Coping Up with the New Normal at Home


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You may have often heard people say that change is a part of life, and one of the best things to do is to embrace it with an open mind. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing drastic changes in every aspect of your lifestyle, how are you coping up with the new normal?

Adjusting to change isn’t always easy for everyone, especially with something as drastic as the global health crisis. Wearing a mask outside, physically distancing yourself from people, filling up personal and health information forms at public places, having limited access to transportation, and so on—it will take time before you get used to these things.

Then again, the indomitable human spirit is such a powerful force that helps everyone rise above challenges, especially if it’s business survival that’s at stake. Whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, you can still be productive and profitable despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Here are tips to help you continue with your work or business under the new normal:

1. Choose the remote work or business setup

You’re safer working or running your business from home because you don’t need to go out and travel where you are going to be with other commuters or motorists. This reduces your chances of being exposed to the virus and getting sick. So if you have the means to stay at home, take advantage of the remote work or business setup.

You’ll need a smartphone, laptop, and desktop computer, as well as reliable Wi-Fi service, as basic productivity tools. It will also help if you create a dedicated workspace, so you feel as if you’re still in a real office.

2. Create a new normal routine

Setting up a routine offers a sense of normalcy and certainty, so it’s a good coping mechanism during this time of chaos. Your new normal routine can be as creative and flexible as you want, as long as it lets you organize your day-to-day schedule, which will help you have a proper work-life balance.

Your new normal routine can look something like this:

  • Start your day with a cup of coffee that you yourself made, instead of buying it from your favorite coffee shop near the office. Eat a healthy breakfast to fuel your mind and body for the day ahead.
  • As you begin your workday, make sure to check your inbox to know what’s happening in your team and reach out to your teammates if there’s something that needs to be discussed. Pick the online communication channel that you feel comfortable in or use video conferencing to stay connected with your colleagues or catch up over lunch.
  • Try to resist the temptation of going to bed late at night. Staying home can give you a false sense that you have enough time in your hands, but this can also disrupt your body clock and leave you feeling tired in the morning.
  • If you’re not able to go to the gym, you can work out at home on your own or with your family to make it as fun as your regular gym sessions.
  • Spend your weekends doing your family’s favorite things or having your me-time so that you can remain happy and positive.

3.  Discover new opportunities for yourself or your business

If your employment or business has been severely affected by the pandemic, this is the perfect time to reassess your options. Take a step back to help you see the bigger picture clearly. Perhaps you’re finding it a challenge to sell your products or services, which are considered non-essential during a pandemic.

What new offerings can you provide to consumers in your target market to make your business more relevant during these times? If your salary has been reduced due to limited operations in your company, perhaps you can look for a second job to make up for lost income.

Closing Message You can survive and thrive despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. The key is to have a mindset that focuses on the things you can do and control under the new normal.

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Brought to you by Chellsea Reyes

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

The Fastest Way to Achieve Financial Freedom: A Visual Roadmap


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Imagine life without financial constraints. Perhaps you’d be buying the things you want and need without hesitation or live the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of without the fear of straining your budget. Doesn’t this inspire you to work hard and manage your finances better for a secure future?

Financial freedom and literacy are crucial elements that can help you build your wealth for a sustainable future. This is why many people take the initiative to attend personal finance classes or seminars to improve their financial wellness.

While financial freedom may be different for everyone, it may look something like being able to go on an international trip every year without draining your bank account or retiring a few years early.

If you’ve always felt a certain panic setting whenever you see your monthly bills, it’s high time that you make changes to your spending and saving. Here are some good financial habits you can start practicing to kick-start your journey to financial freedom.

  • Identify your financial goals
  • Spend less; save more
  • Track your spending
  • Hold off on big-ticket items
  • Buy experiences, not things
  • Pay off your debt
  • Find other sources of income
  • Invest in your future

The road to financial freedom is hard and full of obstacles. It’s not going to be easy, but it certainly is possible. Know that gaining complete control over your finances takes commitment, discipline, and sacrifice. Once you obtain a sense of financial freedom, you won’t have to worry about choosing between getting your car repaired or buying groceries. With the right strategies and mindset, you can reach financial success and live life comfortably in the future.

