The Importance of Data Quality in Predictive Analytics

Predictive AnalyticsAre you worried about the quality of your data? If yes, then you’re not alone. Thousands of other businesses have the same concerns as you. Your data is probably your most valuable ‘intangible’ asset. So, it’s natural for you to be concerned about its quality. To ensure that the data available to you is accurate, reliable, complete, and free of errors, you need to manage the data quality. You can do this with quality assurance.

A combination of organization, methodologies, and activities, data quality assurance helps to reach and maintain high levels of data quality. In most organizations, quality assurance is applied to other activities that exist to maintain the activities or products of the company at a high level of excellence. Data quality assurance needs to abide by the same principles.

Reaching high levels of data accuracy within the company’s critical stores and then keeping them, there is the goal of data quality assurance. Data quality assurance needs to include all existing, important stores of data, and above all, it needs to be involved in the creation of new data stores or in the replication, migration, or integration of existing ones.

In addition to ensuring the accuracy of data when it is initially collected, data quality assurance is responsible for accurate access, accuracy decay, the transformation of data, and accurate interpretation of the data for users. Data quality assurance works based on three simple principles: improve, prevent, monitor.

Unfortunately, for many businesses today, QA is an afterthought when it should be the most important step for them. For example, in predictive analytics, organizations often overlook the QA strategy to focus on planning for additional controls on the DevOps side.

This needs to change if organizations want to get more out of the QA process. When it comes to predictive analytics, the quality of data is probably the greatest factor and the biggest driving force in both quality assurance and execution of this advanced analytics process.

Why Data Quality is Critical in Predictive Analytics

The advantages of using predictive analytics, big data, and machine learning are there for everyone to see. However, data quality is paramount to experience the true value and capabilities of these technologies. Unfortunately, most organizations have data that cannot be trusted.

According to a recent annual benchmark report by Experian, most businesses globally and 95% in the U.S use data to meet their business objectives. However, less than half of them trust their data’s quality. The trust deficit needs to be filled if a business wants to get the most out of their big data, machine learning, or predictive analytics.

Of these, predictive analytics deserves special attention. This is because it plays a key role in helping an organization to increase their bottom line and gain a competitive advantage. How does this technology achieve said goal? Let’s find out.

Understanding Predictive Analytics and How It Benefits Organizations

Today, predictive analytics is becoming increasingly popular among businesses in different industries. The reason for this increased adoption is easier-to-use software, faster and cheaper computers, the need for competitive differentiation, and growing volumes and types of data.

A great quality of predictive analytics is that it identifies future outcomes based on historical data. It does this by making use of data, machine learning techniques, and statistical algorithms. The goal is to provide the best assessment of what will happen in the future.

There are several reasons why an organization would want to use predictive analytics. Some of these reasons include increasing productivity, reducing cost, saving on misallocated resources, faster results, improved operations, fraud detection, risk management, and optimized marketing campaigns. With the data that can be easily used for analysis, businesses can be more proactive and make sound decisions based on past data.

Additionally, predictive analytics save on both time and money by allowing businesses to save on misallocated resources. The technology is also used by many industries in the decision-making process to improve operations in terms of both quality and functionality. Another use is recognizing various types of fraud and detecting and preventing any vulnerabilities.

Where does data quality come in all of this? A primary requirement of training a predictive model is historical data that meets exceptionally broad and high-quality standards. The number one enemy to the widespread, profitable use of machine learning is poor data quality.

The Role of Data Quality in Predictive Analytics

Data quality in predictive analytics means that the data must be accurate, reliable, and properly labeled. Moreover, it needs to include lots of unbiased data over the entire range of inputs for which the predictive model is to be developed. Unfortunately, most of the data today fails to meet these standards.

There are several reasons for this, including human error, overly complex process, and not having a clear understanding of what is expected. To compensate for this, data scientists cleanse the data before training the predictive model.

For many data scientists or 80% of them, this is tedious and time-consuming work. It is also a problem that they often complain about. The good news for them or all others that deal with organizational data is that building data quality in predictive analytics can help to overcome this problem. What does it take to build data quality? It takes the following:

  • Dedicating enough time to execute data quality fundamentals into the overall project plan
  • Maintaining an audit trail as training data is being prepared
  • Charging a specific individual with responsibility for data quality
  • Obtaining independent, rigorous quality assurance

By ensuring the above to build data quality, any organizational leader can leverage the power of predictive analytics to increase their bottom line and gain a competitive advantage.


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

Why You Should Trust Your Gut as An Entrepreneur

Trust Your Gut In BusinessA big reason for the success of some of the biggest entrepreneurs in the world like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs is that they have followed their intuition and they all agree that you should trust your gut. This is something that comes naturally to almost everyone. What is intuition? It is the ability to understand something without the need for conscious reasoning.

Considering the role intuition has played in the success of the above-mentioned people, new entrepreneurs should take heart when it comes to following their gut feeling. If you’re still not convinced about following your intuition, then scientific reasoning should convince you otherwise.

The Scientific Reasoning to Trust Your Gut

Explicit memory and implicit memory are the two types of memory associated with the human brain. The force that drives our intuition or gut feeling is our implicit memory.

