January 13, 2019

Digital Entrepreneurship Doesn’t Have to be Hard, Brush Up on These 3 Skills

Digital Entrepreneur? Polish Up on These Digital Skills for 2019

Ready to level up in your business this year? You have a fresh start so aside from setting goals and determining your focus you need to take action. You can do this by developing new skills that will help your business succeed.

If you’re a digital entrepreneur, you know that the online business work is always changing. It’s crucial that you focus on continuing your education and gaining new skills to help your business evolve.

Digital Skills for 2019

Here are 3 business skills digital entrepreneurs can develop or improve this year.

1. Managing Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads aren’t going away any time soon so you might as well learn how to master them. Sure, you can hire a Facebook ads expert or consultant, but it’s best that you know at least the basics yourself.

Investing in the ads themselves can be expensive. Add in the extra expense of paying someone to create the copy, set up the campaign, and manage them for you and you could be left with dwindling profits.

Instead, you can take a course or hire a Facebook ads coach so you can learn the basics first and perhaps even master one of these stages to save yourself some money. Once you understand Facebook ads, you can also develop a solid strategy and test things out more effectively.

2. SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot commodity in the online space. If you run a website or blog, it’s important that you understand SEO and keep up with all of Google’s updates.

Again, you can hire someone to do SEO research and execute a strategy, but it often stands to have some SEO skills of your own to start. You can always delegate keyword research but you do need to be involved in some of the SEO strategy to get the best results.

Luckily, you can enroll in SEO workshops or trainings online hosted by trusted experts in the field. I like taking advice from Mike Pearson from Stupid Simple SEO who is a proven SEO expert and has a ton of great nuggets to offer.

3. Sales

If you’re in business for yourself, you have to know how to sell whether that’s hard selling or soft selling. You can’t just expect to be the brains behind a valuable product or service, you also need to know how to sell it.

This is especially true if you’re a solopreneur. Start by getting clear on your target market and what their needs are. Then create a sales funnel for your solutions that will help them.

You can sell online with integrity in a variety of ways via your email list, social media, webinars and courses.

Summary

Don’t slack on your skills this year. You don’t have to go back to school or get a new business certification in most cases. You can learn things quickly and without much effort thanks to the internet.

Focus on constantly learning to master new skill sets so you can run and market your business better.

Image: Due.com

This article, "Digital Entrepreneurship Doesn’t Have to be Hard, Brush Up on These 3 Skills" was first published on Small Business Trends

January 13, 2019

Is There an App for This?

I like westerns. I know they’re slow and quiet and there’s a lot of eyes darting and waiting nervously before the final gunfight, but I like them.

So one day I was thinking about the shootout at high noon and wondered if there might sometimes be some sort of scheduling conflict. Then I thought about trying to schedule something with my friends or family with all of your phones out looking at your calendars and this cartoon popped up.

Come to think of it, there’s a lot more territory to be mined here. Someone missing their shootout appointment and the other gunman complaining about them not respecting their time. Some cowboy having their schedule read to them by an assistant with a gunfight at noon. Maybe a shootout at midnight or “low noon.”

Looks like I like westerns even more than I thought!

This article, "Is There an App for This?" was first published on Small Business Trends

January 13, 2019

The new iPhone XR: how could it change business practices?

With so many different types of iPhones available, businesses have become very technologically developed by these nifty little gadgets. From the obvious calls, to data logging, picture taking, emails and so much more, the new iPhone XR has helped ensure that businesses are ran efficiently and effectively as a result of having such a powerful phone as part of its day-to-day running.

The future of the iPhone XR in the context of business is almost limitless because of its small, yet very innovative, changes and developments from previous models. A result of many years of trial, error and experimentation, the new iPhone XR has so many wonderful qualities that can help aid your business as detailed below.

Apple-Designed GPU

As a result of the increase in popularity of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and so many more, the use of social media apps has also increased. Social media marketing has become an increasingly important part of business in recent years, therefore a device which can not only keep up with these platforms, but also makes them accessible and easy to navigate is an essential part of your business development.

