How COVID-19 has changed the world economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached almost every country in the world.

Enormous changes in financial exchanges, where partakes in organizations are purchased and sold, can influence the worth of benefits or individual investment accounts.

The major Asian and US stock markets have recovered following the announcement of the first vaccine in November, but the FTSE is still in negative territory.

If the economy is developing, that by and large means more abundance and all the more new positions. It’s deliberate by taking a gander at the rate change in GDP, or the worth of labor and products created, normally more than 90 days or a year. The IMF appraises that the worldwide economy contracted by 4.4% in 2020. The association portrayed the decay as the most exceedingly terrible since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The movement business has been gravely harmed, with aircrafts cutting flights and clients dropping work excursions and occasions. New variations of the infection – found distinctly lately – have constrained numerous nations to present more tight travel limitations. Information from the flight following assistance Flight Radar 24 shows that the quantity of flights worldwide endured a gigantic shot in 2020 and it is as yet far from recuperation.

Retail footfall has seen unprecedented falls as shoppers stayed at home. New variants and surges in cases have made problems worse.

Best Lifestyle Blogs to Follow in 2021

Lifestyle Blog niche is one of the most competitive blogging niches around. Lifestyle bloggers are competing against digital lifestyle magazines, in a niche that is already quite saturated. So lifestyle blogs that gain a large readership are of a high standard in both design and content.

Online mags often have huge budgets, a print edition as well as digital, and content that is varied and expertly written, with professional photos. But lifestyle blogs have an edge in that they can supply new content every day if they so wish. Lifestyle blogs are free to access whereas digital magazine editions can only be accessed through paid subscriptions.

For a lifestyle blog to thrive, the authors need to provide excellent, accurate content and photos that create interest and capture the readers’ imaginations. Lifestyle bloggers have raised their standards to compete with the best of both online mags and other lifestyle blogs.

But what exactly constitutes a lifestyle blog?

Let’s find out!

Defining Lifestyle Blogs

A lifestyle blog is defined as digital content representing the author’s everyday life and interests. The word “lifestyle” according to the dictionary means “habits, attitudes, moral standards, which together constitute the way of life of a given person or group”. (source: dictionary.com)

As a result, lifestyle blogs can fall into many micro-niches. This allows bloggers to provide content for a specific target audience. Lifestyle bloggers often promote products, brands, and services to monetize their blogs. So it’s almost essential that the person behind the blog is well-versed in whatever the specific topics are.

Here’s a shortlist of typical Lifestyle Blogging niches:

  • Luxury Lifestyle Blogs
  • Foodie Lifestyle Blogs
  • Home & Garden Lifestyle Blogs
  • Fashion Blogs & Beauty Lifestyle Blogs
  • Travel Blogs & Photography Lifestyle Blogs
  • Health & Fitness Lifestyle Blogs
  • Men’s Lifestyle Blogs
  • Natural Living Lifestyle Blogs
  • Outdoor Lifestyle Blogs
  • And Lifestyle Blogs for people with children (also called mom blogs or parenting blogs.)

Sometimes even these categories get split into various combinations, depending on the blogger. So you could end up with a Fashion and Travel Blog, A Natural Living Mom Blog, or even a Foodie and Photography Lifestyle blog.

Lifestyle blog vs. personal blog

Lifestyle blogs are not personal blogs because they focus more on users (readers). The content is created here for the reader and his expectations. What’s more, lifestyle blogs focus on the author’s benefits, not just on telling stories.

In personal blogs, the most important are the author’s emotions and thoughts, who expresses his opinions, writes about his experiences, feelings, reflections. In the personal blog, the author himself is the most important, not the reader.

I can’t write about lifestyle blogs without mentioning a few from each niche. I’ve tried to give you a selection of the most captivating from each subgenre (or micro-niche). These Lifestyle blogs check all the boxes. They are fun, relevant, trendy, polished, and loaded with content that appeals to a specific target audience.

A Quick Note To Would-Be Lifestyle Bloggers

Before I launch into “Our Best Of” list, a word of caution to would-be lifestyle bloggers; even if you have many areas of interest yourself, try to whittle your content down to cover only one or two main topics. This helps when you are trying to grow a steady, loyal readership.

Male readers don’t want to read about fishing, fashion, and raising a brood of ankle snappers! A young professional will not be interested in “Ten Tips To Wean Your Child off Breast Milk”, and your Luxury Lifestyle blog will not impress our Tree Hugging friends who will recoil in horror at the decadence of luxury lifestyles! Readers who enjoy luxury will also not be impressed with Frugal Living!

On the other hand, the lifestyle blogging niche allows the most freedom for bloggers who genuinely do have a vast array of topics that pair well together. If you can create the content and maintain the variety, then you will create space for a wider readership.

Top blogs in lifestyle category

This collection of blogs showcases the variety and range of lifestyle blogs that get it right!

1. Goop.com

Goop was one of the first lifestyle blogs to hit the circuit, way back in 2008. The brainchild of actress and mother, Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop covers everything for the modern woman. She focuses on wellness and how to create a balance between parenting and work. Something all working moms know about! She has a strong team behind her and Goop is a mini-empire in its own right.

Goop covers:

  • Beauty
  • Food & Home
  • Style
  • Travel
  • Wellness

Target Audience: Women of all ages and enlightened men.

2. The Pioneer Woman (thepioneerwoman.com)

This is a lifestyle blog that stands out for me. Unlike so many lifestyle blogs, Ree Drummond blogs about a lifestyle that all Americans know and love. Pure salt of the earth, rustic ranch life. The blog packs a punch! Ree has combined recipes, style, beauty, home & life, food & cooking, news, and entertainment. And great giveaways. She started as a lone ranger but now has a team of editors assisting her in keeping the blog relevant, trendy, and homegrown.

Target Audience: People keen on ranch-style living.

*3. Brightbazaarblog.com

Bright Bazaar blog was founded in 2009 by Will Taylor. This is the place where Will blogs about his love for colorful design, travel, and fashion. This blog is recommended by esteemed publishing houses Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Living, and many others.

If you need more home inspiration, look at other famous bloggers in the article: The Best Interior Design Blogs.

Target Audience: People who love design.

4. Cup of Jo (cupofjo.com)

Joanna Goddard is a perfect example of what can be achieved through blogging. Joanna launched Cup of Jo in 2007, as a hobby. At that time her career was quite a high-powered one. She has loads of editorial experience and her resume brags the likes of Cosmo, Bene, Glamour, and New York.

Today Cup of Jo has a team of writers and is Joanna’s full-time gig. She lives in Brooklynn with her husband and two kids. The blog covers relationships, design, food, style, travel, culture, and motherhood. This is a great blog for women.

Target Audience: Women and mothers of all ages

. Say Yes (sayyes.com)

. Say Yes (sayyes.com)

Hope for the best, but expect less

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. -Bruce Lee

A friend’s status update on a social media site: ‘Who hurt you? My own expectations.’

Yes, we all have expectations in our lives: what we want out of life and who we want to become. I believe one of the keys to happiness lies within the management of your expectations of people and circumstances. If you do not have expectations, you can never be disappointed. Often we tend to believe that the way we treat others will be the way we are treated in return. But, unfortunately, this does not always happen.

The biggest disappointments in our lives are often the result of misplaced expectations. This is especially true when it comes to our relationships and interactions with others. You need to make sure you enter into relationship with someone who has as big of a heart as you do. If you do not, you may feel as if you are being taken advantage of. You need to find people who appreciate what you do for them and who will reciprocate those actions.

There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations. Having realistic expectations will allow you to accept the flaws each person has. We need to learn how to take responsibility for our own lives and our own decisions before we can expect others to do the same.

