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Small Business Growth: 5 Technology Trends in 2021

Small Business Growth: 5 Technology Trends in 2021

2020 was a very difficult year (Pandemic). It pushed people to change their lifestyle and the way of working (Remote work). The world was not prepared for such a viral outbreak. For many people worldwide 2020 was a disaster.

This also affected the world of businesses (Big or Small). Companies had to find a way to keep operating but still respect and follow the new government measures. They have to use collaboration tools such as video call software (Zoom), chat apps (Slack), screen-sharing software (TeamViewer), and so on.

Small Business Growth: 5 Technology Trends

Here are some interesting technology trends you need to know and how to grow your small business in 2021.

  1. New Collaboration Tools

Pandemic has pushed businesses to virtual offices, online video conferences, and many other software solutions that transform a traditional office into an online one.

Communication had to be effective because teams now are working remotely.

So it’s expected that 2021 will bring more and better collaboration tools. No one can say when the pandemic will end, so it’s safe to assume that businesses will need effective and useful collaboration solutions.

Many companies will start using new types of collaborative tools. (there are already many categories available).

Companies that have to hold meetings regularly are using Cisco Telepresence for high-quality video conferencing.

Also, more businesses will turn to entire collaboration systems. These systems are made of workflow applications, databases, and other software solutions that allow companies to run everything remotely.

For example, Microsoft SharePoint is a great collaboration system. It allows employees to access important data from all kinds of devices (PCs, laptops, smartphones, etc.).

  1. AI and ML

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a top trend for many IT enthusiasts and tech fans. These technologies are already used in many aspects of life, and more and more people are loving these tech trends.

AI and machine learning are implemented more among business owners. Entrepreneurs and marketers will keep incorporating them into new and existing businesses in 2021.

This year will bring more AI tools and apps. Keep in mind that the main goal is to use AI to provide better and more personalized customer experiences.

Also, many people and experts believe that AI will find its use among small business owners. It is expected that small businesses will start adopting AI quickly. AI can help small businesses to improve their marketing strategies.

Also, AI can help small businesses to offer more personalized experiences to their customers.

  1. 5G

The 5G or fifth generation of cellular capability is just here. 5G is about faster data transmission speeds.

According to various phone manufacturers, 5G can outrun 4G LTE easily. It’s an important fact that there is little to no latency (the delay experienced in data transfer).

It’s a great step in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). 5G networks can support the influx of interconnected smart devices.

  1. Automation

Repetitive tasks are a common (boring) thing for most workers. These tasks take up a lot of time and kill the overall productivity.

Many developers have recognized this problem, and it is expected that 2021 will bring many automation tools across many different industries.

Every business that wants to boost its employees’ productivity and performance should think about automating all these tasks. When it comes to small businesses, these tasks include appointment scheduling, data entry, customer support, and so on.

In 2021, automating these tasks will become easier. Once a business has all of these tasks automated, the employees and the owner will have more time to focus on more important matters.

With more time to focus on more complex and value-adding tasks, the team will be more productive.

  1. Analytics – Data Insights

Many small businesses have to deal with huge amounts of data regularly. But, hiring a data scientist or analyst can be expensive. This is the main reason why in 2021, deep analytics tools and data insights will become a necessity.

It’s not only about straightforward and simple reports such as conversion rates, web traffic, etc. A business that leverages this technology will acquire many valuable insights into different business aspects. This will allow the owner to optimize strategies and new techniques.

Deep analytics can help a business owner to identify pricing trends and gain a competitive edge over competitors.

Modern software doesn’t require users to have the technical knowledge to use the power of data-driven insights.

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bitcoin business Future Startups

Bitcoin: Stats and Facts – Is Bitcoin The New Gold? [Infographic]

Bitcoin: Stats and Facts – Is Bitcoin The New Gold?

Many people counted out bitcoin and all cryptocurrency a few years ago, but lately, it is undeniable what a price run-up it’s been on. Bitcoin is here to stay.

Although it’s often referred to as new, Bitcoin has existed since 2009 and the technology it is built on has roots going back even further. If you had invested just $1,000 in Bitcoin the year it was first publicly available, you would now be richer to the tune of £36.7 million.

Bitcoin: Stats and Facts – Is Bitcoin The New Gold?

Here are some interesting stats and facts about Bitcoin. Many people wonder “Is Bitcoin the new gold?”

2009 – Bitcoin begins

The Bitcoin software is made available to the public for the first time and mining – the process through which new Bitcoins are created and transactions are recorded and verified on the blockchain – begins.

