Business

4 Things Startups Often Forget

The world of startups is the world of big ideas. Those who start these businesses can often take a look at any given industry and realize ways to do business that no one has ever figured out. What these same individuals often do, though, is forget the fundamentals. Below are just four of the things that startups often forget to their detriment.

How to Serve Customers

One of the major things that startups often forget – and that small business traditionally need to be quite good at – is how to serve their customer base. Many startups get so enamored of the ideas behind their concepts that they overlook the fact that they actually have to deal with the human beings who will use their product or service. Whether this means investing more time in market research or just setting up a toll free number, startups need to spend time concentrating on the human aspect of their businesses.

How to Manage Talent

Talent management is another huge area in which many startups find themselves struggling. Startups tend to be very good at hiring people who buy into the initial concept or who can drive major innovation, but they’re not always capable of keeping the types of employees around who will help to keep the lights on later in the company’s lifecycle. Learning how to properly manage a workforce and how to hire the right kinds of employees needs to be high on every start-up’s to-do list.

How to Make Money

Startups are worse at actually making money than most might think. They have big ideas and great plans, but the actual process of bringing in revenue isn’t one in which many excel. A start-up that relies heavily on investors or loans for a long period of time is one that greatly diminishes its own chances to succeed. It is vital that start-ups remember that they aren’t just in the business of disruption – they are ultimately in the business of staying profitable enough to justify keeping the lights on and pushing forward. Without a proper plan for bringing in income, a start-up will ultimately become another in a long list of failures.

What Comes Next

Finally, startups have a genuine problem in determining what comes next after the startup phase. Many entrepreneurs know where they’d like to go if the business becomes an industry leader, but the in-between phase is a lot tougher to figure out. For many, this means a lack of experience in learning how to plan for growth, how to handle operations as the market changes, and how to navigate the waters of competition when they begin to compete with the truly big names. Failure to plan for what will happen once the start-up gets off the ground is a good way for a business to fail.

It is vital that startups have more than just a good concept or a long-term plan. They need to know how to work with customers, how to create a good workforce, how to make money, and how to plan for the future. A startup that can manage to accomplish all of those goals is one that will often have more long-term success than its peers and has a better chance to make a real impact on the business world.

February 20, 2020 / by / in
Beginners Guide to Digital Cash

Digital cash is known by many other names – electronic cash, digital currency and e-money being just some. The most widely-used form of digital money is cryptocurrency Bitcoin.  

Digital money isn’t tangible but is transferred using computers. People use physical cash to buy digital credits, which are stored in an electronic wallet. Digital cash is actually like cash and there is no particular hard- or software that has to be installed to use digital cash. 

You can say that digital cash is becoming more common because of the sheer convenience and to this end, there are many websites that help traders buy and sell bitcoin, a digital currency. 

Bitcoin unaffected by the economy of a country 

You can also install a bitcoin wallet on your cell phone or computer. As a cryptocurrency created in 2009, Bitcoin can be turned into hard cash through an exchange platform. It can be traded anywhere in the world and it isn’t affected by the economy of any country. 

Bitcoin is volatile and its price can change at the drop of a hat. Unlike the stock market operating during business hours, Bitcoin trades day and night. If you want to move bitcoin in or out of your wallet, it’s a bit like email. To send someone bitcoin, you require their bitcoin address, and if you want someone to send you bitcoin, you have to share your address.

Many Bitcoin ATMs

The future of cryptocurrency means having control over your money and not having to contend with all kinds of fees. Digital cash is becoming a sought-after online payment method because it isn’t subject to exchange- and interest rates or other levies. 

Like regular currency, digital cash can be used to buy objects and services and isn’t issued by a bank or by the government. Bitcoin allows digital currency to be unregulated and controlled by its developers and users. 

When you sell bitcoins for cash, you can make use of Bitcoin ATMs. You will need to identify yourself and then, depending on the settings, you will get cash out of the machine, or you will be given a redeem code. 

How to sell bitcoin is much the same as when you buy bitcoin – selling it on the same exchanges that you can buy it from. The sale transaction doesn’t take long but it may take a bit of time to actually withdraw the proceeds of the sale from your bitcoin wallet into your bank account. 

Want to know how to transact or how to sell bitcoin through a physical location? Well, it’s easy. Bitcoin of America is a registered money service business, a crypto exchange specializing in bitcoin transactions with their network of ATMs. 

Blockchain technology

Digital currencies are based on blockchain technology – public ledgers holding data in a secure way where transactions can’t be altered. It is believed that this e-currency is likely to disrupt financial services because it has the ability to reduce the cost of financial transactions. 