One of the biggest challenges we face in life is learning to accept people for who they truly are. Once you realize that your expectations cannot change people, the better off you will be. Give without expectation, accept without reservation, and love with hesitation. Unrealistic expectations most often do lead to disappointment. Too many people are obsessed with finding the perfect career or the perfect spouse, and as a result become increasingly frustrated when this does not happen in reality.

Expectation is the root of all heartache. Try to remain confident while maintaining positive aspirations; just remember not to make the aspirations so high that they are impractical or unreachable.

Acceptance is an amazing trait that needs to be actively worked toward. When things do not work out the way we had planned, it is much more beneficial to realize that is how life works rather than becoming frustrated at the situation. Have hope rather than expectations and you will tend not to be as disappointed.

People rarely behave exactly the way you want them to. Hope for the best, but expect less. And remember, the magnitude of your happiness will be directly proportional to your thoughts and how you choose to think about things. Even if a situation or relationship doesn’t work out at all, it’s still worth it, if it made you feel something new, taught you something afresh.

Feeling alone

LONELINESS is packed with feelings and emotions. It can consume you at any time – day or night – and create havoc with your emotions. Feeling lonely can cause you to lose perspective and, sometimes, to lose all hope. Even before COVID, we lived in an isolated culture where people were starved for connection. And now with the fear of COVID, loneliness is even more intensified.

There are days when my life is filled with the sound of voices on the phone, or pictures of friends on Zoom and Facetime, and yet, I feel alone. There have been times in my life when I would walk in a church filled with people, or show up at a party where I knew everyone, and yet, I felt alone. At some point, we’ve all experienced feelings of being alone and the shadow of loneliness that follows close behind.

Being alone isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good, necessary, healthy thing. It’s a time to reflect, to appreciate, to think, to create, to process your life. Reflection and synthesis of ideas is crucial to learning and growing, and for many people this can only be done when they are alone. Kierkegaard nails this with one of my favorite quotes: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Damn, Kierkegaard, I bet you spent a ton of time alone.

So why are we so damned afraid of being alone?

Because we’re afraid others will think we’re lonely. There’s something wrong with lonely people, or else why wouldn’t they have people around them? There must be something broken about them! If you learn someone is lonely, you best stay away from them. Leave them to their cats. Loneliness results in more loneliness; it’s a beast that feeds itself. (Please know that I don’t believe any of this — or at least I don’t want to, but these are thoughts that I hear in my head, because Society)

I’m not lonely! I have 2200 facebook friends. Look at all the things I share. Look at all those likes! I have all the likes! And retweets. Don’t even get me started on retweets. I have to call them RTs because I get so many I don’t even have time for all those other letters. Look at me on Instagram! Follow me! #TeamFollowBack Connect with me! Please, please, connect with me. How am I so damned lonely?! Nobody else feels this lonely. Look at all the friends they have on Facebook. Look at all those likes they’re getting…

We are living in a time when it’s easy to feel uncomfortable being alone, because there are so many ways you can “be” with other people. So we’re never truly alone. And that makes it ever more uncomfortable when we feel lonely.

I saw someone post a photo on Facebook last Friday night of themselves with a glass of wine and the caption “Relaxing into a much-needed quiet Friday night date with myself. #DontHate”

The irony hurt. If you really want to be alone, WHY ARE YOU TELLING THE WHOLE WORLD, my brain yelled.

Then I realized I knew the answer: this person is uncomfortable being alone on a Friday night, and this is how they are trying to mitigate that discomfort.

They are seeing all of their friends posting photos of their fun nights out with dozens of people and having so much fun and internalizing all of this as something being wrong with them. Maybe they chose to be alone tonight, or maybe they got ditched by a friend, or maybe they wanted to go out and don’t really have any friends who wanted to go out with them, but, whatever the case, they were probably terrified they would slip from enjoying a night alone into being lonely on a Friday night. The first is good. The second is bad. And maybe a “like” or a reassuring comment would stave that off.

spend a lot of time on the road traveling alone. And during the day, when I’m performing, or visiting a campus, or flying, eating, writing — keeping my mind busy — I’m on the road traveling alone; I’m not lonely on the road. And I enjoy it. I enjoy the aloneness. I thrive in it. But at night, when I get back to my hotel room and plop down on the bed, I regularly toe the line between being alone and being lonely.

I am usually good at landing on the enjoying a night alone side of the line, but sometimes, usually after a particularly long stretch on the road, of if a show doesn’t go as well as I want it to, I’ll find myself stumbling onto the lonely side. It probably doesn’t help that I have this disgusting and self-body-destroying habit of having a huge pizza delivered to my hotel room and eating it by myself in my underwear. And, as I am typing that, I am reminded of this

Coca Cola controversy

As Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed Coca-Cola at the press conference ahead of Portugal’s Euro 2020 opener, the move had a spiralling effect all across the football fraternity. The move also coincided with the share prices of Coca-Cola dropping down, wiping off about USD 4 billion from their brand value. However, industry experts don’t feel the two incidents were related.

Highlights

  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola snub at a Euro 2020 news conference has been a huge topic of discussion
  • The move also coincided with the brand value of Coke sinking by USD 4 billion
  • A market expert, however, has brushed aside any connection between the two

Ronaldo wasn’t pleased seeing Coca-Cola bottles placed on the table as he arrived to attend the press conference with Portugal manager Fernando Santos on the eve of the Hungary match. He put the Coke bottles aside and picked up a water bottle saying ‘Agua’, asking people to drink water over soft drinks.

While the move was to promote a healthier lifestyle, the fact that Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of Euro 2020, is bound to leave both the beverage brand and UEFA a little disappointed.

“Coke and UEFA will both be fuming,” sports marketing expert Tim Crow, who worked as an advisor to the beverage-maker for 20 years, was quoted as saying by The Athletic. “The fact is there’s an agreement between them, which all the FAs and players sign up to, and one of the contractual agreements is going to press conferences where you’re surrounded by the sponsors’ branding.”

It’s certainly not ideal that one of the most famous and most followed athletes on the planet makes a gesture like that. The sports marketing community will have raised more than an eyebrow in Ronaldo doing that,” he added.

A day after the incident, reports of Ronaldo’s move hurting Coca-Cola’s stock prices and brand value surfaced but Crow has dismissed any co-relation between the two incidents. Branding it as ‘complete nonsense’, Crow said that the investors in the United States of America are not impacted by what happens in a European football match’s press conference.

American investors are not driven by what happens in a press conference ahead of a European football match. It doesn’t work like that. Tonnes of stocks went down for several reasons but the two things are not related. There are a billion servings of Coke every day. I think they’ll be OK,” he said.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

What is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)?

A Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a form of investment to get controlling ownership in a business in one country by a business or entity based in another country. Generally, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) takes place when an investor is establishing business operations or is acquiring assets in a foreign company. The investment can be of two types:
1) Organically- by expanding the operations of the existing business in another country.
2) Inorganically- by buying the company in another or target country.
It refers to building a new facility and the investing business or entity should have control over 10 percent or more of the voting rights of the business or firm in which it has invested. However, this definition is flexible, as there are instances where the control can be less than 10 percent of the business or firm’s voting shares.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is the summation of the following:
1) Sum of equity capital
2) long-term capital
3) and short-term capital as reflected in the Balance of Payments (BOP).

