Every YouTube vlogger says consistency, flexibility, and dedication to what works are keys to success — much like physical fitness, right?
With a focus on Instagram and weekly YouTube videos, the Love Sweat Fitness brand has experienced significant growth in just a few years.
You might remember Facebook’s 2014 campaign dubbed “Facebook Fit” which aimed to educate small businesses on the marketing advantages of Facebook products.
In the same era, a young woman shared a simple Instagram pic of her 45-pound weight loss. Then came lots of hard work and shortened weekends, and a lifestyle brand was soon born.
Love Sweat Fitness’s leader, Katie Dunlop, told Small Business Trends that she’d like to reach as many women as possible and wants to see the LSF brand as an industry leader, creating more experiences for the #TeamLSF community and bringing new ideas to them.
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Small Business Trends: Let’s go back the beginning. Did you launch on every platform?
Katie Dunlop: When I launched Love Sweat Fitness, it was on Instagram @lovesweatfitness. I was originally only sharing workouts with my local barre workout class for the days that I did not teach. After sharing my 45-pound weight loss transformation photo, I started to find more women who wanted the workouts I created.
Now, LSF is on virtually every platform. I focus mostly on Instagram and YouTube, where we have over 315,000 subscribers and new videos every Monday.
I love being able to connect with my audience on YouTube — it’s much more personal, and through video, they can get to know me a lot better.
Small Business Trends: Choosing a catchy three-word brand can be so effective. How did you come up with the name Love Sweat Fitness? And let’s talk about your brand’s use of Instagram Stories and IGTV.
Katie Dunlop: When I was first starting on Instagram, I tried to think about what the keys to my personal journey were and what I wanted to share with others. Love for me represents the first part of anyone’s lifestyle change, finding the ability to love yourself.
Sweat was the work that I put in, not just the physical part, but mental sweat work as well and of course fitness is the most obvious.
When IGTV was released, we jumped on it and got some content up quickly; I’m a big believer in trying out new platforms and being as close to first as possible.
We had to give it a try. Personally, I like IG Stories much better as they are in the moment, raw and authentic. I create tons of new IG Stories each day and we have really started to use it as a completely new and complementary place to engage the community.
IGTV still has a bit to prove to me, I’m not sure that long-term it’s going to take off or compete with YouTube in a meaningful way. Do people want to watch vertical videos at length on their phone? I’m not so sure.
Small Business Trends: As a certified trainer, where are you extra cautious in terms of sharing information? And I mean not just in workouts, but nutrition too.
Katie Dunlop: It’s a big responsibility for sure. I think people trust us more than ever, and so what I put out there has to be right. Being a [NCCPT] certified personal trainer and someone who has a lot of experience in both fitness and nutrition, I feel confident that what I’m saying is going to help those in the LSF community.
That being said, everybody is different and there are so many factors that go in to what type of workout is right for someone or not … same goes for how they feed their body. I never profess to have the one magic answer — to me that is dangerous and not responsible. This is where all the fad “diets” go wrong, trying to convince people that their way of eating is perfect for anyone; it’s simply not true.
Instead, I focus on sharing what has worked for me and I purposefully stay away from supplements like fat burners, pre-workout, etc. They can have some seriously scary side effects.
Small Business Trends: I’ve vowed to include more tech and how-to questions in 2019. What products help you stay on top of your game?
Katie Dunlop: We were interviewed on a podcast in 2018 and we mentioned the Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens, the Canon 24-70mm lens, specific lighting kits, specific mics and more as products that work well for us.
Give it a listen because we discussed a lot more than products. Just like in fitness, a tech product that might be average for one person could work great for another person.
Pictured: Katie and Ryan Dunlop
Images: Love Sweat Fitness
This article, "Love Sweat Fitness Focuses on Instagram and YouTube to Build a Brand" was first published on Small Business Trends
Major carriers around the world have set 2019 as the year they will start deploying 5G services. For AT&T this will be the case in 12 cities across the United States, and small businesses in these locations will be the first to have access to the new technology.
AT&T says it will be the first and only company in the US which will be offering a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network.
This network is now live in parts of Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio and Waco, Texas.
Additionally, AT&T said it will be deploying the network in parts of seven more cities in the first half of 2019. They are Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.
For small businesses in these cities, the availability of 5G services will mean getting a head start in providing innovative services for their customers. This is what Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business, pointed out in the press release.
Katibeh said, “We expect that our initial adopters will be innovative, growing businesses. They’re the starting point for what we think will be a technology revolution like we’ve never seen before.”
