Category "Business"


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Many races have begun since widespread shutdowns: The race to create a vaccinel; the race to flatten the curve of positive infection cases; and of primary importance to businesses, the race to reestablishing flailing revenue streams.

Most businesses realize that climbing out of the latest recession is not going to be simple or fast. As McKinsey & Company figures suggest, organizations within some industry sectors may not return to their late 2019 GNP contributions for five years, if they can hold out. 

Of course, holding out is what scrappy, disruptive, entrepreneurially minded innovators tend to do best, particularly when it comes to unearthing creative ways to steward resources. Still, money and time remain precious commodities. Resultantly, a significant number of companies have begun to painstakingly comb their ledgers looking for places to shave costs. 

If your organization has begun trimming fat and making do, you may be tempted to get rid of existing subscription services. While halting certain subscriptions can make sense, think twice before turning away from all of them. The right subscription-based services can help you avoid paying more for the tools, convenience and quality you need to keep customers interested in your products and services.

How can you know which subscriptions are worth a second look versus a cancellation call? Use a simple checklist.

Related: Top 5 Wartime Strategies to Survive the Recession

1. Does the subscription allow you to automate and outsource tasks?

Some subscriptions are backed by leading-edge software and AI, enabling you to automate processes and operations. The more you include in your business, the less time your workers have to spend on mundane, low-level jobs. 

Take the concept of handling website URL redirects. “The process of redirecting URLs is full of pitfalls, even for experienced IT teams,” notes EasyRedir, a subscription-based URL redirection service. But quality redirection is important for user experience and SEO. 

Automating and URL redirection gives you the opportunity to avoid annoying user hiccups and lowered SEO ranking caused by bad links. It also creates a workable map for migrating your website when the time comes to upgrade or rebrand. Yet you never have to tap your team to get the work done, which means they can focus on other assignments.

2. Does the subscription fill some of your team’s knowledge gaps?

Every team has collective knowledge. Nevertheless, all businesses have certain knowledge gaps. In a more robust , you might choose to fill your gaps by personnel with specific skill sets, or bringing someone onto your team as needed from the burgeoning gig economy. Right now, subscription services can present meaningful, affordable ways to bridge where you are today and where you need to be tomorrow.

As an example, pretend your biggest gap right now is HR-related. You have very few protocols in place and are having trouble effectively training and monitoring employees. A product like BambooHR gives you the flexibility to operate on par with much bigger companies. Not only can you breathe life into your culture and utilize already constructed dashboards, but you can do it without adding more bulk to your payroll. 

Related: Don’t Let Your Rebranding Destroy Your SEO

3. Will the subscription stand the test of time?

When you investigate subscription services for your company, you will notice that more options are popping up every day. Before committing to any, ask yourself whether the subscription is something you will need for at least a few months, if not longer. Like any other tool, an unused subscription sends money down the drain.

How will you know which subscription is future-proof, particularly in a volatile market that swings with every headline? Judge based on how you are working. For instance, have you moved to a hybrid model with more flexible work-from-home options? The demand for videoconferencing is unlikely to slow down amid worries about second viral waves, not to mention the need for scattered colleagues to connect face-to-face online.

Therefore, a subscription to a portal like Zoom could be beneficial if you are not already paying for the upgraded business version of Microsoft 365, which includes Microsoft Teams. 

4. Will everyone use the subscription?

A final consideration for anything you purchase at this stage, including subscriptions, is how useful the product will be. If it sits on the shelf like an unwanted birthday gift, it should not be included in your subscription possibilities.

Not sure about the viability of a subscription? Get feedback from team heads or, in the case of a small business, everyone on staff. You may also want to see if you can try a free trial of the subscription with limited bells and whistles for a month or longer. That way, you can test its applicability under real world conditions. You and a group of beta testers may even want to evaluate two similar free subscription services to see which one is the better fit.

Related: 10 Subscription Companies to Start Now

Despite recent turmoil, commerce will continue. But your business has to make smart choices to stay at the front of the pack and not fall behind. Think beyond just slashing expenses, and figure out how to get more mileage from all the products and tools you use. Subscriptions may seem unnecessary at first blush, but the ones right for your company’s vision and goals could pay for themselves many times over.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.


6 min read


A decade ago social media introduced us to various professions that one couldn’t have thought of. Such is the charm of these online platforms that people not just started following their passion but even generating income out of it. 

The term social media influencer came into existence and branched into various types. From fashion to food, every beat had influencers all over the space. In fact, within no time we got introduced to ‘travel influencers’, They not just going place but at the same time inspiring many to love, explore and witness the world. In fact ‘how to become a travel blogger’ was also one of the tops searched phrases on Google.