2017 –Bitcoin reaches $10,000 and continues to grow

A gradual increase in the places where Bitcoin could be spent contributed to its continued growth in popularity, during a period where its value remained below previous peaks. Gradually as more and more uses emerged, it became clear that more money was flowing into the Bitcoin and cryptocoin ecosystem.

During this period the market cap of all crypto coins rose from $11bn to its current height of over $300bn. Banks including Barclays, Citi Bank, Deutsche Bank, and BNP Paribas have said they are investigating ways they might be able to work with Bitcoin.

Meanwhile the technology behind Bitcoin – blockchain – has sparked a revolution in the fintech industry (and beyond) which is only just getting started.

Whatever your opinion on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency – and educated commenters have described them as everything from the future of money to an outright scam – it seems they are here to stay.

Will it succeed in doing what many early adopters and evangelists claim it is destined to – replace government-controlled, centralized money with a distributed and decentralized alternative, controlled by nothing besides market forces? We are unlikely to know the answer for some time yet.

More Details — HuffPost.com

Every 4 years, the reward given to Bitcoin miners for processing transactions is cut in half. This reduction in supply drives up prices based on scarcity
The most recent halving occurred in May 2020 — as pandemic lockdown brought the economy to a standstill. More than 20% of all dollars in circulation were printed in 2020

BUT, the supply of crypto coins is finite, believed to lower inflation risk. Investment in crypto is widely used as a hedge against U.S. inflation
Accessibility Spurs New Investments

DeFi grew from $1 billion to $14 billion in “locked” assets — increasing the value of tokens associated with the decentralized finance platform
Adoption of central bank digital currencies by governments around the globe — Many fearing China’s aggressive moves will leave them behind

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency gave banks permission to hold crypto on behalf of customers — indicating mainstream acceptance

Proof of Stake blockchains became more prominent — Represent just 15% of the crypto market but responsible for driving significant growth
Proof of stake blockchains incentivizing users to “lock” their coins into the network — ensuring long term operability

In January 2021, Bitcoin reached a new high of nearly $42,000, before it (along with other coins) fell by 12% overnight — wiping out $200 billion from the cryptocurrency market

In February, bitcoin hit a new record of $53,000

Tesla purchased $1.5 billion in bitcoin
Announced plants to accept bitcoin payments
CEO Elon Musk called crypto “less dumb” than cash
Apple Pay began accepting BitPay — a prepaid bitcoin MasterCard
Bitcoin can now be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted
Elon Musk is also partially credited for the growth of Dogecoin which has risen over 900% since the start of 2021

What To Expect With Bitcoin In 2021

Increased investing from traditional finance leaders
The emergence of new use cases
The rapid adoption of crypto cards
Proof of Stake will drive most of the activity outside bitcoin
Investors view cryptocurrency as a portfolio optimizer
The U.S. dollar is expected to continue to weaken in 2021 — driving more investment in cryptocurrencies
With cryptocurrencies tearing through records, investors should keep in mind the cost of mining coins

The Cost Of Mining & Maintaining Crypto

In 2017, the estimated power required to run cryptocurrency
More than all the power used by the Republic of Ireland
On track to exceed the power needs of Hungary and New Zealand
In 2018, mining accounted for 1% of the world’s energy consumption
In 2020, Bitcoin consumed 120 gigawatts per second
156 million horses
49,440 wind turbines
It takes 10 minutes and 72,000 GW (or 72 Terawatts) to mine one Bitcoin
As the popularity of cryptocurrency continues to grow, the potential for wild success is attracting investors willing to take on big risks

Crypto’s the future of currency — don’t get left behind!

More Details https://www.expensivity.com

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business blogging marketing Social Media

Small Business: 8 Low-Cost Tips to Promote Successfully Your Brand

Small Business: 8 Low-Cost Tips to Promote Successfully Your Brand

There are many low-cost marketing techniques to promote your small business these days. But you need to know the right strategies and effective tips to grow your business.

Small Business: Low-Cost Tips to Promote Your Brand

Here are some interesting and low-cost tips about how to promote successfully your brand.

  1. Customer Experience

Customer experience is a general term. But it’s essential if you want to make your small business success in a very competitive market. Especially in the times, we’re living in.

The experience your small business provides is about how customers can communicate with you and solve their problems. It’s about the effectiveness of your website, contact, the payment process, how long it must take for an answer, etc. An experience free of frustrations and easy will keeps customers coming back for more.

Also, excellent customer experiences is a great marketing strategy because your satisfied customers will talk about it and it will establish trust with new leads. It will help you to convert them into long-term customers.

  1. Use Free PR Opportunities

Most people think that PR opportunities are pretty expensive. But there are many free opportunities to try for your business. You just need to know where to look.