Advantages of digital cash

There are many advantages to using digital cash. One of them is the ability and affordability to do long-distance transactions as digital cash knows no borders. 

Sending actual cash can be expensive but digital cash can easily be sent around the world. Regular bank transactions require a lot of infrastructure, whereas digital cash doesn’t require any particular infrastructure. 

Digital cash uses the existing Internet network and computers, and the cost of digital cash transfer is much lower with the transaction completed through the Internet. 

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits is that cryptocurrency can’t be counterfeited and transactions can’t be reversed by the sender as well as cryptocurrency transactions providing anonymity. Digital cash payments can be used by businesses and individuals with access to the Internet and for all kinds of transactions.

January 27, 2020 / by / in
Five Benefits of Outsourcing Fulfillment

Order fulfillment is a crucial part of the business model of many companies today. Getting the job done right at this stage goes a long way in assuring satisfied customers and subsequent repeat and expanded business. As a result of its importance, many companies go on to make the decision to outsource the fulfillment stage of the sales process. What are some of the benefits that drive this rapidly growing pattern? Here are five of the primary benefits to choosing this particular fulfillment avenue today.

Reduced Shipping Costs

As noted recently by Forbes, shipping costs are on the rise, and this is causing companies to seek new ways to bridge that additional cost gap and get closer to the customer in the end. By utilizing outsourced fulfillment systems, companies can then take advantage of a pool of fulfillment locations across massive areas, getting more customers closer to their product. Closer product means reduced shipping costs.

Reduced Operating Costs

Operating costs are a huge part of every business that every management team yearns to cut down on without adverse effect. On the fulfillment side of things specifically, the most recent IBISWorld’s Public Storage & Warehousing Market Research Report highlighted one, lingering cause for such continual expenses in many companies today as warehousing and storage costs, estimated to feed a $22B industry in the bigger picture. By utilizing outsourced fulfillment methods, the selling company ultimately only pays for the space they used, product for product, instead of taking on the costs of entire warehouses. Companies like Red Stag Fulfillment have thus sprung up in many places and taken on the job of handling those fulfillment logistics to save the seller big and keep storage costs at a minimum.

Improved Customer Service

It comes as a surprise to some, but outsourcing fulfillment, in many cases, actually tends to drive improved customer service experiences. Because of the streamlined, 24/7 service many fulfillment providers offer, many customers end up encountering a more convenient and direct service experience than perhaps what the original seller could have handled. This then leads to extra freedoms for that seller such as are covered by the next point on this list.

Increased Freedom to Focus on Sales

Increased freedom to devote to other interests is a dream of just about every manager out there. When fulfillment has entirely been assigned to an outside entity, the seller can then focus on other things. A renewed focus on sales or even marketing strategy, for example, can then result, driving even more success at the end of the day.

Increased Market Accessibility

Finally, expanded markets are yet another very noteworthy benefit to outsourced fulfillment operations. Outsourcing spreads product accessibility to areas never exposed to it before. The result of this then is a business experiencing a much larger customer pool and potential profits than ever before.

Outsourcing truly does have great benefits when applied to certain business functions. The fulfillment function of businesses today, as one example, can see incredible improvement when the choice is made to outsource. These five, above-mentioned benefits are just some of those that come with this great, strategic move today.

January 15, 2020 / by / in
4 Types of Social Media Posts for Business Professionals

As a business professional, you understand the importance of social media as a marketing tool. With millions of users around the world, social networks greatly expand your reach and allow you to build your brand on a larger scale.

You may understand the importance of having social media accounts, but you may not know what to post. These four types of posts are ideal for business professionals.

1. Your Blog Posts

Always share your blog posts on your social accounts. Your posts provide informative, valuable content that your followers will enjoy. These types of posts also funnel traffic directly to your website, where visitors will be more likely to make a purchase or contact you for more information.

How you present your posts is important. For example, if you were a lawyer sharing a post on elder abuse, your post may talk about how 500,000 cases of abuse are reported each year. Including statistics and other bits of data in your posts will pique interest and, hopefully, get more people clicking on your posts.

2. Other Company’s Blog Posts

While it’s important to share your own content, it can also be helpful to share content from other companies and business professionals. You may not want to share content from a direct competitor, but if the information is relevant to your audience, feel free to share with your audience.

When you share content produced by other companies, you build trust among consumers and they won’t feel as if they are just being marketed to.

3. Posts That Start a Conversation

Ask followers questions. Share content that sparks a conversation. Engagement is important and will lead to more followers and potential sales.

When you share these types of posts, ask your followers to voice their opinions and join the conversation.

