tablet collects 10,000 games, utilities and tools tailored to its format.

Just a few months after the debut of the Apple store, Google launched its counterattack, releasing Android, an open source operating system that can be used freely by any device manufacturer. Before long, traditional brands such as Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and HTC have come to use the platform

Currently, there are dozens of models based on the interface. To further intensify the fight with the iPhone, Google has created its own app store, which already has more than 100,000 apps. Despite that, businesses have their own specific needs for apps, so custom apps that need to be developed. That is why reputable companies, such as Chelsea App Factory, have grown and are expected to grow even more.

Top Paying Jobs for Computer Science Majors

When you decide to go to college, most people will tell you to follow your passion and choose a major that interests you. Before you spend thousands of dollars or more on your college education, you need to make sure that you can get a good paying job once you finish your studies. One of the top majors for college students today is computer science. In addition to learning about networking and programming, you’ll also have the chance to develop your own software. Find out more about some of the top paying jobs that might be open to you once you finish college.

Web Developers

As more companies learn the benefits of using the Internet, the owners of those companies need developers with strong skills relating to designing and implementing web systems. While web designers create websites for clients, web developers actually ensure that those websites work properly. They find ways to get feedback from those using the site and look at ways to incorporate that feedback. Web developers are often responsible for backing up all information as well and ensuring that clients have everything they need if a problem occurs.

Software Developers

Do you have a passion for creating programs and software that others use? Working in software development might be a good choice for you. Software developers create detailed programs that companies of all sizes use, but they are also responsible for creating software used by schools and nonprofit organizations. You may even find work developing your own apps or creating video games for a major company. Software developers must also go over each program carefully to look for any bugs and are responsible for fixing any problems with the software that might arise later.

Database Administrator

Any company, organization or group that shares a database must have a database administrator on hand to help with any issues or problems that occur. An administrator is usually responsible for designing and implementing the database that clients need. They are also responsible for ensuring that the database is secure and protected from both internal and external threats. Many administrators will also perform routine checks and tests to look for any problems. When accidents and errors occur, the database administrator may work with the network administrator to protect the confidential information of clients and to get the network back up and running again.

Political/Government Jobs

Computer science majors may also find work in the political world and for the local, state or federal government after graduating. The government often needs dedicated computer experts to protect valuable information and with networking services. You can find out how some computer majors help the government when you look for Charles Phillips Infor on Whitehouse.gov and look at other professional profiles you find online. Working for the government may come with great benefits too, including a 401(k) plan, paid time off and health insurance. Consider the pros and cons of each job when deciding what to do with your degree.

The Input Of The Customer

If you own a business, you know that the customer is the reason whether the company succeeds or fails. It’s important to know how customers feel about the experiences they have had while dealing with the staff and while looking for products or services. There are ways to keep up with the satisfaction level of customers online so that you can work to improve in areas that customers don’t like.

When you are able to determine what the customer isn’t satisfied with, you will be able to fix that issue as soon as possible so that you can focus on providing exceptional service that customers enjoy. Such as with Redshift customer satisfaction research, customers can leave remarks about the business online, or they can complete a form while in the building. No names are needed as all you want to look at is the overall feeling of customers. If there are issues that go unnoticed, they can lead to a decrease in profits for the company as customers won’t want to shop there any longer. A customer satisfaction survey also gives you a way to talk to those who might be interested in working with the business in order to improve sales and services instead of simply getting feedback.

Your Site Defines Your Business

The online business world continues to get more competitive with each passing day. This means that in order to defeat your competition and carve out your share of the market, you must have a site that will impress the general public, as well as represent your brand properly. In the early days of the Internet, a website was viewed as nothing more than a portal that can be used to sell merchandise and services. Those days are gone forever. Nowadays, a company’s website is much more important. Companies realized a long time ago that millions of people will only have access to their products online, so the design of their website must be taken very seriously. Your site defines your business. Here are a few examples of why this is the case.

1. People associate the quality of your website with your company

For better or worse, your website will often be compared to the quality of your business. Despite the efforts of many companies to separate the two, it is becoming more difficult to do so, due to the number of people accessing the Internet from mobile devices. This basically means that if you put no care, thought or imagination into the design of your company’s website, people are going to notice and respond accordingly. If your site looks like something that was designed in 1997, with a bunch of cheesy graphics all over the screen, visitors to your site will not take your company seriously.

