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New Business Books for Your Reading List

Every excellent businessman and woman knows how integral reading is to their career. By staying on top of a reading list, they can stay current with new methods and ideas. Bill Gates, for example, reads 50 books every year, while Warren Buffet argues that reading 500 pages a day is the key to his success. If you’re looking to join their ranks, consider adding the following new books to your reading list. 

The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence (You Can Actually Use)

This book by Kerry Goyette will help you improve your emotional intelligence. He’ll teach you how to convert your emotional skills into business practices you can use every day. So much of business is rooted in your ability to create strong, lasting relationships. Getting in touch with your emotions is a good place to start, and this book will equip you with the techniques you need. 

First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

In this book, Jim Harter explores what sets good managers apart from everyone else using Gallup’s data from more than 80,000 managers. You’re sure to find this book helpful, no matter what your level of management. The book doesn’t only provide career information and insights, but will also give you tips for how to apply what you’ve learned

Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals 

No matter how long you’ve been in business, chances are you already know the importance of networking. In this book, Zvi Band puts a new spin on networking. He stresses the importance of using the relationships that you already have. He argues that using your preexisting networking leads to more opportunities. 

The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time

One of the leading fallacies surrounding creativity is that only a few people have what it takes. Allan Gannett uses this book to illustrate how that mentality simply isn’t true. He believes that creativity can be found in anyone and that it can be unleashed by combining new ideas with familiar ones. 

Game-Time Decision Making: High-Scoring Business Strategies from the Biggest Names in Sports

If you’re interested in sports, this book by David Meltzer does an excellent job of applying the wisdom of some of history’s top coaches to the business world. Despite constant pressure, coaches are some of the most successful leaders out there. Now you can use their techniques to generate positive business results. 

Originally posted on MokshPopli.org.

How to Write a Successful Business Plan

Every new business needs a business plan. The plan is flexible, and you can tailor it to meet your goals. These could include developing a specific goal or direction, or attracting funders to get your business up and running. The most successful entrepreneurs write their business plan between 6-12 months after deciding to start their business. According to the Harvard Business Review, doing this increases the probability of venture viability success by 8%.

Do Your Homework

The first step to creating a successful business plan is to do your research. You will need to analyze your product and the market. This research will be the foundation of your business plan. If you do not put in enough time and effort, your plan will likely fail. Senior financial and management executive William Pirraglia recommends spending twice the amount of time researching and evaluating as you spend writing your business plan. 

Decide Your Vision

Once you have a solid understanding of your product, you need to create a “road map” of where your business is going. If you cannot clearly articulate your vision and mission, chances are you will not be able to find funding for your business.

Create a Marketing Plan

Your next step is to create a strategic marketing plan. This needs to encompass everything from your content marketing strategy to a description of how manufacturing and delivery will work. Where will your business come from? You will need to include information about your target audience and expected long-term client contracts. Make sure you also have a budget and any corresponding calculations. 

What to Include

A plan is far from a simple single page. You will need to begin with an executive summary that encompasses your vision, and then a company description that sums up everything your business does. Another good document to include is the market analysis you performed during the research phase. You will also need to add your marketing plan and budget, as well as a summary of how your business will be structured and managed. 

Once your plan is compiled, remember to have someone experienced review it before showing it to any potential investors. They will be able to provide you with valuable feedback. Once you make any necessary edits, your plan will be ready for business! 

Originally posted on MokshPopli.org.

Why Blockchain is the Future of Cybersecurity

Over the last few years, cyber attacks have become increasingly common, sophisticated, and dangerous. According to recent data, 4,000 cyber attacks have occurred every day. This is a 300% increase from 2015, demonstrating how the problem is only getting worse. No industry is safe. However, as hackers’ methods grow more intricate, we become more resilient when it comes to safeguarding valuable data. Blockchain technology is one of the cybersecurity’s newest techniques. The technology has very quickly proven itself the future of cybersecurity.

Prevent Data Theft and Fraud

Blockchain works as an incorruptible virtual ledger that can be updated in real time. The systems don’t have a single point of storage but instead are connected between a wide variety of points, such as millions of computers. This means that if a hacker wanted to corrupt a blockchain, they would have to destroy the data stored on every user’s computer in the system. Otherwise, any undamaged computers would continue to verify and keep a record of all the data. 

Protecting Software During Downloads

Malware such as viruses, worms, and Trojan Horses are another danger that blockchain can help fight. Blockchain could work by giving downloads or updates a special hash unique to the developer. This way, users could check and compare the hash on the app or other download to the developer’s hash. This would reduce the chance that they will download dangerous malware and infect their system. 

