Business as a Service Where Virtual Meets Physical

If you look at all the innovations in the 21st century the Internet must be up there at the top. Not only is it a real feat of technology but it is such a huge enabler for business.

By far the most amazing thing about the internet, from a business point of view, is that it connects people together from all over the world. Once upon a time, if you were starting up a small business then you could only sell to people who were geographically near to you. Sure, companies could still export products all over the world, but the logistics of doing this – of finding those customers, building relationships and arranging transportation – were very difficult and reserved for large and well-established corporations with the budgets for doing so.

Along came the internet and made it easy, and inexpensive, for anyone to make international deals, for anyone to buy products at a low cost direct from the manufacturer and for anyone to connect with potential customers all over the world.

It Gets Even Easier Now, With Amazon FBA Business

That was just the beginning when it comes to the Internet making business more accessible for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Now with services like Amazon FBA Business not only do you have theoretical access to customers all over the world, you have easy access and you also have access to logistics, worldwide delivery, storage and many other facilities offered directly to you by one of the most successful logistics company in the world.

So, what exactly is Amazon FBA business? Think of it like business as a service. Amazon pretty much offer you a fully established business model as a service – so you have your product ready to sell, and they will do the rest. You can ship your product to them in bulk where they will then store it securely in their warehouse, it can take advantage of their global distribution network, you get access to their entire customer base, via their online retail outlets such as Amazon.com and you get the full product management facilities that Amazon themselves use.

If you have ever tried to set up such a business by yourself then you will know how much of a huge deal this is and just how much it lowers the barriers to entry that are traditionally associated with starting a new product driven business.

If you think this is great for business, its even better for the consumer. Barriers to entry tend to mean that the corporate giants have at least some form of monopoly in their respective industries – its very hard for anyone to compete with them, so they can sell at whatever price point they see fit, and the consumer has no say in the matter. With Amazon FBA business that all changes, anyone and everyone can compete with the big-guns, and on the same footing. Competition drives up quality and drives down price – two things that any consumer will welcome.

RemoteToPC – Remote Support Tools made for IT people

RemoteToPC is unique remote support software designed specifically for IT people.  The genesis of RemoteToPC was in January 2014 when LogMeIn first began to charge for its previously free remote desktop access application. So they began an effort to create an alternative to LogMeIn.

The brainchild of Steve and Aaron White (a Texas based father and son IT and programming team), RemoteToPC started out to be different from other remote support tool solutions. “We wanted to be different. We wanted it to be affordable, easy to use, and offer things no other product did” said Steve White, the President of RemoteToPC. “We actually offer basic remote monitoring and alerts built into every install. So, not only do you get remote PC access, you have active monitoring of core metric data such as CPU, RAM, and Disk.”

RemoteToPC looks similar to LogMeIn Central in its web based “Command Center”, but then there is more of a TeamViewer feel inside of a remote access session. The pricing is annual and based solely on the number of remote end-points. Other than user-management, and Heartbeat monitoring (monitoring servers up/down status) offered exclusively in the Enterprise level plans, all plans offer the same feature set, including unlimited concurrent sessions.

Prices start at $99 per year for a 10-remote computer plan $299 for a “Enterprise level” 100-remote computer plans, $899 per year for a 500-remote computer plan, and so on.

As of the writing of this article an Android join client was just being released. “We’re continually adding features. Android is first, Mac and iPhone support is next” said Aaron White, CTO and chief developer of RemoteToPC.

Other features not currently offered at the time of this article include Remote Printing, Wake-Up-On-Lan, and Mac support.

With a chief nemesis of the remote access juggernaut LogMeIn in their sites, this startup has a long road to climb, but if LogMeIn raises prices again in 2018, that will do nothing but help accelerate their ascent, particularly in the IT or MSP world.  Worldwide the Tech sector is one of the most rapidly growing sectors, and that includes remote tech support, or support gigs as the gig economy expands. In 2013 (a year before RemoteToPC began), Gartner said that IT service management software for MSPs and midmarket business was estimated to be a $10 billion market segment, or over 55% of the worldwide ITOM (IT Operations Management) software market. As of 2017 that estimate is now over $14 billion.