2. A high quality site means a company you can trust

On the other hand, if you hire the best web designers Sydney has to offer, it will be well worth the investment. This is because when people visit your site, they will encounter a site that runs smoothly, with effortless page transitions and graphics that help to compliment the written content on the site. If your site looks great, people are more likely to trust you as an authority in whatever industry you are in. This is just human nature. Therefore, while it may cost you some money initially to hire a web designer, this expense will be a worthwhile investment in the future of your business. If your site is not up to snuff, you will be quickly passed over by the masses. If this happens, it will not be long until your business bites the dust.

3. Glitches can be devastating

Many businesses are doomed before they ever get started. This happens when a company does not spend the necessary time testing their website before it goes live. In many cases, people are so anxious to get their business up and running that they do not examine all of the website features to ensure there are no bugs that the public might encounter. In these cases, potential customers are left to discover serious flaws in the website for themselves. These might be problems with the search engine, shopping cart or online payment system. Whatever the case may be, problems like this can irreparably damage the public’s faith in a company. They will understandably think that if the company cares so little about their own website, they probably care very little about the quality of the products they are selling. It does not take a genius to figure out that this could mean the end of a company.

Experience Alaska by Bush Plane

In rural, remote parts of the world, like most areas in Alaska, small airplanes are commonly used to get around. In Alaska, the largest state in the U.S., there are few roads and interstate highways and small planes are the only way to travel.

Although many major cities in Alaska, like Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau, offer jet service at local airports, small planes serve most of the more remote towns that are scattered throughout the state. Small planes, also called “bush planes,” provide the most efficient way to travel between towns, especially to many of Alaska’s native villages that lie in very remote areas of northern Alaska surrounded by woodlands or coastal waters.

Alaska’s beautiful, natural wilderness offers outstanding hunting and fishing opportunities, but some of the best places to hunt and fish are extremely difficult to reach. Many of these remote areas have no hotels or tourist accommodations, so camping is the only viable overnight option. However, with freezing temperatures and winds, even the most experienced adventurers don’t always want to camp overnight. Bush planes offer Alaska outdoor enthusiasts day trips to remote places that provide some of the best hunting and fishing experiences in the world.

As one of the world’s largest uninhabited wilderness areas, Alaska offers breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, open ocean and amazing wildlife, but these areas are so vast they’re impossible to see unless you’re in the air. Alaska tour operations use bush planes, and often helicopters, that provide tourists with a bird’s eye view of Alaska’s authentic wildness. Helicopter tours often feature day trips with landings on the tops of mountains and glaciers that would not be possible in a small bush plane.

Although bush planes are the preferred mode of travel to remote Alaskan destinations, they must be properly loaded to create correct weight and balance in the air. In most cases, the proper load is determined by the number of passengers and the weight of their gear. While a Beaver can comfortable seat eight people and hold up to 2100 pounds of gear, most pilots prefer to carry five passengers and a lighter cargo on a normal day trip. As with any small passenger plane, safety is always the main concern, so planes are equipped with emergency equipment that includes a portable power supply and Start Pac.

Keep Up With Your Mobile Employees

With today’s mobile workforce, there’s a great need for ways to easily communicate and monitor off-site employees. No matter what type of business you have, you can benefit from an online time clock and worker-tracking software for mobile employees.

What Is Worker-Tracking Software?

Worker-tracking software is a computer app that allows business owners to keep track of employees in a mobile workforce. It lets you monitor your employees’ time schedules, job progress and hourly or daily activities with accurate tools. You can communicate with your employees by email, text or phone from any smart phone or computer. You can easily update progress reports, change job details and locations, note important details and effectively communicate with your off-site workers throughout the day. New worker-tracking software, now available through several providers, provides an easy, effective tool that helps you manage your business and increase your productivity.

What Are The Benefits?

Before worker-tracking software became available, business owners had to rely on the honor system to track off-site employees. There was no efficient way to track hours or know exactly where employees were during the work day. Worker-tracking software brings business into the digital age and creates more time for other business opportunities. It eliminates employee trips to and from the office and filling out time consuming paper time sheets. Mobile workers can easily clock-in and clock-out from any location online. This creates accurate digital time sheets for each mobile worker and streamlines the payroll process for your accounting department. Hours are accurately recorded and easily accessed online with no lag in employee payments.

With advanced worker-tracking software, you can monitor your mobile employees’ locations with interactive map displays. You can track an employee’s location throughout the work day with a GPS tracking system that’s built into the software. Zoom in and out for an exact map location and clear details related to each stop. Mobile workers can easily and quickly note travel detours, job delays and schedule changes at locations, and send them to the office for confirmation through a smart phone or tablet with the downloaded software app.

