Automation: The Risk to Financial Jobs

Suppose it is 2030, and you’re teaching in a business school. What will be your reaction to seeing just a handful of learners attending your class?

Well, it must be disappointing, but it has nothing do with your pedagogical skill, nor it’s about the subject matter you’re teaching or your school’s ranking. Students do not enroll simply because the finance sector has no jobs for them. And automation is one of the main reasons behind this phenomenon.

You might find it hard to believe because management, economics, finance, and accounting are some of the popular subjects at the graduate level in the most universities. Students opt for these subjects as they are associated with high employability however; that is changing due to advances in technology and automation.

According to Opimas a renowned consulting firm, the future is going to be harder for many universities in terms of selling business-related degrees. Another latest research showed that by 2050, nearly 230,000 financial jobs will be lost to artificial intelligence agents and bots.

To put it simply, when a vehicle manufacturer finds aluminum or any other material lighter, easier and cheaper to make cars with than steel, they stop using it. They replace it to gain functional and financial advantage. It is the same when it comes to evaluating the future of the finance sector.

The current situation raises a few questions:

Are current and prospective financial jobs under threat? Are robotic advisers/employees the future of finance?

Let’s find out.

Artificial Intelligence- A New Generation

A survey from Aite Group –a research firm evaluated that businesses have started investing in automated portfolios. The investment rate increased to 210% in 2015. Many recent reports by market analysts found that robo- advisers have taken over already in some giant corporations. Wall Street is just one of the examples that have replaced hundreds of its financial analysts with robo advisors and high-tech software.

Oxford academics in its 2013’s paper claims that approximately 74% of professions are at high risk of becoming automated in the next 10 to 20 years; 54% of jobs among them will be in the finance industry, which is alarming. The phenomenon is not just confined to the United States. Indian banks, for example, have also reported a decline of 9% in headcount in the last two consecutive quarters due to the hiring of robots at the workplace, which shows how automation is taking over in the finance sector.

Perhaps, it’s not surprising in finance, particularly as the banking industry is all about processing information. And most of its key operations, like passbook update and cash deposits, have been digitized. This is one of the reasons why financial institutions and banks are adopting advance Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

This new generation of technology has enabled institutes to automate their financial tasks that were traditionally performed by humans. That includes risk management, operations, algorithmic trading, and wealth management.

For instance, the COIN program and Contract Intelligence that run on a specific machine learning system, help banks shorten the time taken to review loans. Plus, the software is great at providing impeccable loan servicing to customers. Considering AI‘s growing dominance, Accenture predicts that the banking sector will make AI a’ primary way of interaction with the customers within three years. It is because AI enables a simple and easy user interface to help banks provide a human-like client experience.

Luvo, in this regard, is a virtual chatbot that uses IBM Watson technology to learn and understand from human interaction, making manual workforce redundant in the process.

Fintech Grads- A Traditional Threat to Banking

This might sound surprising to you, but universities are revising and reviewing their traditional education blueprints to adapt to new technological disruption in the financial job market. Business schools, like Georgetown and Stanford University, are planning to include “fintech” in their MBA programs. This inclusion aims to make students learn, understand, and master financial technology.

One reason why Fintech firms are being considered an existential threat to traditional banks is that they work differently than traditional banks. Plus, not only do fintech firms understand consumer issues, but also solve them in a fraction of time. They have become a reliable funding option for customers look to invest in various businesses.

The key weakness of the banking system lies in its technical debt. Banks are lagging due to their antiqued IT setups that date back to last century. Fintech, on the other hand, is in a winning position with its fast-moving and technology-led services, particularly in investment and loan systems for e-commerce businesses.

Kabbage is a perfect example that gives technology-led loans to e-commerce businesses for which traditional banking is not only slow but also inflexible when it comes to lending finances.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is another financial innovation that enables Fintech providers to create applications on data of bank accounts. APIs will be a long-term solution for data providers as it takes away the crucial information (that only traditional banking employees have). Fintech providers will have the same quantity and quality of data without having any physical branches.

Is Dependence on Robo Advisors Safe?

There is no denying that robot advisers, AI, and Fintech are changing the way traditional banking is done. Many financial analysts consider them the biggest drivers in the financial sector.

However, for many analysts, it’s still not clear to what extent automation and AI will prove to be advantageous for the financial sector. They believe that relying completely on artificial intelligence could backfire if there are no humans to supervise everything.

No doubt robo advisors are inexpensive and save a lot of time and effort when it comes to creating investment portfolios. But there is no guarantee that they will not struggle when it is about taking correct precautionary measures if the market becomes volatile and thousands of machines are trying to operate the same thing at great speed.

In 2012, Knight Capital Group- a robo stock trader lost $450 million in just 40 minutes when it went on a spending spree. That means these well programmed and high-tech robo-traders can cause chaos and fatal errors in the financial markets.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there is no denying that rapidly growing dependence on automated devices and robo-technologies are raising many concerns for financial jobs. From banking systems to other financial institutes, automated technologies, like Fintech, APIs, and AI, are considered an integral part of the operations. They are slowly taking over and making employees redundant.

 

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What’s ERP Software and Why Do You Need One?

With the rapid growth in technologies, the ERP software market may cross $41.69 billion in profit by 2020. The statistics are enough to demonstrate the impact of this technology on businesses. This figure is undeniably impressive and reflects how important it is for businesses in the future. Incorporating ERP software is one way marketers can give their brand a competitive edge.

If your startup is in the initial phases and you are looking for a technology to help you manage business functions, ERP software is ideal, and if you don’t how, this article is worth reading.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning system. Many organizations use this software package to manage business activities, including project management, procurement, accounting, distribution operations, and manufacturing. It helps in day-to- day business functions while centralizing them within an integrated system.