RemoteToPC says they are growing and they currently have happy customers all over the world.  One of the things we’re wondering is will they raise prices as new features become available? “No, there are no plans to at this time. Even if we do, we’re always going to keep lower than companies like LogMeIn. That’s part of our purpose. To make an affordable remote support software. That’s the reason we started.” said Steve White.

With that kind of philosophy as part of their startup vision, RemoteToPC’s tagline of “Made by IT people for IT people” makes sense.

The future of virtual reality

Virtual reality is no longer a futuristic concept – it’s already here, it’s already being used and with virtual reality hardware such as Oculus Rift it’s even more tangible than ever before.

Having said all of that, virtual reality really is still in its infancy and with everything on the market right now you could think about virtual reality as a blank internet. All the equipment is available, the infrastructure is in place and the technology is available for everyone to start using. Now it is time for the best technology companies out there to start making cool things out of this relatively new technology.

Now the most common use of virtual reality is gaming – it’s easy to see how well these two go together and if you have every played a game using the Oculus Rift you will know how much fun it is compared to traditional 2D or 3D gaming.

But what is next for virtual reality and how can it improve our lives?

To answer this question, it’s a good idea to think about how technology is changing the world in which we live. With the advent of the internet we are gradually doing more and more online – for example most of us now shop online, we do our shopping online, we chat to our friends online and things like walking down the highstreets, meeting up with friends or even reading a book seem old fashioned, out of date. This is great because it gives everybody access to these facilities – for example you can order goods from companies like Amazon no matter where you are in the world, you can do your shopping even if you are not anywhere near a supermarket and you can read any book you can ever think of.

The downside is that we just don’t go out as much anymore – we don’t visit a store to test out a product before we buy it, we don’t meet up as much with our friends and this is making our lives far duller even if it is making us more efficient.

This opens the door to one of the coolest potential uses for virtual reality and something that has been predicted repeatedly in futuristic films and TV shows. With virtual reality we can combine the physical with the virtual.

Imagine that you can merge an online shop with a traditional high street shopping environment in virtual reality – when you “visit” the online web store you step into the store using virtual reality technologies. You can browse products as you would have done in the past, speak to a shop assistant and virtually test out a realistic version of any product before you buy it.

If you were planning to buy a house you could take a virtual tour of the house to see what it looks like, what it feels to walk around, without even being there.

If you want to chat online with your friends you can all meet up in a virtual café and have a coffee together.

These things, once seeming so futuristic, are more than possible with virtual reality technologies that are available right now.

Companies such as Districts.io have already developed conceptual versions of the software that can make these virtual worlds possible as well as tie them in with physical environments such as shops, real estate and even traditional classroom teaching environments.

All that remains is for existing businesses to start building on virtual platforms such as Districts.io and not only will virtual reality really blossom but the way we live our lives will change forever.

The Basic Benefits of Business Branding with Social Media

Can you imagine thinking that social media was simply a fad that would fade away? Well, there was a time when business owners, even the big corporate giants, thought social media was for kids and that it would be a passing fancy. These skeptics have been proven wrong over the years to the tune of social media growth to more than 2 billion users across multiple active social media platforms.

Today, the major players in social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are marketing giants that provide businesses with valuable information and demographics about their customers. Most of your interactions across social networks is free, unless you choose to advertise, which is a topic for another time.

Social media for business branding is not optional anymore. It’s imperative.

How can social media benefit your business?

