Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Small Businesses Can Still Succeed Even In The Presence Of Global Brands

We live in a day and age where certain brands and businesses have overtaken the global scene. From social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to tech innovators like Apple, Google, and Microsoft to e-commerce brands such as Amazon and eBay, the risk is bigger for small start-up businesses to succeed against these bigwigs. In an unstable economy where the littlest of changes can shake things up and scare several investors, small businesses are facing big risks with little assurance of success. But apparently, success is possible even if you are a small home-grown business with minimal capital and limited resources.

With a lot of courage and planning and an insanely amount of charm and luck, it is possible for your small business to prosper despite the competition. But first, find your niche and know your market. Make sure you are familiar with your product or service, so you can improvise and be flexible when things don’t turn out as planned. If you look around you, there are actually a lot of local businesses that have been around that still operates and there are others that are quite new but is doing pretty well already. Is there a magic formula you have to follow in order to be as successful as the others if you are a struggling entrepreneur yourself?

Sometimes the most valuable advice comes from your fellow entrepreneurs, not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. At Facebook, we know that behind every business is a person, and behind every person is a story – with insights and advice to share. That’s why we created the Small Business Council which consists of entrepreneurs who share a common belief in the importance of serving their customers, their communities, and each other.

Each year we meet with our U.S. Small Business Council members to hear from small businesses across a variety of industries, sizes and geographies. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting our newest 2017 Small Business Council members to learn from them and help them support their communities and fellow businesses.

Here are a few of my favorite tips directly from the Small Business Council members past and present:

Learn from and connect with other businesses.

“Visit your competition and introduce yourself. Nurture and develop a good relationship with them. Refer customers to them, as well. It's give-and-take and there really is enough to go around. Don't be afraid to ask them for help or advice.”

(Via: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297487)

These are just some of the few time-tested tips that have worked for many small businesses over the years. Even multinational brands swear by these practices while they were starting up and before they conquered the world. It is not impossible for small businesses to achieve international fame because it has been done many times through the years. And if there is one piece of advice you should never ignore, it is to take advantage of modern technologies that are widely used by bigger businesses as well in promoting, marketing and running your business because they are indispensable tools in a globally-competitive world.

A staggering 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside America’s borders. So, raising the standard of living in other countries and expanding their middle classes is crucial to growing the market for products made in America.

“When it comes to boosting the American economy, never forget strengthening the State Department and America’s international assistance programs. It’s just that simple -- American investments in global development and diplomacy open new markets for our nation’s companies and create jobs right here at home,” said Liz Schrayer president and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which recently issued a new report exploring this issue, entitled “America’s Global Economic Leadership: A Strategic Return on U.S. Investments.”

Each time the U.S. helps to expand access to a new market overseas, the USGLC points out, exports can soar, and America benefits -- especially small and medium sized businesses, U.S. workers, and state and local economies. And with millions of American jobs directly tied to exports, it’s easy to see how strong economies abroad can directly affect livelihoods and businesses in the U.S.

(Via: http://www.southeastsun.com/online_features/money_and_finance/article_65ff0cdc-952f-51aa-8d3d-fda3fca9b244.html)

While it is comforting to know that you can run your business within the country and still make profits (not just simply make both ends meet), there is a bigger audience you can tap outside the 50 states of America and make even bigger sales. It is possible now with the help of modern technology. Others are already doing it because you do not always have to work hard if you can work smart. There are various factors small businesses should now look into in order to succeed and unless they take all these things into consideration can they truly prosper in the tight market of today.

The following post Small Businesses Can Still Succeed Even In The Presence Of Global Brands See more on: PB

source https://www.podblaze.com/small-businesses-can-still-succeed-even-in-the-presence-of-global-brands/

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Why It Is Better To Give More

We are all encouraged to share our blessings. If people give more and tend to be less hateful, there would be less violence and more acceptance (not just tolerance) of other people’s differences and flaws. The world will certainly be a better and much brighter place to live in. While it is encouraged, it certainly isn’t forced on others. Charity is often a voluntary act of compassion towards other people and not something you do forcibly. With the billions of people on the planet today and the unequal distribution of wealth too, it is not uncommon to find millions of people suffering from hunger, poverty, violence, and all sorts of crimes. But we can make a difference in their lives if we learn to share what we have no matter how little it is.

We often think that charity often involves money. Well, most of the time it does but not necessarily true. You can give your time and effort in helping others and are just as valuable as your hard-earned cash. Most of the time, though, charities often prefer to receive monetary donations since they can use it to fund programs and other charitable events. If you have more than what you need, it helps if you give some to the less unfortunate and help foster a culture of giving and compassion rather than that of hate and prejudice.

