5 Top Business Benefits of Narrowband IoT

Narrowband

Narrowband IoT (also known as NB-IoT or LTE-M2) is a proposed technology which will not operate in the LTE construct. Instead, it is being designed to exist in one of three ways:

  • Independently
  • In unused 200-KhZ bands that have previously been used for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)
  • On LTE base stations allocating a resource block to NB-IoT operations or in their guard bands.

Telecommunication giants such as Huawei, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Vodafone are actively involved in putting this standard together. In fact, Vodafone is set to roll out the first live, commercial NB-IoT launch markets in early 2017 in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.

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5 Top Business Benefits of Narrowband IoT

POWER EFFICIENCY

Efficiently powering IoT devices is critical. Think about it: who wants to be out there changing the batteries on 20 billion devices every six months? While nearly all IoT technologies are developed to save power when they aren’t operating, they do draw energy when the modem is running and handling signal processing.

COST SAVINGS

Technologies with simpler waveform—like NB-IoT—will consume less power. A 200 kHz NB-IoT frontend and digitizer offers reduced complexity of analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) conversion, buffering, and channel estimation. Power savings = cost savings. Plus, NB-IoT chips will be simpler to create and thus come cheaper.

RELIABILITY

Rolling out NB-IoT on a licensed spectrum means improved reliability for users as well as the guaranteed resource allocation needed for managed Quality of Service (QoS).

WIDER DEPLOYMENT

Compared to LTE-M1, the NB-IoT has lower bitrates and better link budgets. Additionally, per Huawei’s Emmanuel Coehlo Alves in an IoT Hub article, the NB-IoT does not need gateways to provide connectivity. Instead of “creating another piece of equipment you need to manage and operate,” he said, the NB-IoT can directly connect sensors to the base station. This can boost flexibility while lowering costs.

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GLOBAL REACH

While heavy hitters in the U.S. have already invested billions into LTE networks, there are many areas around the world with less LTE. Outside of the U.S., there are larger GSM deployments on which to find unused bands to leverage for NB-IoT. The NB-IoT then could help IoT innovators find affordable entry points in new markets globally.

Even in the U.S., smaller carriers such as Sprint or T-Mobile might also deploy NB-IoT on existing GSM spectrum to expand connectivity without the LTE investment of a Verizon or AT&T.

Foreseeing NB-IoT Applications

NB-IoT applications can cross many service categories. These include:

  • Smart metering (electricity, gas and water)
  • Facility management services
  • Intruder and fire alarms for homes & commercial properties
  • Connected personal appliances measuring health parameters
  • Tracking of persons, animals or objects
  • Smart city infrastructure such as street lamps or dustbins
  • Connected industrial appliances such as welding machines or air compressors.

Realistically, there remain some questions about NB-IoT. Deployment could be a problem with most carriers moving to LTE support. With NB-IoT deployed in a side band, there could also be increased initial costs to develop operating software. Further, modem frontends and antennas may become more complex in cases where there is little existing GSM spectrum. Finally, there’s the risk that giants such as Ericsson or Huawei will charge licensing fees for NB-IoT.

Nevertheless, with so much underutilized 200-KhZ GSM spectrum many are looking to make this the best low power, wide-area network yet. It’s no wonder then that Gartner sees NB-IoT as the standard most likely to dominate the LPWAN space in the long-term.

Grow Your Remote Business with Virtual Resources

Virtual As a remote company founder or business owner, sometimes things take such a positive turn that you need to expand your team quickly in order to accommodate new accounts. Or perhaps you or a teammate will require time off to manage a personal health issue or  welcome a new baby.

Virtual

The only problem: hiring remotely has its own share of challenges. When done well, screening resumes and interviewing take a significant amount of time—not to mention the legal set up and onboarding processes necessary for success. These would ordinarily be handled by HR professionals in larger virtual organizations, but when you’re running the show, such responsibilities will inevitably become part of your workload.

