Are You Ready to Move into the Flexible Jobs Market?

2017 might be the year when flexible jobs explode. For many looking to wrest some control back over their working lives, this could be the year. Flexible jobs give people the ability to have more control over when and where they work. For some this means cutting down from full-time, 9 to 5, Monday to Friday working, while for others it means taking their job and moving it to the spare bedroom. Initial results are showing higher levels of job satisfaction and higher rates of engagement and productivity within the work itself.

Flexible Jobs with Potential

According to Forbes.com, there are 20 jobs above all others which are primed to be the top flexible jobs of 2017. These are:

  1. Statistician
  2. Product Manager
  3. Physical Therapy Assistant
  4. Operations Manager
  5. Operations Analyst
  6. Office Manager
  7. Occupational Therapy Assistant
  8. Nurse Practitioner
  9. Nurse – ICU
  10. Medical Director
  11. Information Security Analyst/Manager
  12. Genetic Counselor
  13. Front-End Developer
  14. Financial Analyst
  15. Data Scientist
  16. Client Services Coordinator
  17. Business Process Analyst
  18. Business Development
  19. Account Manager
  20. Account Executive

With 63% of employees believing the 8 hour work day will soon be a thing of the past, it is worth considering if flexible work is right for you. The main considerations are financial and practical. Can you afford to work less? And can your job be done from home? Or can it be shared? Then you have to see if your company is willing to enter into flexible working arrangements. Reduced work, for example suits those with savings, stable income from a partner, or a second job/side hustle to fall back on or build up. Those on low wages with financial insecurity cannot afford the less work option, but may be able to wrangle a work from home remote position if it improves productivity for your employer.

Can You Go 100% Flexible?

For the above, it is mostly about reconstructing or renegotiating jobs you are already in. For many, this is not an option. The first decade of the 20th century saw an explosion of jobs relating to the Internet. So far, the second decade has seen working patterns fracture and become more flexible with more jobs being related to servicing online needs or performing everyday business tasks and services online. The so-called gig economy has been around for a long time, but it seems more prevalent now and has allowed many people fired from work to instantly get back up on their feet and move forward with their lives. Instead of applying for a steady stream of jobs, many people are able to brainstorm how to turn their situation into a job or at least a steady income be it driving people around or delivering items.

Make no mistake, the flexible lifestyle of a freelancer can be stressful. You do have the ability to work when you want, as you want, but each gig is not always well paying, and they may be hard to obtain too. You need tremendous self-discipline and the ability to go out there and make things work for you. Furthermore, whether a freelancer or a remote worker, flexible work needs a lot of organization and an ability to ignore distractions. Strike the right balance, work hard, and it can be a very rewarding lifestyle.

Jenny Holt is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Is Your Social Media Profile Secure?

With people spending more and more of their lives online – it can be difficult to know where to draw the line. Sharing almost every aspect of your life might have been commonplace – but you could also be putting yourself at risk.

While social media has become a great place to share and communicate with friends and family – it has also become a place where criminals target the unsuspecting. This is becoming a growing problem. People who came to the internet late in their lives might already have a sense of reluctance to share absolutely everything – but those who have grown up with it might not be aware that they could be sharing too much. We’re going to look at a few simple security tips that should make your social media profile more secure.

1. Don’t share too much

Sharing parts of your life can be great fun – but some people take things too far. Do you really want people knowing where you are all the time? Leave a bit of mystery in your life – it could actually protect you. Simply advertising when you’re not at home or even making it really obvious where you live or work are not the greatest ideas. Use some common sense. By all means, share photos and enjoy yourself – but try and keep some things private in your life.

Remember when you need to reset a password because you lost it? Oftentimes they’ll ask you when your birthday is or what your pet’s name is. This is the sort of information people freely share on social media. That means you’re giving this secure information away for free. Don’t do it.

2. Make sure you know all your “friends”

Having as long a friend list as possible has almost become a competition between some people. It makes you seem popular – but that’s not really the reality. Try and rise above this sort of behaviour. Only accept someone as a “friend” if you really know who they are. This means what you share should only be seen by people you know.

Of course, you can’t control how your friends use their accounts, so make sure you really only have people you can rely on in real life. A good question to ask yourself is – would you stop and talk to that person if you saw them in real life? If not – why are they on your friend list? You’ve got to get away from the desire to have thousands of friends and realise that some things (like your security) are more important.

3. Don’t share access of your account

Some people share their password and let their friends log in for them. This is a huge mistake and could be asking for trouble. Make sure it’s only you that has access to your account. You should also log out when you’ve finished – especially on public computers like those in libraries or at college.

4. Vary your passwords

Some people use the same password for everything. While this can make things easier to remember – it also means losing access to one account could spell disaster. Make sure you vary your passwords and change them regularly. Don’t write them down, either.