History of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Three quarters of the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was acquired by the United States during the period of 1945 to 1960. Since then Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has grown a great importance as a global phenomenon. It no longer remained the exclusive preserve of OECD countries.
After 1945, global FDI flows recovered from depression and war, but there was a transformation in the geographical pattern of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In 1945-80 most of the investment flow took place within and between the developed countries.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has grown its importance in the global economy and it accounts a great share in the global GDP. In the early 1900s two third of the world FDI was flowing into present developed countries (which were developing countries at that time). But now FDI is flowing more in the developing countries.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to developing countries in the early twentieth century was mainly for the exploitation of the natural resources present in the host country. But now government is opening up more areas for the private sector for the development of their country.
Economic liberalization started in India after the 1991 economic crisis and since then Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has gradually increased, which subsequently generated more than one crore (10 million) jobs. Since then many changes are made in FDI policies to attract more foreign investors to invest in India. The new FDI policy does not restrict markets.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by direction

Inward FDI
Inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is encouraged by different economic factors. These include loans, tax breaks, subsidies and the removal of restrictions and limitations. These factors determine the growth of FDI in the country.
Outward FDI
The outward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is backed by the government for all types of associated risks. This form of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) involves tax incentives, subsidies and risk coverage provided to the domestic industries.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by target

Greenfield Investment
In Greenfield investments a company operates in other countries by investing n sites, plants, offices, etc. and acquires control over its activities.
Horizontal FDI
It means when a business or fir duplicates its home country based activities at the same value in a host country through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Vertical FDI
It takes place when a business or firm through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) moves upstream or downstream in different value chains.

Benefits of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Advantages to the investor:
1) Market diversification

The diversification strategies are developed in order to reduce the risks perceived by investors. The investors can diversify their business by investing in various stocks of foreign companies, mergers and acquisitions, investing in already established companies or firms, etc. This helps them to diversify their business and their market in various foreign companies.

2) Tax incentives

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) provided by the foreign company helps the company which it has invested in to provide them with expertise, technology and products. Therefore, the foreign investor gets tax incentives that are useful for their select area of business.

3) Low labour costs

The foreign investor gets skilled labour in developing countries like India at very cheap rates which results in increasing their profits by cutting down their costs.

Advantages to the host country:
1) FDI leads to economic development

It results in opening of factories and businesses in the host country for which labor and other sources are utilized. It also increases employment rate in the host country because of the large scale employment that takes place in a newly established business or firm.

2) FDI increases employment opportunities

The service and manufacturing sectors of the host country receive a boost which results in a large scale creation of jobs. People are employed for these jobs created and now they have a source of income.

3) FDI helps in development of human resources

The employees are known as human resources. They are provided with adequate training and skills required for the respective jobs, which help to boost their knowledge. As more and more people are trained, they can train others also which will be beneficial for the economy.

4) FDI helps in development of backward areas

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) enables the transformation of backward areas of the host country into industrial centers. The people employed in the industrial sectors get job which increases their standard of living.

5) FDI leads to creation of a competitive market

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) creates a competitive environment in the host country for the already existing domestic firms. A healthy competition pushes these domestic industries or firms to continuously enhance their products and services.

Investment Risks

1. Economic Risk

This type of risk refers to the country’s ability to pay back its debts. The economies which are stronger and have stable finances provide more reliability for investments than the economy which is weaker and has unstable finances.

2. Political Risk

This type of risk refers to the political decisions made in a country that might lead to unanticipated loss for the investors. Political risk is associated with the willingness of a country to pay off its debts.

3. Sovereign Risk

This is the risk that a foreign central bank will change its foreign exchange regulations which could result in nullifying or reducing the value of its foreign exchange contracts.

Market Size

According to the Department of Promotion of Industry and International Trade (DPIIT), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity flow in India stood at US$ 521.47 billion between April 2020 and December 2020, which indicates that the government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business in India and relaxing FDI norms lead to very good results.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity flow in India stood at US$ 521.47 billion in 2020-21 (between April 2020 and December 2020). The data for 2020-21 indicates that the top four sectors which attracted the highest FDI inflows were:
• computer hardware and software sector – US$ 24.39 billion
• construction (infrastructure activities) – US$ 7.15 billion
• Service sector – US$ 3.86 billion
• Trading sector – US$ 2.14 billion
Highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows from other countries in India in 2020-21 (between April 2020 and December 2020):
• Singapore – US$ 15.72 billion
• United States (US) – 12.83 billion
• United Arab Emirates (UAE) – US$ 3.92 billion
• Mauritius – US$ 3.48 billion
• Cayman Islands – US$ 2.53 billion
• Netherlands – US$ 2.44 billion
• United Kingdom (UK) – US$ 1.83 billion
States that received highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows in 2020-21 (between April 2020 and December 2020):
• Gujarat – US$ 21.24 billion
• Maharashtra – US$ 13.64 billion
• Karnataka – US$ 6.37 billion
• Delhi – US$ 4.22 billion

Flow of FDI in India over the years (2010-2019)

From the graph it is visible that the FDI inflows from 2010-2019 kept varying year after year.

• India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for 2019 was $50.61 billion, a 20.17% increase from 2018.
• India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for 2018 was $42.12 billion, a 5.38% increase from 2017.
• India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for 2017 was $39.97 billion, a 10.01% decline from 2016.
• India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for 2016 was $44.46 billion, a 1.02% increase from 2015.

Conclusion

FDI flow into an economy benefits the economy in terms of investment capital, technology transfer, management skills, and job creation. It also improves the standard of living of the people and encourages domestic firms to improve themselves in product specialization and have the ability to withstand competition from other firms.
We have seen in the report that in many sectors flow of FDI has increased over the period of time, but there are still some sectors in which 100% FDI is not allowed. We saw the performance of various sectors over the years. In recent years, FDI inflows have increased in the Education, Non-Conventional Energy, Hospital and Diagnostics sectors. Like them many other sectors are also performing very well. However, Hotel and Tourism, Construction, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals are among the sectors receiving inconsistent FDIs annually.
We also saw a consistent increase in annual FDI inflows over the decades. This was only possible because of the measures taken by the government on the fronts of FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased FDI inflows into the country over the years due to which India is getting very high FDI inflows as compared to previous years and we hope the same to continue for a long period of time.
FDI is not only an alternative to domestic investment, but can also improve the host country’s balance of payments. It is one of the major stimuli to economic development of the developing countries, like India.

Cryptocurrency

What is this crytocurrency that everybody is talking about? In simple words, it is digital currency in encrypted form. Money transaction is processed and validated through data mining. As of now, using crypto currency is a very complex process. Still, it is becoming popular in recent times worldwide.

Here, money transaction is carried out between two parties only.Hence there is no third party involvement. After validation and processing through data mining,it is kept in public ledgers but the transactions are kept confidential.Once a transaction is validated, miners get this crypto currency as reward.

Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum ,Pipple are some examples of cryptocurrency. Out of this, Bit coin is the most popular crypto currency.

Cryptocurrency works on Block Chain Technology, which is a decentralised technology spread across many computers that manages and records transactions.

There are more than 4000 cryptos worldwide as of now. It’s users are called miners. This virtual currency is exchanged over the internet and uses cryptography as a means of security. There is no central authority to manage this system and it is immune to government interference.It is highly confidential and totally decentralised person to person payment method. All the transactions and accounts can be traced but the owner accounts are usually not easily traceable.

International money transfer can also be done through crypto. As it is becoming popular nowadays, it’s value is getting increased. Some people even use it for investment purposes. A large number of individuals and businesses have started using this. Many online websites also accept virtual currencies as payment.

Bitcoin is a premier crytocurrency created by Satoshi Nakatomo on 31 st October, 2008. It is pseudonomous and is controlled by users called bitcoin miners. These miners use different computer program and resources to solve highly complicated mathematics problems and get a number of bitcoins in exchange. They do this by verifying transactions and adding them to a public ledger called Blockchain. It holds the transaction history of all bitcoins in circulation. These miners keep the network secure and ensure that all systems are synchronized together. Those miners who help to accurately track the transactions and maintain network are rewarded with cryptos.

Ripple or XRP is an open source digital payment platform. Here money can be transferred in actual currency or cryptocurrency. XRP is used as a bridge currency to settle cross border payment in a faster and cheaper manner.

