Is your business engraved in a Culture of Safety?

Entrepreneurs

‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.’ John Maxwell

In today’s competitive construction market, it’s important to have managers who build sustainable cultures where safety and health are woven seamlessly into the fabric of the business alongside efficiency, quality, and productivity. It’s no secret that you as a manager create culture, a culture will shape attitudes and behaviors, while attitudes and behaviors will further influence outcomes.

The safety and well-being of every worker and job site is at the core. Beyond this, a lack of safety awareness and compliance also has consequences for your business. Each year, accidents on the work site pull from the contractor’s bottom line. The direct cost of accidents is found in insurance premiums, deductibles, and direct payments.

Safety always has been an integral part of the construction industry, and today it has evolved into a resource for competitive organizations to be more efficient while simultaneously offering cost-reducing measures that benefit their business.

In addition, safety is no longer limited to compliance alone.

Safety leadership should be approached like any other business training, managers become equipped with the best skills and tools for success.  It is vital to have leaders than managers. The approach can be boiled down to three key areas:

Leadership practices: What are your leadership qualities? How can you translate and leverage these to promote a culture of safety?

Efficient communication skills: What are the ways and means of communicating with positive results? Which communication method or style is appropriate for the situation?

Team building and the value of a strong team leader: How do teams cooperate? What role can a leader play in building and empowering teams to take your business to new heights?

A Simple Guide To Native Mobile Technologies

Entrepreneurs

Our Friday hangout with our tech colleagues spiked meaningful topics of conversation, this time our curiosity was in the quest to understand what’s the best way to build a mobile App. An obvious question right? According to Statista, there were 178 billion app downloads in 2017, approximately 205 billion this year and a projected 258 billion by 2022 a whopping 45 percent increase in a span of five years. Numbers don’t lie, hence our quest to understand the magic behind the scenes of app development. Our genius technical colleagues shared the four top ways currently in the market, React Native, Native Script, Xamarin, and Ionic. These four technologies are the Hybrid way of developing apps due to their speed and ‘’that native feel’’ they give to the user. Our tech team further gave us more insights into the native technology and why the ‘’native feel’’ is an important aspect of the app development process. 

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Indisputably Android and iOS are the OS giants. Android takes up 75.39 percent, iOS has 22.35 percent followed by KaiOS, Windows, and Samsung each with less than one percent of the operating system market share. In this post we will focus on the front runners, if you read our previous post on ‘’Hybrid technologies’’(link here), you would have a deeper insight on this topic. So, what distinguishes Hybrid from Native apps?  For starters, Hybrid apps use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript web applications but code ‘‘wrapped’’ to show UI’s like buttons or menus. Hybrids cannot communicate with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), thus developers create custom APIs imitating these native UI elements this how the Hybrid function comes about. 

Native apps are based on native languages, like Java and C++, these apps use native APIs exclusively built for Android and iOS. This results in a different look and feel for Android and iOS apps despite the functional similarities. It’s easy to spot differences like minimalistic UI and design in Android and iOS’s UX simplicity and functionality, for instance ‘‘send’’ function is an arrow-like icon while its a simple ‘‘send’’ text, similarly ‘‘back/cancel’’ buttons. What other differences have you spotted in Android and iOS smartphone functions?

How to Build an Online Brand For Your Business

Entrepreneurs

Times have changed,  we are no longer fighting for space in the dailies, the days when superior brands used to ascertain their superiority in the dailies by posting myriads of posters is long gone, it is so five years ago.

Many Big names have chosen digital marketing as their new avenue for creating awareness for their bands, but is it a mediocre feat? Well it partly depends on how you approach it.

This is how you create a formidable online brand for your business …

Your online platform, be it Facebook page, twitter handle or a website needs to have a manifesto, or the goals that you need to achieve within a given period, the brand should then work towards attaining all the set goals- this may be achieved through relentless social  media campaigns or sponsorships. The goal should be clearly stated, the online surfers do not have all day to figure out what your brand is about.

Your brand logo should be clear and be bold on your platforms. Something about showing your online viewers what you are about, this is normally included in the logo.

Your online platform should be user friendly, it should bear an attractive background or the outlook which is appealing to the customers, the site can be customized to be easy to navigate through, this way you will have more visits to your site.

Quality content should be up loaded consistently on your site, the content should be user friendly as afore mentioned, nude photos should not be uploaded  to any of your platforms, the articles that appear on your site should be original, informative and interactive. This will keep visitor coming to your site if you are offering them something reliable and captivating.

Develop and accumulate a following for your brand, on Facebook and twitter, you can keep your fans loyal by giving giveaways at particular times, you can also hold online competitions and reward those that win, this will keep your fans involved as well as attract a following for your brand.

You brand should strive to be competitive for a business brand to be on the top it needs  to work towards being on top, this can be achieved through competition. A business can identify its competition and work towards doing what the competition is not doing, or making its brand better than the competition.

A brand should also consider exposure,  whereas there are few big  channels like Facebook, twitter, YouTube and probably google, a business should consider other avenues are related to social media, like Instagram, Pinterest, google plus… et al. these can offer a good platform for marketing your brand while closing that gap between big companies and small companies.

