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Business

Why is a Business Model Important?

A business model confirms the mechanisms by which an operation will make money. Without determining a viable business model before getting a business going, the CEO and management team must scramble to devise one that makes sense in the current market. To do this, it’s beneficial to use a business model canvas starting with a template and building out the model step-by-step. Doing so allows the team to visualize it and confirm that every part is feasible.

What is a Business Model?

A business model is designed to break down the steps for what the company fundamentally does to conduct business transactions.

What is the Unique Selling Point or value proposition of the company? Is it sufficient to beat out other competitors to the sale? Is it sustainable over the long term? Can competitors steal a march on them by developing something better?

Also, consider the sustainability of the business model. What would derail it? Could new technology do so? Will part of the process become impossible at a later time? Is the business seasonal where it cannot be run at certain times of the year – i.e., a local snow clearing business in Alaska – or are parts difficult to source from manufacturers?

It’s important to consider all these issues to ensure that the business model won’t work today but fall over two financial quarters from now.

How Is it Different from a Business Plan?

The business model and business plan are often confused by new entrepreneurs and people who haven’t studied business in college.

A business plan describes the strategy that the firm will have and how it expects to perform. While it will touch on the business model including how the business will make money, primarily this document covers expected sales, expenditures, and other considerations. Financial lenders will likely request to see a business plan to view the projected numbers. Then they’ll want to know how those estimates were arrived at.

Also, while the plan is helpful to develop, it changes with the operational reality. However, a business model is unlikely to do so unless it’s fundamentally wrong or how business is conducted changes significantly. For instance, while the products being sold may change, how they’re produced and where they’re sold may not. Due to this, the business model may remain largely unchanged.

Why Is the Business Model Essential for Businesses?

A business model is essential because it clarifies the way that the company will solve existing problems in the marketplace. The value creation must be evident to encourage customers to purchase their product(s).

Production costs must be low enough to allow for other expenditures and to still turn a profit. Could generic alternatives reach the market to dampen sales? What can be done, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks, to prevent this?

Direct distribution or other methods employed so customers can receive the products is also important (the same is true of provided services too). How will this occur, will they remain viable channels, and will the cost of access remain the same?

Business models need to not fall apart when scaled in size fivefold or tenfold. The Zoom app at the beginning of the pandemic is a good reference point for successful rapid growth.

Must Business Models Necessarily Evolve?

Business models do need to evolve with the times. A good example of this is Blockbuster which failed to evolve sufficiently when media went digital. It took the creation of Netflix and faster internet access to completely change how filmed media was accessed and consumed by the public.

Why would people take a trip to the local Blockbuster store if they could access a movie instantly from their home? And on a big-screen TV? This question wasn’t explored by executives who believed their market position to be unassailable.

Business models need to evolve with changing markets and different customer expectations. However, companies must also stay on the lookout and be ready to seize on new ways to deliver their goods or services too. At which point, massive business model changes might be necessary.

Is Pivoting Always a Good Idea?

Business owners love to pivot from one idea to the next. Should this be done? There is a degree of shiny object syndrome when doing this. Entrepreneurs are no less susceptible to this than other people. It can sometimes be a good idea when the current plan isn’t working or there are better opportunities elsewhere in the market. However, it usually requires years for a new brand and/or product to establish itself. Switching strategies doesn’t always allow enough time for growth to happen.

While a pivot may still rely on the same business model, it will play havoc on existing plans. Pivots should be justified not just to demonstrate the viability of the new idea, but also to confirm that the old idea was wrong or won’t work.

Business models are an essential part of a successful business. When the founder is unaware of what the model is, then they won’t be clear when something has broken down or proven it to be invalid. The future from that point will not bode well.

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Business

Factors To Consider When Looking For The Best Answering Service For Your Business

No matter what type of business you have, hiring the right answering service company is crucial to your business. When figuring out which answering service company to choose, the most important thing is to ensure that it will be an exemplary service for your business. Here are some factors to consider while selecting the best answering service company to help you achieve your business goals.

