What is Raspberry Pi and What You Can Achieve with It

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi: One would assume that this is the name of a dessert but newsflash, it is not. Instead, Raspberry Pi refers to a series of single-board computers developed in the UK to promote basic computer science teaching in schools and developing countries. Here is more about Raspberry Pi and what can be achieved with it!

A great tool for artists, engineers, and students, Raspberry Pi is a computer board in the size of a credit card. A versatile board, Raspberry Pi is applicable in several areas. Fist launched during the start of 2014, Raspberry Pi is a bargain micro PC that brings with it innovative new computing capabilities not seen since the times of 8-bit. Inspired by the BBC Micro, Raspberry Pi has one primary aim: creating a low-cost device that would improve hardware understanding and programing skills at the pre-college level. Let’s now look at Raspberry Pi in a bit more detail.

Understanding Raspberry Pi

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are that you would have at least heard about Raspberry Pi. A small single board computer, Raspberry Pi has been applied in several different areas including industrial and commercial products, robotics, and education. The popularity of this device is evident from the fact that to date, over five million Raspberry Pis have been sold and this figure has been achieved in less than four years.

A low-cost computer in the size of a credit card, Raspberry Pi uses a standard mouse and keyboard and it can be plugged into a TV or compute monitor. The affordable price and small size of the Raspberry Pi encouraged many educational institutions, enthusiasts and tinkerers to buy the device. Generally, the purchase was made for projects requiring more than a basic microcontroller.

Raspberry Pi is an extremely useful tool to make kids understand programming and how computers work. But, it isn’t just for kids. A tiny device, Raspberry Pi makes computer exploration and learning programing in languages such as Python and Scratch possible for people of all ages. Slower than the traditional desktop or laptop, Raspberry Pi can provide many computer abilities at a low-power consumption level.

From word-processing to playing games to making spreadsheets to playing HD video and browsing the internet, Raspberry Pi can do everything you would expect a computer to do. An open hardware, Raspberry Pi features open and well-documented projects that you can build and modify on your own. Now that we have a good understanding of Raspberry Pi, it is time to look at the models available.

The Raspberry Pi Models

To date, five different models of Raspberry Pi have been launched. For beginners, the ideal models are the Pi 1 Model B+, Pi 2 Model B, and Pi 3 Model B. The reason for this is that these models are the most versatile and have the most capabilities. Additionally, there is an additional benefit of using the Pi 3 Model B, which is having 1 GB of RAM or a quad-core processor to support bigger operating systems such as Microsoft 10 and Ubuntu.

Though it is one of the most powerful Raspberry Pi models, the Model A+ comes with just a single USB port and it does not feature an Ethernet port. This makes it a good option for only those people who are tech-savvy and have a tech or engineering background. A mini version of the Model A+, Raspberry Pi Zero has a stronger computing power than its larger counterpart.

This Raspberry Pi model features a mini HDMI port and a micro USB port to ensure compatibility with 1080 output, but it doesn’t boast wireless capability. This model is extremely cheap but what kills the fun is that it is extremely hard to find as not many retailers are willing to keep it on their shelves. With good knowledge of the different Raspberry Pi models, you are in a good position to decide which model is best for your needs.

What Can You Achieve with Raspberry Pi?

Now comes the million-dollar question: what can you achieve with Raspberry Pi? There is a lot to achieve with the use of Raspberry Pi. Following are some great things that you can do with Raspberry Pi.

Learn Programming

One of the foremost reasons to use Raspberry Pi is making it easy to learn programming. A great programming platform, Raspberry Pi offers a wide choice of languages. So, if you want to learn computer programming and how the computer works, get Raspberry Pi right away.

Create a Low-cost Desktop PC

Provided you set it up properly, Raspberry Pi can be an extremely useful desktop PC. However, you will need a lot more than gadgets than just the Raspberry Pi to turn the latter into a desktop computer. Some of the things that you will require include a mouse, a screen, a keyboard and an additional storage device. Additionally, an operating system that is available for Raspberry Pi will have to be installed by you. Once you’ve set up the desktop PC using Raspberry Pi, you will have access to email, browsing and many other apps.

Robotics

Cool machines, robots can be built and controlled with Raspberry Pi. You can also use Raspberry Pi to make a robotic arm work. But, ‘robotic arms’ is just one of the several robotics projects where Raspberry Pi can be applied. Other robotics projects where the latter is applicable include humanoid robots and drones.

There you have it—what is Raspberry Pi, its various models, and what can be achieved with it. If you want to know more about Raspberry Pi and its applications, then get in touch with us today.

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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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How Companies Help Keep Their Employees Healthy.

Healthy EmployeesHealth is Wealth—you can take this both metaphorically and literally. Why do I say this? As a business owner, tell me what’s your biggest asset? If your answer was anything other than employees or workforce, then, quite frankly, you need to get your priorities straight. Your employees are your greatest assets, and revenue generators, but only if they are healthy and raring to go. So, how can you keep your employees healthy to ensure money keeps pouring in? Let’s find out!

Winter is effectively here, but most employers are yet to prepare for it. The biggest preparation for the cold season ahead that employers can make is taking measures that ensure the safety and wellness of employees during winter. But, ensuring the health and wellness of employees should not be limited to the winter months. Instead, this practice should be evident in the workplace throughout the year. So, what are the measures that companies can take during the winter months, as well as during the rest of the year to keep their employees healthy? Let’s explore!

