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Startups

How to make your company scalable

What is company scalability? It is the flexibility of all parts of your operation to grow with the company — this includes things such as accounting as well as marketing provisions, and production and even the telephone system.

Whether you own a company or you’re making first steps to a startup, you most likely think of a bright, successful future. Ambitious persons always reach for the stars. The nearly small idea of a business can grow into a large enterprise. But let us be honest, some concepts have more scalability as well as expansion capacity. Estimate the chances of actual growth while you consider the following points.

Is your business scalable?Just look at your present business. If it is based on the owner’s specific talent or skill, then a scale is more difficult. It can grow within the limits of your stamina and capability. Services offered by experts is a nearly non-scalable field. Now, the skill can be easily be taught. However, quality and training improvement take some time and resources. The genuinely scalable company is the one that maintains low marginal costs while improving revenue. And it efficiently works with less involvement from the company owner.

Partnership: You need to try to build trusted relationships with some other market players. Begining together as implementers of business ideas, you can share experience, talk relevant issues. Outsourcing and collaboration reduce costs and also make time for the company development. Titans of the market selected cooperation. In 2006, Apple and Nike announced a partnership. Items of their union are fitness devices which connect to each other.

Acquisition of Investors: For many investors, the best ideas are scalable. Startups with a high growth potential have sponsors. Even the power players do not trust mere discussion. They believe in a real business plan as well as the financial model. Minimum employees, high profits, and low support are crucial criteria for getting the attention of investors. Which location can you really embrace your product? A bankroll of investors startups which can go worldwide.

Marketing: Do not delay a coherent marketing strategy if you like the business to be a market leader. Your startup has to be seen at once. It is not about advertising campaigns and local promos, which are used to draw customers. It’s all about joining a global market. Access business conferences, join workshops. These places create business networking and produce proper acquaintances in various fields.

The team: You’ve no doubt put know the realization of your small company idea. But a large company can overwhelm an owner. You can not be everywhere and manage everything. Scalable company means you’re less involved in the processes; your role changes more into a top-level supervision.

Create a strong team – Hire the right persons so you can handle scaled business without making the slightest decision. Now, the best structure of a company is streamlined, so that trustworthy people have top positions. As the head of a company, the business owner has to focus on his landmark issues and significant strengths.

Do not let failures to break you down on the path to growth. Instead, try to make it work, just learn the lesson.

Security

Has Bitcoin Reached Its Peak?

Cryptocurrency is presently showing no signs of slowing down. Rather than being a physical representation of worth (like gold), cryptocurrency is an encryption key that is completely advanced—and until further notice, in any event, entirely profitable. Bitcoin, the most surely understood digital currency, has kept on breaking records this year with its soaring value. With digital resources rapidly getting to be legitimized, the inquiry comes up over and over: Has bitcoin reached its peak? Is it worth investing your money into cryptocurrency?

How High Can It Go?

In the most recent year, the price of bitcoin has taken off, at one point in June 2017 achieving $3025.47 each. This is as opposed to the start of 2017 when it was esteemed at $1900. Bitcoin has turned out to be attractive to speculators over a recent couple of years for a few reasons. First, it’s a limited asset, in spite of being digital. New bitcoins are made at a specific rate utilizing algorithms, and more can’t be made by the impulses of any government, which means expanded volume can’t weaken its value.

In fact, that is another advantage of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin—they’re not attached to any bank or government. Some have predicted crazy valuations of bitcoin later future—up to $100,000 each, however, others are thinking about whether bitcoin has topped, in any event for the time being. Variables affecting bitcoin’s ascent as of now incorporate its legitimization as cash by a few nations, and also geopolitical unrest that has individuals diversifying and searching for non-government advantages hold onto.

The Lure of the Blockchain

The most compelling parts of cryptocurrency are the innovation the benefits lay on. Many banks are currently investigating the incorporating of joining the innovation of the blockchain to increase security. While blockchain innovation is significantly more secure than other advanced systems, it’s not reliable. Moreover, the possibility that bitcoins can’t be followed to their owners has been appeared to be false, a reality that hasn’t dampened bitcoin’s value general.