The software is more useful when managing supply chain activities or keeping a track record of the moving parts of distribution and manufacturing. The use of ERP software is not confined to these business domains. It is utilized by a plethora of different domains that include nonprofit groups, construction, healthcare, and hospitality. Companies requiring inventory, staff, and customer management can rely on this advanced software.

In addition, ERP software stores data in a single database that allows different sections to work in collaboration by using the same information. ERP can organize and analyze data in the form of reports. In short, ERP software is great for bringing together the following functions into a single system:

  • Human resources
  • Financial management
  • Customer management
  • Business intelligence
  • Inventory
  • Supply chain functions

Here are some more reasons why your business needs ERP software.

Why Your Business Needs ERP Software

You might be wondering how ERP software is different from other software that performs similar functions. Although ERP software has the same goals of managing business functions, it has a number of unique features that make it extremely distinctive from other software.

Saves Money

You may find it a surprising fact, but ERP software is a good investment in terms of flexible pricing and saving money. For small companies, the initial price may seem heavy, but once they start using it, the software can help the business save a lot of money.

This means ERP software can significantly increase ROI. It is simply because the system unifies multiple systems that businesses often use in fragments. From accounts payable to product development, the staff can access the necessary tools by using a single centralized system. The software efficiently helps save time by keeping employees from hunting down information across different systems.

Improves Collaboration

This ERP feature generally varies as it depends upon the program business is using, but it does have a strong impact on collaboration in one way or other. As mentioned earlier, ERP works with a unique centralized database that provides the business a source to work in collaboration. Not only does it reduces the risk of errors caused by incorrect data but also minimizes costs.

Moreover, ERP software reduces during projects as team members can access to whatever data they need. The information doesn’t require merging within sources or system because data is carefully collected, stored, and shared through one system. To put it simply, employees do not have to worry about accuracy, completion, and security of data files.

Helps in Better Analytics

Businesses need ERP software if they want to improve data analytics and statistical reporting.  ERP software, in this regard, is ideal as its store’s data as input and makes for an unparalleled business intelligence tool. If vendors provide good functionality, ERP can be a great help in generating fast and accurate reports. The efficient software makes report compilation (that used to take days) a matter of minutes.

Besides this, the option of customizable dashboard enables executives to see the reports at the time they are uploaded onto the system. The reports include information related to expense statements and custom KPIs that has important insights for certain functions. The report access is also beneficial when a company has to make a quick and better decision.

Improves Productivity

There is no comparison of ERP software and traditional methods that make tedious tasks even more difficult. Employees used to invest hours for the tasks like monitoring inventory, generating reports, processing orders, and timesheet tracking. Not only were these tasks time consuming but also lower the morale of employees, increasing the risk of errors.

ERP software solves all these problems as it can conveniently automate even the most tedious task. With its integrated database, ERP eliminates all the redundant and time taking tasks, like data entry. It improves productivity by allowing the system to do advanced calculations quickly. The automatic features free up employees and provide an opportunity to focus on other important tasks to improve ROI. That means ERP software can increase business productivity, profitability, and efficiency.

Simplified Risk Management

ERP is must have software if your business is expanding internationally to keep track of imposed regulations on the business. Even if the business is local, there is a plethora of human resource, information security, and environmental regulations you need to consider.

The good news is that ERP considers these regulations so that businesses can maintain compliance. The software incorporates built-in auditing features to assist businesses with documenting tax provision and chemical use. This makes everything incredibly easy, from formulating reports to sending them to the pertinent governing authority. This feature makes ERP software a great tool to manage risk.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, ERP software is a panacea of all the hectic, tedious, and manual business functions. The advanced software is multifunctional and helps businesses improve functions, accuracy, reliability, and financial management. The integrated system can exceptionally manage a wide range of business activities from supply chain management and procurement to accounting, and operations.

In other words, businesses cannot deny the functional significance of this all-in-one software to enhance their overall productivity.

 

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How To Keep Cash Flow Positive As A Business Startup

One of the biggest challenges for any business startup is the ability to have positive cash flow at all times throughout the year. When times get lean,and profits go down, you can feel a pinch in your working capital and need a way to build these monetary reserves back up to their peak. The reverse holds true when profits are soaring and you are making bank – you feel the beneficial weight of some added funds sitting in your cash flow reserves ready to be spent. But, you need to even out this cyclical trend with a positive cash flow all year-round. Here are some ways you can keep your working capital positive throughout your sales cycle.

Prevent Overspending

One of the easiest ways to get your cash flow in check is to stop overspending when the need is really not there. It can be tempting to buy the latest and greatest of everything for your business,but if tomorrow’s sales take a dip, you will find your reserves a little slimmer than normal. Spend cautiously on what you need for your business startup to survive each day. This can help you have the cash you need when an issue arises without having to struggle to come up with the funding.

Stay On Top Of Invoicing

Getting paid for the work you have completed is an arduous task for any startup. It is no fun chasing down late payments, but it is your responsibility as a business startup owner to make sure your invoicing goes out on time and gets paid. Getting your invoicing in order can make sure you have a steady flow of income coming in and can make sure money is left over for positive cash flow at the end of each and every month.

Track Daily-To-Day Costs

Keeping a good record of your costs all throughout the year can help you better identify where you are overspending. You may need to reign in your expenses, but without tracking them, you have no way of knowing where your cash flow is going each day. Keep a record of all the expenses you make every single day and review them to see where you can cut back. You may be making unnecessary purchases that are costing are adding up and affecting your working capital.

