Traveling through Europe is certainly nothing like a trip to Las Vegas but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. However with the best travel tips you can be sure to have the most enjoyable trip over seas that you can have as a traveler. Keep in mind that this is not the sort of travel vacation that you can plan on sudden notice and you need to be sure that you have all of the proper documentation that you need for traveling abroad.One of the best things that you can do is to work closely with a travel agent that specializes in tours to Europe. Keep in mind that you can also find the same information on the Internet that a travel agent can offer. You can educate yourself ahead of time on the many cultures and be sure to have a great time no matter where you go while you are there.There are many travel tips that you can use to ensure your safety while traveling over seas. The main thing is to make sure that you have all of your papers in order, including visa, passports and airfare tickets. It is recommended that you should register with the American Embassy when you arrive so you can be located at anytime for in the event of an emergency. Be sure to get familiarize yourself with the customs and laws of the areas that you will be visiting so you know what is expected of you. Leave a copy of your entire passport with your family or friends for emergencies.It is always a good idea not to keep all of your funds located in one place on your person. This will ensure that you are not without money in the event that it is stolen. You can use ATM’s while there but the fees may be great so keep your visits to a minimum. The best way to save a bit on food is to see what the locals like. You can bet to get a good deal on food that is very common so see what the popular food of choice is and what local café’s are ideal to visit.You can have the trip of a lifetime by following each simple tip. Be sure to do some research before you take the journey so you can be well educated and prepared for such a tour. You will be grateful that you took the time to find out what the areas are all about so you know exactly what you are doing. These simple tips for travel holiday to Europe will help ensure that travelers have a fun and safe trip and that they get the most out of their experience.
The twenty first century presents unique challenges for higher education. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are seen as the major driving force of the future economies of countries around the world. While complexities of the society are enforcing the need for more education, ICTs are increasingly expanding the reach and range of educational institutions by making it possible to access any course from anywhere in the world and at anytime. They offer the possibility of drawing students from many countries who are studying the same course together at the same time. They also serve both the ‘free market’ (i.e. those markets where people are able and are prepared to pay the full cost of accessing services) and the ‘social market’ (i.e. those in need of on demand education and training, and do not have the resources to access or pay for such services, but who for reasons of both social justice and long term national economic development need basic education, upgrading or retraining).
The scope of education is being dramatically increased from a specialized activity for young people to a lifetime need for everyone. The wealth of nations will depend increasingly on knowledge based high-tech industries. This means that education and trainings are essential elements of the new information age not just in the pre-work years but throughout lifetime. Thus, ICTs offer the promise of not only widening access, but also improving the quality of learning by making it relevant to the skills and knowledge needed in an information society.
What is emerging today is education in four kinds of campus settings:
-Campus based education (conventional universities etc.)
-Dual mode education (Traditional universities offering online courses as well)
-Off campus education (open universities and distance education institutions, etc.)
-Global electronic campus education (virtual universities, electronic based consortia/global networks, etc.)
There has been a tremendous growth and diversity in the number and types of learners, the learning outside traditional classrooms and also in the variety of providers from typical single mode and dual mode institutions (open universities/dual mode universities) with the purpose of increasing the access of corporate organizations to higher education in the aim of upgrading/retraining their workforce.
By using ICTs, formal universities are being transformed into distance learning institutes. They are starting to lecture on and offline to meet the growing pool of part-time students and open another potentiality. On the other hand, distance learning institutes are aiming to make it possible to teach and learn beyond spatial/time limits.
Behavioral and social issues play a huge role in the uptake of online offerings so do the economic issues that rule the implementation of online business models. The learning community would move beyond the classroom walls and would no more be dictated by the classroom schedule. Systems would no longer be age or time based. All boundaries related to distance, time, location of study, age, language, and culture would disappear. Individuals/groups that constitute the learning communities would be able to interact with each other across the globe. In other words, ICTs can personalize the prevailing impersonal studies by making dialogue teaching forms possible, and enabling them to be transmitted via data networks.
The exponential growth of information and communications technology (ICT) over the last 10 to 15 years has had a profound impact in every walk of life. Given the impact of ICT on many businesses and industries, it is being seen as major change agent in the field of higher education too. ICTs are predicted to revolutionize the way education is delivered. Computers are increasingly becoming powerful with technological breakthroughs in satellite, fiber optic and wireless technology. Software developments such as multimedia authoring systems have made it easier to create digital material such as computer simulations and educational material. Consequently, there is great interest in virtual education, which is based on the idea of a widespread and significant application of ICT on the core activities of education.
Many institutions worldwide, but particularly in North America, Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom and several other European countries such as Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands have taken early lead and invested heavily in online education infrastructure.