Supporting Fitness

No one can argue with the fact that there is strong connection between physical activity and overall wellness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity helps to control weight, minimize the risk of heart-related disease, minimize the risk of some cancers, improve mental health, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, strengthen bones and muscles and improve the overall chance of living longer.

Considering the above, you must support and encourage your employees to engage in physical activity without actually forcing them to do so. The best way to support and encourage your employees to engage in physical activity is making it as easy as possible for them.

You can achieve this by having an onsite fitness room where employees can perform cardio, strength training, or any other exercise routine they want during lunch hours or after their shift is over. An easily accessible, free-of-charge gym, is too good an offer to let go. So, you can expect your employees to engage in at least some physical activity and this is good news for you. If you’re wondering how, then here’s the answer to your question.

Progressive Insurance, an insurance company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, has an onsite fitness center that is used by its many employees. In addition to exercise equipment, the fitness center offers personal training, boot camp, yoga classes, and a program that assists the cessation of smoking.

According to the company, after using the onsite fitness center for a year and a half, one of their customer representatives lost 150 pounds. Isn’t that astonishing? Well, there’s more. According to a senior manager of the company running the benefits services, the fitness center has helped employees to be more productive both in work and life. The company says that after using its onsite fitness center, the employees become healthier, making them better equipped to solve problems, innovate and take initiative. This results in increased productivity and growth of the company.

Helping Improve Their Diet

Once again, you can’t force your employees to do something against their will. Specifically speaking, you can’t tell them what to and to not eat. Whether you like it or not, your employees will eat what they want. The only thing you can do to improve their diet is offer them healthier eating options. By offering healthy eating options on-premise, you will make them easily accessible to your employees. This will help to improve the diet of your employees, resulting in healthier and more productive employees.

Do your employees grab a McDonalds combo meal during lunch hours to satisfy their hunger cravings? If they do, then this is bad news for both the employees themselves and your business. So, even if your employees aren’t bothered about their diet, you should make an effort to encourage them to go for healthier eating options during lunch hours at work.  Don’t have the resources to provide healthy meals to your employees? Attend food-sales and stock up healthy items for your kitchen. And, then offer these food-items to your employees during the lunch hours.

Offer Childcare Services

Even if your company or business employs twenty or more people, then they’re bound to be people in your company who are a parent to infants or young kids. For such employees, the biggest concern is the well-being of their child(ren).  Whether they work full time or part time with you, the employees in your company with children will always be full time parents who need to take of their children and attend to their every need. And, this is most true for employees with infants or young children.

To take care of their concerns and allow them to focus completely on their work, offer the parents in your company an onsite childcare facility. This will keep your employees near to their children and it will provide them with the assurance that their children are with people they can trust and bank on to take care of their children.

In case you don’t have the resources to do the above, talk to any of the local childcare services and get discounts for your employees. Make childcare services as affordable as possible for your employees. This will allow them to leave their children with people they can trust, which in turn will alleviate their stress at work—stress that comes from issues at home such as the safety and care of children.

In addition to the aforementioned things, there’s a lot more you can do to keep your employees healthy and productive. With the expansion of wearables; one can monitor health 24/7.  Technology will continue to expand into the healthcare vertical and we are excited to be a part of it.  If you are in healthcare and looking for a good technology partner; our company has experience and ready to talk to you.  Just give me a call.

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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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Looking to Market Your Business Online? Here’s What You Should Do

Market your business onlineOnce upon a time, algorithms didn’t sit atop the throne—this was during the early days of the internet when being found on the web was far simple than it is today. Back then, creating a website or another page was all that you had to do to ensure that your business was visible online. Today, things are far more complicated and having a website or a page online is no longer sufficient for a business to be visible to the users of the World Wide Web. A lot more needs to be done. Here is how you can market your business online, today!

How do I promote my business online? Do I need to spend thousands on marketing to reach the right audience? How can I use the internet to reach more people and win new customers? Asked yourself these questions? You probably have! The good news is that you’re not alone. Most small business owners have little to no clue about the best ways to market their business online, reach the intended audience and win new customers.

This stems from inexperience. After you launch your business online, it can take you anywhere between a few months to a few years to figure out the best way(s) of marketing your business online—that is if you don’t have access to the right kind of knowledge. Here, knowledge refers to knowing about how the most successful businesses, especially those offering the same products/services as you, are marketing themselves online. You can’t ask them for that information so you’ll have to do you own research. But, we will relieve you from this burden and give you access to the ways being employed by successful businesses to market and promote themselves online.

Use Search Engine Optimization

Okay, you’ve probably been given this advice a million times before, but this is only because search engine optimization or SEO is an effective way to market your business online. You can’t promote your business and/or products/services to your target audience online unless they know you exist. The best way to let people know about your online existence is search engine optimization.

By optimizing your website, search engine optimization or SEO increases its chances of making it to the first page of search engine results, which in turn increases your online visibility. Search engine optimization helps you to reach your target audience, and ultimately turn them into customers. Now, there are many ways of optimizing your site to get a higher ranking in search engines such as Google. One way and which you can perform yourself is blogging.