Keep A Cushion

If you know your business startup struggles from time-to-time with its working capital, you can plan for these times by setting aside a cushion of funds that you can rely on when you need it. This can make your slower months easier to bear and provide you a solid reserve that you can count on when an emergency arises. It can give you some added security that you have the funds when profits dip and keep you in the black all throughout the year.

Estimate Future Earning Conservatively

When you look ahead, it can be easy to overestimate what your earning will be the following year. You may anticipate sales that don’t come to fruition or unexpected circumstances could take hold. To keep your cash flow positive, be realistic in your future earnings and plan for the unexpected, so you don’t wind up in a situation where your working capital vanishes without warning.

Increase Sales

While it goes without saying that increasing your sales can help grow your cash flow, but this is one area that business startups can lag in. Think about the ways that you can add value to your offerings and entice customers to buy more than ever before. Bundles and add-ons are simple ways to get a customer to spend more with you and help increase your sales in any given month. You need to consider all the ways that you can get each transaction to its maximum value so you can have that extra working capital after your receivables, payroll, and expenses have been paid.

Secure A Short-Term Investor

Short-term angel investors are a sure-fire way to jump start your business startup and get the funding you need to help with your cash flow problems. They can help provide funding when times are tough and allow you to breathe a little easier with their financial support. A short-term angel investor can provide you money to grow your business while still maintain the day-to-day flow. Paid back over a shorter amount of time, these seed investors help to give you more flexibility and provide an alternative means of securing funding for your business startup.

Create Loyal Customers

Turning your customers into to loyal fans that frequent your business on a regular basis can help you grow sales and increase your profits all throughout the year. These repeat customers can give you business start up the boost it needs while also helping your working capital to balloon with each purchase. When you can count on a customer to return to your business, not only does it ensure another sale but it makes it easier to project future sales and keep your cash flow from dipping into the red.

Keep Inventory Lean

Making sure that you don’t overstock your inventory can also prevent a negative cash flow for your startup business. Practice being lean and only have the inventory you need at any given time. This can make a difference in your business’ bottom line and improve your cash flow situation. Having product and materials on hand may be nice,but it can affect your ability to have the cash reserves when you need it most. Keeping inventory to a minimum takes a special knack, but you will find that your operations are just as efficient and you are not waiting months to sell your backlog, affecting your monthly working capital.

Taking stock of your cash flow on a daily basis can make sure it is positively flowing each and every month. These simple tips can help you stay in the black and make your working capital less of a worry for your business startup. Planning  ahead, staying lean, and growing your sales will ensure you have the cash reserves you need to keep your business startup afloat year-round.

 

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5 Steps to Create a Good Back Up

There is no denying that protecting or securing your company’s data is of paramount importance. Whether it is a client’s files, project details or any important communication, everything needs to be securely saved in a digital format. Losing important data can have ethical ramifications and it can be professionally catastrophic.

That is to say, cyber security must not be taken lightly. No matter whether it is your family picture or any other important document, data protection is important. Many of us consider downloading anti-virus software enough when it comes to protecting valuable files.

However, this software can easily be hacked as soon as hacker gets access to it. That means finding other solutions that help you recover your valuable data is crucial.

That is where you need to implement a backup strategy in order to prevent data loss permanently. Whether you are analyzing your existing backup plan or implementing it for the first time, here we have included five important steps to help you create an effective backup plan.

Before we get into the details of creating back up data, it is essential to understand why it is vital.

Why You Should Have a Backup Strategy?

If you are a startup, you need to understand that your business reputation is one of the most important aspects to strengthen your relationship with your customers. Losing a customer’s personal data may raise questions on your credibility.

According to a recent survey conducted in 2017, an average data breach costs around seven million dollars. This is a significant impact that very few companies can afford. Another survey estimated that approximately 60% of firms that lose data due to any reason close within five months.

Not to ignore, companies are at risk of losing valuable data permanently. Malware and viruses can destroy it and are some of the most dominant threats to data security. However, 60% IT professionals consider that careless employees are a significant risk to personal or professional data.

There is no doubt that these risks can bring financial instability to your company. Without a proper backup system, both your company’s reputation as well other assets are at stake.

Steps to Create Backup

1. Assess the Backup Needs of Your Company

Assessing the backup needs of your company is the first step. You need to consider several things. Here we have broken it into three important points.

What Company Data needs Protection?

To answer this question precisely, everything needs to be protected. Losing even minor data files permanently can be of high risk. To put it simply, all of your data is crucial to keep everything operational.

Consider these questions for both long and short-term benefits.

  • Do you need to restore data?
  • Do you need an ability to recover data?
  • Do you need uninterrupted services to be available to your clients?
  • Do you need to implement back up strategy for your operating system, databases, configuration, and applications?

All these questions will help you make a comprehensive data backup strategy. Plus, considering these points before devising a backup strategy will set a clear direction for the right backup solution.

What Data Risks you have?

Considering your data risks is vital to prevent the risks of cyber crime. You need some of the best back up strategies to protect data from professional hackers.

Here are some important considerations:

  • Have your systems been hacked in the past?
  • Are your careless employees the reason for poor security?
  • Is your location safe in terms of weather-related damage?
  • Can your clients also access the company’s data from anywhere?

These questions can be really helpful to identify risks that your data faces.

2. Evaluate Best Backup Strategy Options

Once you have determined the backup needs for your business, you need to evaluate various backup strategy options you have. Here are some backup options you can choose according to your setup and needs.

Software Solution

You may buy software backup that can be less pricey than investing in hardware backup.  You can easily install them on your systems using a separate server for them. Installing software backup may be an ideal option if your business infrastructure is dynamic.

