Taking Care Of Your IT In Business

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In today’s modern age, most businesses use some form of technology. Information Technology (IT) services that aren’t operating properly can be costly and hurt productivity and thus their maintenance is paramount. The following contributed post is entitled, Taking Care Of Your IT In Business.

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Any business in the world needs to use a considerable amount of IT if they are to keep on top of things and to keep moving in the right direction. If you are starting up a new business, and you are unsure how to approach the whole issue of IT, then there are many things that you might want to consider in order to make it a little easier. For most entrepreneurs, the tech behind a business is one of the more challenging aspects, and it might be something that you find you need to work on in order to improve it and keep the business going strong. In this article, we are going to take a look at just some of the things you might want to do in order to properly take care of your IT. Do that, and you will find that your business is much better off for it.

Only Have What You Need

One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is trying to get technology to do absolutely everything, even that which is clearly not intended to be completed in that way. The trouble with overusing tech is that you only end up causing more issues for yourself, as you inevitably will find that you are going to have to spend more time fixing and keeping it running than the amount of time you will have saved by using it. Therefore, you should make a point of only making use of technology where you need to, so that you can hope to keep it as simple as possible, and also keep the process of looking after it simple too.

Outsource IT

Something that the vast majority of business do these days is outsource their IT. There are many great benefits to doing this, and it is one of those things that you will find you absolutely have to do if you run a smaller business or a startup. When you outsource your IT, you effectively free up time and space in your own business for whatever else you want to do. At the same time, you will find that it is inevitably going to be looked after considerably better, and that you will run into few problems. Any problems that remain are likely to be fixed quickly by that team, and you might never even heard of it. If you visit https://www.ribbitbusiness.com/ you will see a great example of this kind of service which you might want to consider for your business.

Consider Training

If you do have any IT teams in your building, you will want to make sure that they know exactly what they are doing. In order to do that, you will need to think about training them up wherever necessary, in order that you might be able to keep the IT running as smoothly as possible. The more training you give them, the more likely it is that they will be able to do whatever is required to keep it going.

Follow Your Dreams: How To Jump Into An Into A Tech Job (With No Experience)

Two of the key focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and Technology. With every passing year, new technologies are emerging and along with them the need for individuals who have backgrounds in the Information Technology (IT) fields. If this field particularly intrigues you, it will be important for you to know how to get in. The following contributed post is entitled, Follow Your Dreams: How To Jump Into An Into A Tech Job (With No Experience).

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Photo by Pexels

Breaking into the tech industry can be a daunting task. Fiercely competitive and outrageously ambitious, it can seem like an insurmountable barrier to entry especially if you don’t have the relevant credentials. However, one of the great things about the industry is that although Here, we’ve outlined some key components for you to land your dream job digital IT.

Get Some Experience

Tech is a notoriously difficult industry to break into without the relevant experience. The top technology companies often want to see that as well as being a great personality fit, that you’ve taken the time to immerse yourself in the culture and honed your skills to ensure that you’re a perfect fit for your desired role. Look to cut your teeth on small entry-level projects that don’t take much investment and can easily fit around your lifestyle. Upload some examples of your work to freelancing sites such as Fivver, or Upwork to fine-tune your skills and get a grasp of the ins and outs of your role without too much commitment. It also gives you a chance to put yourself forward for a variety of projects and therefore allowing your skills to be even more well-rounded, which is exactly what many tech companies are looking for.

Time To Study

Sometimes, though it’s worth noting that smaller experiences may just not be enough to land you that dream tech job. Jobs in tech have stringent entry requirements, and many recruiters may not even consider your resume if you do not have the relevant qualifications or degree required for the position. Browse job specs and job boards liked Linkedin to get a rough idea of the minimum bar of entry and use that to define your starting point. That being said, going back to college may just not be a feasible option for you. If that’s the case you may want to look into taking on an apprenticeship. IT apprenticeships can be a great way to get hands-on technical training and at the end of it, you’ll come away with a recognised qualification that is bound to open some more doors.

Stand Out On Your Resume

Once you feel confident enough to apply for your dream role, it’s time to make sure that your CV stands up to scrutiny. Make sure that you highlight anything that may be relevant to recruiters, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be. Be candid in your cover letter and let your future employer know why you’re passionate about tech and how you can now prove it with all the smaller projects and courses you have invested in. Don’t get called back for a second interview? Don’t give up. Keep working on extra projects and work experiences, to really beef up your CV.