Many want to pursue their passion of travelling and convert it into a full-time profession. Of course, it’s a dream but to make it a success one needs to understand what works and what doesn’t on Instagram. With over one million followers travel influencer Rasmus Peter Kristensen who runs the handle ‘Resort’ says, “People with a passion for travel can turn into a digital nomad and can scale his/her travel Instagram, becoming a successful travel influencer. But capturing the right images plays an important role to gain followers.”

He travels around the globe with his wife and tries to see what kind of images will people like. At times, he simply follows his heart believing that he is showing the world in a beautiful way that will certainly appeal to the audience. Giving us eight tips is the expert who lays the guidebook of how to start travel Instagram.

1.    Discover Your Niche: 

For any travel influencer, posting pictures and videos on Instagram cannot make the account a successful travel handle. A person needs to discover his niche and study the subject believes to influence. Travel niches include luxury, health and wellness, adventure, hiking, gastro tourism, winter destinations, and so many other things. Picking a particular travel niche will help a person have some authority over that subject and adding their style with the content, they can help themselves stand apart from others in the industry, believes Rasmus.

Image Credit: Pixabay

2.    Be Creative With Taking Pictures: 

Since Instagram is a visual platform; it must be utilized to the maximum advantage. Pictures in itself can speak a lot about the experiences. Hence, Rasmus says that a great travel influencer must also hone their skills in photography and help in creating visual imagery that attracts more people to their travel page.

3.    Show Your Prowess In Videos: 

Getting hands easy on taking videos is another art that a travel influencer can learn over time. If images can speak so much without saying a word, how much impact can an expertly shot video have?

“Instagram not only has the option of creating an IGTV but also a new feature called Reels that lets you make short videos as well. Using Instagram features one can easily add some more effects on the content. Also, putting in the right kind of music just adds to the attractiveness of travel content,” he says. 

Image Credit: Instagram/ Resort

4.    Create A Brand On Instagram: 

To become a travel inspiration, digital branding is the way to go. Through the creative, innovative, and travel inspirational content, a lot of attention can be captured of all. Also, it is essential to be consistent in posting newer, visually striking pictures and videos.

“I created ‘Resort’ intending to bring travel enthusiasts together and let each other explore the places of the world through the page. You need to build your page as a brand and let people connect with you,” he says. 

5.    Go For Collaborations: 

Collaborations here doesn’t mean the ones travel influencers make on Instagram, it means that people need to make the network even outside the platform, points out Rasmus. 
It is also about meeting other travel influencers and creating innovative content together. This allows you to grow audiences, followers, and create conversions on the common topic they have learned from each other.

6.    Hashtag All The Way:

Travel influencers aspiring to develop a travel Instagram must know the importance of using hashtags. “Hashtags are used to drive all the people in one place on Instagram and travel influencers must highly utilize this by hashtagging their brand. By using a particular hashtag, many people can get content discovered posted by travel influencers. This gets them attracted to the posts, and start following them,” he explains. 

Image Credit: Instagram/ Resort

7.    Utilize Instagram Stories: 

Instagram’s most popular feature is the Instagram stories. Sadly, not all have yet realized its significance so far. “This feature is great. Utilize this feature on the platform where for a few seconds you can give a preview of a post to people, leading them to see your post and ultimately following them,” he says. 

8.    Start Your Travel Hub Account: 

People who are still starting out and yet have not discovered many places in the world still can start their travel hub account on Instagram to repost the contents of many other travel explorers and influencers. 

“On my page, I share my experiences and help people map out the best hotels, resorts, and other beautiful places on earth. This actually can be very helpful for people who are just beginning as travel influencers and starting their Instagram account to gather great travel stories and content on their platform,” he says. 

Image Credit: Pixabay

As someone who has travelled the one Rasmus says earning from Instagram with the travel handle and being a travel influencer is possible, but only when the person is ready to keep hustling and give in their best, providing consistent and creative content. 

While you are starting a journey, make sure to do your homework. To be an influencer might look fancy, but it requires tremendous dedication and hard work. To make your account ace, read on marketing skills, watch a lot more content, get inspired but do not copy content. Becoming an influencer is a slow journey, be patient and create content that people can relate with. 

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9 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Marketing is all about innovation. Marketers must innately understand and adapt to the ever-changing world around them to meet incredible demands and aggressive goals. I strongly feel the best marketers often realize that innovation is crucial, and remaining stagnant is a financial death sentence. By changing the game through their unique perspectives and innovative tactics, entrepreneurs and organizations look to the world’s top marketers for guidance during these turbulent times. Notably, these 12 marketers, in no particular order of preference, are making waves and names for themselves as they pave the way for their clients to succeed.