Cloud Services

It is an offsite backup facility that allows users to run their backups and stores them in the vendors’ cloud infrastructure. It is secure and affordable, but often not suitable for companies that have sensitive data and/or are subject to various regulatory requirements.

Hybrid Solutions

One of the popular and advanced options is implementing a hybrid backup solution. It is a combination of cloud backups that comes with multiple data restoring options. Not only does it provide you with on-site backup, but you can also recover data from the cloud network.

3. Budgeting

Creating a budget for your backup solution is the third step in your plan. You need to review all your options with their cost in order to choose what suits your infrastructure best. Cloud-based back-ups are more affordable in terms of capital expenditure for most startups. Make sure you estimate the cost of:

  • Data lost due to a disaster or data breach
  • To  train staff to manage backup

4. Implement

You have reviewed both your backup solution options and their cost, and now it is time to implement your chosen option. Make sure that your infrastructure has technology expertise both in hardware and software installation.

No matter what backup option you choose, they need to be properly configured. Plus, proper backup is pivotal to maintaining a stable, healthy and ethical practice. That is why they need to be implemented appropriately.

5. Test and Review

To avoid catastrophic data loss and minimize the risk of inadequate data recovery, testing your backup solution is essential. There may be serious flaws in your implemented backup strategy. It is always better to test your backup solution routinely before completely relying on it.

Simulate some real scenarios to protect major data loss just by deleting a single file.

At the same time, keep reviewing your backup strategy as technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Timely reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of your plan will allow you to adjust your backup strategy for the better.

Final Thoughts

Overall, implementing the most effective backup strategies is undeniably the safest option to protect your crucial data.

 

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Business Opportunities for 2019

The constant change in consumer demands and requirements has led to a continuous shift in the nature of businesses and the way they are operated. Globalization and technology are changing the business world at an exponential rate.

Running a business online, something that was a far cry about 50 years ago, has become an absolute necessity today. Similarly, opportunities that might have seemed impossible are most lucrative ones to avail.

So here is a list of the top businesses, if agreed upon with utmost enthusiasm and determination, which are bound to bring success in the coming years.

E-Commerce Distribution Center

As clichéd as it might sound, the e-commerce sector is growing every year and is expected to grow by 56% by 2020. Countries that are particularly economically developed, such as the US, have a growing sense of satisfaction in its people when it comes to ordering online. The continuous rise in e-commerce markets is especially due to the increased use of smartphones.

Thus, with such favorable conditions, e-commerce markets are inevitably rising as well. Albeit platforms like Amazon (B2C), eBay (C2C), makes it a little challenging for new businesses to grow, and those who risk entering this lucrative market are bound to look for solutions with distribution.

The reason being the task of storing and distributing is a significant part of running an e-commerce business, and the increasing number of online small and medium-sized businesses will inevitably look for such services to help them compete.

Data Crunching (Consultation)

Not very long ago there was a time when data at hand was insignificant for making substantial analysis, but with the increasing use of social media platforms and websites, valuable data is generated every other second.

This idea is not only about collecting a vast array of numbers, but it is also about deciphering them in a way that gives insights and understanding to the business in question. Thus, data related fields are at a continuous rise. With the right combination of skills and resources, this business opportunity tends to be a lucrative one.

Car Charging Station

We are all aware of the increasing popularity of hybrid – all-electric cars in particular. Encouraged by the state, entailing long-term benefits and being environmentally friendly, these cars are here to stay. With an incredibly high demand for all-electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, which was sold out before even arriving in the showrooms, there is bound to be a subsequent rise in the percentage of existing charging stations.

Instead of hundreds, thousands need to be built in order to cater to the rising demand for electric powered cars. The idea is not only to encourage the use of this eco-friendly vehicle, but it will also, most likely, eliminate the hesitation to take cars outside the city worrying about a charging station.

Privacy Protection Firm (Cyber Security Software Company)

Year after year, cybersecurity is becoming a major area of concern for many. From money (credit cards) to communication (emails, SMS) to even personal identity (social media platforms), practically everything has a virtual presence that is vulnerable to a breach of information.

With the increasing number of cyber threats, privacy protection companies are in demand more than they ever were. We can be sure that governments around the world are now taking reactive measures of passing cybersecurity laws to prevent beaches, data leaks, and related issues.

Social Media Consultancy/ Management

Social media platforms are breaking the conventional methods of doing businesses; stats have shown about a 198 percent increase in e-commerce websites due to social media referring. That is why companies nowadays are willing to spend significant amounts on the management of their social media accounts.

Social media accounts are not only boosting leads, but also significantly increasing sales and generating valuable insights for organizations to plan ahead.

Hence, there is a rising demand for agencies and consultants who are credible enough to provide the necessary social network support that organizations nowadays are eagerly looking for.

Affordable Elderly Facilities

The aging population is the US is growing at a rapid rate. It is estimated that by 2050 around one-fifth of the entire US population will be over 65, resulting in an inevitable requirement for old age facilities.

Since there is a general perception of poor quality treatment and other problems in these accommodations, it is pivotal that all such notions be overruled by establishing accommodation that offers superior care and caters to the current and future demands of this area.

Car sharing

Drawn from the concepts of renting houses and spaces, renting cars are next in line in the renting businesses. This business has the potential to generate millions with a simple rule of thumb; to charge at least 1% of the total cost of the house/vehicle.

This business is rising at a fast rate, as there are numerous people who prefer using cars for a short period of time or have a need for another type of car that is different from theirs.

These are precisely the reasons why car-hailing services, such as Uber, have been so successful in such a short span of time.