If you’re a business owner with mobile employees, take a closer look at new, innovative worker-tracking software for your company. With most software, there’s no hardware or maintenance required, just an app that can be easily installed. It’s a great business investment and a great way to increase productivity and profits for the future.

Business Negotiations: Myths and reality

Not every business negotiation has to be daunting. You can weed out the myths of negotiating with clients, investors, or partners and gain back your confidence by learning and retaining the reality of the negotiation process. With these myths busted, you can enter even the worse of negotiations with your head held high and confidence to help guide you in making the right decisions.

Myth 1: All negotiations come with a headache

Even the easiest of negotiation process can be daunting. Making sure both parties are being treated fair and getting all the required details and services they need to get the project done correctly and effectively is not something someone typically finds joy in. Trying to make sure you as the contractor is providing what the client needs without getting raped in the end is believed to be a task not for the faint of heart.

Myth 1 Busted: Plan ahead

Next time you are heading out to negotiate the forth coming of future contracts, you won’t need a “good luck” hollered at you on your way out because you have mastered the art of planning. Being prepared for the ‘unknown’ is what keeps our head held high and the only way we can conquer these meetings with less of a headache in the end. In order to plan, develop a list of questions you need to know to make accurate business decisions.

Myth 2: It is in their blood

“I’m not born to negotiate; it’s not in my blood.” The process of negotiating is put up on this pedestal of requiring a farfetched skill that you cannot learn, but only acquire by birth.

Myth 2 Busted: You Can Learn the Skills

The more you can learn and obtain the skills to negotiate, put together with practice, anyone with a desire to be successful, will cut the stress out of the negotiating process and become rather skilled at it. You can find a variety of ways to learn these sought after skills. You may find tips in books, tapes and seminars, or other online resources that will conveniently help you obtain the skills. However, the key to mastering negotiation, like virtually anything else, is by practice. Through practice you will inquire the confidence that is the leading principle to successful negotiation.

Myth 3:  The contractor must ‘give in’ to price

In order to seal the deal with a client, you must lower the price, even at the risk of quality.

Myth 3 Busted: Work out other avenues to cut costs

Before you cave in to the client on budget, keep in mind that there may be other ways or areas up for negotiations. Try and find out from the client what they ultimately are seeking.  In some cases, the price reflects a ‘rush’ job or other specifications a client is seeking. Bottom line is to find out all aspects of what the client is looking for in the entire project and not just negotiate price, it just may not be the underlying factor.

Myth 4: You have to be the “YES” man

Your client agrees to your initial sales pitch, take the deal and run. In instances like this no negotiations are needed.

Myth 4 Busted: First offer should never be the last

In most cases, you should never accept the first offer and you should always counter offer it. By accepting first proposal you are raising suspicion within the client. Client’s typically go into meetings such as these anticipating some haggling, so by no haggling he may be questioning his position and if he got the best deal possible, leading to him not being happy with the project in the end and wanting out. Another reason to avoid first offers is ideally first proposals are on the lower end, leaving room to negotiations. Without a counter offer you are cutting yourself off from obtaining a higher bid.

 

About the guest author: The article is drawn by Davis Miller, a regular blogger and an entrepreneur. He is associated with the site thegappartnership.com.au offering help to deal with negotiation. They provide workshop for negotiation in about 50 countries.

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

What are High Levels of Customer Loyalty and Retention

Customer retention is a term used to describe the activity undertaken by an organization that sells product(s) or renders service in order to minimize customer defections. Okay for customer retention to be successful it begins with the very first contact that an outfit has with its customer and this continues throughout the whole lifetime of the relationship. The ability of a company to succeed in attracting as well as in retaining new clients is not something related to its products/services alone, but also heavily related to how existing customers are served as well as its reputation within the marketplace.

You see with customer retention you are not just giving your clients what they already expect, but what they don’t. In other words, you are wowing them to the extent that they become committed advocates of your brand. Therefore, building customer loyalty involves putting customer value instead of profit maximization at the core of one’s business strategy. Now the key element that differentiates such business from others in an environment that is competitive is the continuous delivery of a high level of customer service.

Customer satisfaction

Businesses have come to the realization that good customer service is the backbone of their growth. And, customer service refers to the wide range of activities, which a firm together with its staff follows in order to bring about customer satisfaction. Now good customer service is what results into customer loyalty. Moreover, customer loyalty is the result of customer satisfaction. Now a customer is said to be satisfied when such person believes that he/she has received value of the product or service that is equal to or more than what such person is expecting.

