Strengths-Based Development Can Take Your Business to New Heights

red dumbbells pattern on teal background

Imagine that you are a kid again, and you get low marks on a test in school. The natural response from your parents and teachers is that you need to double down on studying for that subject, as it is clear that you struggle with it. The same can be said for any professional shortcomings, such as public speaking, interpersonal communication, and other performance-based skills. But what if we flipped this concept on its head and focused not on our deficits but instead where our strengths lie?

This concept is called “strengths-based development,” which has gained a lot of traction in recent years. A study reported by Gallup in 2018 found that businesses involved in the study who embraced this strengths-based approach enjoyed several benefits. This study examined 49,495 businesses, 1.2 million employees, and 22 organizations, all of which fell into seven industries across 45 countries. The participants were split into workgroups, one of which received strengths-based development interventions while the other acted as a control group.

As reported by Gallup, “Ninety percent of the workgroups studied had performance increases at or above the following ranges: 10 percent to 19 percent increased sales, 14 percent to 29 percent increased profit, 3 percent to 7 percent higher customer engagement, 6 percent to 16 percent lower turnover (low-turnover organizations), 26 percent to 72 percent lower turnover (high-turnover organizations), 9 percent to 15 percent increase in engaged employees, 22 percent to 59 percent fewer safety incidents.”

When you think about it, this makes sense. When people do what they are good at, it just feels good, and they are more likely to succeed and stick around to see the benefits of their work. Gallup expands on these numbers a bit by claiming that 67 percent of respondents who felt that managers focused on their strengths were much more engaged with their work. On the flip side of this statement, only two percent of employees who felt their strengths were not utilized were engaged with their work. You can see how strengths-based development can pay off in spades.

But what happens if you need a role fulfilled but do not have any internal talent to tap for it?

More organizations are outsourcing services to external talent than ever before. While it might not immediately feel great to admit that you do not have the talent to handle something, there is absolutely no shame in relying on trusted experts to handle certain aspects of your organization’s operations. One area that is often outsourced due to hiring a dedicated staff is IT management and maintenance. While you theoretically could have your employees manage their own technology, this can be counterproductive and frustrating for those who do not have strengths in this field.

On the other hand, managed IT is a great way to let your employees focus on their own personal strengths. Since they don’t have to worry about their technology solutions, they can instead focus on innovative new initiatives that they wouldn’t otherwise have time for. 4 Corner IT is happy to provide businesses like yours with managed IT services so that you can take a hands-off approach with your organization’s technology.

To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

What is Data Privacy’s Status Going Into 2021?

what is data privacy

As a consumer, how concerned are you about the care that businesses give to your data privacy. Very? You aren’t the only one. 87 percent of Americans see their data privacy as a human right. However, despite these views, most people are far too lax when it comes to their own security. What is data privacy’s status going into 2021? Let’s take a closer look.

Consumers on Businesses and Their Data Practices

In a recent report from advisory firm KPMG, the results of a survey that asked American consumers about their expectations of corporations and the privacy of their collected data were revealed. These results showed a few concerns very clearly, while revealing that not all respondents were fully aware of today’s most pressing cyberattacks.

  • 86 percent of respondents to the survey felt that their data privacy was a rising concern.
  • 70 percent claimed to be “generally familiar” with how companies collect their personal data, while 64 percent were familiar with how it was used and stored, 63 percent say they understand how it is protected, and 57 percent say they know how it is sold.
  • Having said that, 68 percent don’t trust these companies to sell this data ethically, 54 percent don’t trust it will be used ethically, 53 percent don’t feel it will be collected ethically, and 50 percent don’t trust these companies to protect their data sufficiently.
  • Most consumers are concerned about the theft of their social security number, with 83 percent of respondents identifying this concern. Following closely behind come the 69 percent worried about their credit card numbers.
  • Surprisingly, only 16 percent are concerned about the theft of their medical records.

Data Practices Amongst Consumers

While this sounds like a decent start, the survey’s results showed a bit of hypocrisy. Most users agreed that repeating passwords, saving credit card information to a website, and using public Wi-Fi are risky behaviors, but more than 40 percent of them did these things anyways. 61 percent neglected to use all available tools to secure their accounts, as well.

What We Can Learn

It doesn’t matter if it’s your data at stake, or your business’… your highest priority needs to be your security.