Have a look at the visual graph below for the step-by-step guide on how to achieve financial independence. Soon, financial freedom will be within your reach.

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Brought to you by Hacking Money

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Remote Management Best Practices: How to Improve Employee Productivity


Remote-Management-Best-Practices-How-to-Improve-Employee-Productivity-03-1024x527

The so-called new normal is a worldwide phenomenon, where things as we used to know them have taken a significant shift. This piece is to help people and organizations learn to cope with the recent challenges brought about by the infamous novel coronavirus outbreak.

One of the most affected sectors is the workforce. With safety protocols being recommended by health experts, it has become necessary to implement remote management practices in many offices. The idea is to let employees stay at home or other appropriate spaces where they can still work so that there’s no need for them to travel and come into physical contact with other people.

Apart from health and safety issues, remote work is also ideal for a whole lot of other reasons. Perhaps you want to save on office building maintenance costs or help promote the concept of work-life balance among your employees. As long as your business operations can continue amidst a remote work setup, you may consider trying it out in your organization.

If it’s the first time that you’re adopting this type of work arrangement, you need to brainstorm with your team and come up with a plan that you can implement across the organization.

As a business leader or manager, your role is to make sure that your employees have a comfortable workspace, first and foremost. With a proper remote workstation, it will be easy for your staff to perform their everyday tasks with high levels of efficiency and productivity. It also gives them a well-defined area where they can focus solely on their work so that they don’t mix office responsibilities with personal life.

Telecommuting can work better for your business and your employees if you set clear expectations and guidelines for everyone. Based on the accompanying infographic below, there’s no shortage of remote work tips to help you see how other companies are doing it to improve employee productivity.

 

Remote-Management-Best-Practices-How-to-Improve-Employee-Productivity-01-708x5685

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Brought to you by Manila Recruitment

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

The Enlightenment and Advancement in Education


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According to Israel (2013), the ‘Enlightenment’ was the most significant and profound intellectual, socio-economic and political evolution of the Western world since the Middle Ages and the most developmental in shaping modernity. This philosophical revolution started not as a definite ‘thing’ or even as a chronological age, but as processes involved with the central place of reason and of experience and experiment in grasping and developing human society (Withers, 2008). The ‘Enlightenment’ is generally thought of as a “European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition” (English Oxford Living Dictionary, 2019). This period is also often referred to as ‘The Age of Reason’ to denote a time when individuals began to utilise reason to confront matters of philosophy, government, and society. The philosophical Enlightenment was intertwined with the Scientific Revolution. Guider (2015) argues that this “period was characterized by discoveries in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry, and these discoveries would not have been possible without the use of reason” (p. 5).

In education and educational history, the Age of Enlightenment (1680-1800) created important changes. In an effort for humans to release themselves from the dogmatism that symbolised the ‘dark Middle Ages’, during the Renaissance and Reformation periods in the West, such changes began to exert influence in both philosophy and technology (Abu‐Rabia‐Queder, 2008). This age of modernity seemingly started the move towards the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th Century Europe (Horkheimer, Adorno, & Noeri 1969/2002). In terms of describing the Enlightenment, historians have found it extremely hard to provide a fully acceptable description, but I would use the description put forward by Israel (2013) due to its conciseness. He argues that

Enlightenment is, hence, best characterized as the quest for human amelioration occurring between 1680 and 1800, driven principally by ‘philosophy’, that is, what we would term philosophy, science, and political and social science including the new science of economics lumped together, leading to revolutions in ideas and attitudes first, and actual practical revolutions second, or else the other way around, both sets of revolutions seeking universal recipes for all mankind and, ultimately, in its radical manifestation, laying the foundations for modern basic human rights and freedoms and representative democracy. (p. 7).