1.   Experience And Expertise Of Their Staff

The first thing you should consider when choosing the best answering service for your business is the experience of their staff. A company that hires inexperienced people will not give you the best service and may even inconvenience your customers who call.

When selecting the best 24 hour answering service company, hiring a company with a successful history of working with a similar business is essential. You can be sure that they will answer your questions and offer a personal touch that can make all the difference. Prompt and accurate information is crucial when dealing with your customers.

2.   Safety and Secure Communication Connections

It’s of great importance to hire an answering service company that offers an extra level of security for communication and identity fraud prevention. Secure communications come with an additional level of safety as well. Security of your business communications and data is essential to consider when choosing an answering service.

Organizations usually have a lot of private information to handle, so it is necessary to ensure that the communication channel you choose is secure enough and safe from any eavesdropping. The ability to provide secure communication may depend mainly on their communication equipment and systems and their expertise in the field. Therefore, it’s crucial to secure your business communications channels as per the law of the land.

A professional answering service business should have a professional VoIP system to ensure secure and trustworthy connections. Today’s market means implementing encrypted communication channels to be safe.

3.   The Integrity of The Employees And Their Ability To Keep Secrets

It does no good to have an answering service when your employees can’t keep secrets. Hence, it’s essential to pick an answering company with a reputation for honest and trustworthy employees. The call answering service employee needs to be a very reliable person and can keep secrets. Because of their work’s nature and sensitivity, there is a need to abide by the rule, “thou shall not tell anybody the client’s personal information”.

They should avoid disclosing any details of the calls they processed, more so if they were personal. Employees should avoid any unnecessary discussions about clients with their co-workers. Avoid answering service workers who will share clients information with the public without hesitation. Customer service is an essential part of customer retention and customer satisfaction!

4.   A Company That Gives Value For Your Money

It’s essential to choose an answering service that will provide you with a solid level of services and efficiency at an affordable cost for your business. You don’t want to pay a lot, but you want to receive high-quality service from answering service companies. You need to hire a company that will not give you less than what you pay for or less than your expectations.

The key to getting the most affordable and best answering service is shopping around the marketplace and comparing services and prices. It’s also of great benefit to select an answering company with the policies that fit your needs to avoid having to sift through dozens of other companies with similar services

Conclusion

Having a solid answering service team is crucial for your business to retain its customer base. Customer service representatives need to possess the ability to multitask under pressure and the knowledge necessary to solve your customers’ problems quickly and efficiently. When considering customer service representatives, look for those who present themselves well and answer questions effectively and accurately. They should also be able to remain calm in high-stress situations to provide effective solutions for your customers. AnswerMTI is a 24-hour partner who will provide you with answering services with all the professionalism it deserves

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Business

Why Hollywood studios love forensic watermarking tech

Access to fast internet and smart devices have expanded the video content industry in a big way, which explains the success of over-the-top (OTT) portals, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. However, this has also increased their headache due to video piracy. OTT platforms have traditionally utilized digital rights management (DRM) technologies to keep premium video content from being pirated. This is an advanced technology, which largely depends on always-on internet devices, and enables OTT service providers to manage their users, apply AES encryption to their video assets, and break video files into shorter content blocks to avoid piracy.

However, the piracy ecosystem has evolved over time and become more sophisticated, and some premium HD content is still leaked for unauthorized users to exploit, despite best attempts.

Pirates take advantage of an OTT system in which DRM protected content is transmitted using digital-analog duality, particularly at the client end, where each piece of video content must be decrypted and delivered as an analogue signal for viewing. Pirates use sophisticated programs to intrude at this point and attempt to grab the continuous video stream from the OTT server.

Hollywood studios are concerned about this leakage because they stand to lose big money in revenue from their premium content. The content production and DRM industries have attempted to close this gap by adding video watermarking to its arsenal of security tools. This is a more advanced function that embeds non-obtrusive text or codes in video frames that aren’t apparent to the human eye or easily identifiable by recording software, and, in this sense, stands at variance with visible watermarks that can spoil the user experience.