Harmful Public: The Rise of Dangerous Trends

A key focus of my blog is Technology. While technology has improved our lives, it has created several dangers as well both to the individual and to larger groups of people. The following contributed post discusses this and is entitled, Harmful Public: The Rise of Dangerous Trends.

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Humans are, for the most part, an intelligent bunch, and we mostly — with a stress on the mostly — use this intelligence for good. Still, every now and again, something comes along that makes you question this view. Sometimes, a trend will pop up that really has you scratching your head: why do people put themselves and others at risk for seemingly no gain? At other times, it’s not a trend, but a larger cultural shift that poses a danger.

With the rise of the internet, we’ve also seen a rise in these threats. It’s a combination of greater exposure (people are more aware of dangerous trends) and a greater emphasis on the self (people, fishing for likes, are willing to take more drastic measures to get them). Below, we take a look at some of the dangerous and sinister trends we’ve seen in recent years.

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The Tide Pod Challenge

If you’re ever looking for a prime example of just how illogical humans can be, look no further than the tide pod challenge. If you didn’t know, tide pods are used for washing laundry — and that’s the only use anyone can have for them. Or so you’d think. Last year saw the rise of the insane “tide pod challenge,” which dared people — mostly teenagers — to eat them. As you might expect, many a teenager ended up temporarily poisoning themselves. So what caused this trend? How do you get otherwise sane people to eat something that’s made up entirely of chemicals? This one can be chalked up to trusting the word of strangers too much, and a desire to be internet famous. Do not attempt.

In the Skies

The popularity of laser pens seems to come and go. For a month or so, they’re everywhere, and then they disappear for a while. For the most part, these laser pens are harmless — they’re just used to distract the cat or whatever. But in recent years, there’s been an increase in a dangerous trend: the intentional pointing of laser beams at aircraft. Hugely dangerous, this has caused planes to be grounded, and is now a crime in many areas. Still, incidents of this nature continue, and has prompted the development of laser defense aviator glasses by Night Flight Concepts, Inc. It’s not just lasers that are causing chaos in the skies, either. The availability of drones may be good for some things, but it can be a disaster for airports. In the run-up to Christmas in 2018, all flights at London Heathrow Airport – one of the busiest airports in the world – were ground because someone decided to fly their drone in the area, causing thousands of people’s travel plans to be disturbed.

Creepy Clowns

People have always been creepy, but if there’s one thing to be said for the creepy folk of the past, it’s that at least they kept it in the shadows. Today, creepy behavior is more likely to be seen in public — more likely, in fact, to be thrust upon the public. Take the thankfully brief trend of creepy clowns, who terrorized communities in 2016. People would get dressed up as clowns, and then stand menacingly on the streets, scaring children and many an adult. The positive side of this is that the vast majority (likely all) instances were not carried out with some higher crime in mind. They just wanted to freak people out, which they did. Indeed, most analysts eventually concluded that this was an example of hysteria. The actual number of clown sightings was next to zero, but thanks to media and internet reports, concern was much higher.

Selfie Opportunities

Take a visit to anywhere remotely interesting, and what you’ll find are certain people who are thoroughly engaged. Not with where they are, of course, but with themselves. If there’s one major shift that you can see out on the streets these days, it’s people taking selfies. For the most part, it’s all harmless, just a bit narcissistic. But there are times when it is dangerous. Since people are mostly taking the photographs for other people, rather than themselves (they’re to be shared on social media), they’re trying to find the most unique shot they can get — which sometimes involves putting themselves in danger. Nearly three hundred people have been killed taking selfies on top of buildings, near mountains, and out on the water, and there have been plenty of other close calls, too. The rise in risky photographers has led some people to call for ‘selfie-free zones.’

Source: Pexels.com

Vaccinations and Health

Humans have come a long way in the past century. We now have cleaner water, safer conditions, we’re better educated, and people are healthier. This should be celebrated, and, for the most part, it is. But there’s also a certain section of society who doesn’t see it this way — and they’re trying to undo the good work. They’re part of the anti-vaccination movement. They think that vaccinations, instead of helping to immunize children against deadly diseases, aren’t necessary at all. So they don’t get vaccinations for their children, who sometimes fall ill, and sometimes help spread diseases. Alas, their beliefs are all based on bad science — and it’s having a negative impact on the world. The cases of measles, for example, has risen by 50% in the past year.