Of course, you have the flexibility of hiring candidates from a broader talent pool and the luxury of not having to add to fixed costs or overhead by doing so. But knowing just how to proceed in filling critical staffing needs can save you a significant amount of time, money, and a lot of frustration in the long run.’

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Below are helpful strategies to enable you to quickly and easily maintain or even grow your remote business:

Effectively promote remote vacancies and screening candidates.

  • A bevy of remote-focused job boards exist, but not all are curated carefully. Remote.co and its sister site. have stringent quality assurance measures in place to safeguard against spam postings, and as such attract serious remote applicants. The former caters to fully ,emote international and domestic roles, while the latter also includes flexible options such as job-share opportunities, alternative schedules, and hybrid onsite/offsite work.
  • Other remote work websites include We Work Remotely and Remotive.io, although paying to post on more than one of these may be a waste of internal resources, as job seekers tend to regularly check a variety of websites rather than scouring only one. Use keywords relevant to the tasks at hand, and consider requiring a writing or coding sample or responses to strategic job-related prompts. These efforts will greatly assist in whittling down the number of applicants to those who are most interested and qualified.

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Seek out temporary virtual talent with specific skill sets.

  • If you anticipate requiring only a temporary boost, you have more options available. Some companies, such as Boldly, offer fully remote staffing subscriptions in certain specialties like marketing, web development, or executive assistance. You can begin by testing out a new colleague for 10 to 20 hours per month, or investing in a heavier workload for a longer period of time—without having to handle all the paperwork and the risk associated with making a new hire.
  • If you’re in need of remote professionals who possess additional creative skills or specific project support, communities like CloudPeeps offer access to a variety of freelancers who could fill critical roles. Last but not least, offering paid internships for recent grads or returnships for seasoned office workers returning to the workforce are two other excellent options for temporary help that can also serve to diversify your team.

Business should invest in Digital Transformation

Business Regardless of sector or industry, to thrive on today’s commercial battlefield, embracing the emerging technologies, trends and cultural shifts is crucial.

If your business is looking to secure a sustainable commercial future, investing ample time, money and energy into your digital transformation strategy is a wise move.

Business

By 2020, experts project that spending on digital transformation strategies will break $2 trillion globally. That’s a colossal level of investment by companies across sectors.

1. 80% of today’s video consumption is video-based. Print media, while still relevant, is a less potent force than it once was. Today’s hunger for visual content is inherently digital and to connect with your target audience you have to provide engaging marketing materials that are video-based. Digital channels and touch points are the best way to deliver such communications.

2. Today’s average college student has never so much licked a postage stamp. In the age of the digital native, analog approaches to promotional as well as internal communication will seldom provide the results you need for success.

3. 61% of smartphone users admit to regularly sleeping with their smartphone under their pillow or next to their bed. A staggering insight that is a testament to today’s mobile-centric mindset. By investing in your mobile offerings, from applications to mobile-optimized landing pages and social media content, you stand to accelerate your business success in an increasingly digital age.

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4. 76% of companies feel their relationship with technology and digital transformation is on the whole, average or above average. The vast majority of companies across sectors are on the path to digital transformation. If you fail to embrace the digital age and all it has to offer, you could fall behind the pack and risk becoming obsolete in the long run.

5. Around 70% of companies feel their CEOs’ practical understanding of emerging digital technologies to be solid or above average. If you feel that your understanding of digital methodologies and technologies in the digital age is lacking, now is the time to upskill.

6. 61% of enterprises state that the Internet of Things (IoT) plays a pivotal role in their digital business strategies, with manufacturing and high-tech leading all other sectors. By investing in the power of the IoT and its business-enhancing benefits, in addition to a host of other emerging digital technologies, you stand to accelerate your commercial success, exponentially.

7. 56% of CEOs feel that digital advancements have already led to boosts in revenue. With this being the primary goal of business growth and acceleration, this is a clearcut case for investing in digital transformation.

