How to Set Up a Successful Trade Booth

Trade shows are an excellent place to get the message out about your business and reach potential new customers. But you’re also competing with like-minded businesses who are also trying to do the same as you. You need your booth to stand out in a crowd to attract as many eyes as possible. The following tips will help you boost your trade booth and draw in foot traffic.

Get It Together Before Arriving at the Trade Show

Don’t wait until the last moment to put your booth together, or do it at the show and hope it’s going to work. Bring all the components together long before the show date and have your crew put it together. Taking this step gives you the opportunity to see it as a visitor would. You can tweak, change, remove, and add elements that don’t belong or are missing from the overall presentation at this point. This will include the booth walls, vinyl banners, tables, power strips, boxes of giveaways, lighting, etc. In the end, the design should look seamless and everything should be set up, so that those manning the booth will have easy access to everything they need during the trade show.

Use Interactive Technology

Your product may be the best there is on the market, but if potential customers don’t know what it’s supposed to do, they’re not going to look further. Setting up an interactive display that invites passersby to investigate is a tried-and-true method of making sales. People are naturally curious, and if they can investigate the product to see how it works, they’re more likely to make a purchase. Giving them the opportunity to learn about the product before they buy it helps them make a more informed decision when the time comes to buy. It also makes them more likely to buy from you.

Give Demonstrations of the Product or Service

It’s always better to demonstrate than to tell. Set up a demonstration area for the product and have someone perform an action with the product to show it in its best light. When people are given the ability to see how well a product can do a job, it aids them in making a purchase decision. It also makes them more likely to buy because they already know what the product or service can do.

Hand Out Swag

Everyone does it which raises the bar for swag bags. Promotional items help to sell your product, so you’re going to have to get creative with what you give away. Put your best product sample in the bag along with coupons for future purchases. Pens are always appreciated, especially at trade shows, but make the pens stand out with a unique shape if at all possible. Aim for the highest possible quality that you can as it leaves a lasting impression on the guests who receive your swag bags. If the event is more than one day, make sure you split up the swag into boxes labeled with each day, so you don’t run out of items before the last day.

A trade show booth is what you make of it. The more time and money you invest in it, the better your return in terms of new customers and sales.

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5 Must-Have Features of a Small Business Phone System

Running a business – big or small – is incredibly tough, but it can be rewarding. Even more tough is getting all of your equipment in place, like a computer network, phone system or one of the many other tools you’ll need to operate.

One thing you absolutely need when it comes to making sales and generating leads is a reliable phone system. If you don’t have a way to contact potential customers or clients, or a way for them to reach you, then you won’t have much business. While email and online contact certainly work great, sometimes you just need to speak to a person directly to get things ironed out.

A modern phone system in today’s hyper-connected world involves using VOIP, or Voice Over IP, communication devices and software to talk to people via the Internet. This includes programs like Skype or Google Chat on the consumer side of things and services like Vonage, 8×8 or Jive for business.

Before making a commitment and setting up a VOIP phone system – or any system for that matter – it makes sense to understand a little bit about it first. In particular, you’ll need to know system requirements and limitations to ensure you get the most of your new service.

Know Your Equipment

Before choosing a system and having it installed or activated, do your research. This may seem pretty straightforward, but a lot of people skip over this step.

Compare prices and reliability when choosing a VOIP service provider. Ensure your Internet connection and bandwidth can handle your incoming and outgoing call loads. Know how many people will be working at a given time and how much equipment or hardware you’ll need to accommodate them.

Depending on how often you’re calling clients, you might want to skip that unlimited plan VOIP companies are offering, especially if you’re a small business with fewer needs. You never want to overpay for service.

Identify Bandwidth Limitations

Since VOIP services require an active Internet connection to work properly, you’ll need to be sure that you not only have a reliable connection in place, but also one that provides the proper bandwidth. You’ll need to figure out the amount of voice traffic that your system will be handling.

You can calculate the amount of bandwidth you’ll need yourself by taking a look at your current PBX (private branch exchange) system if you have one in place.

