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Tag: digital technology

5 Important Digital Tools for Small Businesses

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Starting a small business is daunting to say the least.

Picture this: a great idea for a business pops into your head one day. 

Ready to launch now? Absolutely yes. 

After months of hard work, you finally launch your business in high spirits. Then as your business grows, you are hit with an ever-growing mountain of things to do; from managing your employees to finances and every little detail in between. You are feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you will ever get on top of this mountain. 

No worries, we’ve got you. 

We know you’re extremely busy running your business so here are 5 of the most useful digital tools you can take advantage of: 

 

Communication tools:

Communication is the key to any successful relationship whether that be with your employees or your customers. To help with this you could get… 

 

  • Devyce – 2 numbers, 1 phone

Devyce is a cost-effective and sustainable digital solution to the work phone. 

It allows you to have an additional phone number on your phone to use for work communications. On average phones are replaced every two years [1] and each phone during its lifetime can create up to 110kg of CO2 per year [2]. Eliminate the use of a second phone and get Devyce. 

Another great feature of Devyce is the team management portal for you to monitor and manage your employee call activity and quickly access call logs. 

 

We know what you’re thinking, having your work communications operating on your personal phone might disrupt your personal life (or vice versa) however Devyce also has a handy ‘do not disturb’ feature where you can turn off work notifications to keep a healthy work life balance.

All these features make Devyce a great telecommunications tool for your small business! 

  • FreshDesk – A customer service software for your website 

Maintaining an open line of communication with your customers can be harder than it seems. 

Customers will reach out to customer support through multiple channels. This can become difficult to keep track of so let FreshDesk ‘delight your customers with effortless customer service’. 

 

Financing tools:

One of the top reasons why startups/small businesses fail is a lack of cash or failure to raise new capital. [3] Sounds pretty obvious right? However, many business owners struggle to manage their finances and budgeting. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a financial expert to be able to start your own business (even accountants struggle with the papers sometimes). There are many digital tools to assist you. Spendesk being one of them. 

  • Spendesk – A 7-in-1 spend management tool 

Spendesk encourages smarter spending decisions by providing:

  • A management platform where you can view and manage spending from company cards 
  • Review and pay invoices
  • Track expenses
  • Generate financial reports
  • Automate accounting
  • Create and optimise budget plans for your business

Make smarter money decisions, budget better and stay on top of your finances with Spendesk. 

 

Marketing tools:

Developing a solid marketing plan and creating great content for it is one of the key reasons for success for many businesses. 

  • BuzzSumo – an all in one content marketing tool 

BuzzSumo is a hub platform where you can:

  • Discover and research new content ideas
  • Find relevant influencers to work with 
  • Industry trend updates
  • Develop your content strategy and create compelling content
  • Analytics for content engagement

This all inclusive platform is great for industry trend research, allowing you to create and optimise your content marketing strategy. 

 

  • Buffer – social media management tool 

Buffer is a great tool for starting out with social media management as it offers a clear and easy to navigate platform for:

  • Creating and scheduling social media posts
  • Accessing all your social media messages across all platforms in one inbox
  • Social media analytics 

All of these features are great for effective communication with your audience, learning more about their preferences in regard to your business and utilising new insights to optimise your services and marketing plan. 

So, will you be using any of these digital tools? Feel free to head to our socials to share your business story and what digital tools you’re currently using! 

 

References:

[1]

https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/environment/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-smartphones/#:~:text=Smartphones%20generate%20more%20greenhouse%20gases,the%20energy%20sector%20and%20transportation.

[2]

https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/europe2019s-consumption-in-a-circular/benefits-of-longer-lasting-electronics

[3]

https://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-reasons-top/

The New ‘Nothing’ Phone

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What is Nothing all about?

Nothing is a tech company, founded in 2020 by Carl Pei and is based in London. Their mission is to ‘remove the barriers between people and technology’. They hold the intention to create technology that just works, that you don’t need to think about and just feels like ‘nothing’ [1].