8. By 2020, 47% of all revenue will be influenced by digital. Without a doubt, digital technologies will become all the more sophisticated in the not so distant future. To remain relevant and continue to foster growth, embracing the power of digital is a now a necessity rather than a far-flung luxury.

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9. 39% of today’s marketers plan to boost their digital budgets without increasing overall marketing spend, essentially reallocating their current budgets into digital channels. The wealth of digital channels, platforms and touchpoints available to today’s businesses is on the rise and by investing in such outlets, you stand to enjoy a healthy level of ongoing business success.

10. More than 50% of the world’s population are under the age of30 – With over half of the population being under 30-years-old, there are more digital natives (or indeed, budding digital natives) than ever before. To continue appealing to this new generation of digitally-minded consumers, investing in digital transformation on a continual basis is nothing short of essential.

These 10 Tips for Starting and Growing a Business

There are tons of advanced strategies for growing a business. But for those who are just getting started or don’t have a ton of resources, those methods aren’t always attainable.

Business

However, there are still a ton of basic tips and tricks you can consider to get started on the right foot and grow your business. Check out tips for a variety of areas from members of the online small business community below.

Find the Best Location for Your Startup

Different cities offer various benefits for businesses and entrepreneurs. As a result, picking the right location for your needs can make a huge difference. This Crowdspring post by Amanda Bowman includes a list of the best cities for entrepreneurs.

Build Your Website the Lean Way

If you’re just getting started with a new business, you may not have a ton of resources to put into creating a website. But you still need to produce something. In this Pixel Productions post, Viorel Dudau shares tips for building a website the lean way. And BizSugar members commented on the post here.

Reach More Customers and Grow Your Business Using Stories

If you want customers to feel connected to your business, there are plenty of new social media features that can help. The stories format on some of today’s most popular platforms offer a unique opportunity to make those connections. Learn more about the benefits in this UpCity post by Michelene Maguire.

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Read Up on California’s New Privacy Law

As a business owner, you’re responsible for understanding the relevant laws in each state and/or country where you operate. If you’re located in California or have any customers there, you need to know about the California Consumer Privacy Act. Get an overview in this Social Media HQ post by Christian Zilles.

Choose the Right Business Filings and Compliance Provider

To keep your business compliant, you may need a professional to help with your filings. However, not all providers offer the same level of service. In this post, Nellie Akalp of CorpNet details some considerations you need to keep in mind when making this decision.

Go International with SEO

If you want to increase your customer base around the world, your SEO strategy should reflect that. If yours is mainly tailored to the U.S. read this Search Engine Watch post by Yasmine Dehimi to get helpful tips for going international.

Find the Right Credentials for Your Next Hire

If you want to expand your business, hiring new team members can go a long way. But that’s only if you hire the right people. In this Smallbiztechnology.com post, Ramon Ray discusses what credentials you should consider and look for the next time your business brings on new team members.

Figure Out What Your Customers Really Want

If you want to serve your customers effectively, you need to learn what they want. Too many buisinesses fall into the trap of marketing to customers before listening. Jennifer Hanford explores a better strategy in this Strella Social Media post. See what other small business owners are saying about the post over in the BizSugar community.

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Learn How Featured Snippets Impact Your SEO

When you search for an answer or piece of information on Google, you may notice a small box with a snippet featuring the most relevant response. The way Google shows these snippets recently changed, so read this Bright Local post by Stephanie Newton for the details.

Make Money with Instagram Right Now

If you’re just looking to start a business, or if you want to add an extra revenue stream, Instagram may provide the answer. In this post on the Miss Millennia Magazine blog, Jasmine Watts provides tips for anyone looking to make money on Instagram right now.

Top Energy Draining Devices in Your Home Office

Office Working from the comfort of a home office comes with many cost-cutting benefits to a small business, the biggest being the lack of a costly and time-consuming commute to work.

Office

However, there are expenses associated with running a home office, with energy costs being a leading overhead.

