Small business owners – if you are new to SharePoint and want to test its various features and functionalities first, the best way is get a free SharePoint site. Just make sure that the free version is fully functional, like the one at https://www.cloudappsportal.com.
Easy SharePoint site setup
Once you get your SharePoint site up and running, the initial step to take would be the inclusion of a project description that tells the visitors about the purpose of your site. SharePoint sites come with wiki editing and the editing operations are displayed in a ribbon, just the way you see them on the Microsoft Office 2007.
After you have the project description put up, add a link on the home page to your project workbook as the next standard step. Using this link, any of your user/team mate can easily navigate to the workbook and get additional details about the project.
Image storage and management
Uploading, storing and managing of images in SharePoint is quite easy. In fact, you will just need to spend a couple of minutes for adding a logo to your site, which will get positioned above the project description. There are actually six ways to add images to a SharePoint page – here’s the how-to.
You can also choose to replace the standard template image with a more interesting one that is better suited to your site; this is strongly recommended for branding purposes.
When you feel that a video must go up to add impact, it would be a good idea to create a totally new page for it, and the web part need to show the video – things that you can easily do it using SharePoint.
Adding a video is as easy as 1-2-3. What you need to do is to open Asset Picker and browse for your videos. Choose the one that you want and click ‘Insert’. That would be all.
Likewise, you can use SharePoint Document Set feature to manage large collections/groups of documents as an aggregated entity, or quite simply, a single document set. When a document set is checked out, all of the documents within the set also get checked out and can be managed conveniently as a single item.
As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities when you set up a SharePoint site from SharePoint Hosting. It’s certainly not bad for free – plus there are the loads of support articles and guides that should help you and your business further with the out-of-the-box platform.
Building a decent surveillance system for your home or office doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. In fact, you may already possess most of what you need to build a small network of cameras around any areas you’re interested in surveying. You don’t even need special training or a technical degree to implement a cost efficient and effective system; byusing wireless IP cameras and your computer, you can watch and record streaming video directly to your system.
1. Cameras – There are many brands of IP cameras thatcan work well for your needs without requiring an expensive investment. Cameras like the Airlink 101 SkyIPCam1500W offer a range of features and can easily connect to virtually any wireless network. Loaded with night-vision technology, these cameras are inexpensive and work well for monitoring doorways, rooms and other areas you may want to cover.
2. Router – Unless you have custom settings entered into your router for DHCP or other connections, virtually any wireless router will work with these IP cameras. As default settings go, the entire setup can be as easy as plug-and-play. However, keep in mind that you’ll have greater wireless coverage for your network with more powerful routers.
3. Computer Software – Many of these cameras utilize software that you install on your computer. This software can control most of the recording aspects of your surveillance system, including support for multiple monitors. Each camera saves its recordings to individual folders on your computer for ease of use. While this software may be a quick and small installation, each camera folder can take up a lot of hard drive space. If you have a desktop computer or a server, it would be wise to install a separate hard drive for nothing more than camera recordings.
4. Monitoring the Cameras – While most camera software will allow you to watch all of the cameras in unison, many of them will also support the ability to connect to them directly. By using the camera’s IP address in a web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, you can directly access the camera and view the live stream. This kind of access will also allow you to change different settings of the camera, such as wireless network access, night-vision, motion sensing and other features the camera might have.
5. Easy to Install – Depending on the model of your camera and where you buyit,it’s possible to start running your own single camera surveillance system today for less than $100. Although setting the camera up may take a little work, the camera can typically be plugged in and set up in its location in less than an hour. Since many of these camera brands are stackable, you are able to add the same model of camera to your surveillance system later and manage the recordings from a single piece of software. The software included in cameras such as the Airlink 101 SkIPCam can support up to 16 simultaneous cameras.
For those on a tight budget, this may be a more ideal solution for an affordable way to build an effective surveillance system. As long as the cameras can connect to your wireless network, you can place them in virtually any locale that power can reach. Day or night, monitor your home or business from the convenience of your own computer or laptop.
About the Author: Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.