With that in mind, to deepen my argument and to give appropriate background on how modern universities came to be; and how the Enlightenment values that reflected education as an instrument of development and social reform remains the fundamental features of any educational system, I will trace the history of the Enlightenment Age up to today briefly by highlighting the key ideas and milestones.

During the late seventeenth century until the eighteenth century, religion was the primary means that obstructed societies from ‘Enlightenment’. Schmidt (1989), points out that religious traditions and sectarianism impedes an individual’s ability to justify the reason behind everyday events. He further suggests that the ultimate aim of the Enlightenment was to release the public from religious fears and superstitions that retracted an individual’s freedom to develop logical and reasoned thought. However, support for religious toleration was hard since the Catholic Church had a significant stake on European societies, and the public recognises the church as the government of the day (Bovey, 2015; Steinfels, 2008). During the Enlightenment Age, scientists who formed theories that the church deemed unacceptable were persecuted (Leveillee, 2011). For example, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) were two scientists who published books that went against accepted belief, and as a result, the books were banned (Leveillee, 2011). Under the ban circumstances, Galileo was tried by the Inquisition, and was forced to recant. Until his death in 1642, Galileo was kept under house arrest. In 1938, he published Two New Sciences in Holland – a work on the foundation of mechanics and engineering (Hilliam, 2005; Finocchiaro, 1997). These scientist philosophers were among the first to consider a new way of thinking, and they brought fresh ideas that eventually transformed societies in the West. I will now begin by unwrapping the meaning of the word Enlightenment.

Enlightenment thinking in the 18th century was clearly indicated with the publication of Kant’s essay in 1784, but Lozar (2014) and Bristow (2010) think Descartes (1637) started the period while Dominiczak (2012) cites the work of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687). In November 1784, Kant submitted a response to the question in the journal – The Berlinische Monatsschrift posed by Johann Friedrich Zollner, a theologian and educational activist: Was ist Aufklarung? (‘What is Enlightenment?’) (Schmidt, 1989). According to Schmidt (1989, p. 269), Kant defines Enlightenment as

man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is man’s inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! [Dare to know! Alternatively, Dare to think for yourself or]”Have courage to use your own understanding!”

However, what exactly was it that Kant urged humanity to know? From the above basic definition of Enlightenment, Kant introduces three crucial points. Firstly, as regards to development and immaturity, he raises the question about the importance of history. Secondly, having the freedom to make public use of one’s reason raises the question of critique, and thirdly, to make use of one’s understanding instead of depending on the guidance of others raises the question about freedom (Kant, 1793).

In education, this philosophical debate that took place during the Enlightenment Age disturbed the foundation of education in Europe and many western nations that was based on religious beliefs and superstitions. The debate had a lasting effect on education, and is now what is most often called the “quarrel of the ancients [past] and moderns [present]” (Oelkers, 2002, p. 679). The debate developed during the seventeenth century, exploded in the 1690s and was taken into the eighteenth century. Oelkers (2002) describes ‘the ancients’ as people who were in support of an education founded on “canonized knowledge, taught with textbooks and methods that drew on ancient authors, and implying that all of the knowledge needed in philosophy and science is already available” (p. 681). In contrast, ‘the moderns’ were people who actively reject an education founded on canonised knowledge, but supported an education that acknowledged that “If future learning can bring new truths, old knowledge can no longer be regarded as perfect; thus, ancient authors cannot be the masters of the present.” (Oelkers, 2002, p. 681). Oelkers also cites (Keller, 2000) that argue that “to study Plato or read Homer is not to fill the mind with eternal truths in philosophy or literature. Education must be opened to a new learning, at least in terms of research and the production of knowledge” (p. 681). Moreover, Oelkers suggests “after this historically important debate, education and learning could be connected with the open experience of modern science” (Oelkers, 2002, p. 679).