It is clear that ICT capacity will continue to expand at a rapid rate throughout the world and will drive opportunities for online education. It will be in the interest of nations and institutions to embrace online education system.
On the other hand, virtual education requires a stringent set of conditions to work efficiently and online accreditation must embrace multiple standards of learning if it is to be universally accepted. Thus, traditional education settings and processes will not disappear, nor should they.
As today’s children become tomorrow’s college students, providing alternative (online) learning environments will become more and more important. With the changing face and needs of society, quick adaptation would be the key to success. While universities need not abandon their rich traditions, they must become more adaptable and flexible to survive. For institutions that refuse to change, the outcome is quite clear: public support will fade and they will eventually cease to exist.
There are many ways to make money online with photography, but a popular and fairly new way is through Micro Stock Photography websites.Micro stock is simply photography that’s sold at deep discounts. Clients are able to license stock photos for just $1 or $2, and photographers earn money each time a client chooses one of their photos.Micro stock is considered to be still in it’s infancy, and some people feel it’s wrong to sell photography at such low prices. Particularly since many professional photographers invest a lot of time and money on equipment, learning, and photo shoots.For the beginning photographer though, micro stock photo agencies can be ideal places to start. Since entry requirements are not overly restrictive, many hobby photographers with inexpensive cameras have already started making a nice second income from their pictures.How Does It Work?The process of making money from your photography through micro stock agencies is fairly simple.1. Research popular micro stock photography agencies online. There are quite a few of them, but you’ll want to start with just one or two until you get the hang of things.2. Choose your absolute best pictures to submit. Some agencies require you to submit 10 pictures for review when you apply for an account with them, while others only require three the first time. Most don’t have minimum requirements though, and you can start by submitting just one.3. Your pictures will be reviewed by humans, and accepted or rejected into the micro stock photography site. If they’re accepted, they’ll be available for clients to “buy”.Technically they’re not fully buying your pictures though. They’re simply licensing the pictures for specific use. Usually micro stock photography is used in websites, though sometimes it’s used in advertisements, brochures and other marketing materials. The photographer always retains full copyrights to their photos though, and is normally able to sell the same photos over and over again to additional clients.And this is the beauty of stock photography. Once you’ve taken a great picture and had it accepted into a stock photography portfolio, that one picture can continue earning you money month after month… sometimes year after year.Most micro stock photography agencies pay $0.20 – $0.50 per picture license, or download. This may not seem like much, however a good photographer with several hundred pictures for sale could make a nice second income over time, because it all adds up!There’s a lot more to the stock photography business, which we don’t have room to cover in just one article. You’ll find expanded details about making money with stock photos in the books noted below.
Finding a plumbing company is a task that falls to all home owners at one point or another. Though the process can be stressful, it can be accomplished by considering the situation carefully. Some individuals will have called upon a plumber before and will already have one in mind. Others will have to start from scratch, but with a little help should be able to find what they are looking for and fix their problem.Licensing is key for any business and plumbing is no different. Most areas will regulate plumbers by ordering that those who are practicing also obtain a license. If a professional is both licensed and experienced, there is a very good chance that he/she does good work and will be able to solve any number of problems. When choosing someone, people should ask how long they’ve been working in the field.Anyone who has a problem with their pipes should go in for a formal consultation with a business that he/she might hire. The company can provide a basic run down of the kinds of services that are offered, and also provide a basic quote as to how much the problem might cost to fix. The owner of the house with the problem can also ask questions and discuss any possible concerns that might have arisen.Friends and family members should not be ignored for key sources of information. Often, they will have been through the same kind of problem in the past and will be able to provide some much needed advice. Sometimes, an individual might even have a plumber in the family. In this case, the issue might be fixed for free. In the worst case, a deep discount will be secured.One of the main things that plumbers take care of is leaky pipes or pipes that may soon develop a leak. Faucets that continuously drip water can wrack up huge water bills and cost families a lot of money over the long haul. It is always a better idea to deal with these kinds of problems early on so that they can be taken care of. Some plumbing problems worsen over time and can cause flooding.Blueprints are usually thought of as belong in the realm of the architect but this is not necessarily the case. A plumber can also make ready use of these types of things as they always show exactly where the pipes are in a house or building. This is especially important for anyone who is doing a renovation. When a remodeling is being done a professional should be consulted to make sure no pipes or other fixtures are damaged.Plumbing companies play major roles not just in the development of houses but also in the layout of whole sections of towns and cities. Like any other area where people live big cities need pipes through which to get water to houses and businesses. When problems occur, plumbers are often looked to for advice on how to proceed. The last thing a city wants is a water problem near the middle of the downtown area.A plumbing company can provide significant help to individuals that need it. As long as the individual does the homework and performs a bit of basic research, he/she should be able to find a quality business for whatever is needed.