Start blogging and regularly post unique, interesting, engaging and relevant content online. When Google notices this, it’ll automatically rank you higher on the search engine results page. Get in touch with a professional to find out what else you need to do to get ranked on the first page of the search results.

Get Positive Online Reviews

A bit like you, your potential customers aren’t sure about what they should do. But, with a bit of encouragement and guidance, they will know what course of action to take. No one is born knowledgeable and it takes time, experience and education to learn about things and distinguish the good from the bad. It’s pretty much the same with your prospects.

Your prospects will consider your business only after they have significant knowledge of the products or services you’re offering—which takes time, experience and education. And, based on that knowledge, they will categorize your business and the products/services you’re offering as either good or bad. But, where do they get that knowledge from? Word of mouth and online reviews.

The Rise of Online Reviews

For long, businesses have relied on positive word of mouth to win new customers and grow. But, over the past decade or so, word of mouth has faded a bit as a vital social proof. The reason is the rise of another phenomenon: online reviews. Many will beg to differ but today no business, big or small, can grow without generating numerous, positive online reviews, on a consistent basis. You can drive all the traffic you want to a site, or landing page but you’ll only be generating market awareness and sales for your competition without this vital social proof. So, why is it so crucial to generate positive online reviews for your business?

Why You need to Generate Positive Online Reviews

According to a recent study by Myles Anderson, the founder and CEO of BrightLocal, prior to visiting a business, 90% of consumers read online reviews. Following are some of the other interesting findings of the study:

  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Customers are 31% more likely to spend on a business with positive reviews
  • 72% trust a local business more if they read positive online reviews about it
  • 92% will use a local business if it has at least- a 4-star rating online
  • 72% of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review

Using review sites, existing customers of a business give objective feedback about it and its product or services. Though they are individual experiences, these reviews are considered by many people as the ‘truest’ information that they’re going to get about a business or product/service. So, use online reviews to your benefit and get your existing customers to say good things about your business and/or product/service.

There are many ways to market and promote your business online. However, the above listed ways are easiest, cheapest and most-effective ways to do so. If you need a new website with search engine optimaztion (SEO) in mind; we can help.  We have a great team of designers and can have your site ready for your ongoing SEO efforts.   Call me and we can discuss more: 800-614-7886. 😉

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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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Data Can Help You Make Better Gut Decisions

Better Gut DecisionProvided it is appropriately analyzed and effectively presented, the right data can help a business to achieve its goals. Today, many businesses are using big data analytics to gain a competitive advantage. So, what is big data analytics and how can it help your business to make better decisions? Let’s find out.

My fellow business owners and entrepreneurs we all know whether you’re running a small business or a large enterprise, making big decisions about your business is never easy. But, in today’s world where competition is fierce and reaching out to customer is easy, making quick yet accurate decisions is more important than ever before. This is easier said than done.

Taking the easy route, many business owners try to make decisions about their business based on gut feeling. This may work, but the chances of failure are greater. Making business decisions based on intuition or gut feeling is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, you can make as a business owner. So, what’s the solution? The solution is simple: leverage the business data and insights you get from the various channels to make your decisions.

Whether it is a small business or a large enterprise, every business needs valuable data and insights. In fact, data is one of the most important things required to understand target audiences and customer preferences. Additionally, using this data, businesses can anticipate their needs.  So, how you can make better and more accurate business decisions? You can improve your business decision making by using big data analytics. What is big data analytics and how it can help your business is what we’re going to discuss next.

Understanding Big Data Analytics and How It Can Help Your Business

Today, the expectations of customers are at an all-time high. Moreover, business competition is constantly increasing. In such times, there is a constant pressure on businesses to increase efficiency and improve results. There is good news though: the data available to businesses is also increasing.

Today, companies can accumulate information from across their organization and industry. As they’re able to see where improvements are required, where potential gaps exist and where sales trends have increased or decreased, businesses with access to big data can gain serious competitive advantage.

Considering what’s been said above, it is no surprise that many businesses today, big and small, are using big data analytics. With big data analytics, businesses are able to get deeper insights into customer preferences and organizational needs. By putting the information in the hands of business users and business analysts, big data analytics helps to create value and competitive advantage for a business.

There are countless benefits of using big data analytics including differentiating your business from competitors, development of marketing strategies, improving procurement efficiency, supporting business growth and lowering costs. While data analytics can help you to achieve all of the above, following are the biggest reasons to use it for business.

Maximizing Customer Value

Acquiring new customer is costly to say the least. Even if you do win new customers cheaply, you will find it extremely hard to get them to spend their money on what you have to offer. Today, customers have countless options available to them and as a result, they’ve become fickle and demanding. For this reason, the best option you have is increasing retention and getting the most out of your existing customer base and you can only do that if you give your customers what they want.

The key to giving your customers what they want and as such, increasing their lifetime value, is having access to the exact data you need. Also, you need to leverage that data the right way. Big data analytics helps you to identify your repeat customer and when you’re able to identify your repeat customers, you can use this knowledge to optimize your marketing investment. By focusing on your repeat customers, you will able to build a long-term relationship with them, which in turn will allow to maximize customer value.