The cryptocurrency has neither been made legal nor banned. In India, they are not in use legally. Experts are advising on shutting down its trading. Likewise, other major countries are thinking of banning cryptocurrencies. So we have to wait and watch if the crypto will become the future of transactions or goes away for good.

Formulating the Designer Centric Funnel

The Funnel concept and flipping the funnel

In this modern aeon of society, any salesperson would have a limitless budget to market his/her business to find new customers for their products. The salesperson can buy offline and online advertising for their growth or run promotions and campaigns to bring traffic towards their products. The most basic thing is to understand that the possibilities for getting new customers to range from cold calling names to buying lists of those customers who can drive new businesses to their website.

Increasing sales isn’t an easy job. You need a great marketing plan to approach the customers and get them to buy your products. Before finding new customers, you must understand your customer’s needs and concerns, what is currently trending, what are facilities you offer and what your competitors are offering. Building trust and understanding is the basis of every relationship so you as a seller need to understand your customer and earn their trust. To understand your customer and their needs, you have to break down the whole process in a series of continuous steps which the customer will have to go through. This series of processes create a funnel.

A Funnel is a journey travelled by a customer from being a usual viewer to a devoted customer of the product. This funnel concept includes visiting the website, checking the product and its features, trying the free trial and then finally purchasing the product. It is also concerned with product development and is based on the customer’s buying perspective. To design the best funnel for your customer you must get rid of the issues and the loopholes that are disturbing your customer. The funnel should include the areas of interests of the customer. This concept will make the customers compelled to try your products and you can become successful.

If your company has a slogan that is eye-catching and ensures the people that your company is concerned for them, the customers will check out your products. It also highlights your company’s first impression and abilities. For broken funnel steps, you must try to understand the customer’s perspective again and redesign or try to use what encourages them. Even if all of this does not work, you should consider Jaffe’s phrase “flipping the funnel”.

Flipping the funnel means spending fewer resources on gaining new customers and spending more on acknowledging and retaining the current customers. If you make sure that the current customers are satisfied then they will reach out to their known ones and share their product experience which will bring you more sales. You have to use the information of your existing customer to develop a target audience and drive their way to your products.

To check whether flipping the funnel is beneficial or not, you can compare how much you are receiving from your customers to how much you are investing in them. The hardest part of flipping the funnel is changing the company’s organization and culture. Your company must commit to staffing customer service call centres even on the weekends, answering emails promptly and maintaining a system for monitoring the social handles daily to keep it updated. Your company has to recognize and reward outstanding customers. Rewarding and recognition does not always mean giving away free products, at times it just means a simple welcoming gesture, thanking them and saying comforting things.

You can also try various schemes like special offers or one day free trial for the best customers. Such schemes attract people and can make your product popular. Some products may be appealing to a particular group of audience but they may not be liked by another so to eliminate this issue you can conduct surveys. A survey is a list of questions that are aimed at extracting data from your customers. It includes questions regarding your products and customer’s reviews. The surveys will tell you about your weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, threats and they give you an overall look of how your customer thinks about your product.

Proper and convincing management is a must to fulfil the final step, i.e., to catch and cover up all of these things. It seems hard to start a business by yourself but once you get started with it, you will be used to it and can even learn from your mistakes.

Credits:

https://www.forentrepreneurs.com/launch-scale-2017/

https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/interview/first-look-flip-funnel-joseph

Email- sneharam543@gmail.com

Continue reading “Formulating the Designer Centric Funnel”

How to create the initial team for your startup

 Establishing a startup is not a one day task. It requires a lot of hard work, patience and most importantly, it requires an excellent team to work with you to achieve your goals. And building a winning team that rides your startup to victory is not an easy task. The people you choose have the ability to make or break your business. You need to take a few essential steps at your initial stage to begin your work. 

  • Identify Positions

 If you are not doing a sole proprietorship, you and your co-founder need to know the positives and negatives of each other. You can’t be perfect in every skill, so you both must do a self-evaluation and know what are your strengths and weaknesses. When you know about it then you both can categorize your work according to your skills.

 When things between you and your co-founder are settled, you should start identifying positions to complete your team. Marketing and sales, accounting and finance, research and development are just a handful of examples of positions that you may need in your team.

  • Selecting your team members
  •   The process of hiring of team members should be done very accurately for the firm.
  •  Try to find T- shaped people for the organization. These people are experienced in one specific area but can handle other tasks too. They are quick learners and ready to take new challenges. They will benefit you more as compared to the employees experienced in a specific area. This will also help in recruiting a few numbers of employees in the beginning. 
  • Hire people who understand the importance of customer service.
  • You can appoint advisors to guide on important matters.
  • If your capital is limited, then you can go scouting in different colleges. Choose interns from there. Explain your plan to them and convince them to join you.

When you select your candidates, you must see that they fit in your startup culture, possess the right set of tools for your startup and should be passionate about what they do.

After selecting your candidates, there should be hiring and training. After this, they should be assigned their roles and responsibility. 

Always keep in mind whether you are choosing your 1st or your 100th candidate, you should know about the needs of your company and only then appoint someone who perfectly fits in that role.

  • Important things to keep in mind while building your startup:-
  • Be focused on your plan.
  • Make products keeping in mind what customers will be attracted to.
  •  Customer satisfaction must be a priority list.
  • You need to create a unique brand proposition of your product.
  • You must have good leadership quality.
  • Always communicate with your team members.
  • You must have a proper check on the cash flow of your company.
  • Never ignore or underestimate your competition.
  • Ability to listen and understand your teammates.
  • You should always be willing to learn and adapt to the changes happening around you.

In conclusion, this African proverb sums up beautifully:

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. 

Building your startup is a ride of ups and downs. You need to be calm and positive in the initial period. Thus, if you want to make your startup into the leading company, you need to start by building a winning team that will take you far.

WHERE IS JACK MA, THE CO-FOUNDER OF ALIBABA?

Jack Ma is the second richest person in China and the co-founder of the Alibaba Group, a multinational technology company.
He is also the ambassador of Chinese business globally, an investor and a philanthropist.  Forbes ranked him 21st in “world’s most powerful people” in 2019. His total net worth as of January 2021 was estimated to be $58.3 billion. He was also ranked among the “world’s most powerful people” in 2017 by Fortune. 

Jack Ma wanted more from his life and thus, in September 2019 he retired from Alibaba. He wanted to pursue educational work, environmental causes and philanthropy. He has actively supported and worked for underprivileged communities in China, Africa, Australia and the Middle East. 

Apart from being a businessman, Ma likes being in the spotlight. He made his acting debut in a short film called Gong Shou Dao, participated in a singing competition, presented a dance performance on Alibaba’s 18th anniversary, all in the year 2017.

Recently, he was also the judge of his reality show Africa’s Business Heroes. But was later replaced because of a “schedule conflict”.

But for the past few months, he has not been seen publicly. After his last public appearance in October, no one is familiar with his whereabouts. This happened after he criticised the Chinese government stating that they need to change now. 

After the news flouted and people started questioning Jack Ma’s disappearance, China’s official newspaper printed an article stating that he is currently “embracing supervision”. This post was, however, taken down soon after. 

Jack’s Ant Group was also suspended after this event. They were offering a $37 billion public offering last November. Alibaba, which was co-founded by him, is also under antitrust investigation. Although he has retired from the company, he still holds a considerable amount of power in the company. All these events happened after Ma pointed out the banking system of China calling them “pawnshop mentality”. 

Jack has since then not posted anything on his social media also. For someone who loves the spotlight and is extremely active publicly, this event seems a bit unusual.

But this isn’t the first event where a celebrity or a millionaire has gone missing from China. A pattern can be observed here. All the previously missing celebrities or businessmen also hit the Chinese government with their critics one time or the other.

In 2020, a Chinese actress suddenly went missing and later it was reported that she was imprisoned for three months. 