After receiving an initial £7 million in seed funding, with further large investments along the way, the new nothing phone has finally landed and is available here in the UK now [1]. The question is, is the most hyped smartphone of the year worth it, and will it beat the notorious tech giants?

Can they do the seemingly unimaginable?

The new smartphone largely mirrors that of an iPhone, but comes in at almost half of the price, at £399 [2]. Yet with the mid-range price, it has still managed to incorporate high-end features found on expensive devices, including a 6.55  OLED display and a dual 50-megapixel rear camera, to name a few [2]. However, it isn’t a market leader regarding its specifications or features. With Google’s launch of the Pixel 6A which includes similar features and at a similar price point [3]. Will the Nothing phone stand out?

Making a phone that stands out in a saturated and competitive marketplace, is tough. However, the Nothing phone has challenged the status quo, by embracing a futuristic and retro design by creating a completely transparent back, revealing the inner workings of the phone. Incorporating a ‘Glyph Interface’, which lights up the back when you receive any notification, and…it’s customisable [2]. Moreover, it leads the industry regarding its sustainability ethos, with 50% of the plastic parts sourced from recycled and bio-based materials  [2].

A potential problem?

The founder stated that they are building an alternative to Apple, which essentially means they want Apple users to switch over [4]. However, the Nothing OS is built on Android. Meaning the transition for existing Android users is far simpler.

The problem is that in essence, Apple has created a rather large ecosystem, through platforms including Apple Music, Apple Fitness, and more [5]. This means switching to an Android operating system could be a problem when looking for a seamless switch.

However, it’s still very early days for the Nothing phone, having only been released on the 21st of July. They have an innovative product that has been cleverly designed, with great aesthetic detail and seamless hardware integration, but will it be enough to replace the renowned iPhone users?

We will have to wait and see!

Sources

[1]
https://nothing.tech/pages/about-us
[2]
https://nothing.tech/pages/phone-1
[3]
https://www.androidpolice.com/google-pixel-6a-vs-nothing-phone-1/
[4]
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/excited-about-nothing-phone-1-23477896
[5]
https://www.lifewire.com/the-nothing-phone-1-doesnt-stand-a-chance-against-the-iphone-5499243

5 Unexpected ways businesses could be more sustainable

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Small businesses have a greater impact on the environment than you might imagine.

Sustainability is an increasingly important aspect for businesses of any size to consider as the environmentally led decisions owners make can be a deciding factor for consumers.

Consumer wallets are becoming increasingly green with 1 in 3 consumers stating they’d prefer eco-friendly product options in a survey. Over 35% of these respondents revealed they would buy an environmentally friendly product over a cheaper option [1].

Not only will adopting sustainable practices in your business benefit our planet, the figures show eco-consciousness is key to staying competitive in the market.

Take a look at some of these unexpected ways you could make your business more sustainable:

 

1. Eliminate the work phone
Smartphones are small devices with a surprisingly mighty impact on the environment.
Its life cycle impacts the environment greatly – with 80% of the carbon footprint coming from the manufacturing process [2]. Greenhouse emissions from smartphone manufacturing are forecasted to be 146 million tonnes of CO2 in 2022 [3].

62.3 million people in the UK used smartphones [2] and approximately 32.7 million people in the UK were employed [4] in 2021. Potentially 32.7 working adults use a second phone at work meaning doubled impact of using smartphones on the environment.
Eliminating the use of a “work phone” can reduce the environmental impact your business has. A sustainable alternative to consider is Devyce.

The innovative VoIP service provides your employees with a second work phone number on their phone with a great do not disturb feature that enables seamless transition between work and personal life. It also includes a team management portal allowing business owners to keep track of employees’ calls.

Getting Devyce for your business is not only sustainable but also a cost effective measure!

 

2. Sustainable storage
Storage of products is an often overlooked aspect of small business sustainability.

Some storage considerations for your business are:

  • Ensure electrical appliances eg. freezers, have green energy ratings
  • Opt for eco-friendly facilities eg. warehouses making use of solar panels
  • Reducing usage of pollutive plastic containers
  • Track inventory and reduce your storage need ie. consider donating or recycling items you no longer use

3. Limit paper usage
It’s a common misconception that paper doesn’t negatively impact the environment due to its biodegradable nature. In fact, paper can remain legible and intact for decades with 75% of our paper entering waste streams [5].

