Is your employer is spying on you?

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Workplace monitoring is not a crime. After all, companies make use of CCTV footage to reduce incidents of theft and sabotage in the workplace. But what if there is more to it than merely keeping an eye on potential crime. What if the eye in the sky is secretly monitoring everything you do? This certainly screams an invasion of privacy, but how would you even be aware of being spied upon?

 

Thanks to the latest technological advancements, employers can track their employees’ every move, whether digitally or anywhere else on the premises. This means that your boss may not need a video wall controller to monitor you. The thing about this modern technology is that it’s making it increasing difficult for employees to tell if they’re being watched.

 

Being called out for a conversation

 

The red flags should go off the moment your employer calls you out for a  conversation you thought was private. It could mean one of two things; your have a  tattletale co-worker or you’re being spied on through employers scanning your email, monitoring text messages you send on your work-issued device or recording your phone conversations. It’s not unlikely if you find that your company installed key-logging program or a monitoring software on your work computer. Such software can also track what you’re saying in your personal emails. Quite frankly, there’s nothing you can do about it. Your company owns the content in their internal email systems and they have the authority to monitor what you write and to whom.

 

Your employer knows an awful lot about your personal life

 

You’re at the water cooler when your boss walks by and says, “I’m also going to the Cubana festival.” You nod your head and utter, “yeah, me too.” But before you could ask how he knows, he has already left the office.

 

It’s not uncommon for employers to check out their employees social media profiles such as  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The thought of employers stalking your profile may seem a bit creepy, but by doing so they can establish whether you’re being faithful to the company or not. Unfortunately many employees have had disciplinary action taken against them or have been fired for posting inappropriate photos and comments online. To know whether or not you’re postings are free of malicious speech, download the Clear app to scan your social media profiles for anything that might get you in trouble.

 

Treat your business finances like your personal finances

 

moneyWe’ve all become fairly used to managing our personal finances. So why does the mere mention of business finances send many of us into a tailspin? It may help to begin to think of your business finances like your own personal budget.

After all, every business needs a set of financial goals, just like every person should have financial goals for themselves. Goals all have one outcome, financial success. And why wouldn’t you want that for your business?

Think about these personal financial goals and how you can adapt them for your business.

 

Keep an emergency fund

 

This one is simple. An emergency fund, essential for both personal and business finance, ensures you have a little bit of cash spare should the worst happen to you. You really do never know when an emergency could happen to your business.

 

This could mean a client not paying their bill or expected work falling through. Your emergency fund should be enough to cover the running expenses of your business for at least a few months.

 

Spend less than you earn

 

The most simple lesson in finance but the most important. Don’t borrow money. Not to buy things and not to pay your bills. Doing this will mean you’re always behind with your expenses and can never get ahead.

 

Of course, the exception is when you need to borrow morey from the bank in order to expand your business. These loans, for machinery finance or other essential equipment, will be an important part of your business plan and cash flow projections. The outcomes of these types of loans should be clear and payment terms must be stipulated upfront.

 

Ensure your expenses are minimal

 

In the personal finance world, this involves living in a tiny house and driving an old car. In the business world, there are a number of ways to make this happen. You don’t need to have offices in the most upper-class part of the city. You don’t have to have an office so big that every employee has their own private space.

 

By minimising your expenses in these areas, you can already make a significant impact on the amount of money your business is able to save. And without having a negative impact on you or your staff members.

 

Increase your net worth

 

In personal finance, the goal of many people is to pay off all debts and save enough money to never work again. A business works in the same way, with a few differences – you do want this to continue, just not with your continued input.

 

In business, you should aim to pay off all loans and debts, and increase your monthly income so that you’ll turn a profit every month. Soon you’ll have enough cash flow that you’ll be able to pay your own salary and reinvest into the business.

 

Thinking carefully about both your business and finance goals is essential. These simple goals will soon see you making more considered financial decisions, in your business and in life.

How to write a business plan par excellence

hand-895588_960_720Many innovators looking to turn their brilliant ideas into a business forget the importance of a business plan. But most new businesses are only able to get themselves off the ground through funding. Acquiring funding can be tricky. You need a solid pitch, the ability to convince your potential investor of your idea and that your target market needs it (urgently) and why they should throw money at you. But, you also need a solid business plan.

Your business plan should underpin all your business activities and remain a living document that is tweaked as you grow, expand into different markets or pivot into a new direction. Whatever you do in your business it should be substantiated by what you have put into your business plan. Any future investors or possible partners must be able to view the business plan and understand the nature of your business, your company mission statement, ethics, operational management and the like.

Here’s what to include in your business plan from the get-go:

Include a synopsis of all the research you’ve done on your competitors, marketplace and target audience

This is crucial to setting up a successful business and a vital part of your business plan. By having insights into the marketplace you are entering you can begin making informed decisions and calculated risks. By having performed extensive research you are able to fine tune your strategies going forward which would give you the competitive edge you require to enjoy a profitable outcome.

