5 Reasons Why it’s Easier to Create a Business Today Than Ever Before

1. Everyone’s Moving Too Fast!

Did you remember what you ate or did yesterday? How about what the person whom you’ve last spoke to was wearing? I bet you didn’t remember, and neither do I! The world is moving too fast and we’re all just trying to keep pace with “What’s next?” that no one has stopped to think about “What’s happening now?”.

This “What’s next” phenomenon is the reason why everything seems so much easier to do. We are constantly looking out for the next change or something more functional than what we already have. In some cases, people take the leap and create their own version of something they want in an existing product. Boom! Your friends love it and so do people on the street. The sudden realization clicks within them that this might actually a marketable. That’s the beginning of a new business idea. You know how it goes from here.

2. Welcome To Generation Z

Post-Millennials (also known as Generation Z) are the people who are born in the digital age. The internet has already made the history of the most technological advancement after the industrial era. These “entrepreneurialists” might be great for the influx of new businesses for a post-saturated economy, the idea of the “Be your own boss” mentality comes at a price. Children don’t read story books nor use crayons, instead, most of them are watching pre-school shows and learning basic math right off Youtube.

3. Globalization? Yes We Know..

Globalization is taking place everywhere, whether we like it or not. News spread faster than wild fire with an abundance of corporate news networks and self-journalism through blogs. Live streams can take place on YouTube, Facebook, in a crazily high resolution. Was it 4K? Even start-ups can fund their campaigns through people (crowd funding) instead of the traditional banks.

4. Everything’s Gone Digital

We can all thank the birth of the Internet for providing a significant game changing channel for the world economy. Individuals worldwide are now able to gather on a virtual platform, despite geographical boundaries, making everyone somehow, interconnected. With everything digital, there is one factor that seems to be very apparent, Confusion. There is an enormous amount options to choose from anything between deciding on a pencil to making a decision on which insurance plan is the way to go. However, the digital way has opened a lot of doors for new business and new industries to form.

5. Philosophy Working In The Background

It seems that philosophy has crept back into a modern day living through the likes of start-ups and education.

The Greek philosopher, Socrates, was known to advocate the asking of questions to increase one’s knowledge and to conduct self-reflection to heal oneself. Called the Socratic Method, schools use problem-based learning in which students are prompted to ask questions. This has made children become problem solvers in which we now countless Kickstarter campaigns that are constantly changing our interaction with the world in innovative ways. Just take a look at Virtual Reality.

Is Firewall Still Effective in 2017?

Windows come with an inbuilt software firewall and although this has been the case since the days of Windows XP, today’s Windows 10 built-in firewall is more advanced and hence effective. This advancement has left many third-party firewalls either matching the inbuilt firewall or below the latter’s effectiveness. Additionally, if you are you are using a router to connect to the internet via a router, you have added protection since the router also functions as a hardware router.

These facts raise the question whether you need a firewall. As the firewalls are advancing so are the network-based threats, which include hackers, malware, and botnets all of which are persistent in looking for vulnerabilities when you are connected to the internet. When all these factors are considered, the answer is yes; you do need a firewall for your computer.

What is the Effectiveness of Firewalls?

Port Protection- When you are connected to the internet via PC ports, you gain access to a limitless collection of information ranging from educative to entertainment sites. This connection also opens your computer to be accessed by others who are on the network. You have the option of either having open ports, closed or stealthed. When they are stealthed, your computer becomes invisible to any attacker even when you are online. You can only achieve stealthing by using windows firewall.

A router may limit the possibilities of damage, but you are not completely secure. In this case, a firewall permits all valid traffic such as downloaded software, visited websites, and watched videos or the music you have listened to. On the other hand, it blocks all malicious traffic that is trying to connect with you such as a neighbor’s computer that is infected with botnets that are trying to spread.

Program Control- an earlier version of third-party firewall had a tendency of bombarding users with a series of questions whenever an installed program tried to access a certain IP. When faced with a decision to make on whether to allow or not, you would either choose always allow or block and in the process you would end up blocking an important feature. Things are different these days since advanced third party firewalls can internally allow good programs and block the malicious ones.