The early adopters in the cities will be able to use the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot on AT&T’s mobile 5G+ network. The service is going to deliver fast mobile speeds over the mmWave spectrum when compared to standard LTE.
As part of the initial deployment, AT&T is offering its select business and consumer clients the company’s first mobile 5G device along with 5G data usage for free for a minimum of 90 days.
In spring 2019, customers can start purchasing the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot for $499 upfront and 15GB of data for $70 a month.
This is the early days for the technology, so AT&T is saying device availability and 5G+ coverage areas will be limited.
Initially, AT&T will provide the service in dense urban areas, with the goal of eventually covering all of its customers across the country as the company continues to deploy 5G networks beyond 2019.
The name 5G represents the fifth generation of mobile networks, which is set to open new use cases because of the speed it is capable of delivering.
With download estimates from 1Gbs (1,000Mbits) to 10Gbs (10,000Mbits), it opens the door for many possibilities.
Beyond the blazing speed, 5G will also provide lower latency, greater capacity, increased reliability, more flexibility, and improved battery life for mobile devices by up to 10 times.
This will benefit businesses in new and different ways. According to a study by Qualcomm in 2017, 5G is expected to create 22 million jobs and produce up to $12.3 trillion of goods and services by 2035.
Qualcomm goes on to say the full economic benefits of 5G will be realized globally across a wide range of industries. This includes everything from retail to education, transportation, entertainment, and everything in between.
This article, "Small Businesses in These 12 Cities will be the First to Access 5G Mobile" was first published on Small Business Trends
Shabu shabu is a style of Japanese food where each diner cooks their own vegetable or meat in a pot of boiling water. It’s growing in popularity throughout Asia and parts of the U.S., particularly along the West Coast. While there aren’t nearly as many franchise opportunities in this area as there are for things like pizza or subs, there are options for those looking to break into this growing trend in the restaurant industry.
Here are a few of the franchises that are currently accepting new franchisees in the U.S.
TabuShabu currently has a few locations in Southern California and is looking to expand in the region. The company specializes in healthy and organic Japanese food in a fun and casual atmosphere. They also help with location scouting, management training, design and marketing.
A Japanese fondue restaurant, Yojie has a menu that includes shabu shabu along with other intriguing dishes. Its main locations are currently in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. But the chain is seeking franchisees for other restaurants throughout California. You don’t even need official restaurant experience to be considered.
Chubby Cattle serves hot pot shabu shabu along with a variety of other Asian inspired cuisine. The restaurant chain has locations in Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas and Philadelphia. And its innovative refrigerated conveyor belt makes it a sort of attraction for diners in each area. The company is looking to expand to select new markets throughout the U.S. So contact the team to learn more about the opportunity.
Dining Innovation is a restaurant group that facilitates Japanese restaurants in countries around the world. They offer shabu shabu brands like Shaburi as well as restaurants with other specialties.
This restaurant actually serves a Chinese style of hot pot dishes. The chain is based in China, but is open to franchise opportunities internationally. Little Sheep has specific requirements for building size and location, as well as fees for everything from marketing to maintenance.
This article, "Top 5 Shabu Shabu Franchise Opportunities in the US Right Now" was first published on Small Business Trends
The Intra Firm Transferee (L1) Visa is a main approval that allows a business to take monitoring ability from an associated consular service to United States center or to develop a United States branch. Nevertheless, a business needs to meet particular USCIS to get approved for The Intra-company Transferee (L1) Visa. These needs consist of an appropriate strategy to develop a company in the USA as a company. Whereas, possible supervisors ought to have 3 years’ experience for the firm.
An L-1 Organization Strategy is based upon the backup that an L1 Visa can be accomplished just after consisting of all the info concerning the experiences of the recommended management group as well as the administration framework. Additionally, an L1 Visa Business Plan aids firm proprietors as well as possible capitalists as it includes administration details as well as individual projections. This assists to make sensible choices by comprehending the choices made in the United States and also abroad concerning the management.
L1 Visas: Business running both in the United States and also overseas are permitted to move qualified workers from abroad after obtaining the L-1 visa that is a nonimmigrant visa. For that reason, it is a sensible alternative for transferees that want to make an application for supervisory or executive duties as well as those that intend to obtain specialized expertise. Nevertheless, it is important that for an L1 visa, the individual must have finished at the very least one year besides the previous 3 years’ experience helping the funding business overseas.
Besides this, there is no particular financial investment need for the L-1 visas. Nonetheless, it is essential for individuals to adhere to all the needs, that include safeguarding funds as well as company strategies particularly those that are looking for to make use of L1 visa and also L-1 financial investment to connect temporary as well as long-lasting circumstances.