Start with HARO. It allows you to sign up to receive requests from journalists looking for sources in your industry. You’ll have to read newsletters to seek opportunities. But it’s a great way to build credibility and boost your business.

You can also use free press release services to distribute content about new services, products, promotions, and events your company is hosting. Make your research about free, trusted, press release services.

  1. Create High-Quality Content

Offering value to your audience is a great way to attract them to your site. You can build trust that can lead to a lasting and profitable relationship. It does take time to create great content, but if you’re doing it yourself, it’s also free.

Create high-quality blog posts and use long-tail keywords to attract traffic to your site. Use a lead magnet, like a free guide or checklist to build your email list. Submit your quality content to high-authority publications, which will help to increase your domain authority and get more targeted traffic.

You can also have an FAQ section on your site, which is both optimized for SEO and designed to answer customer questions.

  1. Find Partnerships

Partnerships are a super cost-effective way to reach new, interested, customers.

Contact potential partners that have the same customer base as you do. Offer an incentive for their referrals to work with you and you can do the same for them. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

You and your partner will grow your business, and customers will benefit from receiving a trusted referral. They save time and money.

  1. Use Free Trials

Offer free consultations or free trials. Allowing potential clients the opportunity to see why you’re a great fit without charging them upfront can help them feel more comfortable in investing time and money with your business.

Also, you can have boundaries in place to protect yourself. You can have a limit for only a 30-minute consultation where you talk about services or having a two-week limit on a free trial.

Good clients will think this is a fair trade.

  1. Use Reviews and Referrals

Reviews and referrals are very important tips for businesses. People are more likely to purchase if they’ve been referred by a friend, and 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.

Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful, and online reviews can be essential too. Stats show that 90% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they’ll trust a recommendation from a friend.

Ask happy, loyal, customers if they’ll leave a review online. Google and LinkedIn are all popular choices.

You can also set up a referral program, which offers incentives like cash, discounts, or freebies every time a client’s referral signs up to purchase from you. Referral marketing generates higher conversion rates and higher retention rates than most other marketing forms.

  1. Use Social Media

Social media marketing is a great way to establish trust with your target audience. Make sure you’re posting consistently and sharing a lot of visual content (videos and images) to get your audience’s attention.

If you have a budget you can use ads. Facebook ads or YouTube ads are a great way to promote your business.

  1. Use Free Ad Credits

Many advertising platforms provide new businesses and advertisers free ad credits. Sometimes, you can even find vouchers on sites like Fiverr or eBay for ad credits.

Also, if you want to keep your ad spend low, you can always set bid caps to ensure that you’re never spending money over the amount of your choice per click or action.

Your small business needs marketing to grow and generate sales. Even if you have a budget, you can still use these free or low-cost marketing tips to attract your target audience and promote successfully your brand.

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marketing business Startups

Marketing Strategies: 5 Tips on How to Improve Customer Loyalty and Increase sales

Marketing Strategies: 5 Tips on How to Improve Customer Loyalty and Increase sales

These days are very difficult (Pandemic) for your online business. You need to improve customer loyalty to increase sales and grow your brand. If customers are not loyal, they’ll buy from your competitors.

Customer loyalty is a necessity if you want your online business to be successful.

Marketing Strategies: How to Improve Customer Loyalty and Increase sales

Here are some marketing strategies and tips about how to improve customer loyalty and increase your sales.

  1. Customer Loyalty and Appreciation

People want to feel appreciated. Your customers could have chosen another brand, but they decided to buy from you. Show them that you appreciate their purchase through gifts and rewards.

  1. Give Gifts to Customers

It’s no-right to think that if you give gifts you will “buy” your customer loyalty. Remember that your competitors also have loyalty programs. Some customers expect some kind of reward after making a purchase, especially when repeat business is the norm.

If you want to make an impact with your gifts and improve your customer loyalty you need to put some thought into it. It needs to be a gift that provides value to the customer, otherwise, it’s just a waste of your money.

It’s better to give something special. Give them something that feels like a bonus or a prize. And if it’s unexpected all the better!

  1. Types of Customers and Gifts

Prospective Customers

The best way to add value to a customer is to give them something they need. There are two main types of customers: prospective and current. Prospective clients are those people that are interested in your brand but they haven’t made any purchase.

A prospective client may subscribe to your email newsletter, read your blog, or follow you on social media.

The best gift to give prospective customers is a free prize. Choose something that is trendy and is related to your brand.

You can host a competition and give prizes to winners. People should register using their names and email addresses if they want to take part in the competition. You can hold the competition on your social media page or at a live event.

This competition will boost your brand’s visibility and increase your online followers. People will be talking about your brand.