Derek Moneyberg

Known for being a “tough love” mentor, Derek Moneyberg doesn’t mince words and expects his clients to win or he won’t take them on. “My clients know that they won’t be coddled,” says Moneyberg. “I give my clients real, actionable advice, even if it is not exactly what they want to hear.” Moneyberg stands out as an influencer who doesn’t offer up cheap soft, sugar-coated advice and has built an incredible with his brass tacks approach. “I set my clients up for success,” he states. “They don’t walk away with ideas. They get results.”

Dr. Denise McDermott, M.D.

Ascension Media’s CEO, Dr. Denise McDermott, M.D., brings a valuable perspective to marketing by producing intentional content surrounding conscious products, influencer engagements, marketing, inspirational shows and mindful messaging. “I believe in paradigm progression thinking, which combines eastern and western philosophies encouraging people to embrace their neurostyle and unique talents,” states Dr. McDermott. “My success in media and marketing is multidimensional.

She has created a system inspired by self-love, allowing people to stabilize the energy within them and live up to their fullest potential. Unifying the individual and group mindset, Ascension Media has created a win-win outcome for all by integrating capitalism with altruism.

Related: 10 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Brett Larkin 

A world-renowned yogi and entrepreneur, Brett Larkin has revolutionized the world of online yoga with her platform and yoga-teacher training that she has wholly shifted online of late. “It’s a really weird time not just for yoga but for all businesses in general,” concedes Larkin. “What we’ve seen is an influx of people wanting to study yoga online, so we quickly optimized our digital channels to accommodate them.”

Brett’s YouTube channel views are up 127 percent, with a 102 percent increase in watch time. Brett has been perfecting the art of virtual teaching since 2015, and her business is a shining example that, with the right mindset, there is an audience for you in any virtual space.

Vance Fundora

Best-selling author and entrepreneur Vance Fundora aims to hand over his marketing expertise to every small business and help them keep up with the latest in . “While massive organizations run multi-million-dollar tests and campaigns all the time, small businesses can’t afford to test and make mistakes, so they stay away from digital marketing altogether,” explains Vance.

Through his guide, Keeping Up, an Amazon best-seller, Vance helps emerging entrepreneurs and existing organizations transition into the digital space. 

Michael Escobedo

Driven by curiosity and a passion for showing the world his perspective, Michael Escobedo uses photography to tell stories. “Using my artistic ability as a photographer, I craft stories through collaborations, as well as of my own travels and endeavors,” shares Escobedo. He’s worked with brands such as MVMT, Zanerobe, Movado, as well as global icons such as Ludacris, Nipsey Hussle and A Boogie wit da Hoodie, and reveals that “a finely honed skill of photography and deep familiarity with social media tools and trends helps me create highly successful content. The photography I produce delivers great value to brands and public figures, while still connecting with my viewers.”

Zhenya Globazh

After a 10-year career in marketing for some of the top tech and FMCG companies, Zhenya Globazh co-founded Shiba500, a New York-based agency that develops branding and marketing strategies for B2B tech companies looking to launch their products in the U.S. and Europe. Citing empathy and determination as her main strengths, Globazh makes it a point to surround herself with diverse, driven and talented people. 

“Working with top brands and agencies such as WPP, Danone & Yandex has certainly diversified my experience and strengthened my expertise, but what drives me is people,” she says. “I enjoy working with passionate and dedicated individuals who share my desire to create amazing products and help people in changing the world for the better.”

Chris Diaz

As founder of his eponymous Chris Diaz Agency, Diaz has become a leading marketing consultant who always puts his clients first. One of his key strengths is strategic partnerships. “Our team has developed a near-perfect digital for entrepreneurs to consistently start, grow and scale their business online beyond six and seven figures,” he explains. “We deploy automated marketing campaigns that speed our clients’ sales cycle by connecting them with their desired customers.”

Diaz believes that though he and his team have decades of combined experience in the digital marketing space, they make decisions based on data, not opinions. “We have one goal,” he insists. “And that is to help business owners, brands and entrepreneurs generate more revenue online, immediately. We understand that a business survives off making money, so we use marketing techniques that speed up success for our clients and get them closer to our revenue goals.” 

Colton Bollinger

Fueled by his resilience, Instagram marketer turned entrepreneur Colton Bollinger is at the helm of Jumper Media, a startup changing the way brands leverage Instagram marketing and growth. As he shares, “When algorithm updates toppled our IG business, I thought maybe we could replicate the same kind of Instagram growth and engagement for clients by hand with people doing it from phones.” The rest is history. 

Bollinger not only managed to keep Jumper Media in business, but he also scaled a team of approximately 1,000 people in another country within six months. While Jumper started as a software company, it has emerged as the largest organic Instagram growth agency catering to more thsan 1,500 clients.

Farhan Munshi

As the head of MMYCOM, which owns multiple ecommerce brands, Farhan Munshi doubles down in the face of adversity. “The pandemic forced me to look at things from a resourceful perspective rather quickly,” he says. Faced with a massive production delay in China, Farhan only had what was in his North American warehouses.