Innovative Tech-Tools Providers

With on-going breakthroughs in technology, artificial intelligence systems, virtual reality, and so on, are in regular demand nowadays. AI is required in manufacturing as well as the service sector, while virtual reality is being used in studies (medical and art), as well as businesses to visualize business and financial models.

However, various studies have proven that gaining access to new system/technology is not nearly a challenge as implementing and sustaining that system. Change theories are not new to us; they have and will always give us a general picture of enforcing advancement in the current practices.

Hence, there is a need for catalysts – change agents – who not only deliver the right technology to meet the organization’s need, but also ensure that the people in the organization develop a certain level of comfort with their new system.

This business has a lot of potential because it will not only tap the future needs of organizations for the latest technologies, but it will efficiently bridge a gap between inventors and end consumers.

 

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3 Smart Ways to Expand Your Customer Base in 21  Days

 

What is Customer base?

A customer base is considered to be the group of customer who always comes back to buy more product or service provided by any business. It is better to understand your target audience or customers each product or service made or supplied by the business is aimed at the customer base as they are the hopes of revenue generation for future endeavors.

It’s important to understand that it is far more cost-efficient and easier way to retain a customer than to gain new customers as acquiring new customers can sometimes mean an entirely new marketing strategy to be developed and adopted by the whole business, which can add to the expense. Hence, a very dynamic approach must be used to maximize sales, i.e. keep old customers and make new customers.

More two-way communication instead of just one-way communication

Customer must be treated as an asset and their feelings and suggestions towards the product must be taken into account to make it into an even more accessible and easy to use in a better way. As it is expected the old retaining customers can help bring new customers. Retained customers will feel a lot more involved with the company thus pushing their undying loyalty towards an increment.

Customer’s suggestion has helped many companies make slight changes to their product which can even help them set a USP (Unique Selling Point) as they might discover a loophole no one else might have. Some companies stopped themselves from failing miserably just by focusing on what the customer wanted, rather than what the company wanted to make. This has even led some companies that make shampoos to turn into making other products like face wash due to their customer base demand.

Maintain good after sales service and support for the customers

An effective calls support system helps the company outshine other companies. Some companies may have the most innovated product but due to some technical, usability issues and confusions have led to their termination.

A customer will always choose and trust a place that has provided all the necessary information online. Hence, It is critically important to keep fresh new content on the website with all the necessary FAQ already answered with instructions if any.

An even better option is to provide each individual as to their status of their purchased good e.g. if it is processing or has been completed and the product must be on the way with an exact date and time of receiving. This helps the company gain a little trust and patience as they could now see their purchase status. This also helps the customer support team to deal with real customers real problems that are technical.

Promote business through social media and always keep on updating fresh content

Another very innovative technique is to use bloggers on Google and vloggers on YouTube and Facebook and sponsor them to advertise your product for 10-15 seconds with very specific instructions as to what they have to say and a short how to use film. This helps reach a very vast audience with very low cost.  It is not necessary that a product that failed in the USA for technical reasons will also fail in India.

Snapchat is a very useful tool for businesses to get their product out there in the eyes of a wider audience. Snapchat helps these businesses show off different things like how their product is different, the background, production, usability and the office environment showing smiles giving the customer a sense of hard work with more smiles than sweat.

Some companies have even changed their logos and outer appearance for a better impact on the customer. By using brighter colors and short, attractive slogans can help achieve newer customers. Most small start-ups are using YouTube vloggers to introduce their product and even sometimes make them their product activist. This is a much efficient and cost-saving way than using TV advertisements which is very costly.

Some companies have even resorted to no TV advertisements but somewhat social media, e.g. Snapchat, Instagram to promote their products, e.g. Lamborghini Automotive. Newer car companies are also making their own YouTube channels to improve and show off their concept cars and newer models, e.g. Tesla, Koenigsegg .etc.

Other quick adjustments to attract new customers

Another very well known way to gain new customers is to partner up with another company that has already either been in business, is new with innovation or has a considerable following. This allows for the companies to benefit mutually from the partnership either for long-term or temporary. This has been done throughout history and is not a new idea.

It is also very imperative to know your target audience. This will help you target a specific group who will be your customer people from outside your target demographic will be a surplus. This helps the company stick with one line of action as a strategy. This will affect the way you package, color and show the overall aura of your brand, e.g.

Kids will not a buy juice box that is black and white hence, juice packaging that is aimed at kids is mostly bright in color as it catches the attention of the viewer’s eye. Similarly, if you are making extremely sweet nitrogen Ice cream, the primary customers will not cross the age of 35 or 40 at most. Similarly, Ferrari was aimed at young millionaires hence it is spaced and colored accordingly however on the other hand rolls Royce is aimed at much older gentlemen who are now retired. Therefore, it speaks luxury signifying that they made it.

 

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The Building Blocks for Great Marketing Copy

Marketers and copywriters craft the best marketing copy to guarantee more conversions and sales.

But how do you write the best copy that convinces even the most demanding consumers?

What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to creating the image a business wants to portray to their consumers and stakeholders. Marketing is all about representing your image and establishing your unique identity in the market.

Marketing content is not restricted to your products and services. A company can market its work culture to attract the best pool of talented employees. A business can also market its eco-friendly operations to show that they care for the environment we live in.

Common formats of marketing copy include:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Social media posts
  • Landing pages
  • Whitepapers
  • Video scripts
  • Infographics
  • Paid ad copy
  • CTA copy
  • Email
  • Case studies
  • Webinars

Now that you know what marketing copy is all about, here are the best ways to write an attention-grabbing marketing copy.

Focus on a Single Message

The best copy revolves around a single subject. While copywriters and marketing gurus are multi-taskers, they strongly recommend focusing on one message that is the crux of your campaign.