Protection against network-based attacks, cyber threat assessment, ransomware protection – sometimes attacks may be directed on exploiting weaknesses in your operating system or the installed programs. As an added advantage, firewalls have a Host Intrusion Prevention System that prevents against such attacks. Firewalls can also have security suite components that help eliminate malicious payloads that are dropped by exploit attacks even before they cause any harm. As a company getting a cyber threat assessment will be key, you need to know where you’re penetrable and where your weaknesses are so you can prevent any incoming attacks before they happen.

Are There Times When I Might Not Require A Firewall?

When you have enabled your inbuilt Windows firewall and you have a router, you can depend on the two without incurring much cost. However, if you want extra protection and added features, then you should consider buying a third party internet protection. Whichever choice you make, you must make sure you have at least one type of firewall working, either the hardware or software protection.

Organizational Structure and First Employees in A Startup

Being an entrepreneur can be both exciting and thrilling at the same time. While being your own boss can be the best thing ever, having everything relying on your energy and presence can be draining. As such, every startup desires to hire extra hand to help in one place or another. This might not be easy given maybe the startup is not yet stable in terms of business or the investment capital is still low. You may find that as an entrepreneur, you have to be the accountant, clerk, manager, marketer and even cleaner. A startup can afford to hire some extra helping hand if they plan well. At this point one may not need a human resource manager for example. Here are the recommended first employees in your startup

1. Accountant

Unless as a founder you have accounting skills, you should hire one to look after your income and expenses. But even if you have, you should get one that will concentrate on the books while you run around to look for business. Accounting for every cent is important for a startup as you will know what works and what doesn’t. Employ someone who is willing to do a little bit of everything. Like the accountant can still act as a procurement officer.

2. Marketer

If there is anything a startup needs is a marketer. Managers have been found to do slightly bad when it comes to marketing. They will know the product inside out but fail to sell it or explain its features to potential customers. Having a manager who knows about everything will help grow your startup faster than doing it alone and relying on customer loyalty. The marketer should be someone willing to eat sleep and wake up thinking of your product. Should do well in physical print and none print and social media. He/ she should be integrated and even be able to step in the shoes of a product developer or operations manager. Again look for someone willing and able rather than one who has all the qualifications and experience because they will prove expensive

3. Clerk/admin/customer care

This should be someone who is flexible and able to even do some cleaning and help in tidying up the office. Their work would be to keep everything in order and ensure that everyone stepping in and out receives the service they are looking for. At the desk, they should act as a receptionist, clerk and customer or contact person.

4. Technician

This is an additional staff if it is really necessary to have. Like an engineer for example, or a lawyer. Those are not the gaps that can be filled by anyone unless you employ a profession in the field.

The first three are enough and able to sustain a startup until it is able to stand on its own and hire its employees. Only add the fourth one if the startup requires someone of particular profession. again look for people willing to share in your risks and dreams as a startup otherwise an employee might resign when things are tough. You can employ on contact basis when not sure.

Organizational Structure

Startups often overlook this until things start to break down. Maybe you can start as simple as:

· Defining the roles each will do

· Having clear operating procedures

· Delegating and distributing work whenever in excess

· Encouraging growth

As early as possible so as to avoid conflicts and instill a culture to your startup.

Creative Strategies to Market Your Startup on a Shoestring Budget

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Much has been said lately on traditional, digital and mobile marketing. The bigger companies have the means, contacts and cash to finance all their ideas on marketing and promoting their brand among the general public. But what about the startups that are just beginning to gain some ground in their industry? How do they go about promoting themselves with the limited resources available to them?

Here are some nifty, creative strategies to market your startup on a shoestring budget.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Clearly identify your aspirations and your goals and tell the world what exactly your business is all about. A vague “small business” will get you nowhere in this day of extreme competition. Get dynamic and chart out an agenda that helps you stand out from the crowd. Recognize the main reason why you started your company and share your story to inspire several others to follow your lead. Always have something unique to offer to your audience — something that they will remember you by.