The reason you need to know this is because every time someone picks up a VOIP phone, it ties up a certain amount of bandwidth on your network. You’ll want to be sure there’s enough for everyone to be working at the same time. If not, you could experience call drops, shoddy connections and poor sound quality.

Establish an After-Hours System

No one works 24/7; you need some down time and so do your employees. Make absolutely sure you have an after-hours system in place that can take calls when no one is available. This could include contact information for sending an email, a voicemail system or even forwarding calls to a personal number.

If you do set up a voicemail account, be sure to offer explicit instructions for how callers can get in touch later. If that means informing them to leave their contact information and promising to call back, then do so.

A great feature to enable for a system like this is voicemail-to-email transcription, which most VOIP and business PBX systems provide. The system will automatically transcribe new voicemails that customers leave and send them to you via email or text message. No more fumbling with the voicemail system or trying to write down contact information. It’s all sent directly to you.

Activate a Call-Waiting Service

During business hours, you do not want to send potential clients or existing customers to voicemail. This could give them the wrong idea about your business.

Set up a call-waiting service so your customer is automatically connected to the first available representative. This also allows you and your staff to put contacts on hold for a period of time if you’re super busy.

Use a Hosted PBX System

A Private Branch Exchange, or PBX, system is like an operator for business phone lines. It connects and manages various extensions throughout a company. This is how automated systems direct your call to the appropriate department when you phone in.

There are two types of PBX systems available: hosted and on-site. A hosted PBX system is primarily handled by the VOIP provider and all of the equipment is in a remote location. An on-site PBX is located somewhere on the business property and requires an active team to manage it.

It’s always better to go with a hosted PBX system as opposed to an on-site one because it’s cheaper and less time-consuming. Not to mention, if you set up an on-site system, you’ll need to hire an IT team to manage it.

Don’t Throw Out Old Hardware

If you’re simply making the switch to VOIP or have old hardware lying around, then don’t toss it. There are analog-to-digital converters that allow traditional LAN phones to work with VOIP services. There are even PBX converters if you already have a PBX system in place.

Don’t waste money picking up brand-new hardware if you don’t have to.

The right phone system will help your small business run smoothly and improve your image.

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4 Tools Every Small Business Should Have

A wise person once said “You are only as good as your tools.” This saying definitely holds water in the business world, where the right tools can increase productivity and improve efficiency and operating procedures. As a small business owner, you should make sure these clever tools are in your company’s toolkit.

Dropbox: Store Documents on the Cloud

Think of Dropbox as the modern-day equivalent of a filing cabinet, an innovative tool which stores a range of files including images, videos, and text documents. Just like a traditional filing cabinet holds documents in cardboard folders, Dropbox uses virtual folders for easy organization. However, its search tool is probably more efficient than your old filing system!

Dropbox uses cloud technology, so you needn’t worry about your documents taking up space on a hard drive, or what might happen if your hardware fails. Dropbox makes your documents accessible from any device, so it’s ideal for small businesses with remote workers. This tool also makes it easy and more eco-friendly for you to share your files with colleagues, clients, or media outlets.

Best of all, basic Dropbox accounts are completely free to use, so they suit those notoriously tight small business budgets. If you need more space for your files, consider upgrading to Dropbox Pro, which has one terabyte of storage space, or Dropbox for Business.

Sage Payment Solutions: Increase Your Payment Options

More than nine out of ten retailers say their customers want a range of payment options, but many stores are reluctant to invest in the necessary infrastructure. With nearly half of retailers noting increased costs for payment technology in the last 18 months, the expense is a significant barrier to adoption. However, online credit card processing options from Sage require no upfront fees, so they’re a great choice for small businesses.

Sage’s handy tool allows you to accept payments from all major credit and debit cards. It also integrates with your existing accounting or ERP software for easy record keeping.

More than half of retailers haven’t adopted new payment technologies because they’re worried about security, but Sage’s Payment Card Industry certification, PIN transaction security, and merchant validation/certification should give you peace of mind. The Sage team also handles things like loss prevention, charge back assistance, and underwriting in house, so there’s less for your small business team to think about.

bMobilized: Make Your Website Mobile

In 2014, Internet use on mobile devices exceeded browsing from personal computers for the first time. This seismic shift reminded business owners of the importance of making their websites mobile-friendly. If you still haven’t developed a mobile site, bMobilized can make the conversion process easy. It’s already created more than 3.2 million mobile sites, and yours could be next.