For instance, if you are writing a copy for a company that sells Bluetooth earphones along with other accessories, such as speakers, create unique content for each product. Whether you’re writing a blog post or creating a landing page, there should be separate information available for every product.

Brainstorm

There’s no copy without understanding the philosophy behind producing and selling a product. If you run a small business, here are a few factors to consider:

  • What are your strengths?
  • Why is your product different than other products in the market?
  • How do you aim to serve your consumers?
  • What are the channels or mediums that you want to use for your marketing campaigns?

Once you’ve identified the goals you want to accomplish with your copy, crafting the best marketing copy becomes easier. The best way to capture your audience is to address a current problem that needs to be dealt right away.

If you’re a web design and development company, base your marketing copy on statistics that reveal how much online traffic has shifted to mobile devices. This way you can pitch companies that are in need of responsible websites.

Keep it simple

No need to complicate things when all your consumers want to read is simple information. Owing to an exponentially decreasing attention span of today’s busy online visitors, the simplest copy gets the most views and shares. This is because an average user is unaware of the technical terms and jargon you might be tempted to use in our copy.

Keep it short and simple and avoid long-run sentences. Make sure you come up with adjective-rich copy that sums ups the best part of your products in just one word.

Use catchy headlines

Boring headlines and clichés are just a big turn-off.

What’s marketing without any creativity? Interesting headlines ignite interest and push your audience to skim through a blog post or open an email. A few effective ways to create your headlines are:

  • Pose a question to pique your visitors’ interest
  • Compile “Top 10” like lists related to your products and services
  • Include a current or trending subject in your headline
  • Make an irresistible offer if you’re writing a copy for your social media pages

Value-added services include complementary products and discounted services to first-time and loyal customers. We all love free offers and consumers are always looking for something they can try out for free before investing. The fun part is that a great copy makes even the smallest of offers tempting and popular among customers.

Target the Fearful Customer

Copywriters are known to play off the customers’ fears. For instance, if you’re marketing an insect repellent spray, make your reader imagine a situation where his bed is infested with bed bugs. Nobody wants to imagine ugly crawling insects making their way to their children’s beds.

You’re not doing anything wrong here. You’re just identifying a current or potential problem and offering a solution. Basically, you’re playing off the masses. Needless to say, this is one of the best ways to push more sales.

Again, do your home work to identify what troubles your target audience. What drives them during the day and what keeps them up all night.

Convince not Converse

A customer only buys a product once he’s convinced that the product is going to solve his or her problem. Let’s say you are writing a copy to sell a dietary supplement. Listing ingredients and compounds is not enough to lure someone into buying the supplement.

Make sure you also list the benefits of each ingredient. Even if your marketing copy proclaims that a product solves a specific problem, consumers will remain doubtful. However, if you tell them ‘how’ it takes care of their problem, you convince challenging customers.

Call to Action

All great marketing copies come down to a clearly visible call to action. One deadly mistake that most marketers and copywriters commit is to keep CTA at the bottom of the page. While placing the call to action button in the end is a common practice, there is no fixed rule that prevents you from initiating customer activity during any part of your copy.

Whether it’s providing free consultation, receiving a free eBook or signing up for a newsletter, remember to incorporate CTA’s throughout your copy.

Test your copy

There are plenty of ways to test your marketing copy. The best method to track success is to conduct A/B tests. These tests can be done for any landing page, blog post or infographic. A/B testing helps businesses expand their outreach to a wider audience. It also helps marketing teams tweak suitable changes to their current and future campaigns.

Final Thoughts

Today’s smart consumers can tell the difference between functional and fad products. Great marketing stems from incredible products. If your products don’t add any value to your customers’ lives, not even the best marketing copy can save you. Focus on creating amazing products and let your marketing copy take your business to new heights of success.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Nail These 3 Strategies Before You Launch Your Social-Media Campaign

 

In today’s digital era, every business dreams to execute the perfect social media campaign to stay competitive. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or run a small business, the need to launch your social media campaign is becoming inevitable over time.

Some of the biggest businesses of our times are known to create strong social media campaigns. Not only these promotions lead to increased profits, these campaigns allow a business to connect with their consumers, on a human level.

Already, a large part of today’s online content has now moved on to social media. It is natural for businesses to work on creating the best social media campaign that is crafted to bridge the gap between businesses and their consumers.

Why do you need a social-media campaign?

  • Boost awareness
  • Increase loyalty
  • Earn more profits

When you spread awareness and offer solutions to your target audience’s problems, you automatically get a decent number of loyal customers.

Three Strategies you must nail before launching your Social Media Campaign

But before you implement your social-media strategy, here are 3 strategies you must work on to get the most out of your campaign.

1. Set a Goal

If you don’t have a goal, you don’t know what you want to achieve through your campaign. Your goal defines the content and sets the mood for your social media plan. When you put your audience first, you are eventually able to plan and execute a successful campaign on all channels.

Do your homework to know the needs, wants and challenges your audience faces every day. Companies can collect relevant information through surveys or study their consumer behavior to identify the most common problems.

Talk it out with your marketing team. Explain how your products or services aim to change the current scenario. When you clearly define the goals of your campaign, you are able to work on the heart and soul of your brand. This is the ‘one thing’ that sets you apart from your rivals.

Some common goals that today’s aspiring and established companies wish to achieve through a social media campaign include getting more followers, creating interest in a new product and building your mailing list. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a successful social media campaign. Hence, you need to define goals and objectives every time you are launching a new campaign.

There are many other factors that you need to focus on to guarantee true success.