In another study, this one conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, it was shown that almost half—46 percent—of consumers surveyed had stopped doing business with a retailer because of issues with that retailer’s privacy statement.

Are you willing to let half of your client base abandon your business?

It just goes to show that, from the consumer’s perspective, it is our responsibility to make sure that companies are accountable for the data they collect. From the business standpoint, it shows that data security is something that can’t be slapped together or neglected. Is ensuring data security simple? Far from it… but when compared to what you risk otherwise, it’s a no-brainer.

4 Corner IT is here to help. We can help you to implement the security solutions and processes that will help protect all your data. To learn more, or to get started, call our team at (877) 771-2384 today.

How to Leverage Technology for your Business Growth

how to leverage technology for your business growth

Businesses, as well as the rest of the world, are in an era of rapid technological transformation. Simultaneously, customers are getting enhanced experiences, high-quality products and services. This digital revolution is an excellent opportunity for business to leverage for growth. These are some of the considerations your business could use to progress.

Marketing

Businesses are no longer relying on traditional methods of marketing. Digital marketing has proven effective, as well as affordable. Also, digital marketing has several approaches that could all be utilized to benefit your business. Social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, and ad campaigns are some of the options at your disposal. Your business can use all of them because they are cost-effective and able to run marketing programs simultaneously.

Customer Relationship

Customers are the cornerstone of any successful business. Therefore, creating a system to manage customer relationship is critical. Today, there are programs and software that keeps track of customers, sales and other related information. Dedicating personnel to manage these programs is advisable. They will ensure that it is effectively keeping up with customer needs and anticipations.

Project Management

Running a project without a management plan is likely to go wrong. That is why utilizing project management software is a brilliant idea. These programs assist in planning the project according to its scope. They will help you to create milestones and track every step as you observe the time frame. In case of unforeseen eventualities, project management software plays an essential role in managing crisis.

Human Resources

Businesses can never be functional without employees. Minding your workforce welfare is critical to the success of your business. Manage your employees’ progress by using human resource information systems. They are excellent in keeping personnel records, performance appraisal and identifying employee needs.

Evaluate your business needs and maximize technology to grow your business. Contact us to learn more.

Are You Getting an ROI on Business Technology?

are you getting an roi on business technology

Does thinking about new tech for your small business cause you to stress out? Investing in tech can be a source of great anxiety for many business owners, and often that anxiety comes from concerns over the costs of upgrading small business tech. While cost should certainly be a factor, most businesses need some type of tech to thrive and even survive. So, how can you determine if you’re getting an ROI on business technology? Well, you can get started by answering these key small business tech questions.

How Will You Pay for Business Tech Upgrades?

Acquiring the best new tech for your small business usually requires finding the right funding option. For many business owners, that means looking outward for financial options to help pay for tech updates, especially if major upgrades will provide a major ROI. One way to fund small business updates is to apply for a small business loan.

Lending choices for small businesses include SBA loans, short-term loans, business lines of credit, and equipment financing, among others. You can use online guides to make getting started easier if you think one of these lending options may be right for your tech updates. You can also consider using a small business credit card to fund new tech and benefit from card perks and rewards. 

Will Your Tech Updates Provide a Return on Investment?

Before you consider funding sources, figure out which tech changes will actually help you increase your profits and productivity enough to make the investment worthwhile. For example, some tech can generate additional profits, with low setup costs. A dropshipping business is one such update, which allows you to offer popular online products, such as clothing and electronics, to customers without having to house additional inventory.

You can also look for tech that won’t cost anything to update, like these software tools, to increase ROI for your small business updates. Free small business tech can resolve issues with various processes and elements within your company, but know that these tools typically come with limitations. You may be better off using the funding tips above to pay for tech upgrades for your small business. 

How Can New Tech Make You, and Your Staff, More Productive?

Productivity can help the profitability of your small business. In fact, business experts agree that small businesses need to boost productivity and profits in order to maintain their role in the economy and maintain hopes for long-term success. So, you should come up with your own practices and tools that can boost each one, which can include tech updates.

Evaluating your productivity needs can help, but there are also productivity apps and tools that can make increasing efficiency easy, and make increasing business success effortless. You can use the ever-reliable QuickBooks to simplify accounting processes or a tool like Wunderlist to make task management less time-consuming for your small business team. These tools can solve a variety of productivity challenges for businesses and help those companies grow their overall success.

Will New Tech Help Keep Your Small Business Protected and Secured?