About the author

Keith has a strong background in advising people on security issues. He’s been writing about tech and social media for a number of years. In his spare time, he also writes for a private tuition service based in Singapore.

How the Internet is Boosting the Storage Industry

Numbers don’t lie and every savvy marketer knows this.

In the modern business environment, every business is scrambling for a piece of the internet market because this is where the customers are.

For instance, in self-storage, the industry is experiencing major growth; a fact that has been attributed partly due to increased use of internet technology.

Storage in Brooklyn has changed rapidly since the adoption of the new marketing techniques available online.

Below are some other pertinent factors that explain the relationship between storage facilities and the advent of online marketing.

Why the Surge in Self Storage Demand?

Today, there are more than 55,000 public storage facilities across the country and the industry is projected to keep growing.

Greater than 9.5% of the households in the U.S have rented self-storage and more businesses are also taking up these spaces to meet growing business needs.

With more storage facilities coming up in cities, smaller businesses are finding it cheaper to rent such units to cater for temporary storage as they seek rentals and leases.

What’s more, public storage facilities offer tailor-made solutions to suit different types of customers, a reason that makes them more popular with homeowners and businesses alike.

Impact of Internet on Self Storage 

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 87% of Americans are using the internet today and these numbers are incredible for any business seeking to extend its reach beyond the traditional catchment areas.

To the self-storage industry in Brooklyn, the internet is not a threat as most brick and mortar perceive this technology. Instead, established facilities have integrated this technology to remain relevant and add value to the customer experience.

Here are some techniques self-storage companies are using on the Internet:

  • Customer engagement: There is always a need for businesses to interact with their customers. In the modern business environment, social media has become the most important tool to provide feedback with their customers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ are just some of the platforms self-storage facilities are relying on to interact actively with their customers. Real-time feedback is now more important than ever.
  • Internet marketing: There are different online tools that are being implemented to capture more customers. These range from social media, link building, video, email marketing, PPC among others. Most of these tools allow targeted marketing thus increasing conversion rates for self-storage facilities.
  • Online booking and scheduling: It is now easier for customers to book storage without even leaving their homes. This is a perfect solution for customers moving into Brooklyn from out of state or other cities. The best self-storage companies provide comprehensive description, virtual tours of the facility and easy online booking.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) says online retail sales are pushing beyond $427 billion and self-storage facilities are very much part of  this revolution.

If you are a customer looking for self-storage in Brooklyn, it is time to go online where you will find it easier to book and learn more about different storage facilities.

You will also find invaluable resources to help you make an informed decision.

For the storage business owner, make sure you are boosting your marketing efforts both on and offline, storing up more business along the way.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers consumer and business topics on the web.

 

Are You Ready For The Next Step?

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If there’s one thing that you can guarantee about your business, it’s this: if it’s not moving forward, it’s falling behind. There is no such thing as being able to settle down and stay still in the world of modern business. As soon as you decide that you’re comfortable where you are, your business is going to stagnate, and your competition is going to leave you in the dust. Every business owner should be looking forward to the next stage in their business’s evolution, ready to face whatever it is that’s going to come along. Of course, the doesn’t mean that you should throw your business into the future without thinking about things carefully. If you try to push it forward without thinking carefully, then you could well end up in a pretty precarious position. With that in mind, here are a few things to think about when trying to make sure that your business is ready for the next step.

How can you reach new customers?

If you want to grow your business, then you need to expand your customer base. Otherwise, your business simply won’t be able to sustain its growth and will end up collapsing under its own weight. There are plenty of ways to reach new customers, and each come with their own unique challenges. You might want to expand to new demographics, in which case you’re going to need to put a lot more time and effort into creating effective marketing strategies. Perhaps you’re looking at expanding into more international territories. If that’s the case, then you’ll need help from one of the UK’s leading translation companies so that you can be sure that you’re communicating effectively with customers no matter where they are in the world. Being able to understand the challenges involved in reaching new customers is the only way to avoid making obvious mistakes or losing out on potentially profitable markets.

What new additions does your business need?

As a business grows, so do its needs. This could be in terms of your employees, technology, or financial support. Figuring out how any form of expansion impacts on the structure of your business isn’t always easy but it’s definitely worth doing if you really want to get the most out of any given situation. Do you need new employees? Then you need to figure out how many and where they’d be best utilised. Is your company’s tech not up to scratch? Then you’re going to want to figure out what technology will benefit your business most and whether or not you can afford it.

Do any existing elements need adjusting?

If there’s one mistake that many businesses make more than any other, it’s assuming that their existing business is strong enough to build on top of. If the foundations that you’re building on are crumbling, then everything’s going to come crashing down. Look at the infrastructure, workforce, and working methods of your business and figure out what works and what doesn’t. The things that work can act as the basis for all future developments to your business. The things that don’t need to either be adjusted and fixed or left behind entirely. Refinement is one of the most important things in your business.