“What we did was focus on what we could fulfill while limiting our ad spend until things got back on track,” he explains. “That proved more than worthwhile because now we’ve increased our revenue projections by 300 person.” Munshi believes in staying laser-focused during challenging times makes all the difference. 

Ryan White

Ryan White scaled his company Social Revelation Marketing into a seven-figure business in a record 18 months. With his exceptional marketing and skills, he has built a network of more than four million professionals across the globe. Talking about marketing in the age of social media, he shares, “The best storytellers get the most attention and money follows those with the most attention.”

White is seen as a thought leader in not just marketing but networking too, stating, “My key strength lies in my ability to network well and communicate effectively. I have always seen myself through the lens of a leader to help encourage and serve others, and therefore, I work hard daily to consistently develop into the best version of myself so that I can do this at the highest level.”

Kendall Shaw

In his role as founder and Head of Growth for Maybach Media, Kendall Shaw combines direct-response marketing tactics with data-based media buying strategies to help brands grow exponentially. “The results you can get from digital marketing become much more powerful when you can understand why people buy your products and the core desires that they have,” he offers. “This methodology is what has allowed us to consistently have success for our clients as well as our own DTC brands.”

Shaw and his team help ecommerce stores to scale up by leveraging ROI-driven ad strategies, email marketing and copywriting. And to test and share the best learning outcomes with his clients, Shaw owns and runs several ecommerce stores of his own.

Related: 15 Entrepreneurs Under 30 to Watch Out For

Bozoma Saint John

With an exceptional career that spans more than 20 years, Bozoma Saint John, currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix, has an incredible talent for bringing people together through stories. “ is critical to our global, societal well-being,” says Saint John. “I feel honored to contribute my experience to an already dynamic legacy and to continue driving engagement in the future.” 

Saint John understands how stories drive engagement, and that engagement is critical to awareness. Her approach is all about adapting tried and true human storytelling elements, making them work in our modern digital landscape. 

All these individuals serve as a reminder that business is all about having the confidence to branch out and put your faith in an idea. Change is inevitable, but what these marketers prove is that the best talent knows how to adapt, teaching us that strategy can set us apart.

 

 



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5 min read

This story appears in the
August 2020

issue of
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Dave Colina’s startup could have been severely hurt by the pandemic. His company makes the sports recovery drink O2, and prior to COVID-19, half of its business came from gyms. But once lockdowns began, gyms were closed and athletes were stuck at home. Colina worried for his future but decided to take a gamble: He found unique ways to financially support those closed gyms, even as he ran tight on cash. “We felt that as long as we did the right thing to help our gym owners, then chances were it would come back to us in the end,” he says. He was right. His direct-to-consumer sales are tracking to be 10 times higher than last year’s, and his entire business is on pace to grow five times. How? He explains.

Gyms are a big part of your business, but how could you help them?

We’re carried in independently owned gyms — CrossFit, gyms, yoga studios, places that aren’t backed by tons of cash. When they shut down, we looked at creating a program to effectively allow them to share in the financial upside of purchases of O2, knowing that their members would usually be buying from them instead of us.

Related: The Recovery Brings the Unique Opportunity to Shift Societal Norms

We dubbed it the “50/50 initiative.” Each gym gave its members a unique coupon code, and we split 50 percent of profits from each sale back with the gym where the online purchaser generally works out. We sacrificed our margins significantly. Then we enlisted five other brands to join us, and collectively generated more than $230,000 for more than 2,600 participating gyms. 

Image Credit: Brian Finke

Gym owners must have loved that. Did you feel like you’d earned customers for life? 

A hundred percent. I mean, $230,000 spread across 2,600 gyms — that’s not a ton of money per gym. We recognize that. But the gesture was super, super appreciated.

And when we were about to conclude the program after six weeks, we noticed that a lot of gym owners were preparing for May to be really challenging. When the gyms shut down, a lot of members were like, “I’ll keep my membership active for April because I want to support my gym.” But a lot of folks were considering canceling in May. And membership dues are what keeps gyms in business.

Related: There Will Be 4 Identity Types in This Recovery. Which One Are You?

So we developed another program, to offset the cost of people’s memberships and incentivize them to stick around. For every member of those 2,600 participating gyms who kept their membership active in May, we’d give them a $100 gift card — it was $25 from us, and $25 from three other brands that had participated in our first program. When we announced the program, we had gyms telling us this is what kept them in business — that this was more than their bank or government had done for them. I don’t know exactly how many people kept their memberships active because of this, but it’s potentially tens of thousands of people.

What was the conversation like about this inside O2? The early days of the pandemic must have been scary, and now you’re giving money away!