Its Automatic Content Analysis promises to make your website mobile-ready in mere minutes. If you’re not comfortable with web design, use an existing mobile web template. Or play around with customizable options to make your site more unique. Once you’re done, bMobilized claims your site will look great on more than 14,000 different smartphones and tablets. A 14-day free trial lets you get a feel for the bMobilized tool before committing.

Wistia: Video Marketing Made Easy

Marketing is crucial to the success of any small business. It’s key for creating awareness and generating buzz and brand loyalty. Seven out of ten marketers say that video offers better conversions than any other marketing medium, so it’s understandable that many small businesses are switching on their cameras.

If you’re entering the world of video marketing, Wistia is an essential tool. It’ll host your videos, add buttons to make them shareable and embeddable to improve their reach, and even turn your videos into Flash and HTML5 versions so they’ll reach more consumers. The video heatmaps are a really intriguing feature, as they’ll show you which parts of each video you post get rewatched, where viewers switch off, and much more. Use this information to constantly improve your video marketing campaigns.

With the tools above at your disposal, you can improve a variety of facets of your small business.

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5 Recruiting Trends Of 2015

The way companies recruit is constantly changing depending on the technology available and the state of the economy. Furthermore finding good talent can be very time consuming and expensive. Understandably improving your recruiting process is often an overlooked area of concern as business owners often have “bigger fish to fry” so to speak.

But recruiting may be eating up more time and money than you realize. By leveraging new platforms, websites and tools you can find better leads on better recruits faster and cheaper. Since generally this is what all recruiters want, most trends in 2015 are focused on just that.

Also most recent trends address the need of companies to have a more human connection with candidates that could potentially live all over the world. The ironic thing is that they are doing this through social media and other forms of technology.

Whether you believe these trends are leading recruiters in the right direction or not, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the competition

Improved Applicant Tracking Software

Those fill-in-the blank forms can get annoying, but large companies need a computerized system to keep the application process organized. However, companies are seeking to improve the software they use to make it more convenient for applicants, and are expanding these tools to manage the entire recruiting process from start to finish and help improve the candidate experience.

There are many Saas companies that focus specifically on platforms that improve the recruiting process. Investing in research about these companies may result in a platform that is a perfect for your business. However, you don’t have to look only at recruitment specific software to find a solution. Many companies are utilizing one of the top CRM’s they may already have in use or are looking at using and using it to double as an internal relationship manager as well. Surprisingly many companies are finding that the functionality to manage sales leads naturally works just as well for recruiting. If you have a sales department, you can kill two birds with one stone with a CRM solution.

A Positive Candidate Experience

Making it incredibly difficult to apply for a job, failing to respond to queries, not sticking to promised deadlines and treating candidates with disrespect during the interview process damages a company’s brand. Not only that, but it prevents the top candidates that they are trying to attract from seeking a job with the company, and could even offend potential customers or allies further down the road. Companies need to constantly reevaluate the hiring process to see how the candidate’s experience can be improved.

Sourcing through Social

Social media is no longer new, especially when it comes to using LinkedIn. And lets be real, LinkedIn is heavily spammed and not near as effective as it once was.

However, new tools have started to come out to help companies refine their social media searches. These tools include Entelo, TalentBin and Gild, among others. Entelo helps recruiters to discover top talent that may be considering a move but hasn’t popped up on the regular radar yet. It also contains a huge database of profiles and contact information along with a filtering tool.

Most have free offerings with the option of premium pricing plans if you are a heavy recruiter.

Social Talent Networks

Of course, social media is useful for much more than just finding email addresses. Many companies have started creating talent networks that include everything from potential job candidates and clients, to fans of the company. These networks are great way to promote a company’s employment brand, so more talent comes to the company, rather than forcing the company to go out and find it. Businesses have even sprung up to help companies create these networks.

You can buy lists from existing networks, or simply begin creating your own internal database of people in networks you recruit from.