Improved Service

One of the biggest reasons to use data analytics is improving service performance. Let’s suppose, you keep going to the same bakery every day and buy the same type of bread. After some time has passed, the attendant at the bakery would give you exactly what you want even before you ask for it. The shopkeeper knows you well enough to offer you exactly what you need or want.

Big data analytics works in the same way. It gathers information related to your customers—their tastes, preferences and demographics, and provides it to you so that you can make more accurate decisions and offer a more personalized service to your customers. With data analytics, businesses can better predict their ability to fulfill customer demands. This in turn allows them to improve the performance of their service.

Identification of Emerging Trends

Another benefit of using data analytics is being able to identify new and emerging market trends. Using this knowledge, you can introduce products and/or services that help you to gain a competitive advantage. Big data analytics lets you know what’s trending among your customers, allowing you to offer or modify products/services based on the evolving needs/wants of your customer base.

We all know, making business decisions is never easy. However, you can improve your business decision (making better gut decisions) and make more valuable decisions by using big data analytics. With big data analytics, you no longer need to depend on your gut feeling or intuition to make the decisions important to 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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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Super Successful Entrepreneurs That Are Giving Back to The World

Mark ZuckerbergEntrepreneurship isn’t all about making money, it is also about giving it back. Some entrepreneurs have reached this realization and are starting to give back to the world. Who are these entrepreneurs and how are they helping the world?

Think your life is tough? Travel to the remote areas of Africa or the slums of South Asia and I can bet you won’t be thinking that anymore. Without getting into the details, here’s an important life lesion: no matter how hard you think your life is, there will always be someone whose life is far tougher than yours. So, be thankful for what you have and start helping those less fortunate than you in whatever way you can. You need to do this both on an individual level and as an entrepreneur.

While you’re working out the ways to give back to the world, there are many entrepreneurs who are already doing that. However, only a few have them have gotten recognition for their work. Who are these entrepreneurs and what are they doing to help the world?

Mark Zuckerberg

Have you ever noticed Mark Zuckerberg’s attire? You probably have! Despite being the founder of the world biggest social networking platform and one of the world’s richest people under 35, Zuckerberg never dresses over the top. You’d hardly find him wearing a tuxedo, or the latest designer clothes. In fact, his attire is more casual than yours or mine. What do think is the reason for that? The simple is simple: he’d rather help the needy out there, than spend exorbitantly on himself. Evidence of this is the $1 billion that he donated to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a foundation that serves the poor and needy in Silicon Valley.

Sergey Brin

Next on our list is Sergey Brin, one of Google’s co-founders. In 2013, Brin made a donation of over $200 million to a foundation that he founded. Known as the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, the foundation started by the Sergey Brin helps the needy in the country as well as those across the globe. In addition to making the aforementioned-donation to his own foundation, Brin has donated to many other charities, most notably to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Mark Cuban

The owner of Dallas Mavericks and a renowned business man, Mark Cuban is most famous for his appearances on the award-winning reality TV show Shark Tank. But, not many people about his philanthropic work. To help the families of the U.S military personnel killed or injured during the operations in Iraq carried out after 9/11, Cuban initiated the Fallen Patriot Fund in 2003. Cuban has a foundation named the Mark Cuban Foundation. The foundation was founded by Mark, but is run by his brother Brian. Though Brian does not operate any charitable activities for the foundation, he did contribute a million dollars to the fund set up by brother Mark. Immediately after Brian’s made the contribution, Mark matched it up by contributing the same amount to the fund.

The foundation set up by Mark Cuban serves people in the Dallas area as well as those throughout the United States. In addition to making regular contributions to his own foundation, Mark Cuban donates regularly to other charities as well.

Tej Kohli

An Indian entrepreneur, Tej Kohli is a real estate tycoon and the founder of the Tej Kohli Foundation. Even during his early entrepreneurial days, Kohli was keen to give back to the society, and this was what prompted him to start the Tej Kohli Foundation. Unlike the entrepreneurs mentioned-above, Kohli doesn’t just contribute money to his foundation and other charities, he also organizes and participates in activities and community programs that help make the world a better place. This includes fighting poverty, helping lower the risk of preventable diseases and promoting and facilitating education where there’s a need for it.

Stephen Ross

Another real estate tycoon, Ross is the founder of Related Companies, a real estate firm based in New York City. In 2013, Stephen Ross donated $200 million of his money to the University of Michigan. The purpose of this donation was inspiring other alumni to help reach the mammoth $4 billion fundraising goal of the company. Ross is also a regular contributor to a variety of charities.

James Clark

James Clark is probably one of the first names that comes to mind when entrepreneur and philanthropy are used in the same breath. Clark co-founded Netscape, an American computer services company, but that isn’t all that he is known for. He is also known for a $60 million contribution that he recently made to the James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Stanford University, a department that he co-founded in 1999.

While most people are aware of the above-mentioned, contribution by Clark, they aren’t aware of the fact that he had previously contributed a higher amount to the same department. That contribution was worth $90 million.

Anne Wojcicki

Giving back to the world isn’t all about giving charity or help fundraising initiatives, it is also about making the world a more ‘enjoyable’ place to be. This is exactly what Anne Wojcicki, the CEO of 23andME, a genetic testing company, aims to do. She wants to create a super-vibrant environment where people love to hang-out. So, how exactly is Anne Wojcicki helping to bring about the change she wants to see? Wojcicki has opened a restaurant and runs an arts-and-crafts store which she hopes will motivate people in the area to socialize more and make new friends.