Improved Security for Login Information

Currently, usernames and passwords for websites are stored in central databases. This centralized information is very vulnerable to hacking. If a hacker is able to bypass security, they then have access to thousands, if not millions of login credentials. 

Blockchain can combat this by decentralizing all of this information. A single corrupted node wouldn’t present a significant threat. Blockchain also utilizes a multi-signature authentication model. Rather than having a user enter a username and password, blockchain would have that user confirm that they have access to multiple devices

Preventing False Positives

Most algorithms used to fight fraud are good at flagging inconsistencies, but often they cast too large of a net. These false positives lead to high administrative costs, lost time, and negative user experiences. In one study, only 19% of alerts reported by surveyed companies turned out to be legitimate. 

Data that goes through a blockchain system is more likely to be trustworthy, as the security measures in place demand greater verification. Data stored on a blockchain is also more tamper-resistant, which inspires more confidence in its users. 

Originally posted on MokshPopli.info.

5 Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling

While fun and exciting, travel can take a toll on your health if you aren’t careful. Being on the road all the time has its disadvantages, but you can mitigate these by implementing the following advice into your next journey. 

Get Enough Sleep

Remember to prioritize getting a full night of sleep, even when you sleep. Switching time zones, walking around a strange city for the first time, and carrying luggage is both physically and mentally exhausting. Don’t stay up later than you normally would. Instead, go to bed at a reasonable hour to ensure that you’re well rested and ready for the next day. You can also take short naps between events. 

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water may be difficult when you’re traveling. You might not have the convenience of water constantly at your disposal like you would at home. You can combat this by carrying a refillable water bottle with you everywhere. Remember to drink eight glasses a day. Make sure you drink alcohol and sugary beverages like sodas in moderation. These are packed with calories and sugar, and may disrupt your energy levels and sleep patterns. 

Eat Right

Just because your schedule may be disrupted doesn’t mean your eating habits need to be! Remember to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Be careful not to skip breakfast. They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing. Your body needs breakfast to properly energize you for the day. You can create easy, healthy breakfasts for yourself. If you find eating healthy and balanced meals more difficult while traveling, consider taking a daily multi-vitamin to supplement your meals.

Remember to Exercise

If you have an exercise routine, stick to it! This could be as simple as performing some jumping jacks or pushups in your hotel room. You can also go for a run or buy a temporary pass for the local gym. 

Another good way to get in your exercise (and see the city) is to walk everywhere instead of taking a taxi or public transportation. 

Dress for the Weather

Remember to research ahead of time what the weather will be like so you can dress appropriately. If the weather is hot, wear loose fitting and light clothing with a hat. Don’t forget the sunscreen, and remember that you need to reapply it every few hours for it to be effective.

Originally published on MokshPopli.net.

How to Build a Great Remote Work Team

New technologies make it easier than ever to work away from the office. With that in mind, many companies are moving away from traditional brick and mortar offices. Instead, they rely on a team of remote workers. The question you may be wondering is, “how do I build a great team, then?” It’s a valid point. After all, how can we manage employees and see that tasks are being completed effectively or in a timely manner when our workers may be hundreds of miles away?

Below are some strategies some of the most efficient and successful remote teams utilize. Give them a read, and maybe you can employ them at your own company.

Hire (More) Selectively

This seems obvious, but it needs to be said. Remote workers need to be heavily vetted to make sure they can “show up” and perform accordingly. Interview candidates a few times, whether over the phone, in person, a video call, or a combination of all three. What’s more, make sure to call references and check-in with previous jobs to get a handle of their work ethic and time management skills.

Daily Morning Meetings

Through video calling services, such as Skype, UberConference, or Facetime, gather your team together all in one place at the start of every morning. Not only does this make everyone feel more connected, it allows you to administer tasks, perform check-ins, and figure out where everyone stands. The meetings don’t have to be too long, only as long as you and your team need them to be.

Utilize Live Documents

Live documents, such as Google Docs or Google Sheets, are great tools for a remote team. These documents, which can be added to or edited in real time by anyone with access to the link, can serve many functions. A favorite way to utilize this tool is by creating a brainstorming document for initiatives, campaigns, or projects. Workers can pop in and add an idea as it comes to them. It generates a ton of great ideas and allows workers to feel more connected to their company.

Shift Your Performance Metrics

In an office, we can gauge how much someone works because they’re tethered there for a specific amount of time each day. Focusing on how long a remote worker logs every day isn’t the best focal point for your concern. Instead, gauge their performance by the quality of their work, their attitude, communication skills, and their ability to meet deadlines and reach goals. Understanding these performance keys is easier than you might think, especially if you’re holding daily or weekly meetings.