Public Distrust

Indeed, the anti-vax movement is just part of a broader trend of distrust. Fewer people than ever before have faith in the government, the media, and the corporations — the bodies that effectively run the world. Some of it is most definitely merited, but the distrust sometimes extends too far. Some people think that anything mainstream is to be rallied against.

Technology Overload

Finally, let’s look at something that isn’t overly dangerous, per se, but does have a corrosive impact on people. Smartphone addiction. While it’s all good and well talking with friends during the day, it’s the other aspects of smartphones that are doing the damage. For example, while social media companies try to paint themselves as positive places where people connect with one another, the opposite is true. Studies have shown that sites like Instagram make people feel worse about themselves, and have also had a negative impact on body issues. Another less sinister but just as damaging aspect of smartphones is the impact it has on sleep. People who use their phones in the run-up to bedtime and sleep next to it get a poorer night’s sleep than those who keep their phones in another part of their home.

Conclusion

So what can we learn from all of this? There are a few things. The first is that everything, especially technology, can be dangerous when it’s in the wrong hands. People may have always wanted to, say, fly a drone over an airport, but just never had the option. Also, it does seem that the internet, for all the good it does, has given rise to a level of egotism that can be hard to keep up with. People are willing to do anything if it gives them a few likes on their social media channels. The final thing, something to keep in mind, is that people haven’t suddenly become more idiotic. In general, the opposite is true — today’s younger generation are smarter than their parents are. It’s just that you’re much more likely to hear about stupid things people have done. They happened just as often as in the past, but because the internet and 24 hours news weren’t around, you didn’t hear about them.

Office Technology that Will Improve Your Staff Productivity

Three of the key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. A key to running any business/organization today is having the proper technology in place. Doing so will have improve your staffs productivity and your overall efficiency. The following contributed post discusses this and is entitled, Office Technology that Will Improve Your Staff Productivity.

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If you would like to stay competitive in your marketplace without having to invest a lot of money in new processes and procedures, you can rely on technology to help you improve the productivity of your staff while making their life in the office easier. Companies are looking for new ways of providing more value to their customers at a lower cost, and some smaller IT improvements can do just that. Find out more below.

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Customer Chat

It is important that you answer customers’ queries as soon as possible. Today’s consumers’ attention span is much shorter than the previous generation’s and they are looking for immediate answers. You can find a system that will gather all the feedback and pop up on one of your employees’ computers, so they don’t have to stay logged into various systems and get distracted just to provide excellent customer service.

Shared Calendar

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If collaboration is something that is necessary in your business, you will need to allow your staff to work on projects together and collaborate. You can create a virtual workplace where they can share and update projects. While a Google Suite system might do the job in the beginning, you might want to talk to an expert at inc-systems.com/services/managed-it-services/ to find out whether or not your business could benefit from a custom calendar and a CMS system.

Cloud Computing

It is crucial that you encourage the use of cloud computing. You will not only be able to automatically back up your files and take notes, share insights, update your team on the go, but also share information with your customers faster. You will have to install advanced security, though, so you can prevent the accidental disclosure of sensitive information.

Social Media Tools for Scheduling

If you are involved in digital marketing, you might have a member of staff updating your social media accounts and posts regularly. If they have other jobs as well, they will find managing everything very challenging. Instead of giving them half an hour a day, every day, you can allocate a few hours every month when they can schedule the jobs ahead. You can use an advanced scheduling and posting service and a social media calendar to make the most out of your reach and engagement.

Digital Learning Platform and Knowledge Base

It is also important that you empower your staff and help them become more efficient. This is why improving your office technology is necessary. If you have a knowledge base available for staff, they will find the answers without having to speak to a manager, and deal with customer queries faster and more professionally. You might also deliver your regular training or updates using your internal systems accessible any time, so they can complete the tasks when they are not compromising customer service or their own productivity.

Upgrading your office IT system can help you manage the different tasks in your company and improve your staff productivity at the same time.

Online Improvements For Hotels

Three of the key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. The internet has changed the game in terms business and commerce. The Hospitality Industry is no different, and hotels that aren’t properly marketing online stand to lose business. The following contributed post is entitled, Online Improvements For Hotels.