After years of a philosophical debate between the Ancients and the Modern, the ideas of Enlightenment philosophers namely John Locke (1632-1704) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) introduced new ideas into education. According to Gilead (2005),

For centuries it was almost unquestionably accepted that the main aim of education was to bring man closer to God. For educational purposes, man was perceived first and foremost as the son of God and the function of education was directly derived from this perception. It was commonly agreed that the central role of education was to make man pious in this world and prepare him for a happy life in the next (p. 429).

Within European Society at that time, particularly in France, Grandiere (1998) states that the year 1725 was a crucial point for French educational Enlightenment thinkers in the sense that man was disunited from the beliefs of religion and began to see “man as a member of society and no longer man as the son of God” (Gilead, 2005, p. 429). This radical way of reasoning embraced by the followers of the new educational thought helped to establish many ideas that continue to form the modern educational system today. To paraphrase the words of Grandiere (1998), the ancient religious purposes of education were being exchanged by new social goals. According to Gilead (2005), the followers of the ‘old’ movement “were increasingly concerned with the happiness of man on earth and in particular with his happiness as a member of society”, [whereas for the emerging modern thinkers, they] “placed the emphasis on the mundane aspects of human life” (p. 429).

During this period, there were opposing views on what precisely the emerging modern thinkers meant with their movement and how to achieve some of the ideas they introduced. Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre (1658-1743) and Claude Adrien Helvetius (1715-1771), two of the leading figures of the new movement suggest that the end goal of education was to uphold the common good of society. In 1728, Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre wrote in the first page of his book on education that “the aim of education is, in general, to make the happiness of the pupil, his parents and the other citizens much greater than it could have been without such an education” (Gilead, 2005, p. 429). Both authors alleged that education should aim at increasing the totality of happiness in society. On the contrary, Rousseau had a radically different view. He argues that the aim of education should “focused on the formation of a happy individual” (Gilead, 2005, p. 438). The former relate the purpose of education to promote the happiness of ‘individuals’ while Rousseau relates the purpose of education to promote the happiness of the ‘individual’. “In Emile [(1762)], [a book by Rousseau,] priority is given to the individual’s good and not, as in Saint Pierre and Helvetius, to the public good” (Gilead, 2005, p. 438) – what I term ‘knowledge dialectic’ – a contradiction between the humanistic and instrumental purposes of knowledge. These apparent opposing views by prominent philosophers continue to shape 21st-century education system. One can argue that just as the origins of these concepts were in tension, they are still very much present in today’s educational landscape. As argued today by some writers (Grace, 2014; Shore, 2010; Codd, 2002), the purpose of education has shifted to one that is aimed at producing raw material (knowledge and graduates), and economic opportunities for society as well as to support the personal growth and happiness of the individual.

The argument between Rousseau and other Enlightenment philosophers in particular created a new way of thinking about education. According to (Oelkers, 2002), this new way of thinking formed the idea of ‘modern education’ which can be described with three key ideas: progress, optimism, and technical knowledge. In this way of thinking, the Enlightenment faith for ‘progress’ was focused on human institutions. For example, the university because they are a place for the application of reason to human advancement (Pinker, 2018). The reformation of education during the Enlightenment based on these ideas repurpose some of the earlier limiting aspects of education. For example, that the primary goal of getting an education is to serve God. Oelkers (2002, p. 689) elaborates the meaning of ‘modern education suggesting that

`Modern’ [education] is the opposite to `traditional’ or `old’ education in every respect, and is independent from political, social or economic contexts. Thus, in 20th-century [and 21st-century] educational discourses, `modern’ [education] could embrace Bolshevist, fascist, liberal, socialist and democratic views, to name only some of its political aspects. Likewise, there have been `modern’ approaches to vocational training, general schooling, education for the handicapped, and so on. The label has only one use – to discriminate between an `old’ education that should be abandoned and a `new’ education that is seen as the only way out…Thus, today’s economic language for education has been successful in replacing the older languages of the philosophy of education because it took the lead in defining what `modern education’ is and what it is not.