Bitcoin Competitors

Though that bitcoin is the most surely known cryptocurrency accessible, it’s not by any means the only one making waves. Ethereum, a different option to bitcoin, additionally utilizes blockchain innovation and has become considerably quicker in 2017 than its rival. In January, the digital money was being exchanged at $7.98, however, came to $401.10 in June, an expansion of over 5000%. The ascent of Ethereum and bitcoin demonstrates that the world is extremely inspired by digital resources—in any event until now. The achievement of these monetary standards has introduced more alternatives for potential financial investors, however, that doesn’t imply that cryptographic money is continually going to be an easy win for investors.

Skeptics of Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

The rise of bitcoin might be impressive, yet a few specialists are convinced it can’t last—in any event for now. By nature, bitcoin is naturally unpredictable—it has been known to drop by many dollars in a solitary hour now and again. Despite that it’s not attached to any bank or government, geopolitical elements enormously affect bitcoin variances, and there’s the ever-display issue of genuine esteem. One noticeable financial specialist has sold off a considerable lot of his cryptocurrencies for the present, holding up until the point when the value drops to purchase more. He additionally predicts that one day, the cryptocurrencies will pop completely, leaving financial specialists with nothing.

Security

Keep Safe From Malware & Ransomware

Ransomware is becoming more and more common across both personal networks and enterprise level networks and the effects can be devastating. The fact that ransomware can completely lock a network and encrypt the data held within it should shine a light onto why avoiding and preventing ransomware is so important.
In this guest post by 5u IT Services, we look at what ransomware is, how you can protect yourself from it and what you can do if you’re infected.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a variant of cyber-attack that involves hackers taking over a computer or other device and insisting payment. The attackers use malicious software (Malware) by downloading it onto a victim’s device and using it to encrypt their data. Many ransomware strikes are targeted toward businesses and big businesses, but it could also affect people.

There are a number of ways to protect yourself from ransomware, and many attacks could have been averted had the sufferer exercised caution in their everyday usage of their apparatus. Security experts have released tips that will help users protect themselves from these cyber-attacks, especially following a rise in national and international instances:

1.

According to TrendMicro, Ransomware is often spread through emails containing suspicious links. Once clicked, the hackers could access the user’s pc and subsequently their files, which they can freeze and block. That is where they endanger the victim with the loss of their files, should they deny payment.

However, there are ways you may spot a bogus email. Look closely at the email address to find out whether it is valid. Inside the body of the email itself, look for obvious mistakes and grammatical errors. Furthermore, you could try hovering over hyperlinks (without clicking them) to determine if they direct you to dubious web pages.

Do not forget that banks and credit card companies won’t ever ask for private information such as your password or credit card details.

‘Malvertising’ is a new method which involves the embedding of malware in ads on sites you are familiar with and trust. They are often pop-ups and occasionally promote software to remove malware. Never click on these adverts, but close the windows immediately. To prevent malvertising appearing in your trusted sites, you can use ad blockers, or rather, fix known browser security holes.

Lastly, never download an app which hasn’t yet been certified by an official store, and always read testimonials before installing anything to prevent allowing attackers access to your personal computer or mobile device.

2. Back up all of your files

If you make sure to back up all of your information daily, you will be resistant to attacker’s risks if your computers or servers are blocked. But you need to ensure you use an external drive that’s offline so that the ransomware can’t reach them. By backing all your data onto external drives that aren’t directly linked to a desktop system, however, would allow you to erase all information in the attacked machine and restore it with the backup, in the event you fall prey.

3. Always install valid updates

Updates are usually released to repair bugs which may make your device more vulnerable to ransomware along with other strikes. Therefore, download the newest version of your software whenever it becomes available.

4. Install an antivirus app

Antivirus software can detect malware and prevent it from infecting your pc before it will become visible or a threat for you.

5. Never pay the ransom

Paying the ransom will sadly only encourage attackers further, and there’s absolutely no guarantee that your files will be recovered. Should you back up your data regularly, however, you are able to restore your documents from that.