You do everything you can to make sure your home is safe from trespassers and lawbreakers, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your business? Implementing effective practices to secure company property and information is vital to running a successful business. It’s an unfortunate reality that companies, both large and small, are vulnerable to theft, vandalism, employee dishonesty and breaches in security that can result in great turmoil and profit loss. From making a sound investment in a video surveillance system to enforcing network security, follow these tips to protect your business against potential crime and subsequent damages.
Invest in a Video Surveillance System
Video surveillance has many benefits in a workplace setting. Installed in all the right places, cameras monitoring the perimeter of a property as well as its interior workings can be a major deterrent to uninvited guests on the premises along with a discouragement to employee criminality. Video surveillance systems have made the ability to oversee all aspects of your business at any given time a simple matter with the use of high resolution cameras, the capability to record and playback, real-time alerts and several other handy features. While visible cameras will prove to provide an obstacle to many would-be offenders, installing hidden cameras as well can aid in catching those who have figured out a way to take advantage of blind spots in the detectable cameras and continue on with their unlawful activity.
Ensure the Property is Well-Lit
Sufficient lighting in and around a property is also crucial to the prevention of crime in a business. Trespassers tend to stay away from areas that will put them in the spotlight and make them readily identifiable. Dark areas and shadowy corners (especially in parking lots and garages) are inviting to lawbreakers, so taking precautions to maximize visibility can reduce possible wrongdoings.
Install Access Control
Another way to ensure 24/7 protection is with the installation of an access control system. These systems can be customized to be as basic or elaborate as a business requires. By keeping a record of who’s entering and exiting the company and/or each area of the building, access control systems allow business owners to decrease security threats and quickly trace any incidents back to the culprit. With access control, all entry points can be remotely regulated, and a business is able to go into lockdown mode in the event of an impending risky situation.
Don’t Neglect Network Security
Safeguarding company information, files and data is just as important as physical security. Cybercrime is becoming increasingly prevalent among businesses that haven’t prepared themselves properly to block hackers and malware. Have a regularly scheduled off-site backup solution for all company computers, reinforce security on file sharing programs, websites, etc. and educate all employees on security efforts and how to keep an eye out for any breaches.
Don’t wait until your business becomes a victim of criminal activity to install a video surveillance system or put these other security measures into action. Protect your company before it suffers a big hit.
Tiffany Olson resides in California and loves to blog about anything related to helping businesses grow and stay protected. When she’s not writing you’ll usually find her traveling, reading, or cooking.
With so many mobile handsets on the market nowadays, choosing between them can be difficult. But if you’re looking for a business phone, your options are slightly more limited. As opposed to personal phones, business phones are less loaded with media features, and more about connectivity. The best mobile phones for business usually come at premium prices, but the functionality that you get makes the cost worth it. If you’re looking for the best phone for business, then today we’re giving you a list of some of the features that you should be looking for.
The Best Mobile Phones are Practical…
Something to keep uppermost in your mind whilst choosing is that the phone above all else needs to be practical. How practical it is really depends on what kind of business you’re in. Building workers or architects who are often on building sites have different needs from office workers. If your job often takes you outside, or to places like construction sites, you’re going to want to consider either flip phones with their protected screens or specialist rugged phones that are designed to withstand shocks, drops and even water. Even the normal businessman needs to keep some practicalities in mind, such as the size and weight of something that needs to be kept in a shirt pocket. Whatever you choose, it needs to be practical, not just good looking.
Since this is your business phone, you’ll need to be constantly connected so that you don’t miss important calls, emails or messages. That means have a good range of connection options. Minimum you’re looking for WiFi and 3G capability. More top of the line phones now offer 4G, which gives better internet speeds and therefore efficiency. However, 4G services are not available in all areas or through all mobile service operators, so it’s important that you check whether you receive 4G services in your location. Additionally, you’ll probably need Bluetooth as well, to be able to connect to a headset or a hands free set whilst driving. Most phones nowadays have Bluetooth, but look for something that runs at least Bluetooth 2.0 to get the speeds that you’ll need. The best mobile phones for business will have all of these options.
To Keyboard or Not to Keyboard…
Traditionally, good business mobiles have been equipped with physical QWERTY keyboards, we’re thinking of Blackberrys and the Nokia business series. A physical keyboard makes typing long emails and memos a lot easier. However, as smart phones are trending towards bigger touch screens, physical keyboards are disappearing as a feature. And the truth is that on the top of the line five inch screens that we’re seeing nowadays, on screen typing is a lot more comfortable than it used to be. If you want the keyboard though, both Blackberry and Nokia still offer devices with a physical keyboard.
