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What is a hosted PBX, and what are the benefits of using it?

September 1st, 2014


The great appeal of a Hosted PBX phone system is that you can have a sophisticated telephone system for your business without having to outlay massive dollars for expensive telephone equipment. In fact, a Hosted PBX either operates with an existing telephone service or replaces it entirely.

It’s easy to use and operate

A Hosted PBX is easy for your business to use because its operation and maintenance is entirely the responsibility by the VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol) service provider that you appoint. Check out www.ivox.com.au for more details about Hosted PBX technology and the services of a quality VoIP business phone system provider.

Your employees can work from anywhere

One of the most appealing features of a Hosted PBX is that employees can remain connected to your office telephone system, although they may be working from their home, a hotel, or via their mobile telephone. With a Hosted PBX system, calls can be transferred, music can be used when calls need to be put on hold, conference calls be arranged, and it’s even possible for an automated attendant to answer calls and appropriately direct callers to relevant departments.

If you are weighing up the benefits and drawbacks of a Hosted PBX in comparison to a traditional telephone service, be sure to understand these benefits: Read the rest of What is a hosted PBX, and what are the benefits of using it? »

How a Website Overhaul Can Revamp Your Business

August 21st, 2014


Your website is one of the most powerful promotional tools your business has. However, a ‘bad’ website can be just as detrimental to your bottom line as not having an online presence at all.

When was the last time you really thought about your website and if it’s doing what you need it to do? If it’s been awhile – or your website hasn’t been refreshed at all since it was launched a few years ago – you may be missing out on some valuable business development opportunities. Read on to find out why.

Apps and Widgets Can Help You Work Smarter

Have you integrated your systems into your website? Nowadays, there are many browser based applications and plug-ins for all sorts of business tools and software including most contemporary CRM and accounting programs, email subscription clients, social media and more. In addition to improving your record keeping, reducing data entry and manual handling of information, making use of these applications on your website can also lead to a more streamlined customer experience. Read the rest of How a Website Overhaul Can Revamp Your Business »

Essential Mac Software from a Windows User

August 17th, 2014


I’ve been a Microsoft Windows user for most of my life and I don’t imagine that will change any time soon. With that being said there is a fondness by many in the design community for Apple Mac computers which is why I’ve found myself doing a lot of work on a Mac recently.

I’ve worked with Macs a number of times in the past but have failed to be converted to a Mac user personally.  There are many people who will try to argue that one OS is better than the other for one reason or another but I believe that one isn’t better than the other, because there isn’t really much you can do on one that you can’t do on the other, and which ever you choose to use really just boils down to a matter of preference.

Although there’s not much one can do that the other can’t , a lot of it is done in different ways, and when moving from one system to another you quickly discover which of your commonly used software programs aren’t cross-platform and need to find alternative software to perform the same tasks and actions. Below is a list of Mac software I started using  in lieu of similar software I use on windows. Read the rest of Essential Mac Software from a Windows User »

The Basics of Awesome Product Photography

July 23rd, 2014


Whether you’re creating an image library for use in web or advertising material or setting up an online store, chances are that many of your potential customers are going to be introduced to your product via a photograph. You only get one chance to make an impact with your first impression, so make sure the way your products are presented are working for you. Read on to find out the fundamental basics that apply to all product photography.

Consider Hiring a Professional

Photographers are visual story tellers. When people are viewing an image of your product, they can’t touch it or examine it like they would in a shop, so you need to present images that take them on that same journey of discovery that will lead to a sale. Enlisting the services of a professional can really pay off. Full service agencies like 4040 Creative have photographers on staff so can incorporate the cost and timing into your overall project budget and schedule.

Less Is More

This applies to both the styling and the editing – detail matters, especially in online stores. People need to be able to get a sense for what the true colours and textures of the item are. They need to see the size. They want to be able to focus on the product so make sure the backdrop the photos are taken against isn’t cluttered or overpowering. Save the highly styled composite look for your branding and advertising photographs but scale it right back when it comes to what shots you’re taking to use in an online store or feature campaign.

Be Creative

While restraint is encouraged for some aspects of the product photography, that doesn’t mean you are limited to lying the item flat against a white backdrop. A great example is how food photographers often place the plate or dish on a textured surface like a wooden chopping board or tabletop. This emphatic, but simple principle applies to product photography as well. Think about how you can subtly apply contrast and texture without drawing the focus away from your product.

Get Up Close

Macro, or extreme close up shots are a great way to show detail and can be really emphatic when used in a print or digital advertising campaign. If you’re including them in a product gallery as part of an online shopping experience, focussing on the detailing and finishes of the item can help take potential shoppers on that experiential “touch and feel” retail experience, but it’s important to make sure you also include sufficient images of the whole product too.

Remember that these photographs could be the difference between somebody purchasing your product or continuing looking at other items. Therefore, is it extremely important to make sure that the “Photography 101” style basics – the lighting, the camera settings and the composition planning – are all part of your product photography project.

What do you think the most important things to remember for product photography are?

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