What do I do if I’m already infected?

If you are part of a business make sure that you disconnect from the corporate community and the world wide web to avoid malware spreading to other devices. Also disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi since these may also be an entry for ransomware. Report the offense and seek support from a specialist who participates in data recovery, so you can discuss your alternatives. In extreme cases, your only option is to pay the ransom, however DO NOT do this unless you’ve spoken to a professional first.

For businesses, Ransomware is an absolute nightmare and can run riot through a network. For that reason, we’d always suggest ensuring that you have adequate security patches installed as well as robust antivirus and firewall solutions in place.

AI

Effect of technology on the manufacturing sector in general

There’s the fact that technology has had an enormous influence on society is unquestionable. It has radically changed the way corporations do business and transformed the way we live our lives. From the innovations and advancements in education and medicine all the way to travel and communication. We are now living longer because of technology. But the question is, at the current rate of advancement in machinery which keeps heightening day after day, and the incredible number of tasks they can handle today, how will this affect us and what will be its impact on our working lives?

Machines have the upper hand over humans.

In comparison to humans, machines execute tasks faster, kill human error and lower overhead costs. It is no surprise, as predictions have it, that in the coming 20 years, 47 percent of US jobs will be lost to artificial intelligence (machinery and robotics). The impact that advanced technology has on the working population is not new, but it has escalated at an alarming rate in the recent past.

In this age, technology is progressing at such a high speed that workers losing their jobs to robotics are not just those in the manufacturing field. These days even simple tasks such customer service roles are being assigned to robots. Computers of this era are being created with such high intelligence to the point that with time, they will start competing with their creator’s (human) brains. What this means is that many professions will be replaced by robotics.

To illustrate this level of intelligence, in the year 2011, IBM created a supercomputer named Watson which faced two of all time most successful chess players and won. This leaves no doubt that a machine can now think strategically and analytically. The win was impressive. It showed a machine was able to think for itself, use facial expressions and facial recognition as well as read body language.

Another example is the introduction of 3D printing. This technology enables highly customised products and parts to be printed on demand, from clothes, furniture, and auto to aeroplanes and building parts. This will result in a general interruption in all industries.

Huge technological innovation gives birth to a new era of global accomplishment, rapid change, and prosperity.
Having the required skills for the digital economy will help take productivity and competitiveness to the next level.

Technology should not be viewed from a negative point of view but one of opportunity. To start using technology to your advantage, you don’t have to be a tech nerd.

With sites such as elance.com and freelancer.com, businesses are now turning to the internet for virtual assistants and accountants. You don’t have to be physically present anymore. You could be working for a person or a company that a thousand miles or more from you. Or you could be working from home while relaxing with your family or maybe while travelling the world.

The wave of technology is taking over. It can either drown you, or you can take control and use it to your advantage.

Design

CRO 101: How to improve the conversion rate of…

We’re delighted to welcome a guest author today to discuss some simple ways that you can improve the conversion rates of your ecommerce store. Seb runs Nottingham Website Design Agency Imaginaire Digital.

It is with absolute certainty that most e-commerce store owners and managers are always worried due to the small number of customers purchasing their products compared to the number of people visiting their e-commerce stores online.

If you are among these e-commerce owners and managers, then you should put your worries aside as the following aspects will be of great help for you as they will improve the conversion rates of your e-commerce store by convincing your customers and attracting even more.

1. Eliminate Clutter from the side bars of your business e-commerce pages

The side bars on your business e-commerce pages should only have primary navigational options and filters in addition to a minimum of one promotional time and a maximum of two. Banners can also be used as promotional items.

Unnecessary clutter should be eliminated as it causes confusion to the customers and hence this might drive them away.

Improving the way products are filtered can pay dividends, as this article by Inc found.

2. Plug in a live chat tool

A live chat tool is put at the bottom right corner of your e-commerce pages together with an attractive offer. The importance of this chat tool is that it enables those visiting your e-commerce platform to quickly access answers without even without calling you.

