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Weekly Business News Roundup

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

ICOs: An Exciting New Way to Finance Your Business Idea

Traditional means of financing business ideas now have a new competitor: Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), based on cryptocurrency blockchain technology, have emerged as an innovative form of investment for startups. With banks cautious about extending credit to entrepreneurs due to the high percentage of startup failures (or the individual’s less than stellar personal credit history), and the potential for business ideas and plans to be stolen via crowdfunding publicity, the better options are to either bootstrap your startup (if at all possible) or obtain investment capital through ICOs. The author explains how ICOs work: “Young companies, presenting their white papers, raise capital. They do this by selling tokens, which investors can later trade. In exchange for tokens, young companies receive cryptocurrencies, which can be converted into traditional money and spent on business development.”

Wearables Are Coming to the Workplace. Here’s How They Will Enhance Our Work Performance

According to a new study by Deloitte, many older workers will be able to stay in the workplace longer as a result of the next generation of wearables, busting the myth that robots will take jobs rather than save them. Wearable tech is already employed by big businesses like Ford and Lowe’s in the form of “exoskeletons,” which are bionic suits or extensions of human limbs, to help workers lift and reach. Other industries have introduced smart glasses, wrist wear, and voice wearables. According to Capterra, 54% of small businesses will be adapting these new technologies within the next year or two, while according to Small Biz Trends, this “movement” will be led by millennials, with 71% of the people surveyed reporting they would use tech to keep employees safe. Despite “big brother” concerns about wearables, the benefits — cost savings, efficiency, reduced injury, faster and more accurate customer service, and the ability to retain older, experienced workers longer — seem to far outweigh the negatives.

Here’s Exactly What You Need to Do to Launch a Mobile App

There are many ways your business could benefit from offering a mobile app, including retaining customer data to simplify conversions and keeping up with your competitors. If you’ve decided that it’s time to launch your own mobile app, you have company: according to Statista, as of the first quarter of this year, there were over 7 million apps available for download in the leading app stores. Meanwhile, analytics firm App Annie found that the average U.S. consumer uses mobile apps for two hours and 15 minutes each day, which translates to over one month a year.

The numbers are compelling for launching an app that your customers can use, but the quality of your app is paramount – as 71% of mobile apps studied by Localytics researchers were uninstalled within 90 days of adoption. The good news is that you don’t need to be a developer to offer a quality app that delivers value. Here, the author describes four ways (and their corresponding best tools) you can develop and launch a mobile app that your customers will use and keep: the plug-and-play option via Buildfire; the back-end option via Firebase; the DIY approach; and the freelance app developer approach.

Top 4 Strategies for Running Your Small Business Most Efficiently

A recent survey reveals that inefficiencies account for 30% of lost revenue for small businesses annually. Given that the businesses in question are still in the growth stage, this stat is worrisome. Here, the author discusses the following four strategies that businesses can adopt to achieve efficiencies and boost productivity: automating repetitive tasks; storing data in a centralized location for easy retrieval; protecting business data with a reliable backup system; and outsourcing critical tasks to specialists.

Can a Crowdfunding Business Model Work Better Than Others?

As a startup, one of the most critical considerations is to not only have enough capital to get your new business going, but also to ensure you have the cash flow to keep it going until it starts turning a profit. If you don’t have the financing to invest in your business and are averse to loans, one of the better options to consider is a crowdfunding business model. Here, the author explains what crowdfunding is for those who are unfamiliar with it, and how it can work better than other established business models.

How to Escape the Tyranny of the To-Do List

Most of us generally look at time from a ground-level perspective, according to an associate professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management who studies the relative contributions of time and money to happiness. This means when making decisions, we tend to consider only the pressing needs of the present, the immediate past, and the immediate future. The consequence for overwhelmed leaders drowning in multiplying demands is constantly having to sacrifice one obligation to tend to another, with corresponding anxiety and frustration. She suggests a way out by taking an “aerial view” of time in which you look at your life like a vast landscape from an airplane, so that the present, the past, and the future become equally real. But how? “From a ground’s-eye view, the question is whether you have time to do something. From an elevated perspective, the question is, when do I do it?” She suggests blocking out a few hours every week or month to devote to “critical but far-horizon activities” like innovation, strategy and culture, and to ask managers to do the same thing for employees.

Master your meetings with these 8 essential calendar tips

There’s no way to eliminate the hassle of meetings, but if you use a calendar service such as iCloud Calendar, Office 365, or Google Calendar, there are several ways to take the stress out of scheduling them. Here, the author offers eight tips for getting the most out of your calendar and other helpful scheduling apps, from automatically adding “important stuff” such as flights, reservations and event bookings to using the free “If This Then That” (IFTTT) service for more advanced, automated calendar tasks.

5 Mistakes Companies Make About Growth Mindsets

As with any psychological concept experiencing a boom in popularity, “growth mindset,” which the co-authors define as “the dual belief that skills and abilities can be improved, and that developing your skills and abilities is the purpose of the work you do,” is wide open to misinterpretation. The NeuroLeadership Institute interviewed HR professionals at more than 20 leading organizations around the world to find out what leaders are doing when they implement growth mindset, and identified a startling trend. Apparently, in businesses that haven’t invested the time in studying the science behind growth mindset, both leaders and employees “are misusing and misunderstanding the concept.” Five of these growth mindset myths are described, from “growth mindset means striving for business growth” to “growth mindset means having a positive, can-do attitude no matter what,” as well as what growth mindset really means.

 

About Laura Crest

With an educational background in journalism, Laura began her career as a professional writer and editor 35 years ago with an internship for a magazine while an undergraduate at Michigan State University. After the advent of the internet, Laura transferred her skills from print to digital with a small online consulting business specializing in SEO and content strategy. Since, she has also served as the blog writer, managing editor, and content curator for several small online businesses before joining Telsec Business Centres, where she continues to apply her expertise in content discovery and curation for small businesses.

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