Introduction: If you are the owner of a plumbing company, then you are probably like many other business owners.You realize that you can’t work forever. In fact, it may be that you do not WANT to work forever despite enjoying what you do.Even the most successful plumbers eventually get to the place where they are ready to hang up the wrench and do something different.They may be burned out from the daily stresses of running a business, have physical or family issues that demand more of their time, or they simply want to move on to a new challenge.However, for many owners, it’s difficult to find the time to sit down and map out a strategy for exiting the business. If you own a successful plumbing company, you probably don’t have a plan in place that will facilitate your goals of selling your business quickly, without a lot of hassles, while creating a lifetime stream of income from the proceeds.A significant portion of your retirement planning is likely predicated on a successful sale of your business. Exiting a business is truly one of life’s most important transitions; a transition whose outcome can make or break your retirement future.That’s why it is so important to create an action strategy that will help you avoid making mistakes that can result in you running out of money in retirement.But, do you know exactly what it will take to create such a sale? When the time comes to leave will you become so frustrated, overwhelmed and desperate that you make poor decisions that will cost you lots of money?Knowing the answers to these questions is important, especially if you are nearing retirement and more than ready to start the process of selling your business. You must seek solutions that promise a better, more financially lucrative and less stressful way of achieving your selling goals.Plumbing company owners who want to sell in the 21st Century must seek alternative systems for selling a business that address some of the common mistakes owners make when they try to sell their companies.I say “try” because more often than not, sellers wind up either not selling at all or having their businesses sit on the market for months, even years, before they find a qualified buyer. Even if they do manage to find a good buying prospect, there are currently so many businesses on the market that they may wind up getting a lot less money than anticipated.9 of the most common business exit planning mistakes plumbers make and how to avoid them:It is not uncommon for plumbing company owners to have no exit blueprint at all. They usually either haven’t given it much thought or they make assumptions about the future that may not be true.1. Not planning at all As the old saying goes, “it isn’t a plan until it’s written down.” For a succession plan to be effective and implementable, it MUST be written down and reviewed by all parties involved. A plan must be clear, concise, and free of ambiguities that could cause problems later.A business exit plan, while being distinctly different than your estate plan, should nevertheless complement the estate plan and ensure that your overall retirement goals are being met.That’s why it’s a good idea to have your CPA and/or estate planner review the blueprint and make suggestions that align with your goals and aspirations.2. Making too many assumptionsIn talking with business owners who are thinking about selling, it’s interesting to see how many of them are making assumptions about both the process of selling and the outcome of the sale. The skies in their world are a different color than reality when it comes to the futures of their businesses.For example, some plumbing company owners take for granted that a son, daughter, granddaughter, grandson, or other relative will take over the business. They may have the idea that in the event their heirs don’t want it; a group of key employees will step in to buy out the company. Or, some savvy investment group will recognize how great the business really is and snap it up.Another common assumption made by sellers is that the selling process is easy and quick -a handshake, a check and it’s done. They take it for granted that there will always be someone looking to buy at exactly the time they decide to sell, and that the price they are asking is correct and reasonable.Unfortunately, none of these assumptions may wind up being true. Selling in the 21st century, with its economic flux and massively shifting demographics, is anything but simple. You can’t afford to predicate your plan on assumptions based in the past.3.Not including your family in the planning process”Stan” was the owner of an extremely successful commercial plumbing business.His oldest son had worked alongside him for several years, proving himself especially adroit at bidding for large jobs, handling customer issues, and managing employees. Stan assumed, without ever really discussing it, that his son would take over from him when he decided to retire.When he finally made that decision and approached his son, he was stunned to learn that Stan, Jr. had applied to a local business college and had no interest in taking over his dad’s company. Neither did the other kids, for that matter.It’s easy to avoid this situation (and many others) by keeping your family apprised of your intentions from the very beginning in an honest, transparent manner.You should work to achieve consensus on all important issues, including discovering whether or not a family member or spouse wants to take over, which family members will stay on as employees or move into management.Business succession planning is definitely NOT something you want to keep secret from your loved ones.Meet regularly with the family all during the planning process. Explain to them what your vision of the future looks like and what must occur in order for you to achieve this. By doing these things, you will go a long way toward avoiding the kinds of family feuds that can derail the sale of a business.4. Poor organization and record keepingThe day before you decide to sell is not the time to discover that your records are a mess and that key documents are missing. If you intend to sell, or even if you want to keep the business in the family, organized records are essential.Buyers will want to see your financial records for at least the past five years, perhaps even for the last ten years. They will want to know where to locate your marketing pieces, customer lists, employee records, leases, and everything else pertaining to the business that should be filed and easy to locate.To ensure less stress when selling, start organizing your records right now.Note: To get a free exit planning checklist detailing exactly what kinds of documents buyers will want to see when valuating your business visit the website listed at the end of this article.5. Forgetting to give the business “curb appeal.”A temptation for all business owners who realize they want to sell the business and retire is to stop putting any more money into the company that is necessary to keep the daily operations going.They might stop repairing or replacing tools and machinery, not wash their fleet vehicles as much, or allow their building and landscaping to become shabby.Owners might postpone doing