Categories
Startups

The Most Valuable Startups In 2016

While many small businesses aim for growth over the first few years, few would turn down instant global success. Up until recently, the possibility of gaining global traction quickly looked remote. But of course, we don’t live in the past anymore. We live in the age of digital communication and digital platforms. And that has led to the rise of so-called “unicorn” startups. Startups that effectively came out of nowhere and burst onto the global scene in a matter of months.

Right now a unicorn is defined as a startup worth more than $1 billion. And there are, according to Forbes, 200 or so such companies. But today we’re only interested in the most valuable.

Didi Kuaidi

It’s shouldn’t come as any surprise that one of the world’s most valuable unicorn startups has emerged in China. The country has fallen in love with capitalism since Deng Xiaoping opened the country up in 1979. And the country has the largest internal market in the world.

Didi Kuaidi can be thought of as China’s response to Uber. It’s basically software that allows customers to hire taxis on their smartphones. Right now the company is valued at a cool $16 billion. But expect this to go much higher in the decade ahead.

Palantir Technologies

Palantir Technologies
Image by aki51

Palantir is another software company, this time specialising in Big Data. Why is Palantir so important? Well, the company could be a big name in the economy of the future. The more Big Data is used in manufacturing, logistics and other services, the more we’ll hear about them. Big Data is expected to be how we organise production lines and cities in the future. And so that’s why this US company is currently running a valuation of over $20 billion.

Airbnb

I’m sure you’re recognising the trend by now. Here we have yet another software startup with an impressive valuation. Thanks to some excellent business leadership, Airbnb has now reached a global audience. People can book accommodation anywhere in the world. And people can list their accommodation on Airbnb’s platform too.

Airbnb

This isn’t just a tool for traditional hoteliers. It’s for anybody who wants to rent out a house or a room, practically anywhere in the world. The global reach of Airbnb has resulted in a valuation of $25.5 billion.

Xiaomi

XiaomiFew Westerners have heard of this company. But Xiaomi is a big shot over in China. And it’s estimated to be worth some $46 billion. Why? Well, the company designs and develops its own smartphones, primarily for the Chinese market. You would think that Apple would have cornered the market, but apparently not. Xiaomi is here to stay.

Uber

No doubt you saw this one coming. It’s no secret that Uber is the most valuable startup in the world, and one of the most controversial. The ride-sharing company now operates in dozens of countries around the world. And it allows practically anyone with a modern car to make a bit of money taxiing people around. Connecting passengers with drivers are only the start of Uber’s vision of the future. Right now the company is estimated to be worth around $62 billion.

Categories
Marketing

Ways Your Company Can Benefit From Digital Growth

The digital world plays such a massive role in the corporate world. And it’s important that you understand how much of an impact this will have on your company. Here are a few of the important ways your business will benefit from digital growth.

Mobile Technology

mobile technology

Image by uditha wickramanayaka

We all know how important it is to use mobile technology these days. It allows you to run your business and use marketing techniques while you’re on the move. These days there is very true little time to do anything anymore. And mobile technology gives us the opportunity to multitask and get things done on the commute to work. In the future we may reach a stage where none of us has offices or computers; we will just use mobile technology.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Image by Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce

You need to figure out just how much of an impact digital marketing can have. You need to promote your brand as much as you can. And the best way of doing this is using the digital growth of online marketing. The idea of marketing, presenting and advertising your brand is to make yourself stand out, and there are endless opportunities to do this online. So, this is one of the best ways you can use the digital landscape to make your business better. However, you may soon find yourself dealing with a wide variety of tools and a lot of data to produce all of your marketing materials, so keeping everything organized with digital asset management DAM integrations can make things much easier.

Heightened Communication

One of the best things about the digital era is that it has led to heightened communication. You can now get in touch with your employees and clients through all sorts of different means. This is important because it helps you keep in touch with the people that matter. This improves productivity and satisfaction and helps you grow your brand as much as possible. Communication is the essence of great business, so it’s important to make sure you get it right.

Security

cyber security

Image by Perspecsys Photos

It’s important to consider how much security is an issue with business these days. The drawback to the digital age means your company is potentially more vulnerable. That’s why you have to take measures to make sure you secure the company where possible. Using passwords is a great place to start, and you need to make sure you have a secure server. Try to bring in a cybersecurity team to help make the business even more secure.

Data Storage

You need to consider how much storage has changed since businesses went digital. Gone is the need for filing cabinets and huge desks. Everything is online now, so things are much more streamlined. There are plenty of data storage facilities you can make use of to help you. Programs like Dropbox are ideal for storing data and information on a digital platform. It’s a secure way to hold a lot of data, and you can access it anywhere at any time.