You do not need to be rich in order to give to charity. In fact, you don’t even need money at all!

You can donate old stuff that you have no use for but could help a family in need. You can donate your time and help tutor a neighbourhood kid or volunteer at the soup kitchen. Your skills can be valuable to the charity itself, be it manning the reception a few hours a week, helping with accounting or building a website for them to gain more exposure.

You can also organize fundraisers and get your family and friends involved to help your cause, or ask them to donate money to charity in your name for your birthday or for Christmas.

Donating your time can be a one off endeavour or a regular commitment all over the year. Again, do what you can without spreading yourself too thin.

(Via: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/making-the-most-of-charitable-giving_us_5962a894e4b08f5c97d06ad6)

Not only rich people can give. Even if you are just an ordinary individual, you are still better off than the homeless person out in the streets. We may not know their circumstances and we often pass judgment easily about them not working harder but it should not be an excuse for you to avoid your moral responsibility of extending help to those in need. After all, there are tax breaks for charitable individuals and businesses, so it’s not entirely a lose-lose situation for you.

Celebrity-charity strategic alliances benefit both parties in multiple ways. Very importantly, they provide established as well as fast-tracking entertainers and athletes meaningful opportunities to leverage their current and growing stature to drive support to philanthropic causes they feel deeply about. For non-profits, the benefits of aligning with celebrities can be tremendous. Aside from having the services of people who care about their causes, the charities get spokespeople who can champion their positions and are regularly instrumental in helping to fundraise.

In a study of 165 talent agents and managers, more than four out of five of them have addressed the matter of charitable giving and personal involvement with their more successful entertainment clients. Many times the agents and managers are involved with helping them identify and work with charities that are synergistic.

(Via: https://www.forbes.com/sites/russalanprince/2017/07/17/the-rise-and-rise-of-celebrity-philanthropy/#ad751d916eb1)

Even celebrities are more inclined to be charitable and in a way that also encourages their fans to share their blessings rather than just watching on the sidelines. It is increasingly becoming harder for many to thrive in the crowded world we live in because resources are fast depleting and becoming more expensive than ever while many compete for these products and services. Hence, it is no wonder that many live in poverty or even out in the streets. By giving more, you make a big difference in the life of another person and you can sleep soundly at night knowing your small contribution uplifted the lives of others in need.

The blog article Why It Is Better To Give More Read more on: https://www.podblaze.com

source https://www.podblaze.com/why-it-is-better-to-give-more/

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Retro Gadgets Are Making A Comeback

We always have a fondness for memorable objects in our youth. Many times we hold on to senseless stuff because of sentimental value. Whenever we see that item, it brings back a flash of memories that reminds us of happier and simpler times. Nothing is more nostalgic than a piece of tech gadget from yesteryears. It will remind you of what it was like to use that item then and the joy it brought you once you hold it in your hand.

For instance, there’s the walkman. You were a cool kid if you own one eon ago. You can get lost in your own world while listening to music from your cassette that was soon replaced by CDs. It was the in-thing of the 80s and 90s. If you had one back then, you’d surely feel nostalgic upon seeing one today and remember how you carried it with you as if it were just yesterday. It is no big surprise then that retro tech gadgets are growing in demand right now. The world is so full of clutter that some are longing for the simplicity of their youth and the awesome yet now outdated gadgets they used to own.

The first mobile phones weighed roughly the same as a small child. Early black-and-white TVs had a tuning knob that you turned to change channel. Looking back on them now, it's almost laughable how low-tech they were when compared to the flagship smartphones and 4K OLED TVs that appear on this site every week. But we owe these devices respect, not just for the technological achievement they represented back then, but for enabling the high-tech world we live in today. Without the PlayStation, you couldn't have the PlayStation 4. Without the indestructible old Nokia 3310, you couldn't have... the new Nokia 3310. To explore that legacy, we're embarking on a journey into the world of retro gadgets.

(Via: https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/22/tech-hunters-retro-gadgets-launch-trailer/)

These obsolete tech gadgets actually paved the way to the mind-boggling technologies we have now. If we didn’t have them back then, we won’t have all these awesome smart gadgets and 3D, 4D technologies that we now enjoy using. These retro technologies may appear low-tech but they were the top of the line back in the days and everyone can’t wait to get their hands on them. They were mighty expensive too and mostly reserved to those who can afford to pay the hefty price tag.

Brands are now getting savvy when it comes nostalgia and are coming up with creative ways of using this emotion as a tool to engage their loyal fan base, as well as attracting new audiences. 