The knowledge that you feed to your brain consciously and with a focused, determined effort is your explicit memory. For example, studying to gain knowledge and pass a test is your explicit memory at work.

On the other hand, your implicit memory works without any intentional or conscious effort on your part. When you can recall the lyrics of a song you like or quote a line of dialogue from a movie after watching it, that’s your implicit memory at work. You didn’t make any conscious effort to remember this kind of information; instead, your brain just absorbed it.

You develop skills that eventually become second nature when you let your explicit and implicit memory work together. For example, you need to make a conscious effort to learn how to ride a bike or drive a car. However, once you’ve learned the skill and have a bit of practice, you can do these tasks without any guidance. This is your implicit memory at work.

It is your implicit memory that tells you that touching a hot stove is not a good idea or to be cautious when developing feelings for someone about them not being reciprocated. These implicit prompts or “gut feelings”  guide us towards better decision-making that minimizes risks in our lives and make it better.

The Importance of Paying Attention to Your Gut as an Entrepreneur

Although a lot of their decisions are based on logical reasoning, successful entrepreneurs never shy away from acting on their intuition when needed. If a project no longer feels good or necessary and their gut tells them to drop it, seasoned entrepreneurs choose to follow their gut rather than persisting with something for a ‘logical reason’.

Trust your gut!  Learning when to listen to your inner voice or act on your gut feeling is much more difficult than developing the skills to collect and analyze metric to make logical decisions. However, your gut can guide you to a place you’ve never been before if you’re willing to turn inwards and pay attention to your intuition.

Tuning into your intuition when things are rough can be hard. However, you need to isolate yourself from the situation and be honest; the cues you get from your body should get all your attention; if you pay attention to these cues, then you are likely to find all the answers you seek at the time.

Look to Achieve ‘Entrepreneurial Independence’

One of the things that all entrepreneurs should strive for is ‘entrepreneurial independence’; this is s mindset that tells you to take full responsibility for your actions. When you have this mindset, you make decisions that are not influenced by outside factors. Instead, they can be traced directly back to you.

You own your decisions and your company’s fate is decided by you. What this does is give you the freedom to refuse advice from people, even the ones you trust the most, so that you may choose what feels right to you. Yes, some people’s feelings may get hurt. Others may even return to you taunting you with an ‘I told you so’ when your decision backfires. However, this is also part of your training to be self-reliant and make decisions based on your best judgment.

Give Your Gut Time and Space to Improve

This may sound absurd but you need to give your intuition some time and space to get better. This means that you need to work on your intuition or trust your gut before you use it. To get in touch with your intuition better, try mental workouts such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness exercises.

Another thing that you should do to get better attuned with your intuition is to buy some time before making important decisions. Immediacy is encouraged in today’s world; however, you will gain the respect of your clients and other people if you ask them for some time such 24 to 48 hours to consider a key proposition.

Although many people will tell you that waiting too long in business can create a lot of problems, you should know that making on-the-spot decisions won’t get you far, especially if you’re dealing with complex issues.

While the above-mentioned process to improve your gut decision isn’t perfect, it will allow you to be more in tune with your intuition than you are now and, consequently, make better decisions in business and other areas of your life.


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

Vacations: They Are Important for Business Leaders to Recharge

VacationsVacations are important: If you lead a company or even a department, you may never think about taking time away from work and that’s understandable. As a leader, you need to think about what is going to happen when you’re gone as well as what will be in store for you when you return. This is too much of a headache for you to take.

Your work is critical, and your company/department relies on it. So, how can you go on a holiday? You can because your team/employee are more than capable of handling things in your absence. Workplaces have put workaholics on such a pedestal that many Americans fail to time off from work even when they are entitled to it. This happens a lot at the managerial or executive level.

While no one can argue that organizational leaders have many responsibilities to fulfill and many employees to take care, the benefits of taking time off from work far outweigh the drawbacks. Let’s dig deeper into why it is critical for business leaders to take vacations or some time off from work.

Why Taking Some Time Off from Work is Critical for Business Leaders?

According to a recent study by Harvard, CEOs worked 70 percent of vacation days with an average of 2.4 hours on those days. If you fall in this category of CEOs or business leaders, then you need to change your ways. It is great that you’re passionate about your work and company.

However, working several years without taking a vacation will eventually cause you to break down. If that happens, you’re not the only one who’s going to suffer; your work, team/employees, and company will suffer as well. So, do yourself and everyone else a favor by taking a vacation or some time off from work. Following are some of the ways a vacation will benefit you in both the short-term and the long run.

1.     Avoid Burnout

Like everyone else, leaders need a break to avoid burnout. If you continue to work for months and months without taking a break, then you will eventually start to lose your vision, perspective, creativity, effectiveness, and most important of all, well-being.

Burnout is one of the most common issue among business leaders. Often, this results in leaders making rash or illogical decisions which affect the profitability and growth of their company. It also has a negative impact on employee development and growth. By taking a vacation, you will avoid burnout and in doing so, keep many problems at bay.

2.     Recharge Your Batteries to Boost Your Body and Brain

You will get mentally blocked if you slog away at work day after day without a break. Step away from your work or business if you want to avoid a creative or mental block. You will give your body and brain a reboot by stepping away from your business and your daily routine at work. After your return from your vacation, both your mind and body will be refreshed, and you will have a renewed focus and energy.