The average UK employee uses up to 10000 sheets of paper in the workplace each year – most people in the UK use up to 4.5 trees worth of paper each year. That’s a whole lot of trees!

Work towards:

  • Digitising processes where possible (also reduces your storage space!)
  • Using sustainably sourced recycled paper
  • Repurposing paper waste
  • Offsetting environmental impact through charity programs eg. replant trees

4. Switch to green web hosting services
Believe it or not, running a website also impacts the environment. The servers hosting your website and data centers are constantly running, using vast amounts of energy.

Some things to consider to decrease the environmental impact of your website:

  • Opt for host platforms using renewable energy sources
  • Offset your internet carbon footprint through sustainability schemes

5. Make your physical spaces greener
Whether you have an office or physical stores, there are many measures you can take to be more eco-friendly:

  • Choose spaces with plenty of natural lighting to reduce energy usage
  • Reduce single-use items eg. paper coffee cups
  • Improve air quality by bringing plants into your spaces
  • Switch to LED lighting
  • Limit cooling/heating of the space
  • Encourage composting of waste
  • Use green cleaning products/services
  • Incentivise eco-friendly commuting from staff

Making even a few of these changes to your small business can have a great impact on helping your business grow towards a more sustainable future.
Which of these changes will you be making for your small business? Head to our socials to share your business’ sustainability journey!

References:
[1] https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/more-consumers-are-opening-their-wallets-for-eco-friendly-products/

[2] https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/environment/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-smartphones/#:~:text=Smartphones%20generate%20more%20greenhouse%20gases,the%20energy%20sector%20and%20transportation

[3] https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/insights/industry/technology/technology-media-and-telecom-predictions/2022/environmental-impact-smartphones.html

[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/281998/employment-figures-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

[5] https://www.lancashirebusinessview.co.uk/latest-news-and-features/why-do-we-still-use-paper-in-2021

Five Digital Trends to Watch in 2022

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Keen to know what digital trends await us in 2022?

Look no further… Here are the top five digital trends to look out for in 2022!

The Digital Transformation

2020 was the year the world stood still, the pandemic forced the world to lockdown, keeping people indoors and focused on survival. 2021, however, was a year of transformation; according to research done by The McKinsey Global Institute, people, businesses and society as a whole, transformed entirely, not just surviving the present, but anticipating and enhancing the future.

The pandemic has forced the world to adapt to a ‘new normal’, in which we rely on technology to work, connect with family and keep up with news. The digital world is constantly growing and adapting to make our lives easier; here are the top digital trends to watch out for in 2022.

1. The Metaverse

In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced the new name of Facebook, ‘Meta’. Indicating a transformation into the ‘metaverse’, a virtual reality space in which users can live and interact with other users in a completely virtual landscape, essentially a fictional world.

This new trend in technology opens the doors wide open to endless possibilities of virtual and augmented reality, which many of us are unfamiliar with. This shared ‘virtual world’ can be reached by using VR headsets, AR glasses and smartphone applications.

People are already predicting that 2022 will be the year of the Metaverse. Not only will it be a space for users and gamers to live and play, but also holds the possibility of becoming a space in which brands can market themselves and create brand awareness.

Perhaps the Metaverse will be the new way we consume content, shop and live; one cannot be certain of the direction it will go, however, it is definitely a top trend to watch in 2022.

 2. NFTs

The digital economy is not a new concept, as cryptocurrency is widely used across the world, with currencies like Bitcoin or Litecoin. Cryptocurrency is any form of currency that exists online, in the virtual space, that uses cryptography to complete transactions.

The new cryptocurrency to watch in 2022, however, is NFTs (Non-Fungible Token). NFTs are the digital equivalent of non-fungibles, such as any singular digital asset, like a GIF, meme or digital artwork. NFTs can be bought and sold just like any other cryptocurrencies, used to buy both physical and digital things.

