DIGITAL ENTERPRISE GRANTS… AVAILABLE SOON

ARTICLE SHARED FROM CRAVEN DISTRICT BUSINESS NEWS

The highly successful Digital Enterprise scheme is to open again in September 2017 with grants of up to £5,000 available for Craven businesses to invest in computer hardware, software, telephony and connectivity.

The first phase of the programme received unprecedented demand with almost 480 applications from across the Leeds City Region submitted during seven weeks.  The next phase of the voucher scheme from September 2017 will target those projects that demonstrate significant digital  transformation for a business as well as economic impacts such as job creation or increased turnover.

To support the voucher scheme a series of workshops and conferences will be launched in July 2017 for businesses to improve their understanding of digital topics including designing your ideal enterprise, customer service in a digital age, content and video marketing and designing your 2017-2018 social and digital marketing strategy.

For more information on the Digital Enterprise Programme and to sign up to notifications for when the programme opens again visitwww.digitalenterprise.co.uk

Recommended App – Zoom

ZoomLogoBlue_copyFollowing last month’s article (the first in our series of monthly app recommendations), our featured app for July is:

ZOOM

What is it?

Zoom is a video conferencing solution which can be used on your desktop, tablet or mobile. It can be used for 1 to 1 video meetings, conference calls or to host webinars.

How much does it cost?

The pricing structure is staggered for different requirements but the basic version is free.

Features

The free version enables 1 host (the person holding the meeting/the account holder) to have group video meetings with up to 100 participants, for up to 40 minutes. The host can arrange as many 1 to 1 meetings as they like (without a time limit)… The 40 minute limit only applies to group meetings of 3+.

Meeting attendees (i.e. people that the host has invited to join), don’t need a Zoom account to participate – they just need a meeting code or link to join.

If required, the meeting host can share their desktop/screen with attendees.

Why we recommend it

  • It’s quick and simple to install and use on any device. We’ve generally used it on the I Pad app – which is very intuitive and easy to navigate.
  • It has some very clever features. For example, in group meetings, the picture automatically switches to the person that is speaking (i.e. you don’t have lots of small faces on the screen at once – just the face of the person that is talking).
  • If the video link fails, or connectivity is poor for an attendee, they can dial into the meeting by telephone using a VOIP number that is generated for the meeting.
  • Scheduling meetings and inviting attendees is really easy and looks smart and professional.
  • The free version is great but the ‘small business’ version (£11.99 per month per host) also provides an affordable solution with great additional features.

 

 

Recommended App – Wunderlist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With cloud-based technology becoming a feature of everyday life, businesses are wise to implement good, modern software and apps where possible.

The right app can simplify your life and work; improving efficiency and profitability (time is money)!

So, to help you choose the right solutions for YOUR business, we’ll be recommending a tried and tested app each month.

This month, our featured app is:

WUNDERLIST

What is it?

A to-do list app (available on iOS and Android)

How much does it cost?

£0 – It’s free!

Features

  • Users can create any number of to-do lists for projects, tasks, shopping lists, read-lists etc.
  • Items can also have sub-tasks (to add specifics/finer details).
  • A due date/deadline can be set for tasks. Reminders can pop up as push notifications or they can be sent by email.
  • Lists can be shared with other users to create shared projects or to delegate tasks.
  • It works across all devices (there’s also a desktop version as well as the app) and syncs seamlessly and instantly between them.

Why we recommend it

  • It’s very easy to use; intuitive and simple.
  • It’s free… but there are no annoying adverts.
  • It makes a very satisfying ‘ding’ when you tick off a completed item.
  • The due-dates help with prioritisation and ensure you/your team members keep on top of tasks.
  • The instant syncing across all devices make it accessible and ready to use wherever you are.
  • The shared lists are incredibly useful for team project work.

UK Businesses Impeded by Mobile ‘Not Spots’

Businesses across the UK are being impeded by mobile coverage ‘not-spots’, according to a survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The BCC quizzed over 1,400 businesses and discovered that 70% of firms often experience mobile coverage ‘not-spots’. Many have been impeded by a complete lack of mobile coverage, and some experience ‘partial not-spots’, in which coverage is available from only a handful of networks.

Those businesses situated in rural areas were found to be more likely to experience ‘not-spots’ as opposed to those within inner city locations. 54% of businesses in rural areas and 29% of firms in cities reported that they have unreliable mobile internet connections.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘All across the country businesspeople complain about patchy mobile coverage and unreliable internet connections in their local areas.

‘Rural businesses are particularly affected by poor mobile coverage and connectivity, but our research shows that ‘not-spots’ are prevalent across the UK. Some of the solutions are obvious. Relaxing planning laws to allow for taller masts would be a quick win for the next government to help improve mobile coverage.’

In response to the BCC’s survey, communications regulator Ofcom stated that almost all UK businesses ‘must receive a 4G signal by the end of 2017’.

A spokesperson for Ofcom commented: ‘We agree that mobile coverage must improve and understand the importance of having reliable mobile broadband, wherever people live and work.

‘We’re also making available valuable new airwaves to boost mobile broadband, and have challenged mobile operators to explore how to reach all remote areas and transport lines.’

Meanwhile, data published separately by consumer group Which? found that individuals across the UK are experiencing a variety of download speeds and 4G access. According to the research, the average overall 4G availability across the country is 65%, meaning that 4G users are only able to access networks two-thirds of the time.

A Special ‘Office Warming’ Invitation for Settle Businesses

We are delighted to a announce that our Settle office will shortly be moving premises. To mark the change of address we are inviting our Settle clients to a special lunch time ‘office-warming’ event to celebrate this exciting move and we would like to extend that invitation to any other local businesses that would like to join us on the day!

The event will take place on Tuesday 5th March, between 12-2pm, in the new office at:

Unit 10B, Commercial Yard, SETTLE BD24 9RH.

As a guest you can enjoy complimentary sparkling wine and nibbles, speak to our team, and network with other local businesses.

Director Adam Dutton believes this move is a positive one for everyone. He comments:

“Admittedly visiting the accountants isn’t usually something a business owner particularly relishes! However, by offering a comfortable working environment for staff and a pleasant meeting space, we feel we can both add value and make the whole experience that bit more enjoyable for our clients”

We hope that you will consider joining us on the 5th March, and please feel free to bring a business colleague with you. For further information or to register your interest in attending please call 01729 823950 or email skipton@shepherdpartnership.com.