Engage Your Niche Audience

Know your niche audience; study their behavior and engage them in the greatest possible way. Your goal is not merely to sell your products to them – your main aim should be to involve them throughout and make them a part of your own growing process. Offer relevant and timely content, actively participate in social media and encourage your users to share your information among their own friend circles.

Network, Network, Network

Network with like-minded professionals. Be seen often with the experts in your field. Tell laymen about your company and let them know what is unique about you and how you can help them fulfill their needs. Take part in expos, trade shows and events to showcase your brand. Co-sponsor an event – this helps you share the costs with another startup, while potentially generating new leads for you as well. All this costs very little extra money and puts you in a position of authority among your visitors. Being seen and heard in higher circles creates a buzz around your business, bringing it into the spotlight.

Be Active on Social Media

Promotion via social media comes at no additional cost and helps you expand the reach of your brand among a much wider audience. Blog about your company and promote the same on social channels. Create a business Website and regularly update the same, posting high-quality images and videos of your products and services. Be active on all the major social networks and forums. Make sure to reply to all your visitors’ feedback, comments and queries. Do not ignore negative comments and try to resolve your customers’ issues at the earliest. This lets you build credibility in your chosen industry.

Reward Your Regular Customers

Retain your current customers by offering them interesting offers, deals, discounts and coupons; both in-store (if you have one) and online. This will encourage them to come back to you to make another purchase; if only to avail that recent discount offer. Offer customers extra loyalty deals to promote your brand among their friends. Present introductory deals to rope in new customers as well. The extra influx of users increases the chances of profits for you; without you having to make an additional financial investment.

Conclusion

Your modest marketing budget need not stop you from promoting your startup. Apply the above-mentioned strategies to bring your new company into the spotlight.

Grow Your Instagram Account Quickly

Are you looking for some killer Instagram marketing tips for your business? If so, you’re in the right place. You want to grow your Instagram account. Instagram is a great tool for marketing. It’s really come into its own and has also added stories just last year, which is a great addition.

Now that Instagram stories are here, we’re seeing lower engagement in the traditional Instagram feed. So, take that into account and use both effectively. Increase engagement and grow your Instagram account quickly with these tips.

Strategies To Grow Your Instagram Quickly

1. Choose a profile name that best describes what your business is all about. You can name your profile with the category of your business instead of your name or your brand for it to be searchable. Why is it important? It is because most people won’t be searching for your name or your brand unless they know who you are or your brand. Choosing a profile name that describes what your business is all about is a good strategy to get into your audience. However, for them to know your name or your brand, use it as your username.

When you’re in a marketing business, most people are going to be searching for things like marketing tips, entrepreneur marketing tips or personal branding tips. Or if you are a shoe manufacturer, then they’re looking for shoes, shoe products or high heels. If you sell cars, then you have cars international, foreign cars, amazing cars or retro cars. Whatever it is that you sell, choose keywords that most people search for in your industry and use it as your profile name. That will help you gain more exposure and get you in front of your customers.

2. In your Instagram account, you’ll see that there’s a bio profile. A bio profile gives your customers or your audience an overview of what you do. You can set it up by going to Edit Your Profile in the settings in Instagram, and add your bio profile. It is best that you use lines to make it straightforward and brief. You can also add an emoji before it. So for example, if you’re a shoe manufacturer or a shoe brand, you can add in high quality, high luxury shoes, running shoe manufacturers, running gears, or whatever it is that you do, put those lines in your bio profile. It will give people context to what you’re doing. You might want to also spice it up and do something interesting in there to give people a laugh or something that’s sort of special and interesting to your brand.

3. You’ll also notice that you can provide a link in your profile. Use the link in your bio to direct people to content, or to campaigns, or to promotions that you’re running outside of the Instagram platform. Again, relating to strategy number two, the text is written above the link gives context to the link that you would be providing. You should definitely do that.