  • Which platforms will work best?
  • What kind of content should I create?
  • Do I need to include a video in my campaign?
  • How do I assess and track results?

Once a business finds clear and precise answers to these questions, it is easier to design and deploy a campaign.

2. Setting a Calendar

Now that you’ve done all the strategic part of launching the promotion, you need to create a schedule or a yearly plan. Your marketing team sets a fixed schedule that also includes important events, product launches and your business accomplishments. A calendar makes it convenient for a company to initiate, assess and implement your campaigns.

There are many benefits of sticking to a fixed schedule. A calendar allows businesses to work on each individual channel. For instance, having separate posting schedules for your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts will let you create personalized content, ahead of time.

While Facebook continues to dominate all other social networks with roughly two billion monthly users, don’t forget to include other mediums such as Pinterest and YouTube. Since video content is going to capture more than 80% of all internet traffic by 2021, it is important that you also include a video strategy to attract more users.

If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, it is a great idea to start working on a couple of social media channels before embracing them all. Once you have a respectable fan following on one channel, you can direct your traffic to another medium.

3. Monitor Outcomes

What’s the point of creating or deploying a social media campaign when you fail to track down its progress? The truth is that it is crucial that you utilize analytic tools and metrics to judge the overall performance of your strategy.

If you do not know what tools or methods will give you the best tracking results, make sure you work with the best marketing team to help you gain valuable insights.

One thing to note is that the metrics of a campaign may change with its goal. For instance, if your promotional strategy is aimed at awareness, measure growth and engagement. The metrics also include shares, likes and dislikes.

If your business wants to boost its sales, track click rates, conversion rates and shares.

When you have designed a campaign to increase loyalty, look for sentiments, engagement and influence.

What else should you do?

The secret lies to know your audience for creating the content that clicks with them. For instance, Facebook dominates all mediums as 68% of American users are active on this network. But, Facebook works better when a company is targeting older users.

If you are launching a promotion for a younger audiences choose Instagram. If you are uploading videos or tutorials, YouTube continues to beat other streaming networks. Since Google now owns YouTube, uploading your content on your official YouTube channel may also improve your rankings.

Moreover, there are many social media celebrities who can endorse your products or services. Can you imagine the effect it will make on your audience? Identify key influencers in your particular niche. Partner with the most influential personalities in your industry to spread your brand message.

This tip works because the influencer you’re connecting to already has a massive network. This strategy is a hybrid of new and old marketing tactics.

Bottom Line

The implementation part revolves around narrowing in on the daily tasks. Once your marketing team has nailed the 3 strategies, the rest of the work becomes less-complicated.

Moreover, it’s not always about the size of your budget, but how you spend your marketing dollars. Sometimes, smaller brands deploy more popular social media campaigns than big brands that spend millions on promotion.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

10 Most Profitable Small Businesses that are Worthy of Your Investment

Starting up a business is a challenge. Whether it is small or big, you need to follow a series of steps along with different strategies to make it a profitable venture. To make a business worthy of your investment, it is necessary to perform thorough research on each aspect such as a business idea, market, competitors, and finances etc.

Once you find the best idea, your next step should be based on logistics of your business along with a well-crafted plan. These steps are fundamental and crucial. This way, you will create a strong base for your business as well.

So, if you are looking for a small startup that is worthy of your investment, have a look at these 10 fantastic business ideas.

1.    Real Estate Broker

Working as an intermediary between sellers and buyers, real estate brokerage is one the most profitable businesses. You will only require a brokerage license. This is also a cost-effective business idea, which means you can run it without an office as well.

However, you need to know the industry and your competitors before beginning and then you are good to go. Plus, real estate brokering is all about contacts; make sure lots of people know about your business so you can achieve your milestones.

2.    Catering Service

Catering is ideal if you are looking for a small but profitable business as you can provide these services from your home. Many people and even businesses do not think twice to pay high-quality caters. With reliable catering services, you are sure to make a handsome profit, especially on different special occasions.

If you are a hard worker and determined to build a successful small business, catering seems a decent business idea.

3.    Online Tutor

Online tutoring involves creating professional social media profiles and letting people know about your skills. Whether you love to play musical instruments or know different languages, you can teach anything online and become an online tutor.

Online tutoring neither requires extra expenses nor time. So, you can consider it if you can speak fluent French or play different piano tunes.

4.    Food Truck

Food always stays in demand and attracts people. Therefore, you can never go wrong with a food truck, especially if you provide high-quality food and beverages. Take note that opening a small restaurant requires a considerable amount of money.

Plus, there is a risk of loss because of intense competition in the food industry. In this case, a food truck seems an interesting idea. You do not need space or extra staff which makes it a profitable small startup venture.

5.    Personal Trainer

People who love to stay fit and healthy never mind paying their personal fitness trainer. Also, getting certification in personal training is affordable as well. Thus, you can get the required qualification and start offering personal training services.

This is one of the small businesses that are worthy of your investment as in current times people know the significance of a healthy lifestyle. Since this industry is competitive, you should use the internet to market your services and to build your client network.

6.    Web Designing

Technology companies are always looking for web designers who can make top-notch websites. Web designing entails developing value-driven, intuitive and beautiful websites.

If you have got an eye for website designing, you can offer these services to various companies and brands and start your web designing business. If you are new to this field, you can even learn the basics of website crafting and become a pro. Moreover, there are many online courses available that can teach the latest website trends as well.

7.    Social Media Marketer

Social media platforms have become a part of our daily life. Not only this, many people are running their businesses online on these platforms. You can start marketing on your social media profiles as well. For instance, you can use your Instagram account for marketing purposes.