things such as buying new uniforms and badges for employees or upgrading safety equipment and signage.Just as a home that has had some basic TLC before going on the market usually sells for more money, it’s the same for a business that wants to attract more qualified buyers.Buyers of businesses are in short supply and they know it. They can afford to be very picky when it comes to which businesses they decide to purchase.A savvy plumbing company owner who wants to sell more quickly and for more money will invest a bit of time and money in ensuring that their company looks appealing and professional.6. Not sustaining your succession planning focusMany times plumbing company owners who, coming to terms with their need to plan their exits, throw themselves into succession planning with a vengeance.They hold formal planning review meetings, talk to their families and seek out the counsel of their trusted advisors and mentors,Then, for whatever reason, the succession planning process just dies on the vine. It goes nowhere, frustrating the owner as well as all his key employees and advisors.Why does this happen? I believe it is because business owners tend to see succession planning as a “one of” event, rather than a vital part of the company’s business planning cycle.Exit strategies risk gathering dust unless they are integrated into the overall plans of any business long before the time comes to leave7. Failure to integrate your plan into your company cultureIt’s absolutely true: Long-term business objectives can’t be reached without an effective succession plan. That plan has to be as integrated into your company culture as your mission statement or guarantees.Having an exit plan in place will allow you to retain your best and brightest employees by allowing them to know that when ready to sell, they will still have a future with the company.A company built around the idea that there will be an orderly succession that keeps the business intact and thriving is a company whose managers and key employees are not inclined to abandon.8. Not understanding that selling takes timeIn the same way you take time to plan before performing a complex plumbing project, you must allow an adequate amount of preparation when you get ready to sell your company. In fact, your success is directly related to how much quality time you put into the process.You need to sit down and write down what your idea of a successful sale looks like. How do you want the sales process to play out? Walk through everything thing has to happen to make this a reality.You need to be able to articulate what success in exiting your business looks like to you and share this vision with your key players, employees, and family members.Yes, this will take a lot of time and thought. But it is definitely NOT something you want to rush through just to “get it over with.” After all, if you are like most people, you are only going to get one chance to sell your business and retire successfully. Take the time to do it the right way and avoid any mistakes that could wind up significantly impacting your lifestyle in retirement.9. Not staying on top of the planExiting your plumbing business, in many ways, is a lot more work than when you first started it. There are many moving parts and complex tasks that must be executed successfully in order to avoid failure.You need to be sure that all of your employees and family members have bought into your vision and are performing their tasks as assigned.You are going to need the support of all key players if you are going to break past the lousy 3% success rate for selling a business in the United States.Check in often with those entrusted to help you exit, and hold each one accountable for completing their assigned tasks within a stated time frame.ConclusionSelling your successful plumbing business is a process that should be begun right now, even if you think you NEVER want to sell.By having a plan firmly established before you need it, you will be able to make better overall business decisions and give your employees, family members, and yourself more peace of mind.
Most homes are connected to a septic system that must be cleaned and maintained regularly. As the task involves several complicated procedures, it is best to have professional services to clean your septic tanks periodically. With a plethora of companies in every nook and corner, choosing the right one can indeed be a confusing task for most homeowners. Scour the internet for a reliable septic company with essential qualities such as experience, excellent customer services, use of state-of-the-art technology, and professionalism.When you take the time and effort to choose a qualified septic tank service provider, you can rest assured that your septic system will function effectively for years to come. Without proper care and maintenance, septic systems can break down anytime, causing havoc in and around your home. When you look for septic companies near me, some of the most essential aspects that you need to consider include the following.ExperienceCleaning, plumbing out, and maintenance of tanks is no mean feat, as the task requires expertise and experience. Septic tank plumbers receive technical training before undertaking any task, which explains the significance of experience when it comes to choosing a septic company. Experience indicates the credibility and reliability of these professionals who are assigned to maintain your septic system. Most of the reputed companies hire only professional skilled septic tank cleaners and train them regularly to stay updated on modern techniques and equipment.Impeccable servicesProfessionalism is the key indicator of a reputed company and homeowners need to ensure that they obtain good quality services at any time of the day or night. Septic systems can break down unexpectedly. Therefore, you need a company that responds to your calls immediately. Overflowing drains and backups from toilets and kitchen sinks need to be fixed immediately; otherwise, it can cause huge financial losses and health hazards. Before you choose a company to maintain the septic tank, check for signs of professionalism. Do they answer and respond positively to your calls? Do they clean up after their job is completed? Are they polite in their behavior? Not all service providers are the same when it comes to septic companies.Check reviews for reputationWhile you make a decision on hiring a good septic tank plumbing services, check online websites for customer reviews and feedback as it will give you a clear picture. Word of mouth will also assist you in finding the right company to maintain septic systems. A good quality septic company will be capable of providing you with impeccable and comprehensive services at affordable prices so that you can rest assure your septic system functions perfectly for decades.Drane Ranger offers liquid waste management services including grit and lint trap cleaning, grease trap odor control, lift station and wet well cleaning, septic tank cleaning ( DraneRanger/Septic-Companies-Near-Me ), wash bays for equipment, vacuum truck services, etc. in Houston, Manvel, Alvin, and Pearland. To more know, visit http://draneranger.com/services/.