There are largely four parts to forensic watermarking technology: (a) copyright or ownership data which is encoded in (b) the host signal or video frame – a video file is a collection of static video frames – which is used in conjunction with (c) a secret watermarking key to create (d) a watermarked video frame. Even if the combinations of frames from the original video file undergo resolution, transcoding, copying, or distributive changes, the copyright message should stand strong during the whole life-cycle of the video frame in a comprehensive forensic watermarking architecture. Otherwise, the watermark cannot be called robust.

Hollywood studios expect OTT platforms to add not only multi-DRM measures to combat piracy, but also a powerful forensic-watermarking option so that their anti-piracy teams can readily discover how and from which users their premium content is pirated. OTT platforms find both services in multi-DRM SaaS vendors which also maintain a database of embedded watermarks.

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Business

3 Tips to Manage Your Digital Notes

You take in dozens of gigabytes of data daily in this internet age. Access to information from thousands of different sources is undoubtedly beneficial in numerous ways. However, this has also caused the average internet user to struggle because of the constant information overload. Your brain is not designed to take in massive chunks of information within a short time and process it accurately, then store it. Therefore, as you use your computer or smartphone, especially for business, it is necessary to organize all these ideas systematically.

Your computer is like your second brain and contains information that you need to run your business effectively. Hence, it would be best to have tools and tips that will help you categorize everything in an easy-to-understand format. If you struggle to organize your digital notes and files, here are some tips that will come in handy.

  1. Use an excellent note-taking app

The type of note-taking app that you use plays a significant part in how you’ll view your notes if at all you are even able to see these notes. There are several such apps, but most are basic and sometimes come pre-installed on your laptop or phone. While they may work for personal use, they are not always ideal for business use. You want to choose a note-taking app with beneficial features, including optical character recognition (OCR), tags, and folders. It is worth paying a small subscription fee to access them.

For instance, if you run a clean beauty business, you can have different folders for your brand product packaging and catalog design, suppliers, and advertising ideas. Some of these superior note-taking apps even offer collaborative note-taking.

  1. Organize notes into notebooks or folders

Folders, called Notebooks on some apps, are essential when organizing digital notes manually. They will come in handy in the future when you intend to look into a particular topic. For instance, you can have a folder on influencer marketing. The names you give each folder will depend on the notes you’ve taken and how you intend to utilize them. If you are undecided, you can begin with easy folders such as Inbox, Suppliers, Marketing, and Product list. Once you have named your folders, you can always rename them in the future after you figure out how you want to utilize each of them.

 

  1. Create shortcuts 

You will usually have folders accessed more frequently than others in your note-taking taking. Because they already receive more action, a helpful tip is to make them more accessible. You can either create shortcuts to these folders or mark them as favorites. It will then become easier for you to make changes to existing notes and add new ones.

The folders that you barely open as they are just used to hold notes in case a need arises in the future don’t need to be in the front or center.

It is easy to accumulate a lot of digital notes. Hence, it is essential to have them organized for ease of access. Having well-organized information and ideas will also make it easier for you to understand everything and put them to good use.

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Business

Three reasons why your business needs a virtual receptionist

With the technology and trends developing every day, as someone who owns a business, you need to know how to make your clients feel happier. There are uncountable ways in which you can improve the quality of your product and services as per your consumer’s preferences and likings. But, is it worth it if you can’t hear your consumers out?

This is when a virtual receptionist shows up to save the day. A virtual receptionist is quite similar to an offline receptionist in the way of working. The only difference is that instead of being in your office, they will be in some call center or somewhere else. Now you might think, if my receptionist is not in my office, how will my clients come to the office and ask their queries? The answer is that they won’t have to. They can get their answers from home itself while talking to your virtual receptionist.

Here are three reasons why your business needs a virtual receptionist today:

After-hours service:

It is not an unknown fact that the clients demand an answer to their query as fast as it is possible. If you are closed for even a day, a sense of dissatisfaction occurs in them. But if you have a virtual receptionist who answers all the queries on your behalf even in the after-hours of the office, your clients will be happy and full of satisfaction.

Appointment conveniences:

Having a virtual receptionist makes sure that none of your appointments are canceled suddenly. They keep up to date with whoever is supposed to show up by connecting them and in turn, keep you updated for the same.