What Devices Use the Most Electricity

If you want to make your home office more energy efficient and reuce your energy bills, identify the top energy draining devices to start.

Your Computer

When it comes to energy draining devices in a home office, computers top the list! You might not think that leaving your computer on overnight or over the weekend would eat into your energy consumption, but it does. Since computer monitors use approximately 100 watts per day, simply switching off your computer will help you save on your home office’s energy bill.

Besides turning off PCs, you may want to trade in an energy-draining desktop computer for a laptop computer, which consumes significantly less energy than a desktop.

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Lighting

Sufficient lighting is vital in a home office so you don’t strain your eyes and can remain focused, alert and productive. However, lighting your home office might be costing you more in energy than you think.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2017 the residential and commercial sectors used around 273 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity for lighting alone, equating to around 10% of the total energy consumed for both sectors.

To reduce the amount of energy the lighting in your home office consumes, switch to more energy-efficient forms of lighting. Of course, natural daylight is by far the cheapest (it’s free!) and healthiest way to light up a home office.

However when natural daylight is not an option, choose incandescent bulbs, which are energy efficient and typically last between 700 and 1000 hours. Halogen bulbs can also save you energy, being 25% more efficient and lasting up to three times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

It’s also a good idea to place timers around your home office, which can be programmed to come on and switch off at certain times of the day, meaning lights aren’t left on and using electricity when nobody is in the office.

Printers

Your home office printer could be costing you more than you think too. This essential piece of office equipment is one of those energy draining devices which tend to go overlooked. Make sure your printer isn’t adding unnecessarily to your energy bill by opting for a printer with an ENERGY STAR certification label. Printers with an ENERGY STAR certification meet federal agency standards ensuring such equipment is operating at maximum efficiency.

It is also advisable to choose a printer with sleep and automatic shut-off modes, so it’s not using energy when it’s not being used.

Thermostats

Home offices require heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Consequently, thermostats can be one of the biggest energy draining devices in a home office.

As thermostats control 60% of your energy bill, one of the easiest ways to save on energy in a home-working environment is to control your thermostat. Simply turning the thermostat down by 1 degree could reduce your heating bills by up to 10 percent.

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Tea Kettles and Coffee Machines

No office, homebased or otherwise, would be complete without a kettle or coffee machine to make the endless cups of coffee and tea fueling your productivity throughout the day. With the average kettle holding 1.5 pints and using approximately one unit to boil 12 pints of water, the savviest of small businesses are looking for ways to make these energy draining devices more energy-efficient.

One way to ensure your home office doesn’t spend surplus dollars making tea and coffee, is to opt for more eco-friendly appliances. For example, coffee makers with reusable filters or without the need for paper filters provide a more energy efficient cup of coffee.

Refrigerators

If your home office set up includes a refrigerator, it is important to ensure your model of fridge is an energy efficient one. Opt for ENERGY STAR-qualified models to save money on this energy-zapping office appliance. ENERGY STAR-qualified models can save as much as 45% of the energy consumed by conventional refrigerators.

In addition to selecting an energy-efficient model, you should avoid wasting energy by leaving the refrigerator door open, since this causes the appliance to work overtime.

It is also important to maintain appliances like refrigerators regularly to ensure they are operating as they should and are not using surplus energy.

6 Ways Small Businesses Can Fight Climate Change

The annual World Economic Forum at Davos is nearly here, and one topic that’s sure to get a lot of attention this year is the environment. While sustainability has been in the conversation for some time, it’s catapulted to the forefront thanks to (among other things) the U.S. government’s recent report detailing the dire and devastating effects of climate change.

Climate

 

Many individuals have made fighting climate change a personal tenet, but to make a lasting impact, we at Salesforce believe everyone should get involved — from companies and organizations to governments and nonprofits. And that definitely includes small businesses, which account for 99.7% of employer firms in the United States.

So in the spirit of Davos, which seeks to improve the state of the world, here are six ways small businesses everywhere can take action on climate change.