High level of customer loyalty

It has been said that the strategies employed in attracting new customers don’t work to keep existing customers rather what should be done is to aim for enhancing customer relationship perception. It is for this reason that businesses are offering different incentives to keep their customers. This includes discounts, coupons, but more importantly customer loyalty programs as these programs are known to have a positive long-term effect on consumer behavior. Consequently, those who participate tend to overlook some of the company’s weaknesses since they believe they are receiving better services as well as good value for their money being spent.

In the light of this, then one can define high level of customer loyalty, which leads to high level of customer retention as a situation where the customers involved are so convinced about a brand and will be forever willing to represent this brand and patronize its products as well as services. Such people are not wooed by other brands at all since they believe the brand to which they are loyal to have more than what it takes to satisfy them and is constantly doing so.

Benefits of customer retention

No matter the tactics or strategies, which a company uses to improve profitability, it must pay attention to maintaining its present customer base. Now there are several benefits of doing so. This includes:

  • The cost of customer retention being as much as twelve times lower than the cost used in attracting new customers.
  • Conversion of new customers into loyal ones will take more time, effort plus money than what is required for existing customers.
  •  Also, for the revenue generated from one old customer to be earned many new customers will be required.
  • Generally, loyal customers will use more and are less price sensitive compared to new customers.
  • Loyal customers will often refer others, while defecting customers usually tell up to 10 or more people about their reasons for defecting.

 

About the guest author: Davis Miller is a guest post writer and a regular blogger. He has a very good knowledge of customer retention and customer satisfaction; also give online tips on that.

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Choose the Payment Gateway for your Online Business

So, you’ve taken the plunge and are looking to start up an online business of your own? Well done, the hard work and hopefully the rewards are just around the corner.

Now, unless you are using the site as an online brochure or are planning on selling via EBay one of the more important decisions to be made is the method of taking payment. There are a few options out there:

Externally branded

One solution used by many companies both big and small is the externally branded payment solution. Using these services you are effectively piggybacking on the branding of a larger company, utilising their customer trust as well as their card processing system. So who are the main players?

PayPal

There is nothing as good for building trust as familiarity and the word many people associate with internet payments is PayPal, the world’s most widely used payment acquirer. The European arm of the company is based in Luxembourg and is responsible for processing over $4 billion in payments in 2011.

Google Checkout
With its ever growing brand awareness there can be few people left outside of China who have not heard of the Mountain View, California based company. Given the overarching reach of the brand it should come as little surprise that the company offers a payment system alongside its other services such as email.

Amazon Payments

Amazon is another large company providing checkout services outside its own business. The option is offered by online watch specialist The Watch Hut amongst others.

Surprisingly there seems to be little competition between Google and Paypal and Amazon. The three groups seem to have a remarkably similar payment structure offering services from 3.4% and 20p per transaction down to 1.4% per transaction for bigger clients, although Amazon do seem to be changing their charging structure over the coming months.

B2B services

These operators are here to process your payments, they are ideal if you are operating a site and don’t want to associate yourself with a bigger name or wish to handle all the various dispatch and refunding options through your own in house systems.

World Pay

World Pay was originally and offshoot of the Royal Bank of Scotland Streamline service, but is now owned by another operator. It processes around 12 million transactions per day and can handle up to 200 simultaneous transactions per client.

However that speed and flexibility comes at a price that may be too much for the small business to bear. A number of packages are available, however the company’s preferred package, Business Gateway Plus cost £75 to set up, £15 per month and an additional charge per transaction of 1.9 and 10p per transaction.

Sage Pay

The Sage Pay branding has huge recognition in the business to business world as it is an offshoot of the Sage Accounting. The UK based company provides a system that can be linked in to a site, as well as back office tools to process payments and refunds. This may be a good solution for an online site that is taking payments over the phone as part of the functionality allows cards to be processed as part of a ‘Card not Present’ transaction.

The company does not charge set up fees or annual charges, but this is partly offset by its £25 a month fee for the first 1000 transactions per quarter. Over that price, the company charges 10p per transaction made. There are no percentage fees.

 

Overall, there is no right answer to the type of system you choose to use as long as its secure and matches the needs of your business. The best advice, particularly for start ups is to pick carefully, make sure integration with your systems is easy and the solutions is scalable without taking on extra cost. If you meet those requirements, then you are on to a winner.

 

This is a unique article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.