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The Internet is a very useful tool for businesses to communicate with their target market. Almost everyone has access to the Internet these days, and people use it to compare prices and make travel arrangements. Hotels can get a lot of business from their website. However, if your business isn’t employing the correct hotel web marketing techniques, then few visitors will end up converting into customers.

https://pixaby.com/illustrations/internet-marketing-1802610/

There is a lot of competition in the hotel industry, so it’s important to do everything you can to attract the right customers. The best hotel website design won’t only attract lots of people to your site, but it will also encourage them to spend longer on there, and potentially make a booking. If someone finds your website online and it’s of poor quality or looks amateurish, then they will often click off and visit somewhere else. If your website takes too long to load, isn’t organized correctly or is difficult to navigate, then people will look elsewhere, as no one wants this sort of hassle. After all, the Internet is all about convenience.

Effective hotel marketing will give your hotel the right image. All hotels, even small bed and breakfasts need to have a professional website that shows off their brand well. When it comes to getting people to visit your site, there are a few different options. Since most people will find websites using a search engine, hotels will benefit from using SEO strategies. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your site more attractive to search engines. When done properly your site will appear higher up in the results listings and stand a greater chance of getting clicked on. The best hotel website will also load quickly, contain lots of useful information and be very easy to navigate.

Is Your Hotel Suffering From A Lack Of Repeat Business?
Repeat business is imperative in the hotel sector, and while you may deliver a fantastic stay to your guests, this doesn’t mean they are automatically going to book again. Therefore, if you are suffering from a lack of repeat business, read on for some advice on hotel marketing online that can help to rectify this problem.

The first thing you need to do is get to the bottom of why customers are only booking one stay at your hotel and then not returning. Nine times out of ten this is because you are failing to follow up on their experience to build a loyal connection with your customers. You need to build an authentic relationship if you are to generate the loyalty that encourages customers to come back to your hotel again and again.

This is where hotel Internet marketing comes in. There are three keys aspects of hotel marketing that can help to ensure you benefit from repeat business – social media marketing, your online booking system, and email marketing. How easy is to for customers to book again? What appointment booking software do you use? Do you provide discounts for loyal customers online? Is their information remembered?

Email marketing is imperative for keeping your customers up to date with your hotel and everything that is going on. One of the best ways to increase your chances of repeat business is to offer voucher codes and special offers via email to your customers.

Aside from this, social media provides the perfect platform for customer engagement, as it allows your customers to get as close to your brand as possible. You need to post regularly on your social media accounts, and you need to ensure you are communicating with your customers, rather than merely posting a string of in-your-face advertising messages.

Staying Ahead of Smart Tech

A key focus of my blog is Technology. As time goes on, we’re developing new technologies for everything. As such, it’s important to be able to understand the positives and the negatives of these new technologies. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Staying Ahead of Smart Tech.

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Yes, we can control our lighting and heating from our phones and we don’t even have to be in our homes to start recording our favourite shows, but is this smart technology all that it’s cracked up to be? Is there a danger that we are, in fact, growing far too reliant on tech that makes our decisions for us? In this short article we take a look at the ups and downs of smart tech and the role it plays in all our lives.

Ups

Let’s face it, the use of clever, interconnected devices that talk to one another really does make our lives easier. From smart speakers that respond to a single voice command to devices that send and receive data about our home power usage and adjust their levels accordingly.

In theory all this technology can not only save us time but money too as we use its capabilities to keep a closer track on power use and help lower our bills.

Smart tech also helps stay independent as we have greater access to the things that make our life easier and safer. Smart timers across multiple platforms that remind us to take medication and phone apps that monitor our diet and if we’re getting enough sleep.

Image from Pixabay

Downs

One of the largest areas of concern when it comes to interconnectivity is that of security and privacy. If we take the latter first, how are we to really know what becomes of all the data that is held on us. Not just our confidential information, such as our bank details but all the day-to-day interactions we have with our devices, the entertainment we access, how much energy we use, even what we Google. Somewhere all this data exists and if recent cases of data breaches are anything to go by, this alone makes us vulnerable.

The second issue is that of security. While many of our devices, such as our phones, have their own operating systems that can be updated for greater protection against viruses much of our tech doesn’t. And it’s these devices that freely send and receive and data that are the concern. With little or no protection in place against cyber-attack, how are we to prevent them turning rogue and infecting our whole network should one fall victim to a virus or hack?

Whatever our concerns it seems inevitable that our lives are only going to become more rather than less connected with tech giants and companies like Sylvania Connected Solutions working towards more integrated solutions on a large scale.