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1. Build a culture of awareness

It’s important to educate employees on the impacts every person makes on the environment. There are simple steps we can all take to reduce our ecological footprints, and if you make sustainability part of your culture, it will become the norm, both in and out of the office. A great place to start is assembling a group of environmental advocates to form a sustainability team within your organization (Here are 5 quick tips from Salesforce’s own employee green team, Earthforce). Learn more ways that you can make a positive impact and combat the effects of climate change by earning your Strategies for Positive Impact badge on Trailhead.

2. Rethink your waste

Trash and byproducts have become a major problem in today’s culture. It’s virtually impossible to eliminate all waste, but think about ways you can cut down: eliminate paper handouts, cut back on the office soda habit, and avoid too many take-out containers. It’s easy to skip the bottled water at every meeting, and you might even consider a company-wide ban on single-use water bottles. Waste reduction also makes good business sense as it reduces the costs associated with both purchasing and waste disposal. While you’re cutting back, keep in mind that recycling is a simple way to make a big impact — and it’s amazing what companies can do to give new life to old products.

3. Reduce your travel

Travel, especially air travel, wreaks havoc on the environment. Video conferencing technology has improved substantially over the past few years, making it easier than ever to connect with coworkers around the globe. So the next time a travel opportunity arises, ask yourself whether the trip is really necessary or if you could conduct your business virtually. Reducing the number of cars on the road also cuts back on gas and emissions; try subsidizing a bus pass or public transportation card. If that’s not possible, allow remote work or offer incentives for employees who carpool. Even something as simple as installing an office bike rack is a step in the right direction.

4. Choose environmentally conscious vendors

As the saying goes, it takes a village. If your small business wants to fight climate change, find other businesses and organizations that do, too. Take a look at your supply chain. Who are your providers and do your values align? Using local vendors for catering and supplies not only supports your local economy and other small businesses, it also cuts back on shipping, gas, manufacturing, and logistics. Eating seasonal items also helps to avoid less sustainable production methods.

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5. Save energy

How many of your computers and appliances remain on when no one’s around? Careful use of technology and appliances not only saves energy, it’ll also save you some coin when your monthly bills arrive. You may also consider installing smart thermostats, which allow you to set your thermostat remotely and create temperature schedules for various times in the day. Finally, LED light bulbs consume at least 75% less energy than traditional incandescents. No need to change out your fixtures — a simple light bulb swap is all it takes to make the switch.

6. Use the cloud

Cloud computing has become the norm for companies today, which is fantastic since a cloud infrastructure addresses two critical elements of a green IT approach: energy efficiency and resource efficiency. Running your small business with cloud technology — like Salesforce Essentials — not only saves space and provides flexibility, it also cuts back on hardware and manufacturing, plus the emissions that go along with both. (FYI Salesforce delivers all customers a carbon neutral cloud. In addition to avoiding and reducing our emissions, we offset emissions within our data center supply chain, such as the manufacturing of servers, production, and distribution of energy used at our data centers, and the impact of our customers using Salesforce on their personal devices.)

10 of the Most Profitable Small Businesses

Some businesses are inherently more profitable than others. This can be due to expenses and overhead being low or the business charging a lot for its services or products. Still, all businesses, no matter how profitable they are, can be a challenge getting started.

Businesses

Most Profitable Small Businesses

If you yearn to run a profitable business (don’t we all), take a look at the following 20 most profitable small businesses.

Tax Preparation and Bookkeeping

Without needing fancy premises or expensive equipment, tax preparation and bookkeeping services come with low overheads. Furthermore, the standard rate for quality tax preparers and bookkeepers is a decent salary to live on.

That said, if you’re not good with numbers, preparing people’s tax and keeping their finances up-to-date, won’t be the business for you.

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Catering Services

You don’t need expensive premises to run your own catering business and could even operate your service from home, keeping overhead to a minimum. People and businesses are willing to pay for quality caterers, making this business profitable for those who work hard and have the determination to succeed.