Make an impression:

If a client calls and your virtual receptionist answers, it shows how you have a structural way of working. This makes a very good impression on potential clients as well.

Who doesn’t like to be heard, right? Be it a query or any dilemma, a consumer has the right to receive satisfactory communication from the business that invests in it. Now, think about it- are you able to answer every call with the dedication that it deserves without letting it impact your flow of work? If your answer is no, then you should get a virtual receptionist for your business today!

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Business

Mark Roemer Oakland Shares the Benefits of Hiring Busing Development Consultants

Introduction

Mark Roemer Oakland believes that hiring business development consultants have become an essential factor in every business culture. Therefore, every business owner has started hiring business development consultants to get an external viewpoint and shape their business accordingly. The benefits of hiring business development consultants are mentioned below:

The Benefits

  1. Focussing on the core business capacities- No matter what your business is, business development consultants can help you focus on the core business capacities. You may often feel frustrated while sorting out the information needed for your business; in such cases, a consultant can help you with the required information. A business development consultant ensures that you focus only on the area of concern without wasting time dealing with unnecessary information.
  1. Getting help from the experts- When hiring a business development consultant, you are getting in touch with an expert well-versed with your business criticalities. Therefore, a consultant can help you with an immediate solution to any issues you are currently facing. When guided by a business master, it can be a game-changer for your business. They guide you with the most genuine advice in the process of accomplishing your goals and targets.
  1. Support in the business tasks- Sometimes, undertaking all the recent business trends becomes difficult for business owners, and the business development consultant can come to your help. Being experts in the sphere, they help you with all the innovative practices that can boost your business. Maybe you have been following a few practices for a long time, but it shows no outcome; in such cases, a consultant can share his view about what is going wrong and what has to be done.
  1. Undertaking cost-effective methods- When you hire a business development consultant, you can quickly solve all the day-to-day issues you face. However, without a consultant, you will end up messing up in emergencies and will need to spend a huge sum in sorting out the issues. The expert can help you with the most cost-effective solution to your problems within the required time frame, which can help you save much effort and costs.
  1. Expanding your business- If you want to expand your business, hiring a business development consultant can help you perform all the required steps and smoothly complete the entire process. An expert helps you with the most genuine business evaluation and directs you to make the desired decisions. He will help you recognize your weaknesses and strengths and how your steps can impact your business.

Conclusion

According to Mark Roemer Oakland, the points mentioned above will help you clearly understand how a business development consultant can help your business grow. With the rising demand for innovation and the increasing competition among the companies, it has become crucial for every business owner to hire a business development consultant. A single wrong step can have a huge impact on your business, and therefore, it is best to get advice from an expert and help your business reach heights.

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Business

Signs of Water Damage Requiring Immediate Restoration Services

There are endless signs of water damage someone should know. It is no secret that water damage causes constant problems. This is true, especially when not noticed on time and dealt with as deserved. However, the consequences of leaving water damage unsolved for long may worsen the situation, which can be quite expensive in the long run.

Water damage does not only spread fast but can cause structural damages. For instance, the development of mold after water damage can destroy the wall and other things it comes in contact with. But probably one of the biggest problems is that water damage doesn’t manifest itself until after some time. So how does one know that damage has occurred and should seek water restoration Houston services?

Well, this article addresses some of the most critical indicators of water damage. Kindly note that this list does not touch on all the possible signs. But of course, it discusses some of the most common that no one should ignore.

Listen

In most cases, someone may not see water but can hear it. When water damage is imminent, it means something must have gone wrong with the piping system or some source of water. And more often than not, the sound of dripping water is enough to conclude water is misbehaving somewhere. Some of the sounds include rushing water or creaking floorboards. Regardless of the case, it is an excellent idea to seek professional assistance.

Smell

Abnormal smells, some of which may include bad odor, are an indicator of water damage. For instance, areas damaged with water will be damp, and it usually has some unique odor. At worst, it will be accompanied by a musky smell of mold. So, for the fastest and most reliable assistance with your water restoration, Houston needs to be wary of such smells.