Confused About Home Buying Financing??One of the critical steps in home buying is the process of finding and getting financing for your home. Sometimes it can be confusing, tedious, and complex when going through this crucial step. The basic process of buying a house involves the following items:
checking your credit history
shopping around for lenders
Understanding What These Four Steps AreChecking Your Credit Report – is crucial to the whole process because it is estimated that 20% of reports have material mistakes that negatively affect your score. Make sure that your report is as free from mistakes as possible and that it should appear to be its most positive.Pre-Qualification – To get pre-qualified by a potential lender or an advisor to determine how much mortgage you can afford to take on. You will have to provide him or her with some of your financial information such as monthly cash flow, yearly income, current debt obligations, and the like. This is a crucial step before moving on to looking for houses because you can’t get a house you obviously can’t afford. Moreover, this step ensures that you’re making an informed application.Shopping For Lenders – Next is to shop for potential mortgage lenders. For this step, ask friends and family who have experience with these people. Also, it doesn’t hurt to check online!Mortgage Pre Approval – Getting pre-approved for the loan is possible without having the specific property being identified. Once pre-approval is done and you’ve identified the home, closing the deal will be a smoother ride and you can get the house faster.
For law enforcement and internal affairs organizations, tracking become one of the most important methods to ensure accountability and increase the effectiveness of investigations. Apart from accountability, agencies must also ensure best practice internal processes throughout the investigation lifecycle-from instigation and the initial investigation through case finalization and review. Investigations address unique and seemingly endless demands and requirements that necessitate process efficiency with innovative tools, superior methodologies, and cutting-edge architectures. Silo-based approaches that employ multiple databases and systems create significant integration, information sharing, and data-quality challenges within the agency itself and across external agencies.Case management paves the way for increasing investigative effectiveness and improved case solvability. In defining the importance of case management, Gartner, Inc., says, “At the most elemental level, case management is the electronic equivalent of what has supported business over several centuries: the cabinets, drawers, folders, forms and collaborative workflow processes supporting important human decisions. Case management captures the backward-and-forward nature of human interaction to reach a specific outcome”.The Case Management Process ModelAgencies involved in investigation processes have to deal with vast amounts of information, both in physical and digital formats. A case management process model must exist and be able to easily interact with the physical investigation. It is also critical to have a proper mechanism to gather, share and access information. For detectives, this is a challenge that can directly affect the integrity and solvability of the case.There are two primary process model requirements that any investigative case management solution must meet:• The solution must be specific enough that general technology requirements for each phase can be developed (such as forms to eliminate manual processes, role-based security, notification controls, and reporting capabilities to meet compliance and audits).• The foundation of the solution must apply to any investigative process (the workflow must be built in the system to address multiple facets of business process management, capable of withstanding minor customizations yet maintaining best practices).Compliance is a key issue in almost every vertical market. Whether satisfying legislative requirements covering anti-corruption, identifying fraud, ensuring accounting standards, or preventing money laundering, process management technologies have earned their incitement to ensure compliance. Built-in workflow requirements such as preventing users from proceeding to the next stage of an investigation and maintenance of user access and data changes in a case ensure an auditable trail. Process management has proven its worth in recording all stages of an investigation to guarantee activities such as audits, compliance, evidence tracking, and data monitoring.. A proven process model must be built into case management solutions to ensure compliance.The Criticality of Technology in Case Management Processes:Over the last five years, there has been a noticeable increase in organizations looking to technology for automation, while maintaining agility with routine investigative activities. Law enforcement agencies are challenged to must close cases quickly and accurately, which is pressuring the adaptation of new tools and methods to increase productivity and effectiveness and lower costs. The most recent debates of case management versus business process management have been discussed in many online and analyst platforms, but the fact is that the two are not independent of one another. Automation plays a vital role in process management, and technological solutions establish a culture for continuous process improvement within an organization. An effective case management solution allows for process design and simulation, workflow control, integration tools, and business rules.The role of technology in investigations will continue to grow to meet the explosion of digital content, social media, and cyber culture. Electronic evidence and information gathering have become critical components in an increased number