Website Design

Websites have become the ‘windows of every successful business’, hence quality and creative website designers remain in high demand. Again, low expenses and high rates make web design a lucrative business to run, providing you have the creative and technical know-how that is!

Business Consulting

Businesses are willing to invest in quality business consultants who can help them achieve the results they are looking for. They’re also willing to pay hefty amounts for the right advice, which, tied in with low overhead, makes business consulting a profitable business to embark on.

Of course, effective business consultants do require sound business acumen and knowledge, so this isn’t necessarily the right opportunity for everyone.

Courier Services

Other than the outlay of your vehicle to deliver the goods, self-employed couriers don’t have a large overhead. Getting lucrative contracts from the major courier firms can prove profitable. However, in a competitive market, being awarded lucrative contracts can be challenging.

Mobile Hairdresser Services

Granted, you can never charge a fortune to cut someone’s hair but that doesn’t take away from the fact that quality hairdressers will always be in demand. Furthermore, other than a quality pair of scissors and some hair dye, if you run a mobile hairdressing salon, your business expenses are surprisingly low, making mobile hairdressing a profitable business to run.

That said, mobile hairdressers are not difficult to find, so you’ll probably need to spend some money marketing your services.

Cleaning Services

All you need to start your own cleaning business is a vacuum, polish floor cleaner and, preferably, a car. With comparatively low overhead, little in the way of training required and a service which is always in demand, cleaning can be a rewarding business to get into.

So why isn’t everyone doing this? Well, if you’re looking for a more creative way to make a living, cleaning might not be for you.

Online Tutoring

You might be a math genius, a native Spanish speaker or a nifty guitar player. Whatever your talent, offering to tutor online can be a great way to earn an income with exceptionally low expenses.

The only downside to online tutoring… You need to have a skill others will want to learn!

Real Estate Brokering

The profits associated with real estate remain high and if you want to enter this industry one of the most cost-effective ways to do so is to set up a real estate brokering firm.

Real estate brokers act as an intermediary between sellers and buyers and all you need to get started is a brokerage license. That said, finding your own clients can be challenging, given the number of real estate brokers there are.

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Logo Design

Got an eye for a great logo? If so, you might be on your way to starting a business where you can charge a tidy sum while not having to fork out on expensive overhead. Though be warned, logo design is a competitive industry, and you’ll have to come up with some unique and inspiring logos to remain at the top of your trade.

To Get Funding to Grow Food Ordering Business

Food Ordering Digital technology is making an impact on all the industries in one way or the other. Digital dependency is doing more good than bad to help the business grow. Not only it is making management convenient for the owners, but the clients as well are enjoying the services with their smart pads.

Food

This trend is now seen in the food industry, as well. With restaurants tieing up with brands for the logistics, the need for food ordering mobile app development is on the rise.

BR Softech providing software & IT solutions and with many satisfied clients will help you with your food ordering app development.

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To reach out to the people

For any business to grow, the company must be famous. For this, the services should be consumer-oriented and also fast-paced provisions to address any complaints or suggestions should exist. The reputation of a business depends on the quality of the services.

Same applies to the food delivery industry as well. For the food ordering business to grow, some key aspects should always be kept in mind before executing the business plan and initiating online food ordering app development.

  • Quality of food- The quality of food should always be on the topmost priority. Compromising on the quality of food that is delivered will have ill-effects on the consumer’s health. It might also get you and the business into trouble in the long run, further damaging the brand image and impacting your market.
    • Quality of services- Not just the food, but also the quality of the services that you provide should be maintained. Apart from preparing the food fresh, it should reach the customer within a stipulated time. Also, the condition of the delivered package should be intact.
    • Reviews and Ratings- Another aspect that needs to be covered are the reviews and ratings. It not only lets you know the opinions of the customers about your services but also helps the customers to know about the quality and services of your food delivery company in the market which influences and persuades other customers to opt for your app by seeing the reviews and ratings.