The business has been affected so much by the development of digital technology. It’s gotten to the stage now where businesses cannot function without making use of the digital world. In fact, the more you embrace it, the better it will become. Digital growth has made it much easier to run businesses in an effective and efficient way.

Categories
Business

Protecting your finances: How to spot a Ponzi scheme

Fraudsters are everywhere and in this digital age, the public is continually reminded to look out for scams. If you were to believe the media, you would assume it is almost exclusively the elderly and vulnerable who are targeted by financial fraud. The truth, however, is that being scammed can happen to anyone. So how does one spot a Ponzi scheme?

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is an investment scam where the intention is to separate investors from their money. It gets its name from Charles Ponzi, the architect of one such investment scam way back at the beginning of the twentieth century. He did not invent the idea, however, merely refined it. Since Ponzi’s time there has been a long line of unscrupulous people looking to take advantage of the public’s desire to make easy money.

Ponzi-scheme

Image by Steven Depolo

Perhaps the biggest scammer of them all was Bernie Madoff, whose scheme was discovered in 2008. His scam involved stocks and securities and he fraudulently separated his investors from around $64.8 billion of their money. It has been the largest Ponzi scheme to date. The scam had far-reaching effects and not just in financial terms. Many of the corporations involved issued lawsuits, while some individuals felt that suicide was the only way out of the situation. Madoff’s own family have suffered too. Madoff’s sons were subject to a trial by media, and even Andrew Madoff’s fiancé, Catherine Hooper, was thrust into the limelight. Hooper has now rebuilt her life since the crisis, founding a disaster recovery business. You can read more about her story in the article ‘Stand by your Madoff’.

How Ponzi schemes work

A Ponzi scheme is deceptively simple. The first step is for the fraudster to convince a few investors to put their money into the scheme. After an agreed period, the invested money plus the return is given to the investors who are pleased with the results. The fraudster then convinces the investors to re-invest, and perhaps to bring a few more investors on board. The cycle of invest and re-invest continues until one day the fraudster does not give the investors any money at all, breaks off all contact and runs off with all the money he has accumulated.

To avoid falling prey to a Ponzi scheme, it is vital that anyone thinking of investing does their due diligence and researches the salesperson offering the scheme as well as the company. Use the internet to obtain a photograph of the salesperson to check whether he is who he says he is. Contact the relevant regulatory board to determine whether any complaints or investigations have been conducted against the company or salesperson. Ask questions. Find out what the collateral will be, who the payments will be made out to and who will be handling the closing of the investment. If any of this information is obscured or difficult to come by, that may be a sign that the salesman has something to hide.

Research can only take a person so far when it comes to determining whether an investment is a Ponzi scheme or not, but perhaps the best determiner is the old adage: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Categories
Marketing

4 Digital Marketing Techniques for Businesses to Pursue in 2016

Every brand needs a proper promotional strategy to stay on top of the growing online competition. Marketing in 21st century has become easier thanks to one-click accessibility to social and technology platforms. These are excellent means to communicate with customers and know their liking and disliking. Companies employ digital marketing strategies to engage clients by creating buzz through podcasts, leading them to conversations and setting up their expectations. In fact, successful digital marketing techniques are implemented the other way around, offering customers a great opportunity to lead upfront. Here are 4 effective digital marketing trends to implement in 2016:

1. Online Video Consumption

2016 will be the year of online video consumption. With young people spending majority of time on the internet, traditional marketing through television channels has dropped by nearly 8 hours per week. Reportedly, 64% of digital marketers expect videos to control the major part of a marketing strategy, with video traffic increasing to a significant 80% of the entire consumer internet traffic by 2019.

Whether you dedicate a small budget to produce a custom video on your own for your business or use a 3rd party contractor, you must include video marketing in your overall marketing tactic. Test all the different available channels and formats such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat to identify the best return on your ad.

2. Measure Attribute Modeling

Attribution modeling isn’t new around here; however, this year it would become one of the primary digital marketing models. The approach is about keeping a track of touch points during the customer conversion process. Tools such as Adometry and Converto are accessible to marketers to calculate attribution based on business budget and size. Start with basic attribution modeling through Google Analytics and understand the role of channels in conversion funnels to assign values to every segment of sales cycle and target funding on the appropriate areas to increase sales.