Honestly, I had no idea if I’d have to lay people off or furlough people or cut back on benefits. But I decided to share the profits with our gym owners because that felt like the right thing to do.

We are a very values-­oriented company, and we have three values: honesty, humility, and hustle. Looking at a decision within the lens of those values makes the decision a lot easier. A lot of businesses are under a lot of scrutiny for prioritizing themselves ahead of their customers, and we don’t buy into that. We do everything we can to prioritize our customers ahead of ourselves. That’s just good business. 

Image Credit: Brian Finke

So basically, there was no way to predict what would happen anyway — so you might as well take what felt like a smart risk? 

Nobody could have predicted anything about their business at that time. Frankly, I was just hoping to break even and not have to lay anybody off. But that’s the thing to being a startup: Once you’re in the market, you can get a sense for how the response is and forecast that forward. Three or six days into these programs, it became clear we should put more fuel on this fire. So that’s what we did. Our sales increased dramatically, and our profits increased, too. We’re now the strongest we’ve ever been.

What do you think is going to happen next? 

We’re seeing probably 90 percent of our clients back online. [Editor’s note: We spoke in June.] Our revenue from the gym channel this month will be the highest it’s been all year, which is good. We’re bringing on more new clients right now than we ever have, because our brand awareness and equity is so high as a result of the initiatives we’ve been doing.

Related: 5 Steps to Protect Your Career As We Turn Toward Recovery

What happens a month from now? I have no idea. I don’t think anybody does. But we’re still very oriented toward the principle of “What’s the right thing to do?” So we’re throwing everything we can behind our gyms.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

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One New York doctor explains how it has “introduced a whole new level of convenience and respite.”


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Growing up, I had witnessed my father, Dr. Franco Lenna, MD, attend to patients in his clinic. However, the past several months have changed the way healthcare works and proven that holds a lot of promise. It has, in fact, become a necessity, since it reduces vulnerability while allowing doctors and nurses to handle more patients. At the same time, it provides increased efficiency and accessibility to those in need. It not only eliminates travel, but also provides clinical support seamlessly, improves patient outcomes and overcomes geographic hurdles.  

So, whether we are prepared or not, telemedicine is on its journey into the fold, slowly increasing in acceptance and set to transform the future of healthcare as we know it. Per McKinsey & Company, providers across the U.S. “are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than they did before.

To explore this topic in-depth, I spoke with Dr. Ari Bernstein, MD, a -based physician and author who is operating at the leading edge of telemedicine. “We must realize that telemedicine is at its pinnacle in present times, expanding and growing far beyond usual interactions between patients and physicians,” he explains. “For me, technology is multiplying the relevance and value of telehealth by meeting the aim to improve people’s , reduce costs, enhance the patient experience and increase provider satisfaction while ensuring everyone’s safety.”

Related: Will User Behavior Finally Change Regarding Telemedicine?

Greater monitoring, larger access

Dr. Bernstein shares that “the use of telemedicine to screen a patient’s health remotely has introduced a whole new level of convenience and respite for both health providers and patients. It is serving to substitute in-person visits to a medical professional by facilitating virtual doctor meetings.”

It has also made additional monitoring and care possible that was otherwise unavailable. For instance, patients living in far-flung areas can virtually consult with experts who can monitor and evaluate their condition and make sure they receive the right treatment at the right time. Though Dr. Bernstein cautions that “this hasn’t entirely eliminated visits to the doctor, but instead, the process of physical appointments and telehealth are functioning in tandem with each other.”

With telemedicine, physicians are able to provide consultation, healthcare information and services to patients or clients at multiple locations. Defeating geographic barriers is particularly crucial in remote zones where people may have to travel hundreds of miles to see a special care provider, even when they are ill.

“Telemedicine is proving to be convenient for constantly monitoring chronic ailments like , hypertension or COVID-19,” says Dr. Bernstein.

Relative affordability

Telemedicine is already playing a huge role in containing costs. In the past, providers struggled with compensation for telehealth services, but more and more health insurers are reimbursing the fees for these consultations. Consequently, patients are starting to view it as a viable system. 

Related: The Future of Telemedicine Devices Is Cloud & IoMT-Driven

Improved patient satisfaction

“With the move towards consumerization and value-based care, it has now, more than ever, become vital to cater to the patients’ needs,” Dr. Bernstein implores. “Telemedicine, through its offerings ranging from lower cost, efficient monitoring and reduced wait times, is appealing to patients.”

And even though I grew up watching my father run a more traditional in-person practice, I strongly second Dr. Bernstein’s outlook. Telemedicine is a win-win for all and should continue gaining ground and revolutionizing all facets of the health space. 