    Keeping these points handy, while the process of the food ordering mobile app development is on the run will help achieve the goals set by you for your startup.

Approaching Food Influencers

Food influencers are the expert foodies having a long list of followers, jumping restaurants to restaurants and influencing millions of people by updating about the famous restaurants and the delicious foods that they offer. After initiating the process of online food delivery app developmentthe food influencers can further help you in the promotions of the application and the services that you offer.

Approaching the right food influencers to promote your business can prove to be a good strategy in expanding your business. After you are all set to launch your product, they can help you increase your market by influencing their followers and luring them with attractive offers and combos.

Limited but quality cuisines

The cuisines that your offers could be compromised on the quantity but failing to maintain the quality can lend the business into trouble. People these days are getting health conscious and have become very selective when it is about food choices. Meeting their needs and maintaining quality and hygiene is mandatory for the food business to grow.

 

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Types of food delivery models

There are many food delivery options available in the market. You can approach the food delivery app development company to assist you with the type of model best suited for your business.

    • Aggregator- In this model, a third party is responsible for keeping the customers and the restaurant connected. Aggregator acts as the mediator between the two. When an order is placed via an aggregator, it is updated to the restaurant, and the customer is informed the same. However, the aggregator is not responsible for delivering the food but the restaurant itself.Read More: Key Features for On-Demand Food Ordering App and how does Food Delivery App Works?
    • Food delivery platform offering logistics- Startups can opt for this kind of delivery system. It is cost-effective for small and medium scale startups. In this system, the aggregator is responsible for placing the order and informing the restaurant to pick up the parcel and deliver it to the customer. This saves the cost of the restaurant owner of appointing and maintaining a transport system.

Virtual Selling Just Became Vital to Your Business

Virtual Selling Before this month, at least 70 percent of sales calls were virtual, according to a study from Inside Sales. With the effects of the current pandemic, that number has skyrocketed.

Great web conferencing platforms are within everyone’s reach but don’t make the mistake of thinking that technology is all you need.

Virtual-Selling

Attention and engagement are hard enough to get in a face-to-face meeting. It’s even harder over the web, when you’re a thumbnail image on a conferencing app.

With limited attention, comes less engagement. Closing complex, high-value deals require you to influence the decision-making part of your buyer’s brain. Getting maximum engagement is a minimum requirement to using buyer psychology to influence big-ticket deals.

Here are three techniques, backed by science, for driving attention and engagement during virtual sales calls.

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3 Research-Backed Techniques for Virtual Selling

1. Provide Value from the First Minute

It’s never been more important to start a meeting by delivering value.

If you haven’t already, ditch the “what’s keeping you up at night” questions that are sure to cause eye-rolling, or worse—app switching. Instead, lead with the unique perspective you have from dealing with dozens of companies like the one you’re speaking with. Discovery is important, but only after you’ve established value.

Start the meeting with a fresh idea or unique challenge you’ve identified though working in your prospect’s industry. Doing so will:

  • Deliver value from the start so people will see the benefit of paying attention
  • Frame the discussion in an area where you offer unique value
  • Create a safe space for prospects to admit they have a problem

2. Engage Your Audience (Even if it’s Uncomfortable)

With the short supply of attention and engagement, your sellers are fearful of doing anything that might drive away from an interested buyer.

According to a survey of over 300 B2B salespeople, 42 percent of sellers try to “reduce friction” by keeping the conversation verbal only. And 46 percent of sellers add only minimal friction, asking prospects to use a web link to virtually walk through a sales deck. The problem is, by not asking your audience to do anything, you are making it easier for them to tune out.

Corporate Visions study found that adding some friction can often lead to a more productive conversation. Asking a prospect to write down some words or draw a picture increased message effectiveness, seller credibility, and information recall. And, in a live simulation conducted in partnership with a Corporate Visions client, using interactive visuals increased sales by 24 percent month over month and year over year.