Another similar event happened with a Chinese scientist, He Jiankui. He disappeared and was reportedly under house arrest. 

A reporter who revealed about the origins of the Coronavirus has also been missing ever since. 

It is yet uncertain as to where Jack Ma is. His company continues to keep silent about his whereabouts. But patterns and the chronology of the events similar to this have been seen in the past as well. 

All we can do is wait and see how this turns out and if Jack was actually “embracing supervision” or was it some other deeper and darker reason.

Decision making in Business

Every organization faces some problems. Due to this, a decision has to be made by the top management. Decision making is an essential part in business organization. It is a decision made by the managers by choosing and selecting the best alternative from different alternatives in an organization. Decision making is a part of planning. Good decision has to be made quickly and at the right time .

Steps of decision making :

  1. Identify the problem:
    The first step is to understand what the issue is arising. We have to state the problem and then we can take what type of decision we need to make.
  2. Analysis of the problem: The second step is to understand why this problem has arised and what are the reasons behind this particular problem. A detail analysis will be done on a particular problem. They will work on how the problem can be resolved.
  3. Generating alternative solution:
    To list all possible solution can be taken to solve the problem. Different people give different opinions. We have to give the best solution so that the target will be finished at the right timing.
  4. Evaluate alternatives:
    Whatever options that had come out, we have to evaluate it. It is to state out the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives. We have to evaluate the alternative at a company’s risk,time and budget. Cut out all the options which can hinder the organization. We have see which will be the most highest demand alternative that can be brought into the market.
  5. Select alternative:
    We have to choose the best alternative out of different alternatives, we have to select the best choices for the profit of the organization.
  6. Implement the alternatives:
    To take positive action and implement the alternative that have been chosen. We have to practically implement the decision taken.
  7. Monitoring the decision:
    To take review and feedback of the alternative decision taken for the organization. It is to see whether everything is going according to the planning.

These are the important steps that every organization should follow. This can strengthen the leadership qualities and help creating innovative ideas and can survive very well in the business world.

Now, foreign investors allowed to invest in ‘Alternative Investment Fund’ without PAN

In what has come as a relief to non-residents investing in category I and II alternate investment fund (AIF) located in International Financial Services Center (IFSC), the income tax department has amended rules to exempt such entities from obtaining permanent account number (PAN) on a mandatory basis.

The carve-out for such investors from section 139A of the Income Tax Act is contingent on non-residents not earning income other than from said funds. Additionally, these funds are also required to deduct TDS on such income.

Further, the exempted non-resident investors are also required to furnish declaration containing name, address, country of residence and tax identification number of the country or specified territory of their residence. Among other conditions, to avail the relaxation, the funds are required to furnish quarterly statement for non-resident investors in the newly notified format.

Sunil Gidwani, partner at Nangia Andersen LLP, said, “The demand for exemption has been based on the fact that the fund operating from IFSC would be withholding tax payable by the investors. This would go a long way in making it easy for the fund managers to attract foreign investors in a fund set up in IFSC and would give impetus to IFSC as a fund jurisdiction.”

Under section 139 of the Income Tax Act, any person who has earned taxable income in the previous financial year must apply for PAN.

Why Support Small Businesses?

Small businesses are part of every community and very often closely connected to its people and history. Unlike larger corporations, small businesses are usually local, privately owned, and employ a lesser number of workers. They also have lesser incomes since their scope of market is usually much smaller than the large-scale companies and industrial outlets. However, they are intrinsic to the development and growth of a locality and its economy. It creates sources of income, expansion of trade, and employment opportunities. Cottage industries and small-scale home businesses have been very important to the growth of India’s economy for decades. However, with the advent of multi-national corporations, neoliberal policies and privatization of many industries, small businesses have seen a decline in income in recent years. Yet they are still an important part of our economy and our everyday life.

crop ethnic mother serving little girl glass of refreshing drink
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

With the internet revolution which has so transformed our life in the 21st century, we rely much on online stores for our daily necessities. We also go to supermarkets with national or international chains to buy our daily products, usually looking at their discounted rates and environment. However, we also need to know that these discounts are only given to us because that cost is extracted from us in other ways, or from their working force who are often forced to work long hours with minimal wages. Now with the novel coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, we are facing a global economic crisis and a steep increase in unemployment rates. Many multi-national companies are laying off their staff and cutting salaries. This means that many who previously went out to buy their groceries now do it online. This has greatly jeopardized the future of small business in a way that has never happened before.

Supporting small businesses is something that all of us should be engaged in since they support entire families and communities. The various agents who come in between the worker and their salary in larger corporations are usually absent in small business. This means that the worker gains more for his hard work and is more amply rewarded than in corporations that exploit them. Supporting small business help them sustain themselves and the people behind it. Since it is difficult to stay in business with an influx of other larger chains, small businesses are focused on providing authentic and good products to their customers. This is also the reason why many customers remain faithful to these small stores, since they have understood its value and the work behind it. They also employ many creative ways to stay in business and retain customers.

Small businesses differ starkly in their environments from other larger businesses by creating a space of warmth and familiarity. The detachedness of the sterile supermarket white lights and the mechanical ways of engagement are often directly in opposition to the warm glow and friendly chatter that fills small spaces. They are often a meeting point for the people of that locality and their interactions. The owners are often also able to do favours for the customers or offer discounts on the bill which doesn’t commonly happen anywhere else. Local businesses become part of the story of that locality as they themselves are handed down between generations, and are able to give back to the community much better than others. They are not controlled by an algorithm created to maximize profit or a nameless person behind a computer somewhere far away. They are run by people and families we develop bonds with, leaving a human touch in their exchanges. It enriches the life of the individual and their society, becoming a saving grace in a consumeristic culture where profit is made at the expense of humans.

Women Empowerment

Women empowerment refers to making women powerful to make them capable of deciding for themselves. Women have suffered a lot through the years at the hands of men. In earlier centuries, they were treated as almost non-existent. As if all the rights belonged to men even something as basic as voting. As the times evolved, women realized their power. There on began the revolution for women empowerment. As women were not allowed to make decisions for them, women empowerment came in like a breath of fresh air. It made them aware of their rights and how they must make their own place in society rather than depending on a man. It recognized the fact that things cannot simply work in someone’s favor because of their gender. However, we still have a long way to go when we talk about the reasons why we need it.

Almost every country, no matter how progressive has a history of ill-treating women. In other words, women from all over the world have been rebellious to reach the status they have today. While the western countries are still making progress, third world countries like India still lack behind in Women Empowerment.

In India, women empowerment is needed more than ever. India is amongst the countries which are not safe for women. There are various reasons for this. Firstly, women in India are in danger of honor killings. Their family thinks its right to take their lives if they bring shame to the reputation of their legacy.

the education and freedom scenario is very regressive here. Women are not allowed to pursue higher education, they are married off early. The men are still dominating women in some regions like it’s the woman’s duty to work for him endlessly. They do not let them go out or have freedom of any kind.

In addition, domestic violence is a major problem in India. The men beat up their wife and abuse them as they think women are their property. More so, because women are afraid to speak up. Similarly, the women who do actually work get paid less than their male counterparts. It is downright unfair and sexist to pay someone less for the same work because of their gender. Thus, we see how women empowerment is the need of the hour. We need to empower these women to speak up for themselves and never be a victim of injustice.

There are various ways in how one can empower women. The individuals and government must both come together to make it happen. Education for girls must be made compulsory so that women can become illiterate to make a life for themselves.

Women must be given equal opportunities in every field, irrespective of gender. Moreover, they must also be given equal pay. We can empower women by abolishing child marriage. Various programs must be held where they can be taught skills to fend for themselves in case they face financial crisis.

Most importantly, the shame of divorce and abuse must be thrown out of the window. Many women stay in abusive relationships because of the fear of society. Parents must teach their daughters it is okay to come home divorced rather than in a coffin.