The new iPhone XR has a new fourth core as well as lossless memory compression which means that it adds to the performance of graphics in video and photo editing and visually demanding apps. This means that not only does the new iPhone XR make photo and video editing easy to accomplish using downloaded apps, but it is also able to support those social media platforms which are usually very visually demanding, such as Instagram or YouTube.

Apple-designed Neural Engine

Much like the way that we learn from experience, the new iPhone XR can also recognise patterns, make predictions and utilise real-time learning too. As a result, the new iPhone XR can be an extension of your own predictions, aiding business development through real-time experience and predictions.

It is also very fast and can perform up to five trillion operations per second. More capable than previous models of iPhone, the new iPhone XR is incredibly efficient. By utilising developments such as Core ML platforms, the phone can aid your searching, jumping straight into immersive AR experiences as well as providing powerful, real-time learning too.

Long-lasting battery performance

One of the worst issues with iPhones is losing battery during important meetings, presentations, or any situation in which your iPhone is necessary for business operations. It is a definite issue with not only iPhones, but a whole different range of other types of phone too. However, the iPhone XR has talk time for up to 25 hours, with Internet usage of up to 15 hours too. This means that the iPhone XR beats its previous models, like the iPhone XS, by at least five hours.

This new development in the iPhone saga is definitely a necessary extension for your business and with specifically designed business made mobile networks, such as Gamma, the new iPhone XR can definitely propel your business into the future.

The post The new iPhone XR: how could it change business practices? appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

January 13, 2019

How This 13-Year-Old Entrepreneur Built a Multi-Million Dollar Candy Company

Between school, dance and hanging with friends, Alina Morse is running a national candy brand.

January 13, 2019

Points to Keep in Mind When Buying a Sound System for Business

Setting the right vibe to your business is very important and music has a key role to play in it. To get started, you need to create the best playlist for your store, which can be anything that can keep your customers inside the store and shop around.

However, if you do not have a good sound system in your store, you are at a high risk of making your customers feel bored. Here, with adequate guidance, you can purchase the best sound system for your business and create the best settings for your playlist. Let’s get started

Before we start with the tips, there are a few technical terms that you must know in order to bring the best audio to your customers.

  • Amplifier

The term amplifier is used to describe a device that is used in combination with a loudspeaker to amplify electronic music instruments, such as a guitar.

The job of an amplifier is to take the electric current, amplify it multiple times over, and then deliver it to a loudspeaker. This is in order to make the audience hear an enhanced version of the original sound.

  • Speaker or Loudspeaker

A loudspeaker is a device that converts the electric current coming through the amplifier into soundwaves or audio waves.

3 Things You Need to Produce the Best Audio Output

  • Sound Distribution

Well, there is a huge difference between the various consumers sound systems and something that you need for your business.

Just because you have a Hi-Fi sound set up at your home that is focused to spread sound in one part of your room, it doesn’t mean that the same sound system will also work with equal efficiency in your store.

Since a retail store is likely to have many customers wandering from one place to another, you need a sound system that can effectively spread the sound throughout the store.

  • Amplifiers and Speakers

A combination of amplifiers and speakers will be greatly helpful if you want to set up a great sound system in your store. This can help you control both the space and volume of your sound output.

Therefore, you must consider spending a bit more on a decent set of speakers that will give your business high-definition audio outputs.

  • Audio Mixers

In case money is not a bothering factor, you can really think about investing in a Hi-Fi sound system with an amplifier and audio mixers for amazing sound inputs and outputs.

The primary purpose of investing in an audio mixer is its basic functionality, which is the collection of individual sounds and then channeling them all into one direction.

This type of sound systems is really recommended especially when you have a large open space. A place where you have multiple speakers installed for a well-mixed efficient sound output, you need a high-quality mixer to balance as well as to stabilize multiple different outputs.

Finally!