When you’re running a promotion, it is recommended that you do a post about it- an Instagram post and also an Instagram story about it. In the comments section or in your first caption for your Instagram post, you can actually add an at the mention. You can mention your Instagram account and it will direct people when they clicked on that mention link, it will actually take them again to your profile.

You have to understand the psychology that maybe people are seeing your stuff in the feed, but not necessarily seeing it on your profile, or they’re seeing it in the explore tab in Instagram. So when you provide them with the at mention link, they can quickly click on that and see your bio and your promotion. It is recommended that you use bit link or a link that you can actually track.

Use these Instagram marketing tips to attract attention and separate you from the rest of the pack.

Important Business Fundamentals to Consider When Trading

Business fundamentals deal with marketing and sales. You must drive traffic to your business and website. You must generate leads and convert them into sales. That is the basics. You must work on your income producing activities everyday. This is where people fail. They get the fancy letterhead, beautiful business cards, and shiny websites. Then they forget all about the marketing and sales.

Real estate agents, insurance agents, inspectors, loan officers, and independent contractors have proven methods of operations from their brokers. Proven models of success but yet people don’t commit to the process. People want the wealth without the work. Are you committed to the process? Are you committed to going through the grind until you succeed? Can You persist until something happens?

Nothing happens until a lead is generated and that lead is turned into a sale. This is why we work on the business fundamentals.

Business Fundamentals to Follow:

Get a Successful Plan of Action

Find a success business model and follow it. Get clear on your outcome. Surround yourself with successful people. Commit to the process. Proven success models work and you see it everyday in business. Just look at franchises, network marketing companies, and championship teams.

Come up with a daily method of operation and commit to the process. I don’t know how long it will take for you to make money. In real estate my average escrow is 51 days. That’s 51 days before I get a check. For my online business I make sales everyday and the money is available in 48 hours. Find out your sales cycle.

Follow Up and Follow Through

Following the business fundamentals will get you leads and you need to follow-up and follow through. Don’t let all of your marketing go to waste. People want to do business with you and you must perform. Tell the truth, don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and do what you say.

Personal Development

You need to read for at least 30 minutes per day and listen to audio. You have to outgrow you. Leaders are readers and the must successful people read every day. Also get in some training or education every week. There is education available to grow your business. You should learn and take action on that education every week.

Commit to the Process

This has been the theme of this whole article. Business is a process and short cuts will kill your dreams. Instant gratification is an enemy that will close you down. There is a process to cooking a cake and if you skip steps the cake is ruined. Work on your business fundamentals everyday and commit to the process of success.

Marketing and Sales

This is an income producing activity that needs to happen everyday. Your success plan of action should give you step by step instructions on how to generate leads and build lists. Every business online or offline needs to generate leads and build lists. In both my real estate business and online business I use direct mail, a viral blogging system, and social media to drive traffic. I capture these leads, build my lists, and grow my business.

I create content everyday and market that content. In fact you are reading this content now. Then I re-purpose this content. This is my daily method of operation. What is yours?

6 Ways to improve your marketing skills

Marketing has become crucial for all the businesses!! It is important for a business to be marketed correctly and specifically to gain more revenue out of it. As a marketing person, there are certain skills which you will need to improve for making yourself successful in your field.

· Psychology

Human behaviour is hard to understand. But when you understand the human behaviour, then it is the key to successful marketing. Having a deep understanding of human psychology and consumer behaviour and using these to get loyal customers is what a successful marketer does. There are many lessons about understanding the psychology online, which you can make use of.

People rely mostly on emotions than rational thinking, so marketers should have an idea about it. You should understand the factors which are affecting the human behaviour as it will help you in identifying how to make them get your product.

· Internet Marketing

The Internet has become something very close to human beings day to day life. It is the source which they rely on for all their needs. Having an online presence of your business will help you in boosting your customers. Search Engine Optimization, Ad words and more options are there for promoting your business online. Marketing online will also help you enlarge your business worldwide and make it successful.

· Social Media

Social Media has become another master in this world. You should make your presence in all the social media websites. Once when you have a presence on social media websites you will be able to create a bond between you and your consumers which are a good thing for making sure of future success in your business.