 



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Embrace the new workplace changes and challenges as an opportunity to be innovative.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


From supply chain bottlenecks to inflexible hours, the post-coronavirus world has exposed a laundry list of weaknesses in what was once considered “ as usual.” Today, many companies are struggling to incorporate new coronavirus restrictions while maintaining workplace productivity — especially those that rely on an hourly workforce who can’t do their jobs remotely.

According to a recent survey, two-thirds of executives believe that this will be the most challenging moment in their careers. But along with the headaches and costs associated with implementing new processes, the COVID-19 crisis also presents opportunities to innovate. Forward-thinking companies are “leaning in” to the chaos and reimagining the way they do business.

Here are some trends we’re seeing for the hourly workforce in the wake of COVID-19.

Virtual interviews, training and

During the first wave of the pandemic, we saw a spike in demand for teamsters, delivery drivers and other essential workers. This created a major deficit at a time when many states were under stay-at-home orders, which forced businesses to double down on virtual recruitment efforts.

To meet social-distancing requirements, many businesses have continued to conduct virtual interviews via video chat. And to train these new workers, companies are relying on virtual onboarding and training more than ever before. This month, opened a new training center in Loveland, Colorado, which will offer virtual training on leadership, safety and supply chain foundations. Community colleges in Alabama are diving into virtual reality to train skilled workers, and now doctors and nurses are being retrained to treat infectious diseases using VR.

Related: COVID-19 Will Fuel the Next Wave of Innovation

Contactless interactions and enforced social distancing

The start of the pandemic brought a shift to curbside pickup, “contactless” delivery and employees stationed at store entrances to count the number of customers entering. The focus was on keeping customers safe, with less emphasis on interactions between workers. But as more data emerges about workplace transmission, we’re seeing a demand for tech designed to reduce contact between employees, ranging from mobile time clocks to social-distancing tools.

Amid concerns over workplace safety, Amazon began using AI to detect social-distancing violations. Ford Motors Co. started testing wearables that vibrate when workers get too close to one another, and Chicago-based Pepper Construction has rolled out AI software to detect clumps of workers congregating on job sites.

Reimagining scheduling and workforce planning

Absenteeism puts holes in hourly teams all the time. Even prior to the pandemic, absent workers cost American employers $36.4 billion per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Citing illness, fear of catching the virus and childcare issues, employers now report no-shows have surged

Entrepreneurs may not be able to allay every fear or childcare challenge, but they can give hourly workers more flexibility. A study by workforce management platform MyWorkChoice found that 75 percent of hourly employees would be less worried about going back to work if they could schedule their own shifts up to a 40-hour limit. 

Flexibility is a small price to pay for a more reliable hourly workforce. Here’s how you can manage yours more effectively: 

  •  Develop a streamlined interview process. While virtual interviews take some getting used to, they can actually save you time when hiring workers en masse. The most time-consuming portion of any interview is often briefing candidates about the position and answering their questions afterward. If you’re conducting multiple interviews, consider tag-teaming candidates to increase efficiency. Have a representative from HR or a veteran employee brief interviewees together in one virtual “room,” and then transfer individual applicants to the hiring manager for one-on-one interviews.
  • Plan for a tech-related learning curve. If you plan to implement social-distancing or other tools to reduce contact, you should expect the technology to make things harder at first. Don’t assume that your employees are comfortable with new technology — even if you are. When introducing virtual training, or a new app, make sure you take the time to provide clear instructions, and be prepared to do some troubleshooting.
  • Don’t be Big Brother. The COVID-19 crisis has brought a groundswell of changes, not to mention lots of new rules. Mandatory health screenings, social-distancing requirements and mask mandates are for everyone’s safety, but they can also make a workplace feel authoritarian. Remember that your employees are still trying to adjust to the changes, and old habits die hard. Don’t make things worse by creating an atmosphere where employees are afraid to socialize or get caught in a sneeze.

Related: Amazon Develops Social Distancing Tech Using Augmented Reality

Remember: We’re all navigating this brave new world together. We may not be back to “business as usual,” but you can still manage an hourly workforce that’s healthy, happy and productive. The companies that will emerge from the crisis stronger are those that use this time to innovate.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Elon Musk tweeted about the latest SpaceX vehicle.


2 min read


This story originally appeared on Engadget

Elon Musk’s hopes for Starship to reach orbit before this spring didn’t quite pan out, but a recent test firing has the SpaceX CEO expecting to see the company’s new vehicle take flight shortly. On Thursday he tweeted that its new SN5 build completed a full duration static fire, and said a 150m test hop will happen “soon.” Of course, ten days ago he said there would be a flight attempt within a week, but they are making progress.

 

 

Last August we saw SpaceX’s Starhopper test vehicle complete a 150m Raptor-powered “bounce” and sooner or later the actual Starship will make a similar test flight. The company has continued to iterate on its design and pressure test prototypes — we remember SN4’s end — as it moves closer to actual flight. If there’s any information on a webcast of the event, we’ll let you know. Even with the Crew Dragon scheduled for a return this weekend, SpaceX’s priority is the Starship project.