If it’s a live event, you can give all the participants branded items with your company name and logo.

You can use the competition email list to send prospective clients more information about your products or services.

Send them one week later another email that offers them a discount for being first-time buyers.

Current Customers

You can provide value for your current customers by giving them points. For every purchase they make, they earn points equivalent to the purchase value.

You can also create special VIP loyalty programs for frequent buyers. They spend more on your business. There should be exclusive discounts and gift coupons for this category. Since this category has your most loyal customers, they deserve special rewards.

  1. Value and Expense

Any gift you give to prospective and current customers must add value to your business. You need to not overspending. Calculate the overall value of a client. How much does a customer spend on your products every month or year?

The value of the gift should be equal to the average annual expenditure of the customer.

Attention! With new customers, it can be tricky because you don’t know if they continue to support your business or they only want the gift and then will disappear.

  1. Gift Personalization

If you want customers to remember and support your brand, you have to make the gift unique. Look into individual customer profiles. Do they have families? What are their hobbies or interests?

It’s not always possible to know enough about individual customers to get them something highly personalized. You can use more generic gifts, particularly those related to your industry because if the customer falls into your target demographics, they probably have the same wants and needs.

If you want to avoid the guessing game use discounts or cash rewards. Also, you can use prepaid debit gift cards. These gift cards are very popular and many brands are using them.

Gift cards work like cash and can be used anywhere that takes typical debit/credit cards.

You can add your brand logo on gift cards to remind them of your business every time they use their gift card.

It’s important to satisfy your customers. Satisfied customers are loyal to your business, buy more, and advertise your brand for free. So take action now! Create a new marketing strategy, improve your customer loyalty, and increase your sales.

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business Ask Entrepreneur Startups

Working From Home: 4 Tips for New Entrepreneurs [Infographic]

If you’re new to the work-from-home lifestyle, because of a pandemic or because you have a remote-based job, you’ll need to change some of your habits and routines to make working from home a success.

You don’t need a high-tech office to work at home. The new model laptop and 3 screens won’t lead to maximum productivity. As long as you have the equipment you need to do your job and a dedicated space to work, you are ready to go!

Working From Home: Tips for New Entrepreneurs

Here are some interesting tips for new entrepreneurs and working from home benefits

Make sure you have a comfortable space where you can concentrate for a few hours.

Feel free to move around. Changing location can help and increase your creativity and offer a new, fresh, perspective.

Benefits

There are benefits to working from home. Your colleagues can’t disturb you anymore, the phone isn’t going to ring with a client or customer needing assistance. Your boss cannot check you all the time. You are calm and happy.

You have fewer meetings taking up your day. You may think there are fewer distractions when you are not in the office.

But the lack of social interaction can also have the opposite effect. Here are some tips to boost your productivity.

  1. Plan Your Meals. Don’t waste time wondering what to have for breakfast or lunch. Plan your meals and prepare lunch the day prior so you don’t disrupt too much of your day.
  2. Go for a walk. Get out of the house and get some fresh air. A 30-minute walk around the local area can boost your mindset and get you back in the zone. Fresh and ready for work.
  3. Talk with a friend or colleague. Too much isolation can affect your mood negatively so check in with friends and colleagues. Reconnecting can give you a much-needed boost. Attention! don’t talk for hours – you need to work, not to talk!
  4. Avoid Social Media. You can use a social media blocking tool during work hours to minimize distractions. It can be tempting to take a scroll through your channels but social media isn’t always helpful for your mindset.

Mental and Physical Health

Anxiety fears and stress can ruin your health. You can make a few small changes to increase your motivation and inspire productivity.

Be more sociable with clients and colleagues. Talk to them and help them. They need your help.

Don’t feel pressured to maintain the old work lifestyle. Work into the night if you need. Work more hours if you feel great. Work more flexibly to accommodate the ‘new normal’.

What About The Old Office Work?

With the new normal people are learning new ways to work at home.

Stats show that after the first lockdown only a few people (1/4) felt emotionally ready to go back to their old life in the office. Some companies are encouraging employees to go back to the office and some companies are liking more remote work.

Let’s see the pros and cons

Pros:

No commute
Save money on transport
No office rent
More comfortable
Flexibility
Healthier meals
More time with family

Cons:

Less socialization
Higher home energy bills
Family distraction
Same scenery every day
Work-life gets muddled
Collaboration suffers

The last year has raised conversations about flexible working and working from home. Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work and personal life.

Figure out what works best for you. Sometimes you might need some inspiration from other people who work from home. A supportive community of remote employees does exist, whether you find them in your organization’s Slack channel or online through blogs or Twitter.