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5 Best New Technologies for Your Business

5 Best New Technologies for Your Business

According to some starry-eyed entrepreneurs, the only technique to become really rich financially and personally—in other words, to become absurdly rich—is to start your own business.

From Silicon Roundabout to Silicon Valley, the total number of startups launched worldwide can be hard to grasp. According to the recent GEM Global report, almost 100 million businesses are launched annually; which comes to over three businesses every second, or 11,000 new startups per hour. For these small business owners all over the world who compete head-to-head against big guns every day, technology is a vital tool that’s leveling the playing field for these entrepreneurs.

If technology is well implemented, small scale businesses have the chance to scale up. A single Amazon book can turn into a series; a single hotdog stand can mushroom into a national franchise. The increasing use of Internet, smartphones, app development, and other state-of-the-art technologies forced many businesses to go online to serve a bigger audience.

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Use of the right technology can accelerate business processes by making different business tasks more flexible such as making communication easy, securing your business data, improving customer care and much more.

To ring in the New Year, below are my picks for the best techs for a small-business owner to help increase profits and stay ahead of competitors.

1. Augmented Reality Devices

Business ideas are better acknowledged when they are shown, not told. The question about the future of augmented reality vanished, after the launch of Microsoft HoloLens glasses. The company recently announced that the AR headset will be available by early next year. Businesses can use augmented reality devices like the HoloLens of Microsoft to show designs, work together remotely and develop things in relation to the real world. These AR devices offer a unique opportunity to bring products and information to life.

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2. Wireless Conference Rooms

Every small and large company requires meeting space to discuss strategy and progress with the team. Now-a-days, many companies are adopting a wireless solution for meetings that connects offices, team members and clients, no matter their location. One such solution is the VIA line of collaboration tools, produced by Kramer, which is designed to take the conference room to wherever your team is.

VIA allows companies to wirelessly stream videos and presentations across various conference rooms. These distinctive features help companies to take meetings beyond showing simple presentations and actually allow employees to work together.

3. The Internet of Things

From smart lights to connected security cameras, the Internet of Things has offered a wide range of consumer-facing technologies. Companies are taking advantage of IoT devices in the form of connected sensors and cameras to monitor productivity and efficiency. As IoT grows within the workplace, it will speed up employee mobility; allowing team members to be more productive—no matter their location in the world.

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4. Cloud Computing

Most people aren’t aware of the purpose of “cloud” which is affecting the way we use technology on a daily basis. Cloud computing allows a centralized information database system that can be accessed through your laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other Internet-abled device.

Despite its popularity, many companies have still failed to adopt cloud computing in any form. It can help companies to improve their products and services, and their internal communications. Through cloud computing technology, the entire workforce can connect with one another along with the data, functionality, or any other material they need.

5. Wearable Technology

The dawn of wearable technology, in the form of smart watches and obsolete Google Glass, has changed the way people interact with the world around them. Most of these wearable devices are dedicated to health and fitness tracking; it gives businesses a new opportunity to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for their employees by equipping them with wearable fitness trackers.

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It’s impossible to predict how each technology will affect your business or your workforce, but it is essential to be aware of tech developments in the industry to respond to them before your competitor. Adopting a new strategy to leverage an emerging technology for your business could be just the plus you need to get a leg up on your competition. Stay updated in 2016 and beyond!

Featured photo credit: stokpic.com/ via stokpic.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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