So, while we should embrace the future of our homes, cars and cities as becoming ever more entwined with technology there’s no harm in maintaining caution when it comes to how we choose to use our smartphones.

The future might be tech-driven but we are all still very human and have a right to our privacy and how our data is stored and shared. Let’s stay one step ahead of this smart technology.

How To Make Your Online Store a Success

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Setting up an online store is much different than setting up a traditional bricks and mortar store. For an online store, you must become savvy in terms of technology in addition to marketing. The following contributed post is thus entitled, How To Make Your Online Store a Success.

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If you love retail and decided to create an online store instead of investing in a brick-and-mortar shop, you are up against a huge competition. It is important that you are able to make the most out of your reach, engagement, and productivity, and automate processes that would take you too long to complete. There are several things to pay attention to before you launch your store, such as market positioning, competition, and customer behavior. Find out more below.

Market Research

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It is important that you pay attention to your market research and get to know your target market. This doesn’t only apply to your potential clients, but also your competition. It is crucial that you find out about the best methods to penetrate the market and find the gap you can fill. Look for profitable underserved markets and position yourself in a smart way in the marketplace. There are so many free market research tools you can utilize, such as Google Surveys or downloadable industry reports.

Name

Your business name has to be memorable and catchy, also give out the right message about what you stand for. It might be a good idea to create a mission, vision, and values statement before you would create a logo and brand name, so you can fully align it with your target market’s. After you have created your market research file, you will be able to identify your ideal client, and choose your brand name based on their characteristics. Be careful when choosing a brand name, as it can lower the value of your brand.

Brand Image

Once you have your brand name, you can start working on your brand image, too. You should be consistent when it comes to your social media accounts, your logo, and your website, but most importantly – develop your unique brand voice. Listen to your audience and their feedback, find out what they are looking for when searching for similar products and how they choose who to buy from.

Website

Of course, if you want to launch an online store, you will need to pay attention to your web development and design. You have to make it user friendly and engaging. You need to communicate the benefits of your products, not only the features. This is where many startup online store owners make a mistake. You need to gain people’s trust as well before you can convince them to give your products a try.

Shopping Cart Software

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While the design and functionality of your website is important, you will need to ensure that your infrastructure is easy to use and tailored to your customers’ needs. If you don’t know where to start, you will need to talk to seo agencies that optimize Shopify stores so you can get enough traffic and conversion. You want your visitors to quickly find what they are looking for, add them to their basket, but you might even design a system that recommends similar or complementary products so you can maximize your sales opportunities.

Social Media

You might have already heard about Pinterest success for online stores, but you will have to make the most out of your social media reach and use different platforms. It might be challenging to keep on top of all your posts and monitor the performance of all your accounts, especially if you are busy running your own business. You might want to automate your social media so you can make the most out of your reach and get a snapshot of your statistics, to find out what type of content your audience engages with.

Review Sites

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If you want your website visitors to trust you, it is important that you get listed and featured in online directories and on review sites. People want to know that you are keeping your promises and they can get a good service. They are more likely to listen to other people’s recommendations and reviews than your own marketing messages, so it is crucial that you implement these features in your social media and your website, too. After all, your shop’s reputation is one of the most valuable assets in your business.

Starting an online store is hard work, and there is no guarantee of success. However, you can do your research and get to know the industry, your competition, and the available technology to scale up your operation and make continuous improvements that will improve your traffic, engagement, and sales conversions at the same time.

The Dangers Of Diagnosing Yourself Online

Two of the focuses of my blog are Health/Wellness and Technology. One of the advantages of our current digital age is that the profuse amounts of information available and our access to it. The danger though is that not all of the information is accurate, and it is so readily available. In some instances false information about health can have harmful effects. The following contributed post discusses and is entitled, The Dangers Of Diagnosing Yourself Online.

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The internet is a pretty wonderful invention and one that’s changed our lives – mostly for the better. We have the ability to connect with people from all over the world with the touch of a button, can learn basically anything about anything, and really have so much knowledge and information at our fingertips than we’ve ever had before.

We can start businesses, organize our lives, make money, order things without ever leaving the house, and even get things like doctors to speak to us over the computer – basically we can do anything we want to do from our computers and smartphones these days, which is a good thing if you choose to look at it that way.

However, we can’t pretend it’s perfect. Like everything, there are always going to be downsides, and the internet certainly isn’t exempt from that.