The best way to understand your business’s activities is to look at your books

You financial records are a succinct view of your company’s monthly activities and how well or badly they fared. By including your financials in your business plan you are able to present them easily and gain a broad overview of your business but with accurate details in place. Make sure to account for your cash flow, include your income statements, a consolidated view of your budget and balance sheet as well as any loans, asset finance or credit history you’ve accrued since starting the company.

Include the parts of your business that give it personality

While your corporate identity is important, your executive summary and organogram is important too. These are not financial documents but they are still vital parts of your business and they indicate how your company operates. A comprehensive overview of all your functions, activities and the people responsible for these, is an important part of the business plan document. These are the parts of your business that direct your marketing strategy and how you build your team.

Edit your business plan often and make sure it remains updated. Small businesses often pitch for investment for expansion and are approached by large entities for a merger or acquisition, and this is an absolute win for the owners. By having an updated business plan you will be able to present the pertinent parts of the company to a potential investor or buyer ‘at the drop of a hat’ which shows professionalism and business acumen. These of course leave a lasting impression and could be the deciding factor.

Grabbing the attention span of your online market

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Your followers on your social media accounts are flooded with information on a daily basis. What you may believe is hot right now, might be called old news in a matter of hours. Post information that is current and in direct relation to your target market. Not only would you become their new source of information, but this gives you the right appeal to your audience to read and share your posts. For the best source of information and to see which posts are trending on competitor platforms, see uvrx and Social-searcher.

The language of images, videos and infographics  

It is not only your words that tell a story. The visual impact that accompanies content carries the most impact. The world is speaking the language of images, videos and infographics. Any piece of data that can be processed rapidly as well as effectively will get the thumbs from your online audience. Visual media generates an excellent amount of user engagement and has become the go-to medium for advertising and learning. Strive to create eye-catching content that stand out on your followers’ timeline, even if it means going for extra computer courses.

Increase your following

A social media campaign that not only draws in your existing following, but also their loved ones is a winner. It comes down to your brand saying, “hey, we not only care about you, but also your people”. Activations that draw in a new customer base will draw in the likes and shares, which mean word of mouth will expand its territory. A simple way to reach a greater following is through paid ads on Facebook and Twitter. By carefully selecting whom you are targeting, you can increase your likes and followers by promoting blogs and other offers.

Efficient time savers

By creating effective time saving processes you are eliminating one task by focusing on another.  Put settings in place that allows you to reach your followers on auto mode. You will then be able to send email and SMS updates on most wanted topics, posting updates across platforms uploading social media content to remote storage. Do not hesitate to automate certain processes as this will cut into management systems as the load gets heavier.

Always know what is current

Social media is constantly changing its guidelines as the digital world grows at a steady pace. You have the choice to adapt or give up. Don’t only be in the know about what is happening around the world, but also the latest technologies that could potentially influence your marketing strategy for the better. Knowing what is trending will give you a fighting chance for getting a head start as being the thought leader of your generation.

 

The brand boost your business needs

Brand puzzle

Imagery has always been the key that opens up the gateway to our memory. Whenever we need to remember something or improve our memory, we are taught to do so by visualising what it is that we need to remember. Every business has the challenge of ensuring customers will remember their branding and link it to good work. When driving past a billboard, we’ll hardly remember what we read, but will most likely remember the imagery.

 

We are being bombarded with visual content on a daily basis. High definition, excellent quality images are being produced at a rapid rate. If content doesn’t blink, move or leave a “wow” feeling behind, there is little chance of it being remembered. The digital world is keeping every creative designer on their toes to produce the best visual content that will entice, spark an idea and lock it down into the memory of its audience.

 

Since the upgrade of our digital world, effective and quality imagery have been implemented to business models. Business schools in Johannesburg, Cape Town and everywhere else in the world have all applied the impact of digitalisation to business.

 

Imagery steps to follow:

 

  1. Choose your images wisely

The image the designer chooses has to resonate in some form or the other to the brand or the purpose of the business. A business that is defined as fun and energetic should have its design elements echo that sentiment throughout the imagery.

 

  1. Create call to action

Content that inspires the user to take action is shareable content. Wherever possible, ask your audience to share content on different platforms and comment on it. Involving them in your brand will give them a sense that they are apart of it, and not just an on looker.

 

  1. Give them what they want

Understand what your audience would like to see. It could be exciting imagery, action shot videos, infographics or behind the scenes shots. Knowing what they want will give your brand a push in the right direction. Show your audience that you are there to cater for their needs and want to carry out their recommendations.

 

  1. Provide inside information

The disconnect between client and brand comes when the two know very little about each other, especially if the audience barely knows anything about the brand. As with any relationship the two sides need to know more about each other for interaction to effectively take place. Showcase how a product is made or images of staff members at work.