Enter old school tech. Today, Nokia is relaunching one of the best selling mobiles of all time - the Nokia 3310. Seventeen years on from the initial release, the brand continues to drive headlines as they revamp this classic model. Looking back at retro gadgets that defined decades it a topic that AOL's global consumer tech news site Engadget UK focuses on with its new original series Tech Hunters. It shows just how influential these gadgets have been on the technology and culture we consume today.

Not only does it validate how I spent most of my early years, but it made me think how can we, as advertisers and publishers, capitalise on this resurgence.

(Via: http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/retro-reinvigorated-old-tech-enjoying-new-lease-life/1434373)

Capitalizing on people’s emotions can be a two-edged sword. It can work to your advantage and bring in big bucks but it can also be a major flop and people start comparing the new one with the original. Nonetheless, there is no denying that there is a growing market for these low-tech gadgets that once ruled our past. They symbolize a moment in time and remind us acutely of life back then. If you are suddenly longing for a retro gadget yourself, nothing compares to buying a good old Mac computer. This device is the forefather of the modern smart technology we now use in our day-to-day and people can’t help but feel nostalgic when they see one.

The blog article Retro Gadgets Are Making A Comeback was initially published on PB

source https://www.podblaze.com/retro-gadgets-are-making-a-comeback/

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Two Sides Of Online Shopping

Living the fast life in this digital world can be exhausting at times. There is so much going on that we feel tired already just thinking about it. You are not alone in this realization. We may only see the glamorous life of others on social media but there is actually a dark side to it. No matter how hard you try to ignore it, it’s quite obvious that these popular influencers on social media would go to great lengths to make others believe they are leading a perfect life.

That double standard is what you need to remember when using the Internet or browsing through the various social media platforms. People will deceive you for monetary gain. If there is one aspect of this digital life that is the perfect example of such two-sided realities, it is online shopping. Many online shoppers are left in tears either because of online purchases that didn’t arrive or are way below their expectations.

The Internet is being widely used these days for online shopping. But it is like watching a movie where everything you see on screen is not always as it might seem. From a girl whose motto is 'Netflix and chill' all day to the grandfather who is unable to walk, this no pollution platform suits ones daily needs at any hour of the day. Many online sellers take advantage of this by employing a range of online tricks and fake promises to lure people to conduct fraudulent transactions, present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme. Millennial's are often considered tech-savvy and Internet-literate. We assume we know all the ins and outs of the digital world. And yet, plenty of us fall for the simplest of online scams. 

Online frauds are radically different from ones typically used by brick-and-mortar businesses. Here is a checklist to help you avoid losses in a situation where you cannot see the other party to the deal and identifying authentic sellers is all important. 

  • Consumers must check the URL of the seller. 

  • Understand difference between a domain name and URL.

  • International or local brands, which partner with online shopping sites to sell their products should have a scrutiny system to verify that only the partnered sites are selling their products and not anyone else.

  • Try purchasing from sites (e.g. Jabong) which have a one product one-brand policy.

  • One should shop wisely and not fall prey to attractive discounts and offers.

  • When buying a high-end brand, video tutorials on YouTube should be checked to distinguish the authentic from the fake or duplicate.

  • Customer reviews are a great tool to check the authenticity of the product.

(Via: http://www.moneylife.in/article/online-shopping-beware-of-counterfeit-products/50604.html)

Those are just some of the tips an online buyer like you should remember when making digital purchases. Remember to be extra careful considering you have no idea where the seller’s physical store or location is and you can’t just easily return the item or get refunded like when you buy something from a legit store. Online scammers are everywhere and you don’t want to fall prey to their modus. Regardless of the item you are buying or the total amount due, you should check everything with an eye of a hawk to make sure you are buying from a legitimate and honest-to-goodness online seller from whatever part of the globe they may be from.

The rise and continuing growth of online shopping has not just changed the way consumers buy products it has revolutionized the way retailers do business. Every company can sell an unlimited range of products directly on their website, whether they are offering essential baby gear or niche film memorabilia. Distance and borders no longer pose any barrier between you and your customers. No matter what you are trying to sell, you will be able to reach across the globe and find a target market for it somewhere.

Online shopping has become a juggernaut that is simply too big to ignore. Last year, a major milestone was reached, with a survey by analytics firm comScore revealing that American consumers now buy more products online than they do in physical stores. The 2016 survey showed 51 percent of purchases are now made online, a significant increase on the 48 percent of purchases in 2015 and 47 percent in 2014.