Decent GPS services can be vital for security, as we’ll discuss below. But it’s also a useful feature for business people on the move. GPS will allow you to use map and navigation apps, and therefore let you know where you are at any given time, and direct you to that out of town meeting. This also means that you can ditch the expensive car satellite navigation system, since everything you need will be in your phone.
A business phone needs good security, to protect both the information you have stored inside it and your reputation should someone else find your phone and use it for messaging or calling. There are a few security features that you will want to look for. Firstly, choose a hand set that has pattern recognition. This will allow you to set a pattern to use to unlock your phone. Pattern locks are much more difficult to break than traditional code locks. Secondly, look for a hand set that allows remote data wiping. This means that should your phone be stolen you can access a program from your computer that will erase all the data on your phone remotely, meaning that no one will get their hands on your information. Finally, you’ll also want to look for handsets that feature Phone Location services. A lot of top end phones feature in built programmes that use the phone’s GPS to pin point the location of the device. Should you lose your phone, you simply go online and access the program, and you’ll get a map showing you exactly where your phone is. This can be useful if your phone gets stolen, but it’s more useful for letting you know that you left your phone in the office.
Organisation and Scheduling…
Also, look for a phone that has good scheduling apps. The iPhone in particular has excellent scheduling functions, letting you use a calendar with alarms, location based reminders and even letting you know about scheduling conflicts. You need more than just a calendar setting, so make sure that you get a phone that can handle your scheduling needs.
Most business communication nowadays is done through email, so a good email server is a necessity. The majority of phones use push services to get email from a server to your phone, meaning you get instant notification of new mail. Look for a decent mail programme that’s easy and fast to use. Some phones have mail applications with complicated procedures for attachments and the like, which just aren’t convenient or efficient.
The Best Business Phones…
In terms of brand, probably the best business phones on the market nowadays are made by a very select group of manufacturers. Apple’s iPhones makes a good business choice, as do any of the high end HTC models. The Samsung Galaxy S series may be designed more as personal phones, but they double nicely as business phones too. In terms of Windows phones, the Nokia Lumia series, particularly the Lumia 920 is a great option. And Blackberry do still make a nice business phone too, whether you choose the physical keyboard or the full touch screen new Z10 model.
About the Author: When Sam Jones was looking for the best mobile phones for his daughters he found a really helpful price comparison site.
Employers need to protect their employees and their company assets from outside elements with ill-intent. Though companies may be determined to pick the best company to provide them security services, most of them could ask “How can you pick a good security services provider?”
There are a lot of businesses now offering efficient corporate security. So how will you know which one to hire? In choosing the best company to get for your business’ security services, you should be asking these questions:
1. Are they licensed?
Getting a licensed security personnel means you have properly trained professionals guarding your property. It’s essential to make sure the service provider has licensed personnel to take care of your company’s security needs.
2. Do you trust them?
Before hiring a company for their security services, you must gauge if this is a company you can trust. If at the first few meetings you immediately get the notion or inkling that you can’t trust them, be very wary. Don’t just brush this off. Instead what you can do is do further research about the company and find out about their reputation. You can ask other businesses who they’ve worked for or check online for any reviews or feedback previous clients may have shared.
Trust is very important and it’s vital that this is established before the agency actually provides the services to your company. The company can’t be there 24/7 to check on the security staff they have hired, so it’s important they trust them to do what they’re supposed to.
3. Are they experienced?
Experience is a major factor in determining the competence of a security services provider. The longer they have been in service, the more experience they have in dealing with and handling different types of security issues. If the company is still fairly new there is a big chance they haven’t been exposed to many security issues yet which means they might not be the best ones to hire for your company’s security.
4. Are they quick to respond?
A security services company should have a system that enables a quick response from the management and the team to ensure emergency situations are handled immediately and any concerns you may have will be addressed quickly.