How to build a startup?

Already building a startup was not an easy task, COVID-19 has made the situation even more difficult. But not to worry, here are a few steps one can look up to launch the startup in 2020.

  • Develop an idea: This was expected isn’t it? Without an idea, there can be no startup. The development of an idea is the most laborious task. For an effective startup, many things are needed to be taken into account like the vision of the startup, needs of people. Check for the problem area that people are facing, that’s the place from where the best ideas generate. The main criteria for a successful idea are trustworthiness, durability, and sustainability.
  • Explore the market: Understand the market, do thorough research, that is the key to success. Half knowledge is dangerous, if you don’t know particular features of the business you chose, all efforts will go in vain. Make sure to stay within the area you’re familiar with. Don’t start anything that you don’t have an idea about. Figure out the consumer’s needs.
  • Be fast: React fast to the changing market needs. This is crucial for a successful startup. All great businessmen have done so, whether it is Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen, or Thoman Gensemer.
  • Always be determined: Never lose hope! Be determined and always have a willingness to continue until your startup becomes profitable. Cope with the challenges and difficulties that come your way creatively.
  • Be creative: Don’t be scared to go beyond the usually accepted business schemes. It’s your startup and you can mold it in whatever way you want.
  • Decide about the team: For the start, the number of people in the team should not be big. Find these three kinds of people: one who knows how to build technological systems to solve problems; one who understands the human factors hid by problems and can solve them; and one who knows how to reach people whose problems are to be solved.

Even if your first try of creating a successful startup fails, don’t be disappointed. It’s not necessary is that it will be rewarding always. Keep trying, don’t give up the difficulties.

Financial Literacy for girls

We all are aware that education is a very important tool for all of us, to build our personality, to shape our future. It really does not matter whether we get this education from school, or from outside school, education has a key role to play behind the success of any person. But now, from school time, we are told about that education that will help us earn money by working for it. Hard-work, dedication, and skill in a particular field are told to be the requirements to be a good employee, focusing on which can help us earn money and grow. Schools and society hardly teach teenagers about the importance of financial literacy in one’s life. There is no school where students are made aware of financial literacy and its importance. But, indeed, it is a very important skill needed to get out of the ‘rat-race’.

financial-education

If we want to become financially literate, surely we won’t be spoonfed. We need to be alert, aware, curious, as well as creative enough to gather the knowledge. One needs to understand that hard work and dedication can’t get us to everything in life. Studying hard, getting a government job, with a secure future can sound peaceful, but once people get to it, people often complain about their work, problems like not getting promotions, lack of holidays, and a lot more. Employers are often blamed. But it is not employers’ fault, it is our fault that we lack financial education to get out of this “trap”. Yes, but, smart work and the desire to constantly learn and grow is what that can help us get out of the ‘rat-race’. The trick is to “stop working for money and make money work for us”.

A very major issue is financial literacy is lacking too much in girls. Yes, there are girls who are financially literate but the fraction is too low. The general mindset that society has is that there exist a father and husband in a girl’s life and they can very well take care of the finance part for them. It is common that things like fashion, cooking skills, etc are discussed with and among girls but it is quite uncommon to find them discuss stocks, investment, and finance. Apart from these, being financially literate comes with the power to overcome fear and take risks. But, it is quite difficult for a girl to take risks as a society often don’t recognize their potential. We need to overcome this mindset that keeps girls dependent on others. It is the need of the girl as well as the need of the society that they stand out strong and work for their own financial goals. Girls need to be aware and they need to become financially literate. It is also known that girls can better handle finance than boys. So, why one should not use this potential. Financial literacy for girls is also a very important and crucial step towards women empowerment. They also need to understand finance and work for their financial independence.

Happy Woman Holding Piggybank

Financial literacy is very important for the progress of any individual or society. It helps you get out of the trap where you start working for money and can never get out of the trap. It prevents us from becoming slaves to money and become master of it.

What you need from your Customers: Loyalty

3 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty at Your Restaurant

Customer loyalty is an important part of any type of business. Loyal customers are more likely to come back and purchase more of your company’s goods or services and thus increase the profits of the company in the long-term. Customers who are given the chance to participate in loyalty programs are also known to be more likely to recommend goods and services to friends and family as they begin to feel loyal towards the company. However, gaining and maintaining customer loyalty can be a challenge especially depending on the type of business and the strategic goals that the company wants to achieve in the future.

One way that a company can attempt to gain the loyalty of their customers is through loyalty programs. The term loyalty program refers to the use of a special gift or incentive being used after a repeated action by the customer. An example of this would be if a cake shop decided to give their customers a free cake for every nine cakes that they had already purchased. This incentive encourages customers to spend their money at the store because there is a special reward for giving the company their business. Aside from this, there are two main reasons why companies should consider using this method of customer service to improve their customer loyalty. One of these reasons includes the fact that loyalty programs have a positive effect on the relationship quality between the customer and the business and that these types of programs make the customer feel entitled towards their reward from the company because of the business that the customer gives them.

A loyalty program “gives the customer a sense of superior status relative to the other, “ordinary” customers” (Steinhoff & Palmatier, 2014). This, in turn, makes the customer feel more valued and is more likely to bring them back to your business instead of someone else’s business the next time they want to purchase a good or service. The other reason is that there is the principle of reciprocity once the customer receives that reward from the company. They will feel like they need to reciprocate or give back to the company for the reward that they received. This is a principle that is taken from studies done on human behaviour and the factors that motivate human beings. This principle can be used to benefit companies through the loyalty programs, because as stated above, once the customer receives their rewards they will feel as though they have an obligation to pay the company back by giving their loyalty to that business. This can increase profits for the company as loyal customers will continually purchase their goods and services.

Overall, companies can greatly increase their long-term profits and sales if they implement customer service practices such as loyalty programs since loyal customers have been proven to repeatedly revisit the company and repurchase goods and services that are offered. Loyal customers are also more likely to recommend the business and thus companies are receiving positive benefits yet again. All of this is because customers not only begin to feel more special to the company because of the rewards they receive but because they also feel a need to reciprocate for those rewards as well. If a company is willing to invest in creating a loyalty program for their customers then they will directly see the positive effects that it could have on their business and customer relationships.

References

Ma, B., Li, X. and Zhang, L. (2018), “The effects of loyalty programs in services – a double-edged sword?”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 300-310. https://doi-org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/10.1108/JSM-06-2016-0227

Steinhoff, L., Palmatier, R.W. Understanding loyalty program effectiveness: managing target and bystander effects. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 44, 88–107 (2016). https://doi-org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/10.1007/s11747-014-0405-6

How has the Pandemic affected the Supply Chain?

COVID-19: Is Your Hospital's Supply Chain Ready for Coronavirus?

Current scenario

The impact of Covid-19 across the world has been completely devastating. The nations across the world have taken steps out of ordinary. From putting ban on travel, closing borders, stopping business to complete national lockdown, the economic growth has downgraded tremendously. Several attempts have been made to “flattening the curve” which involves reducing the number of new COVID-19 cases on day to day basis.

For a country like India with high population density, it becomes necessary for the Government to take up vital steps to protect its citizens as high population attracts the virus to spread easily and rapidly. Therefore, keeping in mind, the limited infrastructure, the Government had to completely lockdown the nation from March 25. The lockdown was supposed to last for only 21 days but has been extended till further instructions. The impact of this has already begun by troubling the Indian economy resulting in slow growth and shrinking consumption.