 

How The IoT Makes Your Home Smart

Entrepreneurs

The smart homes era is here, thanks to the power of the Internet of Things and the power it brings to how we manage safety and security in our homes while improving lifestyles. Smart homes are integrated by Internet of Things and Smart Systems which are driven by a combination of sensors and actuators, connectivity, people and processes.

In a little over a year just, there has been significant rise in the level of excitement about the smart home recent smart home research states that millennial’s (79%) and parents (76%) leading the pack, and 50% of the overall population excited about the technology.

Intent to purchase smart home technology is quickly following suit, with 50% of people saying they plan to buy at least one smart home product in the next year (U.S. intent is slightly higher at 54%).

 

It makes sense that home monitoring cameras and connected door locks are among the most popular devices when you consider that a burglary takes place every 14.1 seconds in the U.S. and 56% of break-ins are through the front or back doors. And with heating and cooling accounting for 48% of energy use in a typical home, we understand why connected thermostats topped the list of the most popular product last year.

 

Most consumers express a higher level of excitement around the following benefits of the smart home:

  • Greater productivity and ability to manage work-life balance
  • Energy saving through monitoring electric appliances.
  • Safety and security efficiently managed
  • Making it easier to enjoy music, movies and web surfing anywhere in the house
  • Helping anticipate needs; shopping lists, minor repairs
  • More interactive features that helps connect with the people in your life

Kenya has not been left behind with the smart home technology adoption, local products by Kenyan techies are designed with a key focus to protect your home, improve your lifestyle by touch of a button on your smart phone, plus it does come with high speed internet, which keeps you connected 24/7/365. Some of the products I got to experience in a Kenyan smart home with a attention to the following;

Safety

Imagine your kids are home alone, a gas leakage occurs and instead of an explosion a small gadget you installed detects the leakage and instantaneously shuts down the gas system preventing any major life threatening events at home.

This appliance can also detect smoke in case of a fire outbreak so you can take action in good time.

You’ll need smoke and gas sensors installed in your home which will be connected to your smart phone.

Security

Every home owner’s top priority is security; being able to manage security at the palm of your hands is a key component. A smart camera is not your typical CCTV but an actual smart version that helps you monitor your home while away, more so human sensors that can detect intruders, in every room in your house.

Energy Saving

Smart home appliances like smart socket for your light control, air conditioning controller will be highly efficient if you’re looking to save energy consumed by each appliance in your home.

Lifestyle

Entertainment has also emerged as a new and powerful driver to smart home adoption. Nearly half of consumers (45%) in recent survey list the ability to remotely control and/or monitor their TV and sound systems as one of the top reasons to purchase a smart home system.

Imagine when you wake up in the morning, your shower heater is already turned on, your coffee make turns on, your favourite TV channel or radio station turns on, your curtains draw and viola! That’s your smart home experience.

 

Smart homes automation allows you a life of ease and luxury with everything automated entirely controlled and managed at the palm of your hands through your smart phone.

4 key pointers on making your Email marketing efforts more effective

Entrepreneurs

Email marketing is considered the most effective digital marketing channel with an ROI of $38 for every $1 spent; this proves that this medium is even more powerful than it’s ever been.

An explosion of new digital technologies pushed us to evolve. But those same technologies can leave a marketers’ head spinning. What’s the right marketing mix? How much should you invest in new channels? Which channel is most effective for acquiring new customers and driving revenue for your business? Even with the explosion of new technology, marketers keep coming back to email. The reason is clear–for ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers.

So how can you take it up a notch and make your campaigns more effective, a few pointers;

1.Subscriber Management

Managing your subscribers comes with a bit of toiling, you’ll need to do some data collection be it online or offline.

Key areas to collect data from include web signup forms , contact form, upgrading, customer care point of interaction, customer base and running a competition through your website or social media platforms.

Data Segmentation is vital to avoid huge number of unsubscribe from your audience, this will enable optimization and targeting the right audience with the right information. Consider categorizing your audience in respect to their demographic, geographical habitat, purchase history, relationship and their life cycle.

Database management would require frequent clean up, focus on quality and not quantity; a smaller amount of high quality interactions is better than a large amount of low quality interactions. Update with new information gathered through interactions with subscribers; remember every interaction of email marketing process is an opportunity to improve data quality

  1. Designing your template and the quality of content

When designing an email campaign put into consideration that youre designing for an email client and specific device; email client includes Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and Apple mail while the devices are mainly laptops, desktops and Smartphone’s.

Make your interaction process smooth and easy for the audience across all types of devices and email client. Users apply personal ‘relevance’ filter when considering spam thus is it important to prioritize your email send out with factors like best time, location, familiarity of the sender, what are the work  and personal priorities of the audience.

  1. Delivery Systems

In today’s very competitive technology space there are various options for your pick when selecting an Email Service Providers (ESP), some of the popular providers are:

  • Campaign Monitor
  • Active Campaign
  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • A Weber
  • Vertical Response

Scheduling your campaigns will save you time and improve the   performance and consistency of your email marketing campaigns. Most of the above ESP’s provide the option of designing your email template and automating it for send-out at the most effective time zone for your audience.