This tool is also vital as those visiting your site can leave their comments pertaining their view about your site and the improvements that should be undertaken to better it.

Kissmetrics found that having live chat on an ecommerce website vastly improved conversion rates as it made it easy for customers to ask questions.

3. Add some short bullet points that explain your unique value proposition on your homepage just above the fold

These bullets points should also consist the benefits of why various customers should make their purchases from you. You also have to really convince consumers to shop with you and not your business rivals.

Also, to take into account that your homepage can only convince your customers for a maximum of seven seconds. This shows you that you have to make good the seven seconds by using high convincing power.

4. Mention some good risk reducers in your website header

In the current business world, consumers are always eager to find firms that offer good risk reducers which such as, free shipping, low prices, and even free returns. Making these risk reducers can highly attract more customers on your side.

5. Add a short tagline that summarises and explains your unique value proposition under your logo

A tagline of between three and five words is preferred. Putting the summary and explanations near logo allows any visitor to your website to see them clearly regardless of the page they are visiting. This is because your e-commerce logo is always present on each page.

This becomes even more advantageous if the product you are selling does not relate to your business name.

6. Add some personality to the `about us page.’

Customers always tend to make purchases from businesses that have a great personality and story. So why don`t you make your business a preferred business by putting a story on the history of its creation, photos of the products you offer and even some fun facts about the staff or even the pioneers of the business?

BigCommerce found that having a good about us page led to a much higher conversion rate.

7. Turn off your header navigation on the checkout pages

Doing this eliminates a high number of distractions thus enabling visitors to get through your checkout pages easily. This later translates to an increase in your e-commerce conversion rates.

8. Add trust logos to your website footer and checkout flow.

Adding trust logos such as the BBB logo and the Association logo to your site footer enables it to be seen in all the site`s pages. The trust logos also eliminate the fears of the customers as this implies that the site is legitimate and hence can be trusted.

9. Add words `100% safe and secure` to your shopping cart and checkout flow

Adding these words together with a secure logo on the billing page will certainly reduce the worries of the customers as this is where they make their final objections.

10. Get rid of your `Coupon Code` box on your checkout page

The existence of the Coupon Code box on your checkout page, if you do not offer Coupons always leads to a significant loss of conversion as the Coupon box, makes the visitors leave your page and they would rarely come back.

It is, therefore, advisable to illustrate ways on which the visitors can acquire the Coupons if you don’t have them.

Conclusion

As an e-commerce owner or manager applying each of the above aspects will ultimately make you realise a vast improvement in the conversion rates.

You can also bolster your ecommerce sales by driving more traffic to the website. Imaginaire Digital offer a range of digital marketing services to ecommerce businesses.

Software

Netflix: A Business Case Study

What is Netflix?

Netflix is an app, as well as an internet TV company that provides movie streaming and even has its own popular series. It was founded by Reed Hasting and Marc Randolph in 1997, and its main headquarters is in Los Gatos, California.

Why Was Netflix Created?

Hastings came up with the idea of starting the company Netflix after he was told that he had to pay overdue fees of $40 for not returning the movie Apollo 13 on time. It was originally a website that just rented DVDs in the mail, and customers would pay per rental.

Netflix has done exactly what its founders wanted, it’s completely disrupted the DVD rental market — see this article about the death of Blockbuster.

When Did Netflix Switch to Mainly Internet Streaming?

Netflix launched the well-known subscription and selling service in 1999, two years after it was founded. However, they did not begin streaming movies until the year 2007, which was the beginning of Netflix as we now know it.

Netflix’s Company Finances

The company’s stock is currently being sold for $143.83 and in the year 2013 the company made $4.3 billion in revenues with 48 million worldwide subscribers. By the year 2016 the company had $13.5 billion in assets alone, which an increase of almost $10 billion.

Netflix’s Business Advantages

Netflix is now a brand name that is known worldwide, they created a service that people loved and then they perfected it to create an even bigger customer base. They are the market leaders when it comes to online streaming services for movies and television shows.