  • Valuable Data – The real-time data on social networks is of great value to your business. Every day, here are millions of Twitter Tweets, Facebook Likes, and Instagram images and videos shared by users. Behind all this interaction lies a lot of information about them, including what they like, who they are, and how they feel about various brands, like yours. By ‘listening’ to your followers and customers and engaging with them daily, you can make smart business decisions by paying attention.
  • Rich Customer Experience – Because social media allows you to engage and interact with your customers, you can better serve them. You can answer their questions, address their concerns through public comments, in private messages, or by hosting a Q&A session once a month. Showing you’re human, shows them you care about their satisfaction with your brand.
  • Brand Awareness – Improving your brand awareness is one of the major benefits of engaging on social media. Social channels make it easier for your customers and potential customers to find you. It’s likely they will connect with you, which results in a better customer relationship and higher retention.
  • Increase Web Traffic – Your blog and website can be promoted via social media channels, which helps boost your overall traffic. Your search rankings will also be improved with the increased social media interactions like retweets and shares across channels.
  • Fast Way to Share Content – Social media is now the fastest and most effective way to share content to a local to global audience. Every single day is another opportunity to provide a unique and special experience to your audience and customers. Content curation, social engagement, and liking content meshes together to boost your brand. If you cannot engage daily, you can outsource some tasks or find a reliable automation tool to automate some of your menial tasks. Remember, the end goal is to interact as humanly as possible.

Social media also allows you to generate more targeted leads, run targeted ads that offer real-time results, learn what your competitors are doing, geo-target content, and build amazing customer relationships.

If you’re not using social media channels to boost your brand, you’re behind your competitors. Simply put, social media is crucial to your business.

Article by The Small Business Blog

Macbook Air 2017 Review

Apple simply tweaked the processor on its little laptop, the 13-inch Macbook Air. They boosted it from a 1.6GHz to a 1.8GHz processor. It wasn’t a huge boost, but it did help improve the profile of one of Apple’s most popular entry-level notebooks.

You’ve probably seen a Macbook Air in public already unless you’ve been living under a rock. It’s the favorite laptop of students, mobile professionals, and digital nomads the world over. While there are lots of people who prefer the 13-inch or 15-inch Macbook Pro, there are still plenty of hardcore fans for the lighter, simpler, and more efficient Macbook Air.

Apple isn’t referring to this Macbook Air as a “new” model, but we can call it the mid-2017 Macbook Air to help distinguish it from the early-2015 Macbook Air.

Apple also updated the Macbook Pro in a similarly slight way. It got a little processor boost to the Kaby Lake chipset inside. A new Macbook came out, too. It will have a faster processor.

Apple really hasn’t changed the Macbook Air since it wooed the world with its beautiful, elegant design. It still looks as nice as it ever did. There were a few minor tweaks in 2015, but the only updates since then have been increased speed and memory. Those are significant, though. Students, graphic designers, and mobile professionals need faster memory and bigger storage because they’re relying on their notebooks for business and school.

Unfortunately, the Macbook Air is still only available in that same silver color, unlike the 12-inch Macbook which is available in three colors: Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, and Space Grey. Even the Macbook Pro is available in two colors: Silver or Space Grey.

Processor, Graphics Processing, and RAM

If your Macbook Air predates the 2015 model, then it might be worth an upgrade for the processor bump. You’d also have faster graphics processing.
Storage

The basic options you have are either 128GB or 256GB, but you can increase the maximum storage to 512GB for an extra $200. If you’re a big movie, music, or picture user, then you might consider boosting the storage to its maximum potential.

Ports and Slots

The new Macbook Air has the same ports and slots as the model from 2015.

Screen

The Macbook Air screen isn’t as clean, crisp, and flawless as you’ll see on the Macbook or Macbook Pro. It’s not a terrible screen, but it’s just a little unclear compared to the Retina.
Price

The Mabook Air is the cheapest Mac you can purchase, coming in at just $949 for the 128GB model.

Conclusion

The 13-inch Macbook Air is the cheapest Apple laptop you can buy. While its screen isn’t perfect, its performance and display are fine for daily use. If you want the smallest Apple laptop there is, then go for the 12-inch Macbook.

If you’re thinking about getting a new Macbook Air and want to sell Macbook, you can do so online at the click of a button.

5 Tips for the Budding Graphic Designer

Getting into graphic design is a fulfilling, interesting way to make a living. It puts your artistic talent and creativity to good use. If you’re thinking about getting into a graphic design career, read this article first so you’ll have a good launching-off point. You’ll need all the tips you can get if you want to avoid doing logos on Upwork for slave wages and instead make some serious dough in what can be a highly lucrative career.

Without further ado, let’s cover 5 smart tips you can use to boost your budding graphic design career.