All you need to do is decide the type of content you are willing to share such as technology, beauty, or health etc. and build up a considerable following on your account. Brands often look for social media accounts with a huge following to market their products. If your content is related to their business, they are likely to approach you.

8.    Local Business Consultant

New startups are always in demand of consultants who can solve problems related to their business and provide solid advice. Therefore, if you have developed the right skills or are a pro in your industry, you can become a consultant.

Whether you are a business strategist, marketer, or have other skills, feel free to offer your services to local businesses. Plus, you can take help from online courses on how to get clients and build your brand that is worth your investment.

9.    Travel Consultant

You can turn your love for traveling into a profitable small business. You can begin by creating official groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. This is an effective way to attract travel enthusiasts. In the group, you can share cheap flight rates and even recommendations for next traveling destinations.

Travelers are always in search of different recommendations to explore different places. In this case, they can count on you and you can teach them how to turn their dream trip into a reality.

10.    Become a Photographer

Turning your skills into a small profitable business is easy if you have a passion for photography and you own a camera. All you need to do is learn top-notch editing skills which are crucial in this industry along with finding a suitable niche, such as food photography or travel photography etc.

To build an impressive online portfolio, you should do photo-shoots frequently so people will know about your skills. For this, you should not hesitate to capture a few photographs for free. With a professional portfolio, you are likely to get clients in a short time.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of ideas that are worthy of your investment. However, the competition in different industries can give you a tough time. You can overcome this part if you focus on the quality of your services.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com

Things That a New Small Business Owner Must Expect

Many people dream about starting their own business, but very few are actually able to live their dreams by executing them, and even fewer make it past the first five years. This is mainly because a large number of times, these business owners don’t really know what to expect.

There are no words to describe what it feels like but in simple terms; it’s fun but scary at the same time. A large number of small businesses fail because of an inability to successfully make it past year one.

Many business gurus believe that with the right knowledge of what to expect, a new small business owner will know how to prepare for upcoming challenges. Here are a few things that any new small business owner should expect.

Be Ready to Hustle When You’re Tired

Isn’t that what being a small business owner is about? You may be thinking that as a small business owner, you can take a day off when you feel like it but that’s not the case. As the brains behind the entire operation, you need to hustle even when you feel like you’ve done enough. That’s the difference between being an employee and a business owner; you’ve never done enough.

There will always be paperwork that you need to sign, orders that you need to make and customers whom you need to talk to, especially in the first year. Just like in every other phase of life or an industry, the initial period is always make-or-break, and the end result highly depends upon how much work you put in.

You can spend each second checking and rechecking your plans and improving them, working on ideas and developing new strategies. After all, there’s so much on your plate (marketing, product development, vendor contracts and employee training)

You Can’t Make Every Customer Happy

It’s true that as a business owner, you need to retain a sense of balance in everything you do but when it comes to satisfaction, you can’t make everyone happy. As a small business owner, you’re bound to make quite a few customers unhappy and the truth is, you don’t really need to make everyone happy, either.

It’s important that you remember that the key is to have a consistent customer service policy and handling complaints carefully. If your product doesn’t impress a customer all that much, then the way you handle a complaint is sure to make them a loyal customer.

A major factor that differentiates your small business from that of a larger conglomerate’s is that you, as the owner, can give customers the attention they want, which is why they are likely to approach your brand in the first place.

Be the Master of All Trades

When you first thought of starting a business, you may have guessed that you’d only have to sign things and the wheels of your business would turn themselves. Wrong. In year one, you should expect to be able to do everything and know how every process works.

Along the way, you’ll think ‘they didn’t teach me this at business school’ as you try to find a good web hosting company for your company website or take aesthetic pictures of your products so you can post them on a social media account. You don’t learn everything about starting a business; you have to experience it hands-on.

From managing office operations during the day to writing content for your website at night, you’ll have to do most of it in the first year. You’ll be lucky to have friends or family who’ll be willing to help around but in year one, you can’t afford to hire many employees. In addition, even when you do get people on-board, you’ll have to know how to do things yourself before teaching them the basics.

Be Familiar with Laws

No this is where it gets interesting. Staring a small business will require you to be familiar with laws about hiring and taxes so that your business will genuinely be able to help people in the community by offering employment.

There are a number of regulations, laws, and licenses you need to know about before you can officially carry out operations as a business. In the beginning, you should expect to hire a lawyer for such needs because it’s impossible for you to know all the complex regulations that surround the startup of a small business.

This is crucial because no matter how hard you work on your business, it’s likely that even a small detail or legality can be held against you. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by investing in proper legal advice and obtaining all the licenses you require. Nevertheless, legal counsel isn’t cheap so you should expect to have enough financial resources.

There Will Be Some Bumps along the Road

Failure, no matter how big or small, is an inevitable part of running any business, whether big or small. You could make a product that doesn’t turn out as successful as you thought, your marketing strategy may backfire or worst-case scenario, you get a wave of negative feedback.

The first year won’t be failure-free but that doesn’t lessen your chances of reaching success. To keep yourself prepared for these situations, business experts advise that before you should quit your job, you need to have some savings. To be more specific, you should have enough money to support yourself for a year.

You need enough savings because no matter how well you plan the first year of your business, you can’t predict the future so there is always a chance that you might fail. There’s nothing wrong in preparing yourself for the worst-case scenario while planning for the best.

Conclusion

These are just some of the things that every small business owner must expect, especially during the first year after launching their business. Of course, no amount of expectation and preparedness can actually make you battle-ready to start a business but knowing a few of the most common symptoms will help you diagnose and reassure yourself that this is supposed to happen.

 

Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender. Create a crowd funding campaign or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com