3. Go Mobile

Mobile traffic makes up around 50% of the entire US retail traffic, making mobile platform a hot marketing medium today. eMarketer predicted US mobile programmatic ad spending to reach $9.33 billion in 2015, accounting for 60.5% of entire display ad spending. To keep up with the mobile marketing trends, make sure your business site is mobile friendly with your content strategy devised according to the competitive platform advantages in mind. For instance, fast loading content with an easy billing and checkout system on Smartphones is extremely effective.  Tablets screen sizes on the other hand have room for complicated systems.

With Google’s another mobile update, “Accelerated Mobile Pages”, mobile optimization is going to become a major focus in 2016. In fact, Google may also start penalizing non-mobile-friendly sites in the coming year. In addition to mobile optimization, marketers also need to focus on mobile-centric mindsets to ensure a good user experience, directly correlating with a buyer’s behavior. The user experience will also become a major difference among big brands beyond product and pricing nuances.

4. Real Time Engagement

With the emergence of Snapchat, customers expect 24/7 engagement with brands. Do you know Cinnabon gained 2,000 followers in 2 days just after joining Snapchat. Real-time engagement is the main social media challenge for half of the brands, and when done correctly, it has the potential to set big cultural trends and moments. Follow trends and use emails to engage with consumers through social media and connect at the right moments.

The trends mentioned above may not be entirely new, but the directions they are taking are original. Understand the inclination to increase customer engagement in 2016, without spending large sums of money.

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Categories
Employment

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs In 2016

Career prospect means actually doing what you love doing best. A survey taken at the end of February 2016 reveals that after data of employment gathered from hundreds of business establishments from across the globe, it was discovered that out of the most highest paying occupations, the majority of them were from the medical field. No surprise at all since doctors are responsible for the safety and well being of the patients, prior to and  after treatment. Doctors spend more time with their patients than any other profession. Here are the ten highest paying jobs of 2016 as per the annual wages data collected and growth outlook tracked over a 10 year span.

1) ANESTHOLIGIST

ANESTHOLIGIST

Image by Wikimedia Commons

It is not surprising that health industry has the most skilled careers as they require specialised knowledge. Anestholigists attract the highest salary because of the intensive schooling and training needed to enter into the profession.

2) SURGEONS

SURGEONS

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Another top paying job because of the specialty involved depending on the type of surgery to be performed. A neurosurgeon, for example, may be at the highest end of the spectrum while others at the lower end.

3) PHYSICIAN. (GENERAL PRACTICE )

medical-doctor

This is another very high paying job as more and more people opt for medical insurance.  These are the persons we rush to after we find irregular freckles, with coughs and colds and when dad’s heart skips a beat. A population with increasing health concerns will always fuel this demand.

4) SOFTWARE ENGINEERS

SOFTWARE-ENGINEERS

Image by Tim Regan

This job requires management and designing and maintenance of software programmes. With the field expected to rapidly advance with the advancement of technology, this profession is certain to become one of the top paying professions in the years to come.

5) EXECUTIVE  (SENIOR)

With a prospective growth outlook of 11% the job of heading an organisation is not only challenging but full of stress, which is reflected by their high median of salary. Though it can inflict a lot of harm, being amorphous in nature, it can elevate you quickly to the next high level.

6) DENTIST

DENTIST

Image by .hj barraza

This is another specialised field which requires extensive training but in return gives ample rewards. It opens up a world of professional opportunities, in addition to private practice and s competitive salary along with a substantial work-life balance

7) CHARTERD ACCOUNTANT

This is a very selective career, not suiting everyone. That is because in order to become a successful CA, it requires four years of academic study followed by three years of practical training, calling for untold sacrifices and talent, which in the end do realise into a very rewarding profession.

8) IT MANAGERS

A job as an IT manager requires monitoring of operations, technological solutions and build cost efficient systems. With the race in technology rapidly growing day by day, so is the demand for IT managers and professionals.

9) LAWYERS

LAWYERS

Image by Kate Gardiner

There is no person or organisation which is immune from legal problems that require an expert legal and sound understanding. This is the sole reason that demand for good attorneys is ever on the rise. Lawyers act as advocates as well as attorneys and have different duties depending on their workplace. Lawyers draw a large salary which increases with experience and expertise.

10) AIR PILOT

AIR-PILOT

Image by Matt Biddulph

Flying an airplane is fun. Getting paid for it is even better. It is an ever travelling work place with constantly changing views and exhilarating experiences. With the phenomenal growth in air travel around the world, experienced pilots are in great demand. Attaining the goal of a skillful pilot involves a lot of money and hours and hours of flying to just qualify to become one. However, once done, the opportunities are endless.