Not only is taking a vacation good for your own mental and physical health, but it is also critical to the success of your department/company. If you allow yourself to tire physically and mentally, then it will ultimately translate into a poor customer service and loss of business.

3.     Gain Perspective

It is easy for business leaders to feel insecure and vulnerable when they take some time away from work. After all, they are the ones responsible for the daily functioning and well-being of their department or organization.

However, the best leaders are not those who are constantly worried about how their department/business will function without them. Instead, the best leaders are those who spend time on envisioning the future and making long-term plans for their employees and the organization.

Unfortunately, doing this is not possible when we are stuck in our daily affairs. Therefore, it is critical for business leaders to break free from the office and daily work to have an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve accomplished so far and what they’d like to achieve in the future.

By taking a vacation or some time away from work, you will give yourself the chance to think. This does not mean that you spend your entire vacations thinking about work. Instead, it means that you should use your vacations to get perspective and return to work with a better idea of where your team/business currently stands and where you want it to be; this will improve your chances of achieving your organizational/team goals.

4.     Give Others a Chance to Lead

Do you want to test the leadership capabilities of your employees or team members? Then take some time away from work. All year round, your employees/team relies on your guidance, support, and decision making to perform daily duties and deal with challenges as they arise. By taking some time away from work, you will provide your employees/team an opportunity to flex their muscles and prove their leadership capabilities.

The more chances you give your employees to prove the leadership capabilities, the more chances you will have to take some time away from work in the future. Also, you will be able to identity people in your organization with leadership potential.

Even if you currently don’t have any leadership roles to fill in your company, you will need more leaders in your organization in the future as your business grows. By taking a vacation, you will be able to spot these leaders while providing them with an opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience which may come in handy in the future.

As seen above, there are many benefits for business leaders to take some time away from work. As a business leader, taking a vacation will allow you to recharge and return to work stronger.


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

The Importance of a Strong Marketing Plan for Smaller Businesses

Strong Marketing Plan for Smaller BusinessesAs a small business owner, marketing might not be your passion, but you must know the importance of a strong marketing plan for Smaller Businesses. Instead, your passion lies in your business’s core operation. However, all businesses, including small businesses, need some marketing to reach out to the target audience and create awareness about the brand.

However, your marketing efforts need to be well-thought and carefully planned to optimize the use of the marketing budget and avoid any losses in business. How can you ensure this? By creating a strong marketing plan. Here, we look at all the reasons that make it critical for all smaller businesses to have a strong marketing plan.

Why a Strong Marketing Plan Is Essential for Your Business?

No business can achieve its individual or organizational goals without a strong marketing plan. This is because the marketing plan provides an overview of the market and states everything that needs to be done to achieve the business goals.

A marketing plan acts like a map that helps you to reach your destination. A strong marketing plan, one that is backed with research and facts, allows you to see how you can persuade your target audience or potential customers to buy from you. Another benefit of having a strong marketing plan is building confidence with lenders and showing them that you have a good chance of success in the future.

With a marketing plan, you can keep track of your marketing objectives and understand how the different marketing activities will help your business to achieve its broader goals and objectives. Additionally, you can determine how your business can effectively use the marketing mix—product, price, promotion, and place—to accomplish the marketing objectives within the competitive market environment.

Furthermore, you can appropriately allocate company resources on marketing activities to reach your target audience and drive them to your desired action. Following are 4 reasons that make it critical for your small business to have a strong marketing plan.

1.     Get into a Thinking Mode

When you start to create a marketing plan, your thinking mode is automatically activated. This gets you thinking about your customers, your products, your business, and how you can bring all of these things together. It is important to explicitly think about these things. Not only do you need to think about these things, but you also need to discuss them with a team that will execute the plan. All this begins with the creation of a marketing plan.

2.     Set Measurable Goals

Another important benefit of having a marketing plan is that it allows you to set measurable goals. Many times, small businesses set goals that are impossible to measure; examples are ‘avoid loss’ and ‘sell more than the previous year’. These aren’t good metrics for gauging business success, and they cannot be measured.

A marketing plan will allow setting measurable goals for your business that your employees can work towards and ultimately achieve. By setting measurable goals with tangible targets, you will help improve employee performance and productivity which will ultimately benefit your bottom line.

3.     Align Marketing with Company Goals

As a business owner or leader, it is your responsibility to build a framework for employees that aligns and focuses their work. This framework should include your business’s mission, strategy, and objectives. Including the mission of the company in the framework is important because it explains the purpose of your business and why it exists.

As the leader of the pack, you not only need to set the corporate goals but also need to define the high-level strategies that need to be supported with marketing activities. Once they know the corporate goals and the marketing activities needed to support them, the marketers in your company can develop marketing objectives to support the broader company goals; the marketing objectives are a set of measurable goals that are tied to different marketing activity. Additionally, they are aligned with the corporate mission and goals of the business to take them forward.

Let suppose, the mission of a pharmaceutical company is to create and deliver modern health solutions that let patients recover from severe illnesses. The business strategy of the company is geared towards manufacturing and distributing medical solutions. However, the company also focuses on medical research and finding new treatments. The marketing plan of the company is based on both its mission and the strategy it employs.