of crimes and conflicts. From criminal cases, civil disputes, medical malpractice, and employee misconduct to acts of terrorism, if there is a computer, media device or digital file involved, the chances are very good that investigators will need to recover valuable evidence for analysis. Technology paves the way for investigation agencies to keep track of information and evidence. This transformation has also created a need for case management web based solutions-linking information to one or many cases and helping uncover complex relationships among matter (people, places, and things).The primary drivers of a technology solution to improve efficiencies and maintain best practices for investigation handling and case management include:- Incident Intake and Tracking- Compliance- Workflow Management- Reporting- Data Management and Collaboration- Role-based Security- Evidence Tracking- Third-party Integrations (systems, databases, or data warehouses)- Performance Measurements- Internal AuditsThe Benefits Associated with Case Management Software:The most significant value to organizations using case management software is the consolidation of activities and information around a single platform and process. All case details are stored in a central location and can be jointly viewed. In 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigations “Reported saving up to two years in document review time compared to the manual case process”. These benefits improve incident response time and aid in managing higher case volumes.A web-based case management system with built-in workflow provides the following benefits:- Shortens processing time for case investigations- Ensures compliance with state and federal regulations- Detects emerging trends and manages risk- Analyzes investigations and improves processes workflow- Simplifies and automates complex processes- Enhances collaboration, work flexibility and productivity- Improves resource management- Increases visibility through an Internet browser access- Expands information availability through data integration- Improves data security and addresses privacy policies- Maintains consistent audit procedures- Increases data quality by eliminating recurring errors and repetitive data entry- Increases efficiency with electronic forms and customizable workflows – Enhances record, document, and evidence management tracking- Reduces time for report publishing – Increases data usability through relationship dependency mappingSelecting a Case Management Solution:An effective case management solution should include these six key capabilities to help an organization process more cases at a lower cost.1. Information capture:Look for a solution that can eliminate mundane and error-prone human data entries, and create and use high-fidelity e-forms to reduce the costs, bottlenecks, and risks associated with paper-based processing.2. Data extraction:Most software that can perform data extraction require predefined forms. Case management software should be able to accept and manage changing content and retrieve relevant information.3. Business Process Management (BPM):BPM is a discipline and a set of technologies that can help automate, optimize, and effectively monitor and measure business processes. Case management is not independent of BPM; the two must be aligned.4. Content and record management:Move beyond basic search and data access with true content and record management that provides a broad, real-time view of the information and documentation related to a particular case. In addition, the case management solution must be able to handle sensitive content and expose it only to authorized users.5. Compliance and record retention: An automated solution with an auditable electronic trail that documents any changes made to records, evidence, and internal communications. This is crucial when dealing with compliance requirements.6. Collaboration and Communication Management:The solution must encourage on-the-fly collaboration, both internally and externally. Communication management includes correspondence, e-mails, and notifications.The success of utilizing case management technologies for investigations is highly dependent on the vendor you choose. When it comes to selecting a vendor to implement a case management solution, do your homework. Interview multiple vendors and take the time to develop a relationship and learn the organizations’ methodology for implementation, customizations, and support. Look for a vendor who has a proven track record and can provide relevant references in your industry. Any vendor too eager to “make the sale” and not take the time to develop a relationship and future partnership, should be immediately removed from your vendor viability list. A vendor should be willing to take the time to understand your organization and your processes before offering any type of out of the box solution.
Building a successful mobile app is a tough task. Chances are low for all mobile app developers to excel. New app developers who are jump starting out in the game are afraid to take the risks, as most of the new apps are left unnoticed in the market. If you see the app store, you will find that more than 50% of the apps fail in the market. This is the reason why beginners face a lot of challenges to become successful app developers.How entrepreneurs enter the app marketThere are many companies that encourage beginners to step up and try their luck in mobile app development. There is a great difference between being technically skilled and becoming successful. Not all skilled app developers are successful in mobile app industry. The biggest task for app developers is to develop a unique app and market it straight to their customers. I would like to share the top 6 mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid while developing and marketing the mobile app.