Now that you have a highly-efficient, Hi-Fi sound system ready in your store, start some action by putting your playlist on fire. Use an iPad for uninterrupted, all-day long music hours in your store.

The post Points to Keep in Mind When Buying a Sound System for Business appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

January 13, 2019

Warning: “GDPR Extortion” Could Hurt Your Business, Here’s What to Do!

Warning: “GDPR Extortion” Could Affect US Companies. Here’s How to Prevent It

Most US-based business leaders are at least somewhat familiar with the GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation.) Although this broad set of data regulations is designed to protect the privacy of citizens in the European Union, it will significantly affect US businesses as well. It will also likely lead to a new and costly cybercrime: “GDPR extortion.”

How will EU-based data regulations affect businesses in the US? What is GDPR extortion? How can businesses protect themselves? These are the questions I’ll address in this article.

GDPR In a Nutshell

As the most comprehensive set of data-security regulations in history (99 articles organized into 11 chapters, to be exact,) the GDPR is raising eyebrows and anxieties worldwide.

That’s because capturing customer data helps businesses in all industries improve marketing, sales, customer service and many other efforts. Now, thanks to GDPR, companies have to collect data much more carefully.

GDPR gives EU citizens something that doesn’t exist in the US: the right to personal-data privacy. What kinds of regulations are included under this set of laws? Although GDPR gets quite complex, here’s a brief rundown.

An EU citizen’s right to data privacy now outweighs a businesses’ interest in collecting their data. Therefore, under GDPR, each EU citizen has:

  • The right to choose whether or not to allow their data to be collected
  • The right to see all the data that’s been collected about them
  • “The right to be forgotten,” meaning their data must be de-listed by Google and other search engines upon request
  • And finally – the right that gave birth to the GDPR extortion phenomenon, which is the right to be informed of data breaches within 72 hours (such as breaches resulting from hackers)

How GDPR Affects US Businesses?

Before diving into what GDPR extortion is, I must stress why US businesses are not in the clear here.

If your US-based business offers services to EU citizens or collects personal data about EU citizens, you must comply with GDPR regulations. Some of the US industries that are most likely to fall under GDPR include travel, hospitality, SaaS and ecommerce. However, any US-based business with a market in the EU should make preparations to meet the requirements.

What are the consequences for failing to meet GDPR requirements? Fines could be as high as €20 million ($22.7 million), although it’s not yet clear how such EU payments are going to be enforced in the US.

But the consequences for falling short of GDPR compliance extend far beyond debilitating fees. Companies with a large EU customer base could also face losing their good standing with a market of more than 510 million people.

With the threat of eight-figure payments on one hand and the possibility of sacrificing EU-customer trust on the other, many US businesses have no choice but to retool their data-management framework to comply with GDPR.

GDPR Extortion

As if the steep consequences associated with GDPR noncompliance aren’t worrisome enough, EU and US business leaders have yet another reason to lose sleep: “GDPR extortion.”

The mad dash of executives who are scrambling to prepare for GDPR is creating a perfect storm for cybercriminals. If a business isn’t GDPR compliant, and if their devices are unpatched and unprotected, a hacker can gain access to the businesses’ data and make an ominous ultimatum: Either pay the hacker a specified sum of money or the data will be leaked – a scenario that would also lead to crippling fines.

A hacked company will have a choice at this point. Either appease the criminal(s) or inform the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) of the data breach, per GDPR requirements.

Cybercriminals know that many companies will opt to pay the hackers rather than face even larger GDPR fines. Also, in an attempt to avoid public outcry, business leaders will often pay a cybercriminal and try to keep EU citizens in the dark about the data breach.

Resist Cybercriminals

In spite of the temptation to pay a hacker, a business that’s fallen victim to a cybercrime should stand its ground rather than negotiate with criminals. The best course of action is to inform the ICO of the breach and work with them to mitigate the damage. Why? There are at least four reasons.