Do You Need Help With Your Marketing?

For any business that is looking to grow and gain customers, marketing is always going to be an essential tool – and all businesses want to gain customers. The truth is that there are so many kinds of marketing that it is impossible for one entrepreneur to be an expert in them all. Most businesses need to hire help from certain people at certain times – this doesn’t mean failure, it just means that you are doing everything you need to do to get ahead. If you are keen to improve your marketing, then you might want to think about bringing people on board to help you do so. In this article, we are going to look at some of the major areas of marketing and where you might expect to get some help.

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Traditional

It is important not to overlook the traditional marketing models, as these are still very often the most effective around. Although you certainly want to pay attention to online marketing as well, avoiding the older forms of promotion won’t do your business any favours. Many contemporary businesses find that they actually need more help with the traditional forms of marketing than the newer, digital ones, as they are often closed off to professionals. So if you are thinking of trying your hand at, say, television advertising, you will almost certainly want to hire a professional within that area. This way, you will have much more luck in doing what you are trying to do – drawing in more customers.

SEO

Of all the kinds of modern digital marketing that businesses are getting really excited about, SEO has to be one of the most effective and essential. If you are not already making good use of this, then you might want to reconsider your marketing strategy. The truth is, your website is one of the most important aspects of your marketing, no matter what, and the SEO you use is hugely important in ensuring that people actually visit the page as much as possible, and that they stay there long enough to become a customer. If you think you need help here, consider using the best search engine optimization team you can find. This will likely make a noticeable difference to your website’s visitors.

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Social Media

Social media is powerful as a marketing tool – most companies are aware of that. However, what many are far less aware of is that it is actually more difficult to use effectively than people often realise. The truth is, most companies will benefit from using a professional when it comes to social media – and yes, there are such professionals out there. Hiring a social media guru will ensure that your posts and tweets are the best they can be, and it will also keep things as regulated as possible. This is important because it helps you to keep your brand image strong throughout. Done right, social media can make a noticeable difference to your overall marketing campaigns.

Make Your Business Loud and Clear to Consumers

Feel like your brand isn’t getting enough love from consumers? If that is your mindset, what do you intend to do about it moving forward?

Unfortunately, too many business owners do not do enough to get their brand’s name out and about. As a result, they pay the consequences in terms of sales numbers slipping. When that happens, the writing could be on the wall that one’s business is headed for a slippery slope.

So that you can make your business loud and clear to consumers, you have to make sure you are promoting it anywhere and everywhere.

This also means that your employees (unless you are a one-person show) are doing all they can to get the word out there.

With this in mind, is it time for you to make your business more loud and clear to consumers?

Working In-House and Outside the Office to Promote Your Brand

For you to get the most attention in and out of the office for your brand, remember a couple of important tips:

  1. Message and Your Employees

Without a clear and concise marketing message, how do you expect most consumers to find you?

Make sure each and every marketing message you send out has had some thought put into it. Secondly, it is also important to know your audience each time you reach out to them. Lastly, the vehicle or vehicles you use to transport your message (email, social media, texts, press releases etc.) also need to be thought out before you hit send.

As for the messengers, your employees and current customers (see more below) are two of your best resources.

When it comes to the former, be sure your workers are up to speed on a whole host of ways to make your brand as relevant as possible. Two such means are video conferencing and webinars for your business.

With video conferencing, you can greatly reduce one of the issues that many growing businesses run into.

That would be when offices are spread out both nationally and globally. When this happens, getting all the employees together as one can prove challenging.

By turning to video conferencing, you can bring your group together, allowing for both information and thoughts to flow freely. Best of all; the company feels like one big family.

As for webinars, this is another valuable tool that too many businesses fail to capitalize on. Webinars allow your company to spread your brand’s name online, with the added advantage that they are available in essence 24/7/365.

If you are not using webinars now, think about doing them sooner rather than later. In doing so, be sure to promote them anywhere and everywhere.

This is especially true on your social media channels, channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube etc.) that should be getting plenty of action.

  1. Message and Your Customers

As great as your employees can be at delivering your company’s message, never forget your customers.

By giving them some incentives to promote your brand, you can get more marketing bang for your dollar.

For instance, don’t take your long-term customers and/or those who spend a fair amount of money with you for granted.

You can offer them items such as rewards programs, first shot at sale items before they go on sale to the general public etc. In doing so, many of your customers will be more than happy to help spread your company’s message to friends, family, even strangers in some cases.

As you can see, your message and the messengers both play key roles in your company’s ability to be successful.

Take a step back and see where your brand might be coming up short at the moment. In moving forward, make sure your business is heard loud and clear by consumers. 

 About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business and marketing topics on the web.