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We live in a time when a brand’s ability to reach its customers online has never been more important. The same is true of individual entrepreneurs, influencers and others. This is where comes in. While the popularity of has long proven video’s importance in the online world, ’s surge is relatively recent, and is still often overlooked by marketers.

A report from IAB found that by the end of 2018, 67 percent of users had streamed live videos, with 47 percent saying they had increased their live streaming over the year before. In fact, Go Globe estimates that as much as 82 percent of online traffic will be dedicated to live video by the end of 2020.

Needless to say, live video streaming should become a key focus in your digital strategy.

Just what is live video streaming, anyway?

Live video streaming is exactly what it sounds like: a video that is streamed live on the internet, rather than pre-recorded and uploaded to a or YouTube profile. Technically, live video streaming is an all-encompassing term that can even include TV broadcasts that are also made available in real-time over the internet.

For marketing purposes, however, live streaming typically refers to the content that you yourself are producing and broadcasting online. While you still need quality cameras and microphones to present everything in the best light possible, the resulting video isn’t going to look as polished as content that is professionally edited after filming.

Businesses and other organizations will often use live streaming for press conferences, product announcements or webinars. Live streaming is how many influencers have grown their personal brands, particularly in niches such as gaming. The unfiltered, “in the moment” nature of these streams gets people to tune in.

Related: 5 Content Ideas for Making Money With Facebook Live

Why live streaming matters to your customers

Regardless of your niche, your customers are craving engaging video content — and this can have a big impact on their behaviors. According to survey data from Livestream, 80 percent of internet users prefer live video to blogs, while 82 percent prefer live streaming video to other content. Sixty-seven percent of those who watch a live stream bought tickets to similar events.

In a recent email conversation, Vlad Rigenco, founder and CEO of Dood Livestream, explained, “For the consumer, live streaming feels more like a conversation than a prepackaged ad. This helps them develop a stronger connection with the brand, especially if you use your live content to answer questions or respond to comments. Forming a natural, authentic connection with your customers will go a long way in driving conversions and addressing concerns that might otherwise keep them from buying.”

For many viewers, the appeal of live streaming is that it offers a taste of accessibility — a “behind the scenes” approach that feels more unscripted and transparent. This helps establish trust in ways that other marketing tools simply can’t.

Using live streaming to grow your brand

While live streaming can be a powerful part of your marketing arsenal, not all live streaming video is created equal. As marketing consultant Lisa Illman once advised in an Entrepreneur interview, “Stick to content that delivers the 3 Es: educates, engages and entertains.”

The truth of the matter is that while live streaming often appears to be off the cuff, brands should plan what they are going to do and say before going live. It may help to think of live streaming similarly to other marketing tools you may have already used in the past. For example, when filming a video webinar, you would prepare key talking points and use engaging graphics or product demonstrations to keep your audience’s attention. The same principles apply in a live video.

Naturally, the type of content that will work best will vary based on your niche and target audience. However, content such as interviews, Q&As, tutorials and behind-the-scenes access have proven to generally be effective for brands. You could even partner with an influencer to live stream content that ties in with your products or services.

Despite your planning efforts, however, part of making live streaming content feel truly authentic requires a bit of spontaneity and a willingness to adapt as needed. In an interview with Convince and Convert, digital futurist and public speaker Brian Franzo explained, “In one example, I was giving a tour behind the scenes with the goal to make the streaming a ‘backstage pass’ event, when several viewers started asking questions about my new Samsung phone…. So I switched gears, and we started talking about because that is where participants wanted to go.”

By putting the customer’s interests first, you will form stronger connections and drive more meaningful engagement.

Related: New To Instagram Live? Here’s How To Show Up Like A Pro

Despite live video streaming’s popularity, many brands and influencers have yet to fully embrace this trend. But by using this format in creative ways that fit your brand and its audience, you can make a big impact in your niche and experience unparalleled online growth.

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Social distancing protocols continue to be enforced across most of America, forcing small- and medium-size businesses to operate remotely. But transitioning to a remote workforce (with zero preparation) can bring on a whole host of challenges. For example, it may leave sensitive company information vulnerable to theft and contribute to confusion and poor communication between coworkers. 

If you’re lucky, you’ve been continuing to hire while operating your business remotely. But even that presents new issues as you try to onboard employees to your technology from afar.

All of these reasons and many more are exactly why Jamf Now is worth checking out. In short, it’s a mobile device management (MDM) solution that can ease the burden and expense of managing company-owned devices. This service works exclusively with Apple devices, allowing you to coordinate iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more all from one all-inclusive platform.