5. Do they have the latest technology for their security equipment?
Even if the security personnel are properly trained, if they are not updated with the latest security equipment, then they would not be as effective. Pick a provider who has a staff adept with the latest commercial security systems. It will also be good if this provider personally provides the equipment and is capable of installing them for you so you won’t need to look for another provider to do this.
6. How much does their service cost?
Though price is something you should consider last, this is still a big factor that should determine which reliable security services provider to choose. The important thing to remember is you should be getting the value for your money. A top-notch security service doesn’t always mean huge costs. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean just because a provider charges highly they provide quality services. Make sure you are not duped into signing a contract with someone who’s just all talk. Be sure you find someone who can also walk the talk. Ensure the company is getting its money’s worth.
When it comes to a business, the people working in it and the information housed inside it are the bloodline of the company. If it’s safely guarded then the company can focus on doing business as they’re assured their most important assets are protected and no harm can come to them. In picking the right security services provider, businesses must make a tough decision on getting the right one for their company. With these guidelines, businesses will be on the right track of doing so.
About the Author: A self-professed geek, Debra Wright has dreamt of being a writer since as long as she could remember. She has recently written about a number of topics online, including electronic security, and hopes to get more people interested in security services through her written work. Get to know her more through twitter @debrawrites…
It is common to think brands can be boiled down to color schemes and logos. But, they are so much more. Your brand is your business. It is your public face. It is your constant relationship builder. It communicates who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
Most likely, you have spent a lot of time, energy and money developing a strong brand. Why? Because it is the message you want to communicate with clients and prospects.
While you certainly want to use this branding as the foundation for designing and decorating your business’ location, website and graphics, why stop there? By incorporating your brand into all of your business’ materials, you can maximize your return on investment (ROI). This is especially true when you utilize branded materials.
What are Branded Materials?
Branded materials are any item (physical or digital) which is decorated with your company logo (aka branding stamp). While some of these, such as a sign above your door, simply mark your location, others are products your business uses on a regular basis.
By branding products you, your employees, and your customers will use anyways, you can:
Instantly create additional advertising for your business
Enjoy lower costs for materials (when you buy in bulk)
Develop brand recognition among consumers
Foster strong customer relationships linked closely to your brand
Brand Products that do Double Duty
Business cards are wonderful, and stationery is great. Both of these necessary business items should be branded. But, both of these items really only serve one purpose – sending/handing to a client or prospect.
These five branded materials provide more than one function for your business:
No matter how techy your business is, it’s nearly impossible to function without pens. Sometimes, you just need to write things down on real paper. Whether you and your employees are in the office or on the go, branded pens are a great way to continue sharing your message. They also make great, lasting, leave-behinds as people are likely to keep using them for some time.
Coasters are one of those small, branded touches which help your business continue to communicate its brand while also keeping your space clean.
3. Cups, Mugs and To-Go Coffee Cups
Nearly everyone drinks coffee or some sort of warm beverage. Cups, mugs and to-go coffee cups are an excellent way to keep your brand visibly in your employees’ hands at all times.
4. iPhone Cases
Even though pens are a necessity, the digital, smartphone age is taking over. Going somewhere without your handheld device is often compared to walking around in your birthday suit. Supplying your employees with an attractively branded iPhone case will help you stay front and center. (Added love goes to the boss who also supplies their employees with an iPhone.)
5. Printed Shade Cloths
Shade cloths help control dust and debris in a variety of situations such as construction sites, large events and outdoor lunch gatherings. They can be attached to fending, scaffolding and buildings. While plain shade cloths can be attained, branded shade cloths maximize your business’ exposure and give it a professional look and feel.
About the Author: Nicole is a branding and marketing expert, and has been helping businesses brand their companies for years. In her experience, Site Shade offers the best printed shades she could find.
Instagram is an application for mobile devices that let you take photos and upload them instantly to social networking sites. This is one of the fastest growing social media networks at this time and it is growing daily. Many users say that Instagram is addictive and nearly all iPhone and Android users are using it more and more. The savvy business owner knows that when a social media platform hits these heights that they need to take advantage of it. The following are just three reasons why Instagram is good for your business and why need to get on board today.
