Author Archive for: ost

The Benefits of using a VPN Service

10 Apr
10th April 2017

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short, involves extending a private network over the Internet in order to secure and encrypt data. VPNs have many applications and benefits, both for companies and individuals. In this article we’re going to take a closer look at some of the main benefits of using a VPN service.

Increased Security

These days data breaches and computer hackers are very real concerns. By far the most obvious advantage of utilising a VPN is the extra security you are afforded. Connecting to a VPN typically involves logging in via a website or VPN client, after which the data you send and receive is encrypted. This is especially useful if you are connecting to a public network and you want peace of mind that your data will not be intercepted and exploited.

Increased Productivity

If you wish to work from home or wish to access company resources whilst travelling between meetings, a VPN can enable you to access information remotely. As well as having business applications, VPNs utilised in this manner can prove to be extremely convenient for students, researchers and government organisations.

Enhanced Connectivity

VPNs can be used to improve network performance, especially if you are connecting to a network which is far from where you are physically. In this instance you can use a local VPN to increase bandwidth and enhance network efficiency.

Anonymity

Whilst software which hides your IP or web proxies can be used to provide online anonymity, a VPN allows you to use web applications and access websites in total anonymity. This is handy if you don’t wish to fall prey to hackers or get pestered by marketing companies who are collecting information on you based on your Internet activity.

Change Your IP and Bypass Filters

You can use a VPN if you require an IP address from another country, for example if you wished to circumvent certain geographical restrictions. You’ll also be able to get past Internet filters which could theoretically prove useful if you are in a country where Internet censorship is in place. It’s important that at this point we mention that you should use your discretion – we are definitely not endorsing unlawful behaviour here!

As you can see, there are a multitude of uses and advantages when it comes to VPNs. Whether you are a business owner seeking a secure method of sharing files between employees or a person who is on the move a lot and wishes to retain privacy and anonymity when connecting to unsecured public networks, the benefits of using a VPN service are definitely something to consider.

More People Buying Flowers Online Than Ever Before

07 Apr
7th April 2017

As little as seven years ago, only 3% of Britons bought flowers online. By 2015 this figure had risen to 10% and now, at the time of writing, is at 13% according to a new report from Royal Flora Holland.

Flowers are perhaps one of those commodities that you wouldn’t traditionally associate with online commerce channels – local high street florists and supermarket bunches probably spring to mind more immediately. But as consumers turn increasingly towards the Internet for all their retail needs, it’s actually not all that surprising that there’s been a significant rise in online floral trade.

If you think about it, there are quite a few benefits to ordering flowers online. The most obvious one is that you don’t need to leave your house – you can have fresh flowers delivered at the click of a mouse or tap of a screen, which is convenient to say the least.

Another cool thing about enlisting the services of an online florist is that you can have flowers delivered wherever you wish. Is Mother’s Day coming up but your mum lives in a completely different part of the country? No worries whatsoever, it’s easy to have a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers sent directly to her. Or perhaps you want to send someone flowers for a birthday, an anniversary or another special day. Online florists such as Clare Florist have an abundance of bouquets and other gifts organised by categories such as type of bloom or occasion, making it easy to find exactly what you want. With Easter coming up, maybe you’d like to send Easter flowers to loved ones such as close friends or relatives. Lilies are one of the most popular choices for Easter, alongside irises and tulips.

Sending flowers to loved ones via online florists is perhaps part of a wider trend of using the Internet to send gifts to loved ones, which is especially convenient if they live far away. And even if they live close by or in the same house, it’s still a nice surprise when a courier shows up with a mysterious package filled which turns out to be full of fresh, aromatic, colourful flowers!

Local Event Sponsorship: Cyclocross Case Study

07 Mar
7th March 2017

Cyclocross, or ‘Cx’. One of the craziest and exciting forms of cycling and bicycle racing imaginable. If you’ve never seen it, imagine taking a bicycle more suited to road riding, and putting it on the most obstacle laden course you can find. Make sure that there are plenty of roots, rocks, and tight turns as well as cold rain and mud. And if that’s not enough, make sure that the courses have hurdles that you have to carry your bike over (unless you are exceptionally skilled) and hill climbs that you can’t ride.

Not only is the racing exciting but no two races are ever alike. As well, the people that are involved and riding tend to be great and very positive, and the sport is too. In years of being involved in sport, you’ll never seen one quite as welcoming of people from any conceivable background or skill level – with the only requirement being that you want to be there.

This is somewhat ironic as it does seem that the vast majority of racers arrive claiming they aren’t looking forward to the race and that they hate it, only to finish covered in mud, often battered, and sometimes with broken bikes, elated and exclaiming it’s the most fun thing they’ve ever done! It’s no wonder it’s currently the fastest growing area of cycling. But what does this have to do with business success?

Cyclocross is a grassroots sport, and though many of the races are only supported by a few key businesses, some of them receive huge support from various businesses in both sponsorship and presence, with many of these not even being directly related to cycling at all. What’s really amazing though, from a spectators standpoint; you see these sponsoring businesses and remember them because they’re so rare (and many of us don’t often pay attention to sponsors these days). But like the sport itself, you can see the welcome and support of the sponsors, and remember them for it.

You’ll remember the helmet manufacturers, the bicycle shops, and the bicycle component makers. But also the non-cycling businesses; the snack bar company, the hat company, etc…

Not only that, but there are dozens of photographers going to Cyclocross races and all these sponsors tents and banners wind up in the photos that are then shared and seen on social media – not only by the racers, but the uninvolved friends of the racers. This means extra exposure and visibility.

One of the trickiest things to do as a business, especially a small one or a start-up is to get the word out and be visible. Consider for a moment the possibility of getting involved in a local sport, social activity, or any event where you can take part and support it. You get direct visibility and if you can be present, you get direct contact to meet and talk to your customers. In a business world where everything is going online and remote, personal contact can be a memorable and powerful key to success – one which is often overlooked.

And if you get involved in an event that has little to no support otherwise, you will have little if any competition, and people will remember you for caring enough about them and what they are doing. That memory will inevitably pop up when those people are shopping for what you sell.