New Assessment Science

Personality and other assessment tests have been around for ages, but there has been a recent surge in assessment software. Many newer companies use cloud computing and big data to offer something new to this space.

Evolv offers tools that utilize big data to scour through huge databases of potential hires, and analyze the employee life-cycle to help reduce employee turnover rates.

Logi-Serve is another company entering this arena that offers analytics to predict a candidate’s performance in key business areas. There are literally hundreds of these services popping up, so businesses would do well to take a good look at this growing market.

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Integrated Data Management is a Productivity Goldmine

Everyone’s talking about Big Data these days, but all the data in the world is useless unless it’s structured in a way that increases productivity and profitability.Fortunately, integrated data solutions can blend and unify data sources and business processes to save time and money.A professionally designed integrated data solution has the potential to integrate thousands of data sources.The ability to connect and track business data, including sales, advertising, marketing, finance and SEO, empowers decision makers and customer service representatives with the information they need to improve business performance.

Data Integration

The idea of collecting and tracking disparate streams of data to improve business performance can be difficult to grasp.The amount of data collected by an average business has literally exploded in recent years.Many businesses have attempted to employ data management solutions such as cloud-based applications , limited legacy systems and other out-of-the-box digital products to stay ahead of the data avalanche.For example, genomic testing companies having to house trillions of strands of DNA data for personalized medicine are finding their process does not run smoothly with access to complex data storage and analysis. Designing and implementing an effective data management interface is now a crucial component of business success.

Remaining competitive in the global economy requires business leaders to adapt to emerging trends.The integration of business data collection systems is no longer optional for large and even medium size businesses.Data integration reduces labor costs and improves profit margins.The cutting edge of effective data management varies from business to business.A comprehensive approach to data integration is essential.Relying on one-size-fits-all data management products is likely to yield minimal results and increase long-term costs.

Organizational Goals

When business leaders establish clear goals related to business performance, they have a much better chance of arriving at a desired destination.Data integration is an essential aspect of attaining organizational goals.It’s rare that a company IT specialist possesses the skills and experience necessary to merge data collection sources into a unified decision making tool.Establishing a long-term relationship with a professional data integration solutions company is a more reliable way to develop a customized data integration system and achieve organizational goals.

Data integration is a proven means of eliminating data handling and enhancing organizational productivity.Well designed eCommerce solutions allow company leaders and representatives to focus on product and customer development rather than data mining and archiving.The industrial age was characterized by important developments in automation.Some things never change.A revolution in digital automation promises to change the business world forever.

Business Solutions

Increasing business efficiency makes it possible to get more done without adding more employees.Investing in productivity solutions is the key to continued business success.Data flow efficiency is a fundamental aspect of business success.This requires a willingness to listen to data integration experts and adopting a long-term approach to data management.When it becomes obvious that existing data management systems are hindering productivity and business performance, it’s time to consider the available options.

Data management systems don’t last forever.That’s why it makes sense to design a flexibleintegrated data management system that meets current needs while preparing for the future. There’s nothing more frustrating than a do-it-your-self system, plug & play integration application or add-onproduct solution that is incapable of keeping up with the volume of a growing business.It doesn’t take long for an aging legacy system to break down just in time for someone to hit the panic button.It’s time consuming and expensive to catch up with the digital age after falling behind.That’s why it’s best to stay ahead of the digital game by investing in a comprehensive data integration system.

Data Touch Points

The number of data collection touch points in an average business is astounding.Designing an efficient map that allows data to flow efficiently and be made available to key organizational stakeholders is a productivity goldmine.Always remember that the purpose of a data integration system is to accomplish important business goals.Data flow is never a finished product.A data integration system must be capable of adapting to market trends and revised business goals.Developing an ongoing relationship with an experienced data integration company allows the flow of business data to evolve naturally.

The flow of data encompasses so many digital languages.Connecting the flow of transaction data in a standardized way has the potential to invigorate any business.Whether a data management system integrates applications within a business or connects with external partners, converting and standardizing file types will ensure the viability of business data.Converted files, including PDFs, XML, EDI, hadoop and excel, makes it possible for businesses to import and export data in a standardized file format.