The important point worth noting is that the Enlightenment thinkers philosophy was progressive for their period, and as a society, we must move past that and continuously question the state of education because of its role in the society. We (society) need to question the state of education just as the thinkers of the Enlightenment Age did. According to Oelkers (2002),

The theory of education does not need a circle of believers, only arguments that must be discussed without any warranties…critical theory of education should not refer to names, however sacrosanct they seem to be. Sacrosanct names imply two worlds, pro and con, right and left, or bad and good. It is not sufficient to use historiographical fixations; rather, we must overcome them with new and better arguments (p. 691).

Overall, Enlightenment allowed individuals the opportunity to see things for what they were, and differently; and famous words of that period such as “religious intolerance, superstition and magic were replaced by humanism, scientific reasoning and a belief in progress” (Gordon & Lawton, 2002, p. 99). That ideology, manifested today in our educational system is one of the reasons why people could argue freely over matters affecting their educational needs, personal life, and society more broadly.

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Cite: Adelekan, T. A. (2020). The Enlightenment and Advancement in Education. Retrieved from https://wordpress.com/post/temitopeadelekan.com/10612

References

Abu‐Rabia‐Queder, S. (2008). Does education necessarily mean enlightenment? The case of higher education among Palestinians—Bedouin women in Israel. Anthropology & Education Quarterly39(4), 381-400.

Bristow, W. (2010). Enlightenment. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/enlightenment/

Bovey, A. (2015). The medieval Church: from dedication to dissent. Retrieved from https://www.bl.uk/the-middle-ages/articles/church-in-the-middle-ages-from-dedication-to-dissent

Codd, J. (2002). The third way for tertiary education policy: TEAC and beyond. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 11(2001), 31-58.

Dominiczak, M. H. (2012). Science and culture in the 18th century: Isaac Newton. Clinical Chemistry, 58(3), 655-656.

English Oxford Living Dictionary (2019). Definition of enlightenment in English. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/enlightenment

Finocchiaro, M. (1997). Galileo on the World Systems: A New Abridged Translation and Guide. University of California Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pp2jr

Gilead, T. (2005). Reconsidering the roots of current perceptions: Saint Pierre, Helvetius and Rousseau on education and the individual. History of Education34(4), 427-439.

Gordon, P., & Lawton, D. (2002). A history of western educational ideas (Vol. 65). Woburn Press.

Grace, G. (2014). Professions, sacred and profane: reflections upon the changing nature of professionalism. In M. Young & J. Muller (Eds), Knowledge, expertise and the professions (pp. 18-30). Abingdon: Routledge.

Grandière, M. (1998). L’idéal pédagogique en France au dix-huitième siècle (Vol. 2). Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Guider, A. (2015). Freedom of Expression and the Enlightenment (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Mississippi).

Hilliam, R. (2005). Galileo Galilei: father of modern science. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.

Horkheimer, M., Adorno, T. W., & Noeri, G. (1969/2002). Dialectic of enlightenment. Stanford University Press.

Israel, J. (2013). Democratic enlightenment: philosophy, revolution, and human rights 1750-1790. Oxford University Press.

Kant, I. (1793). An Answer to the Question:“What is Enlightenment?”. Reiss (ed)2002(54-61), 1991.

Leveillee, N. P. (2011). Copernicus, Galileo, and the church: Science in a religious world. Inquiries Journal, 3(05).

Lozar, J. M. (2014). Descartes, the Pioneer of the Enlightenment. Studia lexicographica: časopis za leksikografiju i enciklopedistiku, 7(2 (13)), 129-138.

Oelkers, J. (2002). Rousseau and the image of ‘modern education’. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 34(6), 679-698.

Pinker, S. (2018). Enlightenment now: The case for reason, science, humanism, and progress. Penguin.

Schmidt, J. (1989). Kant, Mendelssohn, and the Question of Enlightenment. Journal of the History of Ideas 50:2, pp. 269-292. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Shore, C. (2010). The reform of New Zealand’s university system: ‘after neoliberalism’. Learning and Teaching, 3(1), 1-31.