Impact on supply chains

Even before the spread of Covid-19 across the globe and nationwide lockdown, there seemed to be a ripple effect on the global flow of trade due to disruption in China. Due to this many companies had started working to thin the supply chain from China. Because of Covid-19, the vulnerabilities of costs have been exposed and “just in time” deliveries with emphasis laid on minimization has led to decrease in inventory buffers and has left very small or rather no room for adequate buffers

However in India still there are certain industries which are heavily dependent on Chinese imports. Some of these industries are that of pharmaceuticals where about 70 per cent of pharmaceutical ingredients are imported from China for the requirement of industry. Automobiles which adds up to 10-30 per cent of imported raw materials from China for the base parts. The renewable energy sector especially Solar in the area of solar is heavily dependent on China for Solar panels which is 80 per cent of our renewable sector’s requirement.

Managing the crisis

To combat the current crisis, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) imposed restrictions on the export of 13 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and 13 formulations made from these ingredients. Major actions were taken to quickly initiate customs clearances of imports from China.

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) advised its members not to rely on Chinese products by diverging the source of raw materials as the supply from China has been cut off due to the pandemic. According to AEPC Chairman A. Sakthivel the industry body has approached the government on the matter who in turn has asked the Indian embassies to find the alternate sources of suppliers for India.

Due to crisis many companies want to move at least a part of their supply chains locally which would increase investment in India’s local industries and help to overcome economy in crisis. The Indian Government has decided to promote domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials (KSMs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in the country which will promote Bulk Drug Parks with investment of ₹3,000 crore in the next 5 years. This is a wake-up call for India to develop its own local sourcing units and adopt alternative strategies for reducing the dependency on China.

References:

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/covid-19-exposes-indian-industrys-supply-chain-vulnerabilities/article31224928.ece

How to become a successful Entrepreneur?

Whether you’re starting as a pro or an amateur, who doesn’t want to be a successful entrepreneur? Owning your own business gives you a sense of freedom. You become more creative, release your ideas, visions, and make decisions yourself.

So to be strong at this game, here are some tips you may need:

  • Challenge Yourself: Every day is a new beginning. Your biggest motivation should be to keep challenging yourself. No one else is going to push, it is you who has to take the charge. Learn every day. Read books, blogs, and articles on entrepreneurs. Doing this will not only increase your knowledge but also expand your creativity.

 

  • Take Risks: Successful entrepreneurs always take risks. Without this one can never figure out what is good for their business and what is not. It is dangerous but sometimes it presents opportunities that often outweigh the potential danger.

 

  • Know your goals: Rome was not built in a day! Who hasn’t heard this famous quote? Just like that, a startup also cannot be successful in a few days. One needs to be patient in their way up. You should have a proper goal plan. Work on all your plans, make mistakes, and explore.

 

  • Be passionate: Nothing in this world fuels you better than your passion does. When you’re passionate about what you do, long hours won’t even matter. But if you are not, you won’t have any motivation when you are sleepy or tired. Ever noticed entrepreneurs who get that gleam in their eyes when they talk about what they do?

 

  • Support System: Let’s be honest, achieving things on your own, will only double the trouble in your journey. One needs a supportive network to lean on. Hire someone you have great character and whom you respect too.

 

  • Put everything on Calendar: Yes, you heard that right! Put everything on the calendar. From every important meeting to working hours, meeting friends, workouts, games, etc. The reason being this will always keep you on your toes and you will have no time to waste. ‘ Time is money’ – Every famous entrepreneur abides by this rule. Follow it and no one can stop you from being successful.

 

What’s your favourite success tip for entrepreneurs? Share it in the comment section.

 

Want to be a entrepreneur? Business skills that you should master

Are you aspiring to be the next Steve Jobs of Mark Zuckerberg? That’s great. These are some of the greatest entrepreneurs known today. An entrepreneur is one who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Being an entrepreneur can be rest when it comes to a fixed schedule and the most important thing is that you enjoy what you work.

But in order to be a successful entrepreneur you need to have the right skillset which suits your business. Acquiring these skills can be very effective when it comes to success of your entrenpeurship!

Here are the essential soft skills that you will need to learn or import to help you to succeed in your business:

Delegate your work

Delegation involves assigning responsibility to other people for the completion of work. The ideal position that you want to obtain is one where your staff carries out all the routine activities of your business. Effective delegation involves achieving the correct balance between effective controls and allowing people to complete their job effectively.

Be a good communicator

Communication is an important part of a business but the sad part is that it is the taken for granted. Good communication skills can enable you to convey your idea effectively to your colleagues and employees. Communication does not include only verbal part, it also includes the non verbal part such as body posture, level of eye contact, your dressing sense, your gestures and actions. This things together present a picture of yours Infront of your colleagues.

Be a leader!!

Strong leaders can help an organisation to maximize productivity and achieve business goals, whereas weak leadership can hurt productivity and put the health of the business in jeopardy. Leadership is not one blanket characteristic that cures all ills, however, there are many different elements that must be present for an organization’s leadership to be considered adequate.

Learn to negotiate!!

Negotiation skills are qualities that allow two or more parties to reach a compromise. These are often soft skills and include abilities such as communication, persuasion, planning, strategizing and cooperating. Understanding these skills is the first step to becoming a stronger negotiator.

Develop a strategic plan…

A business plan is about setting short- or mid-term goals and defining the steps necessary to achieve them. A strategic plan is typically focused on a business’ mid- to long-term goals and explains the basic strategies for achieving them.

Analyse…

Analytical skills refer to the ability to collect and analyze information, problem-solve, and make decisions. Employees who possess these strengths can help solve a company’s problems and improve its overall productivity and success.

Learn to sell!!

Sales techniques are the methods that sales professionals use to create revenue.The techniques are refined through trial and error based on the sales associate’s experiences. Developing effective sales techniques is an ongoing process for an individual and his entire organisation.

Manage your finances

This skill comprises of analysing the companies balance sheet and identifying which of your products are profitable for your business. These are important to uphold the financial stability of the business ensuring that the cost is not exceeding the revenue generated.

Learn the Art of Time management

Time Management is a set of related common-sense skills that help you use your time in the most effective and productive way. Time Management is a very important skill to master. Learning this skill will empower you to achieve more and to use your time wisely. The key is to know how to manage your time efficiently and to focus on the activities most likely to deliver value to your business.

How can you learn these skills and succeed in your business?

With developing technology, everything is available in the comfort of your home. Here, are some of the amazing ways that will definitely help you to enhance your skills…

  • Do a online course. Yes, you heard it right. Do a course in anything you love and wish to be a entrepreneur in it. It can be finance, marketing or anything. Sky is the limit!!
  • Do internships. There are some well known platforms like Internshala and let’s intern which provide the platform to connect the employers with interns like us. Doing a internship have countless benefits it gives you exposure into the corporate world even before you enter in it. Your overall personality gets developed eventually.
  • Next one and the perhaps the easiest one you can do is engage with as many people as you can. Learn the skill to express your ideas, work on your expression, gestures.

Acquiring these skills will take time definitely but once you have done achieved perfection in this , noone will be able to stop you from achieving your goals.

All the best!!!

What is your USP?

Sameness or Uniqueness? Designing effective brand experiences ...

The competition is getting fiercer with every passing day as new things are introduced and the world population is on a rise. Living a good life isn’t as easy as it used to be years ago when unemployment wasn’t as high as it is now. Every man fights several men everyday to make his place in this highly competitive world and fights even more to safeguard his place from the new entrants and improved competitors. There’s no end to this struggle. 

Unique Selling Proposition or USP in short, is a business term for a quality that sets your business apart in a market full of competitors that are more or less similar to you but they too cannot copy that quality of yours. It is what differentiates your business and makes the consumers want to try and buy what you are selling and choose your brand over competitor brands. 

Tata Group is one of top Indian Companies and the USP of Tata Motors is that they are fuel efficient and easy to drive. An environmentally conscious customer might buy a Tata vehicle because oil is a nonrenewable resource and an economical person might buy it because of fluctuating prices of oil. Ease of driving will please any and everyone. This is what sets Tata motors apart from the other automobile companies of the country.