 

#1. Establish Feedback and Get a Web Presence

Get a web presence first of all. You need a website and lots of feedback on freelancer marketplaces as well as aggregated on your website. Positive reviews will help you sell yourself in a big way. Even with a fantastic portfolio, prospects want to see what other paying customers have said about your work and the experience of working with you.
#2. Listen to Clients

Communication is central to design. Without an open, solid line of communication, you can end up wasting a lot of time, energy, and effort. If you know what the client wants beforehand, you’re much more likely to save time and keep them happy. Have them prepare a very detailed brief before you ever start the project. Failing that, come up with a lot of easy sketches beforehand that they can select from. That will save you a lot of time and energy.

 

#3. Get a Macbook

Apple has always been a favorite brand for the graphic design community. From its earliest days, Apple set itself apart by being the best computer brand for the graphic design professional. Worried that they’re too expensive? You can buy refurbished Macbooks here.

 

#4. Educate Clients

Clients hire designers because they don’t know about design themselves. They’re delegating it to you. They’re putting their success in your hands. That can be scary and nerve-wracking for even the most steely-nerved client. To make them feel better about the whole process, educate them. Tell them about your design process, why you’re making the decisions you’re making, and speak in a language they can understand. You don’t want to get bogged down in the details, but just tell them enough to get them excited, confirm their choice in you, and put them at ease about hiring you.

 

#5. Keep Learning

The design field is changing all the time. To stay relevant, in-demand, and hirable, you need to keep up to date with the hottest blogs, newsletters, software, and designer networks – both online and offline. Whether it’s a Facebook group or a designer meet-up, stay in constant contact and communication with other successful people in your field. No man is an island, and you’ll even make some friends along the way!

That’s all, folks! If you’re a budding graphic designer, stay positive. There is plenty of growth in your field. Software, the web, and apps are becoming more visual in nature, executives are seeing the importance of design to ROI, and design has become an important way to stand out in the marketplace. That means there are plenty of businesspeople out there ready to put you to work!

Digital Video Production: Taking Engagement to a Whole New Level

Digital video production offers a tremendous amount of power, and that power is undeniable. Given the fact that the amount of videos that are viewed online every day exceeds the amount of web searches and it’s easy to see how powerful digital videos are. YouTube alone plays more than a trillion (that’s right, TRILLION) videos every year! Scroll through your social media newsfeed and you’re bound to see more videos posted than anything else.

The bottom line is this: digital video is extremely popular, and its popularity keeps growing!

As a business owner, if you aren’t taking advantage of digital video, you are missing out on a fantastic opportunity to engage with your customers and boost your success. Videos educate, entertain, enlighten and inform viewers; they help to develop a real connection between business owners and their clients. It also expands web conversion rates, increases search engine rankings, and has the potential to skyrocket sales. It provides an incredible opportunity to boost your credibility, establish your brand and get the word out about your business.

At Suite Spot, we have understood the power of digital video for a very long time. Offering video production in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, our team has tons of experience in all areas of video production, including, but not limited to:

  • Live events
  • High-definition TV
  • Web broadcasting
  • Mobile broadcasting

We offer all of the services that are needed to get your business on board with digital video so that you can start taking advantage of the many wonderful benefits that it provides. Some of the services that we offer at Suite Spot include:

  • Animation
  • Graphic design
  • High-definition video editing
  • Storyboarding
  • Non-linear editing

Our experts will sit down and discuss your specific goals with you in order to gain a better understanding of how we can assist you. We will create a customized plan of action that will speak to the specific needs of your business and help you achieve your goals. You will be involved with the entire creation process, as we will always ask you for your input and ideas, and we will always share the creations we make for you before we share them.

Countless business owners have seen a huge increase in their success thanks to the digital video production services that Suite Spot offers. We’ve helped to increase customer relations, boost brand recognition, increase reputations and have drawn a tremendous amount of attention for the businesses we have worked with. In other words, the crew at Suite Spot has helped to expand the success of business owners with the exceptional video production services that we offer.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, what are you waiting for? Give Suit Spot a call today to learn more about our video production services and to find out how we can take your business to the next level.