As proved by Anne Wojcicki, you don’t have to give millions or billions in charity to give back to the world as an entrepreneur. Just make any contribution that you think will make the world a better place and you will have done your job.

Great corporate responsibility is giving and helping where we can.  Percento Technologies (the company leaders and our fantastic staff) donate resources (money and time) to these great organizations here: percentotech.com/company/corporate-citizenship  — We hope that you would consider doing the same when the opportunity presents itself.

 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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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Great Ideas for Boosting Sales Through Social Media

Social MediaAn integral part of our life today, social media can be used for a lot more than staying in touch with family, friends and acquaintances or creating awareness about your business online. You can use it for boosting your business sales as well.

When social media first hit the scene, most people were quick to disregard its importance and deem it as a waste of time. Not going to lie, I’m guilty of it as well! But, time has changed everything. Today, social media is no longer regarded as a waste of time. In fact, many people today deem social media presence necessary for businesses to stay relevant and alive.

No business today, big or small, can grow without social media presence. Social media is where most of your customers are. So, logic says that your business should be there as well. This is not only important for creating awareness about your business and/or product/services, it is also important for boosting your business sales. So, how can you use social media to boost sales? Let’s explore!

Create A Closely-Connected Social Community and Engage with Them—Regularly

Conversion, conversion, and more conversion—this is what businesses using social media platforms aim for. But, this will only happen if you genuinely engage with your target audience on social media platforms, and build a relationship with them. Money comes from the people. So, the more active people you have on your social media page, the merrier things will be for you in a business sense.

Now, you may be wondering how you can keep your target audience engaged on social media. Here is the answer. Most people expect their interactions on social media to be casual and light-hearted. So, if you want to get the attention of your target audience, start thinking about ways to evoke positive emotions in them. Some tried and tested ways include sharing a ‘fun’ and interesting image that puts across the message you’re trying to convey.

Another thing that you can do is use the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, determine where your target audience is in the hierarchy and then create/share content that engages them. Once you’ve build an audience for your content on social media, you can leverage them to attract more people to your page. The more people you have on your social media page, the more chances you have of winning new customers and boosting sales.

Make Connections on LinkedIn

Business is all about being connected. The more people you’re connected to, the better are your chances of making sales and being profitable. In the business world, making strong connections has always been important, and today, this can be achieved easily by leveraging the power of social media. While Facebook and Twitter are good social media platforms to engage with your target audience and promote your business and/or products/services, LinkedIn is where you can make connections—for business purposes.

From CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies to Fresh grads, you will find them all on LinkedIn. So, finding your target audience on LinkedIn and connecting with them should be a breeze. Once you’re connected to your target audience on LinkedIn, get as much information about them as you can and then use it to have healthy interactions with them—on the platform. Once you’ve made a strong connection with your target audience on LinkedIn, you can ask them to visit your website or other online pages. Once they visit your site, your chances of winning new customers and making a sale will increase tenfold.

Ask Existing Customers to Share Their Experiences with Your Business And/or Products/Services

Make sure the customers you make the request to are satisfied with your business and your products/services. A massive mistake on your part, asking a ‘dissatisfied’ customer to give a review about your business and/or a product/service could harm your business to say the least. On the other hand, asking ‘satisfied’ customers to do this for you could lead to new customers and increased sales.

The importance of customer reviews cannot be emphasized enough. Before making a purchase decision, most people visit customer review sites to see what past customers/buyers are saying about a business, a product or a service. If positive reviews about the business/product/service outweigh its negative reviews, people are likely to use it. But if it’s the other way around, then people are unlikely to buy/use the business/product/service and they’ll move onto the alternatives.

Considering what’s been said above, you need to get your ‘satisfied’ customers to write a review about your business and/or products/services and post it online. Research shows that one in three Facebook users make a purchase after reading a positive review about a business/product/service on the platform. Leveraging customer satisfaction is paramount to the success of your business online and even elsewhere.

Build a Relationship with Influencers and ‘Social Media Stars’

Influencers have always played a crucial role in the success of a business, but today there’s a new group whose influence on people needs to be leveraged by businesses. The group I’m referring to is Social media ‘celebrities’ or ‘stars’. These ‘stars’ or ‘celebrities’ have a massive following on social media—be it Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. People listen to what they have to say—and some even act on it. Influencer marketing is a big thing today. In fact, 92% of the online consumers trust what people, especially the influencers, are saying about a product/service more than what the brands are saying about the same. So, if you want to win new customers and boost sales, then build a relationship with the social media stars and other influencers on the social media.

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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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4 Ways to Reach Your Target Audience

Target AudienceDefining your target audience is the first step to make your marketing and advertising campaign more focused. Why is that important? You cannot expect to have a successful marketing or advertising campaign unless you know who you’re marketing or advertising to. Once you’ve defined your audience, the next step is devising an appropriate marketing strategy for them. Here are the 4 ways to reach your target audience!