Mold

This is no brainer. Like they say, where there is smoke, there is fire, mold, and water go hand in hand. So, with the slightest sign of decay, especially where it is unexpected, the chances are that water damage has occurred. Dealing with mold is one of the most challenging tasks of restoration services. Especially when it has affected a larger area, it is highly advised to call for professional assistance as fast as possible.

Discoloration

This is yet another sign of water damage. For the better part of it, the effect comes with streaks of water running down the side of a wall. In most cases, it may signal an overflowing gutter leaving watermarks behind. It is also common to notice this on the ceiling and just any other part of the house. Regardless of where the discoloration happens, it is an excellent idea to reach out for professional assistance.

Summary

Other signs like warped flooring and peeling walls are common signs of water damage. No matter the case, the importance of hiring professionals to help can never be underestimated. But just not any other expert. It is priceless to choose a contractor with a positive reputation for doing timely and quality water restoration service.

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Business

How To Port From BSNL or Jio To Another Network?

MNP or mobile network portability is one of the best features available for telecom operators in the country. Now, telecom users can change their telecom service provider if they are unhappy with their service. For example, if you don’t want to use BSNL or Jio service, you can port to Vi or Airtel without changing your phone number.

On the other hand, you have to complete your postpaid bill payment and abide by various other rules and regulations to avail the service. If you are looking to port your telecom service provider from Jio or BSNL to any other service, you will find all the necessary details below.

Eligibility Criteria To Port From BSNL or Jio To Another Network?

Undoubtedly, you can change port your phone number from one service provider to the other if you are eligible to do so. We have listed the eligibility criteria for all the people who want to port from BSNL or JIO to any other network service provider.

  • When you are porting your phone number, you must be the first owner of the number. One should also not port the number during the change of ownership process.
  • There is no connection between the court of law and porting of the mobile number, nor does the court of law prohibit phone number porting.
  • One cannot port their phone number until they clear pending dues or any other subscription fee. In the case of postpaid connections, the customer must clear the BSNL postpaid bill payment ‘Outstanding Dues’ to be eligible for the porting service.
  • One can only change the telecom service provider after using the service for more than 90 days.

Documents Required To Port From Jio or BSNL To Any Other Network?

When you port your phone number to any other network service provider, you must submit your identity and address proof along with the porting code. Here is the list of the documents which you have to submit while porting your phone number,

  • Address proof or Aadhar card
  • A passport size photo, and
  • Porting code.

How To Port From BSNL or Jio To Any Other Network?

Before applying for a new connection, you must have a unique porting code from your current telecom service provider. All the BSNL users can send an SMS to PORT <SPACE> Mobile Number to 1900 to get UPC or Unique Porting Code.

Jio users can also use the same process to get the UPC before applying to other network service providers.

How to Port To Airtel From BSNL To Jio?

If you want to port to Airtel, then you have to visit the official website of Airtel and submit your UPC. You have to select the plan then and complete your payment from Airtel Payments Bank. Once done, an executive from the company will call you to take all the necessary documents. You can select the date and time slot based on your convenience. One can also pay BSNL bills on Airtel Payments Bank.

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Business

Which is better Post Office FD or Bank FD

As you might know already, a fixed deposit is one of the best investment options for individuals looking for consistent returns and low investment risk. That said, banks aren’t the only ones offering the facility. Even Post Offices offer fixed deposits facilities for individuals like yourselves. So then, which one is better? A post office fixed deposit or a bank fixed deposit? Here’s what you need to know.

Post office fixed deposit vs Bank fixed deposit

Here’s a detailed comparison of the two fixed deposit schemes.

Post office fixed deposit Bank fixed deposit
Post office FDs come with a tenor of 1 to 5 years. The tenor of bank fixed deposit schemes range from 7 days to 10 years.
Depending on the tenor of your choosing, the post office FD interest rate can be anywhere from 5.5% to 6.7% Depending on the bank and the tenor of your choosing, the rate of interest can be anywhere from 2.9% to 6.75%
You can only prematurely withdraw a post office fixed deposit after 6 months from the date of deposit. You can prematurely withdraw a bank FD at any point in time.
The investment under 5-year post office FDs can be claimed as deductions under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to the tune of up to ₹1.5 lakhs each financial year. To claim deductions up to ₹1.5 lakhs each financial year under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, you would have to opt for special tax-saving bank FDs.