Steinfels, P. (2008). Exploring Religion, Shaped by the Enlightenment. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/11/us/11beliefs.html

Withers, C. W. (2008). Placing the Enlightenment: thinking geographically about the age of reason. University of Chicago Press.

Why use Anti-Phishing Attack Software to Ensure Cybersecurity?


Phishing

A phishing attack is a process in which an imposter or an attacker sends emails to the users at large claiming to be someone they know or belonging to a brand/ services they use. Most of these emails ask users to share their personal information such as the bank account details, credit card number and pin numbers, or other such information which can lead to identity and financial theft. The emails would also ask the users to open a link or the attached document and download a file. When the user falls prey and performs any of the said actions, the malicious virus hidden in the email will enter their computer. It will provide the attackers access to the computer and allow them to steal the information stored on it without the user’s knowledge.

Over the years, many antivirus software products, spam and malware filters have been developed to detect such emails and prevent the users from being duped. Enterprises have become a hot target for the attackers. Even if one employee in the entire organization would become a victim, the attackers could access and control the entire system of the enterprise.

Almost every enterprise has antivirus software installed along with firewalls, spam filters, and other such email security systems. Yet, a good number of phishing emails slip past the filters and end up reaching the employees. Many employees have been duped and as a result, the enterprises have suffered losses in more ways than one.

If we wonder why, the answer is quite simple. Despite the claims, the traditional antivirus software packages do not successfully detect and prevent all kinds of phishing attacks. With changing technology, attackers are creating innovative methods to slip past the security filters.

What the companies need is phishing attack software that will provide all-round protection by identifying every suspicious and fraudulent email and alerting the users. The attackers not following the old methods of sending easily detectable fake emails. Instead, they are targeting a certain section of employees with highly intelligent email techniques. It is more or less impossible for the traditional antivirus software that relies on a standard database to compare the emails to identify and detect the latest phishing attacks.

If we consider Zero Day Attack as an example, it is one of the newest phishing attacks in the market that doesn’t get detected by most software packages. On average, about 1.5 million new phishing sites and email ids are created. To keep up with the ever-increasing list of fake websites is not a solution. It takes 24-48 hours to create a signature of complex malware, while it takes less than 82 seconds for an employee to fall victim to the phishing attack.

So, we need something uses a different technique to detect fake URLs without spending hours of time on it. Only then can the employees and enterprises be saved from phishing attacks. The latest and advanced phishing attack software used artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to scan and recognize the hidden malicious code in the emails and alert the employees. The most common type of Zero Day attacks are-

  • Microsoft Office Marcos
    • Macros are one of the most helpful tools offered by Microsoft. With one click, the repetitive tasks can be automated, thereby saving time for the employees.
    • When the attacker sends an email attachment with an Excel or other Microsoft file, the macros are coded to install malware throughout the system.
    • Using the machine learning technology, the latest anti phishing software identifies the hidden code and alerts the users about the email be a phishing attack.
  • Malicious Links
    • Embedded links within emails make it easy for websites to share information with their customers.
    • The same feature is used by scammers. They include links that will lead the user to a fake website. The IP address and domain names are similar to the brand they impersonate making it impossible for users to detect it as fraudulent at a single glance.
    • The anti-phishing software uses computer vision technology to read the minute changes in the domain names and also checks the final page which the link leads to.
  • Infected PDFs
    • The attackers take advantage of the features offered by Adobe Acrobat to include malicious software in the PDF files and send them to their victims.
    • The phishing attack software identifies the malware and blocks the email.
  • Embedded Code
    • HTML emails allow employees to include code in the email, which will be executed when the email is opened.
    • The next-generation anti phishing software detects this hidden code and stops it from being executed.

The anti-phishing software works on any device in any location. It can be deployed throughout an enterprise within a matter of minutes.

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Brought to you by David Neeble

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Why is the Mass Text Messaging Service among the Most Used Services in the Market?