Building an app for multiple platforms
This is one of the common mistakes app developers do. Entrepreneurs face a very competitive space, as there are millions of apps on Google Play and Apple Store. Instead of doubling the cost of developing app for multiple platforms, one should focus on building for one platform first. By launching a mobile app on two different platforms simultaneously, you are adding more to the development time and cost.Additionally, if you make any changes to the design and/or functionality of the app in one platform, you have to do it on both places. Hence, developers should avoid this mistake of developing for multiple platforms at the same time.
Incorporating too many features
Most of the mobile apps fail in the market due to very less or too many features. However, there are lots of apps that are plain and simple, and yet have a great potential to sustain in the market. Users check new apps for a short period of time. Providing too many features will drive away users, as the features may make the app look complicated.The goal of entrepreneurs should be to keep the users glued to the app. This is possible by incorporating essential features on primary screen and rest of the features to secondary screens. This strategy not only keeps the app simple, but attracts new users too. The app users will not show much interest in overwhelming design and features, and discard the app. Hence, it is important to develop apps with this in mind.
Forgetting the ‘WOW’ factor
The number of mobile app users is expected to reach 80 million by the year 2018. Seeing the increasing number of mobile app users, App Stores of Android and Apple have set a bar with the design and user experience. If you give your Smartphone to a child, he/she will know how to use it. This means, the expectations of mobile users are entirely different from that of web. The user will give up on your app, if it is very difficult to use.On the contrary, online users may not give up so easily despite of poor user experience. App developers should understand this difference and build extra-ordinary mobile apps with stunning features and functionality. As soon as the user launches the app, there should be a ‘wow’ factor to hook up the users.
Inflexible marketing plan
App development and app marketing are two important phases of building a successful app. However, entrepreneurs tend to show much interest in development compared to app marketing. As the App Stores are crowded with millions of apps, your app may not be discovered on app store even on the day of launch if you fail to market it properly. Entrepreneurs should think of a perfect marketing plan as the app is being developed. Apps can be marketed in multiple ways by creating a clear strategy of target audience and their preferences.If we see social media, we understand how drastically it has changed in the recent years. Marketing goals are changing from time to time, as a result of which what is working today may not work tomorrow. Entrepreneurs should create a flexible marketing plan that accommodates current and future market situations. By being flexible with own marketing strategies, app entrepreneurs can stay ahead of others.
Putting all the efforts in one basket
Technology and marketing are ever evolving, which means a single strategy will not generate same results. If you see the development and marketing plan of the top 10 best mobile apps, you will see how they used technology to market their apps. The marketing channels they used earlier were entirely different from that of the channels they are using now. It means entrepreneurs should diversify their marketing efforts to ensure that they are not putting all the efforts in one basket. Focusing on one tactic for long period may diminish the returns.My advice is to consider marketing plans as investment strategies. If you want a steady increase in popularity & profitability of the mobile app, you need a healthy mix of marketing tactics. Trying new marketing tactics and plucking the ones that are no longer effective will increase the popularity of the app.
Ignoring the audience and not releasing the updates
As an app entrepreneur, you should understand the fact that you are developing mobile app for other people. We all know that people have different need and preferences, and it is difficult to develop an app for everyone. It is essential to define target audience before defining the features of apps. Before developing an app check what actually users want and what type of solution they prefer.Even after developing an app that has demand in the industry, there would be people who are unsatisfied with the features or performance of the app. The job of an app entrepreneur doesn’t end with development and marketing. The mobile app should be improved on a regular basis according to the user’s preferences. Once the bugs are fixed, an update must be released so that audiences are aware of the fixes.Developing a great mobile app is not an easy task. There are lots of hurdles that come across while developing and marketing the app. By avoiding the above listed mistakes while developing and marketing the app you will increase the chances of creating a successful app that is covered by press and is well monetized.Getting into the world of mobile app development is tough at first. However, with lot of hard work, dedication, commitment and skills one can expect the app to hit the market with a ‘BANG’. As a beginner, entrepreneurs should create something new and unique to have a good start in mobile app development industry. An established mobile app development company can further provide professional approach and advice to entrepreneurs and can make the whole process a lot easier for them.