You can post content related marketing there for promoting your business which will be very much important for your business growth. Starting from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and much more, all the social media websites are having special features for marketing your business which will be highly helpful for you in promoting your business to the next level.

· Email Marketing

Email Marketing is never dead. Email is always the best source of marketing. Keeping in touch with your clients through regular emails will help them know about your new products and it will help them in knowing what they can opt for. But make sure you don’t overdo it. Even many multi-dollar companies are following the same old technique for keeping an eye on their customers with frequent emails.

· Mobile Marketing

Everyone is very close to mobiles. Smartphones have become something like their second hand. They can access it anytime anywhere, which is why it can be the best tool for marketing your product. You can communicate them through messages and constant reminders about your new arrivals which are the best way of having customer satisfaction.

· Personal Networking

Building a strong network is something very essential to any business success. You should have an idea about the techniques you can use for making your customers active with you all time. Keeping them engaged will make you have a long lasting relationship with them which is best for future endeavours. Having good social skills is said to be another best thing which determines you best as a marketing person.

The Importance of a Startup Hiring A Business Development Manager

So you decided to build your own startup business, but you’re not sure where to start. You have a product or service that you feel confident about but what do you do now? Do you start looking for employees? Do you search for business space? It’s your startup, so at first you will try do everything yourself. That is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Starting and running a business is complex and has a lot of moving parts. If you spread yourself too thin, then none of those parts will be moving at a level they should be. It is recommended that the first thing you should do is hire a business development manager.

What does a business development manager do and why do you need one before you even have any employees? The main responsibilities of a business development manager is to generate and follow up business leads, develop clientele and produce productive business proposals. They’re job is also to develop a strong marketing plan for your company’s products or services. Without clients and a plan of how to market your product or service, what would you do employees and the space you have now invested in?

But the job of a business development manager consists of more than just finding clients and developing a marketing plan. He is also responsible for identifying trendsetter ideas through researching industry, publications, and announcements that can affect your business. You may think you have a great product or service, but a business development manager can help predict future trends. If your business has great potential to grow, then you can hire more employees so you can effectively handle the growth. If it is predicted to stay the same or slow down, then that will also affect the number of employees you will need to hire.

Another job duty the business development manager is responsible for is to create financial projections for growth and profitability. They will let you know when you need to make cuts or hire more employees. You want to make sure that you are able to run your business efficiently and at the same time make a profit. Making a profit is usually the main purpose of creating a startup business after all.

A business development manager also has the responsibility of researching potential mergers with other ventures that may potentially benefit and grow your business. If your business grows, then of course, this will also affect the number of employees you will need to hire.

In short, the business development manager is responsible for the growth of your business. Without clients, a marketing plan and strong idea of how your business will grow, it is impossible to know how many employees you will need to run an efficient and profitable startup business. Everybody in a business has a role, when you allow the right person to concentrate in their area of expertise, then they help everyone else do their job better, which in turn will help your business succeed.

5 Budget Friendly Marketing Tips For A Small Business

If you own a small business, you might be wondering the most budget friendly marketing strategies you can apply. This is especially because you might be operating on a strict budget and your scope might be limited too. However, you do not have to worry because there are different cost effective marketing strategies you can apply and get the best results. Here are some of the strategies you can apply.

Invest in the right social media

Social media has become one of the most cost friendly marketing platforms used by many small businesses. In addition to the fact that you will reach a large audience, you will also spend less. By using the correct social media, you will have conversations and engage with customers and even potential customers. All you need to do is to ensure that you have the right conversations with the correct content. To get the best results, you should use wide range of social media such as facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and others. You will be able to develop interactions that will lead to strong customer base and more sales.

Brand where your potential customers are

Conversions are very important to turn a browsing customer into a paying one. Brand recognition is just as critical. Display advertising gives positive impressions to clients looking for a site, but the entire costs are reduced substantially. You have to note that you might not get instant results, but later on you will reap a lot of benefits.