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SMS (Short Messaging Service) is one of the most preferred ways of communicating with customers for business enterprises. Sending an SMS is simple, easy, and cost-effective. Targeting the new audience, expanding the market share, increasing brand loyalty and customer retention are some of the reasons why enterprises choose to use SMS as a major communication channel.

But how do enterprises send millions of messages per day? Sending one message at a time to individual phone numbers using a mobile phone is not an option.

The answer is most business enterprises use an SMS gateway and mass text messaging service to send messages to their customers in bulk. Many companies provide API integration services that will help enterprises integrate their system and database with the SMS gateway to send messages to customers’ phone numbers from a web application.

This makes it easier for them to send messages in bulk with a single click. There are many other advantages of using the API integration services provided by the companies. We will understand some of those in this post.

  • Cost-effective and Easy to Use
    • An SMS gateway allows enterprises to send messages from a computer. The support staff can simultaneously handle the task of sending messages and communicating with customers from multiple computers.
    • The interface is easy to use on both ends. Every mobile phone has the SMS feature in-built in the device. So it becomes very easy for the users as well as business owners to get acquainted with using the SMS as a potential marketing channel.
    • Users with little or no technical knowledge can also open and read the messages sent via SMS. It does not even have any dependency on the internet connection or smart phones.
    • SMS messages do not require an internet connection to be delivered to users. The mobile phone network will do the job effectively.
  • Suitable for Enterprises in Any Industry
    • Business enterprises from any industry can opt for the mass text messaging service.
    • Right from banks and financial institutions to healthcare, retail, travel, food industry, media and entertainment industries, any business enterprise can send messages to customers using these services.
    • The size and volume of the business also do not matter. Small, medium, and large scale business enterprises can opt for SMS messaging services.
  • Send Alerts and Notifications
    • Most enterprises use the bulk messaging services to send timely notifications and alerts to users.
    • Details about order confirmations, packing, shipping, deliveries, cancellations, etc. can be sent to users to keep them updated.
    • Notifications about service and payment due dates, flight and train ticket confirmations, restaurant reservation timings, etc. are a few more examples.
  • Use it as a Digital Marketing Strategy
    • SMS messages can be effective ways to promote and market a brand or a business and increase sales.
    • Capture Attention
      • Capture customers’ attention by sending them attractive deals and discounts.
      • Introduce them to new products or services they might be interested in.
    • Schedule Campaigns
      • Schedule promotional campaigns for the coming days in advance.
      • This will help plan the marketing strategy effectively.
      • Bulk messages can be scheduled in advance and automatically sent to customers on specified dates.
    • Cross-Promotion
      • Cross-promote the brand by sending attractive offers to customers with similar product preferences and purchase history.
      • Gently urge them to try a new brand by sending personalized product suggestions.
    • Exclusive Offers
      • Send exclusive discounts, coupon codes, etc. to special customers.
      • Categorize customers into groups and send exclusive offers in bulk.
    • Email to SMS
      • Messages can be sent from an email to user phone numbers using the API platform.
      • The messages from an email will be converted and forwarded to the selected list of phone numbers in the database.
    • Lead Tracking
      • Include links to the webpages in the SMS. Keep track of the leads generated through the messages to understand the extent to which SMS messages are helping in building the business.
    • Two-factor Authentication
      • Use two-factor authentication to ensure data security.
      • Send One Time Passwords and other confidential information with an added layer of protection.
      • Voice calls Fallback
        • If the OTP fails to deliver during the stipulated time, the voice call fallback option will ensure that the customer receives the OTP before the transaction time expires.
        • The option is auto-routed, and a call will be placed to the customer’s phone number from the system.
      • Two-way Communication
        • Allow customers to reply to messages sent by the enterprise.

Take feedback, ask for confirmations, or let customers initiate a message by providing them with the required codes to send as replies.

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Brought to you by David Neeble

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Underrated Link Building Tactics!


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If you wish to expand your client list and attract more quality leads, you need to market and sell your brand. Along the same line, if you aim to rank high on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to build links for SEO.