2021 saw a boom in NFT sales, hitting nearly three billion dollars in sales in the first six months. However, many tech companies have stated that NFTs are underused in the digital world, particularly in the gaming industry.

Jessica Rovello, the CEO of Arkadium, claims that gaming platforms, such as Ubisoft, should embrace the untapped market of NFTs. Rovello argues that 2022 will be the year the value of NFTs will truly be understood and take off.

The avenues for NFTs are limitless, starting with gaming, there are no restrictions on where they can take us. The Frankfurt School Blockchain Centre, for example, has predicted a market of roughly £1.1 trillion for tokenized assets, in industries beyond gaming, such as real estate, business and retail.

3. Connection

The rise in these major digital developments place more pressure on connection across the world. Digital trends rely on a faster connection, something that cannot be compromised in 2022.

5G and WiFi 6, according to Jerry Paradise, who works at Lenovo, is the future of high speed connection, also ensuring internet safety and reliability.

Some of us may already have noticed 5G popping up on our phones, however, it is not the mainstream. But, in 2022, we can expect 5G to become the standard for our phones. By 2030, it is predicted that, according to Statista, 5G technology will be marketed in the billions. 2022 is the time to embrace 5G connection, bringing you faster internet, faster data transfer and less delay.

4. Social focus on Mental Health and Digital Burnout

As the digital space grows, as does the pressure to stay digitally present and relevant. 2020 and 2021 have been years of ongoing lockdowns, forcing us to spend more time online, and constantly supply new content, resulting in digital burnout.

Vibely, a new social platform, reported that 90% of creators subscribed felt the effects of burnt out, significantly so that 71% thought about deleting their social media completely.

In 2022, we will see a continuation of a trend seen in 2021, in which content creators and brands on social media pay attention to self-care and the importance of setting digital boundaries. There is no doubt that a big digital trend of 2022 will be reassessing our relationship with social media and how to navigate healthier practices within the digital world.

For example, we have already seen Instagram testing out a new feature, called ‘Take a Break’; that has been trialled in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The ‘Take a Break’ initiative is a feature that gives users a reminder to have a break from using the app, for periods of time they chose; this will also be paired with tips from Instagram on what you can do during the break to increase your mental health.

It is certainly an interesting feature and, perhaps, the beginning of a new, healthier way we interact with technology.

Read more about burn out, and practices to avoid it, here: https://devyce.com/2022/02/09/how-to-keep-your-work-and-personal-life-separate/

 

5. VoIP systems

There is no doubt that the digital world has expanded and will continue to do so in 2022. The mobility of digital technology has greatly transformed the way we use our phones, tablets and computers, in our work and personal lives; technology is not limited to one single use, you can use your TV to make calls, and your phone to watch TV.

For businesses, big and small, digital mobility has allowed companies to optimise efficiency and productivity, particularly through communications. Not only can colleagues communicate more effectively, but teams can serve customers or clients to their best ability. Spending on communication is predicted to reach a new high in 2022, as the demand for effective and wireless communication solutions continues to grow. Business Wire, in 2020, reported that the VoIP market is predicted to grow to $183.7 billion by 2027, (roughly 137 billion pounds).

Businesses are switching to VoIP systems simply because of the digital benefits they offer. VoIP systems support the digital transformation and trends of recent years, with features such as AI for customer service, virtual receptionists, call forwarding and call recording.

Also, landlines are becoming more and more obsolete over the last ten years, giving rise to VoIP systems in the home, not only in businesses. VoIP systems are definitely a trend to watch in 2022 and beyond.

Explore Devyce’s plans here to get started using a VoIP system for personal or work use: https://devyce.com/pricing/

Sources
https://whatsnewinpublishing.com/6-big-digital-trends-to-watch-in-2022/
https://bigthink.com/the-present/digital-trends-2022/
https://later.com/blog/social-media-trends/
https://saucelabs.com/blog/2022-is-coming-eight-mobile-app-development-trends-to-look-for
https://financesonline.com/voip-trends/
https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/01/14/predictions-2022-next-wave-blockchain-the-metaverse-and-more/

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