Planning for the year ahead is never an easy task. Lack of resources (people, time, budget), keeping up to date on what’s going on in your market, obtaining quality leads and improving brand awareness and reputation have become increasingly difficult for all organizations – for profit companies as well as nonprofits. This has become especially true among US CEO’s who are concerned with not just domestic but also international uncertainties.Developing A Marketing And Marketing Communications Strategy Is CriticalThis should be your priority. Without a strategy for a plan there are way too many opportunities to get off track and chew up your investment. Your ROI will suffer. Consider the following to focus your efforts when developing your strategy and plan:1. Determining, understanding and verifying your target customers and prospects should be at the top of your agenda. To improve profitability and ROI you must know what your audience wants and needs, how they perceive your brand and how it stands up to competition.Be sure to avoid industry and company “myths” and internal “opinions”. Employ primary and secondary research to understand your audience. With so much information available about companies and brands, it is truly the Age Of The Consumer and will be for a very long time.2. Additionally, as part of your knowledge of your audience, determine the size and scope of various sub-segments that exist today and will tomorrow. For example, does your audience include women, or Asians, or Hispanics? If so, look at the dramatic growth of these segments of the populations and determine if your brand needs to pay particular attention to them.Also, recognize that millennials (23% of the US population) are not a homogenous group. At the younger end (20 – 28 years), 40 percent t are currently living rent free with family, while at the older end (29 – 35 years), 43 percent have already purchased a home. With that in mind, how should your strategy differ if you’re targeting adults 55 years and older (21% of US population)?3. Once you clearly understand your audience, develop your unique brand position. To do this, create a brand positioning statement. The statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom the brand is directed and a compelling picture of how you want your audience to view the brand. Sound simple? Take a few minutes and try to answer the four components of your positioning:· The target audience, in very specific detail· The category in which you complete and its relevance to customers· The brand’s benefit and point of difference· A reason for the customer to believe – the most compelling proofAll marketing and marketing communications should flow from this positioning, and it should be fully understood and embraced by all employees, sales reps, partners and management.4. Improving brand awareness is very important but only the first step. You also need to create great customer experiences with each touch point of your brand. And that means creating brand advocacy at all levels of contact. Develop brand champions at every level of purchase and repurchase to improve ROI.Be sure these influencers completely understand, believe and can articulate your brand premise. And provide them with the training and tools to convey their trust-worthiness in a believable manner.Developing A Focused Marketing And Marketing Communications Plan And BudgetAfter the hard work of developing a meaningful strategy, recognize it’s equally important to develop a specific plan and budget. The following should be taken into consideration:1. You must be media neutral and open minded in developing your plan and budget. It is extremely important to understand the difference between “efficiency” and “effectiveness”, and not get caught up with the latest trendy new tactic.Regardless of the specific marketing tactic, or type of digital or traditional media, you’re evaluating, keep in mind that cost efficiency does not necessarily lead to effective results. Also, and most importantly, the best source of marketing communications leverage is the quality of the message, not the marketing tactic.2. The scope and diversity of marketing and marketing communications tactics has grown faster than the ability to measure some of them. Marketers now are actually spending money without knowing how it impacts their profitability and ROI! Consider the variety of ways in which nearly $450 billion is expected to be spent in the US in 2018:· Sales promotion ($83 billion), telemarketing ($60 billion), direct mail (($46 billion) and events ($40 billion) highlight projected 2018 US Marketing Services expenditures;· The internet ($78 billion), television ($68 billion) and the combination of radio, newspapers and magazines ($47 billion) are projected to be at the top of the 2018 US Major Media spending categories.Source: Zenith Total US SpendingAnd while it may surprise you, 90 percent of consumers (and 94 percent of millennials) still use coupons. The coupons come from a variety of on-line and traditional mediums, but mail is most popular. Why do marketers still use coupons? The simple answer is because they’re effective in guiding purchase. In developing your own plan and budget, determine and recognize the effectiveness of all marketing tactics, not just their efficiency.ROI Focused Marketing And Marketing Communications ConsultantsIf you’re like most small and midsized companies, you and your team may not have the expertise or time to develop an ROI focused marketing and marketing communications strategy, plan or budget.Even major global brands are seeking outside advisors. In my May article, I discussed the dramatic growth of management and accounting consulting practices (33% increase in US revenue) at the expense of traditional global advertising agencies (0.3% increase in US revenue). One reason for this 2017 growth of consultants is their focus – not on trends or what’s in the news – but on marketing and marketing communications effectiveness, profitably and ROI.While you may not be able to afford the large global consultants, you should consider hiring a marketing and/or marketing communications consultant. The type of people you should hire should:· Have a focus on ROI, with significant experience across industries, b2b and b2c brands, both large and small, as well as for profit and nonprofit organizations· Be media neutral, apolitical, down to earth, be willing to be part of a team and “tell it like it is” so candor will flourish· Have flexibility to bring in other professional specialists when and as needed so that overhead isn’t an ongoing expense· Have strong convictions to measure what has been done and measure what will be done to improve ROI, perhaps including a marketing communications auditIn today’s challenging environment, a greater focus on strategy, planning and budgeting can go a long way toward leapfrogging competition and improving brand profitability. And the fresh eyes of a consultant can go a long way to building a meaningful future for your brand.