Furthermore, individuals that want to begin a brand-new business in the United States with an L1 visa are enabled to remain over there for one year in the preliminary days. Whereas, certified staff members are permitted to keep up to 3 years. In both, the scenarios, the optimal duration of keep enabled is 7 years that depends on the procedures of business and also factors to expand.
To get such a visa, your business has to fulfill strenuous and also certain USCIS credentials, as have to the supervisor or supervisors you intend to bring right into the business. These demands consist of doing, or intending to do, organization in the USA as a company, and also, for the possible supervisor, having actually helped the business abroad within the last 3 years.
Collaborating with a specialist company strategy author from Wise can smooth the preparation procedure as well as aid you strike the ground running in the UNITED STATE, making your shift to success right here quicker as well as much less difficult.
The post The Business Plan for L1 Visa Application of New Office Opening in US appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.
It is extremely hard to predict the future especially for MSPs and Service desk experts who emphasize fulfilling their client’s daily needs. It has always been a challenging task for MSPs and Service Desk to plan for forthcoming technology shifts. With market innovators beyond their control such as Software as a Service (Saas) and Bring your own Device (BYOD) who has resources and time to ponder about how to get ready for future shifts
However, it is quite complicated and requires the tremendous extent of intensive effort to reorganize for new tactics and to employ and upskill staff to brace such kind of new shifts. So what can organizations do to conceive new technology shifts and encounter forthcoming compliance and service needs?
Here are some technology trends to gear up your Help Desk Software, which won’t require re-tooling your whole infrastructure and re-hiring professionals.
Help Desk Automation
Serve your clients quicker wit help desk software automation. Automate tedious tasks by means of keen help desk workflows
With smart ticket allocation, employ your support staff uniformly! By means of a keen round-robin feature that systematizes ticket allocation to the workforce team. By activating the Round Robin assignment based merely upon active workforce. Therefore, a fresh ticket will only be allocated to staff who are on the go at present and an admin can also set the limit of tickets to each staff member. Once the control limit is grasped for the entire staff, tickets will remain unallocated until they are allocated manually or any allocated ticket gets resolved. Use keen rules to operate help desk automation, by applying macros and triggers. Automate the setting of priority, due date and status of tickets.
Internet of Things (IOT)
IOT is an emerging field that is making a junction of technologies regulations. Access controls devices such as cameras and smart card system are now becoming self-aware to some extent with self-computational control to aware against a prospective hazard or report to a greater system to provide arithmetical information to the data aggregator. IOT based devices are quickly being embraced to evaluate everything. Modern time IOT devices have need of the Help Desk software to keep up an account for their device’s status, permissions and connectivity, such devices need authority to certify their level of contact matches the slightest privilege practice. A Help Desk organization must be equipped to reply to a request from a device holder to reconcile configuration, connectivity or for access token or password reset counter to such devices similar to any other object or user.
Audit and Compliance
These are needed to do commerce with several fiscal industries. It controls that precise accounts of access to systems accounting practices and business processes inclusive of data safekeeping. Such certification, at its origin, imposes appropriate attention be given to consumer identity and Access Management life cycle through all the organization additionally it aligns with appropriate recording principles. However, interpreting such regulations and implementing their practices and consistent monitoring can be extremely technical, a prominent Help Desk software can be highly contributory in assisting to support compliance.
Handling legacy track of business applications
Typical application maintenance and monitoring have been supported by MSPs and Service Desk for a long time. Business systems such as Sage, Salesforce, Oracle, Office 365, NetSuite, SAP, Sugar CRM and Dynamics occasionally offer the ability to assign and manage access and direction to your Service Desk for your users. New tactics and technologies enable an MSP or Service Desk to seize the supervision of detached systems and bring them to additional compliance-ready criterions. When access is required to be updated or altered for patronage for one of such systems, a Service Desk must be able to log and track the request and record the alteration as a segment of their progress. System alteration may not essentially be carried out by MSP or Service Desk, but the application and resulting alteration require to be recorded and the permitting authority traced with in the workflow to safeguard appropriate audit log broadcasting. To simplify this, IT Service Management gears can brace arrangements to generate an email and direct it to an application owner or to a third party.
If you hope to have a successful product in today’s ultra-competitive consumer environment, it often pays to think outside the box. Or, more specifically, on the box itself.
The benefits of an attractive packaging design are undeniable. A recent study concluded that 72% of consumers agree that packaging design can influence their decision to purchase a product.
With this in mind, we present you with 5 ways packaging design can benefit your business.