Improving business productivity and eliminating human error are only two of the enormous benefits associated with a properly designed integrated data management system.Under-investing in integrated data management is a costly mistake.The number of data touch points necessary to operate a profitable business in the digital age will undoubtedly continue to escalate.Deciding to learn about the available strategies for integrating data streams is a sound business decision.

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How Tech Companies are Disrupting the Auto Industry

n 1956, GM released a video entitled, Keys to the Future, that boldly predicted driverless cars in 1976. Although it is nearly 40 years later, driverless cars are being tested and will soon be disrupting the auto industry and transforming our society as we know it. While GM made this bold prediction of the future of cars, it was not until the tech world branched out, created the Internet of Things that they became involved with car manufacturers. In creating Smart Cars, the GM vision will soon become a a reality.

Tech companies pairing up with car companies

While Google has spent the past year openly working with Lexus in creating an autonomous car, other tech companies have also been working with car manufacturers. For example, Swedish tech giant Ericsson has been working with Volvo on their award winning innovation. By using integrated cloud based applications for navigation and music streaming, they are already taking their cutting edge technology and incorporating it into Volvo cars. There is a lot of speculation that Apple is getting into the Smart Car market, yet the rumors of pairing up with BMW have been unfounded. Until Apple partners up, their apps will be used but they will not be in the Smart Car market.

Cost of owning a car

Currently, Smart Car technology, led by tech companies, is infiltrating the latest vehicles. Eventually, these driverless cars will change what we pay for a vehicle. The early driverless cars will be a bit like a taxi service or car sharing. There will be an app on your Smartphone to call for transportation. Responding to that app will be fleets providing mobility services for anyone who needs to go from point A to point B. Those who own their own vehicle, and not use the self driving option, will possibly have different online insurance quotes than those who are driving the Smart Car.

Car design

As the function and user experience of vehicles will be changing and evolving, technology will influence the design of Smart Cars and this will continue to evolve. As passengers will be traversing in Smart Cities, the need for a vehicle that moves at high speeds will be diminished. Thus, the design of vehicles will reflect the need for shorter, slower city journeys. Electric driving cars will be essential to creating a driverless city. In addition, with the advancements of Graphene and other materials that could make vehicles lighter. Most of all, fuel types could potential change with Smart Cars.


How tech companies upgrade self-parking functions will determine the ease in which the Smart Car will park. As sensor data improves, parking will be faster and smoother.


As utopian as driverless cars may seem, this technology has quickly evolved, and is estimated to be available to everyone in the next three to five years. Perhaps the biggest anticipation is how safe driverless cars have become. After millions of miles of testing, the only driverless car accidents that have occurred when vehicles, driven by humans, have run into the driverless cars and caused the crash. Because there will no longer be drivers, only passengers, this will take away the bad decisions, the emotion, and the occasional aggression associated with driving.

In addition, some vehicle manufacturers, such as Volvo have also worked on technology that would prevent accidents between cars and bicycles. Not only will automobile to automobile crashes be eliminated, but automobile to bicycle vehicles will be eliminated.


With less vehicles crowding the road, and as technology companies transform the design of vehicles that will be lighter and more capable of using alternate, cleaner energy, this will improve air quality. In fact, Google Smart Cars have been quietly testing the environment by using air quality detectors in some of the Smart Cars.

With fewer vehicles crowding the road, and as the design of vehicles will be lighter and more capable of using alternate, cleaner energy, this will improve air quality. Most of all, these types of fuel could potential change with vehicles as well. Electric driving cars could be essential to creating a driverless city, but other clean technologies may become more practical.

Soon, your car will be connected to everything with sensors. Drivers will relax as the car safely drives them to their destination. We have tech companies to thank for this. They give automobile manufacturers the ability to realize their dreams.

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Small Business Secrets: Technologies To Invest In

Almost every business today, whether large or small can see the amazing effects the right technology has on total revenue. Many of today’s customers relate well to technology whether utilized for marketing and advertising, bill paying, or communicating. Although it may seem expensive to invest in at times, the initial cost of better technology will reap dividends in the future. These four options are among the best types of technology for small businesses to invest in now.