As our culture continues to shift in favor of technology, it wouldn’t be too surprising for many more companies to adopt remote teams. It may seem daunting, but in many ways managing a remote team is almost easier than managing a team huddled under one roof.

Originally posted on MokshPopli.org on May 30, 2019.

The Role of a Business Consultant

If you’re a new business owner, you may know everything under the sun about your product and services, your clientele, and your goals. However, running a business ensures that you’ll hit some roadblocks, come across situations you never thought you’d experience, and be completely unsure of how to move forward. That’s where a business consultant comes in.

Business consultants often like to say they’re in the business of solutions. That’s a pretty good way of looking at it. A consultant worth their weight will have years of experience in business, as well as a wealth of knowledge you can use to your advantage. Consultants can be expensive, but a good one is well worth the investment since they can help you maximize revenue and returns.

Hiring the right consultant depends on your unique goals. Make sure they’re knowledgeable in the area you’re interested in growing or fixing. While they live under the umbrella of the term “business consultant,” you may find individuals using other titles to describe their jobs, such as an IT consultant, marketing consultant, or HR consultant. They can help you in a variety of ways though, so try not to limit them to one specific problem. Instead, allow their experience to guide you as you grow your business. Here are a few ways a consultant can help you:

Strategy and Management

Maybe you want to expand your market, buy a competitor, or create new products but don’t know where to start. If this is the case, consider searching for a business consultant who has expertise in that area. Many companies hire consultants for the reason above and have great success. A consultant’s non-biased opinion, network, and experience can go far in helping you reach your goals.

Information Technology (IT)

Businesses are quickly becoming a slave to technology, especially as the online market is becoming everyone’s preferred way to shop. If you’re a developed small business but looking to start an e-commerce site, consulting someone is probably your best foot forward. An IT consultant can help you develop a streamlined system, integrate it with your current system, and teach you how to handle all the new software and tech needs.

Marketing

Branding is everything in today’s business world. Companies have social media accounts for each of their brands, developed and recognizable logos, and multi-million dollar marketing campaigns. A marketing consultant can help you get in the game by creating a custom logo, informing your advertising efforts, and guiding you through the world of social media marketing. This type of business consultant can be incredibly useful to growing businesses who have just developed a marketing budget and don’t really know how to use it.

Investing in a business consultant may seem like a pricey endeavor, but their worth is priceless. Much like hiring a full-time employee, meet with and interview a variety of consultants to determine whether they would be a good fit for you and your needs. Through conversation, you may just be surprised at their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Originally posted on MokshPopli.org on May 30th, 2019.

Building Your Personal Brand

The rise of social media has changed the way we view brands and businesses, so much so that individual people, in and of themselves, are considered brands. They curate their feeds, publish books, or produce video content that shares their views, along with their actual brands, to the world. At this point, we have started to value the face behind a brand or business as much as we value their products.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur it’s more important than ever to create a personal online brand to establish yourself as an industry leader and influencer. How? Mostly through self-promotion.

Create Relevant Content

To build your personal brand, and ultimately your company, you first have to label yourself as a “thought leader.” What this means is that you contribute a unique and insightful outlook on popular topics. If you’re unsure of what’s trending in your respective industry, research popular hashtags, articles, and look up industry news.

Once you have a topic, create a piece of content, such as an article, podcast, or video. Then, share it on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and use relevant popular hashtags so that it can be seen by a large audience of interested people.

Develop a Brand Narrative

Some of the most consumer-favored products are the main characters in a story that the brand owner has weaved. A brand or product’s story is often what connects it to an audience. It gives consumers something to hold onto and helps them feel more attached. When creating your personal brand, think about what sets you apart from others. Then, use that uniqueness and share your story through social media platforms.

Craft a Memorable Message

Many social influencers have their own merchandise emblazoned with the message they relate to their audience. Having a message, catch phrase, or unique anthem makes you memorable, while also acting as a sort of elevator pitch. It should immediately let someone know what you do or what you value.

Most importantly, when creating a space for yourself online, remember that consistency is key. One article here or there will not make you stand out, but regular and insightful pieces on trending topics will. Additionally, staying “on brand” is just as important. Once you create a message, it’s important to stick to it and have it be your guiding principle when making business decisions or communicating with your audience. Without consistency, any effort to build a personal brand is wasted effort and will not help grow your business.

Originally published on MokshPopli.org on May 21, 2019.