 

However, these fixed deposit schemes tend to have lower interest rates compared to a post office fixed deposit.

The interest on post office FD is calculated on a quarterly basis and is paid out annually. With bank FDs, you can opt to receive the interest periodically, or choose to reinvest it for higher returns.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. Both post office FDs and bank FDs are great investment options for individuals. That said, if you prefer a more customizable tenor with the ability to prematurely withdraw your investment within 6 months of opening the account and the option to reinvest the interest, then bank FDs may just be the one for you. On the other hand, if you prefer high interest rates, periodical interest payouts, and the ability to claim your investment as deductions, then post office fixed deposits may be the way to go.

If post office FDs are something that you might be interested in, head on over to Finserv MARKETS to learn more about them. Also, while you’re there, you could also use our very own post office FD calculator to get an idea of the kind of returns that you’re likely to get.

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Business

ULIP Plans – Understand its jargon

ULIPs have recently proved to be one of the most enriching investment options. In addition to offering a chance to generate wealth along with having life insurance, ULIPs help in many non-financial ways as well.  Having to choose the right fund to invest money in, teaches you to evaluate things logically and make smart decisions. ULIPs often come with a lock-in period. This means that you cannot withdraw from the policy for a certain amount of time. Hence, you have no option but to learn how to make regular and systematic investments over a longer period of time.

Even though they benefit you in so many ways, you must have a thorough knowledge of the policy before purchasing one. This means knowing about the various terms that are associated with it. Here are a few terms related to ULIPs that you should know about:

  • Fund value

Fund value is a term used to describe the value of your ULIP fund. Essentially, it is the sum of the monetary value of all your investment units. This means that it is a figure of how much money has your unit-linked fund reached.

  • Sum assured

Every type of insurance product has a term called sum assured. As the name suggests, it is an amount of money that has been promised to the policyholder. It is the main life coverage feature of ULIPs. In the case of the policyholder’s death, the nominee mentioned in the plan will receive a payout. This feature is also known as the death benefit.

  • Partial withdrawal

Withdrawal in itself means to remove or to extract. We hear of withdrawing numerous times in our daily lives. The biggest example you can look at is your bank account. Where you withdraw the money in the account for your own use. It is similar in the case of ULIPs. The money you give as a premium is invested into various funds. In the case of an emergency, if you need money you can go for a partial withdrawal from the investment fund. This means you can sell some units and get some money for your needs.

  • Fund switch

Switching means changing from one thing to another. This is something you can do with ULIPS as well. You may know that part of your premium goes towards an investment fund with the hopes of growing. However, these funds can perform well or bad depending on the market conditions. Hence, there is always a chance that your fund does the opposite of what you wanted it to do. Fortunately, ULIP plans have a feature of fund switching. This feature allows you to switch from one fund to another. If your fund is underperforming, you can contact your fund manager to put your money into another one. Insurance providers offer a certain number of free switches. If you switch more than your switching limit, you would have to pay a fee.

  • Top-up premium

If you have ever bought different types of insurance policies, you may be aware of the term top-up. ULIPs have a concept of top-ups too. However, it is different for other insurance products. With regular life insurance, you get a top-up and you simply buy more coverage. In the case of ULIPs, you pay an extra premium to buy units. Each of these units has a face value which means a monetary value. You can put these additional units into your coverage or investment funds.

Contract

The idea of a contract is based on the act of agreement. If two parties participate in a discussion and come to a common ground, it is called an agreement. A contract is an acknowledgement of that agreement. However, a contract is not just for settling discussions and disputes. It is also a sign of a promise. This especially applies to ULIPs. When you buy the policy, you enter into a contract with the insurance provider. The policy document is proof that you and the insurance provider have reached an agreement. This contract states that you will pay them a premium and they will offer life coverage and an investment opportunity.

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