Whether receiving a product from an online store or shopping at a traditional brick-and-mortar location, chances are the first thing a customer will notice about your product is the packaging. In this regard, making a good first impression is extremely important.
Moreover, when a product’s packaging successfully grabs the consumer’s attention, the likelihood that they will decide to purchase it over a competitor’s product increases. Truly original packaging also has a much higher chance of being shared on social media, which will significantly increase your product’s level of exposure.
Getting your product exposed to the right people is one thing, but you also want to create a memorable experience that will promote brand awareness. Packaging can do wonders for brand recognition, since shoppers will be more likely to remember a brand with a clearly visible logo, unique font and color scheme on every package.
Be warned, however, that once you have an established brand identity, you should avoid the temptation to modify your distinct logo or style. Research has shown that changing brand consistency tends to generate a negative reaction from your loyal customers.
What’s worse than hearing a customer complain about a product that was received in poor condition? Not only does this reflect poorly on your business, it can become costly when you have to replace several products on a regular basis.
Fortunately, custom packaging solutions are available to ensure maximum protection when shipping your products. Specially designed protective packaging will give you the peace of mind that your products won’t be damaged during transit.
Standing out from the competition is essential if you hope to surpass them in sales. Packaging can be a great tool to help you differentiate yourself from competitors, especially if you operate in a particularly aggressive market.
Here are few quick tips you can use to gain a competitive edge:
Well-designed product packaging is a fantastic way to increase your product’s perceived value. When you successfully charm a customer with a cleverly designed packaging that evokes a certain emotion, that customer will be more likely ascribe a higher value to your product.
In other words, attractive product packaging essentially allows you to offer your products at a higher price point without causing consumers to interpret them as being overpriced. This a great way to increase your profit without having to necessarily increase sales.
As you can undoubtedly see, packaging design makes a huge difference for any business. If you want your next product launch to be a foolproof success, spend some time creating a gorgeous package that will grab attention. You won’t be disappointed!
The post Why Product Packaging Design Is Crucial for Your Business appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.
Small businesses are building on the potential Amazon Echo devices offer by buying into Alexa for Business. The new service allows employees to use the AI assistant to streamline and automate work production. It also enables employees to join meetings and carry out certain tasks from home or other remote locations by using their personal Alexa device.
Alexa for Business corrals data from user accounts, devices and skills in your small business and brings everything together under one digital roof. Off the top, it’s touted as a great way to simplify what can be an otherwise complicated conference room meeting.
Not only does it let you use your voice to begin and start these meetings. You can also control connected conference equipment.
It’s a great way for small businesses to connect with employees working on projects from home or somewhere on the road. It can draw from a calendar meeting to notify everyone involved or prompt the people you need to contact through equipment providers like Cisco telepresence.
One of the other big advantages to small businesses is the fact that Alexa can talk to authorized Amazon Echo devices. By asking Alexa to start the meeting, you can program in aspects like which pieces of equipment will get switched on and what number to dial into to get a conference call underway.
Employees can even attend from Alexa speakers placed on their desk. It’s another big advantage for those small businesses who want to be able to get direct input from people working on projects involving more than emails or instant messaging.
This is one of the big draws that’s great for small businesses who have lots of meetings. If you’re the kind of organization that needs to pull proposals together from one end of the building to another, this service is for you.
There are some other advantages. For example, if there are a variety of different Amazon Echo devices assigned to each conference room, this service can even find the open one to save time and energy.
On the technical side, Alexa for Business allows your small business to connect Echo devices managed by this AI product to a WPA2 or WiFi Network. This new feature is a must have for businesses that want to have everything on their own secure WPA2 network for security reasons.
Although the service is gaining some traction now with SMBs who have remote employees or clients who require routine updates, Alexa for Business was first launched at re:Invent in 2017, where the notion of using Alexa to help workers be more productive first took off.
Smaller marketing companies are always trying to put together different campaign ideas from within their company. Sometimes it’s hard to pull everyone together who needs to sign off on any kind of project. That’s where Alexa for business rises up again with the schedule on meeting option. Alexa can go through anyone’s calendar and look for the best place to set up an appointment.
When the invitation is accepted, everyone is notified.
Small business owners are constantly challenged for time. Even sole proprietors who’ve bought a smart phone to help funnel their emails into one place don’t necessarily have time to read them all. Just working through the day to day of your small business operations usually takes up all of your time.
With this new service, you can even get Alexa to look after all of those emails for you. Getting started is easy. Once your work email is linked to your personal Alexa device, all you need to do is input a set of commands to get the most from this virtual assistant.