Therefore, the marketing strategy and objectives of the company are designed to reinforce to the customer the company’s commitment to innovation and breakthrough solutions in medical treatments.

4.     Organize Your Time and Priorities

The reality is that we have so much to do in a day but only a limited number of hours to get things done. This applies to the marketing function as well. Under such circumstances, the best thing that you can do is prioritize your time and work. To do that, you need a plan that ranks all work and/or goals in terms of importance.

With a marketing plan, you will know which marketing goals are most important for your business and need to be achieved first. This way you can allocate most of your time in a day on marketing goals that rank at the top of the priority list. Once you have achieved these goals, you can move down and work on the goals ranked lower on the priority list. This shows that a marketing plan can help you to organize your time and priorities which ultimately benefits your business.

As seen above, there are many reasons for creating a strong marketing plan for your small business. For more articles on the importance of a strong marketing plan and how to create one, keep following us.


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

Over Promising Is Not Good for Your Business

Promising

You can never go wrong with under-promising, yet most businesses go the exact opposite direction and over-promise. Why is over-promising a problem? Because not fulfilling the promise can lead to dissatisfied, disappointed, and often angry customers. Needless to say, this will have a negative impact on your bottom line.

Over the years, we’ve heard many new entrepreneurs acknowledge their mistake of over-promising and under-delivering. Despite this, new businesses continue promising unreasonable benefits to customers. One reason for this could be that when you launch a new business, you want to attract potential customers as quickly as possible and you use all known strategies to do this. What you don’t realize is that some strategies are counterproductive and could have a negative impact on your business—over promising is one of them.

Why Over-Promising Is Never Good

Although not related to the business world, one of the biggest reasons that George H.W. Bush did not return to power for a second consecutive term was because he had over-promised during the campaign that got him elected in the 1988 U.S presidential election.

During the campaign for the 1988 election, the former President had promised to impose “no new taxes”. However, circumstances did not allow him to stay true to his words and he increased taxes when the country was going through a recession in 1990. Other than the Ross Perot factor, this was a major reason that resulted in George H.W. Bush losing out to Bill Clinton in the 1992 Presidential election.

The campaign and term of former President Bush should be a lesson for all entrepreneurs and business owners that they should never over-promise to customers. If you want to build trust with customers, then you must keep your promises. The best way to ensure this is by making promises that you can realistically fulfill.

If you deliver on your promises to customers, then this will help you build rapport with them which will lead to building brand loyalty. This will ultimately benefit your bottom line and business growth. On the other hand, if you repeatedly fail to deliver on your promises to customers, then this can ruin the credibility of your business for many years to come, ultimately leading to its death.

In a bid to get ahead of their competition, many businesses today over-promise almost regularly. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with over-promising and that it will not land them in trouble. Only someone who’s deluded or blind to the reality would say such a thing. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs and business owners today fall in this category.

Let’s be honest, customers today have hundreds of choices available to them right at their fingertips. Therefore, the only thing that will make them return to your business after a first experience is delivering on the promises you made. The best way you to do is by under-promising. In a worst-case scenario, you will deliver what you promised. In a best-case scenario, you will far exceed what you promised. In other words, your chances of failure are close to zero.

How to Avoid Over-Promising

We’ve already discussed why over-promising is bad for your business. So, if you want to avoid over-promising to customers, then you must do the following 3 things.

1.     Communicate to Your Customers About Their Expectations

One of the most important things for any business is communicating regularly with customers to manage their expectations.The best way to find out what customers expect from your business is to ask them. Believe us, the guessing game won’t get you anywhere. If you want to fulfill or satisfy the needs of your customers, then you must ask them about their expectations from your business at every engagement point and at every stage of your relationship with them.

If you build a habit of regularly communicating with your customers and managing their expectations actively, then you will eventually have a loyal customer base that sticks with you through both your good and bad times.

2.     Keep Internal Communications Open

You must keep internal communications open to ensure that all your teams are consistently interacting with each other about what can and cannot be done. For example, if the sales team over-promise on what they can deliver, then this will put the front end or customer-service in a tricky situation after the product/service is delivered.

Similarly, the development/execution team should be honest with the sales, marketing and customer-service departments about what the product/service can realistically help the customer accomplish. This will allow them to develop a suitable strategy to market, sell to, and deal with customers in a way which gives them the upper hand over the latter.

3.     Ensure Transparent Timelines

The problem with keeping deadlines hidden from customers is that sooner or later this will lead them to question your competency or truthfulness. Customers will think that you are either bad at estimating the time needed to complete a project or are being dishonest with them. Both situations are bad for your business.

If you try to keep things hidden from customers in a bid to go way above and beyond their expectations or what is reasonable, then 9 out of 10 times this will lead to trouble. While customers appreciate businesses exceeding their expectations, it won’t take them long to switch to a competitor if you fail to deliver on your promise more than a couple of times. So, instead of going for the spectacular every once in a blue moon, focus on meeting customers’ expectations every single time.

Be transparent with customers about everything that is related to the product/service they want and when they can realistically expect to get it. Also, make sure to under-promise them so that when they the product/services is delivered to them, they are at least satisfied if not delighted.