One of the things that the internet is pretty famous for – especially since the rise of social media is the amount of false information “fake news” if you will, and basically a lot of misinformation that can cause feelings of fear and impending doom.

This is very commonly seen when it comes to our health. You will know yourself if you’ve ever had something perfectly innocent like a bad cough or cold and suddenly a Google search has you dead and buried before you’ve even opened the first link it produces.

The rise in things like health anxiety is directly linked to the amount of people now being able to access so much information without limits online, but the danger is that they’re attempting to self-diagnose themselves and this is a very dangerous practice.

Now, of course, this isn’t to say that you won’t find genuine medical literature online, but the fact of the matter is, if you’re genuinely concerned about symptoms such as a cough being something more serious, then it’s time to speak to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. Even if it turns out to be something, then they will talk you through things like Lung Cancer Treatment if that’s what you need.

Googling your symptoms from questionable online sources is not going to lead anywhere good, and in this post, we’re going to share with you some of the real dangers of diagnosing yourself online.

It will make your anxiety soar:

If you’re already someone who suffers with anxiety – specifically health anxiety, then trying to look up symptoms online os going to make this completely unbearable for you, so it’s really not advisable.

It causes stress:

Anxiety is going to stress you out far more than you already are – add to that the ongoing worry from what you’ve just read and it will be a miracle if you can sleep or function normally.

You can miss a real health condition:

Diagnosing yourself online doesn’t always give the worst case scenario – sometimes it can tell you it’s nothing when it’s actually something that you should see your doctor about, but if you follow online advice then this could lead to a much bigger problem if you don’t actually go to the doctor.

Amahl Dunbar discusses his new Helmet Tubing Impact System invention

While one of the purposes for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields is the pursuit of new knowledge, a second purpose is to use that knowledge to create new innovations and products to improve our lives. Likewise, while one of the goals of my blog is advocacy of STEM awareness, a second goal is to use my platform to give exposure to others and their own projects. The following interview – the first of its kind on my blog accomplishes both goals, and it aligns with one of the principles of my blog which I haven’t discussed much up to this point; Creative Thought. Creative Thought is a key component of all the innovations that have emerged from the STEM fields that have changed the world.

Over the past couple of years, inventor Amahl Dunbar has worked on an invention to increase the safety of football helmets; the “Helmet Tubing Impact System” (HTIS). He recently agreed to the following interview to give the world a glimpse of the HTIS, to introduce his new idea, and his goals for it going forward.

Anwar Dunbar: Hello, Amahl. Thank you for agreeing to talk about your new system for making football helmets more protective. As my brother, I know who you are and what you’ve been doing. For the readers though, talk a little bit about your background. Haven’t you always been a ‘design and build’ type of guy?

Amahl Dunbar: Yes. Around the time I was in the third or fourth grade, I enjoyed using hand-held tools to disassemble and re-assemble my toys. My “Transformers” toys were very complex in terms of design. They were an endless puzzle of hinge, sliding, and ball joints. Usually I’d have everything reassembled before our mother got home from work. In parallel with those experiences, I began to do the same process with my bikes, though when it came to bikes, the stakes were higher because a bike could fall apart while in motion. Over all, I have more years of experience learning the visual arts versus engineering or product development.

Anwar: At Hutch-Tech High School, didn’t you major in Architecture?

Amahl: Yes, I had dreams of an office-oriented career. Architecture is more of a ‘design studio’ career. During high school my understanding of Architecture was limited. I thought it was just good to design. Years later, I learned the best forms of Architecture involved designing and customizing around the lifestyle of the occupants.

Anwar: How did you come up with the idea for the HTIS to increase the safety of football helmets?

Amahl: The idea for this invention came to me while watching an NFL game during the 2014 or 2015 season. A highly valued player for the Buffalo Bills took a bad helmet-to-helmet collision. As I watched this player writhing in pain, it occurred to me that the standard helmet is as much a weapon as it is a system of protection. Also, I thought the sound of a helmet to helmet hit may be damaging to players as well. Imagine being inside of a large speaker when it receives sudden microphone feedback or static. The sound would be jarring, disorienting, and unpleasant.

Anwar: What makes your system unique from what’s currently on the market?

Amahl: The Helmet Tubing Impact System (HTIS) is lighter than similar exterior helmet products. It distributes forces ‘longitudinally’ versus absorbing or muffling direct strikes. The tubes are transparent, so team colors and logos stay visible.