Whether you’re trying to set up machines with a new service, perform inventory on company-owned devices, configure WiFi and email for employees, or roll out security updates across devices, Jamf Now’s intuitive layout makes it easy to ensure every team member is aligned and has the apps and tools they need to succeed. Jamf Now also gives you tools to keep devices safe, from remotely enforcing passcodes and data encryption to locking and wiping devices with the touch of a button. That way, you protect corporate interests while helping your employees do their best work.

In Jamf Now’s hub, you can make device decisions yourself and activate them company-wide instantly. You can schedule updates and set changes to occur automatically, reducing the need for an IT department while keeping devices up to date seamlessly. Jamf Now also makes it easy for managers to handle once time-consuming problems like passcode resets, activation lock bypasses, and more from a central dashboard.

It’s more important than ever to upgrade the remote management of your Apple devices. Right now, you can open a free account with Jamf Now to manage up to three devices. Plus, through this offer, you can add additional devices to your coverage for only $2 per month per device.

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When it comes to smartphone apps, there are critical factors for success. Developers must make the core application run extremely fast, have minimal bugs and design a user journey that fulfills the expectations of why a person downloaded in the first place. 

However, the app race does not belong purely to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Developers need to weigh and balance a few variables like speed, performance, features and rewards systems that create an overall user experience. Two-thirds of smartphone users prefer apps with a wide range of features, according to

So, which features specifically are most important for your ? Here’s how to make a smartphone app stand out in a crowded space.

Related: How To Raise Up Your Mobile App Engagement

Keep optimizing the app store listing

Companies share similar objectives when it comes to deploying a mobile app: They want more downloads (which requires smooth ), more engagement (which requires a fun or seamless experience) and high retention (which means audiences must remain interested). An enticing app store listing gets people in the door and hopefully gets them moving towards a frictionless onboarding process.

Companies should keep improving their app-store listing since there are a gazillion competitors in the marketplace. It’s not enough to publish appealing features. Rather, marketers should showcase compelling uses, benefits and rewards if people install the app. A listing should not be educational just yet. (Save that part for onboarding.) A great listing focuses on all the benefits of using the app. Emphasize the value a user receives, such as saved time and money and/or insightful information that gives them a competitive advantage (such as knowing how to avoid rush-hour traffic).

Incentivize users with a rewards program

Just over half of users are more likely to use a branded mobile app that offers rewards or points, according to the same, aforementioned Google study. An incentive system prevents individuals from getting bored with your app or forgetting about it. From a user perspective, an incentive system works for two reasons: People feel like they’re making progress while also unlocking higher levels of in-app achievement, and they also get to see what’s next beyond the horizon. For brands, loyalty members are more profitable. A 2018 study found that 42 percent of customers are enrolled in retail loyalty programs, and they generate 12-18 percent more in incremental revenue.

use incentives in digital platforms for the above reasons. For example, tech giant recently tapped Versus Systems to bring its in-game rewards platform to more HP users. The -based firm, which deploys an in-app advertising tool that gives players access to branded products, will pre-install rewards in HP’s OMEN and Pavilion gaming desktops and laptops. 

Push notifications nudge users into coming back to your app, but these reminders should be done appropriately. A notification should personalize brand interaction, provide useful info and be conducted thoughtfully. For example, a big holiday promotion or 40 percent discount are compelling reasons for a target consumer. A reminder should never be a desperate plea for continued app use or they’ll just bother busy people. It could be considered annoying spam.

You lose fans when a mobile app goes quiet for a long period of time. So think about the purpose, context and message of a notification, and consider that smartphone owners have a short span. “When users opt in to notices, those notices still need to be infrequent, relevant and personal wherever possible,” says Matthew Pierce, CEO of Versus. “The goal is to remind users that they can get value that matters to them. Done properly, it can bring people back to an app.” 

When people re-engage, the next steps must be streamlined and the benefits should be clear. A confusing journey will remind a user why they stopped using the app in the first place.

Related: 3 Push Notification Strategies to Increase App Engagement

Use in-app automated messages

Optimization is a moving target since consumers are always evaluating an app against their many options in the marketplace. Moreover, user preferences, tastes and behaviors are constantly evolving. There is, however, a clear trend with people’s expectations: Audiences want extremely convenient experiences. A separate Accenture study found that more than half of consumers have grown more impatient and want a buying process that requires minimal effort.

In-app messages keep users in the loop and continually communicate options or offers that may be of interest. These include important notifications such as an upcoming expiration on a deal or reminder to install a version upgrade. Depending on your budget, it may be prudent to install chatbots, which are AI-assisted conversation interfaces. Bots can increase engagement, as well as give users 24/7 customer support in real-time.

Apps must conform to the tech-savvy crowd’s high expectations. If they’re not fast, streamlined and reliable, they’ll get discarded in favor of competing options.

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