The best ways to reach your target audience depends on who your target audience is. By finding out who your target audience is, you can map the marketing campaigns to reach out to the right people. By defining your target market, not only do you increase your chances of reaching out to the right people, you also save valuable time. Now, the ways to reach the right people or your target audience depends on who your target audience is. But, there are some tried and tested ways that work for just about every business. Here are a few:

Choose an Appropriate Communication Channel

Choose the wrong communication channel and you’re bound to lose your target audience somewhere in the middle of the sub-Saharan desert. Okay, don’t that take literally. It is just a metaphor for what’ll happen if you use the wrong medium(s) to find and connect with your target audience. On the other hand, choose the medium (s) where most of your target audience is and you won’t just increase your chances of reaching out to your target audience, but will also increase your chances of winning new customers.

By choosing an appropriate communication channel, you make it easier for yourself to convey a message easily and more clearly. When your intended message reaches the audience for whom it is intended, your chances of getting a response from your target audience and winning new customers brighten. So, be smart and before anything else, determine the appropriate channel to communicate with your target audience.

Be More Active on Social Media

Want to reach out to the right people for your business? Create a social media page and be active on it. Create a page for your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Google+ and be as active as you can on them. Being active here means creating content and sharing it, constantly updating status with valuable or interesting information on your company socials about social issues or things related to your business or industry.

It isn’t necessary that you post on these social media platforms about things related just to your business. You can also tweet or update status about social issues or the latest happening in the world of entertainment, industry news, sports etc. Just make sure that what you tweet or post about isn’t something your target audience finds offensive.

The point here is that creating a business page on social media isn’t enough for you to find and reach out to your target audience. You also need to be active on it. The more active you are on social media, the more are your chances of getting attention on it—the right attention that is! Once you get the attention you seek on social media, you should aim to get more of it. Slowly but surely, you’ll get where you want to be, which is complete exposure to your target audience.

Build your Network

Want to succeed as a businessperson? If yes, then build your network and keep growing it. Business is all about making connections and strengthening them over time. Your network works like a loop. You build one connection and you’re automatically transported to another. The more people you know, the better are your chances of reaching your target audience. It isn’t necessary that the people you know are potential customers. You can also make connections with people who you think can help you reach your intended audience.

Never underestimate the power of Word-Of-Mouth. In fact, it is the one of the greatest ways to build or grow your business. Today, Word of mouth is more important than ever before. The internet has made it extremely easy for anyone to create awareness about a business, a product, or a service or spread a positive or negative word about. So, make connections both offline and online—connections that’ll act as your advocates and promote your business whenever and wherever they can. Make this happen and you’ll almost certainly reach your target audience.  We have worked hard to maintain an 89% repeat or referral rate at Percento; something we are very proud of, as this is reflection on our great staff.  We are very lucky to have our good people and I like to brag about them whenever we can.

Create an App and Spread the Word

This is an extension of the above. Create a business app and leverage the network that you’ve build to spread the word about your app. Most people today have a smartphone. Whether it is android or iOS, the smartphone provides the user with an app store from where he/she can download all sorts of app, from gaming apps to shopping apps to apps of different businesses. Get your app on these app stores and spread the word about it. Aim to get as many people as you can to see your app. More people having exposure to your app means more people knowing about your business and this in turn means better chances of reaching your target audience, which was the aim all along.

So, there you have it—4 ways to reach your target audience. I hope this is helpful for you as there are many others to reach your target audience and win new customers. However, the above-mentioned ways to reach your target audience are proven (tested and tried) ways of reaching your target audience. If you’re interested getting help today with your social media efforts or to build an app for your company, then get in touch with us, today!

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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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Success Story: The Successful Life of Richard Branson

Richard BransonI love watching successful entrepreneurs – always have.  Success doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it is a process—a process that requires countless sleepless nights and a hell lot of effort. This is something Richard Branson, the self-made English Billionaire, realized early in his life. Today, Branson is worth an estimated $5 billion but how did he get there? I did a little research.  Check out this fascinating story about him.

Born Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, Richard Branson is the founder and CEO of the Virgin group, a multinational corporation active in the entertainment, health, travel, hospitality, retail, communications, banking, leisure, aerospace and many other industries. Success did not come easy to Branson and he had work tirelessly for years to get where he is today (sounds familiar). The life of Richard Branson will inspire you to build your own business empire. So, without wasting any further time, let’s look at the successful life of Richard Branson.

How It All Started

Like most other self-made billionaires, Branson was a dropout from school. Branson had no interest in studies and he dropped out from school when he was sixteen to start a magazine called ‘Student’. This was Branson’s first exposure to the business world. A mail order catalogue, the magazine helped Branson to make a quick buck. Branson would sell ads to local business and mail records to students who purchased the magazine. This served as the perfect launching pad for Branson to make a name for himself in the world of business.

Within a year of launching the magazine, Branson opened Virgin Records, a recording label and studio. Not long after, some of the biggest names in the industry such as Sex Pistols and Rolling Stones signed under the label. At the tender age of 23, Branson became a billionaire. But, he did not stop there and continued to build his business empire.

The Growth of Branson’s Empire

Branson did not stop at Virgin records instead he continued to build his empire. In 1980, he launched the Voyager Group, a travel company and in 1984, he started the world-renowned airline Virgin Atlantic. The story of what inspired Branson to start Virgin Atlantic is quite interesting.