Develop a customer loyalty program

It will cost you five times to get a new customer, than retaining the current one. To ensure that your clients keep on coming back, you can create a loyalty program by giving points for every purchase your clients make. Once they hit a certain number, you can give them a specific discount on their following purchase. Another kind of a customer loyalty program is offering discount for every referral or online review that customers make. Keep on reminding your customers about your small business loyalty programs through email marketing or social media.

Email marketing

Email marketing is also another budget friendly strategy you can use in your small business. Through regular email campaigns, you will be able to share timely offers with your potential and existing customers. You can start by sending monthly email newsletter that shows new services or products, special offers or your small business news. Make sure that your emails are interesting and in simple form in order to boost opening rate of your emails by your customers. You should also have more email addresses in your database in order to have stronger email marketing results.

Understand how to do SEO Right

Applying the right SEO strategies allows your business to be more visible online through unpaid search engine results. Studies have shown that site traffic comes from organic search results. This is why you should make SEO part of your small business strategy. The good thing is that you do not have to spend anything to have a strong SEO strategy except your time.

5 Best Tech Gadgets For Traveling Overseas

People Using Gadgets

People Using Gadgets

Traveling overseas shouldn’t mean you abandon your life comfort. Rather, this is the time you should enjoy all that latest technology has to provide. Are you packing for holiday? Are you traveling overseas to see your family members? Or yours is traveling abroad just for another day’s job. Then what are the best 5 tech gadgets for traveling overseas? These are our pick.

1 SIGMO

Star Trek fans might recall the universal translator. This is a fictional device which decodes alien tongues into the native language of the user. That’s however history now. SIGMO is a voice translating gadget that revolutionizes the way you understand and communicate other languages. Would you love to communicate with foreigners during your vacations or business trip? Then forget about that bulky dictionary or your mobile’s awkward and slow translation. Modern design, portable and intuitive SIGMO, at just a touch of the button, may translate the words you require into any selected language and you can instantly hear the results of the translations. This is a must for any traveler.

2 GoPro Hero4

This amazing gadget comes in two versions: Silver and Black. Both of them feature Bluetooth connectivity and in-built Wi-Fi for easy access to GoPro app, and a powerful and quick capturing capabilities-reaching 12 MP photos, at speeds up to 30fps. The Black model features also enhanced image quality with a processor which is two times powerful as its predecessor, plus ultra-high resolution. With Silver version, users may take advantage of the in-built display for simple framing, image adjustments and playback. You should also not miss some shot in low-light, or at nighttime with its customizable exposure plus easy manual control.

SAVFY Fashionable Portable Stereo Bluetooth Car Speakers

You need to enjoy your music anytime and anywhere you go? Well, this speaker is just for you. It delivers crisp and clean sound, with super bass effect. Besides, it supports iPod, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, MacBook and Google Nexus among others. It operates as a speaker phone, with its in-built microphone. When you receive a call, the music will pause and you may talk through the speaker. It also works with voice chat and Skype. The Bluetooth speaker has a tiny body and fashionable design. It has FM radio function plus it supports TF card. This will allow you enjoy your audio anywhere without any additional device. Furthermore, its built-in Li-on battery provides three hours of playtime or four hours of talk time when charged.

Petcube

When you have the anxiety of leaving your pet behind when traveling, don’t worry for there’s Petcube. This compact cube connects to the home’s Wi-Fi and a video stream will let you keep an eye on your pets if you are out of the house. You may even play with and peak to your pets through the gadget’s two-way audio stream plus built-in laser pointer.

Wallet Titan

This takes a similar amount of space as the normal credit card. It’s a tiny lifesaver if you are traveling and cannot be tethered to some power outlet. It has a sleek design which slips easily into the wallet. The device is compatible with USB devices, including digital cameras and smartphones among others. It’s able to power your iPhone up to 60 percent, and receives quite high ratings from users owing to its compactness plus ease of use for traveling.

Bottom Line

When you are traveling overseas, you are going to need the above essential devices to keep you productive, connected, entertained and organized.