Anwar: Are you referring to something like the “Gazoo” helmet shell that the Buffalo Bills’ Mark Kelso used the wear?

Amahl: The Gazoo was never brought to the mainstream market, which speaks to its effectiveness. Most products that attach to the exterior of helmets are modeled after boxing head gear. From that perspective, players are still receiving a muffled version of helmet strikes. Those products are made of foam and absorb impacts without dispersing the forces. The HTIS distributes forces cylindrically and longitudinally.

Anwar: We see a lot of head and brain-related injuries in American football. Is your new system designed to prevent paralysis? Concussions? Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)?

Amahl: Those conditioned athletes won’t escape the wear & tear of American Football. The HTIS will lower the amount force in head impacts over years of practice and play for players. Specialists in those fields have found that the repetitive and cumulative number of impacts is what hurts players over the long-term.

Anwar: Now I imagine at this point, you’ve legally protected your system, you’re being very prudent in terms of whom you’re sharing your data with. In terms of your initial findings for the HTIS, what have you found thus far in terms of its ability to mitigate the force of collisions? Which test have you used to generate your data?

Amahl: As of now I do have a patent on the HTIS. I used the “Weighted Swing Test”. This test shows that the HTIS lowers impacts forces by an average of 70 – 73%. Again, the force of helmet strikes is distributed over the soft, cylindrical, hollow, plastic surface area of the tubes. The HTIS is designed to divide the linear and rotational transfer of impact forces.

Anwar: What are your plans for this going forward?

Amahl: In the near future, I’m looking to form an LLC for production and sales of the product to individual customers, teams, and leagues. I’m open to licensing or selling the patent, if a fair offer is presented.

Anwar: If anyone wants to directly reach out to you regarding the HTIS, what’s the best way for them to contact you?

Amahl: If anyone would like to contact me for sales or to purchase the patent, contact me at amahldunbar@gmail.com .

Anwar: Well thank you, Amahl, for sharing your exciting project. Do you have any other comment?

Amahl: Yes. Of all the prototypes I have in production, the HTIS has the best chance for success. That’s why I moved this product forward.

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Why You Should Upgrade Your Office Technology

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In today’s digital age, it’s critical that your business runs on the most up to date technologies possible. Likewise it’s critical to keep your systems up to date. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Why You Should Upgrade Your Office Technology.

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There are aspects of your business that are ever in flux. Your ideas need to evolve; your customer’s experience develops in accordance with the feedback you receive, your staff learn new skills, and so on. One thing that you may think holds steady is the nuts and bolts of your business: the location of your office, the furniture, the technology and software you use to push your business forward. But in fact, these things should also be in flux, especially your technology Below, we take a look at a few reasons why you’ll want to consider upgrading your business technology.

Source: Pexels.com

You’re Behind the Times

You might think that you’re operating at full capacity, but are you? F you’re using outdated technology, then the chances are that while you’re running at 100% with the technology you’re using, in comparative terms you’re only doing things at 75%. You can only do the best with what you have, but what if the best you have isn’t good enough? If it’s been some years since you last updated your equipment, take a look at any developments that have happened since then — you might just see what you’re missing out on.

Your Competitors Are Doing It

Even if you think you’re working well enough with what you have, it’s worth keeping in mind that what you’re doing is only one small piece of the jigsaw puzzle of running a business. What your competitors are doing is also important to your long-term business success, too. So while you may assess things and decide that you’re happy with what you have, cast your mind to the companies you’re in competition with for customers. Would you be quite as confident in your decision if you knew they were upgrading their technology?

It’s Easier Than You Think

There are normally two big considerations that prevent a company from upgrading their technology: the time involved to make the transition, and the cost. Both of these issues, however, are based on incorrect assumptions. For starters, let’s think about the cost. You shouldn’t think about the technology as a dead cost, because it’s not — if it helps you work more productively, then it’ll boost your profits. It’s an investment. In any case, the costs will be offset by the sale of your old equipment, which can be achieved by working with a company that offers data center liquidation. On the time front, if you transition your data into the cloud, then there’ll be no great data migration process. You can just have your new equipment installed, and be back to work at full speed in a day or two.

It’s Safer

Finally, keep in mind that keeping your technology and software up to date is an important part of staying protected about malware and other cybercrime threats. This type of crime has risen significantly in recent years and is especially targeted at small businesses. With the latest tools at your disposal, you’ll be in the best position to keep the threat at bay.