  1. Reporting & Analysis

Once you have your emails out, get your score card out to see how you performed, an instant report is shown on most ESP’s this enables you to analyze your campaigns effectiveness, the interaction scale for each campaign, subscriber and unsubscribe lists, open rate, total opened, unique open rate, clicks, bounce rate and delivered emails.

This may all seem like rocket science but trust and believe that once you get into the groove, you will enjoy the success of an effective email marketing campaign.

 

Why Your Business Needs a Digital Marketing Consultant

Entrepreneurs

marketingseoway

The online world happens to have a high speed rate of changes coming up now and then, and you as a business owner need to keep up with every improvement made online, in order to fit in to the trending marketing strategies and techniques. As it is, it is very difficult to have all the time to keep up with every recent upgrade and still run the business at the expected pace to make success. So, a digital marketing consultant makes the perfect fit for your business to lend you a hand on that.

DIgital consultant
But how will a digital marketing consultant be of help to your business? How will be able to take to your business to the intended desirable destination? Of what importance will he or she be to the online firm you have? Well, to simply and directly answer that, here are 5 good reasons why your business…

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BEGINNERS GUIDE ON HOW TO USE TWITTER FOR BUSINESS

BLOG, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurs, How to guides, social media

 

Creating a business page

Twitter is an undisputed social media giant, Its numbers triple by every heartbeat, if you want to see real time, instant results for your personal or business brand, Twitter is where you should be. It’s more interactive, easy to read and share. We are living in an information overload digitized world; twitter makes a summary of all the information in only 140 characters.

If you’re a newbie in twitter and like most beginners I have interacted with who say they freeze the moment they think of what to tweet.

First things first, before you create an account you need to decide what is the purpose of the account is it for personal interaction or business. This will determine who to follow, what to post, what to re-tweet, what to favourite. In previous post I wrote about how to get started social media, read it here on getting started with twitter: https://vivienwamalwa.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/a-beginners-how-to-guide-for-social-media/

Branding your business page – Profile size, cover photo size, what images;

Once you have your page up if you have set up a business page, you can set the business logo as your profile photo, the cover page can either be your logo or a nice graphic image of your listed services, sales or offer, a relatable quote for your line of business or a photo of your workplace/business or staff. You can use visual resources like www.canva.com  or www.fotor.com to make beautiful and professional images for your social pages. See dimensions for twitter:

  • Header photo (recommended dimensions are 1500×500 pixels)
  • Profile photo (recommended dimensions are 400×400 pixels)
  • Bio (maximum 160 characters)
  • You can include your business/ personal Website
  • Select a theme color that you prefer.

Who to follow;

Once all the basics are sorted, consider searching for twitter handles with general interests like news, sports, entertainment, world leaders, thought leaders then narrow down to industry and sector information or news sources not forgetting your competitors. It is vital to check on what other people in your line of business are doing and borrow a leaf, but make it better. While picking whom to follow, consider following twitter accounts with most followers by checking out their profile and at least the last three tweets from their most recent posts.

What to do – Tweets, Hash tags , re-tweets, favorite, pin, lists;

Social media is all about being social, hence twitter is a give and take…you share information and read what other people have shared and re-share, favorite it to your followers.

Re-tweet is when you share a tweet posted by someone else, Favorite is mostly when you like a post and you want to bookmark it, show approval, acknowledge plus a dozen other reasons. For many users the favorite is a way of giving someone a virtual pat on the back, to say “good work tweep, I love what you’re saying”.

# hash tag is the icon you use when posting, this helps your #topic or #post be found by interested followers. This is what you use when you want your topic to trend.

You can pin a Tweet to your profile so that when others visit your profile page, it is the first Tweet they will see.

Twitter lists allow you to easily find people and posts of the similar interest thus you interact with followers who are keen on the same topic as you.

Using twitter overview

When using twitter you can manage a number of accounts while using the twitter app and several automating tools like www.tweetdeck.com app, www.socialbro.com

which gives you great weekly insights of your follower-ship growth what not , www.tweepi.com is great for managing your twitter account, it helps you find people who are following you but you don’t follow them back, people whom you follow but aren’t following you among other great functions.

Bottom line in order to see rapid impact, tweet as often as possible and follow back people who follow you, use hash- tags 3-4 # per post are ideal, check on trending topics and share your thoughts, re-tweet or favorite posts you agree with or like, participate on Twitter discussions/ chats for direct and real time interaction, reply to tweets and messages, appreciate people who follow you, mention people you’re talking to with their tweet handle, delete any damaging posts that you may have shared, your reputation online is everything guard it to your maximum. I recently started using www.brandyourself.com for controlling the results of your personal brand online.

Infographics – Statistics and facts on Internet Usage among Generation X 1965 and 1980

Digital Marketing, facts and statistics, internet, social media
Internet facts &statistics Gen X

My recent infographics on Statistics and facts on Internet Usage among Generation X 1965 and 1980 focusing on social media, privacy, online shopping.