Injecting these types of posts in between blog posts and other types of content can help break up the monotony of it all and keep your followers on their toes.

4. Promotional Posts

Yes, promotional posts are okay to share. In fact, they should be a part of your social media strategy. If you have new products or services, share the news. Posts about news, promotions and discounts can help drive more sales.

Promotional posts are important, but don’t overdo it. If your social feed looks like a big advertisement for your brand, you will lose followers quickly because you’re not sharing valuable, relevant information. These are the types of posts you should share least often, but they do have a place in every social account.

News posts are also important. Content related to your industry will be relevant and interesting to your followers. People want to know what’s going on and if there are any new developments that are changing your industry.

Sharing a wide range of posts will humanize your personal brand. People want to interact with a human while on social media – not a marketing robot. And as a business professional, it becomes even more important to humanize your brand. After all, you are the face of your business.

January 1, 2019 / by / in
Understanding Product Liability

Product liability is a specialized area of personal injury law, which involves incidences in which people are injured or otherwise harmed through the use of dangerous or defective products. In product liability, a manufacturer, a seller, or both may be held liable for releasing a product that has the potential to cause harm and injuries. When a product has not met “the ordinary expectations of the consumer,” product liability law recognizes that the manufacturer or distributor of that product has acted negligently.

The Three Types of Product Liability Claims

When it comes to pursuing damages for injuries caused by a defective or dangerous product, there are three types of claims. By learning about these types, it’s easier to understand how a claim can be initiated and what’s involved in pursuing a case of product liability.

Products That Have Been Defectively Manufactured

This is the most common type of product liability claim and involves products that are flawed due to some production error. While there may not be anything wrong with the product’s design, mistakes or mechanical failures have rendered the product defective. The defect distinguishes it from other products of the same type and the defects are responsible for causing the injury or harm. Examples of a defectively manufactured product might include a swing set with broken chain links, a vehicle missing brake pads, or medication containing a toxic substance.

Defects in the Design of a Product

A defectively designed product is something that is engineered in such a way that it’s dangerous to use. In this category, products have been manufactured according to established specifications without any errors, but the very design of the product makes it dangerous for consumers to use. Examples of a defectively designed product include vehicles that tend to flip on sharp turns, sunglasses that don’t provide the promised level of protection against UV rays, or electrical devices that frequently short out through normal use.

Failure to Caution Consumers About Dangers

Manufacturing a dangerous product isn’t necessarily against the law, but the manufacturer does have an obligation to warn consumers about the potential danger. A failure-to-warn product liability suit concerns circumstances where a product did not come with the appropriate warning labels and the manufacturer knew about the risk of danger. Additionally, warning labels must accompany products where the danger isn’t obvious or where special care is required in the use of the product. Examples of a failure-to-warn claim include toxic cleaning chemicals sold without appropriate instructions on proper handling, a medication that doesn’t list common and dangerous side effects, or an electric teapot that doesn’t come with a label warning users to be aware of hot steam escaping the oddly positioned valve.

How to Win a Strict Product Liability Case

In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff’s actions play a part in determining the liability of the defendant. The plaintiff must have acted in accordance with behaviors that would have been practiced by an average and reasonable person. That standard is not held up to a plaintiff in a strict product liability case, however, and the plaintiff’s actions don’t influence the liability of the manufacturer or distributor of a defective product. This special condition was established, because plaintiffs were finding it increasingly difficult to win their cases, where they had been genuinely harmed or injured by a dangerous product.

Courts determined that it was too difficult to show that a business had neglected their duty of care in product liability cases. Even when plaintiffs had a strong case, the insurance companies and attorneys working for the defendant were experienced in confusing the issues of the case. They often made it seem as though the plaintiff hadn’t been seriously harmed by the defective product.

“It is best for clients to choose a law firm backed by extensive experience and has the financial means to effectively and aggressively represent them.” said personal injury attorney Erik Abrahamson.

For this reason, the burden on the plaintiff is limited to just three factors. If the plaintiff can prove the following three points, that’s sufficient to win a strict product liability case.

  • The product was in an “unreasonably dangerous” condition at the time it was sold
  • The distributor intended for the product to reach the consumer without alterations
  • The plaintiff was injured or the plaintiff’s property was damaged through the use of the product

While this does make it easier for a plaintiff to win their case, it doesn’t mean the manufacturer is always liable. If the defendant can show that the plaintiff used the product in a way not intended, they may escape liability. Similarly, the manufacturer cannot be held liable, if the plaintiff knew about the defect in advance and used the product anyway. Additionally, if another individual or a set of circumstances altered the nature of the product, the manufacturer can’t be held liable.

July 27, 2018 / by / in