Over-promising is bad for your business and you can avoid it by following the above-given tips.


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

How You Can Stay Happy and Enjoy Life More as a Business Owner

Business OwnersWork-life balance is a serious concern for small business owners with as many as 50 percent entrepreneurs stating that they don’t have time to focus on themselves. Additionally, 40 percent of the surveyed business owners say that they don’t get to see their family and friends as much as they’d like to. This is affecting the happiness of the business owners and their ability to enjoy life. However, it shouldn’t.

Have you ever come across an individual who is always upbeat? If you have, then you would have noted that no matter what life throws at the individual, they always manage to keep their calm and cope on their own without a care in the world. While these people may naturally be full of positivity, it is quite possible to observe their behavior and mannerisms and form your formula for happiness.

What do you think will happen if you were to follow this formula? You will gain the ability to noticeably increase your happiness quotient within no time. Following are things that make up this formula and that will get you happy and enjoying life.

1.     Show Some Gratitude

The ability to be consciously aware of everything that you cherish and are thankful for is a factor that can boost your level of happiness. When you open your eyes every morning, you should try and spend some time recalling everything that you are grateful for. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Just start with the simplest of things such as showing gratitude for having enough food to eat, a roof over your head, and good health by writing this down in a journal.

2.     Give Back to the World

Do you have at least 10% of what you earn from your business to the church or a charity? If you don’t, then you should know that even though it may seem paradoxical, the act of charity has more returns than losses. Besides being an awesome act of helping others in need, whenever you give charity, you consciously experience a feeling that says, ‘Everything’s going to be alright.’

We find it hard to believe that there is any person out there who has felt disheartened after giving to charity. It’s simple—you have to give to get. When you do that, your level of happiness will automatically increase.

3.     Laugh Daily—It’s More Important Than Money

Do you laugh heartily every day? Do you purposely make it a habit to laugh every day? If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, then you should know that your body release a happy hormone known as oxytocin when you laugh. This hormone is known to naturally uplift your mood; laughter is one of the several ways this hormone is released in our body. Even if you make a habit of smiling, you will get to experience the very same effect.

4.     Foster Great Relationships with Friends and Family

Have you ever seen happy people spend too much alone or on their own? The more time you spend with people who matter in your life, you automatically forge the supportive relationships you need in stressful times.

Additionally, when you bond with others by sharing common experiences such as the ups and downs of life, you allow these people to naturally become your support network. People or business owners who do not spend a decent amount of time with their friends and/or family are prone to developing a sense of depression and loneliness.

5.     Give Yourself Some Alone Time

In contrast to the point we mentioned earlier, it is also sometimes important to take a step back from your support systems and just reserve some time for yourself. Your spirit needs to recharge from time to time and spending some alone time now and then will help you find the peace and silence you so require. Planning some time away from your friends and family can do absolute wonders for your outlook and mood.

6.     Do Whatever It Is That You Love

You may have come across the phrase— “Do whatever you love, and the money will simply follow.” Doing things that you love daily will ensure that you roll happily out of bed and with a sense of purpose. Things get even better when you are paid for what you love; it can help boost your happiness levels tenfold.

If your business is your passion, then the work you do will no longer feel like work. Instead, you will joy every aspect of your professional life.

7.     Do Volunteer Work in Your Free Time

Whenever you give, your focus shifts from your own life to making other people’s lives better. Whenever you do this, you start realizing that your problems aren’t as bad as you think they are. This has a profound effect on your mindset and helps you to experience an uplift in spirit.

8.     Avoid Regret

All of us make mistakes in life, and if you really think about it, this is what makes us human. Regardless of how careful you are, you are going to make mistakes now and then. Therefore, you should learn to forgive yourself and move on. Every person in this world tries their best to get through life in an ideal way. While no one wants this, mistakes can happen along the way. The key to staying happy and enjoying life is to let go and move on.

If you find it hard to stay happy and enjoy life as a small business owner, then you can consider some of the great advice above to increase your happiness levels and enjoy life more.

 


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

How to Train Your Employees on Phishing Attempts?

Phishing AttemptsYou reach your office at 9:30 am sharp, switch on your computer, and start going through all the emails. As you are going through your emails, you come across an email that is from an unfamiliar address. Still, you decide to open it and immediately you know that the email isn’t from someone at work; instead, it is a poor attempt at phishing. After all, why would anyone at work need your database login? Since you known that it is an attempt to phish you, you decided to delete the email.

However, while you’re deleting the offending email, you start to wonder if ‘everyone in the office has enough knowledge to spot fake emails or phishing attempts that happen via email’. This realization hits your hard and start to fear that a network breach from a phishing email attack might be just around the corner. You pick the phone and ring to request HR to organize a training session on phishing attempts. If HR accepts your request, then following are the things you need to convey to your employees during the training session on phishing attempts.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is basically the use of fake emails that are designed to trick people into clicking on a malicious link; clicking on the link comprises their computers by installing malware on the system. it is also used to get employees to disclose login credentials. Intruders can use many different types of phishing attempts to compromise your computer or network. Some common phishing attacks include deceptive phishing, spear phishing, CEO fraud, Pharming, Dropbox phishing, and Google Docs Phishing.