Small Business Secrets

Accounting Software

Although most large businesses have their own accounting staff or hire out for their accounting needs, small businesses don’t have the capital to invest in such large services. In addition, many small business owners, while having what it takes to run their businesses, may not have the financial knowledge it takes to keep detailed books, do end of year taxes, or payroll. Accounting software doesn’t require a large financial investment, but instead decreases the amount of time spent doing the books each week.

Cloud Storage

Speaking of online programs, a smart choice small businesses can make is to store company information in a digital cloud. While many companies have recognized the importance of changing their filing systems from paper to digital, this process can become even safer by using an online cloud. The cloud safely stores any information in a variety of off-site servers, ensuring that if anything happens to the business’s on-site computer systems the information remains safe on the cloud.

Company Website

A company website is vital in today’s marketplace, since most customers will turn to online browsing to find products or services. A website is often the first introduction consumers have to a business. Small businesses should either invest in a premium website building service, or hire an IT services company to build a unique website that includes search engine optimization. The best websites catch the eye, show up in the top search engine results, and include a blog and social media links. SEO services will help you connect with more business for an investment that’s well worth the cost.

Online Security

As with any part of your company, data and information need to be kept stored and secure. Your website and online programs that will launch you into the modern world will need to be refined with better security. A good option is to outsource here as well to IT services like the Bedrock managed services in Ottawa who work with local businesses to protect websites and programs against outside attacks. You should also consider getting new anti-spam and malware services.

Each of these technologies will take a substantial amount of money and time for any business to set up initially, and learn how to use. But because these services will save employee time and be cost-effective overall, they are each well worth the investment. As information technology and online services boom, businesses of all sizes must keep up in order to retain current clients and gain new customers.

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How to Improve Customer Service

Gartner’s report, “Why You Need to Rethink Your Customer Self-Service Strategy,” estimates that by 2016, more than 80 percent of organizations will face higher customer service costs if they don’t provide self-service options for customers. The data points to more and more customers using online portals, FAQs and other online tools instead of speaking to live agents. Let’s take a look at how you can improve customer service.

Customers want more convenience and control of their buying and service experience. Give them the tools they want to expedite their needs and streamline your customer service at the same time.

Automatic Callback

Keeping a customer on hold can lead to mounting frustrations and the loss of a potential sale. Start by using a system like Virtual Hold Technology to calculate the expected wait time. Customers can decide if it’s worth holding, or if they want to receive a call back from your company without losing their turn in the queue. Many customers will jump at the option to stay in the system without having to wait around and suffer through bad hold music and continuous transfers.

Streamlined Accounting

For simple accounting and bookkeeping needs, PayPal can collect payments, send invoices and generate e-commerce shopping cart buttons.

However, a growing business with multiple clients and team members may need a more robust system. Quickly generate quotes and estimates for clients with an accounting system like Sage One. Produce financial reports so you can figure out how often your clients typically need service and how you can improve your offerings. Sage One also lets you quickly generate invoices and statements for your accountant.

Meeting Apps

Eliminate the back and forth with email clutter, and instead give your customers the option to book you directly with an app like You Can Book Me. Clients can see when you’re available and book a time that works for them. The system also works with your Google Calendar so you always know when you’re booked and when your next meeting is coming up.

Give busy clients the freedom to meet from anywhere in the world with GoToMeeting. The service offers online meetings with a personal meeting room and the option for HD Video Conferencing. Share your screen with your client to show charts, images and other materials as needed.

Customer Portal

Set up a customer portal through your internal system for customers to easily access their data. For example, small businesses running a yoga studio can have portals for their customers to check the classes they’ve booked, merchandise bought and personal information. A portal can also be established as a knowledge base for your customers to empower themselves by getting the information they need without scheduling a meeting or calling for support.

Customer Relationship Management

Gain more insight into your customer contacts with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Nimble imports your contacts from Outlook, Gmail, LinkedIn and Skype and then takes a deeper look. The tool keeps track of your communication history and can send stay-in-touch reminders. It even analyzes your shared interests. Transform that knowledge into a sharply targeted and meaningful social media campaign, communication strategy or service idea to better serve your customers.