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3. Lean on Visuals and Make Them Dynamic

The virtual buying experience can be highly distracting. To capture and keep people’s attention, your sales deck needs significantly more animation, movement, and slides to overcome your prospect’s “stimulation threshold.”

In fact, research from Memzy (a Corporate Visions company) shows you need roughly three times the number of slides to communicate the same amount of information in a virtual conversation.

This doesn’t mean you should include three times the information. Buyers will only remember about 10 percent of what you said 48 hours later. So, it’s more about identifying your most important “10 percent message,” and designing your sales deck so your prospects will stay engaged and remember your message when it’s time to buy.

Are Trade Shows Relevant to All Business Types?

Trade shows are a way for industry members to get together, promote new goods and build valuable contacts. However, not every company can approach these events in the same way. Often, your strategy will vary depending on the sector you’re in and the kind of business you run.

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Here’s everything you need to know about trade shows — including the businesses they work best for — and how to attract customers if you attend one.

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Why Attend a Trade Show?

A trade show is an event that brings together members of a particular industry or niche to demonstrate and discuss their latest goods and services. They usually take place in convention halls or hotels and can last anywhere from a day or two up to an entire week, depending on the size of the show.

Often, these shows limit attendance to members of the industry, relevant professionals and press wanting to cover the latest developments.

Because of this, these conferences can provide big benefits for businesses — mostly in helping them build stronger connections with customers, distributors and industry influencers. These shows also provide professionals with a chance to attend or participate in workshops and presentations, and grant businesses the opportunity to scout talent.

As a result, these events can be excellent for building long-term relationships with other industry professionals, as well as keeping on top of the latest developments and news.

However, your business will only get the most out of attending a trade show if you find one that is relevant.

Finding Events That Are Relevant to Your Business

The best place to start is on the internet. Use an online trade show directory or listing — like Tradefest, which allows you to break down results by industry.

When researching potential events, consider both your immediate industry and those that include customers that you can market to. For example, a company that specializes in industrial automation could benefit from visiting trade shows aimed at technology and heavy industry.

If online research isn’t working, you still have options.

Investigate what your competitors are doing. Your businesses are likely to compete for similar markets. As a result, you can benefit from looking at what events they plan on attending.

Existing industry relationships can also help you out here. If you still aren’t sure which events are worth attending, you can solicit recommendations from dealers or influencers you’ve worked within the past, or scout their social media to know which conferences they are signed up for.

Once you have determined a few potential options, select which ones you’ll attend. These shows should be highly relevant to your business, its place in the industry, as well as your business’s goals.

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Representing Your Business and Attracting Customers at a Trade Show

Trade shows uniquely position your business to establish long-term relationships with new customers and other companies. If you want to take full advantage of these, however, you’ll need to prepare well.

In the weeks before the trade show, plan ahead. Give yourself enough time to design booth materials and stock up on essential items. Consider banners and displays that list your social media,  website and other contact information, as well as essentials like business cards. You may want to preregister for the event to ensure a smooth first day, and to investigate panels, booths, and workshops that will be worth attending.

Establish clear goals, and have a sense of what you want to gain from your time at the show. Spread the word before you attend, so prospective show guests can plan to visit your booth.

When putting your show booth together, follow best practices for design. Certain elements should always be included — like strong visuals, a clear headline, a description of what your business does and information that will help customers find you after the event. Be sure to keep the company’s name and logo prominent. Unique design choices, like backlit, custom-made signs, can attract customers in crowded venues and stand out from other businesses.

You should also take advantage of the marketing possibilities that a trade show provides. Booth space is highly flexible and presents an opportunity for your business to experiment with innovative and unique marketing strategies. You can give an in-person product or tech demonstrations, and show off things like virtual reality tech in ways that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.

Be willing to talk with attendees who stop at your booth. The right conversation with the right guest can result in highly valuable business relationships.

You can further cement your brand in their minds by giving them something tangible when they walk away. This can be something as small as a business card or sticker. If you have more of a budget, consider pens, T-shirts and promotional discounts.