Why People Click on Phishing Emails

We all get tricked at some stage. If an employee is distracted, then they may fall prey to a phishing email designed like an office or company correspondence. After all, to err is human. Generally, employees click on these emails because they have little idea of the problems that this can create. In fact, many of them don’t even know what phishing is and that it should be avoided.

There are also occasions when the employees are aware of these threats, but they don’t know what to do about them. While they know about the ‘fake emails’ that get passed around, they have no training or experience to deal with the situation. While employees having awareness about phishing emails is always good, the focus should be on training them to protect against these threats.

What a Phishing Attack Looks Like

Another important thing that your employees need to know about phishing attacks is what they look like. Today, hackers and cyber-criminals use highly sophisticated phishing attacks to trick people into clicking malicious links or disclosing sensitive information.

Basically, cybercriminals use phishing emails to trick people into click on a link that navigates to a fraudulent page. After you navigate to it, the fraudulent page starts to gather your personal information. This includes your ID, login credentials and passwords, and bank account information. Also, it often installs malware on your system. In fact, more than 90% of all malware come from phishing emails.

While there are occasions when phishing emails are easy to spot due to fake logos or misspellings, many times these emails are highly sophisticated and contain personal information that leads you into believing they’re real.

At times, they are drafted in an urgent tone that demands a response. A email that says your bank account or another important account has been compromised is often a phishing email that tempts you to click on a malicious link. Therefore, it is important to learn how to distinguish genuine emails from phishing emails and then train your employees about it.

It is Possible to Spoof Email Addresses

It is important to train your employees that they shouldn’t trust an email just because it seems to be a familiar source. Often, cybercriminals use different methods to disguise emails. They are experts at tricking people into seeing an email as legitimate when it is actually coming from a malicious source.

The two most common methods used by cybercriminals to spoof email addresses are cousin domains and visible alias spoofing. Also called display name spoofing, visible alias spoofing involves the use of a legitimate company name as the email sender. However, the mail is actually from a random address.

This method to spoof email addresses is most effective when the intended mail recipient checks the phishing email on a mobile device; this is because the sender’s email address is hidden on phones and most users do not bother to expand the name to view the email address.

On the other hand, a cousin domain is an email address is designed to look like a legitimate email address; it is only slightly modified. For example, if Microsoft.com is the legitimate email address, then the attacker may use the email address Microsoft. Co. There are also cases in which hackers trick users by using extensions. Examples of extensions are Microsoft-support.net, Microsoft-logins-co and so on. Often, confusing and lengthy sub-domains are used to trick users.

How to Recognize a Phishing Email

If any of your employees fails to recognize a phishing email and report it, then your company can get into big trouble. Just one click from an unsuspecting employee could comprise your entire network. Therefore, you must train all your employees to recognize phishing emails. Following are some of things you should tell them to look for to recognize phishing emails and then report them:

  • Familiar company email names that end with ‘.ca’, or ‘.co’ instead of ‘.com’
  • Checking the emails for any logos that seem a bit off
  • Being suspicious of and performing due diligence on all emails that ask for personal information, login credential and passwords, or bank account information

By making the above-mentioned things part of your training session on phishing attempts, you will allow your employees to recognize phishing emails and thwart any attempts to comprise your network.

 


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

How a Positive Attitude at Work Can Help You Achieve Success

Positive AttitudeWhile there is no guarantee that every successful entrepreneur or business owner is a positive person, you can rest assured that they achieved their professional goals with a ‘can-do’ attitude. A positive attitude at work can do wonders for your professional and personal life as well. If you want to achieve success in your business, then you need to start thinking like a positive person.

The Importance of Maintaining a Positive Attitude at Work

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”—Henry Ford

How you think and behave can make all the difference. Positive thinking and a positive attitude at work will help you accomplish your professional goals and steer your business towards success. However, maintaining a positive attitude at work is easier said than done. This is because work can be stressful and challenging. Additionally, most business owners have obstacles to overcome and deadlines to meet almost every other day. Under such circumstances, maintaining a positive attitude at work can be difficult, to say the least.

However, the benefits of maintaining a positive attitude at work make the effort worth it. How you think and feel about your work and daily routine contributes greatly towards the success (or failure) of your business. Following are some of the reasons for having a positive attitude at work is crucial.

1.     Improved Problem-Solving Abilities

According to research by psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson, people with a positive mindset have more capacity to consume new information. This, in turn, improves perspective and a person’s ability to ‘‘connect the dots”. Ultimately, this makes them better equipped to deal with the obstacles and problems that may arise in their life or at work.

2.     More Energy

Dispositional affect is the personality trait that forces people to think either positively or negatively. The dispositional affect is of two types: positive and negative. According to scientists, people with positive dispositional affect have greater energy and enthusiasm than those with the negative type. However, negative dispositional affect is not necessarily a bad thing; many people with this personality trait tend to have a calm and relaxed demeanor. Nevertheless, the point is that having a positive mindset can help increase your energy levels.

3.     Enhanced Resilience

There are not many successful entrepreneurs that made it big with their first business venture or great idea. Instead, they have achieved a prosperous business after many mistakes and failures. These failures and mistakes made the entrepreneurs more resilient. However, this wouldn’t have been possible with a positive attitude.