(Via: http://www.techtree.com/content/features/12838/online-shopping-opened-world-products.html)

Our modern lifestyle prefers comfort and convenience above everything else. We love fastfood because we don’t suffer from hunger yet don’t have to go the extra mile of cooking every day after a long day’s work. The same benefit is offered by online shopping. On top of that, there is a wide variety of choices you don’t usually have when shopping from one physical store to the other. It’s because an online shop like Amazon, for example, carries different brands on virtually everything under the sun. Best of all, shipping is often waived when you shop a minimum amount of order. Shopping online isn’t always a bed of roses but it has its perks. It’s the reason why you keep coming back for more.

The following article The Two Sides Of Online Shopping is republished from OnlineCloudBackupServices.com

source https://www.podblaze.com/the-two-sides-of-online-shopping/

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Animal Life Is Precious Too

As the more superior species, us humans often think and feel highly of ourselves and live a life full of drama. We whine over the smallest of things and make a big fuss out of it. In our self-absorbed world, we forget about other species on this planet that also deserve to live. Animals can’t speak to voice out their sentiments but they are also suffering from all the changes happening around us just like the rest of us.

With their natural habitat slowly disappearing and being constantly hunted by people, their life is not at all easy. Animals are at the mercy of humans. Unfortunately, we humans couldn’t care enough for our feathered and furry friends. We take over their lands and convert it into agricultural or residential developments not at all thinking that these animals lose their homes forever to civilization. All our bad practices hasten global warming and climate change that likewise worsen natural calamities. Unlike humans with their manmade shelters to protect them, animals in the wild are at the mercy of the elements and of the people.

The Endangered Species Act, passed in 1973, created a framework for protecting and recovering species in peril and the ecosystems on which they depend. Critics in Congress are pressing to rewrite the law, which they argue limits development and has failed to help many species recover.

For Endangered Species Day, we provide perspectives from biologists and social scientists on the challenges of protecting some of the rarest living things on Earth.

There are two central arguments for protecting endangered species: First, human activities are pushing many species to the brink of extinction; and second, protecting biodiversity provides us with numerous benefits.

(Via: http://www.alternet.org/environment/protecting-endangered-species-6-essential-reads)

Lots of animal species have disappeared from the face of the planet. However, protecting the wildlife and making sure they do not go extinct is easier said than done. There are various obstacles that need to be overcome aside from the monetary expense. Moreover, not all humans support this cause as many still continue poaching for wild animals even though it is strongly prohibited.

Pangolins are commercially poached because their scales can be used in traditional medicine, as fashion accessories and eaten as a high-end cuisine.

“The threat is significant and escalating,” said Flocken, who also is a member of the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group. 

It’s impossible to know how many pangolins exist, environmentalists have said, but “due to the high demand for consumption, they are disappearing,” Flocken said. 

Pangolins most likely have vanished in China and are fast disappearing from Vietnam, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, wildlife experts said. In Africa, illegal trafficking is rapidly depleting their population.

(Via: http://www.latimes.com/world/global-development/la-fg-global-pangolins-vanishing-snap-story.html)

The biggest problem the wildlife faces is that many rich people equate the acquisition of these exotic and often endangered animal species as a sign of wealth and power. Many of these animals are even served as exotic delicacies that are sold at such outrageous prices.

Elephant poachers have killed two wildlife rangers in a shootout in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reports African Parks, a conservation group that manages 10 protected areas across Africa in partnership with governments and local communities.

While out patrolling on April 11, Ranger Joël Meriko Ari and Sergeant Gerome Bolimola Afokao of the DRC Armed Forces heard gunshots, African Parks reported. The patrol unit followed signs and tracks until they discovered a group of six poachers who were chopping up a freshly slaughtered elephant carcass.

A shootout followed, in which both Ari and Afokao were fatally shot. There were also casualties among the poachers, but details were not disclosed.

(Via: http://www.alternet.org/environment/africas-wildlife-rangers-risk-death-protecting-animals-poachers)

It seems that not all is lost yet. There are still people who genuinely care for the lives of these animals although their support comes at a cost too. It just goes to show up to what extreme these poachers are willing to do in the name of their poaching business, even killing another human being. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done and more support from humanity to uphold the lives of animals in the wild. They also deserve a chance to live long in this planet and not have their entire species wiped out because of our neglect and abuse.

Animal Life Is Precious Too Read more on: https://www.podblaze.com/

source https://www.podblaze.com/animal-life-is-precious-too/

Public Education For All: Will It Just Be A Dream?

Progress is only made possible through education. You can learn everything you need in order to succeed in life in the four corners of the c...