The business term ‘USP’ is not specific to just businesses anymore because every single person is competing against the world full of people for a seat, a job, a promotion, for power and a variety of other things. The fact is that there will never come a time when the competition will lower or become steady and ‘survival of the fittest’ is actually ‘survival of the best’ now. Every person who is fighting out there needs to have an eccentric weapon of some sort – a quality that is impossible or extremely difficult for other fighters to imitate – to have any chance at winning the everyday battle that the world is. 

Read: Most Sought-after Skills at this very second

When you are trying to get into anything, be it an interview for a job or starting a new venture, ask yourself what sets you apart? It is possible to not find a unique skill or quality in yourself when you start looking but it is also not impossible to develop a few. Hard work can do wonders. Start with making a list of all the skills and qualities that you have and be honest to yourself. You can’t just say that something like overcoming challenges is one of your qualities without actually embodying that passion and zeal. There could be some skills in that list that you could work on further and master to make them your USP. You can also pick a skill randomly that you think you can master and others cannot but it should be consistent with the place you want to enter for it to differentiate you from other entrants. 

I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.

Elon Musk

Big Data and IoT Explained

How Big Data Influences Your IoT Solution

Technology has been advancing and lives are getting improved everyday now. Businesses are doing everything to exceed the expectations of their customers and IoT is the next promising step towards the same. Internet of Things, IoT in short, is a platform that collects and analyses data from our regular use appliances with the aid of the internet and gives out information to both the manufacturer and user. This information could be about the servicing that is required or a part that has become dysfunctional and needs to be replaced. The huge amount of data that is generated by these sensor equipped machines is called the Big Data (no surprise there, hopefully).

Big Data has always been present but in earlier times, it was simple and could be easily recorded on Excel spreadsheets and analysed as such. The type of data wasn’t as complex back then and it could be easily filled into the cells of spreadsheets. Now, however, the format of data that is being transmitted is not very fixed and it could be in forms like audio, video and pictures. This data cannot be collected and analysed by traditional programs. New softwares (Cloud) are getting developed that can help separate the valuable information and recognise the trends or patterns if there are any. Examples of the same can be seen in apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime when they give you recommendations on the basis of your previous watch.

The big data is characterised by 4 Vs: volume, velocity, variety and veracity. The volume of data could be trillions of gigabytes and has to be stored at multiple locations. The velocity of transmission and collection of data currently, is unprecedented. ‘Variety’ refers to the format of data that can be both structured and unstructured but equally important. Veracity or the accuracy of the set of data that has been generated by a source and needs to be verified in case of redundancy or just to check if the data is suitable for analysis by a particular software. The role of data analyst becomes important with this discussion and it will be the most sought after profession eventually.

IoT and Big Data are very similar but yet very distinct at the same time. IoT seeks to analyse the data when it is transmitted and the data then contributes to the Big Data. A company can use both the technologies at the same time. For example, a sensor in a car could emit a signal that the car is in need of servicing and the owner might get a notification reminder for the same. The data of the times all the cars of the same company required servicing can be stored and used for predictive analysis for newly manufactured cars. 

The integration of the two technologies can help the both consumer and seller in the long run. The businesses will make more profits as they will become more efficient in catering to the needs of their customer and the overall costs will get reduced as well. The customer might be hesitant at first, for the idea of their appliances tracking their usage behavior seems like invasion of privacy, but it will save their time and money in maintenance and replacement.

Decision Making 101: Opportunity Cost

How we make choices | TED Talks

Wherever we are and whatever we are doing currently, is the result of the decisions we have made in the past. You have chosen to read this article and not scroll past it or do something else like watching TV or taking a nap. You have consciously made a choice from an array of options that were in front of you. Opportunity cost is the loss of benefits that could be derived from the next best alternative once a choice has been made. By reading this article, you have forgone the pleasure that could have been derived from watching TV or energy that you’d have got from taking a nap.

Opportunity cost is a term in economics but it can be applied to almost every aspect of life and not just the things that can be measured in monetary terms. When an investor chooses to invest his money in a particular stock, the opportunity cost is the return on investment that he could have enjoyed if invested in a different stock. If that investor had an excess amount of funds, he could have invested in both the stocks but that sets things like money, time and even opportunities apart – they are limited. This elucidates the importance of making well thought out decisions.

People who are doing 9 to 5, 5-days a week jobs face difficulty in realising their opportunity costs because they have a fixed schedule and only do what they are told to. They barely make any decisions on their own and just do what their boss tells them to on a regular basis so when they finally see an opportunity to relax on weekend, they don’t look for alternatives and just go with the flow. In case of freelancers or businessmen, however, these people are much more conscious of what they lose when they decide to spend their limited resources in a particular activity. A tailor can easily sacrifice the amount of business he is sacrificing when he decides to go on a week long vacation.

Opportunity cost is everywhere and in everything we do. When a person with a job decides to party on saturday night and sleep in because it’s sunday, he gives up on the time that he could have spent with his family. When you decide to get an MBA from a named university and pay a hefty tuition fee for the same, you sacrifice not just the money but the time, 2 years in this case, that could have been spent in doing a job or learning a different skill. You still chose to go for an MBA and the reason could be because you can get a much better job that pays better than the one without an MBA. Basically, It is all about weighing your alternatives correctly and carefully.

Decision making process isn’t complicated but two of the most crucial steps are identification of alternatives, followed by thorough examination of each alternative. All the benefits that are derived from all the alternatives need to be compared and the one that seems the most satisfactory should be chosen. One can also weigh his options on the basis of what he would regret sacrificing the most.

How to grow your business through Instagram

Instagram is a great marketing tool for any business to flourish. It has over 800 million monthly active users. Despite it being a massive platform, it is fairly easy to grow your business on it. It allows you to connect with your fans, customers, partners, and prospects. For your account, to be worth your efforts and time, the most important thing is to be active on it. 

Let’s take a look at how Instagram can help in building a brand and grow your following without spending a single penny on advertising.

  • Post images that attract the audience – A picture is worth a thousand words so make sure it counts. To get active audience engagement, offer both – great design and value. Use sites like Canva and Stencil to design the best infographics or posts. No need to hire graphic designers, these tools make your posts look extremely professional at free of cost.
  • “Call to action” a must thing – There are a lot of companies that just post on Instagram without the customers knowing what to do, where to go. One can always make use of the bio section for a strong “Call-to-action” that directs people to the sales page or the company’s website. This way it is much easier for better functioning of the business.
  • The right use of Hashtags (#) – Hashtags are extremely powerful for increasing engagement, categorizing posts, attracting followers to a certain niche and also to strengthen the brand image. Every time you make a post, make sure to write a caption with it including the hashtags ( don’t use more than 5 ). This will make your post look well put up and appealing to the audience.
  • Regularity in posting content – You don’t have to spam the audience but make sure to at least post one or two times a day. This will help in keeping the audience updated and be interested in your brand. None the less, the more the posting is done more the chances of a rapid increase in followers.
  • Engagement is the key – Engagement with the audience can be fruitful for your company. Start liking, commenting on their posts, it can often lead them to visit your brand’s Instagram handle. There are chances that they can also reciprocate by liking and following it. Purchasing followers can never be in one’s interest, so avoid it.
  • Look up to Analytics – Instagram provides an option to check the insights of the profile. One can see which post got the most engagement, which day is when people are most active, when is the best time to post. With the help of this information, plan your future posts accordingly to get the most mileage out of them.

All in all, this visual feed can reflect your brand’s uniqueness and differentiate your business from others. So with the right marketing strategy make the best use of it possible. Take advantage of all that Instagram has to offer and you are good to go.

 

Go For Western Economy With These Pioneering

but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendour of these visions!

I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents.

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