Netflix not only carries hundreds of fantastic movies and television shows that satisfy viewers on a daily basis, but they have also come out with their own original shows that viewers can only watch on their service.

They provide the feature of remembering what you were watching and allowing you to pick up where you left off, while also creating recommendations based on what you have already viewed in the past.

Viewers can discover new movies on Netflix easier because Netflix actually makes an effort to know what its viewers like watching. They provide excellent viewer service by paying attention to the movies that their viewers enjoy and basing their recommendations off of them.

Netflix’s Business Disadvantages

Though Netflix has several business perks, things such as price can be one of their business disadvantages. It is now possible for people to stream movies online without ever paying anything.

If a viewer can see the same movie for free somewhere else than they will choose to do that, rather than paying to stream the movie. Of course, there is nothing that Netflix can do about this other than make sure their brand and movie quality is more desirable to viewers.

Hollywood, however, has also used Netflix to its advantage by raising movie prices which in turn decreases the profitability of Netflix. Even though Netflix creates its own series as well, those productions are also very costly.

Productions done by Netflix have to be just as high quality as the popular shows that are commonly seen on television, otherwise, no one will be willing to watch them. Productions like those though, cost a lot of revenue.

Startups

Marketing Your Startup: Helpful Strategies

There are tons of approaches various startup companies can go about their digital marketing strategies. Each year, specific marketing strategies become more effective while others become less effective. Be keen on the current strategies so as to get the most out of your financial budget.

Marketing is a vital aspect when it comes to business growth, especially if you are dealing with a new business and you are yet to break even. Your intelligence is put to the test once you start spending your marketing budget considering you do not have a lot to spend.

Every upcoming entrepreneur has to learn economical spending in instances like these. The following are a few strategies that will assist you on how to market your startup.

1. Couple Digital & Offline Marketing

Online marketing may have an upper hand when it comes to business, but never be unmindful of the success that offline marketing can bring to your company. You can benefit a lot by simply Distributing business cards and generating leads at regional networking gatherings.

Find yourself a good print supplier and you’ll have access to a range of marketing materials. Even something as simple as a business card can provide a physical reminder of who you are and what you do. Bobby suggests also having a range of leaflets printed that can be sent to new customers to pass on to their contacts — providing a good way to growth hack your way to success.

Building your presence locally can be the most rewarding way to get a few of your first customers. While you’re at this, don’t put off your digital marketing strategies; find a way to equally incorporate the two so as to get the best of both worlds.

2. Engagement Should Be More Important Than Selling

‘Sell more, grow more’:This is what most aspiring entrepreneurs are taught right before they venture into the real thing. Making a great show of your products is not entirely wrong, but it also pays to make your company gain relevance by taking part in non-business discussions. Thank God for social media. This is the best platform you can use to engage your target audience without necessarily advertising.

Some companies leave positive comments on people’s posts while others share or retweet an individual’s achievement. Basically, show support to your audience and your audience will return the same. Scratch their back, and they’ll scratch yours.

3. Exposure is key

Be aware of places your target audience convenes on a regular basis, be it online or offline. Strategize how you can make your site known into their region. Your content is the best way to engage your audiences, so give them a lot to talk about.

If your company deals with children’s literature, your presence should be centered mostly around schools or parent-teacher functions. The idea is to give a clear outline on what you’re about, your mode of operation and most importantly, what your audience stands to gain by having a close association with you.

4. Put More Emphasis on Distinctiveness Rather Than Expenditure

There’s no point in having all the money in the world when your service is not solving problems in an efficient manner. Having a better product that effectively caters for your customers’ needs supersedes costly market spending that eventually becomes a burden on your part.

The key to effective market penetration is having a high quality product/service that literally sells itself and that offers a unique value proposition.

Don’t rush your company’s success. Take time to come up with a product that appeals to more than your target audience. You will notice that you will spend less once your product becomes of high standard as opposed to offering poor quality.

Once you incorporate these methods into your digital marketing, you’re not only assured of success, but also a satisfied lot of customers who will play a huge role in your business’s growth.