  1. There’s no guarantee that hackers will live up to their end of the deal and give the victimized business control of their data.
  2. Paying the hackers encourages them to come back and extort the same company yet again.
  3. Giving in to cybercriminals emboldens them to keep developing advanced technologies for blackmailing even more companies around the world.
  4. There’s an ethical reason to resist cybercriminals. People deserve to know when their personal data has been illegally accessed.

Patch Your Entire IT Environment

The best protection from GDPR extortion is to block hackers from entering your system. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for businesses with unpatched and vulnerable devices, and for good reason. Even companies as large as Equifax have been breached because of unpatched servers.

Patching is the repairing of system weaknesses that have been uncovered after hardware and software has already been released. It sounds simple enough, but the process is daunting and complex.

Think of all the components that need to be patched. Servers and routers, operating systems, applications, email clients, desktops and laptops, mobile devices, firewalls, office suites and more. And as any IT professional will agree, just a company’s servers alone can turn into a patching headache.

For example, it’s common for a business to run two or more server operating systems, such as Linux and Windows. Further, many companies run several versions of these operating systems, including numerous Linux distros.

Because of the complexity involved, and with so many components that could become open windows for cybercriminals, smart companies implement a patch-management process to keep track of it all automatically. Cloud Management Suite, for example, enables IT managers to continuously patch every device and software package their company uses, regardless of their operating systems.

Educate Your Employees

Because many hackers gain access to vast amounts of personal customer data simply by outsmarting employees, it’s crucial to educate your staff about cybercriminal methods. A mandatory “social engineering” should be held for employees and executives. A few important topics to warn employees about include:

  • Classical social engineering, such as when someone calls an employee claiming to be form IT and asks for passwords or other sensitive information
  • Opportunity social engineering, such as when a cybercriminal drops a malware-loaded USB in a parking lot and waits for an employee to find it and use it
  • Email phishing, involving emails that appear legitimate but actually contain fraudulent links or malware

It’s also helpful to educate employees about GDPR and GDPR extortion. Becoming GDPR compliant (discussed next) can be a laborious process, so the more knowledge your staff has about its importance, the better.

Become GDPR Compliant

Besides denying hackers access to a company’s sensitive data, any business with an EU market should become GDPR compliant. Although the process is labor intensive, it’s well worth it.

Businesses who spend the time and effort to meet GDPR requirements prove to the European Commission and other authoritative bodies that they care about the privacy rights of EU citizens. Such efforts are likely to minimize any imposed fees or other consequences of a data breach.

Honest companies who work toward compliance find it easier to win over their market. Whether in the US or the EU, consumers value honesty.

Businesses that do everything in their power to meet global regulations and operate transparently are quick to gain a competitive edge.

Image: Shutterstock

This article, "Warning: “GDPR Extortion” Could Hurt Your Business, Here’s What to Do!" was first published on Small Business Trends

January 13, 2019

Wix Launches Products Allowing Small Businesses to Connect More Directly with Customers

Wix Ascend Launched to Help Small Businesses Grow Their Brand

Wix.com Ltd. (NASDAQ: WIX) recently announced the launch of a suite of promising new products for small businesses under the umbrella name, Ascend.

Ascend helps entrepreneurs and small businesses easily and more directly connect with customers on the Wix platform using new tools such as SEO, price quotes, marketing and live chat with customers.

Wix Ascend Launches Worldwide

According to the cloud based web development company, which boasts over 1.4 million registered users worldwide, users can promote their sites, manage customer interactions across channels, run professional marketing campaigns and capture leads on the platform, helping them convert traffic to sales.

“Millions of smart users already rely on Wix to run their business, and nothing makes us prouder than witnessing them achieving and surpassing their goals,” Avishai Abrahami, CEO and co-founder of Wix.com said in a statement. “With the launch of Ascend, we are expanding our market by offering management tools, marketing and promotion capabilities.”

Wix Ascend Features and Capabilities

Ascend includes a suite of 20 products that bring new offerings, along with some features previously available on the Wix platform.

The new products and features in Ascend aim to enable small business owners to grow their brand, manage customer relationships, promote their business, and drive growth online, the company says.