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Calling all Innovators & Entrepreneurs, we need your help & your green VOTE !!

As with any Irish technology company, we all suffer unique challenges when growing business internationally. As a country we have a small population so we struggle when trying to make as much noise as our International competitors. Even places we assume are tiny states such as Haiti & Togo have twice and three times our population.

Hence we need your help…

One of our company’s, Surface Power HONE which has developed a revolutionary “daylight” powered Nano-heat engine technology is short-listed (final 18 was judged by experts) for the 2Degrees Champions Award –  “Innovation of the Year” which is the world’s leading collaboration platform and service for sustainable business with over 46,500 members from 177 countries.

Surface Power HONE has nearly 7,000 installations of this patented technology over 8 countries to date and it has been kept fairly secretive until recently. The technology was field tested in the West of Ireland & New Zealand as the daylight levels are some of the lowest in the OECD. In short, it replaces the use of oil and gas for heating and cooling with free daylight. Have a look at LIVE customers on our website such as the UK National Health Service running their hospital’s central heating on free “daylight” (sounds mad but true !!)

The next phase of the 2Degrees “Innovation of the Year Awards” is a voting stage which will reduce the final 18 to 5 for the big awards ceremony and we need your help and your vote. 

Although already in the short-list of 18, we are the only Irish Technology company in this shortlist and are up against huge players such as Nestle, General Motors & B&Q.

You can vote for us by clicking the link below to get us into the final 5 and we thank you in advance for that vote. Be sure to tweet it afterwards using the link so we can personally send you a thank you tweet. Go raibh maith agat as do chabhair.

Best Regards, John Quinn, CEO. (Twitter – @johnquinn_irl )

Read our story and VOTE from below.

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How Small Businesses Benefit from Mobile Technology

In the past, it was not always possible for a single person or a small business to compete with large businesses or corporations. Limits came in the form of physical restrictions or infrastructure restrictions. Now, however, with the onset of new technology, and specifically mobile technology, the playing field is becoming more even. Three of the aspects of new tech that are making this happen are cloud computing, mobile devices and industrial flexibility. Let’s look at how small businesses benefit from mobile technology…

The Advantage of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a big deal. A huge deal. A shift in business operations that shakes the very core of operations. No longer does a person need physical hardware in a specific location to do computer work. Now, through a network of shared virtual space in the cloud, all of that work can be done through the Internet. In terms of efficiency and adaptability, it is the perfect system for new, small businesses, because they no longer have to invest in prohibitively expensive hardware solutions to things like networking. Basically, small business can rent the space and computing power that they need, and expand later when they have to. Plus, because it’s in the cloud, they can connect to this power wherever there is internet.

The Advantage of Mobile Devices

Big business used to have an advantage because all of their resources were in one place, and all of their employees could get to them. T-Mobile now offers efficient, powerful and long-lasting mobile devices as well as its ‘no reason to get stuck’ option to give small business owners the power to business from anywhere.” Connectivity is exploding in terms of efficiency and data transfer rates, so where the advantage used to come from centralized resources, now the advantage is coming from centralized communication. This is a huge shift, and one that bodes well for creative people who work hard on the go. As mobile devices get better and faster, and networks grow stronger, this is only going to benefit small businesses more.

The Advantage of Industrial Flexibility

Another part of infrastructure that often foiled small business was production and distribution. Now, however, with mobile technology, business orders can be given through third-party production and distribution companies in real-time through the cloud, and order information and navigation data happens immediately. Once again, the advantage big business had of individual factories and shipping facilities is now turning into a disadvantage, because mobile technology is setting business communication free from the shackles of time and space.

Centralizing communication, rather than centralizing resources, is at the heart of mobile development, and this is the primary reason that small business owners can take heart that with a good business plan, the opportunities for success now are much greater than they were in the past. If your idea is good, if your plan is legitimate and logical, and if you have a product or service in mind that has a target audience that is out there waiting for you, then now is the time to make use of mobile technology as its availability expands.

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