The Instantaneous Uploads
One of the top reasons for using Instagram is that the uploads are instantaneous so you don’t have to wait to post the pictures. When you use a digital camera does not offer the instant uploads because you have to attach the camera or media card to a computer in order to upload them. With Instagram, all you need to do is take the picture, make your edits to the photo or add your filters and you can instantly upload it to all of your social networking sites. This allows you to share your brand with your viewers and fans immediately.
You can Make Your Brand More Interesting
They main point of using Instagram is to promote your business and your products. When you take pictures that are interesting to your fans there is a higher chance that they will share and like these photos. The more likes and shares you get the higher you go into the search engine rankings and that’s never a bad thing. You can also give your brand a personality that they would lack otherwise and you can also offer your fans candid moments of your employees. But more than anything, Instagram makes your products and services look cool and everyone likes that.
Get Followers Easily
You cannot post any types of links on Instagram so your followers don’t feel as if they are being advertised to. It also keeps them from feeling like that are being spammed if they want to follow your business page. An added benefit to this is that when you are uploading photos that are interesting people are more likely to want to follow you. You can build your brand presence much easier on this site than other social media network. You can also associate your Instagram account with other social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. This allows you to upload one picture to all your social media sites that are supported. Instagram is a great marketing tool if it is used properly and search engines like Google are now targeting these sites for SEO purposes. You have the ability to make instantaneous uploads of your photos and you can also make your brand more interesting to your followers. Also, because there are no links allowed, it is much easier to get people to follow you than it would be on other sites. Ryan Leeds has had an interest in social media since he started his blog ten years ago and has been activity writing on the topic.
Over the last few years we have seen the serviced office market quite literally explode in the UK. Although the UK has seemingly come quite late into the serviced office market, with them having been a prominent fixture in the USA for well over 30 years, it seems to be something we are now welcoming with open arms, despite the economic climate.
What is a serviced office?
A serviced office is one such office which is already fully equipped for individuals or businesses to move into. The office is managed by an Operator who is in charge of all services to the office building. For instance services can range from anything like office equipment and internet access through to telephone answering services and reception or secretarial support.
These offices are an extremely attractive proposition for businesses since they do not require any capital investment in terms of buying technical equipment or even office furniture. Individuals and companies can quite literally move into their office and have it fully furnished and ready to receive customers from the word go.
How expensive is it to run a serviced office?
People are often put off by the initial price of a serviced office. However, what many people do not realise is that the rental cost of most serviced offices includes everything you would normally pay on top of renting an office in the traditional manner. Serviced office packages tend to include everything from heating and cooling, electricity, security and maintenance through to furniture cleaning and insurance.
In this way, once you have paid the rent for the serviced office, there is nothing more to pay other than being charged the standard rates for telephone and internet usage, as well as the cost of occasionally hiring meeting room. What is also worth keeping in mind is that most serviced offices will offer short term leases so you are not tied into a contract for months or even years, which is an obvious financial benefit.
What kind of business use serviced offices?
Services offices are used by all kinds of businesses, from small companies run by a few individuals to large corporations. If you have not yet had the experience of using or visiting a serviced office, you are probably under the misconception they are only used by small business who cannot afford their own property. However, this is quite simply not the case.
So many companies, especially in the current economic climate, want flexibility when it comes to their offices. They do not want to be stuck into long-term contracts when they are unable to comfortably foresee what their financial state is going to be in the future. Therefore using serviced offices enable them to expand or shrink as and when needed and at short notice too.
It seems the take up of these offices is growing ever more common as months go by and with good reason. With those in the serviced offices in Milton Keynes freed up from having to manage IT systems, reception duties, answering the telephone and even spending money on furniture, they are free to do their actual job.
About the Author: James writes for Cranfield University. When not writing, he can often be found looking for another office.
Keeping your staff trained can be a very demanding thing. Whether it is a new piece of software you are rolling out or some new equipment, or training on a new policy, finding the resources to do it and then scheduling training for everyone who needs it can be a mammoth project. Even for a relatively small business, it will result in a costly lack of productivity while everybody sits through the training and picks up the new skills, and then of course there are the logistical demands of finding a place suitable to deliver it all.