A new chat-centric interface, for example, allows for real-time interactions with customers, the ability to automatically respond to queries, an array of intuitive SEO tools, and the ability to create unique content to engage customers through social media channels.

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Ascend by Wix’s Benefits for Small Businesses

The launch of Ascend by Wix transforms the Israeli development company with headquarters in Tel Aviv from a popular website building platform into a compelling, international marketing platform for businesses.

Abrahami says the return on investment for small businesses already using Ascend by Wix is significant, touting Ascend as the next iteration in a long line of the company’s data-driven products designed with users and their success in mind.

The development company lists some of the successes businesses on Wix.com are enjoying:

  • Wix customers using Chat have 235% more site appointments, and 278% more repeat visitors.
  • Wix customers who provide a Members Area, where their site visitors maintain profiles and purchase history, have 154% more repeat visitors.
  • Wix customers who use Automations, a product that allows business owners to set up triggers to automate and manage interactions with customers, have 151% more site traffic.
  • Wix customers using Email Marketing have 783% more site traffic.
  • Wix customers who use Forms have 114% more submissions.

“The data shows that our products are delivering real results to our customers and their success is what drives us,” Abrahami said. “We have packaged these products within Ascend to be comprehensive, automated and seamlessly engineered directly from the Wix platform.”

Ascend will be billed as an additional subscription for Wix customers, the company said, with tiered pricing to fit the growth of small businesses.

Image: Wix

This article, "Wix Launches Products Allowing Small Businesses to Connect More Directly with Customers" was first published on Small Business Trends

January 13, 2019

Nash Frame Design

Nash Frame Design on the Valuable Impression Art Gives an Office

Art has a surprisingly large impact in today’s workplace. A recent study found that businesses with art in the workplace encourage creativity and expression while reducing stress for their employees. The type of art displayed in a business relates to the company’s values and gives visitors a window into the way the business operates. Using these guidelines, Nash Frame Design encourages readers to use more art in the workplace and to choose it with care. 

Enhance Your Business’s Atmosphere

Art can help project an aspirational view of your business. In a medical office, it can reassure people or bring about feelings of safety. In an architect’s office, it can project the kind of ideas that the firm draws inspiration from. 

Art can also help to change a client’s or visitor’s image of your company’s fundamentals. For example, a corporate law office is normally thought of in formal terms. Adding fun and expressive art makes visitors comfortable while expressing the business’s soft side. This can help change clients’ view of the business and let them know what to expect when interacting with your company. 

Maps are a particularly effective decoration in office settings. Maps can connect offices with their colleagues who work far away. They also provide an outlet for the viewer’s imagination. 

Boost Productivity

Art is not only beneficial when visitors come to the office, but it also helps current employees reach their productivity goals. Dr. Craig Knight, a workplace psychologist at the University of Exeter, UK, has documented the productivity boost that comes from well-chosen artwork. He cautions that workplaces should avoid hanging “motivational” art with text which may irritate workers or condescend to them. It is better to let the work speak for itself. 

Highlight Company Values

Art helps a company to define its values. For example, a historical series of paintings concentrated on the Revolutionary War would highlight a company’s respect for history and for new ideas. The heroism pictured in the art would inspire the employees to go beyond their own expectations when completing their work. An office with landscapes on its walls would project the impression of calm reflection and visions of the future. 

Sculpture and Kinetic Works

Together with art hung on the wall, offices should consider obtaining sculptures or kinetic works of art. These will complement the art hung on the wall and bring a physical dimension to the room. Sculptures are especially useful in large lobby areas, where they can help to break up the monotony of the room while making an exciting statement. 

Kinetic works of art are those that can be touched and interacted with. For example, a virtual waterfall that you could dip your hand in would be a beautiful addition to any office. It would bring a touch of whimsy to the office and entertain young and old alike. Having non-traditional artwork in the office gives the impression that your employees are ready to think outside the box to solve clients’ problems. 