Branson was in his late twenties and had a booked a flight to the Virgin Islands to meet his girlfriend. However, the final flight to the island on that day was cancelled due to some (unknown) reasons. Desperate to make the trip, Branson started thinking about chartering a plane to get there. But, he did not have enough money for that. However, Branson did not give up and an idea came to mind. He picked up a board and wrote the following on it: ‘Virgin Airlines $29’.

People who wanted to go to the island bought tickets from him and he used the money he collected to charter a plan to the Virgin Islands. Branson named the plane took him to the island ‘Virgin Airlines’ and this inspired him to start his own airline which is known today as ‘Virgin Atlantic’.

Virgin Atlantic wasn’t the last of Branson’s ‘business initiatives’.  In 1993, Richard Branson founded Virgin Radio and in 1996, he launched his V2, his second record company. In 2004, Branson and the Virgin Group set a foot in the aerospace industry with launch of Virgin Galactic, a spaceflight company. At the launch, Branson announced that his new company will license the Spaceship One technology funded by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, and designed by Burt Rutan, the renowned American aeronautical engineer.

Virgin Galactic aims to take people into space for as low as $200,000. The level of trust in Branson and his group can be gauged by the fact that by 2014, more than five hundred people had already bought the tickets for the trip. Today, more than four hundred companies are operating under the banner of the Virgin Group, the group owned by Richard Branson. Present across the globe, the companies owned by Branson sell a variety of products and services including drinks, TV, mobile phones, books and more.

His Philanthropic Work

Branson is one of those billionaires who believe in giving back. While Branson keeps contributing to charity every now and then, it is his humanitarian efforts that are worth mentioning. Branson is one of the backers and founder members of ‘The Elders’, a group founded by Nelson Mandela that looks to leverage the power of influential people to find peaceful resolutions to conflicts. Another humanitarian initiative of Branson is the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an organization that helps locate missing children and put an end of young people’s exploitation.

The Lessons to Learn from Richard Branson’s Life

There are many valuable lessons to learn from Richard Branson’s life including not waiting for the ‘right’ time to start following your dreams. If you wait for the ‘right’ time to start doing what you love, then that right time will never come. Don’t wait for the right time and start following your passions and dreams today. Believe me, this is what’ll get you where you want to be—a life as successful or fulfilling as Richard Branson’s.

Another valuable lesson to take from Richard Branson’s life is believing in your ideas no matter how absurd they sound to you or others. If you don’t believe in your ideas, why should anyone else? Believe in your ideas and have a plan to make them successful. Branson’s life also teaches us to keep looking for new challenges, enjoy ourselves and never give up.

The Successful Life of Richard Branson teaches us to follow our dreams and passions as this is the only way we can achieve what we aim to achieve in 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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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Starting a Business Vs. Buying a Franchise

Business StartupIf you live in the this fantastic country; the USA, then count yourself extremely lucky as people around the world label the United States as the ‘Land of Opportunity’. In our country, there is an opportunity galore and you just need to find the right one for yourself. But, this is easier said than done, especially if you’re looking to get into business. Now, there are two routes to get into business: start your own business or buy a franchise. Here, I’m going to help you decide which one’s right for you. So, let’s get started!

You’re done working for someone else and now want to build your own business empire. There is just one little problem: you aren’t sure whether to start from scratch or get into partnership with an existing business. In simple terms, you can’t decide whether to start a business or buy a franchise. The good news is that I’m going to help you make a decision—the right decision—the decision that’ll help you build a business empire and become wealthy. So, without wasting any further, let’s get straight to business!

Factors to Consider in the Decision

A decision that many people think about but never practice is investing in a business to take charge of their career and life. Since this a major life decision, the apprehension is somewhat understandable. However, if you are brave enough and take the step that many hesitate to take, there are many potential rewards to be had. Since you’re here, one can only assume that you’ve decided to get into business, but aren’t sure how to start.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, there are many options and a common decision faced by them is whether to start their own business or invest in a franchise. Both opportunities involve many risks but come with a number potential benefits. So, deciding which one’s better for you can be a bit of a task. However, you can the decision easy for yourself by considering the following factors.

Ownership Model

Compared to a typical small business, a franchise has a very different ownership model. Unlike the former, the latter doesn’t give you much freedom to change your products or services based on your preferences and changing market conditions. In a franchise business, most of the decisions about products and similar variables are made by the parent company.

While people with their own business have the luxury to make their own decisions regarding product lines and service offerings, they don’t have the security that decisions regarding product lines and service offering have already been taken and tested and they just need to implement them. So, in short, as far ownership goes, independent owners can make their own decisions but they don’t have the security and stability available to franchise owners.

Cost Difference

The cost involved in starting a new business or buying an existing one and the fees to maintain the business is one of the major differences between an independent business and a franchise. Compared to buying a franchise, starting a business has a significantly lower average initial cost. Reason? Unlike the franchise business where a fee is charged by the parent company to give rights to start a franchise, an independent business doesn’t require paying anyone any fee to start the business.

Independent business owners don’t have to pay an initial fee to start their business but they miss out on the experience and reputation of an established brand by not opting to buy a franchise. Not only that, they have to spend considerable amounts to market their business, cost they would have probably saved by buying a franchise.

The aforementioned-cost savings are one of the major reasons many people today are choosing buying a franchise over starting a business. Also, when you opt for a franchise, the risk of failure is much less than it is in the case of starting your own business.