Keeping your small business safe means guarding against online threats. Cyberthreats for small businesses can come in many forms, but each can result in devastating losses that can eventually result in affected businesses closing their doors, according to recent stats. Which is why small business owners need to invest in cybersecurity tools that will defend their companies against potentially devastating attacks from cybercriminals and also provide peace of mind when it comes to securing private data. Because these attacks can still happen, businesses should also put time and effort into developing a data breach response plan that can minimize damage and also keep breach management within current federal regulations to avoid catastrophic legal issues that could cause those businesses to fold.

New tech doesn’t have to be unattainable for your small business. You just need to use the right questions, like the ones above, to develop the right plan for integrating tech updates into your business. Because not only can tech increase your profits and boost your productivity, but the right technology can help your small business survive and thrive for many years to come.

7 Powerful Uses Of Technology In Business Today

7 powerful uses of technology in business today
Technology

Modern-day businesses have never seen a more streamlined, convenient, and affordable means to collaborate with teams, employees, managers, or business partners — thanks to technology.

These days, almost every industry you can think of utilizes technology in every facet of the business. From brainstorming, production, to product distribution, the dependence on this Omni-system is at an all-time high. It’s safe to say, without it, a business is truncated from a sturdy structure that hinders growth and revenue. If you’re not optimizing technology in your business, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to propel your business into the limelight. Here are the seven powerful uses of technology in business today that entrepreneurs should watch out for.

1. Boosts Marketing

Although the conventional forms of marketing like outdoor advertising still work nowadays, digital marketing is way ahead of the marketing ballgame. Businesses can now leverage different digital marketing strategies depending on their budget and audience. Regardless of the industry, here are the most common types of online marketing tactics gaining popularity in the market today:

  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Email marketing
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • PPC (Pay Per Click)
  • Affiliate marketing

2. ERP Integration

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is now a must-have in small- and large-scale businesses today. ERP is a software that streamlines all operations within an organization. Here are some uses of ERP in organizations:

  • Purchasing
  • Inventory management
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales and marketing
  • Financial management
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Human resource management (HRM)
  • Business intelligence
  • Compliance monitoring
  • Project management
  • IT optimization
  • E-commerce platforms

3. Cloud-Based Services

Cloud computing is the most adapted form of IT collaboration, automation, and computing without the need for hardware installations. That means, businesses can take advantage of applications or software that can store, monitor, and modify data over remote servers. Cloud-based service providers are clamoring for client attention, namely Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and more.

4. Mobile Assimilation

More and more companies have associated their products and services with mobile applications. For instance, home and office security providers have connected their entire systems into mobile apps so customers can access surveillance clips anywhere. Mobile phones may be small, but they’re compelling gadgets that can protect a whole office!

5. Easier Transactions

Financial technology companies, also known as ‘fintech,’ are on the rise. Fintech is paving the way for better, quicker, and easier transaction methods in terms of finances. Consumers can now pay through mobile apps, get a loan online, and apply for insurance from a website. This establishes confidence and reliability between companies and their customers.

6. Robust Security

Nothing is more valuable than customer information. After all, this goes beyond to-and-fro negotiations – trust is an essential factor in safekeeping business partnerships. If you break that trust, you’ll lose regular customers, and word of mouth is going to spread like wildfire. With an upswing in the number of hackers, security companies are making their systems more robust than ever. Firewalls, SSL certificates, WEP, WPA, and all encryption tools are at every business’ disposal.

7. Affordable Outsourcing Solutions

About 40 percent of freelancers will dominate the US workforce by 2020. This is a huge deal for businesses. While this eliminates the additional upkeep of brick-and-mortar offices, server installations, and hardware maintenance, this also gives organizations a more extensive recruitment process that can search for the crème de la crème in the industry worldwide. Companies are no longer limited to in-house employees that cost more. They can hire remote employees and collaborate with them like they’re in the same physical office.

Final Thoughts

The powerful uses of technology are what we need in this digital era. It puts the whole business force in common ground, a level playing field where both neophytes and veteran entrepreneurs can go neck and neck with each other.

Author Bio:

Kerry Brooks is an ardent blogger and frequent traveler who writes about home improvement, travel and the latest trends on emerging technologies. She is currently working with EyeSpySupply, which offers a wide range of surveillance equipment, including wireless spy camera, nanny cams, GPS trackers, and voice activated audio recorders and more.