Proper Framing Makes a Difference

Having a piece of artwork professionally framed brings an office a sense of sophistication. Carelessly framed art will give an impression that the office is not run well and will give visitors the wrong idea about your business. 

Professionally framed art not only looks better on the wall, but it will last longer as well, with museum-quality frames and glass available. Companies like Nash Frame Design can work with office managers and executives to create cohesive looks for their art collection as a whole. With thoughtfully chosen art, an office can be more beautiful, more inspiring, and more productive.

The post Nash Frame Design appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

January 13, 2019

Nando Caporicci and the Power of the Digital Economy

Securing a full-time job in one’s field of preference is often extremely difficult due to high competition. Even with a booming economy and rapidly declining unemployment rates, there are still millions of individuals looking for their dream job. Luckily, the growth of the so-called digital economy has introduced incredible flexibility into sole proprietors’ lives. Just consider, for instance, the fact that as many as 4 million Americans are working from home on at least a part-time basis. 

An Evolution in the Market

The statistics above attest to the shift in trends when it comes to employment. Courtesy of online jobs, people in smaller cities can still find work opportunities and generate income. Think about those who may be living in a small town like Falmouth, MA per se. With a population of 31,000, it is not exactly a hotbed for the corporate world. Thus, the residents cannot rely on the same types of jobs like individuals who live in larger metropolitan areas. Regardless, due to the power of the internet and digital spheres, people can still make a living from the comfort of their own home. 

Social Media Managers

Leveraging the power of social media to attract customers has become so widespread that practically every business relies on it. After all, the vast majority of online advertising is now done through platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Thus, it comes as no surprise that companies sometimes need help managing their online pages. Some of the primary duties in this area include daily monitoring, content creation, live customer support, and more. 

Freelancers

The Digital Economy revived the freelancing industry like nothing before. People who used to rely on word-of-mouth referrals can now set up websites to promote their businesses. Moreover, hundreds of intermediaries who connect freelancers and buyers have made it easy to find a job in this area. Although some downsides do come into play, which includes things like self-employment tax and third-party fees, most of them would be applicable to any job in the digital economy. 

Blockchain Experts

According to the founder of Olitris Technologies, Nando Caporicci, cryptocurrency further promoted the movement of online employment. Once Bitcoin came into the spotlight a few years ago, a lot of interested parties started learning the basics of the technology. After a while, some of them became miners who help verify transactions in exchange for the actual coins on the network. Nando Caporicci is one of those individuals. Given his experience, he stresses how important his mining position has been. Without it, he would not have been able to start his new business and would have missed out on sizeable compensation. 

Another positive side of the cryptocurrency marketplace is the ever-growing number of start-ups. With more than 1,700 digital coins in existence, there are a plethora of mining opportunities. In fact, finding a job in this field is quite literally dependent on one’s ability to mine and the power of their equipment. There are no traditional recruiting cycles where the person will have to go through an interview with their employer. On the contrary, everything is handled online and never leaves the worker’s laptop. 

Online Consultants

One more popular freelancing sector revolves around consulting. In the past, consultants in various industries had to establish their offices and build a name for themselves to attract clients. Although the second part of that process still exists, there is no need to maintain a physical address in order to have a successful consulting venture. Instead, being an online advisor to those who may need help managing time or projects is a great way to share knowledge and earn money. The difficult part tends to be the beginning stage where the entrepreneur has to set up their website and work on marketing. Nevertheless, when solid consultants are paired with knowledgeable social media managers, the opportunities are endless! 

Future Expectations

Based on how quickly the online industry developed, it is reasonable to expect even more growth very soon. The blockchain is bound to slowly morph into larger projects and become an essential part of many other markets. Additionally, the power of freelancing jobs is undoubtedly going to continue helping people in smaller areas like those living in Falmouth. In other words, the future of the digital economy is bright, and one can expect the job openings to grow as fast as they have been doing so thus far.

 

The post Nando Caporicci and the Power of the Digital Economy appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

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