If you have a training need in your company, there is often a lot to be gained by producing a training video instead of delivering training in the usual, classroom style way. Here are some of the benefits to making a video to fill your training gap:
You Can Outsource Production
Even if the training is very specific to your company, there is no reason why you can’t hire a video production company to make it for you. This means that you don’t need to tie up your own resources more than necessary to get the training done. You can meet with a production company, explain your requirements and review and approve the script using far less of your own people’s time than devising a classroom training course, sorting out the logistics and scheduling and having one of your own people deliver it. Professional video production may not be as expensive as you might think, and if you balance out the cost in terms of man hours saved you will find it to be very cost effective if your demands aren’t too complex.
You Can Let Staff View It However They Want To
Some people learn faster than others, and by making the video available and mandatory, you can let people watch it more than once if they don’t pick up on the details the first time. This makes things a lot less stressful for staff who find it hard to keep up in classroom training courses and worry they won’t come away with enough knowledge, and will make it less frustrating for fast learners or those already familiar with the content as they won’t be held back by others asking for things to be explained again.
No Logistical Issues!
Simply tell staff that they have to watch the video at least once within a certain time frame and let them fit it into their own working day, at their own desks! No finding times that suit different groups, no looking for suitable meeting rooms that are free, and no breaking up people’s flow of work and reducing productivity. If you are worried about verifying that everyone actually has watched the video, there are ways of checking this when it is posted on your intranet. You can even have someone in your web team create a quick quiz people have to fill out at the end to prove they have learned the salient points from the film.
Corporate video production for training can be a real time and money saver, and can also be more appealing to trainees, so next time you are faced with a training need, consider it as an alternative to a major program of classroom sessions!
About the Author: Phil Raymonds, an online marketing professional, prefers using the latest software and medium to get his ideas across. He is passionate about video photography and editing.
Everyone in the modern-day world understands the serious need for privacy, and website owners are usually well aware of this since they often keep their customers’ information on file. What many don’t realize, however, is that keeping their domain registration information private is important as well. The mailing address, email address and phone numbers of most website owners are available on the WHOIS Internet directory, but there are several benefits to preventing this information from getting on that public domain.
As stated, part of the domain registration process includes sharing an email address on the WHOIS directory. Sadly, there are people out there who are sometimes called WHOIS miners that do nothing except go through the database and seek out the contact information of website owners. They can then use this information to flood a company’s email address with spam and unsolicited offers. Private registration services hide a website owner’s email and ensure that this doesn’t happen.
Domain Name Safety
One of the biggest fears with using private domain registration services has always been the possibility of losing access to a domain if the service goes out of business. This was a huge issue with the former company RegisterFly. Luckily, since customers had difficulties accessing their domains when RegisterFly went bankrupt, rules have changed to prevent this from occurring again. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, now requires these private registration services to keep all of their clients’ contact information in an escrow.
Whether it’s in the business world or on the reality show Survivor: control is everything. Since private domain registration services prevent all of the aforementioned information from being publicly available, it’s the website owner who can pick and choose what to release to the public. If an individual wants their organization’s phone number available but not their address, they can make it happen. Any information that gets out to the public will only do so because the website owner chooses to let it.
One of the scariest aspects of having a domain registration that isn’t private is the fact that most of the information registered on the WHOIS database can be traced back to an individual person. The Internet makes it easily possible to use an address or a phone number to find contact information on a private citizen who just so happens to own a website. This can be a huge annoyance, and in some cases, it can even be dangerous.
Depending on what type of website a person runs, there’s little doubt that there are those out there who would harass the website owners. Just imagine if private contact information was available from those who ran controversial political or religious websites. The point is that it is much safer to have this information kept private. Even if a person doesn’t run an especially hot-button issue website, it’s probably not a good idea to let an angry customer find personal contact information either.
It’s a sad fact that it can be annoying and even detrimental for a person’s or organization’s information to get out into the public. More and more, people are starting to realize that this holds true for domain registration information as well. Luckily, there are companies whose sole purpose is to keep this information private, and if a website owner decides to work with them, they’ll be on the right side of all of the aforementioned benefits.
About the Author: Researcher Shelby Warden shares this information to help small business owners protect themselves. Business owners who decide to register their own domain for the highest level of protection can find the latest updates on domain registrars here. Domain Raccoon is a well-known database of domain registrars that provides users with unbiased, fact-based information.