Some of the most popular link building techniques that have been proven effective are guest posting, link reclamation, broken link building, and content syndication, among others. While these have stood the test of time, it’s worth looking into other methods, especially since a lot of link builders have been doing the same strategies for years.

If you want to get ahead of the curve and become the best marketer out there, you need to expand your strategies and find which ones work best.

This infographic guide from Spiralytics enumerates the underrated link building techniques you can add to your SEO strategy.

Below, you’ll find methods that are equally, if not more, effective than the usual ones.

Underrated Link Building Tactics

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Brought to you by Spiralytics

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Six Ways to Harness Creativity like Salvador Dali [Infographic]


lightbulb-creativity

Creativity is an essential component of every industry, and businesses large and small can hone in on creative thinking to push their product or offering to new levels.

Creativity acts as a differentiator, giving companies an edge and means for innovation.

It’s the driving factor that fuels big ideas and challenges ways of thinking. So, how exactly do you foster creativity and get employees to think outside the box? Aside from rewarding creative ideas and allowing for flexible work environments, it’s important to gather ideas for creative thinking from some of the most iconic creatives to ever walk this earth.

Invaluable created a neat visual that discusses ways to harness creativity as Salvador Dali did. From experimenting often to investing in himself, there is much we can learn from the quirky yet brilliant artist. Gather inspiration from the visual below, and try new ways to unleash your creative thinking both at work and in life.

Dali

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Brought to you by Invaluable

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

Hot Desking is the Office Trend that will Save Your Business Money! (Infographic)


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This new office trend saves space, increases flexibility, and adds one more benefit for your employees. In concept, Hot Desking is similar to ride sharing, but for workstations.

As more and more people begin working from home, less and less office space is necessary.  Even when in office, many people prefer to take a laptop to a more comfortable location (or to a collaborative space) in order to get things done. These trends result in a majority of dedicated workstations sitting vacant for much of the time.

Hot Desking creates an efficient way to handle the flexible office, by offering workspace only where and when people actually need it. Employees schedule days where they will work remotely so that there are enough work stations for those who want to come in the office.

The capital you save through this innovation will certainly impress donors. Everyone is excited about this new trend and it’s definitely something to mention when presenting a business plan or looking for a startup loan.

The main Hot Desking strategies are known as Zone and Hoteling.

Zone: This is when specific areas are designated as work areas for teams putting together cooperative projects. These can be reserved by groups who need to work collaboratively.

Hoteling: As the name might suggest, hotelling is having individual workers reserve specific workstations for the times they need them.

In both of these main options, Hot Desking requires some pretty extensive organization. Luckily there are apps already out there that cater to precisely this business strategy. The other major issue that has to be considered when Hot Desking is cleanliness. With so many people using one terminal, germs are bound to spread. It’s important to have a plan in place to keep workstations clean, so illness doesn’t spread around the company. If you’ve seen the statistics on how dirty work computers are… well, you’ll certainly want to keep stations as clean as possible.

Ultimately, Hot Desking is a great way to add convenience and coordination to a modern office.

Check this infographic from Fundera for more information on how Hot Desking can work for you and your company.

Fundera_HotDesking_IG

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Brought to you by Fundera

Edited by Temitope Adelekan

 

How to remodel a store to boost sales


StoreRemodel1

In a time where more and more consumers conduct the majority of their shopping online, brick-and-mortar stores need to exploit their advantages. Physical stores can offer a cohesive branding and shopping experience that eCommerce simply can’t.

Of course, brick-and-mortar stores can’t beat the convenience of ordering products online, but they don’t have to. Consumers visit physical stores for the entire experience, rather than just buying an item. Small businesses should cater to this desire to boost sales.

Remodeling your store can be quite the undertaking, however, it will propel your brand forward and raise your bottom line. From colors to floorplans, create an enticing customer journey that will drive purchases. Learn how with the visual below:

StoreRemodel

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Brought to you by Bigrentz

Edited by Temitope Adelekan