Top ways to make the best use of Fairy lights in decorating your home

Fairy lights are a great way to transform the look of your home. Fairy lights look magical and hence the name given to them. Adding fairy lights to even a regular space can brighten up the entire space and make your home look like a dream house. It is for this reason that fairy lights are so popular nowadays and people use them in a variety of creative ways to decorate their home. With Christmas round the corner, you must be looking for some cheap but creative options to decorate your home. With fairy lights, you have little to spend but be rest assured that your home will look straight from the pages of a romantic tale. Here are a few ideas that you can try out to transform your home-

  • Snow globes- This is one of the most fun ideas ever and it is so easy to make that you can even assign your kids to this task. If you have large empty glass jars, then clean it up and let it dry. After it dries, put some cotton at the base to create the illusion of snow. On top of that put a bottlebrush tree and a small house. On top of that put white fairy lights and close the jar. Voila! Your snow globe is ready.
  • Photo display- Fairy lights are a great way to display your favourite photos. You can put up a string of white light and tape your favourite snaps at regular intervals. You can also use mini clothespin for this purpose. If not pictures, then you can also put up festive cards in the same manner.
  • Glittery mirror- If you have a large mirror in your home, you can always frame it up with a string of white fairy lights to give a magical feel the room. The reflection from the mirror will help to create the illusion of more lights and it is simply fantastic to watch. If you do not have a large mirror, then you can always wrap up the lights around your dressing table mirror to brighten up your dressing space.
  • Magical hallways- You can entirely transform the boring hallways of your home by using some fairy lights. Stick strings of fairy lights on the ceiling of your hallway and light them up. Your kids will love you for it, trust me.
  • Brighten up the outdoor- You can brighten up your outdoor by stringing some fairy lights round the fences. You can also put up strings of lights on the walls of your house or the doors. Light them up after dark and be amazed by the transformation of your home sweet home.
  • Fairy light jars- This is another cute way to lighten up small spaces in your home. If you have small glass jars, then just clean them up and put the string of fairy lights in them. Place them at every nook and cranny of your home and see your home light up.
  • Magical stairways– If you have large stairways in your house then you can always light them up for an extra effect. String the fairy lights on the handrails of the stairways and give the extra festive touch to your home.
  • Romantic drapes- You can make your rooms into something out of a fairy tale by using fairy lights in your drapes. Just put some fairy lights in the drape and light them up when the room is dark. It is a great way to add some romantic feel to your home.
  • Star lit canopy- If you want your bedroom to look like space them all you need is some light-coloured canopy and some fairy lights. Put up the canopy over your bed and place some fairy lights inside them. Light them up and enjoy your star lit canopy. It is also a great idea for lighting up children’s room in a creative way.
  • Light up the headboard- If you want to avoid too much work then all you can do to lighten up your bedroom is stick fairy lights on the headboard. If you have a wooden headboard, then you can just stick strings of light on it. If you have a wrought iron one, then you can wrap the lights stylishly all-round the headboard for the perfect finish.
  • Spell out a word-On the empty expanse of wall in your home you can use fairy lights creatively to spell out some words on it. You can use some motivational or philosophical words or you can just spell out your name with it. If you want, you can also use the lights to spell out festive greetings.

 

SilverSpringTherapy.com Offers Counseling to Improve Finances and Relationships

Therapists at Sun Point Wellness Center in Silver Spring, Maryland provide couples and individuals with intensive, solution-based financial guidance that directly improves lives.

Silver Spring, MD -Licensed Therapist Laura Morse, M.Ed., knows about the complicated psychology of money.  When new clients come to her office at the Sun Point Wellness Center to seek therapy for stress, anxiety, and depression, many report their most difficult daily challenges stem from concern over their financial situation.

Reports show the number one issue that couples argue over is money.  It makes sense. Money relates directly to our need for security, status, acceptance, and plans for the future.  What many couples do not understand is that money is not always the main issue in the family.  More important is the type of communication that goes along with the sensitive subject of money.  This is where Laura Morse steps in to apply strategies for dealing with money that will help couples and families refocus on what the more important .