Alexa will read your priority emails for you and search for anything specific that might have wound up in the spam folder. If Alexa finds something that you find particularly important, she’ll even read it out loud for you
Alexa for Business doesn’t have any long-term commitments or up-front fees. You can learn more about this pay-as-you-go-service here.
Small businesses have a sense of optimism which hasn’t been seen by the 45-year-old National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) index.
The 108.8 record high was set in August of 2018, which is part of a 24-month positive trend the likes of which the NFIB hasn’t recorded. This led the NFIB to ask what exactly is driving this optimism in a new infographic aptly titled, “Small Business Optimism Soars.”
For small businesses operating in this current environment, the news is more than welcomed after the financial crisis of 2007/2008. And this optimism is shared by a large number of business owners across the country who are experiencing the windfall from the Trump administration’s tax reforms and deregulations.
NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan, addressed this very issue in the report for the infographic, including what must be done by policymakers to continue on this path.
The NFIB wants Congress to further eliminate regulations which still hold many small businesses back while making tax relief a priority for a segment which contributes tens of millions of jobs and trillions of dollars to the US economy.
Duggan said, “Congress must continue this progress, including protecting the tax cuts that have made a significant difference for thousands of small businesses across the country.”
She adds, “We look forward to welcoming the 116th Congress and continuing to work together to advance policies that allow our nation’s small businesses to remain strong.”
The infographic starts by saying, “Smart policy changes lead to months of positive outlook.”
The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index is based on seasonally adjusted of 10 survey indicators. For the past 24 months, the index has experienced record high levels, which culminated with the 108.8 number for August.
The optimism was driven by the relief small businesses are getting from the tax reform. Eighty percent of owners also agree the tax reform will have a positive effect on the general economy.
Regarding the deregulations, the Trump administration was responsible for cutting the total number of pages in the Federal Register from 95,894 to 61,308, a decline of 36%. This makes it the lowest it has been since 1993.
Small business owners have been reporting these policy changes are responsible for real-world growth.
Owners said the changes have created more jobs, increased capital spending, bulked up inventories, reported higher earnings, and raised compensation.
For members of the NFIB, which is comprised of business in all 50 states and Washington D.C., things have really improved in the past couple of years.
Duggan said, “Our members say that business is booming and prospects continue to look bright.”
This article, "Policy Changes the Reason for Record Small Business Optimism, NFIB Says" was first published on Small Business Trends
Amazon announced the 2018 holiday shopping season was one for the record books. And small and medium-sized businesses contributed to more than 50% of the items sold on Amazon stores this holiday season.
The online retailer said the record-breaking numbers were the result of more items being ordered worldwide than ever before. Additionally, tens of millions of people around the world started Prime free trials or they became paid members.
This bodes well for Amazon because more Prime members will translate to increased sales throughout the year, not just the holiday season. In describing the record-breaking season in the press release, Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon said:
“This season was our best yet, and we look forward to continuing to bring our customers what they want, in ways most convenient for them in 2019.”
In the US Amazon said more than one billion items were shipped for free this holiday with Prime. This includes millions of unique items with Prime FREE Same-Day, Prime FREE One-Day or FREE two-hour delivery with Prime Now.
This data point highlights the importance of the increased number of members for Prime mentioned earlier. With a renewal rate of 90%, come 2019 Amazon will most likely be announcing yet another record-breaking holiday shopping season.
When it came to sales, Amazon said it sold millions of its devices this holiday including Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote, and Echo. The Amazon brand also did well in fashion and other segments.
A rapidly growing trend which the Amazon data highlight is the increased sales of smart home devices. There were a record number of sales for Amazon Smart Plug, Ring Video Doorbell 2, the iRobot Roomba 690 and others.
Just during this holiday shopping season, Amazon stated more than half of its sale came from SMBs. Year round there are over one million small businesses who sell their products on the platform in the US alone.
The company also encourages local small businesses to become part of the Amazon ecosystem. It does this by providing loans, which was up to more than $1 billion in 2017 and other business opportunities.
When Amazon was looking to solve the problem of the last mile delivery, it launched a delivery partnership program with small delivery businesses. This includes purchasing 20,000 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans to speed up the process and help businesses and drivers come aboard faster.
There is no denying the negative impact Amazon has had on local small businesses. But for those businesses who are able to identify and exploit the opportunities the platform provides, it has been a great way to generate a reliable revenue stream.
This article, "Small Businesses Contributed to Record Christmas Sales on Amazon, Company Says" was first published on Small Business Trends