According to Fredrickson, several studies have shown that positive thinking and attitude can help you build greater resilience. This is because positive emotions help you to quickly recover from negative emotions that you develop due to failures or mistakes.

4.     Better Decision Making

When you’re thinking negatively, there is a good chance that any decision that you make at this point will have a negative impact. If you maintain a negative attitude at work for most of the time, then there is a good chance that you will make a whole lot of bad decisions that negatively impact your business and its future success. On the other hand, maintaining a positive mindset and attitude at work for most of the time will result in you making decisions that help your business to grow and be profitable.

5.     Positivity Is Infectious

Business owners with a positive mindset and attitude are more likely to convince a potential customer to buy from them than entrepreneurs with negative thinking and attitude. The reason is that positivity is contagious and there’s some science behind it.

When you interact with someone in a positive way, the chemical oxytocin is released in the other person’s bloodstream. Oxytocin is associated with trust, empathy, and relationship-building. Another theory is that our ‘mirror neurons’ force us into replicating the actions of those we interact it. So, if you have a positive attitude towards your employees or customers, then you will get the same response. This can be great news for your business. Regardless of the reasons, positivity is infectious, and you should use this to your benefit.

6.     Health Benefits

Maintaining a positive attitude at work can help to improve your overall health. The problem with negative thinking and attitude is that it can cause a lot of stress. When you feel stressed at work every day, your health is more likely to deteriorate faster. Over time, the daily stress you experience can affect your immune system and, thus, your health. To avoid this, start incorporating positive thinking and attitude into your daily work life. You will soon start to experience the health benefits of this.

7.     Become a Role Model

As a business leader or owner, people already look to you for advice and guidance. However, this is mostly because of the position you hold. By maintaining a positive attitude at work, you will encourage your employees to come to you for advice, guidance, and feedback. They will be drawn by your positivity and you will quickly become a role model for them.

It’s Time to Be Positive

With so many benefits on offer, it only makes sense for you to see the glass as half-full than half-empty. In other words, you need to start maintaining a positive attitude at work; you also need to have a positive attitude towards your employees and customers.

If you don’t do this, then it will ultimately affect your employee productivity, sales, and bottom line. On the other hand, maintaining a positive attitude will not only help you to avoid all this, but it will also reduce your stress and keep you healthier.


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

Always Take Your Time When Hiring

If you’re a new business, then it can be hard to find the best talent or the right people for open positions at your company. However, you should always look for the best and settle for nothing else; after all, the survival and growth of your business depend on who you hire.

Considering the number of people graduating out of college today, it should be easy to find the right or most suitable candidate for an open position at your company, right? Wrong! While there will be many people graduating from college with a degree relevant to your job listing, only a few will have the ability and skill to take your business forward. Keep in mind, not all skilled or appropriate candidates would have you as their first choice and you’d have to compete with other companies for them.

By giving you the above information, we are not trying to scare or demotivate you or your HR team. Instead, we are trying to make the point that you may not find the ‘ideal’ candidate as quickly as you think.

Yes, if you’re extremely lucky, then the first candidate that walks into the interview room could tick all the boxes and be just the employee you’re looking for. However, this very rarely happens so don’t count on it. Instead, you should be willing to take your time when hiring and not rush into making a decision; 9 out 10 times, this will backfire.

Slow and Steady Wins You the Jackpot

One of our clients shared with us their story of how it took them six months to fill four open positions at their company. Our client is not a new or small business; additionally, they have a good reputation in their industry. So, they had no trouble winning interest from people who met the basic criteria for the open positions. In fact, they received over a thousand applications for each of the open positions during the six months it took to fill them.

During these six months, our client conducted hundreds of interviews, conducted many several in-person screenings, and sent out plenty of rejection emails, all to find the most qualified candidates for the open positions. The result? The company increased its annual revenues by 200% after hiring these four candidates.

All the time spent vetting applications and candidates and conducting interviews and in-person screenings paid off. Six months seems like a long time but it is nothing compared to the return on investment (ROI) that our client got a year after finally making the hires.

Had they rushed into making a hiring decision just so they could fill the vacant positions quickly, they most probably would not have enjoyed the growth that they did. Maybe six months is too long for you to hire someone and we understand that. The point is that you should not rush into hiring people, as this often leads to bad hiring decisions that affect your bottom line.

Reasons to Hire Slow

Even in desperate times, you should stay calm and not rush into making hiring decisions. You should always look for people who can add value to your business; you won’t be getting them if you hire in a rush. They are several reasons why taking your time to hire is better than making hiring decisions in a rush. Following are some of them:

1.     Resumes Do Not Tell the Whole Story

Most people lie and exaggerate about their career or accomplishments in their resume just to make themselves look better to a potential employer. Unfortunately, many hiring managers believe the details in the resume to be true, with thoughts immediately going towards hiring.

Since they are adamant about hiring the applicant with an embellished resume, such hiring managers don’t ask too many pressing questions in the interview. They even allow the candidate to miss several in-person screenings. Ultimately, the company ends up with an employee who has far less skills or experience than mentioned in their resume. What is the outcome of this? Being stuck with an employee who is a burden on the company’s finances and makes little to no contributions to the bottom line.