“I see that couples are tired of getting into the same arguments,” says Morse. “Money is a sensitive issue, and many become frustrated trying to deal with difficult financial topics that lead to deeper intimacy issues in their relationship. We’re here to help clear the air with solution-based therapies that give our clients tools to make money a background issue.”

Morse’s new therapy assessment, “Money Therapy: Healthy Financial Strategies,” is designed to reveal to individual and couples their exact spending and saving patterns.  Developing a healthier relationship with money can potentially fast-track couples into immediately happier lives.

“Our first two-hour sessions allows couples to cover their main concerns,” says Laura Morse. “They are our most popular service for couples who want to make significant changes in a short amount of time.”

Morse is a licensed clinical therapist working in the Silver Spring, Md., community, and her innovative approach has attracted clients from a large geographic area.  Her highly focused therapy often produces immediate and permanent positive results, but clients can elect to use subsequent therapy sessions to learn more about healthier ways to cope and manage deeper issues.  In any case, the highly synthesized therapy she offers to quickly combat money issues, she hopes, will encourage more families, couples and individuals to come in and seek help.

Laura Morse and the team at the Sun Point Wellness counseling center also provide holistic, compassionate, and fresh approach to therapy to help people overcome obstacles related to depression, anxiety, addiction and trauma.


 

About SilverSpringTherapy.com:

Sometimes we all need a little help – and that’s what we’re here for – to address your unique situation.  We’re a collaborative team of licensed therapists located in downtown Silver Spring.

 

Our mission is to support the needs of our community by providing the highest-quality counseling services to our community.  We are dedicated to helping create an individualized plan to help you achieve your therapy goals. We have a dedication to meeting you where you are financially. Our experienced and caring team is here for you – with an evidence based and individualized fit for you.

 

LINKS:

Website: http://SilverSpringTherapy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SunPointWellness/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/laura_g_morse  or  https://twitter.com/sunpointwell

Contact:

Laura Morse,  MED, LGPC

Executive Director

laura@sunpointwellness.com

(301) 960-8991

5 Tips to Get the Most From Your Laptop

Whether you use your laptop for work or for play, there’s a pretty good chance that you spend a lot of time on it. In order to get the most out of it, you are going to want to treat your laptop with some tender loving care. From routine maintenance to protecting it from physical damage, here are five tips that will help you get the most out of your laptop.

  1. Regularly Scan for Viruses. While the Internet is a wonderful tool, a lot of dangers lurk out there. By harmlessly clicking on a site, your laptop could be infected with a devastating virus, and completely unbeknownst to you. To make sure your laptop and all of the information stored on it is safe, scan it for viruses on a regular basis. There are tons of virus scanners available, such as Norton and McAfee, and installing one on your laptop is one of the smartest things to do.
  2. Put it to Sleep. Instead of shutting down your laptop after each use, put it to sleep. When you put it to sleep, you won’t have to wait more than a few seconds for it to start up, compared to the several minutes it takes to start it after shutting it down. While you can certainly shut it down after each use, if you don’t want to wait several minutes for it to restart, put it to sleep instead.
  3. Protect It. It may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people invest thousands of dollars on a laptop, only to carelessly shove it into a random bag where it is subjected to scratches, scrapes and other damage from objects it comes into contact with. Store your laptop in a proper bag, complete with padding and compartments to hold its accessories, to prevent it from being damaged. It’s a simple way to help you get the most out of your laptop.
  4. Get an External Mouse. The trackpad on your laptop works fine for quick tasks, but if you want to speed up productivity and comfort, consider using an external mouse. It’s much easier to use, it’s much more comfortable and it works a lot faster. A wireless remote is ideal, as you won’t have to deal with any annoying wires getting in your way. It will save you a great deal of time, will allow you to get things done quicker and will be a lot more comfortable to use.

Replace Faulty Parts. Just like any device or appliance, laptop parts can wear out over time. Batteries can run out of power, screens can become scratched, keys can fall out or wear out. When a part breaks down, instead of investing thousands of dollars in a new laptop, replace the faulty part. Doing so will save you a great deal of money and aggravation. From screens to batteries and pretty much everything in between, you’ll be able to find a replacement part for your laptop.