Brand Recognition

We briefly touched on this in the previous section but now we go into the details. When you start your own business, you have to work your socks off and pump a lot of money into marketing the business just so you can build a brand name. This costs you both time and money. On the other hand, when you buy a franchise, the brand name is already there and you just need to leverage it in the best possible manner to run a profitable business and make some money.

However, there is a dark side to this as well. Say, the parent company of your franchise does something illegal or starts to get negative reviews from customers about its products and/or services. Now, don’t you think it would affect your franchise? It most certainly will! Generally, if the franchises of a business are being run by people other than the owners of the parent company, most people wouldn’t be aware of it.

They will assume that all the franchises are being run by a single entity, and as such, will treat them as the same brand. So, if the parent company gets a negative review or gets into legal trouble, your franchise will be affected as well—negatively that is. So, think long and hard about this factor before making your final decision.

In addition to the aforementioned-things, there are many other factors to consider when deciding which one among buying a franchise and starting a business is better for you. However, the factors mentioned above are the most important considerations to come to a viable conclusion or decision. If you’re still confused about the route to take, get in touch with us and we’ll help you in your decision.

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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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Managed IT Services – Why it is a Great Idea

Thinking about employing a managed IT service? Confused about whether you should employ it? Have little knowledge about what ITManaged IT Services managed services do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place. Here we’re going to reveal everything there is to reveal about managed IT services. So, let’s look at why managed IT services is a great idea!

With managed IT services, companies can outsource the management of their entire IT infrastructure to a service with the required knowledge, expertise and tools. This results in cost savings and allows you to concentrate on areas that help generate revenue. In short, there are many benefits of opting for an IT managed service, with savings on IT infrastructure cost being the primary one.

Most businesses see their IT infrastructure as expensive and time-consuming. Considering this, it’s is no surprise that more and more businesses today are turning to managed IT services for managing their IT operations. These services have some that most businesses don’t have—specialized skills required to run their IT efficiently and cost-effectively. In short, there are many reasons to hire a managed IT service. Let’s look at some of them.

IT Expertise

By outsourcing your IT operations and activities, you give yourself more time to focus on business goals and core competencies. With the security that your IT infrastructure and environments are proactively being maintained by experts in the field, you have the peace of mind required to perform your best at whatever is your core competency. This in turn allows you to grow your business and make it successful.

Today, IT managed services guarantee service delivery and uptime. This includes connectivity to internet providers and key vendors. Additionally, they will help you to develop a disaster recovery plan to ensure that your business keeps functioning in case there is an IT failure.

Get an Edge Over the Competition

You can boost sales and make your business successful only if you beat your competition. Do things better than your competitors and you’ll almost certainly grow your business. You can outdo your competitors and gain an edge over them by saving wherever you can, and spending on the right things. In this day and age, this generally refers to streamlining your daily IT operations, and allocating more money to updating IT infrastructure and big data initiatives.

With a managed IT service, you can streamline your daily IT operations without spending exorbitantly on IT infrastructure. This way you can get an edge over the competition without spending exorbitant amounts for it.

Solutions That Can Tailored to Support Changing Needs

Today, managed IT services offer IT management solutions that are tailored to the unique set (s) of requirements of an organization. So, whenever yours or your customers’ needs change, you can customize the solutions provided by your IT managed service to meet or support the changing needs. Not only that, you can also scale your IT environment as it grows, and combine the different solutions provided by the managed IT service to support performance requirements and evolving workload.

Think of the managed IT service as an extension of your internal IT team. When you do that, you’ll warm up to the idea of allowing IT resources and technical experts that aren’t part of your internal IT team to have access to your IT networks and the information stored on them. There are many business and technical benefits of doing this so avoid giving it a second-thought.

Increased IT Security

For any business, online or else, security is of the utmost importance. If your business isn’t secure, then you should not even think about growing your business and making it successful. Today, most of the business is being done online—a place prone to data breach and theft. If the data you have online is breached, your business may cripple completely. For this reason, increasing the security of your IT network and systems is crucial. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all on your own. An IT managed service can do most, if not all, of the work for you.

A managed IT service can do all the dirty work for you—updating and patching workstations, updating software and firewalls, monitoring and maintaining your IT systems and more. By hiring a managed IT service, you can relieve your internal IT team of the above woes, while boosting the security of your IT network and systems.

Keeping IT costs under control

Generally, hiring a new service would mean adding to your existing business/operations costs but, this doesn’t apply when you hire the services of a managed IT service. While you do pay an upfront cost for recruiting an IT managed service, the IT infrastructure and management savings you get by hiring this service far outweigh what you paid to get it on your roster.

Managed IT services charge a fixed monthly fee for their services. Some of the services offered by them include managing daily IT operations and updating IT systems if and when required. The best thing about hiring a managed IT service is that you can scale your services upwards or downwards to meet your budget and/or changing requirements.

There you have it—the five major reasons managed IT services is a great idea.  But, this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many more benefits to be had by hiring a managed IT service. If you’re interested in finding out about all the benefits of employing a managed IT service, then get in touch with us, today!  Check out our own managed services page here:  www.percentotech.com/managed-services

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!  Contact me today to discuss how our great team can assist: 1 800 614 7886 or our Contact Form.

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