Therefore, you should always conduct thorough interviews and do rigorous pre-screening before deciding to hire someone, even if the process takes an entire month.

2.     Get Multiple People Involved in the Process

While this does not apply to every company or business team out there, it is always good to get the opinion about the candidate from their potential team members. After all, they will have to work with this person so finding out if they believe the candidate to be a good fit for the team or not is important. This is especially important when hiring for a team with members that work cohesively to produce the final product.

There are multiple ways to get the opinions of the candidate’s potential team members including emailing the candidate’s resume to the entire team, sharing an audio/video clip of their interview, or discussing their skills or personality characteristics with the team members.

3.     Test the Patience of the Candidates

One of the most important qualities of any successful professional is that they can stay patient and calm under all situations. The best way to discover this before hiring a candidate is to make the hiring process incredibly slow. While this can be strenuous for you and the candidate, it will allow you to test the patience of the potential employee. If they show patience in the hiring process, then there’s a good chance that this is their nature and you can count on them in tough times.

These are just a few of the many reasons you should always take your time when hiring. It will serve you well.

 

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact

4 Innovative Event Marketing Ideas for Your Business

As kids, we all wanted to attend birthday parties with a guest list that included family, classmates, neighbors and friends; it almost felt like that everyone wanted to part of the exact same events as you and no, it was no coincidence.

Everyone you knew was at the same birthday party as you because they, like you, had been planning what clothes they would wear, what gifts they would give, and how much fun they would have at the event for the entire past week or maybe even more.

Do you know why everyone wanted to attend the same birthday party as you? Because they knew or were certain that it was going to be an exciting and fun event. The birthday parties were deemed as successful events because so many people turned up at these events.

As adults, we don’t grow out of this need to socialize and be where everyone is; it’s just that the nature of the events we want to attend changes. As a professional or businessperson, there has to be some industry events that you look forward, or maybe even dream of, attending. These are usually events that hundreds, if not thousands, of other people in your industry or field want to attend as well.

Basically, the point that we’re trying to make is that the success of an event depends on how many people attend it or the successful turnout of invitees. How can you ensure this? With the right event marketing.

The Importance of Event Marketing

When talking about valuable marketing channels, it would be a crime to leave out event marketing from the discussion. According to Bizzabo, live events are allocated 24% of the entire annual budget by the average chief marketing officer; the purpose of this is to build deeper connections between a brand and its audience.

So, it’s clear that event marketing is critical for every business today but what does this type of marketing entail? It’s all about informing people that you are going to host an event and you would love to see them attend it; you can promote the event using different channels and the event being marketed can be an online or offline event.

Some examples of events that you can hold to promote your business are a Meet n Greet, a Facebook Live Seminar, Volunteer Appreciation Day, Donation Camp etc. The basic purpose of these events is to create buzz and entice people to join in; the right event marketing can help to do that.

Some Great Ideas to Promote Your Business with Event Marketing

Effective marketing is needed to get the desired audience to attend your event; your event can be considered a success if it attracts the desired type and amount of people. Another important requirement for ensuring the success of your event is engaging with your audience/customer before, during, and after the event; this will allow you to build and maintain a strong relationship with them.

Last but not the least, you need to make your event stand apart from the crowd to get people talking about it. How can you do all this? With the following 4 event marketing ideas to promote your business.

1.     Use a Press Release to Promote Your Event

One of the best ways to promote an event is through a press release. A press release is one of the primary tools used in event marketing. With a professionally written press release, you can get the word out about your event; this includes the data and venue of the event; the special guests attending (if any), the event itinerary, and any dress code requirements. Also, you can let the target audience know how attending the event will benefit them or add to their profile.

2.     Use Event Discovery Sites

According to research by Eventbrite, an event management and ticketing website, more than 50% of event-goers in cities search for things to do on local online guides. With this in mind, it would only be sensible for you to promote your event on local online guides to reach out to the target audience of your event. Examples of websites that successfully attract people searching for specific types of events are Facebook, Spotify, Eventful, Bandsitown, and Goldstar.

3.     Segment Your Email Lists

A creative way to promote your event is by segmenting your email lists; there are several ways to do this. One of them is the use of Bizzabo’s email platform to segment by age, location, job level, industry, ticket type, lead status, and contact role.

It will be easier to market your event once you’ve selected a focus group for the event; you can then market using CTAs that appeal most to them, writing messages with personal subject lines, and including several tests to find out what gets the most responses.

Suppose you run a business that holds events across the globe. While your business caters to people in all parts of the world, marketing an event in New York City to someone in London wouldn’t be a very smart thing to do.  With Bizzabo, you can set this straight by selecting a focus group for an event and then marketing to them.

4.     Use Emails

A lot of new event marketing strategies have come to the fore recently, however, the use of emails is still the most effective way of reaching out to the target audience and inviting them to an event. So, marketing or promoting your event by sending out emails to your target audience is a no brainer.

There are several other ways for you to market your event. However, the above-mentioned strategies are the some of the most effective event marketing ideas for your business.


by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management.  We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services.   We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business.  percentotech.com/contact